THE public are starting to become aware of the serious sovereignty implications of both the World Health Organisation (WHO) Pandemic Treaty and the proposed amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR).
However, far less well known is the fact that the Government already holds many of the very same totalitarian powers.
The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 gives a single minister absolute power. The implications of this have already been devastating to the social and economic fabric of this country and pose a huge threat to our freedom going forward.
Whilst campaigners are understandably directing their efforts into resisting the WHO, a real and present danger in the form of the Public Health Act looms over us. We urgently need to address this before a minister decides that the appropriate response to the next health emergency, real or imagined, is sufficiently urgent to lock us in our homes again ‘for our safety’.
During a parliamentary debate on the WHO treaty, Labour MP Justin Madders stated that some people claim the treaty will ‘restrict freedom of speech to the extent that dissenters could be imprisoned, that it will impose instruments that impede on our daily life and that it will institute widespread global surveillance without warning and without the consent of world leaders. In other words, some of the hallmarks of totalitarian governments are to be combined with supercharged lockdown measures, which are all of course, already in the power of the Government under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984’.
On March 26 2020 Matt Hancock signed the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. This placed the country in lockdown, restricting our freedoms and infringing our human rights. He used the Urgency Procedure (Section 45R) of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 to implement the legislation without scrutiny. The Government produced no impact assessment and MPs had no opportunity to review the legislation prior to implementation. This decision was made by a single minister, as is allowed by the legislation.
This was highlighted at the time by the journalist Peter Hitchens who pointed out that ‘the 1984 Public Health Act was never designed to be used for such a wide purpose. If it’s to be tested, public-spirited citizens, helped by sympathetic lawyers, need to come together quickly to seek a Judicial Review of the shutdown in the High Court’.
The relevant Regulation, 6, paragraph (1), he described as humiliating: ‘During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.’ https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/04/we-love-big-brother
The Public Health Act does contain a safeguard, that emergency legislation expires within 28 days unless it is approved by Parliament. However this was circumvented by the suspension of Parliament. The legal basis of this is unclear. The lockdown regulations were never voted on by MPs, even after the return of Parliament.
There was a high-level debate on Covid in May 2020, but the vote was simply ‘that this House has considered Covid-19’, a mirage of democracy.
The Telegraph’s ‘Lockdown Files’ and leaked WhatsApp messages simply confirm what appeared obvious to astute ‘readers’ of political affairs, that government decision-making was chaotic. Had an impact assessment been produced and MPs had a vote, there is a chance that lockdowns might not have happened at all or would have been shorter and less severe.
Lockdowns have caused serious harm to the NHS, physical and mental health, individual finances and the economy, as yet another report – this time by the IEA think tank – has confirmed, https://twitter.com/iealondon/status/1665632301831667713?s=20 all for very few lives saved. Our elected MPs should have had the information and power to prevent this harm to their constituents.
Lockdown regulations were not the only horror allowed for by the Act. The Public Health Act Urgency Procedure was used to implement 100 pieces of legislation before they were presented to Parliament. Some were brought in despite no evidence of emergency or urgency, e.g. the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 when cases were at their lowest during summer 2020.
The emergency legislation changed frequently at the minister’s whim, causing confusion for the public. Many of these rules had no scientific basis (e.g. the rule of six, substantial meal requirements in pubs and the two-metre rule) and were implemented based on opinions. Those challenging the ‘science’ behind them were censored and vilified.
While we need to continue our efforts to fight off impending tyranny from the WHO, we also urgently need to tackle the existing threat of the Public Health Act much closer to home.
I have written the following petition Require impact assessments and approval of MPs for all emergency legislation, and I ask for your support.