Eighty-six sages

Eighty-six sages

By Neil Lock

This article is about SAGE. That is, the UK’s “Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.” Its self-stated remit is that it: “provides scientific and technical advice to support government decision makers during emergencies.” And it has been front and centre in recent spats about COVID-19 [[1]].

The list of SAGE participants can be found at [[2]]. That list, dated 17th July, shows 86 members, of whom up to about 20 may be involved in any one meeting or topic.

SAGE recently released the minutes of one of its meetings from last month. This was an immediate response to Boris Johnson’s newly announced tiered COVID lockdown system. The Guardian [[3]] titled the release: “SAGE documents show how scientists felt sidelined by economic considerations.” The experts, they said, wanted a dramatic increase in restrictions across the country to check the alarming rise in infections. To include a “circuit-breaker” lockdown of a couple of weeks, and “closure of all bars, cafes, restaurants, indoor gyms and personal services such as hairdressers.”

Let’s review how we got to this pass. The UK government’s handling of the COVID-19 epidemic has been, in one word, atrocious. The Cygnus report was shelved. Preparation for the virus seemed all but non-existent. Health workers were under-protected. People were sent back into care homes after discharge from hospital, without being tested for the virus. Patients were put on ventilators, when less invasive treatments would have been more appropriate. In May, health secretary Matt Hancock was caught misleading the public about testing data by Sir David Norgrove, chief of the UK Statistics Authority [[4]]. As one who has been analyzing the data over several months, I know that the UK in early June wiped out and re-wrote all its past testing data; then it later did the same thing with new cases. In July, Leicester City Council had no warning at all that they were about to be ordered to implement a lockdown, because they had not been given the correct numbers of tests and new cases. Moreover, as of the latest date I have looked at (October 6th), among major European countries the UK was third worst, behind only Portugal and Italy, in deaths per case (offset by 21 days). And according to the Blavatnik School of Government’s stringency index, the UK has been continuously the heaviest locked down among those major countries since the beginning of August.

Then, four weeks ago, there was talk of a “second national lockdown.” This caused a considerable number of people, including me, to write to their MPs strongly urging that this must not be allowed to happen. Remarkably, for the first time in years or even decades, the government – prompted, perhaps, by Tory backbenchers nervous about their own positions – actually bothered to listen to the people they are supposed to be serving. The result was the “tiered” system, which has just recently come into effect.

This new system seems to me, at first glance at least, to be along the right lines. Epidemic control, by the nature of disease transmission, must be a local matter. And to push out powers and responsibilities, as far as possible, to the health people “on the ground,” who are best aware of the situation in their own areas, makes a lot of sense. There will, no doubt, be many matters that need resolution – most of which, at the moment, seem to be about money hand-outs, not medical issues. But it’s a start.

Crucially, the new system avoids ridiculae like confining people in Cornwall to their homes when the nearest major outbreak is in Bristol more than a hundred miles away. The “circuit-breaker” proposal, in contrast, would do precisely that, for no gain at all to anyone.

Even better, the new system provides a framework within which the effects of different policies can be objectively evaluated. If for a month, say, City A closes the pubs, City B closes public transport, and City C closes the schools, would that not help to clarify the picture of what works against the virus, and what doesn’t?

And yet, SAGE are opposed to this new system. Now, it seems strange to me that a group, whose supposed remit is to provide scientific and technical advice, is in effect issuing policy demands. That sounds like tail wagging dog. Another odd thing, to me, is their pooh-poohing of “economic considerations.” Of course, these are members of a privileged class, high in the favours of the state, and many of them very comfortably rewarded by it. If the economy goes belly up because of policies they favour, they won’t be the ones suffering. Nor, under today’s political system, will they be held personally responsible for their share of the harms those policies cause. Even so, are they not short-sighted and heartless, if they disdain the economic needs and desires of the “little people” who are forced to pay for the “work” they do?

Here are a few recent statements from SAGE members and associates. Let’s start at the top. Chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance’s September 22nd predictions of case numbers continuing to double every week have proved to be grossly exaggerated [[5]]. We also get pessimism from Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer [[6]]. “The highest level of restrictions in England’s new three-tier local lockdown system ‘will not be sufficient’ to slow COVID-19 infections alone.”

Then there is Professor Susan Michie, director of the “Centre for Behaviour Change” at University College London and (according to Wikipedia) a leading member of the British communist party [[7]]. “At this critical moment the gulf between the scientific advice from SAGE and from @IndependentSage and the political decisions made by government has been laid bare.” Michie also relayed a tweet from Professor Stephen Reicher, who is on the SAGE-associated “Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours” [[8]]. “Johnson has ignored the science and blown our chance to stop a second wave.”

And a somewhat more refined tweet along the same lines, from Professor Michael Parker, director of the “Ethox Centre” at the University of Oxford [[9]]. “Ministers are rightly free not to follow scientific advice but when they do so they have an obligation to provide a clear and reasoned public justification for this and a coherent plan of action for if the scientific projections start to look right.” On the other hand, they might just as well formulate action plans for the, far more likely, situation where the scientists turn out to have been wrong!

Next, I’ll look in more detail at the composition of SAGE. The first distinction I chose to make was between “advisors” and “clients.” Advisors are the people, whose skills and knowledge should enable them to offer scientific advice on the matter under discussion. Clients, on the other hand, represent some other part of government, not directly involved with the virus. Their main interest is in the effects of the deliberations on their particular departments. A few of them, though, happen also to have skills appropriate to advisors. My count divided the 86 SAGE members into 64 advisors and 22 clients.

Within the advisor group, I divided the personnel into three subgroups. First, those whose backgrounds and skills are clearly appropriate to make them advisors in this case. Second, those who might, or might not, be able to bring something useful to the party. And third, those whose membership appears to be incompatible with a body whose remit is to provide scientific and technical advice on a virus epidemic.

Among the skilled advisors, we have three biochemists – including Sir Patrick Vallance himself, and Nobel Prize winner Professor Venki Ramakrishnan. Three tropical medicine specialists, including Professor Whitty. Three I would surmise are general clinicians, though it’s not clear just how much field experience they gained before they became academics. There are six immunologists, three virologists, two statisticians, five epidemiologists, a mathematical biologist, two microbiologists, a child health expert and an adolescent health expert. There are also the Welsh and Scottish chief medical officers; one of whom, would you believe, is also a general practitioner! The team is certainly heavyweight, if nothing else.

And then, there’s Professor Neil Ferguson. I already counted him under the heading of “epidemiologist.” But there’s more to be said. I’m not actually sure whether or not he is still part of SAGE; although he officially left in May, it seems he is still involved. And his name is still on the list, too. It’s interesting to review some of his past statements. “The British response [the first lockdown], Ferguson said on March 25th, makes him ‘reasonably confident’ that total deaths in the United Kingdom will be held below 20,000.” [[10]]. October 15th, cumulative deaths: 43,293 and counting. On August 17th, he was “‘optimistic’ Europe won’t see very large numbers of new COVID-19 cases this year.” [[11]]. October 15th, daily new case count: 18,980. That’s 2.4 times the peak of 7,860 on April 10th. Then, on September 22nd, we had this headline in the Sun [[12]]: “Professor Lockdown doubles down on 500k UK coronavirus deaths forecast [from March] – and claims it was ‘underestimate’.” Ho hum.

Passing to the not-sures, I see an educationalist, a professor of intelligent transport systems, a zoologist, a materials scientist, a “safety” expert, a mathematical modeller, an entrepreneur and general bright guy, an “environmental engineer,” and a representative apparently from the World Health Organization. There are also seven “public health” people; several of whom, I suspect, are more political operators than they are scientists. And no less than five in a field called “data research” or “data science,” four of them from a start-up outfit called “Health Data Research.” Oh, and then there’s Baroness Dido Harding. Who gets a lot of flak from all around; but, I suspect, as much for who she is as for what she does.

And then, the oughtn’ts. In addition to a behavioural scientist and a psychologist, no less than five SAGE members work in the fields of “social intervention” and “behaviour change.” These include Dr Michie above, and Professor Theresa Marteau from Cambridge. Four years ago, I had occasion to write an April 1st spoof of an article by Professor Marteau in the Cambridge alumni magazine [[13]]. But I wonder, why would a government, if it is genuinely trying to serve the people rather than to control them, feel a need to employ such “nudgers?”

There is also a professor of “EU law and social justice.” And the aforementioned Professor Parker, who seems to have so many different hats that it’s difficult to work out what he actually does for his living.

Conspicuous by its absence from the SAGE list, to me at least, is the name of Professor Carl Heneghan of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford. The group he leads belongs to the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, which ought to make him extremely well qualified for SAGE. And his reaction to the current controversies was typically forthright [[14]]. “There is no good evidence for a circuit-breaker lockdown. We urgently need to address the lack of credible research into which interventions work and which don’t.” That second sentence is even more key than the first; which is key enough!

Among the clients from other parts of government, there are: A statistician, two mathematical biologists and an epidemiologist. An engineer, a geochemist, a “digital initiatives” person, a vet, two astronomers, a professor of “architectura and urban computing,” an ecologist, a computer scientist, an educationalist and a former senior corporate executive. And seven more, whose relevant skills I haven’t been able to find.

Other common themes run through the SAGE personnel, too. No less than 14 of its members have, now or in the past, a connection with University College London. UCL today describes itself as “London’s Global University.” It orients itself around six “Grand Challenges” [[15]]: Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Justice & Equality, Transformative Technology. All very “modern,” and with a strong and not very pleasant whiff of political correctness.

There are also eight SAGE members connected with Oxford University, and seven with Imperial College London. And five of its members have connections with the Wellcome Trust, the fourth wealthiest charitable foundation in the world. These include both the current and previous Directors of the Trust. In general, it’s fair to say that the senior members of SAGE are extremely well connected in government, academe, and in many cases commerce.

It’s hard to quantify, but some SAGE members, like far too many of today’s academics, seem to have views one might describe as “woke.” There is a mathematical modeller with an interest in “global inequalities.” A director of “a network which campaigns for the need and importance of better inclusion of all backgrounds, skillsets and disciplines in health technology.” A director of a government project on “Transforming food systems for UK human health and environmental health.” And the woman Neil Ferguson invited across London during lockdown [[16]], according to the Sun, works for US-based online network Avaaz, which “promotes global activism on issues such as climate change.”

Such “woke” views go hand in hand with hostility towards Western civilization, earned prosperity and individual freedom. That the SAGE group is infected by such views, may go some way towards explaining why their advice to government seems so often to be to hit the “little people” as hard as possible.

Boris Johnson and his aides deserve a (weak) cheer for – this once – actually listening to ordinary people, and trying to avoid unnecessary and harmful policies like locking down people in areas not seriously affected by the virus. But they need to do a lot more than just that. First and most obviously, they must resist the temptation to compromise with those, in SAGE and elsewhere, that do not wish well to the ordinary people of the UK. Having broken with the habits of decades by listening, however briefly, to the people they are supposed to serve, they must continue to listen. And they must make far more explicit their commitment to serve us, instead of ruling over us. That said, I confess I don’t have much hope that Boris the Bullingdon Boy will ever succeed in reforming himself. And as to Labour, forget it.

Beyond all that, the mechanics and culture of “scientific” advice to government needs to be re-examined and, very probably, re-booted. SAGE is as good a place to start as any. And cleaning out the Sagean stables, to use a phrase, will be good practice for the tougher tasks ahead, like neutralizing and overcoming the anti-scientific deep green mythmakers.

[[1]] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8834273/Lockdown-probably-tougher-admit-ministers-amid-SAGE-row.html

[[2]] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response-membership/list-of-participants-of-sage-and-related-sub-groups

[[3]] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/13/sage-documents-show-how-coronavirus-scientists-felt-sidelined-by-economic-considerations

[[4]] https://uksa.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/sir-david-norgrove-response-to-matt-hancock-regarding-the-governments-covid-19-testing-data/

[[5]] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8830273/How-Covid-19-cases-HALF-Whitty-Vallances-doomsday-prediction-50-000.html

[[6]] https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-professor-chris-whitty-admits-tier-3-rules-not-sufficient-on-their-own-to-limit-covid-19-12102767

[[7]]  https://twitter.com/SusanMichie/status/1315924127845355520?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

[[8]]  https://twitter.com/SusanMichie/status/1316055178378907649?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

[[9]]  https://twitter.com/michaelethox?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

[[10]] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01003-6

[[11]] https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/201953/world-still-early-stage-pandemic-neil/

[[12]] https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12737846/professor-lockdown-500k-uk-coronavirus-deaths-forecast-claims-underestimate/

[[13]] http://www.honestcommonsense.co.uk/2016/04/the-force-is-behind-you-politicos.html

[[14]] https://twitter.com/carlheneghan/status/1316347918044065793?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

[[15]] https://www.ucl.ac.uk/grand-challenges/

[[16]] https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11559162/who-is-antonia-staats-husband/


  1. Neil,

    This is where your own ideas in Honest Common Sense can be put to the test, if only as a hypothetical exercise drawing on a real-world situation.

    I think we all realise that in the hands of these people, localism is just authoritarianism by another name. If I understand the liberal/libertarian position correctly, sovereignty begins with the individual, and any transfer of this power to others must only be so far as is necessary. You go further and argue that sovereignty begins and ends with the individual and all associations must be voluntary entirely, in which case whether the decision-maker is Boris Johnson or Andy Burnham, or a local council leader, these public health restrictions are an assault on liberty in anything other than the most exigent circumstances.

    Do we have ‘exigent circumstances’ [my phrase]? Like you, I adopt the presumption that the virus exists and it is contagious. This may not in fact be true, but as a working position it seems sensible. The next question, then, is whether the morbidity and mortality of the virus are grave and serious as claimed? I think the answer to that question is clear and we are witnessing an abuse of power. That leaves us with the further question – I accept, this is hypothetical – of whether these measures would have been justified had the morbidity and mortality been of a seriousness and lethality claimed in the propaganda? Or do you believe that, other than in circumstances of immediate mortal danger, no compulsion is permissible? Or is it more a matter of gradation?

    Concomitant with these questions is the thorny issue of whether you accept any sort of ‘state’ at all or aim to eradicate moral privilege altogether? This is the source of one of my objections. I would submit that even in a tiny intimate community of cave-dwellers, there is a ‘state’, in soft form – even if it just instantiates as the natural authority of the physically strongest man or group of men, or the cleverest man, or some other quality or attribute. In other words, I would submit that moral privilege is the outcome of natural inequality among humans, thus, by a process of extension, we could argue that the state is an elective outcome of human nature.

    I am interrogating your ideas not out of hostility, but in order to seek a better understanding. I believe there is something in what you say, but I also wonder if there are other routes for humanity out of the grasp of ‘authority-ism’ or if Acton was right and the authority is an inevitable manifestation of human relations (I would say human-animal nature) given that we are an unequal species? If so, could it be said that a society/community/association of individuals [whatever you want to call it] founded on utopian ‘liberty-ism’ can only exist under highly contingent conditions in a group of individuals sharing the same understanding of law, morals, ethics and culture and so on and possess comparable abilities? Or could any random group of ‘human-animals’ join and thrive, as long as they share the same ideas?

    In other words, does a ‘utopia’ in practical and realistic form first require some sort of ‘culturalisation’ process, and does this in turn hinge on individuals sharing the same ethnicity (a biological process), or failing that, some other compelling unifying attribute? If we all agree that we should abide by contracts and leave each other alone, is that enough?

    • Correction: “…or if Acton was right and the abuse of authority is an inevitable manifestation of human relations…”

      “…and possessing comparable abilities…”

      There is no edit function at my end.

    • Tom,

      In the best of all worlds, a “government” in a COVID kind of situation would simply tell the people the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the matter, and leave individuals to make their own decisions. However the political classes, being what they are, are incapable of telling truth for long. Also, because state functionaries are not held responsible for the effects of their actions, the incentives become skewed. An organization like SAGE, even if staffed by honest people, will always overstate the seriousness of a situation and over-recommend restrictive action; because there is nothing for them to lose by going that way, even though many people suffer as a result of their actions. They might, on the other hand, lose face if they recommended a loosening of restrictions, and it turned out to make the epidemic worse.

      I think that many people (even I!) were initially willing to accept some restrictions, because this virus – unlike the CO2 emissions nonsense – is manifestly a real problem, with (at least at the start of the epidemic) an unknown size and scope. However, after seven months, we damn well ought to have learned enough about it to know where we actually stand in relation to it. The fact that we’re not being told these things is becoming very concerning, and is leading to many of us chafing.

      In your community of cave-dwellers, I see nothing to prevent an individual rising to a position of leadership through showing abilities that are valuable to the group. People will often choose to follow such a leader because he has been right in the past. But that is not the same thing as a state. Once a state comes into play, the leader obtains the moral privilege of irresponsibility. He can behave as badly as he likes, and still not be deposed (except, of course, by insurrection).

      And I don’t see any particular reason for “culturalisation” in order to enable people to live together peacefully. But the core list of principles to be obeyed in order to achieve that, must be independent of any particular culture. There is nothing to stop a group of people, who agree on a set of cultural or religious matters, getting together as a group and agreeing to go beyond this core list, and agree to follow cultural or religious norms in their dealings with each other; while continuing to treat those outside the group according to the core principles.

      BTW, another interesting article about SAGE here: https://lockdownsceptics.org/what-sage-got-wrong/.

      • Neil,

        I think it was wrong – and a rhetorical mistake – to accept any restrictions at all other than national containment by means of closing the borders to immigrants, which is what borders are for. The government failed to do close the borders at the outset, yet hypocritically (and contradictorily) demanded public restrictions within society. That should have caused justifiable outrage. Besides, the common cold is in constant pandemic, but nobody proposes shutting down whole societies for the sake of it. We have had flu pandemics without any of these restrictions. Is SARS Cov 2 really significantly more lethal or morbid? I am willing to accept that the virus exists. That, at least, should be the presumption, but restrictions on ordinary civil liberties beyond what I have mentioned don’t follow from this and should only be applied if needed. In regard to the topic in hand, wouldn’t that be a model approach for a voluntary society? But would you therefore also accept that there is a need for compulsion when exceptionally needed, even when a society is otherwise voluntarist in the generality?

        You say that people choosing to follow a leader (or leaders) is not the same as a state, but you are (I am sure, unintentionally) twisting my words here. In the first place, I don’t assume such a leader would be chosen. He may be, but even if that were possible, why would that be necessary? Let me ask you: in ordinary groups of people that you have observed in everyday life, don’t certain people naturally come to the fore as ‘leaders’? Are leaders really chosen or do they choose themselves and have this ratified by ‘weaker’ personalities? But the main point is that, regardless of how a leader arises – whether by some mechanism of choice or other means – it amounts to a soft state if the leader exercises moral privilege. Obviously it is not the same thing as a state technically or in literal terms, but if a leader can tell people what to do without their consent (whether via formal democratic means or through raw naked force), then, like it or not, it is substantially the same thing. It may not be called a state or regarded as a state or conceptualised that way by the people who live the experience, but it is that in objective actuality. Such a leader or leaders could be deposed, but the same applies to the state we live under. That could be deposed too, which is no guarantee that what replaces it – whatever form it may take – is not also a ‘state’ in an objective sense.

        I fear your entire premise here is based on the notion that people can have ‘free choice’ and associate entirely voluntarily. I suspect any further discussion about it will end up mired in semantics. What is ‘choice’? What does ‘voluntary’ mean? You may think these are plainly-understood terms. They are in the dictionary sense, but not so much when reckoned against human nature. The view that people can freely make choices is not how I understand human relations and human dynamics in reality, based on what I have observed of real people. It’s a bit like rigid free marketeers who try to pretend that workers take on employment contracts voluntarily, when in reality they do so because society coerces them to do so. For most people, if they don’t take a job, they either starve or beg or go on benefits or pursue some other unpleasant resort. I accept you could technically regard that as a ‘choice’, but most of them don’t necessarily have a choice in the same sense that an educated libertarian may have. Most people can’t simply decide to do what they want to the same degree that somebody like you can. I believe that this is because, at root, most people are followers and conformists by nature. They want to be ruled and led.
        There’s at least a case for saying that a slave stays a slave because, somewhere deep in his mind, he wants to be. Freedom of choice in an absolutist, universalist sense can only exist on paper and in somebody’s idealistic mind.

        If the state announced tomorrow: “The Johnson Plantation is now closed. You’re all free to do as you please!”, there would be celebrations and, for a while – maybe for months or even years – things would work more or less as before, but eventually society would start to break down and collapse and people would want to go back to being slaves. The New Slavery under this dispensation perhaps would not be called a ‘state’. The salesmanship would have to be subtle – “The Free Libertarian Courts will decide on disputes among members of private associations. Have no fear, we’ll uphold your property rights! You can trust us! Besides, you have a choice between different competing private justice providers. It’s free choice, see?” or “The Global Workers’ Committee, elected by universal suffrage, and you all know Comrade Smith” – but a state it would be, whatever form it takes and whatever you choose to call it.

        Besides which, a voluntary society could surely only work among a group of similar people (as I’ve mentioned) who share the same cultural frames of references, perhaps due to a shared ethnicity. You don’t seem to want to acknowledge this, instead you think that a random group of people can just decide that they agree on certain ideas and that it can then work. To my mind, this is an incomplete approach because it ignores the underlying cultural and biological bonds that needs to be formed between people before they can co-operate.

        I submit that freedom is humbug because it is not congruent with that catch-all concept, reified but elusive: human nature. Ironically, to achieve real freedom you would first have to demand a prospective totalitarianism: if only a totality of the mind in the form of ‘agreed’ ideas.

        • Tom, I think they should have quarantined, or even closed the borders to, incoming travellers from high-risk areas far earlier than they did (June 8th). But that is very different from stopping immigration.

          And when you say, “the common cold is in constant pandemic, but nobody proposes shutting down whole societies for the sake of it,” that was true (and for ‘flu, too) until March or April. The UN’s WHO offers the following guidance (issued in April): that communities must be “fully engaged and understand that the transition away from large-scale movement restrictions and public health/social measures… is a ‘new normal’ in which prevention measures would be maintained, and that all people have key roles in preventing a resurgence in case numbers.” Otherwise put, the UN’s intention is never to give up the restrictions – never let a good crisis go to waste! As fast as the population gets over one disease, the next one will take its place. Watch for them to raise a big ‘flu scare as soon as the COVID cases start to drop off. If I had known that back in March, I wouldn’t have been nearly as co-operative as I was. But I don’t think that, longer term, the political class can get away with doing that for long – particularly when they themselves break their own restrictions. I already sense that people are getting very tetchy about this – and it seems to be people on the “left” who are the tetchiest.

          As to leadership, it can be a binding force for a group. But as soon as the leader ceases to act for the benefit of the group as a whole, leadership ceases to be a binding force. The sovereign of a state, on the other hand, can bind people together only as long as it appears to be on their side. And that pretence cannot be maintained for long in a system which, in reality, is biased entirely in favour of the sovereign and its cohorts, at the expense of everyone else.

          On voluntary societies, my position is that there is a certain minimum core of ethical values which, if kept to, enables people to trade with each other, and so to work effectively together if they wish. As I said earlier, there is nothing to stop groups of people choosing to go beyond this core, and ethnicity is one of the things they might choose to be part of their “cultural frame of reference.” But I don’t think that all individuals will want to go that way. Some might choose, for example, a particular religion, or a political ideology, or a set of ethical rules, as a binding force for their group rather than ethnicity.

  2. […] This is typical of SAGE. When you look hard at it, SAGE seems to be just a clique of “woke” alarmists. And it seems less interested in its supposed remit of advising government on scientific matters, than it is in directing government policy over the epidemic. Moreover, SAGE’s policy of choice seems to be: Lock down for the sake of locking down! I wrote a fairly detailed analysis of the composition and behaviour of SAGE up until the middle of October here: https://misesuk.org/2020/10/17/eighty-six-sages/. […]

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