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Friday 1 September 2023


There is a ‘culture war’ taking place, and I am on the side of the people who do not want to fight. Patiently, focusedly, resolutely, we will keep making the arguments in the face of a grotesque level of manipulation and intellectual bullying. Will we prevail? I do not know. But I do know that we are apt to be blamed whatever happens. I fear that a national meltdown is on its way. I fear that people like you and me will be caught up in a wildly aggressive showdown that we didn’t deserve, even though we ourselves provoked it by insisting on being reasonable. 

– Ben Irvine, ‘Intellectual Obesity’

When I wrote those words, in September 2019, I knew that a nightmare was brewing. I just didn’t know the exact form it would take. I had no idea that a new coronavirus was circulating in the Hubei region of China. And, more importantly, I had no idea that this mild virus, Covid-19, would soon trigger a demented global panic that would plunge almost the entire Western world, including my own country, into an economic and social catastrophe.

But I was right that I would be caught up in the showdown. Boy, I was right.

This book is a chronicle of the two-year period of Covid restrictions in Britain, seen from the perspective of someone who was on the ‘front lines’, in more ways than one. I am a writer who has spent the last 14 years working most evenings as a delivery driver, to fund my creative work. When Britain went into lockdown, I continued doing my delivery job. I also continued doing my job as an intellectual who believes in freedom and personal responsibility. As the lockdown approached, I warned of the folly of placing everyone under an arbitrary mass house arrest, an absurd quarantine of the fit and healthy, and I never stopped raging against all the Covid restrictions until every single one was abolished. Both my jobs were punishing and exhausting; they took their toll on me.

Like most people, I found myself glued to the internet in March 2020. Reduced to communicating electronically, we were like astronauts orbiting our old lives. I was already a regular user of a social media platform called Twitter, using it to promote my books. As the coronapanic debacle unfolded, I increasingly relied on Twitter – for contraband information, for connecting with likeminded people, and for disseminating my own ideas. I started out tweeting my objections to the lockdown, but soon I was also sharing anecdotes about my delivery driving. The two topics were intertwined, because the job brought me face to face with the dismal reality of the lockdowns; day after day, I saw scores of people languishing in their houses. Not to mention the dismal reality of my own enslavement. Apparently, I wasn’t deemed worth protecting; I was being worked to the bone, to protect others. With all the resentment in my soul, my delivery driving anecdotes were often scathing and mocking; many, I am told, were quite funny. These moments of humour were all blended in with my earnest campaigning against the lockdown; we were all trying to keep our spirits up. When the ordeal was over, I realised that the various observations that I had shared on Twitter comprised a sort of diary of the entire debacle. I figured that publishing this diary might be worthwhile; perhaps some insights could be gleaned from it in future.

The prospect appealed to me on a personal level too. Anyone who has spent a lot of time on Twitter will know the sinking feeling you get when suddenly you fear that you have been wasting your time, screaming into the void. The feeling is even worse when your own country actually has been turned into a void! I wanted something positive to come from my Twitter usage, especially given everything I had personally gone through. So, yes, the diary is basically a bunch of tweets. But my dignity, maybe even my salvation, is bound up in these pages.

Reading my tweets back now, I get a sense of someone peering out of a little porthole onto a mad, mad world. Sometimes the scenes that I could see through the porthole weren’t fully captured in the tweets; there were things that we could all see at the time, and I was commenting with this shared knowledge in the background. When I was compiling my tweets, I added in a few comments in brackets, explaining the context – known facts and events that were implicit in my words.

However, since this diary is being presented in retrospect, I figured that the content could also be enhanced by including some information that no one, including me, could see at the time. There was much that was not visible through our little portholes. For long periods, we were in the dark about what the hell was going on. The media were useless and corrupt, so we had to do the investigating ourselves. We knew that the restrictions were not in the slightest bit ‘scientific’, but we didn’t know why they were being imposed on us. Gradually I started to figure it out, with the help of a handful of my Twitter followers. I did a lot of thinking out loud on the platform, groping towards the truth. Now that I can reflect on what I didn’t know then, another dimension can be added to the pages that follow.

In this long introduction, which comprises seventeen chapters, I will reveal the hidden context that surrounded my tweets, including the reason we locked down in the first place, the reason we were subjected to the other Covid mandates such as masks, the reason the media were so useless, and the reason the entire debacle dragged on for so long. In the process, I will look to myself, identifying the mistakes I made when trying to come to terms with what was happening. I didn’t make many mistakes, but I was always telling other people to learn from theirs, so it is only fair that I try to learn from mine. In turn, I will reflect on why I was able get things right where others didn’t, and I will discuss the unbelievable amount of abuse I took for telling the truth. You cannot see the abuse amid my tweets, but the barrage of hate was unrelenting. Finally, I will also reveal something else that was hidden: what it was like for me, standing behind my little porthole. Although many of the tweets in this book are quite personal, I was fundamentally talking about the situation I was in, rather than me being in that situation, including how I came to be in it, and how I felt about being in it. Truths that are hidden are often the most painful. For me, the coronapanic debacle was the last straw. I carried on anyway.      


If you want to continue reading 'Deliverance', the whole essay is part of Ben's new book 'My Road to Freedom', which is available from amazon