Clive James once wrote about how he agonised over getting metaphors right. His efforts certainly, to use a clichéd metaphor, bore fruit. One of Dr No’s favourites describes Demis Roussos. ‘His stage manner reflects the opulence of his domicile. There is an immense reserve of inner warmth, as in a compost heap.’ Then there is the near perfect description of Barbara Cartland. ‘Twin miracles of mascara, her eyes looked like the corpses of two small crows that had crashed into a chalk cliff.’ Neither are kindly, but it is not the TV critic’s job to be kindly, but to observe, and in the writing add something, and James’s writing is perfectly larded through and through with metaphors that add richness and flavour, like the marbling in a fine piece of beef.

By comparison, another journalist, now standing in as our Prime Minister, uses metaphors that are inclined to miss their mark, like a blind archer’s arrows. Yesterday’s ‘crocus of hope…poking through the frost’ to describe the coming Covid spring fails on the fragility of the flower, which will be gone by summer. If a sprouting metaphor is what one wants, then let it be the first shoots from an acorn, that will grow to be an English oak, to stand tall and mighty against the winds of adversity.

What of the road map out of lockdown itself? Dr No’s first impression was that it has all the clarity of Whistock’s variations to the Hurlingham rules for Mornington Crescent, with the distinct possibility that we might never arrive at the Crescent, and instead be locked in a never ending antidote to lockdown, with Johnson’s I’m sorry I haven’t a clue echoing endlessly in our ears. We were told that progress will be driven by ‘data not dates’, but that is just last year’s tired mutton dressed as this year’s spring lamb, the Emperor’s new science, indistinguishable from the now largely  discredited ‘led by’ and ‘guided by’ the science from last year. If there is one thing we learnt then, it was that Johnson and his advisers make no distinction between data, science and modelling, and we can be sure this has not changed. The progress, or obstruction of progress, will, as it has been throughout the last year, be based not on decent analysis of past data, but on numerological modelling of future trends.

Then there are the dates that aren’t really dates, and the four tests to be met before moving on, that aren’t really tests. Each date is just a marker in the sand, easily blown further down the road by the winds of covid. Each test is vaguely worded: the vaccine programme has to ‘continue…successfully’, it has to be ‘sufficiently effective’ at reducing morbidity and mortality, infections rates must not ‘risk a surge’ in hospitalisations, and the government’s assessment of risks must not be ‘fundamentally changed’ by new variants. Each and every one is so vaguely worded as to mean it can be twisted this way and that. A test of, say, R below one is either met or not met, but our assessment of unspecified risks not fundamentally changed by unknown future variants? There is more than ample scope in these tests to re-write the rules as time goes by.

Which leaves the dates; and they leave Dr No wondering why not use firm dates? As the as yet not fully counted horrors of lockdown continue to grow, why not set real firm dates that will be adhered to come what may? Now, a year after it’s arrival, we know much better what the virus will and won’t do. Today’s ONS weekly mortality data continues to show that almost three quarters (73.94%) of deaths occur in those aged 75 and over (and those aged 85 and over account for getting on for half (42.13%) of all deaths), while in those aged 0 to 14 years old, there have been a total of eleven deaths. Long covid apart, about which Dr No has some as yet unresolved doubts, serious covid–19 remains overwhelmingly a disease of old people; and yet the brunt of the lockdown harms are borne by the young and middle aged, many of whom will bear the scars for years, if not decades. Is it really right to blight and sacrifice millions of young lives just to postpone death for a few weeks/months, or perhaps years, in some oldies?

Before you start screaming blue murder at Dr No for being ageist, don’t forget, at 63 years of age, he is all but an oldie himself. Why shouldn’t he, as many others do, say two things that are vitally important to him? Firstly, that he wants to live the remaining years of his — his, and his alone, not the government’s, nor anyone else’s — life doing what matters to him, things like sailing in the company of friends, and spending time with his family and friends. And secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, he wants to see young and middle aged people get their lives back, the young deprived of education and careers, the musicians sacrificed on the high altar of covid protectionism, and all the others blighted by this protectionism. For some it is almost certainly too late, and their careers will have died; but do we really want to continue the carnage? Dr No, for one, does not.

Instead of dates made woolly by ‘no earlier than’, why not have on such and such a date this will happen. On the 8th March, all schoolchildren will go back to school; on the 17th May outdoor performances will restart; on the 21st of June theatres will reopen; and so on for all other curtailed activities. That would be a real roadmap out of lockdown. But once again, Johnson seems — if Dr No can borrow a metaphor from the man himself — the hesitant crocus poking through the frost, with not so much a roadmap in hand as a vague set of possible routes that might be taken, all predicated on the notion that it better to travel hopefully than to arrive. But, for a roadmap out of covid hell, that notion, however charming it is in other times and places, simply won’t do.


  1. Tish Farrell Reply

    Emperor’s new science indeed, Dr. No. I want to scream and scream and scream. The Government Covid 19 Response Spring 2021 states in para 196 on page 59

    “196. Like some strains of flu, COVID-19 is a relatively mild illness for much of the population, but it is more dangerous to vulnerable groups.”

    And Oxford are planning to test their vaccines on young children!

  2. Steve Prior Reply

    I’m 65, my wife 52, have arrived at a policy which may still be interrupted by governments need to control via coercion and full on manipulation.

    Since we are still unsure of the Covid-19 vaccinations adverse events over the medium and long term, we have decided that I will go without the vaccine and my wife will have it.

    As a believer in citizen science, I feel it is incumbent on yours truly to do this private test.

    My plan is to report on what happens if and when I catch it. Obviously, if I should die, my reports will naturally stop! Mind you the world will still be left with an admiration of evolution by natural selection.

    It will prove that nature does not favour the brave, and on this occasion, we must trust the government and the new religion now called science.

    I’d like to report, I have (as far as I know), no comorbidities. My slight concern is a heart rate when at rest of 35 beats per minute. No doubt a doctor somewhere will recommend a Statin, which seems to cure or treat just about every disease imagined but sadly not Covidness!


    • Tom Welsh Reply

      Fwiw I’m 72 and in as good health as one can expect at that age. I still reckon to be able to walk 20 miles at a fair pace, and as far as I know I don’t have any major morbidities.

      The biblical three score years and ten are fast disappearing in the rear view mirror, but thanks to the blessings of good nutrition, hygiene and (he admitted through gritted teeth) medicine, I hope to have many years still to come.

      I have informed my local surgery, politely, that I do not intend to be vaccinated or inoculated against anything ever again. Because:

      1. The “Covid-19” disease does not appear to be a serious threat to someone in my state of health (and particularly good nutritional status).

      2. I don’t need protection against it.

      3. The vaccines and “vaccines” have not been properly tested, and could not be for at least another five years. So it would be foolishly risky to accept one before, say, 2026.

      4. The mRNA “vaccines” are new and untested, and no one knows what harm they may wreak or how.

      5. I am content to have lived for 72 years, and any further time is jam. When God comes for me I shall be delighted to be gathered into his arms. (Actually I’m agnostic, but I like the idea).

  3. James Robinson Reply

    Interesting post Dr No.

    I read on social media recently about our journalist wordsmith come ‘national leader’ as follows…

    The Prime Minster has just said that for businesses “the end is in sight”.
    [An unfortunate use of many words for many]

    What a bumbling buffoon he really is!

  4. Annie Davenport Turner Reply

    Is there anyone with a modest yacht they wont miss? Give it to Doris and tell him the Southern Ocean is gorgeous at this time of year, and that the South China Sea is full of pretty little boats which truly need to be seen to be believed. It’s not that far, so he wont need much fuel, certainly not a map, chart, or plan, and certainly no crew, but best take a couple of bottles of Gordons and some tonic for sitting and watching the sunsets.

    The man is mad. End of. And the people madder for listening to him. Screaming with Tish here. Great blog Dr No. Brought a tear.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      Good idea, Annie! And as he casts off, tell him that the Chinese are selfishly hogging waters that aren’t theirs, and if he runs into any of their warships he ought to give them two fingers and tell them to clear orf.

      Shame if they happened to collide with his boat the way US Navy ships are always doing…

  5. Lena Reply

    Amen. Back to live and living please sooner the better. I fear for the mental state of this nation of happy furloughed comfy folks who will wake to find no jobs left for them, and teens who have committed suicide and the ever growing element of trauma that encircles in a community. Broken and exhausted most are from the relentless onslaught of lies. Time for change.

  6. dearieme Reply

    “a Statin, which seems to cure or treat just about every disease imagined but sadly not Covidness!”

    Just you wait: there’s a pack of mad buggers at Oxford who probably reckon that Statins conquer all. Have you noticed, for instance, that as Statin use increased, inflation decreased?

  7. dearieme Reply

    The metaphor I like for Boris, vis-a-vis his “scientists”, is actually a simile – weak as Willie’s water.

    I must say I’d very much like to meet my granddaughter before I snuff it.

  8. Andy Riley Reply

    Dr No,
    On the subject of “long Covid”, I’d like to compare this with “long flu” to make a judgement about how much worse or not it is. I’ve only found descriptive studies of “long flu”. Are you aware of any sources that quantify these conditions in a way that can be compared?

    • dr-no Reply

      Not yet, perhaps because there are inherent difficulties. The first is the problem of diagnosis, both over and under, for covid-19. You need to know someone had real clinical (ie they were ill, had symptoms) covid-19 before you can follow them up as long covid, and secondly by its nature long covid lasts a long time (if it doesn’t, its not long covid…) and covid-19 has only been around for just over a year.

      Dr No’s hunch is that long covid (he doesn’t deny its existence) will most likely turn out to be a post viral syndrome/disease that happens after clinical covid-19 infection, ie it is the covid-19 specific version of the more generic post viral condition. This is what Dr No meant by ‘unresolved doubts’: is it a genuinely new (and separate) condition, or a variant of an established condition that is only ‘new’ in that the causative agent is different?

      Hopefully over the next six months or so we will get some solid data. Most of the studies to date appear to be self-referred case series, and these studies are notoriously prone to all sorts of methodological problems.

  9. dr-no Reply

    Steve – your sense of civic duty does you credit, and Dr No is sure others will join in hoping that you continue to provide reports confirming nothing untoward has overtaken you. If you have read Dr Kendrick’s blog, and indeed some of Dr No’s past posts, you will know that statins for primary prevention (no prior relevant diagnosis or symptoms) of cardiovascular disease are a waste of time, or worse, with harms outweighing the benefits. But, as the old saying goes, more than calf needs to feed, does the cow need to suckle, and so doctors will continue to dole out pills to the unwary. And dearieme is as always correct: the Statinator-General’s HQ is indeed in Oxford.

    As always correct also on distinguishing between metaphor (X is Y) and simile (X is like Y/X is as Y). The Clive James article Dr No had in mind in the first line of the post is about and uses metaphors, but many of his best one line characterisations are similes (‘as in a compost heap’, ‘like the corpses of two small crows’). Whether the distinction matters is a moot point, all the more so given that Aristotle’s original description had a simile as a type of metaphor, but modern usage tends to see the two as separate entities. Then again, Dr No can’t help wondering whether distinguishing between ‘X is Y’ and ‘X is like Y’ is best left to academic rhetoricians, given the extent of the overlap in effect between the two.

    As a pleasant diversion, Dr No decided to find the source of another rather well known James simile. It’s in one of his Flying Visits, and the full version is far better than the condensed version usually quoted:

    “In his first enthralling book Arnold: the Education of a Bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes Plato on the subject. ‘Plato wrote that man should strive for a balance between the mind and the body.’ There is something to it even if you can’t help wondering what Arnold’s mind must look like if his body is balanced by it. Plato would have jumped out of his sandals at the mere thought of a human being ever looking like Arnold — i.e., like a brown condom full of walnuts.”

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      Plato’s popular name actually derives from his training as a wrestler: it means “wide” or “broad”. For an intellectual, he was quite chunky and apparently did rather well in the palaestra before he put away childish things.

      As you say, Dr No, the Greeks valued balance in all things, and would have felt scorn for anyone so base as to ruin his bodily perfection just to win some prizes – less still money.

      The Romans translated that Greek sentiment as “mens sana in corpore sano”, still an excellent ideal today.

  10. dearieme Reply

    @Dr No: the distinction between a metaphor and a simile is the last fragment that I remember of our school lessons on figures of speech. Dismiss it not!

    I suppose “lockdown” is a metaphor based on antics within US prisons – apt, but only up to a point. The prison version presumably works, the Covid version seems not to.

    Having become “stir crazy” my wife went for a toddle on Sunday. She saw a bunch of lads playing football, and a family playing tennis-ball cricket. The lockdown seems to be fading away hereabouts, at least on a sunny weekend day.

  11. Tom Welsh Reply

    “A test of, say, R below one is either met or not met…”

    I am not really sure about that. How on earth does one go about determining the value of R at any time and place? I would like to see a practical method described.

    As I understand it, R is supposed to be the average number of people who become infected by each already infected person.

    But in the first place there is huge uncertainty about how many people are infected – and even what we should mean by “infected” – let alone which spcific people are infected at a given time and place.

    Then there is the equally huge uncertainty about how the virus is transmitted – do you have to get within two metres and sneeze or cough, or within one metre and speak, or to hug, or to French kiss for half an hour – or just to stand upwind momentarily at a distance of, let’s say, 400 metres… or a few kilometres…

    And what do we count as becoming infected? Having a few viral fragments in your nose that will ring the bell on a test with the absurd cycle count of 40-plus? Or actually being ill? And if someone is ill and tests positive, how can we be sure it’s not some other disease that is causing the symptoms?

    That’s before we start trying to determined the average R for all people within a given area and on a given day.

    It sounds to me rather like conducting an opinion poll of all the electrons in the universe as to their views on the uncertainty principle.

  12. dr-no Reply

    dearieme – ‘… a bunch of lads playing football, and a family playing tennis-ball cricket. The lockdown seems to be fading away hereabouts…’ – this is progress, and ties in with a rather well expressed twitter reply to Dr No’s tweet announcing the new post: ‘People need to realise it’s not the world that’s changed, it’s us. To return to normal is up to us.’

    Tom – short of doing very detailed contact tracing (not going happen here while the current T&T jockeys are in charge), the R number (yes, how many people one case goes on to infect) is always a guestimate, even before you add in all your correct what ifs. But it is a number (even if a guestimate) and so a national R estimate can be compared to a target, or another period’s R number. Far from perfect, probably more than capable of being gamed, but surely better than the flexi-targets as used by the crocus of hope.

    Dr No thinks he might know what the R number is when decided upon by conducting an opinion poll of all the electrons in the universe as to their views on the uncertainty principle: 42. In which case, we’re all doomed!

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      Now would that be 42 decimal, or quinary? Or perhaps in the attractive octal system?

      Douglas Adams did not say (as far as I recollect). It would be just like him to reply “binary, of course – that’s the language Deep Thought is programmed in”.

  13. carolyn_f Reply

    Having lurked on your excellent blog for a while (redirected from Dr Kendrick’s similarly excellent online offerings) last evening I was about to comment that the elephant in the Emperor’s roadmap must surely be the totalitarian potential embedded in paras 130 and 131 concerning COVID status certification.

    At which point in penning my comment I saw the headline re Chris Whitty extolling NHS Drs to be vaccinated… and NHS executives discussing disciplinary action by the General Medical Council against those that refuse – so I paused and took a deep breath. Frankly, if I still consumed alcohol I would have poured myself a double Gin & It to numb the despair about what is happening to our country. Which, in my view, amounts to self-imposed damage to millions of younger people that will extend well in to the future and take countless lives and consume much money. All brought about by skilful mass propaganda by the Government and its ‘experts’. Why? Why? What is behind this?

    Back again this morning and just setting keyboard to screen when I hear Her Majesty the Queen extolling me not to be selfish but to have ‘the jab’ whatever my own personal assessment of the risk. I was stunned. I’m sure I’m not the only person suffering a kind of speechless despondency this morning?

    Yes, I know in the 1950s HMQ let it be known that Charles and Anne had been inoculated against polio – as was I and my sister – but that was a rather different threat. The polio vaccination didn’t end well for quite a few people but on balance it protected a significant number.

    I see GP, Dr Clare Jones, has written to her MP Jesse Norman about Chris Whitty’s statement that health staff have a professional duty to be vaccinated. I think this passage speaks for me:

    “The Government needs to take a break from criticising the Chinese Communist Party for a moment and stop in its own attempts at re-educative, repressive and punitive strategies directed toward minorities such as those who choose not to be vaccinated. It is disrespectful and demeaning to an educated and thoughtful sector of society to impose a medical procedure against our will.” [Source:]

    What is clear to me this morning is that these two ‘publicity’ events (threaten then encourage) were expertly co-ordinated by the ‘nudge’ brigade at the centre of the Government’s propaganda arm. (Who seem to be running the entire show?)

    Apologies Dr No for quoting Malcolm Kendrick rather than your good self however, this passage from Malcolm comes readily to my search button:

    “Between these two, main, completely incompatible positions, lies the truth. It is in pretty poor shape. It has been crushed, and bent out of shape, smashed, and left as a broken heap in the corner. I search where I can, to find the fragments, in an attempt to bring together a picture that makes some kind of sense.”

    Amen to that… gets back on horse… wearily trudges off stage.

    Thank you Dr No.

  14. dr-no Reply

    Carolyn – Dr No too is sure we aren’t the only ones shocked to hear the Queen urging people to get vaccinated for the benefit of others this morning, and found ourselves wondering whether perhaps somehow all the Royal Marbles weren’t quite in a row. But on reflection – Dr No is a monarchist, and so is inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt – the Queen has spent 90 plus years doing public service and it is probably hard wired into her brain, and so one just gets on and does it, and just as naturally one urges others to do it, because that is what one has always done.

    Nonetheless, there is a fundamental difference between vaccinating Charles and Anne against polio (and Dr No writes as someone born in 1957 to a mother who had polio as a teenager), and telling the country, because that is about protecting your own children, and telling folk to get vaccinated to protect not just oneself, but others, the public duty argument. These are two very different things.

    The big problem is that, however they get dressed up, the vaccines are still experimental. The maximum period of follow up is still only months, and, in the case of the mRNA vaccines, the technology is new (though not entirely untested). It is entirely reasonable for an individual to take these facts into account when deciding whether to accept the vaccine or not. Moving the ‘locus of control’ for making this decision, by applying external coercive pressure sets a dangerous precedent. Sometimes this external coercion is justifiable, for example, a change in social attitudes to drink driving, but for a new vaccine, the decision of whether to have the vaccine or not should be a personal one.

    The only two exceptions, and both have established precedents, which have directly affected Dr No in the past, is a sovereign nation insisting on proof of a vaccine before allowing entry (eg yellow fever) and work related, risk, where the risk is that the worker will infect those who they come into contact. The GMC already has it that doctors ‘should be immunised against common serious communicable diseases (unless otherwise contraindicated)’ but that is ambiguous: is covid-19 a serious communicable disease, when most of those infected recover without ill effects, and if we say it is serious, then where do we draw the line, because some people, typically the old and frail people with co-morbidities, as happens with covid-19, will die after catching a common cold, and so if covid-19 is serious because some people die, then so too is the common cold, for the same reason. It is perhaps worth noting that GMC guidance makes an explicit distinction (page 5) between ‘should’ and ‘must’, but ‘should’ is still pretty prescriptive, for instance, doctors need good reasons and/or mitigation not to do something the GMC says doctors should do.

    Should Dr Clare Jones be forced to accept vaccination against her will if she is to continue in general practice? After all, she would have to have Hep B vaccine if she carried out so-called exposure prone procedures. It is a tricky one, to be sure, that needs the wisdom of Solomon to answer. Lacking the wisdom of Solomon, Dr No’s best stab – or should that be jab – at an answer is that given Dr Jones is clearly not anti-vax, and would no doubt accept Hep B vaccine were it needed for her work, her reticence stems not from being anti-vax, but from being anti something that is not yet fully evaluated to an agreed standard, and that is a reasonable position, and she should not be coerced. In due course, when the evidence is sufficient, one of two things will happen: either the vaccine works, and Dr Jones will readily accept it, or her caution will turn out to have been right, because the vaccine either has problems, or fails to work as we hoped it might.

    And again where do we stop? If we are going to say all health and social care workers must be vaccinated whether they like it or not, why not hair dressers, teachers, tattooists and even lawyers who see clients face to face? All get close enough to pose a risk to others if they themselves are infected. Again, it comes back to evidence. Once we have decent evidence the vaccine is safe, and works as hoped, then no reasonable person will refuse it, even if they accept it reluctantly. Until we have that evidence, it cannot be right that the state, or for that matter employers and regulatory bodies, enforce an invasive procedure on non-consenting autonomous individuals. Any move to do so is to take not a step but a giant leap down the road to totalitarianism.

    And, before Dr No forgets, thanks for the kind words, and of course you can quote the excellent Dr Kendrick here any time you want, no need to apologise at all!

    • carolyn_f Reply

      Dr No, thank you.

      Indeed, initially I wondered about the Queen’s marbles, but unlike yours my second though was about informed consent. How well informed is she about the more novel aspects of the vaccines?

      This is hearsay: no one among my cohort (70+) who has accepted either vaccine has been given a clear picture of what mRNA vaccines are, how they work, and how that differs from a flu shot. I’m not convinced that I have a clear picture either, but I keep trying…

      Currently, my (simple) evaluation runs along this line: it’s one thing to inject an antigen (inactivated flu particles, let’s say) into muscle for my immune system to take against and thus produce antibodies of various types, memory cells, etc; however, I see a significant difference if injected with a messenger part of the DNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (whether hidden in a lipid particle or inside an adenovirus); so that the disguised mRNA enters my cells and uses the Ribosomes from SARS-CoV-2 to activate (my) cellular amino acids to manufacture the spike protein of Covid; these proteins then get ejected onto the outer cell wall for my immune system to spot and respond to.

      Rightly or wrongly (and my simplistic understanding may have many flaws) I view using myself as a factory to manufacture SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins as an order of magnitude different to being offered an inactivated antigen in a flu vaccine. The long-term effects on my innate immune system could be legion. Which, if my limited understanding is roughly accurate, gets me alongside the stance taken by Dr Clare Jones.

      I am not anti-vaccines – I’ve had a few, but as yet I do not bother with flu vaccines – I try to keep my immune system working as well as advancing age – and a somewhat abusive younger stage – allows. I have faith in my immune system – I have no detailed idea of how it works but when I do stop to think about it, I marvel at it’s complexity. You know, I would have no idea how to instruct my inbuilt chemical factory to signal the digestion of protein; so thank goodness my automatic (long evolved) systems do have that know-how.

      The speed of development of these vaccines (and the money to be made; vested interests; indemnity for all involved, etc) made me question, instinctively – and that made me attempt a basic understanding. Thus my position, for the moment, is to wait and see how this – the largest human experiment ever carried out – pans out. The trials are not set to complete until 2023 or thereabouts, although I can imagine those will be cut short due to the outstanding success of the vaccines… ahem, transparency anyone?

      Therefore at this point I wish to exercise my right to withold informed consent. To paraphrase yourself: either the vaccine works, and I will readily accept it, or my caution will turn out to have been right, because the vaccine either has problems, or fails to work as we hoped it might.

      I then arrive back at the position outlined in your penultimate paragraph above and with which I fully align. [Quote] Until we have that evidence, it cannot be right that the state, or for that matter employers and regulatory bodies, enforce an invasive procedure on non-consenting autonomous individuals. Any move to do so is to take not a step but a giant leap down the road to totalitarianism.[Ends]

      So where DO we more independent-minded folks go from here? We have Angela Merkel promoting vaccine passports, our own government doing the same, the (he must mad) Bill Gates smiling from ear to ear at the prospect of such impositions; and so on.

      Coercion without the force of law? Or coercion with the force of law? Surely – as you say – neither can be right, but how on earth do we stop this slide into totalitarianism?

      PS Tom Welsh below re Her Majesty’s freedom: good point.

      • dr-no Reply

        Carolyn – a good point about how well informed the queen is about the new vaccines. My hunch is that she is naturally curious, even at her splendid age, but it is not inconceivable she saw it as ‘just another vaccine’, and maybe no one thought to point out it’s not quite that simple…

        The problem of proper informed consent for those considering vaccination is real. From the meagre feedback Dr No has had, it sounds as though there was a not unreasonable attempt at informed consent for a normal vaccine. The thing is, these are in no way normal vaccines yet.

        You’ve certainly got the general idea of how mRNA vaccines work (only one or two minor points not quite right, general gist is) as Dr No understands them (they are new to him as well) and that is indeed quite a lot to get across in a brief informed consent session in a busy vaccination clinic. One suspects it isn’t even really practical, so maybe it has to be shortened to ‘this vaccine is experimental’ and somehow Dr No thinks that won’t be tripping off the tongues of those doing the consenting. So, in effect, most of the consents aren’t fully informed consents. But hey, that’s OK – everyone doing the vaccine, from test- tube to pushing the plunger, has legal immunity, and all shall have prizes!

        A suggestion – not very likely to be widely adopted, Dr No fears – on how to manage domestic covid passports (bin them) is in Dr No’s latest post. Once the use of covid passports is taken out of the equation, then the ability of the state to coerce vaccination becomes severely diminished, to the extent that it is the passport, rather than the vaccine, that is the problem.

        Tom’s point about Royal Imperative for political impartiality is indeed an important one, which she has appeared to relax a little in recent years.

  15. dearieme Reply

    I suspect Her Maj was addressing Caribbean people.

    A friend says that in his homeland some people won’t take the jab because it contains alcohol, some because it contains pig. But much the commonest objection is that it contains chips. There’s a wee triumph for Bill Gates.

  16. Tom Welsh Reply

    It is usually forgotten (if it was even ever known) that Her Majesty is not at liberty to speak openly about her own beliefs and convictions. She is obliged to parrot the government line, whatever that may be – which of course compels her to say more or less diametrically opposite things before and after a general election. If, of course, we still had elections. And if, of course, there were the slightest difference between the policies of the government and the so-called “opposition”. Mr Starmer’s policy – which he no doubt thinks very clever – is to agree with all government decisions, but say they should have been taken earlier and made even more extreme.

    That way, no one will ever be able to prove him wrong. Much as Dr Ferguson’s ludicrous “projections” can never be proved wrong after we have all jumped through hoops and ruined our lives to avoid his imaginary threats.

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