Dan Wootton: I want an informed national debate about lockdowns - the public deserves transparency

Rishi Sunak needs to put his foot down and get people back to work

Published Last updated

It’s shocking to me just how triggered much of the media and political class are the moment someone like me questions the efficacy of lockdowns.

Before March 2020 they were not considered the right way to deal with a pandemic.

Back then, I reluctantly supported the introduction of what’s now known as a “circuit breaker” for just three weeks to “save the NHS”.

But how I regret that decision.

With our liberty gone and public health campaigns used to terrify the masses, lockdowns are now the go to method for dealing with this outbreak.

So given the public’s surprising tolerance for such measures, could they be used for other things?

That’s a question The Sun’s veteran associate editor and columnist Trevor Kavanagh poses today.

In a column, he writes: “If lockdown becomes a routine response to infectious disease, can we ever return to life as we knew it 18 months ago?

“And will Downing Street really scrap the draconian State of Emergency rules after enjoying unlimited power over every aspect of our private and public lives?

“It is tempting to wonder if there is a secret political agenda, a link between lockdown and the Government’s drastic zero emissions green agenda.

“Will we be allowed to fly to every corner of the world again? Will cars become an increasingly expensive luxury?

“Such conspiracy theories never seriously crossed our minds. Until last night.”

I’m sure there will be the usual suspects who brand him a threat to public health for asking these questions.

But all I’m wanting is an informed national debate about lockdowns.

Remember there hasn’t even been a serious cost benefit analysis done.

The public deserves transparency.

Perhaps one of the reasons lockdowns have become popular is because people just love to work from home.

That’s certainly the suggestion of data released today by the ONS showing 85% of adults want to stay working remotely for at least some of the week.

The problem is working from home will also cause devastating collateral damage.

To our cities. To local businesses that rely on commuters.

And to our productivity.

Tell me honestly you get as much done working at home with Loose Women on in the background while doing the washing up?!

And what about businesses who realise staff can effectively work from home.

What’s to stop those jobs being sent offshore to somewhere like India where labour costs are a fraction of what they are here?

Rishi Sunak needs to put his foot down and get people back to work.

And just your nightly reminder that, despite the government’s dither and delay, the vaccines work.

Latest Public Health England figures show Pfizer is 96% effective against hospitalisation after two jabs, while Oxford AstraZeneca is 92% effective.

These are incredible numbers. Don’t forget it.