The Supremacy of Public Health

Peter Hitchens:

Perhaps we will emulate the French or Italian states, which have returned to their despotic origins and reduced their populations to a sort of cowering serfdom, barely able to step into the street.

I wonder whether there might also be restrictions on what can be said and published. I can see no necessary bar to this in the law involved.

Section 45 C (3) (c) of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (appropriately enough) is the bit that does it. Once the Health Secretary believes there is a threat to public health, he has – or claims to have – limitless powers to do what he likes, ‘imposing or enabling the imposition of restrictions or requirements on or in relation to persons, things or premises in the event of, or in response to, a threat to public health’.

The former Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption doubts that the Act can be used in this way and warns: ‘There is a difference between law and official instructions. It is the difference between a democracy and a police state. Liberty and the rule of law are surely worth something, even in the face of a pandemic.’

It’s Public Health Above Everything.

Nothing else matters.

Might this be an occasion when people start to question the supremacy of Public Health?

About Frank Davis

smoker
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25 Responses to The Supremacy of Public Health

  1. Joe L. says:

    Looks like the rotten bastards from ASH are working extra hard to manipulate the public’s fear of the COVID-19 pandemic based on zero evidence. From the Guardian:

    Public Health Wales has urged the country’s 440,000 smokers to quit now to reduce the risks from COVID-19 and said it has seen a sharp rise in the number of people asking for help to stop, reports Steve Morris.

    It says smokers are more at risk from Covid-19 because they have weakened lung defences and more regular hand-to-mouth contact, giving more chances for picking up the virus. Many also have existing lung conditions caused by smoking.

    According to Public Health Wales, hundreds of smokers have contacted the NHS Help Me Quit helpline since the outbreak began and in response more telephone support advisers have been drafted in.

    Meanwhile, the website of the tobacco control campaign group ASH Wales has seen a 40% increase in visitors, mostly searching for online advice on how to quit.

    Ashley Gould, a public health consultant at Public Health Wales, said: “Seven in 10 smokers in Wales say they would like to quit – there might never be a more important time than now to try harder than ever.

    “We know that Covid-19 is mainly a respiratory disease and research on similar viruses shows tobacco smoke increases the risks of this type of infection, and how serious it can be.“

    Suzanne Cass, the CEO of ASH Wales, said: “We know that giving up smoking can be incredibly tough but there really is no more important time to quit. The health benefits kick in within minutes of stubbing out that last cigarette and continue to grow with time.

    • Barry Homan says:

      They’re pigs.

    • smokingscot says:

      You’re right of course, however they’re just taking credit for the real issue. One heck of a lot of people are dependent on “alternative sources” for their smokes, because they simply cannot afford the duty paid stuff.

      With freight traffic, airlines and so on shut down, plus real scrutiny at all border crossing – all over Europe, tobacco, booze and hard drug supplies have all but stopped.

      It’s a phenomenon we’ll see repeated. However those who use this method are not included in ASH statistics; they’re guess at by tobacco control. It’s one reason I dispute their claims that less than 1 in 5 smoke, but that’s another story.

  2. Joe L. says:

    Nigel Farage: “Say No to House Arrest”

    • beobrigitte says:

      Insulting 1,789 relatives grieving?

      Just a thought.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Here an extra thought:
        Boy, 13, becomes UK’s youngest victim
        A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive has died, Kings College hospital has said. He is believed to be the youngest victim of the outbreak in the UK.

        Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time. The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Apologies, I did mean
        How about insulting the relatives of
        Deaths:
        42,014?

        Yet another thought.

  3. Griblet says:

    ‘The health benefits kick in within minutes of stubbing out that last cigarette…’

    If that were true then I must get extremely healthy between smokes. Who knew?

    Why Alexander hasn’t taken the current opportunity (the ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’, so beloved of the left) to strike all NGOs down and redistribute their funding to far more deserving causes I’ll never know. It’s probably why ASH are issuing statements in an attempt to remain relevant and paid. They should take note of the Greater Thunderbird and the Church of Climate Science and STFU lest they’re seen for what they really are by the zombie majority.

  4. Mark Jarratt says:

    I posted the message below on The Australian website… It was published, but most comments were seeking yet more totalitarian government intrusion. Medical medieval mystical risk treatments are being deployed while economic, legal, social, ethical, psychological and other risks are ignored, evidence of a microscopic world view.
    “An “abundance of caution” is not risk management, it is risk aversion. The ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principle of risk management is conspicuously absent from the various ever expanding costly countermeasures of dubious legality and utility introduced by governments. ALARP holds that the costs of risk treatments should not outweigh the benefits. The only means of reducing risk to zero is not to perform the activity (e.g. banning driving would reduce the road toll to NIL, but would that be accepted). What level of risk is acceptable, and how will “success” be defined? Without such parameters, the end point can’t be specified. Population health is not the alpha and omega of liberal democracy. Freedom of association and economic activity are also valuable social goods. This situation is redolent of the memorable quote by a U.S. Army Colonel in the Vietnam war “We had to destroy the village to save it”.

  5. Clicky says:

  6. Dr Evil says:

    Public Health England is conspicuous by its absence. Where is the leadership? Where was the foresight in ordering millions of test kits? There was none and no kits were ordered. We pay £4 billion per year for a bunch of useless oxygen thieves or so it seems.

  7. Bill says:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid
    Status of COVID-19

    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

  8. Александра Собина says:

    A woman has been charged with allegedly flouting Government coronavirus restrictions.

    She was arrested by a British Transport Police (BTP) officer following an incident at Newcastle Central Station on Saturday and was due to appear in court on Monday.

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