• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Has the wearing of face masks become a left/right issue?

Status
Not open for further replies.

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,841
Location
Yorkshire
The shadow Transport Secretary, JimMcMahon MP, has put out a tweet urging everyone to wear a mask on public transport...
People like him are making me more determined not to vote for Labour and every time I see a message like that, more determined to push back against masks.
You still seem to have not provided a primary source for these assertions that the GBD, or the leading scientists behind it were anti vaccine.
Let's continue the GBD / vaccine discussion in the appropriate thread, linked to above.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,550
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
People like him are making me more determined not to vote for Labour and every time I see a message like that, more determined to push back against masks.

Let's continue the GBD / vaccine discussion in the appropriate thread, linked to above.

Another example of duplicity from the Labour Party

Labour are calling for Plan B to be implemented immediately, which includes compulsory masks, working from home and vaccine passports.

And yet here is a Labour MP (Shabana Mahmood - Birmingham Ladywood) who is opposing compulsory vaccination for NHS staff.

Now I agree with Shabana Mahmood - firstly on principle, and secondly because making vaccination compulsory for NHS staff, with the consequent threat of sackings for those who refuse vaccination, is the last thing the NHS needs when it is short of staff.

But how can you have one part of the Labour party advocating vaccine passports, and another opposing compulsory vaccination?


Birmingham MP Shabana Mahmood leads opposition to compulsory jabs for NHS staff

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is considering forcing all front-line health workers to get a Covid-19 vaccine


Birmingham MP Shabana Mahmood is leading opposition to plans to force every NHS worker to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, the MP for Bromsgrove, said he is "leaning towards" making the jabs compulsory for staff in England, because around 100,000 NHS workers are not fully vaccinated. It follows the decision to tell care home workers that they must be vaccinated. From November 11, anyone who has not been fully vaccinated will be barred from entering a residential care home providing nursing or personal care, unless they are a resident.

But Labour opposes the police, and is now campaigning against extending it to cover NHS staff. Ms Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, spoke out against the proposal in her role as Labour’s National Campaign Co-ordinator. She said it would lead to staff shortages in the health service, and might actually make people more reluctant to take the vaccine.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour, she said: "On NHS staff, same as care workers, we haven’t supported compulsory vaccination because the cohort of people that we’re talking about, who work in the NHS, who haven’t taken up the vaccination, is disproportionately at the lower paid end of NHS workers.

"We’re talking primarily about women, lower paid women and also some ethnic minority communities. And the profile of those people is the same as you’ll see across the rest of the population – there’s huge amounts of vaccine hesitancy."

She said women who hoped to become pregnant were particularly reluctant to be vaccinated because they feared it would affect their fertility. NHS advice is that there's no evidence COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on chances of becoming pregnant.

Ms Mahmood said the answer was to give people information and advice. "Simply, the blunt instrument of mandating workers in the NHS as we’ve seen in the care home sector doesn’t work. It’ll lead to labour shortages, it’ll just build the programme of hesitancy and bake that in to our wider system and we can’t have that."
 

gordonthemoron

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2006
Messages
6,313
Location
Milton Keynes
I'd class myself as left wing, but generally don't wear a mask, except on Public Transport, or where most people were wearing masks. However, if the Government wants to do something about rising cases, the need to deal with schools, as the only age group with alarming rising cases is kids up to 16, presumably because they haven't been vaccinated
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707
I'd class myself as left wing, but generally don't wear a mask, except on Public Transport, or where most people were wearing masks. However, if the Government wants to do something about rising cases, the need to deal with schools, as the only age group with alarming rising cases is kids up to 16, presumably because they haven't been vaccinated
There's a pretty big hanging "if" there. The cheapest and most easily implemented solution to the rising numbers of positive tests is to stop making people take them, and stop counting and tabulating the results when they do.
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,741
I agree the polarisation is becoming very evident, and it’s not a good thing at all.


As has come up here before, a leader with a sharpness and scientific background was what we needed. Instead we have a cross between a spin doctor and an after-dinner entertainer. No wonder the whole thing is a shambles.
Difficult though it is for me to type this, Margaret Thatcher met those criteria! So did Dr David Owen, the successor to Roy Jenkins as SDP leader, who might have made quite a good P.M.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,656
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
Difficult though it is for me to type this, Margaret Thatcher met those criteria! So did Dr David Owen, the successor to Roy Jenkins as SDP leader, who might have made quite a good P.M.

I've actually been very disappointed with how Starmer has turned out. Whilst not my political persuasion, we were led to believe there might be some element of "forensic scrutiny". Instead what we have seen thusfar is hysterical screaming.
 

Peter Mugridge

Veteran Member
Joined
8 Apr 2010
Messages
12,270
Location
Epsom
Covid 19 can be a dangerous illness to a number of previously healthy people. The evidence bears that out.
As, in rare cases, can be the common cold.

Incidentally a good historical case study of what happens with a new disease is to look at what happened when Europeans first encountered Central and South American peoples - the common cold, which had never been encountered over there previously, went through the populations like the plague but with a far higher mortality rate that was approaching that of modern day haemorrhagic fevers.
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,550
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
I've actually been very disappointed with how Starmer has turned out. Whilst not my political persuasion, we were led to believe there might be some element of "forensic scrutiny". Instead what we have seen thusfar is hysterical screaming.

You would have thought that Starmer, being a QC, would be proficient at looking at evidence with a critical eye, examining evidence carefully, and not taking statements at face value.

No he probably can still do all those things, but as a politician he is adept at spinning things his own way, and ignoring evidence that doesn't suit his narrative at the moment.

See my earlier post about the Labour leadership calling for vaccine passports, yet we have one Labour MP (Shabana Mahmood - Birmingham Ladywood) opposing compulsory vaccination for NHS staff.

So where exactly does the Labour party stand on the issue of vaccine passports? (as well as other COVID related issues)
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707
You would have thought that Starmer, being a QC, would be proficient at looking at evidence with a critical eye, examining evidence carefully, and not taking statements at face value.

No he probably can still do all those things, but as a politician he is adept at spinning things his own way, and ignoring evidence that doesn't suit his narrative at the moment.

See my earlier post about the Labour leadership calling for vaccine passports, yet we have one Labour MP (Shabana Mahmood - Birmingham Ladywood) opposing compulsory vaccination for NHS staff.

So where exactly does the Labour party stand on the issue of vaccine passports? (as well as other COVID related issues)
The Labour Party is a large and diverse organisation, which at the very least has a number of MPs who are bitterly opposed to everything the party leadership says and does. Added to that the Scottish and Welsh Labour parties are largely independent organisations, with rather different leaderships who take independent positions based on what they believe is best for their countries.

  • I think we can safely conclude from the official positions taken that the Scottish Labour Party leadership is opposed to vaccine passports (but diplomatically phrased it as being opposed to the Scottish scheme specifically, in order to avoid Keir phoning them up in one of his moods). The English party leadership is pro, but wants to emphasise that that is only because the government is anti. Many individual MPs are extremely anti.

Mahmood herself is probably anti, although it's difficult to say for certain. There isn't any inherent contradiction between opposing compulsory vaccination for employment and vaccine passports: as far as I'm aware, the current plan B scope of vaccine passports is nightclubs and large events, not hospitals or employers.

As a member of the Scottish party, I'm extremely relieved that we aren't supporting the madness up here, and disappointed that we aren't in power. In wider terms I'm disappointed that Starmer seems so intent on stomping all over basic freedoms and destroying his reputation for no gain whatsoever.
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,550
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
The Labour Party is a large and diverse organisation, which at the very least has a number of MPs who are bitterly opposed to everything the party leadership says and does. Added to that the Scottish and Welsh Labour parties are largely independent organisations, with rather different leaderships who take independent positions based on what they believe is best for their countries.

  • I think we can safely conclude from the official positions taken that the Scottish Labour Party leadership is opposed to vaccine passports (but diplomatically phrased it as being opposed to the Scottish scheme specifically, in order to avoid Keir phoning them up in one of his moods). The English party leadership is pro, but wants to emphasise that that is only because the government is anti. Many individual MPs are extremely anti.

Mahmood herself is probably anti, although it's difficult to say for certain. There isn't any inherent contradiction between opposing compulsory vaccination for employment and vaccine passports: as far as I'm aware, the current plan B scope of vaccine passports is nightclubs and large events, not hospitals or employers.

As a member of the Scottish party, I'm extremely relieved that we aren't supporting the madness up here, and disappointed that we aren't in power. In wider terms I'm disappointed that Starmer seems so intent on stomping all over basic freedoms and destroying his reputation for no gain whatsoever.

One of the points of vaccine passports/ compulsory vaccination for NHS staff is to impose sanctions on those who refuse to get vaccinated, in the hope that those people will get vaccinated to avoid being sanctioned.

In the case of the NHS, the sanction for the unvaccinated is that you lose your job, and in the case of vaccine passports the sanction is that you are refused access to the venues where a vaccine passport is compulsory.

I think it is slightly duplicitous to oppose sanctions for one group of people who refuse to get vaccinated, and be in favour of sanctions against another group of people who refuse to get vaccinated.

As you say, the Labour party is a "large and diverse organisation" with a wide range of views on all subjects. (So are most other parties as well)
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
3,285
Location
Maidstone
Labour is a very divided party.
As are the Tories, both parties are "broad churches" because of our FPTP voting system, there are Tory MPs who support masks and general restrictions (sometimes as senior as our last Health Secretary).

Hence the title of this thread. I would completely share your opinion on this - I think that the UK as a whole is becoming very polarized like the US, not just on topics like face masks but in general. I for one absolutely hate this change.

Not just this, but what really irritates me is how in the eyes of one side it's effectively taboo to name even one cost/benefit that is against what they believe in, hence why we keep hearing people describe mask mandates as "not a restriction" and/or having no/almost no drawbacks, which is complete nonsense. My biggest grudge with masks is the environmental costs; they have emissions' costs in their production, and in particular when they're disposed of they get littered/put in landfill/dumped in oceans. The longer they're mandated worldwide, the worse this gets, and we could be talking billions of masks being disposed of over a short period of time here. Yet a number of people concerned about the environment won't take any criticism of masks. I think a big reckoning is coming around if David Attenborough, or someone else in his field, does a "Blue Planet 3) like documentary in a few years time.

On the other side I think the libertarian attitude, while something I generally support, is not helping the narrative against masks, as it's easy to portray this as not caring about others. I do think if libertarians spent more time focusing on costs like their damage to the environment, and other ones being impaired communication via facial expressions and assisting criminals, maybe we'll get somewhere on this whole issue.
 

Cdd89

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2017
Messages
866
I do think if libertarians spent more time focusing on costs like their damage to the environment
I’m not sure on this one. The obvious response to this is to use a cloth face covering. While the mandate results in disposable ones being disposed, this is ultimately consumer choice.

and other ones being impaired communication
I think this is the strongest card. Anyone with even mild hearing difficulties will really suffer without the ability to be assisted by (informal) lip reading. I saw a flight attendant really struggling to understand people on a plane a few days ago.

I think the libertarian attitude, while something I generally support, is not helping the narrative against masks
While “freedom” is a polluted concept (hardly surprising given some of the people who use the word), I do think there is a value to most of the population in “getting back to normal”. Very few people would openly admit to wanting masks forever; asking people when they would stop wanting masks can therefore often provoke some introduction.

You didn’t mention it, but I personally stay out of even mentioning mask efficacy when talking to others. I don’t think it persuades people, when the arguments can still apply from the position that they have some benefit. (Of course if someone thinks typical masks are highly beneficial, that’s easy to discredit and I would happily do so!).
 

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
1,828
Location
First Class
In response to the thread title, yes and no. There’s a clear divide when you look at parliament and I think this trickles down into the general population (if not quite to the same extent as elsewhere) so to a certain extent yes. However, it’s more of a libertarian vs authoritarian issue in my opinion, and there are people of both persuasions on either side of the political spectrum. I’m reasonably right wing (think 1922 committee rather than BNP, in case anybody gets the wrong idea!) but when it comes to covid I find myself in total agreement with numerous self-confessed lefties on here and elsewhere. In fact, I’m increasingly of the opinion that right and left are now nothing more than nominal political identities that serve only to divide us. Of course there are traditional left-wing policies and ideologies which I’m unlikely to ever agree with, however I’m willing to put such differences to one side when confronted with the kind of authoritarianism we’re witnessing currently, against which we should all stand together, those of us that value our freedom and way of life anyway. (We can discuss the higher rate of income tax threshold and other such trivial matters later!).
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,656
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
In response to the thread title, yes and no. There’s a clear divide when you look at parliament and I think this trickles down into the general population (if not quite to the same extent as elsewhere) so to a certain extent yes. However, it’s more of a libertarian vs authoritarian issue in my opinion, and there are people of both persuasions on either side of the political spectrum. I’m reasonably right wing (think 1922 committee rather than BNP, in case anybody gets the wrong idea!) but when it comes to covid I find myself in total agreement with numerous self-confessed lefties on here and elsewhere. In fact, I’m increasingly of the opinion that right and left are now nothing more than nominal political identities that serve only to divide us. Of course there are traditional left-wing policies and ideologies which I’m unlikely to ever agree with, however I’m willing to put such differences to one side when confronted with the kind of authoritarianism we’re witnessing currently, against which we should all stand together, those of us that value our freedom and way of life anyway. (We can discuss the higher rate of income tax threshold and other such trivial matters later!).

It possibly doesn’t help as we have a government whom are nominally to the right, but in practice might more accurately be defined as populist. Hence why we’re now seeing some surprising alliances developing.

I suspect there’s plenty of Conservative voters really not looking forward to Wednesday’s budget.

One wonders if things might be a little different if (1) we were closer to a general election, and/or, (2) a government with a slimmer majority. We’d perhaps see greater accountability, if nothing else. This government seems a strange mix of “we will do whatever we bloody well please”, but at the same time weak and frit.
 

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
1,828
Location
First Class
It possibly doesn’t help as we have a government whom are nominally to the right, but in practice might more accurately be defined as populist. Hence why we’re now seeing some surprising alliances developing.

I suspect there’s plenty of Conservative voters really not looking forward to Wednesday’s budget.

One wonders if things might be a little different if (1) we were closer to a general election, and/or, (2) a government with a slimmer majority. We’d perhaps see greater accountability, if nothing else. This government seems a strange mix of “we will do whatever we bloody well please”, but at the same time weak and frit.

I totally agree. Ordinarily I’d be delighted to have an actual (allegedly anyway) Conservative government with a huge majority but I didn’t even bother voting in the local elections as it was a case of “none of the above”. This is the danger of having a completely useless opposition and is why I don’t take a lot of pleasure in Labour tearing itself apart, as tempting as it is. Politics is in the gutter at present with no sign of climbing out.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,656
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
I totally agree. Ordinarily I’d be delighted to have an actual (allegedly anyway) Conservative government with a huge majority but I didn’t even bother voting in the local elections as it was a case of “none of the above”. This is the danger of having a completely useless opposition and is why I don’t take a lot of pleasure in Labour tearing itself apart, as tempting as it is. Politics is in the gutter at present with no sign of climbing out.

Gutter is an understatement, sewer is more appropriate!

To be honest, I wish Cummings would manage to land a knock-out blow on Johnson, I just want to see him gone and I don’t really care how it occurs. Trouble is, there remains the problems we’ve had for some time now, which manifests itself in no obvious replacement. That’s why we got him in the first place.
 

NorthKent1989

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2017
Messages
1,484
The OP mentioned LGBT groups and they're absolutely right but it's interesting that the LGBT community at large is in favour of government mandates on masks, lockdowns, passports etc. I feel that being gay myself is what really cemented my anti restriction views because it's opened my mind to how insidious governments can be when they go authoritarian and dictate things and people's lives that really should affect nobody. Knowing that 50+ years ago, people like me were subject to authoritarianism has really put me on the libertarian side of just wanting to let people be. Do they really think, knowing their own history, that a paper's please society is a particularly good idea? It makes me uncomfortable.

I also think it's a disgrace that many LGBT people have chucked youth under the bus by promoting lockdowns whilst these youth are stuck with homophobic parents.

This post is brilliant!

You’ve hit the nail on the head, this is why lockdowns should never happen again! Vulnerable youths (lgbt, abuse victims etc) paid the price for zero-covid fanatics.

And as for passports I too am very disturbed by how many are in favour of them, it’s certainly unified the authoritarian left and right who want them for different reasons, as a mixed race guy I know that such measures will lead to racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination such as homophobia and class.

It’s more shocking that many on the left are in favour of such measures, but then again I’d sooner trust a libertarian right winger over an authoritarian left winger
 

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
1,828
Location
First Class
Gutter is an understatement, sewer is more appropriate!

To be honest, I wish Cummings would manage to land a knock-out blow on Johnson, I just want to see him gone and I don’t really care how it occurs. Trouble is, there remains the problems we’ve had for some time now, which manifests itself in no obvious replacement. That’s why we got him in the first place.

I don’t disagree with any of this!

This post is brilliant!

You’ve hit the nail on the head, this is why lockdowns should never happen again! Vulnerable youths (lgbt, abuse victims etc) paid the price for zero-covid fanatics.

And as for passports I too am very disturbed by how many are in favour of them, it’s certainly unified the authoritarian left and right who want them for different reasons, as a mixed race guy I know that such measures will lead to racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination such as homophobia and class.

It’s more shocking that many on the left are in favour of such measures, but then again I’d sooner trust a libertarian right winger over an authoritarian left winger

Unfortunately I’m not sure we’ll ever know the scale of the problem yourself and @Scotrail12 have highlighted. There was a level of concern expressed when it came to women trapped with abusive partners, but very little if anything when it comes to other groups who often find themselves on the receiving end of discrimination and abuse. A case of “doesn’t fit the narrative so sweep under carpet” clearly.
 

stevetay3

Member
Joined
11 Jan 2011
Messages
340
Location
Maidenhead
I am a bit late reading this thread but I believe the requirement to ware a mask is a completely political issue designed to split the country as was Brexit.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,841
Location
Yorkshire
I am a bit late reading this thread but I believe the requirement to ware a mask is a completely political issue designed to split the country as was Brexit.
I believe the people who proposed mandatory masks knew full well they would be divisive and the people who implemented it knew this too.

Anyone who attempts to get others to wear masks now (such as Sadiq Khan and others of a similar ilk) is definitely being knowingly divisive; I'm certainly not complying with their indulgences.
 

stevetay3

Member
Joined
11 Jan 2011
Messages
340
Location
Maidenhead
I believe the people who proposed mandatory masks knew full well they would be divisive and the people who implemented it knew this too.

Anyone who attempts to get others to wear masks now (such as Sadiq Khan and others of a similar ilk) is definitely being knowingly divisive; I'm certainly not complying with their indulgences.
Nor me.
 

Philip

Established Member
Joined
27 May 2007
Messages
2,418
Location
Manchester
I think it is overthinking to start down the libertarian/authoritarianism and left/right roads; maybe with some, but I doubt the majority of people who put them on are doing it for political reasons. If the establishment someone enters requests that they are worn (ie. a church), chances are the majority of people who enter will wear them. Also I've noticed that the busier a train is, the more people tend to wear them.
 
Last edited:

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
1,828
Location
First Class
I think it is overthinking to start down the libertarian/authoritarianism and left/right roads; maybe with some, but I doubt the majority of people who put them on are doing it for political reasons. If the establishment someone enters requests that they are worn (ie. a church), chances are the majority of people who enter will wear them. Also I've noticed that the busier a train is, the more people tend to wear them.

I agree in so far as I don’t think the majority of mask wearers (or non wearers for that matter) are making a political statement. There is a vocal (and visible!) minority though who have sought to politicise the issue, and it’s fair to say that those on the authoritarian left are very much in the pro-mask camp.
 

35B

Established Member
Joined
19 Dec 2011
Messages
1,964
I agree in so far as I don’t think the majority of mask wearers (or non wearers for that matter) are making a political statement. There is a vocal (and visible!) minority though who have sought to politicise the issue, and it’s fair to say that those on the authoritarian left are very much in the pro-mask camp.
All true, but the issue has also been weaponised by a faction of the right. It is naive to assume that the only politicisation is from the left and supporters of mask wearing.
 

Cdd89

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2017
Messages
866
All true, but the issue has also been weaponised by a faction of the right. It is naive to assume that the only politicisation is from the left and supporters of mask wearing.
This is an interesting point I’ve been pondering for some time. If we agree that:
  1. Wearing a mask for an extended period is (at least) a moderate-inconvenience NPI
  2. The default position should be no mandatory NPIs of significant inconvenience unless there is a strong case for them
  3. The settled pre-Covid consensus in terms of risks (in terms of illness and pressure on healthcare) was accurate
Then without such a case, given the comparability of COVID risk to the vaccinated in relation to other risks we accept, those calling for such NPIs are the ones politicising the issue.

If the opposite side were calling for masks to be banned and wearers to be shamed — an opposite authoritarian position, which I don’t believe to be held by any significant number — then I would be more inclined to agree that this group are equally politicising the issue.
 

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
1,828
Location
First Class
All true, but the issue has also been weaponised by a faction of the right. It is naive to assume that the only politicisation is from the left and supporters of mask wearing.

I think @Cdd89 has explained the situation (as I see it anyway) rather well. Yes, there are those on the right who make a point of not wearing a mask. The difference however is that they’re not trying to impose their ideology on others, and they’re not the ones trying to change the status quo. It’s the authoritarian left who are the “aggressors” in this instance, the right are simply reacting.

Edited to add: I accept that there are extreme voices on both sides just to be clear.
 

Freightmaster

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2009
Messages
2,740
I think @Cdd89 has explained the situation (as I see it anyway) rather well. Yes, there are those on the right who make a point of not wearing a mask. The difference however is that they’re not trying to impose their ideology on others, and they’re not the ones trying to change the status quo. It’s the authoritarian left who are the “aggressors” in this instance, the right are simply reacting.
Precisely - there wouldn't be any 'anti maskers' if there were no 'maskers' in the first place!!





MARK
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top