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Is Farage’s Reform Party onto something? Parliament is full of lockdown fans, but out in the real world resentment is growing

The feel when you get another Cameo request. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

The feel when you get another Cameo request. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images


December 4, 2020   6 mins

Back in May, a political scientist called Ben Ansell did some loose but revealing work using Google’s “community mobility reports”, which record anonymised pings from mobile phones as users move around. The Remain/Leave ratio of an area, Ansell found, could accurately predict its level of lockdown adherence, even when you adjusted for socio-economic advantage, or geography. The results felt intuitively spot on: Remainers remained at home. Leavers left.

In the months since, that trend many of us have sensed in our waters has only become more entrenched. Britain’s two tribes have become increasingly visible, and nowhere more so than along the same city/town fault line that drove Brexit.

More and more, my 45-minute train ride from Southend-on-Sea (58% Leave) to West Ham seems like a journey into another country. The Tube fritzes with announcements demanding mask fealty. Popping out at Canary Wharf, in the underground mall, where face coverings are once again de rigeur, the shops are a crazy-paving of floor markings in yellows and reds. Outside, someone has painted white circles on the lawns to measure precisely how much space should be left between social bubbles. The place is half-empty. The mephitic air of desolation, of 28 Days Later, is pitch-perfect.

Londoners are often disbelieving when I tell them that, pre-Lockdown 2, the pubs of Southend were full. Down at The Last Post, the cavernous JD Wetherspoon by the station, the queues were often not worth bothering with. Up at The Cliffs Pavilion, the touring home of We Will Rock You and Roy “Chubby” Brown, the 50-seater cafĂ© was full all day, every day in October. The day Lockdown 2 ended, the canteen at the doomed Debenhams was the busiest I’ve ever seen it.

Further from the capital, the story is even more striking. Hiding out in Portsmouth (58% Leave) where his parents live, a friend mentioned that the high street is much busier than in his real life, in London. There on the south coast, people seemed to be getting on with things, working around the pandemic, not exactly indifferent, but noticeably less awed. Even further out, a friend who now finds herself working for a London company while living in Rutland reports that life in Britain’s smallest county is almost free of Covid signifiers. The farmers pay it scant heed; the village shops trundle on as they always did.

We all take our cues from those around us. In places where public transport is unnecessary and social distance is natural, conditions can feel very different. As our capacity for inter-city travel has shrunk, these different worlds can come as a surprise. The Remain/Leave axis is still the one we reach for, but in a sense it’s just a proxy for a deeper feeling: one that’s almost pre-political, to do with our attitude to risk itself, and how we respond to notions of the common good and the “community” around us.

American psychologist Jonathan Haidt modelled many of these concepts in his moral foundations theory. You could argue that, as things have evolved, Covid has become chiefly a problem along the moral axis Haidt called care/harm. People who respond most to the care/harm axis, Haidt finds, are almost definitionally those on the Left. These are the people most likely to claim that even one single life lost is a tragedy.

In 2020, all political compasses point to the fact that a natural sifting process has meant that our major cities contain more of this kind of person. Revealingly, in Ansell’s survey, the only city with a greater lockdown adherence than London was Edinburgh (Remain vote: 74.4%).

But perhaps it was Rudyard Kipling who got the inherent tensions of the English psyche best when he cleaved them into the Saxon and the Norman. Where the Saxon is a freewheeling lover of liberty, the Norman is more phlegmatic, rule-bound: “The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite. But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.” Either way, it seems significant that the mytho-poetic Saxon king, Nigel Farage — the pinstripe Falstaff himself — has chosen the dawn of the second lockdown to relaunch his political career.

In Southend, in 2019, the Brexit Party secured 39% of the European Elections vote. The place is a safe Tory seat, but hardly shires posh. These are Saxon lands — in the literal sense too, “East Saxon” being contracted to form the word “Essex”. In Prittlewell, next to a pub called The Saxon King, lies the recently-discovered tomb of a real ancient Saxon King. These are also Wat Tyler’s homelands. By temperament as much as economy, a place of small business; of the transit van, of the vape store and the beauty salon. These are the people most likely to fall through the cracks of complex bailout scheme, or to have their micro-enterprises felled in the slo-mo agony of inertia.

“The grants are welcome, but they don’t cover everything,” says Charlie Coppolo, owner of Low Tide Tattoos. “We have to pay bills too. Everyone was very sympathetic with the first lockdown: Don’t worry, we’ll put your account on pause. But this time round, not so much
” Coppolo supported that first freeze, but he just doesn’t see much compliance around town this time. “And there’s just no point if no one’s going to follow the rules
 Southend’s always had that sort of rebellious attitude. Kicking back. Like how the punk scene was big in here in the Eighties.” In short, these are the Poujadist class any populist of Nigel’s talents should be targeting.

Farage’s Reform Party has been born from the ashes (and more importantly, the contacts database) of the Brexit Party. They want a few things. Brexit. House Of Lords reform. Lower taxes. But above all, they are anti-lockdown, arguing that the policy has turned into a ghastly mistake. Now, they’re fighting for “freedom” at a moment when no major party is. So far, the commentariat still seem to treat him as an eccentric who got lucky, as though lightning can’t strike twice. Yet Farage has proved his instincts time and again: has he spotted a second fulcrum on which he can prise apart the voters from the political classes? Even as the vaccine’s approval brings the end of the coronavirus within reach, the economic fall-out from the disease and its treatment are with us for some time.

People are fed up, that’s for sure. “My wife works in a school,” complains Michael Sheern, owner of Southend’s Kink Salon. “So, I can’t work with people one-on-one, in full PPE, but she can work in a school of a thousand kids, even though they’ve had one in five kids off school because of coronavirus
 This second lockdown has not really done its purpose.”

It’s the kind of unfairness that moves ordinary people to the ballot box, in the same way as Ukip-era refrains of they get a council house when they come over and we have to wait. Yet Sheern too was pro the March lockdown, and he’s still charitable towards the government (“hindsight is always 20/20”). It’s because of this often-heard view that Farage has kept his powder dry. In April, only 5% of the public opposed the new measures; even now, only 20% think the second lockdown was a bad idea. Of those, 14% were for Remain, and 24% for Leave. But when YouGov combined that segment with those who also had a positive opinion of Nigel, they came up with a very narrow landing strip indeed for his new party: some 7% of the electorate.

“I’m not sure how many people would be affected this time,” Sheern says. “It’s actually very specific. The factory workers are still working. The police are still working. For myself, I only know five people who’ve stopped work.”

In those terms, the picture is messy. Most still don’t fall cleanly on either side. “I wouldn’t say I’m anti-lockdown,” says Amanda Sutton, owner of Beauty Basement. “The most important thing is saving lives. But at the moment, the trains are really busy, and places like The Range and Wilkinsons have stayed open — they’re full of people! It’s unfair, I think, the way that big businesses can still stay open.” Amanda was furloughed in the second lockdown, and losing money, but counting her blessings. “I’m lucky. If I owned a small shop, I’d be furious.”

So for now, the Reform Party feels like a flimsy proposition. But hold the line: we forget now that in 2003 the Tories voted with New Labour over the Iraq War. We forget, too, that the polls in 2003 also had the public at 54% in favour of the invasion. It took another two years for the gradual dawning realisation we had been cheated to sweep Charlie Kennedy’s anti-war Lib Dems to 62 seats, their highest-ever tally, in 2005.

Today, we have a Parliament composed almost exclusively of lockdown fans. Out in the real world, the first stirrings of bitterness are taking root. The narrative could give way quickly once the full consequences bloom. Indeed, the whole thing might even turn on a single dodgy dossier at the forthcoming “mother of all Royal Commissions”.

Johnson has built for himself a machine that seems custom-designed to boost that geographic fault line: the tier system, the provincial lumped mindlessly in with the urban. Now, the tales of village pubs being shuttered because of an outbreak 20 miles away can be easily incubated, and traced back to the dead hand of power. Already, there’s a rumour that London was put into Tier 2, despite contradicting data, because Johnson judged it too important to chuck into Tier 3.

In terms of staking out your political real estate early, Reform’s lone voice in the wilderness may end up more like buying the island of Manhattan for the proverbial glass beads. If it does, Britain’s towns and metropolises will once again feel like a tale of two cities.


Gavin Haynes is a journalist and former editor-at-large at Vice.

@gavhaynes

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Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Lockdown is destroying our country for almost no benefit.
Living in a poor part of London and working in an even poorer part of London I have more chance of being stabbed to death than dying from coronavirus and I massively consider myself lucky to still have a job.
How many life’s are being destroyed by this?
How many businesses being destroyed by this?
Every politician does not pay for their mistakes they are super rich by my standards but think themselves poor, it is only the us plebs who pay ultimately.
What a bunch of useless idiots and here’s hoping that this is the ultimate death knell for their parties and we finally get a change of some sort, any sort who puts us first not themselves.
But after a lifetime of being a poor working class Englishman I may also be biased

Tom Griffiths
Tom Griffiths
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

In Haringey, the London Borough with the second highest knife crime in London (after Westminster) the recent average annual knife murder total is 10-15 per year. Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test this year have been 184. You are more than 12 times as likely to die from covid than stabbing even in London’s most violent outer borough.This is why remaining level-headed, and well-informed, is important. This is why covid precautions are important, too.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

You dont see or put up with what I have to on a day to day basis

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

…and we now know, that the PCR test should never have been used to diagnose Covid, because it “cannot” do so, and this is born out by two landmark court cases in Portugal and Madrid which ruled exactly that. We also now know that the CDC (on their own website) now admit, only 6% of all those who died, actually died from Covid, because the other 94% had existing fatal co-morbidities. So, it pretty much looks as if you 184 people are in fact about 7 or 8 people…..Mmm??

I B
I B
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Hypertension and diabetes are not “fatal comorbidities”, except in the trivial “we all die eventually” sense.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  I B

So, you prefer the dishonesty and falsification of death certificates then?

Chris Chris
Chris Chris
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Yes science can be decided by court cases!!!

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Chris

yes.

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

As you are well informed, I trust you have obtained the breakdown of the 184 deaths….age, weight, previous health problems, in view of the number of false positives surrounding the COVID tests maybe it would also be helpful to establish whether these people actually died of or with COVID.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

How do you count those people who are stabbed to death within 28 days of being diagnosed with Covid,

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

Only 12 times likely if you are 80+ years old with underlying health problems.

malcolm.rose
malcolm.rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

Tom, your understanding of statistics is lamentable. Maybe even as much so as that of the national clown in number 10.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

But how many stabbings in all? But to conflate them seriously like you have is crazy as the knifings are intentional.

artifacts
artifacts
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

Might be a good idea to check your facts. For example: how old the 184 who died were, and what underlying comorbidities did they have. Also, 28 days after a test tells you nothing, they could have had a cold at the beginning of the month and had an accident at the end of the month. Also, check how many people normally die in Harringay each month, preferably by checking the year before, so no misunderstandings. All data can be accessed on NHS England and the ONS.gov. site. Hope this helps you, and that you become less fearful and more knowledgeable

diana_holder
diana_holder
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

Andrew probably isn’t in his eighties. So quite likely to be at very low risk from CV19

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Well of course they’re on to something. As the man who almost single-handedly extracted the UK from the EU, and who won the European election in 2019 with a party that was only three months old, Farage is always on to something. He is pretty much the only politician of our time who is capable of being ‘on to something’ because he is pretty much the only politician of our time possessed of any intelligence, vision or integrity.

Despite following politics very closely since the age of eight I have very rarely voted, and never again will I vote for any of the mainstream parties.But I would actually go out and campaign for the Reform Party should it be made real. Actually, I think it should be called the Freedom Party and he should ally with the excellent Laurence Fox.

There are millions upon millions who have had nothing and nobody to vote for – except Brexit – throughout the entire course of their lives. Many or most of those people would vote for Farage.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You should call the Farage, Fox, Freedom Party or FFF for short.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Obi one faragee, your our only hope

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Farage and integrity?
Really?
Farage is your run of the mill populist that excels at BSing but has no policies.
He LOST 7 elections for MP.
He run UKIP and the moment he “retired” UKIP exploded.
Where is UKIP’s plan for Brexit? Not empty words but detailed planning!

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

That’s right Jeremy – integrity.

“He LOST 7 elections for MP.”
So what?

“He run UKIP and the moment he “retired” UKIP exploded”
Er – Because it had achieved its stated aim.

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

UKIP/Brexit Party’s plan for Brexit was ‘clean’ WTO, Australia style deal…what Boris is looking at now.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

No it wasn’t. I am happy to quote Nigel Farage before and during the referendum!

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I assume you’re alluding to the time in 2013 that he said the Norway model would be attractive. So what? In 2016 it was soon clear EEA was not an option and in 2019 as leader of the victorious Brexit Party he campaigned on WTO being the way to go.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

When challenged over the failed promises, the former Ukip leader and prominent Brexit campaigner told Bloomberg that some pledges were “mildly irresponsible”, adding “there were lots of promises ““ lots of ideas get discussed at any election”.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

Exactly.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Your bulls**8 answer the reason uKIp imploded after 2015 is Tory insurgents put their mates up for Constituencies,where the Group worked from nothing from 1996 &after..like Corbyn &blair did for Labour put your mates up &if they fail put them in the Sclerotic lords…..EU WILl Implode very soon…

pagaris
pagaris
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

It’s the policies that are the problem. The one thing politicians and governments need to do is get out of our lives.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Laurence Fox REclaim party is also vying for Right&Centre votes &SDP has sound policies on brexit &manufacturing ..Independents..

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fraser, I mirror your words 100%, and just reading your words has set me off emotionally.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I’m in.

artifacts
artifacts
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fraser bailey, beautifully stated, with you 100% and very glad we are on the same side

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘People who respond most to the care/harm axis, Haidt finds, are almost definitionally those on the Left. These are the people most likely to claim that even one single life lost is a tragedy.’

Funny how ‘those on the Left’ don’t seem to care about the millions of lives lost in the gulags, prison camps and killing fields of Siberia, China and Cambodia etc. These people perfectly embody Stalin’s observation that: “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.”

voodoopolitics
voodoopolitics
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If you shorten it down to phrase, that would make a most excellent meme.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

‘don’t seem to care’ – How many left-voting straw men did you just mow down there Fraser? You’ve got a lot of straw blood on your own hands.

diana_holder
diana_holder
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

When Labour is full of ignorant people crowing about how they are “Literally a Communist” and a degree in Political Studies of any flavour somehow, when the academics talk about communism, skates past all that embarrassing and drearily, endlessly repeated failure, oppression and starvation. . . That pretty much is a perfect definition of “those on the left don’t seem to care”. Assuming you’re on the left, I am not surprised by your comments.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  diana_holder

Ahh, but in each of those regimes “it wasn’t real communism”, and anyway, They’ll get it right “next time”.

artifacts
artifacts
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Brilliant response to the left

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

I admit I too was trusting of the government’s, albeit overcautious, initial response with the first lockdown based on the simple fact that this was a potentially catastrophic novel disease that we were not, and could not really have been, geared up for, and fiercely difficult decisions had to be made in haste.

As the facts changed, or more accurately ’emerged’, I should say, that this was a disease that was predominantly singling out groups of a certain demographic and usually with certain clearly identified and identifiable comorbidities, I naively assumed that any sane rational government worth its salt’s mind and approach would change to reflect this given the far, far wider, greater long-term social and economic costs of pursuing such folly.

Unfortunately, this has proven proven not to be the case.

Worse even, it has chosen to double down on its ‘mass killing, plague like’ narrative that it and a good many of us now know to be demonstrably false.

I don’t blame the vast trusting majority of those who still believe that the government has been acting in good faith all along not least because even contemplating the alternative is for them, given the emotional investment and sacrifices made to date, seemingly far worse, but this almighty turkey will inevitably come home to roost in the earlier part of next year and the more people who wake up to it, sooner rather than later, the better that will be.

stevedford
stevedford
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

well said!

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stevedford

Indeed. Good to hear some balanced opinion amid the vitriol.

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

My hatred for the Liberal elite and political class grows daily. Betrayal after betrayal, I just want to hurt them back. A vote for Farage is all I have.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

And yet millions of your fellow citizens vote for the Liberal elite…crazy right?

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Because they control all the main parties.
The MPs from all the main parties are pretty much interchangeable.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Not really crazy.
Many people would have bought the scare stories – pumped out 24/7 for months by the government and media – that not being in the EU would send the country back to the stone age, and also would not be that interested in the abstract concepts of freedom and democracy.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Daily Mail, Sun, Express, DT, Spectator are the pinnacle of journalistic excellence.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Doesn’t matter who they vote for, they always get the “Liberal elite”. The last election is a perfect example… Boris pretended to be Farage-lite, but frankly I can’t imagine the Labour Party would have behaved any differently, had they won instead.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

Brilliant. Total honesty from someone at last. There is no rationale for Brexit, there never was. “I just want to hurt them”.

Well done, you did it Dave, in spades. You should get that bullet wound in your foot checked though, it’s looking pretty gangerous.

the77driver
the77driver
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

And where did he mention Brexit except in your fevered imagination?

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  the77driver

Farage’s pony only ever had 1 trick

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Single-handedly extracting the UK from the EU was quite a trick. I look forward to his next trick.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I was Anti-common market (1972)long b4 Mr Farage came on the scene in 1993,from Anti-federalist alliance, tony benn,Eric heffer, Left of labour party,Most Unions, TUC & most Farmers certainly were..

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Good for you. You turned out to be right and yes, to be anti-EU was once a left-wing stance. I was always very pro-EEC/EU, then about 15 years their anti-democratic, pro-big business nature became apparent to me.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Dave didn’t say” I just want to hurt them” He said ” I just want to hurt them back” There’s a difference

I B
I B
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Only if you have useful grounds to think they have hurt you. Which I rather doubt.

Lizzie Scott
Lizzie Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Kev, his name is David.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

or Independents, SDP …

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

That is a great point David. We have been left voiceless.

Will D. Mann
Will D. Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

As has been observed elsewhere, “This government is hurting the wrong people”!

Mark Melvin
Mark Melvin
3 years ago

First of all I am glad there’s a Southend boy, like me, out there and writing interesting pieces like this. Good for you Gavin. Keep it up. I’m glad you made the point that Southend whilst being a safe Conservative seat and solidly voted leave, not mutually exclusive at all, but you missed the bit about the fact that we are small c conservatives too, looked down upon by the townies, patronised as being ‘Essex boys’ or ‘Dorises’ — in my day, girls in white shoes/handbags were called Dorises — and that in all likelihood have more in common with the red wall constituencies than people think. Salt of the earth, in fact. But then again I am biased.

Simon Bond
Simon Bond
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Melvin

Take a look out to sea from Southend, and you’ll see North Kent – neither Saxon nor Norman but Jute… There’s a reason why the Kentish emblem is Invicta (undefeated) – even the Normans found it easier not to subjugate those awkward Jutes.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Bond

The jingoism always surprises me from a race of people who are a mix of French, German and Danish.

Penny Gallagher
Penny Gallagher
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

And Celt.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Given that the native people of this land were invaded, subjugated and in many cases butchered by conquerors from all those countries, I’m always surprised that pro-EU types bring this up repeatedly as if its a good thing.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Bond

Well this government has just defeated them with the weapon of Tier 3. The Normans should have tried that.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

LOL

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Melvin

“Sharons” in my day. 🙂

JohnW
JohnW
3 years ago

If the ‘one single life lost’ were that of a middle-aged, white, working class male from Southend, the Guardian would run the story in their Entertainments section.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I have just heard that this wicked, wicked government has granted Pfizer legal indemnity with regard to their vaccine. Thus, if the vaccine has harmful side effects you will not be able to sue Pfizer.

This is utterly terrifying, and something that Farage needs to start talking about. It would win him a lot more support.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

This is the start of the great Vaccine Fiasco.
(VF). Prior to this Pfizer’s main claim to fame was the production of Viagra was it not?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Be careful, I have just had the irate Censor pounce on my reply suggesting that the Vaccine campaign may have problems.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I’ve just had a knock on the door…

But yes, you are right, we are no longer free and the UK is no better than China. Arguably it is worse, because most of China never really locked down beyond Wuhan, and it came out of any lockdowns months ago. Their economy has grown this year, while politicians across the West have destroyed their economies along with any semblance of freedom.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

UK is no better than China? really?!
Are you on crack?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I exaggerate but the direction of travel, across the West, seems to be clear. The freedoms lost during the last year are unlikely to be regained. The EU sees China not as a threat but as a model to be emulated. US citizens are subject to the Patriot Act and various other 1984-style intrusions on their liberty. And I could go on.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Wokesmen on BBC,ITV,ch4,ch5 ”4 legs good two bad?” No logical debates or Arguments,just spacious models,like ”Climate” Volcanoes,Solar flares affect climate..but CO2 ..not

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“The EU sees China not as a threat but as a model to be emulated”
Utterly absurd

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Don’t you think we might learn something from China in terms of tackling pandemics, then? Seeing as they (and a broad spectrum of societies in Asia) minimised the impact of COVID by adopting effective public health measures. After all, it’s not as if we aren’t going to get any more pandemics. And there’s no guarantee the next one will cause less mortality.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Davis

It may well be the case that we could learn lessons from the Chinese in this regard, but I very much doubt that our politicians or public health authorities will learn them. Never forget that anything the British state touches or attempts to do will turn to crap.

Instead, our governments will learn that they can lock us in our homes and destroy our businesses and freedoms with impunity.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

North Korea just executed by firing squad someone who violated covid rules. Maybe we could learn from them. Be sort of like copying China only less subtle.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Davis

China lies ,fallen for by Western media.. I think they had had probably 100x 1,500 deaths from SARS2 ,whether released on purpose or accidentally.?

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Davis

Vietnam, 0.3 deaths per million, same as Taiwan. China, Korea, Japan, the region, 3 or less per million, the West, 600-900

They have the ‘Black Matter Immunity’ which is the thing other than antibodies which make covid harmless to them, like the Native Americans wiped out by harmless Old World diseases.

Prana
Prana
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You are correct. This applies to ALL the pharma co’s manufacturing a vaccine. It was put in place before they even started work on it.

In the US it is already the case that vaccine manufacturers are exempt of legal recourse for any harm caused – instead, there is a multi-billion dollar fund run by the US govt. that people apply to when they experience health problems post-vaccination. Details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wi….

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes and look up narcolepsy from the H1N1 vaccine a few years back. It’s even on the Guardian.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

Well that narcolepsy was probably people reading Polly Toynbee, not the H1N1 vaccine.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That is completely true. Same in the US but the FDA, unlike our bods are yet to grant approval.
I understand but cannot definitely confirm that the EU does NOT intend to waive legal indemnity.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I don’t know whether this means you cannot sue them or whether the government is committed to re-imbursing them should they be sued, but then you have a government agency, the Legal Aid Agency, as gate-keeper to the courts so it is very unlikely you would get there. It has happened before with Pluserix and Pandemrix. They collapsed the Pluserix litigation (the GSK MMR version from 1988-92 ) and Pandemrix never got off the ground. They’ve been stitching these things up for years. Not a vaccine but the Brown government closed the Vioxx litigation in spite of the successful prosecutions in the US.

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Don’t accept their rushed, unproven vaccine. No point in allowing our already overpaid, in hiding GPs to ‘earn’ £12.58 per shot. Which will probably be administered by their nurses. Do bear in mind the main beneficiaries will be Pfizer shareholders.

Tom Adams
Tom Adams
3 years ago

But it isn’t just about CV. Pretty much everything this government is doing or proposing could’ve come from the mind of a woke schoolchild. There’s a massive gap in the electoral market for the taking.

Matt K
Matt K
3 years ago

It’s always been far bigger than leave or remain, I’d even go so far as to say we are evolving into two separate psychological species. It’s people that want freedom or people that want safety and it can’t really continue for much longer.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt K

Who wants freedom and who wants safety?

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

People who vote for safety always lose both safety and freedom.

stevedford
stevedford
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt K

This is an excellent article apart from one major point – I and most of my friends that are anti the lockdown with their out dated or plain incorrect “science” all voted “Remain”. I didnt vote remain because I want “safe”, it’s because I am not a “little englander” and I was never able to get a lucid explanation as to why it is a good idea. All i got was “sovereignty and immigration” , both nonsense. So, no, its not down the Brexit line at all. In my experience it’s the opposite.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  stevedford

You didn’t find “fish and bendy bananas” a compelling argument then?

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt K

You’re right, it’s psychological.

Either you fear you are a racist and attempt to ‘cancel’ that part of yourself, pushing it further and further into the unconscious, where it grows in the unknown into an even bigger demon that you ‘see’ reflected everywhere; or you don’t.

And if you don’t have that hang-up, well done, you’ve got your big-boy trousers on.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Wilkinson

Unpack that a little further.

‘Either you fear you are a racist, so you push it down and it becomes all you see etc.’ Ok I can see that.

Or.. what? You’re not a racist and happily go about your life , never having any racist thoughts at all ? More of a stretch that one

Or option 3 – you claim to be in no way racist, but your actions and words show it’s obviously denial and lies.

Then there’s option 4 – where you say, fvck it and join the National Front

Which one is supposedly the big-boy ?

(There is an option 5, but I’ll see if you can figure it out for yourself)

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

That we are supposed to pretend that all people are the same Tabula rasa and only our racism spots the difference between groups is not reasonable. Just Google IQ by Nation, it will likely be just what you expect if you have been around a great deal.

The Indian/African diaspora which gave Preti Patel to UK includes 2 million of the most successful immigrants ever. It is not just by chance. Also this is why Preti wants 2 million Hong Kong to migrate, they have the highest IQ by nation-state in the world. (by group the Sephardic Jews have the world’s highest IQ, and if you look at Nobel Prizes won by this tiny group it is Unbelievable)!

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

The majority of racists I see are those middle class tossers virtue signalling from their almost exclusively white enclaves about how the colour of our skin is probably the most important thing about us.

Us working class people of all shades have been mixing to varying degrees since at least the 50’s. Now that the middle classes have discovered another stick to beat the working class with – like the pub bore, we’ve all got to hear about it.

Bill Eaton
Bill Eaton
3 years ago

Reform UK might well get traction from the anti lockdown movement but its appeal and therefore its potential to thrive beyond covid lies in the belief among an increasing number of people that Johnson’s Conservatives are proving to be a huge letdown in areas such as culture, immigration and climate change. People observe that climate change and BLM protests plus the recent one outside the French embassy are all allowed to go ahead freely notwithstanding covid restrictions but all protests against lockdown are met with a very robust police response. This, I believe, is why Johnson is likely to stand firm on Brexit, it’s his one hope of retaining support from at least some of the Brexiteers.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Eaton

The cops kneeling cannot be erased.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
3 years ago

If Boris is too generous in the Brexit negotiations and Nigel Farage cranks up his Reform Party the Red Wall will move to Reform rather than revert to Labour.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

To do what?
Brexit will be done, virus (assuming the vaccination process works out) will be brought under control and the next election 4 years away.
Farage is a master BSer (a very English specialty) but he has no workable policies.
So he will BS on talk radio.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Why are you so scared of him?

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

To provide a true alternative, to effect change in the main parties, just as he did with UKIP (EU referendum) and the Brexit Party (T May’s resignation). What sort of change this time? Reform the house of Lords, reform the quangocracy, keep taxes lower for a better post-covid recovery, control immigration, fight back against wokism, etc., etc. All relatively low-hanging fruit that LabCon currently ignore.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

“keep taxes lower for a better post-covid recovery”
LOL,
Have you bothered to look at the country’s financial projections Pre-Covid?

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

LOL indeed – you don’t instigate high taxes if you want to grow an economy.

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

The trade off between the two is not straight forward. The Scandis have done pretty well with among the highest tax rates, as has Germany and Belgium. France, also high, not so well. Algeria has the highest ratio of tax to GDP, and there you have a point.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

Germany, Scandis, Dutch all have higher taxes and more competitive/productive economy.
Only fools repeat the simplistic line about taxation and growth.

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

USA has lower taxes and is the world’s #1 economy. Those countries’ higher taxes and productivity are highly unlikely to be causal.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

I was comparing UK with Germany or Scandinavia (EU membership and all that).
USA is N1 because USA has 320M people. If Switzerland had 320M people It would be N1 in the world.
Again, there is no connection between taxation (see Germany) and productivity levels.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

It is no great paradox – even if we accept the full disease narrative no one a year ago voted for the entire dismantling of the economic/social/political order. By now, apart from about 50 MPs no one is interested in what any of us think – I get the most vacant letters from my MP when I protest. The present Parliament deserves to be on the rubbish heap. We are on a raft floating towards nowhere. The Prime Minister looks like a hangman.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Perhaps people are tiring of the emotional blackmail. Of being told they’re selfish by people who insist on dictating the behavior or others. Maybe they’ve noticed how never before have the movements of healthy people been artificially restricted for the sake of maybe, perhaps, possibly, prevented an asymptomatic person from unknowingly transmitting a virus.

Maybe they’ve noticed how months and months of lockdowns and masks and all the rest are NOT a panacea, and that even those ordering them readily admit that the point is to slow down infections. Slow down. As in let’s see how long we drag out the misery on the masses for the sake of a very few who are overwhelmingly old and unhealthy in the first place. By the way, a lot of the elderly are dying of isolation, in forced separation from family.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago

I never knew anything about the movement stats quoted early in the article, but I somehow instinctively knew that Remainers would veer much more towards lockdown and Brexiteers would be more of the side of taking personal responsibility.
I suspect that lockdown supporters are generally much more what you might describe as ‘woke’.
Meanwhile Euromomo website just published this weeks all cause mortality stats for EU states an hour or so ago.
For week 49, the week just ended all cause mortality in the UK is actually lower than it was at the same time in 2018. Go figure.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  John Ottaway

Yes, we have known for some time that the mortality rates for this year will be no different to 2018 and 2019. In fact, the CDC in the US is projecting a mortality rate of 2,769,000 for this year, which is about 80,000 lower than 2018 and 2019. If you allow for all the heart disease deaths, suicides and alcohol related deaths etc caused by the lockdown, that figure would be perhaps 180,000 lower.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

This writer says: “Even as the vaccine’s approval brings the end of the coronavirus within reach.” ER…let me put you in the picture Gavin…it’s not going to end, it isn’t meant to end, the nightmare is only just beginning. The vaccine is NOT needed at all, and never was. We have a virus, just like every other corona flu virus over the last twenty years, that has a mortality rate of 0.14%, and 99.98% of the people who get it, just shake it off. We also see that the average age of those who have supposedly died from it is 82.2 years old. So, this was never about a virus, it’s merely a tool for controlling the behaviour of people, by an out-of-control government.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

An attractive-sounding conspiracy theory. Is that what’s happening in the US, too?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Which of the claims made in that post is false? In the US, the CDC says 94% of those who died did so WITH Covid, not because of it. They were elderly AND had an average of 2-3 other health conditions. You are welcome to discount that as conspiracy, but that requires a tinfoil hat of its own.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

One doesn’t know where to start. The government ignored Covid at first, then reluctantly imposed a lockdown. Our debt has skyrocketed to £2trn. The economy, on which it relies on for revenues, has tanked. If that’s a conspiracy theory, it’s a pretty dumb one. And governments all over the developed world are co-conspirators. Absurd.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

One doesn’t know where to start.
The figures on mortality and who the victims are would have been a reasonable start, but you ignored those completely. Why?

The lockdowns may have slowed transmission, and ‘slowed’ is all they were ever meant to do, but they’ve caused other issues from increases in domestic abuse and suicide to financial ruin. If you want to blame govt for strangling its own goose, I’m with you. But I don’t see the public sector, certainly not in the US, feeling any discomfort over rules it imposes on the rest of us. Meanwhile, we have herds of sheep insisting that masks are the holy grail.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The first lockdown nearly stopped transmission. If there had been an effective test-trace-isolate system, that would have been that.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

No, it didn’t. Rates went down because summer arrived, as always happens with such viruses. Lockdowns simply prolong the time it will take for this thing to do what it’s going to do.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Summer had an effect, and so did the lockdown. Shame about test-trace-isolate.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

if the lockdown was that effective, there would not be calls for more of it. Meantime, the lockdown had a lot of other nasty effects no one wants to discuss for some reason.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Lockdowns do slow transmission. Daily cases fall in lockdowns and rise when lockdowns end. Yes they have nasty effects, but the net effect is probably less nasty overall than letting the virus rip.

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago

Less nasty? Mass unemployment, economic ruin, community isolation and atomisation, mental health issues and suicides sky-rocketing and untreated killers like heart disease and cancers stacking up because the NHS is shut. For a ‘nasty’ virus that is 99.8% harmless.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago

So, in your view then the response was only lacking sufficient police state suppression. Bet you are also a fan of the Chinese model too.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago

The debt doesn’t matter to the government so much, they will just print the money they require. It matter to you and I when we find that inflation has caused us to lose our homes and possessions.

Gosh, I wonder what happens top all those repossessed homes?

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  steve eaton

Gosh, they stay on the banks’ balance sheets as bad debts, until the economy hopefully recovers enough for the bank to sell them in the open market to other families?

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Yes, it was sarcasm Kevin.

So, in other words, they are the property of the wealthy until they can sell them to some other schmuck on a 40 year plan.

Funny how those properties keep getting sold, yet hardly any of them are ever owned by anyone other than the “bank”.

Seems that there is always some downturn, tax issue, reset, death, or black swan event that keeps most from ever paying off those properties. They just keep recycling and the money only goes one way.

Here in the US of course they are just as likely to go to the Federal Government in one of the various schemes designed to spread the losses of the very rich out to the rest of us as taxes while keeping any profit for themselves.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

It has been obvious since March that governments everywhere were using this to control us. To be sure, in doing so they massively increased the debt and destroyed countless business and lives. But these are just ‘side effects’, no different to those that will probably be caused by this completely unnecessary vaccine.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, the government is trying to control us because, if it didn’t, hospitals would overflow and many would die. To say that the government is motivated by the urge to control us, rather than to minimise death, is an absurd conspiracy theory.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Instead of overflow, hospitals in the US furloughed thousands of employees. This meant thousands more patients were effectively denied care and early diagnosis, leading to unnecessary deaths.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Well, that was dumb. Still, the conspiracy theory is absurd.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

The only real truth in the world is conspiracy theories, as they will not tell us what is really going on, and never have really. The problem is knowing which ones to believe in. I tend to favor any which involve Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Dorsy, and Bezos (the 4 horsemen) and especially any with Soros! Other good ones involve the Democrats and Biden/Harris and antifa plus the NWO. I am getting a bit worried Qanon may be kind of shaky though. The vaccine can be injected into any of these above cases for some true sounding conspiracy too.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Macron has just introduced a new law in France making it illegal to film or photograph the police if the intention is to ‘harm the police person’. (Never mind that the police person is probably doing irreparable harm to somebody or other). This is what they are doing to control us.

Fortunately there has been considerable push back in the form of large protests against this law.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Sounds suspiciously ‘left’ and ‘wokey’ Fraser. Maybe we should do something about the police, like defund them?

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Cell Phones! That is the tool of control. I have a government loan (USA,)and am locked out of the site because I have no cell phone and now they require you receive a text and put it in the box after your user name and password have cleared or you are locked out!

I spent hours with help and tech support on my computer generated home phone explaining I refuse to own a cell phone and cannot receive texts – and they just told me I have to get a cell phone somehow. I have then written saying how not using cell phones is part of what is of ultimate importance to me (the definition of religion) and this is covered by the first amendment of the US Constitution (freedom of religion) and they may not compel me to use one. (I do not wish to become a cyborg like you all) – I also will NOT speak to a computer and some phone menus now make you talk to the computer as they have ended the press a number option so they are locking me out too!

Anyway, it appears you now must have a SSN (national number) AND a cell phone to be American! It by stealth is now LAW! You cellphone rabbits do not know how the world is shrinking on the non-cell rebels. I am like a Protestant when Queen Mary took the throne, persecuted for my beliefs (although not that bad, yet)

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

It doesn’t like you need a cell phone to be American. It sounds like you need a cell phone to get hold of a govt loan. They are very cheap and easily available. You don’t have to use it otherwise. You’re happy to waste taxpayer resources dealing with you for hours on your computer.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

GOVERNMENTS EVERYWHERE WERE USING THIS TO CONTROL US.

Fraser, you are by far the most vocal commenter all over Unherd. I don’t agree with a lot of what you say, but at least it’s argued reasonably logically.

This however is a whole other ball of wax. This is deluded conspiracy nonsense. It becomes hard to take you seriously on other points when you come out with this sort of tin-hatted lunacy.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Yes, that is what is happening in the US.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

And who exactly in the US is perpetrating this calumny, and to what specific ends?

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago

See this point right here Jaunty?This is where you made your mistake. If you ask a conspiracist to explain Who and Why , before you know it you’re dragged into the land of Deep State, Pizzagate, fake 9-11, chemtrails, Sandy Hook actors, CIA mind control, flat earth and lizard people. You can’t fight it. The trick is to nod politely and make an excuse to go to the bar.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

NWO and the great reset and to give the developing, Third, and Second world to China.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago

Yes.That is why globalists are called…well…globalists

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

This is misleading. Covid infection fatality ratio is some 10 times that of flu.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Initially, perhaps, as it was a new virus to which the old and/or sick were inevitably extremely vulnerable. But we are now seeing that Covid has displaced the flu as the respiratory killer du jour, so to speak, and deaths from respiratory illnesses are running at about normal for the time of year.

I would suggest that you check out some of the brilliantly analytical videos by the Irish bio chemist Ivor Cummins.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I’m not sure what data you’re using, but the ONS says that more than three times as many deaths were recorded between January and August this year, where COVID-19 was the underlying cause, compared to deaths from influenza and pneumonia.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

That’s because Covid was already usurping the flu, so to speak. Overall there will be very few, if any, excess deaths this year. The excessive deaths may well arrive over the next couple of years as people die from cancers etc that were not addressed early due to the lockdowns.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If the real world was true to Cummins modelling, the collapse of the Lombardy healthcare system could not have happened. It did happen. The army were called in to move the coffins.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

There was a long and detailed article in the loonie left-wing New Statesman a few months ago comparing the response to Covid in the health systems of Lombardy and neighbouring Veneto.

As I remember it, and put simply, Veneto found ways to keep people with Covid out of hospital. Their death rates were much lower despite, roughly, the same number of cases. If you want to save lives, keep people out of hospitals, particularly NHS hospitals.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Lombardy was the canary in the coal mine for Italy and Europe. Lombardy hospitals were TV news fast, all the neighbouring regions started locking down. Veneto had the heads up. The comparison makes no sense. All of Italy went into lockdown weeks before the UK had the sense to. While Bojo was still shaking hands in hospitals, remember. Cummins fails to understand that this isn’t flu, you fail to see the hole in his argument.

Peter Ian Staker
Peter Ian Staker
3 years ago

The results felt intuitively spot on: Remainers remained at home. Leavers left.

Why intuitively? Maybe people outside of London where people are less crowded together don’t worry as much. Also poorer people seem to be disproportionately affected by the lockdown and are therefore going to be more resentful of it and more likely to rebel against it. Not sure you should be pinning this on people’s ‘care/harm’ scores. With this whole hypothesis it seems like you have started with what ‘intuitively’ feels right and fitted the facts to it and made your own conclusions.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago

People who are terrified of risk and want to eliminate any trace of it from their lives and are happy to surrender any personal freedom to do so = Remainer.

People who depend on the government for their income and not doing work in the real economy = Remainer.

It’s only a hypothesis, but it works for me.

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Well, in that case, I have a flat earth I can sell to you for a modest price.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

Farage’s main problem is that a lot of people can’t stand his personality, even though they mostly agree with what he says (a problem with the way he says it).

He also needs to avoid being single or small collection of issues focused – that was why UKIP and then BREXIT parties became irrelevances. He needs to tap into the exhausted / exasperated middle that has largely lost faith with politicians and politics. An agenda to restore sanity to politics science and society across a broad range of issues, including banishing the woke menace of neo-Marxist Postmodernism back to the dark cloisters of academia from whence it came. Looking to find imperfect but sensible compromise solutions to intractable and complex problems through unbiased science would be a good start too. Looking to narrow, not eliminate, the prosperity gap between individuals by encouraging and enabling redistribution at a local individual level (rich families help poor families) rather than through taxation then distribution from the centre would stand more chance of being acceptable and actually working. And how about having election candidates who were real people who had lived real lives, rather than the self interested career politicians who will tell you whatever you want to hear just to get your vote so they can then do whatever they think is best for people they have never really listened to or understood. But above all being honest rational and realistic.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

‘Farage’s main problem is that a lot of people can’t stand his personality, even though they mostly agree with what he says (a problem with the way he says it).’

Yes, and the same applies to Trump. Thus we are condemned forever to be misgoverned by presentable smooth talkers such as Blair, Obama and Cameron who deliver us endlessly unto disaster, but do it very nicely.

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

But please dont send wokeness back into universites: abolish it completely!

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

The problem with woke is it wants to not only control what we say and do, but also change how we think and what we believe. Ie abolishing the extant system of thought and belief. So just as you can’t fight racism by introducing a mirror image of racism and calling it “white privilege”, you should not try to abolish the thought and belief system behind woke. Let the professors who dreamed this stuff up sit in their dusty studies and have these thoughts, just don’t allow them to infect the wider student population with it and remove it totally from our administrative bureaucracies.

You never know it might one day mature into something that is rational and could have something genuinely good to offer society. The face value principle when woke first started is not bad – be more aware of the impact you have on others. The problem was the real underlying thoughts and beliefs which have now become much clearer were bad. BLM in its original conception was also not bad – not ignoring the black people who suffered tragically at the hands of heavy handed policing in the US. It is what BLM has become driven by the principles of critical race theory that is bad. The idea that we should not dismiss trans gender people as weirdos or perverts is not bad, but the so called trans debate, which is not a real debate at all, has become a horrific monster, which is not doing trans people any favours and indeed is preventing the proper study of gender dysphoria and in turn leading to the unnecessary and permanent mutilation of confused children (mostly young girls).

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

With the ‘stay at home’ data reported in this article I wonder how much of it is down to individual circumstances over any political opinion?

What % of people were able to work from home is a clear one, I expect London has a far higher number of office workers able to work from home and that the better off Londoners escaped to the nasty Brexit voting rural areas.

One could make the equally facetious argument and say that Sars-Cov-2 spread a lot more in London and other heavily remain heavy areas in the spring because they were unwilling to take personal responsibility, wash their hands etc.

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago

Interesting analysis. Two other points worth noting.

First, there is another major issue on which the Parliamentary parties are united, but many in the public disagree: extreme green policy and especially the anti-car campaign. I suspect that Leave voters are also correlated with opposition to anti-car measures; white van drivers and working class old car owners will not like the banning of new petroleum powered cars in 2030 and effectively of diesel in London next year.

Second, there are three PR elections in May next year: for London, Wales, and Scotland. So you don’t need 50% of the vote to gain seats, 10-20% will be enough for a breakthrough, even if vaccines make Covid a dead issue.

Lindsay Gatward
Lindsay Gatward
3 years ago

Farage is the greatest of heroes – Look how he was treated by the MSM, even worse than they treat Trump ,another amazing hero meeting all the requirements of the classics particularly starting as the under dog – So likely that distant history will have Farage as a mythical dragon slayer – When we get back to making movies that are not cover for alphabet zealots then the Brexit story (assuming Boris does not completely cave) will rival any cliff hanger classic with so many close reversals and ironies of efforts to derail that turned out to assist and so many incredibly memorable characters on both sides – Bet it is made anew for each generation – Farage will be legend.

Deryck Hall
Deryck Hall
3 years ago

One of the absurdities of the new lockdown is the interface between Tiers 2 and 3. I live in a Tier 3 area. I can travel for work, educational or medical purposes (all indoor settings) but I’m not allowed to pursue an outdoor activity such as golf or angling where social distancing is easy.

I wrote to my Tory MP about this absurdity ahead of Tuesday’s vote. I’m still waiting for a reply.

Terence Riordan
Terence Riordan
3 years ago

I certainly believe that the appalling incompetence,arrogance and patronising attitude of ALL the political parties has opened the opportunity for the succesful creation of a new more transparent and practiacl party.A party with people who have earned a living outside politics and a wider profile of analytical,business (SME type Business) creative industries and scientific skills.
The Brexit core is the good base as Brexit was driven by people who were unafraid and fed up with being told what to do by faraway politicians aided by UK Poodles.
The same frustrations are clearly visible with senseble/anti lockdown people rather than the “Sheep”
If the present dissaffected Tory MPs could be persuaded to leave the Tories and remain in seat using a Reform or other similar Party Manifesto then the effects of a new party coild achieve a robust reputaion before the next election.
Nigel ,of course, has some very anti vibes with a lot of the electorate so the front facing of the party needs to swing towards Richard Tice or hopefully one of the Disaffected MPs.
Go Nigel and we can have a new scene in poltics with people who can make things happen….please.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
3 years ago

I Joined Nigel’s Brexit Party and voted for him in the last election, but he looks and sounds tired and who wouldn’t be after the rigorous campaigning of the last twenty years? There is also the problem of “events”; Covid, The never ending battles to get Brexit done, the advance of wokery in all social services educational institutions and importantly the media. There is also the small matter of the break-up of the UK and retaining some sort of peace in Ireland. We conservatives are not stupid and realise how fractious these events are, so I fear Nigel, much as I love him is not the way forward. I think it is time for us all to get involved not politically but in a more hands on manner, donate and support free speech, turn out to demonstrations, start forming conservative groups. We must shake ourselves out of our torpor and get involved…..WE have been sold out by our politicians, lied to by our media and broadcasting services, and allowed our children to be indoctrinated by lunatics.
We must bear responsibility for most of what we have allowed to transpire……..God bless Nigel, but it’s time to take action.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

This article assumes that everyone falls into one of two groups: people who are either not working or working from home and obeying all COVID regulations and people who are working outside their homes and breaking the regulations at will. This is not the case. There are many people who are working as normal but who have curtailed their social lives in order to reduce infections. And there are people who support the COVID regulations so that they can stay at home on full pay while breaking the rules socially (see Niall Ferguson).

The real division is between those who have paid no price for lockdown in terms of lost salary and those who either have lost a substantial part or all of their income or who are bending regulations to continue working.

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Good article. The management of the response to covid-19 is an ongoing disaster and the government and advisors have shown themselves to be incompetent. We can hope that Nigel Farage can muster good arguments and help people find voices that can be heard by the government.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
3 years ago

Normally I don’t comment on British politics as an Irish nationalist, but I think that Gavin Haynes is on to something when he cites Kipling’s differentiation between the Saxon and Norman in England. One thing that baffles outsiders about Irish politics is the mutual antipathy between the Irish Republic’s two centre-right parties, Fianna FÃ¥il and Fine Gael, as evident in the current coalition as in decades of opposition since the Civil War. Someone did an analysis of surnames in the two parties just over a decade ago and discovered that there was a preponderance of Gaelic Irish names within Fianna FÃ¥il and Anglo-Norman names in Fine Gael, in both cases out of proportion with the national average in Ireland and the caricature of the average supporter of both parties reflect the caricature of the Gaelic and Norman Irish which goes back centuries. So there could well be an underappreciated political fault-line in England which is much more ancient than 21st Century clashes which bring them out.

Sam Clark
Sam Clark
3 years ago

Two things:

That is not the London in lockdown II that I recognise. My part at least (south – Clapham, Brixton and Streatham) has not felt at all quiet and complicit this time round.The pubs were fullish (though well organised) before lockdown too. Clapham’s pubs remained busy (albeit on the pavement) throughout the lockdown.

In May, was it not possible that London complied as it was one of the major epicenters? That is statistically correct and also feel right – most of us knew people who had covid, many quite seriously and in my mother’s age group (70+) most people knew people who died from it.

I think this overlap between brextiness and anti-lockdown is overplayed. You can be sure the govt focused grouped the hell out of the red wall seats before making their decisions. A good point about the long term impact of the gulf war on public opinion though. See also Corbyn’s election – from which a direct line can be drawn to Blair and the war etc.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Sam Clark

Yes, I call this latest version Mockdown.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
3 years ago

Sorry, I gave up at the first paragraph. Despite the link given going to an unrelated article (does Unherd actually get the internet?) I found Professor Ansell’s study.

The Remain/Leave ratio of an area, Ansell found, could accurately predict its level of lockdown adherence

No, he didn’t. And he didn’t claim that he did, because he’s not an idiot. I’d post a link to it, but I’ve found that comments with links get queued for moderation and never see the light of day. If anyone’s interested, the paper is called “What explains differences in social distancing in the UK?”

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Weeden

From page 1 of the article (the summary):
“This difference in the politics of places, with higher Leave vote correlating with lower levels of distancing, exists across and within all regions of Great Britain”.
Obviously there are questions of correlation and causation.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Nigel Farage is the Pied Piper of the straw poll, a competent overlord of political opportunism. The problem for Mr. Farage is the single issue politicking of Brexit and COVID-19 do not address the lower order issues that they encapsulate such as housing and the NHS. The enchanted post-progressive masses that have followed Farage down his relatively merry path is divided in its desires between the localism of the town halls and a one nation parliament.

The internecine tug of war over constitutional power and the lower order issues that concern the post-progressive constituency would draw in the remaining populace. A salt of the earth mud-slinging melee that would probably have Farage and the aspirational barons seeking the relative safety of the established political estate.

takzula
takzula
3 years ago

The Telegraph’s comments these days are in open Tory revolt.

There’s been massive pledging of support for Farage.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Even Sweden with its easy touch policy has changed course.
I am all for personal responsibility but WE KNOW that people in the end don’t take responsibility for their actions. They blame the other. After all nothing stopped (not EU) the hard working British people to pack up and move for work in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc. Plenty of good paying jobs. Instead they decided to whine about polish farm workers.
If the British people truly felt cheated in 2003/5 they would have swept the board (Labor, Tories) and would have elected the LibDems. But tribalism was strong and the 2 main parties got c.66% of the vote.
LibDems got so many seats because there is a segment of population (i call them Citizens) that are willing to evaluate and vote for parties based on merit. The rest of the country is made of fans (Tory fans, Labor fans and so on).

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

There are lots of Labour fans in London and in the media but I have never met a single Tory fan in real life – just people like me who vote for them (except in 2005) in absolute horror at the alternative.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Good point. Millions of us are probably natural Tories but don’t ever vote for them, or indeed for anyone else.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, it is called tribalism, fandom…but certainly not citizenship.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

People are often ashamed to admit their more selfish motives in public. I’ve met Tory fans though. They usually seen more motivated by anger towards smug liberals, than by constructive policies. But I guess there’s a lesson in that too.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Tories are way too center Left, they are Left of the USA Democrat party of Biden/Harris, who are unrepentant Commies! This is why Farage has a chance of sweeping in.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

‘ …nothing stopped … the hard working British people …’? Europe speaks English, including all the polish farm workers I have met. We do not speak German.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Learn German just like the Poles learned English…
back to hard work

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

An east european has a much bigger incentive to learn English than an english worker has to learn Polish-English is the lingua franca of work,they are generally taught English as a second language precisely becuse of this and the minimum wage in Poland (at current exchange rates) is about £22 per day-say <£3 per hour-+£8 per hour in the UK-

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

Plenty of Eastern Europeans in Germany – especially from the Balkans.
A good paying job in Switzerland surely is better than welfare in Sunderland?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Slobbering Lib-dims when did they have ANY merit,they lied on tuition fees ,which largely gave them 59 mPs((59 too many) in 2010 .by 2015 they were bust flush;.Clegg was on his Way to US Google by 2017..,in 2019 Jo Swinson was not elected pM ,much to her disgust, she never explained £2.5million in her husbands firm from eU aka uK taxpayers coffers…thank goodness they are finito

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I am all for personal responsibility but WE KNOW that people in the end don’t take responsibility for their actions. They blame the other.
isn’t that what you are doing here?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I didn’t vote Tory/Labour in GE2005. Guess who did?

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

How arrogant to say the British people such move abroad for work whilst, in effect, allowing those from elsewhere to take their place in the country in which they have family, possibly property, friends and naturally feel comfortable…absolutely understandable as Britain is where they grew up and to which they have cultural ties.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Pauline Ivison

Yes, working for 2-3 years in St. Anton (Austria) is a horrible crime.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago

The “freedom” advocated in the Faragist camp is really just freedom for the young and fit, who can expect to shake off a case of Covid without much trouble. These people will be free to go about their lives as normal, catching and spreading the virus at will.

For millions who are on the older end of the spectrum, who have other health issues, and for whom hospitalisation and long-term effects of Covid will be life changing, the freedom of the young and fit is a demand to give up their safety and freedom.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I can only assume you have a nice, safe non-job in the public sector or something like that. It should have been possible to protect the genuinely vulnerable while allowing life to go on more or less as normal for everyone else. And you talk about the ‘older end of the spectrum’. Well, the average age of Covid death, as we all know, is older than the average age of overall death. As Trump demonstrated, the vast majority of healthy people up to the age of about 75 will probably recover from Covid. Sure, it’s more problematic over the age of 80, but so are most things.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Dr Lucy Okell, Imperial College, said on 20 October: “Although
the elderly are by far at the highest risk of dying due to COVID-19,
the risk in middle age is still high. For example, we estimate that
around 1 in 260 people aged 50-55 years die if infected.”

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago

How is that? Is someone proposing that everyone MUST go out and mix? Is there something afoot to keep those who wish to cloister themselves from doing so?

No, I didn’t think so. Just more of the same from your tribe. God save us from the “good people”.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  steve eaton

If there are no restrictions, people will rush back to business as usual. People will have to mix if they are to work. Cases skyrocket again.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago

But nobody under 70 votes for Farage. I’m not sure Nigel has thought this one through.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

People like you are constantly saying that only people over 70 voted for Brexit, or Farage, or the Tories. The fact is that Farage would not have got 4 million votes in 2015, or won the European elections, had h relied on the votes of the over 70s. Nor would we have had Brexit, or an 80-seat Tory majority, had those outcomes depended on the votes of the over 70s.

I expect you are only 16, but if this is your level of analysis I suggest you cease debating with people who are far better informed and much better read than yourself.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Look at the stats on Leave/Remain voters graphed by age. It’s a 45 degree line, a near perfect correlation. The old voted for Brexit, the youth for remain. No question. It’s an extra cruel blow for the young given that a decade into Brexit, most of the Brexiteers will have popped their clogs, leaving the kids to pick us the mess. Taking an optimistic longer view, I expect the UK to reapply for EU membership maybe early 2030s.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Nobody is disputing that, in general, older people voted for Brexit and for the Tories. As Matthew Goodwin has demonstrated, people become 0.38% more conservative with each year that they grow older. This might not apply to Millennials, although it may well do so when they inherit their parents’ properly wealth.

But to say that nobody under 70 votes for Farage, or the Tories, is plainly wrong.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

Grifters gotta grift. Farage will have zero effect on this issue. It will go away within the next 6 months with the arrival and distribution of vaccines. There is not time to build a political movement around it. But it will keep him in the public eye and keep the cash flowing in.

Edit: Only 6? C’mon guys – Nigel needs you.