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Moral(istic) majority: Nearly 60 % of mask wearers think non-maskers are ‘bad people’ - Britain, what’s wrong with you?

Guy Birchall
Guy Birchall

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall

Moral(istic) majority: Nearly 60 % of mask wearers think non-maskers are ‘bad people’ - Britain, what’s wrong with you?
Lockdown and face-coverings have proven to be even more divisive than Brexit in the UK as self-righteous Covid19 zealots pour scorn on the apostates who have the gall to disagree with them.

A new survey has shown that divisions in the UK over lockdown run even deeper than the wounds left by the Brexit vote. It turns out that 58 percent of mask wearers have “severely negative” views of those who don’t opt for a face-nappy and 68 percent of people who kept to the lockdown rules have the same view of those who did not.

Even worse than that, 12 percent of mask-wearers said they hated those who did not wear face coverings, and 14 percent of lockdown adherents hate rule breakers, the survey conducted by Demos found. They hate them, there are actually people in Britain who hate others for not wearing a bit of cloth over their nose and mouth, and most of those who don’t hate those they disagree with still think they are bad people.

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To these people, thinking that the lockdown was an overreaction or that mask wearing is pointless isn’t just a differing point of view, it is a moral failing. You are an apostate, an unbeliever, careless, reckless, you want to kill granny, you think the economy is more important than human life, you are, in short, a bastard.

It is, of course, impossible that your objections stem from legitimate concerns about state overreach. No one could legitimately think that it was a bit off for the government of a supposedly free country to effectively place the entire nation under house arrest for months on end. No half-decent person could object to the prime minister mandating items of clothing, arbitrarily restricting how many people you can associate with or shutting down thousands of businesses, depriving millions of employment. No, if you believe any of these things it is because you are evil, stupid or both.

Even more horrifyingly, at least to the mind of a bastard like me, is that a third of people think that those who didn’t dutifully applaud their incarceration every Thursday during the hideous “clap for carers” nonsense are bad human beings. Obviously it was imperative to clap for the NHS during a time when it was significantly less busy than normal and failure to do so marked you out as someone hell bent on some sort of pensioner genocide.

According to Demos, who carried out the survey, the reason for such strong feelings are that “the stakes are so high, when it comes to protecting lives and protecting livelihoods, that people are starting to see those who disagree with them on Covid as ‘bad’ people. This threatens attempts to build national solidarity for a programme of reform and repair.”

Is the perceived risk the real reason behind all this, or is it more the self-righteousness of the lockdowners? Does it not have more to do with the fact that they see themselves as “good” for their desire to keep the country locked down? Surely if one sees their opponents as “bad” or even more so if they “hate” them, then that means their opinions deserve no quarter?

Because if we actually look at the risks, they don’t appear to warrant the actions that have been taken. The median age of death with Covid-19 is 81 years old, the average age of death in the UK is 81.16. Plainly, any death is a deeply sad event for any family, but Covid-19 is mainly claiming the lives of the old, not those of the young. A rational decision would be to tell older people to take extra precautions, but locking down the healthy population and crippling the economy makes no sense. However, for just making that point I have marked myself out as a bad person. Two thirds of those surveyed don’t think I’ve made a cost benefit analysis of a situation and reached a different conclusion; they think I have a fundamental moral failing.

This perception, that those who disagree with the lockdown are bad people, has been compounded by a government that is so terrified of appearing negligent that it has become tyrannical. To try and get people to comply with their measures, it mounted a campaign to terrify the ever-loving hell out of every person in the country. In this, they were enthusiastically aided and abetted by a fearmongering media that only ever asked why Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock weren’t locking down earlier, or harder or for longer.

All these groups ignore the growing evidence that Sweden, which did not lockdown, dealt with the problem far better than most countries. They ignore the fact that vast swathes of the population may have already had Covid-19 because it is simply not that bad for most people. They ignore the economic damage these ludicrous curbs on freedom have caused. They ignore all of these facts because they believe they are right, virtuous and good.

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It is no coincidence that these people who so readily cheer for more restrictions are on the left, from the public health panjandrums who dreamt up the lockdowns in the first place, to the hectoring media shaming people who went to the beach over the summer. Even this supposedly “conservative” government has given itself over to leftist authoritarianism rather than conserving anything. This is even before they hike up taxes to pay for their earlier stupidity.

And now Hancock and Johnson are seeking to empower some of these zealots as “Covid marshals” who will wander about the streets shopping people to the filth for gathering in groups of more than six. These people may think I and many of my fellow countryman are “bad” people, but if believing in freedom of choice and the right to go about my day unmolested by curtain-twitching busybodies makes me bad then, in the words of Michael Jackson: “I’m bad, I’m bad, I’m really, really bad.”  

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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