History Teaches Us That “Emergency” Measures Could Be in Place for Years, Says Lord Sumption

Lord Sumption said on Good Morning Britain that face masks and social distancing could last for years, saying it is “politically unrealistic” to expect the Government to remove these “emergency” measures anytime soon because the public has become quite fond of them. The Mail has the story.

Face masks and social distancing could be in place for another decade, Lord Sumption has claimed.

The former Supreme Court judge warned restrictions on Britons’ freedoms could last as long as rationing after the Second World War.

He said it was “politically unrealistic” to expect the Government to backtrack on social controls anytime soon because the public had become so used to them.

Lord Sumption suggested Britons had actually started to take comfort in restrictions because they made them feel safe.

Lord Sumption compared the continued enforcement of mask wearing and social distancing to that of wartime food rationing after the Second World War.

An interesting parallel is the continuation of wartime food rationing after the last war. People were in favour of that because they were in favour of social control.

[But] in the 1951 General Election, the Labour Party lost its majority entirely because people with five years more experience of social control got fed up with it. Sooner or later, that will happen in this country.

The Mail’s report points to senior officials who have already hinted that mask mandates and social distancing rules will re-emerge post-lockdown.

SAGE scientists have already hinted that masks and social distancing measures may need to be reinstated in future winters when respiratory viruses like Covid find it easier to spread.

And Mary Ramsay, the Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, admitted that restrictions could stay in place for years on Monday because Britain will need to wait for other countries’ [sic] to catch up with their vaccine programmes. 

Boris Johnson’s roadmap sets no date for the end of using masks and social distancing but the plan is for most legally binding curbs to go by June 21st.

Lord Sumption highlights that some politicians have emailed him privately to say that they agree with what he is saying, but “[don’t] dare to speak out”.

That, I think, is a very serious state of affairs.

Worth reading in full.

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