I Will Not Carry A Vaccine Passport | Jake Scott & William Yarwood
After months of what now appear to be out-and-out lies, the government has committed itself to the project of a domestic passport for the purpose of easing the country out of lockdown. This so-called “coronavirus vaccine passport” has, according to Ipsos Mori, broad support amongst the British population; as many as 58% supporting their use for public transport, and 74% to visit a relative in hospital.
Despite the fact that, as recently as February, the Minister for Vaccine Development Nadhim Zahawi, who represents the seat of Stratford-upon-Avon, ruled out the use of vaccine passports, it now seems that the Prime Minister’s own office is directing the development of the project. Johnson is reportedly committed to the development of the passport, despite significant opposition within his own party.
Some comfort themselves that Parliament could prevent the passing of such a measure. If only; Parliament can be circumvented quite easily under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020. As Jake Hinks discusses, the act ‘goes beyond natural dominance. It is a manifestation of excessive executive dominance, which can be defined as a position of dominance the executive is placed in by a combination and importantly an “extension” of various natural dominance factors’.
Others remark that pubs and other hospitality sites could simply implement them at will. Of course they can – if they want a £1,000 fine. It seems as though the government really has thought of everything.
And isn’t that disturbing? Consider the distinct absence of a debate on the topic of a covid passport; indeed, there has been no attempt at justification for passports in the public realm, presumably because “the public” support them, even though I have never spoken to someone who does. There is an eery silence surrounding the introduction of a vaccine passport from government, never mind its details. What form will it take? Will it be digital? Will it be connected to your GP? Would it cost anything? If you have not had a vaccine by April 12th when pubs reopen, are you liable to provide proof of a negative covid test? How would you even get one? I ask these questions because I simply do not know – and the government seems to think itself above answering.
Governments hijack crises in order to expand their power – this pandemic has been no exception. The ruling state elites and their allies have now had a taste of the power they have only dreamt of possessing and their hunger for more will only prove detrimental for us and our ancient freedoms. But will people resist? There are rumblings of dissent from backbench Tory MPs and even some opposition finally arising from both Labour and the Liberal Democrat parliamentarians.
Add this in with groups like Big Brother Watch raising over £30,000 in a few days in order to spearhead initiatives and legal challenges to opposing the passports and one might be forgiven for developing some optimism regarding this issue being thrown into the dustbin where it belongs. But alas, this all matters little when our own people have more of a thirst for control than the those who rule them; as, according to YouGov, 58% of Britons have said they would support the introduction of a vaccine passport system as soon as possible with a further 28% strongly supporting the idea. I am reminded of the American libertarian essayist and satirist, H.L. Mencken’s famous words “Most people want security in this world, not liberty.” It seems that Britons not just ‘want’ security but long for it – no matter the cost.
The more conspiratorially minded might suggest that Zahawi’s consistent denial of the plans for a passport was a fait accompli, so that the topic could be floated without the government itself risking a volte face. They certainly might. I, however, think this adds too much credit to an otherwise farcical government that has proven itself to stumble from ‘solution’ to ‘solution’ in the last twelve months. Let us remind ourselves of the government’s many, many aborted plans since March 2020: three weeks to flatten the curve; no need to wear a mask; of course, no one will forget eat-out-to-help-out; being ‘past the peak’ in September; locking down prior to Christmas so we could avoid locking down in January, and covid wardens.
What could possibly compel anyone to trust the charlatans in office at the moment? Why on earth should we listen to a word that Boris Johnson bumbles through? Stephanie Hare has rightly pointed out that the introduction of a vaccine passport would be an ‘ID Card by stealth’, something Mr. Johnson himself ruled out not that long ago. He even ruled out vaccine passports in March.
Either this government has wilfully been lying to us for months, or it has lurched into another ‘silver bullet’ for resolving the coronavirus crisis – a crisis that, let us not forget, you have a >99% chance of surviving if you are below 50.
But the most depressing concerning the announcement of vaccine passports is not that they are being implemented, it’s that some people are surprised about them being implemented in the first place. This government has proven itself over the last year to be the most authoritarian government in living memory; placing everyone under house arrest, destroying small businesses and allowing the police to run rampant on the citizenry. And our fellow Britons not only endorse this rampant statism but lust for more. So of course, they want you to have a vaccine passport. After all, this is simply another part of our long trip down the elite’s beloved road to serfdom, with our own people more than happily holding the state’s hand – skipping towards ultimate servitude.
I will not carry a vaccine passport anywhere with me. If I am turned away from a pub, I will drink at home. If my university forbids me from teaching on campus, I will teach from home. If I cannot take books out of a library, I will buy them. But all of these luxuries are ones I have the pleasure of providing for myself; there are many not so lucky.