Ms Hartley Dooda had invited Master Cole to be the patsy for another of her monologues, this one, as so often in the recent past, about lockdowns. Here, she displayed a wilful ignorance of history, and indeed scientific reality, as she attempted to liken restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic to a totalitarian dictatorship, but ended up with pants ablaze.
Engaging autopilot stream-of-consciousness-meets-verbal-diarrhoea, Ms Hartley Dooda was away. “Lockdown is a completely new invention” she began, having not heard of the village of Eyam. But do go on. “It came out of China, a totalitarian Police state … if lockdowns worked, we wouldn’t have had to have had three of them”. Their effectiveness also depends on the activities of the population and Government. But there was more.
Master Cole pointed out the obvious: that when people distanced themselves from one another, and stayed at home, the number of infections fell. And it was here that Ms Hartley Dooda pitched the whopper: “No, case rates fell before the lockdown on all three occasions”. She then shouted Master Cole down by claiming “Political journalists think everyone else is stupid”. He hung up, knowing he should have done so rather earlier.
So let’s test Ms Hartley Dooda’s assertion. Unfortunately for her, the data is freely available, as are the dates on which those three lockdowns - which weren’t really lockdowns, and certainly not in the sense of those imposed on Chinese cities like Wuhan, given we could go out to exercise, shop and bank - began.
Lockdown One: from 364 new cases on March 14, successive days showed 442, 612, 768, 999, 1055, 1254, 1197, and 1376 on March 22. That’s an increase - more than a tripling of new cases within eight days. Lockdown One was announced on March 23.
Lockdown Two: from 19,790 new cases on October 25, successive days showed 20,890, 22,885, 24,700, 23,065, 24,405, 21,915, 23,254, 18,950, 20,018, and 25,177 on November 4. That’s an increase - not as steep as that in March last year, but the trend is clearly upwards. Lockdown Two was announced on November 5.
Lockdown Three: from 32,340 new cases on December 27, successive days showed 41,385, 53,135, 50,023, 55,892, 53,285, 57,724, 54,990 and 58,784 on January 4. That’s an increase - not as steep as in March 2020, but steeper than November that year. Lockdown Three was announced on January 5.
When Julia Hartley Dooda says that those in the Westminster bubble think ordinary people outside it are stupid, what she manages not to tell is that she is one of those within it, and thinks her listeners are too stupid not to know that Covid-19 case data is readily available. So she can get away with lying as she dispenses her propaganda (again).
But that lying always comes back to bite you. Hello Julia Hartley Dooda.
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