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98 or 101, this was a big rebellion

“MPs back Covid passes in England amid large Tory rebellion”, the Guardian reports.

The requirement for people to show a Covid pass – proving their vaccination status or a recent negative test result – will come into force from Wednesday. It was passed by 369 votes to 126.

Labour said that 101 Conservatives voted against the government, by far the largest rebellion of Johnson’s premiership since the 2019 election.

Earlier, MPs endorsed the need for masks to be worn in shops and on public transport by 441 votes to 41.

However the Times gives a different number,

Boris Johnson has suffered the biggest rebellion of his premiership as 98 of his own MPs voted against plans for Covid passes.

The prime minister mounted a last-ditch charm offensive as he told Tory MPs that he had “absolutely no choice” but to introduce the measures.

He told the 1922 committee of backbenchers that only a small proportion of those infected with the Omicron variant would need to go to hospital before it becomes a “real problem”.

As ever, politics makes strange bedfellows:

Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader who now sits as an independent, said he was opposed to the “totally wrong attempt to force vaccinations and passports on people”.

Whatever the exact number, Steve Baker’s tireless work made it by far the biggest rebellion of Boris’s premiership. But not, of course, big enough.

33 comments to 98 or 101, this was a big rebellion

  • Fraser Orr

    Glad you guys left the EU to get away from those tyrannical EU bureaucrats and restore the ancient rights of the Englishman.

    Its also good to see that Australia is reverting to its origins and turning back into a prison colony.

    BTW, just for reference, in the whole world exactly one person has died of Omicron. For comparison, on average two people die each year in the USA from misuse of vending machines.

  • Mr Ed

    vFor comparison, on average two people die each year in the USA from misuse of vending machines.

    Exactly, and I bet none of those two per day who died had been appropriately vaccinated.

  • The Fyrdman

    If they recognise how illiberal this is, how antithetical it is to English liberties, they should split from the party. The trajectory of the Conservative Party is disturbing and depressing.

  • The rebellion would have been larger by one had a PPS not promised to refrain in exchange for (keeping his PPS post and) promises that vaccines would never be made mandatory (save for health care workers) and suchlike. A part of me thinks he sold himself cheap. Another part of me prefers a little something to absolutely nothing; the firm-at-first-glance, bit-qualified-when-you-read-it-through promise of a few Sundays ago is now just a little bit less qualified, FWIW.

    We will now see what lessons, if any, are learnt from this. IIRC May’s first rebellion was 118 out of a smaller majority – but while Boris has that and other relative consolations, he, of all people, must know where this kind of thing can end.

    Dominic Cummings said he and Steve Baker often disagreed, sometimes very strongly, but he was that rare thing, “an honest man”.

  • Mr Ecks

    Baker is a self-serving creep–just like Johnson–who has seen his shot at “libertarian” gob of Tory trash. Don’t really care what has passed as millions of us will be taking no notice.

  • Mr Ecks

    And the dead individual died “with” not from Moronic. This is and always has been a powergrab.

  • I live in a Tory marginal… so, Reform UK gets my vote from now on, as there is not much difference between voting Tory & Labour.

  • Eric Tavenner

    Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader who now sits as an independent, said he was opposed to the “totally wrong attempt to force vaccinations and passports on people”.

    I do not believe that Comrade Commissar Corbyn would ever say something like that. Unless he was lying.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Eric Tavenner,

    I do not believe that Comrade Commissar Corbyn would ever say something like that. Unless he was lying.

    You appear to be under the mistaken impression that Comrade Corbyn ever speaks without lying, whether by omission, tone, or explicit words.

  • Sam Duncan

    BTW, just for reference, in the whole world exactly one person has died of Omicron.

    I assume you’re talking about the case Boris announced the other day in which someone died “with” it. It’s been in South Africa for months without anyone dying from it, but suddenly in the week our Parliament has a vote over new restrictions, someone here succumbs? Pull the other one.

  • Penseivat

    I understand that Alex Baldwin has killed more people than Omicron.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Baker is a self-serving creep–just like Johnson–who has seen his shot at “libertarian” gob of Tory trash. Don’t really care what has passed as millions of us will be taking no notice.

    Steve Baker already played a big part in pushing Brexit over the line during the dreadful two years leading up to 2019 (how long ago that seems), so his libertarianism didn’t come out as just a ploy. He’s been one of the few MPs to argue cogently about taking a risk-based approach to the plague, rather than go all in for clampdowns. So your rudeness about him is ridiculous (but then being rude is sort of your thing, like Tourettes). Baker has been involved in pushing back at issues such as central bank quantitative easing (printing money) for 20 years. He’s not some random chancer, as BJ appears to be.

    As for the second part of your paragraph, I agree. The transparent cynicism of this government, and its fearmongering, are encountering genuine contempt from across the spectrum. I certainly intend to continue going to my office as long as possible. And I certainly won’t be holding back from having a great time this Xmas and in the future.

  • John B

    ‘ He told the 1922 committee of backbenchers that only a small proportion of those infected with the Omicron variant would need to go to hospital…’

    Since that number, based on experience from South Africa and other places where the Omicron virus was first identified, is going to be vanishingly small, then it shows just how precarious is the state of the NHS that so little is needed to knock it over.

    Or Johnson is lying to the 1922 Committee. I don’t think that will have played well.

  • Paul Marks

    The Big Government policies of Mr Johnson are only partly demanded by outside forces – it is now clear that Mr Johnson is himself in support of ever bigger and more interventionist government (and was BEFORE Covid).

    This is not what members of the Conservative Party, or the voters of the United Kingdom generally, voted for. Therefore, Mr Johnson must go.

  • X Trapnel

    Perry – I live in one of the country’s most marginal Conservative constituencies – I’ve written to my MP 3 times: twice in November 2020 ahead of and after the lockdown vote, which the MP supported, and ahead of yesterday’s vote, which the MP opposed. I need to write a fourth time to praise the MP for the courage shown in voting against the government yesterday. Looks like personal professional suicide to me.

    Perhaps arguable that we’d not have needed yesterday’s vote if things had gone differently last year, but you fight the fight that’s in front of you. If the MP has learned however, or changed his or her mind, I think I’m honour-bound to recognise that. Courtesy costs nothing.

    But the socialist my MP beat in 2019 would have, if elected, formed part of a parliamentary party behind a Labour government which I struggle to imagine violating my liberty with any more zeal than the current one continues to do. Will I vote Conservative again? Will Lucy van Pelt persuade Charlie Brown to kick the football one more time? Good grief, no.

  • Paul Marks

    X Trapnel.

    Your Member of Parliament has seen the light – up-with-more-of-this-they-will-not-put. And you are quite right to write to thank them.

    Now we have to work to chart a new course – one of LIMITED (not unlimited) government. And that must mean replacing Mr Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    It may not be too late to save the nation.

  • XC

    I remain amazed the people don’t realize that, in the end, even the “good Germans” end up in the boxcars.

    Writing you from Free America, Florida subdivision. Come join us.

    -XC

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Libertarians sometimes have a tendency to fail to see the wood for the trees. Steve Baker has done than anyone else I can name to turn the current government away from the path towards a biosecurity state. He’s hit Boris Johnson where it hurts most. No argument, no graph, no medical expert would have a fraction of the success in making Johnson change course than what happened last night. Sure, Baker didn’t win the war. But wars are only won by being willing to give battle before you know what the outcome will be.

    I will turn from defending Steve Baker to the far less congenial task of defending Jeremy Corbyn. I think that in this instance the old weirdo means it. There is no doubt that his opposition to the use of force in this instance is logically incompatible with his enthusiasm for the use of force for Marxist ends. But most people’s prejudices are like that: logically indefensible. It would be just like him to latch on to this cause, probably under the influence of his brother Piers, and accidentally end up on the side of freedom. Many of the long list of causes he has supported over the years were admirable in themselves.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Natalie,

    I echo everything you said in your comment on December 15, 2021 at 4:49 pm.

    One comment on one of your points:

    There is no doubt that his opposition to the use of force in this instance is logically incompatible with his enthusiasm for the use of force for Marxist ends. But most people’s prejudices are like that: logically indefensible.

    True. The hysterical and totalitarian response to COVID-19 could not have happened without more than a few major logical fallacies. Who is more likely to see those: people who basically get their opinions from the media or people who get their opinions by incorporating what the media says and their own beliefs (logical or illogical) that are based on substantial introspection and philosophizing?

    I would put Corbyn in the latter group, like me. People who are not deep thinkers are particularly susceptible to the lies underpinning the response to COVID – not because we are more intelligent but because our process for forming opinions cannot function based only on input from the Fake News Media alone.

  • Jon Eds

    Like most libertarians, Steve Baker is bad at rhetoric. That being said, nobody has done more to organize the pro-freedom caucus in Parliament than he.

    I’ve heard the ‘greasy pole climber’ slur against Baker before, but it tends to come from ‘they are the exact same thing they accuse of’ individuals. That doesn’t describe Mr Ecks of course.

    The biggest issue I have with Baker is that he has voted with the government on previous occasions, perhaps to appear reasonable. This strikes me as a big mistake as it moves the overton window in the government’s direction. With that in mind, it can make sense to vote against the government even on particular issues where you think they are being reasonable.

    It would be nice if we had somebody in parliament like Laurence Fox, or even Julia Hartley-Brewer, in parliament. Both good at rhetoric, although Julia is too unthinkingly pro-vaxx for my liking.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I would put Corbyn in the latter group, like me. People who are not deep thinkers are particularly susceptible to the lies underpinning the response to COVID – not because we are more intelligent but because our process for forming opinions cannot function based only on input from the Fake News Media alone.

    I would put Corbyn in the latter group, like me. People who are deep thinkers are not as susceptible to the lies underpinning the response to COVID – not because we are more intelligent but because our process for forming opinions cannot function based only on input from the Fake News Media alone. The same cannot be said for the NPCs. Hence, our current situation.

    Fixed.

  • Stonyground

    I thought that this comment by Roy a commenter at the Fahrenheit211 blog deserved a wider audience.

    “It’s now clear we don’t actually have a government we are a nation that has rulers. Government is democratic and makes sure things run well while itself obeying the rules. Rulers on the other hand do what they like and the little people do as they are told. Our rulers clearly don’t know what to do about the virus, criminal justice, the immigration problem and don’t have a clue how to run the economy. They are rich themselves and they don’t care about the people, I have never seen such a mess in a lifetime of interest in political matters. Today I met a gent who told me he was 65 just retired and that the country was in such a mess he hoped not to live much longer. What a sad indictment on our posh boy, rich pretend government.”

  • Paul Marks

    XL – you know what I am going to say, but it still needs to be said.

    Watch out for the Federal Government and the INTERNATIONAL “Build Back Better” evil that it serves – they seek to crush liberty in Florida and everywhere else.

  • XC

    @Paul, well, we are lucky in our Governor and our federal constitution limits what mischief the Federal government can get up to. Absent the Supreme Court finding a new penumbra.

    Worst case, well, we have some stuff in the Bill of Rights.

    -XC

  • pete

    Pity those Tory rebel MPS never rebel about the need for us to pay the state for permission to watch TV.

    Now that really is an infringement of our liberty.

    Nobody ever died because someone else didn’t pay for Eastenders or Celebrity Come Dancing.

  • lucklucky

    Corbyn is in opposition. A Marxist in opposition is completely different then when he is the State. In Marxist regime there are no Unions…in opposition they are “human rights”…

  • X Trapnel

    Natalie – curiouser, and curiouser than J Corbyn, now unshackled from his party-discipline prison, voting against the introduction of COVID passports, was the sight of Caroline Lucas, the UK’s sole Green Party MP, passing through the same lobby as what passes for the Conservative Right, plus assorted awkward squad members from other parties. And the entire Liberal Democrat parliamentary party. It’s cause for some optimism?

  • X Trapnel

    But, further to my earlier comment, I’m not certain that changing one’s mind is per se a good thing. The splendidly-titled Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities thought one thing on the question twelve months ago, but took the opposite line on Tuesday; likewise, the Leader of the Opposition, who on matters of moral flexibility yields nothing to Michael Gove, thought one thing nine months ago, only to vote with the government on Tuesday.

    To give Starmer his due, though, he thinks COVID passports only a necessary condition to Stop the Spread, and not a sufficient condition. Passports PLUS negative tests are how he would govern us. That was in July 2021, mind. Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis.

  • Paul Marks

    XC

    As you know – the establishment hate and despise the Bill of Rights.

    And that includes some Supreme Court Justices.

    The doctrine that the power of the Federal Government is unlimited is the central belief of the leftist establishment – and has been for more than a century, as things have gradually got worse and worse.

    Soon the crises point will be reached – and the time of decision.

  • Jim

    “Pity those Tory rebel MPS never rebel about the need for us to pay the state for permission to watch TV. Now that really is an infringement of our liberty.”

    It really isn’t necessary to pay the TV tax any more. Its a voluntary tax IMO. If you want to have the f*ck off big screen TV on your wall with SKY TV etc all piped in then you’ll have to pay it, but if you’re happy to watch stuff on a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop then you can ditch the TV licence, your viewing habits are largely untraceable, and if you are happy to not watch Coronation Street at the very time its broadcast entirely legal as well.

  • bob sykes

    Does the requirement for a covid pass extend to the voting booth? Can unvaccinated people be denied the right to vote?

  • Duncan S

    Bob

    Latvia won’t let MPs vote if they’re not jabbed

  • Paul Marks

    Duncan S.

    Things are just getting worse and worse. How so many governments in the world have behaved is sickening.

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