Dan Wootton: Cummings will throw out whatever morals he once had in his craven desire to get Boris out of office
Dan gives his take on the day's top stories.
I think the government has fundamentally missed the point when it comes to how to encourage young people at no risk from Covid-19 to get vaccinated at, let’s be honest, what is a small but significant risk to their health.
In the US, the CDC and most politicians have got this one right. Getting jabbed there now equals total freedom. Once you’ve got the vaccine, there will no longer be any unnecessary state sanctions on the way you live your life.
Now, I’m not for a single second encouraging a two-tier society. You should know by now I don’t believe in vaccine passports or coercion of any kind. Citizens should be able to make their own choice about what they put in their body and which parts of their body they cover up.
This government is fast slipping down a slippery slope towards a biosecurity state and I deplore it. But my point is: Why the hell would hesitant young people bother to get vaccinated if they know it STILL doesn’t mean a return to freedom?
Take travel, for example. Even those who have been double jabbed still have to quarantine on return from France because it’s been added to this maddening new Amber Plus list. Spain and Greece could be added too. Or what about the ridiculous contact tracing scheme that will still see you literally be a prisoner in your house for ten days, regardless of your vaccination status or whether you’ve got Covid or not.
So, the government is now hurtling towards the worst of both worlds. Plotting the introduction of vaccine passports is a highly divisive way to try and force young folk into having an injection they’re not totally comfortable with.
The best way forward is supportive education, not coercion, and true freedom for all. Right now, even young people who have helped wider society by having the vaccine remained trapped in a Covid prison, unable to travel and unable to live their lives freely.
That is a massive own goal.
Dominic Cummings has, yet again, proven he’s a disloyal swine. Last year I supported the Prime Minister when he backed Dominic Cummings in the face of a tidal wave of media and public backlash over his Barnard Castle expedition.
For me, I loved the fact the PM was putting personal loyalty above politics. How wrong he was. And how wrong I was. Cummings has literally thrown that loyalty back into Boris’ face time and again.
What I find most grim is the revealing of private text messages that Boris sent Cummings, exploring ideas and potential policies at moments of great frustration during the Covid crisis. But Cummings’ latest revelations on the BBC don’t actually look too bad for Boris, in my honest opinion.
While Cummings has tried to paint the PM as someone heartless, to me it shows that he was actively considering ways to avoid locking the country down, which is very important. So on October 15, according to Cummings, Boris text him saying:
“I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer. Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4 per cent) and of those virtually all survive...
"And I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff. Folks I think we may need to recalibrate. There are max 3m in this country aged over 80. It shows we don’t go for nationwide lockdown.”
That might not be a politically palatable message, but what Boris was expressing was a correct frustration about the massive collateral damage caused by lockdowns, both in terms of the nation’s health, wealth and freedoms.
Cummings is misrepresenting the conversations to try and suggest the Prime Minister doesn’t care about people dying from Covid – which, given he did end up plunging the country back into more lengthy lockdowns, simply doesn’t add up.
There’s also a real irony that Cummings is doing this interview with the BBC, an organisation he once vowed to destroy. Cummings it seems will throw out whatever morals he once had in his craven desire to try and get Boris out of office. It’s sad to witness.
Another shocking record was broken on the Channel today, with 430 illegal migrants arriving, including a group of 30 on the beach at Oldstairs Bay in Kent.
There have already been 8,187 arriving in small boats this year, meaning we’ll break last year’s record of 8,420 crossings potentially within the week. Of course, it looks like the dinghys were, as usual, filled with young men. And remember these are only the illegal entries we know about.
The government must take urgent action because genuine asylum seekers are being pushed aside by this wave of illegal people smuggling.
It’s a disgrace that needs to be stopped.
What form of bizarre psychological torture are the organisers of the Olympics putting our great athletes through, given they have already had to deal with a one-year delay and the specter of contracting Covid ruining their dreams.
Now Toshiro Muto, the head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee, says he is not ruling out an 11th hour cancellation of the entire games. What the actual hell? At a press conference, he said: "We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases. We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."
Given athletes and officials are gathering from all over the world, cases were always inevitable – there’s been 68 thus far. But the Games must go on!