Robin Swann should be able to face strong criticism on an important issue

Letter to the editorLetter to the editor
Letter to the editor
A letter from Dominic Gallagher:

Robin Swann’s defamation claim against Van Morrison is a serious threat to freedom of speech.

To say that Robin Swann is “very dangerous” means only that the lockdown policies he supported are very dangerous.

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As a public figure Mr Swann should be prepared to face strong criticism especially on such an important issue.

Due to lockdown the UK government cut foreign aid by £4.6 billion in 2021, a reduction of 30%.

This has led to an 80% reduction in funding for clean water and sanitation in developing countries.

Lockdown is also a factor in the Bank of England predicting an inflation rate of 13% leading to more families sliding into poverty.

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Furthermore the effects of social alienation particularly on the young remain concerning.

Scarlett Moffatt has reported on the increase in Tourette’s syndrome in tennagers since the lockdowns while a study by the Educational Endowment Foundation documented teachers’ concerns about children’s emotional well being and ability to learn.

Politically, will an authoritarianism rear its ugly head from a people taught to be supplicant over two years?

To justify all of this lockdowns would have had to have saved a very large number of lives.

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A study by the University of Chicago found that the lockdowns imposed by US states made little difference.

Liz Truss has ruled out introducing lockdowns again.

Van Morrison essentially expressed the same sentiment in slightly more vehement language.

Robin Swann’s legal team have requested a trial without a jury. It is fitting that only an expert can decide whether it is possible to criticise laws recommended by experts.

The lockdown policies were the biggest failure of common sense because politicians refused to exercise their own judgement on the broader ramifications but instead simply acted on the advice of one sector, the medical professionals.

The basic tenet of democracy is that political issues are not the domain of experts but the people.

To refuse Van Morrison a jury trial would set a very dangerous precedent.

Dominic Gallagher, Glenavy