Hansard 25 March 3.04pm Column 1134
Sir Desmond Swayne
(New Forest West) (Con)
The habit of inhumane policy soon trickles down to the servants of the state. This morning, a constituent of mine experiencing a miscarriage was denied the company of her husband in hospital. I have sent the details to the Secretary of State.
Tyranny is a habit, and the motions on the Order Paper this evening show that we have not quite kicked it. The powers that touched our personal choices and came at such a huge cost remain. We were told that they were there purely temporarily to deal with the emergency. Well, by any measure the emergency is over and the hugely successful vaccination campaign is the guarantee against its return. Yet on the Order Paper tonight the Government seek to retain those powers to control aspects of our lives, together with the punishment regime for those who disobey.
Now, those of us who can spot the trajectory will have seen yesterday that, after months of denial, people will now indeed have to provide their vaccination bona fides when they go to the pub. Those who are teetotal and imagine that they might be spared such intrusion and inconvenience can dream on: this will undoubtedly be extended to restaurants, theatres, sporting venues, and so proceed to total social control. Did it ever occur to Ministers that they might actually incentivise vaccination—carrot, not stick? Undoubtedly it did not, because they cannot kick the habit. They are wedded to the stick.
Let there be no wringing of hands by Members of Parliament who vote for oppressive legislation and then wail with indignation when the police actually enforce it. When families are fined thousands of pounds for staying-over together at Easter, we will know that it was because this House willed it so. Those those hon. Members, wishing for these measures to pass tonight should reflect clearly on exactly what it is they wish for.