Monday, 18 January 2021

Serious Charge

Another interesting film shown recently on Talking Pictures was the drama Serious Charge starring Anthony Quayle as a newly arrived vicar in a suburban parish. Released in 1959 it maintains the conservative outlook of the time, but boldly addressed the controversial themes of false sex crime accusation and what is now termed homophobia.

The newly arrived vicar is a handsome, earnest and sensitive man in his early thirties. Before too long his high mindedness creates a couple of dangerous enemies who come together to bring about his downfall. The first is a spinster, also in her early thirties, who is the daughter of the previous vicar, and a pillar of the local church community. She is conscious that time is passing and that if she is not married soon she will be left on the shelf. She forms a strong attraction to the new vicar, and very quickly she impetuously throws herself at him declaring that she loves him. Alas for her, the feelings are not reciprocated, and the vicar rebuffs her advances, albeit with some sensitivity. The spinster considers that she has been scorned and is on the lookout for a means of revenge.

The second enemy is a loutish youth in his late teens, the ringleader of a bunch of local delinquents. He has been dating a girl who has become pregnant by him. He evades his responsibilities towards her, and the girl becomes fearful about what will happen if her father finds out. She informs the vicar about the situation, but in a rather contrived situation she is then hit and killed by a car, distracted when she observes her boyfriend canoodling with another young woman.

The vicar is aware that the youth is responsible for the pregnancy, and after the inquest they both attended, the vicar accuses him of being responsible for the death of his girlfriend through his selfish and inconsiderate behaviour. The youth takes great offence at this, and observing that the spinster has just entered the vicarage on parish business, he rips open his shirt and runs to the spinster maliciously accusing the vicar of ‘interfering’ with him.

The police become involved and, as the only witness, the spinster backs up the youth’s accusation. The vicar soon starts to receive poison pen letters, rocks thrown through his window, his parishioners desert him, and he gets into a brawl with the father of the youth, vociferously encouraged by his braying pub mates.

The vicar’s mother returns to the vicarage after a few days away and is shocked by what has happened. She is sure that her son must be innocent of what he is accused of, and confronts the spinster as to what really happened. After this emotional encounter the spinster gets some pangs of conscience and she contrives a situation whereby the youth’s lies are exposed. Hypocritically, the parishioners all start to return, and the film ends with the vicar agreeing to stay on, with a strong hint that he will probably marry the spinster, as in reality they are well suited.

The film was released at a time when traditional morality was still upheld. Nevertheless, the first stirrings of the new permissiveness were beginning to emerge, and so it must have been a novel experience for cinemagoers to be confronted with the previously taboo subject of homosexuality.

In a sense the film was more progressive and open minded compared to what would be permitted today, since we are now all subject to the straitjacket of the broad PC commitment to ‘believe the victim’. Additionally, it would now be considered judgemental to portray a non-consensual homosexual encounter. There would not be a happy ending either, the vicar would be denounced as a paedophile (a term now very broadly defined), using his respected position in society as a cover for his predatory behaviour. His guilt would be assumed since it is an article of faith that children and young people would never lie to gain revenge.

The story line was happy to confirm society’s then abhorrence of homosexuals, particularly those who tried to corrupt youths into entering what was then regarded as a deviant lifestyle. None of the characters questioned the consensus as to whether homosexual activity was acceptable, and in the brawl scene involving the vicar the pub regulars voiced their contempt towards him in no uncertain terms.

It should be remembered that during this era the now saintly Alan Turing was convicted of the same offence as the fictional vicar was accused of, namely propositioning a teen youth to engage in what society considered to be deviant sexual activity. This was a crime which until the early nineties was regarded as sufficiently serious to warrant a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, until it was suddenly decided that such behaviour should no longer be a crime at all. However, this law was not repealed in a new wave of permissiveness, since the same cohort who brought about this change was more than happy to start jailing men for a variety of sexual activities which had previously never been criminal.

This all goes to show that what constitutes a sexual offence can be highly subjective. So involving the law minutely in the sexual behaviour of its citizens is dangerous for both individual liberty and personal responsibility. Thus the use of the criminal justice system in this area should be confined to instances where genuine harm has occurred, which is most certainly not the case at present.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Flame In The Streets

An interesting film Flame In The Streets has recently been shown on the TV channel Talking Pictures. This relatively obscure British release starred John Mills as a trade union representative in a London furniture factory. Also starring is Sylvia Syms as his daughter, who is a teacher in a relationship with a Jamaican, a recently arrived supply teacher in her school. It dates from 1961 and has racial prejudice as its main theme, covering much the same ground as the later and much better known Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner starring Sidney Poitier (reviewed here

This film is both entertaining, thought provoking and allows different perspectives to be voiced. Nevertheless it is a piece of liberal propaganda, albeit one that communicates its message in a much more subtle way than the TV dramas of today, which all signal their virtuous politically correct message in a more blatant and heavy handed manner.

The film begins with another West Indian, who is acting as a temporary foreman in the factory. His promotion has caused some trouble among some of the white workmen who resent being ordered around by a ‘spade’ (in the parlance of the time). The factory owner has some reservations about giving him the foreman role on a permanent basis as he fears that it might provoke some unrest amongst the mostly white workers. He discusses the matter with the union rep John Mills who assures him that he can convince the workers to accept the West Indian’s permanent promotion at a branch meeting that is to be held to discuss the issue that evening.

During the well attended branch meeting a number of workers question the West Indian’s suitability for the supervisory role, claiming that it would cause resentment amongst ‘our people’, by having to take orders from a ‘coloured’. There is clearly an undercurrent of bigotry here as none of them could argue that he had not fulfilled the temporary position competently. In a barnstorming response John Mills calls out their prejudice by correctly identifying what they are unwilling to admit openly, that their objections are motivated by ‘nothing more than skin colour’, thus shaming them for their unwarranted prejudice against a well respected workmate. As a result, the opposition collapses and the meeting votes to confirm the West Indian as the permanent replacement foreman.

After the meeting John Mills is informed by his wife that his daughter has just announced her intention to marry the Jamaican teacher. She is absolutely horrified by this turn of events and urges her husband to fulfil his role as father by persuading the daughter to abandon her plans as it would bring disgrace on her family through such an unsuitable match. Some of the language which the mother employs to express her outraged feelings are clearly offensive and are based on generalised stereotypes which would hardly be likely to apply to an educated teacher. Hearing such ignorant and prejudiced opinions, as being representative of what many white people might be thinking about them, must have worried many black people watching the film at the time it was released.

John Mills is much more restrained than his wife in condemning the daughter, but he is nevertheless very concerned about the situation, being torn between his desire to avoid racial prejudice to ensure fair play, and his clear distaste for such a marriage. They return home to discuss the matter with the daughter, pointing out all the problems and societal pressures she would face that would likely last for the rest of her life. However, the daughter rejects all of their arguments and states categorically that as she loves the Jamaican she is happy to face whatever the future might bring. The film ends when the parents enter the room to meet the Jamaican suitor for the first time.

This is a rather ambivalent ending but it suggests that the parents have reconciled themselves to the inevitable despite their clear distaste for their daughter’s relationship. The underlying message however is that racial prejudice, whether in the workplace or in the family, is something which is always wrong and must be faced up to.

As in the Sidney Poitier film the Jamaican teacher is presented as a paragon of virtue. He is well mannered, polite, sensitive and caring, normally just the kind of man parents would be happy for their daughter to marry. However, in comparison with the white characters he appears a little two dimensional with no real personality or apparent sense of humour. These are the kind of characteristics one might expect a young professional woman to look for in a potential suitor. So it is highly improbable that rationally, she would have chosen a black man, when there are so many white men available on her cultural wavelength, many of whom have the added advantage of possessing the kind of personal qualities more likely to make the relationship a success.

The film also raises some deeper concerns. At the branch union meeting the workers raised the issue of ‘our people’, by which they meant the white British. Governments of the time had defended the introduction of immigrant labour on the grounds that during a period of labour shortage British people were unwilling to accept the kind of menial jobs that black immigrants were happy to take. By promoting one of them to a supervisory role over white people the goalposts suddenly appear to have been moved decisively against the interests of the white workers.

One of the arguments used by the mother to dissuade her daughter against the proposed marriage was to point out that her children would be black. This raises the issue of whether racial identity is something that should be cherished and preserved, or whether it is evidence of odious bigotry. It is a debate that has never openly been allowed to take place in this country, despite it being a matter that many people have an instinctive view about. Another interesting point is that none of the characters in the film gave any thought to what the West Indian community might think about such a mixed marriage, the assumption being that they could not possibly have any objection, an attitude that demonstrates a rather condescending double standard. Liberals are invariably hyper sensitive about the feelings of black people but they are not necessarily always well tuned in to their real opinions.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Major setback for transgender madness

The most bizarre component of the politically correct agenda has been the promotion of so called transgender rights. This has been based on the mistaken belief that ‘gender identity’ has an objective reality. It is in fact a complete delusion. The physical reality is that there are two sexes, male and female. This has been accepted as a biological fact throughout history and in every society, and confirmed by biological science as immutable through the sex chromosomes.

In the past couple of decades in liberal circles the crackpot notion has gained ground that some people, believing that as they do not conform to the stereotypical notions of their biological sex, conclude that they are really the opposite sex, trapped in the wrong body. There can be no doubt that there are many people who do not conform to traditional notions of masculinity and femininity, since there are clearly effeminate men and butch women, both in character and appearance. So there must be a broad spectrum between macho men at one extreme and, for example, simpering females at the other. Each individual will slot into a point in this range according to their character, which in many cases might not accord with their biological sex. So gender is a subjective mental construct involving an almost unlimited number of variations.

The promotion of the transgender delusion has encouraged many mentally confused people to undergo physical mutilation and the injection of hormones of the opposite sex. They believe that these extreme measures will enable them to ‘transition’ to the opposite sex. The first example of this syndrome to come to public attention was the travel writer James Morris, who in the 1970s underwent this kind of physical mutilation and henceforward regarded himself as a woman, with the new name Jan Morris. Extraordinarily, Morris featured as one of the cultural icons in Andrew Marr’s recent BBC TV Series New Elizabethans, demonstrating just how embedded transgender politics has become in politically correct circles.

One of the more pernicious aspects of the transgender agenda that has gained ground in recent years is its impact on children and young teens. At the forefront of this malaise is the Tavistock Centre in North London which operates what is termed a Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) that aims to ‘help young people who experience difficulties in their gender identities.’ Unbelievably, GIDS can involve prescribing puberty blockers and opposite sex hormone treatment for young teens.

One such case was that of Keira Bell who from her mid teens was given puberty blockers, male hormone treatment therapy and then surgery to remove her breasts. However, she later concluded that she did not want to continue living as male, instead deciding to revert to being female. She clearly regretted her decision to consent to the Tavistock treatment, claiming that she was insufficiently mature to give informed consent, and had been given an inadequate psychological assessment. She subsequently took the Tavistock to the courts.

Reassuringly, the High Court recently decided in Keira’s favour declaring that is was highly unlikely that anyone ‘thirteen or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers’, or that fourteen and fifteen years olds could ‘understand and weigh the long term risks and consequences of puberty blockers’. For those sixteen and over the long term consequences of the ‘innovative and experimental treatment’ practiced by the Tavistock, is such that it would henceforth require the authorisation of the courts.

As a result of these court decisions it is highly unlikely that the Tavistock Centre will be able to administer such patently dangerous practices in the future. Once confused teenagers start to realise that playing the transgender card will no longer result in any form of physical medical intervention or uncritical support for their delusions, we should soon find that the numbers supposedly suffering from ‘gender dysphoria’ will start to drop off significantly. It is disturbing that children’s charities such as the NSPCC and Barnados have failed at any time to condemn the barbarous examples of child abuse practiced by the Tavistock Centre.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

BBC Covid alarmism

Most people of pension age in Britain today will have witnessed the gradual transformation of the BBC from a high minded pillar of the then culturally conservative establishment, into the hard left mouthpiece for political correctness that it has now become. This new woke cultural and political agenda has been incrementally extended from news and current affairs programmes into virtually all of its broadcast output. It is particularly intrusive when it invades historical dramas, and programmes about history, the arts and science, all of which the BBC once enjoyed a very high reputation which it has now largely lost. The BBC has become the British equivalent of the Soviet propaganda organ Pravda, in which everything it covers must be presented through the prism of the dominant ideology.

This would all be fine if it was an independent media outlet such as the Guardian, which is free to pursue any political agenda it chooses, however misguided or out of touch with majority opinion. But this freedom should not apply to the BBC particularly when it claims to be ‘impartial’ and ‘Britain’s most trusted broadcaster’, both claims which are demonstrably dishonest. The BBC obtains its income via a compulsory levy on all British homes which possess a television, but its output largely reflects the minority views of a self regarding metropolitan liberal elite, who believe they have a quasi-divine mission to impose their outlook on the rest of society.

The journalist Peter Hitchens spent a number of years in Russia before the fall of communism, and thus has first hand knowledge of how a one party state brainwashes its population with an unremitting stream of selective and one sided reporting. Hitchens pointed out that it was permissible for citizens to criticise the performance of the authorities, but what they were never allowed to do was to question the underlying ideology which underpinned it, namely communism and Marxism.

The BBC now operates in exactly the same way. This has been highlighted in its response to the coronavirus crisis. It has been hypercritical of the government’s performance on matters such as protective equipment, testing for the virus and its supposedly tardy response to, and extent of, lockdown. But what it only rarely permits is any viewpoint which questions the need for the lockdown, and whether this strategy is the most appropriate response to dealing with the crisis.

An example of this is the recently published report from Denmark into the effectiveness of face masks. This concluded that ‘there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19’. In a Spectator article on the report, Oxford University Prof. Henegan commented ‘now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.’ The BBC almost completely ignored these crucial findings, yet in contrast, earlier in the year, it went into an extended meltdown, over a very minor infraction of the coronavirus rules by a single individual, Dominic Cummings.

The Danish report confirmed more indirect evidence of the worthlessness of face masks. In the UK deaths from covid in the UK fell from a peak of 9495 a week in mid April to 200 at the end of July before masks became compulsory in shops. Since their introduction deaths have risen to 3038 a week in late November. Moreover, countries such as France and Spain in which the wearing of face masks outdoors is compulsory have shown even greater rises in deaths than the UK in recent months, whereas in Sweden with very little use, deaths are significantly lower. So it is patently obvious that facemasks do little or nothing to prevent the spread of covid. At the start of the pandemic the World Health Organisation (WHO) rightly considered that masks were of little use, but later in mysterious circumstances, and without any new evidence, the WHO reversed this position, concluding instead that they should be worn, and governments throughout Europe started to mandate their use.

The BBC has been stoking up alarm over covid since the start of the pandemic, castigating the government for introducing the lockdown to late, relaxing it too early, exaggerating the danger of the virus, and promoting face masks as a supposedly essential tool in combating the virus, whilst at the same time sidelining the enormous long term social, economic and financial damage that is being caused by the restrictions. No wonder a significant proportion of the population appear to be petrified of catching the virus, given the unremitting alarmist messages peddled by the BBC.

The BBC is not alone in its blind enthusiasm for face masks, as they have now become a virtue signalling fetish for the broader politically correct class. In a recent Newsnight report about protests following the USA presidential election, demonstrators supporting Biden were nearly all wearing masks in contrast to their Trump opponents, almost all of whom were without masks. So masks now appear to have become a symbol of woke political and ideological allegiance regardless of any medical worth, with the BBC in the vanguard of promoting their acceptance in total disregard of all the evidence.

The recent increase in covid cases and deaths (despite face masks) in the UK and in most European countries has punctured three cherished myths about the virus. Pro lockdown enthusiasts had repeatedly claimed that if the UK had locked down earlier then up to 20,000 deaths could have been avoided. They also believed that measures to suppress the virus would lead to its elimination, leading to the early lifting of all restrictions.

So how have these two theories worked in practice? The Czech Republic was lauded in the summer for locking down very early and so keeping infection numbers low. However, come the autumn the virus returned with a vengeance and the Czech Republic suddenly became the world leader on infection rates. With regard to the policy of suppressing, and then eliminating, the virus, Scotland was very successful in suppressing it during the summer months through its ‘zero covid’ strategy, and went several weeks without there being any deaths. However, despite this suppression, during the autumn the virus returned and Scotland has seen roughly the same rise in cases as the rest of the UK.

Regrettably, the third myth was supported by lockdown sceptics, including this blog. They concluded that cases would continue to fall as herd immunity increased, and that there would be no second wave during the autumn and winter months. Clearly this has not happened. Nevertheless, the herd immunity theory is still valid, the more people are infected the greater the immunity becomes. What is still unknown is at what level does herd immunity shut down the epidemic.

During the past three months immunity has been rising but this has been more than offset by more favourable conditions for the spread of the virus, due to lower temperatures and decreased daylight. Before very long increasing herd immunity will once again become the dominant factor in determining the caseload, and with the onset of spring further disadvantaging the spread of the virus, new cases should start to fall considerably. As full herd immunity will almost certainly have arrived by next autumn, there should be no ‘third wave’ at that time, regardless of whether or not a vaccine has been introduced.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Coloured people

BBC radio news recently reported that the chairman of the Football Association had resigned after using a ‘racial slur’. The offending word in question was ‘coloured’ when referring to footballers.

Something similar occurred when the headmistress of Roedean School, explaining to pupils the origins of Black History Month in 1926, mentioned that it was originally called ‘Negro History Week’. This prompted several pupils to complain demanding that she apologise for using the ‘racist’ word ‘negro’. Predictably, she surrendered to their intimidation by issuing a grovelling apology admitting that ‘the original name contains an offensive word and by using this word in this context I was attempting to show how far language around black people has come since then. However, in hindsight I recognise it was not necessary to use the specific word and I accept that by using this word at all I have caused offence to some pupils.’ Fortunately, the headmistress has been allowed to keep her job as many parents supported her.

The irony about this kind of furore is that until the early 1970s both ‘coloured’ and ‘negro’ were considered to be courteous and neutral words to describe dark skinned people. For example, Martin Luther King Jr, in his acclaimed ‘I have a dream’ speech in 1963 repeatedly used the word ‘negro, when he declared ‘the Negro still is not free…the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination… the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity…the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.’

With regard to the use of the word ‘coloured’, in both Britain and the USA, this term was ubiquitous in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio programmes during the 1950s and 1960s, and the word ‘black’ was deliberately avoided. ‘Coloured’ was universally regarded as a courteous and polite description, whereas the use of ‘black’ was deemed offensive. I can still remember when on our first shopping trip to Hull, from our small all white town in our new car, my younger brother excitedly exclaimed ‘look, there is a black man over there’. Somewhat shocked my mother reprimanded him ‘you should never call them black, but instead refer to them as coloured which is polite’. The word ‘coloured’ was used not just to describe Afro-Caribbean people but also Asians. It should be remembered that the full title of the American campaigning organisation NAACP still remains as the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.

In the early 1970s the more vocal African Americans came to the conclusion that describing themselves as black was nothing to be ashamed of, or something which they needed to be on the defensive about. As a consequence the term ‘black’ very quickly supplanted ‘coloured’ as the approved form of address. This first came to my own consciousness with the hit song Young Gifted & Black from 1970. For many people, being able to say black in this context caused a frisson of pleasure in using a word that until only recently had been considered taboo.

In more recent years the term ‘people of colour’ has come to be regarded as the most appropriate term to use. So we have arrived at the absurd situation that to speak of ‘coloured people’ is considered to be grossly offensive whereas ‘people of colour’ is deemed the pinnacle of political correctness, when in grammatical terms their factual meaning is identical. This all bodes very ill for harmonious race relations, since it gives the white majority the impression that dark skinned people are so hypersensitive that they must always be shielded and protected if their wellbeing is to be preserved. They are in effect being infantilised in pursuit of an over protective political agenda, and white people are being demonised whenever they transgress the current ludicrous virtue signalling speech codes. In a sane society the words black, Negro, coloured people and people of colour should all be interchangeable and regarded as neutral forms of expression.

Now what was it that Enoch Powell said about the black man having the whip hand over the white man?

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Further thoughts on the covid crisis

Since the last blogpost there have been a number of developments on the covid crisis. The principal change is that after several months of declining deaths and hospital admissions these have started to pick up again with the onset of autumn. Previously this blog had assumed that the pandemic was almost over as herd immunity appeared close to being realised. That conclusion now looks to be somewhat optimistic.

The evidence that the pandemic was winding down appeared to be soundly based since numbers were falling throughout Europe despite the lifting of many restrictions. There was also an assumption that the spread of the virus was unaffected by seasonal factors since places with hot climates such as Brazil and Florida were just as badly affected as cooler countries like Britain.

The evidence now suggests that, like influenza, covid spreads more easily in the autumn than it does in the summer. Since it continues to spread, and the number of cases is still increasing, it is also clear that Britain is still some way from achieving herd immunity. This trend is replicated throughout Europe and appears unaffected by measures such as limited lockdowns, face masks or a robust testing regime, all panaceas optimistically promoted by governments to control or suppress the virus.

What the current rise in cases suggests is that the best that governments can hope for is to temporarily reduce the spread of virus, through the introduction of severe measures such as national lockdowns. But these come with enormous economic and social costs together with a disproportionate interference with individual liberty, freedom and livelihoods. Whenever they are lifted the virus inevitably returns, the agony is prolonged for a longer period possibly indefinitely, and we are all back where we started, but with a wrecked economy and sky high unemployment.

Scotland was very successful in almost eliminating the virus during the summer months through its ‘zero covid’ strategy. But during the past few weeks cases there have risen at the same rate as for the rest of the UK. This suggests that the virus can never be suppressed to the extent that it will vanish completely. It will return when either the restrictions are lifted or when seasonal factors become more favourable to its spread.

The only option therefore is to achieve herd immunity as quickly as possible through the kind of strategy advocated by the distinguished medical and scientific experts who have drawn up the Great Barrington Declaration. This would allow life to return to normal for the vast majority of people of working age, whilst at the same time providing protective measures for the most vulnerable.

The sooner that the general population starts to move in the direction of achieving herd immunity, the greater is the protection that can be offered to the vulnerable, since this will allow the reproduction rate of the virus to gradually reduce on a sustainable long term basis. This strategy will also have the immense benefit of returning the economy to normal. Given the clear evidence about the nature of the virus that is now becoming increasingly apparent, there really is no alternative to the adoption of this strategy as an urgent necessity.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Time to end the covid paranoia

The government’s measures to control the covid 19 virus have now been in place for almost six months. During that time the number of daily deaths, hospital admissions and patients in intensive care due to the virus have all fallen by 99% from their peak in mid April. Yet neither the government nor its scientific advisors in SAGE appear to have realised this, and the same can be said about alarmist media outlets such as the BBC and Guardian who are continuing to instil a sense of fear in the population. There is still far too much unfounded paranoia about a second wave in which, according to some official projections, the estimated number of people who will die from the virus in the coming winter could be twice as many as those who have so far succumbed to it.

As outlined in the previous blogpost below, the government have faced a problem more daunting than any since the end of the war. They have been criticised sometimes fairly, and sometimes unfairly, about their response. Positive achievements have been the construction of the Nightingale hospitals in record time, and the large scale manufacture of new ventilators. The original purpose of the initial lockdown was to ‘save the NHS’. This objective was achieved as the NHS was never in danger of being overwhelmed. The ‘eat out to help out’ scheme has been a huge success and the furlough measures have preserved millions of jobs for the duration.

Unfortunately, in all other respects the government’s response has been confused, paralysed by exaggerated fears about the effect of relaxing the restrictions against the virus. There has been a massive mission creep away from protecting the NHS to instead an attempt to suppress the virus, which appears to be impossible. Much emphasis and effort has been placed on the track and trace programme in which people with the virus are placed in quarantine for a couple of weeks. A huge increase in testing has been undertaken which has resulted in several local lockdowns. However, the number of people testing positive has been minute compared to the overall population, and almost all of them appear to be healthy since there has been no increase in hospital admissions in those areas. So this testing regime appears completely pointless as the pandemic is now almost over, and society is now largely protected by herd immunity.

All the evidence suggests that we have almost reached herd immunity throughout Britain. This was achieved initially by allowing the virus to spread unhindered during the January to late March period before lockdown. During lockdown the virus continued to spread albeit more slowly. In the UK the restrictions were more relaxed than some countries, and thus the virus could continue to spread, mostly through shops and supermarkets. As some of the restrictions were gradually lifted the number of deaths and hospital admissions still continued to fall and this has continued until the present time.

So it is now time to bring to an end all the restrictive measures currently in place so that we can all return to normality. The only thing that is preventing this is the alarmist fears of government advisors who are clearly not properly assessing the evidence, but instead remain in thrall to discredited theories that bear no resemblance to actual reality. The government has certainly not been following the science, since for the most part the scientists the government has come to depend on have been in just as much ignorance about the nature of the virus as the rest of us. It is now time for the government to declare that the pandemic has ended, and so bring the curtain down on the covid paranoia which is bankrupting the country.