Anarchist musings from the badlands of the Thames Estuary

Readings: Lockdowns / The ‘new normal’

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink Laura Dodsworth | The Critic | January 19. 2022
The acknowledgement that nudging can transmogrify into state propaganda could also have been reached earlier. For instance, upon the publication of my book, A State of Fear: how the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic, which laid the case out explicitly. Or, come to that, at any point in the twenty two year history of the government’s Nudge Unit. How about in 2010 after the publication of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee report, Behaviour Change, which brought up issues of ethical acceptability?

The Last Days of the Covidian Cult CJ Hopkins | OffGuardian | January 18, 2022
This isn’t going to be pretty, folks. The downfall of a death cult rarely is. There is going to be wailing and gnashing of teeth, incoherent fanatical jabbering, mass deleting of embarrassing tweets.
There’s going to be a veritable tsunami of desperate rationalizing, strenuous denying, shameless blame-shifting, and other forms of ass-covering, as suddenly former Covidian Cult members make a last-minute break for the jungle before the fully-vaxxed-and-boosted “Safe and Effective Kool-Aid” servers get to them.
Yes, that’s right, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the official Covid narrative is finally falling apart, or is being hastily disassembled, or historically revised, right before our eyes.

Caught between the Great Back Pedal and the Determined Double Down Laura Dodsworth | Substack | January 11, 2022
Has yet another wave of worst case scenario modelling proven to be a case of the boy crying wolf?
As the threat of Omicron recedes, it’s interesting to observe different reactions from government, scientists and media. We are caught in a liminal time of back pedalling and doubling down.
On a separate matter, but also contextual to back pedalling, there is currently widespread and righteous condemnation about Downing Street parties. I’m more interested in the fact that they felt safe to be at a party. The attendees did not stay at home to help save lives and protect the NHS. They did not act like they had it, or seem worried that a cup of coffee would cost lives, etcetera. Why weren’t they terrified?

After Covid Brendan O’Neil | Spiked | January 12, 2022
Without wanting to make any further contribution to the gloom that continues to grip too many in the political and media sets, we need to get real about how difficult the journey back to normality is likely to be. It will be a rocky ride. Liberty, public trust, social solidarity and freedom of thought have been ravaged to such an extraordinary degree over the past two years that their restoration is not going to be a simple or easy task.

Mass Formation: How the Left Got Duped Kim Goldberg | Substack | December 28, 2021
To whatever extent there were major players on national and global stages who, from the outset, wanted to steer Covid response in a “vaccine only” direction up to and including mandates, passports and permanent digital ID cards, then clearly the first task is to disarm the Left so it can’t perform its traditional social function of resisting such illiberal developments. Skewing the messaging to not merely disarm the Left but to actually bring the Left on board as an ardent proselyte in a Stockholm syndrome manner is nothing short of brilliant.

How fear fuels the vaccine wars Paul Kingsnorth | Unherd | November 30, 2021

Covid is a revelation. It has lain bare splits in the social fabric that were always there but could be ignored in better times. It has revealed the compliance of the mainstream media, and the power of Silicon Valley to curate and control the public conversation. It has confirmed the sly dishonesty of political leaders, and their ultimate obeisance to corporate power. It has shown how ideology, on all sides, can mask itself with the pretend neutrality of “science”.

The Left’s Covid failure Toby Green and Thomas Fazi | Unherd | November 23, 2021

But why has the mainstream Left ended up supporting practically all Covid measures? How did such a simplistic view of the relationship between health and the economy emerge, one which makes a mockery of decades of (Left-leaning) social science research showing just how closely wealth and health outcomes are connected? Why did the Left ignore the massive increase in inequalities, the attack on the poor, on poor countries, on women and children, the cruel treatment of the elderly, and the huge increase in wealth for the richest individuals and corporations resulting from these policies? How, in relation to the development and roll-out of vaccines, did the Left end up ridiculing the very notion that, given the money at stake, and when BioNTech, Moderna and Pfizer currently make between them over US$1,000 per second from the Covid vaccines, there might be motivations from the vaccine manufacturers other than “the public good” at play? And how is it possible that the Left, often on the receiving end of state repression, today seems oblivious to the worrying ethical and political implications of Covid passports?

Conspiracy and Social Struggle Wu Ming | Ill Will | November 18, 2021

Since the Spring of 2020, we warned that social anger was growing and would explode once the fear of the virus subsided. We said that the lack of criticism of the pandemic emergency would turn the upcoming, inevitable protests into something very confused and ambiguous, something exploitable by the far right and various conspiracist subcultures. We harshly criticized the majority of the grassroots left [sinistra di movimento] for expressing a “virocentric” vision, that is, for focusing any talk exclusively on the virus and the risk of infection, while saying very little about the government managing the pandemic in irrational, unjust, hypocritical and even criminal ways.

Fanatical Followers of the Covid Regime: A Jim Jones-Style Cult? Professor Roger Watson and Dr. Niall McCrae | The Daily Sceptic | November 15, 2021

As scholars at leading British universities over recent decades, we witnessed the replacement of critical thinking and debate by narrative: facts are discrimination and scientific method is imperialism; truth, instead, is derived from ‘progressive’ values. This educational trend may be a major contributory factor to the ease in which society has been inculcated to the Covid ‘new normal’ of masking, testing, and repeated doses of vaccines for a disease of similar risk to severe influenza.

Why have we doctors been silent? – Lucie Wilk | TCW | November 15, 2021

I have watched as ‘the science’ has been presented on the national stage flanked by Union Jack flags as an unassailable truth. For something so apparently inviolable, it seems to shift and change disconcertingly from week to week, and for those of us looking beneath the pomp to the plain data, we see the rather unexciting (and unchanging) truth: the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as it turns out, has a much lower infection fatality rate than early predictions. It is less deadly than the seasonal flu in children. The Office for National Statistics has reported the mean age of a Covid-attributed death in the UK to be 80.3 years, slightly older than deaths from other causes (78.2 years over the comparable time period).

Open Letter to Those Not Yet Opposed to Vaccine Passports, Part 3: ‘Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities’ (Voltaire) Rusere Shoniwa | Left Lockdown Sceptics | November 12, 2021

To avoid the toxic division of society into the clean and unclean we must resist vaccine passports. They do not serve any public health goals. Like all other pharmaceutical interventions, you take a vaccine to protect yourself, not others. If it works, it protects you. If it doesn’t work, forcing others to take it only multiplies the number of people for whom the vaccine will not work. Let me be blunt – it just isn’t rational to blame the ineffectiveness of a vaccine on those who haven’t taken it.

Who’s behind the fake-left vaccine gang? Winter Oak | October 20, 2021

A group of mask-wearing protesters in Brisbane, Australia, are gathered behind a banner bearing the words “Pro Vaccine, Pro Health, Anti Fascist” – a nonsensically self-contradictory combination of labels if ever there was one. Using an aggressive tone traditionally reserved for arms dealers, corporate politicians and actual fascists, a woman expresses her hatred for Australians who have taken to the streets to oppose the Great Reset tyranny and demand the return of their freedom.

I cannot do it anymore Ole Skambraks | multipolar | October 14, 2021

I can no longer remain silent. I can no longer silently watch what has been going on for a year and a half now within my organization, a public service broadcaster. Things like “balance”, “social cohesion” and “diversity” in reporting are principles embedded in the statutes and media state contracts. Today, the exact opposite is happening. There is no true discourse and exchange in which all parts of society can come together and find common ground.

‘Pandemic’ Reflections Darren Allen | Expressive Egg | October 11, 2021

Independence is becoming a necessity. Those few shade-like touches of conviviality which lockdown returned to people are, as more and more people are cut off from the system, going to have to expand. Again only few – very few – people will get it together, and the obstacles are mighty – for many insurmountable – but networks of home-schooling, mutual cooperation, local syndicalism and useful criminal activity (i.e. stealing from the system, rather than from each other) are sure to be on the rise, or at least an urgent desire for them, and that’s all to the good.

The UK ‘Vaccination’ Programme. Part 3: Resistance ASH | October 1, 2021

Predicting the future, as someone once said, is a fool’s game; but in attempting to anticipate, at least, how the UK biosecurity state will develop and expand, I have one guiding premise. Given the political will, the technology to enable that will, and the lack of opposition to it — or, which amounts to the same thing, the financial and legislative power to overcome that opposition — how would those who have this will, dispose of this technology, face this lack of opposition or wield this power, use it and to what ends?

The UK ‘Vaccination’ Programme. Part 2: Virtue and Terror ASH | September 22, 2021

For publishing the figures on adverse drug reactions and deaths following injection with a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ that I discussed in Part 1 of this article — all of which were either quoted directly from the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency’s own website or calculated from the Government’s own estimation of the percentage of ADRs reported — my account was temporarily suspended by Twitter for what it said was ‘spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.’

The UK ‘Vaccination’ Programme. Part 1: Adverse Drug Reactions and Deaths ASH | September 15, 2021

It’s been nine months now since, in my article Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics: Manufacturing the Crisis, I analysed the statistics on official ‘COVID-19 deaths’ published by the institutions responsible for justifying the regulations and programmes of the UK biosecurity state. These include the Office for National Statistics, the National Health Service and Public Health England. Together with concerned reports from medical bodies, including Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society, these statistics strongly suggested that at least half the 80,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in 2020 resulted from the withdrawal of medical diagnosis, treatment and care under lockdown restrictions.

Winter is coming, and so are the nudges – Laura Dodsworth | Substack | October 4, 2021

The threat of lockdown hangs like a Sword of Damocles. Will we, or won’t we? It seems unlikely that the public and businesses could be persuaded again. Regardless, the threat of lockdown might be leveraged to justify the introduction of Covid Passports, in what is known as a “reciprocation nudge” – we appear to be given a concession in return for reduced resistance to another option.

Italy’s vaccine passport power grab Thomas Fazi | Unherd | September 29, 2021

The Italian economic-political establishment has a long history of invoking, embellishing or even engineering crises — usually economic in nature — to justify technocratic governments and emergency measures, as well as the sidestepping of the normal channels of democracy. In this sense, it is not outlandish to posit that the country’s elites, under Draghi’s leadership, may view the current conjecture as a golden opportunity to complete the oligarchisation of the country they’ve been working at for the past decades (and in which Mario Draghi has played a central role).

Discriminatory vaccine passports pose an even greater threat than ID cards – Silkie Carlo | Big Brother Watch | August 2, 2021

I have not forgotten that fifteen years ago, the Prime Minister wrote in this paper that if someone in authority demanded he show an ID card he would “physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it.” Well, he is eating his words now. Because Covid passes are the nightmare we feared ID cards would become. One of the great concerns raised during the decade-long ID card debate was that, one day, ID cards could be expanded to hold our medical data. An unscrupulous Government could even mete out liberties based on health status.

Collaboration or resistance, part 3: Scapegoats – Connor Kelly | Left Lockdown Sceptics | July 23, 2021

The British, French and Irish states with many others have identified an ideal scapegoat: the unvaccinated minority. They have been manufacturing hatred and fear of the unvaccinated and all those who question the restrictions or demand their freedom for some time now. The purpose is not mysterious, it is plain, grubby, banal. Since being unvaccinated now carries a grave risk (the actual risk being insufficiently grave, they needed to invent one), this drives more people onto the vaccine green list, thereby getting them “on the system,” which can and will be expanded.

Collaboration or resistance, part 2: The pandemic as media event – Connor Kelly | Left Lockdown Sceptics | July 21, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 did not take place. That is to say that the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was a media event. People died of a respiratory illness, of course. But were it not for mass mediation, mass massaging, it is likely that most people would have been totally unaware that there was a pandemic. In the days before mass televisual media, people knew there was a plague because people were dropping dead on the streets. Since this particular disease does not lead to masses of people dropping dead on the streets, images of people dropping dead on the streets (in China) were crafted.

Collaboration or resistance, part 1: Our brand new shiny fascist state Connor Kelly | Left Lockdown Sceptics | July 19, 2021

On 12 July the British Government announced that it will be strongly encouraging vaccine passports for venues and events to exclude the unvaccinated from public life. Although they say this is a voluntary act of discrimination, they have explicitly stated that they retain the option to make this mandatory in the future, as they also retain the option to resume police state measures as and when they please. The French government co-incidentally announced the same measure on the same day, only going much further, barring the unvaccinated from cafes, metro etc, and mandating vaccination of health workers – which is to say, putting the unvaccinated out of work.

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