Data. It’s out there, it’s being created all the time, and we’ve all reconciled ourselves to the necessity attached to it. Data is required of us. Fine, we’re all aware of various needs which are tied to the idea of data, our data, our personal data, but our attitude to it seems to be less logical.
This is surely a slightly incongruous edge to the relationship which exists between electorate and elected, isn’t it? Fundamentally, when we elect governments into parliament, we are stating that these are the people we trust to run our country. These are the people in whose hands we feel safe, or safest at least. These are those whom we expect to do right by us. But we don’t want them to know things about us? That idea’s rather disjointed, isn’t it?
The state has access to information about us all. The state needs that information, and we, in turn, need the state to have that information in order to ensure that our lives run the way we’ve become used to. Remove the right of the state to various bits of personal information, and very swiftly certain facets of our lives will stop. Recently, when the government encouraged people to register their desire to have themselves vaccinated against the coronavirus, ‘opposition’ politicians started ringing alarm bells about the requested information.
Name, postcode, settlement, address. Well, is that so out of the ordinary? How many people know that information about you? Are your bills delivered by mail? Well then. Moving on…age, e-mail address, telephone number, and social security number.
What is it that these people are afraid of? The state is in the middle of a pandemic, and is working hard to ensure that as many lives as possible are saved.
We are all aware that we are facing problems regarding access to the vaccines to prevent further loss of life, aren’t we? And presumably our awareness includes the concept that people are dying on a daily basis. In that case, why are we hearing some people claim that there is no need for the state to have access to such information as our e-mail addresses and telephone numbers? Surely, in this day and age, the simplest and fastest way of ensuring mass vaccination is to organise things in the simplest way possible. The modern method of organising a mass vaccination has to involve the quickest way of reaching the vast majority of people. That involves telephones and e-mails.
It really is this simple. This is not the time to get bogged down in the misleading tactics of ‘opposition’ politicians. ‘Opposition’ politicians in Hungary have repeatedly shown that when it comes to issues concerning this global pandemic they can only view things in terms of the utmost selfishness. We have, for example, witnessed scenes of ‘opposition’ politicians jumping the queue to ensure that they receive vaccinations before those whose health warrants priority. That’s nothing if not selfish. In other areas of life, the attitude of ‘opposition’ politicians has been equally selfish: cynically convinced that the worse the pandemic is for Hungary the more political capital they stand to gain at the ballot boxes, they have sought to hamper the government’s response. Now, their tactic of continually snapping at the government’s heels like a Pomeranian with poison coursing through its veins has, unsurprisingly, not brought the government to its knees, but instead remains an indicative reminder of how immature the Hungarian ‘opposition’ is.
If anything, this tactic – that of an angry little dog, viciously snapping at someone’s heels – has drawn attention to the fact that if these muppets were in charge of crisis management, then we could expect nothing less than a return to traditional Hungarian Leftwaffe priorities.
If the ‘opposition’ were in charge, then high-ranking political figures would outrank those whose state of health requires early access to the vaccine.
Unlike here, in the UK you cannot register, you cannot put your name forward to alert the authorities to your presence. Everything is done through the network of GPs. Now although the network of GPs is obviously able to handle the requirements of a local population on a daily basis, this is a pandemic, not your average daily situation.
As such, there have been differences and anomalies in the consistency of the vaccination programme. By delegating the running of the programme to local level, there have been uneven responses. Some people living on one side of a road, for example, belong to one health area, and they receive vaccines earlier than those on the other side of the street who belong to a different health area. Elderly people one village across have all been vaccinated whilst elderly people one village over in the other direction are still waiting to be informed of when they can expect to be vaccinated. My own mother related how various friends and acquaintances of hers all informed her of their inoculation. Everyone around my mother seemed to be racing ahead of her in terms of vaccine protection. There was no centrally-organised method of gathering all information about those who need to be vaccinated first, so old information was relied upon. That proved to be of critical importance. Having heard from all and sundry that they had been vaccinated, my mother took the pro-active path and contacted her GP, to be told that she had been telephoned but that there had been no answer.
Maybe the phone was on the blink, maybe the person doing the dialling misdialled. Tellingly, although the staff of the GP’s surgery were aware of my mother’s mobile phone number, that was not the number they chose to call. No e-mail was sent because, unlike here, there was no means of registering e-mail addresses with the state to ensure that you could be contacted.
Had it not been for asking, who knows when, or if, anyone would have thought to ask.
Now, are you truly concerned about the state knowing your phone number and your e-mail address?