It is often the case that when a politician makes a promise, they cannot be trusted to keep it. Moreover, when they construct and put forward a plan, it is practically inevitable that they will stray from it, no matter what they may say about being committed to it. Politicians say a lot of what people want to hear, but do not follow through in their actions. This has been reflected in the broken promises and commitments of premiers and the Prime Minister, especially over the last year.
Just a matter of months ago, Scott Morrison sat down with the premiers in a meeting of National Cabinet — charade he has used to avoid taking on responsibility — and put together a National Roadmap out of the pandemic. We were told that there were benchmarks that had been set with regard to the vaccination rates, whereby upon reaching each one freedoms would be returned to us (not that they were the government’s to take in the first place). The benchmarks set in place were 70% and 80% fully vaccinated. This plan was agreed upon by the members of the National Cabinet, those at the time being Scott Morrison, Daniel Andrews, Mark McGowan, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Michael Gunner, Steven Marshall, Peter Gutwein, Andrew Barr, and now departed New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian.
But now, just months later with 80% of Australians 16 years and over fully vaccinated, restrictions are not being lifted in the slightest. In fact, more are being imposed, specifically on those who have made the conscious personal choice not to take the vaccine. The National Roadmap has seemingly disappeared into obscurity, with the premiers going rogue and the Prime Minister allowing them to do as they please. Instead of being mostly free right now as it should have been, Australia has become an example to the world of what not to do.
Currently, several states are either already under or heading towards segregation of society. In NSW, under the leadership of Dominic “I believe freedom is not given by government but innate to human dignity” Perrottet, the state is split between vaccinated and unvaccinated. The fully vaccinated are permitted to go out wherever they please so long as they show their vaccine passports, while those who are unvaccinated are still highly restricted in what they may do, most of which involves essential shopping and exercise. The NSW Government promised this would end on December 1, with all freedoms returned to everyone regardless of vaccination status, but they have since pushed this back to December 15 or 95% whichever comes first. Another broken promise.
Victoria is likely the worst of the bunch given Daniel Andrews’ permanent pandemic Bill, which grants him unbelievably dictatorial powers, is still before the Parliament. However, the vote has been delayed, Adem Somyurek’s antics having given Andrews a political headache. When asked about this Bill on radio recently, Scott Morrison refused to criticize it, saying he respects federation. If the Prime Minister genuinely cared about the federation, he would be condemning this Bill and the threat it poses not only to freedom, but to democracy itself. His failure to do so demonstrates he is willing to allow it to occur. In addition to this, restrictions have been ‘lifted,’ but only for those who are fully vaccinated. On Thursday, those who are unvaccinated were allowed to enter retail stores no matter whether they were considered ‘essential’ or not. But come Friday, once the clock struck midnight, ‘non-essential’ retail was only open to the fully vaxxed. This is despite the State hitting a 90% double jab rate.
In the Northern Territory, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has mandated the vaccine for practically all workers, telling them they will no longer have a job if they refuse to take it. Similarly, in Western Australia, Mark McGowan has imposed a vaccine mandate for approximately 75% of the workforce. He is also refusing to open his state border to NSW and Victoria until mid-2022, even going so far as to deny fully vaccinated individuals entry to the state, leaving families split over Christmas. It begs the question: if you can’t travel even if you’re fully vaccinated, one of the main reasons people got jabbed, what is the point of having the vaccine?
South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT have all been imposing lockdowns sporadically and locking out people from other states, more so out of cowardice than anything else. Given border restrictions, Australians are more likely to travel overseas to somewhere like the US or Singapore before being able to travel to states within their own country. The ACT is still implementing mask mandates, including at high schools. South Australia also managed to contrive a uniquely bizarre and inane policy whereby individuals from a local government area that has a double vaccination rate of under 80% cannot enter the state without undergoing quarantine, only to abandon it after the deputy premier lost a vote of no confidence in the state parliament. Apparently this qualifies as “science.”
And, finally, Queensland. Most notable for harsh border closures, Annastacia Palaszczuk is now heading down a path that rivals Dan Andrews. While there have been fairly limited restrictions on Queenslanders, the only major ones being mask mandates and QR code check-ins, Palaszczuk has clearly been inspired by her fellow Labor leader and has decided to go for a segregation plan. At 80% double vaxxed or on December 17, whichever comes first, those who are unvaccinated will no longer be able to participate in society. They will lose their jobs, livelihoods, and freedoms, and become social outcasts. Given this comes into effect just a week before Christmas, Annastacia Palaszczuk has become the Grinch who stole Christmas from the unvaccinated. And just in case you still thought this was about public health, Palaszczuk is also limiting healthcare for unvaccinated individuals, deeming they will no longer be able to attend a hospital unless it is for end-of-life reasons or an emergency.
The strange pattern that seems to be occurring in Australia and now throughout the world is this: As vaccination rates increase, so too do restrictions on unvaccinated individuals. If the vaccine were as effective as it has been made out to be, it would only be logical to reduce restrictions as the vaxx rate climbs. So is this really about public health?
The short answer is no. It is now solely about control, and the maintenance of a society subservient to government. When asked on Neil Mitchell’s radio program if he had ever lied throughout his time as Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said “I don’t think I have.” But that too was a lie. At the beginning of 2021, Scott Morrison promised that there would be no vaccine mandates, and that vaccine passports would not come into existence. Now, mandates are existent in practically every state and territory, and vaccine passports are being touted as a long-term key to participation in society, a measure used to ensure people comply in getting their bi-annual booster shots.
The National Roadmap has fast become a thing of the past in only a matter of a few months. We were lied to. Some were skeptical it would ever come to fruition as planned, and they were right to be. Politicians have demonstrated to us time and time again that they cannot be trusted. It is a futile endeavour to do so. If they can lie to you once, who is to say they won’t do it over and over again, playing you for a fool every time?
Scott Morrison in particular has repeatedly said what we want to hear but has not reflected his words in his actions. He continues to do so to this day, only stating on Thursday: “We are not in favour of mandatory vaccines imposed by government. Businesses can make their own rules but we are not about telling Australians what to do.”
It is time to stop putting your faith in those who claim they are “leaders” and start believing those who are genuine in what they say.
As renowned philosopher, Carl Jung aptly said: “You are what you do. Not what you say you’ll do.”
Trust those who are genuine, not those who make empty promises they know they will not keep.
Joel Agius is an independent writer. If you would like to read more of his work, you can do so at JJ’s Outlook.
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