"The Covid passport is a revolting idea. Authoritarian. Discriminatory. Un-British. The PM will give us more details in a press conference today but it’s a mark of how far lockdown has warped our values that it’s already being hailed as a “freedom pass”. The public is all for it, of course: these are the people who call the cops when they see a queue outside a church. We’ve become so used to control that being permitted to do something that in ordinary times would be quite normal, like go to the theatre or attend a football match, is treated as a benign act of mercy by an all-loving state.
The lesser gods of Westminster will say that Covid certification can help us open up sooner, but the rumour is that the technology won’t be operational until September, by when the vast majority of us will be immunised anyway, so what’s the point? They’ll say it will be temporary: they said that with the first lockdown. And just like they said ID cards need only worry you if you’ve got something to hide, so they’ll say Covid passports will only inconvenience people who refuse to get a shot.
But if the tech is up and running before September, there’ll be loads of people who won’t have had a jab or a recent history of infection, and I wouldn’t blame them if they’re reluctant to take a test now because they’ve been known to give the wrong result. If the outcome is positive, that’s life ruined for the next few weeks. Weddings cancelled. Jobs lost. The young, who have already put their careers and private lives on hold, will suffer the most, while the elderly can go to see Phantom on Ice. Plus we know that some groups are less likely to be tested or jabbed than others, because they live beyond the reach of the state or they don’t trust it. Just imagine what would happen at some Islamic or Pentecostal event when half the audience show up without a passport and have to be turned away.
It will be Windrush all over again. I mean it. At the heart of the Windrush scandal, whereby Commonwealth citizens who had lived here for decades were threatened with deportation, was the outrageous, un-British proposition that a citizen should have to prove their Britishness. Hitherto it was largely accepted that in this country the state leaves you alone unless you are doing something wrong. With Windrush, individuals were assumed to be up to no good unless they could prove otherwise. The lockdown has pushed that hideous notion to its logical conclusion, to the extent that we have been prevented from doing things that are probably of no harm, like sitting on a park bench, and now, if these horrid passports are introduced, we’ll even have to prove that we are in good health.
The Government seems determined to give David Icke fresh material for his next book. What next? A barcode on your head?
I’ve always been willing to accept lockdown as a temporary suspension of rights for a greater good. I don’t want to risk passing this illness on to a vulnerable person. But the very point of vaccinations – or so we were repeatedly told – was that they would allow us to regain our rights as fast as possible. Instead, they are now being used as cover, even justification, for the introduction of a whole new architecture of mass surveillance – and I am sick of it. I’m sick of masks, of spying, of lectures, and sick to the back teeth of false promises and false starts. Last week, Chris Whitty told us that in the future Covid would be managed like flu, which I take to mean a disease that we avoid and resist but ultimately live with.
Well, we don’t have passports for flu, do we? I’d rather see big events cancelled than this stuff become considered quotidian; I’d rather individuals were invited to judge risk for themselves than ordain the Government as guarantor of health and safety. For goodness sake, we are making real progress! We are immunising at a rate of knots and those of under 40 are willing to wait patiently for our turn because the prize, as far as I’m concerned, is that we’ll finally be left alone. What a blessing that will be! I have no desire to have the state police my health for the rest of my life." https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/05/covid-passports-authoritarian-illogical-vile/?utm_content=telegraph&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1617624969