From the stand point of a Lockdown skeptic, it has been immensely frustrating to observe the individuals (and political blocs) who have expressed the strongest support for Lockdown measures. For many, maintaining this support has meant abandoning previously fundamental political, social and personal beliefs, to serve the greater cause.
Below, I attempt to summarise some of the clearest examples of this:
|The Principle||Pre 2020 belief||Post 2020 belief|
|Human Rights||Human Rights are essential to our democracy; they are inalienable and incredibly important to both defend + expand.||Human Rights are a luxury which can be postponed during times of need. Government decides when human rights can be reinstated.|
|Right to Protest||Freedom to assemble + protest is vital to ensure political dissent is given a voice and Government policy kept in check||Protests should be banned due to the dangers of groups gathering (notable exception being BLM protests)|
|Right to Free Speech||Unpopular speech is the most important to defend, to ensure a diversity of opinion + robust debate||Any opinion which may “cause harm” can be labelled as misinformation and should be censored|
|Big Tech||We should be suspicious of unaccountable Big Tech corporations accruing too much power, particularly re information sharing||Big Tech needs to do more to clamp down on opinions I disagree with|
|Scientific Enquiry||Science is complicated and messy; disagreement is to be expected as it is a constant process of refining and moving closer to understanding||Science is decreed by fiat and should not be deviated from. “Following The Science” should be the only political strategy. Dissenting scientific opinions should be suppressed.|
|Constitutional Precedent||Governments should be extremely careful to work within the existing precedent of our Constitutional Framework. Any overreach should be identified and stopped.||Emergency powers are necessary to allow a quick + decisive response. Minsters can issue laws by decree and subvert normal Parliamentary procedure.|
|Education||Quality education of the next generation is paramount for a prosperous society.||Education can be retarded by a year, particularly for children from the lowest wealth households.|
|Truancy||Parents who allow their children to be out of school for long periods are neglectful and incompetent.||The schools are not sufficiently safe for my children to return to – I will keep them at home even if schools reopen.|
|Limiting ‘screen time’||It is unhealthy for children (and adults) to be constantly using screens in day-to-day life.||All work, social meet ups, shopping, news, sports + entertainment should be conducted through a screen.|
|Elderly Abuse||Loneliness kills. Family members who don’t bother to see their elderly relatives are heartless.||Old people should be left with no human contact for over a year, for their own protection.|
|Fund the NHS||The NHS needs more funding for better essential services.||We should adopt a strategy of lockdowns, which have cost around £400 Billion so far. The annual operating budget of the NHS is around £140 Billion.|
|Mental Health||The UK has a mental health crisis, which needs better recognition and services to treat.||We advocate a policy of cutting off all social support + human warmth, and restricting movement outside the house.|
|Good Health||Health policy should promote prevention rather than treatment.||Stay indoors away from sunlight, a sedentary lifestyle is a virtue. Wear a mask.|
|Inter-generational sacrifice||It is unethical to compel one generation to sacrifice their lives to benefit another.||As a young person, you are extremely heartless and selfish if you want to go out and experience the same opportunities and life events that previous generations have enjoyed.|
|Police||Police are often guilty of misusing their powers and inappropriately targeting ethnic minorities. Significant oversight is required to keep their powers in check.||The Police need vastly more draconian powers, including random stops to ask reasons for travel + entering private property to check numbers. We support harsher fines and prison terms for violations of the rules.|
Notable Left Wing issues:
|Wealth inequality||The top 1% own the majority of wealth in the country. We should implement measures to reverse this and gradually redistribute wealth more evenly.||We support lockdowns which have caused massive transference of wealth to the wealthiest individuals in society.|
|Border Closures||Border closure is xenophobic and racist. We should be welcoming to all people of the world.||Borders should be closed and remain closed until the crisis is over.|
|The Tories||The Tories are proto-fascists, constantly craving more power + only interested in benefiting their benefactors, whilst disregarding the needs of the common man.||We support giving unprecedented and unrestrained powers to the Tories, and demand more authoritarian powers to clamp down on those who do not comply.|
|The EU||The EU is a force for good in the world – an example of what can be achieved when countries work together.||The EU is a selfish, protectionist organisation that is willing to use vaccines as political pawns and jeopardise the peace in Ireland for strategic gain.|
|Bodily autonomy||“My body my choice”. The Government has no say in the decisions about my body.||The Government should use compulsion of vaccine passports, arduous restrictions for the unvaccinated or compulsion of law to ensure vaccine acceptance.|
Notable Right Wing issues:
|Small Government||Solutions to problems are achieved more efficiently when the Government takes a back seat and allows individuals to make decisions that work best for them.||The Government needs to be given unprecedented powers over individual liberties, the private sector + the press to ensure total compliance to lockdowns.|
|Cutting restrictions||Remove red tape from businesses to keep them competitive||Arduous restrictions must be placed on all workplaces regarding “Covid-19 Proofing”. Non-compliance can be reported to the authorities for sanction.|
|Small business||The economic engine of the country is its huge number of small businesses, which must be protected against large corporate interests.||We support restrictions which entirely close small shops, pubs, restaurants, whilst leaving the largest chains and supermarkets far better off.|
|Fiscal Responsibility||The Government has a responsibility to ensure that they “balance the books” of the country, with regards to the deficit and borrowing.||The Government needs to spend unparalleled amounts of money on lockdowns, funded through borrowing. Simultaneously inflating public spending and reducing tax revenues.|
I think it is helpful to recognise that so many key beliefs have had to be entirely discarded, in order to maintain the position that lockdowns are an overall benefit to our society. Frankly, it is astonishing how much change can be accepted in such a short period of time.
With so many foundational principles being reversed, I do wonder about the longer lasting impacts on our political Zeitgeist – in future years, will people be able to bounce back to their previous beliefs in spite of the blatant hypocrisy?
And additionally: How will we Lockdown Skeptics be able to meaningfully work with people who have shown this level of inconsistency in the future? If someone is campaigning for mental health or wealth inequality issues in the future, will our knee jerk response be to dismiss them?
This is by no means an exhaustive list – I would be grateful for other contributions which I could add at a later stage.
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