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Rewriting history, the politics of the "Lockdown Files"
Discrediting the inquiry before it gets going is the name of the game
Just as the UKs Covid Inquiry finally gets going the Telegraph has launched its Lockdown Files which has swamped the news agenda. Selective quoting spliced with sceptic “science” is being used by the Telegraph to set out the narrative that the Great Barrington Declaration was correct, that no measures worked and we should have followed a strategy of mass infection to obtain the still illusive herd immunity.
Its important to recognise the Telegraph is not a neutral observer. The #HARTleaks revealed how a number of journalists and MPs have been working with antivaxxers and conspiracy theorists to mainstream disinformation to undermine public health policy for ideological reasons.
Is it a coincidence that many of those in the media who adopted the sceptic stance are also those who promoted misleading statistics and information during the Brexit referendum, the self titled Brexit Battalion?
Full details in this thread.
There are efforts to claim that sceptic voices were censored and banned, this is rewriting history, they seem to have forgotten that the majority of the predominantly right wing press opposed measures and continuously platformed sceptics with their alternative facts.
4 March Allison Pearson sets out the intention of the Telegraph's publication of the Lockdown Files.
There is a reoccurring theme among many sceptics that they centre the pandemic around themselves, while they dismiss the harms of covid, focusing on lockdowns, they portray themselves as the real victims of the pandemic.
The way the Telegraph has gone about reporting on the messages provides little light but a lot of heat. It won't persuade non sceptics that less harm would have been caused by just letting the virus rip, it does confirm the government was a shambles which most people on both sides of the debate already believed. The greatest impact its had has been on making conspiracy theorists feel vindicated.
The lab leak theory is still debatable, yet it seems contradictory that Pearson believes covid is both an engineered plague and an infection of little consequence. Hancocks failure to protect care homes has never been cconsidered a conspiracy theory, only Conservative MPs have ever claimed care homes were adequately protected.
Have the Lockdown Files vindicated Pearson's conspiracy theories? Let's take a look at a few examples.
She is still claiming hospitalisation stats were not just incorrect but deliberately misleading.
Pearson is also still claiming most covid deaths were with not from covid, again she suggests this is deliberate. That's ticked most the boxes of the foundational beliefs of covid conspiracy theories.
Apparently trying to prevent harms from a pandemic is communism.
As for the claims about children's mental health, the pandemic did little to change the long term trend of rising issues in children, a rise that coincided with austerity that Pearson and most sceptics were staunch supporters of.
This is the same as Oakshott's article making unfounded claims regarding suicide rates in children.
There are clear similarities here with the Died Suddenly antivax crowd, ghoulishly claiming the cause of a death in the name of their campaigning.
There is no evidence to back up the claimed regarding suicide due to lockdowns. For more details see the work of Tyler Black who is an expert in this field.
Pearson is claiming only the old and vulnerable can be harmed by covid, while they are at greater risk covid has killed people of all age groups. Pearson doesn't acknowledge long covid is an issue.
One area in which the Telegraph is correct is that the government response was shambolic.
However, one of the reasons the government response was filtered through a prism through Comms is because they were trying to balance the health vs wealth arguement whilst being aware that any measure they implemented would be attacked by a large section of the media. This demonstrates the impact pressure from the supposedly silenced sceptics in the media had on government policy.
The Lockdown Files are trying to create the impression that their snippets of WhatsApp messages makes up the entirety of government discussion and decision making. It ignores the publicly available SAGE meeting minutes, papers produced by Public Health England, data from the ONS and forgets to mention the opaque Joint Biosecurity Centre that was created in the summer of 2020.
The Telegraph fails to mention SAGE had looked at the evidence and concluded that masks and other measure like ventilation and air filtration should be used in the classroom, they also ignore the Finnish Task force, WHO and the evidence looked at by health authorities around the world. The evidence base the UK relied on was narrow with an over reliance on a small group of professionals as explained in the BMJ covid inquiry paper on schools, however the claim mask wearing is completely unevidenced is just another example of the Lockdown Files being used to stamp the sceptic position over reality.
As has been documented already, UsForThem's claims to be a grassroots group is in question, and Pearson is cited by the founders as being instrumental in their creation.
UsForThem, HART and others set up a working group to oppose child vax before any trial data had even been released, they opposed it on principle.
The end result of this was the Safer to Wait campaign. Here is Pearson promoting the campaign in the Telegraph, UsForThem later claimed they had nothing to do with the campaign after deleting their own social media posts after antivax mobs abused staff and students at a number of schools whilst handing out the flyers.
They even threatened to sue Dr Deepti Gurdasani for linking them to the campaign, of course they didn't follow through on the threat.
This thread covers the reprehensible nature of the antivax campaign that even suggested ivermectin could be given to children as an alternative to being vaccinated. Many of those in the HART group that Pearson has been working with are also involved in the British Ivermectin Research Development group linked to FLCCC in the states.
Time and time again we see the direct consequences of the disinformation narrativs put out by the Telegraph in the form of abusive and treating behaviour towards public sector workers.
UsForThem's founder Molly Kingsley has rbeen calling for the likes of Matt Hancock and Chris Whitty to be imprisoned while tweeting about “vaccine genocide” and praising conspiracy theorist Neil Oliver who is currently subject to complaints for his protocols of zion-esque rant on GB News.
While claiming in the past that masking or vaccinating children to protect others is a form of abuse, Pearson believes that infecting children with covid to build up herd immunity is a more acceptable way of using children for wider societal benefits.
Of course the Telegraph finds a way of painting its former employer Boris Johnson in a positive light, believing that older people are happy to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the economy.
This really is the defining point of the sceptic movement, and Charles Moore in early March 2020 did argue in the Telegraph that the deaths of 250,000 elderly and vulnerable people was a price worth other people paying to protect the economy. Sunetra Gupta said the same thing about education workers, that they should be willing to sacrifice themselves whilst Jay Bhattacharya defended the GBD by saying that not that many teachers would die.
What does it say about the mentality of people who think others should lay down their lives whilst they believe just wearing a mask in crowded places or taking a covid test is too outrageous an ask for themselves personally?
It's worth noting that a number of sceptic media commentators such as Toby Young and Fraser Nelson have written about their support for government policies of “progressive eugenics”.
Apparently not allowing the elderly to risk their lives is infact depriving them of dignity, yet the Telegraph also campaigned heavily to deprive parents of the choice of vaccinating their children.
Once again the arguments are dependent on covid only being a risk to the most vulnerable in society, and that death is the only detrimental outcome of infection.
Again Pearson suggests infecting children to protect their grandparents, ONS data shows the average infections per child is two, so much for natural immunity protecting against further infection. The great flaw in this logic is that the children are only a risk to their grandparents if they are getting infected, if there is no chain of transmission then grandparents can't be infected.
She quotes Martin Kulldorf's performance at the now Republican controlled oversight committee. His comments about Ancient Greece brought derision from much of the medical community, healthcare and medicine has progressed significantly in nearly 2,500 years when the death rate for plagues was devestating, and even the ancient world recognised the need for quarantines.
Thread here on details of the oversight committee, this appears to be what the Telegraph wants the covid inquiry to look like.
There has been no evidence that Neil O'brien set up the website to counter disinformation and it didn't monitor their work, it provided referenced critics and corrections for the claims they were putting out to the public.
However the HARTleaks did reveal conversations were proposed with a government minister to shut down O'brien debunking. So for all the complaints about censorship there were efforts by sceptics to shut down scrutiny of their claims.
The Telegraph is seeking to influence the inquiry, and they will try to delegitimise proceedings if their alternative experts are not involved.
These are the experts who claimed the pandemic was over in March 2020, said a second wave wasn't possible, suggested India had already reached herd immunity in early 2021 and wouldn't requite vaccines, just before the Delta wave killed millions.
The GBD have been advising DeSantis’ in Florida since 2020, in 2021 they advised him to drop all measures and declared Florida had solved the pandemic.
A month later…
These are the people the Telegraph claims have been right throughout the pandemic.
Much of the media seems to be ignoring the extent of the disinformation the Telegraph and other outlets have been engaged in. They havr ignored the #HARTleaks that provide the undeniable evidence of the coordination of disinformation, and now they fail to see how much of the Lockdown Files is being used to verify the beliefs of conspiracy theorists.
Don't let the sceptics rewrite history, this is as much about them absolving themselves of guilt as it is about pointing the finger at others.