Rejoice! “We” are first to get the covid vaccine! Don’t dare to ask silly questions about it
Well I nevah! The covid MSM, joyfully celebrating that “we” are first in line for getting the covid vaccines, also gleefully point out that this feat was achieved ‘thanks to Brexit’! Yes, even RemainCentral, carefully and through gritted teeth, acknowledges this. One is bound to ask: what the fluff is going on here?
There are three stands to today’s ‘narrative: the EU, the vaccine and vaccination, and a so far unacknowledged slide into more restrictions on Free Speech. Let’s take a brief look at the vaccine saga first.
“We” are all so happy that our freedom from tiers is in sight – but alas! Only the group of health workers and over-80s in care homes will get the first lot of covid jabs. The rest of us will have to wait until next year. The covid MSM are helpfully providing the timetable, not forgetting to mention that other helpful reminder from one of the SAGEs, that covid will be with us, like, forever. So “we” better not think that we can now throw away our face muzzles.
Valid concerns about the safety of the vaccines aside, there ‘s one consideration which only churlish covid sceptics dare to raise in public. According to the producers, this vaccine will only alleviate the worst effects of covid. So if it doesn’t confer immunity, why do we need it? Will “we” have to get this covid jab every year, like the flu vaccine, ‘just in case’? Time will tell, and let’s hope we’ll be allowed to ask those questions.
Meanwhile the MSM are in full jubilation mode, from front page headlines to ‘Letters’: BJ is wonderful – this is all due to his wise governance – and it’s all thanks to Brexit. “We” were nimble and quick, says one Pharma CEO – a Remainer, we’re told – and thus “we” reap the rewards of Brexit. Who’da thunk! Not so fast though. We find that:
“The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which acts on behalf of the 27 EU member states, suggested the UK had sacrificed rigour in the interests of speed – a suggestion the MHRA firmly denied. Meanwhile, a German health minister said EU countries had decided not to pursue emergency approval in order to maintain the solidarity of the bloc.” (paywalled link)
The DM this morning also quotes this statement from the EMA, as well as one from a former EMA director who is a bit more outspoken:
“But the European Commission said that its European Medicines Agency regulator ‘requires a higher level of evidence to be submitted and checked than a temporary use authorisation’. Former head of the EMA Guido Rasi said: ‘I would have expected a robust review of all available data, which the British Government has not done, to be able to say that, without Europe, you come first.’ (link)
Does this come under ‘sour grapes’, or under ‘they would say that’ – or are they correct in their concerns about safety? Perhaps we mustn’t ask such inconvenient questions – not when “we” must be happy because, thanks to Brexit, “we” won this ‘war on covid’. Meanwhile, RemainCentral is trying to put a dampener on the ‘Brexit & covid success’ story:
“It is ironic that […] it was an EU directive rather than Brexit that gave Britain’s health regulator the power to go its own way and approve the Pfizer vaccine ahead of other European countries. Under EU law, member states have had the power to authorise unlicensed drugs to combat health emergencies such as pandemics. It was this that ministers invoked earlier this year that will now allow Britain’s Covid-19 vaccination programme to begin perhaps a month or so ahead of that in the EU.” (link, paywalled)
Thank you, EU, is it? One wonders what RemainCentral would have to say had we still be ‘In’ and thus been forced to wait. Never mind – a month is neither here nor there between ‘friends’ and perhaps the EU member states might have the last laugh should their concerns about safety turn out to have been justified. However, RemainCentral had to acknowledge this:
“When the UK was a full member of the EU, decisions on which medicines could be sold here was delegated to the European medicines agency (EMA), except in emergency situations such as this. The EMA was based in London and much of the expertise on which it drew came from the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. As a result much of Europe’s high-end pharmaceutical development became concentrated in the UK, attracted by the presence of the regulator in a key global market.” (link, paywalled)
We recall that the EMA was one of the first EU entities to leave London, amidst howls of dismay from Remainers everywhere. In the ‘war on covid’ this is now forgiven. Will it be too much to expect that other Remain hysterics might now also be put to rest? After all, one can’t praise ‘Nimble Brexit Britain’ on the one hand while bewailing ‘poor Brexit Britain crashing over the cliff’ on the other, can one?
Let me diverge briefly to the ongoing transition period negotiations. There was a most astonishing report in the DT yesterday – yes, it was by the DT’s Brussels mouthpiece, Mr Crisp. The headline was pure click bait:
“Brexit: UK has given ground on fishing quotas, says Michel Barnier – EU’s chief negotiator says Britain could accept 60 per cent of value of stocks from UK seas, down from 80 per cent” (paywalled link)
It was the usual piece, full of what ‘Brussels sources’ and ‘Brussels diplomats’ said, full of ‘could’ and ‘might’. There was no mention of what a certain Lord Frost had said or if he’d said anything at all. RemainCentral also has a Brussels correspondent, and rather than crowing about ‘us’ caving in, we read in his article:
“The EU has rejected a fresh British offer for European fishing boats to be allowed to keep 40 per cent of fish, defined by value, that they presently catch in British waters. This remains well short of the 80-plus per cent demanded by Mr Barnier last month.” (link, paywalled)
There’s more – nothing could illustrate better the ongoing delusion under which EU politicians still labour:
“France and other countries are said to have suggested that the EU should be prepared to walk away and trigger no-deal unless the UK government makes significant concessions soon. The hardliners urged that unless the UK backs down over the next 48 hours, the European Union should declare that negotiations have failed and allow the economic pain of a short no-deal period to bring a chastened Britain back to the table next year.” (link, paywalled)
And finally, a significant quote from a Frenchman which ought to make those think again who bewail the dangers of a No Deal for poor little Britain:
“Sources said that Philippe Léglise-Costa, the French ambassador to the EU, argued that ending the transition period without a deal would only “add a small shock to the big shock of Brexit”. He said that no deal would avoid negative consequences in the long run and trade negotiations could continue in 2021 without time pressure on the EU to make concessions.” (link, paywalled)
Well I nevah! ‘No deal’ is better than a bad deal? And this from a Frenchman? Crikey! If France can do it – who are we to be frightened of a No Deal? Those trade negotiations would be for single industries, they aren’t an extension to the transition period. Here’s another thought: will French fishermen blockade Calais and stop the lorries with “life-saving” covid vaccines? One wonders if Big Pharma mightn’t be twisting French arms in such case.
Finally, after this needful diversion, to that sinister covid & vaccine item. Our covid Government has learned over the last nine months that “we” can be nudged, that “we” can easily be sheepified if their ‘narrative’ is powerful enough. Unsurprisingly, after all the covid- and muzzle-warfare in the covid MSM, we better prepare for the coming vaccine warfare.
Just as “we” have acceded to the severe restrictions to our civil liberties, vaccination will be used to curtail Free Speech. I found the first straw in the air in this innocent little snippet in an email I received from the Speccie:
“Boris Johnson said the government would ‘shortly’ publish a plan to combat anti-vax disinformation” (Spectator email evening news, no link)
Apparently, BJ said this in PMQs yesterday. There was nothing about this dire plan in today’s jubilant ‘vaccine victory’ MSM. I found one report (link) though, and to no-one’s surprise, it’s a demand from Labour. Read the whole thing – this is very scary indeed. After all, Government has the instruments at hand already, thanks to all the ‘hate speech legislation’. I wonder if Sir John Redwood’s wise observation in his Diary this morning will change BJ’s and his cabinet’s minds:
“There should be no question of people having to take the vaccine, nor of vaccine passports being used as a lever to get more people to take the vaccine. The vaccine should stand on it own merits. The more information the Regulators can share with the public the better, as confidence comes from an open approach, not from hectoring and limited communication of the facts.” (link)
Just so – but to be able to make up our minds we must be permitted to debate freely, without ‘antivaxer legislation’ curtailing such debate. Perhaps government has become so addicted to regulating us by nudges and narratives that they cannot afford to trust us to make up our own minds. That is a dire outlook indeed.