Features Australia

Aux bien pensants

Freedom fights back... over lunch

7 May 2022

9:00 AM

7 May 2022

9:00 AM

There is reason to be optimistic in a dark and menacing world, and not only because the terrible rape of the Ukraine has led to the end of that mass delusion, net zero emissions.

In addition, providing they can overcome several states’ rigged and unconstitutional electoral laws, it seems likely that Republicans will prevail in the mid-terms with Donald Trump back in the White House two years later.

At home, tribune of the people and the nation’s leading broadcaster, Alan Jones, is already back. Chaired by Maurice Newman, ADH.tv is the brainchild of three young and brilliant men, CEO Jack Bulfin, Jake Thrupp (whose book Australia Tomorrow made such an impact) and Alex Baird, a Young Ambassador for the Crown, Constitution and Flag.

Their energy, their talent, and their mastery of the latest technology augur well for this new platform, one which will no doubt make a considerable mark, and not only in Australia.

Another thing is that notwithstanding the incidence of fraud, at least the electorate can again rejoice on the return of the Senate preferences stolen from them in 1984.

This came up when Spectator Australia editor Rowan Dean suggested a coffee with Speccie contributors who were at the federalist Samuel Griffith Society Conference at Sydney’s Brighton-Le-Sands, James Allen, Rocco Loiacono, and me.

When I said that we should thank Malcolm Turnbull for giving back our preferences, this was met with more than raised eyebrows. The fact is that until the Turnbull double dissolution, a vote above the line was not only for that party’s state Senate candidates, all preferences flowed the way determined in various backroom deals.

But then the smaller parties worked out how they too could share in the spoils. This was best demonstrated when, with a mere 0.51 per cent of the primary vote, Australian Motoring Enthusiast party candidate Ricky Muir was able, through deals with 23 parties, to increase this 0.51 per cent to the minimum quota for a seat, 14.3 per cent.

The two-party duopoly surrendered, and the law was changed. Now, we can allocate our own preferences. And, although we are told to allocate a minimum of six preferences to parties above the line or 12 to candidates below the line, the law says our votes are still valid if we only make one preference above the line, or 6 below.


Meanwhile, what was to have been a coffee became, as an exercise in editorial prerogative, a delightful lunch in a nearby restaurant on Brighton-Le-Sands’ Grand Parade, Le Sands Pavillion.

To say this is a waterfront restaurant is inadequate. It offers wonderful dining at the water’s edge and on this occasion what has become a rarity this year in Sydney, a sunny Sunday afternoon.

You could almost have been on the Aegean.

I had the best grilled barramundi I have ever had, and with service which would have been appropriate in the very best hotel. Our host, Peter Antonopoulos, could not have been more welcoming or more charming.

To our surprise, overlooking us was a private room where, at a long table, there were a large number of delegates from the Samuel Griffith Conference. They were being entertained by what seemed to be an impromptu operatic challenge between two tenors, one being none other than the eminent silk, Jeffrey Phillips. If the NSW Bar were not inhabited by so many republicans at a time when that jaded fashion could not be more passé, he would be Jeffrey Phillips QC, Queen’s Counsel.

The first and last time I saw anything like this, impromptu singing by a tenor on his feet in a restaurant, was in Rome sixty years ago when the chanteur, looking as though he had stepped out of a Fellini film, sang a magnificent operatic aria, his long coat stylistically slung over his shoulders.

Also in that group at the Brighton-Le-Sands was the leading Melbourne QC ( yes, a left-wing state has Queen’s Counsel), Stuart Wood.

He had appeared for the 28-year-old Ballarat mother arrested in pyjamas in front of her children and handcuffed by Victorian police for a Facebook post about a lockdown protest.

A video of that went around the world, making Australia look like a police state.

That reminded me of a recent speech given by Larry P. Arnn, eminent president of the US 177-years-old liberal arts college Hillsdale which, as a matter of principle, is one of the very few universities to refuse government funding.

Recalling that hitherto the procedure for dealing with viruses, at least in the civilised world, was to isolate the sick and protect the vulnerable, but that suddenly we had new procedures to isolate everybody, he said  this had turned out to be a complete disaster.

That the lockdown was challenged in the Great Barrington Declaration by 50,000 doctors, scientists and medical researchers, some from the most distinguished universities in the world, was ignored by the media and suppressed by Big Tech.

Nevertheless, the 50,000 pointed out that you just cannot suppress a widely disseminated contagious virus through lockdowns and mass isolation. And if you try to, you will cause immeasurable destruction of new kinds ─ unemployment, bankruptcy, depression, suicide, multiplying public debt, broken supply chains and increases of other serious health problems.

Meanwhile the Samuel Griffith Society continues, almost alone, to argue for a return to the Constitution as it was conceived by the Founders and approved by the people.

If this were accepted, governance would be significantly improved.

The Society is appropriately led by former High Court judge, Ian Callinan QC. He was the judge, who at least in living memory, was most inclined to defend the Federation and the role of the people in preventing inappropriate change.

His message is clear and as crises emerge there must be a reconsideration of what the founders and people wanted, a truly federal Australia.

This, and what is happening throughout the free world, confirms to me that there is hope still for the future.

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
Close