ALTHOUGH I have been surprised by some conservative commentators who have become neo-communists in their love for the crushing of individual rights in the form of lockdown, I have kept my silence until now.
However, when Dominic Lawson compared those who are pro-individual rights (lockdown sceptics is his term, as if lockdowns were a form of science) to Harold Shipman, the serial-killing doctor who preyed on elderly patients, I had had enough.
The argument goes that those of us who are anti-communist lockdowns and pro-individual rights (we used to be called democrats, or normal people, this time last year) secretly view the elderly as expendable or less than human. Lawson’s charge that we think these people are ‘ripe for the knacker’s yard’ is particularly grotesque.
This is because some have pointed out that the infection mortality rate for Covid is less than 1 per cent and that it targets the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Hah! says Lawson (and others) – this is essentially a form of eugenics: you have divided society into those who are worthy of life and those who are not.
First, people who talked about Covid targeting the old did so to counter the government propaganda machine that said everyone was at grave mortal threat. This was not the case, and those who care about the truth felt it necessary to point that out. It used to be conservative commentators who cared about the truth, and countering project fear government propaganda. Not now.
Secondly, and more importantly, there is no website or publication out there that is more pro-life than The Conservative Woman. None.
The publications that both Lawson and Melanie Phillips write for are very much pro-abortion. We have always opposed abortion, including those who have disabilities. When Richard Dawkins proposed aborting children with Down’s syndrome as some kind of act of kindness, we hit back and hit back hard.
We have consistently opposed euthanasia, eugenic abortions and ‘assisted suicide’, knowing that the latter would inevitably lead older and more vulnerable people to be pressured or feel pressured into ‘doing the right thing’ and ending their lives. We are pro-life from conception to natural death.
Here is the rub: viruses appear. They have appeared before and they will appear again. We cannot sneak back into Eden where there are no viruses. Further, using the awesome and coercive power of the State to try to create this Eden will only cause more misery. And this is the true split, I believe, on the Right: between those who believe dying of Covid is a natural death and those who do not believe this and insist that the State should do everything in its power, no matter what the cost, to stop those deaths occurring. Yes, mitigating strategies can be taken, but not at the cost of our way of life.
A Covid death is treated not like a car crash or an accident, but as something akin to cold-blooded murder. It is cold-blooded murder by your fellow citizens who, if they dare to have some kind of normal life, ‘have blood on their hands’ according to one doctor.
Do not underestimate the disastrous psychological consequences this kind of labelling will have on the population who are either told to assume they are sick or that they are cold-blooded killers of their fellow men. This kind of thinking and language is evil.
A further response to Lawson and Phillips. First, there is no real evidence that lockdowns work. Sweden did not lock down and although it is right to acknowledge that their death rate is higher than their Nordic neighbours it is lower than other European countries which did lock down. Belgium locked down hard and has one of the highest death rates. But I have never opposed lockdowns on utilitarian grounds – for me, it was always on principle.
That principle is that we live in a western democracy. We believe in individual rights, yes, with responsibility, but living your life responsibly and not seeking to harm others or degrade the social fabric does not justify the wholesale crushing of individual rights via lockdowns. Lockdowns are a tool of communist China, and I do not believe we should be importing communist tools of governance into western democracies.
What irks most is how the neo-communist lockdown hawks in the shape of Lawson, Phillips et al never acknowledge the costs on their own side. Namely that lockdowns kill, have degraded our lives, and degraded our society. Arguably they are the ones who view people as expendable. Let’s go through some of the costs.
First, the infants. The Guardian reports: ‘The number of babies in England who have suffered serious injury through abuse or neglect during the Covid pandemic is up by a fifth on the same period last year, and eight have died from their injuries, according to Ofsted. More than 300 “serious incident notifications” of injury and death involving children were reported by local authorities between April and October, of which almost 40 per cent involved babies under 12 months old. According to Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, more than half of those babies – 64 in total – suffered non-accidental injuries.
‘The figures confirm fears among those working in children’s services about the impact of lockdownand the continuing Covid pandemic on vulnerable children, particularly babies, growing up in the most troubled families.’
So that is at least eight babies battered to death because of our new communist lockdown policies. A price worth paying, I presume, for the neo-communists.
People have suffered serious mental health difficulties under lockdowns. Again the Guardian reports that calls to mental health helplines and prescriptions for antidepressants have reached an all-time high. ‘The figures point to an unmet need at a time of heightened mental health strain caused by Covid including isolation, lockdown, illness, bereavement and concerns over financial security and job losses. In July, the Office for National Statistics said the number of adults in Britain with depression doubled during the coronavirus pandemic.’
Presumably this too is a price worth paying for lockdowns.
We know millions will be unemployed after these lockdowns, for whom furlough or some sort of basic universal income is no substitute. It is the dignity of having the job, the satisfaction that comes from a job well done that gives people joy, not a cheque from the government. Again, a price worth paying.
The next generation will be left with £2trillion of debt, something that is usually dismissed as ‘just the economy’ but it is the economy that funds all the public services, which will inevitably be cut back in years to come. A price worth paying.
Domestic violence has increased by as much as 20 per cent in lockdown. But then beaten-up partners, along with dead babies, are ‘expendable’. There is also the destruction to our children’s education that is a price worth paying for the neo-communists, children as usual being expendable.
I could go on. Dead babies, bruised and bloodied partners, children who might not be able to read or write, loss of jobs, income, businesses, sense of worth, opportunities to travel, meet people, get married and have children, missed cancer treatments, these are all prices worth paying for the lockdown pushers.
Many of the neo-communist lockdown hawks (but certainly not all), I notice, have already married, have children themselves, have travelled and had their education and opportunity to become well settled in their careers. This gives them an opportunity to advocate in the mainstream media for lockdowns and the destruction of the next generation. Now that is cruel and selfish indeed.