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Parliamentary Pizzazz

Fireworks in French Parliament as the government’s proposed legislation to extend vaccine passports and other covid restrictions was rejected by the Assembly

Resisting the Intellectual Illiteratti | July 31, 2022

The government’s Covid bill was brought to the lower house on Monday July 11th and the stormy debates started right away, lasting into late Tuesday night, amidst interrupted sessions and even a motion of censure against the government (which, sadly, fell short of the necessary votes to be successful).

The Macron government’s main aim with the Covid bill was/is to extend the use of so-called health passes for all travelers coming into and out of France, creating a sort of “border pass.” What’s interesting is that on that Monday evening, I think it was, a motion was introduced by an opposition party to cut out the entire article dealing with this provision. The article in question, Article 2, would require anyone coming into or leaving France, regardless of nationality, to show either a negative PCR test, proof of recovery or proof of injection at the border. It would also make it possible to require children (between 12 and 18, I think) to use a health/border pass for travel as well.

Unfortunately, this bold move to scrap article 2 right out of the gate fell short of the necessary votes (by only 14 votes), and the debates raged on. It was a blow to all of us, especially those of us present at the protest next to the Assemblée on the 11th, because we were all hoping that the new lot of parliamentarians would do the right thing immediately.

But then, to everyone’s surprise, just a day later the newly elected députés ended up doing just that, when Article 2 was taken out of the bill by a majority of parliamentarians in the opposition who were able to set aside their differences on this crucial issue. In subsequent votes, another article was removed, and the bill ended up passing with only the first article intact. But it is now a watered down version of what the government wanted.

As things presently stand, the state of emergency and the dictatorial powers it has conferred on the executive for the last 2.5 years will come to an end on the 31st of July 2022. In addition, health passes (rebranded as border passes) cannot be brought back for travel at the border or for any other reason. For anyone.

So not only will lockdowns, curfews and business/school closures be off the table (at least not without the parliament passing a new law), but the government won’t be allowed to issue mask mandates or set capacity limits on businesses. Those are the very positive outcomes of the vote.

On the downside, medically meaningless and invasive testing and contact tracing will continue, with the intolerable and absurd obligations and restrictions they entail becoming more and more normalized. So even if the positive developments are not to be scoffed at, the nightmare is far from over and the battle is in no way won.

The bill is now before the Senate — whose composition, unlike the lower house, has not changed — where the majority right-wing Les Républicains, who lent their support to just about every totalitarian measure that has come before them since 2020, could easily vote the 2nd article back into the bill. The text is currently being studied by a Constitutional Law Committee (about which little has been reported) and tomorrow, Wednesday July 20th, it will be debated in the Senate, with the session open to the public, so broadcast.

It has been reported on a government website that amendments have been introduced by Senators, perhaps providing for some limited return of mask mandates or the health/border pass, but what these are exactly won’t be known until tomorrow, when the debates are held.

The Macron government was up in arms over the lower house’s amputation of the second article from its precious bill and has vowed to use all legal means and pressures to get the evil parts put back in by the sénateurs. Whatever the outcome in the senate, the bill will be the subject of further discussion and another vote in the lower house, which has the final say in the legislative process. A possible wild card that the government could still use would be to claim an unacceptable deadlock between the two houses and call for the creation of a joint parliamentary committee to find some compromise.

Even if this were to happen, the lower house will still have the final word in the legislative process. However, the wheeling and dealing that takes place in such drawn-out situations tends to favor the government.

Our hope is that the momentum created from the small victory over article 2 will gather force and prove to be unstoppable. Perhaps the efforts of the heroic groups of scientists, researchers, and doctors (and the alternative media that have given them a platform) who have spoken out over the past year and challenged the official narrative have made a difference. Even the most obtuse of the parliamentarians will know by now that the injections don’t prevent transmission or infection, or that a positive PCR test is not a “case,” at least not in the way that word was used up until long-established principles of public health and basic scientific facts were subverted in 2020.

The one thing I can’t quite understand in connection with this covid bill is how the government is still getting away with maintaining the suspension of the several thousand nurses and doctors who refused to take the experimental injection last September as part of their new Orwellian conditions of employment.

Of the 15,000 who have been prevented from earning a living in the healthcare professions for the last 10 months, it is believed that perhaps up to 5,000 have pivoted to other jobs or sectors, and may never return to healthcare. But it seems that the majority of those whom the government suspended do not want to do anything else and desperately would like to return to work to help sick and injured people get better.

During a time of chronic shortages in the healthcare system in France, and in light of the aforementioned reality that the injections don’t protect patients from infection from hospital staff, one would think the government would cede ground on this critical issue and allow the sorely needed personnel to go back to work. But not only is the Macron government continuing to refuse to allow thousands of experienced doctors, nurses and orderlies back to work, it continues to get away with saying that the so-called vaccinations are necessary to protect patients.

It is maintaining this delirious position not only amidst increasingly vociferous and vehement calls by the opposition parties in the lower house to reinstate the thousands of healthcare workers but also in light of the fact, now well documented and part of the public record, that the Macron gouvernement has reduced public hospital capacity by something like 18 thousand beds over the past 5 years and that perhaps 5 thousand of these were closed during the worst months of the pandemic. At the same time the government and the MSM are working hard to ramp up fear again, warning of a coming 7th or 8th wave (I’ve lost track), once again in complete contradiction to publicly available epidemiological data. The cognitive dissonance is unprecedented.

What I’m not clear about is how Macron, through his Prime Minister and Health Minister, will be able to keep healthcare workers suspended from their jobs after the state of emergency ends on the 31st of July. I would have thought the Parliament could find some way to legislate the healthcare workers back to their jobs either before or after this date.

If an absolute majority of lawmakers from several very different parties who are usually at each other’s throats (socialists, far-leftists, right and far-right) can agree that health/border passes must not be brought back, the same people can surely agree that over 10,000 healthcare workers vital to the health of the nation should have their right to earn a living restored to them, along with their right be free from medical coercion.

Although many have spoken out publicly against this continued outrage, what is missing, in my view, is for some high-profile dissident or attorney to publicly make the argument (for which it seems there is no shortage of evidence) that the Macron government has committed, in some form, reckless endangerment to human life by reducing hospital capacity and suspending thousands of health care workers during a so-called public health emergency. How wonderful would it be if someone just floated the idea.

Yet even during the most polite and thoughtful discussions between government officials and dissident academics, or during the more bold and humorous exchanges between critical media hosts and their guests, I have never heard it respectfully submitted — with all the careful wording and gentle tones that could be used to soften the accusation — that the closing of hospital beds and the suspension of healthcare workers, both by the thousands, in the middle of a pandemic must be considered a criminal act and should therefore be prosecuted as such. There must be some mathematical modeler on our side up to the challenge of estimating how many lives may have been lost due to these irrational and reckless actions taken by the government.

It’s maddening to see that after all the headway made in bringing certain basic facts to public attention (in this case, facts having to do with the uselessness of the injections for healthcare workers), the livelihoods of thousands of doctors and nurses essential to the health of the nation remain in the hands of Macron’s Prime Minister, who has once again said, peremptorily, that letting them return to work “is not on the agenda.” Such arbitrary, arrogant power would have been unthinkable a few years ago. It continues to be extremely worrying.

Prior posts from this author:

July 31, 2022 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , ,

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