Today, Tony Blair blasted the Government’s coronavirus policies, stating that the 14-day quarantine was too long, another nationwide lockdown is impossible, and that Ministers have been overreliant on experts.
Mr Blair said that another nationwide lockdown would not be possible, adding that it would not be credible for the Government to repeat their – in my view tyrannical – measures put in place back in March.
He said that the British public must learn to “live with” coronavirus and that imposing further so-called local lockdowns is not the way forwards. He suggested that Ministers should take a more “sensible” and realistic approach in the future.
Mr Blair also criticised the Government’s quarantine rules for anyone returning to the UK; saying that the period of self-isolation should be cut “substantially”.
Continuing, he said that Ministers had been over-reliant on experts during the crisis. Mr Blair said that the Government needed to recognise “where the science ends and judgements begin”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said: “I just don’t think you are going to be able to do that and I think it was hard enough to do the first lockdown”.
“The economic consequences of that are obviously devastating but if you think about doing that in the winter months I just think it is not credible, it is not possible to do”.
“If you track what is happening around the world today I think countries are moving in the direction of this mass testing”. The Government must “change the way it calculates risk”.
Mr Johnson has not ruled out a second nationwide lockdown should there be a second significant spike in cases. The Government has faced criticism by their own MP’s for not ruling out this possibility and several have called for the rules to be relaxed further.
The former Labour Prime Minister said, “in every single aspect of this, once you realise you are not going to eradicate the disease, you are going to have to contain it and live with it at least until a vaccine comes”.
“In the end, the important thing when you are in Government and officials are giving you advice, is the hardest thing is sometimes not finding the answers but finding the right questions”.
“You have got to interrogate the officials properly and I think what has happened is that too much of this has just been, as it were, accepted without really trying to get underneath and into the details of what people are suggesting so you understand where the science ends and judgements begin”.
It is this last piece that Mr Blair said that I agree with most of all. The Government, since the start of the lockdown period, has said that all of their coronavirus advice, guidelines and laws have been based entirely on ‘the science’.
This should not have happened. Science should be factored in of course, but some common sense and rational thinking shouldn’t have gone amiss.
As Mr Blair says, we have to live with this virus. Locking down – even the first time around – would’ve done more harm than good in the long run.
The reaction to coronavirus was a knee-jerk, over-exaggerated, mass-panic abomination caused by media deception and government hysteria.
A £350bn spending spree in the name of ‘relief’, three and a half thousand u-turns, and a recession later – the government still think they have done a good job. They have lost nearly all of their credibility.
Finally, I agree with Mr Blair on something.