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Going after politicians for care-home outbreaks will be the death knell for freedom
You may hate Covid tyrants, but prosecuting them is the surest way to ensure lockdowns and vax passes return in future pandemics
By Adam Edwards
YOUR enemy’s enemy is rarely, in fact, your friend.
America learned that the hard way in Afghanistan when they armed Osama Bin Laden. We are seeing it too with Ukraine where, again, the West’s rivalry with Russia has led us to hitch our metaphorical wagon to the most corrupt, undemocratic and xenophobic regime in Europe.
Sadly, some risk falling into this same trap.
Filled with impotent rage, some have been celebrating the public reckoning of lockdown-supporting politicians with no real thought for the long-term implications of who is taking them down – and for what reason.
This week, for instance, it was announced that outgoing Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (above) could be questioned as part of a potential investigation into the Scottish Government’s alleged role in up to 10,000 Covid deaths.
The announcement by NHS campaigners of a possible police complaint being lodged by them was met with unrestrained joy by some, many of whom are also cock-a-hoop at the thought of action one day being brought against former UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The latter comes in the light of the Telegraph’s exclusive publication of private WhatsApp messages suggesting, among other things, that Hancock failed to protect care homes.
But if Sturgeon, Hancock or any other official is ever prosecuted or sued over care-home deaths, it will guarantee even swifter and harsher measures the next time a pandemic is announced.
We have seen this with the gradual creep of “health and safety” bureaucracy. What started as measures to prevent avoidable deaths has morphed into a litigious nightmare that sees perfectly safe events or activities banned for no discernable reason.
Worse, by going after politicians for not implementing restrictions rigorously enough, the unavoidable message is that the pandemic and the deaths of those elderly people could have been prevented. Indeed, this line has already been highlighted by most media coverage on The Telegraph’s WhatsApp revelations.
This is the worst possible outcome.
Discharging patients back to care homes was undoubtedly a mistake but the crime was that they and so many others were denied the critical and life-saving care they were originally sent to hospital for. They were in fact prematurely discharged on the false assumption hospitals were about to be “overwhelmed”.
Not testing patients before evicting them may not have been ideal, but could politicians have stopped a highly contagious, airborne respiratory virus getting into care homes anyway? It seems doubtful.
We saw outbreaks in Antarctica, on warships and in submarines. And each of these happened several weeks after everyone in those isolated communities had tested negative for the virus. Entire countries sealed themselves off to the world – and the virus still made it across oceans, despite strict test-to-enter policies in place.
Moreover, even if the mitigations had worked, would they have been worth it?
Those who died in care homes never saw their families in the weeks and months leading up their lonely deaths.
Three years on, people may be allowed visitors in care homes again, but many older people still enter the care system knowing that they will never see another human smile for as long as they live.
If people want to get their own back on the politicians who tormented them, this would seem a more logical cause to pursue.
There is precedent on this issue. In Australia, which shares the same legal system as Britain, retailers were warned during the first SARS outbreak that they would be fined $110,000 for selling masks under the false pretence they can stop infections.
Has this ever officially been challenged?
Over the past three years, everyone from your local pub to cruise companies have gone out of their way to impose restrictions long before – or after – any government-imposed compulsion was in effect.
The cruise lines, in particular, stated in no uncertain terms that they were imposing restrictions like forced masking, forced testing and banning the “unvaccinated” from their ships, to “keep you safe”. The not-so-subtle implication was that, if you sailed with them, you would not catch Covid and die.
Of course, it was nonsense. In an era before Covid, businesses would have been stopped by their lawyers from entering into such an implicit and misleading contract with the customer. But has anyone ever thought of challenging them in the courts?
People may not have the expertise or money to pursue legal cases, but cheerleading the hysterics with that power, be it restriction-pushing health care workers or the lockdown-supporting Telegraph, is certainly not the answer.
The Telegraph scoop is already turning into a rehash of long-known debates about who wanted masks (Sturgeon), and why (to embarrass English politicians and look tougher in the press).
Hancock and Sturgeon may not be your friends, but neither was the Telegraph for most of the pandemic.