For over a year, we've been complying with restrictions and staying safe. Yet anyone with antibodies - produced following infection - would suddenly have more rights.
What message would that send? The old and the vulnerable are rightly getting priority on vaccines, yet the young - far less likely to get ill or die - would remain restricted, unless tested regularly.
Would it even be even practical? £37billion spent on test & trace, relying on self-isolation and it did us little good - would a vaccine passport app be any better?
They are in fact ID cards by the back door. Our country has a long tradition of liberalism - opposing the assumption that others can demand identification from us when going about our daily lives, in our own communities, towns and cities.
Being stopped - either by police or by unregulated bouncers and asked for 'your papers please', is not how we do things in the UK. Sure, there are scenarios where licenses apply - age restrictions to purchasing products that require to be used responsibly. Even driving a vehicle, we are required to have the licence, but not to carry with us or produce it on-demand for the purpose of driving.
Travelling to-and-from other countries, we are used-to carrying a passport, and having vaccinations where required. Yet that is very different from carrying such ID in our own country, going about our own business. This is why the term 'Passport' has been used - it's more acceptable to the public – rather than the term 'ID Card' or 'Proof of Identity'. It's a disingenuous move to make the introduction of it seem more acceptable.
- Who would even enforce it?
- In which age groups?
- Would it need constant updating with vaccine boosters?
- Would you lose your rights until you get a booster?
- Would you lose it if you got a positive test, and if so, how would that happen? When would you get it back?
- When would it end? At what level of transmission?
- What about new strains?
- Would we keep them for when another virus comes along in future?
No, instead we need proper test, trace & isolate, providing options and funding for those actually infected, allowing them to properly isolate in dedicated hotel space, with proper PPE, screening, testing and operational procedures in-place, supported by trained staff, ready to spot a deterioration in someone’s health and needing further treatment. Sufficient sick-pay to allow people not to have to work during this period of recovery. This would allow people voluntarily to isolate, protecting their families and cohabitants from further infection.
Never again should we pour of billions of pounds of public money into the coffers of private IT companies, to produce some other useless app with the potential to be misused in sinister and illiberal ways.
Read the views of Willie Rennie and Ed Davey on the main ScotLibDem website -> here