THE long-awaited Parliamentary debate on Covid-19 vaccines safety took place on Monday.
Whether it proves to be a turning point in the Establishment’s understanding and acceptance of the risks and harms associated with what so many of us believe to have been a reckless rollout of a novel technology remains to be seen.
As the only member of anything pertaining to being ‘the Press’ in attendance, I felt I was uniquely witnessing a historic moment. Once again, the mainstream media had shown no interest in or concern for what is one of the most urgent issues of our time: whether the population has been persuaded into significant and unknown health risks for little to no benefit to them and possibly to the detriment of public health too. An issue that the Government is in steadfast denial about.
With mainstream media demonstrating no curiosity at all about the government’s denial of a mounting data bank of evidence that Covid-19 vaccines may well be riskier than the benefits justify – even though the low booster programme take-up reveals a public voting with its feet – it has been left to ordinary people, specifically Axel McFarlane and his team, whom we should all thank, to mount the petition needed to ensure the necessary political debate. (The debate was the outcome of his petition to open a public inquiry into vaccine safety that went on to achieve the requisite number of signatories last June).
To just a few brave MPs has the task fallen of putting that most fundamental question of all: how many more people have to be sacrificed for this highly questionable public benefit? To ask, too, why the bar of acceptable risk been so dramatically lowered for these vaccines? Why are children, who have no need of the vaccine and to whom it is of no benefit, still being vaccinated, especially given the mounting evidence of adverse myocarditis reactions? Why is that evidence minimised and considered unimportant? How many children have to be affected before the NHS does more than cover its back with guidelines?
Mainstream Press concern? Forget it.
Yet as Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope pointed out during his formidable speech, previous vaccines for other diseases have been withdrawn on far fewer numbers of recorded deaths and injuries. Why then the doubling down and denial when it comes to the Covid vaccines?
If anyone still needs an answer to that question, the intransigent and aggressive opening gambit of one Elliot Colburn, the 30-year-old right-on, woke Tory MP for Carshalton and Wallington was all too revealing.
This member of the Petitions Committee, chosen to open the debate and avid salesman for the vaccine, disgracefully took this as an opportunity to air his prejudices and abuse vaccine sceptics and vaccine-injured as ‘anti-vaxxers’ and conspiracy theorists.
Tory MP Danny Kruger, as horrified as those of us sitting quietly in attendance, interjected to remonstrate with him over his unacceptable use of language and his demonisation of vaccine scepticism.
This public rebuke sadly did not inhibit the shameless Mr Colburn from afterwards shouting at vaccine-sceptic members of the public that they were ‘a disgrace’. The Petitions Committee would be wise to review their choice of mouthpiece in future.
Once again, as with last week’s APPG meeting, Labour MPs were notable for their absence. None bothered to turn up, apart from the one Opposition spokesman sent to put the party’s official position. Even more Stalinist than young Mr Colburn, he appeared to have no time for the truly exploited; for once, genuine victims.
In the view of this robotic functionary, it is our duty to be sacrificed in the higher cause. The vaccines are for the public good, so if you get a cardiac arrest or a thrombosis in the process, you have to suck it up. That was his message – and no ‘give’ at all on questions of vaccine safety or efficacy. They’ve saved millions of lives, you see. The tropes were out in force.
Three MPs intervening from the Conservative party restored my faith in humanity. Sir Christopher Chope, Danny Kruger and Andrew Bridgen MP all put their heads above the parapet and demanded the Government Health Minister listen to their intelligent critiques and questions. If the edifice starts to crumble it will be because of their moral courage and clarity. Natalie Elphicke and Sir John Hayes MP, who joined later to give them his support, should also be mentioned.
Do watch the recording of the debate. First, to see the shocking absence of MPs and the empty chamber – a mark of the previous times the subject been raised in Parliament by Sir Christopher. Second, to experience the rollercoaster of exasperation, encouragement and immense gratitude for bravery of the representations of the Tory three.
You can see too which of the participants are so obviously reading from an approved script – the official narrative of information with its presumptions built in. How strikingly the MPs’ reports from the real world compared, with their critical thinking, their obvious deductions drawing on the material evidence – scientific, statistical and medical – the truths that the Government seems determined to ignore, deny and never debate.
Over the next days, we will publish the transcripts of the three key speeches (Kruger, Chope and Bridgen) as well as an evidenced rebuttal of some of the key assertions made by the hardline defenders of the status quo.
You can watch the video recording of the full debate here.