Gale's Omicron View December 2021

December 11th 2021

 

While I appreciate the concerns that have been expressed to me by some constituents and while I do not blindly follow the Downing Street line I believe that the Covid/Omicron  measures being introduced by the Government on scientific advice are necessary and proportionate and I shall vote accordingly. 

I know of few people or businesses that will experience great difficulty in responding to the admonition to “work from home if you can ”.Those that are able to do so will comply and  many others, including those in health and  public and emergency services, retail, catering and hospitality and others who have to go to their workplace will continue to do so as indeed many have throughout the entire course of the pandemic. 

Few these days, apart from the terminally bloody-minded and of course those who are clinically exempt for good reasons, have any real problems with wearing a mask in public spaces, shops or on public transport. Tiresome, possibly, but we have got used to the idea that we are not doing this to protect ourselves but as a courtesy and to protect others. Even if it is effective only at the margins it is worth doing and at the very least it appears to have diminished the prospect of catching winter coughs and colds. 

Which leaves us, really, with what are now known as “vaccine passports”. 

When I said, recently, that having travelled within mainland Europe during the past twelve months through countries where the  production of a “Vax App” is commonplace I found no difficulty or impediment in obtaining entry to restaurants or to the `Bar/Tabac` I was told that “Yes but that is `over there`; we are British”. That is xenophobia in spades. 

Neither do I buy into the argument that the requirement to demonstrate pre-admission proof of vaccination is a digital re-run of “1984”. That horse left the stable door miles ago and Big Brothers Google and Amazon already know far more about you than you probably know yourself. If you do not believe me just ask Alexa! 

And then there is the “discrimination” myth. 

You have an absolute right to determine what is pumped into your body and what is not and I will fiercely defend that right. What you do not have  is a right to then t mix with others and to disseminate the infections that you may be carrying because you have unilaterally decided to exercise your right to decline a vaccination. 

To enter a football ground or a nightclub or a theatre you have to purchase a ticket. If you do not have the money to buy that ticket you may not gain entry. The so-called `Vaccination Passport” is part of the entry ticket. If you do not have one you cannot reasonably demand to be admitted. And unlike the funds needed to buy admission to a private venue  the vaccination is free of charge and to accept or decline it is entirely your choice.  So the arguments about `discrimination` and a `two-tier society` are, in my view, libertarian claptrap. 

Life is full of consequences. You ` pays your money and you takes your choice.` I believe that I have a duty to keep as many of the people that I represent as safe as possible for as much of the time as possible and I shall pursue that line of duty for as long as I remain a Member of Parliament.