Allison Pearson has written a blistering piece in the Telegraph, bemoaning the honours heaped upon the lockdown set for their loyalty to Covidism while the true heroes of the last three years go unsung.
The latest, of course, is former New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, the “High Priestess of Covid hysteria” who “embraced tyranny like a long-lost lover”. Despite causing immense suffering, “particularly to citizens abroad who were banned from returning home – not even allowed back to see a parent on their deathbed”, and despite making the Covid vaccine mandatory for teachers, police officers, soldiers and healthcare workers “long after it was known that the jab prevented neither infection nor transmission”, the Toothy Tyrant has been honoured with a damehood.
“For the pointless ruin this posturing lightweight did to her country, in any rational world she’d be getting a fair trial, three months solitary on bread and water and a firing squad,” Pearson quotes one disgruntled New Zealander saying.
But Ardern is far from alone, Pearson writes.
We are living in a time of honours without honour, a time when British villains of the pandemic are gonged as heroes before the Covid Inquiry has had a chance to pronounce on their performance.
“When the tide goes out, you find out who is swimming naked,” is a saying attributed to investor Warren Buffet, about economic crises. The same applies to the pandemic. This week, as the Telegraph reported, a bombshell study found that lockdown reduced deaths in England and Wales by only 1,700. A “drop in the bucket” set against the 200,000-plus “missing” cancer patients, to take just one sorry example.
That’s “missing” presumed dead. (See the mysteriously high excess deaths in the home.) Or missing and then getting a terminal diagnosis 18 months late because some fool decided it would be a good idea to shut down vast swathes of the NHS. (An idea so ingenious no other country copied it.)
Yet, the Chief Medical Officer when all that was happening – or, rather, not happening – is now Sir Chris Whitty, knighted for services to public health and tackling Covid.
Curiously, at his very first Covid press briefing with sidekick Sir Patrick Vallance in March 2020, Whitty was extremely honest about what the U.K. was facing. A new virus was on the scene, most people who got it would be absolutely fine, although the elderly and the unwell should take extra care. Better not attend large social gatherings for a while, to avoid hospitals being overrun. Generally, though, we’d have to live with this relatively innocuous virus until herd immunity kicked in or a vaccine was invented. No real cause for alarm was the message.
Just two days later, under intense pressure from an ignorant, screeching media, and after a wild prediction by Prof. Ferguson and Imperial College modellers of 400,000 deaths if we didn’t close the country, Whitty changed his tune.
You can call that realpolitik or cowardly capitulation to the mob. What is in little doubt, though, is that decision to lock down, endorsed by Whitty, led to what the new report calls “a global policy failure of gigantic proportions”.
Earlier this week, I met a former senior civil servant who had worked on the ‘green book’ U.K. pandemic plan. She said lockdown wasn’t even mentioned because everyone knew the consequences would be so disastrous. What the plan recommended was “incremental” measures, in proportion to the threat level.
Yet, it was Whitty who got the knighthood while Oxford University’s Professor Carl Heneghan, arguing throughout for balancing the risks and benefits of restrictions, got spied on by agents of the state for “disinformation”.
The self-same “disinformation” that was reviewed and approved by the likes of Whitty and known as the U.K. pandemic plan.
As Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) says in the 2004 film I, Robot: “Somehow ‘I told you so’ just doesn’t quite say it.”
Those of us who called it right, those who can say, “I told you so” (many fantastic Telegraph readers among that defiant, incredulous number), those of us who pointed out that lockdown was bound to kill more people than it saved, were reviled or cancelled. Today, we have to watch as the ones who, in many people’s opinion, got it so wrong become knights and dames of the realm.
Additionally, Patrick Vallance was a Sir before Covid but he was further elevated in 2022 to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. Perhaps the honour was for those childish doom graphs designed to terrify the viewing public into compliance?
Then there’s the plethora of pandemic dames. Dr. Jenny Harries was Deputy Chief Medical Officer when she told an interviewer that wearing masks was “not a good idea”. Did Jenny’s convenient, subsequent amnesia on the zero benefits of masking healthy individuals play a part in her bagging a damehood in the New Years Honours List 2022? We may never know. We do know that Dame Jenny was rewarded with the top job at the U.K. Health Security Agency (the new name for the disgraced Public Health England, disbanded for being so shockingly bad at PPE).
Jenny Harries, we are told, got her damehood for working “tirelessly to keep the nation safe during the Covid pandemic”. A far worthier honoree in my view is Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford, who warned tirelessly that lockdown was a disaster, particularly for the poorest and for children. Bad luck, Sunetra, no damehoods for being brilliant and vindicated!
Or how about my dear friend, Molly Kingsley, who co-founded the parents’ group, Us For Them, to campaign for the rights of children during the pandemic? Disgracefully, Molly was blacklisted and spied upon for spreading the heretical idea that playgrounds and schools should never have been closed. If awards were in my gift, one would certainly go to Molly, but they’re more likely to have been given to the dopes who authorised the shutting of the schools (Sir Gavin Williamson, anyone?).
Other pandemic dames include June Raine of the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority), a body whose role during Covid merits serious scrutiny, I think. In January 2021 – just a few weeks after the first Covid vaccines had been given an initial temporary authorisation – Raine declared that “we are transforming the MHRA, making the regulator an enabler of innovation”. In March 2022, during a speech in Oxford, she described the pandemic as having “catalysed the transformation of a regulator from a watchdog to enabler”.
One might reasonably question whether a regulator so enthusiastically focused on enabling innovation for the pharmaceutical industry can have been prioritising patient safety. Never mind all that, Raine got her damehood.
Worth reading in full.