The big mistake that nearly everyone made back in mid-March 2001..

...was to believe that the crisis was "out of control".  Only the few people with real expertise in FMD recognised that the "traditional" method of control (rapid slaughter on IPs and DCs plus the movement ban) would work, as it always does, but crucially that case numbers would continue to rise rapidly for the first several weeks due to spread that had already taken place before controls were imposed.

With an election in prospect that meant everything to New Labour, it was very tempting when along came siren voices telling Blair that it was all out of control, it would rage on for months - unless you put us in charge, when we can turn it around quickly with our whizzy hi-tech computer models.

Anderson had been badly disgraced at Oxford and forced to move to Imperial College.  Krebs and King, his close mates in the power clique of the Royal Society, saw the opportunity for his comeback.  Within days of being supplied with the data, suddenly Anderson's model was official government policy (much later, we learn that this model was based on spread patterns of human HIV - just a bit different to FMD in farm livestock, about which Anderson knew nothing).

Krebs/King/Anderson were clever enough to have timed their intervention to coincide with the peak and rapid decline of the epidemic - there is no shortage of material on past FMD epidemics - so that they could claim all the credit for their new policy!

Blair had his election, Anderson re-gained public acceptibility, King got his knighthood.  All counter argument has been consistently and professionally suppressed to ensure that the myth of "success" is accepted by the public.

Any questions?