I avoided as much news as possible during my week away, because most of it appears to be useless propaganda these days anyway, and would just make me cross. Even so, no amount of self-imposed isolation could have defended my consciousness from the furore over vaccine passports. Is there no escape from this madness?
Having been dismissed out of hand as conspiratorial nonsense by vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi in February, the possibility of vaccine passports is inching closer to becoming a reality. In an evasive press conference, Boris Johnson spoke of Covid status certification, and played fast and loose with answers to questions over how extensively such health certification would be required. It remains a possibility that you’ll need to prove Covid status to enjoy a pint or buy some new socks, hardly helpful for two industries that have been absolutely flattened by lockdown, as Harriet Clarfelt discusses. I will perhaps start enjoying the news more as the rebellion gathers momentum – civil liberties matter, even if the propaganda tells you otherwise. And I need some new socks.
Another story that made it through my defences was the Deliveroo IPO. Its shares tanked on flotation as institutions were said to have shunned the offer because of the apparent exploitation of its delivery bikers – a lovely virtue-signalling opportunity if ever there was one, even if the reality is that the price was wrong for a company that stretched the definition of tech unicorn well beyond breaking point, as Phil Oakley observed at the time.