Is Life in Perpetual Lockdown Really Worth Living? | Konrad Smart
We need to talk about the Government’s logic for Lockdown, a policy that will surely go down in history as the single most costly peacetime public policy error in the United Kingdom’s history of Parliamentary democracy.
The British Government has decided, after minimal deliberation, to return to the incredulous strategy of attempting to legislate against the spread of Coronavirus. The Government has yet again used provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 to impose horrifyingly draconian rules regarding the British people’s rights to congregation and dress. It is now against the law to meet in a group of more than six people regardless of the setting, and face-mask wearing is virtually compulsory in all public places. This basket case of a Government is seriously testing the patience of even the most loyal of its supporters.
Through passing more and more rules with greater penalties for non-compliance the Government believes it can successfully fight the virus through limiting its spread amongst the UK population. What should be blindingly obvious, yet hardly receives the public debate it deserves, is the question of what the Government is actually attempting to achieve by fighting the Coronavirus in this way? Is the Government trying to keep Covid-19 deaths under a certain politically acceptable threshold? Is the Government trying to appease the rampant Covid-fear that inflicts roughly half of our population? Or is the Government trying to limit the spread of Coronavirus to such a degree that the virus should hypothetically die out?
These are questions which our journalists and Members of Parliament ought to be relentlessly asking the Government every day, yet few ever do. The Government’s complete hold on power handed to it by Parliament through the Coronavirus Act 2020 desperately needs challenging. This isa piece of legislation which ought to frighten to death every one of us who believes in individual liberty and limited Government. The pretence of a virus with a mortality rate in the UK of just 0.008375%, that in fact only affects a small minority of the population is no a justification for by-passing ordinary Parliamentary scrutiny, nor for imposing draconian restrictions on individual’s freedom.
The Government’s actions can to an extent be explained by the simple underlying assumptions which have permeated all Government actions and communications since March 2020, and that is the idea that Government must take whatever actions necessary to protect the public until it safe beyond any remaining doubt for normal life to resume. This is a theory, which does not belong in any democratic society, let alone one with the fine history of respect for individual liberty that this great country has. It is not the Government’s job to protect us, except when our individual liberty and freedom is truly at stake from tyranny. We cannot expect safety from viruses at the cost of spiritual, moral and economic enslavement.
Our Prime Minister and his Government evidently would rather live out their days isolated in their homes with every venture outdoors regulated by mandatory facemasks and Covid marshals than face the miniscule probability that they should contract Coronavirus. These out of touch technocrats do not speak for the rest of us, because we know that life is not so dear and safety from Coronavirus so invaluable as to be purchased at the price of perpetual enslavement. Some things in life are worth dying for and there is a price we will not pay for total safety from risk. Our liberty to go to roaring concerts, visit our dearly loved elderly relatives, host birthday parties and attend our team’s football, cricket and rugby matches is what makes life worth living in this country. Take these things away for long enough and slowly but surely our lives’ meaning gradually sip away little by little until we are left with a monotone greyness of digital human experience.
Neither the British Government, nor the Welsh, nor Scottish Government believe that it is their moral and legal imperative to provide compelling arguments in favour of Lockdown. They are all wrong. If our liberty is to be curtailed and our quality of life immeasurably depressed through public policy then it must fall upon the Government to do it’s upmost to explain why and for how long it intends to do so. It has failed to do this at every step of this protracted episode.
For those of us who see the Covid-19 for what it is – an overhyped virus less deadly to healthy individuals than seasonal flu – the current restrictions are completely senseless. Not to mention the outstanding facts such as that Coronavirus peaked one week prior to the implementation of Lockdown in the UK, that the virus disproportionately poses a threat to those over the age of 80 with limited life-expectancy prospects in any case, and that over 90% of the victims of Covid-19 related deaths had at least one pre-existing health condition (Campbell & Caul, 2020: 2; Knapton, 2020). Whilst making the argument for the very limited threat that Coronavirus actually poses to the vast majority of ordinary people is not the aim of this article, reiterating this point is worthwhile as long as our major news outlets continue to fail to do so.
Given the Government’s latest dictatorial edicts about how to live our lives six months after the first imposition of Lockdown it is now time for those of us who disagree to say loudly and clearly that life is not worth living at any price, we demand to have the right to manage personal risk returned to us. What is at stake is too important to devolve to Government; we must be allowed to decide for ourselves how to live our lives.