Lockdown: Radio guest calls for 'strict' measures
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Journalist and Director of Campaign Central Mike Buckley caused a Twitter storm when he suggested he would put the UK into a stricter lockdown “this afternoon” if he was able to. He explained he had been pushing for the Government to lockdown sooner and harder to tackle new coronavirus variants in the UK and condemned the slowness in shutting the borders to India. But the writer’s words fell on deaf ears as many attacked him for wanting to restrict people’s freedoms so close to the June 21 reopening.
Speaking on Mark Dolan’s TalkRADIO show, Mr Buckley was joined by fellow TalkRADIO host Patrick Christys to debate the UK leaving lockdown later this month.
Mr Dolan asked what Mr Buckley would do if he was prime minister, to which he replied: “I would love to unlock today, genuinely, we’ve all had enough on a personal basis.
“As a country, we’ve all had enough, there are all things we want to do and we want to get on with our lives.
“This is really old now, a year ago it was kind of interesting… and we made the best of difficult circumstances.
“But honestly we should’ve learnt lessons but we haven’t learned lessons.
“We’re heading back into where we’ve been at least twice before if not three times before.
“It’s appalling and it’s unnecessary.”
Mr Dolan then interrupted and asked Mr Buckley what he would do if he was in charge of the decision making process to unlocking the country or implementing stricter rules.
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He replied: “If I was the prime minister, I would be taking us back into a fairly strict lockdown this very afternoon.
“And I would keep us there for a shorter time as possible, I would get cases under control, I will close the borders so that we didn’t have more variants coming in.
“We’d probably have to be in that strict lockdown for maybe two, maybe three weeks and then we’d be home free.”
But as Mr Buckley delivered his final thoughts, fellow guest Mr Cristys could be heard exclaiming and seen holding his head in his hands.
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Listeners were also less than impressed with his viewpoint.
One wrote: “I take it you’re on full pay and able to work from home and the lockdowns have very little effect on you.
“Either that, or you’re a bit unhinged, which is it?”
Another commented: “Fab idea, let’s spend all summer in lockdown and only emerge in autumn once the respiratory illness season starts.”
A comment read: “He can lock down for eternity if he wishes but leave me out of it.”
Doubts have been raised by government officials that the June 21 reopen date may not go ahead following the rise in new cases and concerns over theIndian variant in the UK.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Indian variant, also known as the Delta strain, has made reopening “more challenging” as he stressed the June 21 date was always the earliest target.
Mr Hancock added that hospitalisations remain flat despite the rise in cases.
Manchester has been given a support boost following the rise in cases as the northern city will now see more vaccines, tests and military personnel to help combat the virus.
Mayor Andy Burnham has also urged citizens to follow more social distancing guidelines but stressed they were not going into lockdown.
These include meeting fewer people in a group or visiting them outside.
This week saw the vaccine programme open up for over-25s with over half a million jabs booked within the first few hours of opening on Monday.
More tests will also be held on the Pfizer vaccine this week to see its efficacy in over-12s.
The Government has approved the vaccine for over-12s but continues to test and monitor the vaccine and hope to fully roll it out later this year – likely to be before the autumn school term starts.
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