Anne Marie Waters
Sunday 18th July 2021
Tomorrow is “freedom day”. Or it was. Nothing is certain. We’ll have to see. It turns out that today, the health secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for coronavirus, and the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer will now need to “self-isolate”. It all sounds very ‘Groundhog Day‘.
I put “freedom day” in quote marks for a reason, because it isn’t really freedom. It’s the kind of freedom that people had in Orwell’s classic (and my favourite novel) Nineteen-Eighty-Four. In perhaps it’s most famous lines, the people living under socialist tyranny in the book are told “freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, war is peace”. While the “freedom” we’ve been promised may not amount to slavery, it isn’t freedom either.
Just a week ago, the papers reported that in the next few months, it will become compulsory for people to be vaccinated in order to enter pubs, restaurants, any kind of entertainment venue. But there are millions of us, myself included, who do not want to take this vaccine. We don’t want to inject our bodies with something that has no track record and which clearly isn’t working anyway.
If we don’t allow ourselves to be injected with this vaccine, we will miss out on life. It’s enjoyment will be denied. This is not freedom.
Besides, how can it be the answer to the country’s virus problems if we are now seeing an explosion of cases despite all the vaccinations already administered? Health Secretary Sajid Javid is already warning of 100,000 cases a day over the summer. Worse still, some reports claim that a new lockdown would last even longer than the last if “freedom day” results in an explosion of cases (which we’re already being told will happen).
If we are imprisoned in our homes again, we must not accept it. If businesses are closed again, indefinitely, we must not accept it.
The good news is that some businesses are already refusing to enforce the requirement for vaccine passports. Some have said it is “completely unworkable“. Nightclub owner REKOM UK, which owns 42 nightclubs across the country, has outright refused to ask for vaccine passports. Its chief executive Peter Marks said his clubs would reopen “at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative COVID test, something we believe would create a barrier to both customer enjoyment and getting the industry back on its feet”.
Marks clearly understands that bars and clubs are supposed to be about fun, spontaneity, relaxation with friends, and having to provide vaccination report cards somewhat takes the shine off of that. He knows it will kill the industry, and hopefully, he is not alone.
Meanwhile, the press is busily reporting the down side to “freedom day”. In one such report, we are told that “he clinically vulnerable and those working in customer-facing roles such as retail, hospitality and healthcare have grave concerns about the “confusing” new guidance.”
We are also told:
Matt Tacey, an NHS mental health nurse in the Midlands, branded so-called Freedom Day “careless, reckless and quite frankly dangerous”.
“The death rate at the moment is quite low but the number of people in beds is increasing – we are going to get to a point where we have no hospital beds left and then what are we going to do,” said the 30-year-old, who is also a member of Nurses United’s core leadership team.
“There was an occasion last year where the Covid ward was full and we had a Covid-positive patient in the back of an ambulance for about eight hours because there was no space. That then has a knock-on effect in the community.
“It’s petrifying stuff. I know staff who’ve got PTSD from the pandemic, it’s triggering their trauma.”
That’s quite alarming. The same kind of alarming that the press has been shoving down our throats since this fiasco began.
This has to end. We cannot accept this. Other countries, such as Sweden, which did not institute lockdowns or compulsory masks, has not collapsed in to oblivion. Yet we are to believe that we will. This whole thing is being spectacularly mis-managed and if we are imprisoned yet again, we must demand political change. It must mean the end of the Labour-Tory dominance of Parliament. It must.
We will not be slaves to these two parties. They genuinely think they can do whatever they like and get away with it. Perhaps they can, for now. But if we want a real freedom day, we can’t allow them to do get away with it forever.
Anne Marie Waters
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