The saying, “as so often in Australian public life, we’d all have been better off if the government had done absolutely nothing”, attracted outrage in the first few months of the “Pandemic”.
Despite the blizzard of blatant falsehoods, grandstanding, nonsensical rules and words of caution from leading intellectuals around the world, bizarrely in that early Covid period surveys showed faith in government and the media went up.
Two years later, in February of 2022, the expression rang all too horribly true.
And by then it was no longer an outlier sentiment.
The country was a smoking ruin; deeply socially divided along class, employment and vaccination status lines.
Western Australian was cut off from the rest of the country, thousands of businesses had been demolished and would never recover, the massive transfer of wealth from the working and middle classes to the nation’s oligarchs was an open sewer of a scandal, and the authoritarian abuses visited upon the population by the politicians and their henchmen in the police forces and the military were now seared into the collective record of the fledgling nation’s history.
The personal tragedies, the elderly who passed away unable to see their grandchildren, the families divided, the millions of children whose education was disrupted, the tens of thousands of nurses, teachers and police who resigned either out of a sense of moral repugnance or for refusing to get “the jab”, the millions who had been injected with a vaccine for which the long term consequences were entirely unknown, the list only lengthened with time as the full history of this shocking period of Australian governance emerged.
The government is your enemy is an easy message to take out when you are being bashed, fined, pepper sprayed and imprisoned by police; when the army is on the street and military helicopters are flying overhead; and trust in government was unlikely to return any time soon.
What drilled home the reality of the totalitarian state which Australia had become was the controversy over the use of hi-tech weapons against a crowd of peaceful protestors, including the highly controversial LRADs, Long Range Acoustic Devices.
The truth of their use, or the use of similar devices, was difficult to establish, with the head of the Australian Federal Police Reece Kershaw, under questioning on the subject, telling a parliamentary committee: “That would be something that is with our police methodology which we would have to look at some type of public interest immunity claim.”
There was ample photographic evidence of their presence in the precincts of both the Epic Showgrounds and at the National Parliament. There were also audio recordings which appeared to confirm their use.
With their science fiction look and surrounded by heavily armed police, the presence alone of such weaponry and crowd control technology added to the heightened fear and confusion used by the authorities to disorient and move protestors on from their campsites.
There was also ample anecdotal evidence that “extra-curricular” if you like crowd control methods were used against the protestors, who, to re-emphasise, alongside many passionate professionals of all ages were also made up of many ordinary working class adults and children, elderly people, and both physically and mentally challenged Australians.
Many thousands of people, including the editor of this book, reported symptoms which included unusually high levels of fatigue, mental clouding, disorientation, exhaustion, anxiety and nausea.
Others reported severe headaches and provided photographic evidence of extensive skin burns.
That the authorities were even contemplating the use of sonic and microwave weaponry against peaceful protestors, and making an overt display of doing so, marked a step into the abyss.
The vaccines were used by the nation’s politicians as their “get out of jail free” card to cover the serial incompetence and absolute lack of justification for their use of extremely destructive measures of disease control, including most particularly masks, lockdowns and curfews.
But the mandating of vaccines and the subsequent destruction of thousands of people’s careers and working lives was a line in the sand which should never have been crossed; and was done without any proper discussion or appropriate medical advice.
That the vaccines proved to be a false promise, yet another false step on the highway to hell, was now everywhere evident. You had to be illiterate, deliberately blind or totally dishonest to pretend otherwise; as the internet crowded with stories of vaccine injuries and deaths, and study after study from around the world confirmed that in many jurisdictions the vaccines were demonstrating negative efficacy. The reputation of the vaccine manufacturers was everywhere in ruins; as were their share prices.
Having an intelligent debate on the subject, with most Australians already having chosen their “hill to die on” might have become impossible. But what was clear was that Australia, as much as anywhere on Earth, suffered from the phenomenon of regulatory capture, where purportedly independent academics and institutions peddled the message of their funding sources; in this case vaccine manufacturers and their allies and beneficiaries.
That Australian governments state and federal and the large corporations with which they were so closely aligned were persisting in vaccine mandates for their workers and flying in the face of all the international evidence, and by doing so wrought such extensive harm on both individuals and the social fabric, was in a sense a scandal for another day.
It was also a scandal front and centre of the administrative and social debacle enveloping Australia, as every arena from aged care to retail outlets ground slowly to a stop. And it was a scandal which was not going to go away; whatever amount of government and media denial or distraction.
Not one person in power, not one of the perpetrators of the humanitarian catastrophe which had overtaken Australia, apologised.
Not one of them.
Many people would never recover the loss of their jobs and livelihoods; would never regain trust in the media or their government.
What was only slowly coming to be understood by the general public was the scale of corporate rorting which took place under the cover of Covid, with tens of billions of dollars being dished out by Scott Morrison to his corporate cronies.
This was a scandal which would unravel the reputation of the conservatives for years to come.
Equally, a scandal for another day would be the secret contracts the government signed with vaccine manufacturers, even as there were warning signs everywhere.
What was easier to understand was that the Prime Minister and his colleagues had more than quadrupled the national debt, from $270 billion to more than a trillion dollars, staggering sums of money which would either bankrupt the country, or have to be paid off over generations; a curse visited on the future and paid for not by the politicians who wrecked this insane level of damage and fiscal irresponsibility on the country, but by the children of the toiling classes who had just marched on the Canberra elites.
Those of a spiritual bent declared: “Humanity has faced an ancient evil.”
The shock of it all was that this ancient evil lay within the hearts and minds of their fellow Australians, the ones they had once trusted to lead them.
If there was one enduring lesson to be learnt from the chaos that was visited upon Australia and its peoples for two long years it was: “This must never happen again.”
We had all endured the biggest medical fraud in history, a fraud perpetrated not just by some of the most corrupt individuals and corporations on the globe, but aided and abetted by the people we elected to serve and protect us.
The ruling elites had been utterly discredited.
It was time for common humanity to triumph, time for us to write our own histories once again; and to ignore the despicable story the powerful would wish to write on the backs of working people.
And as the many so-called “ordinary” people who travelled to Canberra so amply demonstrated, there was nothing ordinary about them. Every last person, from the disabled and mentally fragile to the successful business people, from the frail and elderly to the bright and attractive youth, from the rough and ready members of Australia’s working class to the professionally and socially accomplished, every last one of them helped to make a history that changed Australia forever.
In the end, despite all the weaponry unleashed against them, it was the people who triumphed.