A Lockdown Sceptics reader called Keith Anderson has taken issue with my note on the election result. He thinks I was being too pessimistic.
In respect of Tory success in the local elections/by-election, the fact that people choose the lesser of two evils in no way means they endorse or support the same – in this case they were faced with opting between the Conservative lockdown party, or the Labour would-have-been-a-worse lockdown party!
As for the failure of anti-lockdown parties and candidates to make headway, to the mind of most, to elect someone to combat something that’s going to end in a month anyway holds little attraction – better to vote for a brand they understand and has stated positions on other ongoing/future issues whilst, tactically, preventing the other, more lamentable set of cretins/phoneys from taking control by splitting the vote.
In short, we used to live in a two-party state. That now has become a one-party state by dint of hollow/woke opposition.
Another reader and occasional contributor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is more gloomy.
I think the problem is lack of opposition and media monoculture. Lockdowns are contentious in U.S. politics. Ron DeSantis is going to run in 2024 on his anti-lockdown policies and their success in Florida, for example. And large percentages of the population are awake to their dangers. But most importantly opposition is basically ingrained on one side of the isle.
I think this is telling us that political and media monoculture in the U.K. is becoming downright dangerous. To the extent that democracy works it relies on competition. There’s none of that now. So it doesn’t work. I really hope something shifts, or we’re in for a troubled decade or two.
The article also produced some good comments below the line, such as this one from Stephensceptic:
The populations of western countries are getting what they have asked for. It is the old axiom that you get the government that you deserve.
Most people got deeply scared in March 2020. We can debate the role of the media, Imperial College and other so-called “experts”, as well as the novelty of a daily death count in creating this fear but it was real. They demanded that government “do something” and so governments did. They had no clue what to do and copied China. Johnson started out rightly by saying that nothing would really stop this but he got destroyed in the Press and by public opinion. He took the message and did an about face.
Many people have then stayed scared. Governments have realised that their activist measures are still popular, given the fear, and have no incentive to unravel them or to assuage the fear. Indeed, they see more political risk in unrolling the measures because they will then be blamed if Covid comes back. They will also lose their “rally round the government” political calling card.
First World War analogies kind of work best for me. It was begat by mutual fear of other countries, rather than of a virus of course. The war was then actually popular for most of its period in all belligerent countries. Even the generals were popular despite the casualties. Ending the war would have taken far more political courage than continuing it. Just like now. It took a long time for the popularity of the First World War to unravel as people woke up to the reality of the disaster it truly was. This happened quickest in places such as Russia and only really happened afterwards in countries such as Britain.
I agree with Toby that the awakening from this man made disaster will be slow. But when it comes it will be all the more vicious for that. My instinct is that deep down many members of governments realise this and will continue to perpetuate the emergency and the fear. Stopping it will bring the whole deck of cards crashing down.
And finally, a word of encouragement from a commentator who describes themselves as A.N. Other Lockdown Sceptic:
As my wise 87 year-old Mum said at the start of this shit show, “They told us that WW2 would be over by Christmas.”
Sadly, we need to be in this fight for the long haul. The truth will come out, we just need to put our shoulders to the wheel to ensure that it does.
Keep up the good fight, fellow courageous lockdown sceptics.