”Hands. Face. Space”
”We’ll be taking action to step up enforcement … to make sure that we can keep this virus under control “
“All effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
Adolph Hitler in ‘Mein Kampf’
It’s 27 December 2020. GOV UK is back in full Mad Dictatorship mode.
Downstairs at the Downing Street Covidkanzlei, teams of certified and sectioned experts are drawing up exponential graphs with wax crayons for the next episode of Whitty and Valance Say Be Very Afraid.
Upstairs in the attic, astrologers and re-animators race against time to imbue a Blue-Ringed Octopus with the spirit of Sir Ebenezer Howard so it can design Covid Garden City – a socially-distanced paradise of broad boulevards and hermetically-sealed schools for the British political elites and their heirs.
Meanwhile, Mat Hancock’n’Balls-up bends over the Cabinet Room map table, marshalling phantom armies of testers and tracers across arbitrary tier boundaries long since crossed by the virus.
Mat’s miracle weapons
From his quote above, it’s obvious Mat, the Pink-Tied Robot, genuinely believes he really is bossing COVID-19 like a Rommel or Guderian, with his assorted wunderwaffen of tiers, lockdowns and curfews.
But Germany’s doomed invasion of Russia in 1941 now looks like a winnable bet in comparison to Mat’s gimlet-eyed conviction that he is controlling the outbreak.
It doesn’t matter to Mat that his strategy is worse than useless. The UK has suffered 70,000 alleged COVID deaths to-date, despite the epochal damage inflicted by Mat’s measures on lives and livelihoods. But Hancock has got the state and corporate media propaganda machine on his side.
He can go on feeding British society into his lockdown meat grinder for as long as he wants, knowing the MSM will back him to hilt.
The media will carry on obligingly calling every positive test a ‘case’. Though we don’t know what it’s a ‘case’ of, since the World Health Organisation keeps telling everyone who’ll listen (not Hancock, obviously) that PCR tests are not diagnostic.
Tests don’t even accurately indicate the presence of the thing they aren’t diagnosing. For your average healthy, asymptomatic human, you might as well toss a coin as take a swab. And even if they could be trusted, the story they tell doesn’t come anywhere near justifying Hancock’s messianic control complex.
So far Mat’s Virenkontrolle-Zauber Gruppen have carried out nearly 50 million tests in the UK. Yet the chance of you or I succumbing to a “virus-associated” death after getting tested is 0.1% (70,000 ÷ 50 million). Or to look on the brighter side, if you or I have a test, our chances of NOT dying later on, whatever the test result, are 99.9%.
Hardly the kind of odds that justify using lockdowns to encircle and annihilate normal daily life.
I don’t know exactly what a death “associated with coronavirus” is, by the way. It’s a verbal construction the BBC recently started using, perhaps to cover its arse against the time its docile and cartoonish presentation of the government COVID narrative returns to bite it.
It’s only the media’s relentless harping on “cases” and “associated with” deaths that has kept many people sufficiently scared to submit to Hancock’s incessant chirping about “control” measures.
There has been no ‘control’ of the UK epidemic. Sweden imposed far less damaging restrictions than we did and suffered 21% fewer “associated with” deaths. Peru went for full-on wunderwaffe house arrests, with oak leaves and diamonds … and got clobbered anyway.
Deaths “associated with” COVID-19 are heavily skewed towards people already ill enough with something else to need to be in care or in hospital. And the average age of COVID-associated death is higher than you or I would expect to reach even without a pandemic.
Even if you got a “positive” test result, then the average risk of going on to join the ranks of “associated with” deaths is 3% (70,000 deaths ÷ 2.5 million positive tests). In other words, if you test positive you have a 97% chance of staying ALIVE – assuming you even get ill, which is unlikely.
Of course, your actual COVID death risk is age-related. It’s negligible if you’re under 50, slight between 50 and 70, significant if you’re over 70 and already in poor health.
Mat’s control master plan is to lock up 60 million people in order to allegedly “save” the UK’s 5.4 million over-75s.
It’s not working.
Alas, I see no way out of this mess. Hancock and his coterie of so-called scientific so-called experts in SAGE and NERVGAS, or whatever he’s calling his latest Supreme Advisory Council, are too entrenched in their beliefs. They’ll go happily round and round their self-perpetuating gyre of tests, “cases”, “associated deaths” and lockdowns until the last cows come home to find the farm’s gone bust and the farmer’s committed suicide.
‘Trust me, I’m an authoritarian crackpot’
Going back to Hitler, the full quotation referenced above begins:
”The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous.”
That remark brackets Adolph with another self-proclaimed born leader, Mat’s boss, who suggested in 2013 that low IQ was the reason why low-income people struggle to get by. But it’s not stupidity that causes people to wear masks when alone in cars or cringe away from other pedestrians. Most people are just busy getting on with their lives. They trust government to be straight with them and the media to call government to account when it isn’t. They’re receptive to the broad sweep of media coverage, not the detail. And the media for the most part have spent all of 2020 making sure the broad sweep is as scary as hell. “Cases” my arse.
But Hitler was correct about the power of forgetting being enormous. Presumably he’s referring partly to Nietzsche’s Active Forgetting: the wilful abandonment of elements of one’s past whose recollection makes the present less enjoyable – like happy memories of hugging friends or nipping into a pub whenever and with whoever we wanted. In other words, forgetting what preceded our new present; our “new normal” as encapsulated in the slogan “Hands. Face. Space.”
It doesn’t take long to engineer forgetting, either. A 2010 study of habit formation found that in most cases eight months was more than enough for a new behaviour to become automatic – or for an old one to be dropped. The average was two months.
It’s now nine-and-a-half months since Hancock launched his all-out assault on people’s memories of a time when everyone knew it was impossible and pointless to try to “control” a virus that’s been perfecting its transmissivity for millions of years.
Perhaps it is proving tougher than he anticipated. Maybe that’s why the simple propaganda message for 2021 is now “expect indefinite restrictions, even with a vaccine”.
What will he do with people who still refuse to forget after another six months, though?