‘Spiral of Fear’ — Lockdown Delay Could Lead to Lockdown Forever, Warns Top Tory

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: A mask sits on a sculpture named "The River" during a demonstration against a second lockdown in Victoria Square on October 31, 2020 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The UK has seen a small but persistent protest movement decrying its measures to curb the spread of …
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A decision from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend lockdown restrictions could lead to restrictions remaining in place for the foreseeable future, warned Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

Amid reports that Boris Johnson will extend the lockdown restrictions in England by at least four weeks, the former leader of the Conservative Party said that if the country fails to reopen now, it may never reclaim its freedoms.

“My biggest fear is that the more we delay, the less likely we are to come out of this. We’ve got ourselves into a spiral of fear,” Sir Iain told talkRADIO on Monday.

“If we don’t unlock now, we will hurtle into September and then the scientists will all be saying ‘the winter, you mustn’t unlock during the winter’,” Duncan Smith warned.

The former Tory leader said that the scientists touting the possibility of a third wave due to the emergence of the so-called Indian variant have failed to enter Britain’s high vaccination rate into their thinking.

“We were told that once we’ve gotten over the hump of two doses [of vaccines] for the vulnerable groups then we would be clear to unlocked because we had faith in the vaccines,” he explained.

“Zero Covid is unachievable,” the former Tory leader said, adding: “We have to learn to live with this process and have faith in the vaccine. Yes, some people will go to hospital, these things are happening, but most of those are people who haven’t had the vaccine.”

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has consistently stated that there was “nothing in the data” to suggest that the planned re-opening date of June 21st should not go ahead, the government has said that it will re-assess the situation in terms of variants and vaccines closer to the so-called ‘Freedom Day’. Nevertheless, that suspending the end of lockdown is coming has been apparently heavily briefed to news outlets in recent days.

On Sunday, BBC News’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg reported that according to government sources, ministers have agreed to extend lockdown restrictions for at least four weeks. Kunesburg noted that it is currently unclear whether certain businesses will be exempt from the restrictions.

Prime Minister Johnson is expected to deliver the message of more lockdowns in a press conference on Monday evening.

Sir Iain said people have been driven into irrational fear from the scare tactics employed by the mainstream media and the government about the coronavirus, saying that people need to recalibrate their conception of risk.

“People have been made to be incredibly fearful of the known unknown, and that is dangerous to society because allows the state… to lazily slip into taking away freedoms because freedoms seem to be dangerous to everyone,” Duncan Smith said.

Adding: “When do we think we will ever return to the concept that we accept risk exists? It’s the balance of risks. What about those people who haven’t been able to get treatments in hospital for heart disease, liver disease, and cancer?

“I don’t see the BBC putting up their figures for death every day, the balance is completely out of kilter.”

Duncan Smith said that he was initially pleased with seeing the G7 leaders skirt restrictions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and quarantining, saying that it gave the country a vision of what post-lockdown Britain may look like.

However, with reports indicating that Prime Minister Johnson has been convinced by the scientific establishment to extend the lockdown measures, Duncan Smith said: “Politicians have to recognise: They measured the balance of risk to themselves. Why can’t we have the freedom to do the same?”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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