This article first appeared on The Conservative Woman
Even the mainstream media admits that the latest (national) lockdown will result in a huge hit to the UK economy. But there’s precious little sympathy being offered to the people who have provided the money to allow governments to function, ever since governments became a thing. After all, goes the government line, we have to protect the NHS. It’s almost as if the NHS was sufficient reason for itself.
But that logic is applied elsewhere in government too. Covid response is showing us just how vast government has become and the extent to which it can remove freedom. And that has been as big a shock to me as anyone.
Every day we hear reports – especially from the mainstream media – about the number of Covid-19 cases there are. Since mass PCR testing was rolled out across the UK the so-called case numbers have been used to justify lockdown after lockdown. But these aren’t cases. They are positive PCR tests. To date over 40 million of these tests have been conducted in the UK with hundreds of thousands testing positive.
With every lockdown based on increasing PCR positive test results comes huge damage to our society. Destroyed business, cancelled surgery, massive increases in domestic violence and mental ill-health. In my view lockdown is destruction – and the response to Covid is much worse than the disease itself – a coronavirus like many other coronaviruses, the cause of the common cold.
But at heart of the policy is testing – but especially the PCR, the so-called gold standard of testing for SARS Cov2, the RNA sequence that’s been identified as the cause of Covid-19.
In this interview with Kevin McKernan, for PCR Claims, I ask him about the PCR test and its fitness for purpose. Kevin is a genomics expert and runs a genomics sequencing laboratory near Boston in the United States. Kevin has also conducted a peer review of the PCR test that’s used by most countries that use data from PCR testing to justify lockdowns – the so-called Drosten test (named after the German scientist who developed it). Kevin’s view is that the PCR test is simply not fit for purpose for measuring Covid infection in general populations – and should not be used by governments to justify lockdowns.
Since my appearance on BBC Radio Ulster Talkback on Friday I’ve had to face a fair amount of criticism on social media – but, thankfully, I’ve also received lots of messages of support. The criticism tended to focus on the fact that I clearly lost my temper on-air. My defence is that it’s tricky to maintain calmness when the interviewer (in this instance, William Crawley) was, from the outset, hostile. But, I also wanted to present an alternative to the calm and clerical sounding Chief Scientific Advisor who was allowed to ramble, unchallenged, about the need for yet another draconian lockdown in Northern Ireland from Boxing Day.
The day after that broadcast we heard from the Prime Minister that London and the SE of England was to have Christmas effectively cancelled as an opportunity for families to get together – as London moves into “Tier 4” of a tier system that starts with Tier 1/Medium and goes to Tier 4/Be Scared, Be Very Scared. The Covid Scare Taxonomy is running out of severity descriptors.
My attempts, on Friday, to provide an antidote to the scary stuff from public health “experts,” were stifled at every opportunity by Crawley. When I attempted to present evidence to counter the fear narrative, I was closed down with accusations that my evidence essentially wasn’t allowed. It was, apparently, misinformation. Only the correct sort of evidence is allowed by the BBC these days.
But there were three central points I was trying to get across on Crawley’s programme that were stifled.
The first relates to lockdowns themselves. They don’t work. An excellent article to this effect was published by Nick Hudson (of PANDA) on Medium today. Although there’s a growing body of evidence that viruses will do their thing until populations achieve near herd immunity. There’s good evidence that we’re there already in the UK. Winter seasonal flu, which has nearly overwhelmed A&Es in the past (e.g. in December 2017/January 2018) is now being reclassified, it would appear, as Covid (see chart, below). Bed occupancy in London has been pretty consistent since mid September, but patients are being reclassified as Covid to fit the narrative.
The second is that the PCR test is a duff test. I’m not going to re-hash a huge volume of work and back catalogue of research. There are a lot of resources on www.pcrclaims.co.uk that justify the view that the testing is creating a false narrative of “cases” – when they are, in fact, simply false positives. The PCR test produces large volumes of false positives simply because it is not fit for purpose for testing large populations of asymptomatic people.
Because PCR is the test of choice for NHS personnel it means that perfectly healthy healthcare workers are being sent home to isolate at a time when they are most needed i.e. during a Winter respiratory disease spike.
And the final point I wanted to make relates, inevitably, to the social cost of all of this – especially when the concept of asymptomatic transmission must be questioned. Covid-19 is not a particularly dangerous disease for most people. Many have innate immunity (probably around 50% from T-cell immunity). Many have acquired immunity from having had the disease, even in a mild form. Therefore, people who are concerned that they may suffer severe ill-health if exposed to it can choose to isolate or take precautions. But those of us prepared to take the risk should be allowed to get out and socialise or engage in trade. The restraint of trade, and restraint of education, that are the the cornerstones of lockdown are extraordinarily damaging – especially to business owners, children and young people.
These are not extraordinary claims or misinformation. These are valid concerns about a policy that has been tried, repeatedly, in all four home nations since March. It is a policy that’s is hugely damaging to our society and our way of life. If we are not allowed to question government policy, it starts to feel conspiratorial. Freedom of speech is at the heart of this. And curtailing that freedom – by the BBC or government – is the stuff of misinformation-spreading and propaganda.
Some of you may remember the advertisement for the Volkswagen Golf a few years back where the driver – and proud owner – of a Golf hears an annoying squeak. He starts checking the car for sources of the squeak. But the punchline of the advert is that the squeak is coming from the earring of the driver’s sleeping wife. It should have been obvious. No Golf squeaks.
We’re now nearly a year into the most significant curtailment of civil liberties that this country has seen since the second world war. And in the same manner that the Golf driver used all the usual tests for checking for squeaks, this government has implemented a draconian programme of testing to find the source of the problem (Covid-19). But the testing doesn’t seem to be finding anything very useful.
In fact, some 41 million SARS Cov-2 tests – mostly PCR tests – have been conducted to date in this government’s search for that damned elusive Covid. Most of the tests have been negative. Only 4% or so have been positive – and most of those people testing positive suffer little, if any, illness. We’re testing the healthy and labelling them unclean, for no obvious reason.
The testing itself is causing one hell of a squeak. Hundreds of billions of pounds have been forked out in furlough payments to people who can’t work, because of continued partial closure of the economy based on the big test. Testing has cost £billions. Health-care workers are being tested constantly. Students hoping to return home to their families are being tested. School children with sniffles are being tested and being sent home if they test positive. Remote learning programmes have been set up to allow students and teachers to connect via Zoom. The airlines are near collapse. The hospitality sector is on its knees. City centres are like ghost towns. Retail chains are laying off thousands. Public debt is now well North of £2Trillion. And still we push on the bonnet of the nation, rocking it up and down on its shock absorbers hoping to find the source of that bloody squeak.
And where are the voices in the government, where are the rebels, where are the libertarians asking why this incessant, unending PCR testing continues?
We know that PCR isn’t finding what it’s looking for. We’ve been told that this test is simply not fit for purpose. Studies tell us that fragments of the virus revealed by PCR do not actually tell us much at all. People testing positive are mostly not in the slightest bit infectious. Yet they are sent home, told to isolate. Our Prime Minister had the disease, recovered, and is immune, and yet decided to self-isolate because he stood close to someone who tested positive. The Heath Minister, on Sky News, told those who could be bothered to watch that those who had been infected with Covid should still get the Pfizer vaccine – because the vaccine is better, he hinted, than the virus itself at creating immunity. His comments left respiratory disease and immunology specialists gasping for air at the extent of such a public display of ignorance on the part of the person who has built this great testing edifice.
All over the home nations hideous, grey testing centres have been shoddily erected in car-parks, manned by dour, masked security guards – things that would not look out of place in a Soviet Gulag. The expectation is that we will volunteer to get tested if we have even a hint of a Winter sniffle. If we test positive and fail to isolate, we will be fined and suffer the opprobrium of vast swathes of the scared in in our nations, rendered grey and joyless.
But there is another way.
We can refuse. We can say enough is enough. The PCR tests are the problem. They tell us nothing useful. They simply feed a statistics machine upon which the BBC gorges. It’s time to say, NO. No to PCR tests, no to tracing, no to those disapproving stares. Because the tests are the problem.