It is not controversial, I hope, to point out that this Government has exploited epidemiological uncertainty in service of the usual thing governments want: more power. The tedious description of the current power grab is to claim that the state has “distilled power from fear”. It is difficult to disagree with that. But it is only half the story.
We need to point out the corollary: that the public has allowed itself to become fearful. We have become like the victim of Stockholm Syndrome who colluded in her original abduction. This Government scared us into these dystopian restrictions because we allowed it to: we need to take responsibility for that. If you live in fear, then you are morally culpable.
I am sorry if that seems harsh.
Actually: I am not sorry at all.
The distortions of this Government are there in plain sight: from the obvious, and deliberate, generation of “false positives” when it comes to testing; to the insistence that Covid-19 is the only logically available cause of death when it comes to relevant certification; from the assumption that when you contract C-19 in hospital you count as a Covid “admission”; to the absurd protocol that when you give up the queue in a testing centre you are recorded as a positive “case”.
Aristotle pointed out that we have obligations of feeling as well as of action. To be a virtuous person requires an unrelenting and systematic interrogation of how we “feel” when we are confronted with a rubbish situation. There is nothing, necessarily, wrong with being scared – provided you can justify the fear. And there is an obligation on you to develop habits of response which sacrifice vice at the altar of virtue.