Consumers in England may be asked to check in when they arrive at pubs and restaurants, as part of the the government’s plan for reopening the hospitality sector, Matt Hancock has said…
Asked about reports that ministers are considering plans to ask diners and drinkers to register as they enter a venue, he said: “I wouldn’t rule that out. There are other countries in the world that take that approach.”
In New Zealand, the public use their phones to scan codes as they go into hospitality outlets to build up a “digital diary” of where they have been, so that if a new case emerges, anyone who has been at the same outlet can be contacted easily.
It’s political control, if everyone has to report where they are all the time.
Add to that keeping two metres apart, and wearing masks.
The new coronavirus has provided excellent justification for tight social controls.
We’ve had six months of it already. If there’s a second wave, that’ll mean another six months. Will the restrictions ever be lifted?
Q: The “emergency measures” and the restrictions that have been imposed on civilians’ basic rights have served as a reminder of the true extent of the state’s powers. Do you find this worrying and do you see a risk that these new, extraordinary powers might not be as easy to roll back once the crisis is over?
VK: The restrictions on basic civil rights that were introduced so swiftly and so easily demonstrate the power of the modern state, with all its new, “smart“ technologies and drastically expanded enforcement capabilities. Economists often talk about the so-called “ratchet effect”, or the limited ability of existing processes and dynamics to be reversed and to return to normal once a specific event has radically altered them. It is true of prices, of productivity and it is also true of social and political systems. Therefore, I am afraid it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to return to the pre-corona days.
CG: In your view, what can we do to take back at least some control of our own future?
VK: It’s quite simple. The people should say “NO” to all of it. Otherwise, what lies ahead is a real-life approximation of the dystopian “Brave New World” of Aldous Huxley.