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Bacik is wrong: Covid shows dangers of “strong State intervention”

Ivana Bacik has said that Covid proves “strong State intervention” is needed to tackle global issues “for the public good.” But “strong state intervention” is what gave us the longest and harshest lockdown in the EU, with a huge tax bill to boot.

The remarks were made by the Labour TD in the Dáil yesterday during a debate about “climate action.”

Arguing that “we face a climate emergency,” Bacik said: “The report from the IPCC in August warned us that we are at ‘code red for humanity.’”

Notably, as an aside, nowhere in the IPCC report were the words “code red for humanity” used, nor did it come from scientists. It was instead a quote from UN Secretary General and career Socialist Party politician Antonio Gueterres, who is as much a climate scientist as I am an astronaut.

The media regurgitated it ad infinitum as if it had come from the IPCC, but that is simply not the case, which Bacik would know if she had read the report she’s citing.

Regardless, she continued: “Therefore, there is real urgency regarding this issue. It is the sort of urgency that characterised the responses of governments around the world to the Covid-19 crisis.

“We do not, however, see that sort of radical response being characteristic of governments around the world when it comes to climate change.”

Bacik went on to assert that to deal with global issues, “we must see strong action from states and governments” for “collective solidarity and the public good.”

“If any positive can be taken from the pandemic,” she said, “it is that it has showcased the value of state intervention.”

Now, this is quite true – the Covid lockdowns did showcase the value of state intervention in ordinary people’s lives “for the common good.”

For example, it was of huge value to large multinational corporations and the uber rich, who benefited from the most seismic wealth transfer in human history as their smaller business competitors were smashed by the strong arm of the state.

It was of huge value to governments like our own, who seized unprecedented amounts of power from the general public.

From the ability to put the entire nation under house arrest, to banning peaceful protests, and breaking up religious services, the state took upon itself rights it never had before, and greatly increased the capacity for politicians to engineer society to their liking.

So yes, these groups benefited greatly.

But for ordinary people, the value is dubious, as evidenced by countries like Sweden, which hardly shut down its economy at all and yet fared more or less as well as any other country in Europe (and in some cases better).

The evidence is in, and at this point it’s safe to say that lockdowns did little but devastate small businesses and deprive millions of people of their most fundamental rights.

And to put a cherry on top, it’s those same people who were victimised by the lockdown that will have to pay for its effects in the form of enormous State-imposed tax hikes for years to come.

Who would have thought the Labour Party – allegedly the party of the working man – would side with all the elite organs of power in our society to support policies that devastate regular families?

This is despite Bacik celebrating Joe Biden’s absolutely absurd spending in the US, celebrating the fact that there is, in her view, a growing sense of the “importance of the state.”

“The same trend can be seen in the United States under President Joe Biden, where a $1.3 trillion stimulus package is being undertaken,” she praised.

In short, Bacik is a big supporter of grandiose social engineering projects and wild government spending that leaves taxpayers with a crippling bill at the end. Call it malice or call it incompetence – whatever the case may be, lockdown was the biggest piece of evidence for why the state should not have more power.

She concluded: “There is a growing consciousness, therefore, of the need for strong government interventions and co-operation in respect of climate change. We all hope that will be evident in the intergovernmental talks at COP26 at the end of October.”

As has been established already, the entire 2020 lockdown, which saw a halt to almost all economic activity and travel, reduced Ireland’s carbon emissions by less than 6%.

According to the government’s climate plans, which they describe as one of “the most ambitious” in the world, we need to reduce carbon emissions by 7% every single year.

In other words, we would have to implement even more onerous restrictions than the Covid lockdown, and keep them forever, in order to meet emissions targets. This is the value of “strong state action” that Bacik envisions. It’s utter madness.

When you talk about strong state intervention, you’re talking about incompetent people who have run everything they’ve touched into the ground – from healthcare, to housing, to spending, to defence, to border control.

You’re essentially saying “Hey, you know those people who have failed to run anything effectively? Let’s give them control of everything.”

If you hire someone to mind your goldfish while you’re on holidays, and you get back and the fish is dead and your house has burned to the ground, is your first instinct “I better give this guy more responsibility over more areas of my life”? Or do you think “This is the last person I should put in charge of anything remotely important”?

That’s effectively the position we’re in with the State – we should be drastically reducing their power and influence if anything.

The fact that people like Bacik see Covid as a golden opportunity to open the floodgates to all manner of “strong state” control should seriously worry all of us.

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