Paddy MooneySince Monday the 12th of April 2021 Irish Civil Society has arrived at a dangerous junction. 

For the first time that I can remember I have witnessed the introduction of an overtly discriminatory practice deemed enforceable by law on this side of the border other than the Special Criminal Court.

A reality not lost on me is how little we learn from recent history in relation to Civil rights on this island given how we largely watched on in disgust at almost a century of inequality beyond the border. The current government policy on Covid restrictions has broken dangerously regressive ground in Civil rights and equality.

Introducing S. I. 168 The Government of 26 counties in Ireland gave preference to people who had received a vaccine against covid-19 over those who had not. This preference was minor and mostly insignificant, but it has set a precedent, and nobody should be in any doubt where the destination is intended to be and it’s no longer forgivable to stay silent and not at least challenge this as a democratic right.

Vaccine passports have been well telegraphed and will create a two-tier society if allowed. To remove yourself from exclusion from events and services including travel you must agree to be vaccinated, this is simply not a free choice as it's loaded with consequence.

So why the hesitation to be vaccinated? Well for a start anything that comes in a coercive manner really does announce itself with questions and hesitancy. The development of a vaccine was almost universally desirable to us all as we feared the unknown and by all account’s deadly pandemic in March 2020, so what's changed?

Well, quite a lot has changed, and a lot of issues have surfaced which have offered no satisfactory explanations. The natural human instinct of empathy has always been to place human wellbeing at the highest point above all else. Upon learning about the catastrophic numbers of deaths in the care homes among resident’s it’s understandable if your comprehension is challenged as to how exactly we were led in the protection of the vulnerable? So why did government policy lead to the demise of the biggest risk group to Covid? That question remains despite numerous calls from TD Peadar Tobin to hold a public enquiry.

The revelation by HSE and NPHETs Cillian De Gascun that PCR tests are being run at a level widely recognised to produce unreliable results leaves the question as to why? Regardless of alternatives like Rapid antigen testing why run your "gold standard test" at cycles known to produce erroneous results if indeed PCR is a method consistent with a Gold standard.

To discover that public health policy which is headed by the controversial Dr. Tony Holohan, (a man with a name synonymous in the cervical cancer scandal) through the unelected group which, for all intents and purposes runs the country (NPHET) was based on data produced from these unreliable tests really sowed seeds of mistrust in NPHET. However, the wave of hysteria in society about the virus kept most concerned onlookers compliant and the rest it seems uninformed. The revelation out of the mouth of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that the Covid death count in Ireland includes people who both succumbed to the Virus and those who had tested positive prior to death offers substance to mistrust on the true numbers recorded, a point further supported this week by Mayo Coroner Patrick O Connor in his article in the British news agency The Times.

The 180-degree U turn on masks was an interesting development, which didn't offer any ground-breaking science which explained why the Public health advice changed from no masks to all out masks over the summer in 2020 when infections had fallen. The topic of masks became so divisive that there is little to be gained in revisiting it other than to point out that they do have serious consequences for at least some people who wear them which really shouldn’t be dismissed in both physical and phycological senses.

It's been evident for some time that government health policy has placed all its focus and most of its resources on Covid-19. It’s done this despite covid being only an element in national mortality and nowhere near the biggest. Mental health services, cancer treatments and other serious contributors of mortality have been largely ignored and in doing so placing covid deaths as the only national disaster. For other illness like cancer, deaths appear to be less significant news. To add further pain and anxiety all families have endured restricted services to pay respects to those whom they have lost from any illness, truly nothing is left unaffected.

Lockdowns have divided families, destroyed incomes, separated devout Christians from sacraments and contributed to extreme anxiety in people as they grapple with fear of death and fear of infecting vulnerable people, although its more and more difficult to see fear of succumbing to Covid in people. There is only one class of people who pay for everything and it’s the worker, the insurmountable debt being accrued will leave us a very long time in hindsight much like the great banking crisis but most likely much, much worse.

So fast forward to the emergence of vaccines, given the word coming from major Covid alarmists that the recovery rate without a vaccine is still 97 to 99% depending on who you’re listening to and that we had by now established the three risk groups being the elderly, the obese and those already suffering from at least one or more serious illness which affects the immune system. Safe vaccines are surely a great addition to resolving this crisis for those in the risk groups or those inclined to do so as a form of insurance. Unfortunately to date no vaccine can claim to prevent transmission so the argument that asks you to take one to save others is void. In fact, why don’t we introduce the social guilt to people who are championing vaccines about those who have died from them? Surely its fair game?

On the question of safety, public opinion seems to be tipped towards they are safe, yet nobody can confirm this as they are still in stage 3 trials and authorised under emergency use and without manufacturer liability. These points are staggering if you consider how aggressive the rhetoric is around trusting them and full approval is not expected until 2023.

So, is it reasonable to coercively apply pressure to people to take these vaccines? If you are to answer from a purely free will and bodily autonomy perspective then no, this must be individual choice and come without penalty. It’s actually quite difficult to believe that this topic is real when you consider that it can be argued that the vaccine which is a new unknown entity is more of a risk to people outside the established risk groups than the virus itself. To attempt to Mandate vaccines by the backdoor through green certificates is surely an abuse of your right to bodily autonomy a soundbite synonymous with the 8th amendment. Nobody seems aware or wants to talk about alternatives to vaccines either in the form of safe treatments or simple supplements.

So, on Monday the 12th we had an official commitment to diverge on equality. An idea unacceptable if applied to anything else. The ability to implement such a directive is contingent alone upon the existence of an emergency for it’s within this emergency that S. I. 168 has been introduced and can suspend normal constitutional rights. All-cause mortality for 2020 does not support pandemic status and the introduction of Statutory Instruments without referring to the people is extremely undemocratic.

Given how, we've been made to accept masks, distancing, lockdowns, and financial ruin we cannot be accused of recklessness towards the vulnerable who ironically are normally left to rot on trolleys every other year by government. But discrimination in the form of passports is too far and cannot be acceptable.

For many years I've heard the saying about being on the right side of history. It was a saying which pointed at the ills of fascist Spain, Italy, and Germany. I've always understood which was the right side and always will but being against fascism and not noticing the top-down enforcement of behaviour over the last 14 months and the suspension of rights seen as fundamental leading us to this take it or suffer scenario just feels very wrong. Forget all the division around Lockdown, around masks and vaccines but spare us one hurdle please.

No to vaccine passports. 

Paddy Mooney is an Independent
Socialist Republican Activist.

"Covid Passports" One Step Too Far

Paddy MooneySince Monday the 12th of April 2021 Irish Civil Society has arrived at a dangerous junction. 

For the first time that I can remember I have witnessed the introduction of an overtly discriminatory practice deemed enforceable by law on this side of the border other than the Special Criminal Court.

A reality not lost on me is how little we learn from recent history in relation to Civil rights on this island given how we largely watched on in disgust at almost a century of inequality beyond the border. The current government policy on Covid restrictions has broken dangerously regressive ground in Civil rights and equality.

Introducing S. I. 168 The Government of 26 counties in Ireland gave preference to people who had received a vaccine against covid-19 over those who had not. This preference was minor and mostly insignificant, but it has set a precedent, and nobody should be in any doubt where the destination is intended to be and it’s no longer forgivable to stay silent and not at least challenge this as a democratic right.

Vaccine passports have been well telegraphed and will create a two-tier society if allowed. To remove yourself from exclusion from events and services including travel you must agree to be vaccinated, this is simply not a free choice as it's loaded with consequence.

So why the hesitation to be vaccinated? Well for a start anything that comes in a coercive manner really does announce itself with questions and hesitancy. The development of a vaccine was almost universally desirable to us all as we feared the unknown and by all account’s deadly pandemic in March 2020, so what's changed?

Well, quite a lot has changed, and a lot of issues have surfaced which have offered no satisfactory explanations. The natural human instinct of empathy has always been to place human wellbeing at the highest point above all else. Upon learning about the catastrophic numbers of deaths in the care homes among resident’s it’s understandable if your comprehension is challenged as to how exactly we were led in the protection of the vulnerable? So why did government policy lead to the demise of the biggest risk group to Covid? That question remains despite numerous calls from TD Peadar Tobin to hold a public enquiry.

The revelation by HSE and NPHETs Cillian De Gascun that PCR tests are being run at a level widely recognised to produce unreliable results leaves the question as to why? Regardless of alternatives like Rapid antigen testing why run your "gold standard test" at cycles known to produce erroneous results if indeed PCR is a method consistent with a Gold standard.

To discover that public health policy which is headed by the controversial Dr. Tony Holohan, (a man with a name synonymous in the cervical cancer scandal) through the unelected group which, for all intents and purposes runs the country (NPHET) was based on data produced from these unreliable tests really sowed seeds of mistrust in NPHET. However, the wave of hysteria in society about the virus kept most concerned onlookers compliant and the rest it seems uninformed. The revelation out of the mouth of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that the Covid death count in Ireland includes people who both succumbed to the Virus and those who had tested positive prior to death offers substance to mistrust on the true numbers recorded, a point further supported this week by Mayo Coroner Patrick O Connor in his article in the British news agency The Times.

The 180-degree U turn on masks was an interesting development, which didn't offer any ground-breaking science which explained why the Public health advice changed from no masks to all out masks over the summer in 2020 when infections had fallen. The topic of masks became so divisive that there is little to be gained in revisiting it other than to point out that they do have serious consequences for at least some people who wear them which really shouldn’t be dismissed in both physical and phycological senses.

It's been evident for some time that government health policy has placed all its focus and most of its resources on Covid-19. It’s done this despite covid being only an element in national mortality and nowhere near the biggest. Mental health services, cancer treatments and other serious contributors of mortality have been largely ignored and in doing so placing covid deaths as the only national disaster. For other illness like cancer, deaths appear to be less significant news. To add further pain and anxiety all families have endured restricted services to pay respects to those whom they have lost from any illness, truly nothing is left unaffected.

Lockdowns have divided families, destroyed incomes, separated devout Christians from sacraments and contributed to extreme anxiety in people as they grapple with fear of death and fear of infecting vulnerable people, although its more and more difficult to see fear of succumbing to Covid in people. There is only one class of people who pay for everything and it’s the worker, the insurmountable debt being accrued will leave us a very long time in hindsight much like the great banking crisis but most likely much, much worse.

So fast forward to the emergence of vaccines, given the word coming from major Covid alarmists that the recovery rate without a vaccine is still 97 to 99% depending on who you’re listening to and that we had by now established the three risk groups being the elderly, the obese and those already suffering from at least one or more serious illness which affects the immune system. Safe vaccines are surely a great addition to resolving this crisis for those in the risk groups or those inclined to do so as a form of insurance. Unfortunately to date no vaccine can claim to prevent transmission so the argument that asks you to take one to save others is void. In fact, why don’t we introduce the social guilt to people who are championing vaccines about those who have died from them? Surely its fair game?

On the question of safety, public opinion seems to be tipped towards they are safe, yet nobody can confirm this as they are still in stage 3 trials and authorised under emergency use and without manufacturer liability. These points are staggering if you consider how aggressive the rhetoric is around trusting them and full approval is not expected until 2023.

So, is it reasonable to coercively apply pressure to people to take these vaccines? If you are to answer from a purely free will and bodily autonomy perspective then no, this must be individual choice and come without penalty. It’s actually quite difficult to believe that this topic is real when you consider that it can be argued that the vaccine which is a new unknown entity is more of a risk to people outside the established risk groups than the virus itself. To attempt to Mandate vaccines by the backdoor through green certificates is surely an abuse of your right to bodily autonomy a soundbite synonymous with the 8th amendment. Nobody seems aware or wants to talk about alternatives to vaccines either in the form of safe treatments or simple supplements.

So, on Monday the 12th we had an official commitment to diverge on equality. An idea unacceptable if applied to anything else. The ability to implement such a directive is contingent alone upon the existence of an emergency for it’s within this emergency that S. I. 168 has been introduced and can suspend normal constitutional rights. All-cause mortality for 2020 does not support pandemic status and the introduction of Statutory Instruments without referring to the people is extremely undemocratic.

Given how, we've been made to accept masks, distancing, lockdowns, and financial ruin we cannot be accused of recklessness towards the vulnerable who ironically are normally left to rot on trolleys every other year by government. But discrimination in the form of passports is too far and cannot be acceptable.

For many years I've heard the saying about being on the right side of history. It was a saying which pointed at the ills of fascist Spain, Italy, and Germany. I've always understood which was the right side and always will but being against fascism and not noticing the top-down enforcement of behaviour over the last 14 months and the suspension of rights seen as fundamental leading us to this take it or suffer scenario just feels very wrong. Forget all the division around Lockdown, around masks and vaccines but spare us one hurdle please.

No to vaccine passports. 

Paddy Mooney is an Independent
Socialist Republican Activist.

7 comments:

  1. Yesterday was the 84th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica

    To suggest that there's any comparison between fascist policies and actions in Spain, Italy or Germany in the late 30's with the introduction of vaccine passports is spurious and delusionary

    Anyone looking at the footage coming out of India over the last few days ought have little doubt about the consequences of not taking this virus seriously. Compare the tragic scenario unfolding there with that which exists in Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand and Paddy's position falls ... it falls heavily and falls flat on its face!

    If the situation here were to become anything half close to that in India, a majority would be looking for strong leadership and looking for it sharpish ... they'd be crying out for tough enforcement and screaming for an emergency government. They'd settle for one led by the generals if such circumstances arose. They'd welcome a regime that imposed control with emergency legislation, curfews and tanks on the street where necessary.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it seems where right wing authoritarians get into power offering strong government, the weak are ignored by the strong and the Covid problem spirals out of control as it has in India and Brazil under Modi and Bolsonaro.
      The final lines are a recipe for disaster. State violence breeds street violence and that invites a cure that might be worse than the ailment.

      Delete
  2. Currently Ireland compares poorly to India @ 990 deaths per million to India 140 deaths per million. But to stay on topic, passports are a civil rights abuse as they create preferences for some over others. If it was temporary it could be more reasonable but experience shows tools of control are never temporary. Comparisons with a slide away from democracy are not really worth much when it's gone, lest they be even heard at that point. I'm raising the flag here let's see if its still blowing high in 2 years time. I sadly think it will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All government relies on a mixture of consent and coercion. Drive through a red light and insist on your right to choice and the coercive response will come to the fore.
      But I do believe that the entire issue has not been looked at closely enough in terms of long term wider effects.
      But if people choose not to want vaccination passports others who make a different choice which is that they do not want the sans passport people to be in the their presence, whose right should prevail? Both choices cannot be accommodated.

      Delete
  3. Unknown - thank you or your comment.
    If for publication, please sign off on it

    ReplyDelete
  4. In fairness its a good point to raise about those with greenpassports not wanting to share space with those without them but what immediately springs to mind is the conundrum of if your vaccinated surely that's you safe from those without? To add a deeper context to that debate its factual to state that the particular and I must stress particular vaccine in question is not yet fully approved and is in emergency use authorisation which isn't just coercion to accept a categorically safe product it's coercion to trust an unnaproved one. I'd accept the point much better in 2023 when we've got the benifit of hindsight on this product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if it is safe people are going to be coerced out of their choice not to want to have non-vaccinated people with them. Somebody's right to choose has to be denied.
      It is not coercion to trust an unapproved vaccine - it is a choice but one that might be made on the basis of inaccurate information.
      We don't live in 2023 and have to make decisions on problems that appear in 2021. There might well be a problem down the line but that does not remove the obligation to govern. But we will always have a government: the way to get good government is by having it questioned robustly. I think articles like the above serve their purpose and should never be suppressed.

      Delete