‘You Were Elected To Lead’

at

Top from left: Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan; Senator Michael McDowell

This afternoon.

Further to the possibility of a Level 5 lockdown for the entire country….

….Senator Michael McDowell, a former Minister for Justice, has released the following statement

‘I am appealing to the three coalition party leaders to reject the NPHET advice that the country should go to Level 5 in its entirety.

I am also appealing to the three leaders to refuse to be manipulated into a cynical (and perhaps intended) “compromise” with NPHET that we should move to Level 4.

Futile

Moving to either level will create untold misery, additional deaths, huge psychiatric and psychological damage, irreparable economic and social harm, and will be futile.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that the situation in three or four weeks’ time will be significantly different if we now go into a lockdown or quasi-lockdown. None whatever.

There is no reason to believe that infection rates or community transmission rates would not resume at or climb almost immediately to current rates if Level 5 or Level 4 restrictions were imposed nationally and if they were relaxed in coming weeks and months.

The reported NPHET advice will, if accepted, turn out to be semi-permanent lasting for many months.

Lockdown’s Consequences

Accepting NPHET advice will have entirely predictable consequences:

Increased mortality from cancer, heart disease and other conditions due to continued dislocation of the health services

Untold suffering for those continuing to be deprived of vital social services for the mentally and physically disabled and their families

Severe psychiatric and psychological damage to vulnerable people

Greatly increased domestic abuse

Loneliness and isolation for the elderly

Catastrophic consequences for economic life hitting especially the indigenous SME sectors

Collapse of many enterprises due to insolvency and foreclosures

Massively increased unemployment and resultant poverty and misery.

These consequences, among others, are not to be chosen by default out of weakness now.

Unacceptable

We simply cannot go back into lockdown. We have got to learn to live with Covid infection and with significant risk of community transmission. Epidemiology and mathematical modelling is only one part of the story.

We know that further lockdown will have inevitable mortality and health consequences that lie outside simple epidemiology. The reported NPHET advice is replete with existential threats to the “common good” more widely understood.

Hospitalisation rates, intensive care admission rates and genuine Covid mortality rates are certainly significant issues for government.

Recent evidence concerning the categorisation of Covid related deaths suggests that the figure of approximately 1800 may be inflated. Likewise the evidence given to the Dáil Covid committee’s final meeting that the median age of Covid related death was “in the high eighties” requires us to put purely epidemiological advice into a real perspective when confronted with the clearly known and inevitable consequences of accepting NPHET’s reported advice.

Living With Community Transmission

The younger cohorts of the population (including nearly everyone of working age) are entitled to live their lives as normally as circumstances can permit. It is not a question of pitching their interests into a conflict with those of the older or more vulnerable cohorts in our population. Keeping schools and creches open goes nowhere near what is now demanded.

Entire swathes of our society and of social and economic activity simply cannot be put into suspended animation in pursuit of unattainable epidemiological goals or entirely temporary effects.

The cohesion that we have witnessed up to this point was based on a number of suppositions.

These include the supposition that our health authorities would address as a matter of extreme emergency shortfalls in ICU capacity. Little or nothing was done.

The supposition also was that we would establish a really effective test, track and trace system as a matter of extreme emergency. This does not appear to have happened either.

I am appealing to the leaders of the coalition and to their parties to reject the NPHET advice and to articulate with conviction, courage and honesty a different course for Irish society over the next number of weeks and months. The NPHET path is neither necessary nor sustainable – politically, socially, or economically.

You were elected to lead – not to be led.’

Senator Michael McDowell calls on coalition to reject NPHET Level 5 advice (Senator ichael McDowell)

Earlier: Hi Five

Update
:

46 thoughts on “‘You Were Elected To Lead’

    1. scottser

      i’d say you fell hook, line and sinker for all that ‘nigerian women are coming here in boatloads to have babies and sponge off the state’ nonsense. i can just imagine you fresh back from voting in mcdowell’s referendum with four cans of dutch gold, celebrating that you ‘stuffed it to the darkies’ with some fresh underpants and another tin of beans.

      1. Basque frog

        +1
        Well put!
        ……
        BS: “…a former Minister for Justice” — Right, also the mastermind of the racist citizenship referendum with the PDs, devoted to demolishing public services, who has always been on the side of money.
        But you Know that, dont you?
        Please Broadsheet stop promoting anti-lockdown libertinage at the cost of sense and public health.

    2. V AKA Frilly Keane

      When presented with his own legislative history while a PD in Government
      I reckon McDowell himself would smack that head off ya Charage for reminding him

      His attitude to equality has changed dramatically in the last ten years
      If the 27th Referendum (Irish Citizenship) in draft form was on the Cabinet table today t’would be thrown out. In fact it probably wouldn’t make it onto the Agenda.
      A Fianna Fail PD Government and supported fully by Fine Gael got that over the line in 2004 by terrorising families about maternity hospitals, crèche places, school places and even Children’s Allowance

      None of them would dream of mentioning it today
      Well maybe Noel Grealish

      And you can bet your next bottle of shop brand gin that Michael McDowell won’t thank you for putting him anywhere near the likes of Noel Grealish

      1. V AKA Frilly Keane

        When presented with his own legislative history while a PD in Government
        I reckon McDowell himself would smack that head off ya Charage for reminding him

        His attitude to equality has changed dramatically in the last ten years
        If the 27th Referendum (Irish Citizenship) in draft form was on the Cabinet table today t’would be thrown out. In fact it probably wouldn’t make it onto the Agenda.
        A Fianna Fail PD Government and supported fully by Fine Gael got that over the line in 2004 by terrorising families about maternity hospitals, crèche places, school places and even Children’s Allowance

        None of them would dream of mentioning it today
        Well maybe Noel Grealish

        And you can bet your next bottle of shop brand gin that Michael McDowell won’t thanks you for putting anywhere near the likes of Noel Grealish

        Although I understand Noel Grealish has a lot of fans around here
        If the reaction to his racist and incorrect information about remittances from Ireland to Nigeria is anything to go by

  1. John Davis

    The only question now should be what happens after a level 5 lockdown.

    Nobody that proposes it can give a definitive answer.

    1. scottser

      It will be black John. It’s like, how much more black could this be and the answer is none. None more black.

      1. John Smith

        I must remember that definitiion, George – common sense = tired rubbish. We live and learn.

        I think I’ll stick with the more usual definition, eg
        ‘the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way’ (Cambridge Dictionary).

        This would seem to be a far better description of Michael McDowell’s statement.

  2. Redundant Proofreaders Society

    Lock down in increments, according to case numbers – which is what the stepped or levelling system should facilitate. It was barely published and already we had ‘Level two and a bit and three and a bit’. Instead it is used as a scare siren, to compensate for a poor crisis communication strategy, poor management of restrictions and little enforcement.

    1. John Smith

      ‘Lock down in increments, according to case numbers – which is what the stepped or levelling system should facilitate.’

      Yes, RPS, if we have to have a lockdown of any kind, at least set it according to the plan that has been drawn up in such detail. The Government’s 14-day incident rates by LEA map shows that large parts of the country have low incidence rates. Putting everywhere on a Level 4 or 5 is totally unjustifiable and is just the sort of situation that was supposed to be avoided!.

      1. Redundant Proofreaders Society

        Agreed, Level 5 nationwide is totally unjustifiable. If say Connaught has low incident rates and Ulster has high rates, then apply the appropriate level to each. It’s not that difficult. We suspect either NPHET or government ministers, or indeed both, don’t display faith in the stepped system and ‘ Take us to LEVEL 5!’ press leaks are designed to scare the public.

  3. Just Sayin

    What kind of alternate reality are we in where Michael McDowell is the voice of sanity and reason?

    So it appears now that the government agree with the protestors that NPHET are talking bolliix.

    1. E'Matty

      ah, the protesters just played divide and rule right back at NPHET and the government :-) A taste of their own medicine.

  4. Commenter #1

    “Hospitalisation rates, intensive care admission rates and genuine Covid mortality rates are certainly significant issues for government.”

    Any ideas for how these “significant issues” might be addressed?

  5. Andrew

    “The cohesion that we have witnessed up to this point was based on a number of suppositions.

    These include the supposition that our health authorities would address as a matter of extreme emergency shortfalls in ICU capacity. Little or nothing was done.

    The supposition also was that we would establish a really effective test, track and trace system as a matter of extreme emergency. This does not appear to have happened either.”

    For some reason there is a reluctance to ask basic questions of the HSE chief executive in relation to the above. The above quote is what it all boils down to. NOTHING has been done.

  6. Zaccone

    Extremely well put. Its great to see well respected, highly qualified people like him finally starting to ask questions of our government’s disastrous handling of the crisis.

    Why hasn’t the last 6 months been used to double our ICU capacity? Thats the biggest question that everyone should be asking right now.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      “Why hasn’t the last 6 months been used to double our ICU capacity? That’s the biggest question that everyone should be asking right now.”

      And it should be asked day after day after day until it’s answered and accounted for.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      “Well worth a read and view”
      Don’t think that the Flockdowns here will bother do that. Instead it’ll be the usual attack on your goodself.

      1. ian-oh

        Unherd? I read quite a few articles. They seem to think they are edgy and out there. But they’re not really. Just more self congratulatory onanism.

        Lol.

        1. f_lawless

          Is it a bridge too far for you to listen to and consider what 3 of the world’s most eminent epidemiologists are suggesting as a solution to the situation we all find ourselves in? You opinion of Unherd doesn’t seem very coherent but either way it’s not relevant to the case being made by the experts

          1. ian-oh

            Herd immunity.

            Yep, but no. Unless they are willing to infect themselves with it, then I have no interest in reading any further.

  7. E'Matty

    The tide is turning. You have former AG McDowell, former Taosieach Varadkar and wannabe Taoiseach O’Çallaghan all now breaking ranks to come out and question the government and NPHET approach in the media. Three calculating politcians who see which way the mood of the nation is turning. I’m just looking forward to the time when all the lockdown zealots on here are pretending they always had reservations about the lockdowns and government handling of this shambolic crisis management and trying to deny that they were labelling anyone who dared question the consensus “conspiracy theorists” and “Far-right racists”. Such behaviour seeking to silence dissent will by then be widely recognised as daft, imbecilic and indeed, anti democratic.

  8. E'Matty

    I empathise with your situation which is repeated up and down this country. I hate to say it though, but if you and the other small business owners do not change your perspective on this soon and push back against lockdown culture, your businessés won’t be opening again. This is a far greater restructuring of the economy than you seem to realise. You are witnessing the digitisation of the global economy. I suspect your business is not a part of the new Digital economy or you would still be not only working, but thriving.The Irish SME sector will be devastated completely and permanently if we continue on this path into the winter. How does spending the rest of your days on the State pension sound? That’s the reality of what many will face, and what do you think will happen to that pension with a bankrupted state incapable of meeting its spending needs? Why are so many people completely blind to the economic catastrophe we are walking into? Is it because nobody in government or the media is raising the alarm in any serious way? How do people actually believe we can shut down entire sectors of the economy for half a year, a year, or more and then what? Simply flick a switch and it all comes back to life? The innocence and naivity of the Irish people is quite frankly, both terrifying and heart breaking.

  9. Niallo

    For once i’m inclined to agree with mc dowell, what sort of world would we finally emerge into ?
    Businesses crippled, thousands out of work, an economy in tatters, a banking system which will likely refuse further mortgage holidays, bonholders who’s forbearance will be long exhausted and a government with an exhausted war chest.
    Meanwhile medial apointments for almost all other conditions are sacrificed for the rona.
    Its here, its not going away and we need to get used to living with it.

  10. Mé Féin

    Michael McDowell, Ireland’s Institutional Lunatic. Great to see both him and the Fianna Failures back. Good times.

Comments are closed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!