From Wuhan to Ottawa

Thursday, 17 February 2022 — Swiss Policy Research

Canadian “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa (Shropshire)

The latest medical and political coronavirus developments.

Lockdowns in retrospect

A recent preprint meta-analysis by researchers from Denmark (Center for Political Studies), Sweden (Lund University) and the US (Johns Hopkins University) found that lockdowns in the spring of 2020 had no significant impact on mortality. Moreover, the authors highlight that the many “simulation studies” that claimed otherwise essentially presupposed that the entire decline in infections had been due to “measures”, when in reality the decline had been a natural phenomenon. This discrepancy was first shown by a French researcher (see this interview).

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Big Brother Watch issues legal claim against Welsh Ministers over “unevidenced” Covid Pass scheme

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team

Big Brother Watch issues legal claim against Welsh Ministers over “unevidenced” Covid Pass scheme

  •  Civil liberties NGO issues claim in judicial review of Welsh Covid pass scheme
  •  Reasons for Covid pass scheme seen by Big Brother Watch “don’t stand up to scrutiny” – but the Welsh government so far refuses to agree to publish them in full
  •  Big Brother Watch vows to apply to the Court to publish court papers setting out the Welsh Government’s “remarkably weak” justification for Covid passes
  •  Campaigners call to end the “draconian, discriminatory and pointless” Covid pass scheme

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The Telegraph – Austria’s precedent-setting lockdown is an assault on human rights

19 November, 2021 — Big Brother Watch

[How ironic that it’s left to a rightwing rag like the Telegraph to warn us of the approaching fascism. WB]

Europe is in the midst not only of a public health crisis, but also of a dangerous shift towards authoritarianism. The Austrian government’s introduction of a lockdown only for unvaccinated people this week was a precedent-setting assault on human rights: liberty, privacy, freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom from discrimination. And yet, if you follow the work of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, which sits in the heart of Vienna, you wouldn’t know that it is even happening.

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Towards Technfascism: Vaccine Passports and the Inequality Virus in the Debate

23 October 2021 —Internationalist 360º

Experiment vaccine

Eder Peña

As part of the normality that, like a promised land, they have repeatedly offered during the pandemic, some governments of the Global North have created mechanisms to control mobility based on the inoculation of vaccines against covid-19.

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What’s Really at Stake with Vaccine Passports

7 October 2021 — Wrong Kind of Green

Centre for International Governance Innovation

April 5, 2021 By Elizabeth M. Renieris

In February, 2021, ID2020 launched Good Health Pass

Elizabeth M. Renieris is a technology and human rights fellow at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, a fellow at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. In May 2020, Renieris, an adviser to the ID2020 Alliance, which aims to bring digital identities to billions of people, resigned over the organization’s direction on digital immunity passes and COVID-19. In her resignation Renieris cited ID2020’s opacity, “techno-solutionism” and corporate influence along with the risks of applying blockchain to immunity passes. [Source: CoinDesk]

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Covid passports – illiberal, intrusive, and counterproductive

6 October 2021 — Manifesto Club

The government has published plans for Covid passports to be possibly introduced over the winter.

Here below is the Manifesto Club response, showing how these plans are illiberal, intrusive, and counter-productive.

If you would like to respond to the consultation (before 11 October) you can do so here.

All the best,
Josie Appleton

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Vaccine passports have already set us on a slippery slope

10 September 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team

The steady march towards medical ID cards is on, after the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of vaccine passports this week. In Westminster, the Government is set to follow suit but won’t even commit to giving MPs a vote on the matter – as though votes in the House of Commons are now gifts from ministers. Meanwhile, the Welsh government will make a decision on the matter next week.

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Vaccine passports – we’re on the front foot..

14 September 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Health Secretary Sajid Javid rightly ruled them out during today’s Covid-19 update, saying:

“It is not something that we are implementing… The evidence [for vaccine passports] is not there and I hope it will never be”

BUT as these words came tumbling out of his mouth, the Government’s Covid Autumn and Winter Plan was published outlining a ‘plan B’ of contingency measures in the event of the loosely phrased scenario of ‘unsustainable pressure on the NHS.’

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Discriminatory vaccine passports pose an even greater threat than ID cards

2 August 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team

I have not forgotten that fifteen years ago, the Prime Minister wrote in this paper that if someone in authority demanded he show an ID card he would “physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it.”

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Thousands march across France as nationwide opposition to domestic Covid ID shows no signs of fizzling out

31 July 2021 — RT

Demonstrators have flooded the streets of cities and towns across France for the third straight week as citizens continue to resist the government’s plan to require a health pass to engage in several ordinary activities.

Huge crowds turned out in Paris on Saturday as riot police attempted to corral the seemingly endless columns of protesters filling the capital’s main thoroughfares. Drumming, chanting and exploding firecrackers could be heard in a Ruptly livestream of the massive demonstration. The protesters could be heard shouting “Liberty!” as they snaked their way through the city’s streets.

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The worst U-turn on vaccine passes

26 July 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Dear friends,

You can’t have missed the news that the Government wants to make vaccine passes mandatory from September for large gatherings, without even the option of a test as an alternative. The front pages have been filled with Government threats confirming our worst fears – access to nightclubs, sports events, and even universities could be restricted to only those with COVID vaccine IDs.

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BREAKING: Vaccine passes to be mandatory!

19 July 2021 — Big Brother Watch


The Prime Minister has just announced that vaccine passports are to be mandatory from September for nightclubs and large events.

This means that not only will the NHS Covid Pass be mandatory – but tests will no longer be an option on them. Only the vaccinated will be admitted entry to events.

This is dangerously coercive, counter-productive and wrong. 

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The ‘Vaccine Passport’ Agenda

February 2021 — Swiss Policy Research

Published: February 2021 (upd.)

On the strategic implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, medical aspects are only the operational level of the coronavirus pandemic: in countries where the median age of covid deaths is above 80 years, the public health impact of the pandemic will be quite limited and primarily related to serious cases of ‘long covid’. Indeed, even the WHO recently acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic “wasn’t necessarily the big one”.

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An Essential Journey My experience of international travel in Covid times

20 June 2021 — Off Guardian

Joanna Sharp

I had not planned to travel abroad this year, especially after the UK government’s announcement in early 2021 that foreign holidays were forbidden. Even heading towards the airport with an intent to go on a foreign holiday could result in a £5000 fine or imprisonment! Surreal.

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We’ve urgently questioned the legality of the Government’s Covid pass trials

11 June 2021 — Big Brother Watch


Big Brother Watch has urgently questioned the legality of the Government’s vaccine passport trials at Wembley Stadium for the Euro 2020 matches.

In a letter sent today to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), we questioned how the stadium might use fans’ vaccination and test data and what the legal basis for the data collection is, citing multiple apparent failures in DCMS’ privacy policy.

The letter sent by our solicitors, AWO, warns that the controversial vaccine passport trial appears to be “occurring unlawfully and in non-compliance with the GDPR”.

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Big Brother Watch questions legality of Wembley vaccine passport trial

11 June 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team / June 11, 2021

Big Brother Watch has urgently questioned the legality of the Government’s vaccine passport trials at Wembley Stadium for the Euro 2020 matches.

In a letter sent today to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the civil liberties group questioned how the stadium might use fans’ vaccination and test data and what the legal basis for the data collection is, citing multiple apparent failures in DCMS’ privacy policy.

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The Telegraph – Israel’s Green Pass system: A stark warning to the UK

8 June 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team / May 27, 2021

Israelis had every reason to be optimistic – we were the first country in the world to achieve mass vaccination against Covid-19 and, thus, “normality” seemed within reach. Alas, a digital vaccination ID called the “Green Pass” was introduced as a prerequisite for returning to normal life. The Israeli Ministry of Health used two reasons to justify the need for this Green Pass: first, to enable and expedite the reopening of businesses by creating safe “green spaces” only for vaccinated individuals and, second, to pressure those hesitating to get the jab.

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⚠️ Covid passes = ID cards *on steroids*

28 May 2021 — Big Brother Watch

“None of us likes the idea of Covid certification”

Not our words, the words of Michael Gove…

Yesterday he appeared in front of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee to receive a grilling on Covid passes. To say that it made for awkward viewing would be putting it politely!

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