Author Archives: Robert Henderson

An explanation of for the care home coronavirus high death rate

Robert Henderson

BAME staff form a very high proportion of  both hospital and care home staff.

Coronavirus infection rates and deaths are much higher amongst BAME staff than amongst white staff

Patients in hospitals  have a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus  because of the large number of BAME staff .

Patients in hospitals have routinely been sent back to care homes without undergoing a test for coronavirus.

Inmates of care homes are more likely to be infected with the coroonavirus because of the high incidence of BAME staff.

Neither  staff nor inmates of care homes have been routinely  tested regularly for coronavirus.

In many care homes inmates cannot be kept apart because of the design of the care home.

RESULT A high casualty  rate from the coronavirus in care homes.

How Dominic Cummings should have handled his press conference

Cummings should have done is this:

1. Pointed out the wording of the guidance/law which said that people with children in special circumstances could use their judgement and ignore the rule.

2. Every time  Cummings  was asked a question about how he justified his behaviour   he should have simply referred  the questioner to the special circumstances passage in the guidance/law. The reptiles would soon have lost interest.

3. Offered to resign if

a)  every one of the reptiles who beseiged his London  home is  fired from their job  for not observing the social distancing rules and not reemployed in the media.

b) if any member of the Commons or Lords who breaks the rules is forced to resign.

Cummings most stupid mistake was his claim that his drive to Barnard Castle was to test his eyesight. He made the classic error  of someone trying to plug a hole in a story only to find he had created a bigger hole.

However, if he had done what I propose the Barnard Castle trip would have been put on the back burner  as the politicians and the  media ran away from attacking him when their own position was threatened.  If he had to give an explanation for the Barnard Castle trip he should have said his car was playing up  on his drive to the NE  –  a knocking noise would do the trick – and he wanted to make see how the car was running before the 260 mile drive home.

This would prompt the question “Why did you not seek the help of a mechanic? ”

Best answer: because I did not want to breach the lockdown rules.”

Worst answer: there weren’t any mechanics available. ”

The worst answer is the worst answer because it leads off to another line of questioning – “What efforts did you make to find a mechanic ” and such forth.

The best answer is a simple one which leads nowhere beyond the answer itself.

Finally, I do not know what the problem is with the Cummings child, but having put the “my child has special problems” into play Cummings needed to play it to its uttermost, ie, say clearly what the child’s problem is.

 

We could be heading for a de facto identity card

Robert Henderson

The government has begun an experiment on the Isle of Wight with an app which tracks  those who have or have had the coronavirus. If successful it will be rolled out UK wide.

The app will trace your movements which is worrying enough, but it will also give a clue to who you are meeting and when and where the meetings take place.

The app  has also already be shown to be insecure.

If  the app goes nationwide an even  greater worry arises, namely, that it could become all too easily a de facto identity card with at first the population being divided in two, between those who load  the app having the de facto  ID cards being allowed to move more freely about the country and those without the  app being restricted by the present lockdown restrictions or even something more  restrictive. This of course would give a great incentive to download the app.

The next likely step would be to make using the app compulsory unless people are literally confined to their homes permanently.

Those with the app will have the most potent of identitycards, not only one which says who you are , but one which tells where you have been and who you may have met. A police state dream.

Worryingly, The Health Secretary Mike Hancock has launched the app with the claim that it is everyone’s duty to use the app.

The app is not the only worrying government development , viz:

. ” The Coronavirus Act has given the Government powers that are without precedent in peacetime, including the authority to close any building. The lesser known Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations, which are the legal basis for the lockdown, are even more draconian. Their principal stipulations are that “no person may participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two people” and “no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse”. The list of “reasonable excuses” is short. ” (See below for full article)

All of this needs to be stamped on now because  virtually all the apparatus for a police state  has been given statutory force  by the Government.

Apart from the police state aspects of the technology the impracticality of the system strikes me, vz:

You download the app and go out.

Some hours later the app notifies you that have been in the proximity of someone who has the virus symptoms.

You  return home and  stay isolated for 14 days.

On the 15th day you go out .

A few hours later your  app notifies you that you have been near to someone with the virus symptoms.

You  remain home and stay isolated for another 14 days.

On the 15th day you leave your home.

You have barely walked a  few hundred yards and your app tells  you are in the vicinity of someone with the virus symptoms.

You return home to be isolated for another 14 days…

Coronavirus and the herd immunity ploy

Robert Henderson

The herd immunity ploy was obviously the most efficient  and, arguably in the long run,    the most humane course of action  because the  number of deaths and misery, both physical and psychological, may well exceed those from the present course of action.  For example, what happens with the present ploy  if  the situation has not changed after  16 weeks locked down ? Does the government keep on with lockdown interminably? Clearly that could not happen because there is a limit to what even a country with a great borrowing record  like the UK  can actually borrow. Moreover,  can anyone honestly believe that  to to keep people locked away for 4 months, 6 months and so on is practically possible? As it is we are are asking people at present to undergo a form of psychological torture. Imagine how extreme circumstances can be, for example, a family of 3 or four living in one room in a B and B.  It is inhuman.

With herd immunity the actuality might be very painful  in the short term but the experience of the likes of Sweden suggests is no worse in terms of death and much better in terms of not subjecting the population to great privation and  keeping the economy going.

There is also  a serious question over the number of which deaths can be wholly or solely attributed to the coronavisrus, for  example, there are suggestions that many of the deaths which are going into the daily count are not  due to coronavirus being the primary cause but rather acting as the last straw which broke the camel’s back.

To get a clear picture of what is happening we need answers to these questions for every claimed coronavisrus death:

1. How old was the patient?

2. What was the cause of death given on the death certificate?

3. What other illnesses and disabilities did the patient have?

4. What treatment did the patient receive in the 24 hours prior to their death?

5. Where did they die, for example, in hospital  or outside of hospital?

6. Had the patient stated that they did not wish to be resuscitated?

Coronavirus – Deaths rates: UK compared with Sweden

 It is true that Sweden’s death rate is below that of other Scandinavian countries but it is still lower than  that of many other first world countries . Take the UK for example.  Sweden has a population of 10 million; that of the UK is 66 million which is 6.6 times that of Sweden
Sweden’s  death toll is  2274 
 Sweden  death toll   multiplied  by 6.6   to give pro rata figure  for Sweden equivalent  to UK size population  is  2274 x 6.6  =  15,008
The UK’s death toll as of 28 April was   21,678 – see
Difference 6, 700
Things such as  the age shape of the Swedish population
 and the density of the country  is different but  that is not all it seem, for 
example, Sweden is less densely population when the entire area of the
 country is used but this ignores the fact that Sweden  is a very urban
 country. 
Death rate is very important but it does have to be balanced against such 
things as the long term damage to the economy, the opportunity cost of 
 of saving a person with corolavirus  against  treatment for non-virus patients, 
family life and just good old normality.  
There are differences in data definition  between countries but  
even if  Sweden’s death toll pro rata was  the same as that 
of the UK,  the UK  population would have suffered much less
than they  have done.

Judicial Review of the corolavirus lockdown in England

Robin Tillbrook is a solicitor and chairman of the English Democrats.  He has launched an application for Judicial Review of the  regime the Government is inflicting on the UK.   Below are the documents of the Judicial Review application’. 

——————————————————————————————————————-

The Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

And the

Secretary of State Health & Social Care

39 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0EL

Sat, 25 Apr at 20:04

Dear Sirs

English Democrats (1) Robin Tilbrook (2) – v – The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State Health and Social Care

Letter Before Claim
This letter is drafted under the judicial review protocol in section C of the White Book, which normally provides for a response within 14 days, but in view of the importance and urgency of the issues raised a response within 7 days is sought.

1.     Respondents:  The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State Health and Social Care

2.     Applicants: The English Democrats (Reg. No. 6132268) & Robin Tilbrook both of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0QP

3.     The details of the Applicant’s legal advisers, if any, dealing with this claim:-

Tilbrook’s Solicitors, of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0QP

4.     The details of the matters being challenged:-

The disproportionate inference with English rights and freedoms and the legality of:-

I        Statutory Instrument: 2020 No. 350

Public Health, England

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England)

Regulations 2020

          Made                   at 1.00 p.m. on 26th March 2020 

Laid before Parliament    at 2.30 p.m. on 26th March 2020 

Coming into force            at 1.00 pm. on 26th March 2020 

The Secretary of State purported to make Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 45C(1), (3)(c), (4)(d), 45F(2) and 45P of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984(1).

These Regulations are:-

1.     Contrary to the fundamental constitution of England as set out in Magna Carta and the English Parliamentary Constitutional Convention Declaration of Right of 1689 and its subsequent enactment in the English Bill of Rights 1689.

2.     Contrary to the Common Law of England in that (non-exhaustively) they are:- Ultra Vires; disproportionate and irrational.

3.     Contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights (pursuant to the Human Rights Act).

II       The “Guidance Covid-19: Guidance on Social Distances which inter alia states:-

          “Stay at home

·         Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)

·         If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times

·         Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.”

This is neither proper nor an accurate reflection of the said   Regulations.

III     The Coronavirus Act 2020 is:-

1.     Contrary to the fundamental constitution of England as set out in Magna Carta and the English Parliamentary Constitutional Convention Declaration of Right of 1689 and its subsequent enactment in the English Bill of Rights 1689.

2.     Contrary to the Common Law of England in that (non-exhaustively) they are:- Ultra Vires; disproportionate and irrational.

3.     Contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights (pursuant to the Human Rights Act).

5.     The details of any Interested Parties:-

None have notified as yet, but every person in England has an interest in the issues raised herein.

6.     The Issues:-

The above are a disproportionate and unwarranted interference with English rights and freedoms and human rights.

The Coronavirus Regulations and the European Convention on Human Rights

The lockdown measures imposed by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations are the some of the most extreme restrictions on fundamental freedoms imposed in the modern era; and are a disproportionate interference with the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention’) and therefore unlawful.

In considering their proportionality, the failure to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (under Article 15) is a relevant factor, as it might suggest that the public health crisis is not one that threatened the ‘life of the nation’.  Likewise, the failure to use the Civil Contingencies Act is both relevant to question of whether the Regulations could lawfully have been passed under the delegated powers of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and to proportionality, given that the CCA requires much more regular Parliamentary scrutiny and has specific limitations on the extent of any regulations passed under its delegated powers;]

The Regulations have grave impact upon a number of rights and freedoms, including at least to family and private life (Article 8), religious practice (Article 9), association and assembly (Article 11), property (Article 1 of Protocol 1) and education (Article 2 of Protocol 1) and probably to liberty (Article 5).  They represent an unprecedented intrusion into the freedoms and livelihood of the public at large and the gravity of this impact is a key consideration in determining whether they are the least restrictive means of tackling, proportionately, the spread of the virus.

Article 2 of the Convention (the right to life) does not impose a positive obligation to impose Draconian restrictions as a public health measure and is limited (in so far is relevant) to imposing positive obligations on states to ensure a functioning criminal justice system and to react proportionately to immediate and individual threats to life.

The means by which proportionality should be judged are the Siracusa Principles, developed and recognised by international law to determine the proportionality of quarantines and measures responding to public health crises.  These require such measures to be:

•             provided for and carried out in accordance with the law;

•             directed toward a legitimate objective of general interest;

•             strictly necessary in a democratic society to achieve the

              objective;

•             the least intrusive and restrictive available to reach the

              objective;

•             based on scientific evidence and neither arbitrary nor

              discriminatory in application; and

•             of limited duration, respectful of human dignity, and

              subject to review.

The five tests for the continuance of the Regulations declared by the First Secretary of State on 16th April, were as follows:

·        That the NHS is able to cope;

·        a “sustained and consistent” fall in the daily death rate;

·        reliable data showing the rate of infection was decreasing to ‘manageable levels’;

·        that the supply of tests and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) could meet future demand; and

·        that the government can be confident that any adjustments would not risk a second peak.

It is submitted that these tests: (a) impose an over-rigorous and unreasonable fetter on the government’s discretion to remove or reduce the restrictions and are wholly incompatible with an application of the Siracusa Principles; (b) would (if applied) retain the restrictions (if, for example, there was not a ‘sustained and consistent’ fall in the death rate) even if an objective evaluation showed that less restrictive measures might have the same object; and (c) fail to require the Secretary of State to have any regard to the impact of the Regulations on the important rights and freedoms they restrict.

An evaluation of the scientific evidence would be unavoidable for any court reviewing the lawfulness and proportionality of the Regulations, as it would otherwise be unable to consider whether the measures were the least restrictive necessary in a democratic society.  This scientific evidence is far more uncertain than is generally accepted and there is, in particular, a great deal of uncertainty about the effectiveness of lockdowns in containing spread, the true mortality and infection rates and the accuracy of the modelling from Imperial College that has been key to government policy.

In conclusion, the application of the Siracusa Principles in a judicial review, taking account of the gravity of the removal of so many and such important rights and freedoms with so little democratic scrutiny, is likely to conclude that the measures are disproportionate to their object, were imposed following an unreasonable fetter on the government’s discretion and are thus unlawful.

7.     The details of the action that the Respondents are required to take:-

a)     To admit that the said Regulations, Guidance and Act should be rescinded and replaced within an agreed timetable.

b)    In accordance with the agreed timetable, to rescind the same and to replace them with agreed Regulations, Guidance and Act which does not improperly interfere with English Rights and Freedoms.

8.     ADR proposals:-

None.

9.     The details of any information sought:-

Not applicable.

10.The details of any documents that are considered relevant and   necessary:-

          Not applicable.

11.The address for reply and service of all documents:-

Tilbrook’s Solicitors of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0QP

12. Proposed reply date:-

In view of the urgency and importance of the issues 7 days from the date hereof.

Yours faithfully

 

R C W Tilbrook

————————————————————————————————————

Monday, 4 May 2020

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO OUR “LOCKDOWN” CHALLENGE

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO OUR “LOCKDOWN” CHALLENGE

In a previous Blog article I set out our Pre-action Protocol Letter before Claim.  I have now received the Governments letter in reply and I have copied the Government’s response below.
“Dear Sirs

English Democrats and Robin Tilbrook – v – The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State Health and Social Care

We are in receipt of your letter before claim, which we understand to have been sent on 23 April 2020, seeking an urgent response within seven days. This response is provided in accordance with the requirements of a judicial review pre-action protocol.
Proposed Claimants
(1)   The English Democrats
(2)   Robin Tilbrook
Proposed Defendant
(1)   The Prime Minister
(2)   The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Were proceedings to be issued, the proper defendant would be the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. References to the Defendant in this letter are to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
The Defendant may be contacted via the Government Legal Department.  Due to COVID-19, service should, if possible, be effected by email rather than post to limit the handling of materials.  All future correspondence should be addressed to Tessa Hocking on behalf of the Treasury Solicitor, at Tessa.Hocking@governmentlegal.gov.uk, quoting reference number Z2005059/TIH/HOI7 and copying Robert Norgrove at Robert.Norgrove@governmentlegal.gov.uk.
Details of the Decision being Challenged
  1. Your letter seeks to challenge the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”), which were made by the Defendant and came into force on 26 March 2020. It appears from your letter that the challenge is to the entirety of the Regulations. 
  1. The proposed challenge is misconceived. If a claim is commenced, we will invite the Court to refuse permission and certify the claim as totally without merit. We note that you will be familiar with this process, given that your claim in English Democrats v The Prime Minister & Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (CO/1322/2019) was similarly refused permission and certified as totally without merit.
The Legal and Factual Context
  1. The entirety of the United Kingdom is presently affected by the global COVID-19 public health pandemic. The extremely serious risk to life and health posed by COVID-19 has obliged the Government to take unprecedented, vital steps to limit the spread of the virus, save lives, and reduce the burden on the National Health Service.
  1. These measures include those set out in the Regulations, which came into force on 26 March 2020. The Regulations are applicable in England, although equivalent restrictions are in place across the rest of the United Kingdom.
  1. The Regulations were made under the Part IIA of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, for the purposes of “preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection or contamination”: section 45C(1). The measures achieve precisely these purposes. They are similar to those instituted in countries across the world, faced with the same global public health emergency.
  1. Your letter makes no reference to any particular provision of the Regulations, and it is accordingly unnecessary to set out their full terms and effect here. There is no dispute that the Regulations impose a comprehensive set of restrictions and requirements on all aspects of daily life, affecting every person in England, because of the unparalleled threat to life and to the effective functioning of the National Health Service posed by the pandemic. The Regulations seek to strike a careful balance between preventing the spread of COVID-19 and permitting essential services to continue during the emergency period.
  1. The restrictions and requirements imposed by the Regulations remain in place from 26 March 2020 until the Secretary of State takes steps to terminate or amend them. The continuing need for those restrictions and requirements is required to be reviewed at three weekly intervals under the Regulations. In line with that requirement, a review of all aspects of the Regulations was carried out before the Government concluded on 16 April 2020 that the need for those restrictions and requirements had not materially altered. That need remains under constant review. 
  1. Accordingly, the public health position in England has very recently been considered with the outcome that the Government continues to be of the view that the restrictions are necessary to address the incidence or spread of infection of COVID-19. Additionally, the Regulations are due to expire six months after coming into effect, being 25 September 2020.
  1. Further, the Regulations were made by the Defendant under the emergency procedure set out in section 45R of the 1984 Act, by reason of their urgency, following which they must be approved by a resolution of each House within 28 days (leaving aside days on which Parliament is adjourned, prorogued or dissolved: section 45R(6)) or else they expire after that period: section 45R(4). The Regulations are tabled for debate in the Commons on 4th May 2020. It is therefore inaccurate for your letter to suggest that there is no Parliamentary scrutiny of these emergency Regulations.
Response
  1. Although it is unclear precisely what grounds of challenge your letter advances in respect of the Regulations, any claim for judicial review would be misconceived.
  1. First, the First Claimant is the subject of an outstanding Order for costs arising from CO/1322/2019, referred to above, in the sum of £2,755.99, which it has thus far failed to pay. The First Claimant was represented throughout those proceedings by the Second Claimant, who is also the National Chairman of the First Claimant. It is an abuse of process for a party to commence further proceedings when it has refused to comply with a Court Order in previous, unmeritorious, proceedings: see, e.g., Harbour Castle Limited v David Wilson Homes Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 505.
  1. Secondly, no explanation is advanced in your letter as to how or why either of the proposed Claimants have standing to challenge the entirety of the Regulations, or in what way either or both of the proposed Claimants are relevantly victims of the asserted breaches of Articles 5, 8, 9, 11 and 1 and 2 of the First Protocol ECHR, as required by section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  1. Thirdly, any claim for judicial review must be brought promptly: CPR r.54.5(1)(a). That freestanding requirement of promptitude is especially critical in a context of a general challenge to Regulations of the greatest national importance seeking to protect life on a mass scale, where reliance has been placed on them – and the population complying with them – for some five weeks. No explanation is given as to why your letter is only written now, when the arguments set out in it appear to be ones that could have been made from the very outset. Any claim would be refused permission for a failure to act promptly.
  1. Fourthly, and in any event, the relevant restrictions in the Regulations do not give rise to any unlawful interference with any of the ECHR rights referred to in your letter.
  1. As the Divisional Court held in R (Detention Action) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 732 (Admin) at §27: “we must emphasise that it is the role of the court to assess the legality of the Secretary of State’s actions, not to second-guess legitimate operational choices. The circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented and are unfolding hour by hour and day by day. Within sensible bounds the Secretary of State must be permitted to anticipate such events as she considers appropriate and respond to events as they unfold. As matters stand, it does seem to us that she has taken and will no doubt continue to take prudent measures, both precautionary and reactive. The margin to be afforded to the Defendant is particularly extensive when faced with what Chamberlain J correctly described in University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust v MB [2020] EWHC 882 (QB) as “the most serious public health emergency for a century”: at §56.
  1. All of the restrictions and requirements imposed by the Regulations pursue a legitimate aim: namely, the protection of public health. The Regulations are rationally connected to that aim: they seek to reduce to a minimum all contact between people so as to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent so far as possible National Health Service resources being placed under an unmanageable strain. They are prescribed by law and strike a proportionate balance. In particular, the unprecedented measures taken in the Regulations, affecting every person and their way of life, are necessary to protect the lives of people in England during this public health emergency. This is the Government’s overriding concern. It is principally achieved by enforcing an extensive but proportionate reduction in all forms of social contact during the emergency period, in common with other countries across the world. The terms of the Regulations are kept under constant review, by reference to the constantly changing situation.
  1. Accordingly, your letter is wrong to imply any inconsistency with the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whether in relation to the Regulations or any approach to the review of those Regulations (so far as this is alleged), even if those Principles were of relevance to the ECHR.
  1. Fifthly, the passing assertion that the Defendant has acted ultra vires is unexplained and is not understood. Nor is it understood, or explained, how the Regulations are “Contrary to the fundamental constitution of England as set out in Magna Carta and the English Parliamentary Constitutional Convention Declaration of Right of 1689 and its subsequent enactment in the English Bill of Rights 1689.” This is incoherent.
Action Requested and Urgency
  1. For the above reasons, the Defendant does not agree that the Regulations are unlawful and must be rescinded.
  1. Nor, in any event, are the Claimants entitled to demand the right to agree any replacement Regulations or guidance.
  1. For the avoidance of doubt, any claim for judicial review issued will be defended and permission opposed. The Defendant’s full legal costs will be sought in the event that permission is refused.
Details of Other Interested Parties
  1. There are no other interested parties.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
  1. Alternative dispute resolution is not practical.
Requests for Information and Documents
  1. No information or documents are sought.
Address for Further Correspondence and Service of Court Documents
  1. As noted above, all future pre-action correspondence should be sent to, and in the event that proceedings are later issued, documents should be served by email to Tessa.Hocking@governmentlegal.gov.uk, copying Robert.Norgrove@governmentlegal.gov.uk.
  1. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.
Yours faithfully
T H
For the Treasury Solicitor
I am now working on the reply to this and I shall publish that too shortly.

Robert Henderson’s response to Robin’s application for Judicial Review

Robert Henderson observations on the JR application:

Dear Robin,

This is certainly worth a go, for even if  the action  fails it will  probably shake up the Government sufficiently to get them to slacken the restrictions. The fact that there are reportedly a growing number of Tory MPs unhappy with the way things are going will also help this to happen.

 As to the merits of  the judicial review, the problems you would encounter seem to me to be these:

The powers you are saying are disproportionate are based on a recent Act of Parliament so there  is no question that  outdated  law is being used to obtain  a Government’s ends.

 The question of what Parliament can and cannot  do  is a   vexed one. The obvious argument from the Government side is that Parliament is sovereign and can do anything it chooses. The argument against this  is  that there are obligations  derived from Common Law or treaties a British Government has signed up to.

To the question of Common Law I would say this, Statute Law routinely  overturns directly or indirectly  Common Law judgements and precedents.

As for law deriving from international tries there are two points to make.  First,  treaties, for example the European  Convention or Human Rights, (ECHR)   frequently have very strong qualifications  which mean that the rights and freedoms supposedly protected are given only a  very limited protection in practise. For example here is the ECHR article supposedly protecting free expression 

Article 10 – Freedom of expression

 1Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises. 

The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

More generally if the supremacy of Parliament is accepted and the principle that no  Parliament can bind its successor  remains in play,  then logically no Parliament  can be prevented  from removing freedoms per se.

Proportionality

If you do go ahead with the Judicial Review then the strongest issues seem to me to be these;

1. Other countries such as Sweden have obtained a better or similar result in terms of deaths than the  despite operating a more relaxed regime than the UK.

If you can persuade  Professor Johan Giesecke to be a witness   that would be a plus because he is  both calm and authoritative. He also believes that no matter what regime is adopted by governments to deal with the virus  the outcome will be broadly similar. See

https://unherd.com/thepost/coming-up-epidemiologist-prof-johan-giesecke-shares-lessons-from-sweden/

  2. The UK Gover`nment is inconsistent in its rules, for example, it  has continued to   allow entry into the UK  with no routine  testing or enforced isolation of  thousands of people each day.  The Government claim this failure to act  is in response to their expert scientific advice  that it was not necessary.  Frankly, I think  most people, myself included,  will see that advice as self-evident  nonsense  The most   likely explanation for the failure to test and isolate is that it would be s politically sensitive.

If  people are allowed to continue  entering the country with no checks or isolation there is a serious danger of the virus being re-imported into the UK over and over again

3. The Government’s constant refrain that they act of the best scientific and medical advice is simply untrue.

Scientists often disagree  and like academics generally are more than happy to fight battles which have little to do with science and everything to do with ego and professional jealousies. This makes a nonsense of the increasingly pathetic bleat of Johnson and co that “We are acting on the best scientific and medical advice “.

 The upshot of this ploy is politicians not  choosing the “best and medical  and scientific advice ”  but the advice which best suits their political narrative and covers their political backs.

Moreover, as a matter of logic  politicians cannot be said to be following the best scientific  and medical advice  through choice  because  by definition they are not qualified to choose between competing professional  medical and scientific advice .

 5. It is becoming increasingly clear that the present regime is a cure worse than the disease.  The concentration on corolavirus is undoubtedly resulting in substantial numbers of deaths from non-corolavirus causes and will result in many more,  plus a great deal  of mental agony for sufferers and their  families.

 Cancer patients are having their treatments stopped, millions of elective operations have been scrapped or delayed and  there have been dramatic falls in Accident and Emergency patients generally with especially worrying falls in patients  possibly suffering from suspected heart attacks and strokes, presumably because people are either frightened to go into hospital with corolavirus about or simply out of a  misplaced sense that they did not want  to be a burden of the NHS  under present circumstances.  This stores up trouble for the future both for the patients and the NHS.

6. The public need to be trusted with harsh facts.  The  regret  generated by the  coronavirus deaths  is understandable but ignores one very important thing.  Put baldly the idea that some patients might be treated  more favourably than others, for example,  the young rather than the old, seems cruel. Yet this   is no more than what happens generally in emergency medical situations, namely,  the practice of triarging patients. (That is the dividing of patients into those who will most probably survive without treatment, those who would survive with treatment and those who would not  survive regardless of treatment.  )

In the context  of who is likely to survive, there is the question of  whether some  treatments   are too robust, especially for the old.  For example, it  is reported that “nearly all Covid-19 patients put on ventilators in New York’s largest health system died,”.  It is such a physically brutal intervention that, as has been hinted at in previous reports about ventilators, it may be killing people, especially the old,.   The procedure also requires very heavy sedation which may have seen  some on their way out of the World.

Hospital capacity is what matters at the moment

Robert Henderson

Over the Easter weekend the Nightingale Hospital in the  converted Excel conference and events centre  only had 19 patients when it has  available 500 beds now with the potential to scale up to 4000 to accommodate corolavirus patients.  The small number of patients  caused surprise and comment.

The fact that the Nightingale Hospital is  not used more extensively is irrelevant at the moment. The important thing is the Government has done the  right thing by making sure the  capacity is there if the virus  (or indeed any other virus)  becomes more demanding of patients in hospital beds.  There is also the possibility that a second wave of the virus will hit us.

Over capacity is what we need not under capacity. This is where British governments*from Cameron and May’s  governments  (and arguably Johnson’s) were at fault because they   ran down the in patient capacity so there was very little give in the system when demand rose.  Not only that but very little effort appears to have been made generally to plan for a novel virus attack – no adequate  supplies of protective equipment, no  equipment to test for the virus  and a lack of  equipment to aid sufferers , in particular ventilators and oxygen.  There are also reports coming through of drugs needed to treat and palliate patients are running short.

For the future all of these shortages must not be allowed to exist.

The other  general scandal is the  fact that UK is so dependent on  imports for staff, equipment and medicine.   Government must train sufficient medical staff  drawn from our own population and ensure that the UK can be self-sufficient in not only the goods required to tackle viruses but in drugs and  medical equipment. No more must the madness of the laissez faire  fantasy of  globalism be allowed to to drive public policy in the UK.

*The Blair and Brown can also be said to have indirectly contributed to the decline of the NHS over the past ten years because of the many PFI’s schemes they left behind which were ruinously expensive and constrained   government ‘s routine spending on the NHS  for years after the  crash of 2008. Instead the money went on PFI contracts.

Blair and Brown could also be blamed indirectly because  in the years leading up to  the 2008 crash they ramped up the UKL national debt massively – see https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/labour-re-writes-the-past-their-economic-management/

Taking the best scientific and medical advice is a nonsense

Scientists often disagree  and like academics generally are more than happy to fight battles which have little to do with science and everything to do with ego and professional jealousies. This makes a nonsense of the increasingly pathetic bleat of Johnson and co that “We are acting on the best scientific and medical advice

The upshot is politicians  not  choosing the “best and medical  and scientific advice ”  but the advice which best suits their political narrative and covers their political backs.  Moreover,  logically ,  politicians cannot be said to be following the best scientific  and medical advice  through choice  because they are not qualified to choose between competing professional  medical and scientific advice .

In short,  “the best scientific and medical advice ” is a ploy to evade political responsibility

Ethic minorities mote likely to be Corolavirus victims

Robert Henderson

Ethnic minorities are reported to be more susceptible to the  coronavirus.

This is intriguing  because  different ethnic minorities are involved. That suggests  it is down to behaviour rather than genetic  differences.

It could be a greater reluctance amongst ethnic minorities  to follow the stay indoors  regime laid down by the government.

Another factor might be health conditions such as obesity and diabetes  being more prevalent amongst ethnic minorities.

It might  be that ethnic minorities tend to live in urban areas more than the native majority.

It might be  because   ethic minorities  have a strong tendency to live together in certain urban  areas.

It might be because ethnic minorities are more likely leave the UK to visit areas outside of the UK  which have no strong healthcare system or a government capable of enforcing rules such as lockdown.

I doubt whether it can be down to poor socio-economic circumstances because there are far more white British families  in such circumstances

Sweden chooses freedom over draconian laws

Robert Henderson

Sweden is the odd man out amongst first world nations when it comes to dealing with the corolavirus.  The country has adopted a more relaxed regime than any other country, a regimes  which allows for far more social mixing  and much less interference with the economy.

Deaths from the  deaths from corlavirus  in Sweden are higher than their near neighbours in Scandinavia  but importantly  lower than for many  first world countries., including the UK, viz:

Sweden has a population of 10.2 million; Denmark 5.8  million, Norway 5.3  Finland 5.5 million .

Let us assume for the sake of arithmetical simplicity  that Denmark, Norway and Finland would have double the deaths   if their  populations were double what they are.  That would mean

Norway   300 deaths
Denmark  642 deaths
Finland     144 deaths

At first glance that looks a persuasive argument for Sweden having made a mistake.  However, now compare  the UK with Sweden

Sweden’s death toll is  1,333

The UK death toll is 13,729 patients who have died in hospital    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-04-16/coronavirus-death-toll-in-uk-increases-by-861-bringing-total-to-13-729/

The UK population is around 66 million

Sweden’s population is around a sixth of the UK

A sixth of 13,729 UK patients is 2,288

That compares the actual  Swedish death toll of 1,333

Hence Sweden has an extrapolated death toll  955 lower than the UK despite adopting a much more liberal policy in dealing with the coronavirus. That cannot be called a failure. The Swedes chose freedom over fewer deaths bought at the cost of draconian laws attacking the individual.

The questions  to consider are these:

1.Is the greater good served by the Swedes retaining their freedom to live a an much more normal life ?
or
adopting a more rigorous set of rules which may have resulted in fewer lives  being lost?

2. Have the Swedes preserved much more of their economy by adopting for a greater degree of freedom

NB
I am assuming the death toll of both the UK and Sweden are just for hospital deaths. The UK figure  most certainly is.

Sweden is a  less densely populated country than the UK , although it is still pretty  urbanised,   the 4 largest urban areas being:
1 Stockholm 1,515,017
2 Gothenburg 572,799
3 Malmö 301,706
4 Uppsala 149,245
450,295 km²  Land area of Sweden
242,495 km²   Land area of UK
%d bloggers like this: