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The 'lockdown sceptics' want a culture war, with experts as the enemy | Peter Geoghegan & Mary Fitzgerald

The dismissal of coronavirus expertise, the pitting of ‘elites’ against ‘the people’ – it’s Brexit all over again for the high-profile contrarians

Within days of Boris Johnson announcing lockdown restrictions in late March, Toby Young – self-appointed general secretary of the Free Speech Union – had his own take on the government’s tripartite slogan. “Stay sceptical. End the lockdown. Save lives.”

Scepticism has a long and venerable history. From Descartes’s musings on metaphysics to Carl Sagan’s “fine art of baloney detection”, sceptics are unafraid to ask unpopular questions. Even if it means being branded a heretic.

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