Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

John Lydon

Frank Herbert, author of Dune, once said that his most important messages were that governments lie to protect themselves and they make incredibly stupid decisions. We’ve seen that demonstrated in spades for the past 18 months.

Governments from Wellington to Washington have made incredibly stupid decisions in reaction to the Wuhan pandemic — and they’ve lied, lied, and lied again to protect themselves.

Every now and again, though, there is a government so spectacularly stupid that it actually lets slip with the truth. Over to you, Jacinda Ardern.

When the New Zealand Prime Minister back in March scolded a 21-year-old for going to the gym after his Covid-19 test and ignoring “a full two-week period of sustained propaganda” — yes, she said that — she was right about one thing. Not since World War II have we endured so much propaganda. But it’s been a lot longer than two weeks.

Jacinda Ardern’s Freudian slip illustrates how democratic governments have been as guilty of “misinformation” or “disinformation” as any critics of lockdowns, masks and border restrictions. For 15 months they have trotted out fear-mongering slogans about “saving lives”, “staying alert” or (in Britain) “clapping for carers” on Thursday night.

For Orwellian sloganeering, though, Ardern’s socialist comrade Daniel Andrews is a clear winner. “Staying Apart Keeps Us Together” is something straight out of the Minitrue.

But the worst of the propaganda has been the endless, endless fear campaigns. I’m currently reading Frank Dikötter’s The Cultural Revolution. Sometimes, I wonder what it must have been like, to watch everyone around you reading the endless propaganda from The People’s Daily and going collectively insane.

Then I recall phoning relatives in Victoria, only to be cut off, mid-conversation, because, “Ooh, Dan’s about to come on!” BFD readers, too, will recall apparently the whole nation — sorry, the “Team of Five Million” — sitting, mesmerised, in front of the idiot box as Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield took to the podium for the daily propaganda blast of lies and fear.

Governments have avoided context and facts that would have put people at ease, amid the cacophony of hysterical reporting of a disease that remains a negligible threat to the vast bulk of people[…]

It’s been a 24/7 doom deluge for more than a year, and it’s all been extraordinarily successful. The British public thought 6 per cent of the country had died from Covid-19 (4 million people) according to an August 2020 poll. In the US, two-fifths of Democrat voters and a quarter of Republican voters thought the chance of hospitalisation from contracting Covid was more than 50 per cent, when it is between 1 and 5 per cent.

Then there are the yellow stars of the COVID Cultural Revolution: the ridiculous mask mandates.

Only propaganda can explain how in Washington DC, weeks after requirements for masks were removed, the majority of people are still wearing them outside[…]

Tedros Ghebreyesus, the head of the WHO, in August said “the mask has come to represent solidarity”. They are as much about keeping people scared as “safe”. As recently as December the WHO conceded “at present there is only limited and inconsistent scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of masking of healthy people in the community”.

Once again, some of the politicians are so stupid, that they actually tell the truth.

But the propaganda campaign has been so successful, people are genuinely convinced that COVID has “ravaged” the US and Britain. That the bodies are piling high and hospitals are collapsing under the strain.

In reality, “emergency COVID facilities” set up in the US remained empty. Citizen journalists snuck into hospitals and found them normal, if not eerily deserted.

Friends ask what it’s like to be in a Covid-ravaged country. Well, in two months I’m yet to see evidence of a great pandemic – no sirens, no one dropping dead in the street as the Chinese Communist Party’s fake videos from early last year would have had us expect.

When NPR published a study making scary claims about “9% hospitals under extreme stress”, it was worth looking at their methodology. “Extreme stress” was classed as slightly more than half of ICU beds occupied. So, just 1 in 10 hospitals had just over half of their ICU beds occupied — at the height of the pandemic.

In Britain, too, contrary to the media narrative, hospitals were far from “overwhelmed” with COVID patients.

“The Covid-19 epidemic may prove to be the biggest campaign of fear the UK, and the world, has ever seen,” writes English journalist Laura Dodsworth in her excellent new book A State of Fear. In almost 300 pages she lays out the extent to which the British government[…]sought to scare citizens into compliance.

“The use of fear to create compliance is ethically dubious and, at the very least, warrants public debate,” she concludes, revealing how the “weaponisation of fear” saw many of the most vulnerable die alone, terrified, in nursing facilities kept away from their loved ones[…]

The German government “collaborated to bring images of people choking to death at home, and to inflict fear and guilt on children, in order to make the population follow rules for an epidemic which had been deliberately exaggerated”, Dodsworth reveals.

The Australian

If you persist in doubting that you have been lied to on a colossal scale, just follow the conduct of social media companies. Facebook banned any mention of the lab-leak theory before doing a complete, unannounced, about-face. Twitter banned a Harvard professor of medicine for saying “public-health officials/scientists must always be honest with the public”.

Need I write anything more?

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A Year of Lies and Fear-Mongering
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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...