John Waters

The Catch-22 of Challenging COVID-19 Laws

By John Waters The High Court in London has rejected the challenge of businessman Simon Dolan to the legality of the British Government’s lockdown rules. The ruling reduces not only the possibility of reaching some port of legal sanity on the lockdown measures generally, but also the chances of defeating similar measures if adopted in response to other crises in the future. Mr. Dolan’s challenge focused on a number of aspects of the regulations, including the closure of schools and places of worship and the denial of the right to free assembly. Rejecting Mr. Dolan’s bid for a Judicial Review of the lockdown measures, The Honourable Mr Justice Lewis said the rules introduced by the Government were justified in the ‘unique’ circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. He conceded that the lockdown rules had involved "a restriction on the freedom of assembly and association", which freedoms he declared to be important in a democratic society. Nevertheless, he concluded: "The context in which the restrictions were imposed, however, was of a global pandemic where a novel, highly infectious disease capable of causing death was spreading and was transmissible between humans." “There was no known cure and no vaccine," the judge elaborated. "There was a legal duty to review the restrictions periodically and to end the restrictions if they were no longer necessary...

On Viral Entrancement

By John Waters There is an ancient principle of the common law, whereby it is held that the people may do everything except that which they have expressly forbidden, and the state may do nothing except that which the people have expressly permitted. How did this principle come to be unstitched and reversed in the past three months? How did the people come to agree to its reversal? In search of answers, I have been reflecting a lot on a phrase I transcribed into a notebook years ago from Martin Amis’s Koba the Dread: " . . . a contagion of selective incuriosity, a mindgame begun in self-hypnosis and maintained by mass hysteria.” While not discounting the impact of short-term welfare payments (buying the people’s freedom with their own money) I have gotten to thinking that the answer maybe includes, as a primary factor, something along the lines of mass hypnosis—the viral entrancement of entire populations. The process at work is somewhat different to the use of hypnotic or “spell” phrases to herd individuals into a particular way of, for example, politically correct thinking. As the late Roger Scruton described it, spell words like “racist” and “homophobe” are designed to invoke a set of pre-programed demonic tags with which to threaten the subject and dissuade him from truth and common...

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