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Compiled by Ian Sinclair & Rupert Read (edited by Joanna Booth), A Timeline Of The Plague Year is a comprehensive record of the ‘national scandal’ that’s taken place in the UK.

Watch the book launch with Professor Rupert Read, guests Andy Towler and Stefan Simonowitz, and introduced by Joanna Booth:


‘With the success of the vaccination programme, the fear of mass deaths is fading. But unless we know how we ended up with the highest death rate in the world we cannot hold our government to account or make the necessary changes to prevent another public health catastrophe. This detailed timeline of what went wrong and when is a vital part of the accountability process.’

Professor Molly Scott Cato, former-MEP.

‘The UK handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of disastrous with many thousands of unnecessary lives lost and families left grieving for loved ones. At some point the British government will have to be held to account. Here, Sinclair, Read and Booth have provided what is destined to become a key source for the legal battles ahead and for historians seeking to understand how things went so badly wrong in the country that has always led the world in effective public health interventions. Never again must we be caught out as we were in 2020. This important work should enable the real lessons of the pandemic to be learned and an accountable and effective public health system rebuilt from the ashes of an avoidable catastrophe.’

John Ashton, author of Blinded by Corona: How the Pandemic ruined Britain’s Health and Wealth and What to do about it

‘When you read this clear, factual timeline of events with an unprejudiced eye, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Government response was often complacent, mistaken, delayed and flawed, causing tens of thousands of avoidable deaths.’

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

‘This timeline is timely! We desperately need to examine and understand what the government did and did not do in the face of this pandemic. We need to know were they negligent, incompetent or worse – that is, guilty of pursuing policies that endangered the population? This book helps us decide. Please read it. Our lives depend on it. It might happen again.’

Michael Rosen, poet, and author of Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS

Free ebook from (you may need to provide your email).

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Any donations to cover costs are welcome but optional:

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003, published by Peace News Press.


Ian Sinclair (@ianjsinclair) or Rupert Read (@RupertRead) 

Professor Rupert Read is an expert on the Precautionary Principle, and co-author with Nassim Taleb et al of a paper entitled The Precautionary Principle. He writes regularly on the pandemic from this perspective, most notably in Byline Times. His most recent book is Parents for a Future: how loving our children can stop climate collapse, with UEA Press.

Joanna Booth is a book editor and freelance journalist.

She writes at and @stillawake