The introduction of Covid passes in England will lead to mandatory vaccination, creating a “subclass of people who are treated as unclean, unsafe, and excluded”, privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has warned.
Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the expansion of the mask mandate and reintroduction of home-working advice, adding the bombshell announcement that England would no longer have the honoured status of being one amongst the dwindling number of European countries not implementing vaccine passports, saying that, from next week, it will be necessary to show vaccination status or proof of a negative test to enter some large venues such as nightclubs and stadiums.
Shockingly, the prime minister also clearly signalled that he believes the United Kingdom might need to have a “national discussion” about compulsory vaccination; a threat condemned by Brexit leader Nigel Farage and several Conservative MPs.
Silkie Carlo, director of the civil liberties and privacy rights pressure group Big Brother Watch, warned on Thursday that the next step after Covid passes was mandatory vaccination, telling talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “If anyone has been waiting for the moment when they were going to stand up, that moment is now.”
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, warns Plan B is another step towards mandatory vaccines.
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) December 9, 2021
“It’s all about this creation of a subclass of people who are treated as unclean, unsafe, and excluded. They have to carry their papers. They’re some kind of different category of citizen, because they haven’t decided to get vaccinated or they don’t want to have a booster.”
The prime minister had remarked on Wednesday night that, for now, a person would need two doses to be considered eligible for the Covid Pass, but that was under review, meaning that subsequent boosters may be needed to keep the passports valid. Ms Carlo warned that “this is the thing about an authoritarian. The rules just crank up, and crank up, and crank up, and the only people that are going to have a relatively smooth ride are the people that say, unconditionally, I submit, I comply with any demand. But that’s not what a free people do.”
“Where the hell will it end? It won’t end. That’s what people have to wake up to,” the Big Brother Watch chief said, continuing: “We’ve seen what’s happened in Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, everywhere else. It’s very clear what the path is, now. Let’s not look at this through the lens of football stadiums and nightclubs. It’s a crossing the Rubicon that now makes us a ‘Papers, please’ society. For the first time in a very long time in Britain, people are being asked to carry papers.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid says he has "no interest" in introducing mandatory vaccinations, "apart from in high risk settings in the NHS and social care". #KayBurley
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 9, 2021
Responding to a question from a member of the public last night on mandatory vaccinations, Prime Minister Johnson said that he did not believe that the country can continue to have restrictions “just because a substantial proportion of the population still sadly has not got vaccinated”.
“And I think we’ll need to have a national conversation about the way forward. And the other things that we can do to protect those who are hard to reach, who haven’t got vaccinated for one reason or another… So it’s at that moment we will have to talk seriously about moving on from thinking about further NPIs [non-pharmaceutical interventions],” Mr Johnson had said.
Asked whether the government was planning to have such a “national conversation” of mandatory vaccinations, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News this morning: “No, I’ve got no interest in mandatory vaccination — apart from the high-risk settings of the NHS and social care.”
“Other than that, if you’re talking about universal mandatory vaccination, I think ethically, it’s wrong, but also at a very practical level, it just wouldn’t work. Getting vaccinated has to be a positive decision,” Mr Javid added.
Farage Slams Boris for Calls to Have ‘National Conversation’ on Mandatory Vaccination https://t.co/zOEWbJMdYo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 8, 2021
However, his moral objections and lack of interest do not translate into a political stance or policy, with the health secretary not once during the exchange with the establishment media news anchor categorically ruling out the policy, before host Niall Paterson swiftly moved on, saying: “It feels like we can park that one, then.”
Others in the media have been far more robust in challenging ministers to come out clearly against mandatory vaccination, including Ms Hartley-Brewer’s several attempts to pin down Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden’s position on mandatory vaccination last week, with the minister merely responding in non-committal terms that he didn’t “agree” with forcing citizens to have medical interventions and that it was something that the government “hopefully won’t have to” do.
Flip-flopping has become a hallmark of Boris Johnson’s government during the pandemic, notably on the issue of domestic vaccine passports, where just a year ago senior ministers were pledging that there would be no introduction of such a “papers, please” society.
‘Saj the Javid’ and Vax Minister Are ‘Both Right’, Says Boris: Ten Months of Vaccine Passport U-Turns https://t.co/YGJr5F8qsw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 14, 2021