117 Comments
Nov 1, 2023Liked by Dominic Cummings

Cummings: “These people have lied and made decisions that have killed thousands of people”.

QC: “Yeah but you can’t be rude about them.”

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Nov 1, 2023Liked by Dominic Cummings

well done on yesterday DC, i must say it didn't reveal very much that we didn't already know, plus the QC didn't see to like you

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I thought it was outrageous how differently DC was questioned/the tone of questioning...compared to others... they even mentioned it on BBC Radio 4 and how he was interrupted many times and was not allowed to provide context either

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He did get a bit theatrical with his questions. I thought the one about 'is Michael Gove the Prime Minister?' crossed a line. It was like he wanted to sound like a stern headmaster

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The whole stern headmaster attitude was insufferable

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so much wittering about hurty ****. also re slowing down was the court reporter from Fiverrr or something-well done for keeping your cool and coming across as far more incisive than the KC.

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Nov 2, 2023Liked by Dominic Cummings

A few comments not so much on Dom's testimony but to set the record straight(er) from someone working in critical care and anaesthesia during the pandemic.

1. The Nordic experience. Apart from booze, the Nordics are bloody healthy. We in the UK on the other hand are not, which explains a lot of the difference in Covid outcomes. They're also small population, low population density countries.

2. Plenty of middle aged, working people ended up on ventilators in ITU. Some of them survived. Not having a lockdown would have been disastrous - critical care units would have been (more) overwhelmed and deaths at home would have been commonplace. It's instructive to compare Covid with the 'flu epidemic of the sixties. People died at home and the NHS didn't collapse because, ironically, there was no critical care to speak of and there were barely any antibiotics. Covid caused a crisis in health care because modern medicine could actually do something.

3. Regarding the condescending attitude to the Italians in early 2020. I'm just as guilty and felt that we were bound to cope so much better. It wasn't until we started getting the message from Italian colleagues in critical care that we started to bang on the door of management to tell them a shit storm was coming. Credit to them, they took us seriously. When Covid reached the south east, again a little smugness (I work in the Northwest) took place in my heart thinking those middle class skiing southerners' problems wouldn't reach us. Ah, well...

4. I think it was the FA and the Rugby authorities unilaterally cancelling games that tipped Boris into lockdown. It certainly came across that way after the Cheltenham debacle.

5. I hated the clapping.

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author
Nov 3, 2023·edited Nov 3, 2023Author

1/ yes

2/ no lockdown in march wd have been v bad - but also it was inevitable after the initial bog up cos of panic, just later and therefore much worse - ventilators were v bad for many

3/ interesting. we in No10 also started getting msgs from Italians saying 'healthcare in Milan is better than NHS, act now or youre fkd'

4/ No. But Whitehall arguing for leaving those mass events OPEN definitely was part of No10 staff thinking 'errr WTF, maybe this "plan" is a joke'

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Thanks for the reply, got to push back on the ventilator line however. Scenario: you are faced with an otherwise fit and healthy (or not so fit and healthy but still good quality of life) person who is about to die of respiratory failure. Non invasive ventilation has been used. Not working. As the data turns out 50/50 chance of survival (in the context of Covid) if you ventilate. 100% mortality if you don't.

You're the clinician. You decide.

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author

i cant remember the details now.

all i mean is - the original view prestned to No10 was - ventilators are crucial, the more we have the better.

but my understanding now is - lots of people were intubated early & killed.

i can't remember tho annoyingly!

maybe someone here can post a link to definitive analysis of this issue.

i agree if it was 50-50 vs likely dead, obv roll dice. but im not sure if this reflects reality...

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The outcome for ventilation at our place for Covid was 50% survival. Bear in mind that per capita the number of level 3 beds (ie you can offer ventilation) in the UK is low for a developed country. Hence we can't overtreat! Our use of non invasive ventilation (CPAP) was substantial. In other countries with greater level 3 bed provision it's possible that there was overuse and the problems you describe.

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"Ventilators" arguably caused deaths by putting people on them. My father was killed by a ventilator (in the early 2000s).

We have to consider that many covid deaths were Iatrogenic. The rush for ventilators is part of that.

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author
Nov 3, 2023·edited Nov 3, 2023Author

definitely true that turned out ventilators bad for many, i think especially cos we were keeping people on their backs or something like that (then we figured out to turn them over? cant remember now)

very sorry for your father

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Yes, but I knew that in Feb when the Chinese (a culture we should NEVER imitate) were doing it and I have no medical degree at all. Clearly mistakes were made.

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notably ventilator induced pneumonia-the ventilator a perfect pathway for bacteria into already damaged lungs as per Johns Hopkins. I am sorry about your father TK.

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My condolences regarding your father. I clearly don't know the details but I would agree with the implication of your comment: the act of intubation, ventilation and the sedation required is very much a two edged sword.

However at the time someone is put on a ventilator it is unquestionably life saving in the vast majority of cases. Whether they ultimately survive is another matter and is area of much debate in the critical care community.

PS No need to put ventilators in inverted commas - it's not a euphemism ;-)

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In NYC 78% of Covid Patients in Hospital died. In Oslo, that number was 14%. NYC used the ventilator on 7/8ths of covid patients. Oslo used it on 1/8th. This manifests in multiple locations. More ventilator=more death.

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Hmmm. Well in our ITU it was 50%. But then our ventilation rate was lower than the NYC figure you quote (don't know figures) and at a guess we had more robust selection policies. Our respiratory physician colleagues used a lot of CPAP (the horrible face mask) which took the pressure off us. I suspect NYC ventilation resource was much bigger than ours, so there could have been, as suggested, over use of invasive ventilation. Re Oslo I go back to my earlier comment: healthier population.

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Nov 4, 2023Liked by Dominic Cummings

Dom I showed my mum some of the clips where they read out your insults in the inquiry. She has now started using the phrase “fuckpig” all the time hahaha

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founding

You are still box office DC!

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bloody hell just saw the eye pic. get well soon .

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author

thanks anna!

still one eyedd but improvign

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founding

In the kingdom of the blind .......

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Call me a sadist… but I had to chuckle

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author

understandable!

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Definately noticed MSM yesterday going for a lot of clickbait headlines, w/ info we ALREADY knew from Doms 7hr session w/ health & science committee + tweets etc.

Instead they focused on relationship disputes between ministers/PM, bad language etc, media doesn't seems to want to admit/understand that government is broken so keep treating Dom like he's some alien outsider.

Saw a clip of Dom getting out of a taxi to enter enquiry building and a journo just yells 'How's your eyesight Mr Cummings? Was Boris the right person for the job?'. Terrible questions that they should ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER TO!

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More than anything, your session with the KC reminded me of a 1960s Lenny Bruce obscenity trial. Spiky character sees through society's charades, calls out the crap & identifies logical strategies that actually work is scapegoated by smooth Establishment lawyer as 'everything that's wrong with society today'. The inevitable, repetitive, clumsy, theatrical elephant trap finale of 'Bar-nard Carstle' was a low-rent insult to viewers' intelligence.

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Luke Skywalker: He used the Death Star to destroy Alderaan and killed billions of people.

British Mainstream media: How do you explain calling Darth Vader a fuckpig, Mr Skywalker?

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Batman: The Joker is planning to use laughing gas on the Gotham City Bank and kidnap the Mayor! I need the Batmobile now!

Journalist on Twitter: Batman reveals he has a Batmobile! Is this a dangerous waste of crime fighting money?

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I thought the aside, which most people will have missed, from Dame Heather Hallet just before a break was entertaining - "Like me, Mr Cummings speaks quickly". A little rebuke to Hugo Keith and his incessant "slow down" schoolmasterisms?

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yes she made a point of that. The KC definitely felt threatened intellectually-that's how those people antler rattle.

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It was so blindingly obvious, I actually felt embarassed for the KC!

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Excellent job on staying cool under hostile questioning. Your apology for your language will be used against you forevermore, though. Ceding the moral high ground to these fools is what gives them authority to judge your actions.

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I thought much of the tenor of the questioning was complete arse. Even if it were relevant, being rude about a woman is not evidence of misogyny and not worth talking about in the context of so much avoidable death.

Also absolutely everything focused on the period between the kind of wow-northern-Italy-is-in-the-shit period and up until about two weeks into the first UK lockdown. I'd like to know more about decision-making which occurred later on. Such as when we found that the thing did not transmit through surfaces, or outdoors, contrary to 'facts'. Or when it became clear that quite a large proportion of the popn had nothing to fear from infection. At the time it occurred to me that the UK was slow to react to new findings and bin restrictions on outdoor activity, for instance. The point being that most of the public worked this out before the govt did and behaved accordingly, making a nonsense of the rules. Anecdotally speaking of course but from approx late summer 2020 onwards I don't know anyone who didn't break rules to have, say, friends in their garden for a few beers once we knew that covid could not transmit outdoors. The rules did not allow this but it was a totally safe activity.

There of course remains absolutely zero seriousness from the commentariat about our systems being bust irrespective of who's in charge.

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I wished your interrogator was less grandstanding over tabloid stories we already knew (and have probably made our minds up about) and a whole lot more forensic about things we did not know. Everybody and his dog has already had their say about Barnard Castle etc. and here, as in other places, he was merely rude to no effect at all, not even enabling any further explanation. How can that be proper enquiry? As my comments here show I strongly disagree with you about masses of stuff but on this trivial matter, I could well imagine doing exactly the same --namely, while recuperating from an illness, taking my family out on a short hop to make sure I would next day be able to manage a long one. It makes perfect sense in any real context but. when blown up in public for amusement value, just became a typically British tee-hee seaside joke. Once the exaggerated comedy spin has been applied, it is indelible. So why on earth was the enquiry wasting its time on it? Proper incisive knife-like questions might well have made a serious impact as for example the rather more new information that Johnson denies he knew of your trip. This was fresher and more loaded (even if the denier has form) yet it was not even put to you, was it?

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Dear Dominic Cummings,

I know you check your comments section more than your email so I'll ask here.

In August you proposed a "start up" party to replace the Conservatives. During this time I (and others) have created a discord based on this idea. We've been putting a preliminary team together and we have already spent a great deal of effort in coordinating a strategy and brand. We're examining seats on a localised level and are thinking of ways to get AI/Moral Narratives built into our tactics.

Unfortunately, there's things we lack. Like finances or a big name to create publicity or even just a high powered figure who knows what they are doing to check us over. This is where we need your help.

Are you in actual fact, going through with The Start Up Party at all? If not can you say so that time can be spent attracting a different big name (feelers have been extended to Rory Stewart). If so, can you please make time to interact further so we can accelerate our timetable and get something solid going forward? If not, can you say so that we can find another big name to help front the operation?

Please reply

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founding

I think patience is needed to see how the politics works out over the next two/three months .

If the trend keeps going where the elite/establishment keep ignoring the public will it may not be a standard democratic response but a revolutionary upheaval similar to Oliver Cromwell's revolution and a military leader may be more important than any "high powered"figure

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0% chance that happens in UK before it happens in Spain or Ireland or somewhere else.

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founding

Higher than zero and less than one . I can't see the politicos , cs , pundits , lawyers , having the balls to put up a real fight just verbal "please don't , it's not civilised " . The threat would make them faint . We'll see ; and i've always believed the UK is the best place to try pushing decision making to the broadest level possible , otherwise why have a high level of education if you don't believe in giving people real power over their lives by taking real responsibility for decisions without the structure for them to make them reality . This parliament is not working . The next won't either unless we force changes .

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TheKnowing: 'Are you in actual fact, going through with The Start Up Party at all?'

Accept reality. You're Waiting for Godot. Move on. I have.

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I'm going to break ranks here. You and those who supported you in Feb 2020 and before were concerned Covid was going to kill thousands of people. I believe if you'd followed Trolley Johnson's herd immunity plan, the death toll would be about 10-15% less then it currently stands.

Your stance of immediate border closure is similar to that of Singapore and South Korea, both of which you've praised in the past. But Singapore and South Korea's low death tolls are because they let the virus spread. Information is very clear (and was published by twitter accounts like Ethical Skeptic in April 2020) that the virus had been active in China since easter 2018. Look worldwide, many of the nations with the lowest death tolls are the ones where China is a major trading partner. They all received a non-lethal variant of the virus in 2018-2019. If we accept that the virus is also the vaccine (which is how vaccine's work) then those people were already vaccinating themselves. Why do you think Singapore's death toll rocketed up in 2021 after they opened borders (which the inquiry skates over)? Because they didn't let the virus travel and thus had reduced protection from deadlier variants. If there'd been no November Lockdown the death toll would be less because more people would have caught the Spanish Variant and thus would be protected from the Kent Variant. Why do you think Spain never had a second lockdown? Why do you think Alabama despite having huge parties after winning College Football didn't have a surge? Or the 14 states which had no home visit restrictions during Thanksgiving for that matter. Instead this border closure approach would have outcomes similar to the high deaths of Hungary, Slovenia et al. Why do you think the lockdowns were ordered just before Quiet Place 2 came out in cinemas? That film would have told people that trying to delay the monster just makes it worse. Look at New Zealand.

People hype up the Spanish Flu as the big killer. But the flu wasn't the real killer. Large numbers of the people who were treated were exposed to Asprin levels which would kill any ordinary person because people didn't know then. Hence, the deaths were Iatrogenic. The same could be said for the approach with ventilators. The UK did a lot of ventilation similar to places like NYC and there's a strong pattern of death linked to ventilation across the world. Also the lack of using repurposed drugs like some African countries employed. What other measures could have been Iatrogenic?

In particular once viewing this data from Spain in May 2020 https://nitter.net/pic/orig/media%2FEYUi3xXWoAMH49n.jpg it is very clear that Covid-19 is an age stratified disease. Thus the strategy should have been to encourage under 60s to live their lives and allow for over 60s to shelter, unless they wanted to live their lives. All the money spent on furlough could have been used to give £180k to every over 60 in Britain. Certainly no need for lockdowns in November 2020 and Jan 2021.

Then there are the all important cultural collateral effects. Do we want to live in a society where people believe that rights end where fear begins? Do we want a society where people are by default considered sick unless proven otherwise? Do we want a world where "bare life" is venerated, that is to say a life where people live longer even though they have little to do in that life? Do we want people like Kate from Goodricke Hall at York University who likes staying in her dorm all day because the campus staff give her Mars Bars to be our future leaders (this incident was in NOVEMBER 2020 by the way)? Do we want a world where certain items and activities are considered "non-essential" (see Wales covering up clothes and books in supermarkets)? Do we want to be ill and denied advocates navigating a hospital, the most dangerous place in Britain (in the daytime)? A government that WANTS people to be scared defies every rule of crisis communication. Then there's the fact that the life expectancy of those who grew up in the Pandemic could be reduced by 5 years because of the lack of interactions and inactivity during that period. Or the fact that the lack of tourism and attempts by leaders to imitate the west has caused massive damage to African Countries and probably accelerated the Coup belt phenomenon. But more obviously is the cost of living. Energy is a lagging industry, it produces based on past demand. When the price of oil went negative in April 2020 because of suppressed demand, that reduced production. Then when demand went up, there wasn't enough supply to keep up. Studies show that every week of "full lockdown" (closed shops) causes one month of cost of living. All these things cause far more deaths than Covid. These should be a warning not to interfere like this again. Even from a TSP perspective the people who feel that lockdown was a mistake (20% of the pop) are also the ones most likely to vote for a new party. They're also younger, especially as the TSP blueprint leans older.

I apologise if I am dumb and there's been trustworthy articles disproving me or if you know something I don't which can change my mind.

PS: The idea that the Covid death toll of the UK, with it's population density and demographics, could be pushed below 100,000 is absurd. Best case scenario is Ireland's death rate (adjusted for UK population 124,000). Anything lower would require co-operation which France and Ireland would not have provided until it was too late.

Edit: The Notion that you should ignore your body because everyone is infectious and instead conduct our lives online plays to the (woke) post-liberal notion that our minds are more important then our bodies, which is what is causing the trans hysteria?

Second Edit: Imagine if we used the fear of Covid to encourage people to lose weight. That would have saved MANY more lives.

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author

I think lots of this is wrong but also it ignores a central political fact...

Once it became obvious at the centre of power that the delusional 'best prepared in the world' was delusional (and people like me were listening to panic calls with ice rinks from No10 to store the bodies) plus realising key people were spreading ideas like 'chickenpox parties' - which didnt make sense even if you were going for Plan A, herd immunity by September - then a panic something-like-lockdown was politically inevitable... I knew it. And therefore if you know it's going to happen then unarguably the sooner the better for the reasons Gowers explains better than anyone.

Similar in Sep-Oct. I KNEW that the politics wd push it to lockdown separately to any other arguments - therefore sooner = better.

If you want to argue 'do little', you also need to explain how the trolley cd have been controlled to stick to this.

Which is clearly impossible!

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Sorry for delay in replying.

You speak a lot about panic, but shouldn't we be fighting the panic? I believe the second greatest threat to society is the blind hysteria which is sweeping other areas like Trans and Race and so forth. Those who were draining sand from children's play parks should always be opposed. That should be the operative goal.

In particular I fully disagree that in September-October lockdown would have been pushed into. Look at what happened mere days before the November Lockdown was announced. Jeremy Corbyn's expulsion would have drawn away the headlines for a week. And then there'd be a clear narrative of falling cases, debunking people like Dominic Pimenta who were saying 4000 deaths a day were baked in by December 1. Nor would there have been a panic from the public. WH Smith (the essential newsagent) closed all it's shops in March. Nothing was closed in subsequent lockdowns. Similar patterns can be experienced with Motorway Service Restaurants. As it stands Whitty saying that the entire population would be infected in two weeks unless there was a November Lockdown is the out of touch with the public one.

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founding

Do you believe its acceptable in any circumstances for govenrments to restrict the freedom of populations? Sometimes the fear is justified no? For example in WW2 the British government brought in curfews, conscription, seperation of children from their families, mass nationalisation of private property and many, many other measures via the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939:

https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/private-lives/yourcountry/overview/homefront/

Was this justified in order to win the war? I assume you will say it was justified because not to have done so would result in defeat. Therefore if that's the case then what you are actually questioning here is not wether sometimes extreme measures are justified, but whether they were justified in this case. I think the debate is a fruitful one as if there happens to be another pandemic with say a death rate equivalent to Black Death would you support lockdowns and perhaps even more stringent measures in that scenario?

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Sorry for delay in reply.

It's interesting that you mention WWII. Because some of the measures were extreme and excessive. Most of the iron for instance that was forcibly taken wasn't actually used and instead thrown in the see. I'm not against some measures. But many of the things like draining playground sand and stopping university students from taking library books or even closing safe environs like cinemas and museums were excessive and ridiculous. Even in WWII they understood to keep fully normalacy. Wanting people to panic is bad crisis communication and that's what governments across the world did to an unprecedented degree.

The Black Death (and any truly lethal pandemic) was spread by physical contact. A contact based pandemic will not justify a lockdown as it will spread less. Nor for that matter, with 21st century health standards would the black death be lethal. But what did the 14th century people do? Flagellate themselves en masse. Which did little good. Similar to the mass closure of businesses which did little good as the bulk of deaths were in hospitals.

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