Australia has changed. It is not the Australia I knew. As a mature man I can compare what was to what is. Our freedoms are something which I took for granted. I was under the illusion that those in authority would protect and honour our inherit freedoms, but we have seen those very same identities who should be in the forefront in defending our freedoms, only too willingly to erase them. Not only that, but to persecute those who stand up for freedom backed by a police force which, in instances, has become an instrument of the government and not the servant of the people. I never, ever, thought I would see things happening in this land of ours under the banner of “we are doing it for your own good”
The late US President Regan said that the ten most feared words of the English language are “I am from the government, I am here to help” (2nd August 1988). Yet even before the present virus outbreak, our freedoms were being eroded and this current situation has provided an excuse to erode them even further. Democracy we have seen is not a guarantee for freedom. We have witnessed dreadful laws enacted and enforced throughout Australia, especially in Victoria and Queensland that would make some less worthy nations envious.
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 with 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, freedom of expression and freedom of thought. We must have a free media. We must be protected by unbiased laws, but we have seen Australia 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 offered and once enjoyed. Long before the Norman Conquest, King Alfred, (the only British king to be called “Great”) implemented laws which laid foundation of the rights of the common man. He was a studious law giver, a man who promoted literacy and was concerned with the weak and the dependent. He based his laws on earlier worthy codes and the bible. He was a learned man who was full of compassion.
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 rights of the common man, while putting a break 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 which we are NOT going to honour? What is the point of an Australian Constitution if State Governments do not honour it? Or a federal government too weak to do anything about it? We have a High Court for the Federal Government to show these States that they are simply acting illegal.
We also operate under English Common Law and among other aspects, states that we are innocent until we are proven guilty, not the other way around. Governments exist to serve the people, we the people are not here to serve governments.
We have seen State Governments act in a dictatorial way, again especially in Victoria. There, the police do terrible things to their own citizens and there have been multiple breeches of human rights in this regard. When Premier Daniel Andrews were questioned on this during a media conference, he replied “THIS IS NOT ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS”. His own words. We are in trouble. We, the people, must protect our rights, because it has been shown that the political elite will not do so on our behalf while the various Oppositions have proven to be weak and hopeless including that in Tasmania. Our governments have been bereft of compassion.
But how come we have got to this stage? Simply out of fear. Fear is feeling overwhelmed. Fear will make people submissive. Fear creates the belief that is it enduring and because of fear we believe life can be reduced to a set of rules and the more rules we create the more habit-bound we become. We lose innocence and spontaneity, we forget the light and vitality of life and we end up living in the shadows.
Hence, because of fear, we allow ourselves to be under house arrest, putting our trust in governments that not only tell us what to do, but supplies all our needs. Government then becomes not only our mother and father, but god. When the true God is rejected all we have is Big Government. Again to quote the late President Regan, “Government is not the solution, government is the problem”. (Jan 29 1981).
We have a brain, an intelligent and hopefully enough wisdom because of experience to be able to judge for ourselves. We are individuals, not sheep. Too many of our people have accepted what is being told and the message is one of fear giving predictions that simply have not happened. We cannot every time a new virus appears shut down society, imprison its citizens and destroy its economy.
The one fear I have, come January next year (2021) we will truly see the horrific hardship of this shut down fully occur, which a leading QC, Michael Wyles, has stated is illegal. It has 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 which governments failed to do. We also must take note that 99 per cent of those who contract the virus will survive and that most will only have a mild case of it.
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.
I thank you for your time. We are a loving people, loving our family, our friends and our country. Therefore, we are indeed concerned what is going on. Our national anthem says, “We are young and free” – well, we are no longer free.