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Mark Ashby: Operation Moonshot is here, and it’s a serious threat to personal freedom

Mark Ashby is an independent researcher interested in upland and farmland ecology, and evidence synthesis.

Leaked documents have revealed the details of Operation Moonshot, the UK governments newly proposed COVID-19 mass testing program1-4. The program involves dramatically increasing testing capacity from the current level of 350,000 COVID-19 tests per day to ten million tests per day by early 20212. Operation Moonshots primary aim is to “utilise the full range of testing approaches and technologies to help reduce the R rate, keep the economy open and enable a return to normal life”2. Because, of course, we can only keep the economy open and return to normal life when daily mass testing is successfully introduced (Anders Tegnall and Johan Giesecke take note!).

Joking aside, the most alarming aspect of Operation Moonshot is that the government plans to “roll out digital immunity passports to allow people who test negative to return to workplaces, travel, and participate in other activities” 2. In essence, this means that people who refuse to be tested for COVID-19 will be barred from returning to normal life. If like me, you cherish personal freedom, this development will make you boil with rage. Especially after nearly six months of lockdown during which our hard-won freedoms were wrongfully and repeatedly removed.

However, thus far, the criticisms of Operation Moonshot have centred around the cost (£100bn), whether it can be achieved with current technology, the logistics of implementing such a strategy, the accuracy of the tests (the problem of false positives), and the scientific validity of using mass testing to control a respiratory virus1-10. These are all legitimate concerns, but they are, in my opinion, secondary to the serious and real threat posed by Operation Moonshot to our personal freedom. And, the distinct lack of moral outrage about this within the political, academic and media classes has inspired me to write this brief article, with the aim of drumming up some resistance to this draconian policy.

I can already hear the tedious, short-sighted and servile retorts to my objections: “you only lose your freedoms if you’re too stubborn and selfish to take a COVID-19 test”. My objections have nothing to do with being stubborn or selfish: I simply believe that my access to everyday life should not be conditional on whether I get tested for a virus that is, at worst,  only slightly more deadly than seasonal influenza11-16. In fact, I believe that, regardless of the threat level, governments in free societies have no business in restricting my personal freedoms.

More importantly, if we don’t put up a fight over digital immunity passports, we are essentially giving this government, and any future government, the green light to introduce a whole raft of authoritarian policies. Indeed, one could argue that if the British public had put up more of a fight about lockdown and mandatory facemasks, then the government wouldn’t even be considering introducing digital immunity passports. Nor would it have introduced the evidence-free ‘Rule of Six’. Ah well, we are where we are: saddled with a government who thinks it can get away with introducing any draconian measures it wants as long as it emphasises the necessity of such measures. But of course “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves”17.

If we don’t object now, I believe the logical next step for the government to take is to include COVID-19 vaccination on the digital immunity passport (if and when a vaccine becomes available). In other words, if you want access to everyday life, a COVID-19 vaccination will become a mandatory requirement. I’m certainly not anti-vaccine, but I cringe at the thought of a mandatory vaccine. Moreover, the flu jab has not eradicated seasonal influenza11,18, so why should we expect a vaccine to eradicate COVID-19?

Well, we shouldn’t, but this imbecilic government has gotten into its head that an endemic virus can be eradicated. Perhaps it can be eradicated, but only if we enact Lord Sumption’s tongue-in-cheek policy of isolating everyone in a box and feeding them through a tube19. Who knows, Messrs Johnson and Hancock may agree with the necessity of such a policy this time next year when people are still testing positive for COVID-19.

Post-COVID, what new and wonderful draconian policies can we expect if we are apathetic about the introduction of immunity passports? Well, I’m no soothsayer, but I do know that there’s an obesity crisis, there’s also a climate emergency, and unconscious bigotry is rife within UK society. So, this is what I think we can expect:

 

  • Digital health passports: This will prevent you from buying and consuming any food or beverage item if it means you exceed your daily allowance of protein, fat, dietary fibre, sugar, sodium or alcohol. Daily allowances will be calculated using your height, weight, level of exercise (monitored using a Fitbit) and other relevant information (e.g. underlying health conditions). When digital health passports are initially released, users will be fined if they exceed their daily allowance, with the money going to the National Health Service budget. But soon the government will realise that the NHS runs better if it isn’t treating anybody. At this point, fines will be scrapped, and people will be prevented from buying anything if it means that they exceed their daily allowance.

 

  • Digital carbon passports: This will make everyone a sustainable cog in a big green machine. Everyone will have an annual greenhouse gas allowance and will be prevented from making any purchases, carrying out any activity or receiving medical treatment if it means you exceed this allowance. For example, the digital carbon passport will be connected to your car, and if you have reached your annual greenhouse gas allowance, the car will not start. Given that climate change is an emergency rather than a crisis, fines will be considered too weak a response for all activities except healthcare (as access to healthcare will be considered by many people as more important than tackling the climate crisis). However, healthcare will quickly be brought in line with other areas under the remit of the carbon passport when the government realises that the NHS runs better if it isn’t treating anybody.

 

  • Digital equity passports – A digital equity passport will be obtained upon the successful completion of unconscious bias training. Importantly, this passport is not mandatory. However, those who do not have one will not be allowed into workplaces and certain social events. Unconscious bias training is built around the Implicit Association Test – a test known for its accurate and reliable measurement of the bigotry lurking in your subconscious. The successful completion of unconscious bias training requires you to pass the Implicit Association Test.

 

Of course, I’m being facetious, and you probably think that nothing like the above will ever happen. But, this time last year, who would’ve have dreamed that in 2020 the UK government could ever tell us when we could leave the house and how long for, who we could see when we are out and where we could go? The UK governments COVID-19 policies and the cowed response of the British people should convince you of how easy it would be for us to slide into a dystopian nightmare. So, if you believe in preserving any semblance of personal liberty, then I urge you to write to your local MP and politely object to digital immunity passports in the strongest possible terms.

Update: Hector says: the next thing on the list to be added to your ‘social passport’ (or ‘community passport’) would be a Chinese-style social credit score, which will be higher or lower depending on your expressed opinions. A lower score will prevent you getting decent employment, and a really low score will cut you out of normal society.

Update 2: Please support this website by donating via KoFi, subscribing via SubscribeStar or Patreon, or buying my book (see right-hand sidebar for links). Independent media like Hector Drummond Magazine, and my constantly updated Twitter and Parler accounts, cannot survive without your support.

 

References

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3558
  2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3520
  3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3580
  4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3585
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54097050
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/09/what-is-no-10s-moonshot-covid-testing-plan-and-is-it-feasible
  7. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-test-operation-moonshot-boris-johnson-covid-b421610.html
  8. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/operation-moonshot-coronavirus-testing
  9. https://www.itv.com/news/2020-09-10/mass-testing-plans-could-cost-up-to-100-billion–reports
  10. https://lockdownsceptics.org/lies-damned-lies-and-health-statistics-the-deadly-danger-of-false-positives/
  11. https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/estimating-the-infection-fatality-ratio-in-england/
  12. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253v3
  13. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20031773v2
  14. https://hectordrummond.com/2020/09/19/week-36-graphs-from-christopher-bowyer-2/
  15. https://hectordrummond.com/2020/08/22/covid-19-excess-deaths-dry-tinder-and-the-winter-deaths-seesaw/
  16. https://hectordrummond.com/2020/05/09/alistair-haimes-the-virus-that-turned-up-late/
  17. William Pitt the Younger
  18. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-flu-reports
  19. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-rule-of-six-please-were-british-we-can-make-our-own-decisions-9j8zbh5nh
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18 thoughts on “Mark Ashby: Operation Moonshot is here, and it’s a serious threat to personal freedom

  1. I don’t think you are being facetious and I don’t think you are over-stating this risk. Exactly as you say, if you had told us all in February that by mid summer we would all have to wear masks and be banned from meeting our families and from gathering in groups greater than 6, nobody would have believed you. It is only a small jump from here to having to have immunity passports. The fact that the virus may have gone will be irrelevant. Sold under the banner of ‘protecting us all for our own good’, this will be something we will just need in order to be able to do anything else. It will be a lot easier to put this in place than a track and trace app. For a government that needs to keep looking like it is controlling the situation, this is a no brainer. It’s coming, and very soon.

  2. Yes, a cash-less society run on social credits with health and carbon passports seems the logical extension of current trends. And two thirds of the UK population will think it doesn’t go far enough!

  3. It is puzzling how many people are just falling in line with governmental edicts they know in their hearts & minds to be damaging & stupid. It makes the events of Hitlerian Germany more comprehensible.

    If politicians & bureaucrats were wise, they would look back to the great American experiment with Prohibition — another policy pushed “for our own good”. If things that reasonable law-abiding people want to do are made illegal, then lots of people become outlaws. Once digital health passports become necessary to enter a bar or restaurant, “speakeasies” will pop up everywhere — and police corruption will inevitably follow. People who are barred from working for a legal business will work off the books for illegal businesses. People denied access to the banking system will quickly develop barter systems and alternative currencies — rather as cartons of cigarettes became a currency for a time in devastated Europe after WWII. With all of this going on, the UK will struggle to achieve even a Greek level of economic performance.

    My guess is that the Chinese Communist Party could successful impose a social credit score because they have clear long-range objectives, high intelligence, and the necessary ruthlessness. The denizens of “Singapore-on-the-Thames” are simply not in that league.

  4. I agree with everything byou say with one exception:
    “There’s also a climate emergency”. The climate emergency is more confected than the Covid crisis.

  5. >they know in their hearts & minds to be damaging & stupid

    I think a lot of them don’t know this.

    >“speakeasies” will pop up everywhere — and police corruption will inevitably follow. People who are barred from working for a legal business will work off the books for illegal businesses

    That sort of thing will be *much* harder to do in a modern digital surveillance state.

    >The climate emergency is more confected than the Covid crisis.

    I think Mark knows this, he’s presenting the argument that will be given by the government.

  6. @Mark, Good, thanks.
    – Uni students imprisoned and banned from visiting cafes, pubs, restaurants and their parents. They’re paying for this!
    – Casual sex illegal

    Yet
    World Health Organisation U turn on Covid; Op Moonshot & Passport”s

    WHO has said asymptomatic people carrying covid cannot infect others.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRV_1l8ZX_Y

    Apposite: Aldous Huxley

    “The perfect dictatorship would have the appearance of a democracy , but would basically be a prison without walls , in which the prisoners would not even dream of escaping . It would be a system of slavery where through consumption & entertainment, the slaves would love their servitude”

    @All
    +1

  7. @Barney
    Spot on. Fake climate emergency now being attributed to causing C-19

    If only UK TV would air this…..

    The craziness about Covid-19 and global warming, based on dodgy modelling and wild predictions is a huge cultural and economic problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tArCx7VHB78

    If a parent made child believe EU causing, SW would snatch for emotional abuse

    Child Abuse is a crime
    https://youtu.be/tArCx7VHB78?t=181

    @Hector
    Agree, they’ve been brainwashed – as Agony Aunt Bel Mooney (the new sceptic) writes today

    666 The Beast that broke the camel’s back
    – 6 months
    – 6 feet
    – 6 people

    Also people often don’t understand – see WHO vid above and ‘what is asymptomatic, I don’t know”

  8. Pcar-
    Bel Mooney’s a hypocrite. Her “newspaper” was one of the worst offenders in whipping up hysteria and panic at the beginning of this nonsense. Banner headlines along the lines of, “DEATH STALKS THE STREETS” and “MASS DEATHS IN ITALY”, coupled with pictures of empty supermarket shelves and overturned shopping trolleys went a long way toward fomenting panic in the hearts of the voters.
    Thoroughly despicable. Mendacious, duplicitous bastards, all of them.

  9. Ok10m tests a day means tens of thousands of false positives, so unless this is implemented with multiple tests per person then people will be stopped from working or travelling unnecessarily. But I agree that the principle of Operation Moonshot is a frightening infringement on liberties. Also, there’s far better ways the money could be spent as we’ve never gotten so worked up about people spreading flu and pneumonia every year.

    What has worked me since March is the government’s response to the pandemic than the virus itself. In the scheme of things Covid isn’t that a big deal when you consider that we accept tens of thousands of flu and pneumonia deaths each year.

  10. Hector: “That sort of thing [eg “speakeasies”] will be *much* harder to do in a modern digital surveillance state.”

    Agreed — but we human beings will rise to the challenge! Just think about what someone (Israel? US?) managed to do with the Stuxnet virus — inserting a destructive piece of computer code into a top secret Iranian nuclear enrichment plant that was completely disconnected from the internet. Think about the tales of hackers getting into highly confidential government databases — even Hillary Clinton’s e-mails!

    The government digital surveillance state will face many problems, only a few of which we can recognize now. The system will still rely on human beings — some of whom will be incompetent; some actively undermining the system out of ideology or personal dissatisfaction; some merely corrupt. The system will rely on chips which inevitably come from China, some of which will presumably have back doors which Chinese authorities can use occasionally to sow dissent among the populace.

    Just as with the CoronaScam, there will be the issue of False Positives. If that kind of problem affects only 1 person in 100,000, that would still be 650 fighting mad Brits, who would soon find greedy lawyers ready to sue the government. And let’s not even ponder the issue of the disparate impact of the digital surveillance state on illegal immigrants and People of Colour.

    China will be able to run a digital surveillance state more effectively because of their leaders’ ruthlessness. They won’t care about the damage done to individuals by False Positives. If any Chinese hacker gets into China’s system, not only will the hacker be shot — so will the hacker’s grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, children.

    Implementing a digital surveillance state will have problems, just like every other big government computer project.

  11. What puzzles me is how anyone can justify using the result of a test which is only valid at the time it was taken as the basis of an “all-clear” health passport.

  12. **Well, we shouldn’t, but this imbecilic government has gotten into its head that an endemic virus can be eradicated.**

    Whatever else they might be, Boris Johnson and SW1 cabal are not imbeciles. If anything qualifies as ‘imbecilic’ it’s supposing that these measures have anything to do with ‘beating’ a relatively harmless seasonal respiratory virus, rather than the virus being a pretext for a globally co-ordinated system of demoralisation presaging mass surveillance by digital technology, something like the CCP Social Credit system already operational in China.

    All the information constituting what Daily Mail, BBC etc dismiss as “conspiracy theories” is in the public domain, just exempt from journalistic scrutiny. “Conspiracy theorist” serves the same function as “far-right” or “racist” in respect of indigenous people who dare to notice their impending minority status in their ancestral homeland: ‘minority’ births are destined to be the majority in Britain before 2030; British school children a minority in British schools by 2035.

    But the price of dissent from the orthodoxy that Europeans should in principle have no more right of abode in Europe than Africans or Asians, for anyone with a media profile, is to be denounced by the Daily Mail as “racist” and banished from public life altogether.

    Hence you’re no more likely to discover the truth about the one as the other from journalists who are forbidden from telling the truth about “globalists” as a condition of remaining journalists, i.e. in the employment of globalists.

    Unless the uniformity of opinion on what Larry Fink, Agenda Contributor to World Economic Forum, and CEO of BlackRock Inc has called, with admirable economy: ‘The intersect between Covid, Climate and Racial Justice. The three great issues of out time” isn’t deliberately manufactured; that journalists have unanimously decided of their own volition not to report on the mathematically guaranteed extinction of native Britons. Incidentally, extinction doesn’t require any bloodshed, being based on fertility rates.

    A revised edition of Roger Scruton’s Thinkers of The New Left originally published in 1985 has been published as ‘Fools, Frauds and Firebrands’. Fools if incapable of knowing the truth; frauds if they know the truth but tell lies; firebrands in their inflammatory design.

    What do we call ‘right wing’ journalists defaming people who point to observable facts as “conspiracy theorists”? Or who suggest that the police were ‘bending the knee’ to ‘Marxists’. As if the defining characteristic of those who merited their obeisance, who let’s not forget are acting no differently to their parents who similarly rioted in the 80s, were ideological rather than racial, in spite of practically everything they say and do.

    If you know the truth but don’t speak it or you a fraud or just covering your a*se for the sake of your professional status? And what’s the difference?

    Possibly the biggest lie in our political culture is the almighty racket that is The City of London, the most centralised banking system in the world yet which ‘right wing’ or ‘libertarian’ journalists like James Delingpole defend, quite ludicrously given the facts, as ‘free markets’.

    This is a clip of Professor Richard Werner explaining the outright fraud of money creation in the City to an FCA bloke who’s bound to agree with him. Why is nothing done about it: “the interests are too great”.

    Small wonder this is on Russia Today rather than the “anti-capitalist” or “left wing” BBC C4 Sky etc. In another video on the same theme of money creation recorded two years ago Prof Werner claims, almost as an aside that the Bank of England have already created a personal microchip; the ‘bribe’ for compliance to be Universal Basic Income:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJwlKURL_X0

  13. @John Wilkinson:

    **Her “newspaper” was one of the worst offenders in whipping up hysteria and panic at the beginning of this nonsense.**

    Agree but they’re all the same. Daily Mail is possibly the worst or ‘best’ in marketing / propaganda terms. Certainly the trashiest, most Cultural Marxist publication, leavened with just enough ‘populist’ red meat to antagonise ‘”the left”‘. And that’s the basic template for *all* the media. Story selection calibrated for its target market but never deviating too far from the orthodoxy. ‘Right wing’ media consisting of attacking Aunt Sallys, themselves media creations much like Covid itself, e.g. Ash / Afua / Yasmin / Kehinde etc who are accused of being “cretins” by Rod Liddle or “racist” by Toby Young and James Delingpole. A Punch and Judy charade in much the same way as Parliament. Best captured by novelist Kingsley Amis as ‘Sod the public’.

  14. Hector – I concur with both updates. Regarding update one, we effectively already have a Chinese social-credit system. For example, if you have views that depart from the accepted orthodoxy of those in powerful positions, then you will be unemployable in many lines of work (or never get the top positions). It is difficult to imagine an openly pro-Brexit candidate getting a professorship over an openly anti-Brexit candidate, even if the former is better qualified for the role.

    John Church – Thanks, John! I sometimes feel I am being facetious when I describe to people where I imagine we are heading next because it sounds so ridiculous. But you are right of course, it isn’t facetious given what has happened since March, and it’s set to get a lot worse because this and future governments now know they can get away with limiting our freedoms as long as they state that “it is for our own good”.

    Barney Gumball – Sorry I should’ve been clearer. When I state that “I’m no soothsayer, but I do know that there’s an obesity crisis, there’s also a climate emergency, and unconscious bigotry is rife within UK society” I’m merely repeating the claims made within the MSM, by activists and by most politicians. These are not my personal opinions. It would’ve been better to say “I’m no soothsayer, but we are repeatedly told that there’s an obesity crisis, there’s also a climate emergency, and unconscious bigotry is rife within UK society”.

    Pcar – The Huxley quote is very appropriate. I read A Brave New World for the first time last month, and there are some frightening similarities with what the UK Government have been trying to implement. There are also some similarities with 1984 (doublethink, being reported by fellow citizens, Ministry of truth) – it’s as if the Government have used both as instruction manuals.

    Sean Lydon – I am of the view that the Government are imbecilic. My interactions with MPs (via email correspondence) and seeing how many cabinet ministers act, suggest to me that they are incompetent and power-hungry. This is the combination that has gotten us into this mess. I’m well aware of “The Great Reset” outlined by the World Economic Forum. However, as far as I’m aware, there is no hard evidence that Governments across the world are all in cahoots with WEF to implement such a strategy. So, I still hold to the view that we are in this mess because politicians and governments are stupid, incompetent and power-hungry and are desperately trying to save face by ramping up the fear and restrictions. However, the majority of the political class also seem to actively disregard personal freedom. They believe losses to personal freedom are warranted if the ends justify the means. I don’t. Free societies containing autonomous individuals, by their very nature, will always have certain problems. And this is, in my view, a price worth paying. It’s just a shame none of our politicians think the same.

  15. @John W
    She has written for DM for decades and not responsible for Dacre’s replacement driving DM to Remain, Woke and Left sensationalism

    MoS’s Dr Ellie was her most sceptical yet yesterday about Gov’ts Covid policies

    The worm is turning

    @Mark A
    I was fortunate to attend a Grammar School in NI, then a Public School when parents moved to GB. At both we studied Huxley and Orwell and were not sold a pro-Left solution. Most of us concluded both were a warning about Communism and “March through the institutions”

    Catcher in The Rye was another

    I still hold to the view that we are in this mess because politicians and governments are stupid, incompetent and power-hungry and are desperately trying to save face by ramping up the fear and restrictions. However, the majority of the political class also seem to actively disregard personal freedom. They believe losses to personal freedom are warranted if the ends justify the means. I don’t.

    Agree. I Am A Free Man

    I support Trump because he too believes in Freedom. – – Bikers For Trump

  16. @Mark A

    **My interactions with MPs (via email correspondence) and seeing how many cabinet ministers act, suggest to me that they are incompetent and power-hungry.**

    Competence in politics is maintaining one’s status. When parliamentarians accuse each other of “incompetence” it’s under the self-serving pretence that operation of the bureaucratic machinery nominally under their command is in their personal agency. Which makes as much sense as calling Bill Gates, or whoever it is now, ‘incompetent’ for a glitch in Microsoft Windows. But Priti Patel isn’t going to acknowledge that she has no more operational control over the Border Agency than Bill Gates over your PC. What we do know is that numbers entering illegally across the channel are a trickle compared with those entering legally.

    In my experience interactions with MPs are actually with personal assistants who use templates. The MP himself won’t even know of your communication unless it affects him personally. Even a signed letter from him is unlikely to have been read by him.

    **This is the combination that has gotten us into this mess. I’m well aware of “The Great Reset” outlined by the World Economic Forum. However, as far as I’m aware, there is no hard evidence that Governments across the world are all in cahoots with WEF to implement such a strategy.**

    What’s happening under the auspices of Covid isn’t evidence of something else. It *is* the strategy, and no different in that respect to Diversity or Climate other than relative acceleration. ‘Minority’ births will be a majority by 2030; British children in British schools by 2035. What is that evidence of? Ditto any number of Green measures.

    Otherwise what better evidence could there be of people’s intentions than their statements of intent? I quoted Larry Fink earlier but it could have been George Soros Prince Charles Al Gore or any number of others. An abundance of information appears on various globalist websites. Boris Johnson only yesterday spoke of his plan for “re-wilding”, a core plank of the globalist agenda.

    132 American billionaires have openly declared for Biden. The like of Gates, Bloomberg, Cook et al… The people who fund BLM / Antifa, SPLC, the WHO, etc. These are facts. Whether one refers to them as ‘conspiracy’ is otiose. Leftist causes have been captured by capital. ‘Conspiracy’ is a media term with as much truth value as “racist”.

  17. Sean, my experience of MPs (one Labour and one Conservative) has been to receive a personal reply from them. But it wouldn’t surprise me if some get their PA to send a template style response.

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