By Paul Collits: Substack

What exactly do you say when your country betrays you and disgraces itself before the world?  When you find out that it is run by thugs and goons?  When you realise that the institutions that you thought would protect your rights don’t bother even trying?  When your police forces turn on you, with weapons of mass destruction, mowing you down in the streets?  When no one – well, just about no one – in the political class has the moral compass and the spine to stand up for you? 

When your “leaders” would rather align themselves with a protected, international drug cartel, as Woody Harrelson termed Big Pharma, than act responsibly and ethically to protect the freedoms our forebears died defending, even to recognise why we value those freedoms?  When your fellow citizens turn on you if you dared to question things?  When, unlike even the post-war Germans, you as a nation don’t even look sheepish when confronted with your worst atrocities?  When your politicians have more in common with the twentieth century’s big five dictators – Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Hitler – than with any half-decent, let alone valiant, liberal democrat?

What do you say?  Very good questions, I would have thought.  Compelling questions.

Well, if you are John Stapleton, a retired, highly credentialled Aussie journalist, you write a 450 page book about it.  You write uncomprehendingly, elegantly, feelingly, passionately, with a heavy heart, even elegiacally, ashamed, still shaking your head in disbelief, three years on from the days of a southern hemisphere autumn when a ho-hum virus called by the powers-that-be “Covid” reached our shores.

Surely these words could be written about just about every country in the world, you might think.  Two quick responses – we were the worst, and, in any case, surely WE, of all places, should have been above all this.  But no, we were, and weren’t, respectively.

Whether the book explains to international readers how this all happened, I’m not sure.  I am far from certain that anyone could explain it.  Why we were not just awful but perhaps the world’s worst is one for the ages.  But let us explore what the book does do.

First of all, there are things in the book that even those who not only lived through the nightmare, and wrote about it at length, and discussed it over back fences, will not have known.  These matters should have been known, and most likely would have been, if not for the cover-ups and the wilful non-reportage of stories deemed not to be in the interest of defending “the narrative”.  If we thought we knew the worst of it, well, we didn’t.  A good example of the newly unearthed is the sheer extent of the underground protest movements, and their tireless quest for freedom.

The book’s title suggests one of the main themes, that of division and enmity.  There were members of the dobber class, the Covid winners (largely in the employ of government or corporates), the lap-top class, the blatherers.  People on “the other side” were routinely demonised.  We are all familiar with the epithets.  Granny killers, conspiracy theorists, neo-nazis and so on.  Many of these folks were, in fact, morally upright, seasoned professionals, not rent-a-crowd ideologues. 

Australia did, indeed, break apart, literally as well as socially.  State and territory borders were closed by spooked politicians, on a whim and for very few Covid cases, often falsely identified by testing procedures found to be not fit-for-purpose.  Fear and derangement were everywhere.  Subjugation.  But some good push-back culture too, was seen in the increasingly angry protesters’ placards.  “Covid-19 just tested positive for fraud”.  (This subterranean black humour was reminiscent of some of the quiet Soviet citizenry who quietly took delight among themselves in the running gag that was the endless Soviet ruling class bungling incompetence.  So much of Covid policy was a joke.  A sick joke, admittedly.  But still a joke).

The book not only tells the story of Covid policy excesses, but also of a resistance movement that grew into something astonishing.  This underground, though in plain sight, movement of angry men and women became hundreds of thousands, if not millions.  It has remained invisible only because the quisling Covid class and their corrupt media puppets refused to acknowledge that it even existed, other than being a “tiny” bunch of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists, to be pitied and ignored. 

Well, John Stapleton doesn’t ignore them.  He takes them deadly seriously.  He tells their story.  This makes his book unique.  Others have chronicled all the demonic excesses, though not as many as should have, and yes, the book is a timely reminder of just how awful those excesses were.  The expected villains are all there, in graphic detail – Daniel Andrews, a truly appalling political figure, the thug police, the slippery bob-each-way villain-prime minister, Scott Morrison, the other premiers and chief ministers, the unaccountable bureaucrats, the public health gauleiters, the Pharma-funded academics, the media shills.  Each gave the others cover.  Each was despicable.  But what emerges in the book is an account of how resistance to tyranny forms and can grow.  This will be an invaluable resource when the medical totalitarians come for us next time, as surely they will.

The story is told through the eyes of Old Alex (aka the author), an old time “pressman” with a nose for a story and an unquenchable desire to unearth the truth of things.  And, importantly, an open mind and no corporate constraints.  Like many Covid dissidents, John Stapleton made many new (journalist) friends during the Covid years, just about all of them independent truth-tellers.  Citizen journalists.  And he lost all sense of mainstream journalism having a soul and a purpose.  Silent, paid-up journalists were high up on Stapleton’s list of Covid criminals to be despised.  But the stories of new voices and new connections among the refuseniks show the book to be about heroes as well as villains.

Journalism had very few dissidents who spoke out.  Nor did the public servants or politicians or the police, but there were a few brave souls among the latter (for example) who broke ranks and saw Covid police brutality as a hill on which to (professionally) die.  There was Andrew Cooney in New South Wales and Krystle Mitchell in Victoria. 

These brave hearts were not willing to go along to get along, as rubber bullets penetrated backs, grandmothers were shoved to the pavement then pepper sprayed, and the heads of mentally challenged innocents were smashed against concrete floors in downtown Melbourne.

The blindly abusive, deranged scenes of police punching protestors, slamming their heads into the ground, never before seen, never before witnessed in the Great Southern Land, taxpayer funded military style police literally assaulting the citizenry; and somehow we were all fine with that, too (p160).

These stories of fascist policing were systematically smothered by the legacy media and the protesters pilloried and defamed.  Not by The Spectator Australia, though: ‘We are smashing you in the face, shooting you, throwing you on the ground, kicking you in the kidneys and spraying a toxic substance in your face in order to protect your health’ (p 175).

The book details so much more.  The scandal of the quarantine camps, for example.  Those gazillion dollar, Orwellian white elephants.  The bullshit Covid-speak pronouncements from on high.  The thousands upon thousands of often massive fines for Covid misdemeanours.  The National Cabinet mutual protection narratives.  All lies.  All propaganda.  We need this book, and those like it.  More straight history than expose, but no less significant for this.  True crime reporting, if you will.  And by the gods, if you didn’t hate the Covid class before you open the book, I guarantee you will by the end, if not sooner.

Yes, despite all this, there were Aussie covid heroes.  Like the Australian Medical Professionals’ Society, AMPS.  Like Senators Malcolm Roberts, Alex Antic and Gerard Rennick.  Among the alt-journalists, Stapleton singles out TOTT News, David Oneeg, the Real Rukshan, Avi Yemini of Rebel New Australia, the economics professor Gigi Foster of the University of New South Wales (a co-author of The Great Covid Panic), Rebecca Weisser, Rowan Dean and Alexandra Marshall of The Spectator Australia, Professor Ramesh Thakur and the Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, for special mention and lengthy quotation.  Not to mention international heroes, like the simply outstanding Brownstone Institute.  The author’s style allows for much detailed story telling by eye witnesses and courageous reporters and writers, embedded within the general narrative.

Finally, there are two chapters on the convoy to Canberra, with yet more graphic stories from the battlefront.  Tales of great camaraderie and futuristic police weapons to control crowds.  Tales of a million protesters who descended upon Canberra, who sought to make their voices heard, and who then crept silently away, seemingly ignored and, therefore, defeated.  Was it all worth it?  This is a question much pondered by the author.

There are those who might say, why dredge it all up again, since we have all just “moved on”?  Past “Covid exceptionalism”.  Well, among those that Covid refuseniks detest the most, the “let’s just move on” types rank pretty high up the list.  This book should be for them, to read and to reflect upon.  To contemplate the massive pain caused, and to ponder the fact that it is all likely to happen again, what with the great reset people and the pandemic planning industry already on high alert for the first opportunity to crank up the machine again.  Moving on, not holding “them”, the Covid class, to account, will only make the next instalment all the more likely.

Consider just two recent news stories, taken randomly from among the tsunami of truth telling now emerging on a daily basis that show, beyond doubt, the extent and the depth of the pain caused and the fact that the Covid class lied, and people died.  On their watch, with their permission.  No, worse than that, with their explicit instructions.  First, Will Jones reported on the sharp rise in eating disorders among teenaged girls as a result of lockdowns.  Real pain.  Lasting pain.  Because of Covid exceptionalism.

Then there was the Washington Examiner story showing, beyond doubt, that the former head of the American CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) lied under oath before congress about when the vaccine in-crowd knew the vaccines didn’t work, yet kept promoting them for years afterwards.  Lies built on lies.

Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and former NIH Director Francis Collins were aware of, and discussed, “breakthrough cases” of COVID in January 2021 — right when the vaccines became widely available.

Yes, all based on lies.  Deadly lies.  Biden (and many others) lied; people died.  Some of the Covid class still promote the shots.  Amid the ever-rising, murky waters of excess deaths.  Including, perhaps, that of the Australian legend, Shane Warne.  Deaths still unexamined by the Covid class.

Oh yes, for those who lived through the nightmare, John Stapleton’s gripping book, while reviving painful memories in great detail, is a must-read account of the evil that men (and women) do.  It is a thundering reminder, too, of the need for Covid accountability, and a spur to further action among a new Coalition of the Willing minded to pursue it, and who simply must not give up the fight in the face of performative Covid class insouciance.  It is ironic, too, that Australia Breaks Apart has been published just as the stampede for the exit door by Covid’s decision-makers has reached a crescendo.

In the dying days of the narrative, there was a national election, with one party of despised Covideers replaced by another, and around a third of now largely unrepresented voters, many of them the deplorables featured in John’s book, refusing to support either major party.  The great political escape raises the question, was all the protesting worth it?  I recently put a similar question to Ian Plimer, the doyen of Australian climate sceptics – why does he keep writing books when the climate writing seems to be on the wall? – in the light of the emoting (in place of rational thought) on the other side of the debate.  He replied that it was critical that when the history of all this comes to be written one day, there will be a record written down somewhere of the madness of it all.  Then there is Hannah Arendt, quoted by Stapleton:

Under conditions of terror most people will comply but some people will not. No more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation. One man will always be left alive to tell the story (p354).

There must be a record of this, written down.  And, most importantly of all, if they did this once, they will almost certainly attempt it again.  Next time, we might just be ready.

Buy a copy of this book, this chronicle of the new totalitarianism, the definitive account of Covid Australia, then circulate it widely among those might think it didn’t really matter, what they did to us back then.  What they did to the penal colony down under.  A short review cannot do justice to this deeply authentic, often transcendent and, indeed, magisterial work.  An astonishing achievement.  An Australian story.

Illustrations in the style of Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944.

John Stapleton is a veteran of both the Sydney Morning Herald – these days a core member of the left-progressive-censoring media industrial complex – and The Australian, the publisher of some Covid dissidents but never, ever off-piste in relation to vaccine cheer-squadding. These days he edits A Sense of Place Magazine, an outstanding online alt-media journal.  John has written a number of books on contemporary madnesses. His earlier books on Australia’s Covid hysteria were titled Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia and Convoy to Canberra.  Australia Breaks Apart completes the trilogy, and together will come to be regarded as the definite account of Australia’s Covid tyranny.

An insightful interview with John by Nick Cater can be found on ADH TV at