'Face masks instil fear and division – the British public may not comply this time'

The government has reintroduced compulsory face masks in shops and on public transport – but I don’t see the British public complying this time round, writes Jeremy Vine panellist and broadcaster Lois Perry

"I don't feel this time that there will be compliance, I really don't"
“I don’t feel this time that there will be compliance, I really don’t”

I was reading my daughter’s 11+ book recently with her – Goodnight Mr Tom – and I was reminded that masks were implemented by governments often not for the reasons people are told they’re for, but instead for populations to take things seriously, or to feel that they are part of something even if they don’t want to be.

In the book, which is set during the Second World War, a lot of the older generation of villagers are war-weary. They don’t want another war.

They’ve seen what happened in the trenches 20 years before and they’re not interested.

The government then does something quite clever to bring everyone in and frightened: it is made illegal to not carry a gas mask.

These gas masks, as it happened, were not used, but for the whole duration, the whole six years, people would grass up their neighbours and you could be arrested and fined for not having it always on your person. This included children.

You could even be imprisoned for not carrying one.

The masks were frightening.

They scared people. They scared children. And they made the war real.

Children carrying their gas masks in London’s East End as they’re evacuated from the city in September 1939


Popperfoto via Getty Images)

These modern masks, these disposable pieces of paper, only work in any sense of the word in a clinical setting where they are replaced every two hours and disposed of properly.

They are only being imposed to make people comply.

They are not designed to protect anything.

Even our own government at the very beginning of the pandemic said that masks were ineffectual and they did not recommend them.

But they are very effective at instilling fear.

They are incredibly effective at instilling division.

And they a very obvious indicator of the level of how compliant you are as an individual to the diktats that are issued and changed on a daily basis.

Face masks are compulsory again from Tuesday 30 November in shops and on public transport, as the UK braces for the new Omicron Covid variant



The government needs to be seen to be doing something, so they are doing this.

Boris Johnson is watching the world fall and in the motherland of fascism, Austria itself, it has fallen hard. With their mandatory vaccinations and violence in the streets, they set a dystopian, nightmarish example for where this goes if it keeps on this trajectory.

Viruses have to be lived with and they have to be dealt with.

But the masks are nothing to do with the virus and they are everything to do with control.

Even our own top scientists questioned the other day whether the British public were willing to tolerate any more further restrictions.

I don’t feel this time that there will be compliance, I really don’t.

Do you agree with Lois, or will you be wearing your mask on public transport and in shops again? Have your say in the comments below

Lois Perry believes compulsory mask-wearing is just a form of control



What singles out the British – and always has – is our extraordinary sense of ourselves and not being told what to do.

We can only be pushed so far.

We have complied. We have done everything we’ve been told.

We are mainly vaccinated. Everyone has been good girls and boys. Do not strip away our identities and our sense of ourselves and our children’s sense of wonder by re-introducing these inhumane – and inhuman – masks this week.

Peer-reviewed scientific studies show the use of face masks reduce the transmission of infected respiratory particles. For more information, visit Gov.uk

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