The rest of the world is stunned by Australian tyranny:
The rest of the world may not know all that much about Australia, but two things they probably know: it began as a penal colony, and it is finishing up as a penal colony. While much of the rest of the world is enjoying freedom – which they have every right to do – much of Australia is still living under house arrest.
Indeed, over half the population of Australia is still under lockdown. Gabe Buckley of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance offers this short and sweet (and sobering) summary:
Australia is descending into total tyranny.
The government is using the pandemic to create emergency powers we witness third world dictators exercise against their citizens.
Unprecedented losses of privacy and civil liberties
Limiting travel and any outside activities
Shutting down borders
Censoring opposing voices
This is not hyperbole.
This is not an exaggeration.
This is the sad state our nation has descended to.
And the rest of the world is noting this tyranny. I have already written about how Australia and New Zealand have become the laughing stock of the world: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2021/08/19/madness-down-under-the-laughingstock-of-the-world/
Others continue to talk about us down under, but now the laughing is turning to real concern. Many are expressing complete unbelief and horror at the situation here. Consider various international publications which certainly cannot be labeled far-right media outlets. American magazines like The Atlantic and British newspapers like The Times have written with amazement about what is happening here.
Let me highlight one paragraph from the former:
If a country indefinitely forbids its own citizens from leaving its borders, strands tens of thousands of its citizens abroad, puts strict rules on intrastate travel, prohibits citizens from leaving home without an excuse from an official government list, mandates masks even when people are outdoors and socially distanced, deploys the military to enforce those rules, bans protest, and arrests and fines dissenters, is that country still a liberal democracy? https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/09/pandemic-australia-still-liberal-democracy/619940/
This is an excellent and perfectly valid question, one that all Australians, including all Australian political leaders, need to be asking. In what sense can we any longer call ourselves a free and democratic nation? We are NOT one. But let me share a bit more from “Australia Traded Away Too Much Liberty” by Conor Friedersdorf:
Up to now one of Earth’s freest societies, Australia has become a hermit continent. How long can a country maintain emergency restrictions on its citizens’ lives while still calling itself a liberal democracy? Australia has been testing the limits.
Before 2020, the idea of Australia all but forbidding its citizens from leaving the country, a restriction associated with Communist regimes, was unthinkable. Today, it is a widely accepted policy. “Australia’s borders are currently closed and international travel from Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a government website declares. “International travel from Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.” The rule is enforced despite assurances on another government website, dedicated to setting forth Australia’s human-rights-treaty obligations, that the freedom to leave a country “cannot be made dependent on establishing a purpose or reason for leaving.”
The nation’s high court struck down a challenge to the country’s COVID-19 restrictions. “It may be accepted that the travel restrictions are harsh. It may also be accepted that they intrude upon individual rights,” it ruled. “But Parliament was aware of that.” Until last month, Australians who are residents of foreign countries were exempt from the rule so they could return to their residence. But the government tightened the restrictions further, trapping many of them in the country too.
He offers at a lot more detail on the scene in Australia, all carefully referenced, and then concludes with these words: “Because of its geography, Australia is a neighbor and an observer of authoritarian countries as varied as China and Singapore. But its own fate, too, may turn on whether its people crave the feeling of safety and security that orders from the top confer, or whether they want to be free.”
And consider the English newspaper. A few days ago it had as its front page headline: “Covid Prison”. The author of the piece, Bernard Lagan, asks, “Can Australia break free from an endless cycle of lockdowns? Outside of China, nowhere has had such strict rules as Australia.” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/can-australia-break-free-from-an-endless-cycle-of-lockdowns-8g8bndm7b
The piece is behind a paywall, so another article discussing this article will have to suffice. It begins:
Australia has been slammed as a “Covid Prison” on the front page of Britain’s The Times newspaper as an international backlash grows over the nation’s endless lockdowns, and border closures.
One of the world’s oldest and most influential newspapers, The Times, has described Australia as “lecturing the world” on how to control Covid only to have the illusion shattered by the Delta variant. The front-page pointer for the story states: Covid Prison: How Australia lost its freedom and features an image of a beach with a “closed” sign.
While Australia’s ‘zero Covid’ approach was the envy of the world last year, the rising cases after the Delta variant entered the country and the lockdowns that followed have increasingly left overseas audiences shocked after international cities reopened after a majority of citizens were vaccinated.
“After a year celebrating pandemic death rates that were infinitesimal compared with those in the UK and the US, and lecturing the world on the superiority of its Covid-19 elimination strategy, Australia’s success was shattered by the mid-June arrival of the Delta variant. It snuck in with an American flight crew,” The Times article states.
The Times notes that despite stopping thousands of Australian citizens from returning home, “a growing number of A-list celebrities have come and gone under special arrangements, including Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Zac Efron, Mark Wahlberg and Ed Sheeran”.
“Their treatment has riled those stuck offshore, as well as many who are technically locked onshore; one of the more draconian measures imposed by Fortress Australia is that government permission is required to leave the country too,” the article states. “Even those Australians who have managed to return home after years away are stung by the hostility they encounter, especially when they question the hermit kingdom that Australia has become.”
The article concludes:
It‘s not the first time newspapers overseas have expressed shock at the situation Australia finds itself in. In July, The Washington Post ran a news story titled: ‘We’re prisoners’: Australia locks out thousands more citizens as virus slip-ups mount.
“Facing outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta variant and a floundering vaccination campaign, Australia moved Friday to further seal itself off from the world as its earlier success in tackling the coronavirus continued to unravel,” it stated.
The Times article follows a recent opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal headlined: Covid Mania Returns Australia to Its Roots as a Nation of Prisoners: Citizens in Sydney may leave their homes only for ‘essential’ purposes and not go more than six miles.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also unleashed over what he’s dubbed Australia’s Covid-19 “totalitarianism” accusing state and federal governments of mindlessly embracing martial law. The most watched cable news host in the United States, who pulls in three million viewers on average, he lashed Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/australia/covid-prison-uk-slams-australias-endless-lockdowns-and-border-closures/news-story/024c35ace8d2e226ab447657b223eda5
I sure am glad that others are taking note of our plight, because it seems that very few of our leaders here are. Indeed, as I write this piece in Melbourne, I am now in day 218 of lockdown madness. In just a few short weeks we will take out gold – we will take out the world record for being locked down longer and harsher than anywhere else on the planet.
Enough is enough. I stand with Moses: ‘Let my people go’!!