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Tuesday 18 October 2022

Boris versus the NEU: The Second Lockdown Explained

[What follows is an excerpt; the full essay is available in my new book 'The Coronapanic Debacle', which is available from amazon.]

History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

– Mark Twain


The more that Britain’s coronapanic debacle dragged on, the more outraged I was at the impact it was having on my life, on the public generally, and on children especially. I was also outraged at the complete lack of journalistic investigation into why Boris Johnson kept overseeing Covid restrictions that he clearly didn’t believe in. It didn’t take the ‘Partygate’ scandal – all those illicit lockdown gatherings in 10 Downing Street – to know that every single restriction has been pointless and dishonest from the start. Covid-19 was a cold with an average age of death of 82. There was never any prospect of the NHS being ‘overwhelmed’. And the lockdowns and the mask mandates and the social distancing rules were all ineffectual, and they would have been wrong even if they weren’t ineffectual, and wrong no matter how dangerous Covid-19 was or how overwhelmed the NHS was. During the last 18 months, I’ve taken it upon myself to do the missing journalism, to unearth the real reason behind the restrictions. My research has pointed to a recurring theme: threats and demands made by public sector unions. From the first lockdown to the masks on public transport to the masks in shops to the masks in workplaces to the second lockdown to the Christmas restrictions to the third lockdown to the masks in schools to the vaccines in schools and the vaccine passes… all these measures were driven by unions, with the government repeatedly caving in.

More recently, I have broadened my research to look at the global picture, going right back to where it all started. I discovered, to my amazement, that the Wuhan lockdown was driven primarily by mass panic and civil unrest, probably with a union element to the unrest. As I have explained in my book ‘The Truth About the Wuhan Lockdown’, China’s president Xi Jinping gave the hysterical Chinese public what they wanted, then he lashed out at the world with a shock-and-awe pro-lockdown campaign.

But throughout my research, one question has nagged at me: what exactly happened with England’s second lockdown? The whole episode is shrouded in mystery. Why did Johnson shout ‘no more fucking lockdowns’ but then lockdown anyway? Was he ‘bounced’ into the measure by a press leak? Who leaked the information? What exactly was the role of the National Education Union? The NEU was demanding a ‘circuit breaker lockdown’, basically an extended half term holiday for the teachers. Johnson obliged with the lockdown but he kept the schools open. Why this paradoxical combination? And when the NEU continued demanding schools closures during the second lockdown, why didn’t Johnson cave in again?

I looked long and hard at these events and I couldn’t make sense of them. But then I realised my mistake. The second lockdown is not a puzzle. It is a puzzle piece. And a puzzle piece only makes sense when you slot it correctly into the surrounding picture. You can only understand the second lockdown when you see it as a battle in a longer war: Johnson versus the NEU. If this war hadn’t happened, I believe Britain would never have gone into lockdown, not once. From March 2020 onwards, the NEU relentlessly attacked both the British government and the British public, especially schoolchildren. Johnson fought back with his hands tied behind his back and his mouth taped up. But I think history will record that he did try, in a fashion, to defend freedom. History may even record that he won.



Johnson’s war against the NEU consisted of three major battles. The first battle must be understood in detail before the second makes any sense. Later, we will see that the third battle also sheds light on the second.

Britain’s coronapanic debacle began in mid-March 2020. Throughout February and the first half of March, Johnson had pursued a ‘herd immunity’ strategy, as advised by the government’s chief scientists. The idea was that old and vulnerable people would stay out of harm’s way for a while and then emerge as soon as the virus had spread harmlessly through the young and healthy population. Johnson was well aware that locking Britain down would be counterproductive and wrong. Privately he was saying that ‘the real danger here is the measures that we take to deal with the disease and the economic destruction that that will cause’. He and his science advisors reassured the public that the virus would be mild for the great majority, and, accordingly, that the great majority should continue going about their business.

Unfortunately, the government’s sensible approach wasn’t met with a sensible response. The world was descending into panic, and, after Italy locked down on March 9, the atmosphere in Britain became rabid. The media was fearmongering mercilessly, and there were growing calls for a lockdown. Most of the calls came from politicians and journalists on the left, but the right played a part too. Britain’s leading right-wing newspaper, the Telegraph, spewed out pro-lockdown propaganda. From February to April 2020, the paper is alleged to have published more than 50 articles paid for by the Chinese Communist Party (many of the articles subsequently being deleted). Amid almost zero support for herd immunity, the government made a half-hearted attempt to defend the policy, whereupon the socialists decided to force the issue.

In mid-March 2020, there was an escalating series of demands and threats by large unions. Health unions demanded better PPE in hospitals, with the GMB Union threatening a staff mutiny. The RMT, the leading rail union, promised to take ‘whatever action was required’ to protect its members. The academic union, the UCU, called for universities to close. The NEU began agitating for schools closures. The legal union, the LSWU, called for the government to ‘shut down the courts’. The TUC – a federation of 48 unions – stoked a work-from-home mutiny and demanded a furlough scheme to protect people’s incomes. PCS union – the civil service union – lobbied the cabinet. There was probably also a union-driven campaign to shut Parliament. The government gradually caved in. The capitulation began on March 13 with the banning of mass gatherings, a measure that Johnson admitted was not based on scientific advice; rather, he explained, he wanted to relieve a ‘burden’ on the public sector. On March 16, the herd immunity strategy was consigned to history, as the PM held a press conference at which he announced that from now on the public should work from home and practice social distancing. These measures were happening whether Johnson liked it or not: he got out in front of the parade and pretended to lead it, justifying the U-turn by wheeling out Professor Neil Ferguson’s preposterous doomsday predictions of mass death. From herd immunity… to a herd mutiny… to herd lunacy… in a matter of days.

But note: there was still no legally enforced lockdown on March 16. At the press conference, Johnson explicitly said he was issuing ‘advice’; he insisted that Britain was ‘a mature and grown up and liberal democracy’, the implication being that no legal curbs on freedom were required. A journalist asked the PM explicitly if there would be a lockdown. Johnson hedged, saying ‘We’re keeping all measures under review’, then he added, ominously: ‘Particularly, people will be thinking about schools closures’. Behind these words lay an iceberg of hidden truth. An iceberg into which British democracy was about to crash.



On March 17, the NEU wrote an open letter calling for the government to shut all the schools. The letter warned that headteachers would unilaterally shut schools if there were staff shortages caused by self-isolation. On the face of it, this warning might sound reasonable. But it wasn’t. It was extremely unreasonable. The official government position was to keep schools open, because there was very little danger in doing so, and very much danger in not doing so. The unions should have promised to do everything within their power to keep children in education. Warning of unilateral schools closures while also calling for all schools to close was clearly a threat, an attempt to force the issue.

The same goes for all the unions that were agitating at this time. All the demands and threats made by unions in mid-March 2020 were an attempt to unilaterally shut Britain down.

People often ask me – why did the unions do it? Well, fear was certainly a factor. Britain’s major unions are run by socialists, and in general socialists have been frantic about Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak. While Johnson was pursuing herd immunity, they called him a ‘butcher’, a ‘murderer’, even a ‘fascist’. They accused him of ‘culling the weak’, which was a brazen lie; the entire point of the herd immunity strategy was for the strong to bear the burden. The unions became a battering ram by which socialists inflicted their anxiety on the country.

However, there was more to the union agitation than an irrational fear of the virus. Socialism itself is an irrational ideology, indeed an ideology that contradicts everything good in human nature. Socialists demonise anyone who believes in freedom and individual responsibility. Socialists disparage the idea that voluntary shared projects, such as businesses, real communities and charities, are the building blocks of a good society. Socialists are blasé or hostile towards family values. Socialists claim that the only way to create a better society is for the state to exert control over people’s lives. And, above all, socialists insist that the state has a monopoly on compassion. Of course, what the socialists don’t tell you is that they themselves are the main beneficiaries of state control. All the opprobrium heaped on Johnson in March 2020 was standard fare, as far as socialism is concerned. The furious demands to shut down the country and abolish all natural human relations so that socialists could have a quieter time at work or luxuriate at home on full pay while pretending to care about people… it was pure socialism.

And, as for the people who did manual or service work during the pandemic, they were, in effect, enslaved by the socialists. I worked most evenings as a delivery driver. The lockdown shifts were exhausting, expensive and dangerous: I burned through several cars and crashed into a signpost in the snow. I felt like one of those Cambodian political prisoners who were forced to dig ditches while the Khmer Rouge stood around barking instructions and shrieking about equality. My experience left me in no doubt whatsoever that socialists are hypocrites and liars. The common interest isn’t served by socialism. The common interest is served by the conservative ideology of individual autonomy, small government and real human fellowship. Indeed, this was especially true during a pandemic. The right thing for healthy people to do was to carry on as normal, to stay strong for each other, to keep working for each other, to care for each other. The idea of an entire population abandoning each other and confiscating each other’s rights was utter madness.

There were further reasons why socialists were ideologically disposed to support lockdowns. For one thing, there was an assumption on the left that locking Britain down must have been a good idea if communist China thought so. But also, socialists were well aware that the policy would be destructive. With their absurd belief that profit is exploitation, socialists reckoned that destroying the economy would be a virtuous thing to do. They waxed lyrical about the supposed upsides of the lockdowns: the ‘egalitarian’ furlough scheme, the environment having a chance to ‘recover’, and people having a chance to ‘slow down’ (try telling that to the delivery drivers). Socialists considered unilateral economic destruction to be a legitimate rebuke to capitalism.

And there was something even darker in the souls of socialists: an awareness that the damage caused by the lockdowns would damage the government. Vladimir Lenin, who became the world’s first communist head of state after the Russian revolution in 1917, once remarked: ‘The worse, the better’. What Lenin was getting at is that the more the Russian people suffered under the Czar, the more they would support a communist revolution. A century later, at the start of the Covid outbreak, British socialists agitated for a lockdown because they knew that the hardship caused by the policy would be blamed on the Conservative government, leading to more support for socialism. The socialists even had the nerve to suggest that there would have been less hardship if the government had locked down quicker and harder. Apparently, the only way to mitigate the lockdown policy was for the government to administer the severest possible lockdown without hesitation! Either way, the socialists would hold the Conservatives responsible for the ensuing devastation. 

Moreover, socialists had a specific motivation for damaging the government in March 2020. In July 2019, Johnson became Conservative leader on the promise of delivering Brexit – that is, leading Britain out of the European Union – three years after the British public had voted for the policy in a referendum. During those three years, the most ardent Remainers had waged a disgusting campaign to thwart the 2016 vote. These ‘Remoaners’, as they were aptly dubbed, relentlessly tried to delegitimise the referendum decision. They claimed that Leavers were nothing but stupid racists, that the entire leave campaign was based on lies, that Brexit would be followed by apocalyptic consequences, and that a second referendum was required to confirm the first, otherwise the process supposedly wouldn’t be democratic. Meanwhile, in Parliament, MPs passed a statute that prevented Britain from leaving the EU without a trade deal. The statute gave the EU no incentive to offer a reasonable deal. Bad deal after bad deal was offered, with Parliament repeatedly voting down the bad deals, whereupon Remoaners blamed the gridlock on the Brexit vote, rather than their own manipulativeness. Throughout this disgraceful period, there was a significant Remoaner lobby among conservatives, but the main anti-Brexit impetus came from Britain’s socialists. The socialists were motivated partly by Leninist principles – the gridlock in Parliament would potentially harm the hated Tories – but also by a genuine desire for Britain stay in the EU; the EU is a fundamentally left-wing project.

Even after the public elected Johnson on a resounding Brexit mandate in December 2019, the socialists didn’t let up. The day Johnson had became Conservative leader, one of Britain’s most prominent left-wing campaigners, Owen Jones, had tweeted: ‘OK, team. Let’s bring him down’. When Britain formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, there was a transition period of 11 months. The Covid outbreak came at exactly the right time for the socialists. They saw Covid-19 as a golden opportunity to reverse Brexit, insofar as lockdowns could disrupt the practical process of leaving the EU, or at least cause economic disruption that would be blamed on Brexit – all those apocalyptic predictions coming true.

Fear, hatred, self-interest, phoney compassion, economic vandalism, Leninist opportunism, anti-Brexit manipulation: the left had many reasons to agitate for lockdowns in March 2020. Socialists live by ideology, and the British public had given them a reality check by voting for Brexit and the Tories. Lockdowns were the revenge of the ideologues. And foremost among the ideologues were militant teachers.



When the NEU threatened unilateral schools closures on March 17, Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, the union’s co-leaders, knew exactly what they were doing. They were attacking freedom, attacking the Tories, and trying to secure the easiest possible ride for teachers during the Covid-19 outbreak. The government also understood exactly what was going on. The March 17 threat will not have come as a shock to the PM. Trouble was brewing very early in schools: on February 26, the Guardian reported that 13 schools had unilaterally shut because of coronavirus, and a further 25 had been sending kids home to ‘quarantine’. On March 12, Johnson was compelled to say publicly: ‘We are not – repeat not – closing schools now. The scientific advice is it will do more harm than good at this time’. However, two days later, on March 14, the NEU penned an open letter which, although not explicitly calling for schools closures, was agitating for the policy; the letter demanded to know why schools were being kept open while mass gatherings were banned. The March 14 letter also contained a shocking revelation. Addressing the government, the NEU leadership noted: ‘We now see that you may take legal powers to force schools to remain open even when Heads and teachers think there is good reason to close’. Clearly, if the government was threatening to sue the NEU at this point, then the NEU’s threat to unilaterally close schools had already been made behind the scenes. As far as I know, no British journalist has ever even mentioned what was happening here: in mid-March 2020, a game of brinksmanship between the NEU leadership and Johnson had begun. The NEU wanted to close schools. Johnson wanted to keep them open. The NEU was threatening to force the issue. Johnson was threatening to fight back, at least covertly. The only question was which side would cave in first.

Both the NEU and the government knew that this type of confrontation was not without precedent. Going back to the early nineteenth century, Britain has a long history of unions using collective bargaining to further the interests of their members. Much of this lobbying has been justifiable, and constructive, as unions have gradually secured vital improvements in workplace conditions. But, at the same time, there has always been an inherent tension between the requirements of unions and employers; the interests of the two sides are not completely aligned and, naturally, both sides want the best deal. Ever since Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848, socialists have hijacked the legitimate function of unions by using collective bargaining as a cover for blackmailing employers. Instead of seeking a reasonable accommodation with employers, socialist-led unions have made uncompromising demands, so as to provoke employers into standing firmly against the demands, which in turn has served as a recruiting tool for socialism. Socialists have also used union unrest as a means of damaging capitalist governments, along Leninist lines. This strategy has proved especially effective when the government itself has been the employer. What better way of discrediting a government than by sowing discord and chaos within the apparatus of the state, thereby showing that the government is incapable of overseeing even its own affairs?

In 1926 in Britain, the TUC arranged a ‘general strike’ in sympathy with coal miners who were involved in a pay dispute with the government. Railwaymen, transport workers, dockers, printers, steelworkers and ironworkers all participated in a nationwide walkout. The action lasted 9 days. In many places, there were clashes between crowds and the police. Some 4,000 strikers were arrested. The following year, the government passed sweeping anti-union legislation. Mass picketing and ‘sympathetic’ strikes were banned, which, in effect, made any future general strikes illegal. Additionally, civil service unions were banned from affiliating to the TUC.

Some commentators have argued that the government’s 1927 crackdown on the unions simply drove more working class people into the arms of socialism. By 1945, the socialists were in the ascendant, as Britain’s war-battered electorate handed Clement Atlee’s Labour Party a landslide general election victory. Labour MPs sang the ‘Red Flag’ in Parliament and proceeded to nationalise education, housing, health, welfare and the railways, plus a raft of major industries. Atlee’s government also repealed the anti-union legislation of 1927, prompting an increase in union membership over the next few decades. For a while, the unions were relatively cooperative, especially as the Labour Party was generally against radicalism at that point, and the Conservative Party was making an effort to reach out to the working man. Nobody had much of an appetite for aggravation after the war; re-building was everyone’s priority. But in the 1960s, when radical left politics re-emerged in Britain, the relationship between unions and the government deteriorated. By the 1970s, when union membership peaked, there was open warfare.

Between 1970 and 1974, there were strikes by coal miners, dockers, rail workers, postmen, NHS staff, and more. The strikes by the National Union of Mineworkers were the most disruptive. The first was in 1972. Led by Arthur Scargill, a Marxist, the NUM blackmailed the government into giving miners a pay rise. The strikers blockaded not just pits but power stations and coal depots; the aim was to completely cut off Britain’s power supply. NUM members and socialist agitators from other trade unions were bussed around the country to take part; these military-style deployments became known as ‘flying pickets’. With electricity output reduced to 25%, there were widespread power cuts. There were even stories of cabinet meetings held by candlelight. Prime Minister Edward Heath was reluctant to confront the strikers, for fear of provoking violence; he capitulated, agreeing to give them a 30% pay rise.

Alas, when inflation promptly wiped out the pay rise, the unrest surged back. In 1973, the NUM voted to ban overtime. Coal production halved overnight. Heath announced a three-day week, and soon shops were running short of goods, but the NUM didn’t let up. In 1974, they voted to wage another strike. Heath responded by calling a snap election, asking the public ‘Who governs Britain?’. The public delivered their verdict, ridding Heath of his parliamentary majority. The Labour party took power as part of a coalition and agreed to give the miner’s a 35% pay rise.

But still it wasn’t over. The union unrest continued under Labour, reaching a crescendo during the infamous winter of 1978/79. Amid freezing weather, unions staged more than 2000 strikes across the country, the largest industrial action since 1926. Again, the trigger was the issue of pay. Factory workers, truckers, dockers, railwaymen, ambulance drivers, doctors, nurses, waste collectors, gravediggers and other public sector workers withdrew their labour at various stages, in what became known as the ‘Winter of Discontent’. With rubbish bags piled high in the streets, bodies lying unburied in mortuaries, and cancer patients going untreated, the national mood was captured by the famous Sun headline ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’, the phrase being a sarcastic reference to Prime Minster Jim Callaghan’s mulish denial that there was ‘chaos’ in Britain. On May 3, 1979, the electorate took their revenge again, this time awarding a majority to a new Conservative leader who promised to confront the unions once and for all. Her name was Margaret Thatcher. 

What followed has become the stuff of legend. But throughout her career, Thatcher wasn’t always as robust with the unions as her reputation suggests. She was a politician, and all politicians will compromise sometimes. In 1960, when Thatcher was a backbencher, she became fleetingly famous for persuading Parliament to pass a statute that would stop councils from excluding the press from committee meetings. In fact, Thatcher ended up proposing a watered-down version of the statute, after government ministers had asked her not to upset the councils and unions. Later, when she was Education Minister in the early 1970s, Thatcher publicly leant support to a series of union-driven policy U-turns by Edward Heath. And in the same role, she herself was regularly frustrated by the education unions that were driving the agenda in schools and universities. Thatcher was able to ‘covertly obstruct but not overtly initiate’, as her biographer Robin Harris explains, adding: ‘Even her powers to prevent changes she deplored were weak’.

Everything changed when Thatcher became Prime Minister. She had long been itching for a fightback against the unions. During the industrial unrest in the 1970s, Thatcher had declared that walkouts by monopoly groups were ‘not strikes against the government, but strikes against the people’. She was elected in 1979 to defend the people, and that is what she did, announcing that she was ‘not for turning’. Her government passed a series of statutes designed to constrain the activities of unions. For instance, pickets were restricted in size, ‘closed shops’ were curtailed (a closed shop is when union membership is mandated for new employees of a company), sympathy strikes were banned (again), all strikes were made illegal without a ballot, and unions were made liable for damages from illegal strikes. The success of these reforms is indicated by the fact that, in 1990, industrial action caused less disruption than in any year since 1935. Only 2 million working days were lost in 1990 compared to an average of almost 13 million a year during the 1970s. Meanwhile, union membership fell under Thatcher – from half of the workforce to a third.

However, the reforms were not without pain. Thatcher’s stance brought her into confrontation with the government’s old adversary, the National Union of Mineworkers, still led by Scargill. In 1984/85, the NUM conducted a year of strikes. Pay was a factor in the dispute, but the main issue was the government’s decision to close a series of unprofitable pits. Paradoxically, the striking miners were trying to prevent the pit closures by temporarily shutting as many pits as possible, so as to cause power shortages that would hold the government hostage, thus forcing ministers to back down and keep the unprofitable pits open. Scargill’s stance was utterly uncompromising. When asked what amount of loss-making he was willing to tolerate at any given pit, his response was ‘As far as I am concerned, the loss is without limit’.

The government’s announcement of the first pit closure, in Yorkshire, triggered a strike that succeeded in shutting almost every mine in the county. Other local strikes followed, all endorsed by the national executive of the NUM. Scargill wanted a national strike, but he knew he wouldn’t win a national ballot. His strategy was to foment as many local strikes as possible. Wherever there was reluctance to hold a ballot, or wherever he feared that the ballot might go the wrong way, he sent in thugs to intimidate the local unionists. He also sent in thugs to bolster the picket lines during strikes. The tactic was a continuation of the ‘flying pickets’ seen in the 1970s.

Thatcher, for her part, sent in riot police wherever Scargill used flying pickets. Violent clashes ensued, the most infamous taking place at Orgreave in Yorkshire. 5,000 miners and socialist troublemakers threw rocks and darts at the police, who responded by charging on horseback into the crowd. Law and order prevailed on that day, but it didn’t on every occasion. The thugs also attempted to intimidate non-striking miners behind the front lines. Even wives and children were considered fair game. One Yorkshire miner was beaten up in his home by 15 men. A Welsh taxi driver was killed when a concrete block was dropped onto his car while he was driving a miner to work. History has portrayed the striking miners as the victims; this couldn’t be further from the truth. Scargill’s campaign was an act of pure socialist aggression, designed to extort money from the government and the British public while also causing as much Leninist disruption as possible.

Ultimately, Scargill was defeated, by a combination of factors – the non-striking miners’ refusal to be intimidated, Thatcher’s principled stance, and the use of the new anti-union laws to prosecute the NUM. In the end, the NUM itself voted to discontinue the strikes, against Scargill’s exhortations. Buoyed by the victory, Thatcher conducted firm but fair negotiations with other unions – unions that could have caused major national disruption should they have felt emboldened to do so. Robin Harris concludes his discussion of the era by noting that, thanks to Scargill’s defeat, ‘no union or group of unions could ever again make the country ungovernable’.

Sadly, Harris’s prediction was inaccurate, as the events of March 2020 demonstrate. One of the reasons I have compiled this brief history of British union unrest is that I am aware that not everyone is convinced by my claim that unions were the driving force behind this country’s Covid-19 restrictions. Many people are doubtful that unions would ever attempt to shut down the national economy, let alone succeed in doing so. History shows that these doubts are misplaced. On multiple occasions, unions have deliberately inflicted catastrophic damage on Britain. Moreover, on multiple occasions, unions have worked together, waging their campaigns in parallel or in sequence. This is true whether there was an overarching plan (such as when the TUC arranged the general strike in 1926) or whether the campaigns were largely based on shared goals (such as in the 1970s). When unions started trying to force through a work-from-home policy in mid-March 2020, egged on by the TUC, both types of coordination were involved.

Most importantly, the history of union unrest in Britain enables us to better understand the decisive role played by the NEU at the start of the coronapanic. The NEU leadership adopted a strategy similar to that which Scargill adopted in 1984/5. Scargill wanted a national walkout but without a national ballot, so he intended to cause as much disruption as possible by shutting as many individual pits as possible. Similarly, the NEU wanted a national walkout but without a national ballot, so the NEU’s leaders Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney intended to shut as many individual schools as possible. (Presumably the NEU didn’t hold a national ballot because they were too impatient – the process would take five weeks – or didn’t believe they would win the vote). Both the NUM and the NEU wanted to cause economic chaos by knocking out a crucial pillar of the economy. Without power, the economy must falter. Without schools to supervise the children of working parents, the economy must falter. Above all, both unions were utterly uncompromising. Both the NUM and the NEU were unwilling to countenance any sort of sacrifice on the part of their members. Scargill declared that the loss-making at the unprofitable pits was ‘without limit’. The NEU insisted that the safety of teachers was without limit; the idea of teachers being exposed to a mild virus in schools was deemed unconscionable.  

Of course, there were differences. In the 1980s, the NUM sought to shut down mines as a means of blackmailing Thatcher into abandoning further pit closures, whereas during the coronapanic the NEU sought to shut down schools as an end in itself, not just a means of causing economic disruption. There was also a difference in the way Thatcher and Johnson responded to the two crises. Thatcher refused to be blackmailed, whereas Johnson caved in.

Or perhaps that’s putting it too starkly. Johnson caved in, but arguably it was a tactical retreat; he lived to fight another day, and he learned lessons from the defeat. Let’s take a closer look at what happened in March 2020. If we are to understand how Johnson responded to future NEU threats – including the threats that led to the second lockdown – we need to analyse the rationale behind the decisions Johnson made in the lead up to the first lockdown……


The rest of this essay is published in my new book ‘ The Coronapanic Debacle’ which is available from amazon, in paperback and kindle versions.