My response to Michael Gove’s consultation

Dear Michael,

I see you are asking Telegraph readers for their views on vaccine passports.

Your article seemed to be contradictory. It said we cannot rely on the vaccines to give us 100% protection so we need CV 19 passports. You then say we should rely on vaccines in a different way by only allowing vaccinated people to do certain things and give them a passport. How does this add to the protection, as in either case with or without the certificate we rely on the vaccination?

There is the residual issue of the small minority of adults who will not have the vaccine. Many of these will need to be given exemptions for health reasons or pregnancy, defeating the object you see in the control. If the idea has anything to recommend it it is simply to remove a few people that have no officially accepted reason for not being vaccinated from attending various events who might get the disease. They will presumably be offered the alternative of a test which may or may not be accurate. Given we are talking about a very high vaccine take up rate it seems likely there will anyway be little risk of picking up CV 19 as we will have something approaching herd immunity. In the dreadful event of a mutation that defeats the vaccine the system you recommend of course ceases to work and everyone is back at risk.

As you recognise there are technical issues about the use of apps and the necessary paper or card alternatives, and problems with the reliability of data back up. Some non believers without vaccination will operate to cheat the systems. Do we want to become a society where we will need to carry papers to do simple tasks and enjoy entertainments and sports? It is against all my instincts, born into a history based on the journey to freedom and liberty for all.

Yours

John

241 Comments

  1. Grey Friar
    April 6, 2021

    There is nothing contradictory about understanding that vaccines do not give us 100% protection but that we should allow only allowing vaccinated people to do certain things. Vaccines give about 90% protection. That is better than what “no vaccines” give – which is zero protection. How can you fail to grasp such simple arithmetic? A small minority of adults will not have the vaccine, but that does not defeat the object – the clue is in the phrase “a small minority”. And please brush up your history. We have always used quarantine and lockdowns as a means to protect against infectious diseases. You should do some research about English life before and after Port Sanitary Authorities, it would stop you coming out with such badly misunderstood historical references

    1. Nig l
      April 6, 2021

      +1

    2. MiC
      April 6, 2021

      The deliberate confusion of relatives and absolutes is a standard device of those who wish to recruit simple minds to their cause.

      As to whether that is what John does here I couldn’t say.

      1. Fred.H
        April 6, 2021

        You and mentor subject Andy try it all the time.

        1. MiC
          April 7, 2021

          You can jump up and down and yell that sovereignty is an absolute as much as you like, Fred.

          It ain’t.

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        April 6, 2021

        There is nothing simple about my mind, I can assure you of that.

      3. dixie
        April 7, 2021

        You keep berating others as if that is an absolute rule yet you keep breaking it yourself.
        So are you simple minded or do you hope to convince simple minds on here of which I have seen little evidence – though you certainly seemed to have snared “Andy”.

    3. Everhopeful
      April 6, 2021

      Vaccines have only been around ( for limited diseases starting with smallpox ) since the late 18th century.
      Prior to that people may have responded to disease by shutting off their (still functioning) towns (which they did every night anyway) and by the natural instinct of shying away from obvious disease.
      The destruction of the healthy in the face of disease has only ever been done by the elite rich to the poor in an attempt to save their own skin while they fled to their country residences.
      However, in other times there have always been fever hospitals, hospitals and isolation hospitals, ready and waiting!
      Are you claiming that the present administration is looking to an inaccurate history of the past in their ungainly pursuit of never ending lockdowns?
      The one thing they are not doing is attending to our border!

    4. Narrow Shoulders
      April 6, 2021

      Please do enlighten us on when the healthy have been locked up in the past.

      Vaccines either work or they don’t, the lockdowns are to “protect the NHS” not to prevent death. Sufficient people have been vaccinated (including myself) to protect the NHS. Open up and let’s get back to life as we know it.

      1. Ian Wragg
        April 6, 2021

        It’s all about control. The government has has a taste of authoritarianism and will not relinquish it easily.
        You note they are pushing for a smart phone app. They can then monitor our every movement.
        I have already taken to switching my phone off when going out in the car to defeat the phone mast triangulation.
        Give them an inch etc. Etc.

        1. Suzette Burtenshaw
          April 6, 2021

          +1.

        2. Hope
          April 6, 2021

          Ian, spot on.

          The passport will last longer than the experimental injection. We know this because govt is already planning third injection for over 70s in September! The 90% garbage put out above is not true. Manufacturers leaflet does not make that claim. Nor PHE/NHS leaflet.

          I do not own a mobile phone, nor will I buy one.

          1. glen cullen
            April 6, 2021

            Hold on, if you don’t own a mobile smart phone (like many) how are you going to receive and display when requested your covid vaccine certificate

        3. steve
          April 6, 2021

          Ian Wragg

          “I have already taken to switching my phone off when going out in the car to defeat the phone mast triangulation.”

          Doesn’t always work Ian, especially with the newer phones. The GPS is still active and doing it’s stuff. I suspect you’d have to take the battery out.

          For good reason I use an old mobile phone that doesn’t have GPS.

          “Give them an inch etc. Etc.”

          Was always thus. It’s also the reason why there’s so much immoral subversive left wing PC muck on the telly these days and total disregard for the watershed – they like to target young minds.

          1. Old Salt
            April 6, 2021

            Steve
            Try putting your phone in a Faraday Cage.

      2. jerry
        April 6, 2021

        @NS; “Please do enlighten us on when the healthy have been locked up in the past.”

        When you might have been harbouring a deadly disease, try researching the use of the quarantine, such as the historic use of the “Q” (Yellow Jack) flag in naval and merchant shipping.

        “the lockdowns are to “protect the NHS” not to prevent death.”

        Indeed, and by protecting the NHS it also stops needless deaths, often non Covid, due to the hospitals not being full of Covid patients.

        “Sufficient people have been vaccinated [..//..] Open up”

        …and be dammed, no doubt. Most people under the age of 50 have not been vaccinated, many, if not most of the people admitted to hospital due to a Covid related illness since last November have been under that age.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          April 7, 2021

          @Jerry I suggest that if Covid-19 killed in three days then we wouldn’t be locked down. It is not about the number of deaths it is about avoiding pictures of overflowing ICUs.

          People are expendable, the media influences.

          1. jerry
            April 7, 2021

            @NS; I agree, it is about hospitalisation, not deaths. The problem being the more people in hospital with Covid related illnesses the less people are in hospital having their joints replaced, cancers treated or what ever.

            What would you suggest, rather than restrictions and lockdowns, leave Covid patients to die at home – Oyez, Oyez, Oyez! Bring out your dead….

          2. Narrow Shoulders
            April 7, 2021

            @jerry – those at most risk are now vaccinated so time to open up. The scared can stay at home

          3. jerry
            April 8, 2021

            @NA; “those at most risk are now vaccinated”

            All are at risk, we have already seen one mutation that affected the under 50s more than those over 50, hence the post Christmas lockdown.

            “The scared can stay at home”

            Indeed, but then those who want alcohol can buy it from an off-licence, those who don’t want to cook for themselves can buy a take-out, those who want to watch a Movie can buy a DVD, subscribe to Sky or a streaming service etc. those who want to meet up with (local) friends can do so (currently in their gardens) or in public areas. Your point was what, exactly?…

        2. a-tracy
          April 7, 2021

          Jerry, I checked on the NHS statistics of hospital admissions this year because I was concerned with three young adult children when I read that ‘most people under the age of 50…many, if not most people have been under that age! Where did you read that I’ve tried to find it.
          I did find this https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/
          This identifies that people, 54 and under, represent from 22% to 29% of people admitted into hospital with a + covid test within 14 days (not that they are suffering with covid). It would be interesting to know how many were 50 to 54 as the vast majority of them would have been vaccinated with their first jab by the end of March.

      3. No Longer Anonymous
        April 6, 2021

        Yes. When have the healthy been locked up in the past and when have the healthy been told that they are ill ?

        In a real pandemic (this is a syndemic) you don’t need to threaten people with fines and lock people up or invent things to scare them.

        Even with the most successful vaccine roll out in human history for a disease that already affected a tiny minority SAGE are not satisfied and never will be.

        The Tories are about to go down as the party that destroyed the British pub and all public gathering and entertainment and they deserve to if they throw away this vaccine advantage by behaving as though the medicine doesn’t even exist.

    5. Stephen Almond
      April 6, 2021

      No contradiction at all. You are purposely presenting your own view by rubbishing Mr Gove.

    6. nota#
      April 6, 2021

      As was stated no vaccine gives 100%, it appears and still only appears at this stage that they do give 100% probability of not being hospitalised

    7. SecretPeople
      April 6, 2021

      I have never known quarantines or lockdowns in the last 50 years. Pets, for Rabies; patients being barrier nursed, that’s all. As for the latter, the Nightingales could have served this purpose but they weren’t needed.

      1. steve
        April 6, 2021

        Secret People

        I have.

        I remember when there was a serious foot & mouth outbreak in the 60’s, the police were all over the place with Lee Enfield rifles and orders to shoot any stray dog.

    8. Dave Andrews
      April 6, 2021

      Perhaps the government should now move to eradicating STIs, by proscribing certain types of behaviour.

    9. formula57
      April 6, 2021

      If unvaccinated persons are to be prevented (somehow) from performing certain activities (presumably because of the risk some of them pose of being diseased and perhaps then infecting others) but we cannot say which of the vaccinated do not present the same risk (by reason of being amongst the c. ten per cent. for whom vaccination is ineffective), why does requiring all the vaccinated to show their papers (unforged, unaltered, up-to-date, accurate versions only please) materially change anything?

      Some false comfort is given perhaps by representing that all of a group of people have been vaccinated and therefore are less likely to infect others but, clearly, it is not necessarily true that none are diseased and hence perhaps infectious even if their vaccination was effective and then there are the c. ten per cent. whose vaccination did not work and who might be diseased. Adding the presence within such group of some knowingly unvaccinated persons (if diseased) does, presumably, represent no material threat to the c. ninety per cent. of vaccinated persons whose vaccination has been effective. It follows that those put at risk would be the knowingly unvaccinated (who one must assume are content to live with such risk or they would not have avoided vaccination) and the ten per cent. for whom vaccination did not work who might be thought better off finding out sooner rather than later. If those would rather not find out, they should avoid hazarding themselves by mixing in groups where the diseased may be present. If they then become infected, what comfort are they supposed to take from knowing they were infected by a passport holder?

    10. Hope
      April 6, 2021

      It is not known how long the “vaccine” will last for, manufacturers make it absolutely clear. They are medical treatments not vaccines by definition. Nor is it known what the side effects are. Experimental.

      Leaflet by NHS/PHE and manufacturers explanation leaflet. Govt ministers have lied or not read the documentation.

      1. jerry
        April 6, 2021

        @Hope; You’ll find the same sort of legal nonsense on a packet of indigestion tablets, thanks to the over commercialisation of legal litigation, especially ‘No win, no fee’. No medication can be assured to work for all, all of the time, without side-effect or complication.

        No one has lied, other than those in Covid total denial, such as yourself.

        1. Hope
          April 7, 2021

          Jerry, you continue your baseless drivel as usual.

          I am not in denial the virus exists. A clear lie, by you. It has serious consequences for a very small minority of people, normally very old people whose immunity system is breaking down or those with underlying health issues whose immunity system cannot cope. Elderly people die every day every year from similar respiratory illnesses.

          Try reading more it might help to bring fact to your opinion.

          1. jerry
            April 7, 2021

            @Hope; “Try reading more it might help to bring fact to your opinion.”

            Take your own advice! Any and all drugs, for a very small minority of people, pose risks, hence all the legal and medial mumbo-jumbo on and in the packet. As such all drugs are experimental, that is why some drugs have their licences revoked or their use limited, perhaps years after originally being passed for general use.

            You said originally;

            Leaflet by NHS/PHE and manufacturers explanation leaflet. Govt ministers have lied or not read the documentation.

            The govt and JCVI have been very clear who should not receive these Covid vaccines, along with those groups who may prefer to wait. If a drug was to be banned or discontinued because I in 200,000, say, had an adverse reaction there would be very few drugs in use -penicillin could be one such banned drug!

            That you do not acknowledge any of this, yet still post a diatribe (apparently) against ALL Covid-19 vaccines, suggests you have very little understanding. On the other hand if you do, in my opinion, that makes your comments nothing but Covid denial (or plain trolling), considering you do not appear to be asking for an effective alternative to the vaccine either, a prolonged (and perhaps harsher) set of restrictions or lockdown.

            “Elderly people die every day every year from similar respiratory illnesses”

            Well yes, and people also die of cancers, and mothers and their babies die in child birth, your point being what exactly, other than prescribing DNR notices to pensioners in effect … and I though Andy hit below the belt with his comment about the elderly.

    11. Stred
      April 6, 2021

      How can you not grasp that the ‘vaccines’ are only 90% effective and do not prevent being infectious if the 10% catch the virus or the latest mutation. The risk is the majority of the vaccinated becoming over confident and exposed with a 10% risk of spreading the infection. The non vaccinated is at greater risk of being infected but if they are older than 65 or with co morbidity, they will be at little risk of passing the virus until they become symptomatic. The statistics confirm that a very low % of cases have been from asymptomatic spreaders in the home. What is more, a high proportion of customers or spectators will be aged below 60 and at very low risk of being harmed by the virus anyway. Many who attended university already caught it in halls when advised to return to be taught online. They will be immune naturally, so why do they have to take an experimental vaccine with unknown long term effects?

    12. Bill B.
      April 6, 2021

      Sir John is not contradicting himself. Suppose you were told, Grey Friar, that you can’t rely on an antibiotic to deal with an infection, so therefore you’ve been given a card to prove you’ve had the antibiotic, and now you’ll be OK. That would be nonsense. Likewise, Gove’s claim is totally illogical.

      1. Grey Friar
        April 6, 2021

        “Here’s an antibiotic you can’t rely on”. Who has ever said that?

        1. dixie
          April 7, 2021

          The medical and pharmaceutical industries.
          You seem to be unaware that bacteria, eg MRSA and TB, develop resistance to antibiotics and the majority of antibiotics are no longer effective.
          There is no guarantee an antibiotic will work on a particular bacterium.

    13. Barbara
      April 6, 2021

      We have never quarantined the healthy. It goes against all immunological practice.

    14. Pauline Baxter
      April 6, 2021

      Grey Friar you are talking nonsense. NEVER before have we used quarantine and Lock Down against Human Beings. PEOPLE who are also British Subjects.
      Actually the quarantines, imprisonments and killing we have done against ANIMALS has often been an unnecessary over reaction.

    15. Bj
      April 7, 2021

      Unvaccinated healthy people have plenty of protection against Covid-19, it’s called the immune system and it limits overall mortality to less than 0.4%. Why don’t you research how many healthy people aged 50 or under have died from covid-19? The answer will shock you.

  2. DOM
    April 6, 2021

    Hear, hear Mr Redwood but we are facing a dark, sinister and determined political force that now spreads across all parties and the British State and not just in the UK but abroad who see an opportunity (I believe deliberately created) to reconstruct our world, our lives and the very nature of freedom itself will not feel confident that your opposition to such totalitarian impositions will have much effect.

    Attacks on freedom, liberty, culture, voice and identity are now at warp speed and there’s no one prepared to confront it. When the NEU proposes infecting the minds of young children with CRT ideology you really do start to question has this government been bought by Labour’s unionised Client state?

    There is no opposition to the Marxists that are spreading their poison. And they will use all the tools they have available to them to achieve their ends. This government can legislate to ban CRT, protect freedom of expression for all, reform the public sector and crush cultural Marxism tomorrow. The fact that it won’t indicates complicity and that it’s a terrible indictment of your party’s position. Your party’s leaders have imposed so much damage on our lives to protect their party from the power of the extremist left. It as to stop before it demonises all of us

    1. agricola
      April 6, 2021

      Dom, I would better understand your piece if I knew what NEU & CRT stood for. The convention is to use the phrase in full followed by the abreviation. I suspect I am not the only one out here who is in the dark. We can all use the to spread bewilderment, but we are supposed to be communicating.

      1. Everhopeful
        April 6, 2021

        I THINK…
        NEU ….teacher’s Union.
        CRT….critical race theory.

        1. agricola
          April 6, 2021

          Problem is, if you have to think about the plane has crashed. Thanks for trying nevertheless.

          1. Everhopeful
            April 6, 2021

            How very ungrateful.
            Am I wrong then?

        2. hefner
          April 6, 2021

          Or Canal & River Trust, or could it be Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy, or Countryside (or Coalfields) Regeneration Trust? The problem is people like Dom, in their own little bubble, cannot even comprehend that their ‘writing’ might be incomprehensible to outside their bedroom. A bit like some pesky teenagers talking in tongues about the latest group.

        3. steve
          April 6, 2021

          Teacher’s Union is ‘NUT’ highly appropriate.

          CRT = ‘cathode ray tube ‘ ?

      2. turboterrier
        April 6, 2021

        +1

      3. Caterpillar
        April 6, 2021

        National education union, critical race theory

      4. IanT
        April 6, 2021

        Being old(‘ish) – CRT was always an acronym for Cathode Ray Tube.

        As for NEU – I think it’s basically the same as NUT – a much better descriptive shortening in my view 🙂

      5. hefner
        April 6, 2021

        agricola, +1. As Orwell had written in ‘Politics and the English Language’ (1946)
        – Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print,
        – Never use a long word when a short one will do,
        – Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

        He also wrote ‘Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous’.
        In that respect the use of acronyms, abbreviations not commonly recognised by most people is simply pompous, trying to put a thin veneer of intellectualism on what is likely to be a shallow thought, common knowledge, a lie, or ‘a rant’.

        PS: please note how I do not follow Orwell’s advice.

      6. No Longer Anonymous
        April 6, 2021

        I get the thrust of it and it’s a +1 from me.

        It is no coincidence that Cancel Culture is in full force and the BBC is battering us with its politics and telling us how rubbish we are daily. Why now ?

        Why now when what we needed was morale boosting ?

        1. Hu
          April 7, 2021

          Switch the TV off and the pandemic disappears.

      7. Christine
        April 6, 2021

        NEU – National Education Union
        CRT – Critical Race Theory

        Dom is right to highlight the problems we see with our education system. I for one don’t want my children to be indoctrinated with this divisive nonsense.

        The fact that our Government not only fails to clamp down on this but is in many ways complicit is very worrying.

        1. Your comment is awaiting moderation
          April 6, 2021

          +1

      8. Mark B
        April 6, 2021

        +1

    2. MiC
      April 6, 2021

      Absolute Class “A” projection from Dom here, I think.

    3. JoolsB
      April 6, 2021

      Hear hear. Well said Dom and spot on. Johnson’s schoolboy Government are a waste of space.

    4. Suzette Burtenshaw
      April 6, 2021

      Very well put, Dom.

  3. Mark B
    April 6, 2021

    Good morning.

    As some have already alluded to already, passports are as good as an MOT on a car. All it says is that it was OK at the time of testing and, one second after the ink has dried on the certificate it is of no more further use.

    How long will it be before government have to ask people to take a test at ‘X’ cost ? How long will it be before other illnesses are included ? To me this is mission creep for a government and a State that has become evermore authoritarian. Too afraid to use exiting legislation which would allow proper scrutiny of the government, its advisors and their advice. No ! It has to create new legislation which, despite its bulk, suddenly appeared and was voted through without any opposition or proper scrutiny. What government is this ?

    We are passed the one year mark and the disease, which only affected very few people, is on the wane. Most people are happy to have the vaccination and are keen to get on with their lives. We are post apocalypse and the government, despite an appalling start and middle, has managed to pull the rabbit out of a hat at the end. Well done ! But in true Tory fashion they now embark on mucking that up.

    And no, I do not believe Michael Gove MP either.

    1. Everhopeful
      April 6, 2021

      We will all be hobbling around in plaster casts for our “asymptomatic” broken legs!
      I very much doubt if it is “rabbit out of hat” time yet ( if ever). Many more panto acts to come I imagine!

    2. turboterrier
      April 6, 2021

      Mark B
      You are not alone at all in not believing Mr Gove MP.

    3. glen cullen
      April 6, 2021

      smoke & mirrors…..talk about vaccine passports otherwise people might start talking about the £21bn on T&T

      1. Ian Wragg
        April 6, 2021

        Set to be turbocharged for the whole country twice weekly.
        I think I’ll give it a miss.

        1. Gregory martin
          April 6, 2021

          .May one of our statistical analysts inform given the probable reliability of the tests in use, how many we each need to take to be certain we have had it?

    4. Hope
      April 6, 2021

      Mark,
      Who in their right mind would believe xxxxx Gove! Or Johnson or Handcock or Patel or Raab or Eustice.

    5. glen cullen
      April 6, 2021

      I don’t believe this Tory government and I don’t trust Michael Gove MP either

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2021

        So you are a normal human being …

    6. Pauline Baxter
      April 6, 2021

      Mark B You are right to remind us how this government messed up Brexit. Or rather Boris did. He was too much of a coward to Leave ‘no deal’.
      He’s been a coward about Covid 19 from the start too. Maybe it was understandable to begin, the first lock down. Then too cowardly to admit he was wrong.
      The vaccine was a godsend opportunity to back down. But he doesn’t.
      Megalomania is the only explanation I can find.

  4. Radar
    April 6, 2021

    Hear, hear!

  5. agricola
    April 6, 2021

    It reads like a typical politicians cock up. Passports for every day activities like a visit to the pub or a rugby match are impractical and divisive. They could lead in some cases to civil unrest, were people denied entry after entry had been declared acceptable by government. We have to keep vaccinating and rely on herd immunity. As with flu, I anticipate the need for an annual jab to cover rogue variants. Perhaps a clever pharmaceutical company will combine the two. I would not mind betting that one of them is already working on it, while the ministry scratches its backside and waits for something to happen.

    For international travel an agreed vaccination passport is necessary, just as with yellow fever. The Fred Carnos government utterances on test before, during, and after you travel are an all too typical response to a simple problem. It does nothing for individuals, the airlines, or the travel industry. In the chaos already existing, one airline is imposing its own rules Manchester to Alicante while the spanish have another set of rules if you get there. My order via you Sir John is get it sorted, action today.

    1. jerry
      April 6, 2021

      @agricola; “Passports for every day activities like a visit to the pub or a rugby match are impractical and divisive.”

      Not at all, if they worked, they are no more impractical and divisive as having to use a Debit or Credit card, and perhaps the internet, to buy the tickets to that rugby match in the first place.

      “They could lead in some cases to civil unrest, were people denied entry after entry had been declared acceptable by government.”

      There is no right of entry to any private property, you either accept the conditions of entry or you walk away, this was the case in 2019, it is still the case in 2021.

      “For international travel an agreed vaccination passport is necessary”

      Vaccine passports, to allow casual international travel, are worse than stupid, as is the proposed overseas tourist ‘traffic light’ system. Any country the UK puts into a ‘Red’ zone would also need to have similar restrictions placed on it by those countries who are in the UK’s Green or Amber zones, otherwise unwelcome cross infections are likely to occur. Australia and NZ have the correct idea, countries need to form unique parings, thus secure travel bubbles.

    2. Philip P.
      April 6, 2021

      No, yellow fever is a completely false comparison, Agricola. The death rate there is more than 60 percent of reported cases worldwide, according to the Travelhealthpro factsheet online. The Covid IFR is under 0.5%. There is no need whatsoever for an international vaccine passport against a cold virus, and the chaos you describe is the product of irresponsible fear-mongering and overreaction by people who should know better. SJR is rightly asking questions that should get us all thinking for ourselves about what is going on, and trying to become better-informed. You might like to give it a go.

      1. agricola
        April 7, 2021

        Tell that to some italian jobsworth at Rome airport. An internationally recognised covid vaccination passport would remove the doubt and confusion for the next five years at least. I suspect you don’t get around the World very much. Good luck at Rome airport if you do.

    3. David Brown
      April 6, 2021

      The Spanish press report that free EU Covid Passports will be ready for EU citizens by May, but there is no guarantee the EU will accept the UK equivalent for British travelers.
      However UK Nationals will be able to purchase an EU Covid Passport on proof of vaccination so I guess the details will become available on the web.
      I want to start holidaying in the EU as soon as I can and get back to spending Euro.
      I read the EU will vaccinate the population by July as vaccine production is now significantly increased so the EU economy will bounce back strongly.

      1. hefner
        April 7, 2021

        On which.co.uk dated 17/03/2021 ‘EU travel health passport Digital Green Certificate scheme Q&A’. It appears likely that if UK people have obtained (can obtain) evidence of their second vaccination, previous infection or recent negative test, such evidence could be used to obtain such a EU DGC (in paper form or as a smartphone app) likely to allow travel within Europe or even wherever the EU document will be accepted. Such EU DGC is expected to be available ‘by the summer’ from any of one’s favorite EU destinations’ hospitals, test centres, health authorities.
        One now has to hope that the UK NHS/vaccination centres will actually provide something better than the credit-card size piece of cardboard presently given when one receives their shot(s).

      2. dixie
        April 7, 2021

        Why should we accept EU Covid Passports?

        1. hefner
          April 7, 2021

          Could it be
          – because it will unlikely be connected to NHS (and other UK agencies’) information (therefore limiting the potential risks to privacy that some people are already frothing about)?
          – being from the EU it might (NB: might …) also be recognised by countries outside the EU?
          – if it gets recognised widely, it might play the same role as the International Vaccination Certification booklet used for yellow fever vaccine and other exotic vaccines?

          1. dixie
            April 8, 2021

            If the EU does not accept the UK “passport” as equivalent why should there’s be acceptable since it is obviously of a different grade – according to the EU. The automatic assumption by the commenter appears to be that anything EU is automatically superior, which is both false and stupid.
            Will the EU accept such passports from China, USA, Russia, Switzerland, Australia etc I wonder.

  6. Sea_Warrior
    April 6, 2021

    I had started to do some planning for holidays to Paphos, Corfu and Eilat – for a variety of reasons, including wanting to generate some tax revenue for HMRC. (My usual holiday spend is £8K/year.) Let’s look at the Eilat option. By June 5th, I will have had my second jab. Although Israel has had a bad COVID experience, the country has a good vaccination effort going, and I’m sure that their testing capability is good enough to detect any ‘variants’ doing the rounds. And Israel wants my business, probably recognising my jabbed status. But, having seen the UK government’s planning, I’m pretty sure I won’t be going. The ‘COVID passport’ issue hasn’t been resolved – yes, I do want one, on June 6th. (And it needs to be downloadable onto my tablet or in paper form.) But I will not go if I have to be over-tested to come back. (Three tests apparently, which I will have to pay for, after having paid a mass of taxes to fly.) The government seems intent on destroying our airlines and travel businesses. I won’t be voting for it in May – and that’s a certainty.

    1. Nig l
      April 6, 2021

      So there is another party deserving of your vote because they are offering a better future?

      I don’t think do. Virtue signalling tokenism.

      1. agricola
        April 6, 2021

        He possibly just won’t bother.

        1. Sea_Warrior
          April 6, 2021

          I’ve re-registered to vote in person, and I will.

      2. glen cullen
        April 6, 2021

        Both main parties are clones of policy
        Brexit Deal – same
        Covid Stance – same
        Immigration – same
        Tax increases – same
        Foreign Aid – same
        Same Same Same

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      April 6, 2021

      I totally agree Sea Warrior. If vaccine passports are to be required for foreign travel then let’s just get on with it. I do not relish mucking about with testing and certainly will not quarantine. Passports are not needed for pubs etc. If we’ve been vaccinated then we are around 90% protected. If we can still pass it to others then they are 90% protected. If people gave chosen not to be vaccinated then that’s their responsibility. We can’t all be held back for them. If it’s down to a medical reason why they’ve not been vaccinated then they will have to continue to be careful. If we’ve all got to stay away from places because of these unfortunates then there’s no point in vaccination anyway. Eventually, with some luck the virus will become less of a problem to us all. And no, I do not believe Gove over anything. He showed us his true colours 5 years ago.

    3. Fred.H
      April 6, 2021

      Actually the Government has woken up to the risks in returning holidaymakers bringing in Covid, still almost ignoring other travellers coming in! This would have been helpful just over 1 year ago – but I suppose it is some sort of progress!

      1. glen cullen
        April 6, 2021

        If we can’t stop illegal immigrants coming in; we certainly shoudn’t stop legitimate holiday makers

    4. Mike Wilson
      April 6, 2021

      @sea_warrior

      Who will you vote for instead? I never vote Tory (well, I did vote Tory once in 1979). I used to vote Liberal in the forlorn hope of breaking the stranglehold on power that Labour and the Tories have, but gave that up when Clegg came along. I vote Green now, in the hope of keeping environmental matters on the agenda. But who will you vote for as someone who (forgive the presumption) usually votes Tory – given the Tories have moved over to the dark side of state control and removal of individual liberty?

      1. Sea_Warrior
        April 6, 2021

        I am right-of-centre. I’ve voted Conservative at every general election. I’ve voted UKIP at the last two EP elections and spoiled my ballot at the last local elections, to give the government the kicking it deserved. At the next general election I want to see the Conservatives led by a Conservative. Then, they might get my vote. If Johnson’s still in No 10 I’ll be tempted to abstain.

  7. davews
    April 6, 2021

    Although, somewhat unwillingly, vaccinated I am very strongly against the very idea Gove and others are trying to push. I have looked further into the various schemes proposed and every single one is directly linked not only to you but also your medical details. It is far from being a simple certificate, each time you use it it will check back and ensure you are who you say you are, in some cases using face recognition software. This is one step away from 1984 when you are tracked every moment of your day. Say no now before it is too late.

    1. agricola
      April 6, 2021

      I would point out that your passport and facial recognition scanning at airports already does this. In terms of a vaccine passport the border only needs to know that you have been jabbed and have about 90% immunity. They do not want to know about your ingrowing toenails. The last time our government tried to computerise your medical records it cost multi millions and got nowhere. To the best of my knowledge GPs and hospitals cannot interrogate a common record.

      1. a-tracy
        April 6, 2021

        agricola – 22 Aug 2019 — This week NHS Spine marks five years since it was brought in house by NHS Digital and run as an open source service for the NHS and run as an open source service for the NHS by the NHS

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        April 6, 2021

        Agree Agricola. We can already be tracked in so many ways and nobody minds handing over their passports which are often taken away from us on
        arrival at our hotel. We don’t have a clue what’s being done with them.

      3. Everhopeful
        April 6, 2021

        “To the best of my knowledge”?
        Planet crashed then?

    2. Know-Dice
      April 6, 2021

      Agreed Dave,
      This is an ideal “Misson creep” proposal for UK Government & Civil Service. You can already grab your passport photo when applying for a driving licence, so can those proposing this resist the temptation to link passport, driving licence, NHS number and why not add in NI number to get a full set….
      Government doesn’t have a good record when it comes to data security…

      1. glen cullen
        April 6, 2021

        Single political party – tick
        Single data system – tick
        Single energy supply – tick
        Single electric vehicle – tick
        Single market – tick
        Single green vision – tick

    3. Ed M
      April 6, 2021

      I think Brave New World is much more prophetic than 1984.
      Huxley far closer to analysing the human condition and temperament than Orwell.

    4. Pauline Baxter
      April 6, 2021

      Everything this government have done since the start of the Covid Scamdemic has smacked of 1984.
      They have also used Behaviour Modification Theory in their constant scare propaganda. So Brave New World as well. Plus, who knows what is in this vaccination, or the follow up ones we will be ‘forced’ to have?

  8. Lifelogic
    April 6, 2021

    Well we know that Gove has gone potty, even taking advice from St Greta and suggesting VAT on private school fees (the complete opposite of what is required). What is needed in education is fair competition between private and state schools with education vouchers and tax breaks for people who go privately. Ideally nearly all should do so using and topping up vouchers given out by the state. This systems is needed in the NHS & healthcare too.

    I have a daughter of 20 who has had Covid (with six of her university flat mates, non had any significant symptoms). Why on earth should she even have to take a vaccine when her risk from Covid is so miniscule? The risk of taking a vaccine for her will surely exceed this? You might have to vaccine 100,000 such people to prevent one Covid care and this might cause very serious adverse reactions in perhaps 50+ of them.
    For an older man like myself (who has not had it) the odds, risk/benefits are very different so I have had one. These socialist English Oxon. graduates like Gove just do not understand logic, risks, odds, science or numbers. Hence they take advice from Greta.

    Then against JCVI/Hancock/Zahawi clearly do not understand risk/benefits as otherwise they would have saved 1000+ lives by vaccinating men younger than women first as logic dictated. May these people rest in peace.

    What on earth are government doing with these pointless, inaccurate and rather pointless lateral flow tests? Mass testing of health people make little or no sense. Even if the government have bought millions of pointless tests that is no reason to force them on people. Death currently below the 5 year average what is the problem?

    1. Lifelogic
      April 6, 2021

      As some sensible biomedical science lecturer put it on twitter:-
      Anyone taking such a test should know they are taking part in:
      1) artificial inflation of “cases” by false positives
      2) squandering of taxpayer billions on a scheme that bypassed UK National Screening Committee
      3) perpetuating fear and sense of “abnormal”

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        April 6, 2021

        Yes and the stupidity of these tests expands at lower actual case numbers, where false positives and negatives begin to make more of the results “space” than real cases, meaning infected folk walking round and non-infected folk incarcerated.

      2. SecretPeople
        April 6, 2021

        To what end, though? I think we should be told.

      3. matthu
        April 6, 2021

        Or, as another prominent UK ex-director of WHO Cancer Programme put it in reaction to proposed rollout of vaccination passports for domestic use:

        Through my work at the WHO, I’ve had more vaccines than most. From yellow fever to Japanese encephalitis, I had them all.

        Some countries will demand a COVID vaccine passport, but their domestic use in Britain is unethical, counterproductive and chilling.

        It’s wrong.

    2. Sea_Warrior
      April 6, 2021

      I’ll support your point about mass LF testing. We really need our host to stand up in the Commons and demand that Hancock explains which companies are going to benefit, and by how much, from this fruitless effort – and how much money will be flowing out of the country in the direction of China. I accept that there is a need for a properly-designed, surveillance-testing effort – but what was described yesterday isn’t it.

    3. Sakara Gold
      April 6, 2021

      For once I find myself in agreement with something you have posted. The accuracy of the lateral flow tests has repeatedly been challenged. In December 2020, on BBC Breakfast, interviewer Naga Munchetty put it to the schools minister Nick Gibb that the tests “detected just 48.9 per cent of Covid-19 infections in asymptomatic people”. The schools minister replied: “No, about a third have false negatives” !!!

      There was a similar exchange in the House of Commons earlier in December, when SNP MP Philippa Whitford confronted Hancock with the results of a detailed Scottish study that “revealed a sensitivity of just 48 per cent, meaning that over half of those with the virus would be falsely reassured they were negative”

      Clearly, someone in government is promoting these useless and potentially dangerous tests. Are they getting a piece of the action? I think we should be told.

    4. Ed M
      April 6, 2021

      ’20 who has had Covid (with six of her university flat mates, non had any significant symptoms). Why on earth should she even have to take a vaccine when her risk from Covid is so miniscule’ – well said

      1. dixie
        April 7, 2021

        which Covid did she have?

    5. Andy
      April 6, 2021

      Watching the BBC last night, as sensible people like me do, I saw a promotion for a documentary programme they have made with Greta Thunberg.

      It’s on BBC 1 next Monday at 9pm if you’d all like to watch.

      A brilliant use of your licence fees, creating a documentary about one of the most inspiring teenagers on the planet.

      My kids – 13 and 9 – who think Greta is amazing (and who both worship David Attenborough) can’t wait to watch.

      1. MWB
        April 6, 2021

        Attenborough never seems to be concerned about English rivers, which are the filtiest in Europe even after 50 years of wonderful EU membershipe.

        1. MWB
          April 6, 2021

          Correction – membership.

        2. MiC
          April 7, 2021

          What’s the point of having rules if your national government does not enforce them?

          For that is what has happened here, countless thousands of times.

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        April 6, 2021

        One of mine, 23, a medicinal research Chemist with a Master’s and doing a PhD (working on covid treatments) doesn’t think Greta is all that great.

      3. Peter2
        April 6, 2021

        So Andy do you agree with young Greta that the world is going to end in 12 years?

      4. None of the Above
        April 6, 2021

        Personality cults have never appealed to me.

      5. Mike Wilson
        April 6, 2021

        Watching the BBC last night, as sensible people like me do, I saw a promotion for a documentary programme they have made with Greta Thunberg.

        Alas, I am unable to watch due to being unwilling to purchase a TV Licence to fund the BBC. So, tragically, this is another one I will have to miss.

        Much more importantly, I am having to wait until I visit someone with a TV Licence so that I can watch the latest Line of Duty. Literally the only thing on the BBC worth watching.

      6. Lifelogic
        April 6, 2021

        Well she is amazingly wrong and deluded. It is also amazing how many people are taken in by her when she clearly has not got a clue about climate energy or much else. But then we have seen so very many mad religious cults over the years. I feel rather sorry for her, she is surely being used.

        Anyone who thinks sailing across the Atlantic in a £1 m+ racing yacht then flying the crew back is saving CO2 is surely round the bend or a fraud.

        1. Alan Jutson
          April 7, 2021

          +1

      7. Pauline Baxter
        April 6, 2021

        O. M.G. ANDY.
        Might have known YOU have such a politically correct family – except – hang on, no wife and mother mentioned.
        Did she show sense and walk out?

      8. Fred.H
        April 6, 2021

        re- Greta why am I not surprised?

      9. steve
        April 6, 2021

        @Andy

        LMAO….try a better bait no one’s going to bite that.

    6. Fedupsoutherner
      April 6, 2021

      I’m not taking advantage of the free testing kits. We’re all in for a treat this week with a programme on TV with the lovely Greta and yet another about saving the planet. Is there any other avenue of our lives the government and the woke brigade would like to control?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2021

        I hope Greta has been vaccinated!

  9. Nig l
    April 6, 2021

    Michael Gove has been pleasingly silent for some time. He is using this to buy time for this dithering government and use the results of the blame someone else if it goes wrong.

    We were told vaccines were the way forward and now apparently they are not. My common sense has kept me clear to date. With vaccines surely my risk level goes down dramatically yet this pathetic government continues to control me and trash my quality of life. At the moment I have sympathy for Guy Fawkes.

    Michael Goves Brexit CV from Theresa Mays lap dog to selling out Northern Ireland is one that should have consigned him to the back benches.

    Even skulking around on this consultation should have been given to someone who can be trusted. And on this his VV goes back even further.

  10. MiC
    April 6, 2021

    There cannot be complete “freedom for all”.

    The freedom for the rich and powerful to exploit the needy without restraint gives rise to slavery in all but name for a far greater number.

    And that is the very crux of political life.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      April 6, 2021

      Dear Mic–Slavery now of all things?? We are I thought talking about a “Passport” which is a simple altrustiic concept – literally for the good of others and to hell with all the individual (alias selfish) claptrap. Perhaps just another Card in the wallet. The opposition from many , including me, is to being forced to have to carry a smart phone with an app which latter especially I do not want to do. I cannot grasp what would be wrong with something more like a ordinary Passport stamped at each jab. Cannot see too many of what Sir John calls technical issues there.

    2. Fred.H
      April 6, 2021

      the word political is not required.

    3. Ed M
      April 6, 2021

      Most people in this country aren’t starving etc but many live lives like animals locked up in cages in their work lives and lives in general are so sadly servile. Something from Brave New World. Marxism, extreme capitalism (as opposed to moderate, healthy capitalism), feminism, social liberalism are dimishing, from one degree to another, the lives / freedom / joy / spirit / imagination of so many in our great country.

      1. MiC
        April 6, 2021

        The only thing which will moderate capitalism is the law. Left to itself it will always be extreme.

        Those laws will only be passed if people elect Parliaments which will pass them.

        In choosing the Tories they have failed to do that.

    4. Lifelogic
      April 6, 2021

      Slavery is clearly evil and illegal, taking a job on a minimum wage because that is the best one you can find at the time and better than benefits is not remotely slavery. Indeed it very often leads on to rather better paid jobs for many people. The more jobs available the better the pay will be for employees, it is supply and demand. Government in over regulation, high taxes, lockdowns, restrictive employment laws and ever larger government are killing the supply of jobs.

      1. Ed M
        April 7, 2021

        @Lifelogic,
        I agree about benefits – working better.
        But at end of day, the question is whether God exists. If He does, and more people responded accordingly, then people would have much better jobs. Even the economy, like all human activity, requires Divine intervention. Man on his own just screws up again and again (just look at the history of economics – really look – and its really depressing – but when people such as the Quakers tapped into The Divine, amazing things happened – and on which strong families and a beautiful civilisation can be built).

    5. No Longer Anonymous
      April 6, 2021

      MiC likes the people to be masked up and socially distanced, you see. MiC has said having to wear a mask all day long is ‘no big thing’ but – unlike me – he doesn’t have to do it.

      This crisis is a socialist’s wet dream and is why our nightmare continues.

      Look, everyone. MiC has just equated slavery (which was returned to the UK via the EU btw) with me wanting to socialise with whomever I want or to visit a shop other than a supermarket or chemist’s or to see my beautiful wife’s smile in public again.

      Here is the SAGE-ist mind exposed.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        April 6, 2021

        Look, everyone. MiC has just equated slavery (which was returned to the UK via the EU btw) with me wanting to socialise with whomever I want or to visit a shop other than a supermarket or chemist’s or to see my beautiful wife’s smile in public again.

        Here is the SAGE-ist mind exposed.

        They are loving this crisis and don’t want it to end – which is precisely why it isn’t ending.

        (If you can’t publish my original comment, Sir John then please publish this one. )

  11. Cynic
    April 6, 2021

    Good letter, Sir John.
    It would seem the main reason for vaccine certificates is to ensure everyone is vaccinated, or is treated like a leper. More project fear.

    1. Everhopeful
      April 6, 2021

      I imagine that it is in order to eventually bring in a social credit system.
      As ordered by …..whom?

  12. BJC
    April 6, 2021

    I don’t suppose anyone has thought about the broader implications of vaccines/passports/testing, etc in other areas; say, with the insurance industry? Doesn’t it give the green light for insurers to refuse to accept risk unless businesses/individuals have complied with (government sanctioned) requirements to mitigate risks, aka mandatory vaccines/passports, etc? It won’t matter whether pub landlords etc want to be relaxed about their regulars, it will be the insurer who decides the terms of cover and, therefore, how they act.

  13. Maylor
    April 6, 2021

    As Sir John says the vaccine is not 100% effective. It is also believed that the vaccinated can still catch and pass on the virus to others, albeit in a less serious form.

    So what benefit does the passport confer ? It can give no guarantee as even a mild infection could seriously damage the health of a very elderly, frail or vulnerable person.

    1. Margaret Brandreth-
      April 6, 2021

      I have no objection to a covid passport. As with other vaccines , for example Men ACWY and Saudi , there is a requirement and certification to meet before entering the country.
      We don’t fully understand the full immunity potential and more recently the suspicious thrombosing effects in some. Nothing about it is clear cut , therefore any accurate statement about the vaccine can taken with a pinch of salt . The benefits to the population ‘in all probability’ outweight the risks.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2021

        I think you are very, very wrong!

  14. The other Christine
    April 6, 2021

    What is the point of expressing an opinion on this or indeed any other issue relating to the parlous situation in which we find ourselves? What I would like to know is who is behind this curtailment of our basic rights and freedoms as citizens of this country. A year or so ago talk was of The Great Reset, which at the time was roundly dismissed as conspiracy theory. I doubt it can be dismissed now.
    I am no longer willing to put my life on hold. I want to sing in a choir again. Play bridge again. If I am denied the right to do that by September, I’m leaving the country for an American state where normal life continues. Enough is enough.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      April 6, 2021

      Lucky you Christine having the option of leaving to find sanity.

    2. hefner
      April 6, 2021

      ToC, Bravo. For once, here you are ready to take an individual action to improve your lot. What a whiff of fresh air in lieu of those writing their 2p worth of daily (stale) whinging. How refreshing!

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2021

      Yes I think the unvaccinated free spirits will choose to live together and secure a free space. We are not staying either.

  15. Richard1
    April 6, 2021

    What is the point of the travel ban when thousands of people are still entering the U.K., many – extraordinarily – as tourists? Either there is a risk of a surge in the pandemic due to international travel – in which case no one should be coming in, or there isn’t, in which case there is no justification for the travel ban.

    I suggest focusing on double vaccinating say everyone over the age of 40 and then opening up. Given the minuscule risks from covid to young people it’s questionable whether it’s in their best interest to have the vaccine.

    We’ve left the eu but the dreadful precautionary principle still prevails – the same principle (with a mixture of anti Brexit politics) as is driving the EU’s grim farce with the AZ vaccine.

    1. Andy
      April 6, 2021

      What grim farce is this? AZ’s complete failure to deliver as promised?

      1. hefner
        April 7, 2021

        No Andy, The AZ vaccine is not a complete failure. Phase 3 tests (astrazeneca.com ‘AZD 1222 Phase III trials interim analysis results’ 8/12/2020) show a 70.4% effectiveness. What is a complete failure was how the Government jumped on these preliminary results to start on the same day the vaccination program. I would guess for pure nationalistic reasons (we’re the best, the champions of the world, blah blah blah). Since then there have been a few blood clot cases that medics and scientists for the time being cannot explain. Restricting to the country where the information appears much more accessible than in the UK and restricting to the sex and age range for which these cases have been found (about 31 cases in 2.7 million German women under 65 having received the AZ vaccine as of 31/03) it is still a tiny percentage (11.5*10^-4%) and difficult to quote that as a failure.
        So sure, be angry with the clowns in the UK government but look at the figures when qualifying the vaccination effort.

  16. 322
    April 6, 2021

    Be honest John. Cabinet level MPS are just puppets ordered to push gobalist agendas.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2021

      Yep. And they are in a panic, their coup is going wrong! This is an existential crisis for them or us.

  17. IGNORE THEM
    April 6, 2021

    Eu Roadmap to passport vaccines for all pdf Sorry John. No vaccine for me.

  18. Bryan Harris
    April 6, 2021

    Totally excellent.

    Succinct and biting – Well said

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    April 6, 2021

    It should be clear by now that this is all about authoritarian state control not about virus control.

    1. agricola
      April 6, 2021

      Brian, if you are correct, take heart from the undisputed fact that government are totally incompetent at just about everything they do.

  20. Roy Grainger
    April 6, 2021

    So to attend a football match outdoors at Wembley I need to show my papers, but to travel there for one hour standing in a packed enclosed tube train I don’t. Got it.

  21. oldtimer
    April 6, 2021

    Orwell’s Animal Farm has arrived but with a modern twist – we are to be tagged with a vaccination passport. Why not make it really easy to see if we have been vaccinated by stapling an appropriate tag into each vaccinated person’s left ear, just like cattle?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      April 6, 2021

      Old-timer. Can I have a pink one please?

    2. Mike Wilson
      April 6, 2021

      Is Boris cast in the role of Napoleon? Always thought of him as more like Old Major. Still, better than John Major, perhaps.

  22. beresford
    April 6, 2021

    Your letter contains a disappointing element of condemnation of those who choose not to be ‘vaccinated’. I remind you that at this stage the ‘vaccines’ are experimental and the manufacturers only agreed to distribution on condition they were given immunity from prosecution. Most healthy people are at minor risk from this virus, and little thought has been given to the dystopian future where the entire population of the world shuffles off to be ‘jabbed’ with the potion du jour every five months. If we are to be banned from certain events ‘for our own good’, what other activities should be proscribed by ‘Nanny’ to keep us ‘safe’?

    1. Suzette Burtenshaw
      April 6, 2021

      Hear hear!

    2. hefner
      April 6, 2021

      In the EU27 (that’s one reason (among many others) why the vaccination effort is so behind the UK’s) the manufacturers are not fully immune from prosecution (see http://www.reuters.com 26/08/2020 ‘Limited legal protection for Covid vaccine makers hampers EU deals’).

      Contrast that with what has been done in the contracts signed with the UK (and the USA) by the various pharmaceutical companies where any expenses linked to potential prosecution following damages would/will (indirectly) be covered by the taxpayers.

    3. Jim Whitehead
      April 6, 2021

      Beresford. +1

  23. Sakara Gold
    April 6, 2021

    I agree with the content of your letter and I would have signed it myself. Domestic Chinese plague virus passports – to gain entry to supermarkets, pubs, places of worship, going for a walk etc – are a totalitarian state idea that obviously appeals to Johnson and Govey.

    The same criminals – doubtless working in the Home Office – who have organised dodgy NI numbers for the millions of undocumented migrants who have been issued with them will be delighted at the prospect of the extra business forging the proposed passports

    1. Richard II
      April 6, 2021

      +1

  24. Everhopeful
    April 6, 2021

    I am certain that some in government would wish for a “Dorian Gray” type scenario.
    Rather than appearing on tv clearly ravaged by a strange possession.

  25. nota#
    April 6, 2021

    Sir John
    A good response. I would also suggest that as NO one has been this way before people are still running on guess work. The so-called ‘professor lock-down’ hit the media yesterday to suggest that the AZ vaccine should be banned in the under 30’s.
    There lays the problem, people’s ego. Why was he given any more of a voice then any one else, why is the so-called science being handed to Government not peer-reviewed? With out that it is not science , it is not fact, its just scare mongering.

    1. nota#
      April 6, 2021

      Ir0ny the same MsM wanting to ban the AZ jab, suggesting an alternative for the under 30’s. They also state elsewhere that there has been more blood clotting in the UK with the Pfizer jab than the AZ one. Then to cloudy the picture further they want a alternative used for the under 30’s – that means an alternative un-proven vaccine against blood clots.
      Just reinforces that it is The MsM that runs the UK. After all the only people pushing for Covid passports are those in the MsM – it just nuts. No direction, no focus, no science, no proof – just a good headline to grab attention to ‘ones’ self.

  26. Alan Jutson
    April 6, 2021

    I can understand passports being required for travel abroad, as you are entering and leaving a Country where the situation and management of the virus may be very different, so each Country wishes to protect their own citizens from further possible imported complications.

    On a personal note, Our Family have not booked, and will not be booking any travel abroad until things are very much more settled, cannot understand why anyone (vaccinated or not) would wish to travel to a Country which is in a worse pandemic position than at home, and where different variants could be rather more prominent.
    However If people with a different opinion to me, do intend to book a holiday abroad, then I would suggest they read the updated and latest terms and conditions on their travel insurance first.

  27. turboterrier
    April 6, 2021

    Sir John
    Good letter.
    “Do we want to become a society……?
    NO

  28. None of the Above
    April 6, 2021

    A good letter Sir John. I am slightly concerned as to Mr Gove’s motivation, especially given the remarks about vaccination status certification made by the PM at yesterday’s news conference.
    I would support the continued use of such certificates for foreign travel but not their use domestically.

    With the scientific establishment concentrating on assessing and defending against new variants, I see no logical reason for continued testing outside of medical establishments. Those people who are unable to accept a vaccination for valid reasons will continue to take their own precautions to avoid the disease pending appropriate medical breakthroughs. Influenza kills infants and the elderly every year despite a vaccination programme using a vaccination that needs to be adapted for mutations. I believe Covid 19 will be little different.
    Let us just get on with Life.

  29. nota#
    April 6, 2021

    Sir John
    Passports a GOOD idea – pull the other one. They have nothing to do with virus control, but everything to do with state control. Our Government wont even insist that those entering the Country by any means has a verifiable COVID secure passport – if you are not a UK Citizen you can come and go as you please.
    As reported in the MsM so far just one person has been charged with supplying false COVID certificates. A nice industry £80.00 a time and giving the holder the freedom to go anywhere.
    As always any form of proof of identity is about keeping the majority of the law abiding in line and under control, while legitimizing the corrupt few who will always dodge the system. In other words it 100% State Control for no net gain to anyone other than a authoritarian State.
    The battle is with the Virus and only the virus. The Government shouldn’t be fighting the people, they are walking into a PR disaster, not long now and they will be matching the moves of VDL – deflect to protect.

  30. Peter
    April 6, 2021

    ‘Do we want to become a society where we will need to carry papers to do simple tasks and enjoy entertainments and sports?’

    Definitely not.

    I believe governments are using this pandemic as a useful excuse to introduce further intrusive monitoring and controls over their citizens.

  31. jerry
    April 6, 2021

    “[with] very high vaccine take up rate it seems likely there will anyway be little risk of picking up CV 19”

    Sorry Sir John but vaccines do not stop people “picking up” any viral infection, they merely stop the majority from becoming serious ill after being exposed to them., and such people might still be infectious, symptomatic or not.

    1. Ex-Tory
      April 6, 2021

      The more effective the vaccine is the less need there is to prove you’ve had it? Or the less effective the vaccine is the more need there is to prove you’ve had it?

      1. Ed M
        April 7, 2021

        @Ex-Tory,

        The Tory Party is the only party that can keep out the heresy of Marxism.

    2. No Longer Anonymous
      April 6, 2021

      And your point is ?

      If the death rates and hospitalisation rates are lower than flu then why can we not live as human beings instead of being viewed as vessels of a disease ?

      1. jerry
        April 7, 2021

        @NLA; My point, vaccines do not stop the spread of a virus, just the outcome – hopefully – for those infected.

        The Covid death rate is not lower than from the usual seasonal Flu, when was the last time we had a seasonal Flu epidemic here in the UK that killed c. 150k people (ONS figure, not the fudged govt figure) over a 12 month period?

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2021

        Because we are not demanding.

  32. SecretPeople
    April 6, 2021

    On variants: I would recommend the Delingpole interview with Mike Yeadon, who says the effect of a variant on a vaccine is similar to someone recognising a family member. The variation is so small as to be like a loved on wearing a baseball cap – will you still recognise them? Of course. And so the vaccine will continue to recognise the virus and its variants.

    That’s not to say a ‘variant’ won’t be used to herd us back into lockdown; that and PCR cycle thresholds are cranked up a notch next time it is flu and chest infection season. But remember the WHO advice – that tests are only meaningful when accompanied by symptoms; and even then, a different second test should be used to verify the ‘case’.

  33. majorfrustration
    April 6, 2021

    What about a tattoo on the wrist – giving dates of jabs

    1. glen cullen
      April 6, 2021

      I’d bet thats under consideration by Michael Gove MP

    2. agricola
      April 6, 2021

      Just imagine for a moment what that would be likened to. It is an absolute political no no.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2021

        That is exactly why the suggestion is so apt.

    3. Fred.H
      April 6, 2021

      People will be confused – what does the date mean? I’ve seen birthdates of children on arms.
      Maybe this new date will be ‘coming out’ / ‘lost virginity’ / ‘voted Green’ / ‘got a haircut’ / ‘ kissed grandma’.

    4. steve
      April 6, 2021

      What about a tattoo on the wrist – giving dates of jabs.

      Yep, it could end up like that if certain people get their way.

  34. hefner
    April 6, 2021

    Interestingly there had been a similar survey initiated on the gov.uk website.
    I wonder how the results from these two surveys will be mixed to provide possible guidance to the Government.

    1. Pauline Baxter
      April 6, 2021

      hefner. Probably Ferguson will be brought in to ‘model’ that mix, don’t you think?

  35. Denis Cooper
    April 6, 2021

    For the purpose of making sure that large numbers of people can gather and mingle freely without the risk of spreading the disease each individual should be rapidly tested on arrival to establish their current level of infectivity, then all those who are found to be infectious could be excluded.

    By “infectivity” I mean “the ability to produce or transmit infection, the quality or state of being infective”, as defined here:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infectivity

    with this as an example of the use of the word relevant to this context:

    “The onset of cough on the second day of illness in this patient, followed by clinical evidence of pneumonia four days later, raised the question of his infectivity during the four days before hospitalization.”

    Whether or not the person has been vaccinated, whether or not they have had the disease, whether or not they are showing symptoms suggesting they might now have the disease, are all factors which are only indirectly and variably connected with the risk that they could pass the disease on to the other people.

    Ideally we would want an instant, or at least extremely rapid, test which could be applied at the points of entry, which did not require any great expertise in its administration or interpretation and which could be produced cheaply enough for unstinted mass use.

    A remote body temperature reading would be a suitable instant test except that it is not a reliable indicator of whether the person is infected with the disease let alone whether they are infectious and so pose a risk to others, which is the most important question.

    I would suggest that as the virus is mainly spread on the breath then rather than taking a swab or a blood test it might be best to test their exhaled breath in the same way that drivers can be tested for their alcohol level by blowing into a bag over crystals.

    There has been a report of a 20 second test, but it involves a swab from the inside of the cheek and it detects whether the subject person is infected rather than assessing their infectivity:

    https://www.cityam.com/20-second-covid-test-to-be-distributed-across-the-uk-and-europe/

    That is the crucial parameter, their infectivity, the degree of risk they pose to others and to wider society.

  36. William Long
    April 6, 2021

    This Government has become accustomed to controlling our every move, finds that it very much enjoys doing so and is determined to find a way to continue.

    1. Pauline Baxter
      April 6, 2021

      Yep! That’s right William Long.

    2. hefner
      April 7, 2021

      ‘Our every move’? How is that much worse than what was happening before Covid-19 when up to 5.2 million surveillance cameras within the UK have the possibility to check your comings and goings? I find hilarious that the Covid surveillance hot heads now so vocal on this blog had been strangely silent over the years while the build-up of this monitoring system was going on.
      Sir John says ‘Jump’, they say ‘How high?’.

  37. glen cullen
    April 6, 2021

    Talk about mission drift

    Deaths rates are low practically zero, but the governments T&T contract runs for another 18mths, they need to justify that function and spend with additional tasks

    Also noted that this government hasn’t, as yet, repealed the 5-year parliament term ?

    1. a-tracy
      April 6, 2021

      We should demand that T&T give us the track information with people’s names, who is currently infected, how did they get infected tell us the pinch points, tell us how when we have been virtually locked down since Christmas there are new cases. They can do this in Korea, Japan, China.

      We are told the biggest cost of T&T is in the testing, we need to test more in the infection situations and less of the general worrying well.

      1. Iain Gill
        April 6, 2021

        putting 2000 troops into Liverpool to do mass testing didnt work

        it was a complete and utter waste of money with no impact on the virus at all

        the multi billion spend per day on testing would be better targeted at cancer services

      2. hefner
        April 6, 2021

        Is it not funny that you ask for people’s names (and DoB, address, sort code and account number, while you are at it) from T&T when most people on this site do not want a Covid certificate.
        And how interesting that you take as examples China, Korea and Japan where the least that can be said is that the social interactions in these countries are ‘somewhat’ different from what they are in the UK.
        So libertarian as far as you are concerned, but quite authoritarian otherwise. Interesting.

        1. a-tracy
          April 7, 2021

          LOL are you tracking me hefner? It was a mistake I meant ‘don’t ask for people’s names to be published’ thank you for prompting me to clarify. However perhaps if your neighbours, people in your work space, have covid and should be isolated perhaps you should be told.
          I am quite authoritarian on some subjects such as legalising drugs and restrictions on underage drinking. I would have people serving community service in our towns collecting litter and keeping the area clean and neat every day. I’m not bothered about a covid passport to go out of the country and I think we should demand more from people coming into the UK even if they are British returnees.
          In Korea I read an outbreak was identified in a club right down to the people with the virus and their families.

    2. Pauline Baxter
      April 6, 2021

      Glen. F.T.P.A. The Fixed Term Parliament Act. YES, they promised to repeal that. Don’t know about you but I really can’t imagine why they have found it convenient to leave it in place.

      1. glen cullen
        April 6, 2021

        Agree – all of a sudden the Fixed Term Parliament Act is useful

    3. MiC
      April 7, 2021

      Maybe when they do they’ll replace it with a twenty-five year one?

      There’s no written constitution to stop them after all.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2021

        You are a fool. Of course there is a written constitution. Go to the HoC and ask to see the Constitutional Statutes. There are shelves of them!

  38. formula57
    April 6, 2021

    I am surprised somewhat that Michael Gove issued his invitation without ascertaining first that you read the Daily Telegraph. Schoolboy error!

  39. No Longer Anonymous
    April 6, 2021

    “We don’t trust our vaccine so have our vaccine AND our passport. If you accept our passport we will allow you to do things when you have had the vaccine we don’t trust .” to that effect.

    Evil on many levels.

    ———–

    I read today that it’s social distancing and masks until at least Spring 2022. SAGE are high on power. It is the social distancing and masks which is destroying minds and businesses.

    A) Why are we still counting ‘cases’ (infections) ?

    B) When did it become about zero Covid and not about ‘saving the NHS’ ?

    C) How many businesses will be able to survive another year of restrictions ?

    D) Why has the government made no attempt to quantify lockdown casualties and deaths ?

    E) Does the Government not realise that the majority are now ignoring the rules ? Do they really think we stayed outside our homes last night ?

    F) What happened to “Celebrate Christmas at Easter” ? We’re under worse restrictions than we were last summer, without a vaccine.

    Boris had better pray for a wet summer.

    1. glen cullen
      April 6, 2021

      There is only one figure that matters and thats the death rate per day – and today thats 20 deaths out of 68 million

      I wonder what the number of illegal immigrants are that haven’t got an NHS number and who haven’t been called forward for vaccine…….guess we’ll never know

  40. Andy
    April 6, 2021

    The reality is that we are going to need vaccine passports. Though the government will not call them that.

    But airlines will not let you travel without one. Other countries will not let you in. Plenty of businesses will say no too.

    I do not like the idea of a corrupt, lousy, authoritarian government which most of us do not vote for introducing such a thing. But they will.

    Yet more incentive to remove them as soon as we can.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      April 6, 2021

      Andy, so without a vaccine passport will you be able to go to your castle in France?

  41. agricola
    April 6, 2021

    A thought on fruit, self sufficiency, and set aside. I have no idea on the current status of Set Aside, how much there is or who might be getting a subsidy to retain it away from our productive capacity.
    Rather that continue importing apples that are mostly of low quality we are ideally climate suited to graw our own. We have a vast choice of varieties but for 90% of use Bramleys, Cox’s, and perhaps Braeburns cover us. Why not plant them in set aside , making it productive, and at the same time make us self sufficient.

  42. Newmania
    April 6, 2021

    When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    …unless, it would seem, I am a lifetime politician, able to continue striking jejune attitudes into old age. I notice this on the left. Corbyn was a character from a sixth form debating society, and on the right, prep school Libertarianism persists.
    I guess, as young men, the Redwood sort, all bow ties and wagging fingers, found it all rather exciting ,I did myself. I, however, find my portrait as a young man, a source of spine curling embarrassment. He has just carried on (as has Michael Gove btw )
    Life teaches most of us that Liberty is mostly provided by money security and a law abiding society, ID cards bring em on; for them it is a cue for their Winslow Boy speech. Funny thing is that C0nservatives never really believed in Hayek and all that ..it was juts a handy stick to beat the over mighty left of the 70s, a passing fad and they are struck with it like aging punks with sad tattoos.
    Anyhoo ..vaccine -passports , yes of course. They make is free-er richer and happier. Good thing obviously

  43. a-tracy
    April 6, 2021

    Are we asking for vaccine passports for all incomers to the UK including Ireland? It is reported we will need them to travel outbound.

    Ireland currently will not let you in without two weeks quarantine even if you have been vaccinated why? They have also insisted drivers (other than hgv usually EU or theirs) have PCR tests which cost around £140 at short notice. Yet we allow them free entry and movement why when Gove is debating UK citizens needing passports? 60% of adults in the UK have now been vaccinated against Coronavirus – these groups (1-9) account for 99% of Covid deaths – so if those that choose not to have the vaccine get infected and catch covid that is their choice and if those vaccinated are protected what is the point?

    We should worry less about the anti-vax people and concern ourselves with getting the people in the younger generation that do want the vaccine sorted out quickly especially when Boris is allowing foreigners in to run amok without vaccine passports, tests and quarantine.

    At the weekend the Times reported that we are allowing thousands of ‘tourists’ in without compulsory quarantine, vax passes, do they even have a covid negative test? Do we test them in the arrivals at the airports and ports?

  44. Ex-Tory
    April 6, 2021

    More and more I fear the government’s attacks on our freedoms more than I fear covid.

    Presumably staff at venues, many of whom are volunteers, would be criminalised for accidentally not following byzantine rules for checking somebody on entry.

    But if we are going to have the lunacy of these “passports”, at least let them be given automatically, ideally on paper, with the second jab. Of course there is always the slight risk of fraud, as there is with anything. But do we want the expense and trouble of having to fight computerised bureaucracy to get one online? I wonder how many people would then be denied one because of technical problems.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2021

      More and more I fear the governments attacks on our health!

  45. IanT
    April 6, 2021

    I suppose everyone has their own idea of what “Freedom” is Martin. Your “Freedom for All” is clearly some all encompassing, evangelical freedom that might not care about what other smaller freedoms might be lost in the process…

    For instance, the small freedom to be able to say something others might not ‘like’ without being ‘cancelled’ or perhaps losing your job.
    Or maybe the small freedom to be able to send your children to school without worrying about what version of someone else’s ‘truth’ they might be taught?
    Or maybe even the freedom to turn on your (publicly funded) TV without being shown graphic sex scenes (often accompanied by foul language) and the clear sense that these broadcasters don’t care if it offends some of their viewers.

    Actually, this last one should really be a freedom from the sea-going hypocritical lefties that infest the media and arts – who would never set a ‘PC’ foot wrong in so many areas but don’t give a flying fig for some sensitivities be they religious, cultural or age related. A bit like you Martin, with your oft stated dislike/prejudice against older (presumably white?) people.

    But I guess where prejudice and so many other things are concerned, it’s OK to be selective, because there have to some sacrifices if we are going to achieve “Freedom for All” 🙂

    1. MiC
      April 7, 2021

      You’re right.

      Employers have FAR too much arbitrary power over employees in Tory Britain, and are able to sack them for reasons nothing to do with their competence or lawfulness – sometimes just for giving an opinion outside of work.

      That’s why we need more union membership, and laws to protect better employees’ rights.

      Isn’t it?

  46. Caterpillar
    April 6, 2021

    The P.M. and his Govt has intentionally created a situation in which citizens have become passive consumers of a product promoted as ‘health’. The P.M. and Govt can change the definition of ‘health’ at any time. The individual’s agency has been removed, if one has not consumed ‘health’ as the Govt chooses to define it, then the Govt removes one’s right to contract (where one may purchase, where one may travel, where one may work, where one may be educated) – this is a P.M. and Govt policy of cancelling. That the P.M. and his minions even allude to such an idea should be sufficient warning to Conservative M.P.s to remove this authoritarian leader. Over a year ago, I did warn of the clear character trait signalled by the P.M.’s treatment of Mr Javid. I would suggest any decent, humane Conservative M.P.s who are not aware of, or choose to ignore, the studies of how dictators stay in power get themselves up to speed. To save liberty for all, it is insufficient to simply stop ‘clean-unclean’ passports, the intent does not flow from a societal health issue, it flows from the people in authority.

    I think the success of the P.M.’s and Govt’s propaganda is to some extent reflected in the phrase “ the residual issue of the small minority of adults who will not have the vaccine ” Whilst Sir John’s argument is valid, it overlooks the many issues that still surround the vaccination program, particularly as it pushes to younger and healthier segments of the population. Prior to such a mass vaccination program, to achieve some level of informed consent, the P.M. should have sought to publish infection fatality ratios as a function of both age and comorbidities. People should know when the risk becomes disappearingly small (given other risks taken in living). When these numbers are disappearingly small it is not a simple risk comparison, the rational decision is dominated by comparing these small numbers to uncertainty. In the case of these prophylactic vaccinations, no matter how many times the P.M. and his minions claim the vaccinations are not experimental, it remains the fact that long term effects are a known unknown, whilst other unknown unknowns do come along (e.g. the latest clotting data).

    Given the moving goal posts, dubious policy decisions (on the basis of health, cost-benefit, and wealth transfer), there are reasons, beyond the authoritarian removal of liberty, to not trust this P.M.

    On a positive note, it is worth recalling that for England and Wales the average crude mortality (mid-year to mid-year) from 14/15 to 18/19 was about 0.91%. Midyear to midyear for 19/20 was about 0.997% and 20/21 could be estimated at 0.970% (presuming weekly deaths remain typical to the end of June). So the percentage surviving a year of covid+lockdown compared with the average year is 99.91% in first year, and is estimated to be about 99.94% in this second year. Moreover, these numbers will understate the survival rate as crude mortality was trending upwards before covid and there was the (callously named) ‘dry tinder’ overhang from 18/19.

  47. Richard II
    April 6, 2021

    I thought Graham Brady’s article in the Telegraph was much more interesting than Michael Gove’s:

    ‘In Iraq, we planned brilliantly to win the war but failed to plan for the reconstruction of civil society afterwards. As we stagger out of the gun smoke of Covid, we mustn’t make the same mistake.’

    The government seems to be behaving as if it hadn’t won the war it declared on Covid. If lockdowns keep Covid cases and deaths down, well Covid cases and deaths have come right down, so lockdowns must have worked, right? If it believes in its own vaccination programme as the longer-term solution, let that be the solution. ‘Data not dates’: the data say tens of millions now vaccinated and in March no excess mortality. So for goodness sake let us stop acting as if we’re in a war that on the government’s own criteria is surely over.

  48. glen cullen
    April 6, 2021

    Covid passports aren’t a form of identification they’re a form of restriction

    These covid passports will come in different colours so to allow privilege on transport, queuing, access and movement etc. MPs etc will get platinum, Civil Servants and NHS gold, Teachers and Public Servants silver and the plebs bronze

    We are all equal just that some are more equal

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      April 6, 2021

      They are a means to force people to take the vaccine.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        April 6, 2021

        Yet disappointment after disappointment.

        Christmas cancelled, have it at Easter instead.

        Easter cancelled and goal posts moves – from ‘two jabs and we’re free’ to ‘Oh dear. Face masks and social distancing until sometime forever.’.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          April 7, 2021

          Cross the Sticks and your free.

    2. a-tracy
      April 7, 2021

      Everyone I know under 40 that is vaccinated works for the public sector, inc social workers working from home, council workers, fire, police, teachers its fine but they need to hurry up getting everyone else that mixes with lots of other people jabbed too but I guess this government doesn’t consider drivers and supermarket workers essential workers.

  49. J. Brown
    April 6, 2021

    Excellent summary.
    With more than 50 per cent of adults vaccinated, and probably 70 per cent by the time the mass venues reopen in May, passports and constant testing are irrelevant.

    1. glen cullen
      April 6, 2021

      Completely Agree

  50. James Matthews
    April 6, 2021

    Not entirely convinced by the “liberty for all” argument. Motorists are required to wear seat belts, motorcyclists are required to wear crash helmets. If they failed to do so they would put not one else at risk, though they would add a potential burden to the national health and emergency services.The latter being the standard pragmatist’s justification for overriding the freedom of the individual in this way.

    During the second world war all residents were put almost entirely at the disposal of the state. For more than a decade after it young men were required to undertake two years military training and service. Such gross interference in personal liberty being regarded as justified by exceptional circumstances – ” for the for the greater good”.

    Can the pandemic be equated to the second world war? Not remotely. The cold war? Perhaps. It is however vastly more important than individuals failing to be prudent about their own safety on the roads, but putting no one else at risk. Certainly exceptional enough to ask people to get vaccinated and be prepared to verify that they have done this, or to forego some activities which involve a greater risk of spreading the virus.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      April 6, 2021

      Why ?

      If those at risk have had the vaccine what’s the problem ?

  51. The Prangwizard
    April 6, 2021

    Government consultations, and those of large businesses for that matter are usually a deceit. The decision to go ahead with the plan has already been taken – it’s a way of seeking out objections not thought of so they can be dismissed.

    In the case any powers to check ‘passports’ will be abused and further elements later included.

    ‘Boris’ and his double talking and unprincipled supporters are converting what was once a free England into a Police State. Witness the abuse already in the breaking up of a Christian Church service.

    This ought to be a matter of principle for Sir John. Will you leave the party? It will go ahead if there are only weak objections.

  52. Rachel Chandler
    April 6, 2021

    Sir John, I admire you for plugging away at issues in a calm, rational manner and for continuing to assume that your views count. After a year of lies and deception from this government I no longer believe that we can get back to being a free and democratic nation without major changes to our institutions and government. Covid is a distraction, a nasty disease that has been used to whip up fear and authoritarian sympathies. The real problem is the divisive and censorious woke culture that has been allowed to take over all aspects of public life by spineless people unwilling to stand up to the bullies. Until we regain our right to free speech and public debate we will continue on a path to totalitarianism.

  53. Iain Gill
    April 6, 2021

    no to covid passports

    no to treating the NHS like a religion

    no to diminished freedoms for Brits

  54. Barbara
    April 6, 2021

    The pathogen has a 99.7% survival rate. People have been terrorised into giving up all their liberties and trashing the economy for something which has a 99.7% survival rate.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      April 6, 2021

      A far better survival rate with the vaccine !

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2021

      In a nutshell. Yes.

  55. derek
    April 6, 2021

    The design and purpose of any vaccine is not to cure/kill the virus but to prevent any hosptialisation or death arising from its contraction.
    Sadly, it appears that Government policy is directed at attempting to cure the virus when it is impossible to do so. Flu viruses have never been ‘cured’ so why would they think this flu-like infection is so different?
    Why have they not utilised the independent specialist science fraternity from all around the world to advise them rather than those here who appear to be no more than desk ridden medics using their flawed computer model to reveal their crystal ball predictions?
    We only have to look around the world to establish those countries that have been far more successful in controlling this virus than our own “team”.
    Why have we not borrowed their approach sometimes based on their expereicne wwith SARS of 2002 and especially as it works!

  56. nota#
    April 6, 2021

    Vaccination is the way out of lockdown, Ooops… sorry a passport that was just OK on the day of issue(never to be repeated) is the way out of lockdown. Ooops… another mistake, your twice weekly test is the way out of lockdown.
    Social distancing works, but people cant be bothered, washing hands works, but who has the time. heard immunity might work but we are not there yet.
    The science is what is leading us! is anyone sure. UK Science lead advice – Swine fever will kill 65,000 people in the UK. 50,000 people will die because of Mad Cow disease. These predictions were made by the Governments science advisor, the self same one they are now following using the same spreadsheet modeling as then. Project Fear at the root of defining a Government
    Is it any surprise when there is an overall feeling ‘We Don’t Believe You’
    If the Government was looking for ways to engender further mistrust you have to say all this following the MsM dictates, buying into the Cancel Culture and the WOKE Brigade without one ounce of logic, proof or hindsight is a sure fire way to do it.

  57. Mike Wilson
    April 6, 2021

    My understanding is that if you have the smallpox vaccine you won’t get smallpox. If you have a polio vaccine, you won’t get polio.

    If you have a Covid vaccine you can still get Covid but it won’t be as bad. Doesn’t seem to be much of a vaccine?

  58. Pauline Baxter
    April 6, 2021

    Sir John, Gove is part of the present Government.
    Reasoned argument will not change any of their minds. They have become a Dictatorship and will do everything they can get away with to hold on to their power and position.
    Get rid of them, somehow. For all our sakes.

  59. David Brown
    April 6, 2021

    The PM has made a blunder by originally talking about Vaccine Passports (that’s what they are) for pubs and restaurants and then having to row back on this, and now talking about football matches and music festivals.
    The Gov has often spoken about following the science well:
    Science tells us Covid transmission is much lower outdoors and surprise surprise football and music festivals are outdoor events.
    It seems to me the Gov message would be much better by keeping Vaccine Passports simple and focused on travel outside the UK, because this is likely to be an international requirement. So any one wanting to travel will require a Vaccine Passport or stay in the UK because countries will require this specially the EU as it has already been raised and half the UK population holiday in an EU country (actually I used to go x3 times a year).
    We know there are likely to be some increases in Covid as lock-down eases. My view is the GOV should keep the wearing of face masks requirement until 2022, most people will tolerate this if the message is clear about potential new infections, a mask is at least offering some protection, and forget about test status etc for hospitality, retail, sport, music etc . This way every one continues to wear a mask and vaccine passes etc are not applied to daily life within the UK only airports, ferries etc.

  60. steve
    April 6, 2021

    Well I never trusted Mr Gove.

    However he does have some amusing qualities, and I think if he wasn’t in politics he’d surely be a succces on the stage.

    As a politician I have’nt been too impressed, except that time he gave Corbyn a new backside in the commons. The guy was on fire !

  61. Ginty
    April 6, 2021

    SAGE are now pushing Boris for passports, face masks and social distancing indefinitely.

    That’s what we’ll be getting then.

    Boris lied. Again.

  62. hefner
    April 6, 2021

    What do we have to do to make the PM sack Helen Morrissey (Baroness Morrissey) from the House of Lords? While her involvement with the 30% Club is certainly to be celebrated and dealing with her nine children must at times not have been such a small task, specially for a City financier, the ‘Baroness M of Chapel Green in the Royal County of Berkshire’ should know better than to say there has been no pandemic. The 126,882/149,168 dead people in the UK (as of 6 April 2021) might have wanted to object.

    1. Peter2
      April 7, 2021

      cancel culture writ large

  63. DOM
    April 6, 2021

    Vaccine passports are a backdoor to a Chinese style Marxist social credit score system in which human beings become mere vessels or extensions of the political state.

    These Tory and Labour uniparty collaborators are determined to obliterate our civil and libertarian culture that transfers power from the private person to the party system. Once they silence and impose control over us then it’s all over, life is extinguished and these stains on humanity will have partially succeeded in their main aim, subjugation and ownership over us

    This is Labour’s Marxist wet-dream but the Tories embrace of it will lead to a most horrific future

  64. gyges
    April 6, 2021

    There’s one question that is consistently never answered: if I get a positive result from a covid test, what are the chances that I have covid?

    Can you ask Michael, Boris, or anyone else in the government that question?

    Better still, could you invite an academic to write on your blog explaining how to work out this answer? Perhaps Prof Norman Fenton from Queen Mary’s?

    1. matthu
      April 7, 2021

      It depends on the type of test, how the test is conducted, whether or not you are symptomatic and the general prevalence of infection in the population. But the chances could be lower then 5%.

      1. Fred.H
        April 7, 2021

        If it was a properly conducted PCR test, then you have about 95% to 98% certainty you have Covid.
        If it was a lateral flow test – Health minister Edward Argar told BBC Breakfast he expected the lateral flow tests to be used by those returning to work in the coming weeks as the “economy starts opening up again”. He said fewer than one in every 1,000 lateral flow tests gave a false positive result and refused to set an “arbitrary” date for when testing would end.
        Believe that and you might believe in fairies in your garden. I’d suggest accurate positive more like 80 to 90%.

        1. G Wheatley
          April 9, 2021

          You left out a decimal point Fred. With ct40+ the professional medical opinion (…no, I don’t count S.A.G.E. in that) is that 97% of positives are FALSE positive.

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    April 8, 2021

    Why does the State always have to take people’s decisions for them? Any pub owner who wants proof of vaccination before admitting someone may already do so. All that the State needs to do is to authorise doctors and clinics to issue vaccination certificates. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we live in a Nanny State or a Ninny State.

  66. G Wheatley
    April 9, 2021

    The whole episode is littered with gaping logic holes. And the Establishment KNOW it.
    The only people who genuinely cannot see that, are those within one of the holes so large, that they are unable to discern the edges of it.

    For that reason alone I distrust now ANY information provided by either Government, their S.A.G.E. ‘advisors’, or the mainstream media. Even the data from ONS is compromised due to the sweeping changes in the way that death certificates can now be signed-off….. by more-or-less anybody with an opinion, whether it be grounded in fact or not.

    Readers should search-out and listen to James Delingpole’s interviews of Dr. Mike Yeadon & Dr. Reiner Fuellmich.

    As has been quoted elsewhere, “in this Age of Information, ignorance is a choice”.

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