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Hear what comfortable words our Saviour, Jonathan Van Tam, saith unto all that truly turn to him: Come unto me, all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.
Well what Van Tam - the UK’s bulldog version of Anthony Fauci said was, “Don’t panic yet”, when the first noises about the new Botswanan variant, the Omicron version surfaced in Britain.
Don’t panic, yet.
If he had said “We are all going to die, soon”, it would probably have had less impact on the UK population, or at least on its most excitable citizens, the representatives of the mainstream media who attend each press conference, silent as if in church.
Don’t panic, yet.
Could there be words more calculated to set off a frisson of fear and yes, panic, in a population tenderised over the past 20 months than telling people not to do so, well not just now, next week, who knows?
Don’t panic, yet.
There is a much loved character in one of the most popular television comedies in British TV history, Dad’s Army, where doddery old Corporal Jones succeeds in creating chaos in every situation by announcing “Don’t Panic”. It is one of the country’s most well known catchphrases, and Van Tam knows this.
So what is all this foghorning of panic about - one cannot call it dogwhistling as the noise is deafening? The only reasonable conclusion, despite all evidence currently available, is that in the light of the European continent’s descent into authoritarianism the powers that be in the UK are hell bent on creating a similar situation here.
The European Union is now talking about legally enforceable population wide vaccine mandates, following the lead of Austria and Germany. This looks and feels like a covert suspension of the 1947 Nurembourg code, which was set up to ensure that medicine could never again be misused by an authoritarian state. Section one of that code states very clearly,
The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.
Of course the authorities are denying that their actions breach this code. But threatening liberty, employment, travel bans and the provision of some basic services to the vaccine hesitant or non compliant looks very very like applying “constraint or coercion” and I am not sure that it can be effectively argued otherwise.
We are not there in the UK, yet. But this week the Chairman of the ruling Conservative Party, Oliver Dowden, refused to rule out using mandates, his argument being, ‘if you take the booster, we will not have to bring in the mandate’. He of course was personally against them, but you know...
Don't panic... yet.
Meanwhile the Government claims that as they haven’t done such a thing before, means it won’t happen in the future. However as we all know the small print always tells us that ‘Past performance does not guarantee future results’.
The suspicion has to be that the Government, which last year was promising that there would be no threat to Christmas until a week before the 25th, is setting up a fall guy for its own choices.
That fall guy is, of course, ordinary men and women.
“We told you to get the booster, didn’t we” Government statements scream, “And if you didn’t then Christmas will be banned for everybody. It is their fault!”
“Look everybody, look over there. Blame them, not us, they are the ones”.
“Where there is discord, let us bring harmony”, said Mrs Thatcher when she took office in 1979. She was quoting St Francis of Assisi.
This government, instead, is sowing discord, division, and social breakdown. It’s gaslighting of the population wouldn’t be out of place in paranoid 50’s pulp fiction. Now it is just a standard issue Government response across the developed world.
Don’t panic… yet.
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