A small prediction
July 16, 2021
Or two. First, that the Medical Industrial Complex is going to push its agenda to the maximum in the U.K. ahead of the much delayed ‘dropping of restrictions’ on Monday. Second that the opinion polls will be wrong. Again.
The propaganda machine is being cranked up to full volume as we head into the weekend with deliberate uncertainty being thrown at the travel industry via the, frankly incomprehensible, ‘traffic lights’ system while the incompetent track and trace system seems to have ‘coincidentally’ been tuned to ‘ping’ almost anyone and everyone. Meanwhile the UK continues to test more people on a daily basis than the whole of the rest of Europe combined. Moreover not only the private sector contractors but also the police appear to be turning up on doorsteps to ensure ‘compliance’ even when, as with track and trace, self isolation it is not actually a legal requirement. Anyone might think that some people don’t want the ‘crisis’ to end.
However, we suspect that this is the last hurrah of the officious state. Sure, we were premature in declaring that logic was coming home and Sajid Javid seems to have been ‘got at’ by the legion of permanent secretaries, but what matters is that, from Monday, almost none of the restrictions will be legally enforceable and this is where we get to our second prediction, that the YouGov(e) polls that appear to be running U.K. government policy fundamentally mis-represent the situation, in particular with respect to the public’s true view on the wearing of masks.
The Daily Telegraph published an article citing a YouGov(e) poll stating that 70% of the sample of around 2000 people said they would continue to wear masks. This is from the same polling company that said 80% of people wanted school pupils to wear masks all day – so clearly a sample with no children of their own. The paper however also had its own online poll of 12000 people (ie 6x the size) where 80% said they would never wear a mask again. A huge discrepancy. Sure, the Telegraph sample is skewed, but so quite clearly is the YouGov(e) poll. Or more pertinently its questions.
What is most likely, in our opinion, is that once it is no longer a legal requirement the silent majority will abandon them within days. A non scientific sample here in the Greek islands (where there is almost zero Covid and certainly no deaths but from where it will cost me over 250 pounds a head in pointless tests in order to return home to the UK, whereupon, though fully vaccinated I will have to isolate for 10 days) is that 90% or more of visitors are maskless and that only a tiny minority of shops (and no restaurants) require you to wear them. A few people (seemingly mainly German and American ) wear them everywhere, inside and out and that is their prerogative, but they are not able, or indeed wanting, to insist everyone else does so too. The truth is that there was never any scientific evidence to support introduction of compulsory mask wearing beyond a vague notion of ‘common sense’, governments seemingly adopting the requirement that the public have to prove that new policies don’t work, rather than ministers having to prove that they do. Indeed, in the US, looking at a series of graphs of infections in states with and without mask mandates it is, quite literally, impossible to tell which is which. Once gone, it will be difficult to pull off the same trick again.
The UK government is ‘encouraging’ businesses to continue with restrictions, but this is going to be an exercise in market economics. Consumer choice, rather than skewed opinion polls, is going to show where the majority of public opinion really lies.