Richard Murphy – Doctors are suggesting our politicians might be committing social murder and the press does not notice. How does that happen?

This is a topic that has been meticulously avoided by corporate media and has been kept out of the public discourse: responsibility of governments for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Richard Murphy is a Visiting Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, City University of London. He campaigns on issues of tax avoidance and tax evasion, as well as blogging at Tax Research UK

Cross-posted from Tax Research UK

The British Medical Journal published an editorial a few days ago under the title:

Covid-19: Social murder, they wrote—elected, unaccountable, and unrepentant

Written by Kamran Abbasi, its executive editor, the core argument was this:

Murder is an emotive word. In law, it requires premeditation. Death must be deemed to be unlawful. How could “murder” apply to failures of a pandemic response? Perhaps it can’t, and never will, but it is worth considering. When politicians and experts say that they are willing to allow tens of thousands of premature deaths for the sake of population immunity or in the hope of propping up the economy, is that not premeditated and reckless indifference to human life? If policy failures lead to recurrent and mistimed lockdowns, who is responsible for the resulting non-covid excess deaths? When politicians wilfully neglect scientific advice, international and historical experience, and their own alarming statistics and modelling because to act goes against their political strategy or ideology, is that lawful? Is inaction, action?1 How big an omission is not acting immediately after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020?

It is then suggested that:

At the very least, covid-19 might be classified as “social murder,” as recently explained by two professors of criminology.

I would stress, that there is no such thing as social murder in British law. Whether that is a good or bad thing is open to debate. What is clear is that no one can be charged with an offence that does not exist. That said, I do wonder how far from manslaughter it might be?

I have three thoughts ion this article, which has been the subject of much debate in the Murphy household over the last few days.

The first is to ask whether this is a useful concept. My suggestion is that it is. In a recent post I suggested that I thought the primary goal of the government was to protect people from fear. I suggested that our government was not doing that. One way in which it fails is by not protecting them from unnecessary early death.

Second, the question has to be asked if the successive failings of the government on Covid 19 might meet this criterion? Opinions will differ. I think that there is a priority in the government to secure short term political gain over securing the well-being of people. I strongly suspect that the current vaccine programme might fail for this reason, as have many previous supposed efforts to tackle this crisis before it.

Third, why has this not been discussed in the mainstream media? It is as if there was a D notice on it. Doctors are suggesting our politicians might be committing social murder and the press does not notice. How does that happen? Is it that this is just not ‘nice’, or is there an unquestioning conspiracy to support that process? I wish I knew.

The one thing I am sure of is that this question will not go away.

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