The definition of a 'Conflict of interest', from the Cambridge Dictionary, is:
"a situation in which someone’s private interests are opposed to that person's responsibilities to other people"
Dr. Zoë Harcombe's article, from 9 November 2020, spells out what is happening with SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), the Government's so-called independent group of scientists who are anything but:
She provides a table of SAGE's Top 20 Influencers:
GCSA = Government Chief Scientific Advisor; CSA = Chief Scientific Advisor, CMO = Chief Medical Officer; LSHTM = London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Breaking down the Top 20 influencers
11 out of the 20 work for the Government (some hold government roles in addition to other roles)
Other organisations and funding
12 out of 20 work for/have received funding from organisations involved in the Covid-19 vaccine. Those 12 don’t include Vallance with personal pharmaceutical conflicts or Whitty with historical funding from the Gates foundation
3 work for Imperial College and two work for Oxford University – the two forerunners in the Covid-19 vaccine race in the UK – each receiving millions of pounds from government(s)
3 more work for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with its own vaccine centre (working on Covid-19 among other vaccines)
1 works for UCL, which is working with Imperial on its vaccine.
2 work for Wellcome/the Wellcome Sanger Institute and one has received funding from the latter
2 members have double conflicts – Peter Horby with Oxford University and Wellcome and Wendy Barclay with Imperial College and Wellcome
5 are Chief Scientific Advisors in government (2 of these are modellers/statisticians)
4 more are modellers/statisticians
2 are experts in how to manipulate human behaviour
3 are medical officers/directors
3 hold senior roles in the 2 universities leading the vaccine race
3 work for/have been funded by Wellcome (as above, 2 of the university members also have conflicts with Wellcome)
There are no immunologists among the key influencers on the SAGE committee.
There are two virologists. Wendy Barclay has particular expertise in flu and works for Imperial College and her laboratory is funded by Wellcome. The other, Maria Zambon, also works for Imperial and has “specific interest in RNA viruses, antivirals and vaccines.”
Zambon and Ferguson were named in a 2010 article exposing the fact that: “A third of the experts advising the World Health Organisation about the swine flu pandemic had ties to drugs firms, it has emerged.”
Zambon and Ferguson are not the only SAGE members to have history of working together. As another example, Whitty, Ferguson, Farrar, and Edmunds collaborated on an Ebola paper entitled “Infectious disease: Tough choices to reduce Ebola transmission”. The two behaviour experts among the key influencers have also collaborated on this controversial paper.
The following extract from the paper has been widely cited as evidence to show how fear has been used to coerce UK citizens:
“A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened… The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard‐hitting emotional messaging based on accurate information about risk.”
The paper has sections on coercion, compulsion and how to harness “social disapproval” to coerce people into doing what government wants them to do.
Given that the media was interested 10 years ago when one third of the experts advising the WHO on swine flu had drug conflicts, the media should surely be interested now that 12-14 out of 20 have such conflicts. It doesn’t matter if a drug is good or bad. It matters that those who have a financial interest in that drug are conflicted if they give advice that protects the financial interest in that drug.
The advice emanating from SAGE is currently under scrutiny as never before. The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, which has been an exemplar of rigour during the Covid-19 period, has highlighted the inaccuracies in the recent forecasts that have resulted in Lockdown 2.
Slides broadcast on national TV on 31st October were revised downwards by the time the slides were published online.
The two main drivers of SAGE – Vallance and Whitty – were summoned to appear before the Science and Technology Committee on 3rd November where Vallance expressed regret for frightening people. But SAGE knows that people need to be frightened into compliance for their strategy to work, as the SAGE behaviour advisors documented in their academic paper.
We propose that SAGE does not work in the interests of the people and that anything we are told, recommended or advised has ulterior motives.
Sadly, as we now have a Government that is unaccountable to anybody and an obviously impotent opposition who are clearly colluding in everything that is happening, it remains our personal duty to monitor and surveil what is happening inside of SAGE. Please continue to inform and educate yourselves on the mechanics of this group and the Government at large...