A plurality of the British public believe the government was “not strict enough” imposing its multi-year draconian lockdown agenda during the Chinese coronavirus crisis, a YouGov poll has found.
Despite thousands of families forced to stay away from their dying relatives, the damage done to personal liberty, and the economic devastation wrought by the state paying millions to stay at home rather than work, a survey this week found that 37 per cent of the public believe that Boris Johnson’s government was “not strict enough” during the Wuhan virus pandemic.
The poll from YouGov went on to suggest that another 34 per cent felt that the government’s handling of the virus was “about right”, while just 19 per cent said they thought it was “too strict”.
Unsurprisingly, the general attitude towards lockdowns varied significantly by political affiliation, with a staggering 54 per cent of the leftist Labour Party’s voters saying that they would have preferred stricter lockdowns, compared to 20 per cent of Conservative (Tory) Party’s voters.
However, close to a majority (50 per cent) even of Tory voters said that they thought the government’s policy was “about right” in its scope, and another 20 per cent said it was “not strict enough”.
The poll comes amid the ongoing release of the “lockdown files” — a series of tens of thousands of WhatsApp messages from former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who left his office in ignominy in 2021 after it was revealed that he had violated his own lockdown rules by having an illicit sexual affair with a staffer outside his so-called “bubble”.
In the latest round of leaks, Hancock reportedly told other government ministers in August of 2020 to “get heavy with police” as people attempted to go outside after months of being forced to stay at home.
In hindsight, do you think the government’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak was…
About right: 34%
✖️ Not strict enough: 37%
❌ Too strict: 19%
— YouGov (@YouGov) March 3, 2023
This came just one month after Mr Hancock’s team at the Department of Health was revealed to have lobbied for Brexit leader Nigel Farage to be “locked up” for being a “pub hooligan” after he shared a picture of himself drinking a pint shortly after returning to Britain from America, where he had attended a Donald Trump rally.
In another instance recorded by the leaked messages, Mr Hancock shared a news article with then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson about two people being fined £10,000 each for failing to quarantine, to which the supposedly libertarian Johnson replied: “Superb”.
Police came under fire for their overzealous enforcement of the lockdown rules, which ironically were inspired by the Chinese Communist Party’s response to the virus. In one notable instance, Derbyshire Police was widely condemned for posting drone footage of socially-distanced and even lone walkers in the Peak District to shame them for going outside as their exercise was “not essential”.
The lockdowns also gave the police wide-ranging powers to shut down peaceful protests under the guise of public health. This was somewhat of a dubious excuse, however, given that there was a vastly disproportionate approach taken by law enforcement depending on the political affiliation of the protests.
While police took a hands-off approach to the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement, it took a harsh line on anti-lockdown protests. The police admitted that this was in part a result of fear that actually enforcing the same standards on BLM might trigger “serious disorder“.