The subject of what to do about so-called anti-vaxxers was discussed on Monday’s Ian Collins Show. The Talk Radio host agreed with a listener who texted in to say that: “this isn’t about freedom of speech, these are highly dangerous people spreading messages that could have fatal consequences. These people are no better than those who spread messages of terrorism.” Collins responded with “Yeah I think I’d echo that as well…”
Oh dear. This from the radio station that claims to be “the home of free speech.” When journalists support the criminalisation of opinions, we are in serious trouble. Earlier in the same show, Collins applauded the news that 9 million UK citizens have received a coronavirus vaccine, calling it “ground-breaking” and “the light at the end of the tunnel.” During his monologue, Collins hilariously claimed that there is a “commonality” among anti-vaxxers. He said:
“If you scratch under the surface you’ll usually find a synergy in their backstories. They’re often single, not exclusive but they’re often single. They’re usually rudderless, they often have lost something, that could be relationship or a job or a career, or just a general lack of direction….”
He went on:
“You don’t tend to meet many of these people who are without some kind of agitation in their own story….. now it sounds like I’m sympathising, I’m not sympathising with these people cos at best they’re idiots and at worst they’re dangerous..erm…because these are people whose lives just haven’t panned out how they would have liked it….”
Collins then went on to link anti-vaxxers to anti-Semitism. Yawn right? He’s changed his tune has our Ian. Back in November he said that he understood completely why people would be hesitant to take a vaccine that had been rolled out at the speed of light and stated that he himself would not be having one! What’s happened in the meantime? Did Google/YouTube’s shot across the Talk Radio bows (the station was banned for a day) straighten Ian and his chums out?
Back to Ian’s photofit of an anti-vaxxer then. I can only speak for myself. I’ve been with my beautiful French partner for nigh on 19 years. I’ve been in the same job for nearly seven years and in the industry for over 20. I am a home-owner, or mortgaged up to the tits to be more accurate, no debt apart from the house and I own my own car. That’s nothing to shout about either (it’s an eight year old Renault Megane Estate with a million miles on the clock), but I’m hardly a failure who’s looking to blame the establishment for my shortcomings.
Journalism used to be a vocation. Collins would do well to remember that. How dare he or anyone else in the press compare those who express concerns about vaccine safety or efficacy to terrorists. Do your job Ian, or get out of the way.