Official: I will no longer travel to China

February 7, 2021

Well, here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Tibet, Xinjiang, South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong. And a ridiculous number of individual cases of persons taken hostage by a state.

In the words of the late, great Gill Scott Heron: ‘It follows a pattern, if you know what I mean…’

The straw is the case of an Irish businessman, recounted below in the Irish Independent.

I am less diplomatic than the thoroughly decent Winston Lord, who is quoted. What I say is: ‘Fuck Xi Jinping and his miserable, proto-fascist government.’

I should also say that I hope you will believe me that it is pure coincidence that it is the case of a white male that has brought me this point. He just happened to be that straw.


…..

In February 2019, Richard O’Halloran flew to Shanghai for a series of meetings and has been ‘held hostage’ by the authorities ever since. The Irish Government is facing growing calls to step up its response 

Close knit: The O’Halloran family in happier times with Isabella, Tara, Ben, Scarlett, Richard and Amber all together

Close knit: The O’Halloran family in happier times with Isabella, Tara, Ben, Scarlett, Richard and Amber all together
Peter Goff
February 06 2021 02:30 AM


As Dublin prepares to light up buildings red to celebrate Chinese New Year, an Irish businessman detained in Shanghai for “corporate ransom” has now missed two Christmases with his wife and four young children.
Richard O’Halloran, a 45-year-old Dublin businessman, has been told he must pay $36m to the Chinese authorities before he can leave the country. His plight has put the potential hazards of doing business with China under the spotlight.


Critics say this is the latest example of Beijing’s lack of respect for the rule of law, international norms and human rights, while there have also been calls for the Irish Government to be more assertive.
Winston Lord, a former US ambassador to China, says O’Halloran’s situation was “a very sad and frustrating and indeed cruel case”. “This is a slippery slope and unless countries push back firmly on this kind of unfair detention, it can lead to greater and greater outrages,” he says.
The businessman’s wife, Tara O’Halloran, said last week on RTÉ radio that “we are crying out to the Government to step in and take control and demand he is released because he is innocent and he is not getting enough help”.


She said he had a serious lung condition, has suffered seizures in China, has had to be resuscitated twice, has regular panic attacks and that his mental health was at a low ebb.
“We are pleading for him to come home on humanitarian grounds, his health is deteriorating, he is very ill,” she said. “It can’t go on much longer; he won’t survive much longer over there on his own.”
President Michael D Higgins wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 23 and received a reply on January 29 suggesting the authorities on both sides “maintain communication and co-ordination to create conditions for an early and proper solution to the case”.
Lord says he was encouraged by the correspondence, “but it never should have got to this point”.
“I’m reluctant to criticise a friendly government, but I have to say in all candour that until this recent move by the Irish President, which I warmly welcome, the Irish Government’s performance in this has been disappointing, to put it is as diplomatically as I can,” he says.

“It has an interest, both in terms of protecting its own citizens but also just in pure humanitarian terms, and also for its reputation, to move aggressively to try to resolve this situation. And I think they’ve been very slow and tepid in their efforts until recently.”The Department of Foreign Affairs said that while it could not comment on the details of an individual case, it “continues to provide all possible consular support and assistance to Mr O’Halloran and attaches the utmost importance to his welfare”. It said the case has been raised regularly at “senior political and diplomatic level” with the Chinese authorities.

The statement added that Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney “remains actively and personally engaged, and senior officials in Dublin, Beijing and Shanghai continue to do everything possible to ensure that Mr O’Halloran can return home”.
‘We can’t see any progress’
In response, Tara O’Halloran told RTÉ: “That is not enough. A couple of phone calls and a couple of emails to the authorities is not enough. They need to take a stance and stand up and say that he is being illegally detained; they have no basis for holding him. We can’t see any progress and I am literally begging for help. I’m begging them and begging them and begging them. For two years I’ve been begging them.”

Close knit: The O’Halloran family in happier times with Isabella, Tara, Ben, Scarlett, Richard and Amber all together

Close knit: The O’Halloran family in happier times with Isabella, Tara, Ben, Scarlett, Richard and Amber all together
Richard O’Halloran, a relative of the late Fine Gael taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, is a director of China International Aviation Leasing Service Co Limited (CALS Ireland). The complex case that he has found himself embroiled in centres on an Airbus A330 airplane that CALS has leased to Finnair, according to David Maughan, partner with law firm William Fry, which acts for CALS.
The chairman of CALS, Min Jiedong, was arrested in China on charges of running an illegal crowdfunding scheme and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. There is no evidence that he used the money to buy the Airbus but the authorities are targeting it because it is a major asset connected to him. In February 2019, O’Halloran flew to China to hold meetings with colleagues after Min was arrested. When he attempted to board his return flight after a week of meetings, he was detained and told he would not be able to leave China. The charges against Min predate O’Halloran’s time with the company, and Min had agreed to buy the plane 10 months before he had joined CALS, Maughan says.

During the trial, both the prosecutor and Min told the court that O’Halloran had no involvement in Min’s crowdfunding in China and should be allowed to return to Ireland.“He is not guilty of any crime, nor has he been charged with any crime. He is being illegally detained… I would call this corporate ransom,” Maughan says.

O’Halloran testified as a witness four times in Min’s prosecution, and following Min’s sentencing he was subpoenaed to an enforcement court to give a financial account of CALS Ireland. On each of these five occasions, the Chinese authorities denied requests from the Irish Embassy to have representatives attend as observers. The court appointed an interpreter but O’Halloran was not allowed any legal representation in court, nor was he given any documentation relating to the appearances, Maughan says.

As part of a proposal to secure O’Halloran’s release, CALS sent the Chinese court $200,000 some weeks ago as a “good-faith payment”, Maughan says, but when the money arrived in China, police interrogated O’Halloran for six hours about the source of the funds. “During that interrogation the police said that the sum of $6m should be paid to resolve the case, and they also told him that his exit ban had been lifted,” he says.
O’Halloran booked the next flight home, “but when he got to the airport, he was denied access to board the aircraft,” Maughan says, “and he was escorted out of the airport by seven police officers wearing bodycams”.
At the latest hearing on February 2, in front of three judges, “they said that he was very healthy, despite all his many health issues, and is personally responsible to pay back the figure of $36m,” Maughan says.
“We were flabbergasted. The Chinese side picked this number of $36m, which no one knows where it came from. We haven’t been party to any of the proceedings.”

Response: Simon Coveney “remains actively and personally engaged" in the Richard O'Halloran case, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs

Response: Simon Coveney “remains actively and personally engaged” in the Richard O’Halloran case, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs
He says they had made several proposals to the Chinese ambassador in Dublin and to Coveney to try to resolve the issue, including resigning his position, handing over control of the bank accounts to the courts, or allowing the Chinese court to take over Min’s shares in related companies — including one in the Cayman Islands that owns the plane — so they could then control the assets.
In 2019, CALS agreed with a third party after a public tender process to sell the aircraft. “But the Chinese courts turned down Richard’s request that the aircraft be sold. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, the aircraft is worth half of what CALS had agreed to sell the aircraft for,” Maughan says.

Another proposal involved O’Halloran returning to Dublin and continuing to work for CALS to manage the five remaining years of the lease on the plane to Finnair, at which point the plane could be sold or flown to China. None of the proposals were accepted, Maughan says.
“If the Chinese side took the shares off Min, Richard O’Halloran would be home next week — if someone would take a big picture approach,” he adds. “There are plenty of solutions here if the Chinese wished to engage. I welcome Xi’s comments but it will take engagement. And I would not be optimistic, based on what the three judges said; that Richard and the board come up with $36m.”
Barring visitors from leaving is a tactic used widely in China, and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs now advises travellers to China that “Chinese authorities may place an exit ban on an individual to prevent them from leaving the country”. It adds that an exit ban “may be placed on an individual, their family or an employer; or in a criminal or civil matter, including a business dispute”.

The travel advisory says “such bans, which are distinct from detention or imprisonment, are part of the Chinese legal process and may endure for months, or longer”.
The US State Department uses stronger language, saying China “arbitrarily enforces local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on US citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law”.
Charles Parton, a fellow of the Royal United Services Institute and a former British diplomat who spent more than two decades working in or on China, says that the taking of “hostages” was not unusual in commercial disputes in China.

“It’s quite a common tactic at a local level, provincial or below, where they’ve got contacts in the local government and in order to get their way in an argument with a foreign company, they deliberately take a hostage in this way,” he says.
Tara O’Halloran said in the recent interview that for a long time she had not spoken out about her husband’s plight because she had been advised that quiet diplomacy would be the best approach.
“We had faith in the Irish Government that they were going to help us, that they were going to intervene, help us, and we were advised not to go public because it might upset the Chinese, that they might retaliate, they might decide to keep him longer. But I can’t sit back and let him be there for another two years,” she said.
Observers say that, in most cases, exit bans never come to light because the parties involved do not publicise them in the hopes of finding a quiet resolution.

Parton says while each situation was different, he felt that, in general, people should speak out about these bans. “I think this business of keeping a low profile is not always wise,” he says. “That plays along with their game. I think you should make as much noise about it as one can. This is an example of local rather than central abuse and it should be called out in my view.”
Alexander Dukalskis, an associate professor at University College Dublin’s School of Politics and International Relations, says that, in general terms, the human rights situation has regressed “from an already low level” since Xi Jinping took the reins of the Communist Party of China (CCP) in 2012.
“Human rights lawyers have been systematically repressed under Xi, which further compounds the problem because it eliminates a source of protection. The previous leadership of Hu Jintao was more liberal — by CCP standards — than the current party leadership. More criticism was tolerated in the political sphere and activists were able to operate within certain boundaries,” says Dukalskis, who is author of the forthcoming book Making the World Safe for Dictatorship.
“Things have tightened under Xi, in some areas drastically so,” he adds. “China’s policies of repression in Xinjiang, for example, were already harsh before 2014, but since then they have become draconian, possibly even genocidal.”
On the international stage, China has been accused recently of adopting an aggressive form of “Wolf Warrior diplomacy”, and generally taking a more combative approach to its multilateral relations.
Lord, the former ambassador, says that things were getting worse “both domestically in terms of oppression and internationally in terms of adventurism, and in terms of interfering in other countries and pressuring other citizens”.
As China plays an increasingly important role on the world stage, Parton says countries have to stand up against human rights abuses or the situation will only get worse.
“Bullies are bullies whether they are at the international level or the playground level. And if you give way to bullies, what do you get? You just get more bullying,” says Parton, who worked with the EU delegation in Beijing for his final China posting.

More, later:

This guy is still going to Hong Kong. I guess the Hongkies need him, given what is going on there:

AN Oxford City councillor has announced he will be stepping down from his role with immediate effect as his work requires him to spend an increasing amount of time overseas.

Councillor Paul Harris will no longer represent the ward of St Margaret’s on Oxford City Council.

He was elected in 2018 and is a member of the Liberal Democrat Group on the council and has served as the opposition spokesperson for cleaner, greener Oxford, cycling, tourism and the city centre.

ALSO READ: ‘Lockdown only needed due to PM’s failure’, says Layla Moran

He has combined his work in Oxford with a career as a human rights barrister, often working in Hong Kong. Recent developments there, and restrictions on travel, have meant he has spent increasing amounts of time in Hong Kong and can no longer represent his ward as he would wish.

His seat will remain vacant until a by-election is held and St Margaret’s ward continues to be represented by Councillor Tom Landell Mills.

Councillor Landell Mills will cover the portfolio areas Mr Harris has held for the opposition in the run up to the elections.

Mr Harris said: “I have immensely enjoyed my almost three years as a councillor and will very much miss both colleagues and staff, as well as local residents in St Margaret’s Ward. I am pleased in particular I managed to get the towpath through St Margaret’s re-surfaced at last which was my main promise when I stood for election in 2018.

“The reason for my resignation is that I am relocating to Hong Kong with which I have work and family connections. I am a barrister specialising in human rights and I have been asked to be chairman of the Hong Kong Bar for the year 2021.”

Inside The Economist

February 6, 2021

It’s a funny paper. The wags at the firm called it, when ensconced in a tower in lower Mayfair, the Tower of Truth. That is the gaffe that I remember. Now it has moved.

What made me laugh the most was when they decided to try Economist tv. Ho Ho Ho. Suddenly, it was just a bunch of public school boys pontificating to a tv camera. The hijab was off. They canned that idea pretty fast.
Day is not dumb.

But, I would say, The Economist has a soul.

And, if that soul were encapsulated by a single person. It would be a woman. Called Ann Wroe.

She is an earth mother. An extraordinary editor. And who knows what else. She just, somehow, understood, something.

This week, she did a digital interview. If you watch nothing else in your miserable life, watch Ann.

It’s failed-states’ Wednesday

February 3, 2021

The article below by Max Fisher in the New York Times is very interesting on the disaster that is Myanmar. Far better than anything in the British press.

What Fisher writes chimes with what I saw in Myanmar and why I declined offers to go back there in the time of Ms Aung (she’s really called Ms Suu).

Meanwhile, breaking news in a failed state closer to home is that Mario Draghi is trying to form an Italian government. Ho, ho, ho.

Having gone to Frankfurt to run the European Central Bank and stave off the bankruptcy of his miserable but attractive country, Mario is now going to try to actually change Italy.

Good luck with that!

I guess we’ll soon find out if he really is Super Mario.

More, later:

Could I just mention, while we are on the subject of Italy, that the bung-taking architect of Putin’s insane Black Sea palace, described in Navalny’s wonderful documentary, is none other than Lanfranco Cirillo, who is, of course, Italian. They certainly invented fascism. Did they also invent corruption?

Cirillo is from Brescia, about 50 kilometres east of Milan (remember Berlusconi, or Bettino Craxi, or Poalo Pilliteri, who I interviewed when young?) All from the same neck of the woods. Northern Italians like to blame the south for the country’s problems. But my observation has long been that this is a crock of shit. It is the north of Italy that is the spawn-pool of selfishness and corruption. The south, after all, gave us Gramsci, possibly the last principled Italian. He died in 1937.

And here come the Myanmar generals…

February 1, 2021

You could not make it up.

Xi Jinping. Vladimir Putin. Myanmar generals.

Covid is now providing cover for every villain on the planet to do his worst (they do all seem to be men).

The generals in Myanmar, having been crushed in a free election, and then saying they wouldn’t do a coup, have done one.

What a mess. The key observations in the linked article come from the venerable Thant Myint-U:

<The author and historian Thant Myint-U wrote on on Twitter: “The doors just opened to a very different future. I have a sinking feeling that no one will really be able to control what comes next. And remember Myanmar’s a country awash in weapons, with deep divisions across ethnic & religious lines, where millions can barely feed themselves.”>

I should say that I am not a big fan of Aung San Suu Kyi. She seems to me to be a hippy and hippies don’t make good leaders if you want economic development and an end to poverty (remember Ghandi?).

About three years ago I was asked by a foundation that works on land reform to go to Myanmar and I met some of Ms Aung’s advisers and ministers. I was appalled by the non-quality and intellectual laziness of much of what I saw. (It was like I imagine having dinner with George Osborne or Boris Johnson would be.)

Still, none of this justifies putting the lunatics back in charge of the asylum.

I should also say that, although I have twice been in the same room as her, I have never actually spoken to the little lady, so there is some room for doubt about my opinion of her.

I also wonder if the Communist Party of China is meddling in this coup. It wouldn’t be a big surprise.

My Lai: Russian version

January 31, 2021

Five thousand arrested in Moscow. Is there no end to ugly news? As if Covid were not enough, every feckin’ dictator in the world is doing their worst.

We will see you in hell, Xi Jinping. And we will see you in hell, Vladimir Putin.

The pair of you will burn in my lifetime. Because the world is not what you think it is.

Some brave photographer in Moscow got another image for the ages:

The sun also sets: Hong Kong version

January 31, 2021

I’m not going to start writing about the illegal misery that the Communist Party of China is raining down on Hong Kong. My only thought is that Xi Jinping may one day have to go into exile and I wonder where would take him? DPRK, I guess, if he brings enough cash. Or Saudi Arabia. Or DRC. It’s not a good choice-set.

If you are interested in Hong Kong and don’t know it, I would highly recommend in this period a lunatic friend’s Big Lychee blog. I suppose I’ll go and visit him when they lock him up. Take him a baguette.



Understanding capitalism, with Sir Philip Green

January 30, 2021

Tony Blair gave Philip Green a knighthood, in 2006.

Green had already been exposed as a tax-evading, foul-mouthed crook.

But Tony Blair thought him rich and charming. Just like he thought Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that god talks to Tony in his sleep.

Well, here is today’s Guardian story about Green’s unravelled empire:

…………………..

About 1,100 unsecured creditors owed total of at least £51m expected to get minimal payout

Sir Philip Green’s family is likely to receive £50m from the sale of Topshop while more than 1,000 suppliers to the high street fashion chain are set to get less than 1% of the money owed to them.

A report by administrators into the collapse of Topshop and Topman seen by the Guardian reveals that the chains owed at least £51m to 1,155 unsecured creditors, who include clothing suppliers and landlords.

This figure does not include monies owed to HMRC. Administrators at Deloitte said the final debts for Topshop were likely to be “materially higher” once tax and money potentially owed to the group’s pension fund are included.

Unsecured creditors owed more than £1m include Daventry district council, for Topshop’s new distribution centre in the area, shopping centres including Liverpool One and Stratford City, and a number of clothing suppliers, including several in the UK and Turkey.Advertisement

At least 706 unsecured creditors to the six other chains in Green’s Arcadia Group fashion empire, which include Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Wallis, Outfit and Evans, are also owed at least £33m. These creditors are expected to receive at least some payout except those to Outfit, who are owed £252,000. All the chains’ debts are also likely to be far higher than the initial estimate which does not include money owed to HMRC.

Administrators say unsecured creditors of Topshop’s main operating company as well as its property and distribution centre arms are “likely, on present information, to [receive] a distribution of less than 1p in the £1”. Creditors to the German arm are unlikely to receive any of the £1.8m that they are owed.

As secured creditors, the Green family’s Aldsworth Equity, which is owed £50m relating to an interest-free loan it made to the group in 2019 at the time of an emergency restructure, will be paid before any funds are distributed to suppliers, landlords and HMRC. Administrators said the timing and amount paid to secured creditors would depend on the amount Topshop is sold for.

Online specialist Asos is in talks about buying Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge with the deal expected to total more than £300m.

Topshop’s parent company, another secured creditor, is set to receive £327.6m of the proceeds with up to £210m of that cash potentially set aside to pay down Arcadia’s pension deficit, which is estimated to be as much as £300m. Proceeds from the sale of Topshop’s London flagship store are also earmarked for the pension scheme, but it is not clear whether the property will fetch more than its £312m mortgage.https://www.theguardian.com/email/form/plaintone/business-todaySign up to the daily Business Today email

Administrators were called in last November after Arcadia suffered from poor trading and high costs. Topshop, the jewel in Arcadia’s crown which accounts for almost half the group’s sales, recorded a sales slide of 11% in 2019. Only Burton increased sales in the year to August 2019 while sales at Miss Selfridge dived by nearly a quarter.

Administrators say turnover for Topshop “reduced dramatically” after the high street lockdown to control the Covid-19 pandemic came into force in March 2020.

Arcadia agreed to defer contributions to its pension fund for six months from March to August last year. But it could not agree on a further deferral of the contributions, which amount to £25m a month. Attempts to raise £30m in cash to support the running of the business were also unsuccessful.

The young are hard at work

January 27, 2021

A friend of mine moved back to the UK many years ago and started a branding business. I asked him how it was going, and dealing with employing younger people, and he said: ‘The thing is, Joe, young people are better than us. We need to accept that. All we have is experience.’

I do hope so. That would be progress.

In this context, I offer up a couple of South London bands just now breaking:

Fat White Family:

To be honest, Fat White Family have been around for a while, and played a memorable Glastonbury set.

Newer is a band of Polish Roman Catholics called Children of the Pope:

Nobel for Navalny?

January 23, 2021

As I recall, you cannot get a Nobel prize when you are dead. And Putin may well kill Aleksei Navalny.

Whatever, what Navalny has done, and the courage he has shown the world, is more important than any prize.

The documentary he uploaded as he flew back to Putin’s Russia:

And the phone call where he gets an FSB agent to essentially admit his (and Putin’s) role in the whole thing:

Intelligentsia fake news

January 21, 2021

We’ve had four years of hearing about idiots spreading fake news on social media and media generally. This isn’t a great example, but it nicely illustrates the depths that the educated have observed and laughed at:

What, though, I suspect is more insidious and dangerous is the ‘educated’ classes using social media to spread fake news. Of course, they are no more aware it is fake news than what Keynes called the ‘boorish proletariat’. The difference is that the educated, if indeed they are educated, should know better.

If you haven’t seen this viral video about the Pfizer/Moderna Covid vaccine, take a look:

Frightening, isn’t it? It concerned me enough to ask someone who actually knows a lot about DNA whether there is anything to it. Here is what he said:

Introduction:

One aspect I find interesting is that certain types of fake news are actually preferentially spread by more formally educated people. Some of the anti-vaccine stuff may fall into that category. Or a lot of pseudoscience about childcare, for example the disproportionate attention to breast-feeding from mothers of higher socioeconomic status. It seems that spreading pseudoscience can be a reflection of privilege, or almost a status symbol. The other curious aspect is that many people who distribute similar beliefs (e.g. covid / lockdown sceptics) actually pride themselves on their “independent thinking” – based on things they picked up on social media…

 Summary:

In the video, a gentleman sitting at a desk recaps (mostly correctly) the basics of molecular biology and how DNA is translated into proteins using mRNA as a blueprint, and how RNA vaccines use this mechanism to induce an immune response to proteins that have been generated by the cell’s own machinery. Along the way, the presenter seems to have an interest in semantic debates and attempts to redefine the meaning of commonly used technical terms. For instance, he invents his own definition of the term “vaccine” and, somewhat curiously, deduces that RNA vaccines are not vaccines at all. In the end, he concludes with a non sequitur about vaccine risks, which allegedly may arise from RNA vaccines in particular, as opposed to vaccines in general, somehow generating long-term auto-immune reactions – how exactly is not explained.

In short: the video looks like regular social media disinformation.

Explication:

Cells contain a lot of RNA. In fact, there have been major international research efforts to characterise all the many different types of RNA encountered in human cells. The types of RNA found in a cell can be very diverse. Whether all of them serve any specific purpose, or are simply a side product of molecular machinery accidentally producing junk, is often not clear. RNA does not enter the nucleus, where our genetic information is stored. RNA is not DNA, and it does not self-reproduce. RNA molecules are very unstable. (This is the reason the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine needs to be shipped at -70 degrees.) In human cells, the half-life of RNA is estimated to be of the order of minutes, not hours or days or years. It is not obvious how this is meant to induce long term auto-immune reactions against RNA. (Like many vaccines, RNA vaccines can of course induce short-term immediate immune reactions following the vaccination.)

In fact, RNA vaccines are probably just as likely to be safer than traditional vaccines. (Traditional vaccines often contain modified pathogens, where strict quality controls for purity are required to make sure that no live pathogens are introduced into the vaccine. Or they may be using functional but harmless viruses as a carrier vehicle.) RNA vaccines are based on injecting a naturally abundant, incredibly short-lived molecule, which we know will be naturally purged from our body in a very short amount of time.

But ultimately this discussion is academic. Vaccines go through large-scale trials to assess safety and efficacy in practice, as opposed to theory. Covid vaccines have been tested in trials of 10s of thousands of people, which are supervised by regulators and widely published in openly accessible peer reviewed journals [1]. Serious adverse events are rare. They are fully described in the publications, and are typically similar in vaccine and control groups, so likely not related to the vaccine itself. And even if we assumed the extremely unlikely case that all serious adverse events were due to the vaccine, the likelihood of these is clearly an order of magnitude less than the likelihood of the very well characterised real effects of Covid-19, at least for a middle aged male like myself, and much less severe.

If I personally had a choice between RNA vaccines and traditional vaccines, I’d go for the RNA vaccine. They are likely to be as safe or safer, and they may also be more effective in the case of Covid-19 vaccines. In fact, I’d be prepared to pay some money if it meant I could get the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine tomorrow.

Disclaimer: I am not an immunologist, nor involved in vaccine research. However, I am professionally active in the area of genetics and involved in Coronavirus testing and research.

[1] Pifzer vaccine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577 ; Moderna vaccine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389

Lessons?

It doesn’t matter how educated you are. If you are off-subject, keep your mouth shut unless you have checked your facts and believe there is a demonstrable case that you know what you are talking about.

Otherwise, you are going to get found out, just like Donald J. Trump.

The author of the anti-Pfizer/Moderna vaccine would do well to reflect on the new Sleaford Mods album. In particular, I recommend the tracks Shortcummings and The New Brick.

More, later:

Turns out the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine is just better than the regular vaccine from AstraZeneca (FT, sub required). Coz it is progress n science n stuff. Sorry, hippies, sorry, bourgeois cretins.


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