Is It Really ‘Freedom’ Day?

October 12, 2021 Updated: October 14, 2021

Commentary

The message from the elites—the political class and the mainstream media—could have come from the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984.

This is the celebrated novel about the future when the world is governed by three evil dictatorships based on the communist and fascist models which emerged in the 20th century.

The message from our elites was to rejoice what mainstream media named “Freedom Day” on Oct. 11, which would see a batch of new “freedoms” released from under heavy government-mandated health restrictions.

But it was hardly a day in which freedom was being restored in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW). The lives of its people are still being minutely regulated in a way not known in democratic societies under the rule of law.

It was still as if NSW were one of those long gone Soviet-controlled East European communist republics. The rules, made without reference to Parliament and without the regularity of the process required by submission to the Governor in the Executive Council—normal even in colonial days and even in wartime—were without doubt beyond the power authorised under the public health legislation.

Epoch Times Photo
People take in the harbour view at Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 12, 2021. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

There will in due course be the subject of a multiplicity of legal actions claiming serious misfeasance in public office. Many of these could succeed. They will involve the award of massive damages to those whose businesses, careers, education, health, and lives have been damaged or destroyed by the politicians.

But those politicians involved will not be paying. Most will be retired and living on taxpayer-funded superannuation. On past indications, many will be raking in a fortune in consultancies and appointments, even those from entities with links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In the meantime, the so-called Freedom Day in NSW has divided its people into three classes.

At the top, there are the power elites, especially the politicians who have suffered little except for an increase in their incomes, privileges, and power, which seems out of control.

Then in the middle are those who are fully vaccinated who will have a few crumbs tossed to them by the politicians. They will be allowed to have haircuts and go to cafes, provided they prove they are obedient to the rules set down by those above.

Then there will be those at the bottom of society, the unvaccinated, who are being blamed—in some quarters—for spreading the virus.

Australian state governments have imposed measures which could never have any effect in restricting the spread of the virus. For example, the NSW government’s decision to close down the construction industry at massive cost and without medical advice (not that we will ever be allowed to see such advice).

How could Oct. 11 then be a Freedom Day?

To a proud Australian, aware of what our predecessors did in building this country and in fighting for it and in too many instances dying for it, Oct. 11 should be a day of shame and indeed, infamy.

There was never, and there is now, absolutely no justification in overriding democratic rights for the sake of health restrictions.

It was obvious soon after closing the international borders that the CCP virus was serious but unlike earlier pandemics, such as poliomyelitis, striking the elderly and the already sick.

The death rates for a remote island nation were always going to be less than the worst flu epidemics.

The federal government decided to form the misnamed National Cabinet that allowed the prime minister to underwrite the decisions of state leaders and to avoid exercising powers available to the federal government under the Constitution.

Epoch Times Photo
Patrons return to the MCA Cafe (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia) in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 12, 2021. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

At its formation, the National Cabinet ignored what was then the world’s best practice in handling the pandemic as demonstrated by Taiwan, where schools and businesses remained open as usual. Instead, the National Cabinet shockingly adopted the Beijing communist model, the lockdown, while rejecting the more democratic model of dealing with health crises.

This is no doubt a reflection of the inordinate influence the CCP has over the Australian political class, like too many in the West, they followed Beijing-style lockdowns which have little regard for the fundamental rights of individuals and punishes small business.

On Oct. 11, we should not be giving thanks to our great leaders for the fact that the death rate from the CCP virus in Australia is lower than in most other countries. This is obviously because we are a remote island nation, one far more easily defended than most.

Nor should we be giving them thanks for politicians forsaking world’s best practice exemplified by an island which Beijing regards as a rebellious and renegade province.

Taiwan was also denied the possibility of informing the world of their experience after being unseated from the World Health Organisation at the insistence of Comrade Xi Jinping, who helped establish the standard in how to deal with victims of the CCP virus, including restrictions such as sealing people in their apartments.

Ultimately, it is unacceptable that political leaders establish expanding control over our lives, nor should this be allowed to continue.

We must never forget the warning by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States.’’

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

David Flint
David Flint
contributor
David Flint is an emeritus professor of law, known for his leadership of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and for his tenure as head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. He is also a former chairman of the Australian Press Council and the World Association of Press Councils.