Civil rights

SDLP has moved away from civil rights in its support for vaccine passports

Letter to the editor

Those of us who are opposed to “vaccine passports” under all circumstances do so because we enjoy living in a free society where the state identifies with us, the people, and not the other way around.

The latest campaign to introduce mandatory passports is another step towards a society where the state regulates all aspects of our lives.

As someone who has consistently voted for the SDLP in the past, I am troubled by the party’s transition from a party based on the civil rights movement to one that actively seeks to phase out our civil rights. .

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The party targeted the hospitality and entertainment industry and was found to have prejudices. The party leadership appears to misunderstand the social and financial costs to the business community of administering “vaccine passports”.

At the same time, the public is subjected to the boring rhetoric that such measures are necessary to “ease the pressure on health services”. This, however, ignores what is widely known – the health service, despite receiving the lion’s share of the financial budget, is under pressure every year because it is poorly managed and in need of reform.

It is an issue that is continually ignored by those who call for more restrictions on our lives to “protect the health service”.

We are now in a bizarre situation where everything, including our civil liberties, is being sacrificed for the benefit of an outdated health model.

If vaccine passports made no difference, what would be the next idea? Will local elected officials admit that greater state intervention in our lives is not always the solution?

Our political class has taken it upon themselves to act as our moral guardians with little regard for the concept of personal responsibility. Elected officials piously justify this level of intervention by insisting that it is for our own good – to help “save lives”.

Time and time again, however, the gentleman from Whitehall (or Stormont) has been shown to really not know what is good for people than people know themselves.

When do our elected officials begin to treat us as adults capable of making informed decisions about our own individual circumstances?

Adrian Lonergan, Belfast, BT7

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