How Ministers Used Covert Tactics to Keep Scared Public at Home

Finally, an article in the Telegraph which mentions the psychological strategies that were used to manipulate the public behaviour.

Here are some extracts from the article:

Whether frightening the public was a deliberate – or honest – tactic has become the subject of intense debate, and dozens of psychologists have now accused ministers of using “covert psychological strategies” to manipulate the public’s behaviour.

They believe the Government, acting on the advice of behavioural experts, has emphasised the threat from Covid without putting the risks in sufficient context, leaving the country in “a state of heightened anxiety”.

One of the key pieces of evidence cited by those who have complained about “covert” tactics comes from a document prepared for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago.

Dated March 22, the paper written by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) stated: “A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened; it could be that they are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group, although levels of concern may be rising … the perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging. To be effective this must also empower people by making clear the actions they can take to reduce the threat.”

Mr Sidley was so concerned that he and 46 colleagues wrote to the British Psychological Society (BPS) raising “concerns about the activities of government-employed psychologists … in their mission to gain the public’s mass compliance with the ongoing coronavirus restrictions”.

The letter added: “Our view is that the use of covert psychological strategies – that operate below the level of people’s awareness – to ‘nudge’ citizens to conform to a contentious and unprecedented public health policy raises profound ethical questions.”

Some Sage participants now admit to feeling “embarrassed” by such advice.

One regular Sage attendee said: “The British people have been subjected to an unevaluated psychological experiment without being told that is what’s happening.

“All of this is about trying to steer behaviour in the direction an elite has decided, rather than deciding if it is the right thing or the ethical thing to do.”

Others cite, for example, the fact that the Government tells the public how many people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test, but does not include the context of whether deaths are above or below the seasonal norm, and also gives daily figures for hospital admissions, but not how many people have recovered.

Terrifying predictions, which are often presented in such a way that they seem like certainties, have also come from the likes of Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser.

Here is the full article: