Daily TelegraphLeaked WhatsApp messages reveal how health secretary hoped to shock public into complying with ever-changing lockdown rules. Considered a worthwhile read by Pádraig O Maonaigh.


Throughout the course of the pandemic, officials and ministers wrestled with how to ensure the public complied with ever-changing lockdown restrictions. One weapon in their arsenal was fear.

“We frighten the pants off everyone,” Matt Hancock suggested during one WhatsApp message with his media adviser.

The then health secretary was not alone in his desire to scare the public into compliance. The WhatsApp messages seen by The Telegraph show how several members of Mr Hancock’s team engaged in a kind of “Project Fear”, in which they spoke of how to utilise “fear and guilt” to make people obey lockdown.

An Imperial College survey of Covid infections in the community – called the React programme and led by the eminent professor Lord Darzi – provided “positive” news for Mr Hancock and his team.

The study they referred to appeared to have been a survey showing “decreasing prevalence” of Covid through May and an R number – the reproduction rate of the virus – of just 0.57.

Continue reading @ Daily Telegraph.

Matt Hancock's Plan To ‘Frighten The Pants Off Everyone’ About Covid

Lynx By Ten To The Power Of Four Hundred And Ninety Six


A Morning Thought @ 1736

Christy Walsh On 6th March, Colonel Richards Kemp tweeted about the summary execution of 3 unarmed IRA volunteers in Gibraltar. I quote:

Operation Flavius. Today, 1988, 3 IRA terrorists intent on mass murder of British forces in Gibraltar were killed by the SAS with back up from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regt. The Israeli intelligence service Mossad played a key role in intelligence & surveillance.

The next day he had an article published in The Daily Telegraph condemning the Russians for a similar war crime of the summary execution of an unarmed Ukrainian soldier- who was also engaged in violent resistent to the Russian occupation of parts of Ukraine. Kemp had this to say of the Russian war crime:

A shocking video has been circulating in the last few days that appears to show a Ukrainian prisoner of war being gunned down by his Russian captors as he utters what he knows are the last words he will ever say: ‘Slava Ukraini’ – glory to Ukraine. This image of heroic defiance against appalling brutality should send a chilling message to Vladimir Putin after a year of butchery in Ukraine: you can murder and torture us all you like, but you cannot defeat our will to fight.

The only meaningful difference between these summary executions is The Rome Statute, which was adopted on 17th July 1998. The Rome Statute created the International Criminal Court (ICC) where war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity can be prosecuted. Proof of that fact has just arisen, as of 19th March 2023, an Australian SAS Soldier has been charged with the war crime of “shooting dead a prone Afghan man, who is lying with his hands up, in a wheat field in southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province.”[1]

It should never be forgotten that Brit Colonels like Kemp invented narrative warfare to excuse the atrocities they and their soldiers have committed around the world. Did you know that during the Brits occupation of places like Malaysia and Kenya they routinely severed the heads and hands of their victims?

In blazing heat or sweltering humidity they lugged the dead weight of sacks over open plains or through impenetrable jungles containing numerous hands and decapitated heads back to the villages. This is where narrative warfare kicks in - the heads were stuck on spikes and villagers rounded up, a terror tactic and war crime? Not according to Kemp’s predecessors: it was on the auspices to see if the villagers could identify the deceased. The severed hands were necessary for fingerprinting purposes back at the barrack. Photographs of jungle patrols back then confirm they had cameras; they could have photographed the corpses and saved days of marching while lugging decomposing human remains about with them. And a simple ink pad and some paper would have been a much lighter and civilised means of taking fingerprints.

On a more progressive note: The illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine has immeasurably improved the way the ICC operates. In previous atrocities in places like Rwanda or Sarajevo the ICC did not get involved until the conflicts were over and investigations can take decades. They faced incredible hurdles in the recovery of evidence and tracing witnesses.

In areas where the Russians have been forced to retreat hundreds of bodies are found.[2] The number of crimes registered by Ukraine’s general prosecutor surpassed 11,200 and Unicef reported that at least 100 children were killed in the war in April alone. On 12th May 2022 the first war crimes trial got under way. Vadim Shishimarin a 21-year-old Russian soldier appeared in the dock accused of killing an unarmed civilian. He faces life in prison if convicted.[3]

In another case, which is likely to he heard in absentia, a soldier named as Mikhail Romanov is accused of breaking into a house in a village in the Brovarsky region in March, murdering a man and repeatedly raping his wife while “threatening her and her child with violence and weapons”. A second soldier also raped the 33-year-old woman and it is understood prosecutors believe they know his identity.

The UN has received “credible allegations” that Russian forces had used cluster munitions in populated areas. The UN has despatched nearly 60 UN human rights monitors in Ukraine, and have verified 77 incidents in which medical facilities were damaged, including 50 hospitals. Ukrainian cities have been pounded by airstrikes and heavy shelling in Russia’s five-week-old invasion, killing civilians and destroying hospitals in acts that may amount to war crimes.[4] Throughout Ukraine, the United Nations has so far documented 8317 civilian deaths and 13.892 injuries since the war began.[5]

Most notably, The ICC has issued arrest warrants for President Putin and his commissioner for children's rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, for the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia since Moscow's invasion in 2022. The indoctrination of these children into Russian culture could elevate the charges to genocide. Of course there is slim chance Putin will ever be arrested unless Ukraine win the war and he is handed over as part of any settlement.

Back to Kemp: in 1978 he was an infantry platoon commander when he experienced his first enemy fire on the Falls Road. In total he did 8 tours of the occupied 6 counties and at some point he was wounded in a mortar attack in South Armagh. By Kemp's own account he has spent most his life fighting terrorism and insurgency, commanding British troops on the front line of some of the world’s toughest hotspots, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. More recently, he spent his time in Downing Street as head of the international terrorism team at the Joint Intelligence Committee. He has Chaired the Cobra Intelligence Group, responsible for coordinating the work of the national intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6. In retirement, he is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, a militarist think tank of war mongers, and a board member of Friends of Israel Initiative – I presume Kemp is the Mossad connection involved in Gibraltar. (See: Colonel Richard Kemp.

[1] Former SAS soldier arrested and charged in NSW for alleged war crime over killing of Afghan civilian.

⏩ Christy Walsh was stitched up by the British Ministry of Defence in a no jury trial and spent many years in prison as a result.

Colonel Richard Kemp Distinguising British And Russian War Crimes

Catherine McGinty Internal sulphate attack: Council definition must include 'all deleterious materials and reactive sulphide minerals' - Cllr Frank McBrearty.


The ‘register’ of properties affected by defective concrete products and blocks established by Derry City and Strabane District Council should not be restricted to the minerals, mica, pyrite and pyrrhotite, according to a member of Donegal County Council.

Cllr Frank McBrearty, himself an affected homeowner, said it was vital Derry City and Strabane District Council’s definition be widened to include “all deleterious materials and all reactive sulphide minerals”.

What Council described as its ‘data collection exercise’ followed a home here being described as the first in the North with a confirmed case of ‘mica’, in November 2022.

The home belonged to Danny and Kate Rafferty, from Beragh Hill Road in the Skeoge area of the city, who carried out testing on their blocks when telltale ‘spider cracks’ appeared on the outer wall and chimney of their house.

Speaking to Derry Now, Cllr McBrearty said: “As a result of two years of investigation, undertaken by Derry’s Dr Ambrose McCloskey, chartered engineer and IS465 registered engineer; and Kieran Coyle, chartered structural engineer; and international experts . . . 

Continue reading @ DerryNow.

Internal Research Scotches 'Mica' Myth

Peter Anderson 🏉 The stars aligned and Ireland's greatest ever rugby player capped his final game in Dublin by lifting the 6 Nations Grand Slam. 

It doesn't get much better, more so by beating the English to complete it. And they don't come much better than Johnny Sexton. During the game he also passed Ronan O'Gara's 6 Nations points tally, sealing his recognition as Ireland's GOAT. Like all masters of their professions, Sexton is a joy to watch. Sometimes he is worth the admission price on his own.

It was an excellent 6 Nations this year. France are back to being a top nation again, while Scotland continue to come on in leaps and bounds. Ireland's games against those 2 nations were really tense encounters, but Ireland came through to lift only their 4th ever Grand Slam. Ireland now sit as the number one team in the world rankings just 6 months before the start of the Rugby World Cup. Can they go on to lift the ultimate prize?

I have to admit to not being a die-hard lover of rugby. I was forced to play it at school as footy was off the menu at a Ulster grammar school in the 80s, but as I'm over 6 feet tall I was quite good at it and made the first team. I appreciate that only top level rugby is entertaining. At lower levels the games can be routine or one-sided, and in bad weather knock-ons completely ruin the games. Generally I only watch 6 Nations, World Cup and European Champions Cup games on TV, while attending the odd Ulster or Ireland game. That said, the 6 Nations can be epic, as during any given year 5 of the 6 nations can be in the ascendance.

Another thing I love about Irish rugby is that it annoys the b'jasus out of republicans and loyalists alike. It is largely responsible for giving me my Irish identity. Growing up in a unionist community in the 80s, identitfying as Irish wasn't the done thing, but playing in an all-Ireland sport made identifying as Irish something normal. Much to many republicans' and loyalists' chagrin! The sight of "Lundy" Henderson and "Plastic Paddy" Sexton singing Ireland's Call together is enough to send the haters straight to their Twitter accounts to rant. Long may it continue.

Long may Ireland's dominance in world rugby also continue. Head coach Farrell has a deep and experienced squad to choose from, having used more than 30 players in this season's championship. The average age is fairly young as well. Sexton, surely, will be be determined to end his reign by lifting the World Cup. This is the first time in my lifetime that the Northern Hemisphere sides have been superior to their Southern counterparts, but the All Blacks, South Africa and Australia are never easy to beat, especially at the World Cup. Ireland historically have never done well at the World Cup. Can we dare to dream? If Sexton can last the tournament, who would bet against us?
Peter Anderson is a Unionist with a keen interest in sports

Grand Slam

Lynx By Ten To The Power Of Four Hundred And Ninety Five


A Morning Thought @ 1735

People And Nature ☭ “Clean energy transitions” by rich countries of the global north are producing “a new phase of environmental despoliation of the Global South”, states a manifesto published last week by an alliance of social and environmental organisations.

“This decarbonisation of the rich, which is market-based and export-oriented, depends on a new phase of environmental despoliation of the Global South, which affects the lives of millions of women, men and children, not to mention non-human life”, the Manifesto for an Ecosocial Energy Transition says.

Protest in Uganda against the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline project.
Photo from 
the Mothers Rise Up twitter feed

Women, especially from agrarian societies, are among the most impacted. In this way, “the Global South has once again become a zone of sacrifice, a basket of purportedly inexhaustible resources for the countries of the North.”

As the rich countries secure supply chains for these “clean” transitions, the web of debt and trade agreements in which countries outside the rich world are caught is tightened.

I hope that social movements and the labour movement in the rich countries will not only sign the manifesto (which you can do here), but also – probably more to the point – think about and discuss what it means for us.

For example, the manifesto states:

Minor changes in the energy matrix are not enough. The entire energy system must be transformed, from production and distribution to consumption and waste. Substituting electric vehicles for internal-combustion cars is insufficient, for the entire transportation model needs changing, with a reduction of energy consumption and the promotion of sustainable options.

Solutions to the interlocking crises we face can not be “solely technological”; they are “above all political”, the manifesto says.

An alternative vision to that of hypocritical governments is needed, the manifesto says. “Transition is inevitable, but justice is not.”

It sets out eight political demands, including:

  • Opposition to the “false solutions” put forward “in the name of a green transition”;
  • “Payment of the ecological debt” through “transfer of funds and appropriate technology” and “sovereign debt cancellation”;
  • Rejection of “the expansion of the hydrocarbon border in our countries” through fracking and offshore projects;
  • Opposition to “green colonialism” in the form of land grabs for solar and wind, indiscriminate mining of minerals, and promotion of technofixes such as blue or grey hydrogen;
  • Protection of environmental and human rights defenders; and
  • Elimination of energy poverty “through alternative, decentralised, equitably distributed projects of renewable energy that are owned and operated by communities themselves”.

A discussion is needed in social movements in the rich countries about how to bring these issues to the centre of our activity.

⏩ People & Nature is now on mastodon, as well as twitterwhatsapp and telegram. Please follow!

‘Transition Is Inevitable, But Justice Is Not.’ A Challenge To Social Movements In The Rich Countries

Dr John Coulter ✍ As a veteran of covering the Florida Outpouring, Toronto Blessing, and the earlier phenomenon of Extreme Blessittism, hopefully you’ll forgive me if I don’t rush to warmly embrace the so-called Asbury Revival which recently took place in the United States.

The latest ‘move’ of the Christian Holy Spirit reportedly took place at Asbury University campus in Kentucky and was essentially a non-stop, two-week prayer and praise session, which has now become known as the Asbury Revival, and in some cases, the Asbury Outpouring.

During that fortnight of praise and prayer, the Asbury meeting was attended by tens of thousands of folk, mainly students.

To many of its supporters, in terms of the impact which the Asbury Revival could eventually have in Ireland, it has been compared to the famous 1859 Spiritual Revival in north east Ulster which saw tens of thousands of people become born again believers and laid the foundations for that part of Ireland becoming the so-called Bible Belt of the island.

However, if what happened at that Kentucky campus earlier this year is to have a lasting meaning and a genuine Holy Spirit experience for Ireland as a whole, the Asbury Revival will have to prove it has no links to previous ‘spiritual revivals’ which originated in North America.

I’m not questioning my born again Christian faith, merely being cautious after witnessing such phenomena in the past.

Let’s start with the concept which became known as Extreme Blessittism. This trend emerged in the early 1970s following a visit to Northern Ireland by the world-renown evangelist, Arthur Blessitt, famous for his global cross walk, where he carried a cross on his shoulder across many countries of the world (symbolising the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified so that any who believed in His sacrifice could enjoy salvation and eternity in heaven once they died).

Whilst Blessitt himself was a level-headed evangelist, following his visit militant pentecostalists theologically hijacked his Christian uttering to form the totally unrelated theology of Extreme Blessittism. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Blessitt himself or his Christian teachings.

Such folk believed in the supreme power of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of their lives. For example, they believed if they got on a bus or train, all they had to do was put their hand into their pocket and the Holy Spirit would automatically provide the money for the fare.

However, it was noted the amount of serious mental health issues which followers of the cult of Extreme Blessittism had to face. One of my chums became a follower of this Extreme Blessittism. We had both become born again Christian believers in the early Seventies, but while I remained in the mainstream Presbyterian Church, ‘Billy’ (not his real name) got involved with this militant pentecostal cult of Extreme Blessittism.

Within weeks, he was in a mental institution and later took his own life. His death sent shockwaves through the north east Ulster Bible Belt and effectively marked the end of the Extreme Blessittism cult as mainstream evangelical churches moved swiftly to stamp out this cult.

At the same time, Arthur Blessitt himself remained a popular evangelist among many Christians in Ireland and his supporters clearly emphasised that he himself had absolutely nothing to do with the cult of Extreme Blessittism and that its followers had merely hijacked his name because of his growing global popularity and impeccable theological reputation.

Because of ‘Billy’s’ suicide, I have always harboured a natural suspicion of such man-named Holy Spirit movements. Yes, I am a firm believer in the concept of divine healing and certainly from a Biblical perspective, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which some born again believers can be empowered with is the gift of healing.

Almost two decades would elapse before the next man-named Holy Spirit phenomenon would reach Ireland, this time known as the Toronto Blessing - named after it supposed point of origin, Toronto in Canada.

Again, the movement found itself being hijacked theologically and practically by many - mainly - militant pentecostalists. This extreme form of divine healing and praise radically divided Irish Christians. To its supporters, it was viewed as a genuine move of the Holy Spirit; to its opponents, it was dismissed as Biblical heresy.

Such were the divisions which the debate surrounding the genuine nature of the Toronto Blessing sparked, that it even split churches, and in one case, a physical fight erupted between supporters and opponents. The debate even affected the mainstream Irish Presbyterian Church at one time.

However, just as ‘Billy’s’ death prompted mainstream Christian Churches to eradicate the influence of Extreme Blessittism, so too, the fact that the Toronto Blessing had resulted in physical violence between Christians again persuaded mainstream denominations that the so-called Toronto Blessing had to be spiritually purged from churches and halls. It was.

It was not until the new millennium that another global Holy Spirit movement hit the headlines - the Florida Outpouring - which like its predecessor, the Toronto Blessing, as the name clearly states, emanated in North America, this time in the United States.

Like the Blessing, the Outpouring was a very extreme form of divine healing; attracted many from the pentecostal theological perspective and because of televised meetings in Florida and the Internet, very rapidly made its way to Ireland.

Like the Blessing, the Outpouring divided theological opinion in Ireland. Its supporters produced medical evidence which they claimed was proof of the healings which had taken place. Churches which embraced the Outpouring would stage lively happy-clappy healing services for nights on end, lasting several weeks.

Skeptics, like myself, who had experienced the damaging drama of both Extreme Blessittism and the Toronto Blessing, visited a few Outpouring events, viewing the phenomenon as either an elaborate hoax to make money, or downright theological heresy. Outpouring sympathisers and supporters would radically dispute my view.

While the Blessing had gained a widespread appeal in a number of Christian denominations, the Outpouring was mainly confined to those from a pentecostal theological position.

At one Outpouring event, I witnessed a ‘healer’ who specialised in helping those with mental health issues dander about the church stage making clucking noises and walking like a chicken.

Needless to say, coming from a staunch evangelical Presbyterian background, I gave the Outpouring a bad press! That was to prove costly in terms of my personal security. Outpouring supporters do not like journalists who criticise their movement.

On one occasion, as I was taking my severely autistic son for his swimming lesson, I was confronted by a couple of Outpouring supporters in the reception of the leisure centre. They very bluntly expressed their opposition to my article questioning the spiritual validity of the Outpouring.

As they raised their voices, my son became very visibly distressed. In case the situation escalated, I gently moved my son so that all of us could be clearly seen on the CCTV system in the leisure centre. The two Outpouring supporters then realised what I was up to - getting footage of their verbal abuse - they stopped immediately and moved away.

Later that year, as I was covering an Eleventh Night bonfire event, I was recognised by an Outpouring supporter. He shouted that I should be put on the top of the bonfire. I thought it wise that I left the scene!

In spite of these two sinister incidents involving Outpouring supporters, there was one amusing incident. Apparently when Outpouring supporters didn’t like you, they would say the words ‘fire, fire, fire’ at you, as if summoning the Holy Spirit to descend on you like a Biblical style pillar of fire.

One Sunday after I had published my highly critical article in a national newspaper about the Outpouring, I found myself in a church being asked to serve the wine during the communion part of the service. As I approached a person I knew to be an Outpouring supporter, he leaned over and loudly whispered ‘fire, fire, fire’ at me.

Not realising then that this ‘fire, fire, fire’ statement was an Outpouring admonishment, I immediacy assumed there might be a fire in the church! I kept looking around to see if there was evidence of smoke and flames.

Moments later as I continued to serve the wine, I was confronted by yet another Outpouring supporter. Again, the same admonishment happened - the person loudly whispered ‘fire, fire, fire’ at me. Again, I could see no evidence of a blaze, but came within seconds of saying - ‘folks, I think we need to evacuate the building as I’ve been informed there is a fire!’

And so we come to 2023 and the Asbury Revival. Is it hype and heresy, or a genuine movement of the Holy Spirit? Divine healing is a reality. But if the Asbury Revival is to be viewed in the same context spiritually as the 1859 Revival, it must ensure that it is not hijacked practically by elements within militant pentecostalism.

If the mainstream Christian denominations, and especially mainstream responsible pentecostalism, can retain control of how the Asbury Revival is organised in Ireland, then we will witness a massive move of the Holy Spirit not seen on this island since 1859. Only time will tell who controls what.

Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter
Listen to commentator Dr John Coulter’s programme, Call In Coulter, every Saturday morning around 10.15 am on Belfast’s Christian radio station, Sunshine 1049 FM. Listen online

Genuine Holy Spirit Revival Or Man-Made Theological Heresy? The Future For The Asbury Revival In Ireland

Lynx By Ten To The Power Of Four Hundred And Ninety Four


A Morning Thought @ 1734

Anthony McIntyre  On occasion in previous years I have turned up at the Patrick's Day parade through Drogheda, but never walked in it. 

When the children were much younger it was a day out for them to enjoy as we stood behind the safety barriers and enjoyed the pagentry.  In later years I felt I had discovered what drove the snakes out of Ireland – the weather on Patrick’s day rather than the great man himself. There seemed better ways to spend the holiday than getting soaked or chilled. 

When I lived in Belfast I never attended a parade there. They never interested me in the way that Easter Sunday republican parades once did. That was until last Friday.

I don't actually set out to annoy the Mr Bean Of Irish Fascism. It seems I do it without even trying. He allows me to live rent free in his hollow head. And ungrateful globalist that I am, I never as much as notice my Irish host. 

He, or the type of hatred he promotes, obviously played some part in my decision to take part in the parade. On learning that far right hate groups were directing their venom towards the gay community by intimidating librarians I along with my wife agreed that we would walk with Drogheda Pride in this year's parade.

Our decision was firmed up by elements of the far right turning up at a book event for young gay people in Drogheda's local library, then to later go on social media to complain about the the type of books the library was making available. While there is nothing to indicate that the person in question sought to intimidate or be disruptive when at the library, it seems only a matter of time before what happened in Cork occurs in libraries across the country:

Opposition to certain books aimed at young members of the LGBTQ+ community has taken the form of everything from verbal abuse to disturbing behaviour. In recent days an individual was even observed ripping up a copy of Juno Dawson’s book, This Book is Gay in protest.

This is not an isolated Irish phenomenon. For all its professed hatred of globalism the Irish far right is not averse to joining in a global campaign to advance its hate agenda.

As the Atlantic reported a year ago:

Book banning is back. Texas State Representative Matt Krause recently put more than 800 books on a watch list, many of them dealing with race and LGBTQ issues.

So, with that in mind, and to the consternation of Mr Bean, in drizzle we set off to make our way through the streets of Drogheda to the sounds of the samba. While it might have infuriated the far right, it was wonderful to see the composition of people lining the streets – there was plenty of colour both in terms of skin and décor. Around my neck was a rainbow garland, while in tandem with an Irish mother who too had turned out in support of inclusivity, I carried the rainbow flag. Normally I am averse to flags but the universalism of the rainbow flag seemed most appropriate.

Targeting of the gay community is done by the far right for the same reason that other vulnerable groups are targeted. Scapegoating minorities is a classic tactic of fascism in its war of position. 

With that in mind I was disappointed to have my attention drawn to an article in the Sindo from last month by Eilis O’Hanlon asking What have drag queens got to do with St Patrick?

While rarely agreeing with her I have always admired O'Hanlon's courage for swimming against the tide and unlike some of her colleagues, not resorting to the spoof to beef up her case. Yet, on this one there was no need for her to paddle downstream on the right hand side of the river. 

While I think there is always a case that can be made regarding the over-sexualisation of society, feeling that with most things change should be gradual rather than rushed so that in the event of it going pear shaped the brakes will still work, my response was simple.

If they are Irish drag queens, they have as much to do with Patrick's Day any other Irish person. If they are not Irish drag queens they get the traditional welcome that other non Irish citizens get. A Patrick that embraces is much preferable to one that repels.

Out of all the things that pose a serious threat to society, a drag queen is hardly going to storm the Capitol.  

⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

Walking With The Rainbow