Just what is wrong with Australia and New Zealand?
While much of the rest of the world is opening up, leaving behind onerous lockdowns, and learning to live with the COVID virus, around nine jurisdictions are going in the exact opposite direction. I refer to the nation of New Zealand, and the various fiefdoms which are part of what was once known as the Commonwealth of Australia.
Australia is no longer one nation. It is now a collection of states and territories run by power-drunk leaders each trying to outdo one another in becoming the most draconian and crazed tin-pot dictators around. Dan Andrews of Victoria has long led the charge here, but as I wrote yesterday, the top honour may now go to Jacinda Ardern of NZ. https://billmuehlenberg.com/2021/08/18/leaders-going-off-the-deep-end/
She has managed to do something that almost no other leader in the world has ever done: lock down an entire nation because of ONE case of the Rona. ONE case, and all 5 million inhabitants are in lockdown. Look at a map if you need to: there are two major islands that make up NZ, and the one case was in the north of the North Island – in Auckland.
Yet if you live in the middle of nowhere in NZ’s South Island, you are still locked down with everyone else. This is insanity and power-tripping taken to an entirely new level. But here in Australia things are just as bad. I happen to have the extreme displeasure of living in perhaps the most locked down city on the planet: Melbourne.
Just today we had this inglorious milestone: we are now in our 200th day of lockdown. Yes, over the past 500 days or so, Melbournians have been under house arrest, imprisoned by Dictator Dan, for a full 200 days. And remember, they told us: ‘Just two weeks to flatten the curve’! I can assure you, we are suffering massively. Please pray for us.
The idiotic elimination strategy being run with here and elsewhere Down Under is just plain lunacy. Aiming for zero cases is a fool’s errand – it is an absolute disaster of a policy. The cure is worse than the disease, and we now have a massive shadow pandemic of mental health problems, self-harm, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, eating disorders, and suicide – not to mention economies destroyed, businesses lost, and countless shops shut down forever.
Simply the catastrophic devastation being wreaked on our children because of these moronic lockdown policies should concern every single human being who still has a heart and head, and is not blinded in zombie fashion by fear and hysteria.
Calls to kids’ helplines are spiking big time, and social workers, child psychologists and others are being run off their feet by the sheer devastation of these diabolical policies. And this includes the pure idiocy of shutting down all playgrounds and skateparks throughout the greater Melbourne region. Mind you, playgrounds are still open in day care centres and at schools that have kids of essential workers in.
This last bit of respite for our poor suffering children has been stolen away from them by these heartless dictators. And yet they fully allow things like AFL football to continue full speed ahead. Um, how much social distancing and mask wearing are these players involved in as they go through several hours a game of close bodily contact?
Thankfully some folks are speaking out. David Limbrick, a Liberal Democrat MP in Victoria, has even held a protest outside of Parliament House (because Andrews and his cronies have now shut down the Upper House entirely), seeking to highlight the plight of our children. https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/7390579/let-the-kids-play-tim-quilty-pickets-victorian-parliament-on-lockdown/
Indeed, the welfare of our children really does matter – not just people with COVID. And bear in mind that not one child under the age of 18 has died from COVID here – not one. No wonder Wayne Gatt of the Police Union said, ‘patrolling playgrounds is not what we signed up for’. https://www.3aw.com.au/police-union-boss-hits-out-at-playground-patrols1/
And some commentators – notably on Sky News – have been slamming these irresponsible lockdowns for months now. Alan Jones has been leading the charge here. (Please keep him in prayer as he is now recovering from knee surgery.)
But things are now so bad in Australia that plenty of overseas commentators are talking about us – and laughing at us. One of the most idiotic and bizarre statements made by the Victorian Dictator – and he has made plenty – had to do with Melbournians now not being allowed to drink a beer with their masks off. Yes this clown actually said that!
The most watched television commentator in America, Tucker Carlson broke out laughing as he tried to report this story with a straight face. See the clip as found in this news report: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9900963/Fox-News-host-Tucker-Carlson-slams-premier-Daniel-Andrew-Melbourne-lockdown-alcohol-mask-rule.html
Thankfully we have others on the America Fox News network also reporting on the madness that is occurring Down Under. We have hosts like Laura Ingraham who have been featuring some of our champion politicians such as George Christensen. I have seen him twice on her show over the past week or so. Here is one of those interviews: https://www.foxnews.com/media/australia-lawmaker-blasts-coronavirus-overreactions-we-are-locking-down-because-someone-sneezes
And in the UK there has also been various news reports and commentary on the situation here. As but one example consider this news item: “Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has labelled Daniel Andrews an ‘absolute clown’ after the Victorian Premier unveiled tightened Covid-19 restrictions on Monday.” https://www.news.com.au/sport/cricket/absolute-clown-england-cricket-great-kevin-pietersen-mocks-victorian-premier-daniel-andrews/news-story/bf9e8e7129209493bcfa18b8ef3726ea
Some recent articles in Spiked from the UK are also worth drawing your attention to. One journalist said this:
People who once thought they’d won the lottery of life by being born in Australia now wake in fright every day to the sudden realisation that they are living in a 21st-century penal colony. The country they once loved has been replaced by something they barely recognise. The restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic are just the start of it. People have been confined to their houses, prevented from going to school or work, denied the freedom to cross state borders even to see a dying relative, and coerced to take a vaccine in order hopefully to regain the freedoms that were once their birthright.
Worse, these restrictions are being imposed by authoritarians who have seemingly come from nowhere and now dominate all of Australia’s positions of power, from the government to big business. These people are unlike any ruling elite Australia has ever known….
New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant became world famous recently when a video of her went viral. In it, she said, in the patronising tone of a school matron: “It is human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly. Unfortunately, this is not the time to do that. So even if you run into your nextdoor neighbour, in the shopping centre, at Coles, Woolworths or Aldi or any other grocery shop, don’t start up a conversation.”
The elite in government and the bureaucracy, some of whom have even been granted pay rises since these lockdowns began, are laughing all the way to the bank while the nation’s middle-class, small-business entrepreneurs – the cultural descendants of the emancipated landowners of the 19th century – are driven to despair and bankruptcy. These elitists might evoke the Australian traditions of ‘mateship’ and the ‘fair go’, but they advocate nothing of the kind. Instead, they impose rules that are only possible under their newly created ’emergency powers’, and which would have been comprehensively ridiculed and rejected in any state or federal parliament at any other time in our history. https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/08/17/the-authoritarian-takeover-of-australia/
And Nick Cater has had some quite sensible and important pieces for Spiked as well, including the following interview with Brendan O’Neill:
Cater: The big problem is that public policy over the past 18 months has not been driven by reason – it has been driven by fear. The public are genuinely fearful of the virus. Many people are telling the state governments to go harder, because they have been told that Covid is very dangerous. We are caught in a feedback loop, a vortex of fear, where politicians can no longer act sensibly because they have to respond to public fear. If they opened up now people would go berserk and say that it’s not safe to go outside.
Working for a policy think tank, we at the Menzies Research Centre have really been banging our heads against a brick wall for the past 18 months, thinking that there must, surely, be other approaches out there. I have come to the conclusion that the government has lost control. It has to obey this mantra of fear, and as a result of that it takes no risks whatsoever.
O’Neill: You have argued that a Zero Covid strategy is being enforced with fanatical zeal in parts of Australia. Zero Covid is not taken very seriously in the UK. There are some Zero Covid fanatics, but they are subject to a lot of criticism. It’s unrealistic and very destructive for society to put everything on hold until Covid is wiped away. To what extent is the ideology of Zero Covid damaging Australia? Or do you think Zero Covid is something that Australia can achieve because of its isolation?
Cater: Of course it can’t do it. To be fair, Zero Covid has never been the ‘official’ government policy in Australia. But some state premiers support it, as well as some of the chief health officers, who have tremendous power and influence. And it has become government policy by default.
This reflects the broader culture of our times, not just in Australia but in the Western world more broadly. Nobody is prepared to put up with the slightest amount of risk. Wherever risk occurs the government has to deal with it. We are in this ‘every granny’s life is sacred’ zone, where we are unable to make public-policy or health decisions as we normally would, by looking at the costs to life and assessing where resources should go. From the very beginning we haven’t been allowed to make that calculation.
I went to two funerals last year. One was of a man in his early thirties who committed suicide. The other was of a fantastic old friend who passed away at 90. At which funeral do you think people were most shocked and upset? We have never been able to make those arguments when it comes to Covid. It has always been the case that every death has to be avoided at all costs. https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/08/16/were-trapped-in-a-vortex-of-fear/
Let me finish with one last scenario which is so indicative of the utter madness of our leaders. As I have said often, while our churches have been locked down or severely restricted for much of the past 18 months, our leaders have been quite happy to have brothels and the like go ahead – presumably as “essential services”.
So now we have a prostitute who has come down with COVID. I look forward to seeing how the contact tracing on that situation will work out! Or will it be a case of no questions asked by the Andrews Government and Fiona Patten, a former hooker herself, but now a state parliamentarian? https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-sex-worker-among-latest-st-kilda-area-mystery-covid19-cases/95fc2514-9fd3-4ea1-b168-3fc1e0a8908d
Complete and utter insanity reigns Down Under. And the rest of the world is laughing at us.