To whom does a child belong, the parent or the state?
The government seems to have quietly dropped the inane maxim which once concluded their every demand, ‘follow the science’ – perhaps because the science stopped following them.
According to the JCVI, the potential benefits that the Pfizer vaccine offers 12-year-olds are too minimal to justify exposing them to its risks. Still, Nadhim Zahawi maintains that 12-year-olds possess some mystic capacity which allows them to make decisions on taking a double helping of Pfizer’s remedy but not the age-old ones of alcohol and tobacco.
Ah, but vaccinating children will help protect their elders, I hear some mirthless toad remark. To which I say this: using children as human shields is to employ the tactics of Hamas; a barbarism which threatens to corrode the moral structure of our society. And then there is the inescapable fact that the Delta variant renders our politicians’ hopes of herd immunity via vaccination null and void. Outside of political posturing, there is no reason to menace children with vaccines they don’t require.
Like some shifty schoolyard dealer, it’s now suggested the government should devise ways of helping children circumvent their parent’s consent, all the while ignoring science. How can they have informed consent on the vaccine if they are only supplied with a slither of information? It is not, I think, widely known that the Pfizer vaccine causes myocarditis in between 1 in 3000 and 1 in 6000 12- to 24-year-olds, whereas only two per one million children die of Covid. All we hear is the lazy mantra of ‘doing one’s duty’ coupled with the quiet threat of consequences for those who don’t. That’s just unacceptable.
Any parent who takes issue with the state becoming a surrogate to their child should ask themselves the question posed by that famed WWI poster:
‘Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?’
They needn’t have done much. In fact, it would have been enough for them to have done nothing. Instead, many subjected lockdown doves to a series of slurs and slights merely for daring to question the Coronavirus Act without which this child grab would not have been made possible.
Received wisdom holds that the lockdown hawk is a selfless creature gifted with an almost supernatural ability for sense. Whereas the lockdown dove is accused, somewhat paradoxically, of committing the dual crimes of ignorance and calculative opportunism.
To the lockdown hawks and their supine media, Covid was, as Labour’s Ian Lavery let slip, ‘a great opportunity’. Indeed, it was a great opportunity to show one’s piety, but piety came on credit, and now that studies have emerged showing lockdowns killed more than they saved, it’s clear that the interest for that credit comes compounded in blood.
This first appeared in Country Squire Magazine in September 2021 and is republished by kind permission.