Yesterday, Northampton’s Chief Constable made a speech to the public about his intention to impose ‘his’ interpretation of the Coronavirus Act. The speech was an odd mix or ridiculous assumptions, badly thought-out plans and chilling threats to the residents of the county. Nick Adderley told the assembled media that he was planning on ‘marshalling his officers to check people’s supermarket shopping’ looking for non-essential items. These words should send a chill down the spine of any British citizen who hears them. If we had been told, just a month ago, that the authorities would effectively put us all under house arrest and that they, and only they, would decide what we could or couldn’t buy, we’d have thought whoever told us, was mad. Yet we now have exactly this situation. 66 Million people under house arrest and Orwellian style morons deciding what we can and cannot put in our shopping baskets.
Who is going to be the arbiter of what is and isn’t essential? The Policeman who stops you? And why should their particular interpretation be any more informed or valid than yours? The rules are so vague, that both officer and member of the public, are left in an impossible position. Like the “hate speech” laws that were imposed on an unsuspecting public a few years ago, the Coronavirus Act has taken away civil liberties from the public and given enormous powers to state automatons who will inevitably misuse them.
We cannot trust the authorities to act responsibly. They have proven incapable of this time and time again. Were they able to be responsible we would not have seen stories like that of Harry Miller's; who posted a Limerick about Transgenders on Twitter and received a visit from the police to "check his thinking". Or the case of the man who was fined by police for buying a birthday card, whilst in the supermarket shopping for groceries, because the police deemed this item ’non-essential’. Or of corner shops being ordered to remove Easter eggs from their shelves as these were deemed non-essential by Police too.
Even if these instances could be justified, the application of any law should only be if there is a clear and present threat to public or property. It is only when you apply this logic to these events that you see them for the ridiculous things they really are. The Birthday Card being non-essential is a good case in point. The card was not essential, but what does that have to do with the spread of a virus? Think about this for a moment: The person buying the card was already in the supermarket buying groceries, he’d already left the house, already come into contact with other shoppers and checkout staff, it has absolutely no bearing on the spread of the virus what ‘extras’ he added to the basket. none. Yet he received a hefty fine, the moment the police officer saw it. It’s nothing short of moronic, yet Nick Adderley has just announced on national television that this is the very type of policing he intents to ramp-up. This type of overzealous, "just following orders", mentality from jobsworths like Adderley and his equally moronic colleagues is what is making an already difficult situation ten times worse.
Northampton Police are not the only ones who have relished their new Stasi-like status; Cambridge Police tweeted that they too had been entering supermarkets to check people's shopping. They later deleted this tweet following outrage from the public, but they just don't get it, they've even expressed their dismay at why people are getting angry stating "we’re just trying to save lives." How is checking people's shopping baskets for the odd luxury saving people lives exactly?
This stupidity just bolsters an already flawed policy in dealing with the Coronavirus. Airports should have been shut to all traffic from any country the moment it reported a coronavirus case (see Australia's actions) and testing, of any type, should have been done early on, and in large numbers (see Germany's actions) to get a size of the problem. These two simple measures combined would have negated the need for a lockdown at all. It's almost as if they wanted to bring in an authoritarian state.
Darren Birks for Vision News