The Prime Minister’s daily press conferences on the Wuhan virus have become populated by reporters with about as much diversity of thought as a Momentum rally, who are filled with a new self-righteousness and superiority over ‘stupid people’ who go to the park or get on the tube to go to work.
When asking their question, they are almost salivating at the prospect of the government assuming draconian powers which will give them the right to confine everyone in their homes with the police patrolling every neighbourhood with dogs and drones, and locking people up Chinese-style in a prison hospital if they do not comply.
All the while, they have summarily failed to ask any questions about many real issues concerning the Wuhan coronavirus such as:
Why did Iran and Italy suffer disproportionately and early?
Did their involvement in the Chinese ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ have anything to do with it?
Was Lombardy particularly affected due to high number of Chinese slave labourers working in the fashion industry there?
Could hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin be effective in treating Wuhan Coronavirus, as they were in treating SARS?
Why are hundreds of illegal migrants, many of whom may carry the virus, still being allowed to arrive in dinghies every day after crossing the English Channel aided by people smugglers?
Why are flights still being allowed to bring passengers to the UK from virus hotspots like China, Italy, Spain and Iran?
if you question the coronavirus lockdown narrative you are not just a bigot or a xenophobe, you are responsible for people dying – you are a murderer. This is the device which has swiftly been fabricated to smash down anyone who urges caution against the measures swiftly drafted to curtail our liberty in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
This Act has turned the United Kingdom into a totalitarian police state overnight, and many people have been frightened into supporting it, forgetting the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
The Prime Minister has said ‘it’s not meant to be used like that’, however, what matters in law is not a non-binding verbal assurance, but what is written down on the paper.
Schedule 21 confers unprecedented powers relating to potentially infectious persons. Public health officials, constables or immigration officers may detain anyone suspected of having coronavirus and order them to be tested and sent into quarantine.
Schedule 22 allows the police unprecedented powers over ‘events, gatherings and premises’. While it is sensible to stop large gatherings and everyone had already done this voluntarily, the new Act is already being used to demand that small groups of people or even individuals sunbathing in the park must disperse.
Of even greater concern is Section 36. It applies only to Scotland but potentially allows the Scottish government to implement forced vaccinations not just for the Wuhan coronavirus but for any disease. A previous act has been amended to read:
“The Scottish Ministers may make arrangements for the vaccination or immunisation of persons against any disease.”
As there is as yet no vaccination for Wuhan coronavirus, this is unnecessary and an egregious attack on the liberty of the person.
There is no doubt that the current situation is a crisis. The Wuhan Coronavirus is serious. It is likely to hospitalise many more people than normal, and mortality rates are likely to increase above normal for two to three months. Yet that is no justification for some of these draconian measures.
An increasing number of courageous thinkers such as Peter Hitchens, Laura Perrins, Brendan O’Neill, James Delingpole, and Sherelle Jacobs are beginning to question why we must end liberty when there might be a better way to deal with the current situation without both inexorably damaging both the economy and civil liberties. In the United States, President Trump has seen hydroxychloroquine approved as a treatment and wants to ensure that the cure of inflicting severe damage on the economy and civil liberties is not worse than the disease.
When governments assume emergency powers they do not easily give them up. Once liberty is gone, it is much harder to get it back.
David Kurten AM
London Assembly Member