A Year of Fear

Rigged Game

Dr Gary Sidley analyses the language of fear that has been peddled throughout the pandemic.

By Dr Gary Sidley and cross-posted from The Critic.

The British public’s widespread compliance with lockdown restrictions and the subsequent vaccine rollout has been the most remarkable aspect of the coronavirus crisis.

The removal of our basic freedoms — in the form of lockdowns, travel bans and mandatory mask wearing — have been passively accepted by the large majority of people. Furthermore, the proportion of the general public expressing a willingness to accept the Covid-19 vaccines has been greater in the UK than almost anywhere else in the world. But has the government achieved this widespread conformity through the unethical use of covert psychological strategies — “nudges” — in their messaging campaign?

A major contributor to the mass obedience of the British people is likely to have been the activities of government-employed psychologists working…

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