A State of Fear

Shotclog
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:37 am

A State of Fear

Post by Shotclog »

I read Laura Dodsworth's new book over the weekend and, allowing as much as I can for confirmation bias etc, I think it is a brilliant expose of the way in which the Government has (in her phrase) weaponised fear to control the population since March 2020. At the very least, the case she raises is so serious that I hope that her wish that this be the subject of a public inquiry is granted.

Very sensibly, she makes her argument primarily about the unethical use of fear and does not get into a debate on the merits/demerits of lockdown itself (although she makes her views on that plain, including in an appendix). Approached in this way, the book becomes a forensic examination of how and why the British became the most frightened people in the world.

I heartily recommend it.

I have long thought that the Government's actions have been totalitarian in effect (if not, initially, in intent) but the parallel she draws with the methods used by cults to inculcate new members seems to me to be an even better analogy as it helps explain why so many people in this country have become lockdown lovers, clamouring for more of this revolting medicine.

Again, I don't think the Government acted with this purpose in mind (although the thrill of exercising supreme power over people for some of the inadequates in the Government cannot be discounted). I mean, unlike most cults, it was not established so that the cult leader could enjoy the favours of many different women (er, hang on a minute...).

Spritof_GFawkes
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Joined: Wed May 19, 2021 12:32 pm

Re: A State of Fear

Post by Spritof_GFawkes »

Thanks for the review and recommendation. I haven't read the book so far, only a synopsis in a newspaper.

I love your concluding sentence :)

ScarlettR
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:22 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by ScarlettR »

My copy should be arriving this week

I'm interested that you don't think the government acted with the intention of imposing totalitarianism. I thought that as soon as furlough was announced, that was the day I became very scared. You don't announce a long term financial package if you're just trying to assess the damage a new virus might cause.

Matt Hancock said on 31 Jan that if covid spread, they would take steps that would cause social and economic disruption.

Shotclog
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:37 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by Shotclog »

Well, I think there is a distinction to be drawn between whether the Government realised that what they were doing was authoritarian/totalitarian in effect, which must have been obvious even to the most dull-witted Minister, and whether the Government set out to implement a pre-conceived plan to impose totalitarianism on the British people. Whilst I can see why a narrative along that second alternative can be constructed around what has happened, my own view is that this is not the explanation. I think that what we have suffered since March 2020 is the result of panic, hysteria, incompetence and cock-up (with a dash of power-lust amongst a few Ministers).

ScarlettR
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:22 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by ScarlettR »

Shotclog wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 3:28 pm Well, I think there is a distinction to be drawn between whether the Government realised that what they were doing was authoritarian/totalitarian in effect, which must have been obvious even to the most dull-witted Minister, and whether the Government set out to implement a pre-conceived plan to impose totalitarianism on the British people. Whilst I can see why a narrative along that second alternative can be constructed around what has happened, my own view is that this is not the explanation. I think that what we have suffered since March 2020 is the result of panic, hysteria, incompetence and cock-up (with a dash of power-lust amongst a few Ministers).
I could see this argument in April 2020, in spite of the Act being in place for two years. But it was obvious by June 2020 that several governments were testing the boundaries for future power.

Shotclog
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:37 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by Shotclog »

Well look, you may well be right. I confess I struggle to explain why Governments around the world have acted (in some ways, seemingly in lockstep) to impose such Draconian restrictions on life and liberty in response to this particular virus. That's why I find myself falling back on references to incompetence, panic and hysteria, which I accept sound quite flimsy explanations and which are prone to obvious objections (e.g. can it be right that almost all politicians, in all countries, really have panicked in the same way?).

I guess my problem is that I am a sceptic about everything, and I just find it much harder to believe that what has happened was planned, or taken up and run, by some shadowy cabal of puppeteers remaking the world in pursuit of some grand reset, than to believe that e.g. Johnson et al were not sufficiently intellectually robust, honest and curious to (a) ask the scientists the right questions; and (b) to then understand and interrogate their answers in a way that might have led to a saner, more proportionate response. That latter explanation, as unpalatable as it is, still seems the most plausible to me.

But of course, you are quite right to question that view too.

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MikeAustin
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Re: A State of Fear

Post by MikeAustin »

Shotclog wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 5:44 pm I confess I struggle to explain why Governments around the world have acted (in some ways, seemingly in lockstep) to impose such Draconian restrictions on life and liberty in response to this particular virus.
The general public are mostly in lockstep because they are reacting to the same narrative with the same recommended actions. It appears that Governments can behave the same way.

ScarlettR
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:22 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by ScarlettR »

Shotclog wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 5:44 pm Well look, you may well be right. I confess I struggle to explain why Governments around the world have acted (in some ways, seemingly in lockstep) to impose such Draconian restrictions on life and liberty in response to this particular virus. That's why I find myself falling back on references to incompetence, panic and hysteria, which I accept sound quite flimsy explanations and which are prone to obvious objections (e.g. can it be right that almost all politicians, in all countries, really have panicked in the same way?).

I guess my problem is that I am a sceptic about everything, and I just find it much harder to believe that what has happened was planned, or taken up and run, by some shadowy cabal of puppeteers remaking the world in pursuit of some grand reset, than to believe that e.g. Johnson et al were not sufficiently intellectually robust, honest and curious to (a) ask the scientists the right questions; and (b) to then understand and interrogate their answers in a way that might have led to a saner, more proportionate response. That latter explanation, as unpalatable as it is, still seems the most plausible to me.

But of course, you are quite right to question that view too.

There doesn't have to be a shadowy cabal. Governments find that control of the population, through fear, is very effective and helps push through things that would have warranted more scrutiny.

As for scientists, about 5 years ago I read an article by a doctor saying "better hope these crazy modellers don't get more traction in medicine". And here we are. Though of course, the modellers have been infecting medicine for a long time with "studies" saying you are 72% more likely to have a heart attack if you do x, y, z.

I've also ordered The Patient Paradox to read. I had an excellent doctor for 20 years - chronic health problems - who has retired. Now all I cam find is doctors who are not pleased when I am in good health and have no flare ups and seek to find all kinds of things wrong.

It is a tragedy what has happened. Science doesn't seem very scientific now.

Shotclog
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:37 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by Shotclog »

Sorry to hear about your ill health.

Well, on the Government action point, another reason I that might explain what looks like co-ordinated action is simply that politicians (but especially our spineless PM) decided to take refuge in a form of herd immunity of their own. They calculated that if they adopted basically the same policies as everyone else, it wouldn't matter if this was wrong because come the inquiry they could simply say, well we were just following best practice around the world.

It took guts and intellectual rigour to take an independent line, and of course a certain toughness to put up with the vilification from the herd for showing them up: Sweden is our best example here and they show that a different way was possible.

I completely agree with you about the scientists and their malign influence, now amounting to a form of bio-terrorism: you will be well, even if the policies to achieve this destroys the point of life. Jonathan Sumption wrote an excellent piece on this in the Mail on Sunday, the link to which is on LS.

ScarlettR
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:22 am

Re: A State of Fear

Post by ScarlettR »

Shotclog

Re the following best practice

I have heard it said that other European countries didn't have restrictions extending to...you can't have your neighbour round for a cuppa. At least, not for so long. But it's hard to know what's really going on in a place until you live there.

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