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Hancock leaks show why “pandemic amnesty” can’t be accepted

As one reads through the Telegraph’s leaked texts from former British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, you’d be forgiven for thinking they must be some kind of elaborate hoax at first. After all, how could they be real? They sound so cartoonishly villainous.

Oh, but they are very real, as Hancock himself has confirmed.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, you may have suspected that those in power in the West were contemptuous of the general public. But what you may not have known is that at least some of them were literally laughing at us in WhatsApp groups while depriving people of their basic liberties.

We had Simon Case, Britain’s top civil servant, asking Hancock “how many people we locked up in hotels yesterday?” – a reference to the country’s mandatory hotel quarantine rules. When Hancock replied that 149 people had been forced to quarantine in a hotel, Case said that it was “hilarious,” gleefully adding: “I just want to see some of the faces of people coming out of first class and into a Premier Inn shoe box.”

In other words, this senior civil servant was engaging in outright mockery of those who the government was trapping. It wasn’t just seen as an unfortunate but necessary emergency measure – at least one top official thought it was “hilarious,” and was spitefully fantasising about how it would impact people.

We had Hancock himself urging police to “get heavy” on those who break Covid rules, and proposing “we frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain.”

He added: “When do we deploy the new variant?” Very shortly after that text was sent, panic began to spread about the new variant in question.

In other words, top UK officials were deliberately trying to “frighten the pants off everyone” and spread as much fear as possible.

Apparently this overall strategy worked quite well, because a poll in the UK in July of 2020 found that the average Briton respondent believed Covid had killed 7% of the British population – a figure which was off by a factor of 100. They believed Covid to be 100 times deadlier than it actually was.

On and on the revelations go. It’s sickening really. And it’s all the more sickening when you remember that some have called for a so-called “Pandemic Amnesty” – in other words, forgiving and forgetting everything that was done and said during the pandemic, and simply moving on like nothing ever happened.

Even here in this country, we have Trinity College Immunology Professor Kingston Mills saying that the Covid-19 inquiry should not be about “blaming people for mistakes made” during the pandemic.

This is the same Kingston Mills, mind you, who discussed with Pat Kenny the idea of extending vaccine certs to children. He even lamented when Covid certs were lifted, saying he thought it was a “mistake” to get rid of them, and said that he wanted employers to be able to ask their workers’ vaccine status.

This is the guy who is now effectively telling us “Ah sure look – mistakes were made. Nothing to see here.” Yeah, bud – I think not.

While the Telegraph’s Lockdown File messages are from UK politicians and officials, the end result elsewhere was largely the same. We don’t know what was said behind closed doors in Ireland, but we know what the impact was, and it wasn’t good.

This week the Department of Health admitted that a year after the lockdown ended, older people are still living in terrified isolation around the country. The government itself admits that this has had a profound impact on their physical and psychological health.

So whether our officials deliberately tried to “frighten the pants off everyone” like Hancock, or they did it by accident, the net effect was a traumatised, beleaguered populace of lonely and damaged people. And whether intentional or not, that is appalling.

We had Fianna Fáil senators saying that unvaccinated people should be banned from supermarkets and buses.

We had Fine Gael TDs calling for protests to be banned.

We had peaceful religious services stormed and broken up by uniformed Gardaí.

And pretty much every other European country had similar experiences. From setting attack dogs on protesters in the Netherlands, to freezing protesters’ bank accounts in Canada, and privately laughing at quarantined citizens in the UK, Western governments drunk on power oppressed their own people for years. And now they want us all to forget and let bygones be bygones.

No deal, lads. Shove your amnesty up your arse.





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