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.