John Harris

Journalist & Author

The pitched battle over lockdowns is missing the point: Covid-19 is a class issue | John Harris

The UK coronavirus crisis – even more so in its second phase – is all about basic inequalities – and lockdown makes these worse

Just as our final exit from the EU comes into view, noise from the media and politics about Covid-19 is sounding discomfortingly similar to the furies that erupted around the 2016 referendum.

On one side stands the political right, opposed to lockdown, apparently spurning the advice of experts, and seemingly convinced that a mixture of true-Brit common sense and derring-do will somehow see us through. The left, meanwhile, emphasises the importance of “the science”, and the prospect of disaster. As in the US, it is beginning to feel like any contentious political question will now trigger these polarised responses – not necessarily in the population at large, but certainly among the people whose opinions define what passes for the national conversation.

Related: Inequality is rising under Covid – how we talk about it is vital | Frances Ryan

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