David Stacey

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Toby’s Newsnight Appearance: A Review

Toby appeared on Newsnight on Tuesday night to talk about whether lockdown sceptics should be outright banned or reluctantly tolerated. You can watch the segment here. A reader has written a review. Emily Maitlis: “The lockdown worked in March, it brought the R rate down from 3 to .6.” Toby Young: “It was falling before it was imposed.” EM: “We will discuss this again I am sure.” It was an exit cue of course and whilst it may not have quite amounted to an invitation, we must make sure we do discuss it again with Emily, because whether or not lockdowns work is what it is all about. The exchange came at the end of a nine-minute segment that perfectly illustrated Dr David McGrogan’s piece on “the failed strategy of lockdown sceptics”, with emotive accusations of Covid denial blocking out any light that might have been used to illuminate key areas of contention. The Newsnight segment was on whether YouTube had been right to remove from its platform the recordings of talkRADIO on the basis that its policy is “to take down content that explicitly contradicts expert consensus”. A decision that has since been reversed. Emily set out her stall. “In a time of public emergency, and in the face of so much irrefutable scientific data, is it responsible to...

Let’s Hear it for the Disruptors

“What we need, is more disrupters, more grumpy people to challenge the Government”, Alex Thomas, the Programme Director, Institute of Government, told Jeremy Hunt’s Health and Social Care and Science and Technology Committee recently. Save your breath Alex. The problem is not a shortage of grumpy disrupters. The problem is the disrupters are not being heard – they are not being allowed to challenge Jeremy Hunt’s committee let alone the government. When Covid struck the U.K. in February there was a knowledge and information vacuum, and the global response was based on ‘follow the leader’; the leader was China and the course of lockdown was set. Ten months on there is a daily tsunami of robust Covid data and research papers from around the world for the Government to study and learn from, but they appear to have neither the bandwidth nor the inclination to do so. However, outside of Government there is an army of scientists, clinicians and statisticians in universities, companies, loose affiliations or on their own, who want to be part of the war effort and are working around the clock to see if there are answers in this vast new source of intelligence. If the Government and PHE are the Dunkirk mole then these volunteers are the flotilla of little boats. From the outset initiatives and...

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May 2024
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