Are people going to cooperate with lockdown?

We’re seeing some worrying shifts in public attitudes.

No one likes lockdowns, but people have cooperated overwhelmingly, showing a revived spirit of community solidarity, and acting as one to protect all. Throughout our first major lockdown people were almost unanimously on board, understanding how unprecedented this was and buying into the deal of staying at home to protect our NHS; making enormous personal sacrifices and trusting those in power to ensure we don’t need to take such drastic measures again.

This time around people rightfully feel perturbed; when will this end and why is it happening again are the questions some ask. And while this lockdown is now necessary and absolutely has to happen if we don’t want catastrophe, we should see how public attitudes have shifted, because these things need public consent, we don’t have authoritarian enforcement structures powerful enough to do such a thing as a lockdown without public consent, and a lockdown without consent is not something that’d work well.

Good news… we have public consent for this. A large chunk of people want it to go further, a minority want it lessened or oppose it. The public has been on board with the concept of a lockdown if needed since September at least; the talk from the govt of waiting for consent and consensus is nonsense and deflection.

As is natural over time the minority opposed slowly grows; but it isn’t a serious problem yet, and probably won’t be if we don’t keep going into lockdowns time and time again; the onus is on those in power to get Test Trace Isolate fit for purpose over these next 4 weeks.

The biggest shift against lockdown is among the young, with over 30% now opposed to the measures. The sentiment is understandable, and the effect this has on young people and their lives is severe; which is why the govt’s failure to get a grip over the summer is all the more unforgivable.



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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.