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LONDON, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - Britain's most distinguished Supreme Court judge is urging mass civil disobedience against lockdown laws, warning that the communist Chinese incarceration model will become an accepted model for "dealing with all manner of collective problems."
Lord Jonathan Sumption's ominous prediction comes a day after a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggested global lockdowns were needed every two years for the next decade to keep within safe limits of global warming.
"Sometimes the most public-spirited thing you can do with despotic laws like these is to ignore them," the eminent jurist and historian told Lockdown TV channel in a defiant interview Thursday.
"I feel sad that we have the kind of laws, which public-spirited people may need to break," Sumption, dubbed "the brain of Britain" lamented. "There is no moral obligation to obey the law simply because it is the law. Some laws invite breach. I think this is one of them."
Arguing that never in history had locking up healthy people ever been contemplated as a response to pandemics, Sumption stressed that Britain only changed its policy after Italy followed the Chinese example in ordering a national lockdown at the end of February 2020.
"Now, ultimately, this all stems from China," Sumption noted, quoting Britain's lockdown "guru" Professor Neil Ferguson, who candidly admitted, "they never realized that they could get away with it, until China, followed by Italy, showed them the way."
"Now, I think there's a serious problem about that," said Sumption, stressing that "China was able to do that because it doesn't have a culture of liberty" and "is a totalitarian State" that is "founded upon the principle that human beings are simply tools of collective national policy."
Identifying himself as a "liberal with a small l," the judge said he did not consider liberty an "absolute value," and there could be extreme circumstances where it's necessary to override liberty — but COVID-19 was not an extreme case.
Conceding the pandemic was serious and resulted in additional deaths, Sumption stated: "I cannot regard a disease from which at least 99% of people recover and survive as sufficiently serious" to "justify locking people up in their homes."
The judge, who wrote in a 2014 judgment that "reverence for human life for its own sake is probably the most fundamental of all human social values," quoted in his interview Sir David Spiegelhalter — the world-renowned authority on the statistical assessment of risk.
"In the first 16 weeks of the pandemic in the U.K.," Spiegelhalter "reckoned the additional risk of death from COVID-19 was equivalent to an extra 55 days of perfectly normal risks of dying of just about anything," Sumption argued, pointing out that "there is more to life than the avoidance of death."
"If people are sufficiently frightened, their craving for security will make them submit to almost anything," Sumption remarked, explaining that "the Hobbesian bargain" — based on Hobbes' belief in the absolute State where people "resign their freedoms unconditionally and permanently into the hands of the State in return for security" — is "a very striking and very sinister development."
"Once you get to a position where it is unthinkable, to lock people up nationally, except when somebody thinks it's a good idea, then frankly, there is no longer a barrier at all. We have crossed that threshold. And governments do not forget these things," he warned.
An Oxford University Coronavirus Response Tracker in February ranked the United Kingdom's Wuhan virus lockdown as the sixth harshest in the world and the second strictest in Europe. The data from 180 countries found Britain following Cuba, Eritrea, Honduras, Zimbabwe and Ireland in the order of draconian shutdowns.
Sumption acknowledged that "a significant majority" of Britons favored the "intrusive and illiberal measures" imposed by the State.
According to a Tuesday YouGov poll, 55% of Britons said they would miss shutdown, including 46% who said they would "miss some aspects of lockdown," and 9% (one in 10) claimed they would miss "many" aspects of the oppressive measures.
The judge, who made legal history in 2014 by upholding a ban on doctors helping patients commit suicide, also spelled out the educational and economic destruction unleashed by the lockdowns.
According to Bank of England data, the decline in Britain's GDP in 2020 was the largest in more than 300 years, with the last comparable drop in 1921, when the British economy shrank 9.7% during the depression that followed World War I.
A bigger contraction was recorded in 1709, when the economy plummeted 13% during an unusually cold winter known as the Great Frost.
Unlike Lord Sumption, Catholic and Protestant leaders in Britain have been enthusiastic supporters of the lockdowns — ranging from the bishops' conferences in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland to national evangelical bodies like the Evangelical Alliance and the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).
Pope Francis, a lockdown zealot, commended governments who "acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak," Church Militant earlier reported.
The pontiff rebuked anti-lockdown protestors for "refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!"