by Dr. Ben Irvine
Recently I’ve done a lot of research into the role of public sector unions in driving the coronapanic debacle in Britain. I’ve written a long essay on the topic – “The Unions and the U-turns”. And I’ve created two videos: the first was called “The Unions and the Coronapanic”, and the second was called “The Scandalous Cause of the Third Lockdown”. Since then, I’ve received a lot of comments and questions, and I’ve done some more research, uncovering some shocking new information. So I’ve decided to write another essay on the topic, to fill in a few gaps and provide a few updates.
If you haven’t read my other essay, or seen the videos, don’t worry. All you need to know is this: unions drove every single escalation of the coronapanic debacle in Britain by making demands of or threats to the Government, with the Government repeatedly caving in. The National Education Union (NEU) played an especially prominent role, driving all three lockdowns.
Here’s a quick summary of the details I’ve disclosed in the essay/videos:
The first lockdown happened in March 2020 after the NEU threatened the Government with unilateral schools closures. The masks on public transport mandate in the summer of 2020 happened after the RMT, the rail workers union, threatened to strike. The masks in shops mandate in the summer of 2020 happened after USDAW, the retail workers union, lobbied the Government and allegedly threatened industrial unrest. The second lockdown happened in November 2020 after the NEU called for a ‘circuit breaker’. Christmas 2020 was heavily restricted after the British Medical Association (BMA) furiously lobbied the Government to tighten the Covid rules. The third lockdown happened on January 4th 2021 after the NEU orchestrated a massive teaching mutiny to stop the Government from reopening schools; the Government panicked and locked the whole country down later that evening, to cover up the mutiny. The first and the third lockdowns lasted as long as they did because the teaching unions refused to go back to work as normal. The masks in schools mandates, as well as other deranged measures in schools, including testing, bubbles, isolating, and more, were all driven by teaching unions, with the NEU centrally involved. And Covid vaccines were rolled out in schools, against the advice of the JCVI, because teaching unions demanded the measure.
Overall, the picture is clear, albeit incredible: the whole coronapanic debacle has happened because the Government has repeatedly capitulated to demands and threats made by unions. If those demands and threats hadn’t been made, Britain would have remained free.
I said that in this essay I want to fill in a few gaps. The main area I want to look at is the events leading up to the first lockdown.
You will remember that in early March 2020 the Government started off pursuing a herd immunity strategy. Boris stuck to his guns on this for two weeks. As late as March 12th, his chief science advisor Patrick Vallance was on TV explaining and defending herd immunity. But the Government was on the brink of caving in at that point, under pressure from unions. I now know that the unions were active around COVID-19 earlier than I had previously thought, as far back as February, and they started making threats in the second week of March, also earlier than I thought.
On February 12th, the Chief Executives of every local authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland received a letter signed by the secretaries of GMB, Unite and Unison (three unions with a combined membership of 3.2 million) and the ‘Employers Secretary’ of the Local Government Association. The letter gives notice of various Government agencies that would “monitor the evolving situation” regarding COVID-19. After a few short paragraphs detailing some further resources, the letter offers a terse reminder of the rules on sick pay: “An employee who is prevented from attending work because of contact with infectious disease shall be entitled to receive normal pay.” The letter then signs off by saying: “In the event that an employee is required to self-isolate or is placed in quarantine, the provision above should be applied.” Obviously, this is not inherently unreasonable. But there is something slightly ardent about the letter; it gets to the point a little too eagerly. The message now sounds like a call to arms, given what we know happened: public sector workers developed a maniacal obsession with the spread of an infectious disease, to the point of self-isolating without being ill, and even demanding the right to hide at home on full pay for a year.
I’ve also unearthed a press release in which the GMB Union talked about “briefing” its members on COVID-19 “in early February”. I don’t know what was said in the briefing. But clearly the unions were waking up to the threat, or perhaps I should say the opportunity, of COVID-19 much earlier than the general public. And no doubt the Government will have known that the unions were on the case. I have often wondered why the Government was somewhat restrained in its defence of herd immunity. In the first two weeks of March, we saw ministers fall into a pattern that quickly became entrenched: they refused to rule out escalating the Covid response, in case they needed to cave in further down the line. If the Government knew that there were rumblings from the unions as early as February, no wonder ministers hedged their bets from the start. The hedging will have included the notorious £119 million advertising contract that the Government took out on March 2nd for the forthcoming coronavirus campaign. The contract spelled out three potential tiers of messaging, from less severe advice (wash your hands) to more severe advice (stay at home). Presumably, ministers knew that they wouldn’t be able control how far the coronapanic escalated; it would depend on the reaction of the public and the public sector.
By the second week of March, unions were openly pressuring the Government. The first instance may seem trivial, but it had a knock-on effect that was far from trivial. On March 9th, Unison started complaining about cleaners being asked to do a “deep clean” in schools. The issue can be traced back to February, when two schools in England – one in Cheshire, the other in Middlesbrough – were closed after their pupils had returned from a trip to Italy. A few pupils had shown ‘flu-like symptoms’; the schools reopened only after a deep clean. On March 9th, Unison insisted that any member of staff responsible for “decontaminating” a school should contact their Unison rep to ensure that the school conducts a “risk assessment” and provides PPE, including face masks. This intervention from Unison was unhelpful, to say the least. The message coming from the Government was that COVID-19 was a mild disease and that the spread of the virus among non-vulnerable people was no bad thing; on the contrary, the spread would help us achieve herd immunity sooner, enabling vulnerable people to come out of hiding sooner. Unfortunately, in schools, a completely different mentality was brewing, according to which the working environment was potentially so contaminated that it couldn’t even be cleaned normally. No wonder teaching unions went on to become the most insane Covid lobbyists of all.
The next day, March 10th, another union kicked off, along related lines. GMB began complaining that its NHS members were receiving a lack of adequate protection at work. In a press release, the union declared:
GMB members working in the NHS say they are being exposed to coronavirus patients but that they have not yet been provided with advice, training, protective clothing or hand sanitisers by NHS trusts.
A ‘GMB Organiser’, Helen O’Connor, is quoted as saying:
The anger amongst our NHS members is growing and they are calling for immediate action and resources to deal with the risks they face or they will not come into work.
Needless to say, that last remark is shocking. I don’t know how high up this mutiny went within the NHS hierarchy, but doctors and nurses refusing to come to work without adequate PPE was a significant escalation of the coronapanic debacle. PPE for health workers became a cause célèbre in the media over the next few weeks, and other unions soon weighed in on the issue, including Unison, which has nearly half a million members working in healthcare. The Government was forced onto the back foot very early by the furore over PPE.
And, perhaps most importantly, there was powerful symbolism involved in this early furore. The idea that medics urgently needed extreme protection, protection which the Government was failing to supply, created the impression of a terrifying plague that ministers weren’t taking seriously enough. In turn, the furore over PPE will inevitably have fanned the flames of future union mutinies, providing an implicit justification for them. The episode will also have fed into the ‘Protect the NHS’ narrative which cowed the public so effectively during the lockdowns. Granted, I am not an expert on infection control in healthcare settings. I do not know what was the appropriate PPE for any medic during any stage of the pandemic. But I do know that socialist unions should not have been dictating the issue.
By March 13th, Boris was starting to crack. That day, he revealed that mass gatherings would be banned. He admitted that there was no scientific reason for the ban; the only reason, he said, was to avoid placing a “burden” on public services. He specifically mentioned the “emergency services” being stretched by mass gatherings. But I have now discovered that there was another source of pressure on Boris at that time. On March 13th, the RMT, the rail workers union, issued a threatening press release. (The RMT is the same union that forced the masks on public transport mandate later that summer by threatening to strike.) In its March 13th press release, the RMT complained about what it called a lack of “leadership” around coronavirus both regionally and nationally. Mick Cash, the RMT’s general secretary, said: “The union will take whatever action is required to protect the well-being and livelihoods of our members.” The press release also spoke of the RMT joining forces with some unnamed London Underground unions. So more than one transport union was kicking off. No doubt the RMT will have been concerned about the “burden” that mass gatherings would place on the transport system. Given the timing, we can assume that Boris banned mass gatherings at least in part because he was trying to placate the RMT and other rail unions.
And that was just the start of Boris’s U-turning. From March 13th to March 18th, the Government’s herd immunity strategy crumbled spectacularly, ultimately sending the whole nation into lockdown. Each day, there were important developments leading to that outcome.
On March 14th, the NEU wrote an open letter to the Government asking why all schools weren’t being closed. In this letter, the NEU said to Boris: “We now see that you may take legal powers to force schools to remain open even when heads and teachers think there is good reason to close.” Clearly, there was a battle taking place between the Government and the teachers. Boris wanted to keep schools open, and he said this many times in public over the next few days. And you can appreciate why he held this. Closing schools would have a profound effect, not just on the kids but on the parents who would struggle to get out to work if their kids were at home in the daytime.
Bearing this in mind, Boris’s next move was significant. On March 15th, the day after the NEU had kicked off, Boris made a telephone call to someone rather unexpected. A short press release on the Government’s official website indicates that Boris telephoned… the Prime Minister of Japan. Now that’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Why telephone the Japanese PM, of all people? Here’s what I think the reason is. In Japan, the Government closed all the schools at the start of March, but kept the economy open. This was a very unusual arrangement. I don’t know of anywhere else in the world where the schools were shut but there wasn’t a full lockdown. Perhaps this arrangement was viable in Japan because gender roles are still quite traditional in Japanese culture; basically, the women are encouraged to stay home and raise the kids. Even so, there are reports that Japanese parents were unhappy about the disruption caused by school closures. Presumably, Boris phoned the Japanese PM to find out how much political damage closing the schools without a lockdown had caused. A similar decision in Britain was bound to cause even more political damage, because British mums are more likely to go to out to work than their Japanese counterparts.
Whatever happened during that phone call, the prospect of closing schools was obviously on Boris’s mind on March 15th, and he was obviously exploring the possibility of keeping the economy open in the face of an ongoing mutiny by the teachers. Alas, Boris was about to face another forceful ramping up of pressure. What I am about to convey to you is extremely important information that almost no one is aware of.
On March 16th, the TUC made a remarkable intervention. The TUC is a federation of unions, representing the majority of unions, 48 in total, with members working throughout the economy but mostly in the public sector. The combined membership of the TUC is 5.5 million people. In other words: a very powerful lobby, especially given its embeddedness within the governing structures of Britain.
On March 16th, the TUC held a webinar in which two presenters communicated various demands to the Government. Watching the webinar, a few points stand out. First of all, there’s the fact that the TUC was making ‘demands’. Not suggestions. Not even requests. Demands. The unions have been using this kind of bossy menacing language towards the Government throughout the coronapanic.
Another thing that stands out is one of the specific demands made by the TUC. They wanted “full pay for workers affected by schools closures”. This is interesting because among the TUC’s affiliated unions, there are nine unions with teaching members. I think it’s a fair assumption that all nine teaching unions were pressuring the Government to close schools, with the NEU publicly spearheading the campaign, and the TUC acting as a sort of central hub. And note the presumptuousness of the TUC talking about schools closures, when the Government was at this point still trying to keep schools open. The teaching unions must have been very determined, indeed confident of getting their way.
Also note the phrasing: full pay for workers affected by schools closures. The TUC wasn’t just talking about full pay for people who worked in schools, but for any workers affected by schools closures. This will have resonated with Boris following his phone call to Japan. He will have known that closing schools would send a shockwave through the whole economy. Parents would face huge inconvenience, and here was the TUC demanding full pay for anyone affected. As one of the presenters explains: “We don’t want anyone to be going without an income during these difficult and uncertain times.”
This point is related to a more general demand made by the TUC. They wanted the Government to provide economic subsidies during the pandemic to mitigate any disruption faced by workers and their employers. To this end, the TUC wanted ministers to “Immediately establish a task force including trade unions, so that we can work together with employers and the Government agencies to safeguard jobs and industries”.
Well this is all very interesting, isn’t it, because, a week later, the Government announced a furlough scheme which aimed to do pretty much exactly what the TUC had demanded. I don’t know if any Government-union taskforce was formally established, but I do know that the first mention of Government intervention to support working parents and protect jobs and industries came from the TUC.
Of course, you may question why the Government would listen to the TUC on this matter. The next revelations from the webinar are even more explosive. When discussing the role of union reps during the pandemic, a presenter suggests “thinking about industrial action you can take”. Obviously this statement speaks for itself. And it’s very damning. What an outrage that the TUC was encouraging its reps to think about industrial action at a time when the nation was supposed to be pulling together. And it gets more damning. Later in the webinar, the presenter specifies exactly what sort of mutiny the TUC has in mind:
Some branches are already talking about using the Health and Safety Act to refuse to carry out duties, and we will post specific advice on that after the webinar. It’s quite technical and we want to make sure people are getting things right. Any union could make the same demand on an employer, or organise industrially for a work from home policy.
Wow. There’s a lot to take in there. Let’s go through it carefully. First of all, note the nature of the mutiny: employees using Health and Safety legislation to refuse to carry out duties. Second, note that this mutiny was already being talked about, and probably already happening, at branch level. Third, note that the TUC was stoking up the mutiny, albeit using carefully crafted language to avoid responsibility. Fourth, note that the TUC was talking about unions organising industrially for a work from home policy. Later in the seminar, the TUC indicates that even people who can’t work from home, e.g. cleaners and security staff, could demand full pay while avoiding the workplace. The presenter uses the phrase “forcing of the employer’s hands” to describe this overall mutiny.
It’s shocking, isn’t it? Basically an unofficial strike, executed by way of unionised workers pressuring their bosses into allowing them to stay at home on full pay, on so-called Health and Safety grounds. And all the while, the TUC had the absolute nerve to demand Government financial intervention to mitigate the effects of the mutiny.
Granted, you could argue that the TUC’s webinar might not have been that impactful. I don’t know how many people watched it live, and it seems that only around 1,400 have watched it on YouTube. But then again, you have to remember: many of the people who watched the webinar will have been reps, who then stirred up further trouble at branch level. And the TUC gave the impression that it was talking about events that were already happening, no doubt reflecting the general mood among its affiliated unions. Also the TUC probably used other media such as emails to communicate the information presented in the webinar (which included powerpoint slides). In fact, two days earlier, on March 14th, the TUC had issued a newsletter to all its member unions. The newsletter called for the Government to set up “an emergency support package for workers affected by the virus”, and to create the union-Government taskforce mentioned in the forthcoming webinar. We can assume that the scale of the TUC work from home mutiny was large.
Indeed, in the webinar, the TUC disclosed that one union, the UCU, the academic union, had already overtly threatened to strike to close down university campuses. The presenter says “for example” when discussing the UCU strike threat, which makes you wonder if other unions made strike threats behind the scenes. And let’s remember that the RMT had kicked off on March 13th, while the NEU and other teaching unions had been agitating since March 14th for schools closures. There’s no doubt about it: unions were causing big trouble for the Government in mid-March 2020.
So that was the backdrop to the next significant event on Boris’s road to capitulation. At 8pm on March 16th, the Government held a press conference, five hours after the TUC webinar. With Boris flanked by his main scientific advisors Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty, the press conference was a turning point for the Government and the country, featuring a dramatic ramping up of the coronapanic measures. The occasion had an air of unreality about it. Many of us knew something wasn’t quite right, but we couldn’t quite put our finger on it. Now I think I know exactly what was wrong: the entire press conference was one monumental exercise in spin.
In order to show this, first of all let me run through what was conveyed to us at that crucial press conference on March 16th.
The headline message was that the Government was now asking us to avoid all non-essential travel and non-essential contact. We were asked to work from home where possible and avoid social venues. This was obviously a huge escalation. But it was also qualified in a couple of ways.
For a start, it wasn’t a legal ruling. It was guidance, not a lockdown. Patrick Vallance clearly stated that they were merely “recommending” the measures. Boris said he was issuing “very strong advice”. And the advice was itself caveated. Boris stated that avoiding unnecessary social contact was “particularly important” for vulnerable people. In other words: sticking to the guidance was less important for some people than for others. You’d never say that about an actual law, say, the law against arson. The guidance was somewhat flexible.
Taking this into account, the social distancing guidance outlined by the British Government on March 16th wasn’t substantially different from the guidance that had been issued by the Swedish Government. Sweden famously remained open, because its measures around social distancing, avoiding travel, and working from home were all voluntary. Let’s also remember that most schools remained open in Sweden, largely because the Swedish teaching unions were compliant. On March 16th, Boris said he wanted to keep the schools open in Britain. I quote: “We think it’s better we can keep schools open for all sorts of reasons.”
Of course, the press conference also contained a lot of fearmongering. Boris and his advisors kept talking about the “fast growth” phase of the virus; we were “accelerating up the curve” of infections, apparently. We were also told about “new numbers”. The new numbers had come from a paper published on the same day by Professor Neil Ferguson, who was predicting that half a million people could die from COVID-19. After the Q and A, journalists were ushered into an off-camera briefing where they were shown graphs and statistics about the terrible death toll that was allegedly in prospect if the Government didn’t take drastic measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. By wheeling out Ferguson’s predictions at the March 16th press conference, the Government launched him and his work into national prominence.
But curiously, even the fearmongering was qualified that evening. Chris Whitty in particular seemed to go out of his way to downplay the threat from COVID-19. He said that for the “great majority” of people, it would be a mild illness; many people wouldn’t even know they were ill. He said that the great majority of deaths would be among people who were already in poor health. And he talked about the harms that social distancing itself would cause, thus putting the minimal risks of COVID-19 in perspective.
So there were some curious contrasts at the Government’s March 16th press conference. The measures were being ramped up, but not in any legal sense. And, likewise, the fearmongering was being ramped up, but we were also being told that COVID-19 was generally a mild illness.
And there was another curious contrast. As well as telling us ALL to avoid social contact, Boris and his advisers rolled out some social distancing measures that were targeted at specific groups. We were told that whole households should isolate if one person had Covid. And we were told that vulnerable people should isolate for the next 12 weeks. It was a bit strange to be presented with these targeted measures when we were ALL supposed to be social distancing. Again, the drastic message was combined with significant qualifications.
What was going on?
Well Boris will have known that the unions were up in arms. He will have known about the RMT making threats, the education unions agitating for schools closures, the UCU trying to shut down universities, and the TUC encouraging its 5.5 million members to pressure their employers into allowing home working. Boris had two options on March 16th: he could tell a lot of angry people to stop misbehaving and get on with their jobs, or he could pretend that he was in charge of events. He chose the latter. He was like a bystander who suddenly runs out in front of a parade and pretends to be leading it. He issued the work from home guidance on March 16th because he needed to give the impression of being proactive about something that was going to happen whether he liked it or not. I think he just bolted the work from home guidance onto the more targeted measures that he had originally intended to present that day. At the same time, he could hardly advise working from home if he wasn’t consistent about social distancing. There was no point people working from home if they were just going to go out to the pub in the evening; hence Boris also advised us to avoid social venues. There was a knock-on effect where the measures expanded because he couldn’t advocate one without the other. All in all, the March 16th press conference was an extremely cynical exercise in spin, with the Government advising us to avoid all social contact so that the Government could avoid confronting the unions.
When you understand this, watching the press conference in hindsight is a creepy experience. You can see Boris, Vallance and Whitty trying to present a coherent picture, but the overall message has obviously been cobbled together in response to the unions. For example, we’ve already seen that Boris said we were all supposed to be social distancing, but that it was “particularly important” for vulnerable people to do so; the phrase “particularly important” was like a bridge between the ludicrous bolted-on message and the sensible message that the Government had originally intended to convey.
Another example is that Vallance tried to link the advice against attending social venues with the previously announced ban on mass gatherings. You can hear that he’s talking like a spin doctor, not a scientist. He says: “Gatherings are important, big or small, so you get the whole thing together; it’s not just the size of the gatherings, it’s all gatherings which become important.” They become important? What a strange phrase! I guess he meant: they become important when you’re being bullied by unions and you’re trying to seem coherent.
Above all, you can hear that the three men were obviously very keen to explain their sudden U-turn on herd immunity, to hide the fact that they had caved in to the unions. Boris asked “Why now?” as though he was pre-empting the question before journalists asked it. The three men kept talking about the importance of getting the “timing” right. They told us that the Government hadn’t acted before now because they didn’t want to “act in advance of need”. Now was the right time to abandon herd immunity, we were told, because now we were accelerating up the curve; there was a “fast upswing”. A lot of metaphors were flying around that day! Perhaps that’s because, beneath all the metaphors, the change in policy made no sense whatsoever. The whole idea behind herd immunity was that Covid would be a mild disease for most people. For this reason, mass infection was to be welcomed; ultimately it would enable the vulnerable to come out of hiding. Abandoning herd immunity because there was an upswing in infections was incoherent.
The men also talked about ventilators, which was obviously another line agreed in advance. We were told that a shortage of ventilators was why the Government suddenly had to U-turn. Yet nobody had mentioned ventilators in the previous weeks or months. The Government could easily have manufactured all the essential medical equipment during that time.
Whitty also came up with a couple of even more creative excuses for the U-turn. For instance, he said Covid was now a “very global disease”; supposedly, we needed to take a different approach now that Britain wasn’t one of the first countries affected. But that made no sense either: what difference does it makes to the spread of a disease in Britain if it also happens to be spreading elsewhere, e.g. Peru? The Government was already requiring international travellers to self-isolate if they developed symptoms after arriving in Britain. And anyway, when the Government first decided to pursue herd immunity, they already knew it was a global pandemic. Or maybe I’m missing the point here: maybe there’s an important difference between a global disease and a “very global disease”.
Whitty also claimed that he was “proud” of the NHS for “delaying this”, as though herd immunity would have been abandoned sooner if the NHS hadn’t done such a great job. But again, the claim made no sense: the whole point of herd immunity was that delaying the spread of the infection was a bad idea, not a good idea.
Watching the press conference back, you get the impression that the three men were neurotically obsessed with justifying the timing of the measures, like naughty little boys trying not to get caught. At one point, Boris made some remarks about the progress of the disease in London. Let me quote him at length:
It looks as though London is now a few weeks ahead. So, to relieve the pressure on the London health system and to slow the spread in London, it’s important that Londoners now pay special attention to what we are saying about avoiding non-essential contact, and to take particularly seriously the advice about working from home, and avoiding confined spaces such as pubs and restaurants.
I hope you are beginning to get a feel for the shiftiness of it all. Consider that phrase “It looks as though”. It’s just ludicrously imprecise, given that all this advice was supposed to be scientific. And again we see that measures that were supposed to apply to everyone were being emphasised for specific people, namely, Londoners. But most importantly, it’s very, very fishy that Boris chose to emphasise London at this particular time. Remember: three days before, the RMT, the rail workers union, had said it would take whatever action is required to protect its members. In the press release on March 13, the RMT had complained about “inertia” at regional and national level, but it had noted specifically that it was joining forces with London Underground unions. Clearly, London was a hub for the unrest among rail unions. No wonder Boris told Londoners to pay special attention to the social distancing advice. His comment about the London health system should be taken with a pinch of salt. He was trying to smooth things over with the London rail unions. He urgently wanted to get Londoners off the Tube in case he was faced with industrial action.
And there’s more that’s creepy about the March 16th press conference, around this issue of timing. Boris said that the measures he had outlined were the “right package for this particular moment”. Vallance, similarly, talked about doing things in the right combinations at the right time. Looking back, this is just laughable. The idea that science can tell us the right combinations of draconian restrictions to take at the right times to stop the spread of a virus is just ridiculous. What does the word “right” even mean in this context? How many right combinations are there? What would a wrong combination look like? What would the right combination look like at the wrong time? Or vice versa?
Looking beneath the spin, it’s obvious why this idea of combinations was useful to the Government. What measures the Government took would depend on what measures the unions were demanding at any particular time. The very randomness of the idea of the right combinations was in fact perfectly designed to reflect the randomness of the demands the unions were inclined to make. Throughout the whole coronapanic debacle, we’ve seen the Government plucking combinations of measures out of thin air, based on the arbitrary whims of the unions.
So at the March 16th press conference, the Government offered many spurious justifications for the sudden U-turn. But there was one justification that trumped all the rest: the idea that half a million people could die from COVID-19, according to new research published by Neil Ferguson that day. This potential death toll was alarming, and it has been credited with driving the Government’s coronapanic measures in mid-March. But hang on! I hope by now you will be suspicious of the accepted narrative. Given that the Government was desperately trying to justify the timing of the new measures, so that nobody would find out that ministers were in fact caving in to the unions, I think it’s highly likely that Ferguson’s research was wheeled out to supply such a justification. In other words, the conventional narrative is back to front: the Government’s decision to U-turn caused them to focus on Ferguson, not the other way round. Wheeling out Ferguson was another exercise in spin.
And that’s a colossal scandal if true. But it fits the facts. The Government knew about Ferguson’s results at least a week before March 16th. Ferguson himself has admitted it. Let me quote him:
The Government were aware of what our results were showing certainly in the previous week, and some of the results in the previous two weeks.
And if that bombshell isn’t enough, Ferguson adds an even more damning comment. He says:
The paper came out that day partly because there was pressure on Government to be showing the modelling informing policy making.
You can see the smoke billowing from the gun. The pressure was political; the Government was trying to appear to be in charge, trying to appear to be rational, when the truth was quite the opposite; they were caving in to the demands of lunatic unions. Ferguson’s research was wheeled out to justify the U-turn.
Let’s also remember that Whitty and Vallance were the architects of the herd immunity strategy. They too will have known about Ferguson’s research in advance, so presumably they were now standing up and promoting his barmy ideas solely because they were under political pressure to do so. Of course, you could argue that Whitty and Vallance had changed their minds, but it doesn’t seem likely. As far as I can see, neither of them independently gave any indication around the time of the March 16th press conference that they supported a sudden U-turn into the lunacy of social distancing.
And neither of them looks very comfortable during the press conference. They can’t have been very happy about being told to rip up their previous advice and start rationalising lunacy. Whitty seemed especially uncomfortable. At one point he asked: “You might say why with a disease which the great majority of people are going to recover from, and most will have a mild or non-noticeable disease, would we want to do anything at all?” It’s a very good question! Often Whitty seemed contemptuous of the whole idea of suppressing the virus through short term draconian restrictions. He said: “This is going to go on for a very long time, and we should not be under any illusions that if we just do this for a couple of weeks, that will be sufficient.” It’s quite poignant hearing those honest words back, isn’t it?
Another relevant fact here: there is a BuzzFeed article quoting a “source” who suggests that both Whitty and Vallance favoured a return to the herd immunity strategy as soon as possible. Interestingly, at the press conference, they both emphasised the need to develop a test to establish how many people had had COVID-19 asymptomatically. Whitty said such a test would be “transformational”. I think this test was important to he and Vallance, because they will have assumed that as soon as they could get a better insight into how many people had had the disease asymptomatically, they could revert to their original herd immunity strategy. They could potentially show that Britain was already far down the path of herd immunity, and, in doing so, they could put a stop to the nonsense of suppressing the virus through social distancing. Sadly, reason didn’t prevail, and the nonsense continued even when the test was available. But the important thing here is that Whitty and Vallance clearly wanted to prove that the March 16th guidance was ludicrous. They were backing the guidance grudgingly, because the Government’s spin machine required them to do so.
And don’t forget about the journalists being ushered aside and shown Ferguson’s data after the press conference. This move had all the hallmarks of a spin operation. The Government will have wanted the headline writers to be in no doubt that there was a so-called scientific reason for the U-turn. And, indeed, if you want a pseudo-scientific doomsday prediction, Ferguson is the man you want to call on. He has a track record of this sort of thing. During the Swine Flu outbreak, one of his models predicted that 65,000 people could die – the final figure was below 500. During the BSE panic, Ferguson warned the Government that 150,000 people could die. Six million animals were slaughtered as a precaution – in the end, 200 people died. And during the Bird Flu outbreak, Ferguson outdid himself and said that 200 million could die – the true number was in the low hundreds. When faced with a massive union mutiny in mid-March 2020, you can imagine Boris thinking: “We’re gonna have to U-turn, and we’re gonna have to spin like crazy, with some scary statistics; let’s let Ferguson loose.”
Actually, that scenario is probably not even as scandalous as the full truth. The Government probably directly influenced the content of Ferguson’s paper. This might sound fanciful but in fact it’s normal procedure, judging by a recent exchange on Twitter between the journalist Fraser Nelson and Graham Medley, who is a Professor of Infectious Disease and the head of SPI-M, the SAGE modelling group. Referring to the prospect of restrictions over the Christmas period in 2021, Nelson asked Medley why modellers hadn’t considered the possibility that the Omicron variant is mild. Medley replied: “We generally model what we are asked to model. There is a dialogue in which policy teams discuss with the modellers what they need to inform their policy.” That’s a jawdropping statement. Having heard it, we’re entitled to wonder if such a “dialogue” took place in March 2020 between the Government and Ferguson. We’re entitled to wonder if Ferguson was asked to produce doomsday predictions because this was what the policy teams needed to inform their policy.
That’s speculation. But there is evidence strongly suggesting that the Government influenced Ferguson’s paper in at least one way. The evidence concerns the issue of schools closures. At the March 16th press conference, Boris, Whitty and Vallance all kept emphasising that schools closures may be necessary at the right time. Boris said closing the schools was something the Government was keeping “under review”. Remember that the NEU had been openly agitating for schools closures since March 14th, probably with the support of the other eight teaching unions. The NEU had even alleged that the Government was exploring legal action to keep the schools open. So when Boris talked about schools closures as something that was under review on March 16th, he was being shifty; keeping schools open depended on whether or not the teaching unions backed down.
Here’s why this issue points towards a strong likelihood that Ferguson’s research was influenced by the Government. Astonishingly, in Ferguson’s paper, he too endorsed the shifty idea that the Government “may” need to close schools. Indeed, the claim can be found in the paper’s abstract – the part of the paper that journalists were most likely to read. Ferguson notes that suppressing the virus would involve social distancing and whole households isolating, to which he adds: “This may need to be supplemented by school and university closures.” Oh, fancy that. Exactly the sort of message you would want to hear if you were a politician readying yourself for a possible capitulation to mutinous teaching unions. And let’s also not forget that the UCU, the academic union, was threatening to strike to close universities at that time. Ferguson’s message was right on cue there too.
This matter is so grave, I won’t rely on sarcasm to make the point. Ferguson’s paper was supposed to be a serious scientific document modelling a pandemic. We were entitled to expect rigour and precision, especially when we were being asked to participate in the nightmare of social distancing for an unspecified period of time. Yet when it came to schools and universities, the most that Ferguson’s paper was able to say was that they “may” need to close. Where was the precision? And if the whole point of social distancing was to prevent mass death, wouldn’t closing schools and universities have been an essential precaution? Granted, Ferguson did try to quantify the potential effects of closing schools and universities, arguing that the closures may not be necessary because the NHS might be able to cope without the closures. But, still, the argument is a little too convenient. Apparently, Ferguson’s modelling just couldn’t quite say for sure whether the NHS would be tipped over the edge if schools and universities remained open. And nor did he address the most obvious objection: if the hospitals had started filling up with 80 year-olds, no scientist in their right mind would have blamed it on the virus spreading among young people. I cannot see any way to make sense of Ferguson’s equivocation over closing schools and universities other than by assuming that the Government required him to include the equivocation in his paper.
It’s not as if Ferguson wasn’t capable of making confident assertions about schools closures. Later in the paper, he declares “school closure is predicted to be insufficient to mitigate (never mind suppress) an epidemic in isolation”. In other words: closing schools while leaving the economy open – the Japan option – would be insufficient, according to Ferguson. Exactly the line that the British Government ended up taking. We’re entitled to wonder if Ferguson was instructed to include this point too, given the obvious whiff of collusion around the idea that schools “may” need to close.
And it wasn’t just schools closures where Ferguson opened the door to a Government climbdown. Several times in the paper, including in the abstract, we find Ferguson and his team peddling the idea of “combined” measures – the same idea the politicians kept peddling. Granted, there is an element of truth behind the idea. Obviously the more stuff you shut down, the fewer opportunities people will have to mix socially. But it would be more accurate to speak of “cumulative measures”. The word “combinations” seems to suggest some extra property that individual measures acquire when joined together, like a flurry of different punches that floors a boxer. And it’s very telling that the new measures Ferguson discussed as potential combinations just happened to tally up with the measures that were on the Government’s radar at the time: possible schools and universities closures, to placate the unions, and a social distancing policy, again to placate the unions, along with whole household isolation and shielding the vulnerable. If Ferguson had thrown in some analyses of other specific measures – for instance, shutting down cinemas or sports clubs or dating apps – his concept of combinations might have seemed less fishy. We’re entitled to ask if the Government instructed him to talk about combinations because the concept was useful to the Government.
All in all, the Ferguson episode reminds me of the so-called sexed-up dossier that led to Britain’s participation in the Iraq war. BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan famously alleged that the intelligence officers who had compiled the dossier had been pressured by the Government to include scary claims, including the infamous claim that Saddam Hussain could unleash weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes. Politicians wheeled out the dossier to support the decision to invade Iraq, a decision that had in fact been made on other grounds. Likewise, Ferguson’s paper may have been sexed up to justify the Government’s decision to mandate social distancing and (possibly) schools and universities closures, while all those decisions would in fact made on other grounds, namely, caving in to the unions.
Anyway, whether or not the Government sexed up Ferguson’s paper, his research was almost certainly wheeled out on March 16th in order to spin a U-turn that was based on massive union unrest. There is one more piece of evidence that suggests this. It comes inadvertently from the testimony of Dominic Cummings who was involved in the decision-making process at that time. In interviews, Cummings has claimed that he and two data scientists, the brothers Ben and Marc Warner, persuaded Boris to change his mind about herd immunity. Cummings says: “It was like a scene from Independence Day with Jeff Goldblum saying the aliens are here and your plan is broken, you’re going to need a new plan.” This interaction is supposed to have happened on March 14th.
Do you believe that Cummings was the one who changed Boris’s mind? Well, glossing over the fact that Cummings uses an example from science fiction to illustrate the scene, I’m not even convinced Cummings believes his own account because he admits that Boris was still sceptical in the days that followed. In my opinion, Cummings is telling an obvious lie. But then if Cummings is lying, why didn’t Boris correct him publicly? Presumably, the reason is that Boris wasn’t keen to have any sort of public discussion of the events leading up to March 16th because any retrospective scrutiny of that period could place him in very hot water. The awkward truth, which neither man will have wanted to admit, was that unions drove the Government into the measures on March 16th. Cummings felt emboldened to claim that he was the hero of the hour because he knew Boris wasn’t going to dare contradict him.
As well as claiming that Boris remained sceptical after March 14th, Cummings has also claimed that there was no Government plan to lockdown on March 16th. This seems plausible: no indication of a forthcoming lockdown was given at the press conference. Boris certainly gave the impression of not favouring legal enforcement. He said: “Most people would accept that we are a mature and grown up and liberal democracy where people understand very clearly the advice that is being given to them.” At one point, a journalist basically came out and asked Boris if there would be a lockdown. Boris didn’t say yes. But he did say “we’re keeping all measures under review”. He then immediately added “particularly, people will be thinking about school closures”. That’s interesting because we know that closing schools was another thing which the Government said was under review. And we know that Boris was trying to avoid closing schools, so we can assume that keeping lockdown “under review” likewise meant trying to avoid lockdown. Tellingly, Boris then added: “There is an argument about schools closures.” That’s also a revealing choice of phrase, because there was indeed an argument taking place – between the Government and the teaching unions.
And we now know that the Government lost that argument. The very next day, March 17th, the mutinous teachers upped the ante. The NEU wrote another open letter to the Government, this time explicitly demanding the closure of all schools, and threatening to support any Heads who unilaterally closed schools. Furthermore, I have been told anecdotally that in mid-March many teachers were handing in Section 44 letters to Heads, in line with the wider work from home mutiny being stoked by the TUC. In any case, on March 18th, the day after the NEU had openly threatened unilateral schools closures, the Government caved in, announcing that all schools would close. On Friday March 20th, the same day the schools shut their gates, the Government announced that the rest of the economy was closing too. Looking back at the March 16th press conference, we can see clearly why Boris immediately mentioned the prospect of schools closures after he was asked about prospect of a lockdown. Both prospects were “under review” because they were, in practice, equivalent. Following his phone call to Japan on March 15th, Boris had obviously concluded that trying to keep the economy open without schools would cause too much chaos. The school closures plunged Britain into lockdown.
So there you have it. March 13th to March 18th: five decisive days leading to a manmade catastrophe. And of those five days, March 16th was especially pivotal. It was an inflection point. On one hand, Boris announced drastic measures that day in order to hide a massive union mutiny that was already taking place. The RMT and the UCU were making threats, and the TUC – a federation of 48 unions – was stoking a work from home mutiny. On the other hand, Boris was also trying to hold back the tide that day, trying to prevent schools closures, to avoid a full lockdown. The guidance he issued on March 16th was his last throw of the dice. If he could get the country on board with voluntary social distancing, maybe the teachers would be less anxious about the spread of Covid; maybe they would agree to keep the schools open. It didn’t work. Within 48 hours of saying that the schools “may” need to close, the Government had decided that schools definitely did need to close, thanks to the NEU’s determination to force the issue.
Britain’s coronapanic debacle was caused by a union mutiny in March 2020. If you still doubt this, imagine a parallel universe in which the unions didn’t mutiny. Imagine if the unions had recognised that Boris’s herd immunity policy was both wise and humane. Imagine if the unions had understood that young and healthy people had an obligation to keep the economy going, to protect the vulnerable. Imagine if the unions had accepted that they had no right to demand special treatment when the virus was infecting people indiscriminately. Imagine if the unions had pledged to do everything within their power to keep Britain open and protect children from harm. Do you really think the Government would have abandoned herd immunity in those circumstances, after holding firm for two weeks? Yes, the media was stoking fears, and there was widespread panic throughout Britain, but it wasn’t until the unions started kicking off in mid-March that the Government started caving in, in eerie synchrony with the specific demands being made by the unions.
And, of course, as I have shown in my essay and my other videos, the Government has carried on caving in to specific union demands – masks on public transport, masks in shops, masks in schools, the second lockdown, the third lockdown, last year’s ruined Christmas, and vaccines in schools. All were union driven. And the Government is still caving in to the unions. This winter, we’ve seen the RMT demand masks on trains again and USDAW demand masks in shops again; we’ve seen the Government cave in. We’ve seen the BMA and NHS Confederation pressuring the Government to enact Plan B, including Covid passes; we’ve seen the Government cave in. In the process, we’ve seen Boris claim that a new variant of Covid necessitated the new measures, the same mendacious excuse he used for the third lockdown. There always seems to be a new variant to hand when a capitulation is in progress. Needless to say, no one involved in the sham has bothered to emphasise that Omicron is a particularly mild variant of Covid.
Recently I’ve discovered that NHS Confederation has been “working closely“ with NHSX, the organisation that built and designed the Covid Passes. By way of this partnership, the NHS has lobbied the Government to mandate Covid passes, because the new technology will boost vaccine uptake, and administering vaccines raises extra money for the NHS. The BMA has also been heavily involved in lobbying for Covid Passes. The whole damn scheme is extortion, pure and simple. At the same time, we’ve seen Boris himself calling for a national booster campaign to suppress the Omicron variant. Having spun his way into the coronapanic debacle, he’s still trying to spin his way out, using vaccines as an exit strategy. No wonder a PM who places so much emphasis on vaccination hasn’t been able to resist the pressure from the NHS over Covid Passes. Meanwhile, with Covid vaccine propaganda emanating from both the Government and the NHS, and with both sides ignoring evidence of the adverse effects of the vaccines, the public is stuck in the middle, being jabbed up to the eyeballs and treated like collateral. Horrifyingly, Boris has even called for a national conversation about mandatory Covid vaccination.
Let me tell you now: I will never submit. I will not be forced into taking a vaccine for a virus I’m not vulnerable to.
Finally, we’ve seen the teaching unions kicking off again, demanding the return of cruel and deranged Covid measures in schools, including masks in corridors. The teachers are still callously disregarding the welfare of the kids, and the Government has capitulated again. As I write, the teachers are rearing up for a showdown with the Government in the New Year, just like last January, when Boris sent the whole country into lockdown to cover up the fact that the teaching unions were refusing to return to work. Whether the schools reopen properly this January is anyone’s guess.
It’s an unrelenting shambles, an unspeakable disgrace. The fundamental problem is that the Government won’t confront all these insane union demands. To confront the unions properly, Boris would have to say: “We don’t need to take any new measures.” But then the socialist lunatics in the unions would start calling him a “butcher” again. He’d have to start defending herd immunity. And he’s not going to do that, because if he defended herd immunity now, he’d be confessing that he should never have abandoned the policy in the first place; he’d be confessing that the whole coronapanic debacle was a monstrous overreaction. He’s in far too deep to come clean. That’s why it’s so crucial that the public understands what really happened in mid-March 2020, and what has been happening ever since. Those of us who understand that the whole debacle has been union-driven need to educate the rest of the public. When the public understands that none of this madness was ever necessary, they will demand that ALL the Covid rules are discarded. Democratic pressure is our only hope of escape. And telling the truth about the unions is the only way to generate the required democratic pressure.
People often say that Boris has failed to stand up to the unions because he is weak. I don’t know. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. What I do know is that you can’t decide one way or another without taking into account the parliamentary arithmetic Boris has faced since the start. Let us remember that a British PM is “first among equals”. No PM can exercise power without parliamentary support. A PM can try to generate that support, but there are no guarantees of it. And let’s also remember that the Labour Party has consistently advocated restrictions, as have many members of Boris’s own party. All it would have taken was around 40 Conservative MPs withdrawing their support for Boris at any point and he would no longer have had the support of a majority of MPs. It’s also worth noting that on March 13th, 2020, Jeremy Hunt, Boris’s former leadership rival, was openly calling for school closures and social distancing. Boris would surely have faced a serious leadership challenge if he had lost the support of parliament in the early stages, or indeed at any point since. Hunt also went on to back the NEU in October 2020 over the union’s demand for a circuit breaker – a demand which very likely caused the second lockdown. And on January 2nd, Hunt called for schools to stay closed. He even repeated the call on January 4th, 2021, the day the NEU was mutinying. After the Government caved in and closed the schools, the NEU went as far as thanking Hunt for his support. Bearing all this in mind, parliamentary arithmetic has probably been another reason the coronapanic debacle has dragged on for so long. The PM has been hemmed in by Covid zealous MPs as well as Covid zealous unions.
Actually, it’s possible that parliament undermined Boris in the most palpable way at the start of the coronapanic. During the March 16th press conference, a journalist asked Boris: “Do you think Westminster can stay open till July?” Boris’s response was intriguing. He said “the speaker and all parties and the leader of the House of Commons are working together to find a way forward”, adding: “There may be more to come on this.” I wonder what went on behind the scenes. Whenever the PM has declared that a course of action “may” happen during the coronapanic, it’s usually because he’s fending off pressure in the background. Were MPs trying to force though a work from home policy? If they were, it would certainly have added significantly to the pressure that drove Boris to U-turn. Notably, 80 MPs are members of the GMB, which has recently been trying to force MPs to wear masks. I think we are entitled to wonder if the GMB played a role in closing down Parliament in March 2020.
You might argue that Boris was right to cave in to all the pressure at the start because it was better for him to stay in power and try to turn things round than be unseated by a Covid zealot such as Hunt. But the longer the whole debacle has gone on, the harder it has become to make that argument; Boris’s lies have become more and more farcical (we’re facing a “tidal wave of Omicron”), and more and more repellent. Indeed, you might also argue that Boris should have walked away from power and fought back from the sidelines rather than collude in any of this lunacy. I personally would have walked away. But in a way, the issue of what Boris should or shouldn’t have done isn’t that important. Far more important is the issue of what we should do now. If Boris won’t tell the truth about caving in to the unions, the onus is on us to tell that truth. Unless we the public supply the democratic pressure, the PM and his colleagues will just carry on covering their backsides, refusing to talk about the immense suffering that has been inflicted on the British public since March 2020.
And the problem is not just the PM and his colleagues. All MPs have supported this madness at one point or another, and all are still keeping their heads down. I don’t know of a single MP who has ever openly said: “The entire coronapanic debacle was unnecessary and wrong; the Government should have stuck to herd immunity instead of caving in to the unions.” As things stand, we still have a democratic mountain to climb to get out of this mess. Indeed, we haven’t even reached base camp yet, because, never mind the MPs, I hardly know of any journalists who openly say that the Government should have stuck to herd immunity. Even the anti-lockdown journalists generally don’t say it. The vast majority of anti-lockdown journalists didn’t support Boris on herd immunity at the time, so now they don’t want to talk about this sensible policy and why Boris abandoned it. The whole topic of the Government caving in to the unions is awkward for any journalist who failed to stick up for freedom when it mattered. Most anti-lockdown journalists are still insisting that the original lockdown was justified. Their main complaints seem to be that the lockdown shouldn’t have lasted so long and the Government has been too heavy-handed ever since. I think this is an abject stance to take. The journalists are quibbling about how much mistreatment the British public deserves. None of this Covid madness was ever justified or necessary, and all journalists should come out and say it.
Other anti-lockdown journalists take a different approach to ignoring Boris’s herd immunity phase. These journalists think that the pandemic, and the world’s pandemic response, was in fact planned by way of an international conspiracy – the whole thing was a ‘plandemic’, so the theory goes. According to the most popular version of the theory, there was a single mastermind behind the plandemic, a German academic called Klaus Schwab. An employee of the WEF, Schwab has long advocated shutting down the global economy and restarting it in a greener fashion – he calls this proposal “the Great Reset”. Supposedly, Schwab conspired in secret with politicians and officials around the world to make his Great Reset happen in March 2020. Supposedly, COVID-19 was deliberately released, then the world’s countries locked down by way of a prior agreement.
I’m sorry, but I do not buy it. Yes, I know that in the summer of 2020, politicians rallied round Schwab’s Great Reset concept, because it offered them a chance to put a positive spin on their Covid response. Yes, I know there has been opportunism on a global scale – for example, from pharmaceutical companies, international organisations, the Chinese Communist Party and no doubt Klaus Schwab himself; we certainly need to investigate all this opportunism. And yes, I know that the panic about COVID-19 was global, leading to similar policies being enacted all round the world. But similar does not mean the same. Covid policymaking hasn’t been the same everywhere. Some places didn’t lockdown; other places locked down then admitted it was a mistake. And there was blatantly no plan to lockdown in Britain. Boris pursued herd immunity for two weeks, before caving in to the unions. You could hardly imagine anything that looked less planned than those chaotic five days in mid-March when the Government U-turned.
In fact, when it comes to the relationship between Britain and the global picture, the plandemic theory probably gets things back to front. Despite not planning any Covid measures at all, Britain ended up helping to drag the whole world into Covid lunacy. On March 16th, the British Government issued a joint statement with the other G7 leaders announcing that they’d all work together on a “coordinated international approach” to COVID-19. In his press conference that day, Boris even claimed that Britain was leading this international effort. The G7 is a group of countries comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., seven of the world’s most powerful economies. In their March 16th statement, the G7 countries declared that they were committed to taking the “necessary public health measures to protect people at risk from COVID-19”, and to ensuring “the stability of the global economy”. The statement added: “We call on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group and other international organisations to further support countries worldwide as part of a coordinated global response.”
At first sight, a coordinated global response may sound very much like a plandemic. But the comparison is superficial. The key point is this: the G7 venture wouldn’t have happened without the buy-in of Britain and the USA, and both of these countries tried to resist imposing any Covid restrictions at home, never mind abroad. Boris originally thought the best thing to do about COVID-19 was just to wash your hands. And Trump was no less nonchalant. When asked by a reporter on February 29th how Americans should “prepare” for the virus, Trump replied: “I hope they don’t change their routine.” He declined to impose a national lockdown in America; states ended up in lockdown only because of decisions made at state level. If Boris and Trump had got their way, Britain and the USA would have remained free, which means that the G7 intervention was ad hoc, not planned. Also, it’s important to note that the G7 statement on March 16th made no mention of lockdowns. We know that Boris was still trying to avoid lockdown at that point; he was calling for voluntary social distancing, nothing further. And Japan never locked down. The G7 countries, including Britain and the USA, ended up playing a significant role in exporting Covid restrictions around the world, including lockdowns. But this was far from being a planned global lockdown.
So why did the G7 leaders work together? A major part of it was probably safety in numbers. The leaders will have known that the stakes were extremely high and that their decisions around Covid would be heavily scrutinised. Although the G7 statement made no mention of lockdowns, the leaders were clearly moving towards greater intervention, be it voluntary measures or legal measures. Either way, there would be a lot of disruption for the G7 countries. By moving together, and bringing other countries along too, the G7 leaders wouldn’t be so exposed. In addition, global coordination will have had economic advantages for the G7 countries. “Financial stability” was probably a euphemism for not being economically outcompeted during the pandemic. Perhaps the G7 countries, working with the IMF and the World Bank, offered other Governments incentives to impose Covid restrictions; the incentives might have included debt relief or cheap credit.
That last point is speculation. But the speculation can be taken a step further, based on other factors. We know that the March 16th press conference in Britain was a spin operation. We know that Boris escalated Britain’s pandemic response to hide a union mutiny. We can assume that he joined forces with the other G7 countries to add further credibility to his bogus policymaking around Covid. But all this points to an intriguing possibility. What if the G7 countries were all facing union mutinies? What if the G7 countries joined together because they were all trying to hide these mutinies? What if the G7’s pandemic response statement was essentially just a bigger version of the spin operation that Boris was undertaking in Britain?
I can’t prove any of this because I don’t know how much trouble unions have caused in other G7 countries, or the timelines involved. There has definitely been union unrest in Canada and America, especially from the teaching unions, but I don’t know if this was a factor at the start of the pandemic. More research is needed; I call on lockdown sceptics worldwide to investigate the role of the unions in their own countries and get in touch with me.
However, at this point, I do have one more bombshell revelation to make, and it’s on the topic of union unrest in the G7. Remember the TUC webinar I mentioned earlier? In that webinar, the presenters talked about trade union members handing in section 44 notices to force through working from home. But the presenters didn’t just talk about this kind of mutiny happening in Britain. They said it had happened somewhere else too: in Italy.
Italy! Italy was the second country to lockdown, and, according to the TUC, in early March there was industrial unrest among Italian trade unions. You cannot help but wonder if the Italian lockdown was a sop to the unions, just like Britain’s lockdowns. You also cannot help but wonder if the Italian teaching unions played a decisive role, just like in Britain. The schools closed in Italy four days before the national lockdown was announced.
Let me propose a theory. It may prove true. It may not. I call it the ‘coagulation theory’. Coagulation means bloodclotting; I am using this as an analogy for economic shutdown. We know that in Britain unions were trying to unilaterally shut down workplaces before the Government pretended to lead the process. We know that there was similar unrest in Italy. Let’s speculate that union unrest happened in all the G7 countries. Let’s speculate that the G7 countries all decided not to confront the unrest but to mould Covid policy to fit the union demands. And let’s speculate that the G7 countries all decided to back each other up in doing so. Let’s also speculate that they then marshalled the various mechanisms of international cooperation, especially financial powers, to make sure that other countries around the world fell into line. If I’m right about this, then the global Covid response led by the G7 was the biggest political spin operation in history. Naturally, none of the leaders and officials who were involved in all this would have wanted to talk about it. And in turn, their reticence would explain why the global coronapanic has been so difficult to reverse.
You could summarise my ‘coagulation theory’ as follows: trade unions coagulated individual G7 countries, then individual G7 Governments accelerated the process, then the G7 countries joined forces to coagulate the rest of the world, and the world hasn’t uncoagulated yet because the leaders are still covering each other’s backsides.
However, a caveat: I am always telling people not to assume that all the Covid madness had a single cause, so I should take my own advice. Maybe some of the G7 Governments didn’t require a union mutiny to push them into their Covid policies. Maybe, worldwide, there were Governments that didn’t require a push from the G7 countries. Maybe there was simply a lot of mimicry happening between Governments worldwide, in keeping with the global panic that was also spreading by mimicry. Maybe the G20 countries played a significant role too; at the March 16th press conference, Boris said he was working with the G20 as well as the G7, although there was no formal joint statement made by the G20 countries on that day. Finally, there’s evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has been pushing lockdown policies worldwide. The global picture is complex, naturally.
And, anyway, I don’t want to dwell too long on the global dimension of the whole debacle; there’s a risk of getting bogged down in speculation. One of my main gripes with the plandemic theory is that it’s so dismal. I’m not even convinced that the plandemic theory is all that different from Covid lunacy itself – they both involve paranoia about a hidden global threat. Endless unsubstantiated speculation about an overwhelming global plandemic just demoralises people. And in their demoralised state, they become flippant, and passive. Plandemic speculation has become a form of virtue signalling, as though people are saying: “I care so much about this gigantic global problem, but it’s so gigantic, and it’s all planned out, so there’s nothing I can possibly do about it.” I also think many of the people who support the plandemic theory are trying to exonerate themselves for tamely surrendering their freedom at the start; much easier to tell themselves that they were swept up in a global plan. I think they’re still surrendering. They’re surrendering to the unionised socialists who have driven all this lunacy in Britain.
One of my followers on Twitter made a perceptive comment about this. She said blaming the coronapanic debacle on a plandemic is much less awkward than confronting your fellow countrymen who have participated in the debacle – your friends, your colleagues, your boss, your child’s teachers, your doctor, and maybe even your family… the list is likely to be long. Whether we like it nor not, we will need to have these sorts of confrontations if we want to get free, because Britain’s coronapanic debacle began domestically, and it is being perpetuated domestically.
No country has ever freed itself from communism by banging on about the international aspect of communism. The same goes for any country that wants to free itself from all this Covid lunacy: each country needs to get its own house in order. That’s why I generally focus on my country, Britain. Indeed, I think the British lockdown sceptics who ignore what’s happening in this country are being especially remiss. In Britain we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the whole coronapanic debacle was corrupt from the start. We know that the leading scientists in Britain favoured herd immunity, for good reason. We know that the Government followed their advice faithfully until there was a potent union mutiny, whereupon it caved in. We know that the only reason the Government escalated the coronapanic measures in mid-March 2020 was because of pressure from unions. We know that the road to lockdown should never have been taken.
Let’s recap the main events on that road:
First, on March 10th, doctors and nurses from GMB threatened to mutiny, citing inadequate PPE for NHS workers. The scene was set; the Government was accused of not taking the pandemic seriously. Gradually the Government caved in under pressure from unions. Mass gatherings were banned on March 13th, following threats from the RMT, the rail workers union. Meanwhile, a huge work from home mutiny was being stoked by the TUC, a federation of 48 unions. At the same time, the UCU was threatening to strike to shut down universities, and the teaching unions were agitating for school closures. There were probably other mutinies too, behind the scenes. Faced with this situation, the Government went into spin overdrive, holding a press conference on March 16th in which Boris, Whitty and Vallance desperately tried to justify a U-turn on herd immunity. To this end, they wheeled out Neil Ferguson’s preposterous paper with its doomsday predictions and its advice on “combinations” of measures. Moreover, the paper itself was likely influenced by the Government, including Ferguson’s claim that schools “may” need to shut. The next day, March 17th, the NEU threatened unilateral school closures and, the day after that, March 18th, the Government caved in, announcing that schools did indeed need to shut. This was the decisive capitulation, and it plunged Britain into lockdown. On March 20th, the day that the schools shut their gates, the Government announced that the rest of the economy was shutting too. The result: nearly two years of lunacy and spin. Unions have been making demands and threats ever since mid-March 2020, and the Government has kept on caving in, while the public has been dragged into hell.
There is a repeating pattern, and it’s happening in plain sight. A union pressures the Government to implement a certain measure, then the Government says the measure is under review, then, more often than not, the Government caves in and implements the measure because the union won’t back down. We cannot go on like this. We cannot keep watching all this lunacy unfold while hardly anyone will talk about what is actually happening. Politicians and journalists are still skirting around the truth: that the entire coronapanic debacle has been union-driven and pointless. Lockdowns, social distancing, masks, mass testing, track and trace, mass vaccination, Covid passes, and children being subjected to unbelievable cruelty: it has all been pointless and wrong. Herd immunity was the right policy, and it was abandoned because of mutinous unions. It’s high time we put these facts front and centre of the national conversation about COVID-19.
It’s also high time that lockdown sceptics stopped pretending that all this was planned. There was no plandemic. Quite the opposite: Britain’s original plan was sensible, and the lockdown was unplanned. People who support the plandemic theory often call me ‘parochial’. They say, “Yes, Ben, but who is behind the unions?” My reply is: sure, we need to consider that question. But we mustn’t lose track of our priorities. When you’re witnessing a crime, you don’t sit around speculating about who is “behind” the culprits. You deal with the culprits, and you investigate possible collusion in the process. When we properly confront the unions that have driven the coronapanic debacle in Britain, I have no doubt that their behaviour will be shown to have a global dimension, and this will need to be dealt with in turn. But obsessing about the whole world while British unions continue to rule the roost is only making things worse for us in Britain. Moreover, if we don’t get our own house in order, we will leave ourselves prone to the opportunism of the globalists. The plandemic theorists who believe that this whole nightmare unfolded by way of a global plan are in fact creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; the globalists will prevail if we keep assuming that they have already defeated us.
In Britain we can show that none of this Covid madness was ever necessary. Let us seize the opportunity. Let us talk about herd immunity, the sensible policy that the Government abandoned. Let us talk about the Government capitulating to the unions, and capitulating repeatedly, spinning away each time. Let us break the vicious cycle, rip this entire thing apart, so that nothing is left of the coronapanic debacle in this country. Let us put it all behind us.
Britain could be the first country to fully free itself from Covid lunacy. The first domino to fall. Let us apply the democratic pressure that will make it happen.
Dr. Ben Irvine is a writer, philosopher and campaigner. This article was first published on his Blogspot page.