The British Telegraph has obtained 100.000 text messages from former UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, showing how the British government conspired to “frighten the pants off everyone” and asking “when do we deploy the new variant?”
The Telegraph received the WhatsApp messages from journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who wrote a book with Hancock called “The Pandemic Diaries”. They show former Health Secretary Matt Hancock discussing with his media advised Damon Poole on Dec. 13, 2020, who warned that Tory MPs were “furious already about the prospect” of stricter lockdown measures over Christmas and suggested “rather than doing too much forward signalling we can roll pitch with the new strain.”
“We frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain,” Hancock wrote back.
“Yep that’s what will get proper bahviour [sic] change,” Poole replied.
“When do we deploy the new variant?” Hancock asked.
“Been thinking about this and think we need to be more cautious. The strain that is,” Poole wrote back. “Think you made the point earlier, but we need to keep schools off paperwork / agenda.” The Christmas lockdown 2020 was surprisingly announced Dec. 19.
In Jan. 2021, Hancock was discussing further measures with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, including “more mask wearing … in all settings outside home”. Case wrote that “the fear/guilt factor” is “vital” in getting more lockdown compliance.
“Basically, we need to get compliance up,” Case wrote, but said some measures – like a ban on fishing – “will be parodied galore if it looks like we have suddenly decided fishing is the first step towards tier 5!”
“I honestly wouldn’t move on any small things unless we move on a lot. The only big reamaining [sic] things are nurseries and workplaces,” Hancock wrote.
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