We’re publishing an original essay today by Dr. Gary Sidley, a retired clinical psychologist with over 30 years’ experience working for the NHS, asking why the left are more enthusiastic about lockdowns than the right. Contributors to this site have been puzzling away at this for some time and Dr. Sidley’s essay will take it place in the section headed “The Left-Wing Case Against Lockdowns” on the right-hand menu. Here is an extract:
A political dimension shaping attitudes towards the Government’s response to Covid might help explain an intriguing observation I made in the spring of 2020, and one that continues to baffle me: that the large majority of my left-wing, socialist friends immediately embraced and supported unprecedented restrictions that were always going to disproportionately disadvantage the less affluent people within our communities. Twenty months on, and despite accumulating evidence that impositions such as lockdowns and masks are ineffective and hugely damaging, their views seem resistant to change. What are likely to be the key reasons why most Labour Party supporters have backed the Government’s draconian Covid restrictions? Although I do not claim to have the definitive answers to this question, my intention is to share ideas that will stimulate the ongoing debate.
It was clear from the outset that lockdowns, and other unprecedented measures, would hurt poor people considerably more than the affluent, and it was therefore reasonable to expect that those on the left of the political spectrum would push back hard against these restrictions. Dire predictions were evident early in the pandemic.