Friday 3 November 2023


 The 'i' newspaper report (31/10/23) on proceedings at the public inquiry into COVID in the UK last Monday, 30 October 2023, noted that the Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, accused Boris Johnson of being unable to lead, "changing strategic direction every day" in the weeks running up to the first lockdown. Martin Reynolds, Johnson's principal private secretary at the time admitted that the government was "grossly deficient" in the weeks leading up to the pandemic hitting the UK. By 21 February the Italian government had at last ordered parts of Lombardy into lockdown, fearing that the rising death toll would lead to the collapse of the health system in Italy. Yet Johnson received not a single note on Covid between 14 and 24 February when he was staying at Chequers, his country residence (see below for an alternative timeline). Imran Shafti, another private secretary to Johnson, said that the prime minister did not believe Covid was a "big deal" during February; it was not until Monday 23 March that he took the country into its first lockdown. Imran Shafti thought it was Johnson who had said to Sunak, the chancellor at the time, "We're killing the patient to tackle the tumour - why are we destroying the economy for people who will die anyway soon?".

Written 2020-2021; published 2022

The 'i' report (1/11/23) on proceedings the previous day, last Tuesday, highlighted the revelation that diary entries made by Sir Patrick Vallance, then the Government's chief scientific advisor, in August 2020 before the second lockdown was eventually enacted, showed that Johnson was "obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life and so keeping the economy going". 

The 'i' newspaper (1/11/23) also provided a quote from Brenda Doherty of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK. She said: "Mr Johnson clearly didn't see people like my mum as human beings, and thousands of others died unnecessarily after the same mistakes were repeated.

Around 230,000 British citizens have died during this period of the pandemic, 2020-2023 - most of them between 2020 and 2021. The UK has one of the highest per capita death rates from Covid-19 in the world. The political and medical and scientific establishment colluded under the crazed leadership of a narcissistic neoliberal Tory who believed that the pursuit of profit took precedence over the health and even the lives of the citizens of his country. That's my judgement as delivered

in my book 'Dying to Know - Running Through A Pandemic' which was written in 2020 and 2021, and then published in February 2022.  

The 'i' newspaper (2/11/23) carried an opinion piece by Ian Dunt based on the testimony of Helen MacNamara, former deputy Cabinet secretary, at the hearing the day before. She had walked into the prime minister's study on 13 March and said: "I have come through here to tell you that I think we are absolutely f**ked. I think this country is heading for a disaster. I think we are going to kill thousands of people". She explained that "Mr Johnson was very confident the UK would sail through". He spent much of the time "laughing at the Italians", despite that country providing an early test-case for what was about to hit Britain. There was no checking of national preparedness. It was "completely and utterly absent". Ian Dunt concluded that her account bore witness to a country whose "governance structures were corroded and weak - and which was then lumped with a catastrophically inappropriate prime minister at the worst possible moment. When he was in power, Johnson liked to claim that he got "the big calls right". Nothing could be further from the truth".  

Absolutely. Engels had a term for such actions and inactions by state leaders that left citizens dead. He called it "social murder". 

A brilliant Dutch cartoon which has my deepest admiration

My niece, Deb Jones, left a review of my book 'Dying to Know' in which she wrote that it was "Poetic, beautiful and shimmering with rage". Others have been complimentary too. The point I want to emphasize here is my anger. Here are some extracts from my book DTK:

'Yet the prime minister, that same day (Monday 3 February), gave a celebratory speech at Greenwich, to mark the UK's departure from Europe in which he talked about "a risk that new diseases such as Coronavirus will trigger a panic.... at that moment humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing at least to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange".... the UK under his leadership, he promised, will be that country.'

'A week later, on Monday, 10 February, the UK Health secretary, Matt Hancock declared the virus a "serious and imminent threat to public health". The World Health Organization (WHO) named the virus: COVID-19. From Saturday, 15 February until Sunday, 1 March, Boris Johnson was on holiday at Chevening in Kent with his partner, Carrie Symonds. Reports emerged that he had asked for briefing notes to be kept short. If it were not highly inappropriate in these pandemic times to spit, that is exactly what I would do as each day in this murderous chronology emerges from my magic bole.'

'On Tuesday, 18 February, Public Health England... reported to SAGE that they only had the capacity to cope with five COVID-19 cases a week... The routine testing and tracing of contacts was therefore stopped... This action to stop "test and trace" was the key reason why the UK had, by the end of May, the highest death rate in Europe.' 

'On Tuesday, 3 March, Boris Johnson made a television appearance in which he said that he had been at a hospital the day before and shaken hands with everyone, including coronavirus patients. Some members of SAGE, we know, were horrified. "Absolutely bonkers!", was one response.

'On Wednesday, 11 March, WHO declared a global pandemic. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his first budget speech in which he proudly referenced the UK's "world-leading response to the coronavirus epidemic".

'The next day, Thursday 12 March, the Government's Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance told Sky News: 'We think this virus is likely to become a seasonal virus. Communities will become immune to it and that's going to be an important part of controlling this longer term. About sixty per cent is the sort of figure you need to get herd immunity".  But there is no scientific consensus on what percentage of the population would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity. Estimates vary from sixty per cent to ninety-five per cent. And there is no scientific certainty about how long any acquired immunity would last anyway. Beware a knight of the realm peddling mumbo jumbo as the Chief Scientific Advisor.'

Enough! There are more revelations to be discovered in my book. I am left with a sense of anger not only about the death-toll but also the political and media silence about all this mis-governance during those months of social murder. It says so much about the rottenness in the state of Britain that voices and understandings such as mine have been so few and remain largely unheard and unreported. Around seventy-five copies of my book have been sold and I have gifted another thirty-five to friends. 

If you haven't read my book and its revelations yet, what better time to do so than now when the official inquiry has its hearings. Will it all be a white-wash as my book suggests? I expect so - I don't see the likes of Johnson and Cummings facing trial for administrative malfeasance. Signed copies are available from me at, postage free, for a tenner by bank transfer. My publisher, Matador/Troubador, can also provide copies - see this link here.  Please don't go down the Amazon path. And Christmas is getting closer which means stocking-filler time!


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