Mark Dolan: Read my lips - no jabs for kids

The term 'follow the science' is now the biggest political lie since George Bush Senior said 'read my lips - no new taxes'

Published Last updated

There have been a few big fat lies in the last 18 months. Three weeks to flatten the curve, remember that?

I remember reports of government ministers worried about the economic cost of shutting the economy down for three weeks. And here we are 18 months later, with the government signing itself another six month blank cheque to lock us down once again and inflict further damage.

To potentially close schools again, potentially close businesses again, potentially closed the NHS again, to wreck lives once again. Notwithstanding the damage to public health, the economy, to businesses and to livelihoods, one question that's never been asked in the course of this pandemic is why it's ok to wreck lives.

Why is human damage ever justified? Particularly for a disease non-fatal to almost everyone.

So three weeks to flatten the curve was a big whopper, but there are many more examples.

Data not dates. Another classic. When cases were falling we stayed locked down, and freedom day in England was delayed by a month. So in the end, the opposite was true. It was dates, not data. Or more accurately, it was politics not data.

Perhaps the biggest lie of them all is “follow the science”. Because there is no one science to follow. The science is not settled on whether lockdowns have the desired effect, the science is not definitive about the effectiveness of masks and science is not united around the idea that vaccines are the silver bullet that will fix everything.

We have followed the science of junk modelling, which predicted half a million deaths at the start of the pandemic and which has always offered a worst case scenario prediction.

The doomsday modelling has shaped this ruinous Covid policy and so much of what was predicted never came to pass.

We followed the science on a 10pm curfew early in the pandemic, sending people home from the pub at this random hour, supposedly because Covid comes out late at night. Bit of a late owl that covid, enjoys a lock-in.

We were following the science with the 10pm curfew, except there was no science to back up that policy.

There is no definitive science to back up the effectiveness of face coverings on school children in the classroom, or even on school closures themselves, but debatable science we followed anyway.

And today, when there is a clear message from the JCVI that vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds is not worth the risk, this is the moment at which the government - doubtless pressured by teaching unions and jab happy interest groups have in broad daylight decided to unfollow the science.

They've been told not to do it by the organisation whose job it is to advise on vaccines and they're going to vaccinate anyway. Which means that the term “follow the science” is now the biggest political lie since George Bush Senior said “read my lips, no new taxes”.

After this, don’t ever let the government use the word science as a figleaf for their failed policies. And don’t let the scientists who got this wrong do that either. With this decision, the government which apparently loves to follow the science, has now unfollowed the science. Seemingly because it didn’t take them, where they wanted to go.

Read MY lips: no jabs for kids.