Launch of Recovery

Recovery, a new anti-lockdown group, is launching today. It brings together a broad-based coalition of people from all walks of life, many different backgrounds and the spectrum of mainstream political views who are concerned about the effect the response to COVID-19 is having on all our lives. I’m a member of the Advisory Council. Here is the press release.

Recovery calls for balance and moderation in our response to COVID-19, backed by a proper public debate, and a comprehensive public inquiry which looks at the impact Government policies have had on: Covid-19 mortality; other killer diseases like cancer; mental health; the economy; and the future for children and young people.

The campaign is backed by a wide range of high profile people, including senior Doctors and NHS staff, leading authorities in epidemiology and infectious diseases, mental health experts, entrepreneurs and leaders of business, sporting stars and world champions, TV celebrities and chefs, stars of the performing arts, bands and musicians.

  • It has specialist groups led by leading experts and household names looking at specific areas of concern, including:
  • Health – members include concerned NHS and other health workers;
  • Mental health – psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, youth and charity workers, and leaders in education
  • Arts and hospitality – performers, business owners, chefs, and others whose lives are directly affected by current policies.
  • Sports and fitness – sports stars, players, athletes, coaches, club staff, and fitness businesses.
  • Small and medium size enterprises – entrepreneurs, business leaders, founders, and managers.

Speakers at the launch include:

  • Lord Sumption
  • Professor Karol Sikora
  • Harvey Goldsmith CBE
  • Emma Kenny MBPsS, MBACP

The launch will also hear messages from prominent supporters and its Advisory Council, which draws on perspectives from leaders from many different backgrounds and walks of life – people as diverse as Professor Sunetra Gupta, Sir Rocco Forte, Luke Johnson, Saira Khan, David Gower, Sue Cook, Trupti Patel (President of the Hindu Forum of Britain), Lady MC (Kerry O’Brien, CEO of the Youth Urban Arts Foundation), MC Creed, and DJ Danny Rampling.

The organisation is led by a group of co-founders from health, academia, business, youth work, sports, and the arts, who created it in response to the huge damage that the current policies are doing to our lives, jobs, culture, and the future of our young people.

Amongst the Recovery team, there are people who see the issues on a daily basis in their working lives. We hear the tragic stories of suicides from young people who couldn’t cope with lockdown. We wonder whether our own loved ones are amongst the thousands who should have been screened for cancer this year and now won’t find out they have it until it’s too late. Countless people are living a hell of fear and isolation that is destroying their mental health. Problem drinking has leapt from 4.3m people before lockdown to 8.4m million after it – and it’s still rising. Millions may now face an uncertain future of debt, struggle, unemployment and poverty.

It is becoming clear that the consequences of hysteria and rushed legislation can be worse than the virus itself. Recovery has set out Five Reasonable Demands to ensure good Government during Covid-19 and protect the lives and livelihoods of the people of the UK. These are the basis for the Recovery campaign.

Recovery is launching to argue for hope, for balance, in the fight against COVID-19. It will make the case for a more realistic assessment of the risk, an end to fearmongering, and a rational response to the threat.

Jon Dobinson, Co-Founder of Recovery, commented:

What raised the alarm bells for me was hearing world-leading experts on epidemiology like Professor Sunetra Gupta smeared as extremists when they questioned the idea of lockdowns. I had faced this kind of attack years ago when I was Secretary-General of the International Society of Human Rights in the UK and was receiving daily reports of terrible atrocities in the former Yugoslav Republics. No one else was talking about them, so I wrote a series of reports that made world headlines and were a catalyst for the deployment of UN Peacekeepers in Kosovo – subsequently described as saving countless lives. It’s forgotten now, but the Serbs had strong supporters in the UK and along with ISHR itself, I was vilified by them in a national newspaper. Today, it’s obvious to everyone that the smears weren’t true, but it was a deeply traumatic experience. I now see it as the most important campaign I’ve run in my life.

My mum survived COVID-19, so did my colleagues at work. It’s not fun. But when someone close to me died, it was because of the mental stress of lockdown rather than COVID-19: I saw in the most tragic way that harsh restrictions carry their own threat to life.”

Once again, lives are threatened by a mistaken belief and people want to silence those who speak up for a better approach by marginalising and smearing them. I know how that feels and how important it is to make sure they’re heard. This time, millions of lives in my own country are at stake. The future for all of us depends on a balanced response to COVID-19 and a proper public debate that ensures we pursue the best policies. That’s why I started Recovery.

Alan D. Miller, Honorary Trustee of the Night Time Industries Association, and Co-Founder of Recovery, commented:

It is an honour to be a Co-Founder of Recovery where we aim to engage with the public as well as transform both the narrative and the direction of current government policy to one of reasonable sensible measures. Joining forces for a broad alliance means we can draw upon a strong array of business leaders from many vital industry sectors beyond hospitality as well as prominent scientists, artists and citizens who want to see a full Recovery for all in Britain. This is an important moment for us all and I encourage everyone who has concerns with the current response to join us.

Stop Press: UsForThem, the lobby group for children and parents, has launched an open letter from health professionals and scientists to the Prime Minister, reminding him that ‘First do no harm’ is a basic tenet of medical ethics and that a cure must never be worse than the disease. If you’re a scientist, a doctor or a nurse, please sign it.