27 November 2021 — Big Brother Watch
Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and large parts of the US are sliding into a dark period of authoritarianism. We’ve seen a sudden imposition of vaccine mandates (which are soon to require boosters), domestic vaccine passports, and Austria even put millions of unvaccinated citizens under lockdown. As I told the BBC, this is a stain on the human rights record of Europe – and yet many rights institutions appear to have been scared into silence (you can read more about this in my op-ed for the Telegraph – un-paywalled copy here).
Although we’ve emerged from the immediate Covid crisis, we’re being plunged into a permanent state of authoritarianism.
The public health challenges we face are serious and governments must take action. But this isn’t it. These are unscientific, draconian measures that paper over the cracks of governments’ consistent failures to respond effectively, and only serve to increase their power and control.
None of this is about the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated, as much as some of those in power are desperate for it to be. It’s about the people against the authoritarians. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, we all will suffer under the spectre of digital IDs, division, exclusion and control.
This authoritarian wave matters to the UK-only campaigning of Big Brother Watch because the political environment is becoming more illiberal and more hostile. In this context, it’s incredible that we’ve fought off mandatory Covid passports not once but twice in England!
We know the fight is far from over.
We’re ready for it – thanks entirely to your support.
I can’t thank you enough for your emails, letters, donations for sharing our materials, and above all, for the monthly donations which fund our vital work, day in and day out – combating the excesses of emergency powers, defending free speech and protest rights, fighting facial recognition, and so much more. This important work wouldn’t be happening without you.
With your support, we’re fighting to win.
This week, Scotland dropped plans to expand their vaccine passport scheme and in fact added testing as an option. We’ve reviewed their new 70 page Covid passport report, and it’s damning – it found no evidence at all, in two months of their vaccine passport scheme, that it had any benefit to public health. We’re telling them to scrap the entire scheme.
In Wales, government lawyers are scrambling to respond to our legal challenge against Covid passports. More on that soon…
And as Northern Ireland is set to hold a vote on Covid passports within days… we’re on the front line!
We’ve got digital billboards all over Northern Ireland this weekend, rallying against Covid passports and a checkpoint society… have a look!
And today, we wrote to every Member of the Legislative Assembly in Stormont to set out the serious rights concerns, urging them to vote against Covid passports.
Do you live in Northern Ireland? Use our quick tool to email your MLA now!
We’ve got every reason to keep up our morale. Because the tougher the challenges we face, the stronger we’re getting.
Thank you for your support at this critical time.
Director of Big Brother Watch