Strong Words from Strong People, maybe it’s time to listen.

Edward Taaffe
5 min readMay 5, 2021

Lord Sumption, former Supreme Court judge, in his campaign to defend civil liberties under lockdown says — “When tyrannies take over it is because people volunteer their liberty voluntarily.”

· Do you really believe that the Health Protection restrictions described below will be revoked?

· Have you not heard them conveniently remark that this is just the first of many such pandemics and epidemics?

· How well would you do if I asked you to summarise how many rights you had lost in the past two years and their impact on your and your families lives?

The new legislation and what it really does.

The lockdown has been enforced mainly through the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, otherwise known as the “Lockdown Regulations” and imposed under powers delegated by the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

In addition, the Coronavirus Act 2020:

1. prohibits gatherings,

2. cancels elections and

3. contains Schedule 21 which allows for you to be forcibly detained, tested, treated and quarantined.

- As long as there’s’ a hint of coronavirus or any other suitable health risk, Johnson is under no obligation to hold elections unless he feels very confident of a win.

- You have lost the right to protest, it is now illegal, if you have second thoughts, you’ve left it too late.

- Johnson already used these new powers to write the rules following Brexit without Parliamentary oversight, what was he scared of?

-Despite the name, this legislation does not have an end date or even a review date that I can find. Its here to stay.

Silkie Carlo — Director of Big Brother Watch angrily hit out at the government:

“This is the greatest loss of liberty in modern Britain and it has happened by diktat. This is how autocracies and dictatorships emerge, for the ‘greater good’, measure by measure. It’s been a cacophony of disaster.
With contact tracing, the government wanted to collect as much data as possible and hold it centrally. They were basically asking people to be on a state-issued digital tag. We warned them that there are serious risks with this.”

“A lot of public money has been wasted. The government doesn’t understand that they need public trust, but that doesn’t come from rhetoric and finger-wagging. You can’t force people, you need a high degree of trust. That trust did not exist with the app. More covert surveillance powers may be being used, including “sentiment analysis”. Does this mean our private Facebook timelines? “Facebook and ‘private’ don’t belong in the same sentence.”

39billion seems not to have been invested in track and trace, but digital citizen controls as per the Chinese “Good Citizen” system.

Francis Hoar said;

“The state decided without debate to restrict our rights and freedoms in ways that are unimaginable in a democratic system. This is not the way a normal liberal society operates. What is terrifying is that this wasn’t just imposed by governments — people wanted it.

Of course, people can choose to stay in their homes, but they wanted it to be law, to impose these restrictions on others.

Protest was made illegal on 26 March. In fact, any gathering of more than two people was made illegal.

In the short-term many people will naturally take the view that the government will operate in good faith when it comes to the pandemic, that emergency powers will be revoked at an appropriate time when the storm has passed, but this government can’t be trusted like that. It won’t happen.

Covid also gave this government the opportunity to seek powers over Brexit that enabled laws to be ushered through without parliamentary debate — effectively cancelling our understanding of democracy.

Carole Cadwallader posited that:

Britain (and one may as well add the US) are increasingly “looking like a ‘managed’ democracy. — Paid for by a US billionaire. — Using military-style technology. — Delivered by Facebook. — And enabled by us.”

But the truth is a lot worse than just that. For Britain, both Brexit and now Covid have emboldened a desperate government using technologies that has the very design of democracy destruction built in.

The Independent newspaper wrote that: “It encompasses governments, the military and intelligence agencies intent on exploiting the internet and social media for surveillance, control and manipulation of citizens and societies.”

The trouble with personal data is that once its out there, it will never be personal again. You can’t change your mind and you can’t predict what they will use it for.

Chris Patten, former chairman of the Conservative party and last British governor of Hong Kong says :

Johnson is turning into a “tinpot dictator” and will eventually push the country into what many are now saying is actually happening — a failed state.

Yascha Mounk, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, and a senior adviser at Protect Democracy says that:

Johnson presents “the most blatant assault on democracy in Britain’s living memory, and one of the most serious any Western country has faced in this populist era.”

The thought that Cummings already demanded every British citizen should have an ID card stuffed full of highly sensitive personal information including biometric data littered on the servers of private corporations should horrify any sensible person regardless of their political persuasion.

It’s a good idea to protect your friends and neighbours form the pandemic, but you don’t need restrictive laws to achieve that. As Lord Sumption pointed out, it only happened because people volunteered, therefore they would have behaved exactly the same with a public pact.

The legislation was not needed and was almost certainly seen as an opportunity to exert controls on citizens and to pervert democracy whenever it is convenient.
How much more of this are you prepared to risk?

How seriously do you take the words of Jonathan Sumption, Yascha Mounk, Chris Patten, Francis Hoar and others telling you that this hapened to you because you wanted it. Before you dismiss that suggestion as all of us immediately want to do, please take a few minutes to read what this great man had to say about the same subject. His name was Willhelm Reich.

Further references:

Britain is ‘a rogue state’ if it reneges on legal commitments (source)



Edward Taaffe

Ed is a technical consultant and writer in the areas of Digital and Products. He writes here on random subjects that catch the eye.