John Stapleton addresses the madness of the past few years elegantly and with an urgent clarity that puts most commentators – and all politicians and bureaucrats – to shame.

Steve Waterson, Senior Editor, The Australian. 

With terrifying clarity and a unique literary flair, John Stapleton chaperones us through our social decline and the loss of our civil liberties.

Dean Sewell, multi-award winning news photographer. 

At a time when the powers that be wish that Covid questioning would simply go away, there are those, sadly few in number, who continue to probe the inconvenient issues. And tell the real stories of the Covid madness. John Stapleton, again, is leading the charge.  Indispensable reading.

Paul Collits, leading Australian political commentator. 

John Stapleton is one of only a handful of journalists with the integrity and courage to challenge the Covid narrative. “Australia Breaks Apart” is destined to be a masterpiece.

Dr Guy Campbell, Australian Medical Professionals Society. 

The humanitarian crimes committed by Australian authorities against their own citizens, beginning in early 2020, will live on in infamy, but it is the people themselves who create a nation’s history.

On the 12th of February 2022, the largest gathering of Australians in the nation’s history marched on the National Parliament in Canberra to protest the totalitarianism of the Australian Government, chanting “Sack Them All, Sack Them All”.

Crowd numbers are notoriously difficult to calculate and prone to distortion, but whatever the number, no politician, intelligence agency, police force or political strategist in Australia failed to notice that a massive number of people marched on the nation’s capital, with a remarkable amount of good cheer, jubilance and camaraderie; character traits which the nation’s leaders had failed to show in the years of authoritarian derangement.

Between 2020 and 2022 Australia was gripped by a madness which was spiritual, administrative, political, social and judicial in its dimensions. Australians who stood up against the rising tide of tyranny found themselves pepper sprayed, bashed by police, fined and imprisoned in dictatorial abuses which made headlines around the world, a warning to the world against Covid overreach. 

A nation which once prided itself on its laissez faire approach to life and the friendly, easy going nature of its population lay besmirched by a descent into totalitarianism. All the systems Australians had come to rely on failed them at their time of greatest need, every last one of them: the mainstream media, the social media platforms, the legal, medical and academic professions, politicians, bureaucrats, the police, the military and the nation’s intelligence agencies. 

Australia’s democracy proved virus thin.

Retired news reporter John Stapleton shines a light on one of the darkest episodes in the Australian story. Australia Breaks Apart is a fine demonstration of the old saying, journalism is the first draft of history.

Here is an extract from Chapter Five, A Narrow Valley Threads Down To The Sea.

Way back in August of 2021 the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was smirking up to the equally loathed smirker Prime Minister Scott Morrison, both men who clearly thought they were vastly superior “leaders” to the unwashed masses they led.

As one of those artists, writers and activists stirred into action through lockdowns and coerced vaccinations,  Geoff Shaw, wrote in Unmasked, an unwavering book-length attack on Andrews, the state’s sixth lockdown was all because there were six new cases the day before “suspected to be the highly infectious Delta variant”.

“With only 80 active cases in the whole of Victoria, with only two in intensive care and on ventilators, Victoria was locked down from 8 pm that night. Supposedly for only seven days.”

No one believed the short sharp shock rave anymore. 

As Shaw expressed it, the ever-caring spiel by the despot was the same: “From 8:00 pm tonight, there are only five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, authorised work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.”

“Shopping and exercise must be done within five kilometres of your home or the nearest location.

“Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces and secondary schools.”

“Private gatherings are not permitted except for an intimate partner or nominated person visits. Public gatherings are not permitted. Exercise is limited to two people.”

As Shaw so articulately put it: “Blah, blah, blah.”

“Expectantly, seven days was never going to satisfy Dan. The world record for the most lockdowns was his. He now needed to focus on the world record for the number of days in lockdown.

“So, Dan extends the lockdown because ‘the strategy is working’. Yet still, some people believed Dan.”

In August Daniel Andrews brought back the night-time curfew and publically slammed people who broke his rules to go to the beach and watch a sunset. It’s the middle of winter. Hardly anyone goes to the beach, and that beach is 100 kilometres away from Melbourne.

The entire country, the entire population, was being propelled into a nationwide psychosis. 


There was a terrible air of resignation. They lined up to be vaccinated, they dismally stayed locked down in their homes, whipped into a state of terror and irrationality by the endless declamations and proclamations of media pundits, the portentous announcements of chief medical officers, the ridiculous grandstanding of the politicians. 

During those brief encounters some of the conquered spoke virtuously of their own submission; with the weather cold, windy and wet. 

Caught in a moral contagion, a mass panic driven entirely by the nation’s politicians and bureaucrats, if it hadn’t been for that modern marvel the internet Old Alex, and many others, would have felt entirely alone. It was no wonder so many succumbed. 

They may have seemed weak minded, even moronic, in hindsight, but at that time many in the populace felt like they were doing the right thing, and still others simply went along to get along.

In an article titled The Covid Media Wars Down Under Paul Collits wrote that there were a number of supreme ironies in play in the Covid Commonwealth of Australia, “where we have most of the population housebound, lockdown mania ever creeping from the cities into the back blocks as (typically) a single, wayward spreader visits a region, a dogged determination to just keep digging the zero Covid hole ever deeper, and ritual condemnations of wrong-thought now reaching the national Parliament.”

There were breaks in the traffic, for anyone who cared to see. But no one cut through. In these strange times none of these sceptical, highly qualified voices springing up all round the world ever got through to the Australian masses. Amid the few strangers or acquaintances he engaged with, Old Alex encountered fear, or perplexity, at the very notion that someone might not get vaccinated.

Each morning as he drove down for his “takeaway only” coffee, no lingering for a morning catchup these days, all strangers were a danger, he would pass a queue of cars lining up at the local vaccination centre, stretching for hundreds of metres, sometimes kilometres, people willingly lining up to receive a vaccination for which they had no idea of the long term consequences and for which sceptics around the world were already sounding alarm bells. 

When the unvaccinated were finally allowed back into the Lakeview Hotel Old Alex watched with a certain sad bemusement as a lean blonde “funny as fuck” tradie called Danny declared loudly in the beer garden at Lakeview: “I’ve had two shots. The second one made me sick as a dog. I did it for my mum. She wanted me to have it. I’m not having the booster.”

Millions of Australians were convinced by their taxpayer funded representatives that lining up to take the vaccine was the socially responsible thing to do. 

They had no idea of the risks they were taking. It would be some time before reality caught up with them, and then it would be all too late. 

“Oh my God, what have I done?” 

Resentment, alarm, regret, they all curdled on this rough road to Damascus.


The point of this discursive exercise being, the Australian authorities, highly paid, on salaries ten times the average worker, should have known, must have known, that none of their policies would bear up under scrutiny, not the masks, not the lockdowns, and certainly not the vaccines they did so much to coerce the population into taking. 

And which they must have known at the time, with research tumbling out from multiple sources around the globe, were neither safe nor effective. 

And for which the long term consequences were entirely unknown.

That made them culpable, and liable for damages.

And if they did know, which was their job, that made them either incompetent, dishonest, or corrupt; taken hostage by their own compromises, by bribes from Big Pharma and by the nationwide hysteria they themselves helped create.


August 21, 2021 was the day Victoria Police started using rubber bullets on protesters.

Matt Lawson, by all reports a very peaceable man, was one of those seriously injured on the streets of Melbourne. He made his way into history by dint of becoming the first person injured by the bullets. He was shot six times, and the resulting bruising and injuries made for graphic online images, and must have been extremely painful.

The nation was being seized with a violence perpetrated and propelled by the government itself, by those elected to serve. 

“I was in an absolute state of shock that the police force I trusted to protect me had shot me repeatedly at point blank range,” he later said in an address broadcast on YouTube for all to see. “I was broken. The internal bruising was agony. It would be months before I could lift my arms above my shoulders.

“Rubber bullets, also called less lethal weapons, have killed people before and at that close range they could very well have killed me that day.

“My government was willing to risk an act of murder for the sake of ensuring obedience. I was truly broken.

“It was months before I left my house again. For all the physical damage it was the mental damage that really took its toll.”

Reignite Democracy Australia pursued a legal case against the officers involved, with no outcome more than a year on. The case, which sought exemplary damages, was funded through public donations. Managing Director of RDA Monica Smit said: “It is about creating a situation where the police are accountable.”

Whether pursuing elaborately complex legal cases through Australia’s dysfunctional court system was the best use of donor funds, including the acquisition of high priced barrister Julian Burnside, remained to be seen. 

Lawyer in the case Mani Shishineh said: “Police were shooting within three or four metres at unarmed civilians, mothers, children, elderly grandmothers. We never want that to happen again. If we were to see scenes like that in China, Brazil, even Germany, we would think wow, society has collapsed into chaos and savagery.”


The lockdowns were crushing, spiritually, emotionally, physically; confined to the prison of their homes all Australians suffered, although by no means equally. 

The public servants, able now to “work” from home, no longer obliged to front the office or do the daily commute, simply had to heat up their coffee machines on their marble benchtops before pretending to work for another day. Many of those jobs were unproductive, pointless, utterly useless Bullshit Jobs, as the book title went; but Australia’s Public Service helped to maintain the illusion that those who thought something had gone terribly wrong were just delusional. Unenlightened. From some kind of lower social order.

Those in nice houses and comfortable domestic situations liked working from home. Their salaries did not suffer, indeed went up, as did their numbers. 

The real world of work, of labouring and serving, had become a nightmare.

There would be a great deal of ducking and weaving, a stampede out the doors by the perpetrators, those responsible for this disaster being visited upon the country, but for now, all was a prison; the government front and centre of this crushing malfeasance, this derangement of the soul.