Double standards

by Nathan Barnard

God repeatedly states in scripture that we are not to show partiality when judging or in our actions.[1] However, we consistently see the duplicitous nature of COVID-19 laws globally. In Australia, Zoe-Lee Buhler, a pregnant woman, was arrested and taken from her home. When arrested, the police also confiscated all phones, tablets and laptops out of the property – all because she posted her disdain for the lockdown measures on Facebook.[2] Therefore, because of her post, she was arrested for allegedly inciting protests. But what about those who gather for Black Lives Matter? Why are they not arrested when they know the details of the organisers and many of those who attend?

Premier Andrews states that he had not seen the footage regarding the pregnant woman’s arrest. He said: “There are rules; we are not going to change those rules. Protests are not smart, they’re not safe, and they’re not lawful, and that’s where it is at.”[3]  The chief of police in an interview stated that the actions of the officers who arrested the pregnant woman, were lawful…that the police would go after those who do not comply with the government directives – those who are out in the community to engage in protest would be held to account. [4]

However, while the police do have the powers to arrest those who are protesting, due to the coronavirus restrictions, they seem focused on people who speak out and challenge the government’s lockdown measures. Why are they not arresting those who organise protests/gatherings concerning Black Lives Matter? Why are they allowing them to protest freely?[5] Yet while Australian news reporters are blowing the whistle on such behaviour, calling it disgusting, disgraceful and an abuse of power, the BBC are calling Zoe-Lee Buhler a “suspect” rather than condemning the actions of the police and the Australian government. Does this show the media in the UK to be reporting in an unbiased way? Furthermore, are the double standards evident in Australia purely an isolated incident or has it become ubiquitous amongst police forces globally? Could we see this in the UK?

This week a video went viral of a man in a train being targeted, victimised and assaulted by police for not wearing a mask.[6] The man was approached by a police officer who asked the gentleman to put a mask on. The man responded, stating that he has a medical condition and does not need to wear a mask under the legislation. The police officer then tried to take hold of the man to arrest him, but the man stated: “You’re not allowed to touch me by law. I do not have to wear a mask, end of, and you do not have to challenge me. It’s against the law to challenge me.” [7] But has the gentleman the right not to wear a mask?

Section 4 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020, which came into force on the 24th July 2020, exempts a person from wearing a face mask because of:

(a) P cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering—

(i) because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010(10)), or

(ii)without severe distress;[8]

To challenge a person is in breach of the Disabilities Discrimination Act 1995, amended 2018, and the Equality Act 2010. 

Furthermore, national rail state in their guidelines:

“Why are people allowed on my train without face coverings?

Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not always be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers. Anyone that isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering can get a £100 fine from the police or Transport for London enforcement officers.”[9]

Additionally, section 5 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 states that:

(2) Where a relevant person considers that a person is not wearing a face covering, in contravention of the requirement in regulation 3, the relevant person may—

(a) direct that person to wear such a covering;

(b) direct that person to leave the relevant place.

(3) Where a person does not comply with a direction given to them by a constable under paragraph (2)(b), the constable may remove them from the relevant place.

(4) A constable exercising the power in paragraph (3) may use reasonable force, if necessary, in the exercise of the power.

(5) Where a relevant person has reasonable grounds to believe that a relevant child is failing to comply with the requirement in regulation 3, the relevant person may direct any individual who has responsibility for the relevant child to secure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the child complies with the requirement.[10]

We can see from the legislation that people with certain medical conditions are exempt. The gentleman had stated, that he had suffered from panic attacks since his father’s death.[11] Thus he would, under the legislation, have had a legitimate reason for not wearing a face covering and therefore was complying with the legislation.

Therefore, when the man informed the police officer that he had a medical reason for not wearing a mask, he should have been left alone and not harassed. However, instead, the gentleman was discriminated against and assaulted by the police officer who himself was not complying with the law, regarding wearing a facemask. Furthermore, the police officer’s actions escalated the situation, resulting in the man being unlawfully pepper sprayed, and forcibly arrested and detained by several police officers.[12]

Under the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) guidelines, the use of pepper spray is specific. Officers are permitted to only use pepper spray when faced with violence or under threat of violence.[13] The guidelines state that:

2.6.1 Use of the spray is one of a number of tactical options available to an officer who is faced with violence or the threat of violence. Its use must be lawful in all the circumstances…[14]

2.8.1 after spraying and once the subject has been properly restrained, it is important that the officer provides verbal reassurance as to the temporary effects of incapacitant spray and instructs the subject to breathe normally. This will aid in the recovery and lessen the risk of hyperventilation…[15]

2.8.4 close monitoring of a subject throughout the recovery period is of utmost importance. If the individual experiences difficulties in resuming normal breathing, then medical assistance must be sought immediately and must be given precedence over conveying the subject to the police station…[16]

It is clear from the video that the gentleman was not showing any violence towards the police officer. Instead, the gentleman was standing up for his rights which the police officer was violating. Therefore, the officer’s use of the pepper spray was unlawful and resulted in the gentleman being assaulted by the police officer. Furthermore, the gentleman was said to be suffering from a panic attack after the incident. Still, the police did nothing to support him. Instead, they laughed at him. This not only is a breach of the NPCC code for using pepper spray, as outlined above, but also shows a militancy and lack of compassion by the police officers in attendance.

The gentleman was later charged with assaulting a police officer and will appear in court in January 2021.[17] But what action is going to be taken against the police officer? If he had not assaulted the man, he would not have needed to resist an unlawful arrest. Furthermore, do the police know what powers of arrest they have concerning the coronavirus and the guidelines on using pepper spray?

We can see the double standards further in that those who organise rallies to protest against the government or have raves are targeted. Yet, those who protest against Black Lives Matter are not. Why? Is there an agenda to cause civil unrest, so the government can freely instil martial law to enslave the people further? Shall we soon see martial law to deal with the protests?  Will people continue to relinquish their human rights, and their very souls, out of fear of an invisible virus or second wave?

On a side note, as a former professional member of the Institute for Conflict Management and as a trainer, the actions of the police were not peaceful, but rather actions of a police officer who had predetermined that the man was a lawbreaker, rather than remaining impartial until gaining facts. Yet, one has to ask whether this is down to police training and guidelines and thus a systematic failure of the police system, or a signal error?

One only needs to look at the militarisation of police forces globally and the subsequent abuse of police powers to see that this is a systemic failure. Furthermore, the Stamford prison experiment clearly shows how easily people can abuse their power when a person is degraded to be an ‘outsider- other’ within society.

Thus, are we witnessing the vilification and targeting of people who, for whatever reason, do not comply with COVID-19 measures? I have warned that this will take place as further draconian measures are passed. Those who resist the ‘new norm’ will be marginalised, imprisoned and eventually ghettoised.  Soon we will even see Christians hated in the West – in the UK. Churches will be forced to either close or preach a state-sanctioned form of Christianity, which is not Christian.

People must grasp the severity of the days in which we are living. Today we are witnessing the emasculation and subjugation of the people of this once great Godly nation. The coronavirus is not the worst that is to come. Soon we will witness food shortages, further pestilence, and a  global depression that will usher in a global currency and a Global Government that the Bible refers to as the Beast system of the antichrist.   

Thus I urge people to make preparations now for food shortages. A wise person would have at least 3-6 months of food for their families – they would prepare for a time of famine and want.

However, while I urge people to make practical preparations for the dark days ahead, I beseech you to ensure that you know God and are following Jesus. For what does it profit a man to gain life but lose his soul? A person’s only hope/assurance in the days ahead is to surrender their life to God and accept Messiah – Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Please, do not leave it too late. The days are short, and the darkness of night is almost upon us. Are you ready?


[1] Leviticus 19:15“‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.

Deuteronomy 16:19Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.

2 Chronicles 19:7Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”

[2] Sky news Australia, 2nd September 2020, ‘Andrews ‘must go tonight’ after horrible example of ‘inexcusable powers,: Jones’. Alan Jones reporting for Sky News Australia, YouTube, accessed 6th September 2020, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcHUGZGT9V4

BBC News, 4th September 2020, ‘ Coronavirus: Australian anti-lockdown suspect’s arrest draws controversy’. BBC News, YouTube, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4Tp9oRw5aw

[3] Sky News Australia, 3rd September 2020, ‘It is reckless for premier Andrews to ‘wipe his hands’ of pregnant woman’s arrest’. Sky News Australia, YouTube, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFzdaJUbvDk

[4] Sky News Australia, 3rd September 2020, ‘Victoria Police double down on pregnant women arrested’. Sky News Australia, YouTube, accessed 3rd September 2020, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFf2M5InaxI

[5] Sky News Australia, 4th September 2020, ‘’One rule for the woke, one rule for everyone else’: Murray’. Sky News Australia, YouTube, accessed 4th September 2020, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kURFv5evvk&list=PL2OFHLSeLxlZUmsB-sn4wtOTd1_RkHCT9&index=5&t=0s

[6] UK News in Pictures, 4th September 2020, ‘Man pepper sprayed and arrested on train in Liverpool for not wearing face mask’. YouTube, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXs_5NfZAJs (Warning!! please note the use of abusive language in the video).

[7] Dave Rudge & James Robinson, 4th September 2020, ‘Shocking moment police officer PEPPER-SPRAYS rail passenger for resisting arrest after ordering him to wear a face-mask – despite him claiming he is exempt due to a ‘medical condition’’. Mail online, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8697125/Shocking-moment-bully-police-officer-PEPPER-SPRAYS-rail-passenger-resisting-arrest.html

[8] Gov.uk, 24th July 2020, ‘ The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020’. Gov.uk, online, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/791/made

[9] National Rail, 1st July 2020, ‘Face coverings – frequently asked questions’. National rail, online, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/face-coverings.aspx

[10] Gov.uk, 24th July 2020, ‘ The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020’. Gov.uk, online, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/791/made

[11] Rudge & Robinson.

[12] Rudge & Robinson.

[13] Association of Chief Police Officer of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, ‘Guidance on the use of Incapacitant spray’. accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.npcc.police.uk/documents/FoI%20publication/Disclosure%20Logs/Uniformed%20Operations%20FOI/2013/003%2013%20Att%2014%20of%2015%20Guidance%20on%20the%20use%20of%20Incapacitant%20Spray.pdf

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Lizzie Dearden, 5th September 2020, ‘Man charged with assaulting police officer on train during argument over face mask’. Independent, online, accessed 5th September 2020, available from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/liverpool-train-assault-british-transport-police-face-mask-a9705586.html

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