COVID-19: Implementing the UK Biosecurity State

COVID-19: Implementing the UK Biosecurity State, our collected articles on the coronavirus crisis, is available as a 284-page pdf file for £10 donation to ASH through PayPal:

These articles, published on the Architects for Social Housing website between March and August 2020, do not constitute a book. Instead, they are a compilation of the author’s attempts to understand the coronavirus crisis and the UK biosecurity state being implemented under its cloak. The first five articles, written in March and April at the height of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the UK, were written at speed, as new information emerged or was unearthed that conflicted with the official narrative being imposed by the Government, the media and our various health bodies, including the NHS. The remaining texts, written between May and August, of greater length and making up three-quarters of this collection, are the result of more detailed research, greater understanding of the data and sustained argument. I have, however, included all the articles, not only because the contents of the earlier texts may be of interest to some readers, but also because they record how I progressed from the tentativeness of my earlier statements when confronted with the suddenness and confusion of the coronavirus crisis to the more informed and decisive conclusions in the longer texts.

These articles were written for a general public, and inevitably there are numerous overlaps and repetitions in the sources and quotation of information, just as there are developments as new data emerged. Nonetheless, I have not attempted to revise the texts or to bring them up to date with existing data, as the time it would take me to do so would make them even more out of date. This, however, does not to render them redundant. On the contrary, the more information we have about the reality of this crisis, the more my early statements have been proven true, and the more the lies we were and are still being told are exposed for what they are. If, however, you are only interested in the information necessary to understand the situation we are in now, I’d recommend reading everything from Manufacturing Consensus on.

All these articles have been widely read, with, at the time of the publication of this collection, well over 100,000 readers visiting them on our website. They have also been well-received, to which the numerous comments collected in the appendix testify. I have been unsure about reproducing these comments, but have included them as evidence of the degree of doubt and resistance to Government regulations and programmes implemented on the false justification of the coronavirus crisis. They also testify to the desire for factual information and rational arguments in the face of Government propaganda, media fearmongering, online censorship, and the abuse on mainstream and social media of anyone who dares to question the official narrative. Many of the comments speak of the reader feeling isolated by their questioning of what is being said and done, and of finding the strength to trust their doubts in discovering others who think the same. I hope that new readers, seeing how many people agree with my own limited efforts, will take courage from this small cross-section of the huge number of people in the UK who refuse to believe what is so obviously a lie, and from this evidence of solidarity strengthen their own resistance.

Although, to protect their identities from surveillance and possible retribution, I have not included the names of the authors of these comments, they come from a very wide range of political beliefs and allegiances. Anyone who has read about the work of Architects for Social Housing will know that we are a left-wing organisation — which is to say, we have spent the last six years resisting the actions and exposing the housing policies not only of successive Conservative governments but also of councils and politicians that belong to what calls itself the UK Left. This has been a largely thankless task, with little support and a lot of opposition from other ‘left-wing’ organisations. In contrast, my writings about the implementation of the UK biosecurity state have received widespread support from across the political spectrum. Even more than Brexit, the coronavirus crisis has exposed the old divides into Right and Left as meaningless labels on the competing scramble for power by the UK’s political classes, who care as little about the erasure of our human rights, civil liberties and political agency as they do about the causes and consequences of the housing crisis.

Finally, if these articles have been widely-read on our website, where they are still freely available, why republish them here? Numerous readers have written to ask me whether they can turn the more-lengthy articles into a pdf format for reading either in printed form or on some form of electronic-reader. I have been promising to do so on their behalf for some time now, and having recently published what I expect will be my last article on the crisis for a while, now seems like a good time to do so. I hope that this more accessible format, with all the texts collected in one document, will lead to them being more widely shared and read by more people looking either for the data to support their own views or for the clear expression of arguments to help convince those already beginning to doubt the lies we are being told by those in power and authority. Perhaps they might even change the minds of those who, six months into this crisis, still believe we are under a ‘serious and imminent threat to public health’ that justifies the transformation of the UK from a parliamentary democracy based on the division of powers between executive, legislature and judiciary into a biosecurity state ruled by decree that with every new piece of legislation is further stripping us of our rights and freedoms.

CONTENTS

Preface                                                                                          

1. COVID-19 and Capitalism

    1. Capitalising on the Coronavirus Crisis
    2. Socialising the Response

2. Sociology of a Disease: Age, Class and Mortality
in the Coronavirus Pandemic

    1. Who is Dying in Italy?
    2. Who is Vulnerable in the UK?
    3. How Many are Dying from the Coronavirus?
    4. The Class War in Mortality

3. Language is a Virus: SARs-CoV-2 and the Science of Political Control

    1. Infection Rate
    2. Mortality Rate
    3. The Italian Crisis
    4. Direct Causality from Coronavirus
    5. Attribution by Media Virus
    6. The Emperor’s New Clothes

4. Coronazombies! Infection and Denial in the United Kingdom

    1. Infection
    2. Denial
    3. Coronazombyism

5. Giorgio Agamben and the Biopolitics of COVID-19

    1. Biopolitics
    2. The Assumption of Evidence

6. Manufacturing Consensus:
The Registering of COVID-19 Deaths in the UK

    1. Five Difficulties in Writing the Truth about the Coronavirus Crisis
    2. Deaths Registered Weekly in England and Wales, Provisional
    3. Comparison of Weekly Death Occurrences in England and Wales
    4. User Guide to Mortality Statistics
    5. The Different Uses of Figures on Deaths from COVID-19
    6. Irrational Belief and Political Responsibility

7. The State of Emergency as Paradigm of Government:
Coronavirus Legislation, Implementation and Enforcement

    1. The Registration of COVID-19 Deaths
    2. The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020
    3. The Guidance on Social Distancing
    4. The COVID Support Force
    5. The Lockdown of the UK
    6. The Coronavirus Act 2020
    7. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020
    8. The Police State
    9. The 5-Pillar Testing Strategy
    10. The Five Conditions for Lifting the Lockdown of the UK
    11. The Virtual Parliament
    12. The Track and Trace Mission
    13. The Exploitation of the Coronavirus Crisis
    14. The COVID Alert System
    15. The State of Emergency as a Paradigm of Government
    16. The Foreseeable Future

8. Lockdown: Collateral Damage in the War on COVID-19

    1. Four Anecdotes
    2. Two Metaphors
    3. Unexplained Deaths
    4. Causes of Excess Deaths
    5. Collateral Damage
    6. The Worst-case Scenario
    7. Comparative Government Responses
    8. Alternatives to Lockdown
    9. Spreading Inequality
    10. Outsourcing the State
    11. The Security Ratchet
    12. Manufacturing Compliance

9. The Science and Law of Refusing to Wear Masks:
Texts and Arguments in Support of Civil Disobedience

    1. Government Guidance and the Law
    2. Benefits and Dangers of Wearing Masks
    3. Asymptomatic Transmission of Coronavirus
    4. Surveillance and Compliance
    5. Civil Disobedience

Appendix: Medical Advice against Wearing Masks
Addendum: New Regulations on Wearing Masks on Public Transport

10. The New Normal: What is the UK Biosecurity State?

Part I. Programmes and Regulations

    1. Historical Precedents for Emergency Powers
    2. The Civil Contingencies Act
    3. Legislation for the UK Surveillance State
    4. The Presumption of Guilt
    5. The Religion of Medicine
    6. The Utopia of Shame

Addendum: The Lockdown of the North

Part II. Normalising Fear

    1. Historical Precedents for the Biosecurity State
    2. Implementing the Biosecurity State
    3. The English Civil War
    4. The Global Safe Space
    5. The Use of Conspiracy Theory
    6. Collaboration and Resistance

Appendix: Acts of Resistance

Appendix: Readers’ Comments

Architects for Social Housing is a Community Interest Company (no. 10383452). Although we occasionally receive minimal fees for our design work, the majority of what we do is unpaid and we have no source of public funding. If you would like to support our work, including the six months of research and writing that went into this collection, please make a donation through PayPal:

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