Britain’s lockdown nightmare may be far from over, but an attempt to rewrite the history of the country’s greatest political blunder has already begun. With the UK now past the peak, the lack of evidence that lockdown served any useful purpose is glaring. And crucially, thanks to a growing abundance of raw data – from deaths and hospital admissions, to Covid-related 111 calls and mobile tracking intelligence –we now have the power to piece together what Britain’s lockdown achieved (or didn’t) in hideous technicolour.
Getting at the truth will be an uphill struggle, however: Downing Street has shown no appetite whatsoever for sifting through the evidence, even though it could inform (or, let’s face it, rip apart) its uniquely odd approach to easing lockdown. We must also beware the shape-shifting, scientific architects of the stay-at-home order; as criticism grows, are they attempting to dress their reconstructed reality in the language of scientific pedantry?
Covid conformism must be confronted. In their echo chambers, where they’re all trying to outdo each other in their levels of commitment to smashing Covid, the political and media elites have become increasingly blinkered, dogmatic and intolerant on everything related to Covid-19. The lack of relaxed, freely stated opposition to their lockdown mania means they become madder and madder in their commitment to it. The corrosion of freedom of thought in relation to Covid-19 has deadly consequences, because it means the lockdown endures – nine weeks now – when many people know in their heart of hearts that it is wrong and deeply damaging to the future of this country.
- COVID-19 is about as deadly as flu, averaging between 0.1 and 0.8 per cent death rate.
- The general population under 65 with no pre-existing conditions are more likely to die in a road accident.
- Infections peaked and began to decline in many places including the UK before lockdown began
- Social distancing shows no consistent relationship to the slowdown of infections in cities around the world?
- Studies show that people confined to their homes may be as at much risk as those out and about.
- ‘R number’ rise happened in the middle of lockdown and probably linked to ongoing spreading in hospitals and care homes.
- Shutting down the world economy may result in of the order of 1,157,000 additional child deaths and 56,700 additional maternal deaths in low- and middle-income countries.
- Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption: “The lockdown is now all about protecting politicians’ backs. They are not wicked men, just timid ones, terrified of being blamed for deaths on their watch. But it is a wicked thing that they are doing.”
Most people have accepted a temporary period of ’social distancing’ to contain the spread of COVID-19, but it seems that some in authority, like UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, would like to see us keep our distance from each other indefinitely. We must never let this happen because if we do, humanity is dead.
The biggest political ruse of our time has now spiralled so far out of control that it has become almost impossible to distinguish fact from deception. Every day we are besieged with such a selective and biased artillery of “scientific” assertions that it makes a mockery of expert insight.
Every day we are subjected to yet more bitesized epidemiology that gives an utterly false impression of risk. And every day we are bombarded with terrifying death figures so out of context that they are effectively meaningless.
Ever since the UK entered “lockdown”, those pushing for it to end have been labelled “callous” or “selfish” or accused of putting profits before people. Meanwhile millions are unemployed and a global famine is on the horizon. The lockdown will kill more people than the virus, and needs to be ended.
In what is perhaps the greatest example of gaslighting in human history, we have “champions of the working class” arguing for mass unemployment, the shutting down of small businesses and the self-employed, and draconian police powers.
It is now the left that wants working people to be decommissioned, put out to pasture, languishing on state-paid wages or Universal Credit and uncertain of whether their job will even exist once the lockdown is finally lifted. And it’s the Tories saying: ‘Erm, don’t you think it would be better if working people worked?’
Of course, the left’s justification for its new policy of preventing the working classes from working is that they might catch Covid-19 and die. They’re ramping up the culture of fear in a desperate effort to present their bizarre, historically unprecedented anti-work outlook as a good, noble thing. Actual facts – like the fact that under-40s have made up just 0.75 per cent of deaths from Covid – don’t get so much as a look-in. No, keep all workers at home, even the fit, healthy young ones.
Government scientific advisers are furious at what they see as an attempt to censor their advice on government proposals during the Covid-19 lockdown by heavily redacting an official report before it was released to the public, the Guardian can reveal.
The prime minister’s former business adviser Andrew Griffith – elected as an MP in December – has warned that every day the UK economy is in lockdown, and its competitors aren’t, means lost business.
“It’s easy to like lockdown if you are being paid close to the same to stay at home as you would to go to work,” says one MP. Another adds: “People like lockdown? Wait until the furlough scheme ends.”
Science is not a good guide for society. Of course science is essential to our understanding of the world and to the creation of the new insights, technologies and treatments our societies need. But it cannot tell us what is best for our societies in political, moral or economic terms…
If it is true that Boris put the country into lockdown partly in response to media pressure, then the media themselves may have a lot of questions to answer about the damage currently being done by this unprecedented freeze on working life and the economy.
Criminalising otherwise normal social activity should have the greatest possible mandate by parliament before it has effect, not be slipped out with no parliamentary approval at all.David Allen Green is a commentator about law and policy and a contributing editor at the Financial Times.
When our American cousins cry “Live Free or Die” and take to the streets to protest overweening state authority during lockdown, whether they know it or not, they are honouring the tradition of English liberty.
The coronavirus crisis has clearly demonstrated the value of good journalism. Yet the response of too much of the media has also shown how bad journalism can help to make a terrible situation even worse.
Self-important media outlets have crossed over from ‘speaking truth to power’ to assuming that they should have the power to tell governments what to do.
The overwhelming pressure of this shrill Something Must Be Done journalism quickly helped to push the UK government into changing tack and imposing a general lockdown, with far-reaching consequences for society.
“The supine capitulation to a de facto police state in a country long regarded as a cradle of liberty has been one of the most depressing spectacles I’ve ever witnessed. In a matter of days, busybodies are ratting out neighbours for going for a run twice; these people would be pigs in muck in the GDR. The police taping over of isolated park benches and harassment of sunbathers or sea swimmers without a soul within 100 feet have no basis in epidemiology. “
“Barely a day goes by without a politician saying that they will be ‘led by the science’. But what we are seeing with Covid-19 is not ‘science’ in action.”
Advisers to scientific group reviewing lockdown are alarmed at police closing parks and threatening to arrest sunbathers