UK leaked text messages show government leaned in on COVID ‘fear’ to drive compliance

by ian

The UK government can’t catch a break as newly revealed messages show a concerted effort to frighten the public into compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sunday Telegraph obtained and reported on over 100,000 WhatsApp messages from the British government, appropriately dubbed “The Lockdown Files.”

Among the trove is a message from former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who allegedly suggested trying to “frighten the pants of everyone with” the announcement of a new strain. Hancock then asks “When do we deploy the new variant?”

This exchange was apparently sent on December 13th of 2020 – only five days before the government scrapped plans to relax COVID-imposed rules.

A separate exchange between Hancock and Simon Case, the current head of Civil Service, shows the two discussing ways to include a “fear/guilt factor” into messaging on rule changes.

Other messages involved former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned from his position following an admission that he broke his own COVID lockdown rules by attending a party.