VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews must be shocked to find not everyone is happy with his desire to continue to devastate 6 million people at the whim of a press conference.
Mr Andrews responded to concern at his plan to extend Victoria’s State of Emergency for 12 months by tweeting:
Getting back to normal won't ever be an option if we can't protect what we've already achieved.— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 24, 2020
These changes are about saving lives and keeping Victorians safe - nothing more, nothing less.
Which, translated, seems to mean, “Getting back to normal won’t ever be an option if you don’t grant me even more extraordinary powers to destroy all semblance of normal”.
The Premier, who for months has deemed it too unsafe for Parliament to meet, now believes it is safe for Parliament to meet– just long enough to change laws protecting Victorians from unchecked power to give him more unchecked power over Victorians.
The Premier said his desired extension of the State of Emergency “does not change how long our current lockdown will last, or increase the restrictions we face”.
Well that’s a relief! Because everyone was perfectly fine with North Korean style curfews, but would have drawn the line at any increase in restrictions!
For instance, if the Premier made it illegal to drive the highway from Melbourne to Geelong to see your mum, that would be too much. Or if he imposed restrictions to make it an offence for people living in housing commission shoe boxes to venture outside even to buy milk …
Wait. He already did all that.
But honestly, if Daniel Andrews suddenly said people had to shut down their business so that they were no longer able to feed their family, that would be a bridge too … far out, he’s done that as well!
Next thing you know he will ensure long-suffering Victorians, locked in their homes, can’t even turn on the TV without Waleed Aly or Magda Szubanski hectoring them to obeying his government or else.
Wait. He just announced that at the weekend!
Premier Andrews told a media conference yesterday:
“The most logical, the most prudent thing to do, is to simply accept the fact that we have a need for rules … they’re not about individual liberty, they’re about public health.”
Read that again slowly.
The most logical thing to do is to accept that rules limiting your individual liberty are not rules limiting your individual liberty.
Right. And this man wants more power?
Mr Andrews has achieved the remarkable feat of making citizens of what we all regarded as the freest country on earth more afraid of their State Government than of a virus.
He told a media conference yesterday,
“These changes are about saving lives and keeping Victorians safe – nothing more, nothing less.”
And how’s that working out?
No other state in Australia has implemented such draconian policies and no other state in Australia has had so many Covid-19 deaths. But sure, keep going.
Having had six months of sweeping powers to develop a strategy to destroy Covid-19 that instead spread Covid-19 while destroying the State’s economy and the people’s confidence, who wouldn’t be excited to see what damage Premier Andrews can do in a whole year?
Is it any wonder Victorians are finally starting to think that paying someone $400,000 a year to come up with “my strategy is to lock you all up” and then “my revised strategy is to lock you all up for even longer” is hardly a good return on investment?
The Andrews Government has turned one of the world’s most liveable cities into something Chairman Xi Jinping would be proud of. All for a virus with a mortality rate of less than 1%.
And now the Premier wants an extension of unfettered power to keep doing more of the same for another 12 months.
The Coalition and key cross benches this morning indicated they would vote against extending the state’s emergency powers for another year.
Whatever the result of the vote, the rest of us are just glad to know that our elected representatives in Victoria will actually get an opportunity to vote on something. The Premier might like to recall Parliament on a regular basis and have them debate and vote on things like they do in a democracy.
He keeps insisting that he wants to get back to normal. That would be a start!
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James Macpherson is a sought after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. James' weekly Good Sauce podcast comes out every Tuesday. He also writes regularly for The Spectator.