Lockdown extension could lead to mass rule breaking, SAGE member warns

22 March 2021, 17:36

By Fiona Jones

SAGE member Professor Clifford Stott explains why an extension to this lockdown could lead to mass rule breaking and distrust in the Government.

His warning comes after the Government struggles to defend an expected six-month extension to lockdown powers in England amid fierce criticism.

MPs are set to approve the Coronavirus Act later this week.

A number of senior Tory MPs are among those to have voiced concerns about the legislation being renewed as the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown suggests all restrictions will be lifted by June 21.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told LBC on Monday his “default position” on the extension will be to support it.

Read more: Tory rebels challenge PM's plans to extend ‘authoritarian’ lockdown powers until October

Eddie Mair asked behavioural psychologist Professor Clifford if he predicts an extension will cause public lockdown fatigue and he refuted this: "I think the issue here is about an emotional tiredness so much as it is about the legitimacy of what's happening to us."

"So long as we can have a situation where we accept everything is being done, we can take the burden of suffering a lot longer than we could if we felt there were better ways of doing things."

Professor Clifford continued: "I think this time we're in a very difficult situation because we've been promised a one way journey out of lockdown.

"There's going to be some real struggles with legitimacy, particularly as we ebb into the summer where they feel that perhaps the promises that were made to them were no longer being kept.

"I think it might be that sense of the loss of trust in Government and the sense of illegitimacy that would emerge from that, that could be the real factor about whether or not people start to resist and start to break the guidance."

Read more: 'You're not prepared to answer': Nick Ferrari clashes with minister over lockdown power extension

More Eddie Mair

Mark Drakeford: New mask rules in Welsh schools 'imminent'

Mark Drakeford: Mask mandates in Welsh schools 'imminent'

Eddie Mair caller takes aim at Boris Johnson

'The man is a clown': Eddie Mair caller takes aim at Boris Johnson

Social care system: 'It needs more funds. It needs radical reform'

Social care system: 'It needs more funds. It needs radical reform'

Bradford Council Leader takes aim at Govt rail plan

'This has got me so angry today': Bradford Council leader takes aim at Govt rail plan

Azeem Rafiq's racism revelations mark 'sad day for cricket'

Azeem Rafiq's racism revelations mark 'sad day for cricket'

'People are beginning to wonder whether Boris Johnson sometimes likes to disappear'

'People are beginning to wonder whether Boris Johnson sometimes likes to disappear'

Ex-MP takes aim at 'greedy' MPs who are 'out for all they can get'

Ex-MP takes aim at 'greedy' MPs who are 'just out for all they can get'

'I can't imagine why I would encourage my kids to get involved in politics'

'I can't imagine why I would encourage my kids to get involved in politics'

Tory MP: 'Optics aren't great' on move to save Owen Paterson from suspension

Tory MP: 'Optics aren't great' on move to save Owen Paterson from suspension

Eddie Mair grills Tory MP on self-admitted 'crazy' Universal Credit taper rate

Eddie Mair grills Tory MP on self-admitted 'crazy' pre-budget Universal Credit taper rate

GP: 'We need multiple things to stop Covid'

GP: 'We need multiple things to stop Covid'

Sir David Amess' surgery was in church so 'elderly' and 'disabled' constituents could attend

Sir David Amess 'moved surgery to church so more constituents could attend'

'Brexit represents 'self-sabotage', caller argues

'Brexit represents 'self-sabotage', caller argues

Ex-EU boss launches scathing attack on Lord Frost's Brexit speech

Ex-EU boss launches brutal attack on Lord Frost's Brexit speech

Caller 'haunted' by son's Covid death fumes at report findings

Mother 'haunted' by son's Covid death fumes at report findings

'I can't take my daughter to school': Mother shares toll of fuel fiasco on her family

'I can't take my daughter to school': Mother shares toll of fuel fiasco on her family