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The effect of overbearing police will last far longer than coronavirus

Britons understand that curbs to freedom are temporary, but won’t stand for them lasting a second longer than they have to, writes Benedict Spence

Saturday 28 March 2020 15:59 GMT
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Police at a vehicle checkpoint in York where officers from North Yorkshire Police were ensuring that motorists and their passengers are complying with government restrictions on 26 March
Police at a vehicle checkpoint in York where officers from North Yorkshire Police were ensuring that motorists and their passengers are complying with government restrictions on 26 March (PA)

Everyone knows that in a time of crisis, extraordinary measures, and extraordinary sacrifices, must be made for the good of all.

We in the UK have a knee-jerk response of invoking the “blitz spirit” when faced with the prospect of hardship. The government’s gradual introduction of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in this country is a good example. In the age of Brexit – of greater personal autonomy and responsibility, away from big government – Downing Street has introduced more draconian measures than any other administration in peace time. The response? The Tories are polling at 54 per cent – their highest level of approval in living memory.

People understand that curbs on their liberty are necessary to protect the vulnerable in society. This is positive, especially as so many have spent the past decade decrying just how cruel the UK is to that cohort. It flies in the face of the narrative when such a freedom-loving bunch are prepared to happily shelve their immediate futures for the good of all.

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