Tuesday, September 28, 2021
HomeCOVID-19The Mail's shameful witch-hunt of ‘selfish’ vaccine refusers

The Mail’s shameful witch-hunt of ‘selfish’ vaccine refusers

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EXPERIMENTAL shots may give me clots but names will never hurt me – which, given that the Great Unvaccinated are on the receiving end of increasingly barbed stings, is just as well. It is now open season on those who refuse to be blackmailed, bribed, bullied or shamed into rolling up their sleeves. ‘Selfish’ and ‘stupid’ are the jibes du jour but these are mere gateway insults, dipping a toe in the waters of acceptable pejoratives which will, ultimately, lead to the dehumanising of the non-vaccinated and the sinister consequences which will ensue.

The Daily Mail has shamefully led the charge along this road with vicious personal attacks on those who deviate from the vaccine narrative. Tennis legend Pat Cash was in the Mail’s crosshairs following his interview with TCW TV where he questioned the necessity and safety of Covid vaccines. Although his advice on vaccination was ‘make up your own mind based on the facts’ the Mail raged that Cash had launched a ‘dangerous anti-vax rant’. Likewise Cash’s recommended use of ivermectin as an effective and safe treatment against Covid was ridiculed as false and dangerous despite the American Journal of Therapeutics concluding that it decreased ‘morbidity and mortality’. 

Invective-laden opinion pieces from Mail columnists have continuously targeted those who fail to have blind faith in the vaccination roll-out. Erstwhile ‘Man of the People’ Richard Littlejohn tried the light-hearted approach, sprinkling ‘unclean’ and ‘no jab, no job’ on to his usual, cynical ‘you couldn’t make it up’ style. Littlejohn’s fellow ‘journalists’ dispensed with any levity. Amanda Platell launched a personal attack on rugby player Henry Slade for the heinous offence of making an informed choice concerning the vaccine. Slade’s reason was eminently sensible – not enough testing had been carried out to be certain that it is safe. A recent article on vaccine side-effects on this website shows Slade is right to be cautious. Platell, however, called the risks ‘vanishingly small’ and condemned Slade’s decision as ‘supreme selfishness’. Sarah Vine was similarly outraged at the vaccine-hesitant, in fact so similarly outraged that she also labelled it ‘supreme selfishness’. ‘Selfish idiots’ was her conclusion and ‘stupid’ – not just stupid but ‘weapons-grade stupid’ and of course ‘selfish’. (Vine’s estranged husband, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, also had a fitting word for refusers – ‘selfish’. It appears the Vine/Gove household have agreed to share custody of the adjectives.) West End impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber described the unvaccinated as, you guessed it, ‘selfish’ but went further, making a spurious comparison with drink-drivers. If more propaganda is needed perhaps Lord Lloyd-Webber can oblige with a new musical called ‘Selfish!’ A fully vaccinated cast perform a medley of songs, the grand finale being a rousing rendition of ‘Covid vaccines are fantastic, refuseniks are atrocious.’

There is nothing amusing, however, about where this leads. In June Forbes magazine ran an article entitled: ‘What are we going to do with the anti-vaxxers?’ 

Well, what are you going to do with them? Hold them down and forcibly inject them? Intern them? Execute them? The worrying narrative being shaped is that ‘they’ are not like ‘us’, and as Karen Harradine so eloquently explained in TCW Defending Freedom yesterday, this has terrible historical antecedents.

Alabama governor Kay Ivey made this clear in a rant where she blamed rising Covid cases on ‘the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks’. Likewise President Biden’s ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ ignored the limited effectiveness of vaccines against contracting and transmitting the virus and, instead, placed all blame on one group of people. That never ends well. 

Social media is also helping to ’other’ the unvaccinated. Last month American writer Akilah Hughes tweeted to her almost quarter of a million followers: ‘Petition to call anti-vaxxers “plague rats”.’ This not only met with mass approval but inspired other suggestions including ‘spread necks’ and ‘rat lickers’. 

Perhaps ‘cockroaches’ should also be included.

In his Ten Stages of Genocide Professor Gregory H Stanton presented a process of steps which lead to a final solution: a division of the population into ‘them and us’; the passing of laws which exclude one group from all areas of society; people are no longer individuals but are ‘the Jews’, ‘the Gypsies’, ‘the Unvaccinated’; dehumanisation equates the group with animals, disease, vermin, filth. Stanton placed dehumanisation at number four in his ten stages. We are almost halfway there. 

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Mary McGreechin
Mary McGreechin is a medical historian and researcher from Glasgow.

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