Should a scientist’s private life be a matter for public concern? Owen Jones of the leftist Guardian whinges (and he’s not the only one.) The photograph of Ferguson’s married lover looms large against the tabloid pic of Ferguson himself, Jones continues to whinge. This is a blatant example of right-wing sexism, Jones further decries. OMG, get a grip The Guardian.
Ms Staats’ (suitably named, when she’s currently shagging the UK’s most prominent statistician) face does not ‘loom’ from your average muck-raking tabloid (The Guardian I’m sure will still think of itself as a classy broadsheet.) Her young, round mugshot simply outshines the thin, rat-face that is her more elderly boyfriend Professor Neil Ferguson. This private affair should not be newsworthy. It is a right-wing ploy to shift the public’s attention away from the UK’s massive Covid-19 death-rate, Jones of The Guardian continues. Oh p-l-e-a-s-e – and yes, Ferguson’s private life should be public fodder when his actions directly flouted his own strongly advised lockdown rules.
We couldn’t shift our attention away from the death numbers if we tried. Turn on your telly and see the latest kill-rate drifting gently along the bottom of your screen. Listen to the pundits as they point at graphs where private misery becomes a line on a chart. Listen as Bojo is almost fully blamed for the The Virus at work – as though it originated here in the UK and not in China. Read the headlines that declare what a crap country the UK is, ‘cos we have the highest death rate in Europe.
And yes; Ferguson’s indiscretion is and should be news. That’s what ‘news’ generally is; gossip typed up for public consumption. And whatever the British intelligentsia think; the bombshell that the Professor blatantly broke his own lockdown rules is rightly up there, big and bold in one of the Sun’s best headlines yet:
Prof Lockdown broke lockdown to get his trousers down
For Ferguson is responsible for the fact that I’ve not been able to visit faraway family for months or be there for the granddaughter’s first birthday because I, unlike him, dutifully followed (and am still following) his rules.
Yes, Ferguson looks like the love rat he undoubtedly is whilst also being a first class hypocrite. And the left-wing lot can’t bear the fact that some disgruntled whistle blower (there’s a novel in this somewhere) decided to shop Ferguson/Staats for breaking the lockdown rules. And why he broke the rules comes from a series of character flaws that he, and Staat, share with many of those within the chattering classes.
Sense of entitlement. Intellectual snobbery. Selfishness. One rule for the plebs; one for us superior beings. I’m calling it my newly discovered Ivory Tower Syndrome.
Ms Staats lives in an affluent area (as does Ferguson) in a family set-up which featured a cleaner and an au pair before lockdown. She has been home schooling during lockdown. ‘Mummy, why is your face all over the internet?’ her sprogs are currently asking.’ Well, kiddiwinks. Mummy and Daddy are in an open marriage and mummy used a dating app to find another man (is he our second daddy? The kiddiwinks cry) ‘cos she was a bit bored with daddy, and doesn’t much like being a hands-on mother, hence the au pair and besides it’s much more interesting posing on ministerial doorsteps as an activist …..’cos being an activist is an actual job, and you get paid lots of money for doing it, unlike the NHS staff who are currently keeping entitled families like us safe, so I can spend a good portion of my oh so important time scanning dating apps. My emotional wellbeing is paramount you see, and sod it if my family get dragged into my unconventional (here read posh EastEnders-type) lifestyle.
Oh, but you get the gist. You can bet your bottom dollar that Ms Staats and Prof Ferguson have never watched a single episode of EastEnders. But there’s no difference between their ‘sophisticated’ set up, involving Ms Staats rushing round the Prof’s house so he could check out her epidemiological curves (I have the plot for the next Carry On revival if anyone’s interested) and your average EastEnders episode.
I can only imagine Ms Staat’s delight when Ferguson came up on her dating app. The misguided thrill she would have felt at hooking up with one of the country’s top epidemiologists. The frisson of excitement as she carried on their clandestine relationship during a crisis of biblical proportions, in which her lover played such an important part. She must have been beside herself with self-satisfied glee. But what’s the good of carrying on with that famous scientist on the telly if you can’t tell your besties about it? And she clearly did, because someone talked.
I tried researching Ms Staats, but she has deleted her linkedin account, where she lists herself as a ‘campaigner/senior campaigner, and has deleted all her other social media accounts. Of course she would; and her activist pals will be comforting her with the thought that she is a victim of the low-life, plebian loving right-wing press. She’s not a victim of anything other than her own selfish, entitled stupidity. The best that Ferguson’s work pals can come up with, in his defence, is that he bought a stationary bike and was disappointed to find that it only went up to a certain level of difficulty. That shows what a hard worker he is! they cry.
Academia. Should we trust everyone and anyone clutching a handful of degrees? I wouldn’t. Question everything is my mantra. I mentioned Ferguson in my entry on Swine Flu when writing about it in 2009. Back then Ferguson and his team modelled 65,000 UK deaths from Swine Flu (just over 400 died.) He oversaw the culling of millions of animals during the foot and mouth epidemic. A completely unnecessary mass murder, according to a professor of veterinary epidemiology. His modelling similarly cocked up BSE death numbers. Many American epidemiologists are questioning the 15-year-old model he’s currently ‘updated’ to suit The Virus. You cannot publicly access Ferguson’s Covid model. We’re all staying indoors, losing our jobs, diving into recession and not seeing loved ones (unlike Ferguson) because of a model no-one but Ferguson’s team is allowed to get their peepers on.
And modelling. Mathematical modelling. Computer assisted modelling. All those lies, damned lies and statistics. It seems to me that the modellers are the equivalent of your fairground fortune tellers, looking into the cloudy, murky depths of their crystal balls. ‘Ah, I see a man in your future. His name begins with B, or it could be a C. These things are never certain. One scenario points to B and another to C, and yet another scenario is pointing to a G! You are also here regarding you mother? Brother? Uncle? No, wait it’s your aunt. As you can see, my crystal ball can only tell me so much, such is the random nature of our existence. Such are the variables yet to be accounted for. For example, is my crystal ball an imperialistic model or a mechanistic one? Let’s look at its base shall we? Apologies, I used to be a mathematical modeller but this seems to work just as well.’
Professor Neil Ferguson should have been fined by the police. Ms Staats too. But they’re going to be fine because they belong to the strata of society that gets away with everything. They can work from home. Their income won’t slide. Their businesses won’t bite the dust because of a lockdown initiated by a bloke with a less than stellar statistical success rate.
Methinks the Professor should have modelled the possible outcomes of his dodgy relationship with the young Ms Staats.