Covid-19 State Expansion: Freedom ‘on its knees’

Ciaran McAteer, Contributor

Ciaran McAteer suggests double standards by the Government between various protest movements and Covid-19, has damaged confidence in the state’s role as a champion of liberty.

Freedom ‘on its knees’ during the Covid-19 crisis. femiroyalblog.com, WordPress

It’s very easy to deride those who hold contrary opinions to our own. This impulse only increases when we are in groups and I myself have been guilty of it, much to my eternal shame.

However, a recent event has brought this instinct into startling contrast causing me to reconsider.  Piers Corbyn, the elder brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been fined £10,000 for his involvement in a recent rally. This seems to me to be a death blow to freedom in the UK, England especially.  For this draconian fine was issued and justified beneath laws that haven’t undergone parliamentary debate.  I strongly suspect that had Piers’ rally adhered to every guideline in the Covid-19 book he would still have faced this wrath.

What caused this to startle me so much was that I didn’t hear of any repercussions for the BLM rallies, their organisers or the far-right reactionary rallies which followed.  I then saw a government ‘egging’ on a movement which it supported dearly. The BLM protests in England amazed me because they were a test for me to see how serious this government was about curtailing Covid.  BLM has become a ‘holy order’ in our society, to criticise or curtail its actions is to commit suicide for one’s career or standing.  Also, I imagined Boris agreed with the protestors and loved the fact that Trump took an almighty kicking. In short to stop these protests would decide, in my mind, just how serious he took the issue. Yet the indication we received was that the Government weren’t taking Covid seriously. After all if protests were on the cards in the Summer, why weren’t pubs or mass attendance or the schools?

Despite many BLM protests taking on a more militant and violent character and the protests occurring across the UK closer to the original Covid outbreak, why were no draconian punishments issued? The answer is obvious, because the establishment agreed with them because, after all, who could be elected in a modern world on a pro-racism ballot? I do not imagine that Arlene or Boris are racists.  Also because they had ceased to treat Covid seriously.

The fact that the current Government is using Covid as the cloak to disguise the dagger of censorship has to alarm us all.  Whatever you think of Piers Corbyn he had the liberty to do what he did because others before him had.  The Government had surrendered its jurisdiction over him when it relented to the BLM movement.

Now, I have begun to suspect that the hype surrounding the Covid crisis has dealt a blow to the head of freedom, one which it might not recover from.  At the beginning I was sceptical but now I am enraged and the damned, blustering “Boris is to blame.”  

Is an independent inquiry now needed to investigate the entirety of the Covid crisis so that the damage to freedom may be repaired?

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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