Delingpole: ‘Absurd, Dystopian, Tyrannical’ Lockdown Must End Soon – Says Rebel Tory MP

Commuters wear masks as a precaution whilst travelling on a London Underground metro train in the morning in central London on March 18, 2020 as people take precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak. - The British government will on Wednesday unveil a raft of emergency powers to deal with the coronavirus …
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The lockdown is ‘absurd, dystopian and tyrannical’ and must end soon – says Tory MP Steve Baker.

Finally, a Conservative MP who remembers what it means to be conservative!

Writing in the Telegraph, Baker decries the ‘appalling’ situation whereby, without parliamentary oversight, a supposedly liberal-leaning Conservative government has been able to put most of Britain under house arrest:

We have lived under house arrest for weeks by ministerial decree – a statutory instrument that parliament had no foresight of and no opportunity to scrutinise or approve before it changed life in this country as we know it. The situation is appalling.

He also points out something that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson ought to be emphasising but really isn’t:

Millions of people in our country have been plunged into idleness at public expense and unemployment, facing financial and psychological hardship on a scale never seen before. Thousands of people have missed life-prolonging health appointments. Vulnerable people are isolated and domestic violence has soared. Soon will come the full economic impact on all our lives.

Well said, Steve!

Baker has always been one of the more robust Conservative MPs. During the Brexit campaign he was one of the so-called Spartans — that wing of the Tory party which refused to be bullied by the government whips into supporting Theresa May’s Brexit-in-name-only deal.

But as we’ve seen during this crisis, there is not always a correlation between supporting Brexit and supporting an early end to the lockdown.

Indeed, a surprising number of Brexiteers have proved themselves to be what I call Covid Bedwetters. Like many people in Britain — worryingly the majority at the moment — they have bought unquestioningly into the government’s official line that the current extended lockdown is proportionate, sensible and scientifically supported.

Here, from the comments section in the Telegraph (formerly a conservative newspaper), is some of the hysteria, cowardice and cowed compliance that Baker is up against.

All those who want to end lockdown, go outside now and frolic in the big, wide open air.

Let us know which hospitals you end up in.

and

ermm…you want tyrannical, dystopian and absurd ?

try North Korea for your next holiday  and stop this pathetic liberal bleating.

“It is imperative we hold ministers’ and the Prime Minister’s feet to the fire to uphold Parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and the freedoms which rest upon them.”

..and potentially kill thousands more, but hey , it sworth the rsik eh ? [sic]

Interesting use of the word ‘liberal’, there. It suggests that the writer considers himself to be a man of the right rather than of the left.

The people supporting the lockdown would appear to be an unholy alliance of the hard left (which recognises this, rightly, as the perfect opportunity to destroy free-market capitalism and expand the power of state), working-class Brexiteers in the Midlands and North (who were often more old Labour in their sympathies than Conservative, and tend towards authoritarianism and NHS worship) and Big Government/One Nation Conservatives.

Baker and his fellow rebels will have their work cut out if they are to persuade the government to change tack. But they must persist. As Nobel laureate Professor Michael Levitt, Professor of Structural Biology at the Stanford School of Medicine, says in an interview with Freddie Sayers at Unherd, the scientific basis for lockdowns is looking very shaky.

He says:

I think the policy of herd immunity is the right policy. I think Britain was on exactly the right track before they were fed wrong numbers. And they made a huge mistake. I see the standout winners as Germany and Sweden. They didn’t practise too much lockdown and they got enough people sick to get some herd immunity. I see the standout losers as countries like Austria, Australia and Israel that had very strict lockdown but didn’t have many cases. They have damaged their economies, caused massive social damage, damaged the educational year of their children, but not obtained any herd immunity. There is no doubt in my mind that when we come to look back on this, the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor.

Perhaps Prof Levitt is wrong — as he says, his area of expertise is chemistry, not epidemiology. But if the government is going to keep Britain under lockdown indefinitely, the onus is not on critics to demonstrate why the lockdown is wrong. It is, as Baker suggests, up to the government to make a convincing case as to why it is right to go on keeping the country under house arrest when the coronavirus curve has been flattened, when there are now more than enough NHS ICU beds available to cope with any surges, and when evidence from other countries suggests that Britain is pursuing an inferior strategy.

James Delingpole is the host of the Delingpod – latest episode here – and you can support his work at Patreon.

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