Rod Liddle

Putting the commie in committee

Putting the commie in committee
Getty Images
Text settings

Last month an epidemiologist called Professor Michael Baker described the UK government’s decision to free its people from Covid restrictions on 19 July as ‘barbaric’ and an ‘experiment’. Professor Baker lives in the little-known hermit kingdom of New Zealand — a country which, under the guidance of people like himself, has banned almost all foreign travel and imposed long domestic lockdowns. Such is the grip Baker and his friends have on the country that the appearance of just two Covid infections in the entire population caused the nation to go into a hysterical spasm, with much bed-wetting, shrieking and governmental resignations. You are allowed to die of anything in New Zealand, but not Covid.

It would be interesting to know if Baker still thinks Boris Johnson is ‘barbaric’, given that our infection rate continues to decrease daily — as the consequence, one assumes, of our swift vaccination policy. There is no end in sight, however, to New Zealand’s estrangement from the entire world, and logically speaking there never can be. While Covid exists, anywhere, New Zealand will remain shut. So, for ever, then? The scientists have complete sway in New Zealand because the government is left-wing, and Covid has taught us that the more left-wing a government is, the more it will accede to injunctions to ban all travel and keep the country on furlough in perpetuity, so that nobody anywhere ever dies.

In the UK we have a nominally rightish government, although nowhere near rightish enough for some. The left-wing input comes from the scientific advisers within Sage, whom Jeremy Clarkson recently described, with some accuracy, as a bunch of ‘commies’. It is likely Mr Clarkson had a certain Susan Michie in mind particularly. Michie advises the government on ‘behavioural compliance’ regarding Covid restrictions, and if that phrase has a slightly post-Stalinist ring to it, then Michie is extremely well-suited to her role. She is a member of the Communist party of Britain, having been in the Communist party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) — they, by comparison, were clubbable moderates. Members of Susan’s party tend to be proper ‘tankies’ who continued in their support for the Soviet Union even as its entire fundament collapsed. The description ‘tankies’ refers to their approval of the USSR sending tanks into Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 to ensure the correct ‘behavioural compliance’ on the part of these countries. In other words, she is not even a post-Stalinist, but a Stalinist — her party reveres the way in which Stalin modernised the USSR.

Can you imagine if one of the senior government advisers in this pandemic was revealed to be a member of a political party which revered Hitler? I don’t think they’d be advising the government for very long, when all that came out. But as Douglas Murray has pointed out, the crimes of the left almost always go unpunished.

So utterly bizarre are Michie’s political beliefs that they come very close, for me, to a form of mental defectiveness. I cannot imagine why anybody would take her views about anything seriously. If an epidemiologist told you that he believed the Earth was flat (and you could tell by the formation of ‘sea mountains’), would you trust what he had to say about viruses? Surely believing the USSR — presumably along with the subjugation of both its own people and those of its overseas satrapies — was bloody marvellous is not so very much different, in terms of levels of genuine crazier-than-a-shithouse-rat lunacy.

As a sort of fence-sitter — an unusual position for me — in the great Covid debate, the speed with which it was politicised was both fascinating and disturbing. It is by and large true that if you were pro-Leave and Conservative, you have a certain antipathy to lockdowns and so on and, in its most extreme form, may even believe that Covid is a ‘hoax’. The polls tell us that if you are on the liberal left, meanwhile, you simply cannot have enough of restrictions and at the more extreme end again believe that Boris has ‘murdered’ people, masks must stay for ever, and nobody should be allowed to die of anything (in order to protect the NHS).

Further, if you are rightish you are more likely to cleave to the view that Covid was created by government scientists in that research institution just outside Wuhan and pangolin spleens had nothing to do with it. If you are on the left, you think that such theories are at the least ‘unhelpful’ and at the worst ‘racist’. I think it is fair to say that if the virus had originated in Israel, rather than China, those positions would be completely reversed. In a sense this doesn’t matter: it is all grist to the social media mill, within which everything is co-opted to support one’s own political position and nothing is ever disinterested. All just ground down and churned out again as propaganda.

What matters more is the left’s hegemony within worldwide institutions. There is nothing in Susan Michie’s political credo, no matter how fantastically stupid it is, that would prevent her from playing a senior role in the World Health Organisation or the United Nations, any more than it prevents her from holding a professorship or advising our government. You support a political system which enslaved and murdered millions? Fair enough, love, you’ll fit in well here. But think that Israel has a right to exist or that Hillary Clinton would have made a rotten president or that the UK was right to leave the European Union, and you will find it much harder to gain an academic position and still less to work for the UN or WHO.

I would suggest that as a consequence, China’s negligence in handling that virus has been deliberately played down and the medical consensus within these organisations is to lock down and then lock down again, in perpetuity. I don’t know what we can do about this.