The British Politicians Who Loved China’s Zero Covid Strategy

The scenes coming out of China are shocking. Last night’s arrest and beating of a BBC journalist covering the protests against the Beijing Communist regime’s Zero Covid strategy have finally brought the plight of the Chinese into Britain’s political discourse. In light of this, Guido thought it worth going back a couple of years and remembering all the hardline Covid loons who spent much of the pandemic calling for the same Zero Covid strategy here in Britain.

In February 2021, 47 MPs signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on the UK Government to “urgently to adopt a Zero Covid plan that seeks the maximum suppression of the virus”. The EDM cited New Zealand and Vietnam as specific examples. Vietnam eventually reported the world’s 13th-highest death toll…

Supporters of the EDM included the usual hard Left figures, such as Richard Burgon, Diane Abbott, Zarah Sultana, Claudia Webbe, John McDonnell, Apsana Begum and Rebecca Long-Bailey. It also saw a whopping number of SNP MPs back it, unsurprising given Nicola Sturgeon spent much of the first half of the pandemic giving lip service to a Zero Covid strategy, egged on by her top advisor Devi Sridhar.

It wasn’t just left-wing figures, of course. Jeremy Hunt lauded the strategy and recounted with barely suppressed admiration his sister’s experience of flying into Beijing during the pandemic. She was, he said, escorted from the airport by government officials and physically sealed in her home to remain under surveillance from Communist police.

Attacking Zero Covid strategies is not a luxury of those of us now blessed with hindsight. They were roundly attacked at the time – even discredited – and yet authoritarians still proselytised for them. This week’s scenes in China perhaps show why the hard Left loved the idea – it was less to do with virus control, more about controlling the citizenry…

Read the full list of EDM signatories here

mdi-timer 28 November 2022 @ 12:54 28 Nov 2022 @ 12:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments