Hold on a minute, isn't Spain due for a kicking?

Double standards abound!


So, whilst we read in the international press about how the reluctance of Hungarians to have themselves inoculated against the coronavirus is all the fault of the Hungarian Prime Minister, there seems to be not a peep regarding what the Spanish are doing.

Now, let me just state, straight off the bat, that I haven’t got a problem with what Spain’s doing at all. The Spanish authorities have decided to compile a list of all their citizens who refuse to be inoculated against the coronavirus.

Forrás: AFP

Well, why not? We’ve been hearing for months now that a certain percentage of any population has to be vaccinated for the vaccine to effectively wipe out the disease that’s presently wiping us out. If that percentage isn’t reached then the whole thing becomes a very expensive exercise in pointlessness.

But, quite apart from the logic or lack thereof which can be found lurking behind the ‘anti-vaxxers’, this decision by the Spanish and the lack of outcry that it has caused, highlights the difference in attitude the media has when it comes to different countries and different governments.

Hungary’s government, as well might be expected, has been taken to task for the seeming lack of enthusiasm of Hungarians as regards the vaccine. The sun rises, the sun sets, and it’s time to give the Hungarians another kick in the knackers. Rather oddly, given the prevalence of ‘anti-vaxxers’ globally, it seems logical to blame the reluctance of people to have themselves vaccinated on that which seems to be responsible: the internet.

Surely we can all see that any reluctance to have themselves or their children inoculated is something that is far less dependent on governments and health authorities, and far more dependent on the extent that people believe what they’re exposed to on the internet and via social media.

People are contrary, at least some of the time. That said, a lot of people seem to be contrary on a more-or-less permanent basis. It matters not whether you can produce graphs, bar charts and the like, these people are convinced of their own correctness. Nothing will disprove their opinions. People who believe that vaccinations cause autism are obviously already slightly nutty to begin with.

Anyway, apart from all this, let’s get back to the Spanish:

the Spanish have decided to compile a list of those who refuse the coronavirus vaccine. This list, though not available to employers or the public will, significantly, be forwarded to the EU.

All right, but we’ve not seen any media hubbub about this decision of the Spanish authorities, and that’s odd. Here is a state making a list of those who aren’t following the line the government takes. In our part of the world, we’d be lined up and shot for even suggesting something along those lines!

Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón Forrás: AFP

Spain has been hit very hard by the coronavirus. We’ve all seen that. Still, the vaccine remains voluntary, at least for now. But what about the castigation? What about the verbal drubbings delivered regarding the failure of the Spanish Prime Minister to react in time to convince the citizens of Spain that success lies with vaccination?

That’s what we were subjected to. We had journalists seeking out enemies of the present Hungarian government (two former high-ranking political figures and an ex-chief medical officer), asking them to comment on what they thought the Hungarian Prime Minister was doing wrong.

Now, irrespective of the fact that nobody knows what will happen regarding the vaccine and the coronavirus, there are plenty of people who are, once again, determined to use the crisis as a stick with which to beat the Hungarians. We hear how our government concentrated its efforts in the wrong areas: busily scampering around the globe to acquire masks, gloves and other personal safety equipment, including ventilators. This, the critics now state, was a waste of time. Ah, the benefits of hindsight, eh? Well, even if the critics are assured of mistakes made, it seems far less straightforward to me. Is there a ‘best-before’ sticker on the bottom of the ventilators? Do they truly become obsolete so rapidly?

Of course not.

What this is, once again, is the use of the media to keep up the pressure on Hungary. Once again, it’s not what it presents itself to be. Seemingly a concerned report regarding Hungary’s preparations for the vaccine is, via the use of select sources, turned into an attack on a government that bucks the trend and refuses to kowtow.

If Spain’s citizens are reluctant to have themselves vaccinated, then that too, must be the fault of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez. Ah, but he’s a member of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party. That means he’s seen as being ‘one of the boys’, and as such, doesn’t feature as a target for the majority of the world’s media, no matter what he does or fails to do.

Still, surely there must be some deep-seated concerns in the liberal world. After all, Spain wasn’t always a happy socialist paradise, was it? Not a bit of it. Surely this tactic of registering citizens and keeping lists must remind people of Spain’s rather right-wing past. Or perhaps not. Maybe, once again, we’re witnessing the use of the elastic yardstick. Could it be that it’s not the tactic that is employed that matters, but rather the person who employs that tactic. Certainly that would explain a lot.

No matter that I completely agree with the idea of registering those who refuse to take part in the vaccination campaign, what I’m attempting to draw your attention to is the fact that if the Hungarian government were to announce a plan to do the same, our ears would be bleeding from the shrieks of the Leftwaffe regarding the ‘resurgence of fascism in Hungary’. The less things change the more they stay the same, eh?

And as we can see, no government is about to make vaccination compulsory. That would be a waste of government resources. Why take parliamentary action when society will enforce the vaccination process on its own behalf? As the vaccination is rolled out, I confidently expect to see more and more restrictions of a different nature being introduced. These restrictions will restrict the lives of those who refuse the vaccine. Want to travel? Want to fly? Want to go abroad? Want to work in this building which houses thousands of workers? Want to go to the big shopping centre? Welcome…where’s your certification?

When that happens, don’t be surprised to read about the resurgence of fascism in certain countries. But Spain won’t feature on the list, not unless they elect a conservative government, that is.