Fraser Nelson published an editorial in The Telegraph on blacknews.ro. Here are some of Nelson’s views.
“Britain has become the new Sweden while other governments are vying to implement tough policies.
We may be tempted to say that this is fate, but Britain may be the best place in Europe to spend this Christmas. Bavaria’s winter markets are closed, French bistros will not allow anyone to enter without a permit, Belgium has banned private parties, and Irish pubs are all restricted. But in the UK, vaccinated and unvaccinated people can walk, work, eat and drink wherever they want. If the omicron variant doesn’t change everything, we may see in the new year that we have defeated the virus and upheld the fundamental values of freedom.
Things are quite different in Germany, where hospitals are filling up with patients and the government is considering closing the unvaccinated. Olaf Scholz, the new chancellor, is in favor of compulsory vaccinations, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, suggests that the 27 EU members consider doing the same. Freedom should not!
It would be an easier argument if science supported it, but studies so far make this case difficult to defend. Vaccines provide strong protection against serious infections, but offer no guarantee against acquiring or transmitting the virus. This makes it impossible to say that a restaurant full of vaccinated diners is “safe”. The argument ‘You don’t have a vaccine, you don’t work’ also deals with the case of those who were not vaccinated, but who had the virus. An Israeli study of 750,000 people found that natural immunity was much stronger than the immunity gained from the vaccine. So for what reasons can a person with post-Covid immunity be revoked?
In France, vaccine passports have managed to close the gap between young and old. But in Scotland they proved unsuccessful, vaccination rates did not rise faster than in England, after the announcement of Nicola Sturgeon’s program. Anyone who aims to make life difficult for the uninjected should also be honest about who they tend to be: ethnic minorities, the poor and the marginalized.
The unvaccinated people Angela Merkel is now facing in her latest chancellor’s act are more likely to live in her former East Germany, where the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) is the strongest. A poll found that half of unvaccinated Germans voted for AfD in the last election. This is a trend. Across Europe, the anti-dissolution cause tends to be taken up by Eurosceptic populists who find direct ways to express their objections. This has complicated the debate, with politicians often seeing the faces of their political opponents in various protests.
The arrival of reminders makes the idea of coercion even more difficult: if revaccinations are needed every three to six months, how will this affect vaccine passports? Will people have to receive every booster in order to maintain their right to enjoy freedom? Otto Schily, a minister in Gerhard Schröder’s government, said yesterday that not even Communist China was considering compulsory vaccinations. So, he asked, where would Merkel’s idea go? Will Mr Scholz now give in to activist lawyers who are serving prison sentences for those who refuse the vaccine?
The policy of all this is equally divided in Italy, which is now in its 19th consecutive week of anti-restriction protests. Next week he will introduce a “super green permit” where a negative test is no longer enough. Austria will start fining unvaccinated people in February, as Greece will do next month (but only pensioners). Even Sweden, which has so long defied the world by rejecting the wearing of masks and blockades, has now given in to green passports. The UK is starting to look like the new Sweden: keep calm and keep going.
Sajid Javid, the British Minister of Health, categorically ruled out compulsory vaccination, considering it not only non-liberal, but also counterproductive. “If you make the vaccine attractive, people will want it,” said a senior official. “If we start threatening people, everything will change very quickly. The UK has masks on public transport right now. And not many other restrictions at the moment. “
The continuation of the editorial can be read on blacknews.ro.