Britain’s drastic lockdown policy may be based on a flawed and unreliable model devised by a scientist with a track record of failure.
Professor Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College, London, is the scientist behind the doomsday report that terrified Prime Minister Boris Johnson into imposing sudden and radical lockdown measures across the United Kingdom.
The report apocalyptically predicted that coronavirus could kill as many as 500,000 people in Britain if nothing was done to stop the spread of the disease.
Ferguson has since substantially revised down his death toll, saying it could be “substantially less than 20,000”. Colleagues at Imperial, however, have at times predicted a death toll even smaller than that — as few as 5,700 fatalities if the lockdown continues.
Rival scientists are increasingly critical of Ferguson’s original doomsday predictions, noting that his previous modelled forecasts have been found severely wanting.
Among his critics is Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University, co-author of two reports highly critical of Ferguson’s mathematical modelling during the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis.
Ferguson’s predictive modelling — which helped persuade Tony Blair’s government to carry out a pre-emptive cull which led to the deaths of more than six million cattle, sheep and pigs and which cost the UK economy an estimated £10 billion — was subsequently described as “not fit for purpose.”
It’s not just Ferguson. It’s all of them. All their models are flawed and unreliable models. None of them know what they’re talking about.
Think about it. Nobody has any experience of what’s happening right now with coronavirus.. So there can be no ‘experts’. There are no experts who really know what they’re talking about. There are just a bunch of people who’ve been claiming to be experts in one thing or another, but one thing is becoming clear is that none of them really have a clue what they’re talking about.
It’s true about coronavirus. And it’s true about climate change. And it’s true about tobacco. And it’s true about the EU and politics and economics and everything else. None of them have a clue what they’re talking about. They’re all full of hot air. And they’ve always just been full of hot air
I like James Delingpole, but he’s full of hot air too. He talks about climate change like he understands the science, but I don’t think he understands the science at all. I’ve never seen him do any. Because there is no Climate Science. There are just lots of people who claim to know all about it, and they’re full of hot air as well.
The people to distrust are those who say; “Listen to me. I know all about it.” They’re the people who become “experts”, and who get funded – but only because they’re claiming to be experts. And now we’re finding out that none of them are experts about anything. They just made a good living pretending to be experts.
All the models are flawed, All the models are unreliable. And they’re always going to be flawed and unreliable. That’s the nature of a model: a model isn’t a perfect representation of reality. A model is always a simplified representation of something. There’ll be elements missing from it, which are thought to be unimportant.
I don’t believe anything that’s being said about coronavirus right now. I don’t believe any of the predictions that are being made. Why should I believe the predictions of people who have no previous experience of anything like this? They’re just guessing when they say that X number of people will die, or that the pandemic will last another Y months.
Ian Ferguson had a good run. He managed to fool a lot of people into thinking he was an expert. He wasn’t. But neither is anyone else. There are no experts out there that are expert about anything. And there never have been. And there never will be.
Sure, some people know more about some things than most other people. But they only know a little more. Not enough to call themselves experts.
If the coronavirus episode results in one thing, I hope it’s the mass extinction of self-styled experts.