AS England rules out vaccine passports, once again the SNP proves to be the authoritarian party of the UK. Covid passports will be mandatory at major venues from the 1st of October. I say major venues but what "major" means depends on whether they are indoor or outdoor. The passport will also, apparently, apply to any "sexual entertainment venues". Sex, I guess, is "diseased" for the puritanical party of Scottish nationalists and their sexually-correct Green pals.

Despite 84% of over-18s having had both jags, those who have rejected the vaccine thus far will now face pressure to comply.

A variety of concerns have been raised about the lack of detail in these plans. Many others have talked about the impact this could have on businesses, especially night-time businesses. And it seems clear that a key reason for the passports is to bully the young who frequent nightclubs. The same young people who are practically Covid bullet-proof already.

The concerns about business and the lack of details are legitimate, but they should be seen as secondary, indeed barely worth a mention in comparison to the principle of people’s freedom to choose whether they want to be vaccinated or not.

People are not literally being forced to take the vaccine, but there is clear and intended pressure to make young people, in particular, get the the vaccine against their will. In a free society that respects the autonomy of individuals, this is totally unacceptable.

READ MORE: Stuart Waiton: Ordinary people, young and old, must be trusted to manage coronavirus risk

To his credit, the usually illiberal Liberal Democrat leader Alex-Cole Hamilton, has stated that his party is "fundamentally opposed to the plan", that will take us on a "disturbing and illiberal course" – which indeed it will.

The illogical nature of the passport is made even worse by the fact that being vaccinated does not stop us from spreading the disease, but then, much of what passes as “science” is clearly pre-determined in Scotland by the warped nature of liberty within Scottish state politics.

We see this already with the bizarre mask wearing carry-on in pubs and restaurants, indeed, at a wedding I attended recently, the mask madness was displayed in all its comical glory, with guests free to dance, drink, eat and mingle for the entire day, except when the state official was present for the ceremony itself.

The registrar was understandably apologetic as she asked people to wear a mask – few complied.

The illiberal nature of politics is not specific to Scotland, of course, indeed it was New Labour under Tony Blair which really started the ball rolling with the development of “nudge” politics and slogans like “freedom from fear”.

READ MORE: Covid mask obsessives teach youngsters that freedom is to be feared

Nudge policies, or what some oxymorons call “libertarian paternalism”, are used to nudge us to behave, and have become part of the modern elitist armoury of expert initiatives, there to encourage us all to make the “correct decisions” in our lives.

The idea of "freedom from fear" helped to transform the very meaning of freedom, to turn it on its head to mean freedom from other people, rather than freedom from the power of the state – a "freedom" based on ever more policing and the regulation of public life.

The SNP, of course, have managed to turn paternalism into an art form and now we face having a two-tiered society based on the abandonment of a basic liberal principle of bodily autonomy, one where we will have to carry our health and safety papers when we go out at night.

Unfortunately, I suspect the anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists will feel their arguments are strengthened by this authoritarian move, something that could have repercussions for how people think about all vaccines in the future.

The approach to dealing with Covid has been illiberal from the outset. Little trust has been granted to the public in engaging with the problems we face. The passport, in this respect, is a logical outcome of a state system that increasingly treats us as lab-rats to be nudged rather than citizens to trust and engage.

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