EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: We must learn to live with Covid-19 and not ‘slide into a dictatorship’
On Tuesday, some of the most draconian legislation from my time in Parliament was passed under the guise of public health, but it was simply a diversionary tactic from a failing Government to move the national conversation away from their disgusting behaviours last Christmas.
We were told it is because the new variant of Covid - Omicron and the threat it poses. Yet, the head of the South Africa Medical Association who is working at the epicentre of this has been alarmed at the ‘over the top’ reaction of our Government’s response to a strain of the virus that she described as mild.
I voted against these measures.
These measures mean that, to be admitted into a nightclub or large event/ venue, you will need proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test for covid. This will decimate an already- struggling industry. The knock-on effect is that smaller hospitality venues are reporting cancelled bookings. No Government financial package has been offered to support them. Covid passports are not rooted in science and have had zero impact on the virus in Scotland, France, Germany, and Italy.
The other measure was making vaccinations compulsory for NHS workers in England. This is the first time ever that those working in our NHS are being forced by law to be vaccinated. Those who cared for our loved ones, risked their own lives daily for us are now facing unemployment if they don’t get double- jabbed by 1st April 2022.
There have been no impact assessments published regarding these new laws, so their efficacy is questionable, but what is clear is that people will lose their jobs, some entertainment venues and other hospitality will close their doors for good.
We need to learn to live with this virus, there will be more variants, the solution to every new variant isn’t to coerce and exclude with the full force of the law but with support, encouragement, and consistent public health messaging. That is how free democracies function. With this week’s votes, we are sliding further into a dictatorship with the nastiest and most dangerous Government I have ever known.