Letters to the Editor

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Viv Forbes reminds us that passports were never compulsory but a sought-after luxury that made travel smoother. Thus he highlights how we’ve become accustomed (oh, how slowly) to their necessity. In this, he reminds us that travel documents were everywhere introduced not by western democratic governments but by dictators. We would do well to be warned that the proposed COVID passports will be prevented only by the pinpricks of thousands of people refusing to use them. Nothing else will persuade the bureaucrats that travel documents are more trouble than they’re worth. Though even after they see the next election won by conservatives they’ll probably still not consider them anti-democratic. — RT

23rd May 2021

A passport was once highly valued by travellers, but it was not compulsory. Signed by the sovereign, it said: “The bearer of this passport has my protection. He is free to travel anywhere. Do not pester him (or her).”

Gradually passports became compulsory bureaucratic tools to control and track international travellers. Continue Reading →

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