What type of sceptic are you? I read Toby Young’s two articles that were posted on the day following the Conservative Party confidence vote and it made me question the concept of scepticism more widely.
There were two paragraphs that I was not comfortable with and I would like to explain why. The first suggested that Boris Johnson needed to shore up his position and that this could be done by acting like a proper Conservative and, as the majority of the MPs who voted for him were on the Right of the Party, he needed to throw them some red meat. The second article stated that his rule breaking was a good reason for keeping him in office because it made it politically impossible for him to impose another lockdown.
I thought Toby explained both views very well and it was difficult to argue with Will Jones, in the next article, warning that there is little sign that other potential Conservative leaders would be more sceptical of the “new health totalitarianism”.
So where’s my discomfort? Scepticism can be broken down into a few types and this BMJ article gives a good description of them. Briefly, they are: philosophical, Voltairian, scientific, dogmatic and nihilistic. You might be able to guess which one you are more in tune with but it’s more likely you are malleable enough to be aligned to more than one form. I would like to add a sixth, ethical scepticism, and straight away emphasise that those who don’t make this their number one priority are not in any way unethical or immoral.
This addition to the list does, however, help to explain where I’m coming from. I want to stress the importance of sticking to our sceptical principles – a feature that the Daily Sceptic, along with its high quality of debate and statistical analysis, should be proud of.
So in the first article, what red meat could Boris throw? I suspect that it could be either prime cut beef for a family on low wages that have lost almost all their remaining money through inflation (£400 billion of taxpayers’ money wasted on Covid) or, perhaps, a genetically modified cheap alternative ‘meat’ derived from porridge oats that he hopes appeases the right of the Party to swallow. You see, by not having followed principles in the first place, Boris is more likely to do even more harm to the nation’s health and finances.
The evidence of the last two years is that Covid is not much more deadly than a typical flu virus for those under 75 and who are not medically vulnerable. So if a new virus emerges with a significantly higher infection fatality rate (IFR), how could Boris not lockdown without him being accused of using his own partygate shortcomings to influence a reversal in policy? As Boris hasn’t admitted that lockdowns, mask wearing and vaccination for airborne viruses are, and have always been, almost completely ineffective, a policy reversal becomes well-nigh impossible.
I want to put out the consideration that supporting Boris might only allow the ends to justify the means and that scepticism without a strong moral element is dangerous. Let’s take the first year of lockdown and the announcement that a vaccine had been developed in extraordinarily record time. It was in the experimental stage and would not be ready for full licence until 2023 and it involved new technology that would be pretty much forced on to the public for a disease that killed less than 0.2% of the population. The pharmaceutical companies would be exempt from any liability. The manner in which vaccination would be rolled out wasn’t to follow the hitherto safe principles of good clinical practice either.
At this juncture many had had enough of lockdowns, testing, enforced mask wearing and even many sceptics capitulated. The ethical part of anyone’s scepticism was forsaken in the hope of a quick exit instead of a combative response of outrage and defiance.
All the Government decisions relating to Covid policy that lockdown sceptics knew to be fundamentally unethical were allowed to pass because of a lack of accountability of those in power – similar to the lack of accountability in the medical profession and Government that allowed almost 100 baby deaths in the Shrewsbury Maternity Scandal. The constant stream of fear propaganda kept the public on side.
Toby Young has always championed free speech but let’s not forget it is the restriction of this with respect to Covid policy in the mainstream media – the hiding of the truth, the closing down of debate and the silencing of all the witnesses – that has put us in the position where we find ourselves now. A place that Boris and his cabinet are responsible for. A place that denied the public to make free, fair and balanced decisions of informed consent with regard to Covid. These containments on free speech have stark parallels with nearly all the infamous historical medical scandals where witnesses were silenced and of which Shrewsbury is just a recent example.
So there is my explanation of shamelessly refusing to accept the excuse that choosing a new leader might result in something worse. An explanation that refuses to acquiesce to any Government looking to throw us a rope to a sinking ship. A statement that refuses to let the perpetrator of a gross injustice off the hook and allow him to evade accountability.
Sceptics need some hope and I can’t rule out the possibility of a replacement for Boris Johnson being one of those courageous anti-lockdown MPs who showed integrity in fighting against lockdowns, enforced medical interventions and the loss of so-called ‘true Conservative values’. You may have read a recent Daily Sceptic article in which Japanese cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Kenji Yamamoto set out his case for ceasing all Covid vaccine booster programmes on safety grounds. Day after day, week after week, as the next General Election draws ever closer, a constant stream of information and scientific data condemning lockdowns and coerced medical procedures will be impossible for mainstream media to conceal and then the only person worthy (in trust) to lead our country will be one such MP completely unblemished from the scandal of the last two-plus years.
Who could such a Tory MP be? It is worth mentioning the Covid Recovery Group of MPs such as Steve Baker (odds 40-1), Mark Harper (33-1) and Charles Walker (100-1) among others. If events unfold in the manner I describe these odds could dramatically shorten and sceptics should make it not just an aspiration but a proposition to the members of the Conservative Party that these MPs must be considered candidates for leadership.
I accept that such a scenario requires a few ingredients: time (the truth will out), patience (the true virtue) and a certain degree of ethical scepticism.
Dr. Mark Shaw is a retired dentist.