Wuhan Virus: Politicians keeping the population alarmed
The current lockdown which began in NSW has less to do with protecting us than protecting the politicians from the people’s wrath over their manifest incompetence.
Despite warnings, drivers of infected airline crews had long remained unregulated, unmasked and unvaccinated. Had there been a contrite admission by the NSW government that the Bondi outbreak was entirely their fault and why, instead of flattening the curve ( itself based on exaggerated computer modelling) the National Cabinet had inexplicably moved to total eradication, a realistic assessment of the situation could have been achieved with full public consultation.
Instead, pretending omniscience and hiding her mistakes, the now de-canonised premier gave the baying media what they were demanding, a limited lockdown.
But when this led to one side of King Street Newtown being a morgue and the other full of life and happiness, her government soon became a national laughingstock, a dangerous thing for any politician. Suddenly the lockdown was inexplicably extended to a Greater Sydney which unbelievably included about the state’s population.
The ‘whole aim of practical politics’ is ‘to keep the populace alarmed’ said Mencken. This is so that they will want the salvation some smooth-talking politician offers. Accordingly, politicians release an endless series of imaginary or exaggerated dangers. For the former we have global warming, for the latter, the Wuhan virus.
There has been more than sufficient time to assess the dangers of the virus which is why the borders were closed and also partly why lockdowns are pointless.
The best way to assess a pandemic is the death rate. So far this year in Australia there has been one death and one person seriously ill, compared with 1100 dead from the flu in 2017 for which we had no lockdown.
Nor does Wuhan leave survivors as terribly damaged as those who, for example, survived the far more serious polio epidemic until the early sixties.
Part of the problem is that too many politicians in the principal parties do not reflect in any way the values of the voters who elect them. They are preselected by barnacle powerbrokers who are enriching themselves while the parliamentary parties are infected by an alien spendthrift neo-marxist ideology.
If you doubt the impact of ideology just look at education, water, or the obsession with discredited global warming and other theories. As for the barnacles, look at the recent sudden introduction, contrary to all assurances, of a most curious plan to seize all those NSW cemeteries so well-run for all religions by the Catholic Church.
Were they planning to do to the cemeteries what has been done to so many other public assets ―extract from them the rivers of gold which even the poor have to pay? Because he speaks so quietly and so courteously, they seriously underestimated Sydney’s Archbishop Fisher, not realising that, like Teddy Roosevelt, he carries a very big stick.
His Grace delivered the coup de grâce they never dreamt was coming ; their cemetery takeover is dead in the water.
As to the Sydney lockdown, this is at least in part a distraction from not only incompetence but also the embarrassment of the politicians partying and getting infected in Parliament house while so many voters were dutifully ‘doing the right thing’. They were following the government warning that the Wuhan variant was so contagious it could be caught just by walking past an infected person.
Extremely contagious? But while Premier Berejiklian attended and spoke at the function, she was curiously deemed a ‘casual contact’, thus escaping the two weeks isolation imposed on lesser ranks.
Leaders it seems are special, having the vaccine they choose and quarantining at home.
In any event, on the Friday following the introduction of the lockdown, 25 June, without any apology whatsoever, Minister Brad Hazzard quietly amended the relevant subordinate legislation to regulate airline crew limousine drivers.
Elementary best practice indicates such subordinate legislation should never be made by a self-interested minister but by the governor in the executive council. There are numerous examples of a good governor seeing that every I has been dotted and every t crossed. (That is why, Queensland Premier Palaszczuk, the governor should be a person whose independence from the executive is unquestioned.)
In addition, with our upper houses asleep or abolished as in Queensland, the politicians have ensured they can make subordinate legislation unhindered by any upper house disallowance .
And as neither politicians nor the government medical advisers are the fount of all wisdom, it must be the people and not the politicians alone who decide when the borders should be opened and on what terms.
This sad affair points to the urgent need for the Australian people to be able to exercise close and continuous control over the politicians and their decisions as the ultimate constitutional check and balance.
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Professor David Flint AM is an emeritus professor of law and was chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Press Council, president of the National Federation of the English Speaking Union, Associate Commissioner with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and convenor of the Committee of Australian Law Deans. He has been National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy since the 1999 referendum campaign. He has authored books on topics such as the media, international economic law and on the Constitution. At Barcelona in 1991 he received a World Jurist Association award as World Outstanding Legal Scholar. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995. His Good Sauce show,Take Back Your Country, discusses the problems and solutions to the decay of federalism and democracy.