by Peter Franklin
Thursday, 12
January 2023
Reaction
16:00

Andrew Bridgen: the latest example of Right-wing self-sabotage

Using the Holocaust to discuss vaccine side-effects is counter-productive
by Peter Franklin

Was the Conservative Party right to remove the whip from Andrew Bridgen? A deleted tweet, that referred to the Holocaust in order to condemn Covid vaccination, has caused widespread outrage — but some on the Right believe that Bridgen has been unjustly silenced.

Laurence Fox, for instance, protests that “it is imperative our MPs have the freedom to speak up or democracy is just a mirage.” Up to a point, I agree: democracy isn’t just about representing the majority view, but also allowing minorities to disagree with the majority.


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Consider the dictionary definition of a “freethinker”, i.e. a person “who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority”. In past centuries, that especially meant independence from religious dogma. Freethinking was therefore associated with anti-clericalism, deism and outright atheism. 

But with the declining clout of organised religion, who are the freethinkers of our own time? Well, if we define modern-day “authority” as the views of the political and cultural establishment, then, in a reversal of the historical pattern, the loudest voices of dissent are to be found on the Right. While the Left mostly demands more of what the establishment already agrees with — economic interventionism, environmentalism, wokery etc — Right-wingers are more likely to go against the grain.  

Note that I’m not referring to the totalitarians of the extreme Right, but to a very different bunch of radicals: those who think of themselves as the defenders of liberty. As such, when they see government impinging on our freedoms, they’re willing to object — for instance to Covid lockdowns or Net Zero policies — even if this means defying the official arbiters of truth. 

Though this version of the Right is often wrong, I’m still glad it exists. As any environmentalist could tell you, monocultures are not healthy — and that applies as much to politics and the media as it does to the natural world. The experts aren’t infallible and so it is important that there are platforms from which the establishment view can be challenged. 

And yet the freethinkers of the Right need to remember that freethinking is not just about disagreeing with authority, but doing so “on the basis of reason”. While it’s entirely reasonable to ask probing questions about the side-effects of the Covid vaccine, using the Holocaust to make the point is, to say the least, counter-productive.  

To take an another example, there’s nothing wrong with criticising the antics of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex; but one can do that without descending to Jeremy Clarkson levels of gratuitous abuse. Clarkson is a wind-up merchant whose lurid insults aren’t to be taken seriously, but by going too far he allowed Meghan Markle’s supporters to present her as a victim again. 

Another target of the Right is Greta Thunberg — and, fair enough, not everything she says should be taken as the gospel truth. But there are better ways of expressing disagreement than seizing upon her Twitter spat with Andrew Tate — and siding with the latter. 

Of course, outrage is clickbait. But while provocation may get you attention, does it produce results? Freethinking Right-wingers might like to ask themselves why they’re forever taking on the establishment instead of taking it over. 

Though the freedom to have arguments is precious, winning them is even better. 

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Jim R
Jim R
16 days ago

There’s a story on Daily Sceptic about Vera Sharav. She’s a Holocaust survivor who is being investigated by the German government for being a Holocaust denier (which under German law includes any comparison of a contemporary event to the Holocaust). Here’s what she said (at a Holocaust memorial commemorating the 75th anniversary of publication of the Nuremberg Code):“The purpose of Holocaust memorials is to warn and inform future generations about how an enlightened, civilised society can be transformed into a genocidal universe, ruled by absolute moral depravity. If we are to avert another Holocaust, we must identify ominous current parallels before they poison the fabric of society. … Those who declare that Holocaust analogies are ‘off-limits’ are betraying the victims of the Holocaust by denying the relevance of the Holocaust.”

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

Vera Sharav is of course absolutely spot on and said the truth. And as a Jew myself, I was not offended in any way by Andrew Bridgen’s statement where he quoted the opinion of a well known cardiologist. The fact of the matter is that the COVID vaccines were forced upon everybody (mandated in many countries and in many walks of life, including young university students who absolutely have no need to take the vaccine given that it doesn’t prevent infection or transmission) without properly testing for safety and then purposefully ignoring and dismissing any safety signals. So no matter what one’s take on the Covid vaccines are, the fact of the matter is that massive human experimentation involving literally billions of people has occurred, not only without proper informed consent, but has been forced upon people rather than allowing individuals to make their own personal choices weighing what they consider to be their own risk/benefit balance. In other words, the over 80s may well have benefitted from the vaccine, but the under 30s in the absence of any serious co-morbidities, absolutely did not benefit in any way and were subject to all the risks (especially as those risks appear to be inversely correlated to age, in contrast to COVID where the risk is directly correlated to age).

j watson
j watson
15 days ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

It’s still miles off what happened in the Holocaust where millions were deliberately murdered. The key word – deliberately.
Are you really saying that the administration of the vaccine was based on a deliberate plan to commit mass murder?
There may be much wrong with the Vaccine mandates that were applied, but to suggest there was some secret committee with a plan to commit mass worldwide murder on an industrialised scale? If that is what you think incredible allegations require evidence.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
15 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Bridgen said it was the worst example “since the Holocaust”, hence explicitly acknowledging that the latter was worse. So where’s the problem?

Rob N
Rob N
15 days ago
Reply to  j watson

There was NO comparison to the Holocaust. Stop fixating on that word. The comparison was to things SINCE the Holocaust. Nobody is disagreeing that what is happening now is miles off the Holocaust.
But maybe they should be. If only because as Vera Sharav said above (thanks Jim R) if it can never be referred to then we “are betraying the victims of the Holocaust by denying the relevance of the Holocaust”
As for whether the vaccines etc were part of a plan to commit mass murder/reduce the human “depradations on the planet” that is something that should be considered. There are lots of reasonable grounds for considering what has happened so weird, stupid and tyrannical as to make the ‘elite conspiracy’ theory not as crazy as it would have seemed 5 years ago.

Jim R
Jim R
15 days ago
Reply to  j watson

There are different layers to understanding the Holocaust. One is obviously the atrocities committed by the German government of the time. But what about the “good” people who went along, in various states of denial about what was happening? An American psychologist Stanley Milgram wondered about how people switch off their morality when they feel that someone in authority is directing them. His famous experiments showed that the majority of American participants – not thought to be mindlessly compliant – would participate in the simulated punishment of a test subject (actually pressing the button to deliver a lethal electric shock) when instructed to do so by someone in a white coat. He tried different scenarios, but the white coats were most effective. This – to my mind – explains much of the psychology of the last few years. Obviously the acts/crimes were not comparable – but people are people, across time and across cultures, and we have significant vulnerabilities to authoritarian control that can be exploited.

Last edited 15 days ago by Jim R
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
12 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Here is the issue. First, Bridgen’s comment said “since the H….” He didn’t say it was as bad as the Holocaust. Second, I personally think that initially the powers that be were well meaning in bringing the vaccines to market in such a short time. But the problem is then that they deliberately ignored anything negative in terms of safety signals that slowly but surely emerged. Even very close to the beginning, the Finns found that the AZ vaccine cause VITT in a few elderly patients in nursing homes. The UK Government and AZ completely denied that there was an issue until such time as they couldn’t ignore it when the German Koch institute (the equivalent of the US CDC) found the same thing. The end result was that basically the AZ vaccine was eventually shelved. But the mRNA vaccines were protected by the US Government because they exhibited exactly the same VITT issue plus a whole other slew of adverse events (e.g. myocarditis, cardiovascular stuff, clotting, etc. etc..), which the authorities chose to, yes, deliberately, ignore. So yes the authorities all over the West acted deliberately by ignoring all safety signals. That is inexcusable and quite frankly criminal.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
15 days ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Yeah but it ain’t deliberate mass murder. Panicked, profiteering maybe. But not deliberate mass murder, with dashes of torture too. Such comparisons undermine the credibility of your arguments.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

They are still jabbing despite all the risks they took. The truth is out there.

John Riordan
John Riordan
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

Perfectly expressed.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

Fine words from Sharav. There is however absolutely no analogy or comparison to the murder of 8 million people that applies here, so I’m uncertain why the Lockdown Sceptic ran with the story.

Jim R
Jim R
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

You don’t think it’s newsworthy that the current German government is investigating a Holocaust survivor for the crime of having the ‘wrong’ opinions about the Holocaust? Wow.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

You appear to have misunderstood, my observation was that Sharav’s views have no application to Bridgen’s ridiculous analogy.

Jim R
Jim R
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

I didn’t misunderstand, i just disagree for more than one reason. First it’s appalling and newsworthy that she’s being attacked. Second, she said that those who declare comparisons to the Holocaust off-limits are betraying the victims of the Holocaust. That is precisely why Bridgon is being punished.

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Bridgen made no analogy. He quoted a cardiologist who had said that it was the worst event SINCE the holocaust. NOBODY has said that it is the equivalent of or worse than, the holocaust.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
15 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

You overlooked the tens of millions killed by China’s great leap forward? Those slaughtered by Pol Pot.
To compare an over reaction to the deliberate mass murder of millions is on a par with saying Russians were reasonable to rape and kill civilians in Ukraine.

Tom Scott
Tom Scott
15 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

I don’t do Twitter so can’t comment on the original, content, but if this IS what was said, what exactly is the issue and why was the whip removed?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom Scott

Why were people silenced for so many years? Follow the money.

John Riordan
John Riordan
13 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

It is very obvious that Sharav’s warning about the nature of the descent of a civilised society into barbarity possesses direct relevance to the vaccine mandates and the manner in which governments rode roughshod over constitutional conventions during the pandemic.

Lord Sumption’s observations were also relevant here: the government, at least in the UK, wasn’t breaking any laws in doing what it did, and that’s crucially important. We aren’t protected by law from the government suspending the principles of liberty, what was broken over the course of the pandemic were conventions, not laws. It ought to be easy to see that when no specific law has been broken, it is far harder to challenge state authority in this context. As Lord Sumption pointed out, the convention that the government does put healthy people under house arrest is one thing; the convention that this does not happen unless the government thinks it has a defensible political argument for doing so at the time is quite another. The first represents a genuine balancing force between state and individual while the second is effectively worthless.

As others have pointed out here, the Holocaust was the final solution. It was the endpoint to a series of other “solutions” in which decent law-abiding people were progressively acclimatised to increasingly draconian confiscations of the liberty and rights of others by the state. It started with attacking property rights and freedom of association, and ended in the gas chambers. Making a parallel between the Holocaust and the pandemic does not mean that the person making the comparison thinks that the pandemic measures either are or will end in state planned mass murder, it simply means that the person making the comparison is pointing out that this is how such things start. Censorship of such views is how you get from one stage to the next in such a horrific progression. Open debate on the matter is how you stop it in its tracks.

But really this ought not to need explaining: if a person disagrees with an actual Holocaust survivor about the Holocaust, they’re going to be wrong, aren’t they?.

Last edited 13 days ago by John Riordan
Jeanie K
Jeanie K
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

meaning that you obviously failed the comprehension test.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
15 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

I’m uncertain why you or anyone would leap to Bridgen’s defence. By referring to the holocaust in this manner he is clearly drawing the kind of extreme outlandish comparison to vaccine use that belongs in the scummy depths of social media.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

There’s a lot of people here who get very cute about whataboutery, especially when comparing Covid to anything really – yet they despise it when others practice it.

John Riordan
John Riordan
16 days ago

I’ve looked at what Andrew Bridgen actually said, and first off he wasn’t offering his own opinion, but that of a “unnamed cardiologist”. That doesn’t mean he gets away with it completely of course, but the point is that he is not, as many people appear to think, just throwing his own baseless opinions about.

Secondly, while it is almost always unwise to mention the Holocaust in any context these days, on this occasion there is some actual relevance, albeit tangential. The relevance is that the modern system of human rights in a medical context was largely drawn from the horrors of the Holocaust, as was the institutional answer to the philosophical question presented by the trolley problem.

Our system of rights and the laws that guarantee them are the result of concluding that the trolley problem does have an answer: it is wrong, at least at the level of states, governments and their agencies, to adopt a pure utilitarian approach to human welfare. The Holocaust and specifically the medical expermentation atrocities have provoked modern States to decree that it is not acceptable to maim and murder for the greater good, and not just because such a calculation in practice is always near impossible to get right.

And this of course has become highly relevant again during the pandemic. Measures were taken, not just with vaccine risks but across the board, that confiscated basic individual rights in the name of the greater good, and this quite certainly broke the spirit if not the letter of the laws designed to protect us all from arbitrary State power. (Lord Sumption’s arguments on the nature of convention vs law offered over the course of the pandemic explain this a great deal more eloquently than I can).

The jury is out, of course, on the matter of whether vaccine side-effects will eventually constitute such a breach of these principles. But even if Andrew Bridgen and his unnamed cardiologist are wrong, I’d have thought that simply apologising for any offence resulting from the obviously-deliberate misinterpretation of what he said would have been enough. It really ought not to have resulted in his exclusion from the whip.

Last edited 15 days ago by John Riordan
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
16 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I was unaware that the Holocaust had such a great influence on modern medical ethics, but it does make sense. I stand educated. Thank you for this enlightening comment.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
15 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well – the Holocaust gave us the Nuremberg Rule of ‘Informed Consent’ which every government in the world violated in a obscene violation oh human rights which came from the abuses of the Holocaust its self.

This writer does not see the irony

Woke drivel – Unherd, stop being a slave of Woke.

j watson
j watson
15 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

No. Categorically No. The Holocaust was deliberate industrialised murder. To conflate that with the Vaccine is just plain wrong and stupid. It’s even more stupid because the point about an alternative view on the vaccine science and outcomes is then blurred by this analogy.

John Riordan
John Riordan
15 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Perhaps you might explain that to the people who devised the Universal Declaration on Human Rights after WW2.

I’m sorry but you’re simply wrong here. The history I refer to is accurate and does have relevance to any form of authoritarian overreach, and certainly in this context. To conclude that the lessons drawn from the Holocaust can only ever be acted-upon in the case where jackbooted fascists are herding people onto trains for mass execution is to miss the entire point of what the architects of the post-1945 world order were trying to achieve.

Also, you are in any case mistaken to assume that I or Andrew Bridgen are conflating the Holocaust with the manner in which the vaccine rollout was mandated. The Holocaust was mentioned in the context of the vaccine rollout being the worst thing since the Holocaust. Nobody is saying the two things are equivalent or that the vaccine rollout is as bad as the Holocaust: the point was made on the obvious basis that the Holocaust was worse. The comparison would not make sense otherwise.

Last edited 15 days ago by John Riordan
j watson
j watson
15 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Disagree. On two levels. Firstly no comparison at all with the Holocaust and that was clearly implied otherwise why even mention it. Could mean either some folks really don’t understand the Holocaust or are so far down a conspiracy theory on the Vaccine that they’ve lost balance.
Secondly – ‘since the Holocaust’ – so worse than the Gulags in Soviet Russia, the Cultural Revolution and the associated mortality in China, the murdering Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot etc. I could carry on but you get the point.
It’s what the Author was contending – daft and inflammatory hyperbole does the argument a disservice. There is a debate that can be had about the Vaccine but some linkages just make the exponents look like cranks.

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
15 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Perhaps it is you who is stupid and not the ones you project stupidity onto.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
15 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

No projecting needed. Comparing deliberate mass murder to panicked reactions is evidence of insanity.

John Riordan
John Riordan
14 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Once again, you’re not only disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with the architects of the post-War consensus on the relationship between State and individual.

Really your objection here is obtuse: you seem not to understand that the Holocaust was the endpoint of a series of separate events that took a society from being a civilised one to a barbaric one which was capable of collectively accepting state-orchestrated mass murder. The Germans didn’t go to bed as democrats on 5th March 1933 and wake up as Nazis the next day: it took years of consistent destruction of civil society to bring it to the point where the Holocaust was a viable plan for the government of a supposedly civilised nation. At every point in that progression any voices of objection had to be ruthlessly suppressed by the emerging totalitarian order, and it is this part where direct comparison with the questionable methods deployed via vaccine mandates of the pandemic is justified.

I maintain that you are grievously in error here: your objections simply miss the point.

Last edited 14 days ago by John Riordan
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
15 days ago
Reply to  j watson

It looks like a lot of people on here really do think the vaccine is comparable to the Holocaust. Fascinating to see people be so extreme as to lose the plot like this. Funny too, as the author says, it loses any credibility these commenters seek, except with other people on here.

Last edited 15 days ago by Ian Stewart
Glyn R
Glyn R
5 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Please remember that there was a build up over years before the Holocaust got underway as their Final Solution. Had there been greater and insistent outrage expressed against earlier anti-semitic measures by a larger number of other civilians and politicians perhaps the fascists would not have felt so emboldened to put such a heinous plan into action? Where were the people? Looking the other way because to speak out could lead to imprisonment or death. This is the kind of society we must avoid and why we must learn all the lessons there are from the holocaust.

Last edited 5 days ago by Glyn R
Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
15 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

This writer IS the problem. The MP speaks truth and then the agenda, and Unherd via this total woke article attacks the message because it does not like the wording. What a total ******

How utterly stupid it is to worry about the wording – like some weird religion of woke – He spoke the truth, he spoke what the people believe, he spoke what Must be said – and as you agenda shills could not address his truth you attack the messenger!

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
15 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

What a shame Andrew Bridgen hadn’t jotted the minds of our Parliament that previous vaccines for ie swine flue was withdrawn with far less adverse effects than the current SARS Cov 2. It’s my opinion that the future mk10 version of the mrna vaccine will still be chasing the mark15 virus and with what damage to us humans?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
16 days ago

If you believe it is possible to “win” arguments, you do not understand the purpose of debate. The purpose is to explore and understand the many sides of various issues, to enhance our understanding of various issues and ideas by exploring and considering other points of view, not to argue until one side or the other convinces enough people to browbeat the other into abject submission. The purpose of debate is not to arrive at some indisputable truth, but to explore various opinions so we might understand the range in which some truth might be found. It is a continual process that does not naturally produce an end result, or a series of winners and losers. If there is any real judge of winners and losers in any debate, it is history, and history’s verdict is rarely absolute and never impartial. The author is correct that some debate tactics are particularly harmful. The Holocaust, in particular, stands out as one of history’s great horrors and comparisons to it should be used sparingly, if at all, and the same holds for comparisons to Nazi Germany in general or Hitler specifically. It is disingenuous, however, to call out the “Right” particularly for this issue when both sides use these emotional triggers to provoke extreme reactions and, ultimately, to sell newspapers. The practice is ubiquitous across the political spectrum and one could easily find dozens of examples of people on the “Left” doing the exact same thing. I appreciate that the author openly admits his political leanings, but in other ways, I feel he is missing the point of free speech and open debate.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well said. Bridgen’s analogy was unintelligent, which is unusual for him, but the author is also wrong to attribute “reason” as an essential characteristic of free thinking. Such an exercise may or may not be based upon reason – for if it were, surely the outcome would always be perfectly reasonable!

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Good observations. It’s often difficult to debate freely on such issues online since this arena has bred a horrible post modern cynicism on every subject, which are often seen in absolute terms.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago

I actually enjoyed article, but found it a bit cringeworthy for one reason. In addition to some excellent comments already posted here, I think we should examine exactly what the MP tweeted.

“As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust.”

He specifically said “since” the holocaust. He didn’t say it was comparable to the holocaust. In fact, by using the word since, he implies that it is not comparable to the holocaust.

This may seem like a minor quibble, but words matter. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be manipulated by political double-speak.

Bridgen was turfed from the Tory caucus because of his comments about the vaccine. The anti-semitism schtick is a convenient way to deflect attention away from the real issue. By legitimizing this clearly false narrative, we are allowing the govt to manipulate the debate once again.

*On a side note, I am not what you would call a fan of Greta Thunberg, but geez she wiped the floor with Andrew Tate in that Twitter exchange. Her response was epic.

Last edited 15 days ago by clearmedia
John Riordan
John Riordan
15 days ago

There’s another point worth bringing up here, and it’s this:

“Note that I’m not referring to the totalitarians of the extreme Right….”

I must point out (as I always do) that it is logically impossible for a right-wing person to be a totalitarian. No big state ideology is right-wing, the phrase “right-wing totalitarian” is oxymoronic.

There is of course such a thing as a right-wing extremist, but such people are called anarchists: they want no government at all. Any model of government in which the State is large and powerful is a left-wing position.

Last edited 15 days ago by John Riordan
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
15 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Unfortunately there is no broad agreement on this, and the general media view seems to be to cast any unfashionable or unpleasant opinion as “Right Wing”.
Thereby conveniently lumping everyone from Hayek to Friedman in with racists and totalitarians.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
15 days ago

These outmoded labels of Left and Right clearly no longer have any relevance to the modern political debate. You cannot fit a cigarette paper between the policies of the Tories and Labour today.
The labels are, as you say, convenient for the BBC to categorise any opinion they disapprove of as ‘right-wing’ or even ‘extreme right-wing conspiracy theory’, the ultimate heresy.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

Absolutely correct. And anyone who questions the regime is called alt right or far right. No one is ever called far left.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
15 days ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

I didn’t know Labour had any policies to be honest.

John Riordan
John Riordan
14 days ago

Last edited 14 days ago by John Riordan
John Riordan
John Riordan
14 days ago

You are right that there is no broad agreement on this, for the simple reason that if my point was accepted, the Left would find itself apologising for both the horrors of Communism and Fascism, which it has no intention of ever doing.

So we’re stuck with a silly common fallacy in which if a person believes in collectivism, dirigism, corporatism, high taxes, censorship, government bureaucracy, welfarism, social surveillance and all the other levers of Big State authoritarianism they’re left wing, but if you then specify that these principles must be embodied in the nation-state then that person becomes, apparently, a right-wing extremist. Such an argument is absurd of course even allowing for the fact that I’m caricaturing it somewhat, but the fact is that this does sum up reasonably well the basis for deciding that an extremist is on the Right instead of the Left. I say it’s nonsensical, and I don’t think anyone can seriously claim that it’s not.

Last edited 13 days ago by John Riordan
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago

So anyone who had the temerity to question anything about the Covid response was called a science denier, a clear reference to the holocaust, yet Bridgen is the anti-semite. The people putting the boot on your neck will stoop to any level with their word games and manipulation. George Orwell says hi.

Mark McKee
Mark McKee
15 days ago

The only people “offended” by Bridgen’s comments are the left-wing activists disguised as journalists and their government script-writers. Nothing like this can justify his suspension. On the plus side nobody can call him a tory sh*t as an independent!

Last edited 15 days ago by Mark McKee
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark McKee

Ya. It’s almost like being booted from the Tory caucus is a bad thing. He probably improved his re-election chances.

Michael James
Michael James
15 days ago

What does ‘winning’ an argument mean these days? Being correct or getting a decisive number of people agreeing with you? Forgive me, but the two are not identical.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael James

Winning the argument, as this article proves – is backing the agenda. This MP did not back the agenda so he lost the argument – as this writer proves. ‘Go Woke OR Go Broke’

Nic Cowper
Nic Cowper
15 days ago

The whole debate makes me so angry. I don’t like the man, but the quote was not anti semitic in any way: Paraphrasing “[vaccines and covid] are the greatest crime against humanity SINCE the holocaust” rightly putting the holocaust in its place as THE beacon of horror to show us what human beings are capable of at their worst. He is right: just like 1933 governments used fear and propaganda to turn peaceful people against fellow citizens. If you were vaccinated, you don’t get this: When you are told by a good friend(s) that if you get sick, you should die, as I and many of my UVX friends did, you realise the depth of the deceit perpetrated against less strong-willed but nonetheless intelligent individuals. When you cannot travel, cannot work or socialise, and were actually threatened with internment you would recognise we are one step only away from the “dehumanisation” perpetrated by the nazis. The charge of anti-semitism from amongst others, our PM, is just a cowardly response to reinforce a fading narrative in which he is deeply personally vested.
The speech by Vera Sharav is amazing btw – goose bumps, awe, education. Must see…

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
15 days ago

Michael Fabricant MP (the Boris lookalike for Leicester) was this morning invited by GB News to pass comment on the tory party treatment of Andrew Bridgen.
Fabricant stated that the “vaccines” had saved millions of lives.
I ask him to name or even just point out, just one person who can be shown to have died had he/she not been vaccinated against covid.
I suggest he slightly change his name to Fabricator.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
15 days ago

Clarkson is far more entertaining than this drivel

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
15 days ago

To never be allowed to use the word “holocaust” is to deny it ever happened. Thus allowing Germany to rewrite its history and pretend nothing ever happened.
Of course, the only bad thing ever to have happened in this world was that a few British people were involved in the slave trade.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
15 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

Use ‘Armenian Genocide’ instead – no one on the left cares about them – they were Christians.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
16 days ago

This is a very good article, I have often found myself getting frustrated by the over-the-top vitriol of those on the right. One point I think is well worth repeating:
And yet the freethinkers of the Right need to remember that freethinking is not just about disagreeing with authority, but doing so “on the basis of reason
It is possible to agree with the authorities on some points because they have put forward a sound argument, just going against them on principle is not being a freethinker, it’s just being bl**dy-minded.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
15 days ago

Andrew Bridgen put forward a highly reasoned argument on vaccine risks and harms and why they should be halted immediately. But the MSM do not report a word of this, instead seizing on a remark taken out of context to have him excluded from his party and burnt at the stake of public opinion. On which side is the ‘vitriol’ in this case?.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago

You fundamentally misunderstand what is happening here. This isn’t about right, left or centre. Defenders of the Covid regime spent three years calling people science deniers, a clear reference to the holocaust. They have no issue referring to the holocaust when it suits their interests. It’s a George Orwell word game to deflect attention away from the real issues.

John Riordan
John Riordan
14 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That’s a very good point. I hadn’t thought of that. Game, set and match to freedom of speech on the matter at this point, I think.

j watson
j watson
15 days ago

Good article.
But just question the ‘winning’ arguments final point. Rarely does one ‘win’ an argument outright, or least in a clearly visible way. For example you can win a Vote but the argument behind the choice can still rage, and often that’s important in a pluralist society where accountability is important and views can evolve.
I think Mills said something like ‘teachers and learners go to sleep at their post, as soon as there is no enemy in the field’. And another one I’ve heard that chimed is the ‘deep sleep of the decided’.
One’s viewpoint can be difficult to describe and defend in rational terms. You can just have an instinct for it, and that’s not always wrong. Our Brains developed to work much faster than rationality sometimes keeps pace with. But to then seek to close down all alternative views, and not use other views as a test of one’s perspective is eventually self defeating.

Anthony Michaels
Anthony Michaels
13 days ago

The rule is simple. Dumb holocaust comparisons are fine when used to criticize the “right” but not to criticize the establishment “left.” (e.g. Gina Carano vs Pedro Pascal)

Last edited 13 days ago by amichaels8
ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
14 days ago

All right, let’s have some serious comparisons with the Holocaust.

The Ottoman Turks orchestrated a genocide against Armenia during WW1, around 1 million dead, mostly from starvation.

The Soviets orchestrated a mass famine in Ukraine in the 1930s. Around 3 million dead, followed by a deliberate policy of population replacement (the consequences of which are still very much with us).

The Japanese used forced labour, much if it deliberately worked to death in the 1940s.

The same Soviets used famine and forced labour against the Russian population to establish their State by force.

The Communist Chinese used famine and mass population displacement against their population in the 1960s; the Cambodians did much the same.

How, exactly do these compare with covid?

Steve Collier
Steve Collier
14 days ago

i have read online Bridgen is a freemason and so his mention of the holocaust word maybe deliberate to try and make out all anti vaxxers are right wing holocaust deniers..hope i’m wrong..he’s a Burton lad

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
15 days ago

My limited experience with vaccine nutters has been hilarious. One of them told me that Bill Gates was using them to control him. He had read this somewhere. Although he was unable to think of any particular reason why Mr. Gates would even wish to do this to him, even if it was possible. An acquaintance of my wife’s assured my better half that her refusal to get a vaccine was due to her concern that “vaccines make you magnetic”, and she had a lot of large vintage radiators in her house, and she was concerned that she’d be forever sticking to them, and to the cutlery. These people otherwise present as normal people.
Bridgen’s despicable use of a Holocaust comparison is nonetheless useful, as it serves to reveal just how hyperbolic they tend to be.  

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You clearly didn’t read what Bridgen said. Far from a being a ‘vaccine nutter’ he put forward a cogent thesis which is at least worthy of further investigation and debate. Much more convenient for the MSM to take a remark out of context and crucify him than to have to make a squirming rebuttal of his argument.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Most of us prefer not to drop dead walking to class: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2023/01/11/air-force-academy-cadet-dies-suddenly-while-walking-class.html
Since the injections do not prevent one from getting or spreading the virus, what is the point of it?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago

Here in Canada young people were about 10 times more likely to get killed driving to the health centre for the vaccine than getting killed from Covid.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Yet I’ve never met anyone like this. Where are these nutters? My 24 year old healthy son was fired from his job because he refused to get the vaccine. His refusal had nothing to do with Bill Gates or magnets.

Last edited 15 days ago by clearmedia
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

My son is also in his 20s, wouldn’t get cast in anything because he refused to take the shot, and got Covid anyway from his girlfriend, who was required by her employer to submit. The flu lasted about five days, and now he has natural immunity, yet casting directors still expect him to be shot and boosted. Madness. Of course, it’s LA, and I warned him that it was going to be insane when he moved out there seven years ago.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
15 days ago

Geez, it must be tough working in Hollywood and having heterodox ideas. If you don’t follow the regime narrative on anything, Hollywood hates you. There’s only so many Nazi roles out there for budding actors.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
16 days ago

‘Freethinking’ right wingers appear to be some of the most bias people I have ever come across – far from thinking freely they exist in an echo chamber and wind themselves up into a Pavlovian frenzy, just as Bridgen did on this issue.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
16 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

I consider myself a freethinker, but I was very wary of the vaccine mandates. The very same agencies that were gaslighting me into believing men can become women were now recommending a vaccine that could cure me of a somewhat stronger variant of flu. What horrified me the most was the ease with which people marched in lock-step with all of this without even mildly questioning the motives or incentives of the experts who were clamoring for ‘vaccine-deniers’ to be penalized in some way. Those who refused the vaccines or raised concerns were viciously put down and censored or even fired.
True, this doesn’t come close to the horrors faced by those interred in the concentration camps of WWII, but the mindset that gave rise to such a system was clearly apparent in the way many people allowed their fear and concern for the greater good to give way to cruelty and judgment toward those who refused to fall into line.

Last edited 16 days ago by Julian Farrows
Tony Price
Tony Price
16 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

A small correction, not necessarily directly related to your argument but certainly relevant, is the vaccines do not ‘cure’ they prevent catching the disease, and in the case of Covid seem to ameliorate the effects of said disease. Also to call the early strains of Covid ‘a somewhat stronger variant of flu’ is simply untrue.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
15 days ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Suggest you research the latest excess mortality figures with breakdown of vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts. Rather than the vaccines ameliorating the effects of Covid, the opposite seems to be true.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
15 days ago
Reply to  Tony Price

They don’t ameliorate, either, but instead weaken one’s natural immunity. One young family member has been shot and boosted and he is sick every month. My neighbor, likewise, has had Covid three times in just over a year. I chose not to submit to this medical/political experiment and managed to socialize, entertain, travel without a silly mask, hugged friends and family, without getting the thing. Same with my husband.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
16 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

There were no mandates. Not in the UK anyway.

Ash Bishop
Ash Bishop
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Simply untrue, under The Health and Social Care Act 2008 amended Regulations 2021 anyone working in social care was required to be vaccinated. This led to an estimated 40,000 of our poorest paid, most dedicated care staff being sacked. It is further suggested that about the same again left before they were pushed. There is a substantial case to support the assertion that the biggest single cause of the current ambulance crisis is the effects of this wicked, unscientific, discriminatory mandate. There is a huge absence of care packages to discharge mainly elderly patients from hospital beds to a care setting, the result of this is that ambulances are stacked up outside A & E unable to respond to calls We are lucky that Dr Steven James was so ablely and public ally placed to resist Sajid Javid’s oppressive mandates for the wider NHS where it was estimated around 150,000 workers would have been sacked.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
15 days ago
Reply to  Ash Bishop

I think you’ll find that this was withdrawn before it came into place. It therefore didn’t happen.

Ash Bishop
Ash Bishop
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

No, the wider NHS mandates were withdrawn prior to implementation of the second part of the regulations (2022) after they realised the opposition from within the service to the mandates. This was highlighted by Dr Steven Jones well published conversation with Javid. The first mandate was passed and implemented on the poorest in society as Hansard will attest for future generations. Please don’t put your head in the sand to this unscientific and discriminatory legislation that devastated social Care. The technocrats, the authoritarians and big Pharma got their way, supported by those with no facility for critical thought, the captured or the stupid.

Ash Bishop
Ash Bishop
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

I should have made clear it was withdrawn in March 2022, around 5 months after its implementation. By which time the damage was done by voluntary resignations, sackings or very reluctant compliance.

Will Crozier
Will Crozier
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Thankfully it was withdrawn yes. I think it was close though. There was an appetite for this sort of force from a fair proportion of the public. I don’t know whether you find that concerning? Ultimately, we live in a democracy so the tyranny of the majority could apply come the next pandemic. Exciting times

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

No government mandates, apparently due to Boris’s resistance (for once). Plenty of employer mandates but that’s a different issue.

John Riordan
John Riordan
16 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Whatever this is, it’s going on solely inside your own head and nowhere else.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
16 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Merely an observation and a logical one. Those with extreme views are far less likely to consider alternative thought since they are embedded in that rhetoric. Applies to the left as well of course. Those that take views from the traditional left and right are free thinkers.

John Riordan
John Riordan
13 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Actually the free thinkers of today are those who reject the Establishment’s authority (as the article itself argues above), just the same as has always been the case, and since today’s Establishment is left-wing, it follows that there are more free thinkers on the Right than the Left.

I’m aware of course that many on the Left consider themselves free thinkers and radicals, but that is merely what makes them fools.

As for your laughable claim that Andrew Bridgen was in a “Pavlovian frenzy” when he made his statements, as you put it, this is by definition not an observation since it is observably false.

Last edited 13 days ago by John Riordan
polidori redux
polidori redux
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Or, as you are doing here

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
15 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

Utter b*ll*x. And the adjective is ‘biased’.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
15 days ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

Thanks for your valuable input.