Readers will not be taken aback to learn that I was surprised that PM Boris Johnson survived his brush with Covid-19. I knew that he was desperately ill and had been on a ventilator. I assumed, since he was in an NHS hospital, that he had been written off, along with all seriously ill NHS Covid-19 patients, and was being given palliative care only. It is now increasingly clear that he was treated with the anti-viral drug Remdesivir. If that is right the political consequences will be huge. Thousands of NHS patients have been denied effective treatment and have died. Once that gets out Boris is finished, no offense intended. The NHS won’t be far behind.
The General Medical Council were right to oppose the creation of the NHS. As they foresaw way back in 1948 socialised medicine would lead, inevitably, to decisions being taken by bureaucrats rather than doctors, in the interests of the state rather than the patient. In practice key decisions on NHS strategy in the Covid-19 outbreak have been taken by the Cabinet Office, which controls every aspect of British bureaucracy.
Sending the PM to an NHS hospital looked like a death sentence. On Cabinet Office orders the only drugs known to be effective in combatting Covid-19, Hydroxychloriquine and Remdesivir, have been withheld from NHS patients. At the same time government (in reality, Cabinet Office) policy, to which I am strongly opposed, is to sacrifice frontline NHS staff by withholding information that the virus is airborne. They’ve been going down like ninepins.
It didn’t occur to me that the Cabinet Office would sanction Remdesivir for the PM only. No offense to the PM, but far more important people, such as the actor Tim Brooke-Taylor, have been allowed to die without receiving proper treatment. Prime Ministers are important of course, but even the PM’s strongest supporters would scarcely suggest that he was worth a Goodie! (The Goodies was an hilarious 1970s comedy show.) Boris can be replaced. Tim Brooke-Taylor can’t.
The official British government line is that neither Hydroxychloriquine and Remdesivir have been proved to work in clinical trials. This is nonsense. The Marseilles trial I’ve been writing about was peer-reviewed and published in a reputable journal. It may have been small-scale but it was conducted properly. The drugs have been used to good effect in the US, China and now Britain. There is no need to hold up their deployment any longer.
It’s perfectly clear that Hydroxychloriquine is safer than Chloriquine and that even Hydroxychloriquine is not suitable for all patients, for example those with heart defects. It’s equally clear that it’s suitable for the majority of Covid-19 patients, particularly in the early stages of hospital admission. Remdesivir seems to be more suitable for patients in acute respiratory distress. Bureaucrats holding up the prescription of both drugs are playing with lives.
When was the President told?
We know that Covid-19 is a bioweapon, that it was released, unintentionally, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in mid-November and that Peking covered it up for weeks, whilst tens of thousands of their people died. We also know that WHO covered it up as well. It’s also clear that the weapon was mainly designed to cause economic damage, not deaths.
CIA, who as revealed on this site were involved in the Obama-era Covid-19 program, working with the ChiComs, clearly knew in November. Equally clearly the White House were not told. It seems that the President wasn’t told until around the middle of January, around about the same time Covid-19 started to take off in the States. It was also the time of maximum distraction over that Ukraine nonsense.
Although the President is being strongly criticised by the Democrats for delay, given the circumstances he moved quite quickly. Insanely, the British government still hasn’t banned flights from China!
The mere fact the CIA knew that something was up in Wuhan most definitely does not mean that the White House knew. The Agency are strongly backing Joe Biden in November and were in the Russia and Ukraine hoaxes up to their necks. Almost certainly Langley thought that Covid-19 would be an ideal way to embarrass the President and increase Joe Biden’s chances. The fact that tens of thousands of Americans might die in the process doesn’t seem to have troubled them. The CIA are well used to writing off American lives.
It is not unreasonable to suppose that senior Democrats were briefed in by the CIA and were prepared to go along with the plan to keep the President in the dark. Are the Democrats that cynical? You bet.
This is the party that knowingly installed a non-citizen in the White House and then covered it up. It’s also the party that went along with an absurd conspiracy theory that Russia somehow hacked into the party’s server, when the download speed ruled hacking out completely, and when that nonsense fell apart they invented another hoax concerning the Ukraine.
It’s also the party which cynically relies upon African-American voters not being willing to go elsewhere and plans to throw them under a bus by giving their jobs to Hispanic immigrants. As that nice man Ted Hayes, an African-American activist in LA, explained to me when taking me around Skid Row in LA some years ago, it’s African-Americans who mostly suffer from illegal Hispanic immigration. Middle-class whites tend to benefit if anything, as they get cheap domestic labor. And, yes, I’ve been to Skid Row, where as a white upper middle class English barrister I was received with great civility and good humor. You tend to meet nicer people there than in Hollywood.
Of course the Democrats are prepared to throw working-class whites under a bus as well, by taking their votes in the rust-belt states and then exporting their jobs to China. They’re so desperate to win in November that they’re even prepared to indulge in large-scale voter fraud. (Then they scream blue murder when the Administration takes sensible measures to prevent it.)
I have little doubt that senior figures in the Democratic Party were alerted to the Wuhan outbreak by the CIA as far back as November and planned to take political advantage of it. I suspect they also knew that the Agency, CDC and DNI had all agreed to hold this vital intelligence back from the President. CDC have about a dozen people embedded in the evil, genocidal World Health Organisation, no offense intended, and were in the loop by December at the latest.
President Trump was absolutely right, with respect, to withhold funding from WHO. In so doing the President has shown real leadership. Other Western countries should follow America’s example. It’s high time that the UN and its agencies were given a real smack.
WHO have not only covered up China’s role in creating Covid-19 (with CIA assistance of course), but her role in creating SARS and MERS as well. Working with CDC in Atlanta they have also covered up Germany’s role in creating the Spanish Flu bio-weapon.
WHO’s shameful actions have cost many lives. Bio-weapons typically are airborne, because they are genetically engineered for easy transmission. Hiding their origin not only protects those states which develop them, but puts medical personnel at risk. The final death toll from WHO’s actions is likely to be in the tens of thousands.
The Beatles and the Supreme Court
The Beatles are back in the news. Not the long-haired lovers from Liverpool but the murderous ISIS terrorists who liked to chop people’s heads off. Maha Elgizouli, the mother of one of these clowns, has outrageously secured a with respect ludicrous decision from the UK Supreme Court effectively preventing British witnesses from giving evidence at the trial of her son, Shafee El Sheikh. (Elgizouli v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 10)
It has to be said that there’s nothing much ‘alleged’ about El Sheikh’s role as an ISIS executioner. His supporters aren’t seriously arguing that it’s a case of mistaken identity. Their argument is that the Sudanese terrorist should be given a soft sentence, presumably with a view to encouraging other young Islamists to go around chopping people’s heads off.
As a result of this decision it’s now unlikely that you guys will be able to prosecute. The terrorist-sympathising Crown Prosecution Service, no offense, has already decided that he cannot be prosecuted in the UK. Since he’s no longer a British Citizen he has no right of entry into the UK in any event. He won’t be coming back here. It looks like he’ll be headed to Gitmo.
One option of course would be to hand him back to the Syrian Democratic Forces. They would have jurisdiction, since they captured him on the battlefield. They could give him a fair summary trial by court martial and shoot him, nicely of course. (No need to chop his head off.) Since the Beatles believed in videoing their executions there’s no particular reason why the SDF couldn’t broadcast the execution on YouTube, subject of course to any rules YouTube may have about broadcasting live executions.
Another option would be to amend the UK Data Protection Act and make it clear that personal data can be transmitted to states with which Her Majesty enjoys diplomatic relations for law enforcement purposes regardless of that state’s sentencing policies. This would get around the Supreme Court’s finding that the Data Protection Act was somehow breached by sending witness statements and other material to the Justice Department.
The reasoning, if reasoning is not too strong a word with respect, of the justices is unlikely to stand the test of time. Their interpretation of the Data Protection Act is strained to say the least. Lord Kerr in particular strongly disagreed with the softening of the British government’s opposition to the death penalty, banging on about the policy of previous governments as though it mattered. Lord Kerr, with respect, may have preferred the policy of the Blair and Brown governments, but they’re out of office.
Lord Kerr, a half-crazed Euronutter, no offense intended, also made the hugely controversial comment, likely to be the court’s death-knell, that now that we’re out of the EU the judges can bring back community law by the side-wind of declaring it to be part of the Common Law, against the will of the people and Parliament. With the greatest of respect Parliament should exercise its undoubted right to remove Lord Kerr from office and abolish the court. We should go back to having the House of Lords.
The House of Lords, with respect, was not immune from handing down silly decisions, Factortame and Metric Martyrs being cases in point, but none of them was this crazy. Basically what the Supreme Court has said is that it’s OK to go around chopping innocent people’s heads off. Maybe their perspective might change if one of the justices were to be captured by ISIS.
This week’s reading: TSR-2: Britain’s Lost Cold War Strike
Aircraft (Tim McLelland, 2010, rev. ed. 2017)
Revised and updated, with an additional chapter on the F-111K by Tony Buttler, this is the most comprehensive work ever published on one of Britain’s greatest ever technological achievements, the superb British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2. Tim, sadly, died in 2015.
TSR-2 is a technical tour de force, giving a detailed description of the aircraft’s specification and advanced systems. There are excellent line drawings and fine studies of the prototype, XR219, flying from Boscombe Down and Wharton. Most of those flights were flown by English Electric’s brilliant chief test pilot, ‘Bee’ Beamont, a friend of a friend, who did superb work in ‘Tiffies’, strafing Jerry after D-Day.
Sadly however the book is let down by the failure to consider the intelligence aspects. Both the Air Minister, Roy ‘von’ Jenkins, and the Prime Minister, Harold ‘von’ Wilson, who essentially took the fateful decision to cancel the project between them, were German agents. The Defence Minister, Denis Healey (whom I once met at a Labour Party conference) unfairly took most of the blame. Denis was a nice chap, but he was a house-trained idiot, no offense intended, who swallowed the Treasury’s line that we couldn’t afford the aircraft.
As I argue in Spyhunter Whitehall never intended the TSR-2 to go into production, any more than they really intended to buy the F-111. The intent all along was to concentrate resources on one combat aircraft, cancel it, smash up the UK’s aerospace sector and transfer the technology to the Soviet Union. The plan worked, sadly.
‘Von’ Wilson’s talk of the “white heat of the scientific revolution” was just that – talk. Wilson wanted to deskill the UK and hold back our technological development. TSR-2’s replacement was a batch of old Blackburn Buccaneers transferred from the Navy after Labour’s equally disastrous decision to cancel the CVA01 and CVA02 attack carriers. Fine aircraft that it was, when first used, by the South Africans, to drop a live nuclear weapon, the aircraft was blown out of the sky by the shock-wave.
There is no doubt that a TSR-2 would have survived the delivery of that particular nuclear payload. It was capable of a staggering Mach 1.2 at 250 feet and could have egressed at Mach 2.2 at altitude having delivered a nuclear strike package. The aircraft not only met its hugely demanding specification, it exceeded it. It could take off from an unprepared strip no more than 3,000 long, fly more than 1,000 nautical miles, accurately deliver a nuclear or conventional payload with a high-lo-lo-high mission profile, with supersonic approach to the target, and fly 1,000 nautical miles back without inflight refuelling.
Its nav-attack and recon systems, including inertial navigation, line-scan camera and sidescan radar, were the most advanced of any aircraft in 1964. When flying asymmetric, on just one of her mighty Bristol Siddeley Olympus 22-R engines Bee managed to pull away from Jimmy Dell in the English Electric Lightning T4 chase plane. The finest interceptor in the world in the mid-60s, the Lightning was a Mach 2-capable aircraft with a rate of climb of 50,000 feet a minute. Arguably no other aircraft in existence could pull away from a Lightning on just 50% of combat power.
Staggeringly, the TSR-2 could also climb at 50,000 feet a minute, clean, with no external stores or tanks. That’s nearly a 1,000 feet a second, for a bomber. McClelland gives the lie to the claim that the TSR-2 lacked maneuverability. Its wing-loading was less than the F-111’s, which was nominally a fighter, hence the ‘F’ designation. At altitude a TSR-2 could out-turn most fighters of the era. It handled superbly.
Interestingly, McClelland reveals that the aircraft had provision for an arrester hook. Its heavy-duty undercarriage could have coped with carrier landings and it was stressed for catapult launch, indeed it was a very strong aircraft, designed as it was to fly supersonic close to the ground, using terrain-following radar. Were the Navy at one time thinking of TSR-2 as a Buccaneer replacement, flying from its big new carriers?
We paid the penalty for not having TSR-2 in the Falklands War. The aircraft had a ferry range sufficient to get it to Ascension Island, from where it could have creamed Johnny Argie’s airfields, using inflight refuelling. Not having TSR-2 meant losing lives.
How much better it would have been, rather than throwing away the lives of our servicemen in the entirely predictable Falklands War, when we really needed TSR-2, to have executed Roy Jenkins and Harold Wilson in World War II, when both were working hard for a Nazi victory? Wilson clearly should have been hanged. (As a serving officer in the Armed Forces of the King, Jenkins was entitled to the courtesy of being shot.)
Wrong though its conclusions may be, with respect, TSR-2 would make a fine addition to any library and has been added to mine.
This Week’s TV Review: Quiz, ITV, Airdate April 13th 2020
Hugely entertaining and a real TV feast, Quiz was broadcast on ITV last week on three successive nights. Starring Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen it tells the story of the ‘Coughing Major’, Charles Ingram, who tried to cheat his way to a million quid on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2002.
Ingram was indeed a major, in the British Army, albeit not from one of the better regiments. Key events were changed for dramatic reasons, but the mini-series is essentially true to life.
The show has of course sparked debate as to whether or not Major Ingram (he resigned his commission but was not cashiered) and his wife are innocent. Two clues about that don’t appear in the show – Ingram is a Remainer, no offense intended, and pleaded guilty to an unrelated insurance fraud in Bournemouth Crown Court.
Even though the trial was at Southwark (it should have been held in Salisbury Crown Court, where as it happens I once prosecuted) I incline to the view that the majority of the jury got it right. (In most American jurisdictions the major and his wife would not have been convicted, by reason of a hung jury.) I appeared in front of Judge Rivlin once (as counsel, not as a defendant!) He was a very fair tribunal, of the old school, and a just and considerate sentencer. (The Ingrams received suspended sentences, by which I don’t mean hanging.)
However I think that ITV were wrong to call in the rozzers, who by and large couldn’t investigate their way out of a paper bag. They were right to relieve Major Ingram of the cheque and cancel that night’s episode, but they should have left it there. Prosecuting with an edited tape was always going to be problematic and the case may yet be referred back to the Court of Appeal.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.