The coronavirus pandemic is turning sections of the populace into tinpot fascists. I call them #CovidNazis.
Today I’ve been running a Twitter competition to see who can find the most egregious example.
#CovidNazis This is a competition to see who can find a recent tweet that best exemplifies the intolerance/ Stasi-like snitching/bureaucracy gone insane/vindictive hysteria/poundshop authoritarianism that have emerged as a result of the #Coronavirus crisis. Ready…Go!
— James Delingpole QC (@JamesDelingpole) March 26, 2020
The competition has been stiff. Many times over the years, I’ve debated that perennial question with friends: “If Britain had been overrun by the Nazis, what percentage of the population would have been collaborators and how many would have been resistants?”
Now we know. Lots and lots of people would have eagerly snitched on their neighbours, sucked up to the authorities, and generally welcomed the firm hand of the new tyranny. Elements of the police — as we’re about to see shortly — would have worked with an excess of zeal to prop up the new regime.
Obviously I’m not comparing Boris Johnson with Hitler, nor Britain’s quarantine with the kind of strictures enforced in Nazi Germany.
What I am saying, definitely, is that I’ve seen an aspect of my countrymen and women that I hoped I’d never have to see: an ugly, pettifogging, nitpicking, curtain-twitching, intolerant, judgemental, shrill, mean-spirited, vindictive authoritarianism of which they all ought to be ashamed.
The lockdown which has been loosely enforced since Monday this week has, inevitably, caused widespread inconvenience and irritation, especially to those who live in the city. It’s hard, particularly if you haven’t got a garden, to get exercise and fresh air in urban environments. No wonder people are starting to feel cribbed, cabined, and confined.
Yet astonishingly, instead of trying to make it as easy as reasonably possible for people to get their daily, officially permitted piece of exercise, the authorities in many cases are clamping down and actually making green spaces unavailable to them.
Many if not most London parks have now been closed. So too, outrageously, have whole swathes of the British countryside. There are reports even of the car parks to remote Scottish beaches being shut so that no outsiders can drive there for a quiet stroll.
In Wales — which has an abundance of open countryside — that Mickey Mouse institution calling itself the Welsh government has decided to close footpaths lest walkers get too close to one another.
Here are the details from the National Trust website:
In accordance with these Regulations relevant authorities, including the National Trust, are required to close certain public footpaths during the emergency where it considers that:
• (a) such public footpaths will be liable to large numbers of people congregating or being in close proximity to each other, or
• (b) the use of such public footpaths poses a high risk to the incidence or spread of infection with the coronavirus.
These Regulations expire at the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which they come into force, however, the Welsh Ministers must review the need for restrictions imposed by the Regulations every 28 days. The public footpaths will be kept closed until it is considered that closure is no longer necessary to prevent, protect against, control or provide a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection with the coronavirus.
Can you imagine the ugly, bureaucratic mindset of the third-rate gimps responsible for this nonsense? How likely is that even a single person, in the open air, is going to infect someone else with coronavirus while brushing past them on a country walk?
But the prize for the most egregious, small-minded, mean-spirited behaviour during this lockdown just has to go to the police.
For years, Britain’s police forces have proved themselves incapable of many things — catching burglars, stopping knife crime, stopping gangs of Muslims raping girls — but when it comes to stopping people popping out for an illicit country stroll, boy, are they on top of the situation.
Here is Avon and Somerset Police. (This is the same outfit whose male officers in 2017 — according to the Sun — “painted their nails to highlight fears that women trafficked into Britain were being forced to work in nail bars and beauty salons”.)
— Claire (@ClaireHagen3) March 26, 2020
Here is North Yorkshire Police planning checkpoints to prevent people from travelling to enjoy local beauty spots – and other non-essential journeys.
North Yorkshire police random checkpoints!! pic.twitter.com/BU8X6mF0R8
— Richard Lax (@RichLax) March 26, 2020
But the runaway winners of this competition are Derbyshire Police for this extraordinary and outrageous overreaction:
Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the #PeakDistrict despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through. @DerPolDroneUnit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and this footage was captured at #CurbarEdge last night. pic.twitter.com/soxWvMl0ls
— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) March 26, 2020
Yes, that’s right: they are actually using drones to spy on city-folk who’ve come to exercise their dogs and other dangerously transgressive behaviour in one of Britain’s most celebrated beauty spots.
“Walking your dog in the Peak District. Not essential,” their video declares.
“Going for a walk miles from home. Not essential,” they continue — all oblivious to what a public relations disaster this is to the whole concept of “policing by consent”.
It’s encouraging that in the comments below, these tinpot Hitlers have been badly burned and ratioed.
YOU DOWN THERE WALKING ALONE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! STOP YOUR GATHERING!
— Chris Tomlinson (@TomlinsonCJ) March 26, 2020
Even so, it does make you fear for the future of freedom and democracy and indeed Western Civilisation. How much of this nonsense is going to be entrenched — and never rescinded — by the time this pandemic is over?