It’s been suggested by the lockdown sceptic cultists that over the last year, the U.K. has hurtled blindly into an authoritarian police state, made possible by legislation aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. It sounds genuinely alarming, doesn’t it. And I do share some of their base concerns. But then they lose me with their over use of H words. Not so much Hitler and Himmler, although Godwin’s Law is broken more frequently that the Rule of Six law. It’s the hysteria, hypocrisy and hyperbole that really gets to me.
They will bang on about the wide ranging powers that the police have been given to enforce the new legislation. It is draconian. What they neglect to mention is that there are so few police anymore that you’re unlikely to see an officer in attendance for anything less than murder. And if someone is arrested, it’ll be years before they get to court, if it ever goes that far. Prison? If there’s space, it is a possibility. I suppose. Although even then, it tends to be more a ‘weekend break’ than lengthy sentence.
The sceptics then launch into a tirade about the Stasi-on-the-Streets. The Covid Marshalls. I’ve spotted pairs of them strolling around Bournemouth over the last few weeks. An elite brigade of well armed stormtroopers they are not. Instead, we have a motley crew of gossip-mongers and snitches that patrol our streets day and night looking out for people getting a bit too close to each other. Brown shirted young men with muscular physiques, chiselled jaws, blond hair and sharply polished shoes? No. Mostly fat, bald blokes with green and yellow plastic jackets and a whiff of homelessness about them.
They are clearly more interested in doughnuts and coffee than promoting ideology of Aryan racial superiority. If the Covid Marshalls are the harbingers of the British Reich, then any claim of it lasting a thousand years is likely to be on the optimistic side. I’d be inclined to suggest it won’t last till Christmas. As things stand, these fellas don’t seem to be doing anyone any harm. And it keeps them in gainful employment and out of Wetherspoons.