“Covid, democracy, truth, and freedom”
Guest article by Andrea Hossó, pro-Brexit economist, finance professional, former Trade Negotiator
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020
Some stimulating thoughts for a Sunday on where we are with Covid
Below we present a guest article by Andrea Hossó, a respected pro-Brexit economist. In it she summarises what has happened to the country since March, provides a societal and economic perspective, and congratulates the 38 MPs who voted against the second national lockdown.
Covid, democracy, truth, and freedom
By Andrea Hossó
Economist, Financial Professional, and Former Trade Negotiator
As the country has now been mandated to enter Lockdown 2, it is essential that citizens express their views regarding these harsh measures that will lead to consequences beyond “merely” health and unemployment and which could very well change the nature of our society.
Where we are and what we’ve learnt
The Covid virus has now been present in Europe for the better part of 2020. The UK went through a 3-month lockdown period in the first half of the year.
All this time has provided us with valuable experience in learning about and dealing with the virus. It has also shown the effect of Covid-related measures on society.
As most – but not all – European countries seem to be moving in lock-step, tightening and relaxing restrictive measures, there is by now a rich source of evidence showing the impact of these.
Following the science?
The government claims to follow the science. The science, however, is proving to be neither certain nor entirely reliable. The modelling approach used has been shown to be faulty. The effectiveness of testing has been called into account. Case and death statistics have been disputed and shown to be often inaccurate.
A large number of doctors and medical experts have cautioned against lockdowns. The Great Barrington Declaration launched by eminent experts from Oxford, Harvard and Stanford advises against lockdowns. The WHO itself has cautioned against lockdowns as blunt instruments that will not stop the spread of the virus.
Most of all, evidence shows the futility of lockdowns. Europe and a number of US states have implemented long periods of lockdowns, the ineffectiveness of which is proven by the very resurgence of positive test results. A growing number of scientists claim that the virus cannot be “suppressed” or “eradicated” and the best defence is sensible caution and robust health.
The science applied is at best ambiguous. The lockdown did not help before and will not now.
The cure is now worse than the disease
It is certain, however, that the effects of lockdowns – tiered, regional or national - reach deep into society ruining our health, quality of life, our economies, and our freedom and democracy. The cure is more harmful than the virus itself.
The number of extra deaths resulting from not diagnosing and treating diseases other than Covid cases has been well-documented. Mental health problems have been surging. Poverty, hopelessness, isolation and a relentless propagation of fear are opening the way to poor health and death.
The virus measures are killing our economy
The economy is suffering another disastrous setback, as I explained in my article for the Daily Telegraph last month. Businesses, especially SMEs, and many self-employed people are forced off the market, leaving behind crippling unemployment and poverty en masse. Skills and talents such as those in the arts are being annihilated. More and more families will depend on frugal government largesse, which in turn will increase dependency and helplessness.
At the same time, the mass bankruptcies of small businesses open the way for more market concentration and domination by large companies, increasing the danger of more autocratic governance and an eclipse of society-wide democracy.
Society is ripped even further apart as those with scarce resources are most impacted and fall even deeper into poverty and despair. The young contemplate a future of reduced opportunities.
Is a Covid quality of life worth having?
People are experiencing an unheard of level of intrusion into their private lives and relationships. Old people are locked into care homes, cut off from their families, hastening them on their way out of life. Pregnant women are forced to give birth without the comforting presence of the father.
People are told whom and when they can meet and love. Our daily life is being micromanaged, we are encouraged to spy on neighbours to help enforcement, and public demonstrations are discouraged.
Loss of privacy and a severe curtailment of civil liberties have an infinitely demoralising effect.
More of the public are now concerned, but only 38 MPs voted ‘no’ to Lockdown 2
The government has now had a parliamentary vote and its proposed lockdown measures were approved by the majority of Tory and Labour votes, by 516 to 38.
The MPs who voiced doubts and voted against the lockdown represent more than their own views and constituencies. They represent large swathes of the public who consider the measures unfounded, the evidence scant, and the damage inflicted on the country horrendous in terms of health, wealth and democracy.
I thank these MPs for taking a stance. I and many others like me support you.
- Andrea Hossó, Sunday, 08 November 2020
Permission to re-use this article
Any organisations wishing to reprint Andrea Hossó’s article may do so, subject to a simple request using our contact form. Prior permission must be sought but it will almost always be granted.
Please note that we welcome a rebuttal article from any individual of note, presenting an alternative view.
The public has not been given all the facts, says UK Statistics Regulator
© UK Statistics Authority
Finally on Thursday last week (05 Nov 2020) the official regulator of such things, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR), issued a statement criticising the Government for its use of statistics in supporting its policy decisions and pronouncements.
The OSR stated that “the use of data has not consistently been supported by transparent information being provided in a timely manner.” This is frankly a very British understatement. We would have gone much, much further. We agree with Sir David Spiegelhalter, the eminent statistician and non-executive board member of the UK Statistics Authority (under which the OSR sits), who described the Government's presentation of coronavirus data as “a mess”.
Polling shows that the majority of the public backs lockdowns such as the current one the country has been placed under by Mr Johnson’s Government and which is overwhelmingly backed by MPs. The level of public support might be gradually reducing, but it is still there.
At Brexit Facts4EU.Org we therefore recognise that many readers do not agree with our position on COVID-19, and will not agree with Andrea Hossó’s article above. However, as the bulk of our readers are pro-Brexit they are also almost always in favour of freedom of expression. These readers may not agree with Ms Hossó, but they will at least agree that she has the absolute right to put forward a dissenting opinion for readers to consider.
Needless to say, we will publish a rejoinder article from a prominent person who is pro-lockdown, if one is offered to us.
Where we stand
Our own stance on COVID-19 is based on the research we started doing in late February and which we have continued off and on ever since. We may not be epidemiologists but we have spent almost five years, seven days-a-week, probing and analysing the official reports and data from the EU in relation to Brexit. We would like to think we know a thing or two about data and how to interrogate and interpret it.
When we applied our rigorous methods to COVID, we found that the data and the facts simply did not match the rhetoric.
We first published our concerns on 04 March 2020 and believe we were the first respected media outlet to do so. We completely understand that when the public is bombarded on a daily basis by the broadcast media, (who have never knowingly questioned what they were being fed by the Government and its scientists), it is hardly surprising that the majority of the public take the view they do.
We continue to stand ready, with open minds, to assess any official information which proves that we have been wrong about COVID-19 for the last eight months. Until then, we will plough on with our full-time job of Brexit – and trying to ensure the achievement of a free, independent, and sovereign United Kingdom.
Back to Brexit
We hope that we may continue to count on your support for our Brexit work. It is absolutely vital that we continue. There are things going on behind the scenes which concern us greatly and we must continue to fight for what the great British public voted for on 23 June 2016. If you could help us with a donation, we really need you. Quick, secure, and confidential donation methods are linked to below this article. Please support our work if you can, thank you.
[ Sources: Andrea Hossó | Office for Statistics Regulation | UK Statistics Authority | Lancet | Centre for Mental Health | Hansard | The Great Barrington Declaration ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sun 08 Nov 2020
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