by Ramesh ThakurRamesh Thakur
from Brownstone Website
We the skeptics were right in our dark suspicions of the motives, scientific basis, and evidence behind government decisions, but even we did not fully grasp just how venal, evil, and utterly contemptuous of their citizens some of the bastards in charge of our health, lives, livelihoods, and children's future were.
They will have to build a new circle of hell to accommodate all the perpetrators of evil let loose upon the world since 2020.
A mistake is when you spill coffee or take the wrong exit ramp off the highway.
Lockdown was a policy pushed hard by politicians and health chiefs even against scientific dissent and substantial public opposition, using tools from every tyrants' playbook of disinformation and lies whilst attacking and censoring truth.
The depth of public opposition went unrecognized because the fear-peddling media colluded in not reporting on protests.
Genuine mistakes were few and are forgivable.
Most were deliberate distortions of reality, outright falsehoods, and a systematic campaign to terrorize people into compliance with arbitrary diktats interspersed with efforts to vilify, silence, and cancel all critics by using the full powers of the state to co-opt, bribe, and bully.
All in pursuit of the most maddening public policy insanity of modern times because it ignored existing canons of 'pandemic' planning in blind panic just when calm was most needed.
To call lockdown a mistake is to trivialize the shock to society.
Before coming to that, a few preliminary observations to summarize where we are at.
What is Now Known and Generally but Not Universally Admitted
Covid is now endemic. It will circulate throughout the world and keep returning with mutating variants.
People who have been infected and/or vaccinated can contract and transmit it. Consequently we have little choice but to learn to live with it.
What is important is to make sure the right policy lessons are learnt so that never again, neither for a novel coronavirus nor for any other infectious disease, do we go down the path of public policy insanity to lock up an entire city or country with the discovery of 1-10 cases and bring all social, cultural and economic activity to a shuddering halt - or give total power and control to sociopaths and psychopaths.
Meanwhile what is particularly striking is just how many suspicions voiced by skeptics from early 2020 onwards and mocked as conspiracy theories have turned into plausible claims and accepted facts:
The Lockdown Files
The last three years have seen,
The Lockdown Files, a treasure trove of over 100,000 WhatsApp messages in real time between all the principal policymakers on Covid in England while Matt Hancock was the Secretary of Health (2020-26 June 2021), offer an unparalleled and gripping window into the amoral and cynical arrogance circulating in the corridors of power.
The daily drip-feed of revelations in the Telegraph is akin to watching with fascinated horror a slow-motion train wreck. Schadenfreude doesn't come any more delicious.
The files are littered with flippant remarks, mocking comments and contempt for citizens.
Among the revelations about the Johnson government:
We now know just how punch drunk on tyranny the political, bureaucratic, scientific, and journalist class was during the 'pandemic'.
The ruling elites, when liberated from democratic accountability and media scrutiny, morphed seamlessly into morally cavalier and inhumane petty tyrants.
Averse to alternative ways of thinking outside the echo chamber, they developed neuralgia to any idea that might challenge lockdown fanaticism.
Lockdown skeptics like the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) who argued for the elderly and frail to be protected were demonized as dangerous "Covid deniers" who wanted to "let it rip" in a callous and cruel strategy of herd immunity.
But government officials whose policies had a direct, catastrophic impact on the health of the elderly and frail were treated as heroes and unimpeachable voices of moral authority.
Sociopath, Psychopath, or Both?
Among the revelations about Hancock:
I can relate therefore to this online comment on one of these stories in the Telegraph:
Or, to put it in more technical language:
The state criminalized quotidian activities like sitting on a bench in the park, walking on the beach and meeting with extended family. Public health messaging was weaponized to normalize and sacralize spirit-sapping levels of social isolation.
Even East Germany's Stasi did not stop the elderly from hugging their grandchildren.
Elderly patients were forced to die alone and surviving family members were banned from saying final farewells and denied the solace of a full funeral.
Hancock was able to get away with exercising his lust for power because his prime minister, Boris Johnson, proved to be lazy, weak, and vacillating.
The vivid description of Johnson by fired top aide Dominic Cummings - an out of control "shopping trolley" lurching from side to side in a supermarket aisle, depending on who he last talked to - has been amply validated by the leaked files.
The instinctual libertarian rapidly morphed from a lockdown skeptic into a zealot.
The Lockdown Files confirm that politics informed the policymakers in most of the key decisions on how to manage the 'pandemic'.
Accordingly, while medical specialists can debate the technical details of different medical approaches, policy specialists should be among the lead assessors in evaluating the justifications for and results and effectiveness of the policy interventions.
The existing frameworks, processes and institutional safeguards under which liberal democracies operated until 2020 had ensured expanding freedoms, growing prosperity, an enviable lifestyle, quality of life and educational and health outcomes without precedent in human history.
Abandoning them in favor of a tightly centralized small group of decision-makers liberated from any external scrutiny, contestability, and accountability produced both a dysfunctional process and suboptimal outcomes:
The sooner we return to the conviction that good process ensures better long-term outcomes and acts as a check against suboptimal outcomes alongside curbs on abuses of power and wastage of public funds, the better.
Interventions rooted in panic, driven by political machinations, and using all the levers of state power to terrify citizens and muzzle critics in the end needlessly killed massive numbers of the most vulnerable while putting the vast low-risk majority under house arrest.
The benefits are questionable but the harms are increasingly obvious.
The Johnson government in general and Hancock in particular revalidate Lord Acton's astute observation that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
They weren't following the science but Hancock's ego and career ambitions. He exploited Johnson's "stonking" laziness and shallowness.
The Lockdown Files reveal a government gone rogue that viewed and treated the people as enemies.
Instead we need criminal charges, and the sooner the better.
Britain's top civil servant acted more like a partisan political hack than an apolitical, neutral and loyal-to-the-elected-government of the day civil servant.
Case's bias, immaturity, poor judgment, and unwillingness to support the PM with accurate, balanced, and impartial information were such as to warrant instant sacking.
His hubris is such that he is yet to submit his resignation despite the publication of these appalling exchanges with Hancock who had effectively taken over the government.
The fact that as the "absolutely cringe-worthy" revelations came tumbling out, PM Rishi Sunak insisted Case has his confidence reflects poorly on Sunak's judgment.
Flawed process produced bad outcomes.
In a modern-day version of sacrificing virgins to appease the viral gods, the young have lost many more years of their life to buy a few more lonely, miserable months for the infirm old.
If the vast sums thrown at Covid had been redirected to the leading killer diseases and upgrades to public health infrastructure, using the standard quality-adjusted life years (QALY) metric, many million deaths would have been averted around the world over the coming decades.
If we fail to heed the lessons of the last three years, we will indeed be condemned to repeat them, not just for new 'pandemics' of infectious diseases but also for other crises like the "climate emergency"...