“Demonising vaccine ‘refuseniks’ is pointless and wrong,” argues a piece in Reaction. But this is what is happening in Britain right now: the Boris Johnson administration’s powerful propaganda machine is ramping up the pressure to get the entire country vaccinated and vaccine “refuseniks” are in the government’s crosshairs.
One of the government’s main propaganda mouthpieces, the Daily Mail, has helpfully seeded the idea that vaccine “refuseniks” are the main reason the country is being held back from reopening:
There has been irritation at the small number of people refusing to be vaccinated after Matt Hancock yesterday told MPs that most patients hospitalised by the new strain in the epicentre of the outbreak in Bolton had not had a jab.
Last night Tory ministers and MPs told the Prime Minister they would not accept the Covid curbs being extended to protect jab refuseniks.
They urged him to press ahead with the final stage of unlocking next month, even if scientists say the fast-spreading Indian variant poses a risk to the small band of anti-vaxxers.
This use of the word “refuseniks” is somewhat ironic. “Refuseniks” were dissidents in the Soviet Union — especially Jews who wanted to move to Israel, forbidden from emigrating because of their inconvenient political views. This is pretty much exactly how the British government is now treating people who, for whatever reason, feel uncomfortable about taking the jab. It is turning them into pariahs.
The campaign appears to be well co-ordinated.
Here is an editorial in The Sun, singing from the same hymn sheet: