Neil Oliver: We are not stupid and we must not let the Government treat us as though we are

I believe we, the people, are living now in a version of an abusive relationship with our government. Words I do not use lightly or to cause offence.

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I watch world leaders speaking on TV, and I listen to and read the news, and I wonder how stupid they all think we are.

Take our own prime minister Boris Johnson. He was on Sky News this week and acknowledged that while the vaccine, offers a level of "protection against illness and death" it "doesn’t protect you against catching the disease and it doesn’t protect you against passing it on“

Surely that sentence right there means vaccine passports would be meaningless and pointless. Even if the day comes when every single person in the UK – from newborn babies upwards – has received the vaccines – the virus, assuming our prime minister’s statement is to be trusted, will continue to be spread among the population. Knowing that someone has been vaccinated will make no difference to whether or not you might catch Covid from them – or whether you might pass Covid on.

The inference to be drawn from Mr Johnson’s words is that the virus will continue to pass between vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. It may reasonably be inferred, therefore, that continued talk of vaccine passports is not about controlling the spread of the virus – rather it must be about controlling the movement of people seeking only to go about their law-abiding business.

You can’t go to a large event in Scotland without a vaccine passport – but 30,000 VIPs and hangers on at the upcoming Climate Conference in Glasgow face no such restriction.

I ask again – how stupid do they think we are? Mr Johnson went straight on from that significant sentence to urging everyone to go and get their booster shots – which is to say, a third dose of one of the vaccines.

The Sun newspaper carried a frontpage headline that read: “Perfect Shot Third dose of Pfizer Covid jab gives almost total immunity, scientists reveal.”

Really? So three times is the charm?

If I was as stupid as they seem to think I am, I wouldn’t notice that Big Media and Big Pharma, are largely owned by vast asset management firms Black Rock and Vanguard. But I’m not that stupid, and I have noticed.

Let’s remember that the vaccines we are talking about here, in the context of boosters, are the same vaccines they have always been, just being offered for the third time.

I have to ask myself whether sources of news are aware that since the advent of that thing called The Internet we have been able to roam the world in search of news in other countries.

Israel is one of the most enthusiastically vaccinated nations on the planet. The government there has already administered millions of third doses of the Pfizer vaccine to its population. And yet scientists and health professionals there are making plans to administer a fourth dose. That’s a fourth dose of the same vaccine.In light of us being able to read about plans for a fourth dose of Pfizer in Israel, why should or would we trust the suggestion that a third dose of that same vaccine, administered here in the UK rather than in Israel, would offer, “almost total immunity?”

Much of the legacy media is already drooling at the prospect of the reintroduction of restrictions to our lives. Masks, social distancing and working from home are hotly anticipated by many journalists, like early presents from Santa.

Once again, the Sword of Damocles is dangled over our heads. Health Secretary Sajid Javid made plain that either the third dose of vaccines is taken up in vast numbers, or some of us shall require another slap. If not enough get vaccinated, it is more likely restrictions will be reintroduced in England, he said.

It was only relatively recently that I learned our leaders have, since 2010, been making use of something called a behavioural insights team. Known unofficially as the Nudge Unit, it openly – and without causing our leaders the merest blush of shame – seeks to influence public thinking and decision making in order to improve compliance with government policy.

A Nudge Unit. Psychology, Marketing and Social Engineering are all exploited by the Nudge Unit. We are not alone in being nudged. All around the world there are other governments with nudge units – in North America, Asia, throughout Europe and Australasia – teams of psychologist and other specialists, expert in nudging – open brackets, frightening, close brackets – unsuspecting populations of law-abiding citizens into doing what the governments want. I ask myself if our leaders even like us.

I have said before on this channel that I believe we, the people, are living now in a version of an abusive relationship with our government. Words I do not use lightly or to cause offence.

Behavioural Insights Team … Nudge Unit … if your partner was using mind games and other psychological tricks to make you do what he or she wanted, always with the undisguised threat of unhappy consequences should you fail to comply or submit to those wants, you’d be right in thinking you were in an abusive relationship with that person.

Here’s the thing for me: For months, years now, I’ve been fighting to stay afloat in an ocean of numbers and statistics. They fly in the air like bullets and shells from all sides. It’s been like standing in no man’s land in the middle of an endless battle. I have mostly stopped reading the numbers and simply remind myself that this all began with three weeks to flatten the curve and yet now we face hobbled lives for ever more.

So, in no particular order, I no longer trust the political class, scientists, medical professionals, the judiciary, the media and others besides.

For me now this is about nothing less than morality, right and wrong. Governments make laws. But just because a government makes something law, does not necessarily make that law moral, which is to say right. History is littered with the consequences of immoral laws passed in all sorts of places.

I say a government that uses a Nudge Unit to manipulate, via social engineering and psychological techniques, the behaviour of the people it has been elected to serve – not to rule, remember, but to serve – is immoral. Millions of people in this country have been hurt too badly by what has unfolded here since the spring of 2020. Millions of people have been driven – metaphorically if not literally – to their knees by lockdown and the rest. The health outcomes of millions, the future prospects of generations, have been compromised, far too many beyond repair.

We are not stupid. We have, however, been too trusting. More than anything else, this is now about our freedom as human beings. But, if we do submit to any more erosion of our civil liberties then we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

This is our country and the government are our servants, paid for by us. And I tell you now that I won’t submit to immoral laws. Submitting to the law means less to me – a lot less – than being guided by my morals, by that which I know to be right, and not wrong.

Abraham Lincoln said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

We have not been a nation of cowardly men or women. We are not stupid either. We must not let them treat us as though we are.