Miri AF

Massive missives and more

Letter to Local Restaurant Regarding "Track and Trace", 16/07/2020


Dear [name redacted],

I came into your restaurant on Friday 10th July for a meal with my husband, but sadly, we had to leave without ordering anything as we did not want our details stored for the purposes of "track and trace", and we were informed we would not be served unless we volunteered our contact information.

In the first instance, I would like to explain clearly why we did not want our details taken. It is not because we were concerned the restaurant might misuse this information, which appeared to be how the manager interpreted our position - on the contrary; we have happily volunteered our details in the past to book a table, fully confident in the integrity of staff to do nothing untoward with our personal information. The reason we did not want our details taken on this occasion is that we do not want to be tracked by the government. Tracking our movements is not something we have ever agreed the government has the right or legitimacy to do. It is none of their business where we go or what we do, and nor is it their business to purport to protect our health. It is their business to protect our rights, and in reality, that is the only business the government has. What they are doing currently, in terms of imposing "lockdown" measures, destroying small business, decimating the economy, and as a direct consequence, irreparably ruining innumerable lives, is nothing short of tyrannical and despotic, and we want no part of it.

The fact remains there is actually no proof a "deadly virus" exists at all (please see here:https://www.kevinpcorbett.com/coronahysteria/viral-challenge-to-boris-johnson.html/), but even if there was and it did, it is still grotesque government overreach to demand the dismantling of the economy and consequent unravelling of millions of lives in response. My husband and I, along with millions of others, ardently oppose all of the "lockdown" measures in their entirety, as disproportionate and illegitimate, and we will not lend any credence to the situation by submitting to "track and trace" schemes, which are nothing short of kangaroo courts - innocent people receiving phone calls from state operatives demanding they incarcerate themselves in their houses for a fortnight, on the basis of accusations from anonymous parties, and with no right to challenge or appeal. This is the kind of thing one would expect to encounter in a dictatorial banana republic, not an alleged first-world liberal democracy.

Now that I have detailed our objections to the scheme and why we will not give our business to any venue that attempts to force us to participate, I think it is very important to clarify the legal position and underline that businesses do NOT have to extract details from customers in order to serve them and remain within the law. Participation in track and trace is entirely voluntary, and venues are completely at liberty to welcome patrons who would rather not be involved in it. 

Because the legal position has intentionally not been made clear to small businesses, many are needlessly turning customers away, as you did, and those customers are then taking their business to large corporate outfits, such as Wetherspoon, instead; outfits whose legal teams have carefully studied the guidance and know exactly what is and is not legally required. Wetherspoon knows customers cannot be forced to give away personal details, as this is in breach of the GDPR, and so they do not force (or even ask) customers to give such details. There are simply forms made available in the pubs that people can fill out should they choose, but there is no insistence or pressure on customers to do so. I invite you to visit your local Wetherspoon and see for yourself, and it is the same in other corporate chains, such as Marston's.

My husband and I were most regretful to have to leave your restaurant, as we would much rather support small and independent businesses such as yours, than monoliths like Wetherspoon, but if we are offered the choice of participating in track and trace or going elsewhere, then we will always go elsewhere.

I hope the information I have given you in this letter gives you cause to reconsider your position because we very much hope to enjoy many meals in your wonderful establishment in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Miri Finch