Flat White

Restoring Menzies' Australia

25 April 2022

12:00 PM

25 April 2022

12:00 PM

I came to Australia from India in December 2000 where I had been a senior civil servant fighting socialist policy and chronic government corruption. Australia was, in comparison, a role model of good policy making. And since I was satisfied with Australia’s major parties which largely followed sensible policies, there was no reason for me to contemplate politics.

But in March 2020, Australia turned on a dime, from role model to totalitarianism, with society-wide lockdowns, border closures (including a ‘ring of steel’ around Melbourne), and mandatory masks in open parks. A full-blown Police state was unleashed.

Like millions of Australians, some of whom later came out in the streets, I was aghast. Migrants from former communist nations of Eastern Europe who spoke to me after I resigned from the Victorian Treasury in September 2020, told me that these policies were similar to those they had fled from: ‘Papers, please’ – only this time the papers were electronic in the form of QR codes and vaccine certificates.

Western civilisation has two main pillars: the government must not interfere in the life of citizens without a strong justification, and public policy must be based on evidence, not on the arbitrary whim or imagination of the government. Accordingly, Australia had a stringent regime of risk-based regulation and a requirement for cost-benefit analysis, both being matters on which I advised Victoria governments for 15 years as a senior economist. Both these principles were thrown out of the window in 2020.


We must note that the Western civilisation had already been on the back-foot with policies like the ‘precautionary principle’ – a direct anti-thesis of reason. The precautionary principle infiltrated environmental regulation first, then public health regulation. Both Labor and Liberal parties have provided bipartisan support to this attack on the Enlightenment. There is a difference, though: while applying the precautionary principle to environmental policy can waste taxpayer money, it doesn’t limit basic freedoms. But the application of the precautionary principle to public health in March 2020 saw even the most elementary freedoms taken away. The major parties used this ‘policy’ principle to implement irrational, ill-targeted, brutal policies taken straight from CCP’s playbook.

On 5 April 2022, epidemiologist Catherine Bennett explained:

‘Early in a pandemic, where the consequences of inaction are deemed to be greater than any risks associated with the interventions themselves, we apply the “precautionary principle” and implement reasonable public health measures without waiting on the evidence to support them.’

But this approach is flawed. Evidence about the distribution of risks from Covid was available since mid-February 2020. By mid-March 2020 we had a much clearer picture, that this was a relatively modest pandemic. Moreover, the counterfactual ‘consequences of inaction’ that Bennett cites would never have existed, since the government was required to act in a proportionate manner by Australia’s laws and pandemic plans. There were many risk-based actions that the government would have undertaken if it had not copied CCP. Finally, the actions of a government must never directly harm anyone, but CCP-motivated totalitarian lockdowns and mandatory masks, did. None of these policies figure in the October 2019 WHO pandemic guidelines or in Australia’s pandemic plans.

One of the most disturbing failures of Australia’s governance has been the failure of its bureaucracy to provide frank and fearless advice. Senior executives in Victoria’s Treasury abandoned their policy responsibility and refused to heed economists like me who asked for a cost-benefit analysis of the lockdowns. The ‘new public management’ model – of a heavily-paid contractual bureaucracy modelled on the private sector, has failed.

After my resignation, I tried to get Australia’s politicians to change their policies through TV appearances, articles, a book, and other writings. But no one wanted to listen. Given the colossal failure of the Liberal and Labor parties to even admit that their policies have harmed Australia, I was forced to start a new political party, Australia’s Representatives. But after I had completed the 500-member audit with the AEC, this new party was sabotaged by the major parties which colluded to bump up this requirement to 1,500 members. Peter Harris of Australia’s Representatives (he was the founder of Family First) did not give up. He merged the party with Australian Federation Party (AFP) and on 24 March 2022, the AEC agreed that AFP is compliant with the new laws.

I am contesting the 21 May 2022 Parliamentary election from my local seat of Menzies – named after Robert Menzies, the founder of Australia’s Liberal Party. I am a great admirer of Menzies and am committed to AFP following in his footsteps, to become Australia’s real liberal party. If Menzies were alive, he would have rejected his own Liberal Party which has gone astray. Its apparatchiks have supported Morrison’s deceit: his blatantly false comparison of Covid with the Spanish flu to justify his CCP-imitation policies and his claim that he has saved 30,000 lives. The world’s most cited epidemiologist John Ioannidis recently confirmed to me via email that covid is 50 to 500 times less lethal than the Spanish flu. I’m currently assisting Professor Gigi Foster prepare a draft cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that details the enormous harms caused by Labor and Liberal Party policies. Morrison did not save 30,000 lives – hopefully the CBA will be available before the elections.

Australia is no more the country it was. As a citizen of Indian origin who takes liberty very seriously, I have been forced to take up the task of getting us back the country we were once proud of.

 

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