We’re publishing a guest post today by Dr. David McGrogan, a Professor at Northumbria Law School, about why the consensus in favour of Covid Restrictions seems to have collapsed almost overnight. David wrote a piece last January entitled “The Failed Strategy of Lockdown Sceptics: We Appealed to Reason, Not Emotion” which gave rise to a long-running debate on the right-hand menu (“Why Have Our Points Failed to Land?”). But almost a year later, our points are landing like Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy. Or are they? Here is an extract.
Since it’s mostly just about feelings, does this mean that the efforts of Toby, Lord Sumption, Peter Hitchens, Neil Oliver, Brendan O’Neill and the like have had no effect at all? Would the madness all have ended in the fullness of time anyway?
I’m not so sure. Milton Friedman once said that he thought his basic function was to “develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.” In other words, yes, public opinion is led by emotion, but this makes it fickle. It can shift, and shift quickly. The trick is to make sure that, when this happens, it is your ideas that are the ones “lying around” (to use Milton’s phrase) for them to seize up.
People in other words, will increasingly start to feel that this lockdown nonsense has to stop. As they do, they will start to look for evidence and arguments to support that view. Thanks to the efforts of Toby and those like him, they will find a huge wealth of this in the public domain. Lockdown sceptics, in other words, probably haven’t been very persuasive or influential when it comes to the broad swathe of the population. But that hasn’t been the point. We’ve been keeping the alternative view alive, so that when eventually public opinion shifts, it is our ideas that they will pick up, and which will increasingly therefore begin to drive the agenda.
Worth reading in full.