The pub landlord from Bath who told Keir Starmer to leave his pub was stitched up on Good Morning Britain in a similar fashion that has befallen pretty much every lockdown sceptic to appear on that show. On Tuesday morning Rod Humphris was allowed to speak for a few seconds at a time in a slender opportunity to present his argument. He was generally interrupted mid-flow by one of the co-presenters. The full panel consisted of Dr Hilary Jones and the political commentators Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire, all of whom were disparaging towards Mr Humphris. This was five against one and made for unpleasant viewing, but this is how the establishment has always dealt with lockdown scepticism. On the rare occasions in which dissent is given airtime it is isolated and systematically ridiculed.
Starmer and his party responded in a similar way - by smearing Mr Humphris. Following the incident, Starmer released a video in which he suggested the landlord was in denial about the existence of the pandemic. His frontbench colleague Rosena Allin-Khan echoed this in a tweet, accusing Humphris of 'denying that Covid exists'. If only she had listened to what he had actually said it may have spared her the embarrassment that arose when he later confirmed that he himself was struck down by the virus last year! The Labour press office also accused Mr Humphris of spreading 'dangerous misinformation', when actually he had built his argument on publicly available statistics.
Click below for the Good Morning Britain character assassination and note how the now traditional 'covidiot' remark is thrown in by the socialist Maguire, who goes on to suggest Humphris is spouting nothing but conspiracy theories and is 'crazy'. The response on YouTube has been overwhelmingly negative, with 2:1 thumbs down while GMB have blocked people from commenting on it...
There is clearly no impartiality here on the part of the presenters. Note how they enthusiastically nod along and reinforce Maguire's pro-lockdown mantra. "Keir Starmer is married to an NHS worker" Susannah Reid reminds viewers during his piece and when Maguire claims that "all the evidence is lockdowns work", Adil Ray can be heard in the background saying "Of course!"
Humphris does very well in these circumstances and maintains his cool, despite being called a liar by Adil Ray. In actual fact Mr Ray, there were no full national lockdowns in Sweden, Belarus or Tanzania, as stated by Mr Humphris. There were lockdowns in Florida and Texas last spring, but both states managed to stay on top of the virus without lockdowns during the autumn/winter second wave.
If the presenters were impartial, capable of critical thought and not tied to a pre-established narrative, perhaps they would have questioned at least two blatantly incorrect claims made by Dr Hilary during his clash with Mr Humphris.
The first of Hilary's falsehoods was to suggest that the country went into lockdown after deaths had reached 1,200 per day. This is simply not true as that level was not reached until January 12 - six days into the third lockdown in England. This is easily proven by way of visiting the government's own coronavirus dashboard. Secondly, Dr Hilary says that the virus is not seasonal as it 'has been going on all year'. Everyone knows that the virus almost disappeared last summer, having plummeted to such low levels that there were days in which there were no coronavirus deaths reported at all. This is not to back up the claim that it is merely 'seasonal', but it certainly disproves Hilary's claim that the UK pandemic has been in constant flow.
Dr Hilary also made a dubious claim about vaccines, echoing Boris Johnson's recent claim that vaccines were not behind the most recent collapse in the virus. Hilary claims that the vaccines have "not had time to have an effect yet". However, the most recent advice given by the NHS states clearly that just the first dose of a Covid vaccine provides 'a significant level of protection at 22 days'. Let's be clear, the UK started its vaccination programme way back on December 8 - that's around 133 days ago. Everyone in the most at risk groups had reportedly been offered a first dose over two months ago. No time to take effect, really Dr Hilary? Will no-one on the telly box dare to detract from the propaganda of our political masters?