General (General discussion, talk about anything.)
Excerpt from an article in today’s Telegraph.
Europeans have watched the slapstick spectacle of Britain’s pingdemic and drawn their own conclusion: they will not let vaccine refuseniks queer the pitch for everybody else, or prevent the full reopening of the economy.
The unvaccinated will be shut out of normal life, progressively demonised, and stripped of civil rights for the greater good of the majority. A new political fault-line is emerging in Europe.
“Those who have been vaccinated will definitely have more freedom than those who have not been vaccinated. The state has the duty to protect the health of citizens,” said Germany’s cabinet minister, Helge Braun.
If and when the delta wave hits Germany in earnest – he fears 100,000 cases a day by September, just in time for the election – the unjabbed will face exclusion from restaurants, cinemas, stadia, and so forth. “The risk for everybody else is too high,” he said.
Mr Braun said a “classic lockdown” is no longer needed because the vaccinated and those with antibodies no longer play a relevant role in infection. The corollary is that the unvaccinated will indeed be locked down, indefinitely and harshly, until the fourth wave is over. The urgent imperative is to avoid the collapse of supply chains and anything that could abort economic recovery. “We can already see that happening in Great Britain,” he said.
The lurch towards majoritarianism, and the mobilisation of the state against a nonconformist minority (what would Hannah Arendt have thought?), is taking hold across all the major states of Europe.
France’s Emmanuel Macron is ramming through mandatory vaccination for nurses and care home workers, as the first step towards compulsory jabs for broad sections of society. His draconian plan has been somewhat diluted in parliament after volcanic dissent from left and right.
The national health pass for the vaccinated is already in force. You will not be able to sit down for a coffee and croissant in Paris without it, or go to La Comédie-Française, or get on a TGV train. France is split in two and this has political resonance in a country where vaccine rejection is endemic, thanks in part to the destructive influence of professor Didier Raoult.
Over 160,000 protested on Saturday against the enveloping “health dictatorship”, “apartheid”, and the methods of the “tyrant” Macron, some smashing up shops around the Champs Elysees in a revival of the gilets jaunes spirit. The leftist France Insoumise party is filing a case at the constitutional court, accusing Mr Macron of behaving like Stuart monarchs.
Italy has had mandatory vaccination for health care workers since April and the unjabbed are prohibited from visiting relatives in care homes or entering hospital waiting rooms. These curbs are about to escalate with the new green pass. Italians will be barred from football games, concerts, marriage banquets, etc, unless they have it, and nor will they be allowed to sit in restaurants. La Dolce Vita it ain’t.
Protestors gathered at the Eiffel Tower in Paris at the weekend to contest President Macron's plans for Covid health passports CREDIT: REUTERS
Do the protests across Europe matter? Not immediately, perhaps, though in Italy it may lead to the disintegration of the Draghi coalition. The majority supports coercion in every country. It usually does when push comes to shove: that is why rights law is needed, however irritating it can be at times.
On this occasion the measures may violate the (non-EU) European Convention on Human Rights, which was largely drafted by liberal British lawyers after the Second World to prevent a repeat of the 1930s. The leading force was Churchill’s Solicitor-General, David Maxwell-Fyfe.
Replied: 27th Jul 2021 at 14:54