The COVID-19 Dead Cat Strategy

Lynton Crosby is famously credited with the invention of the ‘dead cat’ strategy. The dead cat is, of course, metaphorical. It represents a political tool used to manipulate discourse and public attention away from matters and issues which could and probably would cause light to be shone on government policy failures and mistakes.

Mr. Crosby has made a successful career of manipulating public opinion in Australia, the UK, Sri Lanka and New Zealand to name but a few governments.

Boris Johnson, a man of little substance but substantial cunning, employed Crosby as a political advisor for the 2008 and 2012 London Mayoral elections and opined on Crosby’s advice:

“The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout, ‘Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!’ In other words, they will be talking about the dead cat – the thing you want them to talk about – and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.”

COVID19 has now slipped silently from the deaths of very old members of the community in half-empty hospitals and poorly staffed care homes to ‘cases’, ‘virus spread’, ‘second waves’ and ‘face masks’ amongst other nonsense.

The ‘dead cat’ is lying prostate on the table of public awareness distracting us from the true crimes against humanity the ‘lockdown’ policy created.

In Scotland there have been 4,173 deaths registered where COVID-19 was ‘mentioned’ on the deaths certificate.

This amounts to 0.076% of a total population of ~5.5 million.

Even this figure is at best disingenuous and at worst, an outright fabrication. The figure is obtained from the National Records of Scotland (NRS). They include deaths where “Death certificate states presumed or suspected corona virus 2019 was relevant to cause of death.”

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) only counts deaths from COVID-19 where there has been a positive test. Their figure is 2,488.

From the governments own published figures using the NRS source:

“There were 2,412excess deaths in care homes (62%above averagefor the time of year), 2,527excess deaths at home or in non-institutional settings (55% above average) whilst after an early peak, hospital deaths fell below average levels in week 19 (4–10May) and are now 72 (<1%) below average levels for the period covering weeks 12-27.”

43% of deaths were in the over 85 years age group.

92% of all deaths were in the over 65 years age group.

Scottish hospitals saw a decrease in deaths involving:

  • Cancer -575
  • Dementia -135
  • Circulatory -480
  • Respiratory -481
  • Other -196
  • A total of -1,919

COVID-19 deaths in hospital were reported as 1,744.

Hospitals were working at a vastly reduced rate. In week ending 19th April Hospital Admissions were 8,256 compared to an historic average of 15,450.

In the same week, A&E attendances were 12,892 compared to an historic average of 28,161.

Nearly 2,000 people were left to die at home with no hospital treatment available despite the NHS working at half capacity.

Now we know why there is a ‘dead cat’ wearing a gas mask on the table.

It distracts from the extraordinary failure of government policies by locking down 99.9% of people who were not going to be affected by a rather benign virus. Look at the age groups of those who died. Look at the numbers. Then explain to me why ‘lockdown’ was not responsible for these deaths. It is in Care Homes that government policies have been shown to be most incompetent.

I do not generalise from the particular failures in Scotland to universal failures as this report from Canada is a common thread throughout this fiasco.

This is where our ire should be directed. Everything else is distraction and misdirection.

Governments and the mass media have quietly skulked out of the ICU and into the supermarkets and the shopping malls.

As the dust settles, expect to see the words ‘in hindsight’ spouted from their lying treacherous mouths.

As for the First Minister of Scotland and her entourage? Well Burns had a term for them. “Such a parcel of rogues in this Nation”.


  • A few graphs are presented below which relate only to Scotland.
  • I’m afraid they are only basic graphs from a python data frame created in pandas.
  • Interactive graphs for Scotland showing the wider effect of lockdown can be found here.
  • If you really want a laugh read this report from Imperial College on COVID-19 testing

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