When faced with bad situations, the natural response is to block memories of them out. While that may make us feel better in the short term, we run the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past, on an individual on group level. We may even be given to ideas of amnesty where we really ought to be seeking justice.
As we stare into what could be a dark future for those who value freedom, humanity and autonomy, it is important to remember what bought us to this socio-political point so we can try to map what the future brings while avoiding the mistakes of the past.
As 2022 passed there was much to be concerned about, e.g. vaccine mandates, rising costs of living and excess deaths. Yet, despite all of this, we have to recognise the good news as it comes, some of which is detailed below in our year in review.
Featured article: An NHS specialist nurse reports back from the demo against vaccine mandates
As news of partygate spread, UK politicians were unable to ratchet coronavirus-justified restrictions with any sort of moral authority. As it was with earlier responses to COVID policy hypocrisy in government, some restrictions were dropped, presumably as a distraction. This month, it was Vaccine passports and the work-from-home order.
Dissent against the NHS jab mandates entered mainstream discourse after footage of an exchange between Steve James, an NHS consultant, and then health minister Sajid Javid went viral. That’s not to say there was no dissent before, it’s that our journalistic class generally left the task to citizen journalists and other interested parties. Our article of the month was one such example of this coverage, succinctly describing the mood amongst many in the NHS at the turn of the year.
The damage of lockdowns was now more openly discussed by the press as in these accounts of the treatment of the elderly from 2020 to 2022 and inter-generation animosity as the lockdown bill came due.
Featured article: Hunger strike against discrimination and segregation in Italy
February saw a flurry of activity and activism as we held our first event of the year titled “Take Back our Lives,” featuring eminent speakers including the Great Barrington Three (Jay Bhattacharaya, Sunetra Gupta and Martin Kuldorff), founding members of the Together declaration and medical workers facing job losses because of the (now abandoned) NHS jab mandate. In Italy, a hunger strike was announced in protest of the Italian government’s brand of healthcare tyranny.
It was a mixed month for progress in policy. Although Scotland kept her coronavirus-justified emergency powers for another month, mandatory vaccine passport schemes in Wales came to an end.
Smaller victories came in the form of the closure of a COVID testing centre, and airing of examples of financial misconduct by legacy media. Perhaps they saw worth in changing their editorial line?
Featured article: Why the left now looks more like the hard right
As a proxy war in Ukraine became the cause célèbre of governments in the West, COVID tyranny in the UK subsided further.
Wales scrapped self isolation rules and ditched masks in all non-healthcare settings. Some features of our emerging apartheid state, like the NHS vaccine mandate and a ban on unvaccinated women receiving IVF treatment in Scotland, were lifted.
More encouraging news came in the finding that about 40% of “COVID-offence” related fines in the UK went unpaid within 28 days of issue.
Despite this good news, it was becoming increasingly clear that government responses to COVID the world over led to greater societal fracture. Alongside the usual fault lines of socioeconomic status, race and gender we now had “essential” and “non-essential” workers. “Vaccinated” and the “unvaccinated.” Some members of these groups hated one other and news of this fact entered mainstream consciousness in Canada.
Our featured article for March discussed how these divisions manifested in New Zealand; a supposed “Zero-COVID” utopia as well as giving an excellent overview of the political situation in the country through a lockdown-sceptical lens.
Notable article: Seamless Continuity Editing in the Emergency Capitalism Movie
We published the first set of transcripts from February’s “Take back our lives” meeting, from the “selling of health and immunity” panel. The panel featured medical specialists and activists discussing the impact of lockdowns on mental health care and the interaction between capital and our collective health. Our Manchester meeting, titled “Building Momentum in the Freedom Movement: Activism, Outreach and Strategy” also took place. The Coronavirus act (2020) also lapsed in England, meaning that a number of coronavirus-justified restrictions on life lost their legal basis.
As the West lurched further and further into a financial crisis of its own making, the increasing inflation in the UK had now started being attributed to lockdowns in some mainstream media outlets, as part of a trend towards mentioning lockdowns by name (as distinct from COVID as part of a semantic sleight of hand) when discussing the problems caused by them.
Our featured article for this month is an interview of Prof. Fabio Vighi by Rusere Shoniwa, discussing the common thread between COVID and Ukraine; this being a decaying financial system in need of perpetual crisis to survive.
Featured article: Covid: What we have learned
With the lapse of the Coronavirus act (2020), there were few if any changes in government COVID policy that affected the general public in May. In fact, a number of COVID-justified fines issued in the UK were quashed by the courts. Despite digital ID systems and other aspects of our future biosecurity state still being funded and built for infliction on us in the future, we might at least enjoy some respite and take the opportunity for some reflection.
Indeed, reflection was the theme of May’s featured article by Phil Shannon, which gave us a wide-ranging yet concise list of points to take away from the past two years in a piece that is worth referring to for an understanding of socio-political phenomena to come, and was one of a number of worthy pieces reviewing the COVID debacle that we ran over the year.
We published Transcripts from “The Vindication of The Great Barrington Three,” a panel discussion, featuring Jay Bhattacharaya, Sunetra Gupta and Martin Kuldorff from our February “Take back our lives,” giving greater insight into their epidemiological and political thought. While the message of the Great Barrington Declaration is not new to many of our readership, the transcript offers a unique window into its context.
In our first foray into original research, we published a paper titled: “Looking into their eyes: a cross section of some people opposed to the official COVID narrative.” The work was seminal in that it was the first piece of research that asked lockdown and COVID sceptics directly about their thinking.
The work received additional attention from Prof. Norman Fenton, the Daily Sceptic as well as other prominent sceptical channels.
Additional news of the toll of lockdowns such as the increased severity of cancer presentation and delays in child development due to school shutdowns were reported on by the mainstream media further detailing their cost.
Featured article: ‘Building Momentum in the Freedom Movement. Activism, Outreach & Strategy:’ Selected Transcripts
We published a selection of transcripts from talks at the 2 April Left Lockdown Sceptics meeting in Manchester: ‘Building Momentum in the Freedom Movement: Activism, Outreach & Strategy.’ On that day, we had contributions from the Freedom Alliance Party, Rebels on Roundabouts and Stop New Normal, a.k.a Let England Live.
As our political classes moved their focus from COVID to Ukraine, June, like May was somewhat quiet on the COVID policy front at least in the UK.
However, a warning of how bad things may get came in the form of Labour and the SNP tabling an amendment to the Online Harms Bill that would make “health misinformation” illegal by way of being “legal but harmful content.”
Featured article: A Short History of Big Pharma Colonialism
July’s featured article was from India and detailed the exploitation of her people as part of Big Pharma’s pattern of playing fast and loose with ethical standards in drug trial, marketing and deployment work. Lockdown harms to the young were reported in no less than the Guardian, one of the loudest cheerleaders for COVID tyranny to this day.
Excess deaths in the UK began to trend significantly above the 5-year average. Among the many causes such as reduced access to healthcare and other services during the lockdowns, increased alcohol consumption as a result of lockdowns were named as a potential factor.
Featured article: The balance of forces at the fag-end of the Covid era: update from Australia
Despite the best efforts of the police, a legal case against protesters at a November 2020 anti-lockdown rally collapsed, as many other cases of “COVID crimes” did over the year. In a pathetic attempt to show something approximating conviction, Prime Ministerial candidate (now Prime Minister) Rishi Sunak expressed regret about school closures, the weaponisation of psychology and the undue empowerment of scientists over the previous two years.
Although things had improved on the COVID policy front in the UK, this wasn’t the case across the rest of the world. Our featured article by Phil Shannon, gave a rundown on the state of COVID tyranny in Australia; a nation revered by Zero-COVID cultists for her draconian response to outbreaks.
Featured article: Your Suffering is Baked into the Ukraine War Plan
An eventful month. As part of Big Tech’s war on free speech, the Left Lockdown Sceptics PayPal account was closed, along with the accounts of other outlets critical of mainstream COVID policy (Daily Sceptic, Free Speech Union).
@PayPal blocks LLS due to "nature of your activities." Censoring those who critique corporatism or capitalism whilst its IDE policy claims to be "deepening our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity…essential to our mission of building an economy that works for everyone." pic.twitter.com/JaAN9RGnz7— Left Lockdown Sceptics (@LLSceptics) September 7, 2022
The direct implications of this were uncertainty over covering hosting costs, maintaining mailing list throughput (powering a mailing list costs money), no access to funding to put on any further in-person meetings, and most egregiously an overall denial of access to donated funds for 180 days after the date of closure. However, we were able to switch to an alternate payment provider, Stripe, to process donations and encourage people to use alternatives to PayPal where possible.
Bucking the trend in COVID policy relaxation, Northern Ireland opted to extend her COVID powers by another six months, supposedly giving the government the ability to “respond to variants of concern.” A saving grace was that this extension was a divisive move.
Our featured article by Rusere Shoniwa covered the true consequences of the war in Ukraine for the average citizen and what the implications were for the future. Eminent cardiologist Aseem Malhotra went public with his findings on the (lack of) utility of COVID vaccines, saying the best thing to do was to “stop the shots.”
October and November
Featured articles: Rusere Shoniwa Interviews the General Secretary of Workers of England Union About No Jab / No Job Mandates and Other Thorny Issues and Pandemic Aftermath: Understanding the Reveal Stage of the Pandemic Play – Are We Winning?
Amid the near total failure of the mainstream trade unions to advocate for members who chose not to take the COVID vaccine, mask at work or engage in testing regimes, one smaller union came to prominence: The Workers of England Union, or WEU. Because of the right-leaning politics of some of its key members, the union had courted some controversy. Rusere Shoniwa interviewed Stephen Morris, General Secretary of the WEU and addressed these politics and their implication for the union. We believe it is essential watching for anyone who is unsure about the WEU and what it stands for.
As even more information came came to light about COVID vaccine harms and the strange sequence of events that predated the pandemic, we were fortunate to be able to publish a retrospective of how we ended up with the interventions that we did, and a realistic forecast of what may happen in the future as a result of it.
We saw further semantic shifts from mainstream media; the self-inflicted social problems caused by lockdowns were named as such by the BBC in the context of child development. Given that so much suffering was inflicted on the UK public, supposedly to “protect the NHS,” figures showed that its productivity had decreased since the start of the measures in 2020. This was paralleled by an increase in excess deaths.
In the spirit of reflection, a two part collaboration piece (part I, part II) discussed the mindset of the COVID faithful and offered an explanation of why they were thinking and doing how they did. As China began to wind her biosecurity regime down, going so far as to open her borders.
It is very easy to be cynical about what the future holds. We have seen an enormous upheaval of everything: the social conventions we used to navigate the world; the supposed integrity of our financial systems; and the “expertise” of our experts; to scratch the surface.
On a personal level, many people we have encountered have learned nothing from the experience of the past two years. Their children may be damaged, they themselves indebted and immiserated, yet still eager to comply with the machinations of the biosecurity state; going along with the rituals that governance by crisis brings.
A few words from our friend Frieda Vizel summarised the situation many of us find ourselves in:
It’s been a strange year. Some things have silently reopened their doors without ever acknowledging the harms they had done. My gym, which publicly kicked me out, in a humiliating scene, was all friendly and showed a case of amnesia when I returned later this year.
On the other hand, I was at a Rosh Hashana service and the Rabbi came up to us and asked us if we are vaxxed. This was September 2022. When we said no, she said “well, this will be a problem” and we were made to feel so awkward that we left. So it’s bit hit or miss in New York. Some places and people pretended nothing ever happened, while others continued on with their demands.
But no one, not one person, apologized for the unbelievable amount of times I’d been humiliated and discriminated against since the pandemic. Not one person ever mentioned that despite never masking or vaxxing, they noticed I was fine. There has been zero reckoning. People will probably return to this horrifying bullyish state the moment the tide turns again. But for now, tides are still.Frieda Vizel
Yet, we can also see that we have had a number of policy victories. Unlikely alliances have been formed, the mainstream press have begun to name lockdowns (not “COVID” or “the pandemic”) as the cause of many of our current problems. Previously enthusiastic vaccinators have come to understand and support our message. Does this mean everything will be fine in the future? No. But it does mean that hope is justified.
All that remains for 2022 is to wish you, our readership and contributors a good new year.
2 thoughts on “The LLS year in review”
An important feature of great value in this work is to continue making the distinction between “totalitarian” and “fascist”. “Totalitarian” refers to the conditions or situations where the State / Big Business (or Big Party) oppress the people. “Fascist” refers to situations where oppressive policies are not only supported by large numbers of people, but also where large numbers of people organized as a movement are actively engaged in campaigns of oppression. Of course authoritarianism is in the root of both totalitarian and fascist, but they are different forms of authoritarianism.
Many of your articles do a good job of documenting and exploring some of the forms that authoritarianism takes in the current era of Late (or Degenerating) Capitalism. But we need more insights into what LIBERATION looks like in the current era. Collective resistance is important, generating new – liberated, and liberating – behaviors, activities, institutions, organizations, networks, etc. capable of defending survival and transcending Capitalism is essential, but in this current era the global Liberation Movement is somewhat poor in this chapter. We need more!
Thank you once again for maintaining a sane Leftist and Socialist-oriented course. We are in dire need for it.
Petros Evdokas, email@example.com
Fascism/Socialism/ communism seem to be perfect vehicles for tyranny, but not capitalism. The Bible says we are born equal which is true , but killing millions to enforce “equality” is Marxism. Equality is not freedom. People will always fight for freedom and the religious aspect of the left is fanatical is it not?
Is the Orwellian big brother surveillance state socialist? It seems so. A vehicle for dictatorship.
Why is this so, when we aim for equality?Or are the “Left “ just being played by dark forces?
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