Confidence in MSM it appears has fallen by a whopping 25%, from I suspect an all time low in any event. There are a number of reasons for this in my view but out of sheer frustration I commit them to paper.
Government started by making a supreme tactical error. It came on TV every night regardless of any new developments this made the presentations look vague & indecisive, never a good look for government in a crisis. Worse they politicised the problem unnecessarily, the presentation should have been weekly, which would have given them more focus, something new to say. The platform should have been chaired by the Health Minister with the senior medical & scientific adviser joined by a senior member of the NHS executive (remarkable for their absence so far). Only medical & science correspondents should have been invited not political journalists who turned it into a political jamboree hostile to the government & Boris Johnson in particular.
This ensured no relevant questions were asked, few answered & public interest sacrificed. We now have a public bewildered, angry, some frightened & confused. The most important questions remain unasked.
I simply list the questions still relevant, some of which I have been pressing journalists to ask on my Twitter & blogs for six weeks.
In no order of priority they are as follows, add your own if I have missed any.
1. In view of the appalling track record of scientific ‘experts’ like Neil Fergusson, why were their views given so much weight?
2. Mortality rates were much higher in past pandemics what makes this different (1957, 1968, 2008)?
3. At least eight of the last 40 years had greater excess deaths than this year (take the financial year for accuracy) why would 100% of them assumed be due to Covid-19 when the NHS closed down for seven weeks for other illnesses?
4. Protocols for death certificates have been drastically changed in the face of Covid-19, why is this?
5. How do seasonal flu epidemic mortality rates compare with Covid-19?
6. Quite early in the crisis evidence it was plain vitamin D & C plus zinc deficiencies were critical to immune systems, particularly in the elderly. Yet no effort was made to give immune system dietary or lifestyle advice.
7. Sunshine is essential for Vitamin D, yet parks & beaches were closed by police, why?
8. Police behaviour has been boorish & ill conceived, confidence is now at an all time low, along with their morale. Where has the Home Secretary been, should she not have appeared at some of the briefings?
9. Why was a regional policy not considered when Durham, North & East Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire & many other have tiny confirmations of Covid-19.
10. Why are mortality statistics not readily available in acceptable form?
a) Deaths from Covid-19
b) Deaths with Covid-19 directly
c) Deaths involving previous health conditions
d) Deaths from previously healthy people by age group, ethnicity, regional location.
e) Why are overall figures of no statistical value heralded in the same crude way as cricket scores?
11. Will cabinet meeting minutes be made available for the lockdown decision. Un unprecedented but how else can the same mistakes be avoided? If it is not accepted mistakes were made it can do no harm to release them.
12. Are there independent economic assessments for the lockdown from non government funded institutions?
13. The government committed to paying private sector employees 80% of earnings with a cap. Why are public sector employees not treated in the same way for those not working?
14. As there are now empty beds in most hospitals & a complete close down of the Florence Nightingale initiative, why can people with English holiday accommodation booked not enjoy a holiday? With large caravan sites on assessment .
15. In lockdown people were asked to stay at home many in their gardens, why were garden centres part of the closure, what rationale could there have possibly been for that decision?
16. No children have been ill from Covid-19 nor under 60s outside the NHS died. What therefore is the rationale for closing schools?
17. Whilst acknowledging the efforts of doctors & nurses, should we not be acknowledging the failure of the NHS executive for strategic assessment & procurement. The NHS executive is well funded & fully staffed, given previous post war pandemics it is irresponsible to suggest this situation is unprecedented.
18. Some front line NHS staff are exhausted & stressed but many idle & bored stiff. What are the reasons for a clear failure to reallocate resources given the high level of NHS staff attached to HR.
19. Would it not been in the public mental health interest to allow paint, or household decorations to be sold. These were embargoed by police patrols in some areas.
20. Notwithstanding the difficulty of micro managing people’s behaviour, are politicians & bureaucrats in committee the right people to be entrusted with the task?
Just twenty questions, amazing none of these have been asked hitherto,
This is a massive journalistic failure.