Frank Furedi comments in spiked-online.com:
Behavioural science, aka ‘nudging’, has been used by the government during the pandemic to scare people into doing the ‘right’ thing. This insidious development has even been acknowledged by Simon Ruda, one of the co-founders of the Behavioural Insights Team, aka the Nudge Unit, which is part-owned by the UK government. He wrote that the ‘most egregious and far-reaching mistake made in responding to the pandemic has been the level of fear willingly conveyed [to] the public’.
And here we come to the principal problem – namely, that nudging is fundamentally anti-democratic. Behavioural scientists start from the assumption that human beings cannot be trusted to make rational choices. People’s behaviour, they conclude, should be the subject of government management. They treat people’s emotional lives, lifestyles and relationships as legitimate objects of policymaking and professional intervention.