Sunday 1 November 2020

What's behind the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic

What's behind the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic

A spectacular pan-global cock-up is the most likely explanation for the situation but in the spirit of keeping an open mind, ideas such as these are circulating (which I merely report, without belief or support)

Some key phrases:

  • following the science - which has not happened
  • letting the virus rip - smearing opponents of lockdown (the Big Lie technique)
  • conspiracy theorists - smearing opponents of lockdown (whether medical professionals or 5G mast nutters)
  • convergent opportunism - interested parties using opportunity of covid to advance own agendas
  • concatenation of interests - various interests finding common ground

An Unconscious Conspiracy by Sinead Murphy is a good starting point. A common reference in thinking about this is to The Great Reset, which may be a factor.

The single most striking aspect is that decades of evolution of best practice in handling epidemics, as set out in W.H.O. policies, was set aside in a wave of 'me too' madness across governments in March 2020.

Subsequently, governments have seemed incapable of admitting any mistake and carry on, disregarding consequences. In particular they seemingly ignore most of the huge body of new knowledge about Covid-19 and stick to March 2020 concepts. This appies particularly to the use of modelling in preference to up-to-date facts.

Prof. Neil Ferguson at Imperial College and his epidemic modelling appear to have been a huge influence on multiple governments in March 2020 and again in October 2020. His previous successes (quoting from "[Ferguson]" links below):

  • In 2001, Ferguson was involved in “modelling” for Foot and Mouth disease. Because of that some six million sheep, pigs and cattle were slaughtered that needn’t have been.
  • In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, better known as “mad cow disease”, increasing to 150,000 if the epidemic expanded to include sheep. The reality is: “Since 1990, 178 people in the United Kingdom have died from vCJD, according to the National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh.” (2017)
  • In 2005, Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million people would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus, out of 147 reported cases.
  • In 2009, Ferguson and his team at Imperial College advised the Government that swine flu or H1N1 would probably kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end, swine flu claimed the lives of 457 people in the UK.

Public Health England and other agencies have been sloppy in gathering statistics, leading to even worse decision-making: double-counting, non-Covid treated as Covid, etc.

The Mainstream Media have been crucial in transmitting and maintaining the panic, though some have switched sides from government hysteria to medical reality. As of October 2020, I judge they line up thus (though not necessarily 100% in either camp):

Daily TelegraphBBC
Daily MailGuardian
Daily ExpressITN/C4 News
The SunSky News
The Times

Another factor is that Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been actively censoring anyone disagreeing with the offical line, no matter how eminent, even when agreeing with the W.H.O.

OfCOM issued guidance to broadcasters in March 2020. This seems reasonable but in practice it has constrained broadcasters reporting on any views disagreeing with the official government/SAGE line.


Friday 30 October 2020

Thoughts on SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) in the UK

Thoughts on SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) in the UK

Posted 30-Oct-2020, just as South Derbyshire and nearby areas go into Tier 2 lockdown


Gov dashboard
Coronavirus in the UK
Lockdown Sceptics is the hub for all who are uncomfortable with the gov's handling
Lockdown Sceptics
Online news sites strong on independent comment and reporting
Spiked Online
The Critic
Hector Drummond
NHS stats on hospitals
COVID-19 Hospital Activity
Referenced and sourced COVID-19 information
Evidence Not Fear
Freedom with Respect - a way to safely respond to COVID-19 which avoids lockdowns and minimises the impact of social distancing
Green Band Red Band
NAO estimates of the cost of measures announced in response to the coronavirus pandemic
COVID-19 cost tracker
Site focusing on the negative consequences of the worldwide mishandling of COVID-19
The Price of Panic

Sunday 15 December 2019

Lalo Schifrin & the London Symphony Orchestra

Lalo Schifrin & the London Symphony Orchestra

This was originally a Facebook post in 2008.

Barbican blurb

Thu 10 Apr 2008
Barbican Hall
Part of the La Linea 2008 London Latin Music Festival.

Featuring an 89-piece LSO, with 8 double basses and at least 40 violins plus LS's quartet of LS (piano), Alex Acuna (drums), James Morrison (trombone/trumpet/flugelhorn) and Pierre Boussaguet (double bass/electric bass)

A very rare London appearance as pianist and conductor for the mighty Lalo Schifrin. The Argentina born, composer, conductor and arranger has had a glittering career via the Paris Conservatory, through his own big concert band in Buenos Aires, a crucial spell as Dizzy Gillespie's pianist and arranger and through the composition of more than 100 film scores including those for Bullitt, Dirty Harry and the theme to Mission Impossible perhaps the most instantly recognisable tune in the world. Tonight¹s special programme entitled Jazz meets the Symphony puts Lalo and his soloists in front of a 89 piece symphony orchestra to explore symphonic variations on Latin Jazz and perform some of his finest compositions including The Fox, Enter the Dragon and The Dirty Harry Suite.

Jazz meets the Symphony Programme

  • LS - Chano
  • Paul Porter arr. LS - Begin the Beguin [Latin jazz version]
  • LS - Dirty Harry Suite [very varied, well put together]
  • Gil Evans arr. LS - La Nevada
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos arr. LS - Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5
  • Moises Simon arr. LS - Peanut Vendor


  • LS - The Fox
  • Aaron Copeland arr. LS - El Salon Mexico [inspired by AC's trip to Mexico]
  • LS - Around the Day in 80 Worlds
  • LS - El Dorado
  • LS - Theme from Enter the Dragon
  • Dizzie Gillespie arr. LS - Diz Fireworks
  • (medley) Night in Tunesia/Con Alma/Manteca


  • Theme from Mission Impossible
  • Esperanzo(?) [a new piece, just the quartet, including extaordinary, long, high-energy drum solo]

Points which stick in the mind

  • I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but the music was a fascinating blend of Latin, 'lounge' jazz and classical, without any one style dominating
  • LSO tuba player had a huge mute - like a mutant ice cream cone
  • JM, an Aussie, at several points played the trombone in left hand and trumpet in the right - very impressive; he got extraordinary sustained high & low notes from his instruments
  • To start off the encores, LS walked back on, sat at his piano and with his left hand started that theme, provoking a roar of recognition and approval, and was soon joined by the full orchestra.
  • Finding an event that's outside one's normal range (or comfort zone) yet hugely enjoyable is a great prize: I found that with Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble's live performance of their I Dig album in 2001 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and found it here. Ones which weren't so good were Sparks at the Royal Festival Hall 2002 (live performance of L'il Beethoven, somewhat shambolic) and 2006's Barbican event by Jean Claude Vannier & the BBC Concert Orchestra plus guests (such as Jarvis Cocker) - Histoire de Melody Nelson & L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (very weird French ProgRock).


Lalo Schifrin: Dizzy, Simone de Beauvoir and me
Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble : I Dig