Weekend 11 March 2023

On Saturday night the BBC will not be paying a sports presenter for a Football show after the Director General has had a chat about his public pronouncements -there maybe cheaper presenters and pundits .To add to this David Attenborough nature show has been withdrawn because of apparent propaganda / bias .

So it’s been a good week for those of us wanting to end the BBC .

If you still pay your TV Licence just stop .

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305 Responses to Weekend 11 March 2023

  1. The Mouse says:

    Ian Wright is reported as saying “If they get rid of Gary Lineker, I’m out, I’m gone, I’m not staying there,” he said.

    Excellent, if the BBC can get rid off some of these stale, over-paid, low IQ, ex-footballers they could save us all some money and replace them with normal non-virtue signaller types who have something else to say about football, and have not yet hit the TV salary jackpot for ex-footballers.

    Competition for jobs can be a good thing I am told. Obviously this little club of sports luvvies feel so self important that they think they are immune to competition. Hopefully they will be on tomorrow’s fish and chip paper not unlike many in this country who have been replaced by cheaper labour.

    PS: Matt LeTissier (sp?) – was a more skilful footballer and has a superior intellect than the Crisp actor and his lucky chirpy dim-witted side-kick. He is more in-tune with normal people. Unfortunately the BBC management will cave-in, just as the government does. They will keep paying out our millions and we the tax paying masses will continue to see an erosion of medical care, housing, education, policing, judiciary, increase in crime and costs, and listening to the repetitive dross from the likes of Lineker.


    • Guest Who says:


  2. Guest Who says:


  3. Guest Who says:

    One for Springster?


  4. Sluff says:

    A repeat of ‘the repair shop’ is to be shown on BBC1 instead of final score.
    Do you know, I think I might watch for a bit, and push up the viewing figures.


  5. Sluff says:

    One of the advantages of Linekergate is that all the Leftoids have to put their heads above the parapet in order to support him.

    And there seems to be an awful lot of them.

    Thanks Gary for providing the irrefutable evidence of something we all suspected.


    • Guest Who says:

      Just look at the list ramming Twitter… Mad Al, Corbyn, Verhofstadt, Champion Ash, Rayner, Mr. Zoe Ball…. Champagne socialists every one, and all thick as mince.


  6. Guest Who says:

    Tx to Arthur T at ITBB for introducing this cove…

    And groupie..

    Fly, my pretties…. Fly!

    BBC staff milking and bilking like the hive they are.


  7. Guest Who says:

    In summary…


  8. Guest Who says:

    Solidarity with… the guy funding…


  9. Guest Who says:

    Sopes goes full Sopes.

    Never go full Sopes.

    Packham is a twat though.


  10. Guest Who says:

    Corbyn, Campbell and clowns know how to back a winner.

    8M Twitter users is a lot. Except in a polling booth.


  11. Guest Who says:


  12. Guest Who says:

    Mad Al, frequent BBC guest.


    • Doublethinker says:

      Proven liar , ‘Sexed Up Dossier’ Campbell doesn’t even like a drink these days, mores the pity, a few more years of binge drinking and we could have been shut of him.


  13. TrickCyclist says:

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it already, but Lineker actually deleted a tweet last year because he got battered for not being right-on enough:

    “The @Lionesses have only gone and done it, and Kelly is England’s heroine, bra none.”

    As for his fellow presenters coming out in support – well, if that’s the hill they want to die on . . .
    (Alexei Sayle did a sketch once about the Army being called out to cover a national film critics’ strike. He played an infantryman sitting in for Barry Norman.)
    One thing Lineker’s fellows might want to remember is that he’s always been a self-righteous prig. He had a long-running spat with Wimbledon FC and Vinnie Jones in particular, telling the BBC’s Radio Times in 1996:
    “We don’t need people like Vinnie Jones who is just a self-hyped personality – fine for him, but he isn’t a good player and no benefit to the game.”
    ‘The insults began (three years earlier) when Lineker claimed the best way to watch Wimbledon was on Ceefax. It continued after England’s abandoned match in Dublin . . . when Jones threw toast at Lineker and called him “Big Ears.” ‘
    Jones responded to Lineker’s Radio Times comments with a fax sent to newspapers:
    “In his typical selfish way, Lineker is trying to promote himself as a strong man with strong opinions. But it can never happen… Lineker has the charisma of a jellyfish – and is just as wet. He is a jellyfish without a sting…”



  14. Fedup2 says:

    Fantastic footy shambles

    For the record from the DT

    The BBC has apologised to furious football fans for ripping up its schedules amid a mass exodus of presenters, pundits and commentators over the Gary Lineker impartiality row.

    A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC will only be able to bring limited sport programming this weekend and our schedules will be updated to reflect that.

    “We are sorry for these changes which we recognise will be disappointing for BBC sport fans. We are working hard to resolve the situation and hope to do so soon.”
    Hours of football coverage has been axed this weekend after almost all of BBC Sport’s leading names staged a boycott in “solidarity” with Lineker, who has been ordered to stand down from Match of the Day for comparing the Government’s migration policy to Nazi Germany.ENDS


    • Rob in Cheshire says:

      I feel sorry for Shearer. He loves money, it must be killing him to have to show “solidarity” to a left wing dick I imagine he can’t even stand.


      • Docmarooned says:

        The arrogance is breathtaking! You would think there is no sport apart from their beloved totally corrupt game – soccer to give it its american parlance. Ruled by money pure and simple with these overpaid tosspots at the helm.


  15. Kinell says:

    He is getting a beating on social media.

    Talking of beatings.

    I saw a fight in my local chip shop last night.
    Saw a bloke get well battered.


  16. vlad says:

    Whatever Lineker’s intentions were in writing his tweet and then doubling down on it, it’s fair to say he was merely expressing the prevailing opinion at the BBC on mass immigration (good) and on this Tory government (bad).

    The support given to him by his BBC colleagues further confirms that that is the prevalent mood at the rotten Corporation.

    Defund the BBC now!


  17. StewGreen says:

    It was entirely reasonable for BBC news at 10 last night to mention Campbell is financially connected to Lineker
    but 6 or 7 angry lefties on Twitter were irate


    • Johnda says:

      Saw this on Twitter really have gone into lefty meltdown mode.
      They said Twitter is not respecting the left . As far as I can see Twitter is still infected by the left.


  18. Guest Who says:

    Think Springster will go near that claim?


  19. Nibor says:

    £497 million is a lot of money to give to the French government as it wont solve the problem .

    It`s cheaper to do a study into why the migrants leave good old France to get to the UK . I`m sure there are loads of experts who if invited by the civil service would give their opinions on the matter .
    The trouble with the above paragraph is the use of the word “experts ” and ; Invited By The Civil Service .
    After all , who is an “expert ” on this ; -charities , pressure groups and professors in universities ? They usually have a dog in the fight — and so does the civil service . “Experts ” are like ordinary people ; they have their prejudices and biases , and will magnify what agrees with their posits and diminish information which disagrees with their thinking .

    Well we still need a study into the problem , and a big study at that . A huge study . A gargantuan study . A study which gets the opinions of those who think they are “experts” and those who dont claim to be experts .
    Everyone should be in the study .
    Everyone who is legal , non alien in the UK .

    That`s a mammoth commitment , how can it be done .
    As best as possible , so a letter to every household in the UK asking the householder ;
    Why Do You Think Migrants Pass Through Safe Countries And Try TO Get To The UK ?

    Then after sifting ( and being monitored ) through all the replies the government will have the answer .

    Then act on it .


    • moggie63 says:

      That smacks too much of something approximating a referendum. After the last farrago we won’t be seeing any more of those.


    • MarkyMark says:

      2015 …. Since November 2014, we have committed to investing £12 million of which £6 million has already been spent to reinforce security at our juxtaposed ports in Northern France. This includes new fencing to secure the approaches to the port of Calais and joint work to improve traffic flow through the port and Border Force controls, so that more tourist vehicles can queue within the secure environment of the port. This work is due to be completed at the end of this month. In addition, we have funded a £2 million upgrade of detection technology and boosted our dog searching capability by another £1 million.

      We have also provided funding for additional fencing to help secure approaches to the Channel Tunnel at Coquelles, where repeated incursions have taken place over the last few weeks. This work, which we announced last week, has already begun and is also due to finish by the end of this month.


      Home Secretary statement on illegal immigration in Calais
      This statement was made in the House of Commons on 14 July 2015 by Theresa May, Home Secretary


    • theisland says:

      They know the answer as well as we do – Free Stuff + Benefits.


  20. MarkyMark says:

    Remember when Gary ‘£1.75m’ Lineker moaned about not being top of Chris ‘£2.3m’ Evans … and now he is!


    “None of us understood the ramifications.” …. of paying your UK taxes.

    “None of us understood the ramifications.” …. of hiding your taxes in shell companies.

    “None of us understood the ramifications.” …. of being the GENDER PAY GAP LEADER IN THE BBC on £1.75m.



  21. MarkyMark says:

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. paedophiles can hide in our business with the TV Tax payers having no recourse to punish the business financially. (Jimmy Savile – Kids Entertainer, Chris Denning – DJ)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. can do and say what we want, without financial penalties.
    (Chris Evans – £2.5million. Lineker, twitter 6.9M followers and the BBC guidelines?)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. our staff can hide what we pay them in independent companies. (David Dimbleby)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. our employees can have multiple jobs and we don’t mind. (Lineker+Walkers+BT Sports)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. our staff can force their opinion on the public using their celebrity status with no come back. (Lineker – ‘It’s hard to see a single positive (in Brexit)’)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. we can, through the legal system and threat of prison with the Governments backing, demand 200,000 people to pay the wages of our staff. (Gary Lineker and friends)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. our Directors can claim £34.76 {2014} for hospitality when being paid £450,000 a year. (Lord Hall)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. we don’t have to declare where we spend YOUR money. (trustees)

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. we have hidden this information from the TV Tax payers for years.

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. we can send our well paid Ex-BBC staff into Ofcom – the company that is supposed to be independent.

    Lest we forget that the with the BBC …. we can focus the UK population on one side of the story.

    Lest we forget… harrowing but compelling telling of the Grenfell Tower disaster, by survivors http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Grenfell_21st_floor … @BBCNews



  22. MarkyMark says:

    First picture kid – second picture mum with kid and other kid.


    On a recent morning, Koby ran out of his block of flats and, seeing it had snowed overnight, made a small snowball that he fired at his mother and brother before laughing heartily – a typical six-year-old yearning for a place to call home.

    ^^ news or a novel?


  23. Doublethinker says:

    If the French wanted to stop he invasion they could do so at minimal cost overnight. Just employ a few drones and a few dozen police to intercept them on the beach before launching.
    But they don’t want to and the EU doesn’t want to because they see the invasion as part of Operation Punishment forBrexit. Sooner or later the forthcoming Labour government is going to tell us that one of the benefits of re joining the EU is that once back inside they will be able to stop the boats. We should also remember that since Boris became PM we have record legal immigration almost all from Asia and Africa.
    Sadly, and I hate to say this, I’m beginning to think that rejoining might be a price worth paying . It’s unlikely that any future UK government will even seriously try to stop the boats or to reduce legal immigration. It is possible that if power slowly moves eastwards in the EU a more European first , Africans and Asians second , policy might be adopted.
    I know it’s a lots of ifs and mights but it’s fairly certain that staying as we are with our government in Westminster will result in us being swamped within ten years and our culture and way of life destroyed. Better a PanEuropean culture than an African one.
    We have been beaten by our own leaders.Our democracy is dead. We need to look to Poland et al for help.


  24. Guest Who says:

    Kev worried he might have hitched the wrong way to a horse he can’t now demount.

    Rishi showing he is a clown.


  25. Kaiser says:


    they really are making quite a fuss , even programs that jug ears isnt on are getting cancelled

    oddly even rent-a-mob cant drum up a lot of support



  26. digg says:

    If I was DG of the BBC right now I would grab this golden opportunity.

    Let all the massively overpaid footie celebs they have been shovelling cash into go and replace with some lesser mortals who will be equally capable of commenting on ref decisions etc at a fraction of the cost.

    Think of the £0000000000’s you woukd have to splash on other stuff!

    Maybe even a 50% discount for all license payers who don’t watch football programs?


  27. Flotsam says:

    I suspect that Lineker didn’t really understand what he was doing with that tweet. Because of his ego and sense of entitlement he’s grasped at something called free speech, talked about in the left wing intellectual world he circulates in. He’s important you know, he thinks he’s entitled to say what he likes without actually understanding what “free speech” actually means. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s just repeating stuff he hears from the BBC people around him.

    I reckon he’s not as clever as he thinks he is. I wouldn’t be surprised if his IQ was barely above average (100).

    Anyone want to guess at his IQ?


  28. Guest Who says:

    BBC again denying Mad Al his voice.


  29. Guest Who says:

    Two words. Ha. And, ha.


  30. Guest Who says:

    Laura K gets in…. Nadia.


  31. TrickCyclist says:

    Summary from the BBC homepage:

    “Flagship football programme Match of the Day will only last 20 minutes later this evening, with no commentary on the highlights”

    So is this the natural length of the programme without all the flannel by millionaire presenters?


  32. Northern Voter says:

    1.Was out this morning with Mrs Voter, went down to our local supermarket, here in Northern France, blow me, not sexually you understand, but as an aside, in the fresh vegetable display were Brussels sprouts. All the way from Scotland.
    2. Went to the pub this afternoon, woke lefty sat there started going on about Gary Looneyker, said he shouldn’t be shut up for saying what he did. I said, so if I say that the BBC is full of blacks,Pakis, homes and lesbians that would be alright as it’s free speech. He left the pub calling me a right wing tw@.


  33. Dickie says:

    Definitely not BBC analysis:


  34. Guest Who says:

    Solidarity does come with a certain lean.


    • StewGreen says:

      My neighbour pointed out that when management suspends a worker and launch an investigation, workers cannot just go on strike
      .. They’d be in breach of contract.
      When the worker is actually sacked it’s different
      Tweeters point out the strike is illegal, cos there’s not been a ballot
      It is intimidation

      Others say the TUC failed to support workers who refused the vax,

      It’s one thing to say Linekers prog gets 7m viewers
      but that means 80% of adults don’t watch it.


      • StewGreen says:

        The TalkTV guest was wrong in saying MOTD gets 7 m viewers
        It’s more like 2m normally
        lets say that’s 4% of 50m adults
        So 96% don’t watch.


  35. Guest Who says:

    Currently, bbc staff cannot seem to get enough of him.


  36. StewGreen says:

    GBnews two of the panel including Mike Parry make it clear that dinggy divers are illegals who are stealing resources from other people.


  37. Thoughtful says:

    Something you’re never likely to see on the BBC unless they have to:



    An explosive story which you might think would cause the media to fall over themselves trying to cover, but the fact they aren’t tells you every comment about bias is absolutely true.


    • StewGreen says:

      The thing is that is not a new story, I can go back years on Twitter
      “Henniges Automotive”.was acquired by Chinese state owned The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
      The acquisition case was operated by Hunter Biden’s BHR located in Shanghai during the Obama administration.


      • Thoughtful says:

        Oh it is a new story Stew because check the date on this:

        The Treasury Department claimed in May 2022 that it “has made SARs available for every request we’ve received, regardless of party, and will continue to do so.” Comer, however, said in July 2022: “This is not true.”

        Comer wrote to Yellen in January 2023, again requesting access to these SARs, arguing that “during the 117th Congress, the Department of the Treasury refused our requests to provide information about the Biden family.” The Republican sent a follow-up letter to the Treasury Department last month, contending that the “Treasury has not provided the Committee any SARs to date” and claiming that the department has “made several excuses for Treasury’s delay regarding this production.” He suggested that the “Treasury may be delaying its production to hinder our investigation and operating in bad faith.”


        • StewGreen says:

          You will didn’t say what SARs means
          “Suspicious Activity Reports”

          You can talk about the Biden gov not releasing them about Hunter Biden
          but the fact he was involved in the 2015 AVIC deal has always been public knowledge.

          The headline in your link seems to be PR trickery to give old news , new legs
          “Oh Hunter did business with a corp that now sends jets to Putin”
          All that has nothing to do with Hunter.
          AVIC is a Chinese defence corp of course it does stuff like sending arms to Putin


  38. Guest Who says:

    Orrrrrrrr…. perfect.


  39. Thoughtful says:

    I see the PM Rishi washee has stuck his washing paddle into the BBC issue with as bland non commital non challenging statement as only a Tory Marxist wet could manage:

    ““a matter for them, not the government”.”

    At this time of year we are reminded of a certain Roman governor washing his hands, Sunak should be removing the licence and moving to a subscription based model where this kind of stuff no longer matters.


  40. tomo says:

    on Redacted – NOT Fox


    • Fedup2 says:

      ‘Weak husbands make for angry women “- Tucker Carlson

      Carlson makes the point that the corruption of the MSM by the left is leading to the rise of alternative ‘voices ‘ such as Elon musk or Russell brand – interesting …


    • StewGreen says:

      At min 34 he discusses the Jan 6th footage
      His team spent 3 weeks going thru footage
      They believe their final show is accurate and they found no contrary evidence they’ve held back.
      In fact the footage looks loaded with feds but they are not ready to name any except Ray Epps, cos they don’t want to falsely name anyone.


  41. StewGreen says:

    Most lefties still believe the Democrat hyperbole about Jan 6th
    but leftie and former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton has been red pilled by Tucker.


  42. BRISSLES says:

    One headline BBC BEGS LINEKER TO RETURN TO MOTD – for God’s sake, really ? This tw…t is in danger of bringing down the whole institution (good), but if they make gods of certain staff then sow what you reap. I see that at some football matches there are supporters holding up placards saying Refugees Welcome !!! yeah til they move next door to them. WTF is going on ????


    • TrickCyclist says:

      Don’t expect anything better from football fans. People who are devoted fans of anything, by definition tend to be uncritical idiots.
      Oh – and never get into a conversation about their beloved team. That’s just asking for trouble.


  43. JohnC says:

    Gary Lineker: Impartiality row leads to fresh calls for BBC chairman to resign

    There we go. They really want rid of him because he’s not a complete Lefty.

    Quite ridiculous. As Tucker said in his video above, politics is the new religion. The West is split right down the middle through ideology. And it’s the nasty, intolerant Left who are causing all the trouble.

    I wonder where this is going to end.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Fresh calls’…. From…?


      • JohnC says:

        The lib dems !!!.
        After a call from someone at the BBC asking them to say it I suspect.


        • StewGreen says:

          Actually the headline is tricky
          Pressure is growing on BBC chairman Richard Sharp to resign amid the Gary Lineker impartiality row.
          Then it says Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the presenter’s suspension “has shown failure at the top”.
          but does NOT say Ed Davey says he should resign

          Further down it says : Labour’s shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said Mr Sharp is “totally unable” to handle the Lineker row and has written to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer asking for his position to be “urgently clarified”.
          Tha’s closer but shes’s not asking him to resign
          Ineed the board has no responsibility for day to day running

          Then “Baroness Wheatcroft, a crossbench peer ..added the BBC should “call for the suspension”

          Then “Former head of BBC TV News and director of sport, Roger Mosey, *also* called for Mr Sharp to go”
          Nope actually he is the only quoted as directly saying Sharp should be dismissed

          Then “Prof Steven Barnett.. told BBC News he had supported Mr Sharp’s appointment but now thought he should go.”
          Ok that’s 2 voices

          It’s also crazy cos there is an investigation ongoing
          Surely any action should wait for it.


  44. JohnC says:

    Cheltenham stabbing: Man held under Terrorism Act

    A lone man attacks one woman at night and it’s terrorism ?.

    Then we get ‘The force said the man was being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism as well as on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism.’

    Sounds like it’s ‘far-right’ again because it has to be linked to a bigger organisation such as ISIS before the word ‘terror’ is used against a Muslim. And they NEVER call them ‘terrorists’. They call them ‘terror attacks’ to raise it above any individual scrutiny and detail.


    • JohnC says:

      Meaning of course that the program is so completely biased to the Leftist agenda that they realise they won’t get away with it.

      The people in the wrong here are the BBC who made it. But of course these nasty people full of hate use the other arse cheek (the Guardian) to blame others.


  45. Zephir says:

    EVERYONE at the bbc. universities, schools and elsewhere of the far left should have this drummed into them:

    “End this crude smear against conservatives – Hitler’s Nazis were in fact left-wing racists… Gary Lineker knows as much about politics as I know about football

    Actually, it is amazing how little so many people know about these things. Although modern school history seems to cover nothing apart from the wives of Henry VIII and Hitler, nobody seems to know one crucial fact. The Nazis were very Left-wing.

    They hated Christianity and deliberately set children against their parents. They imposed penal taxes on the middle class and attracted Communists to their ranks. They wrecked Germany’s schools, insisting (sound familiar?) that they taught mad dogmas instead of proper knowledge.

    Like all bad Left-wing causes, they were very popular with students. If you take the forest path up from the pretty university town of Heidelberg, you will find, half lost among the trees, a large, disused Nazi amphitheatre where the students used to hold torchlight rallies and sing their hateful songs.

    The Nazis even combined with the Communists to organise a joint tram strike in Berlin and they happily entered into an alliance with Stalin in 1939, holding a joint Nazi-Soviet victory parade in the conquered Polish city of Brest-Litovsk.

    About the same time the secret police forces of the Communist USSR and Nazi Germany engaged in an amicable prisoner swap. The Nazis hated German conservatives, and they hated democratic German socialists.

    An amazing fact emerges from Julia Boyd’s superb recent book Travellers In The Third Reich. She describes how a Swiss academic, Denis de Rougemont, lived for some time in Frankfurt in the Nazi era, with the advantage of speaking and understanding German perfectly. This allowed him to have the private conversations with ordinary Germans which most foreign visitors could not.

    He began by thinking that Hitler’s regime was Right-wing. But, as Julia Boyd writes: ‘What unsettled him was the fact that those who stood most naturally on the Right – lawyers, doctors, industrialists and so on – were the very ones who most bitterly denounced National Socialism. Far from being a bulwark against Communism, they complained, it was itself Communism in disguise.

    ‘They pointed out that only workers and peasants benefited from Nazi reforms, while their own values were being systematically destroyed by devious methods.

    ‘They were taxed disproportionately, their family life had been irreparably harmed, parental authority sapped, religion stripped and education eliminated. A lawyer’s wife complained to him, “Every evening my two children are taken over by the Party.”’

    And those of you who have noticed the stripping of patriotism and Christianity from the Scouts and Guides, Cubs and Brownies over the past 20 years might note that this attack on old values through schools and children follows a carefully devised pattern in both the Third Reich and Stalin’s police state.

    As Hitler said, sneering gently: ‘When an opponent declares “I will not come over to your side”, I say calmly, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.” ’

    No doubt someone will point out that the Nazis were also appalling and murderous racial bigots. This is true. But so was Stalin, who was preparing an antisemitic purge just before his death in 1953.

    Several Communist countries did hold anti-Jewish purges in the early 1950s. Karl Marx, himself a Jew, was famously antisemitic. Much of the modern Left is suspiciously hostile to Israel, for sins which they overlook in other countries.

    I would say we should always be on the lookout for dangerous fanatics from all directions.

    But the assumption, common on the BBC and in schools and universities for 50 years now, that conservative politics is a form of Nazism, and that a desire to control immigration will lead directly to the death camps, should be rejected by any thinking, knowledgeable person. Relax, Gary. That doesn’t include you.”



    • Fedup2 says:

      Not BBC – just for a bit of light relief – it’s a big long but worth it -here are the thoughts of Lord Sumption on Matthew Hancock – soon to be a peer in the Johnson honours list no doubt ….

      The 19th-century sage William Hazlitt once observed that those who love liberty love their fellow men, while those who love power love only themselves. Matt Hancock says that he has been betrayed by the leaking of his WhatsApp messages. But few people will have any sympathy for him. He glutted on power and too obviously loved himself.

      Some things can be said in his favour. The Lockdown Files are not a complete record. No doubt there were also phone calls, Zoom meetings, civil service memos and the like, in which the thoughts of ministers and officials may have been more fully laid out. Not all the accusations levelled against him are fair. Care homes, for example, were probably an insoluble problem, given the absence of other places for many elderly patients to go, and the scarcity of testing materials in the early stages of the pandemic.

      Nevertheless, Hancock’s WhatsApp messages offer an ugly insight into the workings of government at a time when it aspired to micromanage every aspect of our lives. They reveal the chaos and incoherence at the heart of government, as decisions were made on the hoof. They expose the fallacy that ministers were better able to judge our vulnerabilities than we were ourselves. They throw a harsh light on those involved: their narcissism, their superficiality, their hypocrisies great and small. Above all, they show in embarrassing detail how completely power corrupts those who have it.

      The case against lockdowns was only partly a moral one. Like Hazlitt, I believe in liberty. But I have never regarded that as a conclusive argument. Even the most ardent lockdown sceptics accept that in extreme cases drastic measures may be required. But Covid-19 was not an extreme case.

      Three major problems

      Human beings have lived with epidemic disease from the beginning of time. Covid-19 is a relatively serious epidemic, but historically it is well within the range of health risks which are inseparable from ordinary existence. In Europe, bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera and tuberculosis were all worse in their time. Worldwide, the list of comparable or worse epidemics is much longer, even if they did not happen to strike Europe or North America. In future they are likely to be more frequent and more widespread.

      No government, anywhere, had previously sought to deal with epidemic disease by closing down much of society. No society has ever improved public health by making itself poorer.

      Spanish flu, between 1918 and 1921, was distinctly worse than Covid-19 – about 200,000 are thought to have died in the UK alone at a time when its population was about two thirds what it is now – but governments did not lock down healthy people or destroy their livelihoods. Asiatic flu in 1957 and Hong Kong flu in 1968 also killed millions; the US and the UK made a deliberate decision not to disrupt the life of the nation. No one criticised them on either occasion. Something has changed, but the change is in ourselves, not in the nature or scale of the risks. We are more easily frightened and have unrealistic expectations of the state.

      There always were three major problems about lockdowns as a response to this particular pathogen, all of which are thrown into sharp relief by The Lockdown Files.

      The first was the catastrophic social and economic cost. Messrs Whitty and Vallance accepted in their evidence to a Parliamentary committee that this was a serious issue but added that it was not their job to think about it. It turned out to be no one’s job. There never was a proper cost-benefit analysis. The Government went into the lockdowns blind.

      The second problem was that lockdowns were indiscriminate whereas the virus was selective. This is the critical point in the view of many reputable epidemiologists. The groups at significant risk of serious illness or death were the old and those suffering from certain underlying health problems. For the overwhelming majority of the population, including almost all of those who were economically active, the symptoms could be relatively mild. It did not matter much whether healthy under-65s were infected, provided that they did not infect others in the more vulnerable categories.

      Protecting the truly vulnerable would have been challenging, but not as challenging as keeping most of the population locked up. Only about 8 per cent of people under 65 live in the same household as someone over that age. Humans have a developed sense of self-preservation. They had already begun to limit their social interaction before the first lockdown was announced. What they needed was balanced and trustworthy advice, not coercion or propaganda.

      The scientists always understood this. In March 2020, a fortnight before the first lockdown, SAGE advised that social distancing measures, including confinement, should apply to those over 70 and younger people with known vulnerabilities. They proposed that “citizens should be treated as rational actors, capable of taking decisions for themselves and managing personal risk”. Policies designed to limit human interaction among those at risk are often said to require mass coercion as if this went without saying. But it was not obvious to the scientists at the time. The policies originally proposed by SAGE were actually followed by Sweden with results that were notably better than ours.

      The third problem was that even the minimum of human interaction necessary to keep basic services like food distribution and healthcare running was more than enough to keep the virus circulating. All that lockdowns could ever achieve in those circumstances was to defer some infections until after they were lifted, to prevent people from acquiring a measure of personal immunity, and to prolong the crisis.

      The adrenalin of power

      The fateful moment came when the government chose to go for coercion. This ruled out any distinction between the vulnerable and the invulnerable, because it would have been too difficult to police. It also meant that ministers began to manipulate public opinion, exaggerating the risks in order to justify their decision and scare people into compliance. So we had the theatrical announcement of the latest death toll at daily press conferences from Downing Street. Shocking posters appeared on our streets (“Look him in the eyes”, etc). Matt Hancock announced that “if you go out, people will die”.

      The scare campaign created a perfect storm, for it made it more difficult to lift the lockdown. The original idea was “three weeks to squash the sombrero”. The peak of hospital admissions came after slightly less than three weeks on April 11 2020, when Covid cases filled less than half of NHS beds. But the lockdown continued until July and was then reimposed in October.

      The Lockdown Files show this process at work in awful detail. “We frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain,” Hancock proudly declared. He wanted news of the Alpha variant timed to create maximum fear. Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, cheered from the sidelines. “The fear/guilt factor vital,” he assured Hancock. When the second lockdown was being plotted, the hapless health minister called for a projection of the “do nothing” death toll. The result was the notorious graph projecting 4,000 deaths a day, a claim that was manifestly false and swiftly exploded.

      Hancock was the chief peddler of the idea that everyone was equally at risk from Covid-19. This proposition was patently untrue, but it was useful because it frightened people. “It’s not unhelpful having people think they could be next,” wrote his special adviser, who knew his master’s mind well. Other countries did not behave like this. In Sweden state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell was able to reassure his public that a lockdown was neither necessary nor helpful. Events have proved him right.

      Ministers imprisoned by their own rhetoric found themselves forced to follow public opinion rather than lead it. But it was a public opinion of their own creation. Scientific evidence had very little to do with it. The Downing Street media advisers Lee Cain and James Slack, ex-journalists with no scientific background, appear to have been mainly responsible for persuading the prime minister to prolong the first lockdown. Relaxing it would be “too far ahead of public opinion”, they argued. Matt Hancock insisted on schoolchildren wearing masks in class in spite of scientific advice that it made little difference, because it was necessary to keep up with Nicola Sturgeon. When Rishi Sunak had the temerity to suggest that once the vaccine rollout started the lockdown should be relaxed, Hancock resisted. “This is not a SAGE call,” he said, “it’s a political call.”

      Once ministers had started on this course, there was no turning back. It is hard to admit that you have inflicted untold damage on a whole society by mistake. Hancock resisted shortening the 14-day quarantine period in spite of scientific advice that five days was enough, because he did not want to admit that the original policy had been wrong. Relevant evidence was simply shut out. His response to the success of Sweden’s policies was not to learn from it but to dismiss it as the “f—ing Swedish argument”. Having no grounds for rejecting the Swedish argument, he had to ask his advisers to find him some. “Supply three or four bullet [points] of why Sweden is wrong,” he barked.

      The adrenalin of power is corrosive. It was largely responsible for the sheer nastiness of the Government’s response to criticism. Hancock lashed out at the least signs of resistance or dissent. He wanted internal critics sacked or moved. He suggested the cancellation of a learning disability hub in the constituency of an MP who intended to vote against the tier system. Ministers “got heavy” with the police to make them tougher on the public. The police responded with oppressive gestures like fining people going for a walk with a takeaway coffee. The prime minister thought it “superb” that two travellers had been fined £10,000 for evading the equally pointless quarantine regulations. Hancock gloated over the discomfort of returning travellers, forced by the chopping and changing of the rules to quarantine in basic hotels at their own expense. “Hilarious,” chipped in Simon Case.

      There is no sign that Hancock either thought or cared about the wider consequences of his measures. He seems to have believed that there was no limit to the amount of human misery and economic destruction that was worth enduring in order to keep the Covid numbers down. Rishi Sunak is on record as saying that any discussion of the wider problems was ruled out in advance, and this is fully borne out by the WhatsApp messages. Any hint from Sunak or business secretary Alok Sharma that the cure might be worse than the disease provoked an explosion of bile but no actual answers.

      Hancock fought tooth and nail to close schools and keep them closed. Deprived of many months of education, cooped up indoors and terrified by government warnings that they would kill their grandparents by hugging them, children suffered a sharp rise in mental illness and self-harm although they were themselves at no risk from Covid-19. Cancer patients were left undiagnosed and untreated. Old people, deprived of stimulation, succumbed to dementia in large numbers. Small businesses were destroyed which had taken a lifetime to build up. A joyless puritanism infected government policy. No travel. No wedding parties or funeral wakes. No hugs. Anyone who spoke up for a measure of decency or moderation in this surreal world was promptly slapped down as a “w—er”.

      Real policy-making is never black and white like this. It is always a matter of judgment, of weighing up pros and cons. In that sense, Matt Hancock was never a policy-maker. He was a fanatic.

      A classic failure of government

      Why did hitherto decent people behave like this? In Hancock’s case, at least part of the answer is vanity. The crisis was good for his profile. He saw himself as the man of action, the Churchill of public health, the saviour of his people, earning the plaudits of a grateful nation. As early as January 2020, he was sharing a message from a sycophantic “wise friend” assuring him that a “well-handled crisis of this scale could propel you into the next league”. He fussed over his tweets. He pushed his way in front of every press camera. He tried to divert the credit for the vaccines from Kate Bingham to himself. “I think I look great” is one of his more memorable messages.

      And what of the prime minister who presided indulgently over this shambles? The Lockdown Files show that Boris Johnson always recognised the totalitarian implications of his administration’s measures. Sometimes he recoiled from the unfolding social and economic catastrophe. Occasionally he even saw through the manipulative statistics presented to him. He toyed with the idea of leaving the over-65s to make their own risk assessments. He would clearly have preferred to end the first lockdown sooner.

      But Johnson never had the courage of his convictions. He picked up fag-ends of information from newspapers but lacked the application to get to the bottom of the scientific evidence. He was constantly manipulated by those around him whose agenda was based on little more than public relations. In the end he was always pushed back into the shape that they wanted. He remained the “wonky shopping trolley” derided by Dominic Cummings in his explosive evidence to a House of Commons committee. As Simon Case admitted in one of his more indiscreet messages, by 2021 public distrust of Johnson was too strong for his words to carry any weight.

      This was a classic failure of government. Britain has faced many crises over the past century: wars, pandemics, strikes, economic failure. All government and most crises involve conflicting priorities. Departmental ministers fight their corner. The role of the prime minister is critical. He is the only person in a position to decide between the rival claims of public health, education, social policy, economic survival and financial solvency. For that he needs a clear idea of what he is trying to achieve and a strategy for achieving it. He needs strength of personality and the public stature to persuade the public rather than just appease them. He must have command of the detail, and the respect of his subordinates. Boris Johnson had none of these things.

      Lack of sense of direction at the top is always fatal, however talented the subordinates. Johnson’s subordinates were not talented. The team in Downing Street was dominated by a failed autocrat in Dominic Cummings and an inexperienced Cabinet Secretary in Simon Case. Both of them grew to despise him, usually with good reason. Apart from Sunak and Gove, his Cabinet was probably the most mediocre band of British ministers for nearly a century. Collectively, they proved unable to look at the whole problem in the round. Their eyes were never on the ball. They were not even on the field. These are the lessons of this sorry business.ENDS

      There’s a danger that hindsite colours the above view . But I’m wholely with Lord Sumption . If ever the wrong people were in charge – it was this – particularly Johnson – a man unable or willing to ‘do the detail ‘ – leading to the mess we are in now …..

      And of course – the uncritical msm hanging on every word the Hancock state put out .

      I think my memory will always be triggered by a police drone watching a woman in the sticks walking her dog ….


      • atlas_shrugged says:

        Fedup2 – what a brilliant post from Sumpton, thanks. For me the ultimate point of tyranny was being blocked from cycling over a bridge near Ely during the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. There were hundreds of police out and about, and they had little lists of where people lived.

        Now call me old fashioned but I thought that rowers used rivers, in which case why block me from the road? Added to this why were people from Oxford allowed to exercise so far away from home when young lads exercising at Speakers corner (with dumb-bells) in their own city were arrested?

        Maybe Hancock himself had a special sports exemption for putting his tongue down the throat of an employee. I don’t know …


        • Fedup2 says:

          Atlas – thank – the Chinese virus showed the State how easy it is to get compliance from the whole population using fear via the MSM .

          The whole of the Wests’ MSM is now self censoring to the Left . And weirdly – the lot badged as ‘left’ accuse the Blue Labour types ( the same views ) as being ‘right wing “ – sorry I didn’t word that as clearly as I might have … der ….


    • Flotsam says:

      The pandemic was driven by the BBC, the MSM and the public sector Unions. The Tories were scared stiff of being branded murderers so complied with the nonsense spouted by “experts” who had their own agenda.


    • atlas_shrugged says:

      Zephir – Hitchens is spot on. There is still the ruin of the nazi rally point in the forest at Heidelberg as he points out. Many of the top nazis were university educated – Goebels comes to mind. Even Adolf got sent to University in Munich. Maybe the top leaders could be described as ‘desk murderers’ they had this very much in common with leaders like Stalin.


    • Flotsam says:

      Yes. Hitler was in fact anti Capitalism and big business. He obviously found in the end that he needed businesses to provide the weapons and supplies he needed to run his war. One of the reasons that Germany lost the war was a lack of production in all areas including food.


    • wronged says:

      Good post Zephir,

      The post deserves greater recognition than it received. Adolf Hitler himself stated he was a socialist in Mein Kampf. The word Socialist is in the very title of the party he started which went on to be called the Nazi party. The British Socialists were the Blackshirts led by Labour MP Moseley.

      It was, I believe, Uncle Joe Stalin who first coined the phrase as Nazi’s being right wing. He wanted his Russian Communist Party to be more left wing than a Germany pre war.

      The fascists of the future will call themselves the anti fascists.-Churchill)

      You would have to be historically thick or intentionally dangerous to call the right wing Nazi’s. Lineker is I believe a fascist, he is thick but his tax advisers are clever in seeking to advance his freelancer role.
      Those presenters in support of Lineker are on a similar freelancer tax position as himself, hence their support. The mask of not being burdened with a large tax bill is hidden by the face of free speech.


    • G says:


      ‘Hands up those who don’t think we are well into witnessing the complete breakdown in society?’.


  46. Guest Who says:

    This lady may be the new Emma Kennedy.

    Maybe Vile can preside over a civil bonding between her, Femi and Mad Al.


  47. Guest Who says:


    They have made their money. Nowhere else to go but the luvvie whinge circuit, or become Labour MPs on Newsnight.


    • Fedup2 says:

      The Eddie stourton religion show

      This spent its time on the anniversary of the Pope Francis .

      Can you guess the subjects ? Wimmin – queers – ‘same sex marriage ‘( ugh ) . As usual with any BBC programme – there must be ‘change ‘ – and we know what that means in BBC terms . Not much mention of Jesus Christ – Christianity Or The Gospels – but would I expect that from the BBC ….?

      Eddie Stourton claims to be RC – but not much sign of that – no surprise – btw Eddie had a jolly to the Vatican …..


  48. Guest Who says:

    BBC News

    by the latest in a long line… David Stillitoe

    Gary Lineker has been pulled from BBC football highlights show Match of the Day after his social media posts criticised the UK government’s new asylum policy.

    Here’s what happened in under 90 seconds.


    90”? They are going to draw this out to Christmas if they can.


  49. StewGreen says:

    Simon Webb asks why UK press is failing to mention big context
    #1 Lineker retweeted a false anti Israel tweet
    and Israeli lawyers had acted.

    #2 Lineker appropriated the Holocaust to amplify his point against government policy against stopping the boats.

    “It is always a bad sign when you fall foul of certain people, as Gary Linker and the BBC are now discovering!”

    Actually JC archive has even more stories about Lineker tweeting anti Israel stuff.
    Must be to do with lefty community he runs with.


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