Having packed my TV in a box some 20 years ago (did I miss anything good?), I feel I have developed a certain immunity to some of the more blatant propaganda techniques waged upon the populace by the media and Government. On the occasions I do get to see them, I often find myself at a loss to know whether to laugh out loud at the absurdities, or weep that many will swallow them without question.
My favourite recent example of this in the media is this piece here on the BBC (the Babylon Bee Corporation?), where they examine the sinister measures being taken by some of Europe’s more authoritarian leaders, asking whether they are using Covid-19 as an excuse to oppress their populations and increase their power. Be thankful, O ye readers of such happenings, that nothing like that could ever happen in free countries such as Britain, France and Italy. If there ever came a time in free and happy Britain where they rushed draconian legislation through Parliament without opposition, put the population under house arrest, sent the economy into a tailspin, and set the police on us in case we sit on park benches — Heaven forfend — be assured that it would all be entirely benevolent and for our own good.
My favourite recent example from the Government was when I had the misfortune to listen to a clip from one of Dominic Raab’s regular evening stand-ups this week. He used the phrase — “We’re being led by the science. Led by the science” — so many times that I began to wonder whether the point was to lull us all into a trance. I think they were missing a trick, though. If they’d had some soothing harp music going on in the background, and got some nice, dreamy looking woman with hypnotic eyes and beautiful dulcet tones to say the words — “The science. The science. We’re being led by the science. We’re all in this together. Led by the science.” — why I reckon they could have lulled the whole population into gently falling asleep saying the words in ever-slower, ever more monotonous and drowsy tones. Mr Raab, however, didn’t quite cut it.
When some people hear Governments using slogans like, “Led by the science,” the aura of scientists and especially Government-endorsed scientists seems to be sufficient to make them roll over like puppies being stroked gently on their bellies. When I hear such slogans, my propaganda antennae immediately goes on full alert, and I start to wonder what they’re actually up to.
“Ah, so you’re anti science,” comes the taunt.
“Not a bit of it,” says I. “I’m just aware that scientists are rarely in complete agreement, and that when Governments use such statements to justify their actions in this way, it probably means that we are going to come out of this more restricted and less free than we were before.”
Because — whaddaya know? — whereas Mr Raab and co would have us believe that on Covid-19 there is something called “the science” and that there are people called “the scientists” who are all in agreement on “the science”, this is far from the truth. For example, these 12 extremely well qualified scientists do not agree with “the science” being followed by the likes of the British Government. Nor do these 10 extremely well qualified scientists. Oh and these 8 extremely well qualified scientists don’t either.
What Mr Raab really means is scientists who agree with the Government (and in case you weren’t sure where you’d heard the expression before, I believe Mr Raab was quoting from Greta Thunberg’s Greatest Hits, which she used back in the day to promote her particular brand of panic-mongering ). Or perhaps more accurately, we should say scientists whose inaccurate predictions using flawed data were swallowed by the Government, subsequently used to justify landing us all into a mess of truly gargantuan proportions, and yet are now apparently the shepherd which will lead us out into the Promised Land. Well, perhaps not the Promised Land, but at least to the point where we can leave our houses and go for a walk, unmolested and without watching out for who might be watching us. It is not, therefore, Government led by science. Rather it is Government using approved scientists to do whatsoever they will.
The great C.S. Lewis, with his remarkable foresight, saw the way all this was going as far back as 1958:
“On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in’. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants’ ‘science’ — they didn’t think much of Hitler’s racial theories or Stalin’s biology. But they can be muzzled.”
And indeed they are muzzled! For here we are in a situation where the science falsely so-called put forward by the likes of Imperial College, which relied on extremely scant and dubious data, is treated as the very Oracle of God by both Government and a compliant media, whilst the views put forth by the following extremely qualified people, are almost entirely ignored:
Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, former professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
Dr John Ioannidis, Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor Knut Wittkowski, Senior Research Associate, Rockefeller University
Dr Alexander Kekulé, Chair for Medical Microbiology and Virology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology at the University Hospital Halle
John Oxford, virologist at Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford
Dr Pablo Goldschmidt, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.
Why are their views ignored by the mainstream media? Firstly, because they do not fit the narrative set by the Government, which the likes of Mr Raab would have us believe is the only science in town and secondly, because they all state that huge decisions with enormous consequences have been taken on the basis of little or flawed data. Theirs is the kind of science that cannot be easily manipulated by Governments, which is why Governments are ignoring it. Again, Lewis foresaw this happening decades before it came to fruition:
“Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim to knowledge. If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets. Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend. Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value. Let the doctor tell me I shall die unless I do so-and-so; but whether life is worth having on those terms is no more a question for him than for any other man.”
It is not even, as some might suppose, merely a question of scientific opinion versus other scientific opinion. The original Imperial College model, followed by the British Government, was based on assumptions that were simply unknown and which could not have been known at that time. It was not, therefore, in anyway properly speaking scientific. For instance, whereas the original case-rate fatality was assumed to be about 3.4%, as Dr. John Lee points out:
“In many examples, more complete data are now suggesting case-fatality rates of 0.4 per cent. My guess is that it will end up between 0.5 and 0.1 per cent, and probably nearer to the lower end of that.”
Imagine crashing an economy and imposing what is effectively a police state, with all the concomitant evils that will lead to, in order to deal with an illness with a case-fatality rate not significantly greater than a bad flu season. Is that rational? Is that proportional? Is that being led by the science?
Nor is there an scientific evidence whatsoever that placing the country under extreme lockdown measures proves any more effective than the more sensible measures taken by the likes of Japan and Sweden. Dr Lee again:
“The real point is that there isn’t any direct evidence that what we are doing is actually affecting the peak. It is possible to make arguments that sound reasonable that a lockdown should affect the peak. And yet other places which are doing different things seem to have similarly shaped graphs. It is only an assumption that the lockdown is having a big effect on the virus spread, but this is not a known scientific fact. As far as I can see, Sweden, despite not having anywhere near as severe a lockdown as we have had, actually has a very similar curve to ours. And Sweden’s death rate per hundred thousand people is roughly half of ours at the moment. So it is not a given that what we are doing is either working or is having all the right effects.”
Is he right? You can check for yourselves using the charts below, which show weekly Covid-19 reported deaths, both in terms of absolute numbers and per million population.
I cannot see any correlation whatsoever between the death rates in those countries under full lockdown, and Sweden which is not.
What is a given, however, is that the measures put in place by the British Government, and many other governments, which have allegedly been led by the science, are certain to lead to:
Massive job losses (US unemployment has apparently risen by 22 million in just over a month)
Far lower wages
A huge rise in poverty
A decline in general health
A lowering of life expectancy
A rise in mental health problems
A rise in the suicide rate
And many old people dying alone with no carers.
We cannot be sure of the extent, but these are the sorts of things that happen in a depression, which is what we are very obviously entering.
But my fear of where this leads to goes beyond even those possible scenarios. I have noticed in recent years an increasing propensity of those in charge to propose solutions to problems that are largely of their making. The noises I’m hearing from some of them suggest that this is what is taking shape, but on a larger scale than ever before. Being “led by the science” is turning out to be an unmitigated disaster, yet it will be “the science” — or Government-approved science — which will be proposed as the saviour. To stop such situations occurring again, we will be told that we must avail ourselves of more technology, more monitoring, more checks, more vaccines, more controls.
Lewis has spoken twice — let him speak for the third time:
“Under modern conditions any effective invitation to Hell will certainly appear in the guise of scientific planning—as Hitler’s regime in fact did. Every tyrant must begin by claiming to have what his victims respect and to give what they want. The majority in most countries respect science and want to be planned. And, therefore, almost by definition, if any man or group wishes to enslave us it will of course describe itself as ‘scientific planned democracy.’ All the more reason to look very carefully at anything which bears that label.”
In our Godless, unrepentant, modern technological society, it’s bound to happen. But no thanks.
Personally, I’d rather trust myself into the hands of the Living God than surrender to the Bill Gatesian Social Distancing Medical Despotism of compulsory vaccines, certifications and health apps that is starting to take shape around us. I urge those of you who hate where this is going as much as I do to do the same: repent; believe the Gospel; and pray like furies.