Wednesday 13 January 2021

Mortality rate in England in 2020 highest since 2008

I always prefer anecdotal evidence to statistics and both show that Covid cases have risen dramatically in England. Hospitals are under enormous stress. 

Anyone who thinks Covid-19 a hoax is deluded. 

Still, that does not mean that the numbers of Covid-related hospitalisations and deaths are not exaggerated. They must be, because when a dying person's immune system breaks down he catches every infection going around and since Covid-19 is going around he catches that. Covid is mentioned on the death certificate. His is recorded as a Covid death, although he has really died of old age.

Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the British Office of National Statistics, said yesterday that the "age-standardised mortality rate" last year, which takes into account total deaths, population size and age distribution, was the highest in England and Wales since 2008. 

This is important, more informative than the startling news that deaths last year were 15% higher than in 2018 and the accurate headline in The Times:

Coronavirus: Largest yearly increase in deaths since 1940

The English language media are largely suppressing "lockdown sceptics'', like climate change sceptics and mass immigration sceptics, but the exception are sceptical Members of the British Parliament. Their words are reported. Sometimes. 

I suspect people pay less attention to speeches in Parliament since the place was televised, but they get attention. It's what makes hard left ex-BBC journalist Paul Mason demand Boris Johnson show 'real leadership' by getting his backbenchers to keep quiet on the subject.

These words are from the website of David Warburton, Conservative Member of Parliament for the delightful Somerset seat of Somerton and Frome (Frome rhymes with hmmm).

"Every death, for whatever reason, is tragic and shocking. Even to write about it — and especially to do so in terms of data and numbers — belittles and minimises the personal loss which we all feel. It is important to see, I think though, that excess deaths over the past year have not been statistically higher than the average for previous years. And the ONS reveals that, in terms of deaths per 100,000 of population, since 1993 ten previous years have had higher rates than 2020. But I also understand that, given the infection rates and the new strains, it is the predictions of future mortality which concerns the Government. They do not know what may come.


"I will not dwell on the historic predictions of SAGE, but I must draw attention to the missing component in this thought process. At the end of the regulations before us yesterday was the bald admission that “No impact assessment has been prepared for these Regulations.”


"That means that we were asked to vote, again, on restrictions which will have unknown effects, both positive and negative. We are not provided with evidence for the efficacy of the lockdown, other than our experience of the mixed results of previous lockdowns, and — crucially — we do not know what is the nature or the extent of the detrimental effects.


"As I’ve said before, the ONS have estimated that the restrictions across 2020 will have resulted in 200,000 non-Covid excess deaths. Bristol University put the figure far higher. Whether or not these predictions have any more accuracy than SAGE’s own Covid predictions, these numbers are many times higher than those who tragically will have been lost to the virus."


  1. You can’t have it both ways Paul . Expecting MP’s to vote on Brexit and deals not based on facts or impact assessments but dogma, then complain when it is bypassed the same way by the same actors in response to Covid.

  2. Frome rhymes with room.
    Warburton is hard right [to borrow your terminology]and wrong.

    1. They say Frome rhymes with room but all locals rhyme it with hmm.