Saying It As It Is.
In The Mail on Sunday of 3/5/20, Peter Hitchens, as always, ‘says it as it is’. He opens this particular article by stating that for six weeks he has been saying that the Government’s policy on Covid-19 is a mistake. However, in going on to say that most people do not agree with him; and that others bafflingly don’t care about the greatest crisis he has seen in his lifetime while and regard the debate as a spectator sport: he reveals that he sees himself as being engaged in debate. Nonetheless, I have always seen him as being beyond debate whether or not he sees himself to be so. Either way, he is ‘saying it as it is’, rather than in the debating style of ‘it seems to me’ Thus, he goes on to say that the corona virus is not as dangerous as claimed; that other comparable epidemics have taken place with far less fuss and we have survived them; that the death rate is lower than the Government believed; that it passed its peak in this country on April 8, well before the crazy measures introduced on March 23 could possibly have affected matters; that the actions we are taking against it are gravely out of proportion and will destroy the lives of thousands and the prosperity of millions; and that this is not life versus money, but, it is life versus life.
In continuing to say it as it is, he goes on to say that there are already many cases in which the normal flow of money in exchange for work, services and goods has just stopped; that we are close to the time when a huge number of jobs are in danger of permanent extinction; and that already the government is a in a position from which it cannot reverse without having to admit that it was wrong to have put itself there in the first place; that having feared that population would ignore a lockdown, the Government now fears that the population has now be scared to the point of failing to comply with a freeing of the lockdown let alone its actual lifting; and that while the Treasury is beginning to regret the lockdown, it also fears the public response to any attempt to lift it Thus, as Peter Hitchens concludes, we face months of continuing idiocy as the wealth of centuries is frittered away for nothing, while we face a grim penury, made worse by the increasing lack of freedom and the insolence of authority. He further concludes that there will be an accounting for this, eventually; that it ought to be soon; that it will be important that protests such as his were made and heard during the course of the lockdown; that when the much needed enquiry eventually sits in judgement on these times and on those responsible, nobody will be able to say that criticism is just hindsight; and that nobody pointed out at the time that a grave mistake was being made.
In a footnote to the above, Peter Hitchens reported on the response he received to his enquiry of the Blood Transfusion Service consequent to his MoS article of the previous week. Thus, he reported that this Service has joined the general wave of bigoted prejudice against people who have celebrated their 70th birthdays. Again, he says it as it is, that it was, as it so often is with official bodies these days, like speaking to a computer. He states the response to have been that the ban on the over-70s is ‘for their protection’ and is based ‘on government advice’, which they seem to have accepted without a second thought, and he further states that this infuriating assumption of post-seventies doddering senility is just as bad a prejudice as all the others we rightly ban: and thus, he asks why is this one permitted?
For my part, I only add that everything Peter Hitchens complains about is capable of being dismissed as belief or a best opinion, while saying that it is observable reality would be closer to my definition of reality-validated knowledge than it is to being merely counter-belief. Thus, I am happy to state that saying it as it is goes beyond the interminable debate of opinion/counter-opinion which is merely the debate of belief/counter-belief partially supported by facts/counter-facts, evidence/counter-evidence or news/false news, no set of which is debate-terminating knowledge.