I belong to a privileged generation. Not that I was raised in affluence; far from it. Born in 1958, to a mother who worked all her life as a weaver in the textile industry and a father employed as a maintenance mechanic at the local factory, I lived on a council estate for the first decade of my life. Money was tight, holidays were basic and infrequent, and treats – in the form of confectionary – were rare, usually restricted to a Turkish Delight chocolate bar each Sunday evening. Although I never realised it until I was 62, I was, however, part of a cohort who possessed something sacrosanct, something so very precious and – deplorably – something future generations may never enjoy again: individual freedom.
To be clear, the world I have lived in has been far from perfect. My era has been one incorporating fundamental inequalities and injustices, widespread poverty, discrimination and – particularly in my young-adult years – a recurring risk of physical assault. But despite this context, each of us took for granted a range of basic human rights: to meet with whomever we wished; to leave our homes whenever we chose; to eat whatever we wanted; to express opinions others might not agree with; to take risks, make mistakes and learn sometimes painful lessons; to wear whatever we wanted; to work to improve our career prospects and earn more money to enhance our lives and those of our families; and to decide what drugs and other medical interventions to accept. When cheap flights emerged in the 1970s and 80s, the whole world became wonderfully accessible.
My perception (probably a naïve one) of successive Labour and Conservative Governments was that, although often inept and guilty of policy errors, they broadly sought to improve the lives of their citizens and could at least be relied upon to protect us against external malignant forces. Furthermore, it seemed that the life-spans of our elected politicians were dependent upon keeping us – their constituents – satisfied by acting primarily in the interests of U.K. citizens.
But 30 months ago, this illusion was shattered.
I knew something was awry as early as February 2020. By March the same year my early-warning detector would not rest. While the media, politicians and the science ‘experts’ informed us – incessantly – that a uniquely lethal pathogen was spreading carnage across the world, and unprecedented and draconian restrictions on our day-to-day lives were essential to prevent Armageddon, I wasn’t buying it. I formed the view that a momentous event, unparalleled in my lifetime, was unfolding, but it was not primarily about a virus.
Why, at that point in time, did I recognise that something sinister was underway while almost everyone else I met seemed to be swallowing the dominant narrative? It is a difficult question to answer. Perhaps my time in the early 1980s as a psychiatric charge nurse in an NHS hospital, occasionally interfacing with the ‘infection control’ department, gave me insight into how this professional group operate. Although well-meaning, their advice regarding how to minimise the spread of contagion on a ward often seemed impractical, revealing an apparent inability to see the bigger picture. Or maybe my in-depth knowledge of risk assessment (gleaned in my doctoral thesis during my time as a clinical psychologist) had impressed upon me how woefully inaccurate we are in gauging the relative threat levels posed by various hazards inherent in our environment. What I did know for sure was that Big Pharma – arguably the most corrupt industry in the world – would exploit the emerging ‘crisis’ for its own ends. And how right I was.
The list of state-driven human rights abuses we have endured under the pretence of ‘keeping us safe’ and the (ominous) ‘greater good’ is long: prohibition of travel; confinement in our homes; social isolation; closure of businesses; denial of access to leisure activities; de-humanising mask mandates; directives (scrawled on floors and walls) dictating which way to walk; an arbitrary ‘stay two metres apart’ rule; exclusion from the weddings and funerals of our loved ones; the seclusion and neglect of our elderly; school shutdowns; children’s playgrounds sealed off with yellow and black tape; muzzled children and toddlers; students denied both face-to-face tuition and a ‘rites-of-passage’ social life; and coerced experimental ‘vaccines’ that turned out to be more harmful and less effective than initially claimed. Equally egregious were the strategies deployed to lever compliance with these restrictions, namely psychological manipulation (‘nudging’), pervasive censorship across the media and academic journals and the cancellation and vilification of anyone brave enough to speak out against the dominant Covid narrative. All-in-all, a state-driven assault on the core of our shared humanity.
As the state-orchestrated infringement of our basic human rights continued, I felt compelled to act in ways that were far outside of my comfort zone. The 61-year-old man who had never been on a protest march until summer 2020, and who had innocently assumed that most of society’s leaders were decent people who tried to do what was right, had changed. I found myself walking with tens of thousands of others along Regent Street, London, screaming “Freedom!”. I pushed “Back to Normal” leaflets through the letterboxes of hundreds of my neighbours. I stood on the corner of our local shopping street with a placard held aloft stating, “Say No To Vaccine Passports”.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, I struggled to find reasons for the irrational, masochistic Covid restrictions and the ubiquitous infringement of our basic human rights. My explanations evolved. Initially I clung to the ‘panic and incompetence’ rationale, that our governments had been spooked by the images coming out of China – remember the videos of people falling dead in the streets – and the mono-focused, blinkered and catastrophic prophecies of our so-called epidemiological experts. As the atrocities persisted, this explanation was rendered inadequate, and it morphed into an ‘opportunistic agendas’ account where activists – promoting green aspirations, digitalised IDs, social credit systems, a cashless society, universal income, a biosecurity state – had exploited the anxieties associated with the emergence of a novel respiratory virus. By 2021 these conclusions, in turn, seemed insufficient to explain the persistence of the horrors we were enduring and it – belatedly – became clear that globalist and ‘deep state’ powers were at work, striving to realise their inhuman aspirations. My further reading about the activities of World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Health Organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, Anthony Fauci and Big Pharma, and others, confirmed this emerging conclusion.
As the Covid event fades from media attention (replaced by a focus on similarly dehumanising and totalitarian responses to environmental threats, the war in Ukraine and the imminent cost-of-living crisis) it is intriguing to reflect upon its residual effects.
I continue to mourn what I have lost, a process associated with a complex mix of fluctuating emotions. For two years, our Government, aided and abetted by state-funded scientists, denied us opportunities for fun and human connection, stymied our freedoms and orchestrated a systematic campaign to coerce us to both accept experimental ‘vaccines’ and to slavishly cover our faces with cloth or plastic. Consequently, I feel anger and disgust towards many of our politicians, epidemiological ‘experts’ and behavioural scientists who were complicit with this shameful period in our history. And I now distrust all sources of information, whether it be the media, the ‘scientific’ world or public health experts. Without an anchor for truth, I float – incredulous – in an ocean of mainstream-generated misinformation.
My 60-plus years of naivety have been shattered. I believe only those few who have shown selfless integrity throughout the Covid debacle. Also, I am now sceptical about much of the green agenda: state-funded scientists lied to us about Covid so why wouldn’t they show the same self-serving dishonesty about the climate?
Closer to home, it is clear my life has changed. I feel disappointment and irritation towards many people who I previously respected and liked, such as friends who colluded with the catastrophically damaging Covid restrictions because of fear, ignorance or a desire to avoid hassle and condemnation. Many relationships are now more distant. On the rare occasions we meet there is often an ‘elephant in the room’, and when the Covid issue is touched upon I typically feel frustrated that many do not want to consider the implications of what has been inflicted upon us.
I feel similarly towards mental health colleagues who, for years, I had stood alongside and respected, collectively fighting the tyranny of biological psychiatry (its human rights infringements, coercion, overuse of drugs and vilification of those who questioned them) but who failed to recognise a much bigger tyranny when it emerged in 2020. While a handful of this anti-psychiatry lobby did soon recognise the totalitarian threat inherent to the Covid response, most bought into the dominant narrative. Heated disagreements ensued with a few, followed by ongoing mutual resentment; for most we just avoid each other.
But the residual effects of the Covid debacle are not all negative. New friendships have emerged with people from across the political spectrum. Based on a mutual respect, enduring bonds have formed with fellow sceptics both locally (through the Community Assembly and the Stand in the Park initiatives) and nationally via joint endeavours in HART, Smile Free, and PANDA. And it was uplifting to recently discover – via a chance meeting in the local pub – that the family I had lived across the road from for the last seven years, yet had rarely spoken to, had always been as sceptical as me about the dominant Covid narrative.
Furthermore, I have noticed that my behaviour has changed in subtle ways. I now make more of an effort to smile and gain eye contact with – unmasked – strangers. Similarly, when greeting acquaintances, I’m more inclined to hug or shake hands as compared to pre-2020 levels of bodily contact. (Non of that fist-bump and elbow-touch nonsense for me.) It’s as if I’m striving to compensate for the human connection deficit that we’ve accrued over the last 30 months. Or perhaps I’m making a defiant metaphorical one-finger salute to any onlookers who still adhere to the risk-averse and dehumanising dominant Covid narrative?
While we continue to drown in a sea of propaganda, censorship and coercion, who knows what the future might hold?
One thing is for sure: We must never forget what the political leaders and public health specialists inflicted upon us. Whether the reason was weakness, groupthink, conflict of interest or unadulterated corruption, the miscreants must all be held to account and pay a price for terrorising the people they are meant to serve. This assertion is not fuelled by a primitive desire for retribution – well, not primarily – but by an expectation that, if the guilty are not named and shamed, the same totalitarian impositions will be repeated again and again.
The conviction sheet is a long one. It includes political leaders at home (Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drayford) and abroad (including Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Joe Biden and Jacinda Ardern); Bill Gates and his various funding agencies; SAGE scientists who danced to the tune of their academic and political paymasters; the behavioural science ‘nudgers’ at the helm of the worldwide psychological manipulation strategy; the professional organisations that have manifestly colluded with the state-driven tyranny (including the British Medical Association and the British Psychological Society); the conflicted drug regulators (such as the MHRA); the powerful, profit-driven pharmaceutical companies, deploying their financial clout to influence health policy decisions; and the mainstream media, who have slavishly peddled the dominant Covid narrative while dismissing alternative viewpoints.
To successfully expose the wrongdoings of such powerful individuals and institutions is a big ask. Realistically, only bottom-up resistance and protests from millions of ordinary people could achieve this aim, and in this regard there are reasons for optimism. Truth will – eventually – reveal itself. Despite the ongoing censorship and manipulation, public dissent to the attempted imposition of a biosecurity state is becoming increasingly visible. Masking in the community is – at the time of writing – practised only by an eccentric minority. The net harms of Covid restrictions are more widely recognised. Ordinary citizens increasingly claim they will not be locked down and separated from their loved ones ever again. And – perhaps more importantly – the ‘safe and effective’ vaccine narrative is crumbling, as indicated by more and more people rejecting the jabs.
If we do not wish to live in a ‘transhuman’ society devoid of personal freedoms, where our day-to-day decisions – where we go, what we say, what we eat, how we spend our money, what drugs we ingest – are determined by the state’s version of the ‘greater good’, we must all continue to show visible dissent to the globalists’ new world order.
Together, I believe we can defeat the biggest threat to Western values witnessed in my lifetime. And even if we don’t succeed, history will show that at least we tried.
Dr. Gary Sidley is a retired NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of the Smile Free campaign. He blogs at Coronababble, where this post first appeared.
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