Allison Pearson has written a terrific piece for the Telegraph about the forthcoming Covid inquiry. She is anxious that Lady Hallett might go easy on some of the senior politicians responsible for Britain’s disastrous response to the pandemic – such as Matt Hancock – and that she won’t examine the impact on ordinary people and their children. Allison points out that you can still suggest things that should be added to the Terms of Reference here (the deadline is April 7th) and suggests six things herself.
- At a No 10 briefing in March 2020, Michael Gove said that the virus did not discriminate: “Everyone is at risk.” And yet it was clear Covid was a highly discriminatory virus; people over 75 were 10,000 times more likely to die from it than those under 15. Who authorised the decision to press ahead with a misinformation campaign telling the public that “all age groups are at risk”, and why?
- On March 22nd, 2020, a paper by SPI-B (the committee giving behavioural science advice to the Government) said: “The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting, emotional messaging.” Why was it agreed to use fear as a weapon to increase compliance with the coronavirus rules when the public were already showing signs of using their common sense and staying home? What are the likely long-term mental health effects, on children in particular, of telling all age groups they should be scared of Covid?
- Next slide, please! Some of the graphs shown at the No 10 briefings by Professor Sir Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance picked the lowest historic data point to contrast with the highest projected data point. Expressing data in percentage terms also heightened the sense of alarm. We need a thorough analysis of the veracity of every slide shown to the British people, please, Lady Hallett.
- In the Netherlands, at the peak of the pandemic, the Dutch health system lost only 4% capacity. What percentage capacity did the NHS lose?
- What role did militant teaching unions play in keeping schools shut for so long? Oh, and why was Gavin Williamson, then education secretary, knighted – for services to buggering up British kids’ education?
- And finally, how exactly did throwing a wedding bouquet spread Covid?
Worth reading in full.