Stuart Lowman’s Inbox: No talking about Covid or vaccines!

As subjects like sex, religion and politics are ‘no dinner speaks’, it seems Covid-19 and vaccines are venturing into similar territory. Community member Rob Pullock tells of his recent trip to the barber:

I went for a haircut yesterday and on the mirror they had a small sign saying “no talking about Covid or vaccines, let’s talk about the weather rather”. Good message for all of us to think about and try and apply in our lives.

Forensics for Justice’s Paul O’Sullivan recently wrote an article titled ‘Back in the SAA saddle’. Community member David Thornton argues for a non-taxpayer funded airline:

I’ve just been reading ‘BizNews Digest’ and Paul O’Sullivan’s comments on SAA.

Yes it is/was a flag carrier. There are limits though to the amount an extremely narrow tax-base public should be required to support a public enterprise which, in the case of an airline, was extremely well-flown and maintained, yet from the publicly-apparent information, was very poorly financially managed.

I would venture to say it was (never) a profit-making enterprise. Coleman Andrews merely moved the furniture around in the same room. However as an SOE, one could say it shouldn’t have been. SAA is not the first ‘flag-carrier’ to have been deemed unsustainable for the public stomach and purse. We are not ‘special’. We are not the only country on earth with nice weather.

Mr. Hersov is exercising what I term democracy with a small ‘d’. If it’s good, I’ll say it. If it’s rubbish, I’ll say it too. The problem in SA is that we have no history of democracy. When one person publicly speaks the truth, the pharmacies immediately run short of immodium.

If we wish to have such a flag-carrier then let’s have someone (like) Mr. Hersov running it. Even if it is driven as a not-for-profit, break-even enterprise, it will at a minimum be more palatable to the taxpayer and reinstall pride in those serving it.

Community member Ron Steele worked at various times for the Rand Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Natal Mercury and the Citizen. He also had a spell in Zambia on the Financial Mail and in television. He penned the below piece titled ‘freedom check’:

One of my cherished beliefs is in the freedom of choice and freedom of speech to debate the pros and cons of any issues. I was a junior sports reporter at the Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg at the time of the Sharpeville massacre in March 1960.

When our reporters and cameraman returned from Sharpeville, a colleague took me to the basement garage to see the bullet holes and shattered windscreen of the staff motor vehicles.

Later that evening, I saw the horrendous pictures of dead bodies and terrified faces of people running from the crazed shooting of police officers.

After those events, I swore that for as long as I was a journalist I would report the truth, when facing gun-toting cops, a bullying politician or a silver-tongued millionaire. The concept of speaking up for the underdog was appealing.

Later in life, I learnt how many people around the world did not enjoy freedom of religion.

And that brings me to the present threat to the world. It’s not the Covid virus. It’s the suppression of freedom to challenge authority and the basic right to question the motives of big business, politicians and an elite team of medical scientists.

The lockdowns, the unrelenting media propaganda with almost every government in the world parroting a similar narrative.

When level 5 lockdown hit South Africa, I sensed something more serious than a rampant infectious illness. When I was stopped from walking on the beach opposite my flat at Umhlanga Rocks, I knew intuitively this was not right.

Overnight, world governments did something never done before in human history by making a new infectious disease and issue for a global response.

As the months progressed, fear and confusion allowed governments to flex their new powers gained from emergency laws. They forced a global lock down of business, causing massive loss of work and thrusting millions into poverty.

Emboldened by a tame and supportive news media, the government quickly learnt how to smother dissident voices. With the help of the corporate media, normal news platforms and social outlets shut out anyone who dared question the authoritarian status.

I have seen no investigative journalism into our loss of freedom. Most mainstream journalists have lost the passion for truth and transparency.

Yet the facts are available for any journalist or editor to break the true story.

We will survive Covid-19.

The real question is, will we survive the global threat of authoritarian rule? The drumbeat of fear can easily open the door for tyrants to delude their citizens that only a vaccination will set them free. It won’t and North Korea may become the blueprint for a new global lifestyle.

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