The legal battles of the Covistance. Have there been crimes against humanity?

Ramesh Thakur is one of many commentators inside the Covistance who think government public health advisers have committed crimes against humanity. His anger was raised by reports of desperate parents in India selling their children into virtual slavery, including sexual exploitation, which is what you get with extreme impoverishment and hence the completely predictable result of lockdowns. He has been shocked by the degree of indifference shown by public health advisers in India and in the West to such consequences, wanting them punished.

Charles Addams Illustrates Mother Goose, 1967 | Charles addams, Addams family cartoon, Creepy kidsThe same opinion is implicit in the Spectator interview of October 14th given by Dr Matt Strauss who says: ‘mandatory government lockdowns amount to a medical recommendation of no proven benefit, of extraordinary potential harm, that do not take personal values and individual consent into account’. That’s medical malpractice. This is also the basic message of Martin Kulldorff who similarly describes the lockdowns as a terrible experiment. I do not see how one can realistically deny the truth of Strauss’s and Kulldorff’s assessment: mandatory lockdowns were indeed experiments with no proven benefit, imposed without consent, and with harm predicted in many previous WHO reports and scientific papers.

In the UK, there has been a crowd-funded legal challenge going through the courts running for months now. There have been many ups and downs in that case but it is now set for the High Court, with the Speaker of the House of Commons calling it of great constitutional importance. The basic allegation made against government policies is that “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”.

A worse court-case for the government is brewing because of the allegations made yesterday in a 3-month running investigation by the Sunday Times. It alleges that the government implicitly endorsed a patient prioritisation check-list drawn up by its chief health officer Chris Witty, communicated to ambulance officers, under which some patients were kept out of (empty) hospitals during the crisis from April-June. This has subsequently been denied by NHS managers, but if proven to be true, this would seem criminal behaviour.

There is potentially an even worse allegation coming in the UK because of the minutes of the UK SAGE advisory groups of March 22nd in which the SPI-B group recommended that the government use “hard-hitting emotional messaging” because “The perceived level of  personal  threat  needs  to  be  increased  among  those  who  are  complacent”. Peter Hitchens and others have documented the subsequent barrage of UK government-sponsored exaggeration and fear-mongering. This might down the line lead to a criminal case on the grounds of state-sponsored terrorism leading to millions needlessly suffering from anxiety disorders.

Court-cases on similar grounds are brewing in other countries.

A set of German doctors has been actively preparing such legal cases. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich leads a small group with extensive experience in civil lawsuits and is openly making the case for criminal culpability of the WHO and many governments. Though some Big Tech platforms are censoring that network, the videos can be found in various places.

There is also a Dutch lawyer (Mr. Jeroen Poels) who has been energetically pursuing the Dutch government for violations of Dutch law and even though the courts keep knocking him back, he seems to have quite a bit of support from within the legal profession and from legal academics.

I am sure you would not be surprised that in the US there are many court cases, with some notable convictions already. There is for instance the judgment in the ‘Buttler vs Wolf’ case in Pennsylvania that its government was acting against the constitution when it came to several measures, including stay-at-home orders, the concept of “not-life-sustaining” businesses that could be closed down, and limits on assembly.

Do these things have a chance of success? On the civil lawsuit side, I think the answer is probably “yes, in many cases”, and that will have enormous consequences for treasuries.

As an example, if the decision by the Pennsylvanian district court stands, all the businesses in Pennsylvania that have incurred losses due to the restrictions might demand compensation from the government. If this is repeated across the US, we’re talking at least hundreds of billions in damages.

You also see this in Victoria where class action suits amounting to many billions are now being filed by professional conglomerates.

How about the criminal angle though: do governments and health advisers have to fear jail? I think, just like the Nuremberg trials, this will depend entirely on the political winds. If the mood turns strongly against the current covid-mania and populations get truly riled up about the injustices done to them, I think the courts will go along with that mood and convict both health advisers and politicians.

I definitely sense a mood change right now in the UK and there are more and more demonstrations happening in Italy, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere. The majority of the population are still pro-lockdowns, but the energy and passion is now swinging towards the Covistance. Slowly. How angry populations will get is not yet clear.

Do I think governments and their health advisers deserve to be sent to jail for their actions? I feel ambivalent about this because governments and advisers were egged on by their own populations and media.

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73 Responses to The legal battles of the Covistance. Have there been crimes against humanity?

  1. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Paul

    I think you need to get a grip.

    “Terrorism”

    “No known benefit”

    There’s a known benefit. We’ve seen it in Victoria. Ten weeks ago or whatever it is, the UK and Victoria had about 800 cases a day. We locked down. In the UK they were ‘Eating out to help out’. They’re now getting 20,000 cases a day or whatever it is.

    Now these people could say something like “no known net benefit”. But that’s not their style. They’re not careful. Like the person your notoriety dragged in early on who was sure – just sure – that lockdowns didn’t work because he’d seen some reports of studies by the usual suspects reported in various places of ill repute – studies that were mysteriously not published.

    Just flailing away raising the temperature like everyone does nowadays. Everyone’s self-righteous as hell, and sure they’re right.

    “Eat out to help out” which seems to me to be about the stupidest, most thoughtless policy I’ve ever encountered – a kind of parody of a policy. I could call it terrorism I guess. I could call it anything I like. Child molesting. But what’s the point?

    • Hi Nick,

      Matt Strauss is talking about benefits proven before the experiments happened, you are saying Victoria proved a benefit after they happened. We can debate whether Victoria proved anything positive as one can say postponement at huge cost is not a benefit, but its moot for the issue of whether medics should advise an experiment.

      I am basically scanning the court cases on the horizon here as instigated or whispered about by others. They are happening and yes, I think it quite likely we will get to see court cases in Europe and the UK on the issue of whether the scare campaign of governments fit the definition of terrorism. The people I have quoted are by no means the only ones as I am linking to the relatively sober people. At zerohedge for instance, they are bringing out the Nuremberg Code. Item 6 in the Nuremberg code by the way asks of experiments that “The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.” which is exactly your “net benefit” test. Ramesh Thakur is also a relatively sober guy who has gotten understandably upset at what he is seeing in India. He genuinely believes horrible things are happening to his country.

      Perhaps we differ in our assessment of the societal forces being created these last 7 months. I see a lot of destruction and rapid changes, an environment in which emotions are running high and some form of civil unrest is coming. I am trying to scan where that is leading to and I think such court cases are now a certainty, but their outcome is not.

      • Nicholas Gruen says:

        Thanks Paul,

        But you miss my point.

        1) It’s obvious that there will be court cases. There are court cases about everything. It’s an interesting thing to explore the legal issues and consider what the role of the law here is. The fact that there will be court cases is not news and isn’t very persuasive of anything much. Perhaps the people you cite are the kind of people who’d lead me to reconsider. But I don’t know any of them, so the fact that people can get themselves in a tizz about something is neither here nor there. I’ve been walking around the house saying that there should be jail terms for lots of senior people in Victoria for not taking their fiduciary duties seriously – like the DHHS people who went home for the night at 6.00 pm when they there locking down five towers of bewildered citizens who needed them to be on call to make sure they could eat and were safe that night. Like the people most responsible for the fact that it took five months – FIVE MONTHS! – to get most of our health workers properly equipped and trained with fitted PPE while there was spare capacity to do it all through the five months. (The job is not yet properly done.) Like the bureaucrats who can’t tell us who made certain decisions of great moment. Like the medical officers who said that masks didn’t work. I don’t think they’re terrorists and I don’t think they’re guilty of war crimes.

        2) New things happen and we do things without known benefits. We do them every day in emergency wards. We try to work stuff out on the fly – there being no alternative – when something like COVID happens. War crimes come with intent. War crimes are not just well meaning stuff ups – as you’re arguing the COVID episode is. I’ve defended you for making a compelling case (even though I don’t have any confidence in your counterfactuals and I keep thinking of plausible scenarios in which you’re dead wrong – like we get a vaccine in the not too distant and then the antipodean elimination has been far less economically damaging than the oscillations between locking down and opening up we’ve seen in the North. Like long COVID turns out to be more prevalent than we thought. Like that immunity wears off fairly quickly.) I’m not sure why you want to make it so hard for me with all this war crimes malarky.

        3) You keep doing the FOX News thing on me (OK, it’s an everyone’s news thing) which is to assume that because I’m arguing these things I don’t’ take your basic case – particularly regarding poorer countries – seriously. I always have taken your case about the enormity of what’s happening seriously. I take it dead seriously. Scares the life out of me. It looks like our own particular version of the 1930s to me. I just don’t know if a yo-yo à la the UK, Europe or the US or even the competence of the Swedes is a better way to deal with the complex issues – which include in a democracy doing what the people want. I suspect it’s worse. But who am I (other than a well-meaning terrorist and child rapist obviously).

        4) While I’m about it, it’s been horrible to watch the way this whole thing has been debated in Australia. The case for lockdown is to get things under control and then use test and trace to continue to eliminate or manage the virus. But in Victoria we got the virus down to lowish levels at vast cost and then the business community say ‘open up give us our rights’. They should be saying ‘with all that sacrifice, don’t stuff up now’. Victoria probably could have opened up a week or so earlier, but it hadn’t set up the infrastructure to do so. That was the scandal. Not that the Government was cautious in easing up when doing so prematurely can take us back to square one. Really the stupidity with which the yo-yo strategy has been followed in one country after another just takes the breath away. But the kind of emotive, Manichean arguments you’re propagating are certainly a part of how we got there.

        • Nicholas I ,and I feel most of the nation , are simply praying, fingers crossed that Victoria’s test trace systems are finally up to speed.

          War crimes no way , but gross stubborn mismanagement yes.

        • paul frijters says:

          Hi Nick,

          I am not questioning your intentions at all, and dont want to make it harder for you. I even agree with most of your points. But I dont really see why those points are negatives towards the post. I am flagging what is coming and that I think there is a serious chance that such court cases will succeed when the mood changes. I am saying this is the territory we are now heading towards.

          You are right that there are lots of court cases for all sorts of things (climate change and institutional racism come to mind) and most go nowhere, even if the courts agree. And I am very aware that you have, in March already, deplored what the panic has done in the developing world. Good on you. I also entirely agree that lots of politicians and their retinue in Australia and elsewhere have committed enormous crimes against their citizens, but usually get away with it. Indeed, it is so normal now that they get away with it that it is perhaps folly of me to think there is a real chance they wont in this case.

          So I am struggling to see what we disagree on here, apart from point 4. Even now, I think the optimising thing in Victoria is to open up fully and ditch all compulsory measures. Your logic of sacrifice to me sounds of the order “we have given up 100 to save 5, don’t change tack now. Stay the course. We need to give up another 50 to prevent us losing those 5 after all”.

          We may disagree about the relevance of the intentions of the policy makers. Of course many are peering through the mist trying to do the right thing. But the road to hell is not paved with bad intentions, but good ones. And many war criminals were not trying to do bad things according to their view of things. Its the winning side that defines war crimes and then its more about the scale of the damage than the intentions of the perpetrators. And since the damage is now enormous and piling up daily, some version of “The Terror” (which was also started by very well meaning people) might be in front of us.

          • Nicholas Gruen says:

            Thanks Paul, on this as on another occasion, your response is addressed to me as if I feel personally aggrieved in some way. I’m attacking you – not for offending me but for behaving badly. That’s the subject I’m addressing – though you’re welcome to respond in kind :)

            You have casually written that a public propaganda campaign to frighten people that you don’t approve of could “lead to a criminal case on the grounds of state-sponsored terrorism leading to millions needlessly suffering from anxiety disorders”.

            As Conrad has written – though not in so many words – it is simply ridiculous to describe this as ‘terrorism’ of any kind. I’ve not heard of terrorism being perpetrated accidentally or in good faith.

            Even in your response, you keep calling it ‘the panic’. That’s a highly pejorative word. It’s obviously a description of me (among others). My consumption has fallen about 25% because I don’t go to restaurants any more (it’s my main expense outside of basic living expenses). It’s a perfectly rational reaction though others might react differently and of course we’ll never know if my reaction is well judged.

            Calling it a panic makes solving the problem sound trivial (just don’t panic). But whether or not you think let’s call it ‘the alarm’ is rational or not, it’s a fact and it makes the whole thing very difficult to deal with. (It also makes the counterfactual very difficult to specify.)

            On a somewhat different tack, regarding your concern about the developing world, I guess you’d support a major injection of aid in their direction, though I don’t see you arguing this (perhaps you have) and no doubt a lot of the money wouldn’t get through to the right people.

    • paul frijters says:

      and, speaking of the devil, here is the plan by Sanjeev Sabhlok to take the Victorian government to the International Criminal Court.

      https://www.sabhlokcity.com/2020/10/for-public-comment-my-draft-complaint-to-the-international-criminal-court-against-daniel-andrews/

    • Victoria didn’t forcibly transfer people from hospitals to aged care homes nor did Victoria continue to accept OS arrivals during its lockdowns. The UK did both of those things. (OTOH Victoria is part of an island continent a long way from anywhere,Europe in contrast is not an island drifting north in the pacific and indian oceans.)

      However for ‘criminal ‘ you usually need intention or evidence of knowing extreme recklessness . If exaggeration fear mongering and a lack proportion were a criminal offence the jails would be overflowing. In March nobody really knew that much , hard to blame politicians for not understanding the limitations of mathematical modelling and the like.
      However it does seem clear that in the UK despite having all of summer to get their track testing tracing systems up to speed the UK has failed to implement the most important component of a successful containment suppression strategy. That perhaps ? could lead to a credible charge of gross negligence akin to manslaughter .

      Compensation (and biz insurance) claims seem more likely and they could really add up.

      Sweden did not come out worse than the UK Italy and Spain, if lockdowns were in themselves were the only thing that works then Sweden should have faired noticeably worse than those nations.

    • Nicholas, here’s something for your consideration: a simple poll to determine your ethical position about the legitimacy of health-based killings:

      https://twitter.com/sabhlok/status/1318890560363573256

      Let me know your view at [email protected].

  2. I am and will always be Not Trampis says:

    What Nick said.

  3. KT2 says:

    What Nick said

  4. Jerry Roberts says:

    The video of Reiner Fuellmich is worth watching for the sheer excellence of this German barrister’s English and the precision of his thinking. Fuellmich has form against big business. He caught Volkswagen in the diesel pollution scandal. American journalist Mike Whitney is another voice for civil liberties. I’m not convinced Covid 19 is a hoax, as alleged by Fuellmich and the German Corona Investigative Committee. It seems more likely that the moves to a police State are opportunistic. The loss of small businesses is a profound concern.

    • Saupreiss says:

      Agree, the Fuellmich video is worth a watch even if you disagree with some of its premises. In the end, all this will play out in the courts and I would not be surprised if there will be considerable civil damages in various jurisdictions. With Paul, I think it less likely that there will be successful criminal proceedings.

  5. Conrad says:

    “in which the SPI-B group recommended that the government use “hard-hitting emotional messaging” ”

    Perhaps you don’t watch TV (I couldn’t blame you — I haven’t for years), but that’s standard for most public health campaigning, so it is very hard to imagine it is illegal. Think, grim reaper, drive your car carefully, don’t smoke etc. etc. . It doesn’t work for all groups, but the idea that negative things affect people more than positive ones was even noted in economics by Kahneman in 1979 when he introduced prospect theory, and people have been using it for public health campaigns ever since. You probably know even earlier references.

    On a bit of a tangential note (and for a bit for humour for the day :) ), one of my friends did a study for the road traffic authority to look at what produces the biggest biologically measurable reaction. The results showed that it wasn’t gruesome pictures of car accidents they like to display, but it was when someone dropped their i-phone and it smashed. So their effects do wear off, and people clearly love their phones.

    • paul frijters says:

      sure, public health campaigns of the past have used emotive advertising and pushed fear buttons. This is where that 6th Nuremberg principle code comes in though: proportionality. Is the response and the damage done by the response no greater than the risk posed? On smoking, I’d say the benefits of the campaigns have far outweighed the costs. On particular small campaigns (like mad cows disease) I’d say the costs outweighed the benefits, but the costs were not so huge as to be worth going after the instigators for.

      So it matters how large the damage is relative to the risk. And it also matters whether a public agency and government kept pursuing a course of actions long after it had become clear what the costs and benefits were. It is like that with lots of things.

      • Conrad says:

        Since the costs and benefits arn’t especially clear (maybe to you — but there is clearly no great consensus and there are still lots of unknowns), presumably prudence is not the worst course of action. HIV is an obvious example where prudence won out and people adapted later to the ongoing long-term problem.

        Apart from that, if I look at what is happening in Euroland now, where various lockdowns are getting implemented all over the place under vastly harder circumstances than previously (i.e., large numbers of extant and untraceable cases, full hospitals etc. ), public pressure for lockdowns seems inevitable. Given this, I imagine a stronger campaign getting people to use cheaper control measures before it got to this stage may have been a good idea (of course, that’s in hindsight).

        • As far as costs benefits it’s looking like much of Europe will end up worse in both health and economic terms than Sweden. OTOH provided all of Australias suppression containment systems are up to scratch it looks like we will at least see some benefits for all the work and suffering.

  6. Hi Nick (and those who seconded him),

    you raise the issue of language and how pejorative it sounds to you that I use the phrases panic and terrorism. I do see that, but do not know how else I can talk about these things, or that it would be useful to use different words.

    I am reminded of a phrase I saw in the Guardian a few months ago by a lockdown-adherent who was saying that people like me were not living in the same reality as he was. What was abundantly and obviously true to him and to the majority was flat-out denied by ‘critics’. That’s a very good way of putting it. Our realities have diverged such that “my side” uses words like panic and terrorism as descriptive labels of what they see happening and “your side” finds that pejorative, hurtful, and bewildering. I do see why “your side” would say that and mean it, but how else can “my side” communicate what they think they see? I dont use these words to shock, but simply to describe both what I see and the nature of the conflicts I think are coming.

    So I call it a panic because I think that’s the most accurate description of what I think I am seeing. I have used that term and similar ones (hysteria, mania) since March. So have many in the Covistance, including Martin Kulldorff (one of the three main signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration) who has just today set up a website http://thepriceofpanic.com/ where he assembles some of the news on the damage of that panic. You may call that label pejorative, but I cant pretend I dont think that is what it has been. Of course I could preamble every sentence I write with “In my opinion…I think I am seeing…” but that makes for very poor communication.

    You are free to argue there was no panic and I’m happy to debate that on the evidence. The term is not merely descriptive to me, but is also my key as to what I think the solution is: to stop panicking. It harder to do than it sounds, particularly at the collective level given the vested interests now arisen.

    But of course I acknowledge others wont recognise themselves in that. How many people who have panicked in the past thought of themselves as panicking? Very few, I imagine.

    You can take that personal if you want to, but you dont have to. I presume you don’t think you have panicked. I have tried to be graceful to you.

    Please also reflect for a moment on what I have already been called the last 7 months on this website. I recall being denounced as a nazi, a eugenicist, daft, stupid, deluded, despicable, a murderer, and a host of other things. It hasn’t bothered me much because that is what you get when you tell a majority they have panicked, even if you (think you) are trying to help them.

    Relatedly, I don’t think its that far-fetched to call the public information campaigns of many governments a form of terrorism towards their own populations, as in deliberately inducing a state of terror among the population. I totally concede this is not how the majority of the population sees it now, even the millions who live in a state of anxiety over the virus, but I do think court cases will come wherein that argument is going to be made.

    What is happening in my view is a struggle for the middle ground, or perhaps a radical break in the middle ground. In some places and communities I think the narratives I am sketching have already become the dominant narratives (Sweden, South Dakota, parts of the UK Conservative Party). I already previously predicted we will see this shift in the UK. When that happens, some kind of new middle ground story will emerge.

    Will such a shift happen in Australia? I don’t know. Not very soon it would seem.

    • Can I also say that I am very proud clubtroppo is the only blogsite I know where the two points of view are made side by side? I have noticed with pride that “the majority” has quoted you, Nick, and adopted various of your arguments on non-linearities and other issue.

      Other blog sites seem to fall squarely in one camp or the other, with most of the Covistance sites very new. I understand why that is happening and why it is necessary, but then one can no longer see the other side.

      The Conversation is a good example of a mainstream blogsite where the Covistance is only allowed to bring up some critical notes, but such contributors are invariably forced to basically go along with 80% of “the panicking narrative” (as I would call it) in order to be allowed to raise the critical notes. That is neither very informative nor will it convince anyone. To be of use, the Covistance needs real conviction and people prepared to say what they actually think.

      One of the few other places the two sides really meet and talk that I have seen is on TalkRadio in the UK (I was on it yesterday) where people who previously were among “the panicking” became radio hosts and now on air talk to their friends who still are part of the “panicking”. Almost everywhere else its one side or the other.

    • Saupreiss says:

      For the record, What Paul said.
      Keep an eye on Germany where not only courts are now involved but where the parliament is finally waking up from its slumber and asserting its rights (after many people have done it for weeks in the streets):

      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/corona-krise-bundestag-will-mehr-einfluss-wie-koennte-das-gelingen-a-5176f7c9-f768-4f5e-94c2-12ad38ddb542

      Meanwhile the Swedish strategy looks better every day, with approval ratings for Tegnell and the public-health authorities still at very high levels.

    • Nicholas Gruen says:

      Just a quick response to your “but they are mean too” defence. I’m not necessarily saying you are wrong in this instance for this reason, because every case is different and I’ve not been privy to all the names you’ve been called.

      But as a general rule, I don’t find myself very moved by the “you think I’m mean but look at how mean they are” argument. That’s because in today’s social media drenched world, if you put your head up seriously there will be people saying pretty bad things about you – and they’ll also say it in excruciatingly uncomprehending, thoughtless irritating ways.

      Unfortunately as a general rule that doesn’t really mean a lot other than that there are always people who behave badly. It seems to me that if you’re trying to argue something, you should be as direct as you like, but careful in the way you put things if your goal is to persuade people to your side, rather than raise the temperature.

  7. paul frijters says:

    Interesting lecture by the former UK supreme court judge Lord Sumption this evening. There was a bit in it for everyone above. A write-up is here.

    He thus started saying “The ease with which people could be terrorised into surrendering basic freedoms which are fundamental to our existence … came as a shock to me in March 2020.” There is that word ‘terror’ again, simply used as a descriptive.

    He also went on to say about the covid-policies in the UK “I believe that history will look back on the measures taken to contain it as a monument of collective hysteria and governmental folly.” So there is that ‘panick-like’ word ‘hysteria’ used as a descriptive.

    But then, whilst he did spent half an hour talking about how the government had “bluffed” the police and other agencies into enforcing rules that were not lawful and that the government thus showed “a cavalier disregard for the limits of their legal powers”, he did effectively say that what the UK government had done was not criminal behaviour, but rather that much of it had no legal basis. I find that a strange dichotomy.

    Still, he effectively described both the current reality as the future in the UK as one with a highly authoritarian government that would fracture society and impoverish life for many years there. And that’s his positive scenario.

  8. BTW
    I am and will always be Not Trampis
    The threegreat virtues are, wisdom courage and above all Love.
    When you have the courage to post under your real name I will stop viewing you as a contemptible pitiable coward.

    • KT2 says:

      Works both ways.

      “Standard economic thinking both seeds and feeds the underlying fear.”
      https://aeon.co/essays/the-challenge-of-reclaiming-the-commons-from-capitalism

      BTW John R Walker, how does the boot feel on the other foot? “When you have the courage to post ‘as a decent human’ I will stop viewing you as a contemptible pitiable coward.”

      And what about Saupreiss? Conrad? Me? Or just those ‘against me’?

      In you opinion… “The threegreat virtues are, wisdom courage and above all Love.”

      Perhaps you lost compassion, because your very uncharitable comment is lacking compassion.

      And PF needs to put your comment on  the other side of his ledger. PF said “”Please also reflect for a moment on what I have already been called the last 7 months on this website.” October 27, 2020 at 7:26 pm”. And PF you denounced someone for saying ‘your stupid”. PF over to you…

      JRW said: “BTW
      I am and will always be Not Trampis
      The threegreat virtues are, wisdom courage and above all Love.
      When you have the courage to post under your real name I will stop viewing you as a contemptible pitiable coward.”

      That comment is a good example of why expletives were invented!

      “Like most religions, Christian Catholic practices and customs enumerate several sets of values, rules, and concepts. Among these are the Ten Commandments, the Eight Beatitudes, theTwelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit, the Seven Sacraments, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Seven Deadly Sins.”
      https://www.learnreligions.com/what-are-the-theological-virtues-542106

      “Adam Smith, in his important book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, wrote that excellent people have three primary virtues: prudence, justice, and benevolence, in that order. Each of them is essential to the others and to the living of a full life in society.”
      https://www.briantracy.com/blog/leadership-success/the-three-primary-virtues/

      Dont read too much into the links as they were the top 2.

      And PF, we may all find smart ex lords / barristers / advisors who say they ‘feel’ terrorism everywhere. Doesn’t really advance the topic. Any more facts? Data? This is straying toward philosophy and ‘it’s about me’.

      JRW this is not a polling booth. And KT2? Seeing as a family member has been abducted, another had identidy stolen, and another has had to endure 3yrs of hundreds odf defamatory comments, simple use of alias seems ok to me. Our hosts have our privacy in their hands. Please don’t blow it NG, PF. Which is part of the reason I take exception to your fangs in show above.

      • Seeing as a family member has been abducted, another had identidy stolen, and another has had to endure 3yrs of hundreds odf defamatory comments, simple use of alias seems ok to me.

        I didn’t know that, apologies.

      • when did I call someone specific an idiot? I try to remain polite at all times towards whomever I am talking to, whatever they call me.
        I have given lots of numbers about terror. A doubling of anxiety in the UK for instance.

        As to deliberate fear-mongering, a very current scare perpetrated on the population is the long-covid campaign. See if you can spot the many tricks and falsehoods yourself in the following publication taken up by media and pushed by governments: https://institute.global/policy/long-covid-reviewing-science-and-assessing-risk !

        • Conrad says:

          There is stuff poorly done in both directions in that article. The “Long Covid in Context” section is as muddled as could be, comparing things that are essentially steady to a number we don’t know now, and we won’t know until we get an idea of what reinfections do. There are also numbers given that are then not related to other data, like giving age-group numbers in the same sentence as population outcomes. That part might be taken in the opposite direction of fear-mongering for those not used to statistical rubbish dumps.

          • Conrad says:

            I should say too that although you complain about the Lancet, all of the papers they have published on this sort of stuff I have read have had the discussion within the bounds of what the data could tell you.

          • paul frijters says:

            oh no, it is way way worse than that. If you think that is all there is to the disinformation, you have been had.
            But, to be fair, you wouldn’t know how much they are pulling the wool over your eyes unless you actually read some of the articles they refer to and think through some of their claims.

            • conrad says:

              I’m with Nick about it being a statistical numbers dump. You are obviously tougher than me going through some of of those articles linked :).

              Apart from that, as far as I can tell, I suspect there is enough data for the question to be reasonably answered (at least for symptoms that perpetuate directly after getting the virus).

              You could just initially conglomerate all the symptoms into a one variable (“to what extent did post viral-symptoms affect your life meaningfully”) and impute its distribution over time. You coud then probably get estimates of the cost in terms of work hours lost etc.

          • Nicholas Gruen says:

            I haven’t read it, but it sounds like journalism – just keeping the troups entertained and peppering the text with numbers which always make you sound serious and up with it all.

  9. I am and will always be Not Trampis says:

    John,
    It is not hard to find out who are am indeed several people on this very blog have said my name.

    As for the rest I will ignore except to note you ignore those virtues

  10. I am and will always be Not Trampis says:

    accepted.
    all is forgotten

  11. KT2 says:

    Sabine Hossenfelder – physisist – says of The Great (!) Barrington Declaration
    …” it’s because it’s not science. It’s a value decision.”

    Herd Immunity, Facts and Numbers

    “Today, I have a few words to say about herd immunity because there’s very little science in the discussion about it. I also want to briefly comment on the Great Barrington Declaration and on the conversation about it that we are not having. 

    “So, in summary: Estimates for the COVID herd immunity threshold range from roughly twenty percent to seventy percent, there are pretty much no data to make these estimates more accurate, we have no good data on how many people are presently immune, but we know reinfection is possible after a couple of months.”
    ….
    “Let us then talk about the Great Barrington Declaration. 

    “It’s right that arguing for focused protection is not sound science, but that is not because it’s not sound, it’s because it’s not science. It’s a value decision.”

    http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2020/10/herd-immunity-facts-and-numbers.html

    Or watch: 
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=emb_title&v=NENhBmN_tps

    Follow up with explainations of covid models with…
    Michael Höhle 

    – L10 – Multivariate outbreak detection (2/2)

    – L11 – COVID-19 (I): Reproduction Number and Herd Immunity (1/2)

    – L11 – COVID-19 (I): Reproduction Number and Herd Immunity (2/2)

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCGWaySWfIoUWwReWZkCR_-g

  12. A passionate support of lockdowns without a equally passionate commitment to getting track test and trace working extremely well is simply a passionate support ,of authority and the status quo for its own sake.

  13. From the UK Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/01/test-and-trace-wasteful-and-worse-than-useless

    Instead of unqualified call handlers, why not make use of retired GPs to contact Covid patients, writes Dr David Maisey, while Louise Bradbury, Dora Wood and Dr Sylvia Berney are shocked at the waste of time and money
    One of the the three letters to the editor begins:
    “George Monbiot’s revelation that unqualified call handlers in the test-and-trace system are being inappropriately promoted to clinical contact case workers is astonishing (How teenagers ended up operating crucial parts of England’s test and trace system, 28 October. Has nobody in the Department of Health and Social Care, who requested Serco to initiate this, realised that there is a large pool of available, experienced people capable, with minimal training, of making phone calls involving clinical content to possibly distressed Covid patients? These are the tens of thousands of retired doctors in England; 28,000 retired or unlicensed doctors have been re-registered by the General Medical Council, but very few have since been employed.”

    And the third letter states:
    “ My niece is a student in Manchester and, from June to August she got a holiday job, employed by Intelling to trace contacts of Covid cases. She had a day of training on how the system worked and what scripts to use. She worked four days on, four days off, on 12-hour shifts at £9.42 an hour. She had no calls for the first four weeks. In total, over three months, she contacted three cases, two of which went to voicemail. A great holiday job, but a monumental waste of taxpayers’ money and possible contributor to the failure to contain the virus.
    Dr Sylvia Berney
    London

    Feel that charges of criminal negligence and corrupt misuse of money for those who have ‘run’ the UKs ‘systems’ could have a real chance.

  14. Conrad and Not Trampis
    You only have to give them an email address in order to read this and it truly is a must read

    https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/coronavirus/2020/10/why-scientists-fear-toxic-covid-19-debate

    • Conrad says:

      This sort of thing isn’t new — it happens on any number of issues. Global warming is worse — death threats etc. against even minor players are common.

      • Conrad have you read the actual article?? If so you must be s speed reader :-)

        • Conrad says:

          Must be :), although you get 4 articles for free, so I didn’t have to sign up.

        • For example :

          Some epidemiologists I approached for this article said they couldn’t speak to me for this reason. One said by email that for someone who, like them, is at an early stage in their career, “putting your head above the parapet is a dangerous thing to do at the moment”. They said growing frustration “means there is a lot of anger, and a lot of the scientific discourse has become very acrimonious and even personal… It’s beginning to feel like open discussion is being stifled.”

          As part of a Reddit Ask Me Anything, GBD author Bhattacharya said: “I’ve been at Stanford for over 30 years, both as student and professor, and I have never felt a more oppressive environment regarding open discussion of key issues than I do now.”

          • Conrad says:

            None of this new unfortunately — Galileo is an obvious example, but there are endless examples even in the modern day.

          • Conrad
            You are anonymous’ yet you sound fearful.

            • Conrad says:

              I’m not fearful at all. It’s just none of that stuff is surprising. It could have been transferred mutatis mutandis onto any number of issues. People not in the scientific system don’t understand how much corruption and cronyism there is.

              • Would you tell a young scientist to ‘ not stick your head above the parapet’?
                And if the answer is yes then why should I put any faith in science at all ?

                • Conrad says:

                  A lot of it is more like a Kafkaesque system in many places. So you can stick your neck out all you want and no-one will care. There are obviously vindictive people too, most whom you will never know are trying to stop you (sometimes you will find out — as Paul unfortunately did at UQ).

                  In the areas that become politicised and dangerous in all senses as the public joins in (e.g., global warming, animal experimentation, etc.), people can do as they feel fit. I wouldn’t see it as my job to recommend they do or not do something — people need to make their minds up how much risk they can tolerate.

  15. I’ve spent my whole life putting complex thing together, many of my friends are engineers ,manufacturers or they are barristers .

    Really can’t get my head around how this whole covid thing became ideological, viruses are a manifestation of life itself and they could not give a shit about , left vs right.

    It’s a pragmatic engineering systems problem.

    And I really can not understand how any ruling group could opt for lockdowns and at the same time be so sloppy so shithouse about getting track test and trace up to max speed.

    • Conrad says:

      Everything gets political. I worked on literacy a lot, and that became political, and people who knew nothing argued about what kids should and shouldn’t learn — and both sides entirely missed the main issues. It is also the case that if you want to know how it works and what the best solutions are, you can just go and work them out, and so there is need for politics at all. But once something is political, there’s no need for reality anymore.

      As for sloppiness — just read Nick or Paul’s posts on the public service. They’re right, and Australia’s public service is reasonably efficient compared to many.

  16. Conrad
    This is not about ‘normal’ corruption and inefficiency-waste and the like.
    It’s not about the (functioning )train system costing twice as much as it should.

    The scale of the problem is too big, for your ’ worldly realism’.

    Tens of millions of the young have had their futures fucked and god knows how many will die because of delayed treatments for cancers and the like .
    And

    The creditably of Science itself is at risk.

    • Conrad says:

      Unemployment today isn’t as bad as it was in the early nineties. It isn’t even close in places like Aus. In addition, the future young people get is the future they will make and what people want to give them. This has far less to do with science than on how people treat each other and the type systems we construct.

      For example, half of my relatives live in NZ, which is about 30% poorer than Australia in terms of wealth. But the life they lead is more or less identical to mine. So if Australia became 30% poorer (obviously the effect won’t be this big), then the problem isn’t less money, because you can clearly have everything you want for 30% less than we have, the problem is the distribution and the ways we work to oppress and help each other. If we construct a society that marginalises people, which many people are happy to do or happy to go along with (check out how much unemployment benefits are — even the business council of Australia complained they were to low) then this outcome is not due to science it is due to the way we are and what we accept.

      • Wasn’t primarily thinking of Australia or NZ . Its really hard to even guess what the economic situation here will be like in a year let alone three years. For example the economy in regional NSW is booming there are real shortages of skilled workers -jobs paying around $100k a year are unfilled . And importing skilled workers is unlikely for sometime to come.
        However we are racking up a very large debt, we are a trading nation and much of the world is in a total mess .

  17. I am and will always be Not Trampis says:

    John shows up the fallacy of those who support herd immunity.
    Even though such a policy would be slower as people attempt to avoid getting the virus it would still be much faster than any country has had it we have seen.

    The hospital system would be overrun even assuming away all the problems that herd immunity would bring us. The legal problems being the largest.

    so those wanting cancer treatment or the mythical couple using or trying to use IVF would have no hope of getting it.

    • Not Trampis
      I’m not a politician, much too nonconformist for all that. However I have spent my life assembling complex things. I get on instinctively with engineering types and with barrister types.

      It’s been very clear to me from the beginning that if you opt for lockdowns then you must must get your track test and trace – your containment suppression systems – up to max speed and reliability as quickly as you can. Otherwise you have a tactic: delay but absolutely no , strategy .

      As for the rest of it , on the ground it is really looking like Sweden is doing much better than the UK on both health and economic outcomes.

      • I am and will always be Not Trampis says:

        bad comparison it is OZ to compare with and it is poor.

        UK perhaps had the most porous borders of all nations in Europe.

  18. paul frijters says:

    great demolition job of the blatant scare-mongering via misrepresented and false statistics used by the government health advisers in the UK: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8907339/How-No10s-experts-shamelessly-manipulated-data-terrify-England-locking-down.html

    It is interesting to see that in the UK the Covistance has acquired the capacity to unpick and debunk official new graphs and figures within hours of their release because of the involvement of top scientists who normally wouldn’t bother being so involved in day to day politics.

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