Informed By Policy

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE

One journalist has revealed what many have long suspected: that the advice given by SAGE is anything but sage.

I refer to the scandal which now surrounds the government body’s endless modelling of questionably high death figures – not since Kate Moss’ party days has a modelling scandal involved so many illicit highs.

Through a series of well-placed questions, the Spectator’s Fraser Nelson was able to induce Graham Medley, chairman of the Sage Covid modelling committee, into giving this illuminating admission:

‘We generally model what we are asked to model. There is a dialogue in which policy teams discuss with the modellers what they need to inform them with their policy.’

So, rather than following the science, the science seems to have been following government. If lockdown and its sister measures were based on data that is possibly false and provably biased, then why were we subjected to them?

All those who died from cancers they could have otherwise survived; all the young who ended their lives just as they were beginning; all those who were forbidden from saying goodbye to family members for the very last time – are we now being told that all this misery was for nothing? If so, then it will no doubt become another ‘truth that dare not speak its name.’ Fraser’s revelation should be the scandal of the decade, but thus far the only person to have written about it is Fraser himself.

So, props to the Spectator’s editor, but most journalists are less inquisitive. Any questions asked in those doom-drenched Covid briefings are formulated with the aim to instil fear and uncertainty. In the absence of investigative journalism, we are condemned to the nasal twangs of Robert Peston; a man for whom lockdowns seem to arouse an almost carnal desire – he pleads for them to be ever longer and ever harder.

Then there’s the menace of political commentators. Where does one begin? Perhaps with the contemptibly stupid Benjamin Butterworth who seems to be positioning himself as a kind of fascist agony aunt. He sits there, on whatever TV sofa he can find, with the look of a benign WI member: oversized glasses, knitted jumpers, sagging breasts and lips curled into the faint hint of a maternal smile. But then his mouth begins to open – always, I notice, at a strange side angle – and a mixture of bile and bilge begins to flow. It’s always some variation of ‘the unvaccinated should be punished’ or that they are selfish – well, yes, people do tend to be selfish when it comes to their health, you’d have to be a bit thick not to be.

Could it be that lockdown measures speak to the fetishist? They do, and not to sound glib, seem to fulfil every one of their latent desires: masks, erotic asphyxiation, endless pricks, and a general sense that they are being dominated by some unapproachable authority.

It would explain the behaviour of a certain callow journalist out there who demands to be jabbed, jabbed and jabbed again like some insatiable whore. Seriously, are these measures a kindness or a kink?

For near two years now we have been trapped in an endless cycle of media sensationalism and government gesture politics. If there is any justice in this world, then Fraser Nelson’s revelation should break it. But if there were any justice, then it wouldn’t have taken this long, or this many lives, to reveal it.

James Bembridge is Deputy Editor of Country Squire Magazine.