UK: Corporate-backed groups promote mass infection of children with Covid-19

Covid-19 is once again ripping through the UK population, as the ruling elite actively enable mass infection. In one day alone, on October 14, 45,066 new cases were recorded—the highest since mid-July—and 157 deaths. Globally, the official death toll stands at almost five million, although the real global death toll, measured by “excess deaths,” is well over 10 million.

A massive, well-funded and well-connected campaign of disinformation is being deployed to legitimise this murderous policy of herd immunity. Various organisations and bodies have been created, deploying pseudo-science and “democratic” clothing to oppose efforts aimed at eradicating Covid. Demonstrations of varying size are held internationally, in which far right groups rub shoulders with libertarians, anarchists, disoriented conspiracy theory advocates and religious fringe organisations, making up the core of protests of a largely petty bourgeois character and dragging in their wake small business owners, ravers, and similar who want an end to anything impinging on their personal “freedom.” To this end they have carried out volent attacks on medical workers involved in the vaccine roll-out and intimidation of children and teachers at school entrances.

With the backing of billionaires and major corporations, they operate as de facto adjuncts of government, the official political parties and the mass media.

All the main ideological organisations involved are connected to the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), an international proposal written and signed at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on October 4, 2020.

As the WSWS explained at the time, the AIER is a libertarian “free-market” think-tank, dedicated to a “highly reactionary, anti-working-class and anti-socialist enterprise. The declaration has been partly funded by the right-wing billionaire, Charles Koch, who hosted a private soiree of scientists, economists, and journalists to provide the homicidal declaration a modicum of respectability and formulate herd immunity as a necessary global policy in response to the pandemic.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with several of the GBD’s authors—Professor Sunetra Gupta, Oxford University’s Carl Heneghan and Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell in September 2020—just before he declared “no more f**king lockdowns, let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”

Faced with public opposition to this criminal policy, the proponents of herd immunity are having to conceal their aims behind spurious “independent” or “grassroots” initiatives.

The latest is the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pandemic Response and Recovery founded in September. Chaired by a Conservative MP Esther McVey, previously the government’s Work and Pensions Secretary, it counts Labour MP Graham Stringer and Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson amongst its number.

The APPG bills itself as a forum “for politicians, scientists, health professionals, economists, business leaders and other experts; to facilitate broad, balanced and open discussion” and “inform a more focused and flexible approach to Government policy.”

But as detailed by the BylineTimes, the APPG is funded and managed by Collateral Global (CG), the GBD’s successor, “established by two of its co-founders, Oxford epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta and Ministry of Defence contractor Alex Caccia.”

CG functions as the APPG’s “secretariat and is also funding it.” The APPG’s “scientific advisors” include fellow GBD co-founders, Harvard University’s Professor Martin Kulldorf, and Stanford University’s Professor Jay Bhattacharya.

Gupta was also the recipient of almost £90,000 from the Georg and Emily von Opel Foundation, Open Democracy has revealed. The foundation is named after its founder Georg, the great-grandson of German car manufacturer founder, Adam Opel, a leading Tory donor with a net worth of $2 billion.

The proponents of herd immunity advocate the deliberate mass infection of the young. Keeping schools open is central to forcing parents into unsafe workplaces and preventing any disruption to profits.

To this end the health and lives of children are being knowingly endangered. To date, 95 children in the UK have died from Covid and 570 educators. Cases of Long-Covid are spiralling, including one in seven of all children infected.

Among those backing the APPG is the Health Advisory and Recovery Group (HART), founded by businessman Narice Bernard. It was Bernard who originated the first campaign for Sir Keir Starmer to be Labour Party leader back in 2015, prior to Jeremy Corbyn’s election. Starmer has been a key advocate of keeping schools open declaring in August 2020, “no ifs, no buts, no equivocation.”

According to chat records and other documents leaked to Logically, a fact-checking tech company, Bernard described HART’s communication strategy in a post as, “We don‚'t [sic] exist to engage the public this a [sic] a top down strategy.” HART is reportedly in direct contact with Sir Graham Brady, chair of the Thatcherite 1922 Committee backbench group of Tory MPs.

APPG press releases are distributed by HART’s head of communications Jemma Moran. Her brother, Telegraph cartoonist Bob Moran, who has publicly threatened health professionals advocating pandemic-control measures, is another member.

Another HART connection is Professor Robert Dingwall, advisor to England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty’s Moral and Ethical Advisory Group. Byline Times has previously revealed that while he was an advisor on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Dingwall was “secretly in contact with the HART network”, with Bernard boasting in the leaked chats that he was “on the inside and is friendly.” In September, the JCVI recommended not giving vaccines to children aged 12-15 years old, much to the astonishment of leading scientists.

Other HART supporters and GBD signatories are Professor David Livermore, who sits on the government’s Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Prescribing, Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection and Ellen Townsend, Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham.

Co-ordinating with HART is UsforThem, which shares several of its members. Claiming to be a “parents lobby group”, it has received public support from Johnson’s former advisor Ed Barker and was praised by Tory MP Miriam Coates in parliament for “working tirelessly to stand up for children and campaign for their lives to be allowed to return to normal.” Barker also runs public relations for the Covid Recovery Group (CRG), headed by Tory MP Steve Baker.

In February, the Times reported that the CRG had joined forces with UsforThem to form an umbrella organisation called the Recovery Alliance. Barker’s aim, it wrote, was to bring all these groups “together with business figures who want the focus to shift from health to the economy.”

The demands of UsforThem for an end to all Covid-19 mitigations in schools is government policy. With links to anti-vax movements, including The Alliance for Natural Health, it opposes vaccinating children against Covid. In line with this, the vaccination programme in schools has largely ground to a halt.

HART and UsforThem are also involved in a new creation, the “Safer to Wait” campaign. Portrayed as a collective of “concerned parents, teachers, doctors, and lawyers,” it is described more truthfully by Byline Times as “part of a wider effort to radicalise members of the public, particularly parents, against vaccines and health workers.”

Its advocates include Karol Sikora and Anthony J. Brookes, both signatories to the GBD, and Elizabeth Evans, founder of the UK Medical Freedom Alliance, who is on the advisory board of the Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s “Children’s Health Defense.” A notorious anti-vax propaganda group, it has previously financed lawsuits against the immunisation of children in America from measles and rubella.

Tellingly, none of the information uncovered by Byline Times and similar sources has received coverage in the official media. As for Starmer’s Labour Party and the Trades Union Congress, they too are silent on the origins and financing of those propagandising in favour of mass deaths. They are just as culpable as Johnson for the policy of social murder.

The pandemic can and must be stopped, but this requires a programme of global eradication. As leading scientists insist it requires the universal deployment of every weapon in the arsenal of measures to combat COVID-19, co-ordinated across the world.

The only social force capable of leading this fight is the international working class. It is workers, their families and their children who are treated as so much cannon-fodder to satiate the profit lust of the financial oligarchy.

All those looking for a way to end this deadly policy should attend the online webinar, “ How to end the pandemic: The case for eradication”, organised by the World Socialist Web Site and the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees on Sunday, October 24.