If I have one constant and unfailing guiding principle to see me navigate the numerous and varied pitfalls of Life it is this: see what David Davis and Iain Duncan Smith do, and then do the exact opposite.
Not unsurprisingly, David Davis and Iain Duncan Smith are both vehemently opposed to the idea of pub passports, which would see only people able to prove that they have received a Covid vaccination from entering a pub. Perhaps, more surprisingly, I am all in favour of them.
On this debate, DD and IDS have found unlikely drinking companions in the form of Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer. Starmer recently stated that pub passports would go against the ‘British instinct’, presumably channelling the same ‘British instinct’, which he was happy to ignore on the subject of Brexit.
Pub passports are accused of being an erosion of fundamental British freedoms. Personally, I would prefer the freedom of being able to choose to neither catch nor pass on Covid, rather than the freedom to share a pint in my local with every other random stranger’s germs.
It is inevitable that some form of divisionary society is going to arise from the aftermath of the pandemic. In the same way that the war against the virus did not affect all people equally, neither will the eventual peace. Like wealth and poverty; educated or uneducated; vaccinated and unvaccinated will be simply one more socio-economic label to segregate the world.
Some form of vaccine visa will be essential for international travel. There is nothing new in this. For example, it has long been compulsory for visitors from the UK to parts of South America and Africa to have to show a recent yellow fever certificate before being allowed entry.
And, as for the issue of pubs having to enforce this policy, can it be any harder than regulating under-age drinking? After all, if even that behemoth of Brexit Tim Martin has the technology in his pubs such that someone in Christchurch, New Zealand can use an app to order in a round of drinks and an All Day Breakfast and have them served to table 27 in JJ Moons in Hornchurch, Essex, then I can scarcely believe that the administrative problems surrounding pub passports are insurmountable.
I long for a cool, frothing pint in a pub as much as the next woman––slightly more than the next woman, IMHO (Ed.)––and set great store by our long-held British freedoms, but it is a mistake to confuse British freedoms with personal self-entitlement.
© Beery Sue
Beery Sue is feeling uncharacteristically sober for once.