When Brett Sutton shot to fame in the wake of the Covid outbreak I admit I fell for him. Hook, line, and sinker.
In those early days of the pandemic, when so much was unknown, it was comforting to hear the dulcet tones of our Professor Swoony Sutton as they eased the panic within – panic triggered by frightful schoolmaster Daniel Andrews…
Yes, it was Sutton’s cruisy Lord Byron vibes, merged with his dapper suit and tie charm, that kept me from locking my family in the house, churning through the Glen 20, and driving in my car alone with a mask.
But alas, like so many love affairs this one ended with a messy break-up and so much anger and despair reeling from a woman scorned.
As our liberties were eroded in Victoria and more restrictions came into force, I began to question these extreme measures. I knew this sort of action could only be enforced if it was proportionate to the threat, and when it became evident that this virus was most definitely age segregated, I believed any logical person could see that our response should be targeted, measured, and focused on those most at risk.
But this is not what happened, and my trust in Dreamy-Eyes Brett was broken.
It was not only the shattering of trust between Brett and I, but with his entire family of fellow Labor public servants. Granted, his Liberal cousins hardly fared better, but there are lovable rouges in every family… The Liberals had Senator Gerard Rennick and Alex Antic who kept sanity afloat. I commenced a respectful relationship with men of such calibre.
As McSteamy Sutton morphed into Scary Sutton, I lost my mojo. I left my fellow 15k Suttonettes from the Facebook group ‘Brett Sutton is Hot’ and joined others like ‘Daniel Andrews Resignation’ (31.1k followers) – and for good reason.
Victorians were forced to endure a repressive regime that would claim the title of the most locked down city in the world. The ramifications of this policy response have included lifelong effects for children deprived of their schooling and vital socialisation. People died in their homes for fear of going to a hospital, long-term health issues developed because of missed medical check-ups, elderly people died alone in nursing homes malnourished and neglected, and an enduring mental health crisis was created. It was hardly a proportionate response.
Now my ex (of sorts) is back in the spotlight, tormenting me with promises of ‘another wave’ and frightening new variants in his 33-page advice document to the state government.
Interestingly, he calls for a debate ‘on what response there should be on the prospects of further outbreaks’ (Financial Review 20/9/22).
An honest debate on any future response to a health crisis must mean all voices get a seat at the table. As Professor James Allan puts it ‘the people making the decisions had no skin in the game’. Without a stake in policy ramifications, the policies can be inflicted with any level of cruelty so desired. After all, the laptop class was protected and immune throughout the pandemic.
All facets of society to be impacted must be considered in any future policy response by they small business, education, mental health, socio-economic impacts etc… Furthermore, our historical and entrenched standing as a liberal democracy in the traditional meaning of the term, should function as intended to ensure the liberties and freedoms of all people are protected under the rule of law, especially freedom of expression.
Victoria Labor and their collection of health bureaucrats have shown they cannot be trusted to uphold the values we fought so hard to defend. Brownstown Institute’s Jeffery A. Tucker notes, ‘We need a renewed appreciation of human liberty and rights. That’s it. That is the whole prescription. It does not sound hard but apparently it is. This task will likely consume the rest of our lives.’
Health officials have praised the mandates for creating a social norm of intimidation where members of the public police each other. They want us to adopt a more Asian-inspired approach whereby mask-wearing becomes a permanent fixture during flu season.
With the recent scrapping of most remaining mask mandates in Victoria, Sutton says, ‘We’re now in a space where if you don’t have to, there’ll be a few people out there, but you’ll be in a minority if you do so, and so there’s a genuine peer pressure against it.’
Though the WHO and President ‘Brandon’ himself has declared the pandemic to be over, bureaucrats remain busy ensuring that the next pandemic response will be just as brutal.
The Pandemic Plans originally commissioned by democratic nations were discarded once China responded with the lockdown approach. Despite the fact ‘there was never a consensus in the scientific world in favour of lockdowns’ (Jay Bhattacharya) it was nevertheless imposed. Western nations looked to the elites’ directives as the WHO and WEF began to drive domestic policy.
The vulnerability of our democratic rights was swiftly laid bare as the relationship between security and individual freedom was put firmly in favour of the former and with complete disregard of the later.
Emergency powers were used to excuse the abuse of human rights and, for the first time in Australia’s young democratic history, we became coerced into human medical trials under threat of being locked out of society.
A true Liberal-Conservative government would have never allowed the liberty and individual sovereignty of the citizens to be so grossly abused in favour of a CCP-style approach.
The states were allowed to wreak havoc on our great nation, playing tit-for-tat like school children vying for popularity and power. It was a pathetic display of Premiers drunk on power, milking the crisis for all it was worth. In particular, the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021, enshrined unprecedented powers for the Victorian Premier and health minister to rule by decree essentially indefinitely.
Quoted so far in the piece is Professor Jay Bhattacharya of Standford University and Professor James Allan as they, along with Professor Ramesh Thakur, recently gathered in front of a packed Cathedral Hall in Melbourne to discuss the effects of lockdowns, the Covid response, and what the future may have in store. This presentation was part of Collateral Global, an organisation investigating the collateral impacts of the mandated non-Pharmaceutical Interventions taken by governments worldwide in response to the Covid pandemic.
As the author of The Great Barrington Declaration, Dr Jay Bhattacharya claims lockdowns were a gross violation of human rights. He says, ‘We have to make the conscious decision not to let this happen again.’
He asks the question, will a liberal democracy be able to exist when the next pandemic occurs? Recent research from the Institute of Public Affairs ‘has confirmed that the lockdowns and restrictions have had a far greater impact on life and our economy than the pandemic itself’ (Scoot Hargreaves, IPA Executive Director).
The government has indicated it will call a Royal Commission or similar inquiry into Australia’s response to the Covid pandemic ‘as soon as practicable’.
With One Nation’s Pauline Hanson spearheading the campaign, she says, ‘It’s imperative Australians’ experiences of the pandemic are heard. This Royal Commission must give Australians the opportunity to tell their stories. It’s time for the truth!’
In the meantime, the Institute of Public Affairs (also calling for a Royal Commission) is once again leading from the front with the release of two ground-breaking reports, Hard lessons: Reckoning the Economic, Social, and Humanitarian costs of Zero-Covid and the second report, The Crime of Criminalising Everyday Life: The Rule of Law Discarded in Victoria’s COVID Response. Some important findings include:
- The direct economic, fiscal and inflationary cost of pandemic measures stand at $938.4 billion as at the end of the 2021-22 financial year.
- More than 50,000 normally law-abiding Victorians were subject to criminal sanctions for breaches of Covid restrictions.
What these reports show and what distinguished professors and doctors and saying, is that Australia’s Covid response failed us. The evidence was in plain sight from the very beginning when ‘mandates’ and ‘lockdowns’ were etched into our vocabulary with dominance and persistence. The vile stench of mandates is still lurking through every organisation that still insists on a couple of jabs to keep a roof above your head.
And what of the current predicament we now face? Rising inflation, a mental health crisis, poor educational outcomes, worker shortages, and supply chain issues… Could all this be a result of the Covid pandemic response?
What about the lockdown ramifications? When announcing the extended Victorian lockdown on June 3, 2021, James Merlino stated, ‘This is not a choice, we don’t choose to go into lockdown… There is no choice.’
We did have a choice and the Andrews government made the wrong choice time and time again. The lockdowns were a bad policy decision with reprehensible consequences. As IPA’s Executive Director Scott Hargreaves states, ‘The simple fact is our governments got it wrong. Contemporary warnings issued by Dr Bhattacharya, and his colleagues should have been heeded and the pain and suffering of our failed Covid response avoided.’
It was never the responsibility of the people to take care of the health system, it was the responsibility of the government.
Before the arrival of Covid, investing in our hospitals and better equipping the health care system with the armoury needed to fight a surge in admissions. But it never happened. It’s like sending the troops into battle without any ammo only to be decimated blaming the carnage on the citizens for provoking the enemy.
The Victorian government and police force was turned against the citizens of Victoria. Citizens were pitted against each other. Police encouraged ‘dobbing on your neighbour’. Victorians were treated with utter contempt while Criminal Law was used as an instrument of compliance, turning Victoria into a Police State. The government blamed the people for the spread of an uncontrollable virus that wounded an unarmed, underprepared, underfunded, and understaffed health care system. And yet there are people who would fully support the return of Labor into office.
I’m tipping this November that the seat of Mulgrave might deliver us from our Covid evils with candidate Ian Cook primed for victory. He says that voters in Mulgrave ‘hate what happened to them through the pandemic…if this corruption is allowed to continue these young people are going to be moving into a very damaged democracy’. How pertinent that Ian states ‘this election is not about right and left it’s about right and wrong’.
I, for one for a brief time, was a fool in lust. Like a fool in the rain on the corner, waiting to be saved, all along I was waiting on the wrong block. That silver fox Sutton broke my heart, and he was never going to save us from ourselves. If Andrews is elected again, we must conquer ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’. However, I for one will bear no shame this November because I will not be voting Labor.
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