Fintan O’Toole: anti-lockdown sentiment given undeserved credibility by political failings

The State is not imposing a tyranny but, if it were, would the Dáil really notice?

Monitoring what the Government does is supposed to be one of the main jobs of the Oireachtas. Photograph: iStock

Monitoring what the Government does is supposed to be one of the main jobs of the Oireachtas. Photograph: iStock

Most anti-lockdown sentiment is driven by ignorance, conspiracy theories or the politics of the far right. The problem is that it is given undeserved credibility by the sloppiness of the political system. The pandemic has revealed an old problem in a new guise: scrutiny of Government by the Oireachtas is woeful.

The vast majority of us accept that we are in the kind of existential emergency where governments must be able to move quickly. The State needs to impose measures that, in ordinary times, would be seen as tyranny. 

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