Professor Neil Ferguson, the discredited Imperial College computer modeller behind Britain’s draconian lockdown policies, has come clean about his inspiration: none of it would have been possible without the shining example of the Chinese Communist Party.
In an extraordinary interview with the Times (of London), Ferguson admits that if it hadn’t been for China’s example, no Western country would ever have dreamed of putting its populace under house arrest.
Back in 2019, about the time someone was getting infected by a bat, no European country’s pandemic plans seriously entertained the prospect of putting a country on pause.
Then, that’s what China did. “I think people’s sense of what is possible in terms of control changed quite dramatically between January and March,” Professor Ferguson says.
Ferguson appears to find the idea of emulating a totalitarian state exciting rather than embarrassing or shaming because he boasts about it again later in the interview.
In January, members of Sage, the government’s scientific advisory group, had watched as China enacted this innovative intervention in pandemic control that was also a medieval intervention.
“They claimed to have flattened the curve. I was sceptical at first. I thought it was a massive cover-up by the Chinese. But as the data accrued it became clear it was an effective policy.”
Then, as infections seeded across the world, springing up like angry boils on the map, Sage debated whether, nevertheless, it would be effective here. “It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought.” In February one of those boils raged just below the Alps. “And then Italy did it. And we realised we could.”
That phrase ‘get away with it’ is instructive. It implies that, at least on a subconscious level, Ferguson is aware that copying Communist China’s lockdown policy was not a morally acceptable act, merely one that peculiar circumstances made possible.
Though the lockdowns are unprecedented in modern history and have, in the UK, been responsible for the biggest collapse in GDP in 300 years, as well as the destruction of many thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs, Ferguson shows zero contrition for having provided the computer modelled doomsday scenarios responsible for all this misery.
Nor does he apologise for the incident during the first lockdown when he was caught breaking the rules he helped create by bonking his mistress at her place (not, obviously, at the home he shares with his wife). This earned him the soubriquet ‘Professor Pantsdown’ – as well as a reputation as a prize hypocrite.
“I made some mistakes. I’ve been completely open in terms of saying they were mistakes. But, nevertheless, the fact that journalists were digging into my private life at that level of detail was not something I could ever imagine. That’s not something you want to be on the end of.
“My wife and son and my partner had journalists on the doorstep. I was actually in my flat in London, they didn’t know where I was. It was a very difficult time.”
In other words, Professor Pantsdown’s line is that when you break the lockdown rules you yourself have invented and pop off down the road to have a shag with your bright-red-lipsticked, hard-left activist girlfriend, you are nothing but a blameless victim.