Why the 5G Covid conspiracy theory has gone viral

The team discusses David Icke, the economic impact of Covid-19 and Labour’s latest row.

What’s behind the rise of coronavirus conspiracy theories? How much damage will the lockdown do to the economy? Will Labour’s infighting ever stop? Tom Slater, Ella Whelan, Fraser Myers, and special guest Phil Mullan, discuss all this and more on this week’s spiked podcast.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Stephen Lord

1st May 2020 at 7:04 pm

Disappointing in that any story or thought that doesn’t come out of Mainstream Media, including Spike, can be called a conspiracy theory. Yet there is valid and credible science sceptical of vaccines, which have many side-effects and a history of injuries. Indeed, death due to medical treatment is one of the big killers, so why must we assume that doctors or scientists are automatically always right?

Steve Gray

20th April 2020 at 10:53 pm

The balding-man-in-a-basement who finks daft fings might serve as a meme but lets get beyond that easy, silly, stuff and note that there’s plenty of well-coiffed ‘respectable folk’ – albeit dwelling in rather smarter basements – who get plenty of air-time on the actual tv and column-inches in actual broad-sheet newspapers, in which to express their equally-loopy opinions.

Stef Steer

20th April 2020 at 7:04 am

As always ask who benefits. 5G conspiracy and indeed David Icke himself are far-fetched and bonkers looking enough to try and muddy all “Conspiracies”.

This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WeTiIoL3Xw looks plausible. Create or lets be generous take advantage of a pandemic to make lots of rich people richer and give governments more control. It also explains the mysterious sudden re-appearance of anti-vaxxers on social media about a year or so ago.

Kevin M. Casey

20th April 2020 at 6:43 am

ok

Cathy H

19th April 2020 at 7:13 pm

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in this lazy assessment of so-called conspiracy theorists. I would have expected this from the Daily Mail, not Spiked! I am so not going to subscribe to you! 5G may not be the cause of Covid-19 but there are some really big brained people who think wi fi is a really bad idea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwyDCHf5iCY but you have to be prepared to look at it with an open mind and I’m not seeing any evidence of that here.

Christopher Tyson

19th April 2020 at 6:50 pm

I remember a chat I had with my mum a while back, about Greta and the school strikes. I said that my dad would never have allowed me to take a day off school, my mum said she wouldn’t have either, at least not for a school strike.
A few centuries ago, the idea of closing churches would have been something done only in the most extreme circumstances. Indeed in times of hardship, the role of the church would be all the greater.
The western elites today are secular to put it mildly. But what do they hold as sacred? School, work, religion? No, they don’t believe in anything very much. Well, one thing, they do believe in ‘safety’. So a day off school to ‘save the planet’ is sensible choice for today’s elites.
We have a generation of social theorists raised on the theories of risk consciousness, notably the work of Ulrich Beck, that the concern of society is no longer with the creation and distribution of wealth but with the avoidance of risk.
In the late 1990s some heralded the emergence of a post-material society. Ideas of economic growth and development, even economics as a discipline were on the defensive. Of course it is clear that for the affluent and those involved in ‘playful’ creative industries, this may have appeared to be the case. In reality much ‘dirty’ industry was still happening in the developing world as well as parts of the UK.
In the context of the ideas of risk and safety,f the closing down of society does not appear to be as strange as it would have been 20 or 30 years ago, indeed the current pandemic can almost be read as the fulfilment of a prophesy, the idea of an unknown risk, transcending national boundaries, and calling for a response that renders redundant the old class based politics of left and right.
If only we were in a post-material society, we could have all the time off work that we liked and still eat and live. However, in reality the danger of celebrating the death of economics, (albeit replaced with the anxiety of perpetual risk-consciousness), is that we all become progressively poorer, obviously the richer you are the longer it will take you to find yourself down and out.

KATHLEEN CARR

19th April 2020 at 9:57 pm

People seem very anxious about risk when it has anything to do with health ( no matter how remote to themselves) issues , but take on a huge level of risk financially-mortgages many times their income , an overdraft and debt on credit cards.

Jonathan Yonge

19th April 2020 at 5:55 pm

Oooh there are people commenting on Sp!ked still
Please keep it cumming losers.
(I think Father O’Neill has given up but never mind)

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 8:07 am

What on Earth do you mean?

William Houston

19th April 2020 at 3:13 pm

Work from your house for two to six hrs every day, and start getting averaging 1000-3000 bucks at the end of every week. Read more information here…………………. http://www.joinwork1.com

Anjela Kewell

19th April 2020 at 2:51 pm

There are too many people now questioning 5G for it not to be discussed rationally. Some of these arguments are plausible, specially as Switzerland stopped rolling it out in February due to concerns voiced by their own engineers.

Some folk think 5G will cause harm due to radiation but most are more concerned with the connection between some of the big pharma globalists. There is evidence of funding by Bill Gates and Clinton Foundation. Nothing to see here say the globalist media.

But we know that the Gates Foundation have had one or two terrible disasters in vaccinating children and women in India and Africa. JRKennedy jnr was so concerned at the lack of responsibility by the Bill Gates Foundation when women were sterilised via a flu jab he wrote to the Government and did a video. Which can be picked up on his facebook page. YouTube took the video down last year.

We also know that chipping of human beings is being talked about with this current virus. Why would humans need to be chipped for a flu jab.? It seems rather sinister to many. However, Bill Gates has often talked of eugenics and controlling an exploding population. Could it be that the chip could be switched off when you retire or become a burden in some way on the government. Thus your death could be recorded as natural or heart disease or indeed the disability you have. These thoughts are always shouted down by globalist run media and governments.

Think about it, The New World Government is being discussed more and more by the globalists. Wording changes in our vocabulary. Universal credit for instance. Or worldwide basic salaries. Or coastal states. Once you open your eyes and stop shouting lalalala, sit down and do a little quiet contemplation, I think you will find it is quite important these fears and issues have a debating platform. If the sceptics are wrong, they should be given a strong coherent argument against their scepticism. However, as with all things governments want to have control over, they call people fruitcakes, nutters or conspiracy theorists. Just look at the lies the Remainers told us over the EU. Look how many times the brexiteers were told they stupid, racist or little englanders, there was no EU army or intelligence agency to cmpete with five eyes, and then loom Who was proven right

Justin Smith

19th April 2020 at 3:59 pm

Well said!

Please check out UK Column News broadcast last Wed 15th, (available on YT) it gives a very good appraisal of the relationship between Gates & Imperial. Compelling news gathering

Justin Smith

19th April 2020 at 4:09 pm

…. I forgot to mention; along with the work UK Column have been doing on the Gates issue, infecting us all, please also research DNA vaccines!

jan mozelewski

23rd April 2020 at 4:06 pm

Bill Gates made a fortune selling computer systems which were easily infected by viruses and made an even bigger fortune selling the solutions. It was a classic protection racket. It seems to me that Billy boy is now taking this ‘virtual’ business model and applying it to real viruses. It is a logical step. Which is why we need to be extremely wary and keep probing and asking questions. There are too many coincidences around this subject to be healthy.

Justin Smith

19th April 2020 at 2:35 pm

It may help if people read Andrew Johnson’s Covid investigation (just been published). Andrew is a no-nonsense fact-based investigator and author; he runs the Check the Evidence website where there is an abundance of Covid related articles. His report can be found here:

http://checktheevidencecom.ipage.com/checktheevidence.com/pdf/THE-COVID-19-Pandemic-Challenging-the-Narrative.pdf

Sam Ford

19th April 2020 at 9:32 am

The whole spiked team are vetted for conspiracy belief before being handed the hymn sheet.If you follow regularly you’ll see this anti conspiracy theory mantra in all their work stemming from Furedis theory, fear causing uprising and pitch forks carriers out for their victimhood war against their so called superiors ..I was told by one writer Barbra Hewson…(pro legalising child sex ) it’s based on Stanley Cohen fear of moral panic folk heroes folk devils…it’s about us all calming down dear….based in the fear of witch hunt and inquisition..I’ve always felt the unchanging agenda based supposedly on libertarian ideals was out of place in an ever increasing totalitarian state. But still they bleat on..all either recruited like Brendan to be a comrade in their youth or the nepatistic advancement of those indoctrinated from the cradle like Ella into the un free thinking cult..I’ve personally been told I have conspiracies…and shut down by both Frank Furedi and Angus Kennedy my ideas and experiences smeared by several other writers for spiked ..they are all about controling the rhetoric, they supposedly allow free speech so they can control it as their attitudes show…all airy fairy not concrete philosophising is dissallowed, it spoils them, a sign of their many champagne communist roots…

Jim Lawrie

19th April 2020 at 1:08 pm

When I pointed out on a FF there was no such thing as “UK £20 note” my post was removed.

Jim Lawrie

19th April 2020 at 1:09 pm

When I pointed out there was no such thing as “United Kingdom twenty pound note” my post was removed.

Jerry Owen

20th April 2020 at 8:10 am

Posts are removed regularly on any given topic.

Lucia Nelson

18th April 2020 at 11:02 pm

The level of snobbery and perceived intellectual superiority when discussing 5G covid ‘conspiracy theories’ is astonishing, who are you to call people with opinions you disagree with ‘nutty’ and ‘tinfoil hat wearing nutjobs’? Why was Eamon Holmes mocked and laughed at because he dared to challenge the one sided argument on This Morning and suggest the existence of a state narrative to what’s currently going on. Also, has Spiked actually done any research on the detrimental effects of 5G on human health (and the environment) to dismiss people’s concerns?

You should be more worried about the fact that the nation has been under house arrest for weeks now rather than sneering about the rise of conspiracy theories, let people express themselves without fear of ridicule if you care so much about freedom of speech. Not impressed.

Sam Ford

19th April 2020 at 10:23 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The whole spiked team are vetted for conspiracy belief before being handed the hymn sheet and become the orthadoxy we all recognise.If you follow regularly you’ll see this anti conspiracy theory mantra in all their work, stemming from Furedis theory, fear causing uprising and pitch forks carriers out for their victimhood war against their so called superiors ..I was told by one writer Barbara Hewson…(pro legalising child sex ) it’s based on Stanley Cohen fear of moral panic, folk heroes folk devils…it’s about us all calming down dear….based on the fear of witch hunt and inquisition..I’ve always felt their unchanging agenda based supposedly on libertarian ideals was out of place in our ever increasing totalitarian state that they seem to always chum up.with. But still they bleat on..all either recruited like Brendan to be a comrade in their youth or the nepatistic advancement of those indoctrinated from the cradle like Ella into the un free thinking cult..I’ve personally been told I have conspiracies…and shut down by both Frank Furedi and Angus Kennedy my ideas and experiences smeared by several other writers for spiked ..they are all about controling the rhetoric, they supposedly allow free speech so they can control it as their attitudes show…all else is airy fairy not concrete philosophising & dissallowed, it spooks them, a sign of their many myopic champagne communist roots with certainty in progress and supposed objectivity that’s kept within confines …

Highland Fleet Lute

18th April 2020 at 9:20 pm

If you look into the recent spate of alleged 5G antennae “arson attacks” that have occured all over Europe, there is only one fire that looks like genuine arson, and the police don’t seem to have come up with any suspects for any of them.

Until such time that foggy looking CCTV “Wanted” posters of “5G arsonists” are splattered all over the internet/TV/newspapers, I’m going to assume that telecommunications companies are using “conspiracy theorists” as a cover for their highly unstable 5G transmitters, and put the cause of these fires down to “5G jump-conduction”.

Look it up.

Mor Vir

18th April 2020 at 8:16 pm

The conspiratorialists are quite the contrast to the government economists. To pick up on Frank’s analysis, one might say that pre-modern cultures attributed disasters to a god as punishment for our ‘sins’ of unbelief or behavioural licence. It we do/ not think certain things or do/ not do certain things then dire yet naturally unrelated phenomena will ensue. That is basically the superstition of weather-gods, rain-dances and human sacrifice. You failed to honour the pope, or to punish the g ays, well here is a plague to set you right, sort of thing.

And then with the pivotal modern period of the ‘enlightenment’, we gradually put all of the silliness of religion behind us. No we are not being punished for our sins; so we can think whatever we logically think, and do whatever our conscience tell us is OK. We are no longer fearful, neurotic and superstitious, like a flash of lightning is going to suddenly give us our comeuppance.

Rather, the tool of reason can help us to understand nature, and why disasters happen. Science allows us to understand viruses, earthquakes, floods or whatever, and our ingenuity and common sense then allow us to take precautions, like not building on volcanoes or flood plains, or shutting the borders and testing all entrants when the WHO has even declared a pandemic (if only). Thus God is replaced with nature, superstition with reason, and fear with optimism. God was a distorted figure of our own potential self-sufficiency to protect our own good.

These days, one might say that some people have become overly confident of human ability. It is as if they think that people have got so good at science, and society has gained such a technological aptitude, that nature can no longer account for disasters. An overconfidence in science and in human organisational skills has shifted the focus of explanation from nature to people. People must be up to no good. In a way it is a reversal to the superstitious stage, people must be in some sense to blame; and it retains the science of the second stage to point the finger at man as the culprit. The explanation has gone from god and man, to nature and science, to man and science.

And yet that confidence in human ability, an optimism if one likes, is in striking contrast with the approach of western governments to the economy. All of them sit on ‘mature’, decrepit capitalist economies with terminally collapsed productivity growth coupled with demographic collapse – and the resignation is that nothing can be done about it, it would be too disruptive to even attempt to reset the zombie-economy.

In contrast to the conspiratorialists, governments have lost optimism in science and human endeavour to challenge the limitations imposed on us by nature and by society. But they do not make God, or nature, or man the focus of the explanation for the apparent limits to prosperity, the growth of productivity and the improvement of living standards, rather the economy itself is to blame. The very use of the phrase ‘mature’ economy indicates a resignation to a morbidity of material development.

It is as if we have constructed an economic system, capitalism, that governments and economists are convinced has hit its limits to develop the material base. 12 years and counting of zero productivity growth across the developed world. There appears to be no end in sight. It is as if it is the economic system itself that is seen as the problem, an unfixable problem. The conspiratorialists imagine that humans are so good at this science and society stuff that human application explains everything for ill or for good. And yet governments have so little confidence in human ability that they are resigned to the end of economic progress. Quite the contrast.

In a sense, I hope that the conspiratorialists are correct, in a way, in their estimation of human ability, and that the governments are wrong. The former may be overly-confident yet the latter are avowedly hopeless and, on the whole, I think that the latter is probably a more seriously position for society to find itself in. Over-confidence can generally be corrected through hard experience; one soon learns that one’s limits are not yet so expanded to justify that arrogance. But how can one hope for a correction, through experience, of an internalised hopelessness when one is in any case not too bad off? One lacks the hard lesson to correct the flaw.

So, there seems to be a danger that governments are in a rut where they have lost confidence in human ability, reason and science to improve the human lot; and their character fault is of such a serious nature that one cannot see how the natural course of events will lead to any correction. The danger is one of a permanent loss of enlightenment progress, a loss of both the character needed for that progress and of the progress itself. Western civilization is in a rut one might say. But are people to blame, the governments and economists?

If one were to take the enlightenment approach, and resort to neither God, nor nature nor the faults of man as the explanation, then one might suspect that the real problem has already been identified by the governments and economists themselves. The capitalist economic system is itself to blame. Nature has not imposed any limits on us such that we lack any ability to progress beyond our present condition. Nor are governments and economists of any real moral fault of character. We are not hopeless before nature and neither are we being punished for our sins of doubt, our faithlessness in human progress.

Rather, we need to take recourse to science to overcome our problems and to improve our lot. Yes we can innovate, and above all implement, new technology. We do not have to be stuck with morbid, zombie-economies. Frankly, if capitalism cannot get the job done, and it has hit its historical limits to further develop the material base, then perhaps it is time to give socialism a go as the next progressive stage of material development. Hopefully governments and economists all over the world will take that prospect seriously and enter into an open, fruitful discussion on the matter.

That may not seem likely, but where are we left if we do not at least acknowledge the possibility that some way might be found out of this rut? Some enlightenment optimism is to be invoked in our adequacy to overcome our stagnation. We are rational, we are of adequate character, nature presents us with no limits that stop us from improving beyond our present lot, and we are quite capable of rationally taking stock of the situation and of doing what it takes to accomplish a better future. The world is our oyster, just as it always was. We just need to recognise the problem, have confidence in our ability to solve it, and to get on with it.

Or it may be that the property relations of capitalism simply imply a stratification of wealth such that private interest proscribes any rational, common, human project to overcome the limitations of capitalism. It may be that capitalism is the real problem also in that sense. Or it may be that the prospect of such a major project of reconstruction is just too daunting. Then we are back to either an indefinite morbidity or to some future precipitous decline or outright collapse that might serve as the catalyst of social and economic reconstruction. Maybe corona will in some way ironically prepare the ground for renewal. Anyway, enough for now.

Ven Oods

19th April 2020 at 11:34 am

“We are no longer fearful, neurotic and superstitious, like a flash of lightning is going to suddenly give us our comeuppance.”

I would suggest that, either you live in an area blessed with smarter-than-average folk, or you haven’t interacted with your neighbours recently.

Vivian Darkbloom

18th April 2020 at 7:43 pm

There needs to be a distinction between conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact. North American academic ideas such as “toxic masculinity” and “white supremacy” are conspiracy theories. The bombing and occupation of Iraq as justified by WMDs or the Gulf of Tonkin incident are conspiracy facts.

Sure, there are plenty of loons speaking their brains on the interwebs but that’s the nature of free speech.

Gordon Le Gopher

19th April 2020 at 2:55 am

The twisted idea of “toxic masculinity” it’s confined to North America. Read the toxicGuardian – they have an article about it most days. Even the BBC talk about it. It’s actually pretty scary how these moronic far left ideas are allowed to get into the mainstream.

Gordon Le Gopher

19th April 2020 at 2:59 am

*ISN’T confined to North America.

Bloody toxically masculine fat fingers 😉

Mette Woodman

18th April 2020 at 7:12 pm

Calling people conspiracy theorists at the same time that you fight for freedom of speech is a bit rich. I support your network, but I strongly oppose your use of this. Maybe if you actually looked into the subject and then made a reasoned argument I would agree with you, but you have entered the dangerous world of throwing insults to people you don’t agree with. This is what identity politics that you disagree with do. Please do another podcast with actual reasonable argument against it, not just call people conspiracy theorists.

Graham Southern

19th April 2020 at 9:04 am

The point that was clearly made is that there just isn’t the time or incentive to pick apart every nutty theory that comes along, especially as the theorists are immune to any contrary evidence or logical criticism. However, what you should not do is censor these ideas, which is against the fundamental idea of free speech and is counter-productive anyway.

Highland Fleet Lute

18th April 2020 at 7:09 pm

I think, bitching about so-called conspiracy theorists when your own Government has put you under house arrest and appears to have thrown away the key is a poor anxiety-displacement strategy.

Dina Dimopoulos

18th April 2020 at 5:55 pm

I don’t think dismissing people that you brand ‘conspiracy theorists’ are balding men in their basements. There’s True distrust with the main stream media trying to weave a narrative on multiple subjects that we are all supposed to swallow whole. It’s just not helpful.

Dodgy Geezer

18th April 2020 at 5:52 pm

5G conspiracy theories abound because the MMS and establishment try to shut them down by banning them and smearing anyone who raises them. That is probably the best way to convince people that there is something in them.

If the MMS simply presented cogent arguments against unfounded rumours and left people to make up their minds freely, you would find far fewer people believing in these highly unlikely stories. Trying to force people not to believe is counterproductive.. .

Dodgy Geezer

18th April 2020 at 5:53 pm

PS – MMS = MSM. Damn autocorrect…

Highland Fleet Lute

18th April 2020 at 9:31 pm

Methylsulfonylmethane? Surely not?

Gordon Le Gopher

18th April 2020 at 5:03 pm

Think of all the things over the years the “experts” told us and those in power would have tried to clamp down on and called any contradiction “fake news”:

Smoking isn’t bad for you
Thalidomide is good for pregnant women
CFCs aren’t bad for the ozone layer
Lobotomy’s are good for mental health

I’m sure there’s more.

It doesn’t help when the BBC are saying the 5G conspiracy can’t be true because Iran hasn’t rolled out 5G yet and they’ve still had an outbreak. How the hell is that proof the 5G doesn’t affect your immune system? That sort of logic is as stupid as any conspiracy theory.

Dodgy Geezer

18th April 2020 at 5:57 pm

Radio waves CAN have a biological effect. But it’s a matter of proportion. 5G radiation is very weak, and well below levels at which heating effects can be detected…

Mor Vir

18th April 2020 at 4:58 pm

Ironic, European states spent hundreds of millions battling Islamic State cells for years in Europe, the awful threat of t errorism that killed a few hundred, and then corona comes out of the blue, kills hundreds of thousands and trashes the economy. Man proposes, history disposes?

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