The “Do Feck All” approach is not so dumb and not so innocent after all.

Edward Taaffe
5 min readMar 23, 2020
A busy day for the Covid 19 team.

Last week I posted the rough estimations made without a calculator that under the laissez faire approach we were facing 150,000 dead from Corona Virus this year, most of them over 60. Last Friday I posted my new calculation based on the latest idea from Patrick Vallance that 60% of the population should be allowed to catch the virus. That amounted to more than 1.2 million dead. I’m not a senior adviser to Whitehall and I’m too lazy to use a calculator for rough rule of thumb estimates, yet I could see there was a problem.

I’d love to think the sudden change of heart next day by admitting the policy was wrong,: or rather the Nudge Unit advising them to deny that ever was the policy; but actually make no changes at all, had something to do with my posts, but it didn’t.

It seems we have Nafeez Ahmed to thank in particular for raising the alarm.
Far from a change of heart, this was back-covering on a Westminster scale.

According to LSE’s Dr Jason Hickel, the related prevalence of neoliberal ideology — which sees a diminished role for the state in an economy dominated by unregulated private power — played the key role in confusing the Government’s capability to respond decisively in the public interest.

I disagree, though it is at least good to see him point the finger in the right direction.

The reality of course is that we have one report that is close to a controlled experiment and it chronicles what happens when you fill a cruise ship with apparently healthy people in a an apparently disease-free state and leave them in close proximity.
Even more heartrendingly convincing was the plea from our friends in Italy and those in China to save ourselves and not underestimate this risk. The message was strong, backed by whatever evidence we had and proven in the field. TEST, TEST, TEST, Isolate and then track and trace then isolate, isolate, isolate.
Instead they were guided by a report written 13 years ago by Professor Neil Ferguson relating to an entirely different type of epidemic. The sight of Mr Hancock announcing that they would be lead by “only the science” alarmed me then. I am familiar with the opposites hypothesis and this time it was certainly apt. They had found a report that said what they wanted to hear and off they went.
Dr Chen Shen, Professor Nassim, Nicholas Taleb and Dr Yaneer Bar Yam — early assumptions that the outbreak might inevitably grow beyond control in a way that would mute the point of mass testing and tracing, was completely unfounded. Dr Chen and his co-authors point out that the Imperial College scientists, along with their other colleagues and SAGE, have consistently overlooked data from China.

The urgency of early social distancing action, mass contact tracing and other such measures are still clearly identifiable across the medically-focused scientific literature that was being fed to the Government. Somehow, this science did not make it into policy. Why?

What the UK government actually did was shocking and will be shocking history students for centuries because unlike the Nazis, who took revenge on a perceived enemy, our government plotted our murder simply to defend the huge piles of loot held in tax havens by their true masters, the neoliberal barons.

But that’s not the full extent of the evil in all of this, would that it were.
Boris Johnson has been writing for decades about the world’s weakness in failing to deal with over population. Clearly he thought a bit of ethnic, or rather net-worth cleansing was long overdue.

Few recognise the pension burden dumped on states by the collapse of Neoliberalism (as planned) back in the last decade with 0% interest and tiny real returns to feed private pensions plus a glaring absence of corporate contributions to the exchequer.
The shortfall of housing driven mostly by land hoarding is another huge problem governments everywhere face with financial institutions becoming mass landlords after the crash, the burden on states is enormous.
The early demise of half a million pensioners would not be so unpalatable once the smoke settled.
Then there’s the new act giving the NHS Carte Blanche, when ordered so, to refuse treatment, or effectively kill anyone not deemed a good investment.

The advice on school closures is particularly damning, it reads;
“The consensus view is that a long duration school closures (six weeks or longer) are most effective if started as early as possible,” it said. “They are less sensitive to timing than shorter school closures. . . the larger impacts are seen when closures take place early in a UK outbreak”.
Impacts that could reduce the overall epidemic by anywhere from 7.5 to 60%.
What they focused on, nevertheless: was; “the large economic and educational costs of school closures, including increased levels of workforce absence in the health and care system”.

When these “chancers” seized power in Westminster; bankrolled by the unthinkables, I wrote in a Quora article that we were facing a repeat of the Weimar republic. Little did I think we could go from Weimar to the Nazis in just a few months.
Later I warned colleagues on Twitter and on Linkedin that if they did not grasp the true significance of the Johnson Coup, they should familiarise themselves with the Stanford prison experiment.
What we have just witnessed, mimics all the delusions and mental confusion, the role play, the confusion of history with today and above all the utter disregard for other humans, that brought that experiment to a sudden halt and did the same to a British re-run of the experiment.
Before it’s too late, lets put these people on therapy and place some responsible individuals in charge before it really is too late.

Many of the quotes I offered in this piece unless attributed, come from the wonderful INVESTIGATION by Nafeez Ahmed in bylinetimes.
I don’t often take shortcuts, but I felt the need to make this statement in the short time I have available because it needs to be read and understood.
Please share it around.

Covid response Lockdowns



Edward Taaffe

Ed is a technical consultant and writer in the areas of Digital and Products. He writes here on random subjects that catch the eye.