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Two videos of interest follow concerning coronavirus vaccines, including boosters.

On Monday, December 13, 2021, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in Parliament that NHS work would be largely paused to focus on the booster programme, with which the British Army will help administer.

An oncologist, Prof. Angus Dalgleish from St George’s Hospital, London, told GB News that the booster programme was ‘a waste of time’, because the new Omicron variant is so infectious. He is concerned that many other ailments, cancer, in particular, will go untreated. He says that a relatively mild cancer which goes undetected can become Stage 4 cancer, bringing about more fatalities from non-COVID illnesses. As for the vaccines, he says that the focus should be on T-cells rather than antibodies, which can disappear over time.

This is around six minutes in length and well worth watching:

A longer video about the vaccines is on Parliamentlive.tv. I recommend the first 40 minutes with Dame Kate Bingham, Former Chair, UK Vaccine Taskforce. (Scroll through the first 10 minutes or so, as the start was delayed.) On December 14, 2021, Dame Kate told the Science and Technology Select Committee how the vaccine programme, which was her big success last year, has begun to falter.

She has been out of the taskforce for a year now. She told the Select Committee that she left a detailed plan behind of how to proceed: staying ahead of the curve both with variants and vaccine supply. She surmises that her plan has not been followed, for whatever reason, because the vaccine rollout has become inefficient.

The most eye-opening part was her discussion of the Valneva lab in Livingston, Scotland. Dame Kate said that the Government recently withdrew funding from the facility because they wanted booster shots only; Valneva produces whole-virus vaccines, which are seen to be more adaptable in the long run.

Valneva was supposed to be 2021’s big success story. Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the facility earlier this year.

Although Valneva is a French company, in February, they were willing to ship their vaccines to the UK first, because the EU had not yet signed a letter of intent:

Guido Fawkes reported that the vaccine would be ready in 2022 (emphasis in the original):

This morning it was revealed that the UK has exercised its option to purchase a further 40 million doses of a promising new vaccine from Valneva SE, a French vaccine developer with its product still in stage 1/2 trials. While the vaccine would not be available until next year it could prove vital in defending against new strains as the UK deploys what will likely be an annual vaccination effort similar to the massive flu jabs programme. The UK had already ordered 60 million doses, bringing the total to 100 million…

Valneva SE CFO David Lawrence told the Today Programme that whilst the UK has been in discussions and had signed deals since the summer of 2020, the EU is yet to sign even a letter of intent with the firm, which is headquartered in Paris.

In April, The Scotsman reported that Valneva was searching for Phase 3 trial volunteers for their promising vaccine, being developed ahead of schedule for delivery at the end of 2021 (emphases mine; sorry about the font size, which I was unable to change):

The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, which are set to be delivered at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022.

With all adults due to have been vaccinated by the end of the summer, Valneva hopes its vaccine will be used as a booster jag or as a modified vaccine which is more effective against new variants of Covid-19.

The phase 3 trial will run in 24 sites across the UK, with two in Scotland. It is open to healthy adults who have not already had a vaccine.

Around 3,000 people over 30 will be given either two doses of the Valneva vaccine or two doses of the AstraZeneca jag.

Following JCVI guidance not to offer AstraZeneca to under 30s, around 1,000 younger participants in the study will be given only the Valneva option.

Volunteers will be given two doses, 28 days apart, starting at the beginning of May.

Thomas Lingelbach, Valneva chief executive, said: “This Phase 3 initiation marks a significant milestone in the development of the only inactivated vaccine candidate against Covid-19 in clinical trials in Europe.

“As Covid-19 continues to impact people’s daily lives, we remain fully focused on developing another safe and efficacious vaccine solution.

“We believe that VLA2001 has an important role to play including boosters or potential modifications to the vaccine to address variants.”

Valneva’s candidate is an inactivated whole virus vaccine, which contains virus that has been destroyed so cannot infect cells, but can still trigger an immune response.

The technology is used in flu, polio and rabies vaccines, and it’s a more traditional approach than the Pfizer (mRNA) and AstraZeneca (adenoviral) vaccines.

Because the vaccine doesn’t contain any live virus, it may be especially suitable for vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with weaker immune systems.

On November 31, Daily Business reported that the UK Government might return to the negotiating table with Valneva, which they had accused of breach of contract:

UK Government ministers may be about to return to the negotiating table with French vaccine developer Valneva two months after cancelling a contract to supply Covid vaccines from its plant in Livingston.

A source close to the situation says it is hoped the UK Government will “seek an amicable resolution” and at least partially reinstate the £1.2bn order to help combat the new Omicron variant.

Westminster terminated the deal in September, claiming breach of contract, a move that drew criticism from business leaders, senior academics and politicians.

The government had placed an order for 100 million doses of its VLA2001 vaccine after increasing its request by 40 million last February. Then, without warning, it pulled the plug.

It placed a question mark over the future of the firm’s new West Lothian factory, a globally-qualified manufacturing site for viral vaccines including VLA2001.

The company is currently supplying, or is in discussion, with other countries about potential deals for the vaccine.

For once, I agree with Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs; they rightly deplore the Government’s withdrawal of the Valneva order.

Dame Kate Bingham pointed out that, because Valneva’s vaccine is a whole virus one rather than one with just the protein spikes, e.g. Moderna’s, it can be modified quickly to attack new variants. Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, on the other hand, require months of work.

Dame Kate called Valneva ‘nimble’. She added that, even if the UK were not interested in the vaccine, other countries around the world would want it, which can only be a positive for Britain.

One wonders how many other stories there are like this.

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On Monday, October 12, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a three-tier system for England in an attempt to make new coronavirus restrictions easier to understand:

He delivered a statement in Parliament and later addressed the nation. In the video clips below, Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty is on the left and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is on the right:

These plans run for the next six months:

Earlier that day, Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam presented an update. It is unnerving when SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) members make an announcement of upcoming health policy before the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. They did this on September 21 as well, against a Government backdrop. They have official permission to do so, but it is unsettling to see. It looks as if they are in charge. Perhaps they are.

Hmm.

I very much agree with this tweet about SAGE members who are physicians, such as the aforementioned three men (emphases mine below):

‘Drs’ go into epidemiology and PH because they want the same salary as the frontline grafters without the hours, stress or risk.

So, how accurate were Sir Patrick Vallance’s alarming projections from September? Not very accurate at all, as many people in England suspected three weeks ago, and deaths are thankfully minimal compared to springtime statistics:

The SAGE members spoke on Monday morning. Boris addressed MPs that afternoon.

The Conservative MP for Wakefield, Imran Ahmad Khan, rightly pointed out that a Conservative government should let citizens make informed choices for themselves:

As Conservatives, we often speak of levelling up. However, now is the time to level with the British people. There is no silver bullet. All measures to stop the spread of covid have painful effects on our economy, social lives and mental wellbeing. Voices on the Opposition Benches believe that British people are incapable of understanding complex issues such as Brexit. The Conservative party is the champion of individuals’ rights to make autonomous decisions without state interference. Will the Prime Minister double down on our party’s historic commitment to invest greater trust in the individual to decide what is best for themselves?

Boris gave his standard communitarian response:

Indeed, and I hope that the individual will also recognise that the risk that we carry—he or she carries—is not just to ourselves, but to the whole of the community because, in the end, we are all potential vectors of this disease and we may bring it inadvertently to someone who is more vulnerable than ourselves. That is the risk. That is why we are bringing in these measures, why we have had the package of measures that we have had throughout this pandemic, and why we now need to intensify them in some local areas now.

Boris answered over 100 questions in two hours. The session ended just before 6 p.m.

He addressed the nation on television at 7 p.m.

The adjournment debate in Parliament that evening revealed that the National Health Service would be more aptly named the National Covid Service.

Labour’s Fleur Anderson, who represents Putney in south west London, spoke about the continued closure of the Urgent Care unit at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton. Excerpts follow:

In August 1997, Queen Mary’s Hospital, which is in Roehampton, ended its A&E service, and has since had a minor injuries unit, which the trust gave a gold-standard accreditation in November last year. So there is no A&E service in my constituency. The minor injuries unit was upgraded to an urgent treatment centre, with a GP added to the excellent nurse practitioner staff, earlier this year. In a normal year, the centre serves 16,000 to 18,000 people, so it is a vital service in our community.

During the peak of the pandemic, the decision was taken to temporarily close the service because of a lack of space for social distancing and to be able to adhere to Government guidelines, and also to move the staff to other areas that needed them more. The pharmacy for out-patients has only recently been closed, and at very short notice. Of course I understand, as do local residents, that changes had to made and that health services had to adapt. I fully appreciate that our NHS managers had to make some extremely difficult decisions on service provision as they faced the prospect of being overwhelmed, which they are now facing again, with the second wave. The continued closure makes us in Roehampton feel overlooked, and it is putting additional pressures on NHS services at Teddington, the walk-in centre at Kingston, St George’s Hospital A&E and local GP surgeries. I am concerned that this will cause untold long-term damage to the health and wellbeing of our community.

I have been asked, “What about the person with the dislocated shoulder, the chest pain, the allergic reaction?” They all need to be assessed and stabilised urgently, but at the moment they are being turned away. I have met the chief executive of the hospital trust and raised these issues. I asked her to assure me that the centre would be reopened as soon as it was safe to do so, but she has not confirmed when it will reopen, if at all. That is very worrying. I hope to hear from the Minister this evening that he will support the trust in making plans to reopen the walk-in urgent treatment centre. 

I would like briefly to explain the impacts that the closure is having on local people. Anyone who goes to where the minor injuries unit used to be is asked to travel far away to the Teddington walk-in centre, to Kingston A&E or to St George’s A&E in Tooting. Those bus journeys can take an hour, which can result in painful journeys or in many people not making the journey, not being seen and not being treated. I am sure the Minister will agree that an hour on public transport is an unacceptably long journey time when there is a really good hospital right there in Roehampton, but it is just not open for walk-in urgent care. One of my constituents wrote to me this week to say:

I took my elderly father, who is nearly 90 years old, to Queen Mary’s just over a month ago, because he had cut his fingers quite badly and they were bleeding. The kind staff there had helped us when my father had a similar problem last year and they knew how to bandage his fingers because he has very thin skin…Because the Centre was closed, we had to go all the way to Kingston Hospital which was quite stressful. While his treatment there was good, it would have been far easier if we could have gone somewhere more local to him as my father isn’t used to travelling that far.”

Also, some patients are unable to travel or should not travel. An example is patients with diabetic foot ulcers, who should keep their activity to a minimum to allow ulcers to heal. At the same time, if they have an infection, it needs treating immediately as it could deteriorate rapidly leading to the need for amputation. That is one group of patients who are not getting the care they need because the urgent treatment centre and the pharmacy are not open. There is an obvious health risk to people needing to travel further if they are seriously ill.

There is also an increased risk of covid infection through asking people to travel greater distances by public transport during the pandemic, especially when they are unwell or chronically ill. They could have an underlying condition, which might be the reason they are going to the urgent care centre in the first place. That would make them more susceptible to the effects of covid-19. Closing the pharmacy is having the effect of delaying patients receiving treatment, as they are now being referred to their GP by the clinics. If they cannot immediately get an appointment with their GP, this can lead to delays of up to 48 hours before starting their treatment. That is another impact.

There is also a knock-on effect on services in other places. The fact that 16,000 to 18,000 people a year used to be treated at Queen Mary’s is putting pressure on St George’s and Kingston, along with the increasing demand at the momentGP surgery appointments are already at a premium, and this demand will only worsen as the difficult winter months approach. Even before the pandemic, it was reported that over 11 million patients had to wait more than 21 days for a GP appointment. In my constituency, there are 14 main surgeries and three branch practices. My team has called round all the local GP services. Several are still only doing appointments over Zoom, and in one local medical centre, a member of staff begged for the urgent care centre to reopen due to the pressure its closure is causing for GP surgeries.

Increased demand for overstretched GP surgeries with finite resources ultimately means fewer local people’s conditions or illnesses receiving treatment, and even more concerningly, serious and urgent illnesses such as cancer being missed and going undiagnosed. It is cancer diagnosis that I am particularly concerned about. As the Minister knows, lots of cancers are diagnosed when people present at hospital with a symptom. With the doors of the urgent treatment centre still closed, many cancers that might otherwise have been spotted will have been missed

Edward Argar, Minister for Health, responded on behalf of the Government:

… I am conscious that the trust has yet to set out a firm commitment to a reopening date, but I join the hon. Lady in saying that I hope it will set out its future plans as soon as possible. I am conscious that she has met the trust’s chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell, to discuss these issues and plans for the reopening of the urgent treatment centre. Although that reopening date is still to be confirmed, I understand that the trust and local commissioners are undertaking work to agree a new covid-secure model of care before reopening, which is the right approach.

The hon. Lady highlighted not only the urgent treatment centre but its role in helping early diagnosis and treatment of cancers. I completely understand and recognise her concerns about the impact of the pandemic on cancer services and the importance of ensuring that cancers do not go undiagnosed. The NHS is working to restore the full operation of all cancer services, with local delivery plans being delivered by cancer alliances. Systems will be working with GPs and the public locally to increase the number of people coming forward and being referred with suspected cancer to at least pre-pandemic levels—I will come on to the performance of her local trust in a moment.

To support that, systems will help to ensure sufficient diagnostic capacity in covid-19-secure environments, through the use of independent sector facilities and the development of community diagnostic hubs and a rapid diagnostic centre. The hon. Lady is right to highlight that diagnostic capability is a considerable challenge, not least because, to put it perhaps a little bluntly, many diagnostic tests are very close and personal, and the equipment used is intimate in terms of looking inside the human body. The cleaning and infection control measures that are necessary between each patient make it challenging to see as many patients as would have been the case before the pandemic.

That last sentence worried my far better half, who asked, ‘Does that mean they weren’t cleaning between patients before coronavirus?’

After discussing cancer services, Argar discussed the Urgent Care pharmacy in question:

The hospital pharmacy is absolutely vital for people being able to have timely access to the medicines they need and being able to get them on site. Although people using it will have been treated and advised in hospital, they can none the less get very helpful advice from the pharmacy as well, so I share her view about the importance of that. As I have said, I include that in my offer to her—to discuss that with her and with the chief executive. I will endeavour to do that later this week …

I simply reiterate that I share the hon. Lady’s view that, where services for perfectly good and legitimate clinical reasons have been temporarily closed or altered, it is extremely important that they are reopened as soon as trusts are able to do so and, where in the future any changes are proposed, that they are subject to the usual full public consultation, engagement and consideration. I do not want to see temporary measures becoming permanent by default, and she can read that as perhaps an expression of my view on what is happening in Roehampton

I hope that I have been able to offer the hon. Lady some reassurances today. I thank her for securing the debate, and I very much look forward to meeting her

Fleur Anderson was reassured. I hope that Queen Mary’s Hospital gets back to full service soon.

The content of that debate was alarming.

Apologies for the digression, but this is the state of play for the NHS, or should I say NCS, not only in Roehampton but all over the nation. It is an absolute shambles.

Tuesday, October 13 — the almighty SAGE, no evidence needed

On Tuesday, October 13, Treasury Minister Steve Barclay laid out the Chancellor’s expanded plans for financial support during the continuing coronavirus crisis.

The 10 p.m. curfew for pubs was also voted on later that day.

Mel Stride, the Conservative MP representing Central Devon, asked for scientific evidence about the curfew:

My right hon. Friend and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have done a great deal to support the economy, but there has to be a careful balance struck between protecting against the virus and avoiding further economic destruction. With that in mind, what scientific evidence has the Treasury received that closing pubs at 10 pm gets that balance right?

Steve Barclay did not answer the question and inadvertently pointed out SAGE’s woefully inaccurate modelling (see graph at the top of the post):

We have to balance the evidence that the Government receive from a range of quarters. My right hon. Friend will recall that when the initial advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies was put forward, the Government came forward with a range of measures, such as the rule of six and the curfew. Indeed, if we look at the projections that were made at that time, we see that we could potentially have had 49,000 or so daily cases by 14 October when in actual fact the figure on that date was 12,872. That indicates the fact that the package of measures put in place by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have had an influence. However, listening to the SAGE advice, it is recognised that we need to go further and that is why the tiered approach has been set out.

Mike Wood (Con, Dudley South) sounded the alarm about pubs in his West Midlands constituency:

A tenth of pubs have not reopened since lockdown in March while two thirds were already trading at a loss, even before restricted opening times, mandatory table service and the new restrictions announced yesterday. Will my right hon. Friend look at the support that is available for pubs that are not yet compelled to close, but are legally prevented from operating economically, and in particular state aid limits that threaten to prevent 10,000 pubs from receiving the support they need? Without that support, many thousands of pubs will close their doors and never reopen.

Barclay responded:

Ultimately, that is why the Chancellor set out the wider package of support, recognising the concerns he speaks of with the tax deferrals, the loans, the business rate support and the measures on VAT, which are targeted at the sector because of the very real concerns he correctly articulates.

Bob Seely (Con, Isle of Wight) asked for evidence that compels swimming pools and gyms to close in some areas under the new restrictions:

Is there any specific evidence that swimming pools and gyms are centres for covid transmission? Has any research been done into rising obesity and unfitness levels, and has any research been done into rising unemployment caused by the closure of gyms and pools that is now happening in parts of the UK?

Barclay reiterated that those sectors were part of the reason for the Chancellor’s expanded support package. Again, he could not provide any scientific evidence:

In some ways, that is slightly more of a Health question than a Treasury question, but I recognise that there is read-across from those businesses into the economy. In short, the opinion of the chief medical officer and the chief scientific officer is that those businesses do carry significantly more risk, which is why they have been harder hit in the guidance that has been issued.

What if it turned out that Whitty and Vallance were as wrong about that as they are with their astronomically mistaken ‘case’ projections?

I fully agree with the assessment of Sir Edward Leigh (Con, Gainsborough):

It is not surprising that more and more Members are calling for more Government support, because the Government are forcing more and more businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, out of business. The Chief Secretary says that his priority is to help business. The best way to help businesses is to let them get on and do business. We are going bankrupt as a nation—there will not be the money to pay for the NHS or pensions. What is the Treasury doing to row back against other parts of the Government and insist that we must allow British business to operate? He did not answer the question from the Chairman of the Select Committee, my right hon. Friend the Member for Central Devon (Mel Stride)—what is the scientific evidence for pubs closing at 10 o’clock? Is he leading the fight to help Britain to stay in business?

Barclay replied:

With respect, I did answer it. I pointed to the projection given by the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser at that time, the SAGE guidance and the fact that the package of measures put in place by the Prime Minister has resulted in a lower infection risk. The CMO and others would recognise that this is a range of measures. My right hon. Friend says that the Government have gone too far and that there is no evidence for the curfew. The tenor of most of the questions one gets is that we have not moved far enough and should be taking more drastic actions. That speaks to the fact that this is a balanced judgment. One needs to look at the range of measures we are taking, and that is what I would refer him to.

After that, MPs debated then voted on all the new coronavirus measures. All passed, including the 10 p.m. curfew for pubs across the nation.

Matt Hancock delivered the statement which opened the debate.

He took strong exception to the Great Barrington Declaration:

Some people have set out this more relaxed approach, including those in the so-called Great Barrington declaration. I want to take this argument head on, because on the substance, the Great Barrington declaration is underpinned by two central claims and both are emphatically false. First, it says that if enough people get covid, we will reach herd immunity. That is not true. Many infectious diseases never reach herd immunity, such as measles, malaria, AIDS and flu, and with increasing evidence of reinfection, we should have no confidence that we would ever reach herd immunity to covid, even if everyone caught it. Herd immunity is a flawed goal without a vaccine, even if we could get to it, which we cannot.

Well, not all of us get flu every year, and, in the wide scheme of things, COVID-19 has a 99% survival rate.

I agree with Hancock’s second point about the impossibility of isolating older members in multi-generational households.

However, overall, Hancock really is in thrall to SAGE. They must be relishing the power they have over him:

John Redwood (Con, Wokingham) asked a simple question:

How long do the scientists think we will need these lockdowns for, and what is their exit plan?

Hancock had no real answer. The one he gave proves that lockdowns do not work. So much for SAGE advice:

We have seen the exit plan from local lockdowns. For instance, in Leicester, where we had a firm local lockdown, the case rate came right down. We lifted that and we have sadly seen it start to rise again. The case rate is determined by the amount of social mixing, and it reduces during a lockdown. In some parts of the country where the case rate has continued to rise, there is an argument for further ensuring that we do not reach the level of contact that is at the root of the virus spreading. The challenge is how to calibrate the lockdown to get the virus under control while doing the minimum damage to the economy and to education.

Huw Merriman (Con, Bexhill and Battle) pointed out the futility of a 10 p.m. curfew, as everyone pours out into the street and onto public transport at the same time:

The Secretary of State talks about a regulation on pubs closing at 10 o’clock, which has been in force for four weeks. There may be some undoubted positives for health, but we see some negatives with people amassing together on public transport and in the streets. Do the positives outweigh the negatives, as far as the science is concerned?

More waffle from Barclay, I’m sorry to say.

You can see some of Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth’s reply to Barclay in the video below. Ashworth says that the Government have not gone far enough, even if he opposes another full lockdown, or circuit-breaker, as it is now called.

The debate continued.

Addressing Matt Hancock, Dr Andrew Murrison (Con, Southwest Wiltshire), who is a physician, cautioned him against being closed-minded and advised looking at other voices in the medical world, including those of those who say that lockdown serves little purpose and should be confined to the vulnerable only:

I support these restrictions with a heavy heart. On balance, I will be supporting the Government this evening, but I want to make just a few quick points.

I would be very careful about subscribing to the Vallance/Whitty orthodoxy that informed these regulations, while not at all examining very carefully respectable bodies of medical opinion to the contrary. I would cite particularly the Heneghan/Sikora/Gupta line. It is important that the Secretary of State and his ministerial team address those things head-on and treat them with the respect that they deserve

We need to be careful about groupthink, confirmation bias, a thin evidential basis and uncertainty masquerading as certainty. There is a huge margin of uncertainty with all this, and we all need to develop a level of humility in our attitudes towards dealing with this crisis. That is why I shall be supporting the Government this evening …

In all this, we simply do not know and we are learning all the time. We have to accept, I think, the expertise of those advising Ministers and that we have experts for a reason, but there is an alternative view. Unless we get a vaccine—goodness me, I hope we do—I think we may find that the cure is worse than the disease in terms of lives lost directly to covid, incidental lives lost to other common diseases—stroke, heart attack and particularly cancer—loss of liberty, loss of livelihood and the compete trashing of our economy. That is what is at stake. I do not envy the Secretary of State in his work.

Labour’s John Spellar (Warley) made excellent points. I agree with every one of them:

There is a huge principle to be debated here. At the heart of it is the false dichotomy posed again by the Secretary of State today between hospitality and the economy and jobs, as though hospitality were not part of the real economy and millions of jobs did not depend on it. Tell that to the workers and businesses owners in pubs and clubs, restaurants and cafes, hotels and wedding venues, theatres and cinemas, betting shops, bingo halls and casinos and gyms, all of which are facing really hard times and challenges. They are facing closures, ruin and job losses on a massive scale. At the same time, as we heard earlier, Treasury support is weakening and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not only losing the cost of support but suffering a major loss of revenue.

Unfortunately, the approach seems to be driven less by deep analysis and more by the dreaded doctrine of “something must be done”. This is something; therefore we must do this irrespective of proportionality, outcome or impact. But this time it is even worse. It seems to be “something needs to be seen to be done” without any cost-benefit analysis or considering the impact on a beleaguered industry and a workforce facing mass redundancies. Accordingly, I and many other Members are unclear about the basis, either at a local or national level, of these proposals. The Chief Secretary talked earlier of anecdotes. I want a bit more than anecdotes.

Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, rightly said on Radio 4 today that a far better way than closures and curfews is to give powers to local councils to take rapid action to shut down non-compliant venues. In my authority of Sandwell, which has an enviable contact rate of 85% led by the excellent public health director Dr McNally, we have had one case linked to a hospitality venue, and that was early on in the pandemic in a pub in Smethwick. The Express & Star, our evening newspaper, investigated and found that across the Black Country, which is home to 1.25 million people, there have been just 10 such incidences of covid, again all early in the pandemic.

In his opening speech, the Secretary of State did not give an indication of how long he thinks this can go on. It could last almost indefinitely unless we develop a vaccine, an event that, as the Prime Minister candidly admitted yesterday, is uncertain and would not be 100% effective. One of the tests of an exit strategy is considering how we contain the virus if we are not able to eliminate it, as we have had to do with major diseases throughout history and as many of parts of the world still have to do today.

Steve Baker (Con, Wycombe) brought up the economic damage done and his support for the Great Barrington Declaration. He said that the Government must find a middle way:

three problems. The first is that a vaccine may not come. The second is that a vaccine may not be effective. The third is that all this is propped up on quantitative easing and ultra-cheap credit. Indeed, now we are reading in the newspapers about negative interest rates, and this is why I declared the interest. I think you have to have a peculiarly high level of economic education to believe that we can head towards £745 billion of QE and ultra-low or negative interest rates and that all this will not be a problem. I will not say any more about it. I think it will be a problem, and it is precarious indeed that the Government’s strategy is propped up on such a monetary policy

Personally, I think that privately the Government are a little more optimistic about the AstraZeneca vaccine, which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister mentioned, but here is the thing: even suppose the Government had vaccinated the public with a successful, safe vaccine by Easter or possibly the summer, that still leaves our economy and Government spending propped up on ultra-cheap credit. The problem with that is that the Bank of England has told us on the Treasury Committee that if inflation comes in it will have to, under its mandate, fight inflation. That would effectively mean pulling the plug on Government spending. This is precarious indeed …

For the reasons that I have given, I am convinced that the Government must find an alternative strategic plan between the Great Barrington declaration and where we are today.

All Government measures passed in the votes that night.

Labour’s mixed messages

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow cabinet are all over the shop.

On Tuesday, Jonathan Ashworth opposed a national lockdown, while saying that the Government were not going far enough with measures:

However, Labour leader Keir Starmer announced on national television that he wants a national lockdown, as Guido Fawkes points out (emphases in the original):

Why does Keir Starmer support imposing a national lockdown on areas with low Covid incidence whilst opposing regional lockdowns on areas with high Covid incidence? Whatever side of the argument you are on, surely it is clear that being on both sides of the argument at the same time makes no sense logically? Unless it is pure political opportunism…

Ashworth said, rightly that a national lockdown “would be disastrous for society… but I don’t believe anyone in the house is proposing that…” Hours later Starmer proposed precisely that…

Tiered lockdown: public money from taxpayers or private enterprise?

In closing, this is what is allegedly happening in Essex, which is just to the east of London. This is puzzling, because Essex has low positive test rates.

Adam Brooks is a publican:

Essex Council deny that money is involved. The councillor giving the following statement said that the Council is doing it for health, not financial, reasons:

Fair enough.

The leader of the Council issued this video announcement, which was not well received by Essex residents (read the replies):

Essex aside, on the subject of lockdown money, Laura Dodsworth has written a lengthy article for Spiked, ‘There’s a financial incentive for councils to lock down’.

She stands by her article:

She explains that Liverpool Council made sure they received commitment to a financial package from the Government before entering Tier 3:

Liverpool mayors Steve Rotheram and Joe Anderson said that they did not agree with some aspects of the Tier 3 lockdown, but were aware that government would bring in rules ‘with or without them’. And so rather than argue forcefully against lockdown, they negotiated to secure the best financial package possible.

This policy is not without its drawbacks:

The new funding package for councils is designed to alleviate the pain of lockdown, to sugar the pill. But the structure of the funding might end up providing local authorities with the ingredients to make lockdown cake indefinitely. It is specifically intended to support more testing, including door-to-door testing, sometimes with help from the military. But more testing leads to more cases. More cases lead to more lockdowns.

the funding is also going towards enforcement of lockdown regulations and self-isolation, which there are fines for breaching. That, in turn, raises more funds – the revenue from fixed-penalty notices, whether they are issued by local police, environmental-health officers or new Covid marshals, goes into local-authority coffers. In theory, the lockdown fixed-penalty fines should be going straight back into public health (as littering fines would go towards the environment). But, in reality, revenue from fines is not always that well ring-fenced in local authorities.

Liverpool Council is nearly broke:

Back in April, Liverpool council warned it was facing bankruptcy. It’s easy to appreciate that local leaders are anxious to secure funds to deal with the ongoing lockdown crisis. I am not suggesting that councils and local politicians would make calculated decisions to push areas into lockdown. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This financial model has the potential to become a vicious circle. Seasoned disaster-planner Lucy Easthope tells me: ‘There is a tendency in reactive disaster funding to create dependency and to actively avoid thinking through the long-term harms and over-reliance [on emergency funds].’

Allegedly, London is likely to be next:

It will be interesting to see how this turns out in the months to come. I hope that the Treasury have terms and conditions attached to this funding.

The end of the road for England’s pubs?

Since the smoking ban in 2007 and the financial crisis the following year, the number of pubs decreased from 50,000 to 39,000 in the UK. That was as of 2018.

Because of the earlier lockdown this year, more have no doubt closed — for good.

The new coronavirus regulations began on Wednesday, October 14:

Below is a video of the ‘last hurrah’, as my parents’ generation would have called it, in Liverpool, before Tier 3 regulations set in.

Regardless of what one thinks of the video, according to the pie chart, when workplaces and schools/universities are factored in, according to Public Health England, hospitality accounts only for 3 per cent of coronavirus ‘case’ sources:

Not all pubs have to close, but in order to stay open, they must serve ‘a substantial meal’, as in New York City. A packet of crisps or pork scratchings will not do. The Pub Curmudgeon said that the Government have not precisely defined the term ‘substantial meal’, which could be problematic.

Meanwhile, Adam Brooks, the aforementioned publican from Essex, has given an interview to Spiked:

More to come tomorrow on how his business has fared during the coronavirus crisis.

Brendan Dilley is a Congressional candidate in Arizona and YourVoice™ America Co-host.

He receives intelligence messages from a source he keeps anonymous. Dilley’s Twitter account has many positive messages about life. His Periscopes have the intel data.

Someone on 8chan watches the videos then summarises the content. I’ve read this intel several times over the past few weeks and found it interesting enough to share.

Part 1 covers excerpted drops from January 17 through January 27, 2018.

Part 2 covers intel from January 29 through February 1.

Part 3 covers February 2 and 3.

Part 4 covers intel from February 5.

This post covers intel from Thursday, February 8.

Most of the typos are fixed, although I left some capitalisations and abbreviations in. The transcriber seems to want to stress the capitalised words. Emphases mine below.

To explain the first part, refer back to the end of Part 4, which includes a Q message. Here is message 688:

People asked for arrests.
Gave one example.
Just because you can’t see doesn’t mean it’s not ongoing.
Trust the plan.
Q

The first part of Dilley’s Periscope is summarised as follows:

Dilley spoke to a ex-military c who speaks to generals. Says EVERY perp must do a perpwalk to restore faith in our republic.

Dilley is holding Trump and Sessions to the highest standard. Says ‘I am a sycophant to no man’ if they to not prosecute.

Dilley says Arrests Happened 2-3 days ago, relates it to Q but wants to know who Q showed being arrested, not just “somebody in China.” he will ask his source for a name!!

This is an excerpt from the second part, which has to do with Q’s identity. There is also a mention of Anthony Weiner (currently in prison in Massachusetts), husband of Huma Abedin, a former Hillary staffer and her close companion:

Dilley believes Q is in the administration

Dilley says there is real panic in DC, they have lost the ability to push back fast enough

Dilley says we need e-verify for voting

Mentions Weiner’s phone contact list dropping

‘Things aren’t done on your timeline’ ref voter fraud

update on voter fraud – “voter fraud count at 8.75 million atm”

multiple reports will come out

This is the third part:

Dilley says his source monitors Twitter

His Source WILL NOT give a name for Q China arrest drop but give a hint: “WAS SUPERB”

Dilley mentions 84 doctors killed over last few years

Dilley was a personal trainer to a Lady who was a researcher on cancer cures.

She discovered something about the early stages of a cancer cure on Monday- by Wednesday, the lab was SHUT DOWN.This was in 2009.

That does not surprise me one bit. How can they get a cure for cancer or even the flu released to the public when healthcare, particularly cancer care, has been an industry for nearly 50 years? It’s a money spinner.

Q also posted on the same day about this (messages 690 to 692):

Q !UW.yye1fxo ID: ee33a6 300345
Make sure the list of resignations remains updated. Important. When does big pharma make money? Curing or containing? Cancer/AIDS/etc. Mind will be blown by chain of command. Q

Q !UW.yye1fxo
ID: ee33a6 300473
What if cures already exist? What about the billions (public/private/govt) provided to fund cure dev? Sheep. These people are sick! Q

Q !UW.yye1fxoID: 296675 300885
How many top medical researchers found dead in past 5 years?
Why is this topic relevant now? Why does the US taxpayer subsidize meds for the rest of the world? Q

Back to Dilley and his source. An additional sentence appeared later:

Remember during the campaign when POTUS said that maybe we will even cure cancer. He KNOWS!

Here is the fourth part:

When Dilley gets to Congress, he will SCOPE from the Hill and name names as to WHO is on our side

New Intel:

Shanghai Grab and Hit ‘first of many’

Watch the skies over Cali next

Then borderland north

Runners cant run with broken legs

Think misery

(Garbled) Mueller about to open his Special Counsel Reveal

I read anecdotally about military planes flying over California for an extended period of time around that date.

This is an excerpt from the fifth part. I haven’t included the whole message as part of it is over the top. Anyway, this is what Dilley’s intel source says about Robert Mueller:

Mueller is a guy trying to stay out of jail

No, he is not a good guy

Here is the sixth part, which concerns Valerie Jarrett, close adviser to Obama who now lives with them in Washington DC and Bush I:

Let’s run some names

Obama answers to VJ who answers to rogue CIA

Rogue CIA is run by GHWB

Who runs p[oin]t for GHWB?

The seventh part answers that question and brings up the late Michael Hastings, an American investigative journalist who had a lot of information about the CIA. He died mysteriously in 2013 in what some think was a car cyber attack. Sparks began flying then the car veered and slammed into a tree. Some of this message is a nod to Q, e.g. ‘crumbs’ and ‘fly, fly, fly’:

JOHN MCCAIN is the man who runs point for GHWB

Someone is about to be arrested in California

Hannity has intel

DHS busy at border

Someone has twitchy feet
Crumbs drop to incite perps to run
Fly, fly, fly

Michael Hastings has scary raw intel…murdered by maybe john brennan?
Hastings was sitting on massive intel
His girlfriend is a contributor on Morning Joe

Why is USSS on high alert? not for reason you think…’think mirror’
Who protects POTUS? drones up,we see all, time to go hunting

Why are non government official pervs important to big picture. Think Weiner. now think Weinstein. Laptop. What does Perv #2 have?

Dilley says Big things are coming very very soon
including convictions and indictments
wheels are turning behind the scenes
nothing is an accident

Dilley then took questions from his listeners. He referred to Bush II who recently gave a speech overseas with some anti-Trump barbs:

Although, great work by some Anons were done, I’ve provided another report with additional details
Someone in post asked Dilley if Q was real.
Brendan responded: “How much more evidence do you have to be shown that the information you’re getting is legit before you finally believe it?”
Same question is asked of Brendan’s source. “Brendan, is your source legit?”
Brendan responded: “I’ve been giving you information for 3 months. I don’t know how many times in a row I have to be right before ppl go ‘ok, we’re gonna listen'”
Your own critical mind should be able to decipher what’s real and what’s not anymore. It’s time to start using your nugget
“You ask the wrong questions. You waste time. You waste my time, you waste your own time.”
“Who is Q?”, Dilley responds “Who cares. It doesn’t matter whether you like the Intel or you don’t. If they’re right, they’re right.”
“It doesn’t matter if you know who Q is. At the end of the day, what you’re seeing comes into the public domain and the information ends up being real.”
Everybody wants things to be like CNN and Fox News. That’s not the way this works. You’re expected to be smarter than that.
You want spoon-fed information… Mockingly “Brendan, what date on this guy will this person come get arrested?”
Even if I had this information, I’m not telling you. That’s just not the way this works.
Dilley expect smarter people in his scopes asking better questions.
Begins talking about news drops about Texts, Memos, revolving around Obama.
You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle. IT IS OUT! The MSM is unsuccessfully trying to divert attention away from it.”
Mocks George W Bush who was trending today claiming “Russia, Russia, Russia”. No one cares what he has to say. He’s a treasonous sh!tBag.
It’s a big charade but the evidence is brutal. These ppl are AWFUL. They will not be able to run from what this is.
It’s their HUBRIS that continues to try and maintain their power right now in America.
They continue to trot themselves out with their “comments” and “opinions”. Nobody cares what George Bush thinks especially in this day and age.
“We know what you did Georgy Porgy! We don’t care. You’re full of crap, buddy”
Answers attack on Trump Supporters as “Conspiracy Theoists”:
Even if president Trump wasn’t in the equation, if you found this stuff out, you should be absolutely furious! There’s no way any American should be look at the evidence against these people. They tried to take over this country and almost did.
Dilley’s statement to POTUS “We will not settle for anything less than FULL BLOWN PROSECUTION for these people’s crimes. No one can to walk on this one.”
“THIS MUST BE OUR LINE IN THE SAND.”
“I don’t care if half the country tries a civil war because of it. As an American citizen, you either have a country or you don’t” …
Liberals can’t allow the truth to happen because if the truth happens, they’ve got to reassess their own identity. That’s why they reject everything
“Q showed you guys an arrest last night? That’s funny, My guy told me there were arrests coming a couple days ago. I was like, huh?”

The next part has a few more new pieces of information:

Dilley agrees with Periscope, we ABSOLUTELY need e-verify for voting …
Dilley confirms Voter fraud info/report WILL come out
“It’ll come out. There’s multiple reports. It just won’t be one location
“I can tell you that my source is EVERYWHERE“. Dilley believes he listens to comments and twitter.
It’s a team of people… Not just one person.
Source replies back that not allowed to give out any info person snatched in China
Dilley encourages his Periscope followers to DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH
He is then is fascinated by the fact that may of his followers have good intel:
“You guys have got good information in here”
He then begins to give insight on what he’s seeing:
One of the things I hope you’re learning from the Q drops and certainly from me is there is a VALUE in asking large groups of ppl to pray for the country
GOD & COUNTRY – Keeping those 2 things together… The power of your prayers are what’s bringing about ALL of this truth. It’s your PRAYERS
“You’re literally manifesting everything you’re seeing right now. That is a HUGE thing that ppl are overlooking in this process.”
Your resilience for the truth. Your ABSOLUTE, UNRELENTING pursuit of that truth combined with your prayer is what’s allowing all of this to happen.”
You’re literally creating this. This was NOT gonna happen.”
“You guys are actually bringing this about. IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. This HUGE group, this HIVE MIND that you’ve got right now for TRUTH and for PRAYER.”
“That’s why GOD & COUNTRY – every single time.”
“Right now, we’ve got the HUGE COLLECTIVE that is committed to the truth. That power is REAL and it’s AMAZING”
2nd INTEL was dropped in the middle of Periscope:
Shanghai Grab and Hit
‘First of Many’
Watch the skies over Cali next
Then borderland north
Runners can’t run with broken legs
Think MISERY

The questions and answers continued. Some asked about California Democrats — Jerry Brown, Ted Lieu and Nancy Pelosi:

Someone jokes on Periscope: I hope it’s Gov Brown
Dilley laughs and compliments his Periscope:
“I love that you guys all know who the actual enemies are now. Cause there are a bunch of Democrats who are faceless. They’re just democrats… and they’re not evil people, they’re just kind of.. whatever. But you guys know the evil ones. You guys recognize them REAL QUICK!” …
Persicope asks about Rod Rosenstein
Dilley responds: “I told you guys RR would be screwed in, like, December. Remember when my source was breaking it down for you guys?”
People who Dilley agrees with Periscope on who is “Screwed”:
Ted Lieu
Nancy Pelosi
Everyone keeps asking about if Mueller is a “Good Guy”
Dilley Responds:
No he is not a good guy, he’s just a selfish old bum who wants to stay out of prison so he’s gonna do this in the middle. I keep telling you guys this.”

Dilley begins discussing someone he knew who swears that Soros and Hillary Clinton installed real Nazis into Ukraine Government.
“It is my genuine belief that the corruption is SO DEEP AND SO BAD that they’re having to ease an American Public into the reality of what’s been going on. It’s is THAT BAD

The penultimate part has this information:

Dilley Live 2/8/18 2230 pm Facebook Live
https:// http://www.facebook.com/dilleyforcongress/videos/325851541240999/
A lot of people are compromised. This is all part of the red-pilling that is going to take place.
They’re all dirty and we’re finding it out more and more
Follow Sundance on Conservative Treehouse …

Michael Hastings Raw Intel is scary, I wonder who has twitchy feet now that coded Anon post told them we have the whole story fully deciphered
Crumbs drops sometimes for the purpose of the perpetrator ONLY

In the final part, Dilley discusses Harvey Weinstein, the military, the panic among the elites and the executive order from December 21, 2017 about asset seizure:

Repeats Intel Drop, this time with his own opinions:
Who protects POTUS? Dilley answers, not just USSS, but Marines!
Perv #2 is Weinstein, what does Weinstein’s laptop have?
Harvey Weinstein’s charges are now at the DA’s office & he could be grabbed @ any time.
How many people does Harvey Weinstein have leveraged just the way Anthony Wiener had leveraged through the laptop.
Dilley believes Weinstein was definitely into Human Trafficking & is going to try to keep himself out of prison & there is only one way to do that.
Turn on everyone else involved in it.
There are major happenings every single day now. THIS IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.
There are things happening both at home and abroad that you are completely unaware of.
Our president and our military, specifically our Sec. of Defense General James Mattis have managed to close all leaks on the military side.
You’ll notice most Americans have no clue of any operations we’re executing right now.
The media is in the total dark about what the military is performing right now. THAT IS PERFECT!
The less we know of what our military is doing, the safer our troops are abroad. This is a good thing so.
You’ve got military operations happening around the globe.
Many people that you may know… friends, family… Soldiers are being recalled in right now.
There are big operations underway and commencing very soon.
But more importantly, as this is being made globally, here at home,
there is a full blown panic within Washington DC/establishment class.
Because their handlers and their financiers are in real big trouble.
This is one of the most undertold stories in 2018
It’s not going to stop at Obama, the Clintons, McCain, Flake. The ppl that “own” them will be outted.
The real goal is “how far up can we go to get the rest?”
The real power and money, this is where you then begin to see names like “Gates, Bezos, Soros”
These financiers of corruption around the globe are about to face their day and they’re not going to have any choice.
Because without their money, they’re nothing.
This upcoming EO that Dilley has been priming for weeks is absolutely still in the works. They’re pretty close to rolling it out.
EO ties in directly with the last EO as well as with the Dec 21 EO.
One of the most important elements of this effort/Operation to restore this republic is YOU THE PUBLIC.
More ppl have to become aware of what’s been going on and not be tolerant of this corruption.

To doubters: this is important. It is not a joke.

To those who say things aren’t happening quickly enough, this is why things are moving at the current pace. I’m not sure Q actually said this, because it is too straightforward, but it gets the point across nonetheless:

Those who cannot understand that we cannot simply start arresting w/o first ensuring the safety & well-being of the population, shifting the narrative, removing those in DC through resignation to ensure success, defeating ISIS/MS13 to prevent fail-safes, freezing assets to remove network-to-network abilities, kill off COC to prevent top-down comms/org, etc etc. should not be participating in discussions.
Q

In closing, two things happened since the beginning of the month.

First, Sergey Medvedev was arrested at his Bangkok residence on February 2. He is a bad hombre. US authorities shut down his Infraud (yes!) international theft ring on February 6. Infraud operated on the dark web:

It was “the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide”, said Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki …

The gang allegedly sells narcotic drugs, illegal weapons, stolen credit card PINs, protected wild animals and illegally obtained government documents, the source said.

Secondly, the CFO of Rosatom, Vyacheslav Ivanov, was one of the passengers killed in the plane crash outside of Moscow on February 11. Rosatom is the Russian company that bought Uranium One in Hillary Clinton’s crooked deal while she was Secretary of State.

The end of Britain’s anti-tobacco campaign, Stoptober, comes as a relief.

Its counterpart is #Octabber. Whilst most of my posts this month have not focussed on smoking, they do point to a possible endgame of drug-taking replacing the clear thinking which nicotine provides.

I remember the sensible days when smoking was allowed nearly everywhere: aircraft, offices and public buildings. Ashtrays — large or small — were ubiquitous until the late 1980s. In the 1990s, separate smoking rooms became common. Shortly after the Millennium — at least in Britain — these were done away with and the great outdoors became the smoking lounge. Our near-universal smoking bans were in place a few years later.

The effect has been devastating on pubs, productivity and property rights.

Adults can no longer go out to meet their friends for a drink and a cigarette in some areas; there is no pub anymore, never mind one with a smoking area in back.

Office workers need to walk outside — sometimes a few minutes away — for a quiet smoke. Often, because of the weather, there is no longer the ability to take work to do during a five-minute cigarette break.

Private companies can no longer allow an employee to smoke in a company car or other vehicle. The government has dictated to them, just as it has to those in the hospitality industry, what can and cannot be done within the confines of their own property. Along with this is the constant threat of new legislation which would prohibit smoking in the family car if children were present.

We in the West read that our health services are on overload or at breakdown point. Nonetheless, Tobacco Control rolls on with Alcohol Control not far behind. If I were in charge of any of our governments, the first thing I would do would be to remove the funding from these people. We all know the risks; we learn about them at home and in school. We know we can go to our pharmacists and doctors if we want help to stop smoking or drinking. That’s quite enough.

Agree or disagree with smoking (or drinking), no government should be dictating what can be done on or in private property other than where it concerns trespass, crime, unreasonable burdens on neighbours or domestic abuse.

In closing, here are a few more medical benefits from nicotine.

First, health writer Art Ayers’s research has revealed that studies from 2007 and 2009 have shown nicotine may benefit compromised immune systems with:

beneficial effects on inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and perhaps, H1N1 [swine flu].

He says that the studies show that nicotine produces these benefits by acting on the vagus nerve, which runs from the base of our brains (medulla oblongata) through to the abdomen. The vagus nerve has a significant effect on various physical functions, from those in the brain all the way to the digestive tract.

Nicotine may also help to prevent or diminish the devastation of what are known as cytokine storms. In cases of infection or a compromised immune system:

cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines.[2] Normally, this feedback loop is kept in check by the body. However, in some instances, the reaction becomes uncontrolled, and too many immune cells are activated in a single place. The precise reason for this is not entirely understood but may be caused by an exaggerated response when the immune system encounters a new and highly pathogenic invader. Cytokine storms have potential to do significant damage to body tissues and organs. If a cytokine storm occurs in the lungs, for example, fluids and immune cells such as macrophages may accumulate and eventually block off the airways, potentially resulting in death.

Ayers writes that nicotine is being studied to see if its anti-inflammatory properties can be used to block cytokine storms, particularly in the case of influenza.

Therefore, smokers, he says, are protecting themselves from infection and disease. However, when they stop smoking, they open themselves up to inflammatory disorders, as nicotine is no longer present.

More surprisingly, perhaps, are the studies which indicate that smoking may actually prevent some types of cancer. Second Opinions, cited yesterday, found two studies which discuss stomach and breast cancer (emphases mine in the body of the text):

Stomach cancer

There is other evidence that smoking might actually protect against cancer. Nitrates and nitrites, commonly found in vegetables and cured meats turn to carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach. Smoking inhibits the uptake of circulating nitrate into the saliva, especially at higher levels of dietary nitrate intake. (11)

Breast cancer

One out of every 250 women has one of the inherited mutated genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, whose normal function is not yet fully understood. And 80 percent of women with one of the mutated genes will get breast cancer before the age of 70. This means that 3200 women per million will get breast cancer. Dr Paul Kleihues, M.D., Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, WHO reported a study which found that smoking cuts the risk of developing breast cancer by 50 percent in these women. “The protection associated with smoking increased with the amount smoked. . . The risk reduction associated with up to four pack-years (one pack-year equals one pack per day for one year) of smoking was 35 percent, and for greater than four pack-years of smoking was 54 percent.” (12)

So, it’s not all bad for smokers or for nicotine.

Yet, in their war on smoking, the medical community and social policy makers over the past 30 years have encouraged non-smokers to blame smokers for their every ill. Going to the doctor’s surgery (office) or Accident & Emergency results in being asked, ‘Do you smoke?’ prior to any consultation or treatment. Smokers, who pay tax with every tobacco purchase (in the UK, around 75% of the cost of a pack of 20), are being denied NHS operations unless they stop smoking. Many employers condemn smoking, which extends to well-qualified, energetic interview candidates. Even when going away on holiday, the smoker is met with accommodation sites saying ‘100% non-smoking property’. The list goes on.

The end result is that non-smokers view smokers as being morally derelict.

Therefore, it’s high time Tobacco Control were put out to pasture. It’s time, instead, that we find out the truth about the causes of lung cancer — vehicle emissions being a good starting point.

Although not naturally optimistic, I remain hopeful that, just as a number of headlines in 2014 have been hailing the benefits of animal fat on the human body (a swipe at Ancel Keys’s falsehoods which have persisted since the 1950s), that smoking ceases to be demonised in the near future.

Fortunately, certain towns and counties in the US have been repealing their smoking bans. In some cases they have been declared unconstitutional. In others, restaurant and bar owners said the bans were bad for business.

Smoking is hardly the world’s greatest evil.

In fact, it pales in comparison to bullying of all ages, child molestation, child suicide, rising crime, domestic violence, abortion as birth control and the very real rise of tuberculosis (among other diseases) in the West.  Those really are public health concerns.

For much of the past week, I have been running a series on the potential perils of high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets.

I have posted them on my Recipes / Health / History page under ‘Low-fat, high-carb diets increase depression’. They are as follows:

Does low animal fat intake increase hostility or depression? (a hypothesis)

Fat and a balanced mind (low-fat diets can imbalance serotonin and nerves)

Depression and anxiety: the perils of a low-fat, high-carb diet

High carbohydrate intake and depression

Depression and cancer: more evidence against a low-fat diet

As I have mentioned, a good layman-to-layman resource is the Texan’s Rocco Stanzione’s Low Carb for Health.

In 2010, he and his family began a ketogenic diet (explained in some of the aforementioned posts). Essentially, this is a low-carb, high-fat diet designed to keep one comfortably satiated, adequately energetic, in a pleasant disposition and in good health.

Stanzione says that he read (and no doubt reread) Gary Taubes’s bestseller, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet. Stanzione has also researched other clinical studies about this type of diet.

Good health is something we hear about endlessly in Western countries. So-called experts often tell us that we are lazy and opposed to it. But are we? Who in this youth-oriented culture of ours would wish for disease? No one.

Something somewhere doesn’t ring true. So is it time for us to question the paradigm — received wisdom — on which modern health and nutrition is drawn?

It would seem so.

The politically centrist French site, Atlantico, today featured the top 10 causes of death in France compared with 100 years ago. (You will not probably not need to translate the causes. Most of us will find them in our own countries.) What follows are those which could well be brought on by a high-carb, low-fat diet:

1/ Cancer
2/ Heart disease
3/ Stroke
5/ Alzheimer’s
6/ Diabetes Type 2
8/ Suicide

Six out of ten — 60% — of these could be diet-related.

Potentially, we can do something about them without ever (possibly) seeing a doctor. There are no guarantees in this life; a remedy which works for many might not work for all.

As always, if you are apprehensive about trying an alternative health regime, read up on the pros and cons before consulting your physician. Your doctor will no doubt discourage you.

However, if you are armed with facts as well as both sides of the argument before your consultation, he or she might well agree, if only out of curiosity to see what the results are.

Today’s post focusses on cancer by way of a few other surprising ‘modern’ diseases which do not exist in the world’s few remaining primitive societies.

The disparity of the Western versus the developing world’s diets came to physicians’ and anthropologists’ attention as early as the 19th century. By then, Europe and North America began to experience the taste of refined flour and sugar, both of which became less expensive and more accessible to nearly everyone.

Stanzione cites findings by Canadian anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson, documented in the latter’s book Cancer: disease of civilization?.  Steffansson discovers (emphases in bold mine):

Stanislaw Tanchou …. gave the first formula for predicting cancer risk. It was based on grain consumption and was found to accurately calculate cancer rates in major European cities. The more grain consumed, the greater the rate of cancer.”  Tanchou made the claim in 1843, to the Paris Medical Society. He also postulated that cancer would likewise never be found in hunter-gatherer populations. This began a search among the populations of hunter-gatherers known to missionary doctors and explorers. This search continued until WWII when the last wild humans were “civilized” in the Arctic and Australia. No cases of cancer were ever found within these populations, although after they adopted the diet of civilization, it became common.

What, then, are Western diseases unknown to the last of the hunter-gatherers? By the way, small areas populated by such tribes still exist in parts of Africa and the South Pacific. The American chef Anthony Bourdain spent a few days with hunter-gatherers in Namibia only a few years ago in an episode of No Reservations. They really do eat nose to tail — absolutely everything.

But I digress.

Stanzione writes that Western diseases include:

heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and high blood pressure, as well as lesser problems such as acne, early onset puberty, nearsightedness, skin tags, acanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovary syndrome and male pattern baldness.  All of these are potentially caused (as explained in the linked paper) by insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia, and I suspect that’s just the beginning of the list.  And if this is your first time here, that means they’re caused by high-carbohydrate diets.

Who would have thought that male pattern baldness, PCO, acne and skin tags would have been maladies of Western civilisation? The mind boggles.

Stanzione explains — citing references — how cancer and other common diseases in the West occur with a high-carb diet:

One is called the Warburg Effect after its discoverer.  Warburg described a feature common to all forms of cancer – they carry out all their metabolism anaerobically.  This is important for a number of reasons.  For one, on a low-carbohydrate diet, the only source of fuel available in the bloodstream in any quantity is ketone bodies, which cannot be metabolized without oxygenCancer cells are thus unable to make metabolic use of ketones.  To my knowledge, there’s no research available that confirms or refutes this statement, but it’s a logical conclusion of the discovery of cancer’s exclusively anaerobic metabolism, and should probably be studied closely.

Another related feature of cancer cells is that insulin receptors are overexpressed.  This means that cancer cells are avid glucose consumers, giving them a competitive advantage over surrounding healthy tissue.  On a low-carb diet, of course, there’s hardly any blood glucose to consume, so this critical feature of cancer cells confers no advantage whatsoever, and may well be a distinct disadvantage.  Together with the inability to metabolize other fuels, this means that theoretically cancer cells cannot survive in a human on a low-carb diet.

Possibly the most important feature common to all cancer cells is their ability to avoid apoptosis, or programmed cell death, which in healthy cells is triggered by certain types of damage or DNA transcription errors.  Without this feature, cancer cells would destroy themselves.  There is another process by which cells deal with damage: autophagy.  We don’t know as much as we’d like about this process, but we do know that it allows cells to recycle aging and damaged organelles and that it’s inhibited by insulin.  This insulin-induced failure of cells to “take out the garbage” via autophagy may, according to many studies (and let me emphasize this one), be a primary pathway to cancer development

Opponents of this theory can offer endless rebuttals. However, Stanzione observes:

We lived on whatever we could get wherever we lived, and that was mostly meat anywhere you care to lookEskimos ate huge amounts of seal meat, so their diet was unbelievably fatty.  They ate almost no plant matterAboriginal Australians ate mostly lean kangaroo meat and were similarly healthy (nutritionists love this one).  Early humans are thought to have subsisted almost entirely on large game.  That such a diet was successful enough for the species to survive and even flourish is often explained away by the assumption that their lives were “nasty, brutish and short and so chronic disease was not a factor.  People who make this claim are nutritionists – not anthropologists, who know better.

My ‘High carbohydrate intake and depression’ post cites psychiatrist Dr Richard A Kunin’s study which he performed on epileptics in the mid-1970s. Even in cases where his diet did not alleviate seizures, patients’ families noted the subjects’ dispositions had greatly improved, therefore, they were kept on an agreeable diet of meat, fish, seafood, poultry, fat, vegetables, cream and most cheeses (see pages 4 and 5 of the PDF). They were able to increase their carbohydrate intake to a minimum level after ketosis set in. Incidentally, urine acidity must be measured twice daily in order to ascertain the level of ketosis. Kunin’s paper explains the procedure.

I’ll look more at ketogenic diets next week. They come with a few essential precautions.

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