British Medical Journal (BMJ): Conflicts of Interest Among the UK Government’s COVID-19 Advisers – Global Research

13-12-20 08:01:00,

Little is known about the interests of the doctors, scientists, and academics on whose advice the UK government relies to manage the pandemic. Attempts to discover more are frequently thwarted, finds Paul D Thacker

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As the number of UK deaths caused by covid-19 reached 50 000 in early November, England enacted a second national lockdown to control the epidemic. Boris Johnson’s government put these measures into action after months of controversial and sometimes confusing policies, including the “rule of six,” regional tiered controls, and directions to “stay alert.” At the same time, the government has faced mounting questions about procurement decisions, from personal protective equipment to testing kits, from vaccine deals to the services of logistics companies.

Calls for greater transparency around such decisions have included those bodies focused on science and health, such as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), as well as taskforces charged with advising on vaccines and testing. Although Downing Street has become more transparent in disclosing the advice of SAGE, it has kept members’ financial conflicts of interest unpublished and shown little concern that advisers to the coronavirus Vaccine Taskforce have financial interests in pharmaceutical companies receiving government contracts. When The BMJ sought further information on these bodies, such as lists of members’ interests, the information was denied or requests were unanswered.

Information withheld

After months of criticism about SAGE secrecy, the government reversed course this summer and began releasing the names of SAGE members, minutes of meetings, and some of its policy papers. Still, the government has refused to release to The BMJ the financial interest forms signed by SAGE members, leaving the public in the dark.

Criticism over SAGE’s secrecy first appeared in a Nature editorial[1] in March. In April, the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance sent a letter to parliament[2] stating that SAGE’s membership, recommendations, supporting documents, and meeting minutes would be published, but only after the group ceased meeting about covid-19. Vallance argued[3] that secrecy protected SAGE members and shielded them “from lobbying and other forms of unwanted influence which may hinder their ability to give impartial advice.”

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How the British government secretly funded Syrian cartoons and comic books as anti-Assad propaganda aimed at children

16-11-20 09:32:00,

By Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

Leaked documents show how the Foreign & Commonwealth Office spent millions setting up a clandestine network to churn out pro-rebel material, much of it aimed at winning the hearts and minds of kids.

A swath of internal UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) files have exposed a number of covert ways in which London sought to both propagandize Syrian children and turn them into weapons, in a vast, long-running information warfare campaign at home and abroad. 

The documents are just some of the bombshell papers released by hacktivist collective Anonymous, outlining a variety of cloak-and-dagger actions undertaken by the UK government against the Syrian state over many years. 

The overriding objective behind them all was to destabilize the government of Bashar Assad, convince Syrians, Western citizens, foreign governments, and international bodies that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was a legitimate alternative, and flood media the world over with pro-opposition propaganda.

Children figured prominently in a number of the plans, in more ways than one. ARK, a shadowy firm headed by veteran FCO operative Alistair Harris, was central to many of these covert efforts, which may have cost the FCO many millions in total.

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Undermining government legitimacy

In one file, the company outlines pricing for runs of propaganda material including “public service announcement animations” (£4,570), “political cartoons” (£1,200), and “comic books (24 colored pages)” (£30,200). 

A separate proposal submitted to the FCO by communications firm Albany details ways of offering clandestine support to “oppositionist grassroots media activism.” The company conducted numerous psyops in Syria – including managing the Syrian National Coalition’s communications during the 2014 Geneva II peace conference – and collaborated extensively with ARK in the process. 

Creating “fictional material” such as radio dramas and “digital comic strips for internet deployment” was listed one of the key ways the firm would “bolster the values and reputation of the Syrian opposition,” and undermine the government’s “core narrative and legitimacy.” 

Precisely which projects emerged from these pitches,

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British Woman Threatened With Police Visit For Not Downloading NHS COVID-Tracking App

06-11-20 11:11:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A British woman says she was threatened with police visiting her home if she did not download the NHS coronavirus ‘track and trace’ app.

http://www.zerohedge.com/

LockdownSkeptics.org features the story of a woman from Skipton who tested positive for COVID-19 and immediately self-isolated.

“This was followed by “in excess” of 20 text messages demanding that she download the NHS App.

She did not do so since she doesn’t want to be followed round by it and she’s self-isolating anyway.

She was then telephoned by the Test and Trace system and the caller threatened her with a “police check at your address if you do not download the app.”

Utterly furious, she ended the phone call and is waiting to see what happens next.”

The NHS ‘track and trace’ app is completely voluntary and authorities have no grounds to enforce its adoption legally. This is yet another example of how bureaucratic control freaks are simply inventing laws and justifying the intimidation others by means of coronavirus hysteria.

As we previously highlighted, authorities appear to be deploying more draconian crackdown measures as more stringent lockdown measures are reintroduced.

This includes cases where police are quizzing people on what they are about to purchase before they enter grocery stores.

As of last night, England entered another debilitating nationwide lockdown that will last until at least December 1st.

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British PM has “Other Things On His Mind!” | New Eastern Outlook

22-10-20 08:03:00,

BOR34211

In English law there is a strange and very expensive device known as the super-injunction. This goes beyond an ordinary injunction in one important respect: not only can no one discuss the issue the injuction concerns, but no one is even allowed to refer to its existence

A number of prominent people (journalists, captains of industry have taken out these super-injunctions. They are used when the obvious question anyone would ask if they knew about the injunction would be: “What have they got to hide?”

Of course there is little point in a super-injunction when the information is already in the public domain. The advent of the internet has ensured that unattributable, but true, information can always leak out, regardless of any injunction. Nevertheless, people who can’t actually hide anything still take out these super-injunctions – all they are able to hide is the fact they have done it, not anything anyone might like to write about.

As a result of one such super-injunction, I can’t actually confirm that:

1) Boris Johnson is having an affair with a violinist half his age

2) The mother of his latest baby (count them, he can’t) has left him because of it

3) This is why he went on holiday to a tent in a remote part of Scotland when the UK was begging for leadership over Brexit and Covid-19

4) This is why Ed Miliband said in his now-viral speech in parliament about the amendments to the Withdrawal Bill that Boris had “other things on his mind.”

You can find this information for yourself, but I can’t tell you it or direct you to it because I would be in breach of a super-injunction, and face heavy fines and possibly a prison sentence. This is the way the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, one of the highest positions any citizen of anywhere can aspire to, chooses to conduct his business.

Johnson would hardly be the first Prime Minister to have affairs. He isn’t married to his now ex-partner, so he was having one within 10 Downing Street, but Lloyd George became notorious for it,

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British Students Say They’re Being Treated Like “Prisoners” Due To Draconian COVID Measures

28-09-20 12:27:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Students at universities throughout the United Kingdom are being treated like ‘prisoners’ as draconian coronavirus rules mandate they eat alone, aren’t allowed to go out and are forced to cut themselves off from others or face suspension.

http://www.zerohedge.com/

Interviews with students at Edinburgh University illustrate how overbearing the new rules are, with students being made to bring their own cutlery and eat alone at spaced out exam-style desks as the room is constantly patrolled by monitors ensuring they don’t violate the protocols.

“Now they have taken the takeaway option away and I’ve been told that everyone is forced to eat alone and not allowed to get up from their allocated table for more food or water,” said Liberty Phelan, who edits the student newspaper.

“There are huge queues to get into the dining hall and staff lead students to tables so you don’t even choose who you sit next to,” she added.

“In the accommodation you’re only allowed one other person in your room, but some people have had parties and the police have been called,” said Phelan.

this is the breakfast situation pic.twitter.com/VauPmfVpJq

— Imogen West-Knights (@ImogenWK) September 24, 2020

Another student who wished to remain anonymous says students have now begun skipping meals to avoid the experience altogether.

First year student Florence Carr-Jones said inspectors patrolled halls of residence, ensuring no fun could be had.

“Security guards roam the halls in the evenings knocking on noisy doors, threatening fines and suspensions,” she said.

The university has also called police on students for holding illegal parties, warning them they face being kicked out.

Students are also being told that they’re not allowed out this weekend and will be legally barred from going home for Christmas.

In Scotland students have been told all lessons must be online, they have to isolate, are not allowed out this weekend and are legally banned from going home at Christmas.

Not even terrorists are treated this badly

— Alexandra Phillips (@BrexitAlex) September 25, 2020

“Not even terrorists are treated this badly,” remarked former Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Philips.

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