The left-wingers who love the police state

The same people who called the Tories ‘hard right’ are relishing the government’s lockdown.


Topics Politics UK

Just a few months ago, prominent left-wingers were on the streets protesting against what they saw as Britain’s ‘hard right’ and ‘authoritarian’ Tory government, which had supposedly seized power in a ‘coup’. During the election, they warned voters not to back the ‘extreme Tory right’.

In the words of Guardian columnist Owen Jones, Boris Johnson ‘has appointed the most hard-right government in modern times, an administration which threatens our hard-won rights and freedoms. Don’t underestimate this menace, and prepare to fight.’

So when that ‘hard-right’ government announced a full-scale lockdown of society last night, demolishing those ‘hard-won freedoms’ by effectively placing over 66million Britons under house arrest, you might have expected a flicker of resistance, or at least concern about how these measures might be exploited, from the millennial left.

Clearly, extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. The Covid-19 crisis is undeniably a major emergency. But, as many of these lefties correctly argued, prior to the lockdown, debate over the government’s handling of the crisis is necessary.

The problem is that these left-wingers, in tandem with the mainstream media, have been at the forefront of demanding ever-more repressive state crackdowns. And so when the lockdown eventually arrived, Jones was ‘relieved’.

A number of lefties, including Paul Mason, former spad James Meadway, and the Guardian’s Aditya Chakrabortty, were also pleased to be locked down by our supposedly hard-right government. Chakrabortty wondered whether – thanks to police cuts by the hard-right government – there would be enough officers to enforce it strictly.

Novara Media’s Ash Sarkar was disappointed by the laxness of the lockdown. The rule banning public gatherings of more than two people should be tightened – all public contact should be banned, she said.

Perhaps if these left-wingers really believed we were being governed by a hard-right administration, they would be a bit more concerned about the authoritarian powers which it is accruing.

Picture by: Getty.

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Ian Townson

3rd April 2020 at 9:44 am

Owen Jones wrote two pretty good books: ‘Chavs’ and ‘The Establishment’. The first showing the degrading way in which working class people are portrayed in the media and the second exposing the ruling class revolving door between the political elite, corporations and banks and how they maintain class rule. Not bad for a whimpy ‘snowflake’ (an alt-right term for people who are principled enough to care about what happens to others). Like any journalist his views are sometimes inconsistent which is a thousand times better then being frigid and dogmatic. He does not support China as someone suggested. He has consistently attacked the Chinese regime for its treatment of the Uighar people and fully supports the uprising in Hong Kong against the imposition of Chinese rule. Owen Jones isn’t the only person to agree with the measures taken by this government to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The vast majority of the British people also agree and are fully compliant. Presumably some people here think this is wrong? What this has led to is an amazing display of social solidarity with people setting up whatsapp/facebook groups etc. to look after their neighbours who may be self-isolating and in need of help. I really enjoy each Thursday the display of solidarity from many thousands of people who stand outside their homes and clap, cheer and bang pots and pans for all out NHS workers, bin workers, fire fighters and carers who are sefllessly combatting this virus.
Yes, of course, the lockdown may well put democracy and free movement in danger. That is why we must be vigilant to make sure that the Emergency Powers are reviewed at regular intervals (each month, not 6 months!) with a clear view to rescinding them altogether once the crisis has ended.


25th March 2020 at 1:13 pm

BON says nothing about the violent attack perpetrated against Jones by homophobic cowards. Owen Jones certainly has a lot more spine and b alls than the anonymous imbeciles who attack him because he dared to express a view different from theirs. He is undoubtedly more of a man than the gutless BON who enjoys throwing figurative hand grenades into children’s birthday parties while running away laughing. I fail to see what BON contributes to the national debate.

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