Boris Johnson’s £100bn Operation Moonshot needs to be shot down – fast
The UK government’s ‘Operation Moonshot’ – which seeks to make access to travel, theatre, sports and other events dependent on endless Covid tests – is a hideously expensive, unnecessary and illiberal scheme which needs ditching.
You can do an awful lot with £100 billion ($127.8 billion). If you were a smoker, you could puff your way quite happily through the world’s most expensive cigars without any worry about the cost. If you were a fast car enthusiast, it would buy you quite a few Ferraris. If you were a government, you could build over 100 new hospitals – and employ a large number of new doctors and nurses to work in them. In fact, £100 billion is only £15 billion ($19.2 billion) short of the entire budget given to the NHS England in 2018/19.
It’s a truly mind-boggling sum but the British government, it seems, is going to blow that amount (or even more) on a proposed Covid-19 mass testing scheme. Leaked documents, published in the British Medical Journal, reveal that the government plans a “full rollout” in early 2021 to “enable people to return to and maintain normal life.”
But with Covid-19 being a ´factor’ in just one percent of all deaths in England and Wales in the week ending September 11, we could probably do that a lot cheaper if only ‘Project Fear’ was wound down, and we were just allowed to use our own basic common sense about hygiene and staying in if we felt poorly.
The prime minister described Moonshot as the “only hope for avoiding a second national lockdown before a vaccine, something the nation “can’t afford.” But he’s talking moonshine, to put it politely. Yes, it’s true we can’t afford another lockdown, but we can’t afford ‘Operation Moonshot’ either, with UK government debt rising to above £2 TRILLION ($2.56 trillion) for the first time in August.
Let’s talk practicalities. Boris Johnson never does, but we need to. For a start, such a system as suggested would need to rely on accurate tests and technology, which at the moment don’t exist. The leaked document actually acknowledges this, stating:
“Delivering testing at the scale and level of ambition set by the prime minister is likely to mean developing, validating, procuring, and operationalising testing technology that currently does not exist.”
Using PCR for population screening—even with a lower maximum Ct value cut off—is not epidemiologically sound. The balance of costs and harms against the potential benefits has not been evaluated https://t.co/aykZFNXU1E@deeksj@AllysonPollock#AnthonyJBrookes— The BMJ (@bmj_latest) September 22, 2020
Without accurate tests, what’s the point of rolling-out mass testing? So we continue to get lots of false positives? In fact, the document says that “new types of test” are likely to be even less accurate than PCR tests! The government is using these, with undeclared false-positiverates to justify local and regional lockdowns.
Then there’s the very worrying human rights/civil liberties angle. Moonshot is clearly a forerunner for digital health passports, one of the key elements of the World Economic Forum’s ‘Great Reset.’ These give great grounds for concern, as I noted here.
How will they be implemented? The BMJ says: “The documents show that there have been discussions over how to incentivise people to be tested. They point to enforcing testing ‘via a sanction-based model’ or through ‘offering individuals opportunities/access from being tested,’ such as being able to attend events.” Got that? We have the ‘carrot’ of being able to attend football matches and music concerts if we get tested, and the ‘stick’ of sanctions if we don’t. Freedom of choice? No, that’s gone out of the window, with lots of other freedoms the government has taken away from us in 2020 under the guise of ‘fighting the virus.’
Operation Moonshot and it’s mass daily ‘testing’ makes planning for anything impossible. Imagine booking to take your family on a holiday to the Channel Islands. But Uncle Albert tests ‘positive’ on the day of departure. What do you do? Ditto for going to a horse-race meeting or to the theatre with friends. How can we expect to live our lives dependent on the results of daily, and very probably inaccurate, coronavirus tests? Talk about adding unnecessary stress. Moreover, it seems people will have to pay for these tests too. Dido Harding, the government’s testing ‘tsar’ said that individuals and companies would have to pay to access the proposed tests “as a cost of doing business.” How disgusting is that?
The 'freedom pass' will cost hard working people money for the privilege of paying even more money to booking agents for over-priced tickets to events. Result? An elite concert/sport clientele. This is where we are going and lock-down 'socialists' support it.— Daniel Margrain (@hairymarx1) September 21, 2020
Things will be even worse when the ‘Freedom Pass’ includes vaccination data. Millions of Britons quite rightly would refuse to take a rushed-through and unlicenced vaccine, especially if both the government and manufacturers had full indemnity, which is actually being suggested.
Should such people (and I would be one of them) be barred from ever again going to a football match or concert?
Taken with today’s new restrictions – which Johnson says will last for six months – and threats to use the army, we can all see where this is heading, and it isn’t a good place. The 1967 film ‘Rocket to the Moon,’ involved Professor von Bulow’s attempt to send a projectile to the Moon. It’s a fun film, and the project was a noble one. Unlike Operation Moonshot. To save OUR money and OUR liberties, we need to make sure Boris Johnson’s scheme is shot down or better still never gets off the ground. Anyone got a very large spanner?
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.