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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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Lifting lockdown forces workers to risk their lives

With the economy in a state of flux, many workers will have to return to work if lockdown is relaxed. This situation is dangerous when there is no known cure, and businesses do not have to make guarantees on worker safety. Ultimately, people will be forced to risk death to stay financially afloat due to a situation beyond there control. Proponents include the UK Labour Party and trade unions.
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covid health politics

Context

The Argument

Allowing people to go back to work when there is nothing in place to ensure safe working conditions, is reckless. No one should be allowed to return until their safety can be guaranteed.[1]

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/04/uk-unions-criticise-guidance-on-returning-to-work-for-being-inadequate

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 5 May 2020 at 20:42 UTC