Doomed Sentiment

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9 Responses to Doomed Sentiment

  1. C.L. says:

    Bonus: New column by the great Steve Waterson…

    Dictator Dan turns out to be the puppet all along

    The Victorian Premier’s noble sentiments about leadership are now revealed to be – oh, what’s the word? – absolute bollocks.

    Halfway into our three years of pandemic gaiety I took my dog for a stroll up to the Pacific Highway in Artarmon to observe the thin blue line in action.

    A dozen police cars blocked side roads and funnelled southbound motorists towards a checkpoint where officers monitored where they had come from and where they were heading, ordering them not to enter central Sydney, where anti-lockdown protests were rumoured to be fermenting.

    I must have stared too intrusively at this pseudo-paramilitary operation because a young constable approached me and asked where I was going.

    “I’m afraid we haven’t decided yet,” I told her, nodding at the dog. “Well, no more than 5km from home,” she said.

    “And why is that?” I asked, with the simple-minded look that is never far from my face.

    “To keep everyone safe,” she said. “It’s the medical advice. Just do it.”

    But it wasn’t medical advice, was it? Many of us questioned that claim from the start, wondering what part of a medical degree teaches you the maximum range of personal travel in an epidemic, or explains how to control infection when driving alone in your car or playing golf in a howling gale, or defines the epidemiological distinction between standing up and sitting on a barstool as a vector in viral transmission. But the carefully curated invisibility of that “advice” made it impossible to scrutinise or challenge, which was precisely the point.

    What the jumped-up mandarins were in fact relying on has recently been exposed, thanks to this newspaper’s Damon Johnston and his relentless efforts to discover what guided Victoria’s world-champion lockdown.

    American media magnate William Randolph Hearst (or sometimes George Orwell, sometimes Lord Northcliffe) is reputed to have described news as “something someone doesn’t want printed”, and Johnston’s two-year Freedom of Information battle and subsequent reporting is a glorious example of the kind of work neglected by so many of our jejune, incurious journalists, who turned themselves into shameful megaphones to amplify government propaganda. And to no one’s surprise, they continue to ignore or dismiss these revelations.

    So instead of sound medical reasoning – and I will eat my old face mask if anyone who participated in the daily Covid scaremongering cares to produce that compelling “advice” – our lives were devastated on the strength of opinion polling and focus groups, populated largely, I suspect, by public servants on extended tea breaks at home on full pay.

    An early enthusiast for China’s Belt and Road servility training, Victoria’s Premier adopted Xi Jinping’s brutal response to the first signs of the pandemic and continued it long after other regimes had abandoned lockdowns as ineffective and fantastically destructive.

    Some commentators and cartoonists painted him as a ruthless dictator, a few grudgingly acknowledging that he was at least resolute in following his path. “Leadership is doing what is right,” he said. “Whether I’m criticised or praised, that is not my concern.” That’s true leadership, all right, and he made no apologies for it.

    Those noble sentiments are now revealed to be – oh, what’s the word? – absolute bollocks. The fearsome dictator turns out to have been a puppet, dancing on the strings manipulated by pollsters to protect his livelihood, while forcing thousands into the misery of unemployment, or worse.

    But let’s not concentrate on one man, however egregious his performance. For leadership as we once understood it has vanished almost entirely from our polity, all over the land and at all levels. It’s likely fair to conclude that the other premiers, chief ministers and senior federal politicians were equally reliant on focus groups to underwrite and shape their lunacy, sharing the results and patting each other on the back in solidarity as they were locking us up. Perhaps that’s what they were doing in the national cabinet, for it seemed to achieve nothing else.

    History is strewn with examples of the irrationality of crowds, which is why we look to men and women of great character and vision for leadership, to guide the masses away from the folly they incline towards in difficult times.

    But politics, confirming its modern characterisation as show business for ugly people, is increasingly driven by popularity, not wisdom or integrity.

    A once honourable calling, a gift of service to your community, has mutated into an unedifying dash to board the gravy train. Politicians’ salaries here are now among the highest in the world, as are those of the bureaucrats who pander to them. Generous expenses, living away from home allowances, chauffeurs, secretarial staff, and a fawning coterie of aides lining up, snouts twitching, for their turn at the trough; yes, it’s a wonderful life indeed.

    No wonder the mediocrities will say or do anything to secure, cement and prolong their tenure. And given they lack an adequate moral compass, we shouldn’t be amazed to find them navigating by public opinion. They dissemble their way into office and reward the lobbyists and assorted vested interests who help install them, while betraying the voters who fall for their promises. Out of office, ex-politicians are parachuted into lucrative sinecures, prestigious positions filled before anyone else learns they’re vacant. ­­­­­­

    None of this, while disappointing, is news to anyone who has tracked the decline in quality and corresponding rise in malfeasance of our representatives.

    More alarming is what the secret polling reveals about the respondents. If it’s accurate, then despair is the appropriate response, for it suggests a citizenry malleable and terrified, ready to hand over their childlike trust to the charlatans who offer the illusion of safety.

    Fear paralyses rational thought processes; it’s why so few cool heads appear during a crisis. (Masks seem to have the same effect, judging by the sorry souls who still scuttle around our shopping centres glaring at the barefaced cheek of the unmasked.) Couple that to decades of damage to our education system, from kindy to university, and duping the ignorant becomes a worryingly simple task.

    There’s no reason to believe Victorians are more gullible than the rest of their compatriots (although the standard of brainwashing they were subjected to was undoubtedly best on ground); so if similar research was conducted on the populations of other states, similar results must have been generated, which explains (and almost justifies) the condescension of our leaders.

    Perhaps arrogantly, certainly foolishly, when the Covid panic began I imagined my objections to the sustained, unprecedented assault on our civil liberties reflected a sizeable proportion of mainstream opinion, bolstered by the Australian Human Rights Commission bravely speaking out in defence of our freedoms (sorry, needed a little joke there to lighten the mood).

    But the Victorian polling has slapped the scales from my eyes.

    Amid all the previously unimaginable outrages I can’t forget the people sleeping in their cars at state borders, banned from returning to their homes; others (I was one of them) were forbidden to visit dying parents or children; this newspaper published pitiful photographs of elderly couples, separated for their own good, pressing their hands together each side of a care-home window. Does any of that still sound reasonable to anyone? Should we just forget about it all until next time?

    The truly frightening, and profoundly depressing, thing is that even as the evidence accumulates to show the futility of lockdowns, curfews, social distancing, QR codes, contact tracing and other contrived mechanisms to “keep us safe”; even as the cost of shutting so many businesses, paying people to hide at home, building unnecessary quarantine facilities and ramping up brutal police tactics nears half a trillion dollars; even after enforced isolation shattered mental health, particularly among children who lost vital years of schooling and socialisation; yes, even after all this suffering, you know the politicians would do it again in a heartbeat, confident that many of us would vote them back in just as eagerly.

    It’s heartening to hear the growing number of voices demanding a royal commission, but so long as those complicit in this authoritarian, self-aggrandising deception remain in power, the chance of any worthwhile investigation into the horrors of our pandemic response remains remote, for they know full well what even the most cursory examination would uncover.

    The establishment of a thorough, impartial inquiry would require those craven politicians to be honest, or as shortsighted as the Christmas-loving turkeys who continue to elect them. My own tiny focus group says they’re far too cunning to let that happen.

    The accompanying image.

  2. rosie says:

    Everything Dan has ever done is for political reasons.

  3. C.L. says:

    But now we know just how much.

    It borders on sociopathic behaviour in a clinical sense.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Well said Doomlord.
    Arresting grannies is not a sign of strength.
    Just saying.

  5. Christine says:

    “all on the same team” were we?
    It was wicked. The Prime Minister, the Premiers, the Health Ministers, the doctors, the police, the people at counters with brand new power.
    Surrounded by relations and friends, all succumbing

  6. Buccaneer says:

    Never forget, at the height of the palaver, the left were lining up to tell us what a great job Morrison was doing. That alone should have been a massive red light.

  7. Perplexed of Brisbane says:

    They did such a great job and it was all Kumbaya around the campfire. I wonder why they want an amnesty?

  8. Franx says:

    A long way to go in honest reflection. Waterson succeeds in avoiding any mention of the injection as the ultimate weapon of psychological control of the countless and as the cause of physical harm to the counted and counting. I pray though that the counting can stop.

  9. struth says:

    Reading this I find a gullibility in the belief of polling.

    And again, only the deluded denialist can possibly believe that the vote isn’t rigged.

    Tyrannical government takes over in a coup, and yet polling is accurate and voting is all above board.

    There’s different levels of insanity, and while this writer is more sane than many, in not accepting the truth as is self evident, he ends up concluding the people actually wanted Dan’s behaviour.

    Those streets were full of millions in protests.
    This is , and has been my point all along.

    If you do not want to accept the truth of the situation as it obviously presents, your ability to think clearly and rationally is lost.
    The amount depends on the indivial, however, if unable to accept the real truth, your basing your observations on a false narrative and your analysis is flawed.
    This is how communists win and they must have their populations living in lies to do so.

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