How a once-free, tolerant society is now tearing at each other's throats
Government-sowed division is eroding our basic rights
By Laura Berrill
IT IS a millennia-old strategy we have all heard many times before: ‘divide and conquer’. Julius Cesar is attributed to have founded this concept when conquering what was then Gaul, aka modern-day France. What an irony when it comes to what Emmanuel Macron looks like he has up his sleeve.
And it seems the exact same thing is happening now, right before our very own eyes. I was told back in December 2020 via text from a long-time friend (our kids grew up together), that me going to see my parents for Christmas was going to potentially ‘kill them’ and she hoped I felt bad about it.
Despite weak attempts by her to make amends in the following months, the message was clear: I am no longer a worthy friend because of my own, informed and autonomous opinion.
Then, just before Christmas 2021, I was told by my so-called best school friend of 35 years that, “I should expect restrictions” for not having the jab. She told me this while we were in a packed pub in the City of London, where no one was adhering to any.
She added that, “it was no big deal to have a jab passport”. This is the same friend who stockpiled food and provisions right at the start of the first lockdown when many others were unable to afford to do the same. Self-preservation or selfishness?
More recently, I was at another long-term friend’s home, who very generously let me use her washing machine when we had recently moved. She asked me if I still hadn’t had the jab. I said no, I hadn’t. The topic ended there. We agreed to get together socially but, despite me messaging her, there have been no such efforts on her behalf to reply.
“I’m sad about about my friend. I just can’t talk to her about it any more”
This is division. Division between old friends, between families and work colleagues. I am sad about my old school friend, I truly am. I am sad that she has gone down this road. I cannot talk to her about it any more. She has already labelled me a conspiracy theorist to my face. She even messaged me about how happy she was to get her booster appointment, despite knowing my stance.
Let me give you further examples: a fellow journalist with an already tenuous relationship with her brother, received a call from him a few weeks before last Christmas telling her she was not welcome at his home for the festive period because he had the parents over and he “couldn’t put them at risk”.
What an insidious thing to say to your own flesh and blood.
She told me he had got the jab as soon as it was available (fine, that is personal choice, which is the whole point) and also made sure his children did. Of course, just because you are family you do not have to get on, but it is an indication of how far these last two years have ripped into the very fabric of our social and familial relationships.
She was able to shrug it off, saying it was fine. But for many it is not fine. It is not fine destroying society. That, of course, is the inevitable consequence of lockdowns and mandates. It is both economical and social: divide, then conquer.
I have a journalist friend, who is Jewish, and grew up under apartheid in South Africa. She is horrified by the apparent repetition of one of the darkest periods in global history, initiated in 1930s Germany. The case of mandatory jabs in Austria is the most obvious reflection of this. I refer to the human rights atrocities against a marginalised, scapegoated section of society which resulted directly from the firstly creeping and then eventual rise (and the biggest war in human history to eradicate) of Nazi Germany.
“The father of her child accused the mother of selfishness”
A final example is a former colleague who lives on the French German border. After many months of refusing the jab due to her personal, informed choice, she buckled to the mandate. Why? Because she was unable to even take her daughter to swimming lessons or to other activities. Oh, and her partner and the father of her child, who was jabbed, was accusing her of selfishness and a dereliction of her motherly duties.
It is not just friendships, it is young families, the bedrock of a normal functioning society.
So where do we go from here? I respect everybody’s freedom of choice, of autonomy and of opinion. It is OK to disagree, but that mutual respect of freedom of choice and opinion has been lost and that is the danger.
Now, in the UK in 2022, it is not OK to disagree. It has become wrongthink to have another viewpoint and that is a very real and present danger. That in itself threatens what we in the UK have taken for granted as a free and democratic society for so long.
I hope that these rifts will heal in time and we regain our tolerant society, one which we have benefited from for centuries. This is democracy and freedom of expression. But just look at places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as places in Europe. When the once bastions of these principles fall to the poison of the collective greater good, then we can all expect a gradual erosion of our basic rights.
Don’t think it’s going to affect you? Then be careful what to expect… because it most definitely will.
I have just listened to the Tucker Carlson podcast with Dr Robert Malone. Two things resonated with me. The first was at a global level this is not about culture wars but about power and money. This all about the interplay between WEF, the Trusted News Initiative, the UN Agenda 2030 and national governments. We are waking up to their machinations he said. The second things was that there is a realignment of politics from left versus right to collectivism versus individual freedom. It is the centre right (conservatism) that is orientated to individual freedom. Wow! I now understand why my previous socially democratic political alignment not longer works for me. I live in Scotland and to see the SNP government move so readily into authoritarianism makes me sad. Where can I go politcally Mmmmm
Well written article Laura & you spot on too Ann. Travelling RN & midwife since 1989 I started shouting divide & conquer from the start. Every political party & whatever definitions we relied on…even friends - turned on their heads. Where can we go from here?
It took 2yrs for a medical person (dr Steve James on sky questioned by javid) & more recent a confident black woman on Sunday’s feb 4th ‘question time‘ to bring up in principle -why they object a vaccine …aside from freedom of choice …was they knew they had antibodies.
The word that the press has been avoiding and quick to shoot down with ‘you don’t make any long lasting ones or as good as vaccine ones’ - the constant lies re antibodies & T/B cell immunity infuriating. If we push the government to publish The Siren study the lid would be off this can of worms.
Interestingly social media cut the antibody comments from the woman sharing her views at question time & the trolls set on her with ‘I know my body & prepared to weather the disease’. The trolls said she was a flake that thought she knew more than doctors. Repeating the misinformation you don’t transmit once vaccinated but corner & eradicate the virus. Doing your part!
No matter how the problem presented now the original propaganda lie still rolling with the trolling. But I Believe the antibody discussion- hard scientific fact leaves no room for trolls.
Basic EU travel laws in place early pandemic should be enough to show people that the scientific community believes natural antibodies last minimum 6 months. That is how long you can travel freely post infection.
16months later I along with thousands medical personnel in Siren Study still have antibodies. They shut the study down to not measure anymore and shut the participants up.
We all must make the general public aware medical personnel have checked their antibodies since 1950s to work & protect public- this is not a new! We had the ability to detect diphtheria antibodies in 1890! The London March Jan 22nd flocks of people came to my antibody sign saying they were part of the Gosh or siren study (but though the study heads knew they all had immunity from Exposure they were ordered to go back to their trusts and do what they were told - vaccinate). See the hospital team with psychologist to discuss hesitancy! Aghhh how flipping patronizing! I’ve checked my antibodies since 1986 & in Oxford at The JR low for Hep B antibodies so held out my arm to protect the public AND we get treated this way.
Of course it made us all more suspicious. Now we all must win these nutters with the antibody discussion. This is the science we used for 70yrs of medical recruitment & should not stop now. Even if a medical person or general public person was not positive for antibodies (they can have T/B cell immunity) they still deserve choice. Particularly because vaccination in this case does not stop transmission.
Let’s get the government Siren study published. For the 37billion spent on nightengale hospitals they didn’t open - could have went on antibody testing.
The division would be better handled. Your mate says I’m sticking my arm out for my booster- you ask ‘did you make sufficient antibodies after vaccine one or two ?’- They look at you stunned. We must get the public questioning this way then make sure ‘immunity & natural antibodies’ taught in every school by age 12 where they pushing HPV vaccines as well as these.