Category Archives: Rita Smith’s Blogs

“Like stones cast by God” Polish children fell on the barricades in the Warsaw Uprising

The Szare Szergi Monument in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. All photos, Rita Smith

When I posted this haunting photo for Easter Sunday, I was surprised at the quick, emphatic response it attracted from my friends on social media. A few people notified me to tell me they were “stealing” my photo and many others commented on it.

Let me take a few moments to tell you the story of the Szare Szergi Monument. It is located in Ontario, on Old Barry’s Bay Road just outside of the town of Barry’s Bay in the Madawaska Valley, home of Canada’s first Polish settlement.

If you have Polish friends or family, you are probably aware of the pride taken in the “Polish Boy Scouts” organization. Perhaps it is not as prominent now as it was just after World War II in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, but it is still active and Ontario is dotted with camps dedicated to serve the Polish Scouts; if you drive back country roads, you may have passed a weathered wooden sign at a rural driveway entrance and wondered what it was about.

“In North America in the 1930s and 40s, the Boy Scouts were something for city kids to learn about the country,” a Polish friend once explained to me. “In Poland, the ‘Scouts’ were a para-military organization; they were an unofficial part of the Polish military during the war. Kids running messages got around more easily than adults did, and so children were used to do these jobs precisely because they didn’t arouse the suspicion of German soldiers.”

The Szare Szergi Monument pays homage to the 10,000 Polish boys and 8,000 Polish girls who laid down their lives to fight for freedom during World War II as part of the “Gray Army.” This bas-relief detail is on the back side of the shrine facing away from the road.

Thousands of children, girls as well as boys, died fighting in the Polish war effort. I spoke to one woman in her 80s who proudly showed me an aged photo and said, “I was a pretty girl, a very pretty girl. People let me pass.

“Once, shooting erupted and while I was running through it, a bullet took my pony tail right off of my head!” she exclaimed, waving her hand in the air behind her now-grey head. “It missed my head by an inch, but I lost my pony tail.  I did not notice it until I arrived safely and friends said ‘Your hair is gone!! Where is your pony tail?’”

When thousands of Poles left Poland for Canada after the war, they brought their history, their gratitude, and their pride in these children with them. The Szare Szergi Monument was built in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.

Here is the text engraved in Polish, English and French at the monument:

“This monument was erected by the Polish-Canadian community to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and to enshrine the memory of the young scouts and guides, known as the Szare Szergi (Gray Ranks) who fell during the uprising or lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps during the occupation of Poland (1935-1945).

Szare Szergi, consisting of 10,000 scouts and 8,000 guides, who without regard for their own safety, took an active part in all aspects of the resistance. Two battalions, Zoska and Parasol, distinguished themselves through their outstanding bravery and valour. One of the youngest armies in the world, the flower of the Polish nation, has written itself into the annals of history in gold letters. Over half of them fell fighting to free Poland. Through their deeds they have proclaimed to the world that the Poles value a free homeland above all.

With the words of the great visionary poet Julius Slowacki (1809-1849) from his poem My Testament, we dedicate this monument to the patriotic and unselfish youth known as SZARE SZERGI.

And so I cast the spell – let the living keep hope

And carry the torch of wisdom before the nation

And when necessary, go to death one by one,

Like stones, cast by God onto barricades!

 

Marek M. Jagla, scoutmaster

For the monument building committee

July 9th, 1995″

Text posted at the monument is in Polish, English and French.

 

The Polish scouts are still a very active organization in Canada. Photo: ZHR Polish Scouts of Canada, FB 2021

Think for yourself

Should you ever lie to kids? This became a topic of conversation in my life in the last few years, because I’ve been around kids so little, they were just beginning to grasp the fact that there are such things as “real” and “pretend;”  “good” and “bad;” and “true” and “false.” Those are big concepts.

I was brought up around adults who did not mind quizzing, teasing, and “fooling” kids. Often, in fact, what they were doing was pushing and challenging me to see if I would back down and abandon my own initial judgement on any issue.

Their point was, if your eyes and your common sense and your own good judgement tell you something, trust your own judgement before you trust other people. Trust other people AFTER they have proven to you they are trustworthy, and not before.

The kind, intensely Christian man who gave me a second mortgage on my first house (a Vendor Take Back mortgage he extended from his personal funds to a single working mother with three kids), once asked me, “Would you lend me $10,000 if I asked you for it?”

“Of course, if I had it,” I answered without hesitation.

“Would you loan $10,000 to a total stranger?” he pursued.

“No,” I answered, assuming that was the answer he was looking for.

“So, what does that tell you?” he persisted.

I was drawing a blank; was I not a kind and generous enough person to pass this test?

“If you are ever going to get swindled, it will be by someone you know and trust!” he sighed in evident exasperation.

This little clip from the James Randi biopic “An Honest Liar” about what magicians have to teach people sums up the idea perfectly:

“Some people cannot believe that a magician can fool them in such a way that they can’t figure it out. But magicians can, and magicians do. Swindlers do; con men do it all the time. They’re not magicians, they’re fakes. They’re lying to us. They’re deceiving us.

“It’s okay to fool people, as long as you’re doing it to teach them a lesson, which will better their knowledge of how the real world works.”

Ironically, when I contacted the director of the film for permission to use the video clip above in this post, he replied:

“Rita –

Thank you for asking. Most people would just take it. You have our permission to use the quote on your site.”

The idea that I – or anyone else – would have stolen a clip about swindling people made me laugh a little sadly. It’s a big world full of people who will swindle, steal, cheat and lie. Even kids and trusting adults need to be alert to this: it’s how the real world works.

Teaching kids to trust their own good judgement is perhaps one of the most important thing parents ever do.

I call Bullshit

I started bartending in 1979, when I was 18 years old.

(Ontario law said you needed to be 19 to serve alcohol, but the bar manager decided I could work the service bar where only the waitresses picked up, so long as I was not actually serving customers. This was Bullshit. But it did give me a useful professional head start in the fields of both alcohol and Bullshit.)

In the 1970s, there was a popular game called “Bullshit Poker.” It was played with American $1 bills, and it really was fun. I lived in Sarnia, where there were always lots of American $1 bills around; you could always find two or more people to play a hand of Bullshit Poker at the bar.

The serial number printed on the face of your American $1 bill was your poker hand, with zeroes as aces. Every player took turns studying the number on their dollar before calling their hand: “A pair of 3s.” “Ace high.” “Three card straight.”

(Ostensibly, using dollar bills instead of cards made gambling in the bar legal. This was Bullshit, of course, but everyone ignored that.)

In Bullshit Poker, it was not only fair but expected that players would bluff. Tension mounted with the start of each round, as it became obvious that one of the players was going to have to put up or shut up. Somebody was lying; somebody was going down. Who would it be?

On dull days, Bullshit Poker was just a quiet game for bored barflies. On raucous nights, the whole bar would be involved, cheering and placing side bets on the eventual winner.

What quickly became obvious was that the consistent winners in Bullshit Poker weren’t the ones who lucked into $1 bills with great poker hand serial numbers. The consistent winners were the best liars.

For example, Ray was almost unbeatable. Ray’s instincts were amazing: he knew when to fold, and when to Bullshit. But, he Bullshitted in such a convivial way, tipsy bar mates didn’t mind losing to him. Also, tipsy bar mates were not aware of Ray’s lucky dollar, the one with five 9s on it, which he carefully placed back in his wallet after cleaning all the other players.

Except Will, the bar’s owner, who was always sober and who noticed how often Ray won with five 9s.

“Get those ringers out of here!!!” Will would shout angrily when he saw Ray’s “lucky” dollar come out. Will called Bullshit before the game even started.

For two years now, since COVID-19 and governments’ astonishingly unscientific response to it changed life in Canada, I have had the eerie feeling I am living in an incredible, unending game of Bullshit Poker. The stakes get higher every day, but no one ever calls “Bullshit.”

Instead of bluffing “three 5s” or “straight to 8,” players call things like “two weeks to flatten the curve,” “we’re all in this together,” “masks stop the spread of infection,” “your business needs to be closed but Wal-mart can open,” or now, “kids are at risk for COVID.”

None of this has ever been true, but Canadians can’t bring themselves to call “Bullshit!”

It’s like we know Ray is playing his ringer “lucky” dollar, but we play game the anyway.

Why are Canadians doing this? Where is sober Will when we need him?

I call Bullshit.

-30-

Germany had one of the hardest lockdowns in the winter and Sweden had none, look at this graph: Sweden and Germany had exactly the same Covid deaths and Germany had no excess mortality.

 

 

 

Whose right is it anyway?

“I’m not cold; I don’t need gloves.”

Parents hear this every winter: “I don’t need a coat.” “I’m not cold.” “My hat? I left it in my locker at school. I wasn’t cold.”

I was brought up hearing “Kids don’t feel the cold.” It’s true, they don’t – not to the same degree adults do, anyway. The perennial fight over getting kids who aren’t cold dressed for the cold is probably as old as parenthood.

On December 4th, I attended a protest outside the Australian consulate to protest the outrageous emergence of tyrannical government in what was once one of the world’s most successful democracies. The people were some of the most concerned and considerate I have ever met.

Two of the protesters were a father/daughter duo. Upon meeting them, I noticed the little girl was not wearing any gloves.

“Honey, aren’t your hands cold, holding that sign?” I fretted. “I have some brand new gloves in my car, let me go and get them for you,” I offered.

“No thank you! I’m not cold, and I don’t need them,” she replied firmly.

Behind her, her father sighed and rolled his eyes comically.

“We have this conversation every weekend,” he laughed. “I pack everything. She has gloves and hats and scarves, but she leaves them in our car. She won’t wear them.”

He gave his daughter an affectionate squeeze, and I smiled recalling the exact same debate with my kids. They all survived their gloveless, hatless, scarfless winter days, this girl would, too.

What struck me most was her father’s respect for her choice: she said she wasn’t cold. He took her at her word. He packed gloves, but he wasn’t going to wreck their Saturday arguing over whether she was smart enough to judge for herself whether or not she was cold.

It did not occur to me until later that to some degree that conversation was actually symbolic of why we were there, protesting. Governments in Australia and indeed Canada want to tell citizens what is best for their bodies.

Citizens, on the other hand, believe they have the right to decide this for themselves.

Could that dad have wrestled a pair of gloves onto his daughter’s hands, or a scarf around her neck? Well, he could have tried. I doubt he would have succeeded, but I can guarantee the anger and hard feelings that would result would have ruined their day and eventually, their relationship.

Dad could have even packed a thermometer so he could prove how cold it was; I don’t think that would have changed his daughter’s mind one iota. They weren’t debating facts and data: they were debating her right to decide.

Can Australia – or Canada – force people who don’t want the COVID shot to take one? Clearly, they are willing to try. As a result, the relationship between citizens and government is being ruined.

Now, we are not arguing whether Canadians need the shot any more than kids need gloves in winter. We are arguing whether a human being has the right to decide what they want for their own body.

Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says we do. This is still the law of the land.

No matter how cold it gets.

-30-

 

 

 

 

Repeat, Repair, Recycle: an endless loop that actually helps

I recently read a Bible verse that made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of a government flowchart I’d been given which “flowed” in a perfect, endless circle.

No resolution, no objective to achieve, no logical conclusion: it just went around and around in an endless process of collecting information to make a decision about an action that would never, according to the flowchart, actually take place.

Even more hilariously, the professional bureaucrats who created the flowchart saw nothing wrong with it.

So in conversation with a friend facing challenging times, I referred to this Bible verse – Romans 5:3 – but to cheer him up and illustrate the idea, I transferred it into a flow chart. An endless, rrepetitive flowchart which I think goes on for an entire lifetime; except that hopefully this one is actually helpful to human beings.

John’s Memorial Garden

On the day Eli asked me to draft John’s obituary it was Sunday about 8am. I threw myself into writing it, which took a few hours. By the time I realized it was noon already I was late to pick up some snapdragons I had arranged to buy from a woman in Oshawa.

I pulled into her drive way about 3 hours later than she was expecting me. She was quite flustered because she had promised to be somewhere else at 2pm, and waiting for me made her late leaving. I was afraid she was going to be angry and dump all over me; you never know, when you meet people online, what they might be like in person. You take a risk, meeting them in person.

“I am so sorry!” I blurted out. “My good friend died suddenly, and his partner asked me to write his obituary. I got so caught up, I was late leaving home. I am so sorry.”

The woman was immediately distressed for me, and so kind: “Oh! I am so sorry you lost your friend! Don’t worry about it!” She had WAAAAAY more snapdragons than I was expecting, a big box full of them in really good, dark, heavy soil. The real garden kind of dirt, not the store-bought potted plant kind.

“I just dug these up now,” she told me, “when I saw you pull in. They will grow back every year. But don’t move them right away,” she advised. “They are disturbed right now. Let them rest a day or two before you move them again. Plant them for your friend.”

I am spending a lot of time trying to figure out this “new” world we live in now…I don’t think John or Rob would be putting up with it for a minute. I need a “WWJ&R do?” bracelet, I think.

I let them “rest” a few days before re-planting them, and they have been growing like gangbusters ever since. I liked having a little corner of my garden dedicated to John, so I painted a rock with a “J” on it. Then I decided the corner needed a crucifix – or two – and a lantern, and then a bench. And some more rocks to remind me of other people we have lost, and also, my mother’s Madonna statue.

So, the corner of my yard has become a little memorial garden. It started with John but grew as summer progressed.

It has been a such disturbing year. It’s nice to have a little place to rest, and see that things are still growing, as God intended.

 

 

Elections Canada needs to clarify how mail-in ballots are handled

Photo by Mikaela Wiedenhoff on Unsplash

11am Sept. 19 Update: Elections Canada sent me the message below. Now I have heard from 3 campaign managers who have never seen this info yet during this election; that could be the fault of their Party.

EC-000114703

We thank you for your email.

Special Voting Rules ballots are counted at local offices and at Elections Canada headquarters.

Deputy returning officers (DROs) and poll clerks verify outer envelopes and count Special Voting Rules (SVR) ballots cast by local electors, including electors in acute care hospitals and external service point (ESP) offices, at the office of the returning officer.

No ballots are counted in additional as SVR assistant returning officer (AARO) offices.

Ballots from other categories of SVR electors are counted at Elections Canada headquarters in Ottawa.

  • A service point supervisor oversees the verification of outer envelopes but is not present during the counting of the votes.
  • Candidates or one of their representatives can be present at the verification of the outer envelopes and counting of special ballots.

The verification of outer envelopes begins on election day before the polls close.

The DRO and poll clerk perform the following tasks:

  • They verify all the outer envelopes to determine whether the elector is entitled to vote in the electoral district. Outer envelopes which do not meet the requirements of the Canada Elections Act are set aside unopened (e.g. if not signed by the elector).
  • They count and open the valid outer envelopes, remove the anonymous inner envelopes and place them in a sealed ballot box. The outer envelopes are retained separately.
  • After the polls close, they open the ballot box, open the inner envelopes and count the votes and rejected ballots.

SVR ballots received at Elections Canada headquarters include ballots from:

  • Canadian Forces electors who voted from Monday
  • national and international electors
  • incarcerated electors

To be counted, ballots from these electors must be received at Elections Canada headquarters in Ottawa by 6 p.m. on polling day.

Counting SVR ballots at Elections Canada headquarters begins no later than September 12.

An SVR administrator oversees the verification and counting of ballots.

Special ballot officers work in pairs with another service agent who, as much as possible, was recommended by a different candidate, association or registered party. They perform the following tasks:

  • They verify the outer envelopes and count the SVR ballots by electoral district.
  • They set aside the rejected outer envelopes and leave them unopened
  • They count and open the valid outer envelopes, remove the anonymous inner envelopes and place them in a bag. The outer envelopes are set aside. They open the ballot bag, open the inner envelopes and count the votes and rejected ballots.

After the close of polls on election day, Elections Canada headquarters sends the number of SVR votes cast for each candidate and the number of rejected ballots to returning officers.

For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, visit our website at elections.ca, or call 1-800-463-6868, toll-free in Canada and the United States. Our hours of operation are Monday to Sunday, 7:00 a.m. until midnight (Eastern Time).

Public Enquiries Unit

Elections Canada


I used Elections Canada’s online form to ask a clear questions:

“What is the process for opening and counting the mail-in ballots in Ottawa?”

The answer they sent does not mention mail-in ballots. It’s gonna be a long week, Comrades.

***

We thank you for your email.

Photographs and audio and video recordings are not permitted in polling places. These restrictions apply to everyone, including established media outlets—except, with the permission of the Chief Electoral Officer, when filming party leaders in the process of voting. Photographing one’s own marked ballot is therefore prohibited. However, behind the voting screen, electors with a disability are allowed to use their cellphone as an assistive tool to help them vote.

All ballots are counted on election day. Elections Canada does not use automatic ballot-counting machines to count ballots or tabulate results. Ballots cast at ordinary and mobile polls must be counted after voting hours end on election day. The count for ballots cast at advance polls may begin one hour before voting hours end on election day.

People allowed to attend the count are:

  • Deputy Returning Officers (DRO) who count the ballots
  • Poll clerks (PC) who tally the votes counted and help the DROs complete paperwork
  • Candidates or their representatives (up to 2 representatives for each candidate) can witness the count.
  • If no candidates or representatives are present, at least 2 electors or election officers should be present to witness the count

The procedure for the counting of ballots is as follows:

Note that only the DRO can handle ballots.

  1. The DRO unseals the top of the ballot box
  2. The DRO takes out one ballot out of the ballot box and makes sure that DRO initials and (A)PD of the polling station are on the back. Note DROs can compare initials on ballots with the initials of previous DROs on Log of poll workers – Events Log (page 2-3) EC 50060 to make sure the ballot was issued by a DRO working at that polling station
  3. The DRO unfolds the ballot and says out loud which candidate is marked. The ballot is shown to everyone present
  4. The ballot is put in its appropriate pile
  5. Each time the DRO calls out a candidate’s name, the PC puts a mark under that name on Tally Sheet EC 50090. If the DRO rejects a ballot, the PC puts a mark in the rejected column
  6. Steps 2-5 are repeated until every ballot has been placed in a pile
  7. The DRO makes sure there are no ballots left in the box and shows it to everyone present
  8. The PC writes the totals in each column of the Tally Sheet EC 50090
  9. The DRO and PC sum the totals, and verify that it matches the Total from line 3 of the Last Page of the List (the number of Voted ticks)
  10. On each envelope, write the total number of ballots is written. The DRO puts each pile of ballots inside its appropriate envelope
  11. The DRO and PC complete the Statement of the Vote EC 50100
  12. The PC prepares Copy of Results for Candidates EC 50110 and gives a copy to each of the candidates or representatives present
  13. The Statement of the Vote, the ballots in sealed envelopes, and all other related documentation are sent back immediately to the Returning Officer who will validate the results at a pre-determined time shortly after election day.

For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, visit our website at elections.ca, or call 1-800-463-6868, toll-free in Canada and the United States. Our hours of operation are Monday to Sunday, 7:00 a.m. until midnight (Eastern Time).

Public Enquiries Unit

Elections Canada

The drug stash I keep in my car

This is the drug stash I keep in my car, in the front seat console of my Chevy Equinox.

The EpiPen is epinephrine to inject in case of allergic reaction causing anaphylactic shock. I don’t have any allergies, but I keep it in case I am ever at an event where a little kid gets stung by a bee or accidentally eats peanut butter. I pay cash for that; it expires every year.

The Naloxone is in case I am ever near a human being suffering from an opioid overdose; should such a person collapse, I am to spray the Naloxone up their nose, hopefully while someone else is dialling 911.  I don’t pay for that; the province of Ontario will provide one of these for free to anyone who requests it of their pharmacist. My pharmacist also delivers a very effective tutorial on how to use Naloxone when I pick up a new kit;  he takes it very seriously.

In 2020, I was proud to be part of a society that cared to spend money on a product that might save the life of a person addicted to drugs. Ontario and its taxpaying residents decided that it would be better to save lives now, and talk about personal choices later. I support that idea.

In 2021, the same caring society is hurling jeers and insults at people making a personal choice. The same system that would send a cop car, an ambulance and a fire truck to the home of an addict who took too much of something is talking about firing or denying healthcare to someone who doesn’t want to take enough of something else.

How did things go south so quickly? Where did all the kind caring and personal choice go?

This ignarent, selfish yahoo of a nurse is also apparently wondering where all the love and caring she got last year has gone.

Propagandapalooza: Uh-oh! The Doctors and Nurses are on to us….

Classic government photo used to terrorize citizens.
I have earned my living as a Professional Writer of Propaganda for 36 years. (I get to write other stuff too – but nothing pays as well as Propaganda….)
And so, as a Propaganda Professional, I have to tip my hat to this group of Doctors, Nurses and Researchers from the United Kingdom who have conducted an insightful, exhaustive analysis of exactly what it is their government has been up to for the last two years, and identified the myriad of ways citizens are being misled, terrorized and abused to the point of death. Clearly, they are on to us.
This is a spectacular piece of work, and I hope you will read it.
***

 

Our grave concerns about the handling of he COVID pandemic by governments of the nations of the UK

Mr Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

Ms Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland

Mr Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales

Mr Paul Givan, First Minister for Northern Ireland

Mr Sajid Javid, Health Secretary

Dr Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer

Dr Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Officer

 

22 August 2021

Dear Sirs and Madam,

Our grave concerns about the handling of the COVID pandemic by Governments of the Nations of the UK.

We write as concerned doctors, nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals with no vested interest in doing so. To the contrary, we face personal risk in relation to our employment for doing so and / or the risk of being personally “smeared” by those who inevitably will not like us speaking out.

We are taking the step of writing this public letter because it has become apparent to us that:

  • The  Government (by which we mean the UK government and three devolved governments/administrations and associated government advisors and agencies such as the CMOs, CSA, SAGE, MHRA, JCVI, Public Health services, Ofcom etc, hereinafter “you” or the “Government”) have based the handling of the COVID pandemic on flawed assumptions.
  • These have been pointed out to you by numerous individuals and organisations.
  • You have failed to engage in dialogue and show no signs of doing so. You have removed from people fundamental rights and altered the fabric of society with little debate in Parliament. No minister responsible for policy has ever appeared in a proper debate with anyone with opposing views on any mainstream media channel.
  • Despite being aware of alternative medical and scientific viewpoints you have failed to ensure an open and full discussion of the pros and cons of alternative ways of managing the pandemic.
  • The pandemic response policies implemented have caused massive, permanent and unnecessary harm to our nation, and must never be repeated.
  • Only by revealing the complete lack of widespread approval among healthcare professionals of your policies will a wider debate be demanded by the public.

In relation to the above, we wish to draw attention to the following points. Supporting references can be provided upon request.

  1. No attempt to measure the harms of lockdown policies

The evidence of disastrous effects of lockdowns on the physical and mental health of the population is there for all to see. The harms are massive, widespread, and long lasting. In particular, the psychological impact on a generation of developing children could be lifelong.

It is for this reason that lockdown policies were never part of any pandemic preparedness plans prior to 2020. In fact, they were expressly not recommended in WHO documents, even for severe respiratory viral pathogens and for that matter neither were border closures, face coverings, and testing of asymptomatic individuals. There has been such an inexplicable absence of consideration of the harms caused by lockdown policy it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that this is willful avoidance.

The introduction of such policies was never accompanied by any sort of risk/benefit analysis. As bad as that is, it is even worse that after the event when plenty of data became available by which the harms could be measured, only perfunctory attention to this aspect of pandemic planning has been afforded. Eminent professionals have repeatedly called for discourse on these health impacts in press-conferences but have been universally ignored.

What is so odd, is that the policies being pursued before mid-March 2020 (self-isolation of the ill and protection of the vulnerable, while otherwise society continued close to normality) were balanced, sensible and reflected the approach established by consensus prior to 2020. No cogent reason was given then for the abrupt change of direction from mid-March 2020 and strikingly none has been put forward at any time since.

  1. Institutional nature of COVID

It was actually clear early on from Italian data that COVID (the disease – as opposed to SARS-Cov-2 infection or exposure) was largely a disease of institutions. Care home residents comprised around half of all deaths, despite making up less than 1% of the population. Hospital infections are the major driver of transmission rates as was the case for both SARS1 and MERS. Transmission was associated with hospital contact in up to 40% of cases in the first wave in Spring 2020 and in 64% in winter 2020/2021.

Severe illness among healthy people below 70 years old did occur (as seen with flu pandemics) but was extremely rare.

Despite this, no early, aggressive and targeted measures were taken to protect care homes; to the contrary, patients were discharged without testing to homes where staff had inadequate PPE, training and information. Many unnecessary deaths were caused as a result.

Preparations for this coming winter, including ensuring sufficient capacity and preventative measures such as ventilation solutions, have not been prioritised.

  1. The exaggerated nature of the threat

Policy appears to have been directed at systematic exaggeration of the number of deaths which can be attributed to COVID. Testing was designed to find every possible ‘case’ rather than focusing on clinically diagnosed infections and the resulting exaggerated case numbers fed through to the death data with large numbers of people dying ‘with COVID’ and not ‘of COVID’ where the disease was the underlying cause of death.

The policy of publishing a daily death figure meant the figure was based entirely on the PCR test result with no input from treating clinicians. By including all deaths within a time period after a positive test, incidental deaths, with but not due to COVID, were not excluded thereby exaggerating the nature of the threat.

Moreover, in headlines reporting the number of deaths, a categorisation by age was not included. The average age of a COVID-labelled death is 81 for men and 84 for women, higher than the average life expectancy when these people were born. This is a highly relevant fact in assessing the societal impact of the pandemic. Death in old age is a natural phenomenon. It cannot be said that a disease primarily affecting the elderly is the same as one which affects all ages, and yet the government’s messaging appears designed to make the public think that everyone is at equal risk.

Doctors were asked to complete death certificates in the knowledge that the deceased’s death had already been recorded as a COVID death by the Government. Since it would be virtually impossible to find evidence categorically ruling out COVID as a contributory factor to death, once recorded as a “COVID death” by the government, it was inevitable that it would be included as a cause on the death certificate. Diagnosing the cause of death is always difficult and the reduction in post mortems will have inevitably resulted in increased inaccuracy. The fact that deaths due to non-COVID causes actually moved into a substantial deficit (compared to average) as COVID-labelled deaths rose (and this was reversed as COVID-labelled deaths fell) is striking evidence of over-attribution of deaths to COVID.

The overall all-cause mortality rate from 2015-2019 was unusually low and yet these figures have been used to compare to 2020 and 2021 mortality figures which has made the increased mortality appear unprecedented. Comparisons with data from earlier years would have demonstrated that the 2020 mortality rate was exceeded in every year prior to 2003 and is unexceptional as a result.

Even now COVID cases and deaths continue to be added to the existing total without proper rigour such that overall totals grow ever larger and exaggerate the threat. No effort has been made to count totals in each winter season separately which is standard practice for every other disease.

You have continued to adopt high-frequency advertising through publishing and broadcast media outlets to add to the impact of “fear messaging”. The cost of this has not been widely published, but government procurement websites reveal it to be immense – hundreds of millions of pounds.

The media and government rhetoric is now moving onto the idea that “Long Covid” is going to cause major morbidity in all age groups including children, without having a discussion of the normality of postviral fatigue which lasts upwards of 6 months. This adds to the public fear of the disease, encouraging vaccination amongst those who are highly unlikely to suffer any adverse effects from COVID.

  1. Active suppression of discussion of early treatment using protocols being successfully deployed elsewhere.

The harm caused by COVID and our response to it should have meant that advances in prophylaxis and therapeutics for COVID were embraced. However, evidence on successful treatments has been ignored or even actively suppressed. For example, a study in Oxford published in February 2021 demonstrated that inhaled Budesonide could reduce hospitalisations by 90% in low risk patients and a publication in April 2021 showed that recovery was faster for high risk patients too. However, this important intervention has not been promoted.

Dr. Tess Lawrie, of the Evidence Based Medical Consultancy in Bath, presented a thorough analysis of the prophylactic and therapeutic benefits of Ivermectin to the government in January 2021. More than 24 randomised trials with 3,400 people have demonstrated a 79-91% reduction in infections and a 27-81% reduction in deaths with Ivermectin.

Many doctors are understandably cautious about possible over-interpretation of the available data for the drugs mentioned above and other treatments, although it is to be noted that no such caution seems to have been applied in relation to the treatment of data around the government’s interventions (eg the effectiveness of lockdowns or masks) when used in support of the government’s agenda.

Whatever one’s view on the merits of these repurposed drugs, it is totally unacceptable that doctors who have attempted to merely open discussion about the potential benefits of early treatments for COVID have been heavily and inexplicably censored. Knowing that early treatments which could reduce the risk of requiring hospitalisation might be available would alter the entire view held by many professionals and lay people alike about the threat posed by COVID, and therefore the risk / benefit ratio for vaccination, especially in younger groups.

  1. Inappropriate and unethical use of behavioural science to generate unwarranted fear.

Propagation of a deliberate fear narrative (confirmed through publicly accessible government documentation) has been disproportionate, harmful and counterproductive. We request that it should cease forthwith.

To give just one example, the government’s face covering policies seem to have been driven by behavioural psychology advice in relation to generating a level of fear necessary for compliance with other policies. Those policies do not appear to have been driven by reason of infection control, because there is no robust evidence showing that wearing a face covering (particularly cloth or standard surgical masks) is effective against transmission of airborne respiratory pathogens such as SARS-Cov-2. Several high profile institutions and individuals are aware of this and have advocated against face coverings during this pandemic only inexplicably to reverse their advice on the basis of no scientific justification of which we are aware. On the other hand there is plenty of evidence suggesting that mask wearing can cause multiple harms, both physical and mental. This has been particularly distressing for the nation’s school children who have been encouraged by government policy and their schools to wear masks for long periods at school.

Finally, the use of face coverings is highly symbolic and thus counterproductive in making people feel safe. Prolonged wearing risks becoming an ingrained safety behaviour, actually preventing people from getting back to normal because they erroneously attribute their safety to the act of mask wearing rather than to the remote risk, for the vast majority of healthy people under 70 years old, of catching the virus and becoming seriously unwell with COVID.

  1. Misunderstanding of the ubiquitous nature of mutations of newly emergent viruses.

The mutation of any novel virus into newer strains – especially when under selection pressure from abnormal restrictions on mixing and vaccination – is normal, unavoidable and not something to be concerned about. Hundreds of thousands of mutations of the original Wuhan strain have already been identified. Chasing down every new emergent variant is counterproductive, harmful and totally unnecessary and there is no convincing evidence that any newly identified variant is any more deadly than the original strain.

Mutant strains appear simultaneously in different countries (by way of ‘convergent evolution’) and the closing of national borders in attempts to prevent variants travelling from one country to another serves no significant infection control purpose and should be abandoned.

  1. Misunderstanding of asymptomatic spread and its use to promote public compliance with restrictions.

It is well-established that asymptomatic spread has never been a major driver of a respiratory disease pandemic and we object to your constant messaging implying this, which should cease forthwith. Never before have we perverted the centuries-old practice of isolating the ill by instead isolating the healthy. Repeated mandates to healthy, asymptomatic people to self-isolate, especially school children, serves no useful purpose and has only contributed to the widespread harms of such policies. In the vast majority of cases healthy people are healthy and cannot transmit the virus and only sick people with symptoms should be isolated.

The government’s claim that one in three people could have the virus has been shown to be mutually inconsistent with the ONS data on prevalence of disease in society, and the sole effect of this messaging appears to have been to generate fear and promote compliance with government restrictions. The government’s messaging to ‘act as if you have the virus’ has also been unnecessarily fear-inducing given that healthy people are extremely unlikely to transmit the virus to others.

The PCR test, widely used to determine the existence of ‘cases’, is now indisputably acknowledged to be unable reliably to detect infectiousness. The test cannot discriminate between those in whom the presence of fragments of genetic material partially matching the virus is either incidental (perhaps because of past infection), or is representative of active infection, or is indicative of infectiousness. Yet, it has been used almost universally without qualification or clinical diagnosis to justify lockdown policies and to quarantine millions of people needlessly at enormous cost to health and well-being and to the country’s economy.

Countries that have removed community restrictions have seen no negative consequences which can be attributed to the easing. Empirical data from many countries demonstrates that the rise and fall in infections is seasonal and not due to restrictions or face coverings. The reason for reduced impact of each successive wave is that: (1) most people have some level of immunity either through prior immunity or immunity acquired through exposure; (2) as is usual with emergent new viruses, mutation of the virus towards strains causing milder disease appears to have occurred. Vaccination may also contribute to this although its durability and level of protection against variants is unclear. 

 

The government appears to be talking of “learning to live with COVID” while apparently practicing by stealth a “zero COVID” strategy which is futile and ultimately net-harmful.

  1. Mass testing of healthy children

Repeated testing of children to find asymptomatic cases who are unlikely to spread virus, and treating them like some sort of biohazard is harmful, serves no public health purpose and must stop.

During Easter term, an amount equivalent to the cost of building one District General Hospital was spent weekly on testing schoolchildren to find a few thousand positive ‘cases’, none of which was serious as far as we are aware.

Lockdowns are in fact a far greater contributor to child health problems, with record levels of mental illness and soaring levels of non-COVID infections being seen, which some experts consider to be a result of distancing resulting in deconditioning of the immune system.

  1. Vaccination of the entire adult population should never have been a prerequisite for ending restrictions.

Based merely on early “promising” vaccine data, it is clear that the Government decided in summer 2020 to pursue a policy of viral suppression within the entire population until vaccination was available (which was initially stated to be for the vulnerable only, then later changed – without proper debate or rigorous analysis – to the entire adult population).

This decision was taken despite massive harms consequent to continued lockdowns which were either known to you or ought to have been ascertained so as to be considered in the decision making process.

Moreover, a number of principles of good medical practice and previously unimpeachable ethical standards have been breached in relation to the vaccination campaign, meaning that in most cases, whether the consent obtained can be truly regarded as “fully informed” must be in serious doubt:

  • The use of coercion supported by an unprecedented media campaign to persuade the public to be vaccinated, including threats of discrimination, either supported by the law or encouraged socially, for example in co-operation with social media platforms and dating apps.
  • The omission of information permitting individuals to make a fully informed choice, especially in relation to the experimental nature of the vaccine agents, extremely low background COVID risk for most people, known occurrence of short-term side-effects and unknown long-term effects.

Finally, we note that the Government is seriously considering the possibility that these vaccines – which have no associated long-term safety data – could be administered to children on the basis that this might provide some degree of protection to adults. We find that notion an appalling and unethical inversion of the long-accepted duty falling on adults to protect children.

  1. Over-reliance on modeling while ignoring real-world data

Throughout the pandemic, decisions seem to have been taken utilising unvalidated models produced by groups who have what can only be described as a woeful track record, massively overestimating the impact of several previous pandemics.

The decision-making teams appear to have very little clinical input and, as far as is ascertainable, no clinical immunology expertise.

Moreover, the assumptions underlying the modeling have never been adjusted to take into account real-world observations in the UK and other countries.

It is an astonishing admission that, when asked whether collateral harms had been considered by SAGE, the answer given was that it was not in their remit – they were simply asked to minimise COVID impact. That might be forgivable if some other advisory group was constantly studying the harms side of the ledger, yet this seems not to have been the case.

Conclusions

The UK’s approach to COVID has palpably failed. In the apparent desire to protect one vulnerable group – the elderly – the implemented policies have caused widespread collateral and disproportionate harm to many other vulnerable groups, especially children. Moreover your policies have failed in any event to prevent the UK from notching up one of the highest reported death rates from COVID in the world.

Now, despite very high vaccination rates and the currently very low COVID death and hospitalisation rates, policy continues to be aimed at maintaining a population handicapped by extreme fear with restrictions on everyday life prolonging and deepening the policy-derived harms. To give just one example, NHS waiting lists now stand at 5.1m officially, with – according to the previous Health Secretary – a likely further 7m who will require treatment not yet presented. This is unacceptable and must be addressed urgently.

In short, there needs to be a sea change within the Government which must now pay proper attention to those esteemed experts outside its inner circle who are sounding these alarms. As those involved with healthcare, we are committed to our oath to “first do no harm”, and we can no longer stand by in silence observing policies which have imposed a series of supposed “cures” which are in fact far worse than the disease they are supposed to address.

The signatories of this letter call on you, in Government, without further delay to widen the debate over policy, consult openly with groups of scientists, doctors, psychologists and others who share crucial, scientifically-valid and evidence-based alternative views and to do everything in your power to return the country as rapidly as possible to normality with the minimum of further damage to society.

Yours sincerely,

 

Dr Jonathan Engler, MB ChB LLB (Hons) DipPharmMed

Professor John A Fairclough, BM BS B Med Sci FRCS FFSEM,  Consultant Surgeon, ran vaccination program for a Polio Outbreak, Past President BOSTA, for Orthopaedic Surgeons, Faculty member FFSEM

Mr Tony Hinton, MB ChB, FRCS, FRCS(Oto), Consultant Surgeon

Dr Renee Hoenderkamp, BSc (Hons) MBBS MRCGP, General Practitioner

Dr Ros Jones, MBBS, MD, FRCPCH, retired consultant paediatrician

Mr Malcolm Loudon, MB ChB MD FRCSEd FRCS (Gen Surg) MIHM VR

Dr Geoffrey Maidment, MBBS, MD, FRCP, retired consultant physician

Dr Alan Mordue, MB ChB, FFPH (ret), Retired Consultant in Public Health Medicine

Mr Colin Natali, BSc(Hons), MBBS FRCS FRCS(Orth), Consultant Spine Surgeon

Dr Helen Westwood, MBChB MRCGP DCH DRCOG, General Practitioner

 

Other Signatories

Dr Fiona Martindale MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Ian Comaish BM BCh Affiliations: FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmologist
Dr Eashwarran Kohilathas BMBS, GP trainee
Dr Kulvinder Manik MBChB, MRCGP, MA(Cantab), LLM, Gray’s Inn, General Practitioner
Dr David Morris MBChB MRCP(Uk) BSEM, General Practitioner
Dr Michael Bell MBChB (1978 Edin) MRCGP (1989), General Medical Practitioner (Retired)
Dr Jessica Robinson BSc.(Hons.) MB. BS. MRCPsych. MFHom, Qualified Doctor, Psychiatrist.
Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews MB MRCPCH DROG MRCGP , General Practitioner
Dr Rohaan Seth MBChB(hons), BSc(hons), MRCGP(2012), General practitioner
Dr Greta Mushet MBChB MRCPsych, Retired Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy
Dr Carl Simpson MB ChB, MSc, MD, MFPH, FRCGP, FRACGP General Practitioner and Medical Director
Dr S Ferdinando MBBS FRCPsych MSc, Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Elizabeth Evans MA(Cantab), MBBS, DRCOG, Retired doctor
DR Charles Forsyth MBBS, BSEM Independent Medical Practitioner
Dr David T H Williams MB BS BDS FFHom (doctor, holding medical qualification)
Dr Jayne Donegan  MMBBS DRCOG DFFP DCH MRCGP MFHom, General Practitioner (Retd)
DR Jon Rogers MBChB MRCGP, GP (Retd)
Dr Clare Jones MB ChB, General Practitioner
Dr Christopher Wood MBBS MRCPsych Psychiatrist (Retd)
Dr Sue De Lacy MBBS MRCGP MFHOM AFMCP UK Integrative health medical practitioner
DR Franziska Meuschel MD ND PhD Affiliations: IDF, BSEM, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
DR Julia Wilkens MD FCROG, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dr Helen Heaton BM BS MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Christopher Boitz MBChB BSc (Hons), General Practitioner
Dr Clare Craig BM BCh FRCPath, Consultant Pathologist
Dr Sebastien Viatte MD, PhD Physician, Immunologist, Genetic Epidemiologist
Mr Jonathan Hobson BM BCh FRCS, Consultant ENT Surgeon
Dr Peter Campbell MB BS, BOA, FRCSEd, BSLM, Orthopaedic Consultant & Lifestyle Medicine Physician
Dr Ashvy Bhardwaj MBBS MRCGP Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Sam White MBChB MRCGP Affiliations: RCGP, ILADS, IFM, ANP, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Gabriella Day MBBS MRCP, DCh, MRCGP, MFHom, General Practitioner
Dr Amanda Herbert MB BS FRCPath, Retired Consultant Pathologist
Dr Haleema Sheikh MBBS, MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Elizabeth Corcoran MBBS MRCPsych
Dr Frank Medford MB ChB Consultant Psychiatrist (locum)
Dr Emma Brierly MB BS MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Sarah Taylor MB BCh MRCPsych Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Dr Art O’Malley BA, MB, BCh, DCH, MRCGP, MRCPsych, FRCPsych Psychiatric consultant and GP AND Trauma specialist
Dr Nichola Ling MRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician
Dr Theresa Lawrie MBBCh, PhD Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Karen Malone BM(Hons) MRCGP ASLM/BSLM Dip Affiliations: BSLM General Practitioner
Dr Andrew Ling RCOA Consultant Anaesthetist
Dr Christina Peers MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, FFSRH GP trained, Consultant in Contraception and Reproductive Health
Dr Pascal Mensah General Practitioner, Member of the British society of Immunology
Dr Charlie Sayer MBBS FRCR Consultant Radiologist
Dr Amir ASHGARI MD, FARCgp, General Practitioner
Dr Mary Walsh MB BCh, General Practitioner
Dr Gerard Hall MBBS FRCP, Consultant Physician
Dr David Jackson BSc MB BCh MRCP FRCR, Consultant Radiologist
Dr Jessica Engler  MBChB, BSc (hons), GP Trainee
Dr Suhail Hussain MBChB, MRCGP, DRCOG, DFFP, PG Dip diabetes, General Practitioner
Dr Polly Keeling MB ChB, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Anastasia Maria Loupis MD, Emergency Medicine Doctor
Dr Sam David MBBS, General Practitioner
Dr Jolanta Sliwowska MD,  Associate Specialist Anaesthetist
Dr Tony Pearson FRCGP, General Practitioner (Retd)
Dr Stephen Hunter FRCPsych. MMM Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Past MD, NHS Wales.
Dr Danielle Fisch BA, MD, CCFP  (Certification in the College of Family Physicians)
Dr Elisabeth Clewing Retired General Practitioner
Dr Malcolm Kendrick MbCHB MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Ricky Allen MB BS DRCOG MRCGP, Retired General Practitioner
Dr Arunkumar Patel  MBBS, MRCPH (UK) Retired Public Health Consultant
Dr Dean Patterson MB ChB, FRCP, Consultant Physician
Dr Nyjon Eccles BSC, MBBS, MRCP, PhD, Integrated Medicine physician
Dr Sheila Richards MBBS MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Anna Forbes MBBS BSEM, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr david crossley MB, BS (1988), FRCA((1993) FFICM(2012), MRCPath(ME), Consultant in anaesthesia and critical care
Dr Liesel Holler MD, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Alistair Holdcroft MBChB DOccMed DAvMed DRCOG, GP and Occupational Medicine
Dr Tehmton Sepai MBChB MFHom MLCOM, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Peter Chan BM, MRCS (2006), MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Stefanie Williams Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Dr Robert Powell General Practitioner
Dr Holly Young MBChB, MRCP, BSc, PgCert Med Leadership, Consultant in Palliative Medicine
Dr Gabrielle Budd MBChB and BMedSci(Hons) (Otago), PhD, Doctor (holding medical qualification)
Mrs Diane Bartley RGN GPN Dip diabetes,Dip minor illness,Dip asthma,Dip CHD,Dip family planning, Registered Nurse
Mr John Collis Nurse practitioner (retd)
Mrs Debbie Brotherston RCN, Nurse or Midwife
Ms Elspeth Hill RSCN, RGN, NMC, Nurse or Midwife
Mrs Jo Brimmell NMC, RCN, Nurse or Midwife
Mrs Rosemary Wood RGN, Nurse (retd)
Mr Jake Stanworth Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN)
Ms Margret Watson NMC,  Community Mental Health Nurse
Mrs Nicola Campbell Former Registered General Nurse
Mr Andy Reynolds Charge nurse A&E
Mrs Leanne Wakters Ex nurse over 20 years experience
Miss Ruth Oram Senior Staff Nurse
Ms Dee norwood Nurse or Midwife (NHS)
Miss Anna Phillips  Registered paediatric nurse
Mrs Valerie Palmer State Registered Nurse, Community Nurse
Mrs Gayle Gerry BSc (Hons). RN. General practice nurse
Miss Marianna Henley Registered nurse
Mrs Patricia Chedgzoy Regustered nurse
Ms Wendy Armstrong Practice nurse
Mrs Jill Catling State Registered Nurse (retd)
Ms Rhoda Roberts Registered Mental Nurse, Registered Specialist Practitioner in Community Mental Health Nursing, BSc Nursing in the Community
Ms Patricia Penfold Registered nurse (retd)
Mrs Constance Woodall Registered nurse (retd)
Ms Susan Tapper Registered nurse
Mrs Paula Matthews Registered nurse
Ms Julie O’Neil Registered nurse
Miss Nadia Jejna Registered nurse
Mrs Sarah Knights Registered nurse
Ms Susan McAleney Registered nurse
Miss Susan Forbes Former Mental Health Nurse
Mrs Jacqui Ruby Registered nurse
Mrs Mandy Gardiner School nurse support worker
Mrs Jill Mcdonald Registered Nurse and Cardiac Exercise Instructor
Mrs Karen Moore Registered nurse
Ms Kathryn Weymouth Registered midwife
Mrs Patricia Cragg Registered nurse (retd)
Ms Samantha Simpson Registered nurse
Mrs Kate Blake Registered nurse (retd)
Mrs Moira Pratt Registered nurse
Miss Louise Naylor Registered Adult Nurse
Mrs Marie Hartley Registered community nurse
Mr Jon-Paul Mitchell Registered Mental Health Nurse
Mrs Gillian Dawson Registered Nurse (Neonatal)
Mrs Alma Pierce Registered Nurse
Mrs Catherine Jones Paramedic
Dr Teresa Wilson Paramedic
Mr Bhupesh Maisuria Paramedic
Miss Pauline Kiely Paramedic

 

 

Sorry! Who would have thought a document labelled “INVOICE” was not an invoice?

Do you suppose anybody at the Ontario PC Party or in Doug Ford’s office looked at this completely fake, fraudulent, coercive “fundraising” document presented as an invoice and stopped to think:

“Gee, sending out this manipulative and fraudulent document might make recipients think the team around Doug Ford is made up of manipulative people, capable of fraud?”

Because then there’s a really high risk that the very next thought in that person’s mind might be, “Hey, I wonder if any of the OTHER information Doug Ford is sending out – for example, on COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccination safety – is in any way manipulative or fraudulent? That makes me worry.”

Speaking as a recipient of the “fundraising” letter, That’s EXACTLY what I am thinking.

So the Ontario PC party, led by Premier Doug Ford, sent out a fraudulent, coercive fundraising document disguised as an invoice to a party full of loyal members, many of whom are senior citizens and lifetime supporters who pay their bills promptly. Maybe they might confuse a document headed by the word “INVOICE” in text an inch high with the words “BALANCE DUE” at the bottom with an actual invoice with a balance due. Mistakes happen. This could happen in any organization, really.

Well, no, not really. The “fundraising” package arrived in a custom-printed envelope which read on the outside “invoice enclosed.” Such a project requires multiple layers of planning; writing; editing; graphic design; approval and sign off by at least one person in authority (but usually far more than one); and then colour printing, folding, stuffing, and mailing using the Ontario PC Party’s mailing list in a variable-print process that provides personalization and unique mailing address for each individual recipient. Projects like that don’t happen by accident, or without approval.

In a serendipitous coincidence, the media images stored in my website library include this photo directly next to the Fake Invoice image. So in order to post the Fake Invoice image, I have to look at this and think, “Well, those two proud Conservatives are rolling over in their graves, for sure.”

The Party is scrambling to blame the supplier, Responsive Marketing Group, as though all of the above steps could serendipitously take place while no one who runs the Party that runs the province knew about it. This means that either there is a spectacularly incompetent group of people running all three organizations, or someone is lying.

I would like to think that when somebody from the Party apologizes for the fraudulent fundraising letter and says in a statement “We regret that this correspondence was sent to a limited group of supporters by one of our vendors and will not happen again. We apologize for any confusion or frustration this may have caused,” that means the Party regrets that this correspondence was sent, and that it will not happen again, and that they are sorry for any confusion caused.

Actually, I think it means the Party is sorry it got CAUGHT confusing members. Anyone with eyes to see and a brain to think can see the Party in fact confused the members quite intentionally. The mistake to be sorry about was the getting caught part; I do believe they are sorry about that.

These are the people providing us with information on COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine safety.

That makes me worry.