Boris Johnson could move to introduce food rationing if Britons fail to exercise restraint when shopping, an academic expert has claimed. Bryce Evans, associate professor of history and politics at Liverpool Hope University, has called on authorities to look at the lessons learned from the First and Second World Wars to combat any potential shortages during the coronavirus pandemic. He warned history proves simply telling people not to be selfish or stockpile is futile.
Mr Evans, who has written extensively on nutrition and public feeding in times of war, has claimed a new Ministry of Food could be introduced to ensure essential supplies can be delivered via online shopping and paid for with “ration coupons”.
He told FEMAIL: “There’s a risk we’re still not taking this crisis seriously enough when it comes to our food supply.
“There needs to be a big shift in current consumption behaviours, because it’s a matter of weeks before things start to become a real problem if we continue in the same vein.
“And I can see rationing on the horizon. Both wars show us that what the government is doing right now – telling people not to panic buy, to voluntarily curtail consumption – just doesn’t work, sadly.
“It has to be followed up with a clear, government-led rationing system of essential goods.
“This was previously done in collaboration with retailers and it can be replicated again, accompanied by price controls and greater penalties for the worst racketeers and black marketeers.
“Rationing can’t be left up to poor old supermarket checkout staff, who have to deal with anger and arguments – the government must step in.
“The online ration system would also seem likely since we do not want scenes like at the weekend, where hundreds of people descend on a supermarket at the same time, because this increases the risk of transmission greatly.”
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Published at Thu, 26 Mar 2020 07:17:00 +0000