Tom Swarbrick confronts anti-lockdown protester calling official advice "lies"

18 May 2020, 11:59

By Seán Hickey

A man who was at the anti-lockdown protests told LBC that he went to Hyde Park to protest lies being disguised as government advice.

Ed spoke to Tom Swarbrick on Thursday in advance of the weekend's protests and called back to remind LBC listeners of his motivations to join, and how he found the events to be.

The caller told Tom that he has already had coronavirus and it is responsible for him suffering a stroke. He added that he hasn't yet had an antibody test and isn't sure if he's immune to the virus. Tom was shocked, struggling to understand why Ed decided that it was safe to join a crowd and possible transmit the virus to others to which it could be fatal with no knowledge of if he is contagious or not.

The caller insisted that he didn't agree with Tom's argument and went back to the core of his argument for joining the protests. "We are being suppressed in this country" he said, adding that "people are being told lies upon lies" in the UK. Tom asked Ed if he could give him an example of a lie that the public are being given. He used the instance of people being told to stay further than 6 feet from people and claimed that "there's no science in it at all."

Baffled, Tom argued that "there's science in the idea that you spread droplets when you sneeze and cough" and although he accepted that "there are different rules in different countries over how far you stand from each other", the main point of the advice is to stay clear of other people's personal space to lower the risk of catching virus particles from the breath of the other person.

Ed's temper was rising, telling Tom that "the same person making these rules up is the same man inviting another man's wife around to his house and breaking the rules." Tom accepted Ed's point but assured him that he isn't sharing facts, only "disagreements of science on how far you stand away from people." He asked for another lie from Ed in an effort to understand the argument, to which he encouraged Tom to watch an interview of Piers Corbyn telling Edwina Currie that the advice isn't scientifically accurate.

Tom was struggling to sympathise with Ed's argument. "So far you've given me a difference in opinion and an interview with Edwina Currie" he said.

The caller told Tom that social distancing rules are not scientifically correct
The caller told Tom that social distancing rules are not scientifically correct. Picture: PA

He told Tom that the protest in Hyde Park "was a very good humoured affair" and he was positioned around the area in which Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers was arrested.

Tom was taken aback by how Ed spoke of the protests and how happy he was to share that he enjoyed it. He wanted to know what gave Ed the right "to break the rules around social distancing", where Ed countered that he was practicing "the same rights as the police were exercising."

"They are there to enforce the law" Tom said, quashing Ed's argument over how the police "were breaking the law because they were all huddling together." Tom insisted that the police have a duty to the public to be at these protests to ensure the general public are safe. Ed clapped back, dismissing Tom's argument due to him not being there to see himself what happened, to which Tom said that he was "deliberately choosing to not make life more dangerous for other people."

Tom ended the conversation by telling the caller that he was claiming to give scientific advice he is not a scientist himself. Ed encouraged Tom to listen to the arguments of a notable anti-vaccine scientist, which was the last straw and ended the debate for Tom.

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