Coercion: the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force.
Over the course of the Covid-19 ‘crisis’, scientific advice to the UK Government has been co-ordinated by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). SAGE is co-chaired by Sir Patrick Vallance (the Government Chief Science Advisor) and Professor Chris Whitty (the Chief Medical Officer).
We have already seen how SAGE has used external advisors to help direct the medical and social response. But the UK government also claims that “many issues around the coronavirus response relate to behaviour”.
[See here for original document by Mike Robinson . . .]
Increasing the Public's Compliance with Social Distancing
On 22 March, in preparation for a SAGE meeting to be held the following day, SPI-B (Scientific Pandemic Influenza group on Behaviour ) published a document (pdf, mirrored here) entitled Options for increasing adherence to social distancing measures.
“What are the options for increasing adherence to the social distancing measures?”, it asks.
It considers the two social distancing measure seen to be most important at that time: general social distancing by everyone, and shielding of vulnerable people for at least 12 weeks.
There are nine “broad ways” of achieving behaviour change, they write: Education, Persuasion, Incentivisation, Coercion, Enablement, Training, Restriction, Environmental restructuring, and Modelling.
Persuasion and Coercion
The advice given by SPI-B is immediately aggressive. “A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened,” they write. “The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”
In other words, SPI-B recommended to SAGE that levels of fear needed to be increased in order to bring levels of compliance with so-called ‘lockdown’ up to desirable levels.
“To be effective,” they continue, “this must also empower people by making clear the actions they can take to reduce the threat.”
Here, SPI-B is making it clear that it can’t be left to individuals to decide which actions are appropriate; they have to be told.
In other words, the people of the UK have been subjected to an on-going psychological assault from
SAGE, SPI-B and the Behavioural Insights Team.
Read the full article here . . .
The random thoughts of 99th Monkey . . . an occasional rant and other reflections in the hall of mirrors.