State Political Control


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?

Vaclav Klaus:

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.


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13 Responses to State Political Control

  1. Doonhamer says:

    Time to dig out all those old mobies tucked in the back of drawers.
    Tie one to the dog and rotate the rest in your pocket each time you go out.
    Make sure that you and your current sqeeze never have the same pair of phones too often.
    Second thoughts, just buy lots of payg chips.

  2. Mark Jarratt says:

    Just say NO, repeatedly, to this gross overreaction and overreach. The local benevolent omniscient Australian Capital Territory government now “permits” citizens to buy a drink at a pub or club. Fines apply for failing to be seated while consuming your beverage though, you naughty children. This is neurotic, more evidence the so called leaders are divorced from reality. 🍻🚬

  3. Mark Jarratt says:

    This article from The Australian newspaper/site may be of interest.
    “Dangerously narrow minded” (below) is an understatement: try grossly negligent, ineffective, and evidence of spineless gullibility and evading leadership responsibility. 
    Politicians outsourced decisions to unelected unaccountable medical bureaucrats, ignoring all other considerations.
    21 Jun 2020, 19.49hrs

    A top statistician has blasted “doomsday” COVID-19 forecasts that pressured governments to lock down their economies for months as a “failure”, and said ­predictions hospitals would be overwhelmed with patients were “entirely misinforming”.

    Sally Cripps, a professor of statistics at the University of Sydney, has weighed into the debate over coronavirus modelling that has contributed to the sharpest economic downturn in a century, in ­research written with Stanford ­epidemiologist John Ioannidis. 

    “Despite involving many excellent modellers, best intentions and highly sophisticated tools, forecasting efforts have largely failed,” they wrote in a draft analysis published earlier this month.

    “Implausible, exaggerated fore­casts should be abandoned — otherwise they may cause more harm than the virus itself.”

    The unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 per cent in May, a 19-year high, as lockdowns imposed by state governments in March to avoid predictions of tens of thousands of deaths from COVID-19 hammered the labour market. So far, 102 people have died from, or with, [an important difference, MJ] COVID-19 in Australia.

    Even with strict, mandatory ­social-distancing measures, the Doherty Institute modelling that informed the national cabinet’s decisions suggested about 5000 intensive care beds would be required, when fewer than 100 have been used.

    “Most hospitals maintained largely empty wards, waiting for tsunamis that never came,” the ­authors wrote, pointing to hugely pessimistic forecasts for New York, one of the cities worst hit by the coronavirus.

    In late March, Columbia University projected 136,000 beds would be required; the maximum used was less than 12,000, and at the peak of the virus’s impact a sixth of hospital beds were free.

    Massachusetts General Hospital predicted 23,000 deaths within months of the US state of Georgia reopening, yet the actual number was 896, the authors said.

    They argued the most widely reported models “lacked transparency”, used poor quality data and focused on deaths rather than the concept of “quality adjusted life years”, which factors in the age of those affected.

    “The Spanish flu (with a death toll more than 50 million globally) killed young people with an ­average age of 28, and its burden in terms of number of quality ­adjusted person years lost was about 1000-fold higher than COVID-19,” they said.

    “Isolating the infectious impact from all other health, economy and social impacts is dangerously narrow-minded,” they argued, pointing to the likelihood of “starvation and lack of control for other infectious diseases like tuber­culosis and malaria”.

    Modelling for swine flu predicted 3000 to 65,000 deaths in the UK, yet 457 died.

    “It is surprising that epidemic forecasting has retained much credibility among decision-­makers, given its dubious track ­record,” the authors wrote.


    Adam Creighton is an award-winning journalist with a special interest in tax and financial policy.

  4. EG says:

    I live in Europe and my country is done with quarantine. Fantastic. There are still some lunes that wear masks but very few. I live in a fairly large city and I went out and people are eating, drinking, smoking and tipping well. That’s comming your way soon.

  5. Walt says:

    Somewhere beneath, above or beyond the politics, economics, projections and power grabs lie the actual immitable facts of the disease. The problem is we don’t know the actual facts.

  6. Rose says:

    BUTT OUT: Chiefs slam Premier over plan to ban smoking in First Nations casinos
    June 21, 2020

    “First Nations organizations do not agree with Premier Brian Pallister’s announcement earlier this month on smoking being stomped out once gambling establishments reopen.

    The Premier wants to put a stop to smoking in First Nations VLT lounges. There are approximately 30 such lounges in Indigenous communities where smoking is permitted.

    The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said First Nations each determine the permitted uses and extent of the regulation of the use on their lands.

    “The fact that provincial laws that purport to regulate land use such as the smoking ban is invalid. This is supported by section 91(24) Indians and Lands Reserved for the Indians (Constitution Act 1867) and Indian Act By-law powers,” he said last Monday.”

    Is that why smokers in the western world are still being attacked so irrationally, King James’ men are still trying to crush the Indigenous population.

    A Counterblaste to Tobacco
    King James I of England

  7. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Depressed multimillionaire, Steve Bing, commits suicide…

    ‘He had contributed $3.5 million to support and defend the 1998 initiative that imposed a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund child-care and anti-tobacco programs for preschoolers, and was generous to Democratic candidates.’

  8. RdM says:

    “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.”

    Actually, it’s not compulsory now, even if a QR code is placed at the entrance.

    I walked past a cafe/restaurant/bar the other day, smokers and drinkers just outside the open windows to the inside, all seeming happy.
    Next time I’ll take a photo and post it here.–its-too-hard

    Hopefully you folk can catch up soon!

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