© UnknownLocked down, locked in
The second and third Covid lockdowns were the biggest ever mistake made by a British Government in peacetime, Nigel Farage has said. The Telegraph has the story.
The Reform U.K. leader was speaking to 1,000 people at the Rainton Arena which is in the constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South, currently represented by Labour's Bridget Phillipson.

Mr. Farage told the rally:
"The Tories say we're in economic trouble because of the pandemic. But hang on, you didn't need to lock us down for a second and a third time.

"You didn't need to take away our freedoms in a way that weren't even done during World War Two and all of it with Labour support.

"I actually believe the long-term economic and psychological damage from lockdowns two and three perhaps represents the biggest mistake any British government, supported by the opposition, has ever made in peacetime."
He went on to say he treated the second and third lockdowns with "contempt".
It's about time someone in this election drew attention to the proverbial pachyderm behind many of the country's current woes, from NHS waiting lists to the mountainous debt, record tax levels and sky-high welfare bill stemming in part from a degraded work ethic.

What about the first lockdown though - the most extreme of the three, without which the later ones could not have happened? That one, of course, Farage supported at the time, saying he was "delighted when the Government performed its dramatic U-turn a few weeks ago and moved away from a herd immunity strategy" - and it's notable that he still doesn't appear willing to admit he was wrong to do so. Presumably this would be because 'we didn't know' so did it 'just in case', given the scary modelling etc. As longstanding readers of this site know, this is false: we did know at the time. The truth about Covid was obvious as soon as the Diamond Princess outbreak dissipated with few deaths even among the old by the end of February 2020, if not sooner.

But even if we didn't know at the time, we certainly do now. So, why not say that with hindsight (at least) the first lockdown was also a huge mistake? And does the fact that Farage didn't do this mean he is still unwilling to accept that lockdowns are wrong in principle - that they're no way to deal with a potential public health crisis, first because they don't work, and second because even if they did, the harm to human freedoms and welfare could never be worth it.

Perhaps he is hedging because he's a deft politician who knows that condemnation of the later lockdowns is likely to sell better with the public, many of whom will still feel that in the panic of March 2020 everyone was doing the best they could. Maybe privately he would agree that the first was just as bad or worse. But in terms of reassurance that a Prime Minister Farage wouldn't be willing to lock down the country next time Neil Ferguson rocks up with his latest mathematical model predicting a gazillion dead by Friday, it would be good to hear him renounce 2020's fateful lockdownism entirely.