The crowdfunding campaign to launch a legal challenge of the UK government’s lockdown policy has raised over £100,000 – some of it the result of a huge spike in donations during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lacklustre Sunday night address to the nation.
Simon Dolan, the multi-millionaire businessman and Le Mans racing champion behind the campaign, says that the British people have been ‘completely manipulated’ and that it’s no good removing the lockdown in stages as Boris announced on Sunday.
“It’s time for us to lift the lockdown now,” he tells me.
Since launching his Crowdjustice campaign last month, Dolan claims to have received hate mail, including death threats, from people apparently so terrified of Chinese coronavirus that they want the lockdown to continue indefinitely.
But he fears the economic fallout of Boris’s lockdown policy is going to do far more damage than the coronavirus.
At the moment, he says, lots of people think:
“This furlough thing is fantastic because though I haven’t got my job now because of this invisible silent killer from China… so my wages are guaranteed and it’s lovely.”
But this will change in 12 months’ time when reality bites and businesses need to find some way to pay back a mountain of accumulated debt — the worst since the Second World War — and people realise their job losses are permanent.
Dolan’s concern is that the British have been steered to disaster on a false prospectus.
His Judicial Review will ask:
- Whether the lockdown is unlawful
- Whether the tests for lifting it are too narrow, failing to take into account its economic and social impacts
- Whether it contravenes the European Convention of Human rights, which cover the right to liberty, family life, education and property
He anticipates a tough battle which he believes is more likely to be “won in the media than the courtroom.”
Indeed, he argues, its benefits are already being felt as the government is pressured into disclosing the rationales behind its decision making.
“If you’re asking the British people to do something so costly to life and the economy then why are you keeping back the information you relied on to make that decision?”
Dolan is particularly concerned by evidence that the British people have been manipulated into their state of hysteria — “I’m disappointed. It thought they had more backbone” — by the sly propaganda of the government’s behavioural units.
The propaganda arm of the Govt did too good a job pic.twitter.com/M9z2aieTKw
— Simon Dolan (@simondolan) May 10, 2020
“The propaganda arm of the government did too good a job”, he says on Twitter, with reference to a government briefing document — from the SAGE’s committee’s Behavioural Science Sub Group — discussing how best to drive home the official scare message.
Under the heading ‘Persuasion’, the document says:
“Perceived threat. A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened…The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”
The full interview with Dolan – who also talks about how he made his £140 million fortune, his racing driving career, his prediction that the EU is close to collapse, life in Monaco, and the likely economic winners and losers of this crisis – can be heard here .
James Delingpole is the host of the Delingpod. You can support his Patreon here.