INDEX Wednesday January 5, 2022
George Galloway, a former Labour MP and current political maverick who fronts Russia's version of the World Service (Sputnik) argues that it is time to stop the test and trace programme. This is probably the first time MI5 has been let off the hook by the Russians.

Galloway had NHS Consultant Dr Ranjeet Brar on his Mother Of All Talk Shows (available on various platforms including Facebook) who said the Omicron strain is much
more transmissable but much less severe than the Covid 19 strains that inspired the virtual shutdown of the economy and the worst economic decline for centuries.

Mr Brar says current data shows that Omicron is no worse than flu. This does not mean that no-one will die of it. Some will become severely ill and some will die. But this is what happens with flu.

Omicron, Mr Brar says, is now endemic. That means we have to learn to live with it in the same way that we live with flu.

This lets MI5 off the hook because it should have been running at least the trace (or track) element of the failed multi billion pound programme.

MI5 and GCHQ already routinely monitor the activity of everyone with a mobile phone or a credit card (this means you) and could easily have used this system to trace virus contacts.

You don't believe it? Shin Bet the equivalent of MI5 in Israel, did just that. If Shin Bet could do it so could MI5.

But surely MI5 has more important things to do, like catching terrorists? In reality, MI5 is hopeless at dealing with terrorists (even when the terrorists go on tv to boast about their intentions).

The reason for this is partly that MI5 can not give evidence to a court since this would be to reveal its methods (or more likely the methods of GCHQ) and alert other terrorists; and partly that despite the Stasi style psychological profiling it carries out, no-one can look into a person's heart and predict with certainty that this person is going to commit an attrocity.

Hence the shocking cases of Khuram Butt, who appeared on a tv programme called The Jihadis Next Door, leader of a gang who moved down people on London Bridge; Ahmed Hassan who told immigration authorities he had been trained to kill by ISIS and was the Parsons Green tube bomber, Salmen Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomber who flew an ISIS style black flag from his roof; Usman Khan, the London Bridge knife man who was wearing a tag when he committed his atrocity but the spooks were too busy to stop him; and the Liverpool taxi bomber MI5 knew nothing about (according to news reports).
Jonathan Brind
January 5, 2022