Leading article Australia

Das Spectatorfühlung

11 June 2022

9:00 AM

11 June 2022

9:00 AM

Perhaps there exists one of those multi-syllable German words that roughly translates as ‘the bitter-sweet feeling one experiences when witnessing the startled expression on the faces of those who sneered at you at the time but have now been shown to be wrong when you were right all along’. Or something like that. And if the word doesn’t already exist, then let’s invent it: das Spectatorfühlung will do.

Not for the first time – and certainly not for the last, we can assure you – The Spectator Australia has been shown to have been prescient and astute in its analysis when all around us were heading in the opposite direction. That the knowledge that we belled the cat early on and against the orthodoxy comes with a degree of satisfaction is self-evident, but it also comes tinged with genuine unease. Why on earth does what appears to be common sense to so many of our writers and readers fly in the face of the accepted media and political dogma of the day?

In this instance, and it is by no means a solitary example, we now learn from a variety of respected and reputable sources that the draconian lockdowns we repeatedly railed against in these pages may have done more harm than good – quelle surprise! – including untold medical damage out of all proportion to their claimed successes. Worse, lockdowns may even have led to the deaths of thousands of young people who were never at risk from the virus in the first place. Indeed, one US study reports 170,000 surplus deaths amongst people in the prime of their lives (18-44) who were of low risk from Covid.

This disgraceful news was conveyed to an astonished world via the Australian newspaper this week along with numerous other sources.


Yet twelve months ago Dr David Adler, in his column in these pages entitled ‘Lockdown needs a slapdown’, was predicting this very outcome.

For the first time I deeply fear for the future of my country. This fear arises not from existential threats and challenges but because Australia is being trashed by incompetent control freak leadership which has also succeeded in severely scaring much of our citizenship. Panic rules the day.

Melbourne with over six months cumulative lockdown already holds the world record for the most locked down city and we’ve seen other cities locked down for a handful of community cases. Our state premiers are the world’s most reactionary in imposing panic lockdowns. The PM has signalled this is to continue.

There has been a complete loss of proportionality with Australian lockdowns doing much more harm than good and based on international data and experience, we now have impossible policy settings to sustain if we want life to return to normality. Our situation could now be described in the Eagles classic hit ‘Hotel California’, ‘you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave’.

The damage being done by lockdowns in smashing small businesses, disruption of education for kids, mental health problems including rise in self-harm and suicides, deferred routine health services resulting in delayed diagnoses of cancer and other illnesses – far exceed the harm caused by the virus. Australia may experience a wave of additional morbidity and mortality in the next few years due to cancers not being detected in 2020 and 2021 at Stage 1, but once they have spread to Stage 3 or 4. This could well affect thousands of patients.

Pursuing the lockdown and zero-case policy will do untold economic, health and lifestyle damage to Australians.

That is just part of Dr Adler’s article from a year ago. Several other Speccie writers, but most notably Rebecca Weisser and Ramesh Thakur, have throughout the two years of the pandemic, often on a weekly basis, provided insights, analysis, facts and warnings regarded as heresy by the left wokerati. Indeed, both have must-read articles in this week’s magazine, including a terrific – and terrifying – piece on excess mortality and the vaccines by Ms Weisser.

As the editor of  The Spectator Australia, my commitment to you is that we will never flinch in providing you with well-researched and informed opinion that quite often upsets those in positions of power and flies in the face of the politically correct dictates of the day. And yes, there is a word for that, too. It’s called journalism.

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