‘Gamble responsibly’ is probably not the slogan vaccine companies want associated with their brands…

In an odd PR move, the TAB temporarily renamed themselves to ‘JAB’ as part of the #JABForAustralia movement. The genius pairing of gambling and Big Pharma represent two institutions which absolutely have the customer’s best interests at heart and would never make a wager on anything with long odds or a maligned owner.

“TAB is part of the fabric of the human connection Australians enjoy when they’re at the track, cheering their team or at their local. Getting the JAB brings us back together sooner,” said Tabcorp Wagering & Media Managing Director Adam Rytenskild.

Unsurprisingly, this move didn’t last long.

Customer comments left under TAB’s social media announcement remain unprintable in their rage, which could explain why TAB has quietly removed the #JAB branding from their digital assets.

The NAB has risked copyright infringement by also renaming itself ‘JAB’. The bank’s national campaign is set to feature on billboards, digital assets, and advertising during the AFL finals series.

“As Australia’s leading business bank, we want to champion getting Australia back to business by delivering hope and optimism and supporting the community’s vaccination push,” said NAB Chief Operating Officer Les Matheson.

It’s rather disappointing that Matheson didn’t change his official title to ‘JAB Chief Operating Officer’ or ‘Chief Jabber’ to fit with the rest of the heavy-handed propaganda. NAB CEO Ross McEwan went all doe-eyed over controversial vaccine passports, insisting that Australia needs to follow its European cousins.

“Australia needs its own national vaccine pass, providing similar freedoms, ready to launch when we reach 80 per cent!” said McEwan, forgetting that vaccine passports have triggered enormous riots around the world.

If McEwan wants to follow Europe, he’s going to need to arm himself with a few pitchforks because the peasants are revolting. Banks fantasising about vaccine passports is enough to send a shiver down the spines of customers. Nigerian states have already announced that they will ban customers from using banking services unless they provide proof of vaccination, effectively holding people’s money hostage.

How far away is Australia from this dystopia? Given the increasingly desperate behaviour of our premiers and tight relationship with Big Business, probably not far.

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New South Wales has already stopped unvaccinated people from using public transport (without offering to refund their taxes!). For those without an alternative form of transport, the state premier has effectively trapped them within a 10km radius of their homes, even after the lockdown restrictions end.

A few weeks ago, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that he would ‘lock the unvaccinated out of the economy’ to protect the health system. In reality, Victoria’s health care system has been ‘in crisis’ every year for as long as anyone can remember. Andrews has had nearly two years with unlimited resources to prepare Victorian hospitals for Covid patients and instead he has sat around praying for vaccines.

It is not the duty of citizens to sacrifice their essential liberties and basic rights to protect state facilities or shelter politicians from their errors. Human beings are not pieces to be played with in the race to the next election. They are living creatures with rights and entitlements separate to political games.

If state premiers were really worried about the state of their hospitals, they should have been building beds rather than quarantine facilities for an endemic virus. We are at the point where the rest of the world has moved to treatment rather than prevention, but our stagnant political class can’t bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

This country is in a very serious situation – not from history’s least deadly pandemic – but from an outbreak of authoritarianism.

Our inept, spineless leaders have developed an addiction to the unlimited scope of emergency powers. Instead of rushing to resolve the problem, they have extended the crisis to the point that there are two year-old children running around who have never seen a free Australia.

Under these circumstances, #JABForAustralia mocks the public. Like all the other tacky catchphrases of the pandemic, it falls flat.

The idea that you’ll get poked, stabbed, or assaulted with a needle as a condition of doing business doesn’t make for enticing marketing.

Aside from TAB and NAB who can switch out a letter, no one else has joined in on the pun. It is an awkward wordplay limited to a few cab companies and potentially GAB (the social media platform). They have a shot at doing something clever. It’s almost a shame that Saab went under…

Are we to embrace this hideous arranged marriage between vaccine manufacturers and corporate Australia in a permanent medical tyranny?

If that is our fate, Bunnings will be offering jabs instead of snags at the next election. I feel safer already.

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Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly on social media) is The Good Sauce's Editor-At-Large, as well as the host of "Curtain Call", a Good Sauce show exploring the leading personalities in the culture war. She writes on liberty, philosophy and geopolitics. You can find her on Twitter or read her articles over at her blog.

Elly is also an AI database designer for the retail industry, contributor to multiple online journals and a Young Ambassador with Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

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