Saturday, 3 April 2021

"Dozens of MPs criticise 'divisive' Covid passports"

I must admit, I am heartily indifferent to the whole furore. On the one hand, they won't achieve much, on the other hand, it's a free world and you can't stop people doing stuff.

Demanding a Covid passport as proof of a jab or test to access jobs or services is "dangerous, discriminatory and counterproductive", opponents say.

Baroness Chakrabarti warned the passports risked creating a "checkpoint Britain" as more than 70 MPs railed against their use in England. Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and senior Tory Iain Duncan Smith are among a broad coalition who pledged their opposition.

1. Every country can make up its own rules on who's allowed in, quarantine requirements and so on. Like certain countries demanding you had a Yellow Fever vaccination prior to travel. If the UK wants to do the same as other countries, is that such a bad thing? Possibly, I don't know. But we have to accept that the world is the way it is, in which case it makes sense to have a standardised, internationally accepted 'passport' (in whatever form).

2. But the cat is out of the bag and some people will have them. I never had an objection to individual employers, cinemas or restaurants banning smoking on their premises. Their gaff, their rules, I can always go somewhere else. I still object strongly to the government-imposed general smoking ban, but I guess that ship has sailed. By the same token, if individual private employers or businesses think it is in their interests to demand to see a Covid passport (and I don't see why it would be, but hey), who's to stop them?

3. The whole idea is slightly ludicrous, because...

a) it will be several months until ever adult (i.e. the under-50s) have had the opportunity to receive both jabs (plus two week wait after the second jab for luck), and which pub is going to turn away all the under-50s until this autumn (or whenever)? Which employer is going to put a blanket ban on employees under-50 coming to work, or recruiting them in the first place?

b) what about children? I'm not aware that there are any plans to vaccinate all children as well. Even if they do them once they've finished vaccinating all adults, that won't be over until a year from now. So Mum and Dad can go into the restaurant or cinema and the kids have to stay outside?

c) and there are enough adults who simply can't be vaccinated (pregnant women, people with certain conditions or allergies).

4. Then add on the possibilities for fraud (anything electronic can be hacked) and mistakes (where a valid passport is not recognised) and the cost of employing bouncers outside your place of business.

5. The vaccines are, thankfully, voluntary. If Covid-19 were as dangerous as Ebola fever, there might be an argument for making them compulsory and imposing sanctions on those who don't comply, but Covid-19 just isn't serious enough. And voluntary must mean voluntary. So monopoly providers of certain services (mainly the government, in this context) should clearly not be allowed to discriminate again the non-vaccinated. But like I said, if a competing private business decides that it's in its own interests to demand to see a Covid passport, fair enough.

5. Overall result = a mountain of chaos that collapses under the weight of its own contradictions. The arguments FOR and the arguments AGAINST are both pretty feeble, if you ask me. Which you didn't, but I'm telling you anyway just to get it off my chest.


Bayard said...

"So Mum and Dad can go into the restaurant or cinema and the kids have to stay outside?"

Are you old enough when pubs were like that? I am, and there was always a cold wind blowing, or it was drizzling or both.

Why does the CAPTCHA that asks me to identify bridges, show me an example of a bridge in case I don't know what a bridge is, but doesn't do that with palm trees

Scrobs. said...

Sadly, the effort of just going to a pub, paying around a tenner for two drinks, wearing some sort of mask, sitting yards away from chums, seeing Doris behind the bar, wearing rubber gloves (heeuuugher), and generally thinking that we are enjoying ourselves is a thing of the past!

I wouldn't want to waste money on posh road-kill-menu 'restaurants' either, so Senora O'Blene and I have reverted to the poor people of the underclass of yesteryear, who make the most of what we have, buy frugally, drink excessively at home, and just enjoy being old again!

And if anyone recognises me from the pic on my driving licence, then they really need a visit to Specsavers!

Sobers said...

I too have been somewhat sanguine about the whole 'covid passport' thing. Not so much because I don't mind them, I'm passionately opposed to such government control of our lives. I just don't think it will work, not least because with vaccine uptake among ethnic minorities being far lower than among whites such a policy would be incredibly racially divisive and I don't think any government is going to be able to hold the line once they start getting accused of introducing some sort of apartheid regime. Thats not to say they won't try, but I see it collapsing pretty rapidly.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, my parents didn't to to the pub, so that never affected me.

Scr, that sounds like a vision of Hell. Although according to the BBC, pubs will be exempt, making a mockery of the whole thing.

"buy frugally, drink excessively at home", that's my philosophy!

S, those are more good reasons why it will collapse before it gets off the ground properly.

mombers said...

There should never be a vaccine passport for domestic activities. But there should be a voluntary 'I'm a gullible conspiracy theory victim and am proudly vaccine microchip free' hat. Could even be made of metal mesh to foil the brain readers