BORIS Johnson is as slippery as an eel. He shifts his ground repeatedly. Never follow him into battle because he will defect to the other side before you can line up behind him.

But even by his fork-tongued standards, Johnston’s statement on Tuesday that the reduction in Covid cases and deaths “has not been achieved by vaccination”, but by lockdown, was breathtaking. He told us otherwise only days before: “The best thing of all is to vaccinate our population, get everybody out getting the jab, that's the key thing and that's what I would advocate, number one.”

So his bombshell statement calling into question the efficacy of mass vaccination is a rapid turnaround, a slap in the face for millions who trusted his advice, and perhaps the most outrageous example yet of how this man constantly shifts the goalposts.

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Johnson and his omnipotent, unaccountable Star Chamber of SAGE advisors evangelised vaccination to us as the silver bullet that would hand us the keys to freedom and normal life. Indeed, Johnson appeared so convinced of the critical importance of vaccines that he threatened those who would not, or could not, be vaccinated with coercion, in the form of mandatory vaccine passports.

So why has Johnson cooled on vaccination now? We know that he bores easily, has only superficial mastery of his brief, and switches ground when presented with irritating detail that contradicts his “big picture” statements. Could the reason be the problems that are now emerging with Covid vaccines?

A growing number of countries have paused, restricted, or in the case of Denmark halted, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The European Medicines Agency has agreed that blood clots should be listed as a very rare side effect of it. A UK trial of this vaccine on children has been halted as a precaution.

Johnson and Johnson delayed the rollout of its vaccine in Europe after US health agencies called for a pause there while they investigate blood clot incidents. Also in the US, the National Institutes of Health is investigating why some people have had allergic reactions, including severe anaphylactic shock, after receiving the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Guidance on the suitability of Covid vaccines in pregnancy, and for breastfeeding mothers, is unsatisfactorily vague. The UK government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says that the Pfizer vaccine, for instance, should only be considered in pregnancy “when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks for the mother and foetus”. Considering that the risk of Covid to young women and babies is minimal, it’s quite understandable if mothers-to-be decline it. Emerging concerns in the US over possible menstrual side effects of vaccines, and possible long-term fertility issues, are causing more furrowed brows amongst young women debating whether or not to have a jag.

By the 28th of March, the UK had recorded, under the government Yellow Card scheme, a not insignificant number of suspected adverse reactions to Covid vaccines reported by members of the public or health professionals: 43,491 for the Pfizer vaccine, and 116,162 for the AstraZeneca one. Many of these adverse reactions were trivial. Others were not. They included cases where the person died shortly after vaccination: 302 and 472 reports for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines respectively.

The MHRA assures us that this “temporal association with vaccination does not indicate a link between vaccination and the fatalities reported”. Death within days of a vaccination is coincidental, we must infer.

Meanwhile, Covid virus fatality statistics have been collated on an entirely different basis. Any death within 28 days of a positive Covid test has been recorded as a Covid fatality, even if the person in question died in a road accident, or had a heart attack.

And now, guess what? Another U-turn. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that 23% of registered coronavirus deaths are people who have died “with” the virus rather than “from” it. In other words, although they tested positive for Covid, that was not the primary cause of their death.

So it appears that UK Covid death statistics have been inflated either by accident, or by intention. We may yet see these latest mortality figures revised downwards as government death recording guidance is scrutinised further. As it stands, a truer tally appears to be around 95,000 deaths, not the oft-quoted 127,000.

Observe how supposedly reliable “facts” and figures underpinning Johnson’s Covid narrative don’t add up. But the efficacy of lockdown, his currently preferred strategy, is surely incontrovertible?

Not according to Simon Wood, a professor of statistics at the University of Edinburgh. He has run the figures for the last three lockdowns. They show that fatal Covid infections were falling before each lockdown was imposed. Sweden also saw its daily infection rate starting to decline only a day or two after the UK, he points out, even though that country didn’t lock down. Indeed, the pattern of deaths in Sweden is strikingly similar to that in the UK. The difference is that Sweden’s economy isn’t wrecked as ours is. Professor Tim Spector, creator of the Zoe Covid app, also agrees that lockdown is not the main reason for plummeting cases.

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Stringent lockdowns do not reduce casualties, as Peru’s quasi-military lockdown yet high Covid death rate shows. And as you read this, millions of Americans in the states of Florida, Texas, Georgia, South Dakota, South Carolina and Mississippi, are going about their daily business, hugging their loved ones, enjoying a baseball game, socialising in crowds, mainly unmasked. These states have no lockdown restrictions, yet their Covid numbers have dropped dramatically.

Professor Wood asks: "If lockdowns were not essential to turning the tides of the epidemic, the question remains whether they were worth the collateral damage.” The answer is no. Of the non-pharmaceutical tools we have to fight respiratory viruses, lockdowns are blunt, and of questionable utility. Yet in the hands of tinpot despots like Boris Johnson, and Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, who jump to the “Great Reset” tune of their corporate masters at the World Economic Forum, they become frighteningly destructive weapons to oppress us. We must never accept another lockdown.

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