"Opinion vs fact": James O'Brien links Brexiteers, anti-vaxxers and face mask objectors

14 July 2020, 12:03 | Updated: 14 July 2020, 12:10

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien's powerful monologue on the one thing he believes links Brexit voters, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers and people that oppose face masks.

Face coverings will become mandatory in all shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July and in a statement on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will say anyone failing to comply with the order could face a fine of up to £100.

However this has raised consternation amongst some members of the public.

James said that both MMR vaccine and climate science denial began "long before social media sought to attribute equal your wrong opinions and my fact-based evidence."

He posited that the consequences of these scientific denials are being reprised now in an "almost identical fashion to what went before."

James cited an article by journalist Quentin Letts who branded face coverings "muzzles": "It reminded me that back in the day when the Daily Mail was a huge problem for making parents suspicious of the MMR vaccine; climate science denial has been a very lucrative grift for all manner of chancers and fact-free charlatans for the best part of three decades."

He likened this abject denial of fact to those who believed "Brexit would be a good idea".

He observed that during the Brexit narrative, "the way in which things were obviously untrue were treated with equality and equivalence and balance."

"Brexit of course wasn't science, climate change and MMR were and still people persist in believing their Auntie Dorris on Facebook is a greater authority...on virology than science."