We the people must regain our inherited freedoms

Even before the present virus outbreak, our freedoms were being eroded. Democracy we have seen is not a guarantee for freedom, ending up what could be termed, electoral dictatorship, meaning for the electorate there’s little choice with what is offered.  We have witnessed dreadful decisions enforced throughout Australia, without any compassion. A recent example has been the drowning of a small boy with the authorities not allowing a proper funeral. 

Freedoms do not come easy; they are not given; they are fought for and won. We must be eternally vigilant otherwise they will be taken away.  We are familiar of those who went to war to ensure that our way of life and freedoms are protected from a brutal enemy.  Freedom, however, has to also be won through the corridors of powers, such as our parliaments and institutions. We cannot be free unless we have freedom of movement, (which is being denied at the moment by State governments) freedom of expression and freedom of thought. We must have a free media. We must be protected by unbiased laws, but we have seen throughout, Australia being governed by the executive and not by parliament.

The freedoms which we have enjoyed have been inherited from Great Britain.  Millions have been attracted to our shores because of the freedom we offer. Long before the Norman Conquest (1066), King Alfred, the only British king to be called “Great”, implemented laws which laid foundation of the rights of the common man. 

Then in 1215 we had the Magna Carta when King John was forced to sign the Charter forcing the King to be subject to the same laws as any other person. It influenced the United States Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Both these latter peoples’ right were also influence by the British Bill of Rights of 1688 which set out the basic laws of parliamentary rule and again the rights of the common man, while putting a brake on the powers of the Monarch, the then government.

Then we have the Australian Constitution, with sections 92 and 117 guaranteeing the freedom of movement backed up by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, with Article 13 guaranteeing the free movement in and out of a country, with Article 20 guaranteeing the right for peaceful assembly and association.  Australia signed this, but what is the point of signing something that we are NOT going to honour? Or Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1986) which refers to “right of liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence”? Any internal passport as proposed by the Federal Government, based on discriminatory policies, goes against these basic human rights.

We also operate under English Common Law and among other aspects, state that we are innocent until we are proven guilty, not the other way around.  Indeed, technically, any spot fine or ticket written goes against the principle of Common Law. By writing a ticket you are automatically determined guilty before you can prove your innocence.
Governments exist to serve us, we the people are not here to serve the government.

We have seen State Governments act in a dictatorial way, especially in Victoria. There, the police brutalise their own citizens. There have been multiple breeches of human rights in this regard.  When Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was questioned on this during a media conference, he replied “THIS IS NOT ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS”. 

How come we have got to this stage? Simply because of the continual message of fear espoused by governments, politicians, a number of media outlets and the medical fraternity.  Remember?  That up to 150,000 people were predicted to die from corvid (Certificate of Vaccination I.D.?) as stated by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Paul Kelly?  The total nationally is less than 900, less, may I say, those dying annually of the flu.

Leading QC (Queen’s Counsel), Michael Wyles, has stated lock downs are illegal. They have not only destroyed the economic life of people, but too, their mental and social life.  The rate of suicide is far higher than the death rate of this current virus, much of which could have been avoided if the vulnerable were instantly protected and those who had the virus were adequately quarantined.

A certain percentage (and it is quite high) of people like to be told what to do. It brings security and they don’t have to make decisions for themselves. I have been staggered how easy and how quickly we have been willing to give our freedoms away and let us not be fooled, governments have learnt from this. The Digital Certificate, aimed at those who have chosen not to be vaccinated and now available online by the Federal Government would be welcomed in Red China. The certificate being similar that country’s social credit policy. Do the right thing as proposed by the government and you will be rewarded, otherwise your rights will be taken away. 666?

Once our freedoms have gone, they will not be voluntarily given back to us by those in charge.

St George’s Day

The 23rd of April is St George’s Day. It is important to remember the patron saint of England, St George and to observe St George’s Day and to wear the red cross against the white background, which is proudly carried on our Australian National Flag as well as the Tasmanian Flag. There are always the constant attacks on our national flag and the demand for a new one as there is for a republic.  Just recently of course we saw the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, but it did show the out pouring of remorse world-wide over his death and the warmth that he was regarded  His virtues was one of sacrifice and of service, before self.  He had a vital career in the Royal Navy before he married Her Majesty, but he gave it all up for the Crown and for country.  Those attributes we must reclaim.  We live in a society which is now very much a “me “generation.
We all know of the story of St George and he is represented by the image of slaying the dragon.  This is more than just a simple portrayal.  It has a great symbolic message behind it.  It is good overcoming evil.  The Dragon of course is represented in the Holy Bible as Satan, the great deceiver and there is our George piecing the Dragon with his lance; good overcoming evil.

The Anglo-Saxon people have given the world so much good, not only in an array of invention, from the railway to television, the jet engine and much more, but in commerce, education and in the forefront of freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of action, freedom of thought backed up by English Common Law, together with the Magna Carta (which is still in force, regardless what is said), the 1688 Constitution and even our own Australian Constitution. Before the Magna Carta it was Alfred the Great (the only English king to be called Great) who brought in laws that were taken from Holy Scriptures and it was these laws which were the basis of our pending freedoms. The judiciary must be independent and free from all government interference.

Yet, these days we have seen our great heritage and institutions under constant threat. We have seen our basis rights abused by over bearing governments, often backed by the police.  It has happening in all European countries and even in the traditional Anglo-Saxon countries, like Australia, New Zealand, the US and particularly in Canada, where the abuses I have seen I would not have thought would be possible a few years ago. Very few of our politicians make a murmur over it all.

So why is it happening?  Simply, to bring in a new society. The old must be destroyed, because the old is simply in the way.  Our traditions inherited here in Australia from the Mother Land must prevail.  If they do not then we will live in a lesser world than what we knew and we will be passing on to our children a darker society.

England has given us so much and yes, she also made mistakes, but the symbol of St George overcoming evil is just as relevant today as it was so many centuries ago. If we are so bad as our heritage is now portrayed by the academics, the mainstream media and the political parties, then why do, (what is seems), the whole world want to live within our Anglo-Saxon countries?  We must have done something right.

Not so long ago, we had a Royal Society of St George Society here in Hobart.  It no longer exists.  I can also recall some decades ago attending a dinner/dance with many attendants and over the subsequent years, attending other functions with myself holding St George’s Day church services at St George’s Church Battery Point followed by lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel.  All that has gone.  It is important that the Royal Overseas League continues to herald and honour this important Day.  On the 1st of March I attended a choral presentation for St David’s Day (the patron saint of Wales) at St David’s Cathedral.  It was a wonderful service and of course big celebrations always occur on St Patrick’s Day and then in November we have St Andrews Day.  St George’s Day must not drop out of the calendar.  I am reminded that the most beautiful magazine, This England, led a campaign in England to have a national holiday for St George’s Day proclaimed, but big business and the government did not warm to the idea; perhaps it would not be in keeping with the modern multicultural society of England, where everyone else can celebrate their national heritage but the English can’t.

Incidentally, St David’s Cathedral was named after David Collins. It was he who settled Hobart in 1804, another great achievement of our heritage. This is a rare honour, as Cathedrals are usually named after saints and in this case most believe after St David of Wales.  Although the saint is honoured at the Cathedral, it was indeed named after David Collins who died in 1810 and is buried in St David’s Park also named, naturally, after him.

The Cross of St George is well known world-side. It is the National Flag of England; it is on the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, on our Australian National Flag, on our Tasmanian Flag and on other State flags, plus a number of provinces in Canada. It is also on The Hawaiian Flag, the National Flag of New Zealand and Fiji and many other national flags, including military ones, such as the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. Certainly St George has proven to be a significant historic figure. His cross also appears on the Greek Flag and the flag of Georgia. He is also the patron saint of Portugal, Moscow, Ethiopia, Lithuania, Palestine and Malta.  So you see he and his cross is not only an English icon.

Knowing of the importance and significance of St George in our everyday life, it is important that his memory and his meaning remain alive in this modern era.  It provides stability, goodness and points a way to the future.

ANZAC Day 2021

Anzac day is a day to remember. To remember those who went away, leaving their families, their community and country, to serve in war zones, risking their life and limb. Most were young and most were to die young. Nations call upon their youth to answer the call, while the older men, either military or civilian, direct their destinies. For many it was a call to adventure or let’s be frank, an opportunity to get away from an unpleasant love affair, a boring job or financial trouble.  The majority enlisted because of patriotic reasons.

ANZAC Day is to remember those who served during World War I. On this day 25th April all those wars and conflicts our nation has been involved in, even before federation and after world war one, are also embraced.

So why do we remember and who do we remember? ANZAC Day for me is to remember those ordinary folk who served in our military forces and our nurses who gave so much. We remember the families whose sons, brothers, grandsons, friends and cousins who were thousands of miles away and they, not knowing what their fate was to be, suffered anguish.  ANZAC Day should not be exclusively recalling the feats of those in charge like Generals Monash, Chauval, Birdwood, Blamey, etc, albeit worthy they were, but the young soldier, sailor and airman who plodded the jungles, the marshes, the seas, the skies, the deserts, the arctic ice and where ever, for they were really the ones who sacrificed themselves on behalf of others. We remember the privates, the stokers, the able seamen, the air crew, the non-commissioned officers, the lieutenants and captains who led troops while at an incredibly young age and the rate of fatalities of the latter two, per ratio, was very high. We also remember those who served in the merchant navy. Our nurses should be remembered because of their unflinching call to duty, their sense of obligation and too, their sacrifice. These are the people is what ANZAC Day is all about.  The generals have their medals, their awards, their exclusive clubs, with books written about them revealing their exploits on how great they were. But it was young Johnny that really fought and made the sacrifice and if he came home at all, often he did without an arm or a leg(s) or perhaps a mangled burnt face as did our fighting airmen and certainly all with jangled nerves.

Mind you, one of my greatest heroes was a general – Sir General John Gellibrand, the highest ranking Tasmanian officer in WWI.  A sign of a good general is one who looks after the welfare of his troops and Gellibrand was one of them.  His concern was so great that during WWI he clashed constantly with superiors and in one incident, General Monash actually apologised to him, admitting he was right.  Gellibrand’s concern for the men continued after the war, commencing what was then called the Remembrance Club, later to become Legacy. 

Gellibrand would not be easy to get on with.  In civilian life he again clashed constantly with those with whom he worked, but always, always, his concern was with the returning servicemen. On ANZAC DAY he marched with the men in civilian clothes much to chagrin of Monash and Chauval. In my eyes, Gellibrand was a great man who would not suffer fools easily.  Oh, how we need such in these grim days – fearless and righteous leaders!

They are the ones who should not be forgotten.  Many of them nameless.  Many in unmarked graves in Western Europe and elsewhere, buried at sea or shot down over enemy territory. How much did their mothers and fathers, grandparents, their brothers and sisters and all those who loved them, grieve? How many ladies in black were to be seen in the streets of our cities after World War One? Three thousand young Tasmanians died in that war, not to mention the 6,000 who returned wounded.

They went away to fight for their country, their family and freedom, from the Boer War to Afghanistan and in between. We have seen, however, how fragile freedom is.  It can be taken away without a flicker by the whims of those in charge, backed up by State authorities. Yes, they went away to fight for the continuation of freedoms which we enjoyed in Australia to the extent of fighting off an invading, brutal enemy – but freedom can be easily taken away.  It is important, nay, imperative that we remember those who went before us to battle on our behalf and that we cherish what they believed in; freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and freedom to make our own choices. We must never, never give it up easily as it seems to have happened in this modern era.

ANZAC Day.  To remember those who left our shores and as distance in time increases there is the possibly that it will grow dim in our memory.  To do so would be selfish to the most extreme.  Today and next year and the years after, let us pass the lantern to those who follow.

How our freedoms can be maintained

It was Winston Churchhill who said, “Never waste a good crisis” and certainly governments of all persuasions and levels in the democratic world have taken advantage of the existing situation. The current corona-virus has seen all sorts of previously freedoms erased from the public arena adding that “this new norm”.  George Orwell said, “Once freedom is taken away they will not be given back”.

Quite apart from the current restrictions (and at places draconian) on freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of action and even freedom of thought (Nigel Forage, social commentator from the UK was told by the police he will have to “rethink”) many, many people have been arrested for even questioning such abuses of power. We are not talking about Communist China, Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany, but western democracies.

There have even been attempts of late to control the media.  Without a free media and an independent judiciary, freedom cannot be guaranteed. Spirited debate between the ABC and sections of Sky News is as it should be, providing an array of opinion. 

There are, however, other proven ways to give the people power which may not be in the interest of governments, who now seem to think they know what is best for us all.

In California at the moment, the Governor, Gavin Newsom, may be sacked by the people.  That is because they have, what is termed, the Power of Recall, as do other US States. Recall is a procedure where an elected official can be removed from office before the election by the consent of the majority of the electorate.

Do we need something similar in Australia?  Indeed there are two other methods that can be used that gives great decision making to the electorate, much to the chagrin of government.  These methods help to ensure the gross abuse of power by those who rule us contained.  These are Citizens Imitated Referenda (CIR) and Voters’ Veto VV).

CIR is termed direct democracy, giving power to the people.  It works extra well and has done since 1891, in Switzerland. There, citizens can launch a popular initiative to demand a change to the constitution. Any eligible voter can participate. In Switzerland (population in excess of 8 million) when 100,000 valid signatures are in favour of a proposal within a period of 18 months, can initiate a referendum.  This allows all eligible citizens to participate in decision-making. The beauty of the system is that the central government cannot refuse the Will of the People; they are obliged to accept the people’s decision.  People also have the right to reject certain international treaties.  As stated, it works well and despite critics, there is no election chaos.  It is well ordered and a referendum can be held at the same time of the local or federal elections.

The other is Voters’ Veto. This gives, again, power to the people. After collecting enough signatures, poorly worded legislation or legislation that is not in the interest of the people can be vetoed.  The government then would have the opportunity to put its case forward, but if again if rejected, the government is obligated to honour the People’s Will.

In 1991, Neil Robson, who was in the Tasmanian Parliament from 1976-1992, came close to having Voters’ Veto passed by the Tasmanian Government.  He was not successful.  I worked with Neil on this project as I saw that if passed, it would give power to the people and stop in some measure the intrigues of party politics. 

Each state in the Australian Commonwealth needs CIR and VV although there is a case if we had CIR we would not need VV. 

We have to recognise that governments do not necessarily work in the interest of the people; often they work in their own interests.  Freedom does not come from governments, nor will (and there are exceptions) politicians go battling for the freedom of citizens. They will do what their Party will tell them to do.  Freedom is a powerful urge. People have fought for freedom since we have walked the earth.  We have seen countless tyrants over the thousands of year come and go, but go they did. Freedom is not given; it has to be won and once won it has to be safeguarded.  Our inherited freedoms such as the Magna Carter, the 1688 Bill of Rights, which sets out basic civil rights, Common Law, our own Australian Constitution and the International Charter of Human Rights  – and I dare say many more – have been ignored and abused with many of the people accepting without question that those in charge have our best interest at heart.  I can only add what ex-President of the United States Ronald Reagan warned.  “The most terrifying words in the English language are, Í am here from the government and I’m here to help you”. The growth of government over our lives is frightening.  We, the People, must have ways to control this intrusion.

Dealing with the Media

As one who at the time of writing has had more than fifty years of experience with the media in all its forms, printed, television, radio and video, I would like to pass on to you some experiences and knowledge how the media works.  In your time during your chosen career, your life outside of your profession and perhaps beyond, it is important for you to know how to deal with the media.

The media is never on your side.  Never make the mistake thinking that they are.  Never make the mistake believing you can use the media to your advantage.  You never can.  The media will do what it wants to do.  Always keep this in mind.  The media is not your friend.  On occasions it may appear they are, but that is only because they are getting a story or a comment from you, which is to their advantage, not to yours.  It may be true that you can also gain from the publicity, but publicity can work both ways, it can be helpful and/or it can be unhelpful.

Always be in charge of your acceptance of the media remembering they are there to use you. It is true you can use them as well, but do not make the mistake you are controlling them. You will not. They are not your friend.  They are not there to further your career.  It may be true that they can help your career, but keep in mind if it is in their interest they will turn against you and the result will be not what you were hoping it to be.

When being interviewed by the media, stay on the subject, do not stray.  Be careful what you say; saying the wrong thing can be disastrous for you.  Anything controversial said by you, they will latch on to.  That is why I say, be careful what you and stay on the subject.  If you can, think and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand.  I repeat, do not say outlandish things or controversial, for those comments will be what will be aired. Be careful. Remember too and this is very important and many in the limelight foolishly do not seem to consider it; everyone now has a camera, especially with phone cameras and security cameras.  Knowing this be sure you are on your good behaviour at all times.  Do not let them catch you out.  Speak and behave sensibly.  Anyone nowadays think they can have their five minutes of fame, by catching one on a camera in a compromising situation. Most people do not have personal responsibility when it comes to other people; they think only of their selves and what they can get out of it whether it is financial or their moment of brief fame – or it could be a combination of both.

I cannot emphasise your personal responsibility to yourself in this regard and to your family. Be aware of the media and be aware that everyone is now watching, because of the proliferations of cameras. Also too in this age of political correctness, the media is just hoping you will say the wrong thing and run with it. This is what I mean, when I say stay on the subject and speak sensibly.

I repeat, the media is NOT your friend, even though it may give an impression that it is.  Never, ever, give a comment “off the cuff” because that is what they will hone in on.

Be upstanding, be diplomatic and as said, keep to the subject and give sensible and authoritive comments.  Never criticise a colleague, be loyal to your friends and to those who depend upon you.  The media can be there to help you in your career, but also remember they can destroy your career.  Too many immature people in this regard have destroyed themselves.

Beware of the media; do not think you can use them to your advantage and that they are on your side.  Be careful in what you say to them.  By all means appear on the media, but manage your appearances wisely.  In time, experience will show you this and until then, be wary. They are not there to deliberately promote your career, even though they may say so or give that impression.  They are there to get a story and it means destroying you, they will.  Always be wise to them…at times it may be best to refrain from saying anything.  Always be polite to them because if they feel you are treating them poorly they have the power to give you bad publicity even though it would be unjustified. They are human beings and they can hold a grudge.

I cannot overly state too much, learn all about the media and their tactics. I can tell you knowing many in the media (and yes there have been some good ones) very few of them have scruples especially when on the scent of a good story.  They will manipulate the result they want, even though it is far from the truth, without any conscience. This is human nature and the media is no different.

Remember if you go “live” anything you say cannot be edited. Be extra careful in what you say.  On the other hand if it is pre-recorded they can edit it to their advantage, so again be careful in what you say.  Never relax your alertness.  Speak with confidence and speak with authority. At times it may be necessary to be fully honest and simply say something like, I really know how much about that subject or of those matters. Always be honest, never make up stories, exaggerate or lie, because it will be found out and you will have to answer for it.

When in public always behave like a gentleman; never show off or behave in an unruly manner, because you are on show.  People are watching you.  Many will be waiting for you to make a mistake and cause harm to your personal reputation or bring your club into dishonour.  Remember, we live in political correct times, so never give the media the story they want or would like.

Too many religious leaders, sportsmen, politicians, pop stars and movie stars believe in their own publicity.  They come to believe they are mini gods.  They are fools. Invariably their puffed-up pride is their downfall.  Remember the old proverb – the bigger they are, the bigger they fall.

I have survived all these years, simply because I knew how far I could go and how much I could and should say.

I can only give advice, the future is in your hands, but learn from one who knows.

You may consider that I have repeated myself on occasions.  I have done this deliberately so that it will sink it.