The UK is about to enter a four-day national bank holiday from Thursday, June 2 until Sunday, June 5. The Platinum Jubilee Weekend is to celebrate Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the British throne.
Her Majesty. Step back a few mental paces and consider the two words. I have a couple more. Freak show.
Ludicrously, the Royals are adored by some. You have to wonder why. The Windsors epitomise elitist privilege, living effortlessly off the sweat and taxes of their “subjects”. The wealth of ‘The Crown’ is beyond anything that most of us can comprehend, running into trillions of pounds.
And let’s pull no punches about these people. The Royals are dysfunctional, arrogant, manipulative and downright dangerous.
The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, was a good friend of the rapist Jimmy Savile. His disgraced brother, Prince Andrew, was a top mate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
I can only guess that some people are just blissfully unaware that their enthusiasm helps prop up what amounts to a feudal system that sits outside of the law.
None of that mattered some 45 years ago, on 7 June 1977. Silver Jubilee bank holiday. I was 20 years old, living in Birmingham. It was one of the happiest evenings of my life. Pure pleasure, causing no harm, and racking up a legend or two.
A pack of us headed to the Plough in Harborne.
Great pub. Good cheap beer. Our exhilaration may have been upped a notch by the BBC’s banning of the Sex Pistols caustic new single, ‘God Save The Queen’.
The merriment we let out fully equalled the ale taken in, too many to count. Get it down your neck and get another round. Again and again.
We had a mentor. Neil, the Mancunian that we tagged Big Dad. A mature student of around 24, Dad provided fathomless wells of stories and jokes. He had enigma and charisma to burn.
After the pubs had closed, a group of us congregated in the High Street, singing our slanted homage to the monarchy.
Oh we’re all pissed up and we’re having a Jubilee’.
Swarming in the road, we surrounded a double decker bus, and Dad proceeded to scale the side, like a mountaineer, to the driver’s incredulity. This stopped the traffic in all directions as rubber-necking drivers clocked the action.
Five minutes later, we were still laughing, eyes streaming with joy, heading back through the leafy neighbourhood of Edgbaston.
Dad and some others decided to break into a swimming pool in an unoccupied house. I had a fresh criminal record – and so this seemed like intrinsically dangerous behaviour. Others chose to climb over walls and steal some expensive-looking plants. I sat on a wall by the road with a couple of unknown girls, waiting to see what transpired.
Two of the lads returned with green things in pots. They began debating whether to take a swim in the pool of the particularly sumptuous house where Dad had ended up, and whose owners were obviously away.
Suddenly, with zero warning, a police car came screeching to a halt just feet away from our little wall. You should have seen the boys scramble. Left, right, over walls, behind bushes.
One instinct told me to do the same, while a stronger command said stay put, because you are guilty of nothing. Micro-calculations in less than a second, resulting in me remaining wedged on a wall between a random set of cactuses. Pulse racing.
The coppers asked if I knew any of the culprits. Instinct kicked in. I said I’d met them that night. They wanted names and descriptions, so I invented a shedload, and sat in the back of the police car while the information was sent to HQ. “There was a tall guy called Gary, well over six foot, dark hair. Smaller fella with ginger hair, said he came from Erdington. Think he was called Brian.”
I described about six non-existent humans. The two rozzers told me to stay in the car, and went outside again, sniffing around for perps.
Now the tour de force. A never-to-be-forgotten image appeared in the wing mirror. A bloke walking down the road, whistling. A pumped up yellow lilo slung over his shoulder. At night, in the middle of landlocked Edgbaston.
As he neared, I could see it was Big Dad. He had lifted the lilo from the pool. Intending to give it a new home. As he walked past the coppers, who were still scrambling around for clues, Dad said, very politely, “evening officers,” before winking at me and ambling on. They were too preoccupied to notice.
Then I got a lift home for my co-operation. Grinning from ear to ear.
There’s only one blog rule – write truthfully each time. Let any readers make of it what they will.
After two years plus of Covid-19 shenanigans, some people still believe Planet Earth has waded through an existential crisis almost equivalent to WW2.
The journalist in me begs to differ, and here’s why. The evidence.
Anyone wanting to logically figure out what really happened can dip into a wealth of official data, expert statements and research. It’s all out there. In so doing, much of the available evidence about the Covid shitshow sharply contradicts the deceptions and disinformation pumped out nonstop during the past 24 months. It forever shames the pumpers – the government ministers, medical professionals, bureaucrats, entertainers and mass media around the world.
At worst, the reality was something no more deadly than past pandemic flus. Just look below at the UK’s all-causes mortality rate for 2020, which was only the 19th highest since 1990, on an age-adjusted basis. In plain English, there was no exceptional spike in deaths, despite the ceaseless narrative of a ‘deadly pandemic’.
The sad truth is that we were bombarded by some of the biggest falsehoods in recorded history. From early 2020, much rational thought was choked off by a ‘propagandemic’ that was inseparable from the ‘pandemic’.
One horrific example: people were somehow persuaded that it was right to ‘follow the science’ and so keep away while their elderly relatives died alone, on ventilators and in care homes. Even now, does that not make your jaw drop and your eyes water?
People were cajoled that wearing a mask in a restaurant was essential for health when standing, but not when sitting.
Over 2 million UK university students had their education severed as they stayed indoors to avoid ‘killing granny’.
Around the world, mental health was ground down remorselessly. A whole generation of children had their cognitive development reined back by interrupted schooling and being deprived of human contact/uncovered human faces.
Among other befuddlements, untold numbers of otherwise healthy youngsters now genuinely think that a runny nose requires a ‘test’, not a handkerchief. And that they might die of a head cold. Another legacy is that many people still wear an item that restricts their breathing as a part and parcel of their everyday ‘safety’.
And fist-bumping. I mean FFS. If you think I might be carrying a dangerous illness, stay well clear of me. No problem. I readily respect any choice you make about your health. But if you do want to come within range of my breath and touch me, then show some frigging enthusiasm. Shake my hand. Hug me. Kiss me. I do French if required. My immune system is promiscuous, craving one filthy bacterial challenge after another.
The collective psychosis, the mass abandonment of reason, the loss of touch with reality, was hardly surprising. Because gargantuan nonsenses were repeated over and again, via an industrial-scale barrage of fear porn by health authorities and politicians that was amplified by mainstream media.
Almost an entire society fell under magic spells predicated on fear, transmitted through TV, radio, memes, adverts, motorway signs, slogans, trigger words, and, most lethally, through social media.
Even if you trembled behind the sofa, wearing four face masks and an adult nappy listening to the 6 o’ clock news – I empathise. The truth is that we were trained into compliance like Pavlov’s dogs. Salivating at fuzzy pictures from Wuhan, gaslit by pictures of trucks lining a dark Turin street and bamboozled by newsreels of static ambulances outside UK hospitals. Paralysed by newsreaders reading big numbers, fearing personal obliteration at the hands of an insidiously invisible plague.
Remember how 500,000 Covid-19 deaths were predicted in the UK by Imperial College, to scare the living daylights out of every Brit?
The British government has acknowledged that it enlisted the covert tactics of the army’s 77th Brigade to back media efforts to stop people thinking for themselves. It worked. The military-grade drumbeat of fear, so forceful and constant, reduced many adults to frightened children, doing as they were told by officials and men in white coats.
The fallback, the great thing – in our age of ready information – is that you don’t have to be a virologist, doctor or scientist to begin to work through the disinformation and absurdities for yourself. Scanned by common sense and a diligent mind, data rarely lies. I would estimate that an independent-minded 12-year-old child could easily work out the 10 bullet points below, given an internet connection and a day to study and reflect.
*In March 2020, just before the first lockdowns, Covid-19 was removed by the UK government from its High Consequence Infectious Disease list. Removed, not added. No longer on the list. Then we locked down.
*Only three English and Welsh children (aged 1-19) became Covid-only fatalities during the 23-month review period. Yet there are still maniacs who advocate Covid vaccinations for children.
*In Italy, the number of deaths caused solely by Covid was eventually subject to a 98% retrospective reduction from the initial headline figures.
*Western countries spent two years suppressing effective early treatments for the small percentage of the population that contracted serious cases of Covid-19.
*Covid-19 has something like a 99.8% recovery rate without treatment.
*Masks did not reduce transmission. The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) quietly admitted in spring 2021 that masks are useless against Covid-19 aerosol spread. All major governments have probably known the truth about masks for at least a year.
* Despite the huge PR campaign to the contrary, natural immunity exists, and works. I continue to trust in mine. Pfizer trial data revealed natural immunity was as effective as the jab. Even Holy Father Bill Gates acknowledged that the fast spread of the Omicron ‘variant’ conferred a scale of immunity that vaccines could not. Even Archbishop Anthony Fauci has openly admitted the vaccines will not deliver herd immunity.
*500 million global Covid ‘cases’ were built around PCR and rapid antigen tests that are imprecise and inaccurate. We had essentially meaningless ‘case’ numbers endlessly shoved down our throats after the swabs went up our noses. Western Australia, for example, has hosted around 300,000 positive tests, but just 148 Covid-linked deaths across two years. Yet people still take the ‘tests’.
*Global lockdowns ‘coincided’ with the greatest centralisation of wealth in money’s 5,000-year history. The incarcerations further increased global poverty, as tens of thousands of small businesses folded under lockdown, while an estimated $3-4 trillion was transferred to the planet’s 2,750 or so billionaires. To the 0.000035% that run the shitshow. And, somehow, the UK government ‘wasted’ a cool £37 billionon its failed Track and Trace system.
Those bullet points tell truths skipped by most mainstream narratives: the limited scope of the ‘pandemic’, the futility and fraudulence of the lockdowns and the clear identity of the beneficiaries.
I would never deny that Covid-19 is a nasty illness. Or that hospitals came under severe pressure, as they do every winter season. Neither was I complacent about the risks, as my then-92-year-old father was clearly vulnerable. But once a pattern emerged about the fatalities, it became clear that no mass plague was afoot, whatever shite you might hear from Piers Morgan or James O’Brien. Dad was kept safe by common sense, not by arbitrary guidelines ignored by the ministers and ‘scientists’ that concocted them.
Several acquaintances suffered badly, with one needing brief medical intervention. But nobody in my friendship, professional and neighbourhood circles died of SARS-COV-2, as would have happened with a pandemic worthy of the name.
In those circles, anecdotally, a friend of my son said his 89-year-old neighbour was sadly a fatality. Another friend had a mate who fell from a ladder and died from his injuries. He was designated as dying ‘with Covid’, which he supposedly contracted in hospital. My cousin’s father-in-law died of a long-time heart condition. Again, he was listed as a ‘with Covid’ death. His son, a GP, was furious at the categorisation.
The last two examples are pure fraudulence, aligning snugly with the farcical headline death counts for Covid that were designed to scare people shitless.
As a part of building that fear narrative, medical professionals in multiple countries were encouraged to list Covid-19 as cause of death for fatalities with inconclusive causes. In the US that approach was amplified with a monetary encouragement, paying hospitals much more for their ‘with Covid’ patients and especially for ‘with Covid’ deaths.
If we look at the unfortunate 149,000 or so English and Welsh fatalities listed as dying ‘with Covid’, during 2020-21, they carried an average level of three existing morbidities. Most were old (average 82) and terribly vulnerable to added respiratory ailments. Regrettably, a huge risk factor for dying ‘with Covid’ turned out to be that you were already chronically ill.
Another huge risk factor occurred in Britain if you were one of the unfortunates shunted out of a hospital into nursing and care homes in spring 2020, to free up NHS bed capacity. Many, the numbers still unquantified, were left lonely, starved and dehydrated. Some were murdered by withdrawal of medications, and end of life care pathways incorporating nil by mouth, DNR and morphine/Midazolam cocktails, even for those nowhere near death. Some observers called this euthanasia, or just plain genocide by the British government.
To prevent stamping everything with a Covid sticker, to make real sense from the headline figures vomited out by media, required autopsies. Among the first 4 million fatal ‘with Covid’ cases worldwide, just several hundred autopsy findings were reported in international medical journals.
Answers to critical questions were lost forever. Was Covid a contributory cause of death? A co-morbidity to other primary causes? Was SARS-COV-2 falsely detected? How many ‘positives’ were fully symptomatic? Until the medical notes for each and every patient are subject to a rigorous clinical audit, we will never know whether even a single death labelled as ‘with-Covid’ was correctly ascribed.
More positively, hundreds of millions of people now have personal experience of surviving SARS-2 infection, which at least makes propaganda about the threats posed by the virus a far harder sell in future.
One of the most unforgiveable pieces of fraudulence during 2020/21 – topping a towering edifice of deceit – was the unceasing exhortation to follow health guidance, so that we could help to ‘Protect our NHS’.
The overwhelming reason for UK lockdowns, we were told, was to ‘protect’ the National Health Service from a surge of incoming Covid-19 patients. Drummed again and again into our heads, to weigh on our consciences as good citizens. ‘Don’t spread the virus or our hospitals will go under.’
Britain’s NHS is free of charge at the point of service for all users. It is a gem. Admittedly in need of management streamlining, and tens of thousands of new beds, but in my humble opinion worth huge efforts to maintain and protect. In spring 2020, the government urged people out onto the street on Thursday evenings to applaud the frontline work in NHS buildings.
I’m so sorry folks, but it turns out that the fucksters running the UK have already decided to fully privatise it. And, breaking the decades-old prohibition, to begin charging users for services. Your cash (and your data) please.
The money shot is on page 101 of the downloadable PDF. “Reforms to the payment system will ….ensure a majority of funding is population-based.” I have visions in which US hedge fund managers downloaded the document. And the subsequent semen stains holding the pages together.
It appears that one of the greatest political achievements in British history will be subject to even deeper staffing cuts, with much of the existing human contact switched to a digital interface. Electronic health surveillance will be paramount. The planned new name for the delivery team, NHSX, is a play on words, a piss-take.
Hopefully you just asked yourself why this bombshell news item is not in or on the ‘news’, given the sickening hypocrisy at work in the government’s sloganeering? I’ll leave that one with you.
Maybe the most worrying part of the sorry Covid tale concerns the new medical technology now embedded in the blood vessels and lymph glands of a purported 65% of the world population. The vaccines.
*24/7 waves of media and government persuasion and propaganda paved the way for the jabs, obscuring and smothering the fact that recipients were effectively volunteering for a global human drug trial that will not officially finish until 2023/24.
*Yet it transpired that these ‘miraculous’ injections do not prevent infection, transmission, hospitalisation or death. Remember all the claptrap that the new state-of-the-art mRNA vaccines would be a ‘game changer’. The promises from Gates, Trump, Fauci, Obama, Blair, Hancock, Trudeau, Johnson, Biden, Macron and other liars?
Remember the nonstop PR about 95% vaccine efficacy? Then 90%, 85%, 80% and ever downwards. Then the revelation that only ‘booster’ doses would fully protect you. Now the jab just ‘makes your symptoms less mild’.
UK government figures reveal that three quarters of the UK Covid deaths registered in March within 60 days of a positive test involved triple-vaxxed people, who now constitute about half of the UK population. As things stand, the majority of current Covid-linked hospital admissions are triple-jabbed. Many of the ‘boosted’ cannot clear Covid easily and are regularly reinfected. In Canada, government data shows that the triple and double vaccinated accounted for 4 of every 5 Covid-19 deaths in March 2022. Australia and New Zealand health data tells a similar story.
The only rational conclusion is that the new vaccines do not work as touted. Why is that not screamed out as headline news?
*To make matters worse, many of the jabbed were coerced into accepting what remains an experimental medical treatment, still under emergency licence. Sleeves were rolled up under threats of job loss, or exclusion from social settings.
Civilised societies do not enforce experimental vaccines on people who do not want them. That’s a clear breach of the Nuremberg Code stance on bodily integrity. Remember the Nuremberg Code? People seem to have forgotten. It followed Nazi atrocities in WW2 – specifically the often-fatal experimentation on human subjects without consent.
Meanwhile, despite the glaringly bloody obvious fact that the vaccines did not stop transmission, ‘vaccine passports’ were created in France, Ireland, Israel, China, the US and elsewhere. Futility was fucked by tyranny, spawning medical apartheid. In many so-called liberal democracies, untold millions of people who simply made independent choices about their own healthcare acquired the status of pharmaceutically segregated, second-class citizens. And the vaccinated went along with it.
*Even if you prefer brushing human rights issues under the carpet, there is no escaping the reality that these are the deadliest medications ever released in human history – even on just the official numbers. Sorry.
Once upon a time, pharmaceutical companies had an obligation to prove the safety of a product over 10 years, and to immediately withdraw it from market if 25-50 deaths occurred. When media discovered in 2009 that the swine flu vaccine had topped the 25-death mark, eventually reaching 53, reporters and editors did their job. The vaccine was pulled. Correctly so.
With Covid-19 vaccines, we were assured, ad nauseum, beyond any lingering doubt, of the ‘scientific consensus’ on their safety, despite rushed trials that skipped animal trials, safety data for pregnancy, and toxicology tests.
Within 3 weeks of the first jabs in December 2020, the 50-death mark was passed. Was the vax pulled? Where was the amber alert?
By early February 2022, an aggregate 64, 684 vaccine-related deaths had been officially recorded across Europe, the UK and US, with nary a peep from mainstream media or any regulatory agency. 64, 684 dead people. If that isn’t a red alert, what is? The number will be larger now. How large must it grow before the jabs cease?
With a functioning media, the vaccine rollout would have been stopped in its tracks as a killer and a major human rights violation. Pfizer would not have earned $37 billion in 2021 vaccine revenues, making the Covid jab the most lucrative medicine in any given year in history.
However, in the absence of that context, most people continued to roll up their sleeves.
This meant that people’s consent on being injected with an experimental medicine was clearly no longer informed consent, breaking another key Nuremberg principle. These are major crimes, being committed by government, medical and commercial institutions.
The regional breakdowns look like this. In the European Union, as of 5 February 2022, there had been 39,543 deaths among 1,478,143 individuals who reported adverse reactions post-vaccination for the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots, according to the official EudraVigilance database, which compiles adverse reaction data.
In the UK, by 11 February, 1,996 fatalities were notched up by 441,471 individuals reporting adverse reactions post-vaccination as recorded by the official Yellow Card reporting system.
As of January 28, 2022, there were 23,149 instances of death from 1,088,558 reports following the COVID jab in the US, under the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Death totals reported across the three regions comes to 64,684.
Pfizer has admitted that it hired 600 extra staff just to process all of the adverse reactions being reported from its Covid-19 shot, and might need 1,800 in total. Researchers at Columbia University have argued that the real number of people killed by the Covid jabs is about 20 times the reported rate.
Whether that can be believed is relatively unimportant. Again, why were the first 50 deaths not enough to stop these vaccines? I would humbly suggest that executive reputations, company share prices, cabinet positions and, in the UK, knighthoods, were prized more highly than mere human mortality.
And that those lower down the employment chain kept their heads below the parapet, fearing for their jobs and pensions.
You could of course argue that some of these unfortunate fatalities were going to get sick and/or die regardless of what vaccines may or may not be doing. On the other hand, the adverse effects encountered by much bigger populations in Africa, Asia and Latin America have not been comprehensively logged, and so not included in the tallies.
For sure is that the mRNA vaccines have already killed more people than all other vaccines combined over the last 30 years. Healthy teenagers and athletes are among those who have died within hours or days of receiving Covid-19 shots, as most major sports have been hit with ‘inexplicable’ medical conditions. Everyone in the world must have heard the term ‘myocarditis’ by now.
Before 2021, an athlete collapsing or dying was a highly newsworthy event.In the soccer world, FIFA now reports players (and spectators) collapsing as a matter of course.
In the tennis arena, an astonishing15 players were unable to finish the Miami Open 2022 tennis tournament, including the male and female favourites. To compete, all players had to be ‘fully vaccinated’.
Byend-March, Good Sciencing said it had had recorded 833 athletes, worldwide, post-Covid injection, who have experienced cardiac arrests or other serious issues, with 540 dead. Cricketers, wrestlers, boxers, cyclists, basketball players and so on.
From an actuarial angle, a raft of emerging statistics from life insurance companies in the US, India and Germany show a 40% or higher increase in all-causes deaths inworking-age people in the second half of 2021. Insurers keep a tight handle on death statistics. Another source on the ‘death frontline’, embalmers, are reporting hitherto-unseen blood clots post-vaccine rollout.
Myocarditis is only the tip of the Covid vaccine injury iceberg. If you examined the vaccine-related injuries officially recorded by early February across the EU, UK and US, the dialsoared to 3 million. Rough calculations from VAERS data suggest that the new shots are at least several hundred times more likely to hurt you than flu vaccines. After analysing medical data from 10.9 million insured individuals, German health insurance company BBK Provita concluded that 400,000 doctors’ visits could be realistically attributed to jab side effects. A study by the Israeli Ministry of Health showed a 4.5% neurological injury rate, post-vaccine.
Incidentally, Pfizer wanted its clinical trial data suppressed until 2076. A mere 55 years. I wonder why.
Might a recent court-ordered release of Pfizer trial data provide clues? A staggering 1,291 side effects were revealed within the data. To name but a few: arthritis, autoimmune disorder, blood clotting, brain embolism, cardiac arrest, cardiac failure, diabetes, facial paralysis, hepatitis, herpes, infertility, myocarditis, multiple sclerosis, organ failure, pericarditis, prenatal death and stillbirth.
Pfizer’s knowledge of the side-effects might keep company lawyers busy. US journalist Naomi Wolf has been going through the tens of thousands of pages of documents that a federal court finally forced Pfizer to release from its submission to the Food and Drug Administration for Covid-19 mRNA vaccine approval. On 25 April, Wolf said that, according to the documents, 3.7% of the cases Pfizer looked at for ‘adverse events’ died, with a much higher rate of serious injury. According to the independent The Light newspaper, the documents show that in the trials there were at least 1,223 deaths reported in the first 28 days after injection, with deaths occurring at a higher rate in the non-placebo group.
In other words, Pfizer knew that its vaccine would kill.
Hundreds of similar facts are continually popping up through the cracks, far too many to list. But here are a few worth consideration:
*A Freedom of Information request to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals showed 2021 and 2022 heart failure referrals rising by 200% over 2018/19 data;
*Queensland’s health minister recently acknowledged 40% more ambulance calls for cardiac events and sudden deaths;
*Covid vaccination increases the risk of severe heart inflammation up to 120-fold, a major study from Scandinavia published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found;
*According to a cost-benefit analysis by Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., and independent researcher Kathy Dopp, all age groups under 50 years old in the UK and US are at greater risk of dying after receiving a Covid jab than an unvaccinated person is at risk of dying from Covid-19;
*Britain’s Office for National Statistics has released data covering January 1 to October 31, 2021, indicating that for children aged 15–19, the risk of death increased by almost double if they took the first shot and by over three times if they took the second, compared to their unjabbed peers. Worse, 10–14-year-olds, ran the risk of dying almost by a factor of ten following the first dose while the second dose brought a 51.8 times greater risk of death than if they had remained unvaccinated;
*A study published by the Lancet in October 2021 claimed the Covid vaccines could reprogramme your immune system to respond in a dysfunctional way, leading to what it called Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A new form of AIDS. And all that entails. (Perhaps you might even speculate that depleted immune systems are a factor in the vaccinated individuals dying from Covid?)
These data snippets are merely the tip of an expanding iceberg. If I can find and underline these trends, why cannot (better-paid) journalists for major newspapers and broadcasters do the same? Again, I’ll leave that with you.
Anecdotally, I was told by an NHS trust employee that UK ambulance staff are struggling to deal with unprecedented levels of deaths among younger-middle-aged people. He said that an alarmingly high number of the excess non-Covid admissions at NHS hospitals are among those aged 35-50, and that a high percentage involve clotting, skin rashes, breathing difficulties, unexplained workplace collapses and myocardial/heart issues.
It is extremely difficult for me or anybody else to guess how many people have died or experienced life-changing injuries from the Covid-19 vaccine. At a personal level, one close relative seems to have experienced immune system deterioration since the jabs. Anecdotally, I have heard of two heart attacks occurring two or three days after the recipients’ first jabs. As evidence builds, what seems clear is that the number of victims is already very high. To reiterate, the damage dwarfs anything seen with any other vaccine in history.
Interestingly, alternative media have cited leaks by Whitehall sources (based in the UK Department of Health) that a state cover-up of vaccine-related disability and death is ongoing.
In my opinion, it has become reasonable to say that the longer these shots continue to be used, the greater the likelihood that they will eventually kill far more than the actual virus ever did.
Seeing the wrongdoing, my only choice is to write about it. And not as a disinterested outsider. I have real skin in the game. So many people that I know, and love, have taken the jib-jabs. I fret about their future health.
As for giving the shots to children, I defer to Dr Robert Malone, who helped invent mRNA technology.
“These genetic vaccines can damage your children. They may damage their brain, their heart, their immune system, and their ability to have children in the future. And many types of these damages cannot be repaired. On average, between one in two thousand and one in three thousand children that receive these vaccines will be hospitalised in the short-term with vaccine-caused damage. Only with the passage of time will we know what long-term damage occurs.”
In summary, the world’s leaders and scientists seemed to make a public health mountain out of a viral molehill in early 2020, out of panic and incompetence. Governments have spent two years hyperventilating about incidences of SARS-2 infection that turn out to be minuscule, or at worst normal, if compared to other pathogens that infect us. Unforgiveably, they compounded their mistakes by rushing out vaccines that are not only ineffective but can be lethal. And nobody will carry the can, as the injuries and death tolls mount.
Was it just a cock-up? Or something more conspiratorial? You have to wonder, given the never-ending tapestry of lies from individuals at the very top, all of whom seemed to agree profoundly with each other that 2 plus 2 equalled 5.
Since adulthood, finding a group of people to slot into hasn’t come easily. Probably the last time I fitted in anywhere without friction or anxiety was 41 years ago, in 1981. Nine months working nights in a vacuum flask factory, telling jokes and swapping endless stories.
In the interim, I’ve become warier, harder to please. Groups are often dominated by a handful of individuals, typically long on voice, and shorter on listening skills. I want the intimacy of good conversation, back and forth. With space for everyone.
And yet, about two weeks ago, I was happy to find myself ‘belonging’ to a very, very large and highly unsubtle gathering. Deep in the heart of London’s East End, on the evening of 17 March. The occasion was West Ham United Football Club’s most important game for many years, against Spanish side Sevilla. My first live game for over 6 years, in company with my son, Rory. And 60,000 others. Under the floodlights at the London Stadium in Stratford.
A dynamite of anticipation was in the air, poised to explode. Cockney and Thames Estuary accents resounding around the stadium bars, primed and ready for the action. A pre-match schedule of lager, lager, piss, lager.
Then up to our seats, where lone shouts and group chants of ‘aye-yans, aye-yans, aye-yans’ rung around the terraces, for the club that started life in the 19th century as Thames Ironworks FC. And is still a proper working class club, 127 years on. It’s in the air, the wit, the clothes, the body language.
The ‘Irons’. The ‘Hammers’. The ‘Claret and Blues’. Come on you Irons! COYI!
The ref blew his whistle and off we went, hurtling down a tunnel of partisan noise designed to help the Irons win the Europa League knock-out tournament.
I was born a Londoner, in Edmonton. More pertinently, my father grew up in the East End neighbourhoods of Bethnal Green and Homerton. I first joined the ‘Irons’ tribe 56 years ago. Dad took me to see West Ham play Newcastle in 1966. The noise and sights stirred something that never left me. A past blog (https://thebiscuitfactoryonline.com/2018/10/24/41-come-on-you-irons/) attempted to convey some of that.
A seam of cockney bluntness runs through most subsequent ‘Irons’ memories. A guy standing behind us epitomised it. “That fucking referee is a cunt. Nine out of every fucking ten decisions go against us. He’s a fucking twelfth man for these Spanish cunts. There he goes again….that weren’t a fucking foul. You fucking blind cunt. Ah what a fucking cunt he is. A cunt with a whistle and fuck all else. Ah it’s a fucking joke. I might as well talk to the fucking ceiling for all the good it does.”
Rory and me were grinning from ear to ear.
For over two roisterous hours, I had no need to explain myself. No need to think. I joined in the singing, and the mesmeric, thunderous clapping. Music gig meets football match for loud sex. An ear-shaking wall of noise, arcing out, wobbling, and boomeranging back, An uncensored maelstrom of one-way intent, obliterating my existence as my father’s carer.
After riotous final whistle celebrations, the feeling of bridging the years continued as Rory and I walked back to Stratford railway station, jammed in a slow-shuffling crowd. The mood was euphoric. Cries of ‘aye-ans, aye-ans, aye-ans’ cutting the night air in salute of the 2-0 win. And the progress to the tournament’s quarter finals.
A group of police walked past with a bloke in handcuffs, and the naughty boys and men around me erupted in various songs about ‘rozzers’ and ‘filth’ and ‘pigs’. Rolling back the years.
By the time we boarded a train home, post-coital calm was upon me. With each stop further out into Essex – Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood – the conversation quietened and I slowly returned to my usual self. Reflective, listening, distanced.
Did I rejoin my tribe for a night? It was a delicious moment. But a transient one. Tribes are 24/7 affairs.
Sometimes things are so awful that you just have to laugh.
Nearly three weeks ago my 94-year-old father almost lost consciousness as he came out of the bathroom. The paramedics arrived and advised an overnight stay in hospital. And so I came to be sitting with him one afternoon at the Major Emergencies ward at Broomfield hospital, Chelmsford.
They had hooked him up to a variety of stuff. Sensors across his abdomen, a blood-oxygen gauge clamped on his finger and a blood pressure device on his arm. All of which meant the poor old boy couldn’t easily wander across to take a wee in the commode. The situation required lots of explanation on my part, because he suffers from deep vascular dementia.
Each time his bladder filled, my job was to pull down his trousers and pants and give him one of the disposable urinal bottles to piss into as he lay on the bed. On one occasion, when he had finished, I took it over to the sink and emptied it. Turning round, I could only see his back. But he stirred my curiosity as he was cocking his head at differing angles, as if deliberating over some kind of choice.
“What you looking at Dad?”
In a stride it became clear. He had taken the clamp from his finger and now had it poised, jaws open, above his penis. Still cocking his head, trying to judge which part of his bell-end might best receive said clamp.
Before he could let the thing squeeze hard around the purple flesh, I snatched it away. “What the hell are you doing? That goes on your finger.”
“Oh, I didn’t know.”
Back home, I told Maureen. The pair of us ended up crying so hard with laughter that it hurt. We were weeping at the bit where he was puzzling over the best angle to clamp it on.
Hearing the story, a couple of friends suggested we could buy him some clothes pegs for his birthday. Or maybe attach a set of jump leads that start flat car batteries. Another recommended a good S&M club.
The line between tragedy and comedy can be so thin.
It was an uneventful Saturday night. Snooker on the TV, which is always a bonus as it keeps my father happy. The central heating banged up high, to keep the January cold out.
I had stayed too long in the same position. And felt dehydrated, having long ago finished my caffeine drink. As I became hotter and hotter, my lethargy increased. I needed a big glass of water, but couldn’t be arsed to get off the sofa. Each minute of immobility chipping away further at my motivation. Dad was absorbed by the slow clicking of the coloured balls. My ceaseless fretting about him had stopped, temporarily. Why disrupt a peaceful moment?
“Kev, can you get me a toothpick please?”
All good things must end. So, I hoisted myself up, stood fully, and felt the dizziness come rushing. To steady myself, I reached towards the handle of the cupboard with the toothpicks, just a few feet away.
Then I was laying on the kitchen floor, next to the overturned bin. Shoulder and neck slightly numbed, vaguely painful. Unsure of this new world, but all instincts urging me to get up, get my bearings, assess the damage, see if any bones were broken. I forced myself to my feet, noticing Dad trying to raise himself to come to my aid, and hearing Maureen rush up the stairs.
The very weird thing was how good I felt. Everything was brand new. Adrenalin and endorphins smashing around my system, I could walk, could swing my bruised arm and shoulder. Could twist my neck. I was grinning nervously at my wife. Quivering a little with the shock.
Here’s the kicker. Despite the shaking, it felt not unlike coming out of a very deep meditation. Like the one described in Blog 231 (https://wordpress.com/post/thebiscuitfactoryonline.com/2413). There was a lingering legacy – if such a thing is possible – of two or three seconds of unconsciousness. Of going into the void and emerging with more of a feeling than a recollection. Touched, for the briefest of moments, by an indescribable sweetness.
Lots of me hurt for the next few days. The bin was twisted beyond repair and had to be thrown away. I’m fully aware of the luck that it cushioned my fall. Could have broken my collar bone or even my neck.
I’m so grateful that I didn’t seriously injure myself. Although it’s boring I’ve been drinking much more water in subsequent weeks.
But where did I go for those few seconds, as my body fell? It’s a gorgeous mystery.
He never calls, so instinct said to brace for bad news. Trust your instincts.
He wanted us out after almost 7 years; and wasn’t giving much time to find a new place. A hammer blow that had my wife Maureen in tears, while I immersed myself in anxiety. Could we find somewhere suitable, and as cheap? Quickly?
The calculations indicated financial catastrophe. Our rent had stayed the same since 2014. We would have to find another £400 plus a month for somewhere equivalent. That isn’t easy in your early 60s, as work takes more of a backstage.
An idea poked temptingly through the turmoil. Could we kill a couple of birds with the same stone? It’s a cruel proverb. But might we move in with my father, who lived 16 miles away, in Brentwood?
15 years after Mum’s death, he is the victim of ever-advancing dementia, and cannot begin to fend for himself, rattling around on almost zero memory in a three-storey town house. Although my brother and I were visiting on alternate days, mixed with carer visits, we could never give enough time and attention. So why not give him live-in carers, company and a constant watchful eye, in return for rent-free accommodation? Two potatoes nicely mashed with the same fork.
It wouldn’t be plain sailing. From a routine where I saw dad every other day for 8-10 hours, I would switch to being his constant companion. Looking down the timeline, it terrified me that the unrelenting proximity to his quasi-helplessness would be exhausting.
With no better alternative, the plan swung into action. Things moved along with a few strokes of luck, so that we got an extra three months, and could enjoy the whole summer in our rented home before moving. That was a blessing – because our summers in Great Waltham have been so joyful – and a curse. Every day reinforced my sadness that we had one less day left before the upheaval.
On the worst days, the sense of loss was overwhelming. Parts of June, July, August and September were funereal, as I walked and cycled along the latticework of local, rural routes I had painstakingly reconnoitred and mapped down the years, sometimes buoyed by a pint or two. Saying goodbye to the quiet mid-Essex back roads, churches, special trees, and certain vistas and buildings like they were old friends. Taking leave of the play of light on the fields, through every season, and so many country pubs, where a beer could lend spiralling, ecstatic new dimensions to a walk or a ride.
Sitting out back some evenings, feeling sorry for myself, as the evenings shortened. Wondering if our six cats would transition to a new home with less space and garden. How I loved that garden, its length, its colours and old wood and the little meadows we created last summer.
I moaned far too often to Maureen about the trials to come. She said we had to get on with it. Sometimes love is blunt and practical.
We finally moved on 30 September. The weeks leading up to the event were so busy that I forgot about my broken heart. No time to mourn as we packed, cleaned and downsized.
Two months later the pain has gone. Many new things have replaced it. The pictures below give a flavour of that disappeared past.
Writing anything here has been problematic for some time. Yes, looking after my father every other day for the last 16 months has been increasingly draining. But it is more than that.
Every sense and instinct prods, gnaws and pinches. Nagging insistently that that a train crash is coming. Any words I find to try and describe this cannot begin to capture what is hurtling, still quietly, down global tracks. And writing about anything else usually seems pointless, frivolous.
Maybe Iain M Banks got near to nailing down the massive force that I sense approaching, with his last few chapters in the ‘Consider Phlebas’ sci-fi novel, where a group of space mercenaries land on an ostensibly deserted planet. An enemy hides within a complex of subterranean train stations. One protagonist sets a train for a collision course into a station. The slow build accelerates, steadily, into an atomic finale, mind-blowingly presented, maybe even a little orgasmic to my odd sensitivity.
What might be coming in our realm? Truth, for sure, say my guts. In bulk. Hundreds of tonnes of it, like a giant bog brush clearing a miles-long U-bend.
Which brings in Protomartyr, a US band that has come to my attention in recent months. Making this 64-year-old feel like a teenager again. The ultimate compliment to any band!
To me, their music speaks and resonates like no other at present. Check out their last two albums: ‘Descent into Relatives’ and ‘Ultimate Success Today’. Powerful art, cutting away all shite. Music and lyrics that say, quite beautifully, how darkly and direly we are positioned in time and situation. Maybe in terminal decline – social, political and economic – as things stand.
Resonating with every part of me, it contains an opening line that any inventive writer might happily die for:
In ancient Palestine a Roman middle manager dresses down a radical.
Don’t lie. You didn’t expect that little scene-set. Teeing up par excellence. Backed by urgent guitars, bass and drums. Fucking listen, it says. Sounding like the Smiths and Mark E Smith bumped into Nick Cave and Nirvana.
I have a backlog of so-called prophets You are of a multitude The offender said, “I witness truth” Perplexed and filled with pique the jailer replied, “Truth, what is it?”
Now the second verse leaps into the near-present, stepping up the imagery with surreal crafting. Hats off to singer/writer Joe Casey. Tying together more and more themes.
Outside of Darlington in 1963
On certain mornings a specter appeared In a well-appointed back garden Its voice was still heard after the sun had burned away its image Consulting physicists and mediums, the man he realized It was a relative, living 1000 miles away Half sister was thinking of him very poorly on those mornings
Quite a story already, huh? The wall of sound building, circling, guitar still going forwards, promising a shift up in gear. Joe belting it out with everything he has, because it’s his job to relate that things are looking decidedly dodgy.
In Northern Michigan there was an incident in winter A horse was hit by lightning and began to speak in a foreign language When he was finally understood, it repeated, “humans are no good” So they shot it behind the shed and stuffed him He’s now on display as a lesson for the kids to always do your best Do your best always Always Always
Just 3 minutes in, and it surely can’t get any better. Eternal truths, from the poor horse’s mouth, as Protomartyr rock your nuts off. You fleetingly think of being lucky enough to witness this in a live audience, moving your body and feeling your soul lift to something very unique.
And then the bass crosses a bridge and the band hit fifth, a truth train rushing into the world’s blocked colons, dipping into an even richer, gorgeous riff that they have been saving up, more urgent than ever.
Truth is a colicking horse That serves no purpose Truth is a babbling prisoner You’d rather not kill if they confess
Electrifying. And they ram it to the hilt, at a time when almost every newspaper you read and virtually every brownnosing TV and radio presenter you hear is full of utter shit.
Truth is the half sister That will not be forgotten Truth is the half sister That will not forgive
She is trying to reach you Trying to reach you
As my mate Jono says, they are THE band of these times. The final message insistently knocks on the door:
She is trying to reach you Trying to reach you
Joe Casey says she won’t forget or forgive. Forgive me, but I’m keenly anticipating that day.
For years, virtue-signalling and persuasion have been slyly inserted into BBC news and current affairs programmes, cajoling viewers and listeners in how and what to think.
The shite stream also flows at a deeper, more subliminal level in some of the Beeb’s drama. But they threw the stealth out of the window on Monday night’s edition of the ‘Eastenders’ soap opera. Unashamedly, the scriptwriters dusted down their worst cliches and threw the kitchen sink at a character who had made the choice not to vaccinate.
As Karen wandered away, browbeaten and faltering, I wondered if the ghost of Joseph Goebbels might have revived. Did it sit up, grinning, alerted by the BBC’s shameless use of propaganda, that depicted a normally strong character as a feeble-minded “anti-vaxxer”?
In my imagination, Joe’s phantom went one further, in its excitement at the shallow platitudes slapping millions of TV faces hard. As two other characters made it clear that vaccination is most certainly not a subject where we have the luxury of choice, I envisaged Joe’s spectre jacking itself off, breathlessly. Ghostly sperm billowing through some parallel Nazi universe, like acid rain.
My wife went for her first Covid vaccination on Wednesday. Dad has received his. So have my brother, sisters-in-law, and a host of friends. There have been a few adverse reactions in the first 24 hours, but nothing to prick up your ears. Everyone safe and sound, Lord love ‘em all.
Earlier in the week, our local GP surgery reminded me to book my appointment. I politely told them ‘no thanks’, although I will keep considering the offer.
Not rejecting it outright: but sensibly seeking a good reason to be jabbed. Maybe one will appear? If it does, I will. No drama. I have given it months of quiet thought, assessing the reward and trawling through the risk. Paying attention to a set of moving uncertainties. Like you would.
An easy comparison is the flu jab. As a kid, I scarfed up all of the standard vaccinations: MMR, meningitis, diphtheria and so on. No problem. Then, as an adult, yellow fever and malaria jabs for trips abroad. All good. But flu? I have had it on countless occasions, and my T-cells and antibodies know what to do. Why take a jab for something my immune system deals with competently?
Wouldn’t there be at least a couple of hundred better things to do, for me and the seriously over-burdened National Health Service? I have done my damnedest to take responsibility for my own health in recent decades. Probably two calls on the doctor over the last 20 years.
Clearly Covid-19 is a more unknown opponent. Terribly nasty to suffer, and awful to die from. No disputing that. In January 2020, Maureen and I were knocked for six, for a day or two, by a bug hitherto unencountered. New and dizzying sensations of illness were fought off. Daughter Lauren and husband Chris had something similar, wiping days from their lives.
Two months later, my son Rory attended the final day of the Cheltenham Festival races, amid 60,000 other gambling, sweaty humans, at a time when we were told that the novel coronavirus was hopping from body to body at rocket velocities. He came home the next day. We were all fine.
Those two sets of events were enough to convince me that my immune system had grappled buck-naked with Covid, and sent the nasty little toad scampering. “You can fuck right off, SARS-Cov2,” I like to think my system said, mimicking its host.
My immune system would definitely be talkative: “If you come back, twat, our T-cells know how you operate, even if our antibodies lose their power over time. You can mutate all you like shithead, but don’t forget we have been kicking the fuck out of coronaviruses for decades before you sprang out of a Chinese bat turd. We‘ve got your family blueprints, motherfucker. Do one.”
I love my immune system. What a pal. Always there, fighting my corner, remembering the weak points of my assailants, and defending mine. No surprise that I big it up. Boost it with vitamins C, D and zinc, plenty of sunlight, turmeric and garlic, and, recently, a daily juiced up half-pint of celery, pineapple, lemon, apple, ginger and cucumber. And less alcohol. Far less. Lots of walks and fresh air. Long sleeps. All told, a cracking defence, guarding me like Kev Costner shielded Whitney.
In contemplating a Covid vaccine I also gazed upon data from the illustrious and mighty World Health Organization (WHO), which cites an average 99.95% chance of surviving the virus for those under 70 who contract it. More precisely for my age group, the rate for beating infection among the 50-69 bracket is 99.5%, according to the US Centre for Disease Control. Official scientists. Not the so-called tinfoil hat brigade.
Given those brilliantly favourable odds, and my pugnacious inner minder, the need to vaccinate against something that is relatively innocuous for my age group is not clear. How is Covid-19 more of a threat to me than falling down a flight of stairs or being involved in a terrible car crash? Life inevitably carries some risk. Correct me if that is wrong.
I do get it totally, understand completely that the elderly, chronically ill and otherwise vulnerable want the jab. Of course. And anybody else that wants to feel ‘safe’ or seeks to get out again in crowds during the spring and summer. I would be gagging for it, in their shoes.
Take my missus as one example. Maureen has respiratory issues; and works with children, an environment where vaccination will be expected. So she took the jab. Fair play. Her choice. Totally respected, always and forever.
Among our three kids, Rory is up for the vaccine. Not because he fears for his health, but due to his lust for pubs, gigs and festivals when his freedoms return. Daughter Lauren is similar, feeling no need for an injection but concerned about the possible exclusion from the travel required for her job. Daughter Josie sees little reason to be vaccinated, but worries that she may be coerced by workplace dictates.
That spectrum of opinion among my nearest and dearest makes me proud. We have fed on fascinating debate and counter-debate, without sanctimony or fear. Proper conversation, no name-calling. Wit and kindness flying around. Family operating like a democracy should. Consideration, individual choice, the right to disagree. Good, respectful attitudes, enshrined in our Western ways.
Aren’t they? You might dwell on that question, if you pay any heed to the one-sided media ‘debate’ about vaccines in the UK, or the slime of Eastenders. Toxic doesn’t begin to describe the almost universal dismissal on TV, radio and printed media of anyone who quite reasonably says ‘thanks but no thanks’ to the jab. The only narrative in town says: ‘Just get vaccinated’. Never mind the tiny mortality rate for the young and healthy. Move on, nothing to see there.
You can only hope that the current generation of mainstream journalists will wake up one day and hang their heads in shame. Most of the writers for the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Mirror, Express and Sun. Almost all reporters for the BBC, Sky, ITV and most radio stations. As they recall the taste of their tongues deep in fathomless government and corporate rectums. And try and explain to their children that they took money for gaslighting on behalf of vaccine manufacturers and politicians.
A good journalist is duty-bound to inform. No more, no less. By that measure, it is fair, reasonable and NECESSARY to tell Joe Public that the risk in declining the jab may be matched by an equal risk in taking it. It may. The vaccines still being rushed to market represent new medical technology, whose longer-term outcomes are unknown.
(As quickly as possible, we are told the new vaccines by-pass the traditional injection of dead or live virus. Instead, cells within the body are forced to manufacture a protein that resembles the ‘spike’ protein from SARS-CoV-2, so that the immune system swings into action and produce an antibody response to that mimicking protein. In short, setting up a defence for any future coronavirus intrusion. Maybe this is a brilliant innovation. Time will tell. But, to repeat, nobody knows, yet.)
What has been terribly under-publicised or just plain ignored by media is that Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed under ‘emergency use’ authorisations, issued by bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Whether you like it or not, every jabbed human is taking part in a still unlicensed, and highly experimental final phase of an immense clinical trial, set to finish in 2023. Maybe that is all fine and dandy. I genuinely hope so.
But would you buy an untested car? Just because others were? Because the Queen and Dolly Parton or your favourite celebrity each bought one? Maybe you would. Whatever, you at least have the right to be told in the clearest terms that you are something akin to a guinea pig. The right not to be bombarded with unfounded reassurances that “this is completely safe”.
The Nazi Germany parallel nags a little. The Nuremberg trials at the end of WW2 gave rise to a set of principles governing human experimentation. It was deemed that without “informed consent” from those being experimented on, a war crime is committed. Is that relevant? I don’t know.
There is good reason that vaccine trials typically take a long time, and that trial volunteers are traditionally observed for years after they receive their injections. The last time that a vaccine was rushed, for swine flu in 2009-10, recipients died of narcolepsy. It is neither theory, nor conspiratorial, to underline that the current vaccine manufacturers and regulators can have no clue as to what the ‘gene therapy’ contained in Covid-19 jabs might do to people’s immune systems in 12 months, 2 years or 10 years from now.
One giant hill of shit that fouls the horizon is how vaccine manufacturers have been given legal indemnity preventing them being sued, in cases of liability claims. There are government funds from which it is possible to claim, but the bottom line is that you bear the risks of the vaccine yourself.
All good journalism would point out this uncertainty. Every day. Unremittingly and unapologetically. Instead, we are spoon fed a narrative that a Luftwaffe equivalent is bombing our bodies. An “emergency” that leaves no time for research. Deliberately creating unwarranted tension, keeping the fearful on their toes, infantilising swathes of the population. Genuinely useful and informative news about Covid-19 can sometimes seem as rare as eunuch sperm.
Some medical professionals have forecast that instances of auto-immune disease will be triggered by the vaccines. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stuttered and dithered in Parliament yesterday when asked how many recent UK deaths have occurred with potential links to the vaccine. In the European Union, as of 25 March, there had been 3,964 deaths from vaccine adverse reactions, according to the official EudraVigilance database. In Israel, where the vaccination rate is the highest in the world, the fatality numbers after two months of intensive inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine look to have soared when gauged against the preceding period.
My personal take – irrespective of what anyone says – is to watch from the sidelines. For the time being. To try and get a handle on this grand experiment in molecular mimicry. Yeah, I know, there could be some hefty consequences, including no ‘vaccine passport’, no access to pub or cinema. Oh well.
At least I don’t live in Israel, where the refusal to vaccinate is already leading to the termination of employment contracts, and effectively becoming a second-class citizen. Creating a world where being able to produce the right notification, or piece of paper, is necessary. The historical irony is almost too much to bear.
How did it get this way? A partial explanation is that journalists stopped throwing out tough questions. Such a query might ask how the unvaccinated can be a threat to people other than themselves. “How does that work Minister, once the vulnerable have the jab?”
Another might ask Mr Hancock about the peer-reviewed study in Wuhan that found a 0% asymptomatic virus transmission rate in a survey of 10 million people. In short, that healthy people were not transmitting the virus. “Minister, do we need to tweak our view of lockdowns and masks?” (I might have to reconsider that Rory brought the virus home from Cheltenham.)
At the end of this long and tortuous road sits one obvious question. One that everyone with any spirit of enquiry in their DNA should be asking of ‘authorities’ that have shot down our freedoms, irrevocably screwed up the education system, murdered thousands of recovering elderly in care homes, shut down our entertainments and pleasures and lifted mental health and domestic violence to new heights.
Here’s the question. What absolute certainties will the Covid-19 vaccine bring, what new benefits that we can rely on to compensate for the Himalayan range of time, money, energy and life shoved down the tubes over the past 12 months?
All I can honestly see, for sure, with 100% certainty, from the manufacturers and governments, beyond all the constantly-changing percentages of death and hospitalisation risk, is that it will ………help ease the symptoms of the virus if you ever happen to get it.
What? Is that the promised land, the ticket to freedom awaited by so many since floppy Boris declared the need to ‘flatten the curve’ for a few weeks? Our symptoms most definitely will not feel so bad. Chapeau! Let’s break out the champagne.
What has been made abundantly clear is that after receiving the ‘shots’ you will still have to social distance, wear a mask in shops, stay away from strangers and sanitise. Same old new normal. On with the zombie show, in the open-air prison. Maybe you think it’s OK to be misled non-stop?
And what about saving lives? That jury is out, standing by a closed pub, still watching the death figures. A ‘Third Wave’ of virus is being talked up by government advisers and media like a movie booked for the autumn. Beware the ‘variants’, say the experts. ‘Vaccine refuseniks’ are already being blamed in some quarters.
I find myself out of step with most people. At the most basic level, the word ‘pandemic’ continues to be bandied about, yet hardly a single acquaintance knows anybody who has died. It is difficult to be optimistic when intelligent friends say that they lack ‘permission’ to travel more than 5 miles for a walk, or that the most destructive British public policies of the past century that also trample on inalienable human rights are somehow worth getting behind. And when the Labour Party that I once voted for bends over and gives the Tories a free pass.
Britain’s Parliament has just voted to extend the draconian government powers enshrined in the Coronavirus Act 2020, with a huge majority of 484 to 76. In the background, the world’s richest people are ramping up the talk of an economic “Great Reset”. The Financial Times just ran a headline arguing that the “EU must prepare for era of pandemics”. Guess the FT has a really good crystal ball.
When the propaganda wrinkles my nose, I sometimes return to April 2020 words from Chris Whitty, the UK government’s chief medical adviser. I’ve mentioned his clarity before.
“The great majority of people will not die from this and I’ll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it’s worth reinforcing: Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.
Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens. Of those who get symptoms, the great majority, probably 80%, will have a mild or moderate disease. Might be bad enough for them to have to go to bed for a few days, not bad enough for them to have to go to the doctor. An unfortunate minority will have to go as far as hospital, but the majority of those will just need oxygen and will then leave hospital. And then a minority of those will end up having to go to severe end critical care and some of those sadly will die. But that’s a minority…the great majority of people, even the very highest groups, if they catch this virus, will not die. And I really wanted to make that point really clearly.”
Never underestimate the horse’s mouth. Whitty reiterated similar themes a few days ago. Yet the British government has just advertised a £2 million tender for a company to undertake a Covid public information multimedia advertising campaign. The last two words catch the eye. As did the length of the contract, until 2023. Do they know somehing that we don’t? Are there time lords working for Boris?
It is hard to resist the image of the spectral Goebbels reaching for his Nazi helmet and spraying more jism out into the ether, as the new PR team goes about its wretched business. Meanwhile, a full four years away, in March 2025, the World Bank expects to close its Covid-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme. What balls of crystal they must have rubbed over in Washington DC, to insert that precise date. Maybe Joe rubbed his.
There are no conspiracy theories above, just facts and a few opinions, belted at you with a straight bat and a lashing or two of humour. Have to admit, though, to a rising admiration of Frank Zappa’s decades-old conjecture that the “illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion”. Did anyone notice that the world economy has tanked? While we all fretted about our breath.
What else Frank? “At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
Life after death? Let’s face it, there is just the one way to find out for sure. But here is a story.
My elderly father is no longer able to drive, so he has kindly given his car to my daughter Lauren.
It was off the road for so long that a new MOT was required. Lauren’s husband Chris drove it to a nearby garage four mornings ago for the test.
Chris walked back to Dad’s house to pass the time. He sat in his own vehicle on the driveway. In his own words, “I had this insanely cold chill pass through me so I tried to put my passenger window up and it wouldn’t budge. Took a few tries then it went up really slowly. Thought nothing of it.”
He tells more of the story: “After it passed, and I went to collect the car, I 100% checked around the car for damage and such and the windows were all shut. On the drive back, I had no radio or fans going (to hear the engine) and I would have heard the back passenger window go down. But I didn’t. I was really confused as to how it was open when I turned off the engine on the driveway but, again, thought nothing of it.”
Something else he noticed was a craving for a cigarette. “I even told Lauren while I was waiting that I had the biggest urge in my life to go and buy a pack of fags. It took a lot of determination not to visit the newsagents just down the road.”
Later that day, I went online and taxed the newly-tested Nissan Almera, so that it could be driven away. Then I went to Dad’s. I parked my Ford Focus next to the Nissan, shut the driver’s window, and locked the car.
When Dad was up, I looked out of the window and saw that Chris had come to collect the Nissan. He was checking under the bonnet. A minute or two later, the alarm went off on my car.
I went downstairs, opened the front door, and was about to unlock and re-lock my car – to disable the alarm – when my eyes did a double take.
All four of the windows were open. The only way to open them is manually, from within the car. WTF? But the priority was to stop the alarm, so, like Chris, I didn’t dwell on it.
Chris later reasoned that all of these car windows opening for no reason constituted a pattern. He told the entire story to Lauren later and she said: “Maybe Nanny was trying to have a cigarette.”
My mum died 15 years ago, when she was still regularly driving the Almera. Mum loved to smoke. If lighting up in the car, she would open a window. In the years after her death, I would detect a faint smell of tobacco in my study.
I do try and keep her memory alive. Every new moon, such as today, I light a candle for her, and will make an offering before her photo of (variously) coffee, cake and cigarettes – some of her favourite treats.
A few days before the car incident, she had appeared in one of my meditations, wearing sunglasses. I have no idea what to make of that. A few months back, I was meditating at Dad’s while he was asleep. Something quite solid, like a hand, very lightly and quite tenderly brushed my neck and shoulder.
If you buy into the ‘ghost’ theory (and it is tempting), was Mum saying a clumsy hello from a ‘between-worlds’ zone? Opening ‘windows’ into wherever or whatever she is? Trying to keep them open? I would have to consider those ideas. Car windows are not designed to open themselves.
Was she sadly protesting the loss of one of the last legacies of her 43-year marriage to Dad? Some of her bits and pieces (shopping receipts, vehicle vacuum cleaner) were still in the car when it finally left Dad’s front drive.
Was she telling Lauren and Chris to look after the car? Wishing them courage and luck in the years ahead?
Who knows? Nobody. But contemplating these things made me feel unexpectedly happy and buoyant.
Here’s the Almera, sitting outside its new home.
PS. The first two letters and the last on the numberplate include both my consecutive initials (Kevin Lawrence Godier) and Lauren’s (Lauren Rose Godier). For what it’s worth.
During one of the last days of 2020, with daylight in short supply, Maureen and I drove about 15 miles out to Coggeshall, a small town in north Essex where some friends had lived a couple of decades back. Still allowed to exercise by walking, we went primarily to beat back the coronavirus ennui and sense of isolation.
Coggeshall is a beautiful town, with hundreds of listed buildings that are delicious on the eye.
With few people out on the streets, the architecture dominates. Alleyways, shops, houses and pubs with facades and features that take you back in time. Ghosts lodged in the freezing air. It made me sad to never have lived in a visibly historic town. But that’s another story.
In this one, I realised at some stage that nature was calling. Left my wife browsing shop windows and followed a sign indicating that relief lay ahead. No surprise, though, that the public conveniences were closed. I saw two elderly couples chatting, and assumed they were locals. Walked across the road and spoke to the nearest woman. “Excuse me, do you know of any nearby public toilet that is open.”
I started my question about two metres away from her, as recommended. I have been shielding my father for almost a year. Hence I stay distant from anyone except family. Nonetheless, with each word she shuffled backwards. When I got to “here” she had at least doubled the distance between us.
The fear in her eyes, above her mask, was palpable. I don’t wear a mask in the open air. Maybe that scared her, which would never be my intention.
The poor woman knew of no other public facilities. Thanking her, I set off for a small park I had seen earlier. Hoping to discover a large bush that might shroud my debladdering.
No good. Bush-free. Coming back, a woman (also masked, maybe in her late 60s) appeared at the other end of a path that skirted a small grassy area. It’s best to be kind whenever you can. I decided to walk out onto the sodden grass before we passed so that she would not have to come close.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at what happened next. Well before our passing point, she stopped, turned, and bent over the waist-high fence bordering the path. So that her bum poked up and her head was as far away from me as possible. So as not to inhale any of my breath.
I found out later that Coggeshall was hit by the Black Death back in the 14th century. Maybe those ghosts were urging her to avoid me like the plague.
“Thank you”! I said. To her buttocks.
The only suitable place I could find was a path alongside a Presbyterian church, away from public gaze. Gratefully emptying my bladder, I thought about the coronavirus for the thousandth time.
Being alive comes with risks. Always has done. One option that I choose is to take Vitamins C and D3, combined with zinc, to strengthen immunity to respiratory illness. Walk long distances. Eat well. Avoid close contact with strangers. Simple common sense.
If SARS-Cov 2 does somehow come knocking, then such is life, or perhaps death. The Grim Reaper comes for us all in the end. But when he swings a cleaver stained with Covid, his victims have already lived one year longer on average than those who expire from other causes. Encouragingly, there is something like a 99.7% survival chance, for those contracting the virus. In a life that comes with no guarantees, those are good odds. Happy odds. And so I worry about passing the virus to Dad far, far more than for my own wellbeing.
The image of the protruding arse will stay with me. To repeat a past opinion, the widespread depression and other forms of mental illness stemming from the government’s Covid-19 lockdown policy are affecting so many more people than the virus itself. Including the woman who kindly bent over for me.
The prime culprit behind the terror some people are experiencing is in many cases not the virus itself. It is the unsubstantiated fear porn vomited out by local and national media, underpinned by government sponsorship, and perpetuated by people still paying heed to the fuckwits on the TV.
And now the promise that vaccines would end lockdown is gradually being reined back, a notch here and a tweak there. But that’s another story.