The British stiff upper lip can be overplayed. We are, after all, a country that biennially convinces ourselves it’s coming home, turned a condemned alpaca into a national cause célèbre and nearly took to the streets after that ever so disappointing Line of Duty finale.
But when it comes to the sacrifices and hardships of the past couple of years, Britons have accepted lockdowns and pandemic restrictions without the noisy and sometimes violent protests we’ve seen elsewhere.
In large part, this is because Britain is not a libertarian country, but it also reflects the public’s willingness to do what needs to be done at a time of national emergency — and a disdain for those shirking their responsibility.
No surprise then that our polling found that people are ten times more likely to view lockdown protestors as a force for bad than a force for good — or that of all the different groups in society, Britons feel coldest towards the unvaccinated.
So then, as Canada’s trucker-led “freedom convoy” enters its third week of blockading Ottawa and similar movements begin to pick up steam in France and elsewhere, do we need to buckle up for our own Parliament Square blockade?