Features Australia

Big sister

A cabal of dictators is running the country

21 August 2021

9:00 AM

21 August 2021

9:00 AM

Australians would once proudly boast theirs was a nation under the rule of law. Sadly, we now live under the rule of the law-breakers. Imprisoned, not allowed to leave the country, invited to rat on neighbours, subject to arbitrary punishment, watched from morning to night, Australians are losing their businesses, their jobs, their houses, their children’s education, even their sanity and their lives.

Forced almost daily to absorb some new and bewildering pronunciamento from the digital equivalent of Mussolini’s Piazza Venezia balcony, repetitively exhorted to do the ‘right thing’ and, despite their guaranteed fortune in weekly salary, their vast discretionary funds, their luxury comforts and their golden superannuation as well as their access for life to ‘jobs for the boys’, the dictators constantly assure us that we are ‘all in this together’.

If ever we are allowed to live with the Wuhan virus, how likely is it that the cabal will abandon the excessive powers they have so unconstitutionally seized? Will we have to carry and produce on demand some vaccination passport? While only some in the cabal concede they cannot deliver a virus-free world, they’re all saying if some always fluctuating number are vaccinated, we may —may — be able to return to normality. The truth is that as with the surrender of taxes (with the exception of Joh Bjelke-Petersen)  how often (with the exception of the great Cincinnatus) do dictators surrender their ill-gotten powers?

In the meantime, the cabal recklessly insists still experimental vaccines be used on those not vulnerable, especially the healthy young, and that the vaccine be made in some way mandatory, yet they refuse to even contemplate the use of medicines to save the lives of the sick, including those endorsed by experts of international standing.

Australians never agreed to appointing a cabal of dictators. Their law-breaking excesses will inevitably lead to the award of untold millions in damages.

The cabal think they have unlimited powers to do anything they wish. It is as if each of them were a dictator, the special magistrate appointed in the Roman republic to defend Rome against an imminent invasion but also to propitiate the Gods because of some disaster such as a pestilence far worse than Wuhan.

The modern lockdown is frankly as effective as driving a nail into the wall of the Temple of Jupiter to propitiate the Gods.

But such is progress: it was never associated with terrible burdens modern dictators impose on the people.

The nail with which dictators today hammer the people is ‘delegated’ or ‘subordinate legislation’.

Made under the auhority of an Act of Parliament, a bewildering nomenclature is used to describe them, such as ‘regulations’ ,’ordinances’, ‘orders’, etc.

When we were a real Westminster democracy anything important went to the Executive Council where the case for the Governor approving it would be presented properly, thus demonstrating the central constitutional principle that the Crown is important not for the power it wields, but the power it denies others.

The people having in 1999 denied them their politicians’ republic, the political class has decided to neutralise the institution by keeping it out of the process, while also undermining parliamentary democracy by stripping upper houses of much of their crucial power of disallowance. Minister Hazzard would not have treated the Upper House hearing with total contempt had disallowance been on the cards.

With crucial checks and balances gone, power has gone to the heads of the cabal, an extremely dangerous situation. It is a brutal truth, but none of them is exceptionally competent. Just look at the absolute disasters over which they preside, including but not only defence, debt, water-harvesting, energy and education.

Just a few examples will demonstrate how misfeasance has been committed, the ban on overseas travel, the closing down of the construction business in NSW without health advice, the imposition of grossly arbitrary fines, the cruel refusal to allow relatives to see dying parents, the businesses which have gone to the wall and the  ending of careers.

All these exercises potentially constitute the civil wrong of misfeasance in public office, as the 2011 live cattle ban demonstrates. That began with an ABC broadcast on inhumane treatment of Australian cattle exported to Indonesia. Gillard government minister Ludwig issued an order that cattle could not be exported to twelve suspect Indonesian abattoirs. But under pressure, he then issued a total ban.

Federal Court Justice Rares found that Ludwig had been recklessly indifferent both as to the availability of his power to make an order, and to the injury which would be suffered by those affected. The judge held that the exercise of such a power must be reasonable, proportional and rational in all of the circumstances. It clearly was not.

The mountain of legal actions which will flow from the Wuhan crisis will result in many awards of substantial damages. Unless the government settles this, it will take years. But it will be for the taxpayers to pay any damages.

Let me repeat a proposal I made here over a year ago. This is that in such a case, the court should be empowered to require a substantial personal contribution from those responsible to the victims of their acts.

In addition, there should also be a crime of serious misfeasance in public office. If this were Switzerland, the people could introduce such a law without waiting for the politicians to do the right thing. This would be done by a petition which if passed by the requisite majority would trigger a referendum.

This affair confirms a need to ensure that Australians should, like the Swiss, be empowered to themselves defend the Constitution through such tools as referendums and recall elections.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments