Opinion
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Matt Hancock, former UK health secretary, arrives at BBC Broadcasting House to appear on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg on October 16, 2022, in London, England.Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images

(Brownstone Institute) — Earlier today, former UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who advocated and led the use of terror messaging to drive support for and compliance with lockdown measures throughout 2020, choked back tears as he told the government’s official COVID Inquiry that he is ‘profoundly sorry’ for each and every COVID death and hopes lockdowns will be “much earlier” and “more stringent” during the next pandemic.

One need not have a background in law enforcement to recognize that these are the words of an entirely unrepentant sociopath. Hancock’s testimony seemed to confirm sceptics’ worst fears that the COVID Inquiry is being used as a pretext to institutionalise lockdowns, and it marked an astonishing new low for the COVID Inquiry, which so far has revealed little of value and assiduously avoided asking officials why they found the horrific decision to copy China’s lockdown policy remotely appropriate — though the officials have openly admitted lockdown wasn’t part of any Western country’s pandemic plan and have pondered whether any country would have done it had it not been for China.

Worst of all may be the fact that 17 members of the pro-lockdown pressure group ‘Independent SAGE’ have been asked to give evidence at the COVID Inquiry. For those who’ve been paying attention, this is a far cry from how optimists hoped the aftermath of the COVID response would eventually play out.

“Independent SAGE” is not a legitimate political body. ‘Independent SAGE’ is nothing but a questionably funded group of extremists with no relevant credentials proselytizing the dubious goal of “Zero Covid,” while hijacking the name of an official government body to fool the public into believing they have some legitimacy.

In short, ‘Independent SAGE’ is nothing but a disinformation organisation that caused unfathomable harm by convincing citizens and officials to pursue an illusory goal using illiberal methods with very real and catastrophic costs. To have Independent SAGE give evidence at the COVID Inquiry means the potential criminals have, quite literally, been given a role in prosecuting the case. The members of Independent SAGE are the ones who should be facing an inquiry; given the scale of the harm, the UK could do worse than to have them all banged up in the Tower of London — at least until we know more.

For the UK government to stack the official COVID Inquiry with the members of an obvious disinformation group is deeply insulting to the public’s intelligence, and an unsettling glimpse into the lengths the government has gone to manipulate the perception of public opinion since the response to COVID began. The public did not ask them to put all these members of “Independent SAGE” on the Inquiry, or can this decision be written off as a mistake.

Rather, it reveals that many Members of Parliament are deliberately working to manipulate public perceptions to prevent the question of whether the UK should have imposed a lockdown from ever being asked — and it begs the troubling question of just how many of these MPs are not mere incompetents, but rather knowing accomplices to the crime. To be frank, it evidences just how vast the communist conspiracy which may have given birth to Western lockdowns may in fact be.

That so many MPs may be knowing accomplices to the crime of lockdown helps explain why such transparently questionable characters as 40-year British Communist Party Member Susan Michie; China admirer Neil Ferguson; Lancet Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton, who wrote that “public health” is the “midwife of Marxism;” lead lockdown adviser Chris Whitty; and lead lockdown scientist Jeremy Farrar were all able to play leading roles in the response to COVID and significantly advance their careers in its catastrophic aftermath without scrutiny.

To see the leading instigators of lockdown getting away with all this, at least so far, is admittedly a bit deflating. But ultimately, there is an objective reality, and the reality is that these policies destroyed countless millions of lives and transferred trillions in wealth from workers to the very richest for virtually no human benefit.

As Hannah Arendt so beautifully described, this, in the real world, is how evil works: the mass abdication of reality in favor of a fantasy that befits one’s own personal comfort and prurient self-interest. The wide embrace of this fantasy by those in power only deepens the moral imperative to insist on the admission of the objective reality of the devastation that lockdown in fact caused.

Further, that so many MPs are knowingly acting as accomplices to the crime of lockdown doesn’t necessarily mean they’re knowingly advancing China’s interests. To be sure, lockdown propaganda was extremely effective, and all one has to do is talk to ordinary people in liberal cities to realize that many of them honestly seem to think these policies were hunky dory. Some MPs may thus be rationalising their actions as simply telling the public what they want to hear.

When I argue that creating this rift between the ruling class’s self-interest and objective reality may have been the goal of China’s lockdown propaganda from the very start, some fellow commentators such as Will Jones, a good bloke at the Daily Sceptic, like to reply that it all sounds ‘too clever by half.’

But it’s really not terribly original. This is how organised crime organisations have always recruited — albeit on a much larger scale. In general, criminal organisations don’t recruit through applications and interviews; rather, they recruit through a process of manipulation and entrapment, gradually estranging individuals from what they believed to be their values, until all that’s left is nihilism, self-interest, and complete loyalty to the organisation.

And, with its century of history, no one has more experience in this process than the Chinese Communist Party. In that sense, the response to COVID may be seen as the CCP’s largest-ever recruiting event. And without a doubt, Xi Jinping couldn’t be more proud of the performance of the Freshman class.

Michael P. Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. He has been researching the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the world’s response to COVID-19 since March 2020 and previously authored China’s Global Lockdown Propaganda Campaign and The Masked Ball of Cowardice in Tablet Magazine. You can follow his work on Substack

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