THE language is always militaristic. It’s a war, it’s a battle, it’s a fight to defeat the virus. But the war is against the British people, and the weapons are lockdowns, surveillance, restrictions on working, travelling, eating out and on normal social and family life. No convincing evidence has been put forward that the passage of Covid-19 has been significantly affected by these measures.
There are brutal arrests for anti-lockdown protesters, social media bans for those with contrary views and we have the mainstream media deliberately not reporting huge anti-lockdown protests in cities such as Paris and Berlin. They no-platform serious and well qualified critics, except for the choreographed ritual haranguing and shaming of a few dissenters by BBC and Sky TV interviewers.
The government’s generals are the masters of the health blob issuing bloodcurdling calls for never-ending action. They care little for the carnage inflicted on society by their war. They have persuaded the politicians that the public includes expendable, and some evil, people who will not unquestioningly follow their orders, and who need to be punished for the insubordination. The government is trolling the public, and the public cannot fight back.
The generals and politicians see an opportunity to exert more power by making control semi-permanent, as is now happening. This potentially splits the population into compliants who may be permitted to be treated in the health system, and those who don’t deserve to be because they refuse to stay at home and accept that losing their livelihoods and social life is an appropriate outcome of the notional battle against an illness which is relatively mild for the vast majority of people who develop it.
As in so many state-led battles, the damage done is justified by reference to a higher calling. In this case it is the protection of the NHS, an organisation well on its way to sainthood, perhaps at the level of Blessed NHS, just one step below full sanctity.
But that recourse to a higher calling is anti-democratic, and ultimately both anti-human and immoral, because it justifies the impoverishment and misery heaped on ordinary people by the state’s measures.
This mindset applies to more than the health system. National, regional and local government have slowly introduced an anti-car and anti-commercial vehicle agenda, despite both being vital for the life and livelihood for most of the population.
The Green ‘blob’ is powerful enough to have persuaded the Prime Minister that accelerated and ruinous decarbonisation policies are good when they are transparently bad. As with health, the worship is of the illusion that tiny changes in British behaviour will stop global climate change, while China and India build new coal-fired power stations every week, making all actions in the UK irrelevant.
The tendency for the state to wage war against the public it is supposed to serve is manifest in more mundane interactions between the two. Imbued with a similar sense of virtue and invulnerability, as well as an exaggerated sense of risk, the police will now close motorways and other vital routes between population centres for minor traffic incidents and ‘police investigations’, heedless of the inconvenience to the travelling public. In the past their mantra would have been to keep the traffic moving as normally as possible.
In order not to be challenged, the various government-supported blobs try to silence objectors and protesters, further alienating the public and suppressing the rational debate which would force resulting policies to be justified. Such is the regard for its own importance that Neil Basu, an assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, suggests it may be necessary to have a law to censor ‘anti-vaxxers’, furthering the state’s interference in private discourse.
Blobs are powerful and influential, yet invariably unaccountable to the public in any meaningful way. They are run by the well-off oikophobic ‘anywheres’ of David Goodhart’s book The Road to Somewhere, and it is those with a strong sense of local belonging and often social conservatism, the ‘somewheres’, who suffer through disruption and financial cost.
Creeping state control over all aspects of our lives supported by threats, alienation for the dissenters, and the soma of injections of taxpayers’ cash further undermines the personal responsibility required for the public to be able to stand up to an aggressive state. Dependence on government increases, consolidating the imbalance.
The narrative of war emboldens the government machine to fantasise about its own power. Ministers and scientists blithely talk up the need for their measures but, as described by Luke Johnson, it is an illusion of control. Reliable evidence of impact is never shown or justification made.
Adopting a warlike response engenders a bias for action, leading to expensive and hastily devised policies marketed as certain solutions with no downside. Maintaining that impression of urgency is a key tool for the government in controlling analysis and criticism. As Luke Johnson points out in the same piece, ministers and scientific advisers are prone to a saviour complex, the belief that they are public heroes, reinforcing their sense of being right. In fact they are lost in a world of self-congratulatory groupthink with independent voices excluded.
So it is that a bunker mentality takes over and the war expands into new areas in the battle for control over the lives of confused members of the increasingly vilified public.
One thing we can be sure of is that the government has no respect for the people it governs to take the right course of action for themselves, their families, and fellow citizens. They can only be told what to do, and resistance is rapidly becoming illegal.