For some, the odious new normal is yet another malign child of the pandemic. It is the dustpan where the armies of the new normal faithful are swept into obedience, each faithful soldier but a speck of dust swirling in the maelstrom, carried along by the madness of crowds. Each one wears the badge of compliance, a mask: some gaily embroidered and tightly fitted, like a wired brassiere, others black, as if to signal ask not for whom the bell tolls, and yet more the ragged remains of a soiled and stained surgical mask, left dangling from ear or wrist. At the other end of town, covid marshals scan smart phones as visitors to the exhibition centre show their digital covid papers to confirm a recent negative lateral flow test. Never mind the negative test result is meaningless and pointless, because the test has too low a sensitivity to be useful as an enabling test, the exhibition visitors comply, because it is part of the new normal, as is the hand sanitizer semaphore as they go in and out of the store next door. The new normal is a never ending stream of badges, totems, rituals and voodoo that rolls past day in day out, with never an end in sight.
Muppetry, n. the fanatical desire to promote and implement minimum unit pricing for alcohol as the solution to the world’s alcohol problems.
There has been a rise in muppetry in the UK in recent years. Two of our nations have introduced minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol, first Scotland, in 2018, and then Wales, in 2020. All eyes are on the data, to see whether muppetry works. The muppets of course want to show that it does, while the more sceptical, including Dr No, are inclined to be, well, more sceptical. Almost a decade ago, when muppetry was all the rage, but had yet to be introduced, Dr No published a number of posts pointing out that the underlying dogma and predictions — chiefly a dodgy marriage between Geoffrey Rose’s sick individuals and sick populations theory and some elastic economics, all veiled in a dense web of creative numerology — were about as robust as a wet paper bag. And so it seems: alcohol related deaths have been on an upward trend over the last few years in Scotland, with 2020 having the highest age standardised morality since 2011. Yet in the face of this hard evidence of a worsening position, we have muppets publishing a paper telling us that muppetry works.
As we career headlong into the insanity of mandatory vaccination and compulsory covid certification, it is as well to ask, who is behind all this madness? The easy answer is that it is the politicians, but that is the wrong answer. The politicians certainly play a large part, in implementing the policies, but the driving forces behind these policies are medical. It is the getting together of the medical profession and the government in a marriage made in hell that brings forth into this world the extreme policies of forced vaccination and covid apartheid, underpinned by obligatory state registers, under the banner of covid security. It is as well to remember that there is nothing new under the sun, and humanity has been here before. The last time something similar happened on such a scale was not quite a century ago, in one of the most scientifically and culturally advanced countries in Europe. The time was the nineteen thirties, the place was Germany, and at that marriage made in hell, the banner over the altar read not covid security, but racial hygiene.
“The killer never came. The fact that it was feared is one of many things to show how little experts understand the flu, and thus how shaky are the health initiatives launched in its name. What influenza needs, above all, is research.” Neustadt and Fineberg, The Swine Flu Affair, 1978Reviewing the TV series Holocaust in 1978, Clive James said that “Santayana was probably wrong when he said that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it. Those who remember are condemned to relive it too.” We shall probably never know whether the scientists and politicians who led the global and national Charges of the Light Brigade into the Valley of Covid — theirs not to reason why, theirs but to tell the lie, ours not to question why, ours but to do and die — knew of the past, but chose to ignore it, or whether they were negligently unaware of it. But one thing is certain: the unprecedented — that poor overwrought and overworked word — arrival of a virus of pandemic potential eighteen months ago is anything but unprecedented. There have been a number of pandemics over the last century, and so there is much past to be remembered, including among the many others the 1976 swine flu nondemic.
Further proof, were further proof needed, that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is Not Up To Scratch (NUTS) can be found on its website in documents that are completely at odds with each other. On the one hand, one corps of the health fascists wants governments to ban — without a shred of evidence — all alcohol for all women of childbearing age, a preposterous example of coercive healthism so extreme that could easily fill a post of its own. On the other hand, another corps of the health fascists breezily endorses — no need to worry about that side effect nonsense round here — covid mRNA vaccines for all but all women of childbearing age, despite animal studies showing that the vaccine is very likely (we can’t yet say certainly, as we shall see presently) preferentially concentrated in the ovaries. One blasted precautionary principle so large it can be seen from space, another blasted precautionary principle so small not even an electron microscope could detect it. Truly, the WHO is NUTS.
If you asked a group of people whether making wearing front seat belts in cars compulsory helped save lives, many would answer in the affirmative. Ask how they know the answer, and many will say some variant of obvs innit: it’s obvious, it stands to reason, it’s common sense. The law, when it came in, in January 1983, was hugely controversial, but the controversy wasn’t about effectiveness, it was about liberty. It was the first time the government had passed a law that sooner or later would affect just about everyone, requiring them to do something not to protect others, but to protect themselves. Since we were at the time, and still are for matter, free to drink ourselves to death, or smoke ourselves to death, it was argued we should also be free to smash ourselves to death. The state had no business interfering in personal decisions; doing so marked the beginning of the nanny state, from which there would be no turning back. Promoters of the law claimed that up to a thousand lives be saved every year, and there would be important secondary benefits, including reduced demand on the NHS.