View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
7 May 2020updated 11 Sep 2021 4:58pm

“The lockdown continuing has human costs“ – Steve Baker joins the NS subscribers’ podcast

By New Statesman

This week, in the absence of Stephen Bush and Anoosh Chakelian, Steve Baker, the former chair of the European Research Group and influential Tory backbencher, joins Patrick Maguire and Ailbhe Rea on the New Statesman subscribers’ podcast to discuss his views on the coronavirus lockdown.

Baker drew some criticism from defenders of a more hardline social distancing approach when he described some of the police enforcement of the lockdown as “absurd, dystopian and totalitarian”.

During the parliamentary vote for the emergency lockdown measures, a visibly shaken Baker spoke in favour despite his strong commitment to individual liberties. “This has been a huge experiment in state authoritarianism, but a necessary one”, he tells Patrick and Ailbhe. After six weeks, however, he advocates a relaxation.

“The lockdown continuing has human costs,” he says. “We can’t afford to lost a third of our economy in a quarter, and have the worst recession in 300 years, and just pay for it by printing money. It’s a disaster… It would be the death of our society to do that.”

Click here to listen to the podcast

Content from our partners
Inside the UK's enduring love for chocolate
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.