Freedom is not a reward for compliance. Freedom is not a gift to be meted out by the state according to the performance of its policies or public institutions. Freedom is innate in each of us, and our constitution. There is a common goal for the country to be healthy, safe and free – but we cannot arrive at freedom through compulsion.
There will be strong pushes for ever-inflating controls on individuals from industries that stand to profit, whether from the growing digital infrastructure those controls rely on, or the short-term boost in consumer ‘confidence’ – but the long-term impact on the economy, equality, social cohesion and the liberties that define our country cannot be under-estimated.
It would be an irrecoverable mistake to give in to these authoritarian impulses and allow our society to be divided. We urge the Government to bring the country together rather than drive groups apart – to protect citizens, prevent discrimination and safeguard our freedoms – to reject COVID-status certification.