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Lockdown UK: Why COVID Restrictions Could Last Until April


IMAGE: UK government propaganda campaign to frighten the public into staying locked indoors has become even more egregious of late.

The UK government continues to careen out of control in dishing out what is becoming an increasingly opaque and authoritarian public health policy, supposedly to ‘eliminate coronavirus.’ 

Today we learned that PM Boris Johnson is now claiming that he felt ‘bounced into second lockdown by dodgy data,’ presumably from the government’s secretive scientific committee known as SAGE.

According to reports, Johnson felt that he was somehow ‘pushed’ into an unpopular second national lockdown because of misleading data from SAGE.

It’s become noticeable in recent months how UK government’s lauded science advisors have been trotting out ever-more outlandish predictions of death and doom, including one crazed projection of 4,000 daily deaths from COVID-19 should the government not impose more draconian measures.

The government appears to be in damage control now, with leaks to press designed to make Johnson look like the victim of ‘bad information’ from his corporatist science cabal.

“I think he is concerned that he may have been bounced into it …. He was really, really cross about the leak because at that point a different decision might still have been made,” remarked one Cabinet Minister to the Daily Mail.

The source added, “There is also concern that some of the information used to inform the decision now seems to be crumbling …. In fact the figures seem to be suggesting things were getting better before the lockdown began – we are being shut down for a month when we did not need to be.”

Of course, all of this throws into question what the government’s true long-term strategy is. Thus far, the only tangible result of lockdown has been a complete destruction of the British economy, spiraling public and private debt, and massive collateral damage in public health due to the conversion of the country’s NHS into what is effectively becoming a ‘COVID only’ health service – resulting in a growing number of lockdown deaths.

Meanwhile, the police have threaten heavier ‘crack downs’ on alleged lockdown offenders – a trend which will only further erode an already damaged relationship between law enforcement and the general public.

Is the UK government really going to try and lockdown the population until May? If so, on what scientific basis are they taking such harsh totalitarian measures?

Fraser Nelson writes for The Spectator….

The fear, of course, comes from what officials think will happen next. We’re told that the Prime Minister fears a second wave larger than the first, but we’re not really told why. Decisions are made to tighten restrictions on the basis of figures, scenarios and documents that are not shared with the public. Perhaps the biggest question is how long this new phase will last. If we’re hunkering down in fear of what happens if we don’t, when might it all end? And have we already settled down to a very long winter?

Many of the answers lie with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, its name perhaps chosen so it could produce the acronym Sage. It is fed by modellers, called SPI-M, who produce what’s known as a ‘reasonable worst-case’ scenario, or RWC. In the UK system, government plans around this worst-case basis. But if the country ends up being run around this scenario, then we enter problems. There is little scrutiny of the Sage assumptions, because so many of them are unpublished. Some of its papers are released sporadically. But some of its major planning is kept secret even from senior members of the government.

The secrecy is odd. In classic pandemic theory, governments are supposed to keep the public informed at every stage about what they know and don’t know. The risk is that a lack of transparency erodes confidence in ministers, and creates space for misinformation. The other risk is that if government is relying on modelling, much depends on the accuracy of the modelling. If it’s not scrutinised, mistakes are more likely to go uncorrected. More fundamentally, if people are being deprived of their liberty, they deserve to know why.

That’s why The Spectator is publishing a document which the government has not until now acknowledged the existence of: the ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ for this coming winter. The document is on our website and makes for grim reading: 85,000 dead from a new Covid wave, about a third more than have died so far. It envisages 356,000 heading for hospital. Deaths are expected to peak at a lower rate than the first wave — but what is very different, this time, is the duration. The second wave is expected to get steadily worse until March.


The Sage document starts with an important caveat: it’s a hypothesis, not a prediction. The clue is in the name: a ‘worst-case planning scenario’ is not the most likely outcome. But as it says, under the UK system, this is the basis on which plans are being made. The document, published on 30 July, explains why lockdown measures were never properly relaxed. It also explains why ministers are so worried. If its forecasts are even half-right, we’re not remotely close to the end of the Covid story. While Swedes regard Covid as a near-exhausted enemy, the Brits see a monster ready to strike even harder as soon as normal life resumes. Which is why there’s no rush to resume normal life.

The core Sage assumption is of ‘a difficult autumn followed by a large winter peak’, with the virus doubling every two weeks. After a month of this, restrictions would be tightened ‘to reduce non-household contacts to half of their normal pre-March 2020 lockdown levels’ but schools would remain open. So far, so accurate: this has been pretty much the story to date. Which makes the next assumption in the Sage plan significant: ‘These measures are sustained until the end of March 2021.’ This is a plan to keep the restrictions until April. Perhaps longer…

Continue this story at The Spectator

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