Richard Madeley has come under fire this morning for crowbarring in a SAGE scientist’s communist party membership to cast doubt over their cautionary stance on the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
In full Partridge stride, Madeley called into question the behavioural psychologist’s belief that many Brits should continue to wear face coverings following 19 July given the “critical situation” the UK finds itself in, with Covid cases rising by 78 per cent in the past week.
Set to break into a new era of “personal responsibility”, with the rules on wearing facemasks likely to change later this month, as hinted by Robert Jenrick in an interview with Sky News yesterday, Professor Susan Michie suggested voluntary mask-wearing is likely to become a popular precaution against the threat of existing and future variants.
“You have been a member of the communist party for about 40-years now – you’re still a member – and we know communism is basically ‘statist’,” began Madelely’s heavy-handed questioning.
“We look at the communist countries around the world, and we see that they are tremendously top-down dominant and controlled societies.
“I put forward this question on behalf of those who wonder about your politics. If your politics actually inform your sense of control – it’s not just in medical arguments – you have a kind of political bent to want the state to tell people what to do.”
In the wake of previous media attacks for her involvement with the communist party, Michie refused to respond to Madelely’s probing, pointing out that no other scientists invited onto the programme were dragged over the coals for their political leanings.
“I have come on your programme as a scientist, as do all people who come onto your programme as scientists. They come on and talk about the evidence, relevant theories, how they approach scientific disciplines,” she said.
“I am very happy to speak about science – which is what my job is – and to limit it to that.”
Madeley’s Radio Norwich-esque performance proved divisive on Twitter, with many condemning the GMB host’s “outrageous” suggestion that Michie’s response to mask-wearing is borne out of her politics.
I just watched Madeley slam the “scientist” for being a Communist, insinuating that her scientific opinion is less valid because of that fact.— Tom Joad. ??? (@jtw_25_51) July 5, 2021
They put a scientist up against Dominique the “you tuber” and claim they represented both sides of the debate?♂️
Disgraceful from @GMB
Very very disappointing to see Richard Madeley essentially quote a hit piece on @SusanMichie today on @GMB – suggesting her very sensible advice as a scientist was in some way compromised by her political leanings? WTF? This is misogynistic BS. #boycottGMB— Deepti Gurdasani (@dgurdasani1) July 5, 2021
Richard Madeley raising the political beliefs of the scientist is an absolute embarrassment and really poor journalism ?— Richard Smart (@rsmart65) July 5, 2021
Ditch the Masks?
GMB’s ‘Ditch the Masks?’ segment comes as the British Medical Association advised the government to keep in place requirements to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces, such as public transport, shops, healthcare settings and in communal areas in educational settings.
The final decision on the matter of masks is set to be announced later by Boris Johnson among plans for remaining Covid restrictions to be lifted in England from 19 July later today.
The date will mark the finish line for the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, previously delayed by four-weeks in the wake the swelling fallout attributed to the Delta variant.
The announcement will take place this afternoon at 17:00 BST from Downing Street.