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How do we think about the UK lockdown debate? Show more Show less

The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented isolation measures throughout the world. One effect has been the creation of ideological blocs across traditional party lines, lobbying for different approaches to containing the virus. UK lockdown came into effect on March 23, shutting down non-essential business and movement outside the home, bar a single daily outing for exercise. Critics variously describe this decision as too late, too little, too much and overblown. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

The authoritarian position, or 'Do not lift lockdown!' Show more Show less

This approach is rooted in a belief that during crises, the state should centralise control of social and economic affairs. Proponents range from UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to an estimated 75% of the British public.
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We must avoid the rise of the police state

This group understands that there are multiple workable options to ending lockdown. And critically, that each will have a unique transformative effect on society. They argue that relaxing lockdown comes at a price: individual freedom. Methods that have worked in other countries rely on the government handling and tracking citizens' data. Many see this, and suggested initiatives such as Matt Hancock's "test, track, trace" app as the population complicit in the building of a surveillance state. Proponents include International Editor of the News Statesman Jeremy Cliffe.
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covid health politics


The Argument

The only methods that have worked in relaxing measures give rise to the police state.[1]

Counter arguments



Rejecting the premises


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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 5 May 2020 at 20:44 UTC