TYPE-casting and then bagging those who choose not to get a Covid jab is an emerging sub-genre of journalism, or what passes for it. Those who provide commentary and who write columns are especially prone to give in to what is clearly an overwhelming temptation, bordering on an addiction.
Rod Liddle is a fun and funny journalist. His takes on a wide range of subjects are refreshing and original. He has sport especially with the woke.
However his attack last weekend on (his term) anti-vaxxers, under the heading ‘It’s fun, I know, but baiting the pro-vaxxers will not make them see sense sooner’,is off-point and tedious.
At least he didn’t join the likes of the rabid anti-vaxxer baiters Sir Tony Blair (they are selfish idiots), Justin Trudeau (they are racist and misogynist), former NSW Premier Bob Carr (they are simpletons), and President Macron (I want to p*ss them off). Rod is more akin to the casual discrimination types who say they respect the right of people not to take the jab but who still feel the need to describe them as ‘misguided’ (Douglas Murray) or ‘foolish’ (the Australian’s normally exemplary Steve Waterson).
Here is Rod:
‘One of the greatest incidental pleasures of this Covid pandemic has been the profusion of private messages I receive on social media, often typed in capitals, from people who seem to have had their brains removed with a soup spoon and replaced with crushed Ranch Dipped Hot Wings flavour Doritos. Yes, of course, it’s the anti vaxxers.
‘The legions of them are obsessive in their fury, unshakeable in their certitude that as a consequence of my receiving a booster jab, I am henceforth under the control – like a kind of badly made radio-controlled puppet – of Bill Gates, Big Pharma, the Jews, the one-worlders, the commies, the Chinese and even good old Satan himself.
‘They are quite impervious to rational argument and can bring up, from the depths of that moronic inferno, the internet, pseudo-scientific papers written by disenfranchised psychiatrists from, say, Entebbe Polytechnic, which support their magnificent stupidity. Argue with them? It is as if you tried to engage with Owen Jones on methamphetamine. Utterly pointless.
‘Sometimes I am in awe of their implacable convictions, because I have none at all of my own and often think I could do with one or two – they make life simpler. Hell, at least their delusions keep these people occupied, right up until the ventilator is turned off and you catch just the faintest glimmer of Burkean doubt in their slowly closing eyes.’
Attacking anyone, of course, can be fun. Anti-vaxxers (as defined by the elites) seem to trigger the high and mighty. I have a theory about the ongoing abuse of the unvaccinated, recently described as the ‘global underclass’, by prominent political figures and members of the ruling class generally. I once thought that the rabid pro-vaxxers abused the unvaccinated because they refused to ‘play ball’ in the protection (as they see it) of the community. Now I suspect I had it the wrong way round. Maybe the vaccines are endlessly championed, despite their manifest shortcomings (unsafe, unapproved, experimental, useless, not needed by most, dangerous for many) in order for our superiors to feel justified in abusing a group that they despise already and wish to pillory on a new front. (Search online ‘Trump supporters’ and ‘unvaccinated’.)
Liddle does seem to know that the subjects of his attack are merely one subset (‘outliers’) of a disparate class of people who are routinely problematised by the elites as ‘vaccine hesitant’. He even allows that some who refuse the jab might be approaching sense: ‘teetering close to the rational’. Goodness, almost a concession to the nutters.
Conspiracy theorists may or may not believe in any or all of the things attributed to them. But why bother writing about them – or, at least, the strange version of them that Liddle concocts – when there are so many other targets who have actually screwed our world these past two years, simply begging for satire? Petty dictators, curtain-twitching Stasi, unelected public health gauleiters, censors, propagandists, lying politicians, fascist police bullies, politicians who build concentration camps for the unvaccinated, media not doing their jobs, shills for vaccine manufacturers who are on the take, the medical establishment which strikes off doctors who question the rubbish they and we are constantly fed, child abusers who want to jab the young and healthy, fact-checking gnomes (those who are human) who silence world experts in epidemiology and related disciplines simply because they dissent from the Orwellian narrative delivered by the Big Tech/Big Pharma/Big Government complex.
Oh, then there is dear old Boris Johnson. As Allison Pearson notes: What were you doing on May 20, 2020? Nothing much – just being taken for fools by the people who rule us.
Indeed. There is an impressively long list of Covid criminals who might attract the interest of those with Rod Liddle’s skills, and one group in particular who might grab Rod’s attention. These are the vaccine cultists who are indeed fun to bait. Those who ignore science and empirical evidence in relation to vaccines that are (to repeat the point for emphasis, Rod) useless, experimental, unapproved (except for an emergency that doesn’t exist), not needed by most, that do not prevent transmission of Covid, are dangerous to many (this is proven), and the manufacturers of which are for some reason protected against legal comeback if harm results. It is the pro-vaxxers who ignore rational argument who should be challenged and pilloried with ‘rapier wit’. Again and again. These people were duped into joining a cult. A cult that admits no contra views. A cult that must have its core tenets defended, at all cost. Rod Liddle is, alas, contributing to a circling of the Covid vaccine wagons.
What a pity Liddle chose to defame (further) a group that is seen by many to be an easy target, even though they are a danger to no one, pose no threat, and who are almost alone in Covid-world in speaking truth to power. This is what we normally call intellectual laziness: combating positions that no one has actually advanced, constructing an enemy that does not exist.
Liddle might also have chosen to recognise that many of the claims of those he dismisses are utterly plausible and have been argued, with increasingly compelling evidence, by a range of respected authorities who do not believe that Bill Gates wants to implant chips in them. Oh, and it seems we got the lab leak theory right as well. Perhaps we just don’t like being lied to.
I think you have picked the wrong target here, Rod, even though you end up in a reasonably safe, centrist, conciliatory place in your argument’s conclusion. You do get the vaccine mandate concerns, at least.
Oh, and do check your percentages of unvaccinated, Rod. Counting the over-12s, who don’t get a say, as vaccinated is a favourite statistical trick of the political class to make it seem like the non-vaxxers are a tiny minority. We are not. And we vote. And we (occasionally) read the Times.