Laurence Fox Implies Public Defibrillator Conspiracy

A particularly egregious piece of bad-faith fear-mongering from GB News presenter and fringe political activist Laurence Fox: a video of a public access defibrillator in an old telephone box in the village of Corfe Castle in southern England, to which he has added as sarcastic commentary “Move along. Nothing to see here.”

Google Street View shows that this particular defibrillator is in the village of Corfe Castle in southern England, and that it has been there since at least July 2018, probably a few months earlier. It was installed as a part of an initiative that goes back to 2011.

Why doesn’t Fox articulate exactly what the problem is meant to be? I can think of two reasons. First, it means that he doesn’t have to defend any particular substantive proposition. Second, by inviting his followers to draw an inference for themselves, he gives them an opportunity to see themselves an intellectual elite who can discern secret meanings amid the commonplace that the sheeple will overlook.

In this case, the obvious context given Fox’s anti-vax positioning is that the presence of public defibrillators indicates that the government is aware that there is an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest among the general population, and that this is because of Covid vaccination. This is part of a wider strategy of looking for signs that Covid vaccination alarmism has not been a failed prophecy. Other examples involve attempting to prove the case by finding hidden significance in statistics; affirming vaccine death or injury as the cause whenever it is reported that someone has died suddenly or been unexpectedly hospitalised; and claiming that media stories about heart health risks in various contexts are being planted as a cover story.

Is Fox simply ignorant, and prone to jumping to conclusions based on an over-inflated belief in his own intelligence? Or is his post just a cynical, even nihilistic, “post-truth” narrative?

(For some reason, the video has also caught the attention of Francophone social media; one Tweet I saw claims “Le Deep-State installe des défibrillateurs dans les villes d’Angleterre”)

UPDATE: Fox has now issued a sulky and sarcastic corrective: “This has been around since 2012 apparently. I have spread the misinformations. I shall chastise and admonish myself for the remainder of the morning. My bad.”

UPDATE 2: It appears that Fox may have been inspired by novelty-pop-duo-turned-conspiracists Right Said Fred. On Saturday they posted photos showing “defibrillators on the street and outside schools”.


Fox recently upset some allies within the conspiracy movement with a statement about abortion, in which he affirmed that “A woman who willingly aborts a child should be regarded in exactly the same way as a man who willingly commits rape”. The tone did not strike me as particularly “pro-life” (and what exactly is “willing rape” to be contrasted with?) – the juxtaposition seemed to me to be instead a bitter complaint that women supposedly do something just as bad as a male crime that is highly stigmatised, but are not being made accountable for it. This impression was strengthened when he went on (in a Tweet since deleted) to reject poverty and absent fathers as a reason for abortion, claiming that “women have it easy” and referring to his own expenditure as a divorced father.

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