Tuesday 29 September 2020

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws

In an article for CapX, I argue that the government is increasingly being seen a jailer rather than a friend. I can see the wheels falling off before long. Consent is slipping away.

Bien pensants scoffed at the idea of ‘lockdown fatigue’ because there was no hard evidence that it existed. How could there be? We were in uncharted territory. But, to greatly paraphrase Orwell, only an intellectual could believe that locking people up for months while their jobs evaporate won’t make them lose patience and flout the rules. People went into lockdown more out of fear of the virus than fear of punishment.   

As fear diminishes, particularly among those who are at least risk, so does consent. The increasing severity of the punishments is a sign that the authorities are losing their grip. People can see that the 10pm curfew‘ is creating the unintended consequences that every bar-stool epidemiologist predicted. The laws are becoming more preposterous, the threats – such as keeping students prisoner over Christmas – less credible.

The Prime Minister seems to think that he can keep this up for “perhaps six months”. We shall see.  


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