Instead of learning lessons from lockdowns, the hearing is more interested in knocking the stuffing out of the government, writes Jonathan Sumption, a former justice of the Supreme Court.
The Covid-19 inquiry’s terms of reference are as broad as could be, but it has only one useful purpose. Lockdowns and other aggressive government interventions were an unprecedented and untested experiment with the lives and wellbeing of each one of us.
We need to know what they achieved, if anything. We need to know whether it was worth the appalling collateral consequences for other clinical conditions, for our mental wellbeing, for our children’s education and for the economy and public finances of our country.
We need to know whether other policies might have produced acceptable results at a lesser cost in human misery. That way, we may have some prospect of avoiding a similar disaster next time, for there will surely be a next time.