Public Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West 2:36 pm, 1st December 2020

Why will you be able to buy a pint in a sports venue without getting anything to eat, but if you order a pint in a pub, you will have to have a substantial meal? I will leave that hanging as the great existential question of the day.

Suppression in anticipation of vaccination is the reason for the measures before us today, but people have been writing to me for months terrified that a vaccine will be compulsory. I have responded by saying, “Don’t be so absolutely ridiculous—that could never possibly happen. We are a Conservative Government, after all.” Yet now we discover that vaccination may be a passport to the acquisition of your civil liberties, without which you will have all sorts of things that you would otherwise be able to do denied to you. That would be absolutely disproportionate to a virus with a mortality rate verging on 1%. It would equally be a terrible precedent to set for other vaccines and medicines. I therefore hope that we can get away from that.

The way to persuade people to have a vaccine is, of course, to line up the entire Government and their Ministers, and their loved ones, let them take it first, and then get all the luvvies—the icons of popular culture—out on the airwaves singing its praises. To have any kind of suggestion of coercion absolutely feeds the conspiracy theory that we are being cowed and our liberty is being taken away.