Turning Britain into a 'papers please' society is a slippery slope that ought to worry us all
For almost the whole of the past twelve months, as we poor, downtrodden ordinary mortals have struggled to hold on to our sanity through months of house arrest and wave after wave of project fear propaganda aimed at scaring us into getting vaccines that may kill us but will not make us immune to a disease which will not kill us unless we are older than Methusala and have more diseases than a medical dictionary. Many of us felt the government we elected to serve us had turned its back on its benefactors and dedicated itself to boosting the profits of the Big Pharma cartel and vaccine makers like Pfizer. spite of government
Eventually the vaccine roll out began, and in spite of government ludicrous government claims that take up of the vaccine was almost 100%, the public response was a long way short of wildly enthusiastic which is why the government resorted in turn to even more ridiculous levels of scaremongering, bribery, coercion, peer pressure and finally outright bullying to force the determinedly sceptical to accept the killer vaccine (right now, in July 2021, if you are reasonably fit and have no long term heath problems such as diabetes yor chances of dying from the vaccine are greater than of dying from COVID.
As one of their coercive tactics earlier this year the government had threatened to introduce "vaccine passports", digital documents which we would have to present in order to gain entry to sports stadiums, music venues, theatres and cinemas and even pubs, thus ghettoizing the unvaccinated. This was not the first echo if Aktion T4, the genetic cleansing programme introduced in 1930s Germany during the course of this pandemic.
Half the government took against this illiberal, undemocratic and downright fascistic idea and were at pains to quash rumours that domestic vaccine passports would ever feature in English daily life. Again and again, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi ruled out the introduction of a system he branded “discriminatory”. “That’s not how we do things. We do them by consent,” he said back in February.
Prime Minister Johnson dismissed the idea too too, before inserting the mandate into his risibly named “Freedom Day” address, delivered from his official country residence, Chequers while he was self isolating having been pinged by the NHS' far from infallible Track and Trace app which detected he had been within spitting distance of someone who had had a cold (another coronavirus variant) in the past 20 years or something. From September, double vaccination would be required to enter nightclubs and other “crowded events”. “Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.” It also proved that his Government’s aims now stretch beyond merely “protecting” the NHS during a pandemic and into the realm of long-term coercive control, of the entire population in the style made popular by Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro and Pol Pot to name but a few.
Those who warned against vaccine passports; whether on grounds of discrimination, ethics or practicality, were repeatedly told not to worry, that the whole thing was a madcap conspiracy theory. Even now, many are convinced the move will never happen – it’s just a bluff to get the young double-vaccinated, copying Emmanuel Macron’s interventions in France.
In order to implement this policy, the Government must know that it would encounter serious resistance from Parliament, plus legal challenges from various libertarian pressure groups. An unholy alliance of far left, extreme right and dead centre pressure groups oppose the idea; Corbynites, Greens, Lib Dems rank and file Tories and most significantly perhaps, Nigel Farage, the most successful political campaigner we have seen in the past 30 years.. There is even a growing faction of Conservative backbench Members of Parliament led by former leader Iain Duncan Smith determined to vote down the plan. These people, the nearest thing we have to an official opposition as Kier Starmer's Labour Party continues trying to pull off the trick of simultaneously sitting on the fence and riding two horses with one arse. The Conservative COVID sceptics have supported the Government so far; but only on the understanding that things like domestic Covid passes wouldn’t happen. So ministers may never follow through on this cynical ultimatum for fear on seing Boris booted out of office by his own party.
But what an appalling way to run a country; lying to the public, treating them less as rational citizens than credulous lab rats to be “nudged” (or coerced or bulllied) by the biggest pstop the world has ever witnessed, into compliance. It may achieve short-term aims, but at a price: the erosion of trust.
If however, and ministers really intend to push this policy through – and previous examples of governments not so much moving the goalposts as relocating the entire fucking stadium suggest we should take this rush towards fascism seriously because the consequences are unthinkable. For the first time ever in a democracy, we would be granting domestic privileges based on a kind of social credit system; transforming the relationship between individuals and the state to that of slave and owner. Limp - dicked little losers with tablet computers would have total power over every aspect of our lives. Personal liberty would be a folk memory. Everyday activities like shopping or sitting down to have a coffee with friends would become privileges contingent on a complience with an experimental medical procedure. Free association would no longer be a right or a personal choice, but a government-conferred privilege. It would usher in a “papers please” mentality previously unheard of in peacetime.
No 10 has provided worryingly little detail so far suggesting this is another knee jerk raction by those tinplate tyrants on the government's scientific advisory panel, SAGE, but the PM’s intervention raises big questions. How would such a scheme operate, and where would it end?
History has shown time and again that having snatched powers during an emergency, governments are reluctant to relinquish them, inded it usually requires blood on the streets before the tyrants get the message. It seems highly unlikely that after assembling a vast surveillance and certification infrastructure at great cost, it will simply be dismantled when the “crisis” is over. More likely it would be used for further data gathering and sharing schemes; perhaps even ID cards, something Britain has always resisted.
What would stop it being extended to other health conditions? Once Covid status is relevant, why not other infectious diseases that kill thousands each year, like flu? Will the state, or whichever firms run the app, be able to track our movements? And if so what would be the fate of those who do not have the app installed on their smartphone or do not even have smartphones.
The existing NHS app already demands personal data with no relevance to users’ vaccination status. How would they protect our privacy, a pertinent question given the NHS’s history of data breaches? Throughout the pandemic, legislation has come into force without debate or parliamentary vote. How quickly this too could become Orwellian, with little proper scrutiny.
It’s a slippery slope. Nightclubs are an easy starting point; young clubbers bopping until dawn will be low priority to most, but once established, the principle will become harder to resist elsewhere. Places of worship, weddings, and busy pubs might not be far behind. Just yesterday Tory minister Paul Scully insisted Covid passes would never be required for pubs, only for No 10 to issue a speedy contradiction, confirming it “hadn’t been ruled out” – so watch this space.
As a low-risk 20-something, I was pleased to get my first jab last month, seeing it as a small (and voluntary) contribution towards herd immunity. But I certainly didn’t do so in order that a small, unvaccinated minority could be excluded from the public sphere or browbeaten into compliance. And to what end? Though vaccines are brilliant at protecting against hospitalisation and death, they are less effective at reducing transmission – hence why some double-vaccinees have since been reinfected. We’d be upending social and public health norms on an illogical premise.
The Government may not be staging some grand conspiracy to turn Britain into a Chinese-style social credit system, zealously monitoring citizens’ behaviour to permit or prohibit basic rights. But sometimes weakness and incompetence can send a country in a similar direction. People may not care about clubs, or the young who frequent them. But they should care about a paradigm shift that undermines all our liberties.
London Freedom Rally:Tens Of Thousands In Trafalgar Square To Protest Against Covid Passports
As the UK government stepts up its push to introduce vaccines passport which would exclude unvaccinated people from many basic, everyday activities, huge crowds gathered in London and other UK cities to protest against lockdowns, track and trace apps, coercive measures to force unwilling people to accept experimental vaccines, mask mandates, social distancing and all the other oppressive and fascistic measures imposed by Boris Johnson's authoritarian government in their so far futile campaign to halt a viral illness that only makes ill or kills people who are very old, very ill or both.