Our Default State: Compulsory Vaccination for COVID-19 and Human Rights Law

On Monday, 14 December, in response to a petition signed by 325,797 people asking the Government ‘to prevent any restrictions being placed on those who refuse to have any potential COVID-19 vaccine’, 6 Members of Parliament debated the issue for just over an hour. At the end, Nadhim Zahawi, since 28 November the Parliamentary Undersecretary of … Continue reading Our Default State: Compulsory Vaccination for COVID-19 and Human Rights Law

Bowling for Pfizer: Who’s Behind the BioNTech Vaccine?

From Development to Approval At the end of November, it was revealed that the Oxford Vaccine Group had conducted the clinical trial showing its vaccine for COVID-19 had an efficacy of 90 per cent exclusively on volunteers aged 55 and below, thereby excluding precisely the demographic most at risk from the disease. Shares in its … Continue reading Bowling for Pfizer: Who’s Behind the BioNTech Vaccine?

Five Stories Under Lockdown

1. Yesterday all the past On 5 October this year, the Italian philosopher of biopolitics, Giorgio Agamben, published his most powerful and poetic text yet on the coronavirus crisis. Titled Quando la casa brucia, this was Agamben’s sixteenth text about the crisis; yet unlike the others it was not immediately translated and circulated around the world. … Continue reading Five Stories Under Lockdown

Bread and Circuses: Who’s Behind the Oxford Vaccine for COVID-19?

‘Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.’ — Juvenal Over the past week the race for a vaccine for COVID-19 has approached the finishing line, with the Oxford Vaccine Group looking to be the first to cross in the UK. This has occasioned a huge and relentless promotional campaign by the Department of … Continue reading Bread and Circuses: Who’s Behind the Oxford Vaccine for COVID-19?

The Betrayal of the Clerks: UK Intellectuals in the Service of the Biosecurity State

This text is part of a longer article I’m currently writing about the expansion of the UK biosecurity state through the winter of 2020-21, and which I hope to publish before Christmas. However, some of what this section exposes is happening right now. We think it best, therefore, to publish this information as a separate … Continue reading The Betrayal of the Clerks: UK Intellectuals in the Service of the Biosecurity State

Bonfire of the Freedoms: The Unlawful Exercise of Powers conferred by the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984

This text is part of a longer article I’m currently writing about the expansion of the UK biosecurity state through the winter of 2020-21. However, the Government’s enforcement of a nationwide lockdown this week has convinced me to publish it now as a separate article. I hope it will offer some lawful and moral support to … Continue reading Bonfire of the Freedoms: The Unlawful Exercise of Powers conferred by the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984

When the House Burns: Giorgio Agamben on the Coronavirus Crisis

In February of this year the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben, started writing short commentaries on the coronavirus crisis in Italy. Published online by Quodlibet, these drew widespread and almost universal condemnation from every quarter, not only by academics, psychologists and students but by his fellow philosophers. I have written about this attempt to silence Agamben’s … Continue reading When the House Burns: Giorgio Agamben on the Coronavirus Crisis

The Infection of Science by Politics: A Nobel Laureate and Biophysicist on the Coronavirus Crisis

On 29 June, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings convened an online session titled ‘Corona: The Role of Science in Times of Crisis’. The participants included three Nobel Laureates: Professor Peter C. Docherty, an immunologist and pathologist from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a recipient of the Nobel … Continue reading The Infection of Science by Politics: A Nobel Laureate and Biophysicist on the Coronavirus Crisis

The New Normal: What is the UK Biosecurity State? (Part 2. Normalising Fear)

‘From many sides the hypothesis is now being formulated that in reality we are experiencing the end of a world, that of bourgeois democracies, founded on rights, parliaments and the division of powers, which is giving way to a new despotism; that, as regards the pervasiveness of controls and the cessation of all political activity, … Continue reading The New Normal: What is the UK Biosecurity State? (Part 2. Normalising Fear)

The New Normal: What is the UK Biosecurity State? (Part 2. Normalising Fear)

‘From many sides the hypothesis is now being formulated that in reality we are experiencing the end of a world, that of bourgeois democracies, founded on rights, parliaments and the division of powers, which is giving way to a new despotism; that, as regards the pervasiveness of controls and the cessation of all political activity, … Continue reading The New Normal: What is the UK Biosecurity State? (Part 2. Normalising Fear)