'Why we oppose Tier 3 restrictions in South Yorkshire'
Campaigners have questioned MPs as to why Sheffield and South Yorkshire has been forced into Tier 3 lockdown, claiming it will ‘reap more devastation than the actual disease itself’.
Dear Louise Haigh MP, Paul Blomfield MP, Sarah Champion MP, Dan Jarvis MP
We are writing to you as concerned constituents and professionals with backgrounds in journalism, science, teaching and mental health.
We hold varying political views (one of us is a member of the Labour Party) but we share a strong belief in freedom, liberty and rational debate based upon evidence.
Like many of our friends and family we understand the pernicious effect that the Covid pandemic is having on society and the pressures it has placed on the NHS.
But we all fear the imposition of punitive Tier 3 restrictions upon South Yorkshire from 2 December will reap more devastation than the actual disease itself.
There will be untold financial misery heaped upon the region with debt and unemployment reaching unprecedented levels. This in turn will inflict massive health misery on great swathes of society.
Lockdowns and restrictive access to medical services are storing up casualties from heart disease, cancers, suicides and other mental health issues in years to come.
Many businesses and jobs in the hospitality industry will not survive until next spring when we might be allowed our freedoms again - but why?
Here in South Yorkshire we have been placed in the highest most restrictive Tier - despite evidence that cases are falling and that many businesses have managed to 'Covid'-proof' their premises.
But are these new measures truly necessary? Are they proportionate to the threat?
What has happened to the balance between personal responsibility and risk, not to mention basic human rights?
Earlier this year the Government's own experts SAGE advised ministers that: "Citizens should be treated as rational actors, capable of taking decisions themselves and managing personal risk."
Since then we have seen the creeping nationalisation of personal responsibility - a very troubling direction for our democracy, in our view. Indeed, in the Court of Appeal, counsel for the Recovery Campaign described the Covid-19 lockdown rules as: "The most onerous restrictions to personal liberty since the time of Oliver Cromwell".
At the heart of all this is the burning question: Are these measures proportionate to the threat posed to the average person who follows common-sense advice to prevent Covid infection?
With the average age of Covid-related deaths being 82, can this be balanced by the onerous toll on the physical and mental health of future generations?
This is an inhumane policy that is causing more harm than good.
The only power we now have to prevent this calamity is through your vote in the House of Commons next week when these measures will become statute.
Are you as our elected representatives willing to impose Tier 3 restrictions in our region whilst large swathes of London and the south, where infections are rising, have been placed in Tier 2?
We ask you, as our politicians and elected representatives, to vigorously oppose these authoritarian measures.
Please vote against the Government next week.
Given the likely rebellion of a significant number of Convervative MPs your vote could make a difference between four more months of self-inflicted misery and a genuine