A frequently overlooked fact about COVID-19 lockdowns is that they don't actually originate from either Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock or even SAGE. Rather, they were first developed and implemented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Wuhan; with the aid of some highly manipulated statistics (even by SAGE's standards) and propaganda, the CCP convinced the UK and many other countries to follow suit (and bullied Sweden who didn't). Indeed, coverage by NTD TV shows a remarkable similarity between the measures implemented by the CCP and those we experience:
It is therefore not surprising to read that Neil Ferguson ('Professor Lockdown') was inspired by China when advocating a lockdown here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/people-don-t-agree-with-lockdown-and-try-to-undermine-the-scientists-gnms7mp98 This inspiration is unjustified as, whilst the CCP may be more effective at manipulating their published figures than most, evidence captured by NTD TV indicates that lockdowns have been just as ineffective at controlling the spread of COVID-19 in China as they have elsewhere.
Sadly Professor Lockdown is not alone in his admiration for the CCP. Most of the university’s from which the most vociferous lockdown proponents hail proudly boast of their links with authoritarian China:
Presumably, in accepting lucrative Chinese students and research grants, academics and health officials are content to turn a blind eye to forced-organ harvesting, enslavement of the Uighurs, annexing of Tibet, oppression of democracy in Hong Kong, intellectual property theft, suppression of academic freedoms, mass surveillance, militarisation of the South China Sea, the ‘Great Leap Forward’ and Tiananmen Square.
The problem of CCP influence in democratic societies is well documented in Clive Hamilton's excellent book 'Hidden Hand' and I think helps understand the current shift to authoritarianism in our own society, why combating it has been so difficult yet and why doing so is more important than ever.