Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Fear and fascism growing on the Vine


EVERY day at 9:15am, an intense and unshakeable sense of doom begins to surge through me. It is, of course, the time at which The Jeremy Vine Show begins to air on Channel 5.  

To give you a flavour of the show’s output, here are three questions it recently served up as points of national discussion: ‘Should we lock down the unvaccinated?’, ‘should pubs ban mobile phones?’, and ‘should we mandate vaccines?’ – In short, the show now caters for fools and fascists.  

During the two torturous hours of the show’s runtime, Jeremy and friends speak about new impositions to submit others to, while scarcely hiding the relish with which they take in devising them.  

The unvaccinated are talked of in such disparaging terms that the term ‘leper’ is only ever a soundbite away. One recent episode saw the supposedly conservative journalist Andrew Pierce ask how mandatory vaccines might be imposed.  

This was talked of not as the obvious, unthinkably authoritarian – and surely illegal – measure that it was, but rather as some mere triviality to be overcome.  

The frenzied rantings of Pierce only ended with Vine’s alarmingly unironic interjection: ‘Well, you could do it with snitches, couldn’t you?’  

Such was the nonchalance with which health apartheid was spoken of in this episode, I honestly thought that if someone were to have made the suggestion of shooting the unvaccinated, that it would have been met with muted murmurs of intrigue and approval.  

An episode this week saw Carole Malone say, in that carefully-curated voice of Northern ‘down-to-earth’ sensibility: ‘Giving up human rights is justifiable when you’re in a global pandemic.’  

Really? Is the whole point of human rights not that they should be so sacrosanct as to never be given up – justifiably or not?  

The Jeremy Vine Show has become – and I’m afraid that I can’t think of any better way to put it – an authoritarian bukkake. But why should the country be subjected to Vines’ supercilious splashing? 

Every vaccinated person I know just wants to forget about Covid, and none of them harbour any ill-will towards the unvaccinated. And yet the Press press on with this Covid hysteria. The media does this not because we should be fearful of Covid, but because fear sells. 

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James Bembridge
James Bembridge
James Bembridge is a journalist, political commentator and the Deputy Editor of Country Squire magazine.

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