GOOD golly, what a coincidence. Last week, Tiananmen-curious morgue engorger Daniel Andrews mobilised his Victoria Police ninja turtles to assault lockdown protesters – including women – and fire rubber bullets from automatic rifles in their general direction. Like most other Labor members of Australian parliaments, the Victorian Premier is not exactly a navvy. If he did find the trade desk at Bunnings he’d be asking directions to the non-slip safety mats. It follows that he didn’t give any thought to the impact a blinding injury might have on men who use angle grinders and drop saws to make a living. Duty of care regarding eyesight, of course, is not a VicPol priority.
As a week of state terrorism drew to a close, the Pyjama Raj ‘reporters’ who make fun of ‘anti-vaxxers’ insisted the courageous Melbourne marchers were literally Nazis. In The Australian, Jack The Insider’s column devoted inches to the conspiracy theory that somebody acquired a pile of fluorescent workwear to disguise the rightist commandos as tradesmen. I get that the budget for non-columnists at The Australian mustn’t go very far but even a receptionist could have phoned around Melbourne to track an invoice so large and unusual. Too dumb to check.
By Thursday, Andrews had lost control of the streets and the PR initiative. The oily umbrage about protesters at the Shrine of Remembrance helped but not much. Everybody knows whose side the ANZACS would have been on. Not the woman bashers’. The men who graffitied the Pyramids would have put unruly everyman before pack attackers shooting at civilians. Enter the Phlegm. Without any evidence, the Premier claimed protesters “spat at” health workers administering vaccines at Melbourne Town Hall the previous day. The ABC, Sky, Seven, Fairfax and News Corp rushed to publish the handily timed allegation. In none of their reports, however, is a victim quoted and there are no details other than Andrews himself saying “I’m told” it happened.
That was enough for Cohealh CEO Nicole Bartholomeusz to melodramatically publicise the closure of the Town Hall vaccination centre – whose target demographic is the homeless – until Monday. Supposedly, no police officers were available to stand guard there over the weekend. An alternative explanation is that it was thought to be politically expedient to associate ‘protesters’ with disturbed itinerants and sacrifice the needs of the latter to purchase a news cycle.
Strangely, this story broke on the same day the South Australian upper house unanimously banned spit hoods. It seems that weaponising saliva is only shameful when the offenders are not on-trend. Last year at The Conversation, woke epidemiologist Nicholas Medland wrote that testing spat upon police and health workers for HIV “stigmatises people living with blood-borne viruses, incorrectly depicting them as dangerous, creating unnecessary fear, leading to discrimination.” Note well, Mr Andrews. Imaginary Nazis have feelings too.