Our active members and supporters usually meet on a Wednesday evening at 7pm for a "pint and a pie" at a local hostelry, to discuss the topics of the day in a relaxed manner. No need to be a member. Contact us or join our email list.
(07/07/2020) Our weekly meetings are resumed!
Currently in the garden at the Half Moon Sheet at 6:00pm on Wednesdays - social distancing rules apply and may mean sitting at separate tables.
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to join our Newsletter use our Stay Informed page.
Whether we approve or not, emergency measures are still upon us.
(30/07/2020) In case you think that my analysis below (14/07/2020) may be off-beam, check out this article in theDaily Mail.
A point of interest: ask a random person in the street "what percentage of the population has died due to Covid-19", and you will likely get an answer in the range 5% to 10% - a factor at least 100 times too large (depending on whether you count died with Covid or died of Covid). Many of those who died with Covid would have died of their other conditions any way, as they do every year. We can very reasonably assume that the official statistics overplay the Covid role . . .
(14/07/2020) It appears that the Covid death rates across western Europe are now in the last stages of petering out, so we can assess the overall situation on the basis of the statistics so far.
According to Worldometers, there are 79 deaths world-wide per million of population, with 660 deaths per million in the UK (second highest in western Europe after Belgium at 844), the majority being amongst the elderly with comorbidities (did they really die as a result of Covid ?).
Germany at 109 per million sports the lowest figure in Western Europe - there's a lesson for us there somewhere.
Worldometers also advise that the overall death rate for cases (number of identified infections) with no comorbidities is 0.9%. This is not strictly appropriate to the UK, since cases indentified depend on testing regimes not standardised across different countries.
However, for want of better information we can estimate a figure per million of population. In the UK, there were 4273 cases per 1M population, giving a death rate of 38.5 per million (0.00385%) population for the non-comorbid, around 1 in 26000.
The worst case 660 per million is a 0.066% chance, or 1 in 1500, across all age-groups, regardless of age and state of health.
Clearly these figures are not easily reconciled, but they provide a range, and whatever figure you choose to go with, you are much better off without comorbidities!
(01/03/2020) This site's main purpose is to encourage everyone to think for themselves. I think I can safely say that nobody joins UKIP unless they do think for themselves, so in this we have a vested interest!
Unlike Greta (there is only one Greta!) who said "I want you to panic", this site - like Naomi Seibt - says "I want you to think" - start by watching this:
Below we offer you links to the points of interest of the day - our objective is not to replicate the same items as can be found elsewhere (well, not too often anyway) but to bring out those significant items that seem to us to be worthy of attention, especially where the mainstream media ignore the issue. This does not necessarily imply that we support the theme behind the linked content - it's always necessary to form your own conclusion.
In this day and age where "fake news" can be found in many places, it would be foolish to think that this site is immune . . .
* * *
Onward, ever onward - but to what?
And where does democratic accountability fit into this?
(12/08/2020) "We are coming up to five months since the crisis began and the best the Government can offer us now is the inchoate promise that ministers will be fumbling for the reverse gear in any one of a completely unpredictable range of possibilities."
Guy de la Bédoyère writing for Lockdown Sceptics doesn't mince his words in this thought-provoking article that explores the possible reasons for our government's disastrous handling of the Covid situation. Why "disastrous"? One has only to compare the UK performance with that of the remainder of the world to see the truth of it.
Whether you agree with his viewpoint or not, it is essential reading.
Independent journalist Anna Brees has invited contributions from ordinary people for her Youtube channel - the simplest ideas are the best!
This comes with a health warning - you may get hooked . . .
(08/08/2020) Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology of the University of Oxford, Sunetra Gupta (also on the Anna Brees channel), on herd immunity and more :
"... general experience of other infectious diseases has somehow not factored into the way we are thinking about this disease . . . we know what other epidemics have looked like and what's happened in those times and how we reacted and what consequences we had . . . I think we would do well to be bit more mindful of those basic ideas":
(09/08/2020) There is also a lot of good sense in this article from the Spectator - although mixed in with some more contentious assertions it seems to be more or less on the right track.
(05/08/2020) "Our challenge against the UK Government lockdown will continue to be heard after the Court of Appeal yesterday ruled that the case highlighted ‘fundamental’ concerns over the accountability of Government Ministers.
The Judicial Review will now proceed to a rolled-up hearing expected to be held at the Court of Appeal during the week commencing the 28th September after a ruling was handed down by Lord Justice Hickinbottom.
The hearing will decide on whether the case should progress to a full Appeal which would see the Government once again pressed to defend the introduction of measures which were described by the court as 'possibly the most restrictive regime on the public life of persons and businesses ever.'
Lord Justice Hickinbottom said that the legal challenge 'potentially raises fundamental issues concerning the proper spheres for democratically-accountable Ministers of the Government and judges.'
Owing to Government restrictions, our first hearing was held virtually. However, Lord Justice Hickinbottom ordered in his review that the case should be 'considered by the full court in open court, and the Applicants given any opportunity to make good their case at least on arguability.' ”
(04/08/2020) The Express reports that under the existing WIthdrawal Agreement the UK "will still be locked into the loans issued by the EU Investment Bank and the European Financial Stability
Mechanism in the future".
Some of us said as much last year, when Boris was proposing to sign the Withdrawal Agreement instead of leaving with no agreement.
It's true that this is a potential liability arising only if these loans are not repaid, but given the current propensity to throw loan caution to the winds in the face of the Covid situation, I'm not sure that I would place any bets on the bill not materialising. Watch this space . . .
(31/07/2020) This thoughtful piece from Brexit Watch reminds us of the fact that we are still enmeshed in the EU via the Withdrawal Agreement . . . we are not out of the woods and there are still plenty of legal thickets to negotiate before we can reach the "sunlit uplands".
Mr Gove as co-chair of the all-powerful EU-UK Joint Committee (which has power to overule our Parliament and Courts) can by agreement with with his EU co-chair counterpart effectively interpret / adjust the withdrawal agreement, but I'm not sure how the EU's co-chair may be expected to agree to do so.
In similar vein this article from The Critic explores the scope for the EU to exploit the ECJ's interpretation of the agreement on Northern Ireland in order to ham-string the whole UK under many EU rules. As the author notes, it may be a bit ominous that the EU have not emitted any "squeals of outrage" concerning Mr Gove's implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, so they think it's all to their advantage.
(29/07/2020) This is a potential globl catastrophe that we should all be aware of:
(06/08/2020) View from the street . . .
(02/08/2020) Summing up:
1) We may well be approaching herd immunity anyway, as with other infections, so what is the fuss about? Shouldn't this be the first thing to be checked out and encouraged so we can all get on with our lives? If not, why not?
2) Even if herd immunity is not available, we have a cheap safe and effective drug regime in hydroxychloroquine + which has been proven effective with virtually zero side effects by doctors in several countries, and would be needed (at minimal cost and maximum safety) only by those who fall sick - so why are mainstream medical authorities determined to deny or ignore this?
3) Since we have never had a viable coronavirus vaccine before, why are governments worldwide paying huge sums in advance for the pharmaceutical industry to develop a vaccine in record time (how will this affect safety testing?). Is this not entirely unnecessary in view of (1) and (2) above, and almost certainly much less safe and far more costly since a vaccine must be applied to the majority of the population and will almost certainly have injurious side effects for some proportion of the vaccinated (for which Big Pharma will probably demand indemnity! - thus removing their primary incentive to ensure our safety)?
(02/08/2020) This article by a theoretical physicist (you don't get there without a good grounding in statistics) puts forward the quite reasonable and well-supported view that western Europe is approaching Covid herd immunity. Also this article from the AIER tells us more about herd immunity (for those who may have forgotten ... ).
Is our government interested in the views of anyone not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry?
(31/07/2020) Here is a concise reference list pointing to the scientific evidence concerning the effectiveness of face masks in preventing viral infection. If you know of more showing different results, please contact me.
Here is an article which reviews the case for Hydroxychloroquine as a safe inexpensive and widely available effective treatment for Covid -19, and queries why the medical establishments have been "suppressing the truth" (you may recall that our site featured the original reports on the success of treatment based on this drug back in March). Articles such as these (and there are many) raise huge questions about who is running the world's medical auhorities, and for whose benefit? Draw your own conclusions.
"If there is a broad-based research study using real data that demonstrates something life-saving about destroying rights and liberties in the name of virus control, I’ve yet to see it. (A disagreeing reader sends me this paper, which you are free to read and consider.)"
"By now it is impossible to attribute the media’s failure to publicize the facts about the coronavirus to mere oversight."
"But to care about the economy is to care about human life, since the economy is how life is sustained."
Even if our situation in the UK is a little less extreme, I think this discussion still relevant to us.
(11/07/2020) Today, I note that we in the UK have managed to reduce the daily death-toll from a high of 1172 in April to a low of 48 on 10th July, and the new cases count from an unlikely outlying high of 7837 on 10th April to a low of 512 on 10th July (despite recent increases in testing, and noting that cases may indicate a positive test rather than illness).
All this says that Covid is to all intents and purposes over in the UK, and we can breath again.
But not so fast! Our newspapers are full of reports this morning that at this very point of virtually total success in containing the virus, Boris is now intending to make facemasks mandatory in shops!
But covid has already been defeated without the need to wear masks in shops, so in the name of all that is Holy, why now?
It's decisons like this that pour petrol onto the already well-alight fires of conspiracy theories.
In the absence of any factual evidence supporting the proposition that we now in high summer face an increasing risk from the virus, we really do have to ask what is going on.
The maker of the following video presents his opinion (albeit from the USA).
Worth consideration? Your decision.
(10/07/2020) There has been a lot of discussion lately about face masks (although very few people in my stomping ground of Petersfield now seem to wear them). Actual evidence of their effect seems to be lacking, and one assumes that supposition must play a part in the thought process.
This video demonstrates how the use of PPE (such as mask and gloves) in the absence of appropriate rigorous (and for most, impracticable) procedure to ensure that the contamination is not inadvertently spread around, is likely only to provide a false sense of security.
(06/07/2020) Yanis Varoufakis made his name as Greece's Finance Minister at the time of the ill-starred Greek negotiations with the EU - he has also written a number of must-read books on economics and the EU that describe events in terms of the interplay between economics finance and politics in the post-war era.
In this video he explains how he considers the world came to the crisis of 2020 via that of 2008, and how capitalism might now be re-imagined to break the seemingly never-ending cycle of accretion of all the world's wealth into the hands of the 1% (or 0.1%?) at the expense of the 99%.
He is one of the few economists that both understands and can explain the interactions of politics economics and monetary management over the last century or so to a world audience.
Don't skip this video.
(04/07/2020) Can things get any more ridiculous? Oh yes they can . . .
Like / Dislike this video here.
There was a time not so many months ago when we were just going to "flatten the curve" and "protect the NHS" for a few weeks - so when and why did this morph into 'be terrified in case your auntie / uncle / neighbour / granny / granpa / any human contact might be an unwitting "asymptomatic carrier" who may infect you (or vice versa) and you-need-to-be-afraid-in-case-you-die-or-cause-someone-else-to-die'? An all for a "flu-like" virus which to all appearances is according to the statistics demonstrably fizzling out?
We need evidence to prolong these restrictions but I have yet to see anything credible on offer - except for this:
Since 19th March, Covid has been declassified as a "high consequence infectious disease" by the public health bodies in the UK (read the official government web page).
"We the people" - are we awake? Why is our Government still pushing fear?
The following videos make for uncomfortable viewing, and you may not agree with their theme, but after reflection I have decided that these viewpoints deserve consideration.
As always, make up your own mind.
Seems like YouTube will not allow you to make up your own mind.
(03/07/2020) We haven't been giving much prominence to Mr Frost's negotiations with M. Barner because, well, we were not too much worried any more. But just to keep us up to date, it seems that the talks have broken up again with M. Barnier complaining that we are still not acquiescing to the EU's stated desire to rule the UK in all but name.
The fact that we voted to leave the EU four times now (the 2016 referendum, the 2017 "Brexit means Brexit" GE, the 2019 EU Parliamentary election, and the 2019 GE) seems not yet to have entered into his calculations, but happily Mr Frost's memory seems to be a bit sharper.
(02/07/2020) A propos of nothing in particular, this article in Independence Daily provides a useful reminder of how we used to power our nation, and how our government intends us to power it in the future.
Something to bear in mind perhaps when purchasing that new house or vehicle . . .
(01/07/2020) Simon Dolan together with other like-minded souls have launched a legal challenge against the UK Govt Lockdown.
They believe that the Govt has acted illegally and disproportionately over the COVID 19 lockdown and are taking action.
"By forcing people to stay at home, and forcing businesses to close, they are, we believe, in contravention of basic Human Rights offered under English Law, that of the right to enjoy your property peacefully.
The lockdown has and will lead to devastating economic impact (massive unemployment, tax increases, closure of businesses, reduced tax receipts etc) It has, and will lead to far more deaths from suicide, undiagnosed conditions, untreated conditions - indeed far more than would have been potentially saved by the lockdown.
What we wish to achieve in bringing this case, is simply the freedom of individuals - the freedom to visit friends, freedom to earn a living, to socialise, in essence, the freedom of choice. That, of course, includes the freedom to stay inside - should you choose."
(Read more and, if you feel so led, you can contribute here).
Our view is that whether or not the lock-down as originally imposed was proportionate, it is now very arguably seriously disproportionate, measured against the original reasoning (slow the curve, prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed).
The ill effects now overwhelm any benefits - it must be fully lifted.
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