Flat White

Never again: a manifesto on freedom

10 February 2022

2:00 PM

10 February 2022

2:00 PM

I can clearly remember walking around Sydney harbour on Australia Day in 2020. My partner and I meandered through The Rocks, looking for a place to sit and get out of the typically hot and humid late January summer weather. It wasn’t easy. The crowd was thick with Australians out enjoying the day.

We walked down to the harbour and marvelled at the Defence Force review with an F-18 flying overhead and HMAS Canberra sitting in Circular Quay with the Opera house as backdrop. ‘Stunning’ was the word that came to mind.

I sent pictures to friends overseas and they were jealous for me living in Australia and enjoying, what was on the face of it, life in an idyllic paradise.

What none of us understood was that there were Covid storm clouds forming on the horizon set to change the world and Australia in just a few short months.

Fast forward to 2022. We once again ventured out to the harbour to enjoy Australia Day, and Sydney didn’t disappoint by putting on another beautiful late January summer’s day. Whilst the weather remained the same, Australia was different.

Gone were the crowds. It was eerily empty, with no jostling of our fellow citizens to find a perfect spot on the lawn under the bridge to see the F-35’s dazzle us with their moves. No, this time it was ‘take your pick’ of places to sit. There was plenty of empty grass with everyone sitting in little separate clumps involving very little interaction. Masks everywhere, outdoors on a hot sunny day…

Wandering from the bridge over to the Opera House we had to QR check-in and out at least half a dozen times as we passed through security checkpoints. There were hand sanitising stations dotted along the harbour foreshore and signs admonishing us to ‘keep Covid safe’ everywhere.

Perhaps the most oppressing was the police. Countless groups of at least six or eight were marching through the crowds, all with tactical gear on and armed with everything they could carry. They didn’t defer to the crowd of citizens they served, they just barged straight ahead – and you’d better move aside! I’m not sure what dystopian movie I accidentally found myself living in.

It got me thinking, how did we get here and what do we do about it?

I am a proud citizen of this great nation. I, like many of you, am disgusted, dismayed and yes, at times, depressed at the direction of this now so-called free democratic nation. It wasn’t always this way. For decades, the government largely stayed out of our lives, and we ignored them. This was a good deal and no one complained.

I’m shocked by our federal and state governments and the road to tyranny they are, not so slowly, walking this country down. Sure, they’ve let the pressure up a bit because elections are looming, but nothing has changed. Underneath the surface, the draconian powers to put the foot back down on the Australian people still exist.

So, I sat down and wrote a manifesto of sorts.

We, the citizens of this nation, give power to our governments. We elect them to represent us as our equals and peers. We allow them to govern by our consent. We are not serfs or slaves who must adhere to their demands or follow their agenda.

It’s clear governments across this nation have forgotten this. They sit in their safe, highly paid jobs, that we gave them and that we pay for with our taxes.

Never forget, every time we get paid, they put their hands in our pockets and take a big chunk of the money that we earned, not them. They didn’t work 60, 70 hours or more a week for less than $100k, they didn’t work jobs they disliked or even hated, they didn’t earn a cent of our money, yet they take it anyway.

With that money they pay themselves four or five times what we earn and proceed to look down on us, the uneducated, stupid, dirty, ordinary voters, and citizens. They said they were ‘with us’, but they were not, as Australians lost their job and businesses, they gave themselves pay rises.

They say care about us, but they don’t care one iota how their dictates affect millions. They display a cavalier callousness to the citizens they serve that we’ve never seen in this country. They talk down to us, they scold us, they admonish us, they ridicule us for asking questions or trying to hold them to account.

They are not better than us, they do not have moral authority over us, they are not our superiors. They are our servants and in government to serve us. When they stop serving us, but instead seek to control us, we have a duty to our free country to vote them out.

We need to stand up at the ballot box, in our social circles, in business, and yes in our streets and loudly proclaim.

Never again.

Never again will we allow so-called emergency powers to be implemented and extended again and again.

If a government wants to implement or extend emergency powers, we the people must approve it directly. The laws need to be changed to forbid emergency powers being renewed for consecutive periods, and laws that enshrine never-ending pandemic powers need to be repealed. We cannot trust our so-called parliamentary representatives to hold our interests at the forefront when they are not affected those emergency powers. Sadly, it has been made clear time and time again that we can’t rely on oppositions or cross-benchers to stand up for the people.

Never again will we allow unelected bureaucrats to dictate government policy without proper debate in our parliament.

The Prime Minister and all the state premiers abdicated their responsibility to govern to unelected, unqualified health officials who refuse to show us the data as to why these decisions are made. Public health orders must be open to examination, debate and ratification in the parliaments of this nation. You and I should all have the same access to the advice that underpins these decisions that the government has, otherwise in the darkness the corrupting allure of power takes root. Almost two years after this pandemic started, we still haven’t seen the real data behind the decisions that have been made for our supposed safety.

Never again will we allow our governments to lock us in our houses.

This is a free country, but if we can be forced into home detention then we are no longer free. No law or public order that makes law-abiding citizens subject to home detention is valid, we simply should not comply. Those that seek to imprison the law-abiding citizen of this country in their own house for fear of larges fines or prison, themselves ought to end up in prison. Worse still, they convinced many of us to lock ourselves inside when Omicron hit, there were no stay-at-home mandates on January 26, 2022, but many of us stayed at home anyway.

Never again will we allow police to dictate policy to our government.

Never again will our streets be ruled by public orders created and enforced by police.

Never again will we allow the government to impose curfews on the citizens of this country.

Police serve the people; they do not serve ministers or governments. Police should have not the ability to write and implement their own laws for ‘operational needs’ which is what their so-called the public orders are in practice. If you want to make a law, go to parliament, have the law debated and voted on, expose it to scrutiny and questioning, no exceptions. Any laws that give these officials the power to create and enforce these orders on the citizens without any oversight need to be repealed.

Never again will we allow state premieres to block the movement of citizens travel between our great states.

Never again will we allow the police the power to stop citizens from freely travelling anywhere they want within our cities.

Never again will we accept forced tracking of our movements.

The right to freedom of movement within our country is a right that no government is empowered to take away. It is illegal under the constitution of Australia and any government or official attempting to take away this right should be sacked. We should never comply with such illegal orders, that fact that we did so readily is worrisome. That’s what two years of fear-mongering from our political leaders and the corporate press has done to this once proudly anti-authoritarian country.

Never again will we allow our right to peacefully protest government policy on the streets of our towns and cities be taken away.

This is a fundamental right that simply cannot be taken away. We as a people should stand up and refuse to acknowledge any such laws or orders. Again, not only are they unconstitutional in Australia, but laws requiring the government to authorise what protests they allow or not to allow are a universally recognised hallmark of totalitarian governments. Police are being used as political tools to shut down free speech, the latest example in Canberra where police intimidated and bullied people peacefully showing their discontent of the government’s polices directly where they work. That’s messy for the optics of power and thus unacceptable.

Never again will we allow our governments to coerce us into having medical procedures.

Never again will we allow our governments to put in place discrimination for our medical status.

Over the last six or so months state governments have participated in a race to the bottom to discriminate and segregate the population. They’ve used the most divisive language I’ve ever heard any Australian governments use. They’ve labelled those that don’t comply not worthy of participating in society and have set in place rules to punish those who don’t comply.

Their language has egged on the corporate media to demonise those who have made their own health choices. They have created an environment that allows businesses to terminate and stand down staff for the crime of exercising control of their own health.

They have fostered a culture where businesses, their staff and ordinary citizens feel they have the right to not only to demand to know what your health choices are, but to actively discriminate against you when they don’t like the answers you give.

Appallingly, the federal government has stood back and watched. That I think is the worst part of this all. Let me be clear, our federal government has done nothing to curb our state tyrants. Not a comment, not a court case, not a single piece of legislation to protect the rights of Australian citizens. Recently, our Prime Minister even supported the indefinite lockdown of WA from the rest of Australia.

That is unforgivable.

What I do with my health, what treatments or drugs I take are only the business of myself and my doctor. The government, the media, corporations or any other person or entity have no business asking about or trying to coerce me into anything. I have the right to refuse, and I also have the right to not respond to any inquiry.

The citizens of this country should stand up to this medical tyranny and refuse to participate in any requirements to disclose this information, not only is the request illegal, but so is the coercion. The government are not my parents or guardians, we are adults who get to choose how we live our lives.

Never again will we allow our medical establishment to muzzle the voices of our doctors.

Why have health departments and governments spent so much time dismissing, marginalising, and outright mocking any dissenting medical treatments, study, or opinion. Governments and medical associations have directly muzzled doctors from expressing their learned opinions.

We have state governments criminalising the use of early treatment drugs regimes seemingly because the wrong political side suggested it. Or perhaps because the contracts they signed with big pharma made them do it. Show us those contracts now, for in the darkness greed and corruption breeds.

We have Nobel prize-winning scientists, we have eminent immunologists, we have front line doctors who actually treat patients every day, whose voices have been silenced on pain of deregistration and sanction.

Science is never settled, science is always questioning, science is the ongoing process of proving or disproving a theory. When we don’t have that, but simply have one answer that is not to be deviated from, that is dogma.

We live in a country where the government, the media and many businesses have collectively lost their minds. History will not be kind to them, we should not be kind to them, we should resist them with power of the people. We should turn out in our hundreds of thousands or in our millions and show them we do not fear them, they should fear us… because when we speak as one voice, we are unstoppable.

Never again will we allow so few to destroy the lives of so many.

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