Readers’ Rants

What you think of vaccine facts and passports, taxing wealth, mass group-think, state control of the economy, Boris bashing and more

The views expressed are those of the individual writers. Send yours to rants@perspectivemag.co.uk

Rant of the Month

Vax Facts

In your November issue David Davis argues that vaccine passports are an unnecessary inhibition of public freedom, based on his view that the medical evidence is that vaccinated people are as likely to infect others as are the unvaccinated. This is wrong.

Several studies have shown that vaccinated infected people are half or several times less likely to infect another person. See for example the review by Vitiello et al., Inflammopharmacology. 2021 Jul 19 : 1–4. COVID-19 vaccines and decreased transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This undermines Davis’ argument completely.

Vaccine passports do in fact offer significant protection to others. In fairness to non-medical readers, you should add a correction to this article so as not to spread misinformation.

Dr Stephen Bostock
Bagnoles de l’Orne
Normandie, France

It’s not just vax passports

In response to David Davis’ article last month, my views on vaccine passports run in line with his and I am grateful that he is trying to fight the introduction of this to the public. I also have concerns at methods being used by both Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid to push the jab on unvaccinated people. These are nothing short of coercion as is the threat of Vax passports. Britain used to be the epitome of democracy, but this is no longer the case. When have vaccines been mandatory? We have always had a choice when it comes to medical procedures, without coercion. I believe there is currently a two tier system in England and this is intolerable. We have laws against discriminating against people of colour, sex and equal opportunities for all. How can it be right to discriminate against those who do not take a vaccine? The Nuremberg Code states that no medical procedure should be forced upon a person using coercion. Does this no longer have any value to our government? Last question, which is more of a statement – Does the government really believe people will vote Conservative next election?

I have my doubts.

Mrs S.E. Forster,
by email

Spare the tax and curb the boom

The house price boom has certainly benefited some wealthy at the expense of many poor, but taxing this wealth may not be the best policy (Rants, November p.10). The rich will find ways around any tax and may simply shift their money to other booming assets, perpetuating inequality. Asset prices have boomed since 2000 due to very low interest rates and QE, and this has widened the wealth gap by benefitting disproportionately those with spare funds to invest. We could curb this boom by two new laws, Firstly, make it unlawful for the Bank of England to stray outside a minimum lending rate band of between inflation minus 1% and plus 4%, as measured by RPI, with the BoE compelled to explain if this limit is transgressed for three months in a row. Secondly, curb the toxic asset price boom in housing assets by making it illegal to collect on a defaulted mortgage by over five times the defaulter’s income at the date of starting the mortgage, and ban dual-income mortgages. That will put an equivalent ceiling on what will be lent, so most buyers won’t be able to auction up house prices to absurd levels. These laws will give certainty to the market, and certainty is what makes the economy grow stronger on a sustainable basis.

Hillary J. Shaw
Visiting Fellow,
Department of Politics and Public Policy
De Montfort University, Leicester

Mass group-think

David Davis’ great article (Perspective, November) highlights the dangers to society when debate is removed in favour of one narrative. Many people have had relatively benign comments taken down from “mainstream media” (a term which is rapidly coming to mean “bought and paid for one-sided information”). While people ridicule the comparison of the non-vaccinated to the Jewish population in Germany, they should remember that the Holocaust didn’t happen overnight. It took years of sowing seeds of discontent and suspicion, collectivism and mass group-think to foster the collusion of so many. The one-sided narrative is, unfortunately, taking people to that dark place rather too quickly.

Claire Lookman, Dundee

Omicron variant

As anybody who has played the board game, Pandemic, will tell you, one of the benefits of being an island is that you can close your borders as soon as trouble stirs on the mainland. In the board game, Madagascar is that island, and a very difficult place to infect with your virus as the country always closes its borders as soon as cases are reported in Africa. Why can’t the UK do the same? This Omicron variant was reported in Africa everyday for about a week. And then, lo and behold, the press reported that 500 people had been travelling into the UK from South Africa for 10 days and they had no idea if any of them had this new strain. How ludicrous is that? If there’s a new strain, close borders immediately. I’d hoped we had learnt this by now.

Declan White, Solihull

Boris’ double standards

The past two issues of Perspective have relentlessly ripped apart Boris. I think it was argued well that our government has been gaslighting us, Boris is not a leader but a clown, and that our country really is rudderless. Now this latest news about Christmas parties and the Tory one in Downing Street last year brings the cliché to mind: you couldn’t make it up!

Emma Bacon, Newry


My daughter made a pretty big fib the other day and was caught out. When challenged she said, “It didn’t really count, the Prime Minister lies all the time”. She is just short of twelve years old. What despicable examples are being set for our future generations by our government. Lying is becoming the norm and will have much longer lasting consequences than the turmoil of the consequences of Brexit.

Vera Goodge, Ripon

State control of economy

Peter Lawlor’s Cashless Society article (Perspective, Nov.) was great. Coming from former Yugoslavia I’ve seen first-hand how this absolute state control of economy works and it ain’t funny. Sad to see parts of the western society supporting such measures. The idea that giving the state bureaucracy absolute control over money and economy would somehow make things better or fairer is an idea that only people that never lived in such a system can believe in. Society is in itself a complex system with as many ideas of “fair” as there are people in it, so trying to make decisions for everyone by even the most benevolent centralised bureaucracy ends up in violence and society that is less and less nice to live in. And usually where there is power the less benevolent tend to step in, history is full of grave examples. The grass always seems greener on the other side.

Davor Buklijaš, Zagreb, Croatia

Enough Boris bashing

Alright, Perspective, you’ve made your point. Boris is a shit PM and a worse human being. Can we move onto some other news now? I watch Have I Got News For You, I don’t need to read it in monthly form as well.

Anonymous, by email

Revealing history

I fully share the concerns expressed throughout Perspective about our political leaders today. This is not just confined to the UK. If we want to understand what is happening to our democracies, we just need to look back through history. It was Plato who first wisedup to the inevitable. He observed that the longer democracies existed – that is, the longer their freedoms and equalities extended – the more incoherent they became, leaving them susceptible to the cynical corruption of a tyrant, who: “offers himself as the personified answer to the internal conflicts of the democratic mess. He pledges, above all, to take on the increasingly despised elites”. Sound familiar?

Peter Thornhill, Australia

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