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Covid lockdown was ‘COMPLETE FAILURE of government’


It's not just us who think and say it...The Government had no right to impose a lockdown during the Covid pandemic and embarked on “radical experiment with human life” without Parliamentary scrutiny, according to former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption.

In a blistering attack he said: “The National Audit Office, last July, gave us fairly up to date estimates of the costs of the lockdown. They put the cost to the Government at £376 billion. That's an enormous sum.

“It's by far the biggest contributor to our current financial crisis. That's fair to say that some part of that £376 billion pounds would have been incurred even if we hadn't locked people down.

“About a quarter of it, a bit less than a quarter, has been spent, for example, on improving health services, but the greater part wouldn’t have been incurred, it would have been avoided if we hadn't locked people down.

“This is an example, it's the most dramatic example, of what Rishi Sunak said in an interview in the Spectator a few weeks ago when he pointed out the complete failure of the Government even to consider the collateral costs of lockdown before making the decision. There never was a cost benefit analysis, in spite of voices like Sunak’s own.

“You really can't embark on a radical experiment with human life like this without actually working out the consequences.”

He continued: “When you look at the balance of factors, I don't think there was ever the slightest prospect, even in an age of human rights, that the courts were going to take over the Government's function in measuring the consequences

“The really critical issue was whether the Government had the power to do these things at all without any effective parliamentary supervision.

“My view is that they did not. They should have used an Emergency Powers Act called the Civil Contingencies Act, which would have enabled Parliament to control the basis on which this was continuing, and how long it was continuing, and on what terms.

“They didn't do that. The courts, I think, shamefully failed to intervene to make them.”

He added: “In other countries courts did intervene. The Spanish courts famously said, you can't do something as serious as this without using emergency powers that give the parliament the right to supervise at every stage. Our courts did not do the same.

“The French courts intervened repeatedly. They had a fast track process to knock down any excessive measures taken by the government, which they used several times. The German courts stood up for the right of protests, ours did not.

“The deafening silence of the human rights lobby in the face of this really is quite remarkable.”

Lord Sumption also said: “To my mind, the biggest governmental failure on this was the refusal of the Government to consider most of the relevant factors. And it was a refusal, it wasn't just carelessness, as Rishi Sunak has made clear, the official line was not even to recognise that the collateral costs were there, let alone that they were serious.”