Ed Davey comes out against vaccine passports

Someone asked me the other day what I thought our position should be on vaccine passports.

I said that if we supported them, then it would be something that would make me question my membership of the party.

Ed Davey has missed his chance to get rid of me with a blistering article in today’s Telegraph:

He said that they would be “illiberal, unworkable and utterly ineffective in keeping people safe from Covid.”

“As the party of civil liberties and personal freedoms, Liberal Democrats rejected Labour’s attempted introduction of ID cards under Tony Blair. We see no reason now why we should accept the vaccine ID cards of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.”

We are becoming relevant again as we defend under-threat civil liberties and human rights. It’s good to see us taking such a strong line on these issues.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Little Jackie Paper 1st Apr '21 - 12:51pm

    I can vote Lib Dem now.

    Brings a tear to the eye. Magnificent.

  • Peter Martin 1st Apr '21 - 12:59pm

    When the pubs and theatres etc do reopen to all we’ll have a mixture of those who have been adequately vaccinated against Covid and those who haven’t.

    The former group will be relatively safe for obvious reasons. However, the latter will still be likely spread the virus amongst themselves.

    So is it “liberal” to now say that it’s up to every individual to take responsibility for their own health and the risks to health they may present to others? If so, why hasn’t this been said consistently for the last year?

  • Little Jackie Paper 1st Apr '21 - 1:22pm

    Anyone know if it’s possible for Davey to get a second knightood?

    I’ll nominate him myself.

  • Peter Watson 1st Apr '21 - 1:45pm

    @Little Jackie Paper
    Although Ed Davey is arguing against Covid ID cards, it is not obvious what he is actually arguing for in the article. “We must open up as equals, as one country” could simply mean that we all stay locked down together a little longer rather than restrictions being loosened for an increasing number, perhaps bringing a few more tears to your eyes! 😉

  • What world does this party live in? It certainly seems to be one that is at odds with public opinion and hence voters. Ipsos Mori poll today has support for Vaccine passports at 65% to 75%. I would nominate our Leader for going back to College and working for a degree in understanding the public sentiment, not misplaced ideology. We seem to be becoming a party of fringe views and politics.

  • Little Jackie Paper 1st Apr '21 - 1:52pm

    Peter Watson

    Given the determination some seem to have for us to import a milquetoast CCP I’ll take what I can get.

  • Paul Barker 1st Apr '21 - 5:21pm

    We have often found ourselves disagreeing with most Voters – The Iraq War is an obvious example & by sticking to our Principles we have won their Respect & later, won them round to our view. Thats actually what Parties are for.

  • If we have found ourselves diagreeing with most voters as you say then it is little wonder that we are in the state we are, on the point of extinction.

  • @ theakes is correct. “Ipsos Mori poll today has support for Vaccine passports at 65% to 75%”……, As someone who has been shielding for over twelve months now I’m more than happy to include myself in that 65/75%”.

    I’m afraid if this is the best Sir Edward Davey can do, it came as no surprise to read : “For the Lib Dems, local campaigning is a traditional source of comfort to compensate for underwhelming leadership. Sir Ed Davey has so far proved about as dynamic as that Suez Canal tanker, so there is a pressing need for his party to demonstrate at least some signs of life in May”. The Independent’ Tuesday 30 March 2021 :

    Sorry, Sir Edward. Just not up to it. At least Willie stirred a bit of excitement amongst the pigs.

  • Brad Barrows 1st Apr '21 - 6:56pm

    People are choosing to take get vaccinated for their own benefit but in the knowledge that being vaccinated also helps keep others safe. However, the vaccine does not give 100% protection so people will be safer if they are not forced to share confined spaces with people who have chosen not to vaccinated. Requiring vaccine passports will therefore prove to be popular with the majority of the population. People have the right not to be vaccinated but have no right to complain about the consequences of their choice.

  • Little Jackie Paper 1st Apr '21 - 7:17pm

    Hi Brad

    Can I see your HIV passport please? And your STD passport too whilst you are socialising. Oh, and your hepatitis jab if you are touching things. Just to be sure. And BCG please. And you will be needing that booster if you want equal access. Oh and I forgot that meningitis passport…sorry, certificate.

    And can you share your police record please?

    And we’ll need your full latest ‘voluntary’ medical please.

    No coercion, or weaponising the NHS as authoritarian social control or anything. All voluntary. Unless you want to do anything. And if you could just update your facial recognition image now please for your ID passport…sorry certificate. You’ll be needing that for if you are allowed to vote.

    Oh and we’ve set up these hotels that really aren’t prisons if you need one. Voluntary of course.

    Do trust us – you know it’s only three weeks to flatten the curve.

    Brad, I’m not frightened of a vaccine and I’m not frightened of mixing. I’m frightened to death of Gove, government and the medico-political complex.

  • Well it will come as no surprise that I am with the majority of the General Public who agrees with Vaccine Passports.

    I have just had the most horrendous couple of days with people who are inconsiderate towards others health in regards to this virus.

    I just moved home on Wednesday, I informed the removal guys before booking of my circumstances and I had been shielding for a year and that the guys would have to wear a mask at all times.
    The guys turned up on Tuesday to do a partial load, I explained situation regarding my personal circumstances and why I was shielding and need for masks ( thinking it would make them understand more) and it fell on death ears, as soon as my back was turned the masks were off.
    I had to spend a further 24 hrs in that house feeling anxious.

    Guys turned up on Wednesday to finish the move, No masks, again.

    Its not as though I was even in a position to complain fiercely becoz if they walked off the job, I would be up for £1000’s of pounds compo if My house sale did not complete and I was moved out.

    I phoned the company manager today to vent and it fell on death ears, telling me that the guys are tested regularly and it is difficult to wear a mask whilst moving furniture.
    I suggested that the guys go work in a hospital and have to wear a mask for a 10 hr shift constantly, then come back tell me how difficult it is.

    Although I have had 1st Jab of Pfizer, I am going to be very anxious for the next 10 days or so

  • Clearly I meant deaf ears, but maybe death ears was more fitting, they certainly had no compassion for other peoples lives or safety

  • Peter Martin 1st Apr '21 - 7:24pm

    @ Paul Barker,

    “We have often found ourselves disagreeing with most Voters – The Iraq War is an obvious example”

    I’m not sure about that. It’s not that obvious. If you’d asked most voters before the British forces went into Iraq they’d have said don’t do it. There were big demonstrations against doing that. However, once the war started a natural sense of patriotism kicked in, in support of the government. Most people were taken in by a concerted campaign of propaganda and active disinformation.

    Later on when the war was supposedly won, in the sense that Saddam Hussein was toppled, it very much looked like it was lost in the sense that what was replacing him looked like an even worse alternative. So public opinion then swung back to being in opposition the government.

    So it really depends on when you mean.

  • What people tell polling companies such as You Gov does not necessarily reflect their true opinion.

    In any case it is a question of doing what we see as the right thing. Often, 2/3 of the public will support the authoritarian solution without understanding the issue whether it be crime and punishment, asylum rights, vaccine passports or whatever.

    However liberals are not populists and it should not be a calculation to see what stance has the most votes in it. Furthermore the Lib Dem’s do still have the influence to shift public opinion on an issue.

  • Little Jackie Paper 1st Apr '21 - 7:45pm


    Why was a shielding person moving house in violation of a stay at home order?

  • @LJP

    You’re allowed to move home.

    I needed a Bigger House ( Bungalow) as I had to have my parents come Live with me full time Due to them having medical needs and I am not prepared to put them in a Nursing home. Is that ok with you?

    Is that the only response you have about people who have a total disregard for others peoples lives and safety?? No condemnation of people who totally disregards someone’s request as they are vulnerable? Putting their freedom and liberty above mine and given me no choice in the matter, even though they were in MY HOME?????

  • Little Jackie Paper 1st Apr '21 - 8:40pm

    Matt – ‘Is that ok with you?’

    I think you should have liberty to do and associate as you please. It’s ok with me and it should matter not one jot if it is not ok with me.

    It appears to be a respect you do not extend to me.

  • @LJP

    Actually, I have respect for for you, I acknowledge your opinion, I don’t have to agree with it.

    What I find disappointing is that despite the frightening situation that I found myself in, you can not find it within yourself to acknowledge what these men did was wrong.
    Despite me being in my own home, somewhere I should feel the safest and able to enjoy my own freedoms and liberty, others put their liberty above my own, and, that seems to be ok with you, despite me having no power to do anything about it.

    That does not strike me as very liberal at all

  • @ Matt Very much hope all goes well with you, Matt, and of course you’re right.

  • @David Raw

    Many thanks, I appreciate your comments.

    To be honest, I am scared stiff and yes overly paranoid probably. I have to take my mother for her 2nd Vaccination on Wednesday, a Day that should be of great relief to me, but now it is tainted due to this experience.

    I am sure some people on here just think I need to pull my big boy pants up and get on with it, but then I also know there are just as many if not more who are more understanding of the circumstances, us vulnerable people are living under.

    Thanks again David, and Kindest Regards to you and your family 🙂

  • Andrew Tampion 2nd Apr '21 - 7:06am

    Brad Barrows.
    If, as you acknowledge, the vaccine isn’t 100% effective then it follows that a “vaccine passport” only proves that you had the jab not that you don’t have Covid-19 and therefore might be infectious. In which case any benefit of “vaccine passports” may have is much reduced.
    My concern is that once introduced these may prove hard to shift. Remember identity cards introduced as an emergency measure in 1939 but not repealed until 1952 nearly 7 years after the wars end. The Liberal democrats rightly opposed the then Labour Government’s attempt to bring in identity cards and all liberals should oppose this measure now. To those who say that it is what the public wants two points. First why should anyone vote for a party that just follows public opinion without even if public opinion differs from it? Second how many of you in the Brexit debate repeated the trope that MPs were representatives not delegates and therefore didn’t have to implement the 2016 referendum result?
    Fijnally there is are two petitions on the UK Parliament website on this point. Links here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/569957 and here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/575801. If you have not signed them please take a look and consider doing so.

  • Helen Dudden 2nd Apr '21 - 7:35am

    The injection is not 100% as one comment pointed out correctly. I can’t understand the point of this passport other than give Gove something to do.
    To make a choice where I go, is something I personally will do.
    It’s a great shame. this government can’t put more effort into the huge backlogs of those waiting for cancer treatment and other serious conditions.

  • Little Jackie Paper 2nd Apr '21 - 7:46am

    Helen Dudden

    Simple really. The point is to control people under the guise of controlling a virus.

    I’m just staggered by how many born yesterday liberals can’t see it.

  • Nonconformistradical 2nd Apr '21 - 7:51am


    Your postings made me wonder about regulation of removal firms.

    I found the British Association of Removers https://bar.co.uk/ but not sure to what extent it would actually regulate firms. At https://bar.co.uk/?s=covid-19 it does refer to the HSE making spot checks. And for these “people who have a total disregard for others peoples lives and safety” as you (rightly) put it – their workplace is to a large extent in peoples’ homes.

    So I wonder if, when the dust has settled, it might be appropriate (a) to check whether the removal firm you used is one of the BAR’s members and if so have a go at the BAR, (b) irrespective of whether or not the firm is a BAR member to report the matter to the HSE.

  • There’s a big difference between self indulgent cynical libertarian individualism and true liberalism which carries a sense of mutual concern and responsibility for the welfare of others.

  • Nonconformistradical 2nd Apr '21 - 8:15am

    Quoting from https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/apr/02/senior-tories-join-jeremy-corbyn-to-oppose-covid-passports-ahead-of-trials

    “If the scheme becomes widespread the plan is to make the certification available on a modified NHS app, which would detail whether a person has had a vaccination, or a recent test, or has antibodies to the virus, having previously tested positive.”

    Not clear how those who don’t use a smartphone might be expected to manage. Could this be one of those “one size fits all” ideas which doesn’t fit all in practice?

    PS I agree with David Raw @ 7:58am

  • Little Jackie Paper 2nd Apr '21 - 8:24am


    Mandatory smartphones. We’re coercing medical procedures so why get squeamish at phones? Other possibility is facial recognition. Facial recognition is a barcode tattoo for a new age.

    I imagine the medium term plan is to regulate and restrict any social activities to the point of unviable. We now exist to protect the state (NHS), not the other way around.

    Longer term – remote control locks on people’s doors probably.

    I can barely look my little girl in the eye at the moment as I think about the hell hole world she’ll inherit. But you know it’s only three weeks to flatten the curve.

  • Peter Martin 2nd Apr '21 - 8:51am

    @ Helen,

    “The injection is not 100% as one comment pointed out correctly. I can’t understand the point of this passport…….”

    No vaccine can be or has to be 100% effective.

    Let’s say it is 75% effective. Or 25% ineffective. So without the vaccination of the population we would have , say, 1 infected person infecting 2 other people. The those 2 infect another 4 . Then 4 becomes 8,16,32….. etc

    With the vaccine 1 infected person infects 0.5 persons on average. So 1 becomes 0.5, 0.25, 0.125 etc.

    The virus is dying out.

    In a crowded pub we might have to say that one infected person would infect 4 other people if no-one was vaccinated. If they are all vaccinated, it will be just one other person. So, it’s not ideal, but at least it is not going to cause an exponential increase in the number of infections.

  • Little Jackie Paper 2nd Apr '21 - 8:54am

    Peter Martin

    Sorry if I’m being dim here, I don’t understand.

    Do you see vaccine ID as a temporary thing, say 12-18 months to speed up reopening? Or are you seeing this as permanent?

  • @Nonconformistradical

    Thank you for that info I will look into it.

    I have spoken to the owner and am awaiting a further response.

    If I cannot do anything about what they did to me over the mask situation I do have another way of getting back at them over something different to teach them a lesson.

    They Breached my privacy data, by giving my mobile number to my buyer.

    It turned out that myself, my buyer and his buyer where all using the same removal company, I was shocked when I got a phone call from my buyer on moving day asking me if we could bypass leaving keys with estate agents and instead I live key under door mat so delivery drivers can get straight in, I could not understand how on earth he got my mobile number.
    Since then, I have been inundated with phone calls and texts about the house asking me how this works how that works, amongst other things. I was furious, because my number should have never been shared. Who wants new home owners to know your Phone Number, if they have problems with the house it could cause me loads of grief.

    I told the company, I would not have had a problem with his removal team calling me about the key, but in no way should they have gave the buyer my number. there excuse was that because my removal team was already on the road, they just gave my number to his removal team expecting them to call, not to actually pass my number directly on to buyer. The owner of the company did not seem to apologetic on the phone, which shocked me, so I have told him he has till Monday to investigate and get back to me on the failures and breech.

    I don’t know what I can actually do about it or were to begin, this is not a small removal company either, part of their sale pitch was how they carry out removals for Sandringham and work on reputation, maybe I should complain to the Queen lol

  • Brad Barrows 2nd Apr '21 - 9:17am

    @Little Jackie Paper
    I understand your fears but here is the other side: I am required to have a PVG due to the nature of my job to try to minimise the risks to others. People can refuse to undergo a PVG check – that is their choice – but the consequence of their choice is that they will be unable to employed in any post that requires a PVG check. Do you agree with this? If you do, here is the next question: we know that the vaccine is not 100% effective so do you agree that those who run our care homes should be entitled to make it a condition of employment that only those who have been vaccinated can work directly with the most vulnerable members of society? I bet 99.9% of families who are about to move a loved one into a care home would want all staff to be vaccinated – I’m with them.

  • I guess we will have to give up om P.R. then as the majority dont support that

  • If people are so concerned to prove how Liberal they are by opposing such passports perhaps they could also comment on the ongoing situation at Batley Grammar school. 3 teachers suspended for showing a picture in order to facilitate discussion on religion and free speech. Heard nothing from liberals on this. Any liberals?

  • Ruth Bright 2nd Apr '21 - 10:23am

    Very very sadly I believe this is a pose and a branding exercise from Ed Davey. His sanctimony on Extinction Rebellion shows where he is on civil liberties.

    matt, David Raw thank you for what you have said. All freedoms are in a context.

  • @ Ruth Bright. I think you’re correct about a (desperate) attempt at a branding exercise , Ruth. There’s nothing wrong with social liberalism when articulated with passion and conviction – but loads wrong with a recycled empty bottle of Nick’s ‘Tonic’ Water.

  • I, too, have been ‘isolating’; at least staying away, as much as possible, from others..

    However, I have issues with the ‘vaccination passport’ on several fronts..

    Firstly, until everyone has been offered a full vaccination then it initially creates a two tier country; those under 50 and those over 50. Please explain how under 50’s who will not have been offered, even the first dose, can visit pubs, sports events, gyms, etc.?

    Secondly..Scientists are of the overwhelming opinion that Covid is ‘here to stay’ and. like ‘flu’, jabs will be an annual event; so the ‘vaccination passport’ will also be a permanent fixture. The next stage will be more personal details on the app/card’ to help the health system (NHS) no doubt. There are already questions about the ‘ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational’ questions’.

    Thirdly..Thirty years ago ‘AIDS’, like refusing a vaccination, was considered a ‘lifestyle choice’ and various politicians called for quarantining of anyone who tested positive for HIV (In the US commentator William F. Buckley infamously penned an op-ed in the New York Times saying that “everyone detected with AIDS should be tattooed.” There was an AIDS-quarantine ballot initiative in California, and various US states threatened or passed conditional quarantine measures.)..In the early 1980s would any on here, considering the lack of information in the early 1980’s, have supported an ‘AIDS card’? Not me!

    Finally..The assessment is being overseen by a Mr. Gove..

    My wife, who is anything but a ‘tin foil hat’ wearer, told me that, “Coupled with the latest restrictions on protests and civil liberties, such a passport is just the next step on the slippery slope to ‘Orwell’s world’… I laughed (respectfully, of course) but then I thought “The government deliberately uses euphemistic, ambiguous and obscure language (Doublespeak), today’s story directly contradicts yesterday’s (“The past was alterable. The past never had been altered.”), etc.. Hmmmm?

  • Peter Martin 2nd Apr '21 - 11:31am

    @ Little Jackie Paper,

    The infection rates look to be coming down quite sharply now. So with the coming of the warmer weather and a hopefully continued high vaccination rate it is probably not going to be necessary to make anything compulsory for pubs and restaurants.

    But it’s possible that football clubs, cinemas and theatres might want to set up a voluntary scheme which the govt could go along with. They’d have to provide the data to support it. I’d expect it would be temporary. just lasting a few months then fizzling out. This is providing that there is no resurgence of Covid next winter with the emergence of new vaccine resistant variants.

  • James Fowler 2nd Apr '21 - 4:14pm

    Great to see Ed Davey strongly setting out the liberal moral and intellectual position on this issue. A clear majority of people may well support the passports. That does not make them right, or liberals.

    Liberalism respects the integrity of an individual’s freedom of person and conscience. This last year has probably seen the most serious attack on both in this country in living memory. Do the deaths justify that? I think in some circumstances, yes. However, the measures should be the least necessary and the last resort, proportionate, equitable and enforceable. Instead we’ve had an authoritarian, chauvinist, expedient, sanctimonious, discriminatory bandwagon of a lockdown – and it’s evidently still rolling.

  • Christopher Haigh 2nd Apr '21 - 5:34pm

    Rampant individualism by has got to be suppressed by the need for community responsibility. I’m afraid Mr Davey is dead wrong on this one.

  • @ James Fowler “Great to see Ed Davey strongly setting out the liberal moral and intellectual position on this issue”. If that is what he is doing, yes, it certainly would.

    ” This last year has probably seen the most serious attack on both in this country in living memory”…… Well, really ? I for one can just about remember the blackout, incendiary bombs falling from the sky, and eventually my Dad being able to come home at last – still in his flying jacket, absolutely exhausted, (but thank goodness still alive) at the end of 1945. So please don’t over egg the pudding.

    It would indeed be nice if said MP was willing to take up the cudgels on behalf of all those living in poverty as a result of the welfare cuts he voted for ……… “In 2018-19, 30% of UK children were in poverty (defined as children in households with incomes after subtracting housing costs of less than 60% of the median) . In England, 31% of children were below the breadline, compared with 28% in Wales, 25% in Northern Ireland and 24% in Scotland”.

    This, to coin a phrase, “is a much more serious attack on the integrity of an individual’s freedom of person and conscience”, than carrying round a bit of paper to go to a football match.

  • Little Jackie Paper 2nd Apr '21 - 6:23pm

    Peter Martin

    If I thought that what you are describing there is what Gove has in mind then I’d be fine with it. No problem with what you are talking about.

    My deep suspicion is that that what Gove and the medical-industrial complex want is very different.

    All I can really say is that I hope I am wrong and you are right. Sadly I probably will never see past three weeks to flatten the curve.

  • Compulsory vaccine to work in NHS / social care Yes

    Vaccine passport to show either vaccination / negative test or antibodies if your job
    requires you to enter peoples homes Yes

    Vaccine passport for international travel Yes

    As for pubs, restaurants, Cinemas etc I think there is an argument for allowing venues to set their own rules, If by using a vaccine passport system that meant that the venue was able to operate at full capacity without any social distancing measures (thus increasing their profits) then I think that should be considered. It depends on what happens over the next few months with vaccine take up by the under 40’s, whether there is a resurgence of the virus in the form of a 3rd wave etc.
    If there is poor take up of vaccinations in the under 40’s with large amounts of transmissions within this demographics which increases the chances of mutations, which could put the whole vaccination program at risk and send the country back to square one with complete lockdowns. Businesses will not survive that again, I doubt the country could afford it again, and public health can certainly not afford to go through that level of crisis again, it going to take years to catch up as it is, therefore the Government has little choice but to try and encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated, there are not that many tools at their disposal.
    It is up to the people to act responsibility, for themselves, their families, their communities and business

  • Little Jackie Paper 2nd Apr '21 - 7:32pm


    Had the internet been around 30 years ago we’d have seen utter hysteria about AIDS. Probably concentration camps would have been on the cards. Ronald Reagan put a temporary ban on HIV positive people entering the US in 1987. That temporary ban ended in 2010.

    In the UK there was a now-forgotten Thatcher era minister called John Moore who as health Minister gave us one of the world’s most thoughtful, level-headed responses to AIDS. And he was was criticized at the time by those who wanted authoritarianism.

    And of course the AIDS vaccine never came.

    Doors were very sensibly not opened in the 1980s. I fear that Gove is a pale imitation of Moore and the medical-industrial complex will get its way now, egged on by online hysterics.

  • Little Jackie Paper 2nd Apr '21 - 7:56pm

    Just to add to my previous post. Looking it up I have done a disservice to Moore’s predecessor Norman Fowler who was equally level-headed on HIV.

    We need people like that now. Not Gove.

  • Nonconformistradical 2nd Apr '21 - 9:21pm

    I think matt 2nd Apr ’21 – 7:13pm has it somewhere about right

    It’s about risk assessment – risk to others. The nature of some peoples’ jobs where, if they were carrying the virus, they may be spending time in fairly close proximity to others inside a building seems to me to warrant a means for ensuring that they have either been vaccinated long enough before for it to take its maximum effect.

    International travel carries the risk that someone carrying the virus might spread it around among people going off in vastly different directions when they get off the plane – difficult to track and trace.

    Pubs and restaurants do not all fit into a standard pattern. The village pub, serving food, possibly knowing a large proportion of its customers, may be able to operate quite safely (maybe not at full capacity) without such procedures, whereas a pub in a large town may find it much more difficult and some kind of checking system might be in order.

    “It is up to the people to act responsibility, for themselves, their families, their communities and business”
    Yes. Absolutely. Some – many – will need financial support – clear from the reports of low levels of compliance over self-isolation etc. In particular proper support for the less well off.

    Which brings a question to mind – about sacrifices. I recall one of the first things Jacinda Ardern said when Covid arrived in New Zealand was that she and other NZ ministers would take a pay cut. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/15/jacinda-ardern-and-ministers-take-20-pay-cut-in-solidarity-with-those-hit-by-covid-19

    Have any UK government ministers taken a pay cut I wonder?

  • @matt – In your situation I would instruct my solicitor to firstly contact the ICO – the passing of your person phone number on to a third-party without your consent is a GDPR breech, secondly they can write a letter to the removal company explaining why you are withholding payment of their bill in lieu of them not providing the service they were contracted to provide.
    Hope you’re settling into your new home.

  • @Roland

    Thank you for the information, I had already paid the company in full up front.

    I am not really interested in compensation but I was considering saying to the company when they call me back, that they can either make a donation of £x to ????? I am looking for some kind of covid relief charity in the area or I will lodge a formal complaint against them for data breach.
    That would be an acceptable compromise for me as I want them to understand the seriousness of Covid for some vulnerable people and their rights to be protected in their home.

    I am worried about the law though and whether that would be considered Bribery of some sort.

  • blackmail not bribery

  • @Nonconformistradical & Matt – It’s about risk assessment – risk to others.
    I agree this is the sensible and rational reason for vaccine passports. However, given the pace of vaccine takeup in the UK and assuming it continues enabling the target of all people 18+ receiving their first dose by July 31st to be achieved, and the Government insists all visitors from overseas have vaccinations, then the window in which passports are of use becomes very small.
    Personally, I would use the threat of vaccine passports to encourage a high vaccine takeup by the U50’s.

  • The fact that the vaccines might reduce the severity of symptoms by X% does not mean that they reduce the likelihood of transmission by the same rate. Data on transmission is still emerging and there is a lack of evidence that they reduce or stop transmission so it is very premature to talk about vaccinating people to protect other people.

    If you look at the history of vaccines there is no precedent for them being compulsory despite there being many nasty diseases out there. It is very strange for example that some parents don’t vaccinate their children but it doesn’t matter too much because uptake is sufficiently high to protect everyone.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Apr '21 - 7:13am

    I think you should inform the ICO anyway re your mobile number. It seems to me that this removal firm couldn’t give a toss about your (or any other customer’s?) privacy rights and the need to obtain your consent regarding giving your personal info to anyone.

  • Denis Mollison 3rd Apr '21 - 8:13am

    I think Ed Davey’s stance, Caron’s article, and much of the comment here, are out of touch with reality. We already have so many identifiers and data bases (NHS number, NI number, local authority photo-pass, passport, driving licence, Facebook page, to name just a few I have), that frothing at the mouth at having one more is silly. There’s already sufficient that both government and commerce in principle know far more about me than I’m comfortable with: and if it’s not all joined up, at least in principle, by the thousands our government employs at GCHQ, then I’d like to know why our money (1.74 bn in 2019) is being wasted on all those bright people.

    Perhaps it’s provocative to call them `vaccine passports’; we could make them more like travel tickets or library cards – authenticated (by testing or vaccination centre), and having limited lifetime.

    More generally, we need a total rethink of what a liberal policy on identity documentation of all sorts should be in the 21st century. GDPR, which is supposed to protect us, is not fit for purpose. It makes keeping records, both individual and institutional, difficult or impossible, while doing almost nothing to restrain government and big tech from controlling or exploiting us.

  • Catherine Wilson 3rd Apr '21 - 11:55am

    i did not hear Ed Davey say anything about the new harsher restrictions on protesting. Did I miss it?
    I did not hear Ed Davey say anything about the report on racism, which ignores much of the evidence showing that this country does have a problem with racism – as shown for example by the Windrush scandal, which is hardly mentioned in the report. Did I miss it?
    The issue of vaccine passports is more nuanced, I can see both sides of the argument.
    But the other two issues are clear attacks on our freedoms and on our wish to live in a tolerant society where everyone has equal opportunities. Why was Ed Davey silent on those?
    Apologies to him if he did speak out and it was ignored by the press. But it does make me wonder about his priorities.

  • @matt – I had already paid the company in full up front.
    I did wonder if this was the case or not, however, from what you’ve told us, a timely solicitors letter will probably get more attention (and a response) than any communication directly from yourself.
    But definitely register a complaint with the ICO, an unexpected letter from this source might cause them to be a little more careful with the personal data they hold.

  • @Martin It is the branding of a vaccine passport that is offensive. …
    Agree, not sure what alternative labels would be appropriate: “vaccine certificate” or “vaccine visa”?
    Personally, I’m not too worried as given the NHS app still doesn’t have any capability to record vaccine status or the results of self-tests, and those who have received their second dose haven’t received any form of ‘certificate’ – just a vaccine record card, I doubt it will be with us before the autumn, by which time the whole exercise becomes an exercise in pointlessness – other than to throw even more public monies at Conservative cronies…

  • Peter Chambers 3rd Apr '21 - 1:48pm

    Temporary or permanent? A good question.

    I could be persuaded by temporary. Fixed term public health emergency.
    Permanent ID cards are “that sort of thing”.

    I wonder why the proposal was not clear on this from the start.

  • Alex Macfie 3rd Apr '21 - 4:14pm

    “Personally, I would use the threat of vaccine passports to encourage a high vaccine takeup by the U50’s.”

    Then best to wait until the vaccine is available to all U50s. Right now it’s not. I’m a few years shy of 50, and haven’t yet been invited.

  • Alex Macfie 3rd Apr '21 - 4:26pm

    Catherine Wilson: On the first one, you can’t have been looking very hard. Ed has spoken out several times on the right to protest. Just a couple of examples from Twitter:
    It’s likely that the Lib Dems shamed Labour into voting against the Policing Bill.

  • Little Jackie Paper 3rd Apr '21 - 6:18pm

    Hi Martin

    I’m just assessing risk. Can I see your STD limited freedom pass please? I’ll also need the names of all the people you have slept with please so I can cross check the database. If you could get your app ready with the details of your last ‘voluntary’ NHS checkup that would be great.

    But it’s all ok. Look it’s got an NHS logo and branding so it’s all a-ok. I mean health professionals would never capitulate to authoritarian thinking.

    It’s all voluntary of course and time limited. You’ve got Gove and Johnson’s word for it.

    The amount of born yesterday liberalism on here is terrifying. Welcome to checkpoint Britain. If this was the 1980s most on here would be locking up gay people.

  • Little Jackie Paper 3rd Apr '21 - 6:21pm

    Peter Chambers

    You honestly think Gove and Johnson would ever end this?

    Your faith in the nation’s political class is misplaced, if touching.

  • Little Jackie Paper 3rd Apr '21 - 6:31pm


    ‘I doubt it will be with us before the autumn, by which time the whole exercise becomes an exercise in pointlessness.’

    Indeed. It’s almost like it’s about controlling people rather than a virus.

    But you know. It’s only three weeks to flatten the curve.

  • Vaccine passport are counterproductive, unnecessary and an unwarranted infringement of civil liberties

    Counterproductive: A behaviourist on the Government’s SPI-B expert sub-group has said that he thinks it will increase vaccine hesitancy as people perceive that it is something that is being forced on them and done to them.

    Unnecessary: Luckily (cross fingers!) the vaccines have a near 100% prevention of death, high prevention of hospitalisation and high 70%+ prevention of transmission. We will achieve a very high vaccination rate. Vaccine hesitancy is said to be around 17% in younger age groups but that’s still 83% getting the jab – which is pretty outstanding and across all adults it will average at least 90% and hesitancy is different from not ultimately deciding to get it – I was hesitant but it took me five minutes to respond to the text to book a jab.

    An unmerited infringement of civil liberties. That it’s unmerited see above. In general we don’t force people to undergo medical treatments. There’s quite a difficult risk balance for an 18 year-old to evaluate whether they are at more of risk getting the vaccine with a very minute risk – it increasingly seems though is far from proven – of blood clots against a very minute risk at that age from covid.

    But that’s something that we say that is a decision that individuals in consultation with their doctors should take.


    And I write as someone who reluctantly came to the conclusion that lockdowns needed to be harder, longer, and sooner as unfortunately if they are not you get what has indeed transpired a greater infringement of civil liberties for longer, greater death and greater economic hardship.

  • @Marco

    “it is very premature to talk about vaccinating people to protect other people.”

    Not at all, the more people that go unvaccinated, especially if it is in a demographics which tends to gather in larger numbers, ie pubs and clubs, then the more chance the virus has a chance to take off again within this group and the more chances to mutate, which could of course result in a mutation that puts the vaccination program at risk and send us back to square one again.

    You need almost everyone vaccinated, ( who is medically able to) that way if they do come into contact with Covid, the antibodies will kick in straight away before the virus has a chance to take hold and keep replicating and risking mutations.

    It is simply not acceptable to have the attitude ” well the elderly and infirm have had the vaccine, the virus is not going to affect me, so I am not having it”

    It is because I fear too many of the younger generation will take that attitude, that I support the use of vaccine passports.

    To be honest, I am fed up with the same people complaining about their loss of liberties and freedoms, happy to create a 2 tier society where the elderly and vulnerable are shut away indefinitely whilst they went about life as normal, and, now that we have a vaccine that can very likely take us back to normal were we can all enjoy liberties and freedoms again, the same people are arguing against vaccine passports and coerced vaccination and complain about it creating a 2 tier society.
    I have lost any sympathy with their arguments, because quite obviously they are happy for their to be a 2 tier society, as long as they are in the tier that are not facing any restrictions.

    People need to take responsibility for themselves, and others, their communities and the health of the nation and the economy, that means pulling together and losing the ” me me me attitude”

  • A vaccine passport would inevitably have to have photo ID and be hard to fake otherwise it would be useless and it could be anyone presenting it. So with Photo ID you then have an ID card through the back door.

    Matt “To be honest, I am fed up with the same people complaining about their loss of liberties and freedoms”

    Well this is the party for people who get grumpy about liberty and freedom being taken away for arbitrary reasons.

    The scientific case for vaccinating everyone is dubious and case numbers might not matter that much once the over 50s and clinically vulnerable are vaccinated.

  • James Fowler 4th Apr '21 - 10:58am

    @David Raw. I take your point about restrictions during WWII. I ought to have said ‘The last 75 years’ – still a very long time ago, even if within living memory.

    In a previous comment I think you confuse liberty with license. Personally, I don’t think that people should be allowed to do whatever they want. Like you say, liberty in fact relies quite heavily on commonly accepted social codes and laws. The problem comes when social codes and laws cease to be enabling and start becoming coercive, punitive or demonstrative. The precise point where this happens will always be a matter of opinion but I think it is quite clear that lockdown restrictions, however well intentioned, have long since passed these stages.

  • @Marco

    “The scientific case for vaccinating everyone is dubious and case numbers might not matter that much once the over 50s and clinically vulnerable are vaccinated”

    I dont think the country can afford to operate on a basis of “might not matter” considering the damage that was done to the economy and public health as a whole during this first round of covid. The Government has to throw everything at it to try and prevent it from happening again, setting us back to square one and going through all the damage again.
    That means getting everyone vaccinated who can be vaccinated, in order to prevent the virus from spreading and giving it a chance to mutate further.

    If people do not act responsibly and see that we all have a part to play in this, then the Government will not have any choice but to use Carrots and Sticks to encourage take up, then, if to many people from certain age groups still refuse the take up which could public health at large at risk, then said people would have to accept limitations on what they can and cannot do as far as I am concerned, that does not go against being a liberal

  • Barry Lofty 4th Apr '21 - 11:01am

    Yes indeed if this government had taken the correct decisions from the start we might not be arguing about vaccine passports now and they would not be garnering political gain from the vaccine rollout but would been trying desperately to defend their abysmal record on many fronts, during the past year. Locked in and fed up and sick to death of hearing and seeing Boris Johnson and his bl—dy roadmap.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Apr '21 - 11:37am

    James Fowler

    The second world war ended in Europe in 1945. The last conscript soldier left the British army in 1963.

    Anyone who thinks vaccine ID is benign and temporary is asking to be deceived. This is going straight to a CCP social credit scheme. Cheered on by the medico-industrial complex and born yesterday liberals.

    It’s only three weeks to flatten the curve.

  • @ James Fowler “In a previous comment I think you confuse liberty with license”. Not so. James, that’s your prerogative.

    @ Mr Paper Not sure what your point is, but I’m afraid that’s a mere tissue of the facts.

    The Second World War didn’t just end in Europe in 1945. National Service conscription was introduced well after all of the WW2 conscripts had been ‘demobbed’. It was set up by the National Service Act of 1948, started in 1949. and wasn’t just limited to the Army.

    It’s worth reflecting that 395 national servicemen were killed in action. It’s also worth reflection on the fact that it was a Liberal/Tory Coalition government that first introduced conscription in 1916.

    Covid regulations hardly add up to anything like that.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Apr '21 - 12:39pm

    Hi David

    I’d like to talk, but can you just put your social credit score up please. You can do it by facial recognition if you like. It’s just discussion with you might affect my social credit score so I’ll need to check.

    The police for example can use google glasses to profile people on the street by social credit. Automatic stop and search for those with too low a social credit score.

    I take it you have a social credit score that allows you to be on a political forum?

    I mean with these ID and tracking schemes if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear. That’s right isn’t it?

  • @ Matt, Martin

    Even if you do think universal vaccination is a good idea, it is better to try to achieve it through persuasion not coercion as the latter will breed resentment and conspiracy theories.

    Your theory about high cases causing mutations is nothing more than an unproven theory. An alternative is that social distancing gives a competitive advantage to more transmissible variants so they dominate.

    Furthermore, antibodies don’t last – unlike with measles where vaccines provide lifelong protection. So you can’t eliminate Covid through vaccines. Better to focus on periodically re-vaccinating the vulnerable as it would be logistically impossible to keep redoing it for everyone.

  • @Marco

    I am not a epidemiologist or virologist but I understand that you are wrong medically.

    1. The jab has a (near) 100% prevention of death.

    So, the virus can be raging among the young & unvaccinated and the elderly & the vaccinated will not die.

    It also has a very high prevention of hospitalisation – perhaps 70%-90%+

    2. You don’t need full vaccination for “herd immunity”

    You get herd immunity at 1-(1/R) effective vaccination rate where R is the reproduction rate – it was thought that in Jan 20 before we were taking preventive measures it was about 3 – an effective rate of 66% to stop transmission. And R was about 1.5 in the Autumn 2020 when we came out of the first lockdown – you need an effective rate of 33%.

    If 90% vaccinated against 70% prevention of transmission the “effective rate” is 63% – with 80% transmission prevention it is 72%. It is likely, therefore, that we can go to the pubs etc. & have falling followed by no transmission.

    But we don’t care about common cold transmission as it doesn’t kill & covid doesn’t kill vaccinated people (100% prevention of death)

    3. Localised herd immunity

    You get local herd immunity. For example if someone goes to care home with covid with vaccinated residents & infects say Mrs Smith – Mr Jones may still be vulnerable but Mrs Smith won’t pass it on to him because she has been vaccinated.

    Obviously there is mixing between different “herds” and “cohorts” but you tend to mix much more with people who are similar to – e.g. older people don’t go to a pub filled with rowdy younger people. But if vaccinated Mr & Mrs Smith’s young adult children get it at and pass it on to them – again the transmission is likely to stop with them (& do no harm) & Mr & Mrs Smith won’t pass it on to their friends of the same age when they meet.

    There is in short NO good medical reason to have domestic vaccine certificates.

    People should not be forced (or have undue pressure put on them) to undergo medical procedures which may not be or they may think is not in their best interest. That’s a question for them and their doctors.

    By the way sadly quite large number of people will die when we open up the pubs again… from chronic and acute alcohol abuse! Perhaps we should ban the sale of alcohol in pubs first as that will save more deaths (and unnecessary waste of NHS resources) …..!!!!!

  • @Michael

    I assume your post was directed at me and not Marco

    However, I will respond anyway 🙂

    (1) For present Variants yes, however, if significant amounts of young people do not get vaccinated and since they are the ones more likely to gather in larger numbers and environments where transmission takes place more easily, we run a legitimate risk of new mutations which do evade vaccines and go on to cause deaths again amongst the elderly and vulnerable

    (2) same answer as (1) if the proportion of population that is unvaccinated is the younger demographics, we run the risk of mutations. Pesky Viruses exist to spread and infect and evolve. Therefore you need people to have antibodies and fight off infection before it has a chance to take hold and constantly duplicate

    (3) It is to early to say what effect the new variants are going to have on transmission amongst vaccinated people and what new variants will do.

    There is a very good argument for requiring people whose work involves either working with vulnerable people in care homes / Hospitals or any job that requires you to work in peoples private residents, to have a vaccine passport to show either vaccination, negative test or immunity from previous infection. Not everyone can medically take the jab, the jab is not 100% effective for everyone especially those with suppressed immune systems etc.

    “By the way sadly quite large number of people will die when we open up the pubs again… from chronic and acute alcohol abuse! Perhaps we should ban the sale of alcohol in pubs first as that will save more deaths”
    Yes, no doubt they will, we have Licensing laws however which forbids selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, its just never legally enforced, you only have to look at the state of people staggering about the town centres on a weekend ( as a former Licensee I know first hand what a complete joke our licensing laws are like and very rarely enforced)

  • Peter Martin 4th Apr '21 - 7:23pm

    @ Michael 1

    “People should not be forced (or have undue pressure put on them) to undergo medical procedures which may not be or they may think is not in their best interest. That’s a question for them and their doctors”

    You’ve given some figures which show we don’t need vaccines to be 100% effective and we don’t need 100% compliance to be able to stamp out the virus. Probably about 75% or 80% will be enough. So we can afford some free riders.

    It depends on the R rate. The higher the R rate the more compliance we need and the more effective the vaccines need to be. Also the more effective the vaccines the less compliance we need and vice versa.

    But suppose a new variant emerged with a naturally high R rate. Suppose the vaccines turned out to be less effective than they need to be for 80% compliance?

    Suppose we need something close to a 100% vaccination level. The choice then is to either let the virus spread or introduce compulsory vaccinations.

    Which do you choose?

  • neil James sandison 5th Apr '21 - 9:23am

    Andrew Tampion agree with your warning about temporary emergency legislation being enacted as a knee jerk and then being on the statue book indefinitely until its repealed .
    I am no fan of Steady Eddy but he is right in this instance . I too have been shielded since last March just had my second jab with no side effects but many younger people have not had a shot at all are we really going to ban them from the bar ? or tolerate large groups drinking in public ,littering public open spaces with steel cans ? . This daft idea will increase public disorder not improve it .

  • Lorenzo Cherin 6th Apr '21 - 3:49pm

    I am so disappointed with party and all politics, I avoid here.

    I so disagree with the approach of this and all parties it might not surprise anyone who knows me here, probably many.

    I support a zero covid strategy. I have written much on it. Nobody here or elsewhere cares much other than a few. I would say that on most things my approach is more support individually, more restriction publicly, if to beat and I mean beat, this virus.

    New Zealand did it. If they can, we all can, if we all, in every country did it. This open up approach, this we must have the liberty to gather and protest is the opposite of what I believe.

    I want the freedom from the virus, not to gather in public.

    I want the liberty to not have to take the vaccine of the dictat of the government, though, and choose what is injected into me. That is not about gathering, it is about my health.

    I do not trust astra zeneca. I am not going to have it. if I can have pfizer I shall.

    If there is or is not a vaccine passport, I, and I say this as a member of equity from 1997, shall not enter a theatre, because I would not open them, until we beat the virus.

    I think we are doing everything arse over elbow.

    the party should question why our precious EU and the excellent Dr Fauci, are able to question the varieties of vaccine, but not the leader of a Liberal party, who is happy for me to have no personal choice as to which vaccine injected in me, but i must have the right to the choice to gather and increase the lethality of this virus?

  • nvelope2003 6th Apr '21 - 5:18pm

    Certain services cannot be obtained without proof of identity and the only proof which is acceptable is either a driving licence or a passport. Not everyone has either of these so how would they obtain these services ? Should we just scrap passports and driving licences ?

  • Ruth Bright 7th Apr '21 - 10:11am

    The irony of all this is that the Conservative Lib Dem coalition brought in ID cards by the backdoor with the hostile environment.

    I don’t drive and haven’t been abroad for many years. Well into middle age I was able to go about my business in this country without a passport or driving licence. All three schools I attended no longer exist. My surname is not my birth name. My birth certificate is a re-issue. It was never a problem.

    Last year I got a passport not because I wanted to go abroad but because you have to prove ID constantly now, even for just picking up a parcel. Life was impossible without one. As the last comment correctly points out this bird has already flown. Driving licences and passports are already ID cards.

  • nvelope2003 8th Apr '21 - 4:49pm

    Ruth Bright – Yes exactly. On my first vaccination I was given a small card with the details on it and was told to bring it to the second one which I did. It said I should always carry it safely in my purse or wallet. So we have the vaccination passport.

  • I labour under a great burden and fear for my freedom and liberty which I will share. It makes me very very very cross and I’m thinking of writing to the Guardian (and to Sir Edward Davey) to complain about it and to issue a press release on my behalf.

    Three years ago I had a hip replacement which meant a steel metal implant was put into my right hip….. the penalty for playing football into my twenties I suppose, but I digress…….

    Of course it means any time I go through the entrance at Morrison’s and Aldi, or check in at an airport, it sets all the alarm bells a’ringing and security heavies come bearing down on me.

    To deal with this dire situation I was given a plastic card by the NHS giving my status as a genuine hippy. It pacifies security and avoids any possibility of imminent arrest.

    I’m sure Marco and chums will agree with me it’s a great burden and impacts on my freedom. I’m thinking of setting up a Hippy Lib Dem Group to lobby against this discriminatory attack on my freedom and hope Marco will join. For whom the bell tolls is it’s snappy logo.

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