Tomorrow will see one of the most consequential votes in recent British political history if you care about living without spurious state controls on your everyday life.
We’ll find out if Covid has morphed the once-proudly-freedom-loving Conservative party – led by a Prime Minister who, long before he entered Number 10, threatened to eat any identity card introduced by Labour – into an authoritarian mob backing the creation of a ‘papers please’ society.
The result is not in doubt because Covid passports will be nodded through by the feckless Leader of the ‘No Opposition’ Keir Starmer.
But the Tory party itself is at a crossroads and its long-term prospects hang in the balance.
Before entering Number 10, Boris Johnson threatened to eat any identity card introduced by Labour, writes Dan Wootton
If its MPs put their morality to one side in favour of career ambition to vote for Plan B, then the dreaded creation of a two-tier society and biosecurity state begins at pace.
Millions of folk like me will struggle to forget a deliberate and unnecessary stripping away of our freedoms which come with such serious consequences.
From this week, the unvaccinated will be excluded from ‘high risk’ mass events like concerts.
But this is just the beginning, given influential Covid hysterics like Michael Gove are pushing for health passports to be used far and wide.
We know the story by now.
If we don’t resist, it’s only a matter of time before Brits will be asked for their ‘papers please’ before entering the pub for a pint or ordering a Big Mac at McDonald’s.
Businesses that refuse to engage in such draconian practices will be fined and then shut by overzealous council inspectors.
Think I’m exaggerating? So-called liberal democracies across the globe, from the Netherlands to New Zealand, have already gone down this truly dystopian path.
But perhaps the most infuriating thing about the imminent introduction of vaccine passports by law to England is that the whole thing is a completely and utterly pointless farce.
That’s because evidence from across the globe suggests vaccine passports do NOT work.
To begin with, we have just been warned that two doses of the Pfizer and AZ jabs likely provides very little protection against getting infected and passing on Omicron.
Which is why we are all currently being urged to get boosters.
And, even before the new variant, all the scientific evidence pointed to people being able to transmit Covid, whether they’re vaccinated or not.
As a recent study published in The Lancet about the UK concluded: ‘Although current vaccines remain effective at preventing severe disease and deaths from Covid-19, our findings suggest that vaccination alone is not sufficient to prevent all transmission of the Delta variant.’
With that in mind, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee reported in September on vaccine passports, demanding the government ‘provide scientific evidence backing up its claims that requiring Covid passports was necessary to reopening the economy and society’.
Tellingly, no evidence has been forthcoming.
Covid passports will be nodded through by the feckless Leader of the ‘No Opposition’ Keir Starmer, Wootton writes
The Committee concluded in its report: ‘The latest analysis by Public Health England found that although being fully vaccinated protects against infection and severe symptoms, it’s unlikely to do much to stop the spread of the virus if people become infected. Jabbed and unjabbed individuals carry similar amounts of the virus. Researchers call this having a similar viral load.’
Even that militant little Covid oppressor of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has had to accept there is no proof that vaccine passports have reduced transmission of Covid.
A 70-page dossier was awkwardly released last month by the Scottish government totally devoid of any evidence, forcing the First Minister to reluctantly shelve plans to roll out the scheme more widely.
Likewise, the introduction of vaccine passports in France, Germany, Ireland and Italy did nothing to stop Covid cases from skyrocketing.
What we do know for certain though is vaccine passports are a hammer blow for an already struggling hospitality industry, with revenue expected to plunge by at least 25 per cent once they are introduced.
So, given the lack of evidence, what are vaccine passports REALLY about? Coercion – or, to put it more bluntly, blackmail – pure and simple.
Boris Johnson, encouraged by his SAGE cronies and much of the political and media establishment, believes that excluding people from fun parts of society will force the hesitant to get jabbed and live happily ever after.
But perhaps the most infuriating thing about the imminent introduction of vaccine passports by law to England is that the whole thing is a completely and utterly pointless farce
Within weeks, being considered ‘fully vaccinated’ by the government will constitute three jabs, not two – and I doubt that cycle will end anytime soon.
Such an approach is counterproductive.
The millions of people who are suspicious of the mass vaccination programme are most likely to be minorities from under privileged parts of society who are least likely to trust the government.
Trying to coerce them into a jab is only going to make them run a million miles.
Despite constant carping from my critics, I am very much pro-vaccination personally.
As a big believer in experimental science, I have been happily boosted having weighed up the risks, taking into account my own health profile.
But I live and die for every British citizen to make that choice for themselves.
If the excluded are shut out from society, the government and doomsday scientists really ought to think what that’s going to do? They are far more likely to reject all government-provided health and education services long-term, for example.
That’s why it’s up to us now to reject a ‘papers please’ society and the imposition of what are effectively ID cards through the backdoor.
Even that militant little Covid oppressor of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has had to accept there is no proof that vaccine passports have reduced transmission of Covid
As Tory rebel ringleader Steve Baker put it: ‘This disease will now be with us forever, there will be new variants, the vaccine continues to give a high degree of protection against serious illness and death and we just do now need to get on with our lives. We’ve got to show that there’s a movement for that frame of mind because if we don’t, the Conservative Party will continue to drift into authoritarianism and I simply cannot stand idly by while that happens.’
Already, 87 per cent of the over-60s in the UK have agreed to be boosted, meaning those vulnerable from becoming seriously ill from Covid are as protected as possible. They’re the group who matter most in any discussion about this virus.
I can assure all my friends, family members and colleagues that my door always remains open to everyone, regardless of health status or the possession of a vaccine passport or pointless QR code.
Perhaps if thousands of businesses across England take the same approach then the enforcement of vaccine passports will become futile.
That feels the best we can hope for unless a mass rebellion by the Tory backbenchers tomorrow wakes Boris up to the mess he’s close to creating.