For news, information and opinion, I read the Times and the Sunday Times. I used to favour the Telegraph, but since the Barclay Brothers’ ownership, together with their editorial slant, I stick to the Murdoch publications. Since the Murdochs give their editorial staff somewhat better say and leverage in their approach to things British, American and political, I like their writing, and I appreciate the breadth of their journalism. The Observer/Guardian side, with their incessant and droning Left-wing viewpoints on everything don’t ring any bells as far as I am concerned. I glance at, and sometimes read, sections of that which the Guardian prints; but only from the viewpoint of determining what exactly the opposing forces believe in on that particular instant. Perhaps firming my own views, in the last few years, I have only ever quoted from the Guardian’s pages approvingly, to the best of my recollection; exactly once!
The rest of the publishing field, the Sunday versions of the Sun, the Mirror, Daily Mail, etc., leaves me stone cold, as ‘Celebs’, ‘Eastenders and Corrie gossip’ and ‘sport, sport, sport’; hold little attraction for me.
I mention these titles because a supremely important opinion piece was published in the Sunday Times on May 17th. This fact means that, of the Sunday newspaper-purchasing public, just over 17% had access to the Noble Lord Sumption’s opinions, writing and conclusions. Lord Sumption has got a great deal of sway as far as this observer stands; he being a former Supreme Court Judge, a law Lord, a supremely well-educated lawyer, and, by the sounds from his Reith Lectures, a decent bloke. He writes of the initial stratagem behind the slogans, and the lockdown, of the initial decisions, and the lunacy of a 180 degree about-face, when the truly-questionable mathematical modelling was presented as ‘Absolute Fact’ by Professor Neill Ferguson (He, for those who need reminding, of the absolute farce of a modelling strategy which cost Great Britain the vast majority of our most valuable cattle herds and sheep flocks during the Foot and Mouth disaster, by adding animals in contiguous fields to the cull totals). This modelling, later criticised by contemporaries as deeply flawed, foretold of 500,000 deaths, when more serious modelling may have foretold 50,000 deaths. This panicked the Cabinet, and forced the Lockdown into full-on driving mode.
Prime Minister Johnson stated “I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”, and he was speaking factually. However Lord Sumption also quotes Health Minister Hancock when he made the grotesque remark “If you go out; People will die!”
This crass and stupid statement is but typical of a bunch of politicians who have dug themselves a big hole, and are preparing for further excavations.
I therefore append the Noble Lord’s words, and hope and trust that they will be seen and read just a tad wider than reached by the Sunday Times readership: and also hope that they might penetrate the solid rock crevices of officialdom:-
With full acknowledgement to the Sunday Times.