This Is How Democracy Dies

Victoria has yet again been subject to another grievous assault by dictatorial thugs:

At 2 in the morning a handful of politicians applauded the passing of a bill to give an authoritarian ruler even more draconian powers for even longer. It gets to be extremely worrying when the real world of politics begins to merge with science fiction. What was that line from one of the Star Wars films? “So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause”.

For those who value liberty, democracy and parliamentary rule, what happened earlier today would have sent shudders down your spine. I refer of course to the upper house in Victoria just barely passing Dan Andrew’s extension of his dictatorial powers.

In a 20-19 vote, three crossbenchers ensured that this became a fait accompli. Just in case you are not thrilled with the result, here are the three haters of freedom and their contact details. I do hope you get in touch with them and let them know what you think of this (politely yet firmly of course):

Animal Justice Party
Phone: 5222 1941

Reason Party
Phone: 9386 4400

The Greens
Phone: 9348 2622

Here are some of the many problems with all this. Andrews had wanted a 12-month extension to his almost unchecked powers. A compromise bill put forward offered basically the same, but for 6 months at a time. Fiona Patten of the Reason Party was the main catalyst behind all this. And this despite appearing on the Bolt Report on Sky News a week earlier, assuring us she would oppose this bill.

Um, just what do we expect from a former prostitute, head of the porn lobby, and the founder of the Sex Party? High standards of morality are not exactly on offer here with her. Political expediency, dirty deals, and traitorous politics is what she and the other two MPs are clearly all about.

The bill itself was sprung on the MPs with just a few hours’ notice. Way to go Dan Andrews. Perhaps the most despicable move here was that of the Greens MP. She was actually on maternity leave, and so had been missing in action for some time now. But she decided to roll up yesterday so she could cast the deciding vote.

Thankfully we had some champions who did all they could to oppose this wretched bill. Bernie Finn of the Liberals gave a terrific 15-minute speech which you can see here:–HK00qbwQLKkOdhnSvYPFdH-zfNXP0w0EgKeYZ9P_fadsFnXc_RTvrU

He said this when the dirty deal was finalised:

In the dead of night, the Andrews Government used its numbers to gag debate and push through Despot Dan’s legislation to suspend democracy in Victoria for a further 6 months. The vote was 20-19. The Government was supported by Greens leader Samantha Ratnam, Animal Justice Party’s Andy Meddick and the entirely slippery Fiona Patten. A dagger plunged into the heart of Victoria’s democracy at 1.56am on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. A limit of 10 will be permitted at the funeral.

David Limbrick of the Liberal Democratic Party also spoke very well indeed:

Others also stood strong, thankfully. And yesterday a very important document was released by a number of medical experts. But of course it was totally ignored by Andrews and the Labor Party. Titled “A Doctors’ Open Letter to Daniel Andrews,” this document is so important that I will reproduce it here in full. It says this:

Dear Premier,
We, the undersigned, are senior medical practitioners of various specialities who practice in Victoria and are deeply concerned with the Victorian government’s management of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) viral pandemic as a public health issue.

The purpose of this letter is to make you aware that not all medical practitioners are in agreement with the Chief Medical Officer and the Victorian government regarding the most effective way to control this disease. We believe that an alternative medical response is required that reflects what we know about the spread of the virus, those who have died from it, and the impact that the stage 3-4 lockdown restrictions are having on the physical and mental health of the general population.

For the sake of people in Victoria with other medical illnesses, it is vital that Stage 4 restrictions be lifted on schedule in mid-September.

This letter details our concerns and recommendations. We are ready to offer any assistance we can to help create and implement a revised, effective and just response to the Victorian situation; to this end we would be pleased to meet with you at your convenience to discuss the matter further.

Government Response to Covid-19 and Available Data

Focusing on the numbers of cases of COVID-19 is at best an unsophisticated way of looking at disease management. Factors such as the side effects of any policy, its cost effectiveness, the quality of life years lost, and the cost per life saved are fundamental when considering disease management. In addition, any policy to manage any disease must be reviewed in light of new data.

We believe that the government’s initial response to handling COVID-19, via a stage 3 lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’, was reasonable in view of the limited information available at the time on the outbreak in China and the alarming number of deaths in Italy. The initial response, though arguably excessive, was still highly effective in preserving medical capacity and allowing time to co-ordinate a full medical response, with the community accepting that the social and economic consequences were reasonable and for the common good.

However, we now know that whilst COVID-19 is highly contagious, it is of limited virulence.

Whilst an accurate cause of death of a person can be difficult to determine, we are told that since March 2020, 565 Victorian patients have died either with or from the virus (31st August numbers). This compares with annual Victorian deaths of approximately 10,000 patients with cardiovascular disease and 11,000 with cancer. Accordingly, the COVID-19 deaths are a relatively small proportion of the 114 deaths per day that are normally seen in Victoria. In comparison, since the start of March COVID-19 has been associated with 3 of the 114 deaths per day.

Most of the 565 deaths have occurred in nursing homes which according to doctors currently working in this environment have described causal factors related not only to the virus but to other care related issues, including isolation, loneliness, and related diminished nutritional intake.

However, in Victoria we have had 541 LESS deaths this July compared to July last year. (3,561 deaths compared to 4,102 deaths in July 2019).

In Australia last year, 2019, in the month of July alone we had 71,000 new laboratory confirmed cases, and a total of 313,000 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza for the year. This is only a fraction of the actual total cases of influenza, as many cases go untested.

In August 2017 we had 99,000 new laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza and a total of over 250,000 cases for the year.

During 2017 and 2019 Influenza resulted in 25-30,000 hospital admissions and up to 2500 ICU admissions across Australia. Three per cent of hospital admissions were pregnant women and up to 18 per cent were under the age of 16.

The deaths from Influenza each and every year is between 3500 and 4000, according to the Australian Influenza Specialist Interest Group website and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is despite recent excellent rates of vaccination in the vulnerable population and millions of vaccinations utilised each year. (2020,18 million, 2019 13.2 million, 2018 11 million, 2016 8.3 million)

The vast majority of deaths associated with COVID-19 have occurred in frail people over 80 years, many of whom also had significant co-morbidities. In Victoria more than 73 per cent of known COVID-19 deaths resided in nursing homes. (381 out of 524 and 30 out of 52 in NSW, as of August 30).

For people who are physically well and under 60 years of age, the mortality risk is extremely low. Contrary to what you have said, Mr Andrews, the virus DOES discriminate. See graphs below.

Since June 2020, the death rate has risen sharply in aged care facilities where the risk of transmission of COVID-19 has been unacceptably high. However, the government, and the doctors advising it, have not reviewed their policy in order to focus on this vulnerable segment of the population. Instead, stage 3-4 lockdowns for the whole community have continued for no apparent scientific reason.

Medical and Social Consequences

As medical practitioners, it is our collective experience that patients are presenting later to us with their medical complaints. Specialist referrals from GPs, and indeed GP workload, have fallen dramatically due to patients’ reluctance to leave home in fear of acquiring the virus. As a direct consequence of this delay, many will have poorer prognoses. This has especially been the case with consultants who treat cancer. A study in the UK estimated an extra 4000 deaths from not screening the four main cancers alone and not from lack of treatment.

In addition, it is our professional opinion that the stage 4 lockdown policy has caused unprecedented negative economic and social outcomes in people, which in themselves are having negative health outcomes. In particular, it has caused or exacerbated depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as contributed to domestic violence, through an extreme and unjustified disruption to family, social and work life. Job losses, home schooling, the isolation of the elderly and single people and the restriction on the number of people who may attend funerals, are but a few examples of how the government’s current response is harming the health of the general population.

In short, the medical, psychological and social costs of the lockdown are disproportionately enormous compared to the limited good being done by current policies, and are relevant factors to be taken into account by any responsible government.

Proposed Amendments to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic)

We further note with much concern, that the proposed amendment to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act that would effectively allow the government to continue its current policy to manage COVID-19 even if there were to be zero cases over a period of time. This is unfathomable and certainly contrary to the objects of the Act, which require accountability, proportionality and collaboration to be fulfilled.

Specifically, the legislation explicitly mandates that the government’s decisions on public health initiatives must be transparent, systematic and appropriate, with members of the public given access to reliable information in appropriate forms to facilitate a good understanding of the issue. In addition, the legislation acknowledges that decisions will be enhanced through collaboration between all levels of government and industry, business, communities and individuals.


For all these reasons, ordinary sensible people if properly informed, should inevitably conclude that the current government policy is ill focused, heavy-handed, and unjustifiable as a proportionate response to the risks posed by COVID-19 to the public’s health.

As the virus is not going away soon, and an effective vaccine may not be available for a considerable period of time, if at all, we respectfully call upon the government to do the following:

1/ The State of Emergency not be continued past September 13 with an agreement made for parliament to be allowed to openly discuss and debate appropriate medical plans to manage the current COVID-19 crisis. A panel of non-politically aligned medical and health-related experts be selected by a bi-partisan parliamentary group to provide the transparent and active role of informing and advising government decisions and responses to the epidemic.

2/ Ensure adequate measures, testing, and protection of the vulnerable, especially those in aged residential care environments and their families and carers.

3/ Clearly communicate to the public the medical evidence-base, objectives and timelines of any proposed future management plans, with open disclosure of the processes and negative consequences, to inform those discussions and decisions.

4/ A broader focus be given to the health and well-being of Victorians, by utilising all relevant available data and by calculating the costs and harms, including the social, economic, family, emotional, psychological and spiritual impacts on the community, of any decisions and plans to manage the COVID-19 crisis, thereby explaining and justifying the merits of these plans as a reasonable and proportionate response.

5/ To review regularly the outcomes of any management decisions and demonstrate a willingness to modify plans as new data and insights become available.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter. We look forward to your early response.
Yours faithfully,
Mr Geoff Wells, Urologist, Box Hill Hospital, Private Practice.
Mr Bob Millar, Transplant Surgeon, Royal Melbourne Hospital
Mr Jon Bare, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Monash Hospital, Private Practice.
Professor Nathan Grills, Public Health Physician, University of Melbourne.
Professor John Murtagh, Emeritus Professor AO Academic General Practitioner
Professor Haydn Walters, Respiratory Medicine, University of Tasmania.
Professor Kuruvilla George, Psychiatrist,
Mr Peter Denton, General Surgeon
Mr William Edwards, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Private Practice.
Dr Andrew Taylor, Gastroenterologist, St Vincent’s Hospital
Mr Michael Knight, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Private Practice.
Dr John Mathai, Psychiatrist,
Dr Eamonn Mathieson, Anaesthetist, Private Practice.

Today was a very dark day in Victoria. Of course things have been very dark here for some time now. But this bill simply means things will get even worse for all the hapless and increasingly hopeless inmates languishing in the People’s Republik of Victoria.

[2215 words]

21 Replies to “This Is How Democracy Dies”

  1. I pretty much agree with this one Bill, 6 weeks should have been the maximum, then a full debate in Parliament before any further extensions. Now we just have to wait and see what Dictator Dan does with it?

  2. Is this not a time when the people must rise up and vote with their feet- either in mass protest or mass exodus?
    Queensland is waiting for you.

  3. Former PM, Tony Abbott made some valid comments recently about facing the uncomfortable questions, and noting Dan really only wanting to extend his “health dictatorship”. Completely rational arguments and not many taking it seriously or even distancing oneself from such rational dialogue. It’s apparent that it has nothing to do with saving people’s lives anymore, just retaining power, for the good of the people, of course. Dictator Dan and this brood have shown their true [red] colours. It is now entirely a political mess, and we all know how well politicians/governments fix problems. Where are the peoples’ voices in all this. Evidently rhetorical because comrade Dan simply doesn’t care.

  4. As noted by one of your commenters a few days ago, the Victorian Governor needs to assent to a Bill before it becomes law.
    The Governor also has the power in exceptional circumstances to formally warn the Premier of consequences of a proposed action and to exercise reserve powers.
    Is it time for Victorians to contact the Governor, and to direct any petitions to their Governor (not to a dysfunctional Parliament)?

  5. I repeat my reply of the 28th August.
    “OK you Victorians, time for a protest!
    Step 1. Some graphic designer to make a sign with the following inclusions.
    a. A map outline of the state of Victoria.
    b. The “Ban” symbol, i.e. the crossed circle in red.
    c. The banner; “Victoria the State of Emergency”
    Step 2. Make this graphic highly available, including in A4 size, colour and B&W.
    Step 3. Get as many as possible to down load and print this graphic and put it up everywhere, but especially in your car windows and your house windows.”

  6. Try this rough .pdf “Ban the State of Emergency

  7. Dear Bill, thank you for your information once again.
    Do you know whether this extension – now approved- sets a precedent for the ‘next’ state of emergency, giving the then Government the same amount of time in lockdown as Andrews has overseen in this one? That is the next state of emergency will be in lockdown for seven months and two weeks plus the period of first lockdown..
    Is this correct, as that is my understanding and why dangerous dan had such an emphatic push for the extension?
    Cheers Mark Bryant

  8. Last night Fiona Patten came to an arrangement with Daniel Andrews to jump into bed together and conduct history’s greatest orgy by taking six million Victorians along for the ride in their Devil’s Dance.
    It’s a win-win for the Diabolical Duo as it won’t cost them a cent – all Victorians will be paying for it for years to come! (Though it may have cost Andrews another couple of injecting rooms.)
    Our Nation desperately needs a strong leader to rein in these State and Territory tyrants, but Morrison just smiles and says “the States…. they do what they want to do.”
    God help us.

  9. You need not post this but see my blog about a pregnant woman’s arrest this morning for wanting to organise a protest about this legislation.

  10. Hi Bill,
    You won’t remember me, but I was involved in the CDP in Perth some years ago. I was their state secretary at the time.
    Many years ago I was given a book called YOUR WILL BE DONE written by Arthur A. Chresby, now you can get are copy of this through the internet. May I suggest that you read it, if you have not done so already. According to this book and I will quote one section here “Whatever it is physically possible to do, and the people want, then the Queen has the final legal power to see that they get it, no matter how politicians may protest.”
    Further “The sole and only legal limit to the power and authority of the Queen is the unknowable extent of what her people, at any time of their choosing, may directly request of her.”
    According to this writer the people of Victoria have the power to request the Queen to get rid of Andrews.
    Having said that of course you would have to go through the Governor General, which I believe the Politicians probably control anyway. However, what if the people of Victoria who want Andrews gone were to write directly to the Queen herself. Can you imagine if thousands and thousands of letters arrived at the Palace addressed to the Queen from Australians who are unhappy with their Premier and the circumstances he has them living under, and that they want him gone, just what an impact that would have. She is are God Fearing women and I really don’t think she will ignore that. The press would also have are field day all at Andrew’s expense. If it were to work, it certainly would also be sending are message back to our other politicians about what can happen if they go against the people wishes. I don’t believe in coincidences. That book came across my hands many years ago, I felt drawn to it when I saw it at are friend’s place and she was kind enough to let me have it. I felt compelled to hold onto it all these years. The Republicans tried for years to try and get rid of the Queen, why do you think that is? The Queen is so old now, but she is still here at this time in our history. But most importantly, she has are heart for God and she serves him. So what do you say Bill, is it worth are go? Even if the Politicians have managed to change some of those laws without us knowing, there is still nothing stopping us from writing to the Queen for her assistance in this matter. Of course the hard part will be getting that message out to the people of Victoria who at the moment have no hope left, however there is hope and our hope is in the Lord! Trust in him and he will set the Victorians free! Also it is important that these letters come from the people themselves, not in are petition form, in order for it to have the impact that it needs to reach the Queen. I know that it sound easier than it seems, but if the Victorians are desperate enough it can happen. After all being locked up with a lot of pent up anger for a long time, writing are letter to the queen would be away of venting that anger and frustration. I know letter writing does it for me. You may want to start with the churches first. At least pray about it. Okay? Kind regards Ingrid

  11. I think it is very wrong to blame Scott Morrison for any of this. He is, very obviously, working hard against massive public service corruption (as demonstrated by the poll results in the A.C.T), the massive corruption of the Labor Party and Greens and even corruption within his own ranks. Undermining him is helping to undermine one of our last hopes in Earthly government.

    The fact is the rule of law must be obeyed and, in Australia, the states are set up as sovereign and especially given the trying circumstances, there has been very little wrong done at the federal level. Federal powers largely involve fiscal measures and, in this instance, the federal government has been seen to be delivering the necessary economic stimulus at a level that will most benefit those who have been most affected. Scott Morrison should be applauded for this.

    Regarding the massive problems we have with public service corruption we have more evidence of the Victorian police being the most corrupt in the nation and that, no matter their skill in dodging responsibility and especially under Labor governments, the public service corruption goes right to the top.

    The Labor party and their public service lackeys inevitably think they can make the law up as they go and it is their right to completely bypass public scrutiny. This is typical of socialist regimes – especially when they are supported in their ongoing corrupt practices and coverups by the obviously left-leaning, publicly-funded media – the ABC and SBS.

    Until we can address the massive problems with public service corruption, especially in the media, we will have little hope of correcting the ongoing issues this nation is facing. Imagine if we had tried to fight bushfires and floods and pandemics etc. with Labor Party and Greens incompetence and corruption and the massive public funds deficit the Labor Party left us. We would be well on the way to becoming a third-world nation by now but, by God’s grace, we have been spared that for the time being and can still, to some extent, work as a nation to overcome these things. We need to learn to work with and make the best of what we still have.

  12. I wonder what QUEEN Victoria’s response to all this would be??????

    Not sure “we are not amused” would cut it!

  13. Hi Bill. I wouldn’t be too harsh on Samantha Ratnam. It’s not all that long ago that a coalition member was granted a parliamentary “pair” when Parliament sat on a Good Friday. They then turned up to vote against a government bill while their “pair” was absent. End justifies the means maybe.

  14. Went to donate to her legal fees only to find that her brother had to take the GoFundMe page down because of death threats. This is happening in this country.

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