Saturday, December 18, 2021

Why are the BBC allowing their news website to be used for propaganda against the introduction of Covid safety restrictions?

It's been a long time since I've written a blogpost specifically about the pandemic, but there's something that's been bothering me over the last couple of days, and it would probably take more than a tweet or two to make the point properly.  The BBC have a "health correspondent" called Nick Triggle - essentially he's a pro-virus propagandist who since early 2020 has pumped out article after article calling on governments to do nothing to tackle the virus, or to do as little as he can plausibly get away with arguing for.  "We must learn to live with the virus, it's not so bad, you know" has been his basic position throughout.  He's actually wholly typical of the type of people who have been jumping ship in recent months to GB News, but in his own case there's been no need for him to go anywhere, because for some inexplicable reason the BBC are content to indulge him and allow him to be a one-man GB News within their own walls.

Triggle has consistently been wrong on all of the major calls, every step of the way, but he never acknowledges his errors - he just reframes his argument as "there may have been good reasons for taking action at past stages of the pandemic, but this time it's totally different, this time we really must do nothing".  A couple of days ago he tried the same stunt again, suggesting that a new lockdown would be harmful and pointless.  It wouldn't, he said, serve the same purpose as earlier lockdowns, which were about buying time until the bulk of the population could be vaccinated - something which has now occurred.  He also claimed that restrictions weren't necessary to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, because "just" 8% of NHS beds are occupied by Covid patients, compared to one-third of beds at one point last winter.

An intelligent hamster could spot the flaws in those arguments.  What matters is not how many beds are currently occupied, but how many will  be occupied within two or three weeks if Omicron is allowed to spread unchecked.  Given the very high R number of Omicron, the answer to that question could be mind-boggling.  And it also doesn't particularly matter that the majority of the population are nominally vaccinated, because we now have credible evidence - including from Professor Neil Ferguson's group - that a single or double dose of the vaccine offers very little protection against Omicron, but that those who have been triple-vaccinated (ie. with a booster jag) are significantly less likely to suffer a symptomatic infection.  So it's not at all hard to see what new restrictions could buy us time to do - governments are trying to complete the booster programme within a month, and if we can just slow the spread of Omicron for that relatively short period of time, a large part of the problem could be solved.

It's probably the case that the type of very literal 'lockdown' we've had before isn't necessary - for example, it's hard to see how preventing people from travelling between local authority areas would make much difference, as long as they're not engaging in risky activities.  And that's the key - we need large gatherings (including concerts) to be stopped, pubs and clubs to be shut, and severe restrictions on other types of indoor socialising.  Lives genuinely depend on it - and it's deeply irresponsible for the BBC to allow their website to be used for nonsensical propagandising against much-needed safety measures. 

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You can catch up with my Scot Goes Popcast interview with iScot editor Ken McDonald HERE (on video) or HERE (audio only). 


  1. Note to the numpties please remember to keep some of your SNP branded carrots for Santa's reindeer on Xmas morning.

  2. Douglas Clark: I responded to your email within minutes of you sending it, and now for a second time you're pretending I never replied. Take your game-playing elsewhere. Thanks.