Greetings from my Adriatic sick bed. As you'll recall, just a few weeks ago, my main ambition was to live long enough to be buried at sea on the Mark Steyn Cruise. I failed to pull that off, so my ambition now is to live long enough to confront the totalitarian commissars of the UK state censor Ofcom in the English High Court.
Ofcom have twice "ruled" against me for The Mark Steyn Show's coverage of the Covid "vaccines" - a medical product that around the world has crippled and killed in sufficient numbers to warrant total withdrawal under any previous regulatory standard. Lord Grade's first pseudo-conviction against me was issued earlier this year, and we promptly filed suit in the King's Bench Division of the High Court. My second pseudo-conviction was therefore entirely predictable: it was because of an interview with my friend, the fearless Naomi Wolf, on what she has discovered in the documents Pfizer attempted to hide from the public for most of the remainder of this century. God bless the judge who threw that self-serving racket out of court.
You can see my conversation with Naomi in full here at SteynOnline. You will never see it again on UK television - and, indeed, if Michael Grade and Dame Melanie gain the jurisdiction over the Internet that the woeful faux-Tories are minded to give them, you are unlikely to be able to access it from a UK-based laptop or mobile telephone. This level of state censorship is now treated as perfectly normal by the London media.
On The Mark Steyn Show, we began our coverage of this issue by talking to the victims - widows of the Covid vaccines such as Vikki Spit and Charlotte Wright, or those crippled by them such as Alex Mitchell and John Watt. In the early days, I would always say "We invited AstraZeneca to come on the show and respond" or some such. But Big Pharma never replied - even as they were dispatching their legal terms to coroners' courtrooms across the land to monitor inquests of their victims. So the natural corrollary to interviewing Vikki and Charlotte is digging deeper into what did Big Pharma know and when did they know it. Naomi Wolf is one of the few people on the planet to have taken the trouble to do that.
However, even a castrated and cowed media operating within Michael Grade's shriveled bounds of non-free speech can't ignore that, back in the real world, the mountain of evidence grows taller. Last week our friend Laura Rosen Cohen spotted this one in the mega-prestigious New England Journal of Medicine:
Potential 'Healthy Vaccinee Bias' in a Study of BNT162b2 Vaccine against Covid-19
If you're wondering what that means in layman's terms, well, one of the co-authors summarises it thus:
Boosters studies from Israel that the US FDA relied upon were COMPLETELY WRONG
- as the authors now admit. But for Lord Grade, Dame Melanie Dawes and their anonymous enforcers at Ofcom, Year 2020 is forever and can never be permitted to end. Just to be clear:
~It is an entirely rational decision to decline to be "vaccinated" and "boosted".
~Whereas there is nothing rational (or scientific) whatsoever about discriminating against citizens on the basis of their vaccination status. Nevertheless:
Sudbury man refused kidney transplant due to vaccination status dies: Report
Garnet Harper, 35, leaves behind a wife and five children
I am barely in better health than poor Mr Harper, but I cannot accept the muzzle imposed by the control freaks of Ofcom in service of what has proven to be the most dishonest state propaganda. My estimable King's Counsel Gavin Millar recently won an important appeal in Belfast for the great Van Morrison on another Covid case, and writes brisk briefs that do not descend into legalisms but stand on core first principles. In my Statement of Claim, we advance four objections to Ofcom:
First, their ruling is unlawful - it doesn't get more basic than that:
This is a misconstruction of the sub-section, and the error has led Ofcom to misunderstand and misapply its regulatory powers, exceeding them improperly.
Second, Ofcom's "reasoning" and "proof" and "evidence" are all but non-existent:
The postulated harmful material (ie potentially causing injury or damage) could only be the "claims" by [Naomi Wolf] that the mRNA vaccine had side effects and was unsafe. But for this to be harmful material the claims would have to be wrong, and the vaccine safe and effective... Not only does the decision contain no finding to this effect, even if it is read as containing an implied finding to this effect no evidence is identified in the decision to support such a finding.
Third, the conviction is a breach of my free-speech rights:
The decision amounts to a violation of [Steyn]'s right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
As you're probably aware, I'd much rather stand on Magna Carta, but the twenty-first-century UK is what it is. And if the ECHR can protect an Albanian "migrant" from being flown to all-expenses-paid acccommodations in other Commonwealth countries it can surely do its bit for my free-speech rights.
And fourth, there is a total lack of basic legal protections - such as the right to mount a defence:
[Steyn] had an interest in the outcome of the Ofcom investigation which entitled him to be protected by procedural fairness. He was not given, but should have been given, a fair opportunity to make written representations to Ofcom against the proposed finding of rule breach.
Ofcom are relaxed about such critiques: Anonymous judges convicting the accused in absentia - hey, what's the big deal? Works for North Korea, right?
As Gavin Millar points out, Ofcom's logic is entirely circular:
Ofcom also tries to suggest that the lack of a finding that the mRNA vaccine was safe and effective was not necessary because:
'Health authorities (including those in the UK) have continued to recommend the use of the mRNA vaccine...'
But the whole point of the criticism raised by [Naomi Wolf] was that health authorities were wrong to do this because the mRNA vaccine was unsafe. Her statements could only be harmful if she was wrong about this.
And Ofcom cannot demonstrate that in court - or prove that the vaccine is "effective". [UPDATE! via Veronica in Auckland: Au contraire.]
Indeed, such continued "recommendations" as still apply have gone very sotto voce. As we noted on the very show Ofcom convicted us for, Scandinavian governments were the first to check out and cease to recommend the jabs for ever expanding categories of citizen. Switzerland then decided to abandon them for anyone, and cautioned that, if you wished to defy the government's advice and get the shot, you're on your own.
And even in the UK the government that shamefully showered knighthoods and damehoods on the creators of "the great British success story" has quietly withdrawn the AstraZeneca vaccine from the market, and its sales are now precisely zero. UPPERDATE! As our friend Vikki Spit puts it this very morning:
They've stopped selling their vaccine because it isn't safe.
They insists the side effects are very rare.
They made 4.4 Billion pre-tax profit.
They haven't offered a penny to support those they killed or injured.
But as Steyn Clubber Josh Passell adds in our comments:
And Ofcom think you're the bad guy.
Indeed. Still, that "continued recommendation" shtick is unlikely to hold up in the witness box - and, as our Statement of Claim points out, the reasoning is bollocks: You're not permitted to criticise governments pushing the mRNA vaccine because governments are continuing to push the mRNA vaccine (even though they're not). So there.
I need this lawsuit like I need a bi-monthly AstraZeneca shot. But someone has to push back against the ever tighter bounds of state censorship: The UK media are like 007 when he's trapped in one of those elevators where the walls and the ceiling are closing in on him. But the difference is that, on Covid and climate change and grooming gangs and illegal immigration and an ever lengthening list of other topics, most TV and radio hosts seem to like it. I don't. The King's Bench courtrooms are, as I recall, big and airy, and I hope the cleansing rays of judicial sunlight can pierce even the dank processes of Ofcom.
~Many readers, listeners and viewers have inquired about how to support this landmark lawsuit against an ever more powerful state censor. Well, there are several ways to lend a hand, including:
a) signing up a friend for a Steyn Club Gift Membership;
b) buying a chum a SteynOnline gift certificate; or
c) ordering a copy of my latest book The Prisoner of Windsor. You won't regret it.
With the first two methods, one hundred per cent of the proceeds and, in the last, a significant chunk thereof go to a grand cause - and you or your loved one gets something, too.
~Speaking of The Prisoner of Windsor, my contemporary inversion of The Prisoner of Zenda set in twenty-first-century London at the dawn of the reign of an unpopular monarch (imagine that):
*If you absolutely can't live without your full-price hardback being personally inscribed, that we can do.
*However, if you disdain my John Hancock, Amazon is selling the book at a discount - and the shipping will be rather less, too. Likewise, if you order from Amazon Canada. (An alternative option north of the border: for a hardback direct from the University of Toronto Press, click here.)
*For digital versions of the book, please scroll down the page.
~Notwithstanding my one-step-forward-three-steps-back health, we had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with Andrew Lawton back at the helm of our Clubland Q&A, but this time with his Barbie doll. Rick McGinnis's Saturday movie date grappled with Christopher Nolan's atomic blockbuster Oppenheimer, and my Sunday Song of the Week offered a spectacular song inspired by the view from my sick bed.
If you were too busy getting out your Ken doll to play with Andrew's Barbie, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
~Finally, if you are way beyond print copies of books, The Prisoner of Windsor is also available in digital format.
For Nook, see here.
For Kobo, see here.
For the Kindle edition around the world, please click below: