A Balanced Solution to a Specific Problem

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During World War 2, the British Government introduced ID cards as a temporary emergency measure. When the War finished the ID cards remained in place until 1952 and were only removed following a legal challenge.

There is nothing as permanent as a temporary law.

There is no doubt that the COVID crisis is an exceptional situation needing exceptional measures, particularly relating to international air travel. The airlines industry led by IATA has responded by developing a Travel Pass which will allow users to voluntarily link their passport with their vaccination status, and this should become available later this month. This is in the form of a smartphone app which will link to the existing IATA travel database.

It is already mandatory for international air travellers to carry a passport and depending on the destination, to have a visa or carry vaccination certificates – and the IATA Travel Pass is effectively an extension to your passport. It will be free to all passengers and is not mandatory – it is a balanced solution to a specific problem.

However, the suggestion that everyone in the UK should have to carry a Covid passport – to visit the pub, or go to a sports match, or go to the supermarket – is the thin end of a draconian wedge. Whether in the form of a smartphone app or an official certificate, this would be neither optional nor free, and police will quickly start to abuse their powers and start stopping people on the street to check their status – in the interests of public safety of course!

It will only be a matter of time before Priti Patel decides that the Covid passport details will be extended to include your address and National Insurance number, and will be needed to access any public service. Temporarily of course… and covered in Union Jacks…

2 thoughts on “A Balanced Solution to a Specific Problem

  1. …and there are none so tenacious as those who are doing it to you for your own good. All collateral damage is “minor,” all alternative views are “deluded” or “criminal.” There are some truly mind-boggling conspiracies floating about (it’s just the ‘flu, it’s artificial, it doesn’t exist) which any critical thinker will likely disregard immediately. That does not excuse tailoring the response to the lowest common denominator, many of whom will go out of their way to ignore any sensible guidance regardless of how many of our liberties are removed. I doubt it’s deliberate yet those who are supposed to be the best of us should be aware of these pitfalls.

    The problem, of course, is one of use it or lose it, in this case relating to freedom of choice. Once people get accustomed to having all their decisions dictated to them, many become incapable of (or unwilling to resume) making their own. It’s one of the reasons so many imprisoned people re-offend.

    There are also those, thankfully a minority in those who serve the public to enforce law, who revel in wielding power and will continually push the boundaries, misinterpreting guidance such as we saw when the police shut down an Easter service, something specifically allowed in the latest guidance¹. More worrying is the aftermath of no apology, no retraining, no lessons learnt. Just continue to blunder on in with any old interpretation and instant “justice.”

    After a year of this, many have forgotten the freedoms we voluntarily and, we were assured, temporarily surrendered to combat this pandemic and the talk of the “New Normal” as something to be looked forward to rather than feared is beginning to look very much like it’s a done deal. We have a deadly, invisible enemy that we are told is never going away and we’ll be forever fighting as it mutates from Kent to Brazil to Eurasia…

    Perhaps worth pointing out while we still can that Eric Blair, whose nom de plume is rather more famous, never wrote instruction manuals.

    ¹ Communal worship or prayer can be attended by as many people as the place of worship can safely accommodate, in a way which complies with COVID-19 secure guidance and the law. This means that people from different households (or support bubbles) must not mix when participating in communal worship. – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/celebrating-religious-festivals-during-coronavirus-covid-19 retrieved 7th April 2021, 11:00BST

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