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 NY Post: poor leadership has the world laughing at Australia

14.09.21.  NY Post: “The 18th-century English philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with the idea of the panopticon, a prison designed to allow all the prisoners to be ­observed by one guard. What even Bentham couldn’t conceive of, despite his creative musings about schemes of perpetual surveillance, was a society like contemporary Australia. Once an honourable member of the Free World, Australia has lurched into a bizarre and disturbing netherworld of bureaucratic oppression in the name of public health. Australia’s lockdown mania has been so all-consuming that one assumes much of it would make Anthony Fauci blanch. At the start of the pandemic, Australia determined to squeeze out COVID with lockdowns and travel restrictions and, as an island nation, had considerable success. It was the last of the G-20 countries to hit 1,000 total deaths.”

Source: Rich Lowry, New York Post—September 7, 2021

Australia’s insane COVID rules are a warning to the rest of the Free World

But this created an unrealistic expectation that Australia could have COVID-zero as a goal for the duration and use targeted restrictions and surveillance (“circuit-breakers”) to maintain it.
As the pandemic has dragged on, this has become completely untenable and done violence to liberty and common sense in a great ­English-speaking nation.
Lockdowns have cut a swath through the norms and conventions of an advanced Western democracy, from the suspension of a state-level parliament, to the banning of protests, to military enforcement of the COVID rules.
With the Delta surge, more than half of Australians are locked down, often in response to a tiny number of cases.
Australian authorities don’t fool around. State premiers have vast powers, and use them. In Melbourne, located in the state of Victoria, a curfew is in place, and limits apply to people leaving their homes. There are hefty fines for non-compliance.
The spirit of the lockdowns was perfectly captured a few months ago by the chief health officer of the state of New South Wales, who warned, “Whilst it is in human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly, unfortunately this is not the time to do that.”
Ah yes, the public health threat of over-chattiness.
The Australian news media might as well be an arm of the public health bureaucracy. It produces stilted and hysterical reports about lockdown violators worthy of some dystopian future.
The state of South Australia has developed an app to enforce home quarantines. As a news report explains, “The app will contact people at random asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes.” If they fail to do so, the health department will notify the police, who will send officers to check on the malefactor.
Unrestricted travel is a hallmark of a free society, but Australians can barely leave the country. Travel has been cut off between states, creating an arbitrary patchwork of states trying to isolate themselves from COVID cases elsewhere.
Tens of thousands of Australians have been trapped overseas, unable to come back home because of monthly limits on how many people can return.
All of this economic and social disruption and coercion hasn’t been enough to stamp out the Delta variant, which is outrunning the government controls. Federal premier Scott Morrison finally admitted the obvious the other day: “This is not a sustainable way to live in this country.”
Australia initially fumbled its vaccination effort, which should have been a focus all along. But now the country hopes jabbing 80 percent of the population can get it out of the lockdown box of its own making.
COVID is a serious illness, and no country has gotten everything right. Australia has proved, though, that dispensing with key elements of advanced liberal society in the hopes of total victory over the ­virus is foolhardy and wrong.
Australia isn’t going to become a dictatorship, but this period in its national life stands as a warning for how easily core freedoms can erode in even a well-established democracy.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Cliff 14/09/2021, 6:21 am

    I once had a foreign friend who spent some time here say that Australia doesn’t have a police force. We have prison wardens. (This was pre-COVID.)

    After the last eighteen months, many would say he was spot on the money with that remark.

    The ONLY way we can hope to have these ridiculous restrictions relaxed is by a widespread refusal of the general population to obey them. There is no way those in power will voluntarily give us back the freedoms we once took for granted.

    I for one cannot understand the logic behind isolating the unvaccinated to protect the vaccinated.

    • Ian 14/09/2021, 7:17 am

      The logic is obvious. You are just starting with the wrong assumptions.

      If you start with the concept that the vaccinated can catch covid just like everybody else, then you can quickly see that the sick must be kept away from the vaccinated.

      I find it insulting that the government would pretend that only an unvaccinated person can infect someone. The data does not support that notion, viral loads, (as measured by the PCR amplification score at detection), from either group are nearly identical.

      We have been lied to. But for good measure, if I am asked if I’m vaccinated, I’ll respond by asking them if they an STD. I have to be cautious you see, I haven’t been vaccinated against that.

    • Aktosplatz 14/09/2021, 9:09 am

      The people should refuse to get tested by the dodgy PCR Test. No tests = no bad results= no more restrictions.

  • Penguinite 14/09/2021, 7:49 am

    Lady Jacinda from NZ started the “zero covid” shut-down message that was lauded and emulated by World Leaders. Now that the “cash-cows” have all been slaughtered and financial reality is seeping through the thick skins of our Law Makers crania they are attempting to quietly exit “stage left”. Sadly, small businesses are floundering in the wake of the woke.

  • Albert 14/09/2021, 8:44 am

    As silly as our politicians/bureaucrats, health officials, and coppers may be the full-of-themselves Yanks have nothing to laugh at Australia about considering the dickhead they have for a President.

  • Rubyred 14/09/2021, 8:56 am

    In the meantime never forget about the callous Chinese Communist Party who unleashed this virus made in their laboratories. The world should make them pay bigtime by cutting off all trade contact with them and taking them to an International Court to obtain justice for all the people they have destroyed. Maybe a lot of our health bureaucrats and politicians should be tried too. Also the fake Biden and his callous Democrat Party comrades.

    • Lorraine 14/09/2021, 9:17 am

      don’t hold your breath Rubyred. that will never happen. We are still in lock down in Victoria as egg on face Sutton says not on his watch will we have any where over 300 cases a day……My opinion nobody knows, and it has all been given to the CMO the job ,and the politicians can stand there nodding

  • Sir Peter 14/09/2021, 9:36 am

    If vax ‘passports’ are introduced defeating them is dead easy if we are united.

    If any business insists you prove your vax status before allowing you in, refuse loudly and take your custom elsewhere. Then post them an envelope containing a matchstick. Nothing else. Be sure to avoid fingerprints or DNA

    The passports will be dropped within a month.

    • Theydon Wood 14/09/2021, 9:42 am

      Do you want my health info or my money?
      Because you can’t have both

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 14/09/2021, 11:40 am

      Topped the FWD up with diesel and when I went in to pay the servo sheila demanded I sign in when I told her that I didn’t have a mobile. My reply of you either want the $90 odd dollars for the fuel or you don’t, your choice. She took the money. One would bet that the servo’s will get around that as they used to in Russia, you pay up first and then you get the fuel and it’s tough titty if you paid for more than the tank will hold. This drama has a long way to go yet before the powers that be wake up, probably at least one or two State elections and the same federally, or worst case scenario, the drama is here to stay.

  • JK. 14/09/2021, 10:00 am

    Sir Peter, I love it.

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