Lord Sumption Speaks against Hysteria-Driven Government Coronavirus Policy.

From Ian Fantom – March 30, 2020

Here is a recording of the astonishing interview of Lord Sumption, a former member of the Supreme Court and last year’s Reith Lecturer, on BBC Radio 4’s World at One today, Monday 30th March 2020. It is by far the most high-powered criticism, made in public by a senior figure of considerable reputation and merit, of government policy on the corona virus. I shall be providing a transcript as soon as I can, but in the meanwhile I ask you to disseminate it as widely as possible, as I fear that other media may not do so in these strange times.
Lord Sumption interview begins at 17 minutes into BBC R4’s World At One 30th March 2020
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000gt59
Here is a transcript of the whole interview.

Lord Sumption. click to enlarge

The real problem is that when human societies lose their freedom, it’s not usually because tyrants have taken it away. It’s usually because people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection  against some external threat. And the threat is usually a real threat but usually exaggerated. That’s what I fear we are seeing now.   The pressure on politicians has come from the public. They want action. They don’t pause to ask whether the action will work. They don’t ask themselves whether the cost will be worth paying. They want action anyway. And anyone who has studied history will recognise here the classic symptoms of collective hysteria.
Hysteria is infectious. We are working ourselves up into a lather in which we exaggerate the threat and stop asking ourselves whether the cure may be worse than the disease.
Q    At a time like this as you acknowledge, citizens do look to the state for protection, for assistance, we shouldn’t be surprised then if the state takes on new powers, that is what it has been asked to do, almost demanded of it.
A    Yes that is absolutely true. We should not be surprised. But we have to recognise that this is how societies become despotisms. And we also have to recognise this is a process which leads naturally to exaggeration. The symptoms of coronavirus are clearly serious for those with other significant medical conditions especially if they’re old. There are exceptional cases in which young people have been struck down, which have had a lot of publicity, but the numbers are pretty small. The Italian evidence for instance suggests that only 12% of deaths is it possible to say coronavirus was the main cause of death. So yes this is serious and yes it’s understandable that people cry out to the government. But the real question is: Is this serious enough to warrant putting most of our population into house imprisonment, wrecking our economy for an indefinite period, destroying businesses that honest and hardworking people have taken years to build up, saddling future generations with debt, depression, stress, heart attacks, suicides and unbelievable distress inflicted on millions of people who are not especially vulnerable and will suffer only mild symptoms or none at all, like the Health Secretary and the Prime Minister.
Q   The executive, the government, is all of a sudden really rather powerful and really rather unscrutinised. Parliament is in recess, it’s due to come back in late April, we’re not quite sure whether it will or not, the Prime Minister is closeted away, communicating via his phone, there is not a lot in the way of scrutiny is there?
A   No. Certainly there’s not a lot in the way of institutional scrutiny. The Press has engaged in a fair amount of scrutiny, there has been some good and challenging journalism, but mostly the Press has, I think, echoed and indeed amplified the general panic.
Q   The restrictions in movement have also changed the relationship between the police and those whose, in name, they serve. The police are naming and shaming citizens for travelling at what they see as the wrong time or driving to the wrong place. Does that set alarm bells ringing for you, as a former senior member of the judiciary?
A   Well, I have to say, it does. I mean, the tradition of policing in this country is that policemen are citizens in uniform. They are not members of a disciplined hierarchy operating just at the government’s command. Yet in some parts of the country the police have been trying to stop people from doing things like travelling to take exercise in the open country which are not contrary to the regulations, simply because ministers have said that they would prefer us not to. The police have no power to enforce ministers’ preferences, but only legal regulations which don’t go anything like as far as the government’s guidance. I have to say that the behaviour of the Derbyshire police in trying to shame people into using their undoubted right to take exercise in the country and wrecking beauty spots in the Fells so that people don’t want to go there, is frankly disgraceful.
This is what a police state is like. It’s a state in which the government can issue orders or express preferences with no legal authority and the police will enforce ministers’ wishes. I have to say that most police forces have behaved in a thoroughly sensible and moderate fashion. Derbyshire Police have shamed our policing traditions. There is a natural tendency of course, and a strong temptation for the police to lose sight of their real functions and turn themselves from citizens in uniform into glorified school prefects. I think it’s really sad that the Derbyshire Police have failed to resist that.
Q   There will be people listening who admire your legal wisdom but will also say, well, he’s not an epidemiologist, he doesn’t know how disease spreads, he doesn’t understand the risks to the health service if this thing gets out of control. What do you say to them?
A   What I say to them is I am not a scientist but it is the right and duty of every citizen to look and see what the scientists have said and to analyse it for themselves and to draw common sense conclusions.  We are all perfectly capable of doing that and there’s no particular reason why the scientific nature of the problem should mean we have to resign our liberty into the hands of scientists. We all have critical faculties and it’s rather important, in a moment of national panic, that we should maintain them.
Q   Lord Sumption, former Justice of the Supreme Court, speaking to me earlier.

11 responses to “Lord Sumption Speaks against Hysteria-Driven Government Coronavirus Policy.”

  1. Great, but he is a former member of the Supreme Court, why can’t we also hear from the current members of this august body?

  2. Ref. his comment: “the police have been trying to stop people from doing things like travelling to take exercise in the open country which are not contrary to the regulations” It appears he has not read, or not understood rhe Regulations!

  3. Actually, although I sent it in, this is by Peter Hitchins. He published this in his Mail on Sunday blog (https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/03/lord-sumption-speaks-against-hysteria-driven-government-policy-.html). He is virtually a lone voice in the mainstream media, which adds poignancy to him highlighting such an important interview in, of all places, the BBC. His fellow journalist with the Daily Mail, Peter Oborne, didn’t renew his contract late last year because of the way the mainstream media go along with the politicians’ lies. Now we see medics speaking out, and trying to be heard by the mainstream.

    I see this as the breakthrough that we’ve been long waiting for. It won’t be long now before people in the mainstream are speaking out over 9/11.

  4. In Britain seasonal flu kills about 20,000 a year;mainly old people and expecially those with an underlying illness. Cv has killed 1,500 up to now.

  5. Lord Sumption:

    “What I say to them is I am not a scientist but it is the right and duty of every citizen to look and see what the scientists have said and to analyse it for themselves and to draw common sense conclusions. We are all perfectly capable of doing that and there’s no particular reason why the scientific nature of the problem should mean we have to resign our liberty into the hands of scientists. We all have critical faculties and it’s rather important, in a moment of national panic, that we should maintain them.”

    Yes, but you see, that’s the problem. While it is the right and duty of every citizen to look and see what the scientists have said, they don’t.
    They simply CAN’T be bothered and that’s it in a nutshell, along with not being in the least but interested. They’re far too bothered knowing what dead-head, in whatever soap, is doing what with whomever. They’re more interested in what team is playing at the weekend, or midweek in [insert sport] and who scored. They’re too busy worshiping [insert whatever celebrity from film, TV, music].
    That’s modern society. A people, completely self absorbed in knowing about that which has no importance in life, whatsoever.
    And so, because they have no interest in understanding science, they allow scientists to dictate how they should live their lives. And so because they have no interest in politics, they allow politicians to control their lives. And so, because they have no interest in the law, they get ‘legal aid’ from solicitors, who don’t give a toss about their general wellbeing and end up getting fined/given community service/imprisoned.

    You then ask yourself, as someone who searches for the truth, who reads what the scientists are stating, what the law is doing and what the politicians are doing and wonder “why on earth should I stick my neck out on the line for people who don’t give a sh*t about the very peoples and institutions, currently turning their society into 1984?”

    That’s the reality. Yes, the Covid-19 is the reaction and solution to the problem the New World Order (NWO) had, in creating their totalitarian, globalist, state. And people aren’t interested. Nope, they’re that stupid that it hasn’t clicked that the UK lockdown is going to destroy the economy, throwing tens of millions into unemployment, will bring about the removal of hard currency and the creation of a digital one, that the mandatory vaccinations (being made in Israel) will kill hundreds of millions and the world government is moments away from being installed.
    “But the people will fight back!” – don’t be so f*cking stupid. Are you not watching what’s going on? People ARE policing one another with the Covid virus crap. They’re ratting on one another and calling the police if someone gets too close in a shopping queue ffs! All it will take, when some people DO fightback is for the msm to do headlines on “white supremacists, neo nazis and fascists are trying to stop freedom” or some BS like that, to get everyone on board in informing on people they know, speaking out.
    All of this was foretold by one of the creators of this hell – Sir Bertrand Russell in his book (from a collection of essays and seminars he gave) called ‘The Impact of Science on Society’ (free to download on archive.org). In it he predicted that we would teach children to see snow as dark grey and that there would be no need for a police, because the people will police themselves. This book was published in 1952.

    Well people, there you go. People have been warning about the NWO now for quite some time. They were of course ridiculed and laughed at, as tin-foil-hat wearing conspiratards, even though politicians OPENLY spoke of instituting their NWO in the very near future (George Bush, Gordon Brown to name a few). We’re almost there. Yay!

  6. The only recourse is for small business people to sue the government for their losses. The pandemic is mostly hype. From all of the studies the federal and local governments for the past month has had sufficient information to make rational decisions as to who is really at risk or grave illness and death.  With the recent decision of the US President and leaders and governments in many other nations there is a strong case for GROSS NEGLIGENCE. They cannot rely on saying they did not know the exact percentage risk for the general population and had to err on the side of caution, because that little number is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT in the face of knowing who exactly is really AT RISK OF DYING. 

    The risk sector has been clearly defined as all those with serious health disorders like high blood pressure mostly also compromised with one or two co-morbidity conditions like ischemic heart disease and other serious heart disorders, diabetes, or those with severely compromised immune systems like cancer victims after chemo. The incompetent US CDC which appears always to be a shill of big pharma, as is Dr. Fauci, and other experts who want to look and feel important, or for money, or to promote the Israeli vaccination which just coincidentally appears to available at the critical hour, are mostly responsible for all the bad advice to all concerned. However, their failings and being misled by them and a media which has hyped the infection up to hysterical proportions, is no excuse for our governments making dumb decisions devoid of COMMON SENSE. 

    Experts like Dr. David Katz partially sheds some light on the expert misdirection but also fails to use common sense by his stating that a common denominator is needed. In that respect he chimes in with the nonsense that further tests are needed to reveal the actual threat to the general population, as if that was ever necessary in the past or necessary now. All such experts ought to know that the risk group has already been highly defined as he has himself has observed. The general population is safe from death. The Italian death rate is exceptionally high but does not have a reliable common denominator for the general seeming alarming actual death rate. Okay so what? The facts are that these areas of Northern Italy where the fatalities are so high, there is obviously a much higher percentage of the people in that risk sector of people having serious pre-morbidity health conditions. In Italy the mean age of those dying “with conditions associated with the virus” (including pneumonia) was 78 and only 1.2% occurred in those under the age of 50. Including the elderly only 2.1% of Italians dying of the virus were free of one or more major, chronic diseases before getting the virus, and most of those had more than one such serious pre-morbidity complication.  This same findings came from South Korea and from every other study out there.

    BUSINESSES SHOULD SUE. THIS IS GROSS NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF OUR GOVERNMENTS. YOU DO NOT NEED TO WAIT FOR A COMMON DENOMINATOR TO DETERMINE ACCURATELY EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN INFECTED TO KNOW WHAT SECTOR OF THE POPULATION IS REALLY AT RISK AND WHO AND HOW TO PROTECT THEM. TO PROTECT THAT SMALL SECTOR OF THE POPULATION REALLY AT RISK YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW THE EXACT RISK OF DEATH TO THE ENTIRE POPULATION BY WAITING FOR AN ACCURATE DENOMINATOR, LIKE SAYING THERE WERE 7,000,000 PEOPLE INFECTED AND 7,000 DIED AND SO THE RISK FACTOR OF DEATH FOR EVERYONE IS 1%. WE ALREADY KNOW THAT THE RISK FACTOR FOR THE GENERAL POPULATION IS PROBABLY CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN 1% AND THAT INFORMATION DOES DICK TO PROTECTING THAT ALREADY HIGHLY DEFINED SECTOR OF THE POPULATION WHICH IS AT RISK AND WHICH SHOULD BE GETTING SPECIAL PROTECTION. WITH THAT RISK SECTOR DEFINED YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE NATION. PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT IN THAT RISK CATEGORY SHOULD BE ABLE TO GO TO WORK AND BUSINESSES SHOULD NOT BE SHUT DOWN. 

    Because of misleading direction from a group of experts and from all the lockstep mainstream media exaggerations, who are most obviously under some central control to hype up the alleged severity of this virus infection as much as possible, that is no excuse for any government leader in not exercising COMMON SENSE and getting more reliable and RATIONAL expert opinion based on what all of the studies have said for months now, and their irrational shutting down of virtually everything in or nations.

    If because of the huge debt bubble they think they can blame the looming depression on this virus causing the shutting down of the economy, they are sadly mistaken because it is clearly not necessary to shut down the economy over this virus. 

    Also, in the US the cause of death figures have now been subject to vested interests who are apt to characterize people dying actually attributive to other causes, and our government leaders are again remiss in their abject failures to impress upon all heath-care givers and recorders dire consequences for any fudging or mischaracterizations. 

  7. Well said Harbinger.

  8. Harbinger, you are good at harbinging and I agree with your comment above.

    Soon to be beheaded,

    Mike the headless chicken

    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/410/cpsprodpb/AE15/production/_85456544_mike_headless_getty976.jpg

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=Mike+the+headless+chicken&oq=Mike+the+headless+chicken&gs_l=mobile-heirloom-hp.12..0l5.4062.19275.0.20586.20.10.0.10.10.0.360.2439.0j2j7j1.10.0….0…1c.1.34.mobile-heirloom-hp..2.18.2282.ogYXaH4Ydfs

  9. You can’t sue a virus because you can’t sue God and that’s who is blamed for this in the long run by the corralled.
    Government has total plausible deniability and it is not looking like they will throw their man Ferguson under the bus. The scapegoat is God as they hijack nature’s God creation and every law that is life in all that is physical and all that is not.
    Just enjoy the last tastes of prosperity, growth, and abundance while we got it, the egregore have given us this time for some solitude and reflection a time to think about what has been deeply and say goodbye to it, lay it to rest because it will never be coming back so celebrate it hard. Not with booze, drugs and more over stimulation but with as much clarity in memory as you can muster.
    Now isn’t the time to be fighting back, you can’t sue and you can’t get it over the communitarians who have chosen to point down in their chesed tree house. Now is the time to know exactly what it is we’ll be fighting for in the future.
    No matter what sustainable development and Mr jew throws at us, no matter how much they destroy growth to make a desert while they, let us make man in our image, the law of life states even a weed can grow where no one think it can. If I got to be a weed at least I’ll be still growing and that’s the thing that will be pissing them off the most. If I ever get up close enough to knock a main player I’ll do it but I doubt life is going to present that kind of moment anytime soon.

  10. An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter, (2018-19) according to the US Centers for Disease Control. This means it was the deadliest season in more than four decades — since 1976, said CDC Spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.

    In previous seasons, flu-related deaths have ranged from a low of about 12,000 to a high of about 56,000..Total 2018-29 flu fatalities included the deaths of 180 children,

  11. Ian Fantom: Hi Ian, long time no see.lol I disagree about your hope for 9/11. Fake news media regularly spews out well known highly respected presstitutes. Hitchins is good, but he’s still a presstitute. Like Michael Moore, sounds good, heading in vaguely the right direction. Study any Moore work and you’ll soon discover that he has very defined red lines. All the lefty Dems and truthers get all worked up & believe they’ve found a light in their very dark tunnel, but Moore never crosses the line that would have Republicans questioning whether they should not vote for Bush. Paul Mason was another deep state nobody who fell by the wayside. Mason used the most annoying language. The purpose of journalism is to covey facts (as best they can be ascertained), information, evidence, based on sources in such a way that ‘most’ people can understand it. Presstitutes are ten a penny, one quits, another liar will be in the chair before its gone cold. Also, I call it ‘layer cake’, 9/11 is now a layer close to the bottom, if not on the bottom, and there are many layers placed on top. Most people below 30yrs of age see 9/11 as a very distant memory. I was a 9/11 truther on the day it happened & to be very honest, the people who so say ‘cared’ about 9/11 were complete and utter failures in developing the right narrative and most of these people ended up fighting amongst themselves. The same thing will happen with Covid and it will be another layer on the cake. Aside from egos and infighting, the two biggest problems facing the truth community is time and age, something to think on, because they are both different. Greta the moron gets total success promoting a staggering lie, and truthers get zilch telling the truth, go figure.