From a video recorded in October 2020 by a shopkeeper in Liverpool, England, documenting an encounter with local police officers.
shopkeeper: Can I help you?
officer 1: The area’s not open today.
shopkeeper: It’s open.
officer 1: Have you been told you’ve got to be shut?
officer 1: You’ve no guidance on that?
officer 1: You’ve not seen any government guides on that?
shopkeeper: Why are you here?
officer 1: We’re here because someone reported you being open when you shouldn’t be.
shopkeeper: Would you leave? I don’t want to enter into any contract with you.
officer 1: The contract being?
shopkeeper: I don’t want to enter into any contract, sir.
officer 1: I’m not really sure what you’re talking about.
shopkeeper: Do you want to read that sign on the door, then, please?
officer 2: No. Just summarize it for us, please.
shopkeeper: It’s Article 61 of the Magna Carta.
officer 2: The Magna Carta obviously didn’t know about COVID-19, did it?
shopkeeper: Would you read it?
officer 2: I’m aware of the Magna Carta. I’ve been and seen the original documents. But obviously we’re in a little bit of a pandemic at the moment.
shopkeeper: Are we?
officer 2: Yeah.
shopkeeper: I don’t think so.
officer 2: Scientists—
shopkeeper: What scientists in particular?
officer 1: We’re not getting into a back-and-forth over scientists. It’s current regulation that shops should be shut.
shopkeeper: Sir, I appreciate you. But as I said, I don’t consent, and I don’t wish to enter into any sort of contract with you.
officer 1: What sort of contract?
shopkeeper: What am I? What do you see me as? Am I a man?
officer 1: If you identify as a man, you’re a man.
shopkeeper: I am a man. Therefore, I don’t wish to enter into any sort of contract with you, sir.
officer 1: You’re not making any sense to me, mate.
shopkeeper: Would you like a cup of tea?
officer 1: I’m all right, thank you. I’ve just had one. Do you plan to remain open?
shopkeeper: We will be staying open.
officer 1: So you’re adhering to all the social-distancing regulations?
shopkeeper: I’ve got nothing to say.
officer 1: Okay. Thanks for your time.
shopkeeper: Do you want to read that sign before you go?