Roger Watson is a British academic. He is a professor of nursing at the University of Hull.
LAST weekend saw the biggest Covid freedom rallies across the UK since the start of the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in most major cities of the UK with protests in London and Newcastle focusing, deservedly, on the BBC buildings. The BBC has been the standard bearer for misinformation regarding the pandemic, it has danced to the government tune and helped to spread Covid fear at every opportunity.
The Covid protests, which were also reflected in all the major cities of Europe where coronavirus restrictions are much worse than they have ever been here, show that people are no longer being taken in by the Covid narrative and that their patience is wearing thin. This is the endgame, and we should be very pleased that England (as opposed to the devolved countries where the Covid jackboot is still in evidence) is leading the way.
The reasons we are leading are unclear. It could be that PM Johnson is trying to curry favour with the voters, many of whom are calling for his head over ‘Partygate’, but he has decided to ignore ‘the science’ promulgated by SAGE. Doom Meister General Chris Whitty has clearly been put back in his box. If we are lucky, by the end of this month there will be no more masks, vaccine passports will be a distant memory, mandatory vaccines and even the vaccine rollout might cease.
It is inconceivable that we would be in this position had we still been a member of the European Union. It is obvious that the major countries of the EU are competing to be the most Covid repressive. Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Austria are all places no sane person would any longer wish to visit. In fact, for the unvaccinated they are either impossible to visit or if you do then your life will be made so miserable that you will wish you hadn’t. You cannot enter Austria if you are unvaccinated. You can enter Italy if you are unvaccinated, but you cannot use public transport. In France even buying a baguette for breakfast requires you to show your Covid papers.
England is charting a different course. There are signs that we could be the first domino in what we can only hope will be a long line leading to the liberation of Europe from Covid tyranny. Ireland, our closest neighbour, but one that is highly Europhilic, has decided to follow suit and drop most Covid restrictions. The second domino has fallen.
But there is no room for complacency at the end of January. We must stop mandatory vaccines for NHS workers and ensure that no one loses their job for being unvaccinated. The care home workers who were so unfairly dismissed must be reinstated or compensated for losing their jobs. The potentially endless programme of booster Covid vaccines and the rollout to children must stop. There is work to be done and England could help to topple the rest of the European dominoes.