I have decided to change tack with my blogs from talking about health issues in general to the implications of measures brought in to deal with Covid. So far, the measures being brought in by governments seem prejudicial, if not damaging to our health and personal freedoms and to me, take priority over everything.
What I hope to do is look at how the new rules impact us all with regard to our physical and mental health and whether they are supported by all the facts, not just a few select ones. In addition to looking at the facts, there is also whether the proper processes have been followed. More on this shortly. My objective is getting to the right answer, not in being right.
Below is a mind map so you can see the principles I am using to evaluate issues and the areas I will be focusing on.
1. GUIDING Principles
These are the fundamental principles that should be used.
- Independence: Those involved in decision-making must 1) be independent of those subject to their decisions and 2) avoid conflicts of interest themselves, both business and personal, by not being in a position to benefit from their decisions directly or indirectly. It is only then that we can ensure the absence of undue influence in the decision-making process.
- Transparency: So that we can understand and trust the reasons for the decision-making, both the information and the underlying reasons should be easily accessible. This also supports accountability.
- Competence: The other pillar is that those deciding and advising are sufficiently competent. This can at times be somewhat subjective, but requires amongst other things knowledge and understanding. It also means that the issue has to be put into CONTEXT, so that its effects on other areas are also taken into account. Last but not least, action should be PROPORTIONATE.
- Context: All aspects must be put in context. So all, not just selected, data must be disclosed in a meaningful way so that the whole picture can be seen. In addition, the effect of the decision on all areas it affects should be disclosed, not just on the targeted area. So, if we again take Covid, we need more than just the number of infections and deaths from Covid. We need the numbers of people tested, age groups and annual seasonal deaths. The latter is the most important figure to understand the real scale of the issue as it clearly shows additional deaths as a result of Covid.
- Proportionate Actions: Questions like, “does saving the lives of a few extra, mainly elderly people justify the effects of lockdown, such as millions unemployed (and their dependents) going from living to existing, those who have treatable conditions not getting treated (and dying from lack of treatment), the mental health problems we all have. That is not to say that extra deaths are not tragic, but that that the cure is worse than the disease.
Democracy is the framework our society in the West is supposedly based on. The reason for including Democracy, being that this is a non-political site, is that our governments are the main regulators and enforcers of health and environmental standards. It is therefore important to be aware of how good they are at being independent of those they should be regulating, whose business interests might be harmed by honest and transparent health and environmental legislation.
In times such as these, it is also critical to ensure that the decisions governments take in what they term pandemics, are in our interests, not those of “Influencers”. We must also ensure that our freedoms are not eroded by their quest for “complete control” disguised as “protection”, something that modern technology coupled with globalisation is now making possible.
To this end I will also be including Democracy and its:
- Guiding Principles
- Proportionate actions
- Personal Freedoms
- Equal Opportunities
- Equal Influence
- Living not Existing
- A Healthy World for Future Generations
3. Current Issues
This focuses on the unequal influence some global businesses and wealthy individuals have and how they use it to increase the power they exert and their wealth. In doing so they encourage malleable politicians to restrict our freedoms via regulations and allow the introduction of products that are bad for our health and the environment because of their profitability. This is done with the help of most mainstream media, which enable the promotion of fear through incomplete and inaccurate reporting, allowing “control” to be promoted as “protection”. In the UK censorship is now being passed into law that will make any views that are not in line with government’s banned as fake news. This is supported by the large American Tech companies also dictating what can and cannot be posted on social media. Technology, from tracking via mobile phones and online data together with the advent of everything being made digital, will effectively allow governments to stop us travelling nationally or internationally. As technology advances the ability to control us (our movements, our speech and our finances) will only increase. Of course, the issue is not with the technology per se, but with the fact that as individuals there is no protection, let alone robust protection in place to stop this happening.
History, in this case recent history, is an excellent backdrop that shows businesses as principally focused on only one thing, “profit”. Not that profit is bad, but it should not be the only measure of success. Safeguarding health, the environment, equal opportunity and personal freedoms are also pillars upon which we should be basing our businesses and society.
Below is a list of well-known instances where the motive was clearly “profit at any cost”.
- Tobacco – promoted smoking even when it was known to cause cancer
- Asbestos – still used for decades even when know to be toxic and lethal
- Sugar/Fats – Ancel Keys doctored studies showing fats in food increasing cholesterol levels……
- Opioids – actively sold despite the addictive nature and health issues. Litigation is ongoing
- Vioxx – heart drug that killed about 100,000 even though “death as a side effect” was known early on
- VW and the emissions scandal, where they installed software into their diesel cars to circumvent the carbon dioxide tests
- Boeing 737 Max and the cover up concerning the efficacy of its flight control system, concerns which were raised internally within Boeing, but pushed to the side
Bear with me please. This is a much more left-brain blog than my previous blogs. You will understand why I have given you the framework as in future blogs I will be returning to these principles again and again, as I consider them to be the very foundation of a democratic government with integrity, something that in my opinion is currently very much absent.
Join me next week to consider the importance of being aware.