England Set To Extend ‘Police State’ Powers… Staying Safe or Staying Scared?

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has defended plans to extend COVID lockdown powers in England, measures that one former Tory minister has branded “excessive and disproportionate”.

The government is facing a severe backlash over plans to extend draconian restrictions under the Coronavirus Act for another six months.

But speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Wallace said the government was “taking assessments from the science” to make decisions on lockdown policy.

He said: “The final mile is the most important thing for us all, make sure we buckle down, get through the different stages the prime minister set out.”

Asked whether the government could be extending the powers for longer than necessary, Wallace said: “Parliament can always remove powers if it needs to.”

He added: “None of us want to have draconian measures but this is an unprecedented global pandemic that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arriving at BBC Broadcasting House in central London to appear on the BBC1 current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace arrives at BBC Broadcasting House in central London on Sunday. (PA)

“At each stage we will be taking assessments from the science, from where we are in the pandemic, and take the steps required,” he said.

“It is not a one-way street. Just because we are seeking to extend the powers doesn’t mean we are deaf to how facts change on the ground.”

Read: Laurence Fox criticises ‘despicable’ police at lockdown protest

However, former Conservative minister Steve Baker described the Coronavirus Act as “excessive and disproportionate”, adding that it “should now go”.

He said: “The government really does need to start taking advantage of their own great success on the vaccination programme.”  Source

Note…

The two interviews relevant to this discussion in the Sophy Ridge show are the first two:  Ben Wallace MP and Steve Baker MP.

Comment: 

Nobody can even pretend surprise now at the predictable call to further extend the tyranny being imposed upon the peoples of the UK in the name of protecting us from a virus from which the majority of people who become infected including the elderly recover. Only those elderly with serious underlying conditions are at any risk, as they are always at risk from any other flu virus.   

I say “the peoples of the UK” because – just as predictably – what happens in England today comes to Scotland tomorrow.  How long is this “stay  safe” baloney going to last?  With every promise of the easing of restrictions comes a cautionary warning; keep washing your hands, wearing masks, [anti]social distancing OR we will imprison you again.   In other words, the “stay safe” message is merely a rather unsubtle form of a quite different, if highly effective, message; stay scared.  

So, again, I ask – how long is this tyranny going to last?  Some think another year.  Others think two years.   Others even longer – I read one estimate of eight years recently.  Meanwhile, people are forgetting what it’s like to be free – and many young people have never known what it is like to live as a free person.   Will we continue (as a population) to accept the kind of arrogance displayed by Ben Wallace MP during the above Sophy Ridge interview?  One thing is a dead cert – if the Westminster Parliament (and the other devolved assemblies) extend police state powers allegedly for another six months, there is no guarantee that we will be free in six months. The more we go along with this authoritarian abuse of power, the longer it will last. Contrary to what Ben Wallace MP said, Governments do not give up powers they’ve taken in alleged emergencies.  Doesn’t happen. 

People drift into situations and we have already drifted into totalitarian governance. Have we no option but to accept this “new normal”?  Some people ignore the rules and live as we did prior to lockdowns.  I sympathise, especially for two people I’ve been reading about: one said  “I’ve been in more lockdowns than relationships” and  another who, in future job interviews, can only explain the gap, the missing year, in his Curriculum Vitae, by saying that he was washing his hands 😀

This is all serious stuff folks so think carefully before you shrug off this latest extension of police state powers with a casual: “what’s six more months…”