Monday, 5 April 2021

Vaccine certificates and Big Brother

As someone who wholeheartedly joined in the campaign against the Blair-Brown governments' tendency toward a police state, I unsurprisingly object to prime minister Johnson's proposed Covid certificate scheme.  In 2010, the incoming Conservative/Lib Dem coalition quckly put an end to Section 44 and ID cards. Incidentally, it is good to see that the organisation which sprang from the No2ID campaign is still in existence and keeping a beady eye on government attempts to invade our privacy. It is worrying to see Johnson and company reversing that liberalisation along with other coalition policies. For all their faults, Cameron and Clegg would not have countenanced Johnson's repressive measures.

I have no trouble with individual employers insisting on proof of immunity where their circumstances demand it. Pub landlords already have the power to bar or eject people on certain grounds, so setting additional criteria for admission seems a minor step. Such bottom-up initiatives should be accepted, and, because their own money is involved, implementors would surely put in place optimum schemes. A Tory administration putting its grubby finger in is another matter. Apart from the civil liberties aspects of any government supervising citizens' access to employment, to hostelries and to places of entertainment, one suspects that the Johnson "trial" is yet one more opportunity to throw public money to government cronies for minimum effective return.

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