Dan Wootton: I refuse to accept even the small prospect of life-destroying lockdowns
Dan Wootton gives his take on the day's top stories.
Let’s start with the good news. Boris Johnson appears to have listened to the sane people in his orbit. The thankless lobbying over the past two years from folk like the Covid Recovery Group, the brave anti-vaccine passport freedom fighters and media figures like me and newspapers like the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail who were vilified for months on end has started to hit home.
The hysterical scare mongers like Labour’s John Ashworth, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and, of course, the worst of them all, Professor Lockdown Neil Ferguson have been exposed as clueless fools. They were wrong to say Freedom Day would lead to cases of over 100,000. They were wrong to try and stop life returning to normal for petty political gain.
Covid morbidity rates have plummeted in a highly vaccinated population. So all the extraordinary, draconian, unprecedented and anti-democratic measures employed by the government over the past two years must be banished to history.
Tomorrow in an address to the nation Boris Johnson will unveil his so-called “toolbox” of Covid policies in order to avoid a winter lockdown. But he isn’t planning to categorically rule out ever locking down the country again, which I believe he must.
News of his address follows confirmation from the Health Secretary Sajid Javid that highly illiberal vaccine passports won’t be introduced this month. Again, that’s a good start. But the government keeps them in reserve, alongside mask mandates and work from home orders, for the winter. I’m sorry, that’s not good enough.
Vaccine passports are discriminatory, help create a two-tier society and lead us towards the path of a biosecurity state. The entire Coronavirus Act should be torn up by Boris too. Some of the government plans are positive – I concede that and I celebrate it too.
The UK is in a much better place than the Zero Covid hellscapes like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China. However, there’s still a lot more work to do, especially when it comes to a return to work and international travel. I refuse to accept a new normal. I refuse to accept even the small prospect of economy and life destroying lockdowns. I refuse to accept a world where NHS GPs won’t see patients face to face. And I refuse to accept the possibility of being told to work from home and mask up again, even though there’s very little scientific evidence behind such a move.
Tomorrow the Prime Minister needs to show true leadership. But the real test will come at the moment over winter when coronavirus cases inevitably do soar and the NHS comes under great pressure, as it does almost every winter. That’s when we will see if Boris is still under the influence of the Covid extremists.
Jabs for kids
Boris will be celebrating the decision by the Chief Medical Officer Christopher Whitty today to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds, over-ruling the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. The government thinks jabbing as many people as possible, no matter their age, will help get us out of the crisis faster. But I believe it sets a very worrying precedent.
During the early days of the vaccination programme we were told to trust the JCVI. Despite overwhelming and totally immoral political pressure, they held firm and wouldn’t endorse jabbing youngsters en masse, certain the health benefits did not make the risks worth it. Now the government will ignore that advice. They won’t follow the science, when it doesn’t suit them. Such a decision comes with consequences.
Sitting in the pub on Saturday night, watching Emma Radukanu win the US Open against all odds felt like witnessing an actual fairytale in real time. This was the woman who before Wimbledon was ranked 361st in the world and only received her A levels a few weeks ago. But it was predictably depressing how quick the toxic left were to try and politicise Emma’s win because she wasn’t born in the UK.
Sadiq Khan didn’t even bother to spell Emma’s name correctly when he tweeted: “Emma Radacanu's (sic) story is London's story. Born in Canada to Chinese and Romanian parents, she moved to London at two-years-old. Here in London, we embrace and celebrate our diversity. And if you work hard, and get a helping hand, you can achieve anything.”
Alastair Campbell preached to the Home Secretary whose own parents are immigrants from Uganda: “Isn’t it great to be from a country where a child born in Canada to Romanian and Chinese parents can come to Britain aged two and become a (British) national heroine within 16 years? Let’s try and keep the country that way shall we @pritipatel?”
Less than two hours after Emma’s victory, the BBC’s Gary Lineker posted a two-day old Daily Express front page that juxtaposed a headline about illegal migrants being turned back to France with a picture of Radukanu, with the words: “Oh the irony.”
As I wrote in my column for the MailOnline today… Why late on a Saturday night, as most folk like me downed copious quantities of booze in the pub as the big screens showed the tennis free-to-air, would these prominent faces of the so-called liberal Left decide to stoke an argument about immigration and ethnicity if they were not race-baiting? And why the need to so publicly define Emma as an immigrant?
It’s more irrefutable proof that it’s the Left in this country always desperate to start a culture war based on identity politics. The best way to show acceptance of immigrants and how truly multicultural we are is for the Left to shut up about Emma Radukanu’s cultural heritage and start celebrating her as what she is: 100 per cent British and 100 per cent brilliant.