299. Freedom tickets

For years, virtue-signalling and persuasion have been slyly inserted into BBC news and current affairs programmes, cajoling viewers and listeners in how and what to think.

The shite stream also flows at a deeper, more subliminal level in some of the Beeb’s drama. But they threw the stealth out of the window on Monday night’s edition of the ‘Eastenders’ soap opera. Unashamedly, the scriptwriters dusted down their worst cliches and threw the kitchen sink at a character who had made the choice not to vaccinate.

As Karen wandered away, browbeaten and faltering, I wondered if the ghost of Joseph Goebbels might have revived. Did it sit up, grinning, alerted by the BBC’s shameless use of propaganda, that depicted a normally strong character as a feeble-minded “anti-vaxxer”?

In my imagination, Joe’s phantom went one further, in its excitement at the shallow platitudes slapping millions of TV faces hard. As two other characters made it clear that vaccination is most certainly not a subject where we have the luxury of choice, I envisaged Joe’s spectre jacking itself off, breathlessly. Ghostly sperm billowing through some parallel Nazi universe, like acid rain.

  

**

My wife went for her first Covid vaccination on Wednesday. Dad has received his. So have my brother, sisters-in-law, and a host of friends. There have been a few adverse reactions in the first 24 hours, but nothing to prick up your ears. Everyone safe and sound, Lord love ‘em all.

Earlier in the week, our local GP surgery reminded me to book my appointment. I politely told them ‘no thanks’, although I will keep considering the offer.

Not rejecting it outright: but sensibly seeking a good reason to be jabbed. Maybe one will appear? If it does, I will. No drama. I have given it months of quiet thought, assessing the reward and trawling through the risk. Paying attention to a set of moving uncertainties. Like you would.   

An easy comparison is the flu jab. As a kid, I scarfed up all of the standard vaccinations: MMR, meningitis, diphtheria and so on. No problem. Then, as an adult, yellow fever and malaria jabs for trips abroad. All good. But flu? I have had it on countless occasions, and my T-cells and antibodies know what to do. Why take a jab for something my immune system deals with competently?

Wouldn’t there be at least a couple of hundred better things to do, for me and the seriously over-burdened National Health Service?  I have done my damnedest to take responsibility for my own health in recent decades. Probably two calls on the doctor over the last 20 years.

Clearly Covid-19 is a more unknown opponent. Terribly nasty to suffer, and awful to die from. No disputing that. In January 2020, Maureen and I were knocked for six, for a day or two, by a bug hitherto unencountered. New and dizzying sensations of illness were fought off. Daughter Lauren and husband Chris had something similar, wiping days from their lives.

Two months later, my son Rory attended the final day of the Cheltenham Festival races, amid 60,000 other gambling, sweaty humans, at a time when we were told that the novel coronavirus was hopping from body to body at rocket velocities. He came home the next day. We were all fine.

Those two sets of events were enough to convince me that my immune system had grappled buck-naked with Covid, and sent the nasty little toad scampering. “You can fuck right off, SARS-Cov2,” I like to think my system said, mimicking its host.

My immune system would definitely be talkative: “If you come back, twat, our T-cells know how you operate, even if our antibodies lose their power over time. You can mutate all you like shithead, but don’t forget we have been kicking the fuck out of coronaviruses for decades before you sprang out of a Chinese bat turd. We‘ve got your family blueprints, motherfucker. Do one.”

I love my immune system. What a pal. Always there, fighting my corner, remembering the weak points of my assailants, and defending mine. No surprise that I big it up. Boost it with vitamins C, D and zinc, plenty of sunlight, turmeric and garlic, and, recently, a daily juiced up half-pint of celery, pineapple, lemon, apple, ginger and cucumber. And less alcohol. Far less. Lots of walks and fresh air. Long sleeps. All told, a cracking defence, guarding me like Kev Costner shielded Whitney.

In contemplating a Covid vaccine I also gazed upon data from the illustrious and mighty World Health Organization (WHO), which cites an average 99.95% chance of surviving the virus for those under 70 who contract it. More precisely for my age group, the rate for beating infection among the 50-69 bracket is 99.5%, according to the US Centre for Disease Control. Official scientists. Not the so-called tinfoil hat brigade.

Given those brilliantly favourable odds, and my pugnacious inner minder, the need to vaccinate against something that is relatively innocuous for my age group is not clear. How is Covid-19 more of a threat to me than falling down a flight of stairs or being involved in a terrible car crash? Life inevitably carries some risk. Correct me if that is wrong.

I do get it totally, understand completely that the elderly, chronically ill and otherwise vulnerable want the jab. Of course. And anybody else that wants to feel ‘safe’ or seeks to get out again in crowds during the spring and summer. I would be gagging for it, in their shoes.

Take my missus as one example. Maureen has respiratory issues; and works with children, an environment where vaccination will be expected. So she took the jab. Fair play. Her choice. Totally respected, always and forever.

Among our three kids, Rory is up for the vaccine. Not because he fears for his health, but due to his lust for pubs, gigs and festivals when his freedoms return. Daughter Lauren is similar, feeling no need for an injection but concerned about the possible exclusion from the travel required for her job. Daughter Josie sees little reason to be vaccinated, but worries that she may be coerced by workplace dictates.

That spectrum of opinion among my nearest and dearest makes me proud. We have fed on fascinating debate and counter-debate, without sanctimony or fear. Proper conversation, no name-calling. Wit and kindness flying around. Family operating like a democracy should. Consideration, individual choice, the right to disagree. Good, respectful attitudes, enshrined in our Western ways.

Aren’t they? You might dwell on that question, if you pay any heed to the one-sided media ‘debate’ about vaccines in the UK, or the slime of Eastenders. Toxic doesn’t begin to describe the almost universal dismissal on TV, radio and printed media of anyone who quite reasonably says ‘thanks but no thanks’ to the jab. The only narrative in town says: ‘Just get vaccinated’. Never mind the tiny mortality rate for the young and healthy. Move on, nothing to see there.

You can only hope that the current generation of mainstream journalists will wake up one day and hang their heads in shame. Most of the writers for the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Mirror, Express and Sun. Almost all reporters for the BBC, Sky, ITV and most radio stations. As they recall the taste of their tongues deep in fathomless government and corporate rectums. And try and explain to their children that they took money for gaslighting on behalf of vaccine manufacturers and politicians.

A good journalist is duty-bound to inform. No more, no less. By that measure, it is fair, reasonable and NECESSARY to tell Joe Public that the risk in declining the jab may be matched by an equal risk in taking it. It may. The vaccines still being rushed to market represent new medical technology, whose longer-term outcomes are unknown.

(As quickly as possible, we are told the new vaccines by-pass the traditional injection of dead or live virus. Instead, cells within the body are forced to manufacture a protein that resembles the ‘spike’ protein from SARS-CoV-2, so that the immune system swings into action and produce an antibody response to that mimicking protein. In short, setting up a defence for any future coronavirus intrusion. Maybe this is a brilliant innovation. Time will tell. But, to repeat, nobody knows, yet.)

What has been terribly under-publicised or just plain ignored by media is that Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed under ‘emergency use’ authorisations, issued by bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Whether you like it or not, every jabbed human is taking part in a still unlicensed, and highly experimental final phase of an immense clinical trial, set to finish in 2023. Maybe that is all fine and dandy. I genuinely hope so.

But would you buy an untested car? Just because others were? Because the Queen and Dolly Parton or your favourite celebrity each bought one? Maybe you would. Whatever, you at least have the right to be told in the clearest terms that you are something akin to a guinea pig. The right not to be bombarded with unfounded reassurances that “this is completely safe”.

The Nazi Germany parallel nags a little. The Nuremberg trials at the end of WW2 gave rise to a set of principles governing human experimentation. It was deemed that without “informed consent” from those being experimented on, a war crime is committed. Is that relevant? I don’t know.

There is good reason that vaccine trials typically take a long time, and that trial volunteers are traditionally observed for years after they receive their injections. The last time that a vaccine was rushed, for swine flu in 2009-10, recipients died of narcolepsy. It is neither theory, nor conspiratorial, to underline that the current vaccine manufacturers and regulators can have no clue as to what the ‘gene therapy’ contained in Covid-19 jabs might do to people’s immune systems in 12 months, 2 years or 10 years from now.

One giant hill of shit that fouls the horizon is how vaccine manufacturers have been given legal indemnity preventing them being sued, in cases of liability claims. There are government funds from which it is possible to claim, but the bottom line is that you bear the risks of the vaccine yourself.

All good journalism would point out this uncertainty. Every day. Unremittingly and unapologetically. Instead, we are spoon fed a narrative that a Luftwaffe equivalent is bombing our bodies. An “emergency” that leaves no time for research. Deliberately creating unwarranted tension, keeping the fearful on their toes, infantilising swathes of the population. Genuinely useful and informative news about Covid-19 can sometimes seem as rare as eunuch sperm.

Some medical professionals have forecast that instances of auto-immune disease will be triggered by the vaccines. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stuttered and dithered in Parliament yesterday when asked how many recent UK deaths have occurred with potential links to the vaccine. In the European Union, as of 25 March, there had been 3,964 deaths from vaccine adverse reactions, according to the official EudraVigilance database. In Israel, where the vaccination rate is the highest in the world, the fatality numbers after two months of intensive inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine look to have soared when gauged against the preceding period.

My personal take – irrespective of what anyone says – is to watch from the sidelines. For the time being. To try and get a handle on this grand experiment in molecular mimicry. Yeah, I know, there could be some hefty consequences, including no ‘vaccine passport’, no access to pub or cinema. Oh well.

At least I don’t live in Israel, where the refusal to vaccinate is already leading to the termination of employment contracts, and effectively becoming a second-class citizen. Creating a world where being able to produce the right notification, or piece of paper, is necessary. The historical irony is almost too much to bear.

How did it get this way? A partial explanation is that journalists stopped throwing out tough questions. Such a query might ask how the unvaccinated can be a threat to people other than themselves. “How does that work Minister, once the vulnerable have the jab?”

Another might ask Mr Hancock about the peer-reviewed study in Wuhan that found a 0% asymptomatic virus transmission rate in a survey of 10 million people. In short, that healthy people were not transmitting the virus. “Minister, do we need to tweak our view of lockdowns and masks?” (I might have to reconsider that Rory brought the virus home from Cheltenham.)

At the end of this long and tortuous road sits one obvious question. One that everyone with any spirit of enquiry in their DNA should be asking of ‘authorities’ that have shot down our freedoms, irrevocably screwed up the education system, murdered thousands of recovering elderly in care homes, shut down our entertainments and pleasures and lifted mental health and domestic violence to new heights.

Here’s the question. What absolute certainties will the Covid-19 vaccine bring, what new benefits that we can rely on to compensate for the Himalayan range of time, money, energy and life shoved down the tubes over the past 12 months?

All I can honestly see, for sure, with 100% certainty, from the manufacturers and governments, beyond all the constantly-changing percentages of death and hospitalisation risk, is that it will ………help ease the symptoms of the virus if you ever happen to get it.

What? Is that the promised land, the ticket to freedom awaited by so many since floppy Boris declared the need to ‘flatten the curve’ for a few weeks? Our symptoms most definitely will not feel so bad. Chapeau! Let’s break out the champagne.

What has been made abundantly clear is that after receiving the ‘shots’ you will still have to social distance, wear a mask in shops, stay away from strangers and sanitise. Same old new normal. On with the zombie show, in the open-air prison. Maybe you think it’s OK to be misled non-stop?

And what about saving lives? That jury is out, standing by a closed pub, still watching the death figures. A ‘Third Wave’ of virus is being talked up by government advisers and media like a movie booked for the autumn. Beware the ‘variants’, say the experts. ‘Vaccine refuseniks’ are already being blamed in some quarters.

**

I find myself out of step with most people. At the most basic level, the word ‘pandemic’ continues to be bandied about, yet hardly a single acquaintance knows anybody who has died. It is difficult to be optimistic when intelligent friends say that they lack ‘permission’ to travel more than 5 miles for a walk, or that the most destructive British public policies of the past century that also trample on inalienable human rights are somehow worth getting behind. And when the Labour Party that I once voted for bends over and gives the Tories a free pass.

Britain’s Parliament has just voted to extend the draconian government powers enshrined in the Coronavirus Act 2020, with a huge majority of 484 to 76. In the background, the world’s richest people are ramping up the talk of an economic “Great Reset”. The Financial Times just ran a headline arguing that the “EU must prepare for era of pandemics”. Guess the FT has a really good crystal ball.

When the propaganda wrinkles my nose, I sometimes return to April 2020 words from Chris Whitty, the UK government’s chief medical adviser. I’ve mentioned his clarity before.

“The great majority of people will not die from this and I’ll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it’s worth reinforcing: Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.

Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens. Of those who get symptoms, the great majority, probably 80%, will have a mild or moderate disease. Might be bad enough for them to have to go to bed for a few days, not bad enough for them to have to go to the doctor. An unfortunate minority will have to go as far as hospital, but the majority of those will just need oxygen and will then leave hospital. And then a minority of those will end up having to go to severe end critical care and some of those sadly will die. But that’s a minority…the great majority of people, even the very highest groups, if they catch this virus, will not die. And I really wanted to make that point really clearly.”

Never underestimate the horse’s mouth. Whitty reiterated similar themes a few days ago. Yet the British government has just advertised a £2 million tender for a company to undertake a Covid public information multimedia advertising campaign. The last two words catch the eye. As did the length of the contract, until 2023. Do they know somehing that we don’t? Are there time lords working for Boris?

It is hard to resist the image of the spectral Goebbels reaching for his Nazi helmet and spraying more jism out into the ether, as the new PR team goes about its wretched business. Meanwhile, a full four years away, in March 2025, the World Bank expects to close its Covid-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme. What balls of crystal they must have rubbed over in Washington DC, to insert that precise date. Maybe Joe rubbed his.

There are no conspiracy theories above, just facts and a few opinions, belted at you with a straight bat and a lashing or two of humour. Have to admit, though, to a rising admiration of Frank Zappa’s decades-old conjecture that the “illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion”. Did anyone notice that the world economy has tanked? While we all fretted about our breath.

What else Frank? “At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

Now there’s a thought.

37 thoughts on “299. Freedom tickets

  1. Wonderful piece of entertaining prose. For a long time now I have been waiting for someone to write the sequel to the film O What A Lovely War, titled O What a Lovely Virus. Clearly Kevin your that person.
    On the other hand maybe the scriptures written by the descendents of Moses are slowing coming true. Well I would say that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m always happy to be praised Ed. Thank you. And I’m very open to the idea that we may be on the threshold of the Book of Revelation. Which might be about an unveiling, as much as a period of abject terror. I was just thinking about the “inalienable” rights mentioned in the blog. The word in parentheses has some mind-blowing potential when you start looking at letters 3 to 7.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re not kidding! A lot of the Irish are pissed off with it, and many not abiding to the rules. My blog title is Rosie’s French Adventure and Irish Shenanigans, all one word. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You had me at: “I envisaged Joe’s spectre jacking itself off, breathlessly, sending ghostly sperm billowing through some parallel Nazi universe.”

    Mr. Whitty’s statements were extremely titillating, too.

    Hubby and I had what we thought was a mild “cold/flu” at the end of December with some REALLY weird symptoms–did I mention this already?–especially with me, where I was convinced for hours that I was having a appendicitis. The pain in my lower right abdomen was incredible. Poised to run to the hospital all day until my fever went down and I was better. Hubby took the COVID test in late January, early February. Negative.

    But I wonder…..

    I’m pretty much convinced if I was 25 and single, I probably wouldn’t get the vaccine. I would totally wait for five or six years until we all knew what was going on with side effects. Oh, well. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That would have left a nasty taste in my mouth too. Would have swirled lots of mouthwash after that. I wonder if the actors balked at having to do that…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Not rejecting it outright: but sensibly seeking a good reason to be jabbed.”
    Summarises my position exactly. The worship of our re-elected lefty state government is such that the jab will probably become unavoidable. If the government doesn’t impose fines, they’ll pass the burden of imposing mandatory jabs on business. Get vaxxed or get out.
    My aim is to be as near as possible to the end of the line. Those who are eager to ‘do what’s right’ can serve as the guinea pigs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was younger, living in Oz seemed very desirable. Freedom. Sunshine. Banter. Sports. And a tough-minded approach to interference with a privately-lived existence. Maybe I over-dosed on myth. Your state and federal governments seem to have seriously lost the plot. The left has gone mad, globally. Squeezing the pleasure principle dry: slowly, sanctimoniously and comprehensively.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Things have changed, and not for the better. Our supposedly centre right government in Canberra positions itself as just slightly less left than the opposition, and overall we seem to have become too accustomed to the easy, government-subsidised life.

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  5. Not having the virus because you don’t want it to kill you I suppose is a legitimate excuse but I feel a couple of points should be made to complete the knowledge base for informed consent. There are people who are unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons ( not the ‘deep needle anxiety ‘ the heavily tattooed Laurence Fox cites). It is the vaccination of those who can that gives these people great protection. Secondly, suffering from COVID leads to a cost. A societal cost in terms provision of healthcare and a loss of productivity but also an emotional cost to ones family, friends and the carers. Can you justify your decision to these people? Thirdly we must consider mutations. SARS 1 and MERS were both similar Corona viruses. They were both more deadly but a good deal less transmissible. For this reason track, trace and isolate caused them to die out but the mortality and transmissibility aspects are not mutually exclusive. You can get viruses with high transmissibility AND mortality. Mutations are rare, mutations that confer an ‘improvement ‘ are very much rarer but viruses replicate billions of times even within the same organism. For this reason each case is simply a pétri dish allowing the possibility of a new mutation with potentially devastating new properties to come into being. A fully vaccinated population would greatly reduce the chance of this happening and would/ could eventually cause the virus to die out. It is no coincidence that the new variants are all coming from countries with large outbreaks and there is evidence that these new variants are more dangerous ( the Brazilian one seems to affect younger age groups, the Indian one looks altogether scarier still). Gambling on being strong enough to survive an attack may seem a personal choice but is it if you’re the host for a deadlier mutation.
    The claim ‘ I don’t know anyone whose died of COVID ‘ is simply signalling your privilege. If you lived in poverty in an inner city, in a multigenerational household I’m quite sure you’d unfortunately know too many. Unless of course you’re simply denying that 150000 have actually died.

    One of your commenters uses the term ‘ sheeple’ . I presume this means someone who wears a mask whilst shopping, socially distances themselves while out and abides by the advice in general. I presume it is used as an insult however I embrace it as a badge of honour , ( the term woke is used similarly, if by woke you mean someone aware of the social injustices in the world). Why do I follow the guidance? Because the people formulating it have been educated vigorously and then they have made it their life’s work to continue to study in great detail how diseases spread and can be contained. 99.9% of fully qualified epidemiologists and virologists endorse this advice. “ Experts, I think we’ve had enough of them, frankly “ was Gove’s major contribution to the BREXIT debate and for a sizeable contrarian minority this seems to be the way they decide on issues. Decisions made not listening to the acknowledged experts but to the half dozen YouTube videos their mate sent them links to.

    Whitty and Fauci are the heroes of this pandemic. The mortality rate in the blog I’ve not seen before but undoubtedly the vast majority of people survive COVID (at present), many even are unaware they have had it. The fact both these men continue to advocate fairly extreme measures is because they deal with those who either don’t survive or whose lives are devastated by the virus. They understand it’s consequences. They are men of great compassion.

    The villains are the Trumps, Johnsons, Bolsanaros and Modis.

    I hope this doesn’t upset anyone. I read and enjoy the blog and use it to challenge my view of the world.i hope those who read this ( probably very few as this blog post has been up for some time) treat my contribution in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A pleasure to read it , not being well educated in English I have trouble expressing my self as eloquently as yourself, if it was not for spellchecker even this reply would be difficult. You have expressed my thoughts precisely so thank you.
      However the critics regarding media influences via the popular press and television programmes often do appear bias or misleading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always good to hear from you Ed. Thanks for the compliments. It can be difficult to see all the media bias because it is usually so deep-rooted to the point of being ‘normal’ to most eyes. I just say what I think every now and again, without wishing to tread on anybody’s toes. 🙂🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Appreciate the balancing views Shaun. The last thing anyone should want in discussion is an echo chamber. You make some thought-provoking points, which I’ll try and tackle, maybe not in the same order as you presented them.

      “Sheeple” has never been in my vocabulary – it’s an arrogant, rude and divisive term, that seeks no common ground. Re Fauci though, I struggle to see him as anything but a smooth middleman and manipulator, fingers inserted into the various pies offered across a trillion-dollar industry that shuns accountability. But have every respect for Chris Whitty. A mild-mannered grafter. Hence the inclusion of his long quote.

      I have taken Covid-19 very seriously, mainly to keep Dad safe. Getting him over the May 2 finish line (the date of his second jab) will have entailed staying away from all but a handful of humans for 14 months. If the vaccines prove unreliable, I would gladly do the same again. Maureen and I have also shopped over this period for a neighbour, who has become terrified of retail outlets as a result of the criminally lopsided Covid reporting.

      If you want to know about the virus, mass media has been worse than useless, with its encouragement to be afraid, then be more afraid. My best info sources have worked in Covid wards. My cousin nurses in Eastbourne hospital and a friend works at Norwich hospital. Both stress that a Covid-19 death is a horrible thing to experience or witness. Both also say that the elderly and seriously ill are the most at risk, by a country mile. Which backs what the stats say.

      Not sure about living in a ‘privileged’ community. Great Waltham is laden with white vans and manual workers. We do have a high proportion of retired folks, but no deaths here that we know of. Maybe there’s an ‘advantage’ in being surrounded by countryside? Over the 2-season Covid period, there have been 20 deaths in Great Leighs and the Walthams, which covers about 6 villages. There is no detail on how many were ‘of Covid’, as opposed to ‘with Covid’. We can play mail tennis all day long with the wider fatality figures, trying to ascertain what was Covid, and what wasn’t. That will just boil down to interpretation. You can look at excess deaths, and argue for years. There’s little friendship in that.

      You made me think hard about the risk that I could pass on coronavirus to those who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons. Firstly, is that responsibility mine? In the same way that my brother and I have had to keep Dad out of harm’s way, isn’t it primarily up to the relatives, friends and neighbours of such people to do likewise? I kept a very low social profile even before March 2020, and a lower one since. Is there really an onus on me to think about a small minority that I might one day bump into inadvertently? Even if your hypothesis does still come to pass, who am I to say that a) I will unknowingly have the virus and pass it on, and b) their immune system will not be adequate to cope. There is too much conjecture involved in that potential chain of events to work up a practical strategy.

      ‘Mutant’ variants increase the speculative aspects. Nobody knows what will happen with the variants, and their variants. Certainly not Ferguson…..how the fuck is that clown still on the SAGE committee? It would be so refreshing to hear scientists say: We just don’t know. The science isn’t settled. We are still in a data harvesting stage on so many fronts.

      If the young start dying, then I’ll reappraise everything.

      Perhaps if I lived in the inner city, like you, I would think differently? But I don’t.

      Honestly, if the vaccines represented a 100% or even 99% guarantee against infection and transmission, I would take one tomorrow. That guarantee would be a reason enough. But what we have is a technology on trial. Unproven, experimental, and still not fully licensed. No guarantee against infection or transmission, according to various ministers and manufacturers. So I struggle with the idea that SARS-COV2 will disappear if and when we all get vaccinated.

      On Dad’s information leaflet that accompanies his vaccination, it says: “As with any vaccine, COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca may not protect everyone who is vaccinated from COVID-19.” The horse’s mouth.

      And nobody has a clue as to the long-term effects. You do not have to follow experts or YouTubers to work out that only time will tell. But we live in a time when thinking for oneself is encouraged less than ever. Who cares what Laurence Fox or David Icke or Keir Starmer or Barack Obama think, when you can look at stuff for yourself, with a calm, enquiring mind?

      A key point on every timeline should be autumn. The virus season again, showing how well the vaccines work. A no-brainer for me to sit, wait and observe. To trust discernment and the immune system that has served me with a fantastic self-sufficiency. Maybe to join the vaccine bandwagon. Perhaps not. Always my choice, unless coercive forces increase. History is very clear about the type of societies where that happens.

      Again, genuinely, thanks for putting your take across. I welcome a spectrum of considered views.

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    1. Thanks Catnip. One thing starting to emerge in the UK is the number of girls and women of all ages whose menstruation cycle has been seriously disrupted by the vaccine (and, weirdly, by being near to people who are vaccinated!). Interested to know if anything similar going on in NZ, that you hear of?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So here I am catching up, and like you we have not been, and will not be vaccinated in the foreseeable future. It is interesting to read the comments especially when we now know the vaccine doesn’t give you immunity, or prevent you from infecting others. The only clear thing, at the moment, is that in the majority of cases it stops you becoming really ill. But as Chris Whitty said way back when that was likely to happen anyway. Also it is my choice. I find it disconcerting that we are in fact now banned from many places, it’s fine we won’t go, but isn’t that how Nazi Germany started? I find the thought of that more frightening than the virus. In fact if we go down that road I might need to catch it quickly, because I don’t want to live in a world like that. ❤️

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    1. Hi Moisy
      You are spot on with the Nazi parallels, if the vaccine passport idea becomes long-term reality.
      It puzzles the hell out of me that so many people cannot perceive that. The looming two-tier society, with medical apartheid. Maybe common sense will prevail, but I’m not holding my breath.
      Do you think life in France might have been easier than Ireland? Hope all’s well with you both otherwise x

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      1. Hi Kev, I know we are also both amazed and afraid that people can’t see it, even our son. Life in Ireland is much easier than France Kev, France was really tough, we’re happy here, apart from our beloved Wiglet having cancer. I notice and think a lot is us bloggers are reticent now, what is there to say in a society that’s being led by the nose. I thought we’d evolved more than that. I notice on one of your comments there was an assumption we are all watching you tube to form our opinion, I found that unsurprisingly narrow minded. Your answer was soot on, especially now as it’s all come true. X

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    2. Please don’t equate the need for proof of vaccination with the rise of Nazi Germany. There are lots of reasons to be worried about the rise of fascism both in the UK ( a supine press, an electoral system that delivers an 80 seat majority on little more than a third of the vote, legislation curtailing protest, voter suppression amongst other things )and in the rest of world ( populism) but the carrying about a piece of paper with information about vaccination status wasn’t a factor in bringing to power a regime that murdered 5 million and plunged the entire world into a war leading to the loss of countless other lives. By linking the two you belittle the monstrous legacy of Nazism and in my eyes make it seem less abhorrent.

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      1. You make good points about the dreadful, murderous impacts of Nazism Shaun. I’ve revisited the topic this year, by reading several books about its rise and fall. One clear message was the creeping nature of its emergence.
        Another, of which most of us will be aware, is the two-tier society that was created in Germany. (And of course in South Africa, the US Deep South, Israel-Palestine etc). Unless I’m mistaken, the aim of vaccination passports is to enable businesses to exclude those who lack the paper, or the plastic card, virtual wallet, or whatever form the thing takes. Again, unless there is some mitigating factor at work that I can’t see, that establishes a two-tier society. Obviously we don’t know how it would pan out, but from the noises to date, I may not be able to visit pubs, restaurants, cinemas, sports events and certain shops. I can live with that, easily. My deeper fear is that it could be extended to supermakets and hospitals, but that remains theoretical.
        I’d be really interested in what you’ve seen and experienced of the French vaccine passport system. But all I can see in the overall concept is medical segregation. Two tiers, discriminating against the lower tier. 1930s Germany used that model.
        Now if the vaccine was efficient, you could muster an argument of sorts for the passports. But we have seen, and the medical and political authorities have acknowledged, that the jabs neither stop infection, prevent transmission, nor halt Covid deaths. In that light, what is the point of passports? The argument that introducing them is actually more about controlling tens of millions of people has to be examined.
        The passports are clearly about coercion. Get jabbed, or suffer the consequences. Forget freedom of choice, freedom of conscience, freedom of movement, bodily autonomy. Surely things we fought for in WW2. Surely the Nuremberg ethos banned medical coercion and experimentation, given the horrors of the camps.
        Another parallel with the Nazi rise is that the swamp of totalitarian propaganda has been, and remains, overwhelming. . The media, as it has become, is something akin to a global cinema complex inside which everyone is locked. With just one feature, going round in a loop. Can’t imagine ever buying a newspaper again.
        To recap, you are spot on that a full-on equation with Nazi Germany is wrong, and would belittle those horrors. If I gave that impression, genuine apologies for not making it clear that what I see are certain emerging parallels.
        As things stand, I’m still able to express that opinion, but I wonder if that will continue to be the case.

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      2. I am sorry that you feel its abhorrent but I totally disagree. The use of papers of any kind are devisive as is clearly happening now predominantly in the western world, where people want to choose as to what is being administered onto their body. In just the same way as it started in Nazi Germany and so the parallels are there. Surely the deaths of so many and the abhorrent treatment meted out to them should be learned from. Papers issued in this way are devisive. We all have our opinions and as far as I was aware I am still, at present, in a democracy, where i can share mine.

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  7. “Ghostly sperm billowing like acid rain”, love that mate, made me burst into laughter. On the serious side, you’re quite right, I agree on every level (Even though I took the vaccine!) I think I told you that ages ago. I only took it because of the frailties and illnesses of the 5 guys I looked after and the fact my other half is very prone to infections. But I really didn’t want to take it.
    You know, what struck me early into the debacle was the fact everyone around me was panicking because of what was being highlighted on every news channel! I mentioned to my friend Stu, that if nothing else, it’s a brilliant experiment on how easily the general public can be controlled through media reporting!!
    Brilliant pieces of writing Kev, you smashed the proverbial nail straight through the wood.

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    1. Thanks John, it’s such a thorny subject that I decided to leave it alone for a while after that blog. But I reckon what i said still stands up pretty well. Still feels like this autumn will be a turning point, one way or the other. Me and the missus (who has taken the jab) were laughing out loud this morning at a certoon showing two mice. One says: ‘Have you had the Covid vaccine?’ The other replies: ‘No, the human trials haven’t finished yet.’
      I don’t have much appetite for blogging at present – maybe because Dad has become a priority? So thanks for looking in!

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      1. No problem Kev. And that’s funny. Hope your dad picks up mate. As for what you say about appetite for writing, I’ve been pretty much the same, apart from work chipping away at my time, I’ve lost some enthusiasm.

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  8. Thanks for the reply and a special thanks for taking the time to read my reply. I’m surprised you don’t think Nazism abhorrent, perhaps one of us has misread the other. In fascist states there is always an us and them and as you say this is divisive but Jews’ Roma, Gays ( in Germany) Non whites in South Africa could not change their status as ‘us’ or ‘thème ’. They were murdered, brutalised and denied the basics of human dignity. Proof or otherwise of vaccination status is not comparable. By suggesting it is you make Nazism more mainstream as opposed to something way off the scale of human behaviours. Philosophically there is always a tension between the wider societal good and individual choice (seat belts in cars, smoking in indoor spaces etc) but I for one, when I go to our French village bar tonight will be grateful that everyone there has been doubled jabbed (or with a recent negative test) and therefore much less likely to pass onto me a disease that could kill or severely impact my health or those around me.

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