“All the crudest weapons of despotism, the curfew, the presumption of guilt and the power of arbitrary arrest, are taking shape in the midst of what used to be a free country.”

Strong words from Peter Hitchens in the ‘Mail’ yesterday. But…is he wrong?

Did you know that the Government and Opposition had originally agreed that there would not even be a vote on these measures? Even Vladimir Putin might hesitate before doing anything so blatant.

Quite so. That should make everyone pause…

The Bill also gives Ministers the authority to ban mass gatherings. It will enable police and public health workers to place restrictions on a person’s ‘movements and travel’, ‘activities’ and ‘contact with others’.

People who have done nothing to deserve these restrictions, and may not even be carrying the virus. I’m reminded once more of another quote, from the Vietnam War: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

Many court cases will now take place via video-link, and if a coroner suspects someone has died of coronavirus there will be no inquest. They say this is temporary. They always do.

Well, indeed! We are already seeing the rolling back of previous ‘measures we vitally need to save lives/save the planet’, aren’t we, from bags for life to emission zones, as they realise the contradictions with the latest panic.

The emergency powers are based on medical advice. Which is never wrong, is it?

In only one place – aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess – has an entire closed community been available for study. And the death rate there – just one per cent – is distorted because so many of those aboard were elderly. The real rate, adjusted for a wide age range, could be as low as 0.05 per cent and as high as one per cent.

As Prof Ioannidis says: ‘That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05 per cent is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.’

We are about to leap off that cliff, trumpeting wildly…

The former editor of The Times, Sir Simon Jenkins, recently listed these unfulfilled scares: bird flu did not kill the predicted millions in 1997. In 1999 it was Mad Cow Disease and its human variant, vCJD, which was predicted to kill half a million. Fewer than 200 in fact died from it in the UK.

The first Sars outbreak of 2003 was reported as having ‘a 25 per cent chance of killing tens of millions’ and being ‘worse than Aids’.

In 2006, another bout of bird flu was declared ‘the first pandemic of the 21st Century’.

There were similar warnings in 2009, that swine flu could kill 65,000. It did not.

We didn’t learn anything from those panics, did we? Don’t let this ‘cure’ be far, far worse than the disease once again…

3 comments for ““All the crudest weapons of despotism, the curfew, the presumption of guilt and the power of arbitrary arrest, are taking shape in the midst of what used to be a free country.”

  1. Valentine Gray
    March 23, 2020 at 11:15 am

    George Orwell in his wildest dreams could not have come up with this one, Self arrest and imprison yourself without charge otherwise a little bug will get you. I thought people were coming to their senses with Brexit, it may be wiser in the long run and offer yourself to Freedom go out and say I would rather catch that bug than submit to this Orwellian experiment.

  2. Ed P
    March 23, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Some (slightly rounded, today’s figures of) statistics of worldwide deaths THIS YEAR already:
    Covid 15,300
    Flu 110,000
    HIV 380,000
    Cancer 1,856,500
    Smoke-related 1,130,000
    Malaria 222,000
    Alcohol-related 565,000

    Total deaths worldwide, just this year to date 13,295,000

    As you say, the losses of freedoms over Covid appear out of proportion to the threat.

    (See http://www.worldometers.info for more)

    • March 27, 2020 at 4:00 am

      FEAR. We are beset with it. Be ‘good’. Confine yourselves, otherwise a 21 year old girl in a smart uniform and a gun, just following orders, will arrest you.

      Here are some now.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzs5kjVNpc4

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