Smile Though Your Heart Is Aching


Via The Guardian:

Sometimes, Stuart Ritchie feels like he’s being pursued by an army of smiley faces. The lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, is not delusional: instead, and somewhat to his surprise, he is on the frontline of a coronavirus information war.

The emojis often decorate the Twitter profiles of the self-proclaimed “lockdown sceptics”, a subset of social media users who remain unconvinced that coronavirus restrictions are necessary, even as the number of deaths in the UK approaches 100,000.

Often they are indignant at the efforts of Ritchie and others to refute the claims of a small but thoroughly amplified cadre of columnists, academics and enthusiastic amateurs, ranging from the free speech advocate Toby Young to the engineer and diet guru Ivor Cummins, who provide dubious but densely argued justifications for their stance.

At some point they settled on the smiley as their membership badge. If it is meant to be friendly, it doesn’t necessarily come across that way….


The information warriors fighting ‘robot zombie army’ of coronavirus sceptics (The Guardian)

Previously: Ivor Cummins on Broadsheet

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44 thoughts on “Smile Though Your Heart Is Aching

  1. Jabba

    Thankfully someone is trying to challenge the spread of lies by these deluded COVID deniers, perhaps they need to set their sights on Bodger.

    1. Karl

      Agreed, peddling this dangerous sceptic nonsense is terrible – hey Bodger, why don’t you visit an intensive care unit full of Covid sufferers, pr speak to families who have lost folk from Covid before you continue promoting this dangerous rhetoric that is putting more people in harms way (see Garda Alan Leblique story for instance – which you refuse to post about)

    2. Aegis

      Agreed. This is getting beyond a joke.
      I loved Broadsheet for quirky posts and news, not Qanon-like garbage like this. Enough already.

  2. Bitnboxy

    Ivor Cummins. Groan. Not a fan of literally anyone challenging him but he is totally a fan of donations and all major credit cards.

    Ivor really abhors being challenged though- very touchy actually. Challenge him and you are immediately evil not just wrong, part of a conspiracy to shut down Ivor’s genius hot takes and “real facts”.

    Problem for Ivor is that his shtick is two-a-penny at this stage. A cacophony of truth-tellers and soothsayers stalk the internet imploring one and all to send a few bob to their Patreon.

    Mad aul world.

  3. thefatlad

    Must remember to tell my friend, who’s mother recently passed away from Covid, that its all actually a hoax. I’m sure he’ll be relieved

  4. Commenter #1


    I wonder will Bodg…sorry John have the same spirit of levity and cynicism the next time one of his Tomorrow Tonight guests pushes back on the old covid denialism. Or will we get the usual “some people would disagree with you” plausible deniability.


    1. VAnon ™

      Well apparently
      there’s lads on the Internet saying that the USA isn’t a Republic
      but a Corporation

      So you know (⌐■_■)( •_•)>⌐■-■
      Mebbe tis them
      the ‘Merickans

  5. Chevy Chase

    I don’t know about you but I always get my immunology facts from a diet guru. Even if their diet advice is pure guff too. You can tell the good ones by how condescending they are when their view points are challenged. Always go for those ones.

  6. goldenbrown

    (stupidly) I clicked on the link to yer man’s chitter feed

    he certainly likes himself a lot, doesn’t he?

  7. f_lawless

    An infantile level of discourse on this comment section, has to be said.

    Setting out counterarguments to those who critique establishment narratives would be doing something productive. But resorting to ad-hominems and labels like “Covid Deniers”, “ratlickers”, etc just give the impression that you lack the intellectual capacity to do so and/or are lashing out emotionally.

    I for one think it’s vital that during these unprecedented times sceptic voices are not shut out of the public debate but are allowed to be heard and considered. Putting blind faith in government narratives and characterising sceptical viewpoints are as “dangerous nonsense” is in itself dangerous.

    On a side note, to paraphrase Alan Parrtridge:
    Bodger, do you ever sit by the fire late at night with your head in your hands, thinking to yourself:
    “Lord have mercy on my soul. I’ve spawned a monster!” ;)

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Spare me the “both sides” bolloxology. Giving credence to unsubstantiated woo is what has us in this mess in the first place. Ivor’s anti science screed attracts the reality deficient Qanon types who are probably plotting to storm Dail like their American pals.

        1. bisted

          …if you were to consider only Broadsheet you would be forgiven for thinking that there are two sides…there aren’t…there are the vast majority of people trying to do the right thing in the face of golfgate, mediagate and pseudoscientists…the clutch of ratlickers given a platform to spread their pro-sickness doctrine under the guise of scepticism…

          1. Micko

            Claims there “aren’t two sides”

            Then goes ahead and describes the difference between the two sides


      1. f_lawless

        Exhibit A: Daisy Chainsaw. Can’t seem to get through a single sentence without throwing out insults.
        Ireland must have one of the highest rates of compliance with government restrictions in Europe. Push back here has been absolutely minimal. Street protests have been small, hasn’t been one since October. No observable impact on infection rates after any of the protests. Reality check: any dissent we’ve seen against government narratives isn’t “what has us in this mess in the first place”
        You’re misdirecting your anger.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          It’s nothing to do with protests. It’s to do with people not believing science or people who know what they’re talking about. It’s people having hundreds at a wake in a pub leading to a huge outbreak and a second funeral for the family to organise, among other deaths, including hospital staff who had to look after them. It’s people who care more about going to a sheebeen or pub than the lives of their relatives and friends.

          Heartless, careless, selfish idiots spouting about their inalienable rights under the constitution without knowing which constitution they’re referring to because one of the woo peddlers said it in a video on youtube.

          1. Micko

            In other words F_lawless

            Daisy is just a better person than you…

            Practically perfect in every way. Spit spot children

  8. Micko

    Two men of science there.

    Standing outdoors…

    Socially distanced from each other…

    Both wearing masks…


    Yep… science.

    1. Rob_G

      They are not conducting a scientific experiment, they are appearing in a photo op; the convention for photo ops these days is for the participants to be masked

      Given that you are getting triggered by a photo of two chaps wearing masks, can you not see why some posters find your knee-jerk opposition to any “official” line on the corona virus somewhat hysterical, and founded in conspiracy theories?

      1. Micko

        Yes indeed. “convention” – a very apt word you use there Rob

        I think you’re making my point for me – they are conforming to convention.

        Doing what is expected of them. Not what is true or rooted in fact.


        1. Rob_G

          They are also wearing sweaters, as opposed another garment that performs the same function (such as a poncho or doublet); sweaters do not possess any technical edge over either of these other garments, it’s rather just more “conventional” in this part of the world to wear sweaters

          Do you not see how silly and paranoid your posts are?

          1. Micko

            I’m sure you’re right there Rob.

            I’m sure they wore them for the rest of the day outdoors during every interaction they had with each other.

            Sure they did.

    1. Micko

      More than the transgender sports post from earlier?

      I though that was gonna explode!

      I guess ya never can tell…

      1. millie bobby brownie

        Haha yeah I thought that too.

        Might go throw a few questionable comments in just to stir things up a bit.

        1. Micko

          Just go on over there and say TERF a lot and mention JK Rowling a few times.

          Job done. What could possibly go wrong?

  9. K.Cavan

    Keep it up lads, keep convincing yourselves that the increasingly bizzare narrative is “science”, that the Influenza Virus just didn’t bother to show up this year, that vaccines, which aren’t vaccines, will save us from this deadly Common Cold virus, that the death of anyone who’s a year and a half past average life expectancy is unusual. Construct your Strawman arguments & sprinkle with a bit of vulgar abuse, then swallow the bullpoo, right down, all of it, clean your plate lads. You’re actually hilarious! Loving it! Don’t stop.

    1. millie bobby brownie

      Not as gas as your demented ramblings.

      Can’t wait to see you in Vicar’s Street, our lad.

  10. dylad

    Some gems from fad diet guru cummins…

    July 20 2020: “No second wave…without a second virus. Never happened in history.”

    January 4 2021: “The million dollar question is, with this massive amount of positives [in Ireland], are we seeing big, big mortality impacts and really severe cases or are we seeing a winter resurgence without the sting of mortality that would make it a problematic epidemic?”

  11. VAnon ™


    can any one of Ivor’s followers explain the Acid Smiley Face

    did I miss something in his repertoire / back catalogue

    btw, one of the links under the post above introduces Ivor Cummins as a Chronic disease specialist

    So Nutritionist, Diet Book Author, Chronic disease specialist
    @FatEmperor Technical Manager / Team Leader, Biochemical Engineer, Complex Problem Solving Specialist, Technologist
    Surprised he isn’t repped by Noel Kelly, or whoever
    Anyone else?

    ara’ good luck to him
    like all the others – lay’ve him at it

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