The NHS Test & Trace Service: The only certainty is the loss of freedom

The much heralded NHS Track and Trace Service apparently came into service on Thursday. But what help to you and I can it really be?

Throughout the Lockdown, the Government and the Police have sought to encourage friends, families and neighbours to dob each other in. The creation of the Track and Trace Service takes that further and fully establishes the UKs new social police service.

We have so far lost 9 weeks of our freedom to the Government’s Coronavirus response. Why should we deliberately undertake an act now that will take away more freedom from us and the people we know, when it is only that loss of freedom that is sure?

The only time that tracking and tracing might have proven to be the bombproof strategy for fighting Coronavirus as the Government would like us to think it will be, was when the first handful of cases were identified present in the UK, right back at the start and before the Lockdown began.

With the Virus now circulating and thought to have become intimate with 1 in 4 of us or more – even if we haven’t shown any symptoms – trying to use either an app or a manual track and trace service cannot and will not serve the legitimate purpose that it is being sold as in any way.

Statements coming from the Government this week include threats to close down entire ‘estates’ and making participation mandatory if we do not volunteer information to support the service. It does not help us trust our leading politicians. Nor does it reenforce our weakening faith in what they are doing in any way.

Should we really be expected to volunteer the details of who we have met and what we were doing when there is no conclusive evidence to say that even if we have been carrying Covid-19 and come into close proximity with another person, we could be the only possible source of infection for them or anyone else who might have crossed our path?  

Will be actually be breaking privacy laws if we communicate any of this information about anyone other than ourselves or those we are responsible for in some way?

The options for abuse in itself are staggering from this two-edged sword approach.

There will be those who would malevolently rise to the occasion of getting someone they don’t like or perhaps a work colleague they are jealous of ‘quarantined’ for a fortnight or maybe even two.

But there are many more on the flip side who will not knowingly wish to take responsibility for condemning other human beings and the many others around them to the prisons of their own homes. And why should they just so a Government that is messing up a national emergency so catastrophically can go live on air at the Daily Briefing each day and announce that they are ‘getting the job done’? 

For whatever reason and whatever the way of thinking it is that underpins the Government strategy on fighting Covid-19, the most consistent part of the whole process has been the wheeling out of Matt Hancock whenever the announcement for some dubious new process or action is made. 

The obvious response and what you are probably thinking is he’s the Health Secretary and as its a health emergency it simply makes sense. But can we really be so sure?

The lack of comedy makes a Hancock’s Half Hour revival unlikely. But one has to wonder if Matt Hancock is being lined up as The Fall Guy when the Government finally accepts the wheels have fallen off the Boris Johnson show.

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