Without debate or democratic scrutiny, vaccine passports have “moved from unthinkable to unstoppable”, says Fraser Nelson in The Spectator. But while a government review published yesterday endorsed them – even for pubs – Boris Johnson “bizarrely” dodged all questions on the topic at his afternoon press conference. Perhaps it’s because the official explanation is “too absurd to repeat”: that landlords and employers are “loudly demanding” vaccine passports. This is a “fantasy”. Apart from Pimlico Plumbers, which has a “no jab, no job” policy, the PM would struggle to name any.
Worse, officials working on the vaccine passport review were told Johnson personally backs the scheme. “How, after this, can he still pretend it’s not happening?” Indeed, what’s the point of spending £2.6m on a new communications centre if the PM refuses properly to communicate? If he won’t level with the public or tolerate debate in the Cabinet, “where will the scrutiny come from”? Emboldened Conservative MPs are now seeing what they can get away with, especially if Keir Starmer “keeps taking the Tory whip” and voting with the government. Given the ferocity of the debate over vaccine passports ahead, the PM’s evasiveness “bodes ill”.
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