Sacrificing Freedom for ‘Safety’ 

Police officers wearing protective face masks walk past a thank-you mural for the NHS as they follow an anti-lockdown protest march in London, England, October 17, 2020. (Toby Melville/Reuters)
The U.K. government is bringing in a new reign of authoritarianism.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F rom Magna Carta (1215), to the Great Reform Bill (1832), and beyond, the British constitution — unlike its American counterpart — has not been secure and considered, but reactive and malleable. Yet throughout Britain’s turbulent history, the state has never “exercised coercive powers over its citizens” on such a scale as it has in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. At least, that is the view of the historian and former U.K. supreme court justice, Jonathan Sumption, one of the most learned scholars and outspoken critics of his country’s coronavirus response.

In the Cambridge Freshfields annual law lecture late last month, …

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