Paddy Mooney This is the third article on this broad topic. I didn’t think id be writing a trilogy when I wrote the first - "Covid Passports" One Step Too Far - and I’ll keep this short. For context see Left Lockdown Sceptic In Ireland.

I will be attending the Rally for Truth and Proper Healthcare on Saturday the 27th in Dublin. I never attended any Yellow Vest Rally styled to contest the same issue because as a person who identifies as an Irish Republican and Socialist the gap was too wide for me given the association of Far right and Conspiracy theory, much of which was groundless. Many of the same people who attend YV rallies will be in the Rally this week, because the issue is the same and few look so deep into the organisers.

I aligned myself with the Peoples Convention who launched a Peoples Movement active to oppose discrimination as the name categorizes “Truth and Proper Healthcare”. I attended Rallies in Cork and supported the non-ideological format because the ultimate issue transcends ideology and focuses on civil and human rights.

What this now boils down to when you strip away all the noise is simple. Do you support or oppose discrimination? We have discussed the Science and the morality to death at this point and the facts are there for discussion but we are onto something deeper now. There's little to be gained by re-visiting the quagmire. My position is clear, I am pro-choice. I support the right to receive a vaccine based on individual choice. The flawed and contentious argument that somehow those who decline the treatment are a threat to those who receive it rumbles on and produces State driven discrimination which all should oppose regardless of confidence in the treatment.

I’ve spent most of my adult life studying class consciousness and Republican history. I am acutely aware of the external dominance imprinted on our national psyche and of the unfinished revolution. A diverse range of identity exists on our island none of which are materially significant to this crisis.

I must appeal to the reader to reset objectivity on this topic and revisit it on these binary grounds:

Do you believe in bodily autonomy?

Do you believe in Civil liberty?

Do you believe in Human rights?

Do you believe in opposing discrimination?

If you have answered yes to all the above then how can you reconcile the narrative that accuses people who adhere rigidly to the fundamental medical principal of informed consent of selfishness when we know that the vaccines are available to all freely and definitively do not stop transmission?

Have you fallen into the mob mentality being unceremoniously championed by the political establishment which all critical thinkers can attest is deeply associated with corruption in government?

Ask yourself again, do you oppose discrimination?


Paddy Mooney is an Independent
Socialist Republican Activist.

Binary Questions

Paddy Mooney This is the third article on this broad topic. I didn’t think id be writing a trilogy when I wrote the first - "Covid Passports" One Step Too Far - and I’ll keep this short. For context see Left Lockdown Sceptic In Ireland.

I will be attending the Rally for Truth and Proper Healthcare on Saturday the 27th in Dublin. I never attended any Yellow Vest Rally styled to contest the same issue because as a person who identifies as an Irish Republican and Socialist the gap was too wide for me given the association of Far right and Conspiracy theory, much of which was groundless. Many of the same people who attend YV rallies will be in the Rally this week, because the issue is the same and few look so deep into the organisers.

I aligned myself with the Peoples Convention who launched a Peoples Movement active to oppose discrimination as the name categorizes “Truth and Proper Healthcare”. I attended Rallies in Cork and supported the non-ideological format because the ultimate issue transcends ideology and focuses on civil and human rights.

What this now boils down to when you strip away all the noise is simple. Do you support or oppose discrimination? We have discussed the Science and the morality to death at this point and the facts are there for discussion but we are onto something deeper now. There's little to be gained by re-visiting the quagmire. My position is clear, I am pro-choice. I support the right to receive a vaccine based on individual choice. The flawed and contentious argument that somehow those who decline the treatment are a threat to those who receive it rumbles on and produces State driven discrimination which all should oppose regardless of confidence in the treatment.

I’ve spent most of my adult life studying class consciousness and Republican history. I am acutely aware of the external dominance imprinted on our national psyche and of the unfinished revolution. A diverse range of identity exists on our island none of which are materially significant to this crisis.

I must appeal to the reader to reset objectivity on this topic and revisit it on these binary grounds:

Do you believe in bodily autonomy?

Do you believe in Civil liberty?

Do you believe in Human rights?

Do you believe in opposing discrimination?

If you have answered yes to all the above then how can you reconcile the narrative that accuses people who adhere rigidly to the fundamental medical principal of informed consent of selfishness when we know that the vaccines are available to all freely and definitively do not stop transmission?

Have you fallen into the mob mentality being unceremoniously championed by the political establishment which all critical thinkers can attest is deeply associated with corruption in government?

Ask yourself again, do you oppose discrimination?


Paddy Mooney is an Independent
Socialist Republican Activist.

61 comments:

  1. Paddy,
    you may go to the march in Dublin but I'll be at Galway racecourse on Sunday to avail of a walk-in opportunity to get my third shot.
    I'm not an epidemiologist but the hugely disproportionist difference in numbers between vaccinated and unvaccinated taking up hospital beds in this country as well as in other countries, particularly across eastern Europe, clearly suggests to any reasonable person that you're badly on the wrong side of this debate.
    At the moment you're still free to choose, free to choose without any real consequences to your anti-social behaviour. However, there is in all likelihood a day of reckoning coming, one when you and your ilk will be faced with the consequences of your selfishly cupid stunts.

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  2. Henry answered no to the questions! Henry also ignores the well known fact that the vaccines last about 6 months and do not prevent transmission. I respect your autonomy Henry why can't you respect mine?

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    1. The difference in our respective behaviour on this issue Paddy is that, mine is pro-social whereas your position is very much anti-social.

      Compare ECDC figures for the period Nov. 1-14, for a comparison between percentage vaccinated and deaths per 1 million population:
      Ireland with 93% vaccinated has 15 deaths per million.
      Bulgaria with only 29% vaccinated has 325 deaths per million.

      (In my world Paddy respect is earned and on this issue your behaviour is very much akin to that of a work-shy freeloader).

      Delete
  3. As I've said in the article the science and facts are there for debate. If you want to go there read these two links which show that the vaccine efficacy is falling apart at the seems, one article cites the HPSC data on deaths in Ireland up to the week 13th of November while the other is a Lancet publication on the relevance of transmission in the Vaccinated.

    https://gript.ie/100-of-covid-deaths-in-last-week-reported-were-amongst-vaccinated-people/

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02243-1/fulltext

    But my point was as I stated, deeper than rolling data which opposing sides of an argument select to support their bias, I'm asking fundamental questions and you are answering no to them.

    How many children under 12 have died of covid in Ireland Henry? The answer is zero.

    There is zero reason therefore to vaccinate them with a novel gene therapy. I'm quite happy for anybody who wishes to take it to do so, adamantly pro choice.

    You however seem to lean towards mandating this treatment on others who do not consent! You do so knowing it doesn't stop contraction or transmission or by the HPSC figures death, all these promised by TV celebrity Luke Ó Néill of course.

    You do not have to "earn", my respect Henry, you have it, I respect your choices and your rights, you seem to suggest I have to earn reciprocation.

    We are so far apart in this debate, nothing will bridge the gap but I am certain that fundamental principals cannot be optional on the grounds of equality or discrimination and your "freeloader" remark I'll address with a slogan from today's, peaceful, dignified and highly successful rally - Respect and Tolerate do not give in to hate.

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  4. Paddy if I had a neighbour who was habitually driving drunk and erratically I'd have a word with him and ask him to desist. If he failed to heed my request I reluctantly report him to the law.

    If I were in a climbing group on a long multi-pitch climb and the last member of the group came of the face I'd do everything possible to get him back on the rock. Eventually though if all efforts failed I'd expect him to do the right thing by the rest of the group and cut the rope. If he couldn't or wouldn't, I'd expect the second last member to do the right thing then.

    I generally take a utilitarian view on things and tend to be amoral on many matters, preferring to subscribe to the Nietzschean view that there are in fact no moral events, merely loads of moral interpretations. So on balance, and I don't absolutely contest all of your points, I tend to play the odds and come down on the side of the greatest good for the greatest number. Implicit in that, is that not everyone will be accommodated.

    Protest all ye like but ye guys are going to have suck it up on this one.

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  5. Fine riddling but you remain wedded to discrimination, segregation and belief in the virtue of all consuming corporations and governments who are attempting to destroy absolutes like the Nuremberg code for a virus with 99%+ recovery. But this is your choice as declining a dubious product is mine. Sin é.

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    1. Paddy, an opposition is essential for social cohesion.
      The herd needs exemplars of dysfunction, so in that regard I thank you your contribution.

      Delete
  6. Seeing people through a lens that describes them as a herd is ironic in the extreme and indeed nicely sums up your position throughout of supporting a cast down decree which pays no regard to fundamental rights. At least we both know who we are and the visions we hold for society. To be disfunctional on the question of authoritarian breaches of bodily autonomy is perhaps an inverse compliment and is accepted kindly!

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  7. Replies
    1. “Over the past twenty months, our society has evolved into a dictatorship, a totalitarian dystopia,”

      so said Rachel Ní Faoláin at the Dublin rally.

      Really Rachel?
      Careful girl, or your head will drive you cracked.

      Delete
  8. Henry Joy,

    like yourself, I will be getting the booster. The history of the anti-Vaxxers has been pretty poor.

    But this piece is not anti-Vax. It is about the freedom to desist from taking the vax. If the only risk posed by the non vaccinated is to themselves and not to society, what is the logic in society targeting them for abuse? At some point it begins to feel like the creation of a scapegoat to deflect from policy failings.
    The stats regarding ICUs is not in favour of the unvaccinated. Where that might lead in the future in terms of who gets treated is anybody's guess. But a much bigger well of resentment is likely to build up from the vaccinated if they are denied treatment because the ICUs are bunged with the unvaccinated.
    I passed the parade in Dublin on Saturday on my way from the Mater. It seemed pretty large. The colour party leading it made me wonder. In today's cultural battles, I have come to associate colour parties with the far right.
    But I have a tendency to resile from colour parties and flag bearers in all settings.
    As always, Paddy knows he is free to publish on TPQ. People should never be vaccinated against a different idea.

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  9. AM

    our neighbour's house is on fire. Almost the whole street is out trying to quench the flames. However I'm not participating because there's been an ongoing issue about poor water pressure since goodness knows when. Why would I participate in a project that I believe will only deflect from a long standing failure of policy?

    I'm sure our neighbour will understand!

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    1. Henry Joy,

      this seems more an argument rooted in expectation of the neighbours and too easily leads to the community as one where dissenting voices are not allowed.
      Our neighbour might not understand either if you don't worship his god, have the same skin colour and speak the same language. I think we need something more persuasive than what the neighbour might or might not understand.
      In the case you cited, the dissenting voices might just say, try turning off the gas and then use water because at the minute the water is not that effective.
      My question is this: if the vaccine does not limit transmission, then who other than themselves are the non-vaccinated a threat to?
      I think they are a risk to the health service and that is reason enough to encourage universal vaccination.
      The author of the above piece has been very clear - he is not anti-vaccination. He is opposed to enforced vaccination or discrimination against those who exercise their right to choose.
      I have been in the company of people who have declined to take the vaccination. I feel no more at risk from them than I do from people who have taken it. But that is purely subjective.
      I also wonder where the rights lie - if people have a right to decline the vaccination, then it seems natural for me to think that other people have the right to decline to share space with them. The right to choose cannot be something merely for the non vaccinated.

      Delete
  10. People are free to dissent but they will also have to face whatever consequences that arise as a result of their choices. I fully understand that we are vulnerable to infection from people who are vaccinated as well as from those who choose not to vaccinate and that rules requiring people to have vaccination certs, an up-to-date test or a confirmation of having had covid before dining indoors will seem anomalous to those that are strongly rights orientated. However, like seat-belts, red lights and alcohol limits those are the rules and like all rules they curtail personal freedom.
    As you've correctly pointed out the risk is to the health service. The data more than suggests causation for a significantly higher bed occupancy among the unvaccinated. Hospitals will possibly become overrun and avoidable extra pressure arising from unvaccinated admissions will definitely extend even further, already excessively long, waiting lists for elective procedures. Those, along with the unsustainable demands being asked of the frontline staff are clearly further exacerbated by what I consider an anti-social stance by those who reject pro-social norms.
    If they end up becoming considered social pariahs then too bad for them. Differences are unavoidable.

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    1. Henry Joy - facing the consequences of our actions are certainly a consideration but the more important question is are the consequences just?
      I don't consider the non-Vax stance to be anti-social any more than I consider our own stance to be blind conformity. I think there has to be room for conscientious objection.
      The policies around seatbelts and red lights are quite clear - on this, they seem to be all over the place.
      I think the health service is probably one of the most important elements of a society and for that reason I would hold the no vax position in higher regard were those who wish to pursue it to voluntarily follow through on their own logic and not fill up the ICUs if they fall to the virus.
      I think there is only so much a society can do to protect people if they fail to take measures to protect themselves.
      Admittedly, I pay little attention to the debate - it really only comes across my radar when Paddy or somebody writes a piece on it. I rarely read about it and never listen to it on podcast. I think irreparable damage has been done to the rights based perspective by the involvement of the far right and the conspiracy theorists. That repels too many people before they even hear the arguments.

      Delete
    2. AM
      sure there's lots of confusion in the messaging by times but this is still potentially a major health problem. Its a complex challenge but it will get sorted. If anyone has even the most modest understanding of contagion they would understand that we must err on the side of caution. They would understand that this is a health challenge first and rights for now are secondary. The anti-virals are on the way and rights will be restored.
      Many of the idealist may venerate rights but pragmatists know that responsibilities are the other side of the coin. If this were ever to get bad enough health professionals will have to make hard decisions. All things being equal in terms of deterioration of vital signs which patient gets the bed? Which one gets the ventilator? The vaccinated or the unvaccinated?
      Hopefully that won't come to pass but lets have a thought experiment; that heavy burden of choosing falls on you, what then?

      Delete
    3. Henry Joy,

      rights should never be secondary. Once they are, what possible argument can be made against denying the right to a hospital, or a jury trial, or not to be water boarded? They should never be treated as mere privilege. Where rights conflict with responsibility, the suspension of rights should not be made arbitrarily. Somebody will always be found to shout 'emergency' - much as we seen in the no jury court situation.
      The argument about erring on the side of caution is precisely that being made by some who do not vax: they wish to err on the side of caution in respect of a vaccine they feel is underresearched and may have future consequences.
      I think the weakest aspect of the no vax lobby is the way they are quite prepared to flood the ICU, denying treatment to others for non-Covid illnesses.
      While very much inclined towards your perspective, I remain prepared to listen to all views on the matter other than a religious one.

      Delete
    4. AM
      as with many of our discussions I can go most of the road with you. However, as is our wont we come to a divergence in our path. Yes, I like you AM aspire to live in a rights based society, like you that's what I desire.
      On the other hand though I also live in the natural world and attempt to maintain my mental health by living in the real world insofar as and as much as I can. The real world and natural world don't give a frig for 'rights'. 'Rights' are man-made nominalisations and abstractions; concepts generally constructed in the service of harmonious relationships within and between societies. They are ideals and are generally worth striving for. But they are not absolutes and cannot reasonably, at least to my mind be argued for completely devoid of context and consequences.

      Delete
    5. Henry Joy, I too live in the natural world too and try to retain my own health as best I can. I don't want to live in an unnatural human world which doesn't give a frig for rights. The natural world doesn't give a frig for medicine either but it is hardly something human society should strive to emulate.
      As there is no god, there is no god given rights and what we call natural rights are human constructs. And if they are not absolutes, then those who think they are not should explain in what circumstances rape, slavery, torture should not be prohibited absolutely. I can think of none.
      As human beings we have moved on from biblical bollix where people had no rights and big Yah Capone could murder, rape, enslave, torture at will.
      Context too often can be the alibi for any amount of abominations.
      My view is that people should be responsible - and as I suggested to Sean, there are responsible people opposed to vaccination. Equally, there are vaccinated people who behave very irresponsibly.

      Delete
    6. Rape, slavery and torture persist nonetheless. Though rights are legitimate aspirational guiding principles they are not consistent over time nor across cultures. They are often abused and the abuses conveniently ignored even by governments. Some as exampled by the US 2nd Amendment protection for a 'right' to bear arms gives rise to abominations too.
      It's an erroneous over-simplification to frame rights as binary choice and be absolutist about application.

      Delete
  11. Simple fact is that by far the most people in hospital gravely ill are those unvaxxed.

    NO Vaccine is 100 % effective though. But I'd rather give my immune system a toolkit than have it completely unarmed in the circumstances.

    Weirdly invoking sovereignty over your body is your right, but don't expect sympathy if you get very ill and expect us to be uncaring if you end up in ICU on mechanical ventilation.

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  12. That blame for the pressure on the health service has been reduced above to people not being vaccinated is truly stunning.

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    1. if the health system is under serious pressure because of Covid and if non-vaccinated patients make up a disproportionately large number of patients in ICU, it would be stunning to think it did not contribute to the pressure.

      Delete
    2. Sean,

      Something like 93% of people in ICU here with covid have not been vaccinated. I've lost count of the families I've heard beg for their love ones to get the jab when they are about to go on mechanical ventilation. It's horrific. But totally agree with you on the underfunding.

      Delete
  13. The healthcare system, though, is not under ‘serious pressure’ because of Covid and is certainly not so because of a very small minority of people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 (a highly convenient excuse for the state, it must be said). The system is under serious pressure due to the longterm stripping of funding by successive Dublin Governments. Despite empty promise after empty promise, going back years, since Enda Kenny’s time and more, the system is incapable of dealing with a normal winter never mind one with Covid added to the equation. To pin all of that on the unvaccinated is shortsighted, to say the very least. We are now supporting our healthcare system instead of it supporting us, and that is completely wrong. The gombeen men in Leinster House are the ones to blame here — not the very small percentage of the public as yet unvaccinated but who are being referenced above as though it were they who’ve caused this longstanding crisis. Yes, indeed, that blame for the pressure on the health service has been reduced above to people not being vaccinated is absolutely stunning.

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    1. There is not a health care system in the world that has not been under serious pressure because of Covid. It would be amazing were it any other way given the nature of a global pandemic.

      Health services are designed to allow for a measure of surge but not unlimited surge.

      There has been chronic underfunding of the healthcare system but it is wrong to date its provenance to Kenny. It predated him. And no government will change it any time soon. There is never going to be anybody on the government benches of Leinster House but the gombeen men.

      Given that we know the weakness of the health care system it seems even more remiss of people to risk increasing the numbers in ICU through not taking the measures to reduce the severity of the illness to the point that ICU is not necessary. There are people who refuse to take the vaccine but who nevertheless go to extraordinary lengths to minimise their chances of catching it. I think it is admirable on their part. They simply do not trust the vaccine. It is not that they are anti-social or irresponsible. These people are not evangelical nutters or far right nationalists, but concerned citizens. I think they should be listened to. But they are aware of the dangers to the health care system from Covid and the disproportionately high level of non vaccinated people being treated in ICU.

      This is in some ways reflective of the discussions that sometimes occur around IRA war crimes. Some people want to blame the Brits exclusively and absolve the IRA of any culpability. The Brits created the problem therefore anything after that is all their fault. It is a hopelessly reductionist perspective which removes all agency from anybody other than the primary cause. The IRA alone is responsible for the war crimes it commits. Just as the Brits alone are responsible for their own war crimes.

      People need to take responsibility for their actions and stop deflecting culpability away onto a bigger target. There is a chronically underfunded health system which is being sorely tested by Covid.

      Delete
  14. I still don't gimp up, I don't wash my hands 50 times a day, never had a jab never mind a booster. I still eat red meat and drink beer at breakfast and I've broken every lock down rule and social distancing most people abide by....

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    1. I sincerely hope you do not end up in ICU, Frankie. And I promise I will not gloat if that awful scenario comes to pass. There are many who, unfortunately, would.

      Delete
    2. Frankie,

      You're too hard to get the vid!

      Delete
  15. They persist as breaches of rights. The abuse of a right does not make it any less absolute. It just makes its upholding less certain.

    If we do not believe that the right not to be raped is absolute, we would need to specify the conditions in which rape is permissible. I can think of absolutely none.

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    1. A 'reductio ad absurdum' AM

      As with the thrust of my original post on this article to Paddy, I acknowledge people's 'right' to dissent whilst at the same time reminding them of the factual consequences of their behaviour and drawing attention to possible further curbings of their freedoms due to escalations in the Covid situation. Some reports from Germany last evening suggest that yet further restrictions may be coming there and eventually possible here too.

      Whilst Paddy is free to take the position he does and frame it as a 'rights' issue he's hardly that naïve not to expect push-back and robust challenge.

      Delete
  16. I guess you could argue that it is reductio ad absurdum in so far as it extends the logic of the argument that there are no absolute rights to the point of absurdity. But I was thinking more of Popper's black swan theory. In order to show that there is no absolute right not to be raped we need merely produce the one black swan that demonstrates that not all swans are white. And we have yet to see that one example of where the right not to be raped is anything other than absolute. We just require one solitary example to falsify my proposition that there are absolute rights.
    Paddy does expect push back much as he would from some believers were he to argue that blasphemy is his right. The push back says more about might than right.
    There is the additional problem of whether dissent is a right or a freedom. Freedoms are not always rights. So when you argue for the curbing of freedoms you might not be arguing for the curbing of rights.

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  17. Anthony

    That Beacon article is a well researched and written into what is really behind the mask (sorry, I couldn't resist the temptation to use that pun!) of the anti-vaxxer movement. All democrats and antifascists must tune into how their nefarious activities are playing out.

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  18. Thanks AM
    Two sane perspectives.

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    1. Covid Ireland: Dr Tony Holohan issues grim warning as 33 admitted to hospitals in 24 hours and restrictions take effect

      If the majority of people making up the surge are the unvaccinated, what social obligations do they have to their fellow citizens or should society acknowledge and defer to a right on the part of individuals to fill up the ICU?
      Arguably, the ethical outcome would be for the non-vaccinated to stand over their decision and not take up ICU beds if they become infected. It is what I think I would do (talk is cheap, I know). At the same time I would be loathe to see a health system not treat people for an illness, no matter how it came into being. I think the weight of ethics is on the health service to treat all and on the individual who made a choice not to vaccinate, to refrain from taking the ICU bed. That is the point when the tide goes out and we can see who is naked and has been inflating principle.

      Delete
    2. Literally, a fair enough appraisal AM.
      The way things are shaping it's looks as if this is to become largely a disease of the unvaccinated.
      In a hypothetical situation, were the moral dilemma to arise for medics to have to decide who's to get a bed or a ventilator, what then? Where does ethics take us? Or ought the staff just toss a coin or have patients participate in a lottery!

      Delete
    3. Henry Joy,

      I would qualify that a bit by arguing that the seriousness of the disease is for the most part restricted to the unvaccinated.
      If it reaches the point you suggest, I can see no option for medical staff but to treat first those who took the vaccination. It just seems to me to be unfair to do anything else. We would hope that in such a situation the unvaccinated would stand on principle and allow the vaccinated to get the treatment. In heart surgery cases I think the patient is told to lose weight and stop smoking if the surgery is to proceed.
      But it is never an easy matter to contemplate. We are not talking about right wing hate merchants and religious whack jobs. The author of the piece is far removed from any of that. I know him personally and have found him to have a very strong social conscience. He reasons rather than rants.

      Delete
    4. Yes, well qualified.
      It's interesting to note that it's reported that about 10,000 came forward to avail of the first dose last week with 10,000 more playing catch up on the second shot.
      The wiser of the dissident cohort may be beginning to see sense. Meanwhile, the more disconnected and the most disenchanted, along with the disturbed and the die-hard idealists march on.

      Delete
  19. I left this forum for a few days and I am pleased to see examination and debate, this was one objective.

    Just to add a perspective not explored so far in this.

    Given one of the strong arguments Henry makes and is supported by Anthony is that vaccination is right to unburden the ICUs then to unpack that alone in the context of children who the State now asks directly to mask up and take vaccines that are once again not for their benifit but to the benifit of others, how does that transfer as they aren't in the ICU. The record of transparency in government covid care also leads me to have hesitance to blindly accept the ICU figures without a breakdown, I hold back opinion until I see detail on that while reserving the strong possibility that they are accurate and re-assesing my own bias with that information.

    Zero Children under 12 have died of the virus. Statistically they are 1 in a million to succumb to the virus but 1 in 10,000 to experience an adverse event some life changing heart conditions.

    WHO here believes that covid vaccines have not claimed any lives? Is it negligible from the debate? If so is that because proportionally it's deemed OK?

    Do we all acknowledge that covid is a disease which 99%+ of healthy people recover and attain strong immunity, because that's proven.

    If we accept that, knowing it doesn't stop transmission then how can vaccine deaths be negligible in people who would otherwise have easily overcome the virus.

    The coercion is blanket, it doesn't consider your individual profile. This supports the fundamental principal of informed consent. Knowing the risks and the benifits and making a voluntary informed choice.

    In children there should be no choice to make. They have a long life in front of them. If a man in his 60s takes a novel gene therapy or vaccine willingly, that is a different proposition to a child being offered up for the same treatment with 75 years ahead should we discover issues with this absolutely new vaccine.

    Society is not examining this, its generally accepting often at face value everything being pumped out by government and media. That is at total variance to the norm on any other subject.

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    1. Paddy, I think it is safe to say that globally the data points to a disproportionate number of non-vaccinated in ICU. I think Steve said percentage wise it was in the 90s in Australia. It is not the most persuasive argument to make that it is all a nonsense made up by governments. Having talked to the staff in the ICU and the wider the health sector, the facts on the ground for them amount to the non-vaccinated being an additional strain on the service.
      All citizens can expect to do things that are for the benefit of others. That lies at the heart of a social conscience. Children should no more endanger others than adults, even if we are willing to understand their behaviour better and make allowances for it. The data supports the wearing of masks, social distancing and vaccination. I do think we should be listening to teachers who oppose the masking in schools and consider their opinion. But few are going to listen to teachers from the far right claiming to speak on behalf of the teaching community. Dissenting voices should be welcome because they cause us to reflect. But thus far they have not in my view been all that persuasive. That said, I am not going to pretend I have followed it with any great degree of interest or concern and my views on the matter are impressionistic.
      I don't see blanket coercion - people are not forced to take the vaccination. They are compelled to mask up when in the company of others - in shops etc. I hate the masks and feel little protected by them but the data suggests others might be protected from me if I wear one. Even not to cause them alarm for no good cause seems a good enough reason to wear one. Social distancing? Get on a bus to Dublin and you see how it doesn't apply.
      Because society does not agree with us or use the same sources we rely upon, does not mean it is not examining whatever matter is at hand. In a world where there is a glut of information and opinion, understanding the issue can be like a lottery. People come to trust some sources over others. Unfortunately, for the people making what they think is a genuine case against Vaccination, the headbangers seem almost exclusively to be on that side of the debate rather than the other. But I think you have identified that problem yourself.
      I get the sense that despite the marches or protests the tide is flowing in the direction of the pro vaccination lobby.
      I don't support denying choice to those who wish not to take the vaccination. Nor do I support denying choice to those who wish to exclude from their company the unvaccinated. Choice has to work both ways on this issue.

      Delete
  20. AM

    The authors arguments are premised on fallacies. The vaccine does not alter genes ,so gene therapy is just an emotive term, he refers to having researched the science, but does not know that basic. He also premises his objection on taking the vaccine because it does not stop the spread, this mischaracterises the vaccine benefits, it at minimum tends to reduce the potential for being fatal or more severe.

    Unvaccinated should not be denied treatment but they should be at the back of the que of emergency treatment.

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    1. Christy - I am not sure he meant it in the sense that you feel he did. I am a believer in gene therapy and the use of embryonic stem cells from a health perspective and very much dislike the Catholic attitude towards it.
      I agree that his argument is premised on transmissibility which I think misses the wider point which is not about the transmission of the illness but the progression of it once transmitted.

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  21. AM
    In his most recent response to you he continues to associate being vaccinated with gene therapy.. "If a man in his 60s takes a novel gene therapy or vaccine willingly," His objections are fundamentally wrong.

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    1. I think he is saying it is a gene therapy, not that it changes genes. He believes that the vaccine uses genetic information to tackle the virus. Seems nothing wrong with that if it does. I am just not of a view that he uses the term in the way you think - say like the pro-life crowd do.

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  22. (It is not the most persuasive argument to make that it is all a nonsense made up by governments.)

    On this point, that's not an argument I put forward, my position is there has been very poor honesty in reporting of true figures, take for example the admission months back by George Lee that almost half of the then 5,000 deaths in Ireland due to covid were directly from the disease, so the other half were not. Leo varadkar explained to a Daíl sitting the rationale behind this. That is on the public record so I've no difficulty asserting that confidence is not established in this regard, I also maintained that true figures once verified would be acceptable to me to challenge my bias on that. To go off second hand information on Australia doesn't convince either.

    (All citizens can expect to do things that are for the benefit of others.)

    I agree in general terms very strongly and not excluding public health but must be consistent with the common good, the heart of this debate and the heart of social justice. One side is convinced covid vaccines taken unanimously is in the common good while others are not convinced, examples of this are Robert Malone and Gert Van Den Bosche.

    It seems the strongest argument against my position is that covid vaccines should be taken to prevent an overwhelmed (and run down) health service, this argument itself diminishes the efficacious element of them and begs the question why don't we just enhance the health system rather than embark this divisive road?

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  23. The supporters for the vaccine move then to, OK, well they aren't great at stopping contraction, transmission or illness but they lessen it and preserve the health service, but our health service was always under pressure.

    To authenticate this angle we need transparent figures for hospitalizations. Why were they admitted, did they contract it inside or outside the hospital? One indicator outside this is mortality. There are a lot of vaccinated people dying of covid, this is a reason to doubt the vaccines not promote them.

    In the week up to 18th of November 45 deaths, 41 fully vaccinated 4 partial vaccinared and zero unvaccinated deaths.

    In the week 23rd to 30th of November there were 23 deaths with a median age of 72 which shows the risk remains with the elderly who are mostly vaccinated.

    Both the above from HPSC website.

    In the last 4 weeks the outbreaks were as follows:

    26 inside nursing homes
    81 in hospitals
    27 in residential care homes
    7 in women's refuges
    6 Pubs/resteraunts

    The large proportion of these are state run, the same people we are Trusting while they attempt to close sections of hospitals (Navan General).

    (The data supports the wearing of masks.) Disputed
    Opposing studies available of high recognition. Go back to the submission to the Oireachtas Committee on covid 19 on evidential mask efficacy by Karl Hennegan and listen to it.

    (But few are going to listen to teachers from the far right claiming to speak on behalf of the teaching community.)

    If you are taking the opinion of Antifa that such far right teachers exist. I don't know what characteristics I need to recognise to designate someone as a far right teacher but I haven't seen any.

    Other than a failed attempt to distribute leaflets by the NP last Friday where they were challenged and asked to leave and also their public expression that they wouldn't be attending the rally on the 27th "for obvious reasons" which pleased me theres no obvious sign of these boogeymen least of all hiding within the teaching community.

    (I don't see blanket coercion - people are not forced to take the vaccination.)

    The definition of coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats. I see threats to liberty, threats to employment, threats to education, threats to reputation.

    (People come to trust some sources over others.) I agree until that trust is broken. I was once (March 2020) a voluntary mask wearing germophobe but that changed through government absurdities and that trust is now probably irreparable.

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    1. Paddy - I think we have to agree to differ on the matter of it all being made up by government. It strikes me that the thrust of your critique is that the government is putting out dodgy figures which you do not accept and seek to counter with some of your own figures. For every bit of government alarmism or sensationalism this has been met in spades by the anti-vax lobby which is no stranger to ridiculous assertions (which you do not share).

      I agree there is a lack of transparency on the part of government and very poor communication. But the same allegation was made by The Beacon regarding Helena Byrne.

      I think Steve R is in a better position than me to talk about Australian figures. I accept his bona fides as readily as I accept yours.

      There is no agreement on what the common good is – something you acknowledge. But there is a strong consensus within the science community as to what the best measures are. And in accordance with their advice most citizens seem willing to take measures that they feel are for the benefit of others rather than paddle their own canoe.

      The health system should have been enhanced long before Covid ever appeared. But we deal with the world we live in and the challenges it poses, rather than the world we would like to live in. My sole reason for favouring mass (not compulsory) vaccination is the impact the virus is having on the health service, the strain our fellow workers and trade unionists feel under and who appeal constantly for observance of the health measures in place.

      It is incorrect to say that the supporters of vaccinations have shifted ground and now base their argument on the strain on the health service. From the get-go, it was clear that the vaccination was limited in effect and that a differential existed across the range of vaccinations on offer. I have never heard it said that the vaccination will prevent people from getting the virus, rather that it will limit its most serious effects.

      Most people don’t do the stats themselves. Because people pull out whatever statistic they like to support their contention in any debate, arguments by statistics rarely pass muster. There will always be someone to pull out statistics showing the opposite. There are far too many statistics for the average citizen to work with. What most rely on is not the raw data but interpretation of that data by the science community. Science is the most advanced form of knowledge acquisition that humanity has. But as Brian Cox says it is the enemy of certainty. It needs to constantly updates and revises. I no more believe that the science community is part of some great hoax to bamboozle society about the virus than I believe it is trying to con society into thinking evolution is true. But it will always have it critics who insist it does precisely that.

      The data supporting masks is disputed but so too is evolution, the age of the earth and tobacco being a carcinogen. It does not mean that the disputing theory has any merit or can find approval within the science community.

      I will decline the offer to listen to Karl Hennegan. It is well established on this blog that I don’t follow links. In the main that is because I am not sufficiently interested, I lack the expertise to address the matter, and people rarely send a link that challenges what they believe. Links are invariably self-serving. I even go to the extent in my Facebook profile of telling people not to send them or I’ll unfriend them! I never go in search of links and post only what comes across my feed on the internet, admittedly frequently without reading anything other than the headline. It helps keep a discussion going. I don’t post what I think supports my view: anything goes as far as I am concerned.

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    2. Paddy - I know next or nothing about antifa. I am not interested in them. But it does seem as wrong to characterise observations of the far right as antifa as it is to characterise all anti-Vax people as far right.

      How do we characterise Helena Byrne, recently referred to in The Beacon. Is the information in the Beacon dishonest? If it is factually correct, how else do we describe her other than far right?

      I welcome the chasing of the NP from the rally. I passed it as it made its way through town: seemed orderly enough. The person I was with shouted at them and they shouted back. Not much to complain about there. I instinctively felt fascist when I saw the colour party but my instinct is not always right. I have an aversion to colour parties and flag wavers.

      I don’t see blanket coercion. Blanket coercion to me is when your home is picketed, there are blanket arrests, blanket jailings, blanket enforcement of the displaying of the U symbol on their jackets, blanket segregation in walled in ghettos, inter alia. If that starts I too will march. Here, you don’t even have to tell you employer you are unvaccinated. The comparison that some try to draw with the Jews and yellow stars is derisory. There is no more blanket coercion at play here than there is against smokers. If you watch the Christian right in the US, even in the North, the Persecuted Percy Syndrome is at play – when they are not allowed to hassle gays or women seeking abortion advice, they claim persecution on the grounds of religious freedom. I agree with religious freedom – so long as it is not practiced on me.

      What we have is less blanket coercion and something more akin to blanket disapproval of people who in many instances are pejoratively labelled as scabs crossing the public health picket line by those who feel the entire health system is under threat. That in my view is a woefully inadequate characterisation but it is a far cry from blanket coercion.

      Once the issue is a freedom of choice one, there is no ground for opposing people making the choice to exclude others from their bubble. The best that can be done is oppose the choice they make.

      I have never been a germophobe nor intend becoming one. But I will follow the view of the science community rather than its detractors. Science has been good for humanity and progress.

      I am actually surprised I gave this issue as much time as I did, even though in the overall run of things it was probably no more time than I would give to a few good Scandinavian crime dramas which interest me much more than the vaccination debate. I really only got into it because you rather than someone else wrote the piece and initially I felt you were being wrongly depicted. I feel an obligation to our writers if they are misrepresented. Other than that, it would not remotely interest me. In the course of it the only thing I have been persuaded of is that there is not much merit to the argument against general vaccination. But that is fine: you will always get a space here for your views, regardless of who disagrees with them. I for one will continue to read you even if I find myself in disagreement and generally disinterested in the issue. That is not to say it is not an important matter, just that some things grip us and others don’t. This is one that does not do it for me.

      Other than that I don't feel I have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion.

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  24. AM

    Yeah I was reading it as you say, and googled gene therapy and got that treatment to fix genetic disorders. Not sure the difference.

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  25. The Gene therapy reference seems to be contentious. The reason I use the term is because it's a definitively new method of vaccine to use. My understanding is that it's been referred to widely as a gene therapy though this terminology is disputed. My use of the term has no wider claims and certainly not towards abortion or anything of that nature.

    Listen to Bayer Stefan Oelrich explicitly state that covid vaccines are gene therapy?

    https://youtu.be/csCqhLxTwII

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33772572/

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34271959/

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  26. Regardless of how well his speech can be decoded the information brought to the table in Dáil debates last Friday requires objective analysis and response.

    https://youtu.be/DK_-VEdrGO8

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  27. Haven't read it but the headline suggests somebody might get something out of it

    Doctor explains why COVID cases are rising among children

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  28. Anthony, fair play for running the conversation. As with everything, only time will tell. The section where you address coercion reads well to me,a deterioration would be opposed but as of now it doesn't constitute coercion to you, can't ask for anymore.


    I can accept your views and the other contributors as constructive and neccesary to explore all views. There are fair points along the way and others we dispute but debate is healthy.

    One of the Central questions of the entire debate is the ability to make choices that are fully informed in order to give consent, none of my principals here are new i didn't create them, I simply subscribe to them as they fit with my social and moral outlook.

    I accept difference and encourage constructive criticism and debate. I may be wrong on some parts, I may be right on others.

    Both sides share at least one commonality and that is, the belief their analysis is right and without malace, I think that's a good place to start in hopefully closing the divide on this. Last comment.

    Go raibh maith agat agus na rannpháirtithe uile.

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    1. Paddy - I would feel I had betrayed myself had I not run the conversation. This is a free inquiry site - what you offered was the exploration of ideas. You insulted no one and we were glad to have the piece and encourage more of them.

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