Thomas Dixie Elliot ➨ Before I begin, I wear a mask when I enter a shop or anywhere in which I might cause people to feel uncomfortable by me not wearing a mask. 

There are many who feel safer wearing masks and they are fully entitled to feel safer in any environment that is shared with other people.

However, my problem lies with those who are trying to stifle the differences of opinions of those of us who believe that lockdowns are not effective in preventing the spread of a virus that will still be there when we go back to any kind of normality. It'll merely begin all over again further down the line. 

Why aren't we asking about what damage to the economy these lockdowns will do? What about those many people who can't work from home? The electricians, the plumbers, the brickies etc? 

Why have so many people become like sheep and doing the government's dirty work by pointing the finger at those who stand up and question what is happening or more importantly not happening?

In fact, why aren't the fingers pointing at those who left the Health Service in a position where it struggles to fight to save those lives which are at risk from this virus, namely the British Tory and Labour parties? Their counterparts in the south of Ireland have done exactly the same in recent decades. 


Yet here in the North our so called political leaders are in fact taking the lead from those who sought to destroy our health services, North and South. They are taking the lead from political lunatics like Boris Johnson. 

Why aren't fingers being pointed at those politicians both North and South who took pay rises while, particularly here in the North, they froze nurse's pay? 

There's a shameful silence with very little finger pointing in that regard.

What about the millions wasted by the scams like RHI? Money which could have gone a long way to strengthening our health services and providing more ICU beds? 

Again a shameful silence. 

Then there is the political opportunism which has begun to rear it's ugly head, particularly the attacks on Dr. Anne McCloskey. I first noticed this when someone posted about Dr. McCloskey on Twitter, blaming her for the increase in Derry and Strabane. A post that was also calling for a petition to have her struck from the medical register for merely stepping up and voicing her opinion.

What struck me was that Colum Eastwood was tagging other members of Aontú, below the post, in an obvious attempt at having them burned at the stake as well. 

More recently his party colleague Sinead McLaughlin launched into an attack on Anne McCloskey, blaming her for the increased infection rate in Derry and Strabane. 

These are two politicians who were elected on promises they'll rarely keep, attacking a person with a life time of medical expertise and for, no doubt, the sole purpose of trying to undermine her as a political opponent in Derry. 

I have very little in common with Aontú, as far as Republicanism is concerned. But to see this happening is sickening when the real questions should be asked of those who should be pumping vast amounts of money into our health systems North and South, instead of ruining the economy and destroying jobs by lockdowns. 

I noticed that people in Australia have started to question their politicians in regards to what I have pointed out concerning lockdowns and the damage to their economy which are as a result of them. It is starting to scare the shit out of them. 

What scares the shit out of me is that people are becoming like sheep, only too happy, not only to finger point at those with differing opinions, whether right or wrong, but to try and destroy their careers into the bargain. 

Your Government Needs You to Stop Questioning.

Thomas Dixie Elliot is a Derry artist and a former H Block Blanketman.

Follow Dixie Elliot on Twitter @IsMise_Dixie

Your Government Needs You to Stop Questioning

Thomas Dixie Elliot ➨ Before I begin, I wear a mask when I enter a shop or anywhere in which I might cause people to feel uncomfortable by me not wearing a mask. 

There are many who feel safer wearing masks and they are fully entitled to feel safer in any environment that is shared with other people.

However, my problem lies with those who are trying to stifle the differences of opinions of those of us who believe that lockdowns are not effective in preventing the spread of a virus that will still be there when we go back to any kind of normality. It'll merely begin all over again further down the line. 

Why aren't we asking about what damage to the economy these lockdowns will do? What about those many people who can't work from home? The electricians, the plumbers, the brickies etc? 

Why have so many people become like sheep and doing the government's dirty work by pointing the finger at those who stand up and question what is happening or more importantly not happening?

In fact, why aren't the fingers pointing at those who left the Health Service in a position where it struggles to fight to save those lives which are at risk from this virus, namely the British Tory and Labour parties? Their counterparts in the south of Ireland have done exactly the same in recent decades. 


Yet here in the North our so called political leaders are in fact taking the lead from those who sought to destroy our health services, North and South. They are taking the lead from political lunatics like Boris Johnson. 

Why aren't fingers being pointed at those politicians both North and South who took pay rises while, particularly here in the North, they froze nurse's pay? 

There's a shameful silence with very little finger pointing in that regard.

What about the millions wasted by the scams like RHI? Money which could have gone a long way to strengthening our health services and providing more ICU beds? 

Again a shameful silence. 

Then there is the political opportunism which has begun to rear it's ugly head, particularly the attacks on Dr. Anne McCloskey. I first noticed this when someone posted about Dr. McCloskey on Twitter, blaming her for the increase in Derry and Strabane. A post that was also calling for a petition to have her struck from the medical register for merely stepping up and voicing her opinion.

What struck me was that Colum Eastwood was tagging other members of Aontú, below the post, in an obvious attempt at having them burned at the stake as well. 

More recently his party colleague Sinead McLaughlin launched into an attack on Anne McCloskey, blaming her for the increased infection rate in Derry and Strabane. 

These are two politicians who were elected on promises they'll rarely keep, attacking a person with a life time of medical expertise and for, no doubt, the sole purpose of trying to undermine her as a political opponent in Derry. 

I have very little in common with Aontú, as far as Republicanism is concerned. But to see this happening is sickening when the real questions should be asked of those who should be pumping vast amounts of money into our health systems North and South, instead of ruining the economy and destroying jobs by lockdowns. 

I noticed that people in Australia have started to question their politicians in regards to what I have pointed out concerning lockdowns and the damage to their economy which are as a result of them. It is starting to scare the shit out of them. 

What scares the shit out of me is that people are becoming like sheep, only too happy, not only to finger point at those with differing opinions, whether right or wrong, but to try and destroy their careers into the bargain. 

Your Government Needs You to Stop Questioning.

Thomas Dixie Elliot is a Derry artist and a former H Block Blanketman.

Follow Dixie Elliot on Twitter @IsMise_Dixie

19 comments:

  1. The UK goverrnment has this week shown that it will not be guided by scientific evidence which points towards an two to three week lockdown to contain the spread of infections and to enable test and trace to be brought up to speed.

    The real scandal relating to the pandem ic has been the millions of pounds wasted on inefficient private sector corporations and management consultants on the taste and trace programmes whiuch should be in the hands of municipal public health teams.

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  2. Good piece Dixie - I follow the physician rather than the pastor in matters of public health and go with the scientific consensus. I hate masks but take the attitude that you do. The evidence more strongly supports they have a preventative effect than the evidence that they do not and I am not prepared to inflict what I might have onto others nor cause them discomfort when there is no need to. During the AIDS epidemic we had a lot of crazy clerics trying to dissuade people from wearing condoms, even to the point of preventing Aid to Africa if condoms - a vital measure in the fight against the spread of the disease - were included in the shipment.
    What worries me - and you have hit the nail on the head - we can only understand the impact of the virus if we have more access to the widest range of views. We do not have to share those views, we can reject them outright but we should not suppress them. It is not as if Anne Mc Closkey is some headbanger who has no familiarity with public health. She knows more about public health than I do or ever will do - on what grounds could I tell her to shut up? At best I am entitled to say "I don't buy into that because I think others put a more compelling argument."

    I don't think it is easy to write the type of piece you did because the howlers and hurlers from the ditch will try to shout you down.

    My one concern is that Anne has stood down from her council position as an Aontu rep. I have no affinity with Aontu but feel their leader was one of SF's best Dail performers. I totally disagreed with him on Repeal the 8th but felt it wrong for him to be hounded out of SF on the matter, a party where many over the decades were all too eager to abort their previously hoisted principles and beliefs. I would hate to think that Anne was treated in the same manner that Peadar Toibin was - forced to resign for a difference of opinion.

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  3. Dixie

    dealing with Covid 19 is very much like as if we're in a minefield

    And some of us are privileged enough to be able not to move
    Or to have the financial resources to tool up and adapt to a changed world

    Agreed the electricians & plumbers can't work from home
    But yet they need to take on personal responsibility and do what they can for themselves in ensuring a safe working environment
    Re-acting and ignoring the public health guidelines is unlikely to be the best strategy

    It'll be a couple of years before we can accurately evaluate strategies
    In the meantime those that have to move, those that have to navigate their way through this minefield would be best advised to exercise judicious judgement in choosing whom to follow

    I'll be urging those that I care about to take a wide berth of the conspiracy theorist, to follow the expert advice and ignore their detractors

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    Replies
    1. HJ - Dixie doesn't appear to be saying any different. Nor would I. What he is saying is that there is a danger in suppressing alternative takes on the matter. He is also saying we are moving into a situation which is going to hit much harder than it need as a result of wealth inequality and chronic underfunding in the health service. The concept of a social wage needing protection whereby citizens can avail of a wide range of public services jumps out from this piece. The author addresses two different spheres. Like revolutionaries and reverends, I pay not the slightest attention to conspiracy theorists but everyone questioning the efficacy of the measures can't be put down as a conspiracy theorist. I am not suggesting you do that. I follow the expert advice but depending on who the detractor is will determine whether I ignore them or not.

      Delete
    2. AM - Dixie doesn't seem to understand contagion
      He seems to justify wearing a mask just not to upset or give offence
      He seems to think others are wearing masks just because it makes them feel safer
      What a load of bollocks!
      What a load of shite!
      Total, total misunderstanding of what's at play
      We are going through an EMERGENCY situation
      Normality is suspended
      Normal expectations and normal rules of engagement are suspended

      We're in a management and leadership funnel
      Even in an emergency situation in a relatively free and open society anything that has even the sniff of coerciveness has to be introduced in this way

      Bring in the military I say
      Make the CS of the Defense Forces Taoiseach
      Introduce education camps if necessary
      Do whatever it takes ... and spare me the bleeding hearted liberal flip-flopping

      Delete
    3. HJ- such is the road to authoritarianism. I don't think dismissing as shite and bollox well presented views helps your argument in the slightest. As I have often said to you, best to make a point than try to score one.

      Dixie is entitled to mistrust the strategy and the advice. He does not underestimate the virus and does not violate the code in place for dealing with it. He is not doing anything other than expressing an opinion about the efficacy of the response to the virus. North and South the management of it has at times been poorly developed and coordinated. And this requires an inquisitive public rather than one willing to be led by the nose. If the government can opt to sat aside the view of the medical profession where is no reason for Dixie or anybody else to feel compelled to be guided by it as if it is a bible and they are some unthinking believer.

      Delete
    4. AM - I stand over my comments

      If your house is on fire you'd be well advised to adopt an authoritarian leadership style
      In such circumstances I know I would
      And if anybody wanted to discuss, challenge or consider alternatives I'd just ignore them
      Or grab the sweeping brush and bate them out the door

      I'm not a 'no-platformer' but all responses must be context driven (unless of course you're an ideologue and are wedded and welded so much to a concept that you can no longer think straight)

      Delete
    5. HJ - an authoritarian stance to a house on fire could be to order everybody to rush in and salvage what they can: no discussion needed. You would disregard the alternative proposal which might just say "is that the wisest thing to do?"

      And if the state devises stances and responses to issues it might just be advisable to consult with the citizenry before practicing on them.

      As a no-platformer there is always the risk of protesting to much.

      Delete
    6. "... rush in and salvage what you can"

      reductio ad absurdum misdirection

      Anyone with a brain in their head knows the drill
      'Get out & stay out'

      Ruling by committee & consultation
      Contextually inappropriate
      Send for the generals now
      Ye'll all be shouting for them by Christmas

      Delete
    7. I'm not for coerced silence
      But I am for regulation enforceable by law
      I've seen too many bouncy castles & collections of cars outside homes whilst people celebrate communions, confirmations & fuck knows what else

      When people behave recklessly they can only expect to be treated accordingly
      Personally I'm done talking on this for now


      I will revert though between Christmas and New Year
      If we're both still in it!

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    8. HJ

      I'm not for coerced silence

      Coerced silence is what Dixie flags up in his article. He has not advocated people breaking the law but merely that they be allowed to breach coerced silence.

      Nor has he supported the bouncy castle brigade - he raises a fundamental question about the right to dissent within a society that claims to be open. We know the North is not that open - it still hugs the libel law and opposes proposed reform from London.

      None of which precludes him from supporting regulation enforceable by the only law people have available to them. It merely means a wish to see a society based on consent of its citizens.

      Consent is negated by the suppression of dissent. We can only "consent to" when we can at the same time "consent not to" otherwise known as dissent.

      At no time has he advocated behaving recklessly - his own behavior in wearing a mask when he doubts their value explains that much.

      All we can say with certainty is that by Xmas we will be in neither Heaven nor Hell, whether dead or alive.

      Delete
    9. There is as much chance of me opening a link as there is of me not wearing a mask!

      Delete
  4. Only the right wing media is stirring up shit trying to score political goals in Australia. There was a fuck up in Victoria state over a Labour run hotel quarantine fiasco which started a second wave. But they jumped on it pretty quick and two months later they are coming out of lockdown. That state's Premier still has a very high approval rating which is really annoying the Tories and the Murdoch media complex.

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  5. HJ,

    I don't gimp up...Short version is bat flu doesn't exist...People are being starved of oxygen but not because of bat flu...And no matter what source links from medical experts, scientists or other I could put up I seriously doubt you would take time to not only read them but fact check them yourself..

    Anyone wants to gimp up I don't care..I wont. Bat flu is like religion a man made concept to control the masses. It is fascism with lipstick that the world leaders and their friends are bringing in....

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    Replies
    1. That is very true - and for that reason we don't want authoritarian leaders calling for people to rush in and salvage what they can. We want people to not only know the words of the drill but the meaning of it too. We cannot do that if a regime of coerced silence is in place.

      But if a child is inside the house people will still take the calculated risk to save it regardless of the drill which will almost certainly see the child die. Because the fire might be extinguishable by means other than letting it run its course. Early common sense intervention might save the day.

      Nor do we want authoritarian situations which give rise to authoritarian leaders. Enough authoritarian leaders have sent swarms of people to their deaths by resort to shouting the drill through the bullhorn which is amplified for the purpose of drowning out other voices.

      I imagine everyone (because we all have brains) should know that governments deceive and therefore what they tell society has to be open to scrutiny and challenge. That is how governments should win their arguments - by logic rather than the unquestioned coercion of authoritarianism.

      Society should send for the fire brigade not the generals. We have a wealth of experience of what they have done.

      Dixie remains right - more rather than less scrutiny is needed of government and its edicts. The virus has wrought enough damage without it also infecting what democratic culture exists out there, where our health is not only threatened but our ability to participate as citizens in our own polity as well.

      Delete
    2. https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2016/11/Fedex-1-1-795x200.png

      We all have brains
      But few have a grasp on how they work
      Copy & paste the Url above into a new window … you could do worse on a wet afternoon
      And tell me when you've spotted the second arrowhead
      It's amazing how so many people can't see what's in front of them

      Delete
  6. This is what Dr Ciara Kelly said today in a tweet.

    Yes we have gone for highest level of restrictions without being informed what criteria are being used (case numbers are not reasonable) & only moderate levels of infection by comparison to rest of Europe ... but fear has been ratcheted here now to levels of no one caring ...

    I hope there are no calls for her to be hounded out of her public broadcasting job.

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    Replies
    1. I was in Bulgaria a couple of times in the late eighties
      Many of the people had taken to wearing lapel badges with a picture of Mikhail Gorbachev
      I'm thinking of getting a few thousand knocked out in China with Dr Tony Holohan's photo on them

      Maybe yourself & Dixie could source some with Dr Ciara's mugshot
      (Dr Ciara would thank you for it... she loves the limelight)

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    2. The second law of thermodynamics at play in respect of entropy

      Delete