Why the young should tell Boris where to stick his vaccine passports

JANET STREET-PORTER: Why the young should tell Boris where to stick his vaccine passports – before he turns Britain into the world’s most luxurious prison

Once, Boris Johnson claimed to be a libertarian who defended personal freedom, loathed bureaucracy, unnecessary rules and state intervention. A man whose hair summed up his attitude to life (and women) – freewheeling and messy.

How he’s changed! Last year, Boris trashed Covid passports as unnecessary and intrusive, Now, they’re being touted as the latest weapon in the ongoing fight to control a disease that will never be eradicated. Unless young people are doubled-jabbed by the end of September, they can forget about going anywhere.

Does he really think that an official piece of paper or app stating the holder has had two jabs won’t be forged, hacked, corrupted and worthless within two minutes of being introduced? And where are the beady-eyed workers who will police this astonishing new document granting our freedom to party?

The hospitality industry can’t get staff to clean toilets, let alone monitor the vaccine status of who’s passing through the door. Border staff can’t deal with traffic at Heathrow, which is operating at 90 per cent below normal capacity. So, who are going to be the Covid Passport police?

Over the last year and a half, Boris Johnson’s persistent dithering and consistent U-turns have turned a nation of plucky Brits into cowed, fearful, compliant bots 

The Prime Minister has gone from a showman emanating perky panto positivity into a chilling combination of Nurse Ratchet and a jailor who wants to lock us up and throw away the key…until we all meekly get jabbed and stay at home if pinged by the useless Test and Trace app because the bloke in the house next door has tested positive and the walls aren’t three feet thick.

Over the last year and a half, Boris’s persistent dithering and consistent U-turns have turned a nation of plucky Brits into cowed, fearful, compliant bots, exhausted by torrent of incomprehensible statistics and daily warnings issued by gloomy medics wielding graphs and more mysterious facts and figures.

These are the classic tools used by religious cults – bombard people with messages day in and day out until they are utterly confused and agreeable to anything.

Are you fed up with being lectured at by people who don’t follow their own advice and who would (if they could get away with it) not isolate and bend the rules (like Michael Gove, Boris, and Rishi) because they are ‘special’?

Don’t you long for a day without the army of boffins telling us that there could be another surge, another wave, another rise in hospital admissions? Or – if you’re lucky, you might catch another ‘expert’ claiming there will not!

Boris is now threatening you won’t be able to go out to clubs unless you’ve had both jabs by the end of September and have got a Covid Passport. Pictured: Brighton on Sunday night

I dream of a day without a Johnny know-all in an ill-fitting suit telling me to wear woolly sweaters, open the windows and turn off the heating when winter comes around. How to breathe something called air and avoid catching something. It’s only a matter of time before they instruct us on the safest Covid-Compliant way to have sex without exchanging bodily fluids. Outdoors, probably.

Covid isn’t going away. Ever. But – for 99 per cent of us who get jabbed – it need not be a death sentence unless you are very sick or vulnerable in the first place. Infections are flattening out, hospital stays are shorter, and overall, the impact of the virus has become (for many) no worse than a bout of flu. Yet we are told this never-ending obsession with one disease among so many is still necessary to ‘save’ the NHS.

Save it from what? Seeing GP patients face to face? Detecting cancers? Giving people a better quality of life with a new knee or hip?

I don’t mind if Boris asks us to pay more for the NHS so it’s not woefully stretched and we are not at least 6,000 GPs short.

Last year, Boris trashed Covid passports as unnecessary and intrusive

What I don’t want is to live indefinitely in what is fast becoming the world’s most luxurious hi-tech gulag with the rules set by an unelected elite of ‘experts’ in white coats.

Now he’s chosen to target the young as if they are disloyal citizens who don’t care about everyone else. Even though they were never likely to get seriously sick or die from this disease or darken the doors of the NHS for any other reason.

Be thankful you’re not a teenager because Boris really loathes your generation. He’s ensured your education has been patchy, that you’ve been sent to study at home more times than you can remember. He’s ensured you can’t go abroad with your mates for some fun and sun and – the final icing on the cake – he’s now threatening you won’t be able to go out to clubs unless you’ve had both jabs by the end of September and have been issued with a Covid Passport.

I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve had plenty of experience working with young people, making television programmes with them and about them. The least effective tactic to use is bullying. And by indicating Covid Passports will be necessary to enter enclosed spaces with large numbers of people – like football grounds, nightclubs and probably pubs, Boris has revealed what a bully he is. 

Older people like myself (doubled jabbed) are generally pretty relaxed about whether young people are choosing to be vaccinated at the rate Boris and his Boffins would like. 

Like everything else they do, the young, aren’t going to toe the line and jump to attention just because a big sweaty man with a blonde mop on his head shouts and pleads.

Currently, 35 per cent of young people have not been vaccinated – but 65 per cent HAVE had their first dose without getting paid, or receiving free vouchers for takeaways.

And that should be a cause for celebration, not an excuse for wielding a giant cosh – the promise of no nightlife, no holidays, no life, if you spurn the magic vaccine.

Once, Boris said he was totally against Covid Passports. He also wanted everyone to go back to work. Now, he’s clinging to the wreckage of his laughable ‘pandemic policy’, telling us to continue to work from home if possible. To be careful and cautious. Keep those masks on, in spite of initially telling us we could ditch them from last Monday.

With his Test and Trace App roundly condemned by everyone from NHS frontline workers to bosses who can’t get food to supermarkets or run trains because drivers have been pinged, he’s still claiming it’s our only route back to ‘normality’.

Everyone I know has deleted the App, and bosses are telling their staff to put it on pause when they are at work. If health professionals don’t rate the app, then why should the rest of us?

Boris (according to Dominic Cummings) is the man who didn’t seem bothered that a generation of people over 80 might die from Covid….clearly, he considered they were collateral damage, people who mostly weren’t running big business, contributing to Tory party coffers, mostly retired, so costing the Treasury a considerable sum with their state pensions.

He didn’t want to ‘save’ the Crumblies back at the start of all this – and was advocating no lockdowns even if it meant ‘bodies piling up in the streets’. A U-turn inevitably followed.

Those remarks – if made – reveal a man with zero empathy, a man who would pursue Faustian policies, discarding the weakest and powerless in favour of the middle-class and middle-aged.

Now, Boris is determined to bludgeon the young into submission, by curtailing their freedom after he’s messed up their education.

Truly, he is the enemy of youth and all the dreams that go with it.

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