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Blair’s constant war on freedom With his call for vaccine passports, the former PM wants to surrender our civil liberties all over again

Tony Blair is no friend of civil liberties (Photo by Harry Murphy /Web Summit via Getty Images)

Tony Blair is no friend of civil liberties (Photo by Harry Murphy /Web Summit via Getty Images)


March 2, 2021   5 mins

Tony Blair is back. And so is everything that he entails. Including, among his many qualities, his characteristic disregard for our civil liberties. Perhaps inspired by the failure of his Labour government to introduce national identity cards, Britain’s most successful living former prime minister has turned his attention to domestic vaccine passports. From the War on Terror to Covid, Blair has rarely been one to miss the opportunity to suggest that the solution to what people fear most at any given moment is more state power.

Having met Blair and his team several times to discuss how to address jihadist terrorism, I understood their temptation to veer towards safety and security over life and liberty. But the truth remains that those who trade liberty for security invariably end up with neither. Sadly, many of the debates we had then about how to balance our safety with our freedoms are resurfacing now in the name of beating Covid. But it is not as if we haven’t been down this route before.

During my years spent largely unsuccessfully lobbying successive governments on extremism policy, I met Blair, Brown and Cameron. My work was mainly informed by my own survival of the War on Terror-era encroachments against liberty. I believed I was granted such audiences precisely because I had survived the human rights abuses of that decade only to emerge as a critic of my own former Islamist dogma, while advocating the universality of human rights.

In 2002, during my time as a Prisoner of Conscience in Egypt, I witnessed British and other detainees tortured in the name of the War on Terror. I do not know of any UK involvement in my own treatment, but my experience did inform my desire to work for an end to British complicity in such abuse anywhere in the world. Blair’s Labour government was in fact implicated in the “extraordinary rendition” of suspects to third countries, where they were tortured for intelligence. When this practice was eventually investigated, Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee went so far as to say that “British agencies continued to supply intelligence to allies despite knowing or suspecting abuse in more than 200 cases”.

It was also Blair’s government that criminalised the right to silence at British ports. Thanks to Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, to this day any person may be detained and questioned, with no need for reasonable grounds. It remains a criminal offence not to answer questions during such an interrogation. These laws were originally intended for Irish Republicans, and came to be used largely for jihadist terrorism — but typical of government mission creep, they were eventually applied to obstruct controversial journalism. The most publicised example of this occurred in 2013, when Glen Greenwald’s partner David Miranda was detained under these powers at Heathrow airport for nine hours.

It took New Labour’s successors, a Conservative-led government, to soften these Schedule 7 powers by including a reduction in the maximum period of detainment from nine hours to six, extending the rights to consult privately with a solicitor and to have a person informed of the detention, as well as the repeal of power to take a DNA sample. Staying silent, however, remains a criminal offence.

In 2006, upon my return from Egyptian prison, I too was detained and interrogated at Heathrow airport under Schedule 7. My DNA was taken from me by law. This is why, during my work around challenging Islamist extremism, I sought to use the limited platform that I had gained to challenge these powers and advised their repeal.

Sadly, civil liberties were not a priority for Blair. He tried and failed to introduce national identity cards, even insisting that the scheme should go ahead as a question of “modernity”. Blair also tried to extend the detention of terror suspects without charge for 90 days, the amount of time it took the Egyptian regime to charge me, after placing us in solitary confinement once they removed us from their torture dungeons. After being defeated by Labour backbenchers and the Tory opposition, Labour still managed to secure 28-day detention for suspects, which remains the longest period of pre-charge detention of any common law country.

I have always maintained that the answer to extremist speech is counter-speech, not proscription. In fact, PM Gordon Brown cited my views as a reason, when challenged by the then leader of the opposition, David Cameron, why certain extremist but non-terrorist groups had not been banned. Blair, more recently, co-signed a letter along with David Cameron and religious leaders from the three Abrahamic faiths asking for the taking down of extremist speech online, the argument being that it creates a “climate conducive to terrorism, hate crime and violence”. I fear the lines here are in danger of becoming increasingly blurred.

But Tony Blair’s biggest error committed in the name of “keeping us all safe” is one that requires no further elaboration. His decision to invade Iraq under the guise of “national security” and finding weapons of mass destruction will probably remain one of his biggest policy failures. That it was committed during a global emergency with bipartisan consensus should serve as a sobering lesson for all during today’s emergency and its increasingly dogmatic Covid consensus.

Having failed at securing national identity cards, Blair has seen an opportunity with our understandable fear for our health. He now asks us to surrender our civil liberties “for the common good” by advocating for the introduction of digital domestic vaccine passports on our smartphones. The idea is that we would scan them for entry to bars, theatres, restaurants and so forth. For those who do not have a smartphone, Blair suggests that the venue could take a photo to check against a database of people who have been vaccinated. I am less animated here about such passports for international travel, since such things already exist to deal with illnesses like yellow fever, but implementing these measures domestically is an unsettling prospect.

I have been injected against my will, while in jail in Egypt. To this day I do not know what they put inside my body. Any sort of state coercion on the issue — up to and including compulsory vaccination — fills me with horror. Indeed, Article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights concerns “consent”, and states (my emphasis): “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.”

As well as the core human rights questions involved in Blair’s suggestion to make digital vaccine passports a condition of reentry into everyday life, there is also the prevailing issue of minority mistrust. In the UK white people are more than twice as likely to have been vaccinated as black people the same age, and three times as likely as people from mixed ethnic backgrounds. There are a number of reasons for low minority uptake, but among Asians one must surely be the medical malpractice carried out during the War on Terror. As most Pakistanis know, in 2012 the CIA used a fake Hepatitis B children’s mass vaccination programme, reportedly to illegally collect DNA for intelligence purposes in the hunt for Bin Laden. Such was the outrage that the discovery of this fake vaccine programme provoked an alliance of 200 US aid groups to write to the then head of the CIA David Petraeus in protest, linking the agency’s behaviour to the ongoing polio crisis in Pakistan.

But the legacy of this fake vaccine campaign in Pakistan has understandably not been easy to overcome, and trust in public health officials and programmes has been irreversibly eroded. The Taliban promptly issued a fatwa against vaccination. The country’s polio cases among children have not recovered since. Sadly but predictably, the CIA’s actions in Pakistan formed the core justification for an armed backlash against immunisation workers, leading to 56 deaths between December 2012 and May 2014. To this day, local leaders believe that vaccination drives are Western spying programmes.

But Tony Blair’s advocacy here appears blind to any understandable concern around abuse and discrimination. The spectre of non-vaccinated minorities being turned away from shops is not one that any government should willingly embrace. And so, just as during the War on Terror we all did our bit while remaining critical of government overreach, I believe it is our duty now not to simply surrender before every encroachment being suggested.


Maajid Nawaz is a columnist, LBC presenter and Founding Chairman of Quilliam.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Thanks, Maajid, for reminding us once again of the serial wickedness of the Blair Creature. These people and their agendas must always be resisted, but how? Everywhere one looks they are in power or on the airwaves. And the majority of the population lacks the critical thinking skills or memory to see through their lies and tyrannical objectives.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I don’t think the majority of the population lack the power to criticise Blair and unless they are senile nobody can forget his legacy, there are too many daily reminders of it.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

To be fair, I think “most” people (ie. The plebs) see Blair talking and take the opposite view… Unfortunately “most” people have zero influence over policy, and those in charge see him as a role model, so his views do tend to drive policy direction. Apparently we live in a democracy, but it’s hard to believe sometimes

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Absolutely. I’m a pleb and I’ve used Blair as a kind of anti-bellwether for years now. On any given issue I ask myself ‘what does Tony Blair think’? and then incline to the opposite view, I find it very reliable.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Tempting to do so, but I find that Blair either gets stuff very right – or very wrong.
Tricky

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

It is unfortunate that Blair is actually an intelligent articulate man. Damn him. It’s his Messiah complex that’s the problem.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

We don’t live in a Democracy, but in a Parliamentary or Representative Democracy.
There is a huge difference.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago

So do you advocate an Athenian style democracy? Which is only other type there has ever been.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The Swiss are actually getting a change to vote on the medical totalitarianism. Granted it is a bit too little too late but at least there was a process for brining it to a vote.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Sadly no! It didn’t work either.
Philosopher Kings or Benign Dictators as Plato recommended.

Somebody like Marcus Aurelius would be ideal.

Perhaps ‘we’ can genetically select/engineer them if we get a next time?

Simon Cross
Simon Cross
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The reasons to abhor Bliar are legion. Throughout his political career, he relied on triangulation and spin to persuade people that he didn’t want to do what he wanted to, and didn’t believe what he did believe. And he got away with it because people weren’t acute enough to see it, as you say.
But Iraq was his big mistake. There was no spinning his way out of that, not once the lie of the ’45-minutes’ and the ‘sexed-up dossier’ were exposed. The general public will always link him with sending UK soldiers to their deaths using a lie as a pretext.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Cross

I remember think at the time no British Prime Minister would lie about something like this. How naĂŻve I was back then

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

You must have missed the Earl of Avon, formerly Anthony Eden, Prime Minister 1955-57.

The ‘Suez Adventure’ put pay to him and good riddance.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

Did Nassar have WMDs

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

No. But he did steal the Suez Canal.
At the time, we felt it was right to stop people stealing – a very old fashioned view today.
However the US felt that it was ok for people to steal from the British, as it enhanced their standing in the world.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

Is a canal a WMD?
If he did steal the canal/WMD then Mr Eden was telling the truth. What’s the problem?
Did not our great ally and friend threaten to destroy our economy if we did not do as we were told. God bells Uncle Sam

Last edited 3 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Fiona Cordy
Fiona Cordy
3 years ago

Oh for God‘s sake. Steal something that‘s on your own territory?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

No, just the Suez Canal, but for some reason Eden thought Nasser was another Hitler.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

No, just the Suez Canal.

Sorry for the duplicate reply, but in the first, when I had the temerity to mention the H word the Censor immediately threw a ‘hissy fit’, but now seems to have relented!
Madness!

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

But he did have the moustache

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

Also has anyone else noticed that he older he gets the more Blair resembles Dorian Gray’s portrait

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Yes he did that!

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago

His backers, the Russians, did.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

Maybe you should have done more research- Blair wasn’t the first nor will he be the last

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

After 30 years of war in the middle east it is beginning to lose its shine. LOL

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Really New Labour lovie. Is there another PM last century who lied specifically to get the UK into a war which they would not have been able to sell without the the lie.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Majority of the population lacks the critical thinking etc. Rather putting yourself above the majority there

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago

Apparently not

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Evidence or facts would be good – “ majority of population “ really ?

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Have we not paid enough for Tony Blair’s sins?
When will he leave us alone to indulge in his riches, seeing as he is now richer than the dreams of avarice?
And can he please take Campbell, mandelson and the rest of his acolytes with him and just leave us alone.
We stopped listening to your hypercritical cobblers at least a decade ago, your time is done now leave us alone

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Yes, why can’t he withdraw from public life in order ‘to spend more time with his money’.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

He won’t because I honestly think he cares, he thinks he, over everyone else, has the clear-sightedness and vision that others lack. I think he has a Messiah Complex.

Katy Randle
Katy Randle
3 years ago

A good article; thank you. I do wish more people would think through the value of civil liberties. Many people are advocating that *everyone* should be vaccinated, even if they do not wish to and personally are at vanishingly little risk, “to protect others”.
Once this principle has been established, however, what defences do we have against the state banning things that present far more risk to the general public than Covid (i.e. the level of risk that prevails once the vulnerable have, thankfully, been vaccinated)?
Dogs, for example. Dogs bite people sometimes, and have been known to kill children. Logically, therefore, we must kill all dogs in order “to protect others”. I mean, we ceded our bodily autonomy in the name of Covid protection, and this isn’t even *our* bodies! If even one life can be saved . . .
This argument applies right across the board – let’s just ban alcohol, stop people driving, etc etc, but in my experience the dogs can get people to think about a proportionate attitude towards societal risk.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Katy Randle

Once this principle has been established, however, what defences do we have against the state banning things that present far more risk to the general public than Covid
Exactly and bless you. I see way too many people considering this passport things as a self-contained event, despite mounds of evidence that show how once govt starts something, it only expands.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
3 years ago
Reply to  Katy Randle

The analogy of dogs is a straw dog fallacy.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Katy Randle

My favourite is the Isle of Man TT race, which almost guarantees a death every year. Amazingly it still goes on. Ordinary driving on UK roads kills around 1,700 people every year – never mind the permanently disabled, etc. Try removing driving licences from everyone but highly trained professionals? Er, not so fast…..

Banning alcohol? Having worked with homeless people and seen the devastation from alcohol abuse, I’m sympathetic. But alcohol has been used and abused for thousands of years and there are too many ways to easily make it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

How the Ancient Romans would have loved the Isle of Man TT!
Not quite the Circus Maximus but damned near.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Katy Randle

The only people who need to be vaccinated are the elderly and the vulnerable. Once they are protected the rest of us should let our immune systems do the heavy lifting that they always do. The idea of having an app track your every move – and effectively give you PERMISSION to live your life – the way that Blair is proposing, is terrifyingly Orwellian.

Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Katy Randle

Owning a car is another good example. Should we ban all cars in case the driver hits an innocent pedestrian?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

Agree with this solid article, but I’d like to hear someone address the civil liberty question about whether a private care home owner is entitled to take on only vaccinated employees – and vaccinated customers.
Are we supposed to prevent this behaviour in the name of civil liberty – or on the grounds of racism ?
Maybe the state isn’t allowed to discriminate, but individuals (and companies) are … ?
Should we accept that state run care homes should be more risky for everyone involved in order to protect civil liberty ?
Help me out here ..

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Health workers already have to have Hep B and maybe other injections. It’s all about proportionality we know that Covid was rampant in care homes and hospitals. I know it only reduces chance of passing on infection, but by about 2/3.

With care workers who can have a lot of physical contact with the vulnerable there should also be state mandated sick pay, and not just for Covid either – but for any infectious potential killer.

As far as the wider population goes with domestic passports, they’re crazy. Evil in intent and useless (they’ll be ignored, cheated, don’t guarantee they can’t pass it on, new variants will reduce vaccine efficiency – the vaccine will hopefully still stop serious disease). And yet again its about proportionality, perhaps we should have the same for all infectious disease, where no vaccine exists you’d require proof of innocence being free of the disease. Why, why, why is Covid so special? – no one can answer this, except novelty and hysteria.

And why stop there? Surely we should also carry our criminal record around, to prevent paedophiles, terrorists, rapists, murderers, violent offenders getting into parks, pubs etc. To be on the safe side perhaps we should add ‘suspected’ to that list too – sure this might trample on people’s rights – but hey if it saves a single life it’s worth it, apparently. And hey let’s add ‘extremist’ to that list, and in that bucket put anyone too heterodox. Don’t believe it will happen, look at hate speech laws, sold as you shouldn’t use the n word as a slur – now used for people who say that those of us with todgers are in fact men (disgusting bigotry I know) – but ‘sadly’ a belief that 99% of the world has.

Domestic Covid passports are like lockdown hugely disproportionate and also comically inefficient for what they’re allegedly designed for.

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Thanks for the eloquent response Luke.
Fear of the “slippery slope” is a valid objection to hold, and maybe we will see some boundary rules if the government starts to require “vaccination papers” for any services.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

The slippery slope or the thin end of the wedge is an immutable scientific fact

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

They’ll probably put in huge loopholes to allow certain people to be excluded from requiring the vaccine. They’ll become utterly pointless.
Does anyone think that the various communities of any race or religion that have ignored even the simplest social distancing – with 100s in attendance at weddings, funerals, parties etc, will suddenly start using vaccine passports in their shops or restaraunts? It’s laughable, one place had a wedding in a school, that’s basically a whole community disregarding basic lockdown rules.
I’m looking forwarrd to the idea of a standard village pub with 4 entrances and 1 barmaid somehow controlling entry.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

And of course they get away with it because.. duh.. racism, that all-purpose get-out-of-jail free card.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Civil liberties surely include the negative right not to be infected by someone who prefers not to be vaccinated. People in care homes or hospitals generally do not have much choice about being there, and they have the right to expect that their carers take all reasonable precautions against infection. As for restaurants, cinemas and so on I would certainly prefer to visit establishments that insisted on a vaccine passport. I wouldn’t want to sit next to a Covid carrier and nor, I imagine, would many others.

Clare Webber
Clare Webber
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Then, if you have such faith in vaccines, you presumably have been vaccinated, so why worry about sitting next to someone who hasn’t? Not much point in the vaccine then. But the covid one apparently doesn’t prevent you catching or spreading it anyway, as it’s not, strictly speaking, a vaccine anyway.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Clare Webber

‘They’ are all vaccines, there’s not one, there’s multiple vaccines. I don’t know if historically any vaccine has a 100% reduction in catching the virus or passing it on. They all just reduce the odds – in the cases of multiple Sars-Cov-2 vaccines they reduce the odds by a lot.

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago
Reply to  Clare Webber

I have been vaccinated and that should lower my susceptibility to Covid (probably by about 90%) and also the seriousness of the disease if I should contract it. But it doesn’t make me 100% immune and I really would prefer not to run the risk, and so would rather drink and dine and be entertained in places where it is kept to a minimum.

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Powell
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Why just reduce your risk of Covid though? why not all infectious viruses? why not criminals – or potential criminals too. Flu is usually a big killer, currently (and if Covid vaccines remain effective) flu will kill more next winter than Covid.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

What do you think about children being vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccines Richard?
And other people who look after their health and are averse to taking these fast-tracked experimental vaccine products?
What will it mean for a child for example to be subjected to a lifetime of repeated coronavirus vaccination, against a virus that isn’t likely to be a threat to them for most of their lives?

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Feel free to call them fast tracked, but ‘experimental’ is misleading. The AZ vaccine in particular isn’t novel (though it’s still excellent, and certainly wasn’t easy to design and produce). All of the vaccines went through standard trials, the companies and government acted with commendable speed to get it done safely.
How do you define experimental? They were tested for potential efficency pre human trials, then for safety in small numbers, then in 100,000s before general approval. The only questions have been about their efficency – which so far is exceeding all expectations.
We must be near 100 million jabs administered worldwide by now? When we get to a billion with no severe side effects and 2 years of data will you accept it?
As for long term effects you’d expect serious issues to show up in trial data.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

They’re experimental because none of the vaccines have completed their phase 3 trials yet. They won’t be completed until 2023 in some cases. They are being used under emergency licences, so I think “experimental” is a fair term.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

The pfizer, AZ and Moderna vaccines have all completed phase 3 trials, months ago.
It’s all in the public domain.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

They may have been reported as complete, but that doesn’t mean the final results of follow up have been published. If they were, why are the vaccines still being used on an emergency basis, and not fully licensed?

I am just reading the paper detailing the study for the Pfizer vaccine, and the estimated date of trial completion is 29/01/23. For Astra Zeneca it is in 2022. It’s in the public domain…..

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
Martin W
Martin W
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

This is semantics. The Phase 3 “primary efficacy analysis” for Pfizer ended in November, and the Safety Data Milestone was achieved. But it will “continue to collect efficacy and safety data in participants for an additional two years” (Pfizer press release). Just because they are continuing to collect data doesn’t mean it’s experimental.
And the authorisation is “temporary” under the The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 s.174, not “emergency” (gov.uk).
So the safety milestone was achieved and the authorisation is temporary: rather a long way from experimental and emergency.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

You may claim semantics, but considering there can be numerous long term side effects to vaccines, I would say the next 2 years is quite important to gather safety data.

Everyone said the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix was safe, until it was rushed out and caused narcolepsy, and had to be withdrawn.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
Fiona Cordy
Fiona Cordy
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

Why have they insisted that governments indemnify them if they are so confident of their safety?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

In Australia, the TGA has ‘provisionally approved’ the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine products, see:
TGA provisionally approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccineTGA provisionally approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

No point in pointing out the facts! The anti vaxers and ilk will tell you they are wrong, manipulated blah, blah, blah

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago

Are you referring to me? If so, I’m not an anti-vaxxer, just pointing out that these vaccines are still in their trial phases, and being used on temporary licenses. Those are facts.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Didn’t you know Nick?
Anyone who dares to question the blessed vaccination in any way is deemed an ‘anti-vaxxer’. And soon you could be at risk of criminal penalty if the likes of the Royal Society and British Academy have their way, see COVID-19 vaccine deployment: Behaviour, ethics, misinformation and policy strategies
It’s heresy to question ‘the Science’, otherwise known as the Church of Vaccination.
Their bible is the ‘peer-reviewed literature’, bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Thank you for highlighting this document. I’m appalled by it – has Mr G bought his way into this institution, too?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

The Royal Society receives funding from vaccine manufacturers AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a conflict of interest that wasn’t disclosed in that report.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

I challenged the Royal Society and British Academy in regards to their non-disclosure of conflicts of interest, see: Failure to disclose conflicts of interest – COVID-19 vaccine deployment report – Royal Society and British Academy, 4 December 2020.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Singular! Did they reply to you, or amend their literature?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

They haven’t addressed the issue of non-disclosure of conflicts of interest. This is just one example, conflicts of interest are rife in the vaccination policy area.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

How are the trials in children going?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

And Johnson & Johnson “plans to test its coronavirus vaccine in infants and even in newborns, as well as in pregnant women and in people who have compromised immune systems.”
Johnson & Johnson has planned trials of its vaccine that will include infants

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

You admit your risk has been dramatically reduced by having the vaccine. Your risk from Covid, assuming you are in good health, was low to start with.

No one is 100% safe from anything. Are you going to insist that anyone in any building you enter has had every vaccine ever invented, just in case? What about people who’ve been to the bathroom, and not washed their hands? What about all the people driving around, with minimal driving skills, and poor eyesight?

What is so unique about Covid, compared to the Flu, measles, Chicken Pox etc?

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Thanks for the edit Nick

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Amazing. You make a quite simple and common sense statement including that you would prefer not to run a risk and would rather drink etc where it ( the virus) is kept to a minimum’ and people downvote you and argue against you. Says a lot about the Down voters!

perhaps I can get some upvotes if I say we shoul all be free to drink and go where and when We want, no vaccine, no restrictions . It’s all means of controlling us

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago

The answer is quite simple – he acknowledges that his risk is substantially reduced and yet still wishes to prohibit others from access to services (including – potentially – food shopping) to eliminate risk for himself completely.

That’s called selfishness. It gets you downvoted.

Toby Josh
Toby Josh
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

I would prefer that you did not operate a motor vehicle, or heat your home, such that the air I breathe is cleaner.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

You do realise that the person with a vaccine certificate stands ~2/3 less chance of carrying and passing on Covid? It’s not perfect – and that’s with current dominant variants, others will naturally circumvent vaccines via evolution. Hopefully your immune system will still be given a head start by the vaccine, and prevent you getting seriously ill.
Rough maths here: The odds of you ending up sat next to an asymptomatic carrier was (countrywide) at worst times about 0.3% (based on 1/3 being asymptomatic – with max infected rate at 1%). So if everyone was vaccinated this reduces it to 0.1%. So from very long odds, to very long odds. In 95% of the country the odds were about 1/10th of this. In current times it’s 1/10th as bad countrywide as it was.
So in reality in the bulk of the UK currently the chances of any single person being an asymtomatic spreader is probably nearer 0.003% – this is probably an over estimate. Vaccination would reduce this risk to 0.001%. By the time the country reopens fully the odds will hopefully divided by 10 again – however mutations and waning antibodies will reduce the efficiency of the vaccine in stopping spreading. Given that soon near 99% of all Covid related deaths should be prevented for those who choose to be vaccinated, why worry?
This is not a condemnation of vaccines, I’m very much in favour of them. Trying to force people to have them is idiotic, it could lower uptake. The British uptake is already huge 90%+, there’s no issue here.
Why would you throw away liberty for this? I’d rather we took a more draconian response towards criminals, the people who make millions of people’s lives a living hell? Wouldn’t it be nice for women to be able to walk alone at night, wouldn’t it be nice us all to all feel a bit safer?

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

“Civil liberties surely include the negative right not to be infected by someone who prefers not to be vaccinated.”
No, they don’t. If you’re worried about catching the disease, get the vaccine. You don’t have the right to force others to get it so you feel even safer. As for sitting next to a “Covid carrier”, if I had gotten the vaccine, and the person in question showed no symptoms of illness, I would happily sit next to him or her with no fear. The risk of catching the cooties and falling seriously ill from this person would be significantly less than the risks of me injuring myself from falling off my chair.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

I wouldn’t want to sit next to a Covid carrier and nor, I imagine, would many others.
How would you identify such a person? Will they be required to have a symbol sewn into clothing so as to differentiate from the vaccinated? As it is, we’re told in the States how the vaccine does not negate the need for continued masks and distancing, nor should it be considered an immunization.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I think it’s going to be branding and banishment from society. The branding will have to be on the forehhead as this will be the only visible part of the body.

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

So un-personing. How Orwellian.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

If the painful branding, disfigurement and exclusion of millions of people saves just one live it’s worth it.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The trouble with irony – is that many people read in such a hurry that they often fail to spot it ….including me.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Aha! The famous Mark of the Beast from the Book of Revelations, branded on the forehead or hand. Without which no-one can buy or sell (or go to the pub). The burning question is, who or what is the Beast?Tony Blair perhaps?He looks demonic enough, and he’s a major advocate of this lunacy. Seriously though,it increasingly feels like we’re living in the End Times

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

I just don’t understand why so many people are brain dead enough to want authoritarian government.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

It saves them thinking or making decisions for themselves; the ultimate nanny-state.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

So I guess you would insist on vaccination passports for everyone entering public transport. That should work wonders for crowded buses, commuter trains and metro trains across the country.

Sue Ward
Sue Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Assuming you have had the vaccine pray tell how you are put at risk by someone who hasn’t? Or are you claiming the vaccine is ineffective? In which case why would anyone bother with it?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

If you are vaccinated then you are protected. What’s the problem?

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Exactly. Carers are required to wash their hands, and not go to work if they have symptoms of a contagious disease. Their choice not to be vaccinated is valid, as it the choice of the care company not to employ them if the choose to endanger the people in their care.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Well, this is the old ‘freedom from, freedom to’ minefield isn’t it?

UK figures from 2018, for example, pointed to only 25% of social care workers having had the annual flu jab.

Did that make the remaining 75% in same profession irresponsible, bad, or just ignorant people, given how deadly flu can periodically be for the people they regularly minister to?

It gets even more complicated when one looks at the disproportionately higher percentage of ‘frontline’ NHS staff coming from ethnic minority backgrounds, some of whom, even working in its midst, are still extremely reluctant to take up the covid jab.

As has recently been pointed out here on Unherd, this potentially raises all sorts of race related issues in terms of then legally compelling an inherently circumspect minority group to take a vaccine against their wishes for a disease that official figures suggest they are apparently ‘racially’ far more susceptible to ‘for their own good’.

Interestingly, when I’ve heard government ministers asked the very specific question about the prospect of the covid jab becoming compulsory in the workplace (it isn’t) they very pointedly obfuscate, clearly hoping that uptake will be sufficiently voluntary as to make the uncomfortable problem go away or that employers will take the heat on this rather than them.

It currently looks like, as the law stands and if precedent is anything to go by, workers cannot and will not be compelled by law to take up the vaccine, however it doesn’t preclude the possibility that some employers may choose to go to court to challenge this under the Health and Safety at Work Act (and in turn face counter challenges from employees, less so from new ones) which basically requires both employers and employees to take reasonable steps to ensure a safe and secure workplace environment for all.

To further complicate things, needless to say, it is highly likely that some businesses in a position to be able to do so and that require regular direct contact with their customers, particularly at the higher end of the market, will endeavour to use the assurance that its workforce is ‘vaccine safe’ as a major selling point to its customers in future.

Given that Covid apparently successfully targets those in the lower socio-economic groups and is more inclined to leave those in higher socio-economic groups relatively unscathed, barring its well-known comorbidities, this throws up all sorts of ‘interesting’ social, economic and political conundrums for us to wrestle with in future.

The long and the short of this, in an attempt to answer your question, is that ‘the state’, least of all one run by a Conservative government, wants to leave its fingerprints on specifically legally curtailing individual liberties, but that’s not to say that that won’t yet be the upshot of this, albeit by ‘other’ convoluted means.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

The questiton largely remains is why would I as person who intends to be vaccinated need to feel ‘safer’ from others for this one specific virus? As a minimum there should mandated and generous sick pay for any business that tries this, because obviously to them the health and safety of their staff and customers is paramount – wouldn’t want to pass any virus on would they.
It’s well known that for the healthy under 65s you’re more likely to die in a car accident than of Covid. I’m quite in favour of decently focusing on reducing dangerous driving (and not just drinking and speed traps). Death or injury caused by dangerous driving should entail harsher sentences, not just put down to ‘accidents’.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

‘The question largely remains is why would I as person who intends to be vaccinated need to feel ‘safer’ from others for this one specific virus?’

I agree.

Intentionally or not, it’s a socially divisive proposition and a proposition that rests on your belief as to whether this new virus is somehow diabolically unique. The next great killer plague or not.

Based on what I have read and seen, I, along with a good many others, am not inclined to think it is and thus, on balance, am not yet prepared to accept it as the altar upon which my current personal freedoms and those of society more generally are permanently sacrificed.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Sadly, civil liberties were not a priority for Blair.
They’re not a priority for a host of people who have taken advantage of the covid scare to do as much damage as possible. And don’t think that this would stop with a vaccination for a single condition. Should this “passport” become reality, it is only the starting point for future things govt agents will require of the proles. Because that’s how it always works out.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

There’s something unprecedented happening, i.e. a plan to vaccinate the entire global population, potentially every year or even more frequently, with fast-tracked experimental vaccine products against a virus which isn’t a problem for most people, i.e. steal people’s natural defences against the virus, and make them dependent on the vaccine industry.
People are being masked/muzzled, subjected to intrusive testing, threatened with coercive vaccination, impeded from travelling, every move under surveillance with QR codes… This is a medical tyranny – who elected to be ruled by this authoritarian state?
How can this be happening? Why has there been no public consultation about the incredible restrictions being imposed in society?
We need retrospective analysis of how we’ve arrived on this dystopian doorstep.
Here’s some info to think about: Developers of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Tied to UK Eugenics Movement.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Eugenics is a science just like climate change

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

As ever, you are just spreading fear and confusion, the Galton Institute and the Wellcome Trust long ago ( as in near a century) completely rejected eugenics. I can imagine that they might well want to have a look at the lies that are being spread about them!
and as for your belief that we are in some dystopian world, most people in the UK approve of what is happening and if anything, are annoyed with all UK administrations for not having taken a firmer grip from the outset and for letting this drag on for ages

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Everything Elizabeth Hart says is correct.

sarahfashion1975
sarahfashion1975
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You don’t have to dig very far before you find what Elizabeth Hart is saying has some truth to it .. why are more people not questioning what is going on ?
https://cormandrostenreview.com/cease-and-desist-order-fuellmich-drosten/

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago

the fact that some Germans business man has hired a lawyer to challenge WHo and his government means absolutely nothing other than , surprise surprise, business and finance sometimes put profit before health. Nothing new there then

Last edited 3 years ago by David Bottomley
David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Correct as in you think it’s true.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

i.e. steal people’s natural defences against the virus”
This is nonsense.
The “link to eugenics” is also nonsense.
Ergo, your argument is nonsense.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Why do you say it’s ‘nonsense’.
Most people under 70 aren’t at risk of this virus. They can deal with it themselves.
Do you think it’s ethical to make children, young people and others have annual, or potentially more frequent, coronavirus vaccination, against a virus which isn’t a major threat to them? To doom them to coronavirus vaccination throughout life, and make them dependent upon the vaccine industry?
Really?
There’s a major beneficiary here, and that’s the vaccine industry and its hangers-on who must be rubbing their hands with glee at the multi-billion dollar global market opportunity.
But this is not ethical, and people must not be coerced into sacrificing their own natural defences. The global vaccination plan is wrong. They shouldn’t have rolled out these vaccines, certainly not with the plan to vaccinate everyone, regardless of personal risk.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

My parents, in their 70s, both got a test. It came back positive. Neither of them displayed any symptoms. I am a healthy person in my 40s and got it more severely than they did. I got a mild cough/cold.

godfrey
godfrey
3 years ago

The problem is function creep in national systems. Tony Blair’s “Entitlement Card” was a sinister move towards a database state. These systems are never about a simple piece of card, with your name & address on it. The card becomes the front-end of a national database where all sorts of information is centrally collated. Moreover, the more that data is collected, the more it will be required for everyday transactions in a supposedly “free society”. We’ve seen how this kind of thing is being used in China as a “Social Credit” system. All you have to do is say something deemed anti-social on the Internet and your right to travel, or to use facilities is blocked. What once was an accepted freedom, becomes a “privilege” which the authorities can terminate.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  godfrey

You echo my thoughts. Such a passport would only be a starting point, yet people refuse to understand or even consider that. It is treated as a self-contained action, which flies in the face of decades of mission creep within almost every govt program.

E. E.
E. E.
3 years ago

Let’s say we know that Group X is overrepresented in the crime statistics for our community. It doesn’t matter why that is – perhaps they constitute an economically disadvantaged group, or perhaps, as bigots maintain, they just have a greater propensity to crime. The fact is that, on average, a member of Group X is far more likely to have committed an act of crime than a member of any other group in the community.
As a pub owner, I know that my customers would feel a lot safer if they didn’t see any X faces in the pub. To paraphrase another reader who left a comment on this article, they would feel much better if they didn’t have to worry about the presence of any X people in the pub. Civil rights surely include the negative right not to have to be exposed to Group X when law-abiding folks are out and about. Isn’t freedom of association a civil right, too?
I know that my community is largely in support of having X people banned from public venues. The government seems to be on board too; anyway, proclaiming neutrality, it is too happy to delegate the decision to venue owners. I go ahead and ban all members of Group X from entering my pub.
Would that be acceptable to you? I don’t see how this is any different, really. Certainly people should have a right to refuse vaccines that are quickly developed, under great pressure on the part of governments and the public, by companies that have paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements for all sorts of things over the years, and that are not exactly known for their probity. Those who do get vaccinated should be protected anyway, so I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Those who are worried that they will end up sitting near an unvaccinated individual and a potential COVID carrier – are you just as worried about the restaurant chef or your waiter being HIV-positive, for instance? Get over it.
Think about how crazy this has become. When did we ever demand proof of vaccination as a condition to enter a pub, an office, or a concert hall? All for a virus that, while certainly deadly for some (mostly people over 70 with comorbidities!), is not a problem for the vast majority of the population.
Also, if 5-10% of the population refuse to get vaccinated, you will end up with a two-tier system of citizens: millions of people will effectively become second-class citizens. A country that has second-class citizens cannot be seriously called free, liberal, or democratic. Something to think about.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Does anyone still take Blair seriously? Never thought I’d see the day when I’d say this but Gordon Brown is the former PM I’m most likely to listen to these days. Mainly because his interventions are quite few and far between. When I see Blair speaking up about something, the words “pipe down, man!” involuntarily spring to mind.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That’s like saying you’re more likely to listen to bagpuss than zippy… Personally I’d like them both to shut up.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes, the BBC, Guardian and NYT etc still take Blair seriously. Equally disgusting, they also continue to take Campbell and Mandelson seriously.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Avoiding political bias here … but worth mentioning that whereas Mandelson is quite a clever chap – Campbell is a mere simpleton.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I’m sure they’re both very clever, manipulative and amoral individuals.
Mandelson regularly bounced back from blatant corruption.
Campbell was caught red handed lying to get us into a war.
In a just world both would only now be considered for parole.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Mandelson clever? Well, yes, if you think that twice having to resign from government for cronyism corruption is ‘clever’. I don’t deny that he is ‘clever’ in a certain sense – all these people are, in their own malignant way. But for all his cleverness I cannot really think of one achievement beyond engineering the election of the most disastrous government in the history of western democracy – possibly to be surpassed in this respect by the Biden administration.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

In his defence, I suspect he didn’t foresee the appalling Blair/Campbell Iraq manoeuvres that were to ensue …
We shall see if Biden reignites US foreign adventures …

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

A somewhat slimmer version of the late Robert Maxwell perhaps?

Thomas Laird
Thomas Laird
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Unfortunately yes. Boris and SAGE seem to.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

You couldn’t make it up could you…
Bill Gates, the vaccine guru, says a “third shot may be needed to combat new coronavirus variants”.
So, line up for your regular shot of vaccine to protect against the virus that isn’t a threat to most people… (But it’s a worry…what is all this vaccination putting out there…?)
While donning your multi-layer mask of course, and keeping everyone else at more than an arm’s length.
And regular testing for whatever else they dream up.
Checking in with QR codes wherever you go, and your vaccine passport too.
And ready at a moment’s notice to drop everything and scurry back to your bunker for a lockdown.
The really stunning thing is so many people are willing to go along with this…those SAGE behavioural types really have done themselves proud, top class fear-mongering.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Is there anything that the Blair Creature did not conduct a ‘war’ on? And was there a single war that he actually won?

Neil John
Neil John
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, the ‘battle’ to remove legally held sporting handguns from law abiding target shooters. Which had an additional benefit of greatly aiding the PIRA retribution squads as it also ensured those members/former members of the Armed Forces who’d ever drawn down on a PIRA member named in the Good Friday agreement files wouldn’t have any means of self defence.

Kate H. Armstrong
Kate H. Armstrong
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Is there anything that the Blair Creature did not conduct a ‘war’ on? And was there a single war that he actually won?”
Indeed yes Fraser …. Blair’s “war” against Nation States e.g. the UK, was covertly pursued throughout his tenure; ergo the replacement of the indigenous population of England by millions of individuals, brainwashed from birth, in the most Alien Value system of Superiority over all other Faiths, Tribes, Identities. A superiority grounded in the obligation to conquer, by violence, self-segregation, reproduction and/or slow, gradual claims of ‘protected’ privilege in Law.
All successfully put in place throughout New Labour’s three terms in government. Add to that the preferred Money-Men solution to the breakup of the United Kingdom and the ‘special’ relationships formed with members of the Provisional IRA … e.g. 200 Get out of Jail Free letters – no Protestant “Freedom fighters” eligible; and the rather fast replacement of historical ‘shared home place’ Nationalist parties (e.g. SDLP) by Sinn Fein (Provisonal IRA’s political wing) with the RIGHT to Shared Rule in Northern Ireland.
Consequent on all this, N.I. Protestants (thanks to NuLab) have experienced 20+ years of well-known Terrorist PIRA members controlling the politics of their country (after 30 long years of PIRA Terrorist activity). All this explains the Court cases currently in process against British soldiers who, as young …. and very confused participants … merely followed the orders of their Government in protecting a part of the UK under Terrorist Attack.
Tony Blair is NO Messiah, merely a Narcissistic, self-aggrandising, money-mad Traitor. No suprise he managed to alter the Treason Act to ensure no future Traitor would face death.

.

Peter Dale
Peter Dale
3 years ago

It’s clear that, around the world, governments have lost confidence in the people they govern and must act as a judicious parent would do. That means, of course, forcing people to take their medicine. Here it’s vaccination. We are not meant to question the experts, but do as we are told.
Of course, experts can get, and have got, it wrong. Sometimes disastrously. For those who are interested, there is a book written by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky entitled: ‘The Experts Speak’. The sub-title says it all: ‘The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation’. You can obtain it on Amazon if you are interested.
For a sweet, after the main meal, try two books written by Charles Perrow: ‘Normal Accidents’ and ‘The Next Catastrophe’. Both are on Amazon and you can purchase a Kindle edition.
Another source of interest, while you are locked up, is to look at what other legislation governments have already implemented while attention was focused on the Wuhan virus. Where I live in a small part of the once far-flung Empire, the local government has passed into law an act which prevents people from suing politicians and civil servants for actions taken in this current pandemic except for instances of ‘gross negligence’ ( difficult to prove). A most interesting update of the divine right of kings.
Oh, by the way, I have heard the people on the dark web are readying the production of fake vaccination certificates for purchase. Human ingenuity knows no bounds.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

Excellent outline of some of Blair’s contempt for civil liberties. There are others too:

  • Terrible speech restrictions, effectively re-introducing blasphemy laws.
  • Wide expansion of state surveillance powers and technology.
  • Careless handover of democratic powers to unelected EU officials.

Don’t forget we also had the “Tony Blair Institute for Global Change” last year stating that a major increase in state surveillance is a “price worth paying” to beat Covid-19.
Never forget that the Blair government did terrible damage – damage that will take generations to repair, if it ever can be repaired. Nothing he says should be trusted.

Last edited 3 years ago by Joe Blow
David Smethurst
David Smethurst
3 years ago

When will he shut up and go away? I saw the image of Blair being vaccinated and thought we need a new word which means the opposite of influencer.

Ernest DuBrul
Ernest DuBrul
3 years ago

Vaccine passports are a fine idea, but they are not visible symbols of a good citizen’s vaccination. Far better to have the unvaccinated identify themselves so they can be shunned and have their freedoms restricted. Perhaps mandating that they wear a scarlet C or a yellow star might work.

Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ernest DuBrul

Upvoted because I’m 90% sure you’re being sarcastic, but honestly some people are so crazy they could write that suggestion in all seriousness.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

This man is a clear and present danger to a free society, and in my view has committed crimes of treason.

Brian Hunt
Brian Hunt
3 years ago

If Blair is for it, there must be a problem. And that has been well articulated in this article.
As commented by the Chilcot enquiry, the invasion of Iraq spawned ISIS (https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/tony-blair-was-specifically-warned-that-isis-could-come-into-being-and-now-we-re-paying-the-price-a7123501.html)
I’m currently half way through reading An Inconvenient Death: How the Establishment Covered Up the David Kelly Affair. Blair is a corrupting influence and should not be given a platform.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

I’d rather Bliar was tried in a court, convicted and sentenced. Wouldn’t want him becoming a martyr.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Outside of the BBC/Guardian bubble, and perhaps the financial services industry, I don’t think anyone will ever consider Blair to be a martyr.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

In terms of personal privacy, and given that most of us have arguably willingly submitted to them, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you’re regularly carrying a mobile phone round with you, paying by credit or debit card or turning on a personal computer every day then your presence, movements and a good many of your actions are unlikely to remain invisible to the state for long but vaccine passports, certainly domestically speaking, are something else entirely.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

Mr Blair makes a very good loadstone. Just point yourself in the opposite direction and you’ll never go wrong.

Campbell P
Campbell P
3 years ago

Blair went into Iraq for one reason and one reason only. He was promised a place at the international High Table by Bush and his backers in the armaments and energy industries, a place from which he has personally profited hugely. His Messianic nature convinces him that he is simply sharing in the rewards for the many that his position and ideas produce, thereby allowing him to ignore the ‘collateral’ damage of deaths, refugees, migrants, etc. He ought not to be listened to because he and his ideas are dangerous in the extreme. Notice how he always avoids public debate with anyone who can demonstrate how dangerous he is. With the amount of blood he has on his hands, would any sane person give him a hearing?

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 years ago

Tony Blair’s governmnent has a VERY long list of major errors. There is a fundamental reason: the Blair-Brown government waged cultural war on the UK’s legacy in the name of pro-business patter.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago

Anyone else you’d like assassinated, Alison?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Fortunately a Metropolitan Police protection team costing us about ÂŁ250K pa protect the creature from the likes of Alison.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago

I’d not heard the story about the CIA using a vaccination campaign to try to track down Osama bin Laden. It’s a shame the spin put on it in this article simply echoes the Islamist interpretation of wicked westerners, rather than questioning it. Nobody was harmed by what the CIA did; the purpose of the exercise was to confirm if bin Laden was in the compound where they thought he was, so the US could prevent or minimise any innocent casualties if/when they tried to raid the compound and kill bin Laden. To suggest that this episode is in any way a legitimate concern about the coronavirus vaccines – or vaccination in general – is not only laughable, but irresponsible. There obviously are reasons why at least some BAME groups are much less inclined to be vaccinated than the average white person. Top of that list, I’d suggest, is a greater willingness to believe any old nonsense that they read or are told. The author should be countering such nonsense, not appearing to agree with it. I’d hope that even the many anti-vaxers who post on this site would at least agree that the CIA/bin Laden story is not a legitimate reason for not getting vaccinated.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

Indeed, it seemed a big stretch. The low vaccine uptake in some communities is the harvest of years of grievence pushing, another wonderful home goal by ‘progressives’.

Henneli Greyling
Henneli Greyling
3 years ago

If I “formerly” prescribed to Islamist dogma, I would also oppose Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
3 years ago

I have less problem with the fake vaccine operation in Pakistan than the rest of it. Elements within Pakistan – including those inside the military and intelligence services – were knowingly harboring the most wanted terrorist in the world. If the government of Pakistan is not going do it’s duty as a civilized country then someone else will and they won’t like the results. They will have to live with the consequences.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago

Under what auspices does this man get so much authority and press? Between the Iraq war and mass unregulated immigration, he hasn’t done much for G.B.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

Who says Blair’s invasion of Iraq was an ‘error’, or ‘one of his biggest policy failures’?
He knew damned well the WMD nonsense was just that, nonsense dreamed up to justify a decision he and Bush had already made. For all we know, the invasion was a perfect success in their eyes. Calling it an error or a failure presumes insight into the mind and motives of a bloodthirsty war criminal, which I for one don’t profess.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

Not sure if this is high-level sarcasm, or plain old incitement to murder.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Either way, the Merseyside bobbies will be knocking on the door.

Miranda Garland
Miranda Garland
3 years ago

Hear, Hear!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

Has any one noticed that as time passes Blair increasing resembles Dorian Gray’s portrait.
Similarly with Billy-Bob Clinton

Jack Walker
Jack Walker
3 years ago

I, for one, will not have an app on my phone provided by the government or its agents. The concept is effectively state surveillance with app providers having details to our movements, medical information and goodness knows what other personal information. I understand the police now have access to track and trace app data. What could possibly go wrong!

Last edited 3 years ago by Jack Walker
Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

We seem to be in great danger of losing our liberties (or even being able to reclaim them) from a cohort of ex PMs.

Peter Lloyd
Peter Lloyd
3 years ago

The Blair record on military action has been tainted by his lies and he is not to be trusted.

David Lawrence
David Lawrence
3 years ago

No. The real oppression is on the part of those who want to use their vaunted ‘freedom’ to strut around ensuring that many of the most vulnerable in our society will never again be able to play a full part as a result of the fear of infection.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

So good to see you on UnHerd Maajid. Your voice is desperately needed.
Blair never was a liberal, he is a statist with a Messiah complex.

robert.i.j.cameron
robert.i.j.cameron
3 years ago

I was with you right up until you justified murder. What a shame.

Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
3 years ago

Blair introduced te Freedom of Information Act. I was fully supportive of this but thought it should go much further. However, in his memoirs he says:
Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head till it drops off my shoulders. You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it.
Clearly a man to be wary of. Thank goodness he no longer has any power

cajwbroomhill
cajwbroomhill
3 years ago

Few politicos have such an almost uniform record of bad, often catastrophic wrong decisions.
No one should trust his advice.
Best for us and him if he sank back into the obscurity he has earned.

Lauren Kake
Lauren Kake
3 years ago

Maajid, I am grateful that you are so determined to make our voice heard through this shocking chapter. All the best.

Ann Roberts
Ann Roberts
3 years ago

I am new here, first post:) Have decided not to have the vaccine – husband had an adverse reaction to Swine flu jab in 2009. So I have seen firsthand what can happen. I am an ‘Intelligent Vaccinator’ not anti-vax and by questioning this injection I have moved to being an ‘unherder’. To find a place to source more balanced insight is very helpful. At nearing age 70, to step out into the sunlight of not agreeing (loved the Lord Sumption interview btw) with the mainstream is a bit scary. We are seeing that this decision will constrain our travel and where we can go out to eat and visit Any thoughts on how to protest in a good way?

Last edited 3 years ago by Ann Roberts
William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago

I can perhaps understand proof of vaccination, but why a digital app? Surely it would be more than sufficient and much cheaper and less intrusive to have something like a drivers license. And surely forgery is less of a threat with vaccination cards than it is with drivers licenses.

Bill Blake
Bill Blake
3 years ago

This is an interesting article and Maajid is quite right to be on the alert for abuses. However these are desperate times and as others have pointed out, any response needs to be ‘proportionate’ to the risk. Vaccine passports may not be to the liking of a small minority of people but a huge majority would benefit in terms of health and on a psychological level from a return to a degree of normality.
I think the right to be offended needs to be balanced by the right of the majority to health with a lower risk of dying from the disease.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Blake

You’ve hit the nail in the head with reference to psychological well-being. However, why should I have to take a vaccine, and get a digital passport to ease the path of someone else’s mental heath, that the government has damaged through its hysterical campaign of fear? None of this was necessary, and yet the only path out now, to reassure people, is an injection, it seems?

As someone said to me : “Your neuroses are not my responsibility.”

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Blake

Desperate times?!?!
Who exactly is at risk of this virus?
It’s my understanding most people aren’t at risk, certainly under 70, and it isn’t necessarily a death sentence for those over 70 either. (But who knows what lies ahead with these experimental vaccines being fast-tracked around the community…)
Much is made of the death toll, but it must be subjected to scrutiny. There seems to have been a concerted effort to beat up the toll of ‘cases’ and deaths to justify the over-the-top response. And these statistics must be considered in the context of countries and global population, and annual mortality.
There may be excess deaths, but again this must be examined in regards to a number of factors, including the impact of an aging population bubble.
Looking at the matter objectively, there should never have been a plan to mass vaccinate the entire global population against this virus, potentially every year or even more often. It’s incredible that this has happened. We need to examine the decision processes for this entire situation, including the imposition of social distancing, lockdown/isolating people, testing, quarantining, surveillance/QR codes, masking, fast-tracked vaccines.
Just think about all the restrictions and interventions that have been imposed, impeding freedom of movement and association.
Also think about the enormous new industry built on the back of this virus, there is a huge transfer of wealth to the pharmaceutical industry and others, spent on interventions of very questionable value – this is money taken away from other areas, e.g. the original services of the NHS.
Also keep in mind that what happened in the UK, particularly the impact of Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College modelling report, has had massive impact around the world, including in Australia.

Charles Miller
Charles Miller
3 years ago

What is the fuss? If you do not want the ID that is a Driving Licence, fine; but you will not be able to drive. If If you do not want the ID that is a Passport, fine; but you will not be able to go abroad. If you are young and do not want to carry proof of age, fine; but you may not be able to get a drink. Do we hear people moaning that these requirements are the unacceptable demands of a fascist State? No. Get over it.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Miller

I need a driving licence to drive a car, not enter a shop, and I need a passport to travel abroad, not get a haircut.

None of the above examples require me to have an unnecessary medical procedure to live a normal life, so they are a poor comparison. Medical autonomy is a basic human right, and not something to be trifled with, just because the world has gone hysterical.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
simon Henson
simon Henson
3 years ago

I think this throws the baby out with the bathwater.
Only three EU countries don’t have ID cards as a state requirement and not having an ID card does not prevent the collection of data.
A Covid vaccine passport is a sensible measure to discriminate between who is safe and who is not in the face of a to date unique health threat.
In my opinion these two issues are not in the realm of ‘state coercion’
Surrendering personal freedom is part of the social contract.A driving license is required to drive to protect the safety of others and it prejudices those that don’t.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  simon Henson

A Covid vaccine passport is a sensible measure to discriminate between who is safe and who is not in the face of a to date unique health threat.
once you’re on board with discrimination, it makes a host of things palatable. Where does it end, because it won’t be here? It never is. Mission creep is a feature of every govt initiative. This document will be the start of a database that collects all sorts of things about people. See China’s system of social credit for reference.
Surrendering personal freedom is part of the social contract.
Is it now? To what end? Because you do enough surrendering and you eventually run out of freedom. Personal freedom ends at the point where your exercise of it infringes on the rights of someone else. There is no right, nor expectation, of living in a 100% risk-free environment, and that was true before this virus.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  simon Henson

But it’s not a “unique” health threat is it? It’s a virus with a fatality rate similar to a bad flu season. Furthermore, the virus is very discriminatory in who it affects – mostly the very old and fragile, unlike virulent forms of the flu, which kill children, and healthy adults.

A passport system is not remotely proportionate to the threat posed to most people by Coronavirus. The vaccines also do not confer immunity on individuals or prevent symptoms , and we’ve been locked up for a year, wearing masks on the basis that the virus can be spread asymptomatically. So how does a vaccine protect others?

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  simon Henson

I’m presuming this is comment was ironic but.. just incase.
“A Covid vaccine passport is a sensible measure to discriminate between who is safe and who is not in the face of a to date unique health threat.”
Or to rephrase that into reality: “A Covid vaccine passport is a disproportionate & ineffective measure to discriminate between who is vaccinated and 0.001% likely to be infectious Vs the unvaccinated 0.003% – in the face of what was to the vast majority a tiny risk, now with vaccines the risk of serious illness happily appears to be reduced massively in the vulnerable group by well over 90%”
Not quite as scary I know. If you’re scared of Covid and vaccinated – you have statistically a lot more to be scared of.