SCOTS TV historian Neil Oliver has been castigated after stating he would "cheerfully risk catching Covid" in the name of personal freedom.

The archaeologist, author, TV presenter and former National Trust for Scotland president compared those who refuse to comply with current guidelines to those who fought in World War II.

The Renfrewshire-born 54-year-old who was described as “divisive” by senior SNP members for his well known pro-Union anti-independence said "it was a minority of people, outgunned and shouted down by fellow citizens who felt deals might be struck with tyrants" who stood up against fascism during the Second World War and compared them to the minority of people who refuse to take the jab or comply with Covid rules.

He indicated those who are shouted down for not taking the vaccine were living under "tyranny".

HeraldScotland:

Mr Oliver, who has a weekly show on the controversial GB News channel, said: "If your freedom means I might catch Covid from you, then so be it.

"If my freedom means you might catch Covid from me, then so be it. That's honestly how I see it.

"For the sake of freedom, yours and mine together, I will cheerfully risk catching Covid. That is a chance one among many that I am prepared to take and happily. Life is not safe. Freedom is not safe. For the sake of freedom, yours and mine together all freedoms being of equal value, I will cheerfully risk much else besides."

He went on: “For me, without freedom there is no point in anything.

"So, take away all the numbers, all the statistic, all the models and predictions.

“For me it all boils down to something simple.

"I declare that I am a free man. I was born into a part of the world where I was taught that my freedom was won for me by men and women who died to make it so.

“In the beginning of that fight to prevent the victory of that tyranny, it was a minority outgunned and shouted down by fellow citizens that stood up and said no.

“Merely to live is not enough, not nearly. What matters is to live in freedom.

His comments were widely criticised on social media platforms.

One commented: So would you cheerfully risk passing it onto me?

I’m immune suppressed so you might well be giving me a death sentence."

Another said: "I've got stage four cancer, you wouldn't know meeting me. Please consider wearing masks in enclosed spaces to protect medically vulnerable people."

Another wrote: "Your disregard for the 130000 that have died is astonishing."

HeraldScotland:

And another responded: "What about the vulnerable you could pass it on to? Are you happy to kill them? Lockdowns are shit but they'll be over soon. Dead people can't experience freedom. The people I know who've died can't experience freedom."

Mr Oliver has previously branded lockdown “the biggest mistake in world history”.

In 2017, the TV presenter best known as a presenter of several BBC documentary series, including A History of Scotland, Vikings and Coast revealed he quit using social media after being subjected to “vicious” abuse from pro-independence supporters. He later returned.

 

What Neil Oliver said in full

 

 


For me, it's all and only about freedom. For me,  without freedom, there is no point in anything. 
So, take away all the numbers, all the statistics, all the models and predictions. 
All the promises and threats, all the steel hand in velvet glove coercion, take all of that away. 
For me, it all boils down to something simple.
I declare that I am a free man. 
I was born 54 years ago, into a part of the world, just a relatively small part of the world, where I was taught that my freedom had been won for me by men and women who had fought and died to make it so.
I was born just 22 years after World War Two, into a world still full of those men and women who had fought for my freedom and live to tell the tale. And what a tale, it was.
It started with the sudden appearance of a force bent on tyranny. Of course, the sudden appearance was an optical illusion. In truth, that force had been on the rise and making plans for years before it was ready to pull the trigger.
It's worth remembering that that force believed it was poised to make the world a better place, a glorious place. 
When that force started moving it seems nothing could or would stop it. And in the beginning of the fight to prevent the victory of that tyranny, it was a minority, a minority outgunned and shouted down by fellow citizens, who felt deals might be struck with tyrants that stood up and said no.
English writer Mervyn Peake said to live at all, is miracle enough. It's a good line.  And I've quoted it for years.
But now I see that merely to live is not enough, not nearly.
A caged bird is alive, but without the freedom to fly in the limitless sky, it is denied everything that makes a bird in the first place. 
To be alive is not enough. What matters is to live in freedom.
A bird is such a fragile creature. It's really all and only about movement. Take away a birds movement, and it's a handful of feathers and air.

Freedom is not negotiable. You're either free or you're not. 
Freedom is not even safe. Those who have been imprisoned are often terrified of freedom, all those choices, all of that personal responsibility. 
This is why ex cons often reoffend, so they can go back behind bars where it feels safer, out of harm's way.
I have three children.
They're growing up fast, teenagers all.
Often, I think I would like to keep them close by me forever where I can stop them doing stupid things, dangerous things.
If I kept them in the house, no stranger could hurt them. But that would be no life, Not for them, and not even for me. 
I would be the jailer, and they would be my caged birds.

As it happens, this past year and a half has let me see what happens to children kept safe in the house. It's not good. It's not good at all.

 
And so if I didn't know it before I know now that I have to let them go out into a world that is full of all manner of things, danger included. 
Here's the thing. If your freedom means I might catch Covid from you, then so be it. If my freedom means you might catch Covid from me, then so be it. That's honestly how I see it. 
For the sake of freedom, yours and mine together. I will cheerfully risk catching Covid. That is a chance, one among many, that I am prepared to take and happily. 
Life is not safe. Freedom is not safe. For the sake of freedom, yours and mine together, both freedoms being of equal value, I will cheerfully risk much else besides.
It's the summertime now. Summertime is the time to remember the Battle of Britain.
The part of the story that moves me most of all has Churchill in Uxbridge in the operations room of Number 11 Group, tasked with defending London and the southeast, the sky above them is filled with fighter planes, and bombers. 
Churchill asks Air Vice Marshall Keith Park, about the reserves, how many planes and pilots he has as backup, ready to take the place of those already committed,
Every aircraft, and man we have is in the air now, said Park, there is no reserve.
Those Spitfires and Hurricanes were piloted by men, and also by boys not long out of school. 
They risked everything for freedom, mine and yours, the last full measure of devotion.
I cannot be sure, but I don't think they fought and died, so a government might seize and hold that freedom like a deck of cards, dealing them out one by one to those deemed deserving.
I think they fought for unconditional freedom for each man, woman, and child. That's what I think. 
I've been reading about people calling people who have chosen not to take the vaccine, 'plague rats'. I've read about people calling for those plague rats to be rounded up and locked away, out of sight.
There's another battle of Britain being fought now. It's being fought by a minority outgunned and shouted down by those who would [won't] accept freedom handed to them by MPs on condition that they do as they are told.
That's not freedom. That is tyranny. And I for one will not live under that yolk, as I have done all my life, I salute the few.
I hope to see you on the other side.