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THE GOVERNMENT IS A COVIDIOT

The so-called ‘law of unintended consequences’ is pretty much symbiotically bound up with almost all new legal provisions. This is a function of what sociologists call ‘wicked problems’. The new law largely (if not completely) addresses the issue at hand but this then, almost invariably, creates a new equally heinous issue, which in itself requires a substantive solution.

It was not quite anticipated, although surely inevitable that reports of domestic abuse would significantly increase, as a consequence of the lockdown provisions. As one major advertising campaign intimated, abusers don’t get furloughed, as they always work from home. According to one report, the number of women killed during a period of lockdown doubles. Also helpline queries ‘surge’ by more than 50%.

Another adage that seems to come in to play when legislating during periods of lockdown is Murphy’s Law (‘anything that can go wrong will go wrong’). This is perhaps most vividly exemplified by what happened when lockdown provisions were eased so that everyone could ‘have a Christmas’.

It is probably for reasons like these that the law will never ever lose its reputation for being the proverbial ass!

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