Australia’s two separate worlds were vividly on display on Saturday, 12 February. In Canberra, tens of thousands of protesters marched upon the national Parliament in the biggest display of controlled public anger at government since Vietnam. The numbers and the raw emotion involved make the pro-Gough rallies of 1975 look puny in comparison. People from all over the country rose up and marched on the capital. Across town, meanwhile, youngsters as young as five were being dressed up as superheroes as they were led off to be vaccinated against a minor illness that will not even touch most of them. It was the children’s version of free hamburgers and lottery tickets to incentivise taking the government’s injectable at the Australian Institute of Sport, that Soviet-style institution created by Malcolm Fraser to facilitate the state’s efforts in crafting its own superheroes. Two contrasting events, that signify the two nations we have become.
Just down the road, in two of the four NSW by-elections being held on ‘super Saturday’, the old politics played out. The pundit class, mostly housed in the corporate media, focused on what would become of the Perrottet government following the (mostly) unlamented departure of three legacy Coalition politicians and one legacy Labor one. That the attention was more on the fate of a Covid-obsessed government of otherwise little consequence and on the ‘safety’ of the AIS children being shepherded towards their shots, and not on the substance of the causes on display in Commonwealth Avenue, says plenty about the priorities of what the late philosopher Angelo Codevilla called the ‘ruling class’. There was irony, too, in the protesters’ location at the national Parliament, which houses a government not remotely concerned with the core message on display right in front of it. That would be individual freedom, once thought to be a central concern of that same government led by a ukulele-strumming, margarita-swilling Prime Minister contemplating (surely, this time) his final days. Pontius Pilate-like, Scott Morrison has washed his hands of the sinister vaccine mandates and all of the other Covid totalitarianism occurring on his watch, some of the worst of it rolled out in Sydney by his Liberal mates. ‘Vaccine mandates are not our policy,’ he says. Really.
As we hurtle towards three elections in 2022, and the associated silly seasons kick in, there occurs a sobering realisation. It is that there are two nations now in Australia, two world views, two tribes. And each seems to be living life as if the other did not exist. No, it is not a traditional divide between left and right, Labor and Liberal, working class versus capital, conservative and progressive. These divides are still there; it is just that they are now not the main ideological game. The world, and Australia, are now divided into insiders and outsiders, elites and deplorables. The deplorables were out in force on Commonwealth Avenue. The elites were dressing their children as superheroes in order to go and get a needle. And, no doubt, feeling very, very virtuous. Some worried that those evil, violent, probably ‘mum and dad terrorists’ might come and disrupt the holy proceedings at the AIS.
One Australia is made up of those who think that elections still make a difference to normal people’s lives. Who think that we should endlessly support the Liberal party because ‘the other mob would be worse’. Who remember the Liberals once every three years, just long enough to keep voting them back in, then totally forget why they so voted for the ensuing three years, until the next time. Rinse, repeat. Who think that the Covid State is either a sensible imposition and/or it hasn’t caused anyone that much harm.(What are they all whinging about, anyway?). Who think that the management of Covid is just one political issue among many upon which to vote. Who think we should worry endlessly about (non-existent) discrimination by Christian schools against closet or non-closet homosexuals, but not give a rat’s about those who have lost their livelihoods because they believe in bodily integrity, those Australians who have suffered, you know, real discrimination. Who think that the unvaccinated and assorted Covid dissidents are beyond the pale, weirdos, and probably that they are, indeed, worthy of serious attention from Asio. Who believe in the boosters like they were some sort of consecrated, religious sacrament. Who can somehow suspend rational thinking and replace it with robotic, Kool Aid-infused, system-thinking. And who think that this is ‘thinking’.
Representatives of the other Australia have possibly lost their jobs and careers. Cannot see their interstate families. Cannot leave the country without some bureaucrat’s permission. Have possibly been dragooned, much against their will, into getting a useless vaccine that now most of the thinking world knows to be useless, certainly after a month or so. Have probably experienced dramatic hardship from state lockdowns. Might have a teenage daughter or son suffering from mental disintegration. Or worse. Might have missed a diagnosis of cancer that will be lethal, by staying away from our shuttered hospitals. Might have missed saying goodbye to an aged loved one. Frustrated beyond belief, impoverished, powerless, shunned by sneering politicians and journalists, gaslit and alone. They have found their voice. And the ruling class doesn’t like it one bit. Journalists and their fellow sneerers, some of whom luxuriate in the very descriptor ‘insider’, ‘other’ the unvaccinated (deplorables) and those who stand up for them – see under Rogan, Joe, or the Canadian trucker-heroes – by in turns ignoring them, laughing at them, sniggering, abusing, fact-checking, mocking, analysing, segregating.
The people of deplorable Australia don’t really care who wins the various elections. With oppositions that only ever parrot Covid class theatrics, that endlessly chant ‘earlier and harder’, what is the choice for the over 20 per cent of Australians – yes, the numbers are that high, despite the efforts of health bureaucracies to cook the books by counting teenagers who are jabbed – who haven’t been blue-pilled? We will see very shortly. Red-pilled Australians have taken to the streets, just as their international brothers and sisters have done. They might draw comfort from the words of George W. Bush, who said in quite another context after 9-11, megaphone in hand and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with firefighters amidst the rubble of Ground Zero, ‘We hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who [did this] will hear all of us soon’. Perhaps not through Nuremberg Two, but in the streets of our towns and at the ballot box, without the shadow of a doubt.
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