Features Australia

Professor Lockdown and the hypocrisy of the elites

The people never agreed to this naked power grab

16 May 2020

9:00 AM

16 May 2020

9:00 AM

No one should be surprised that the Imperial College’s ‘Professor Lockdown’, (Neil Ferguson) has been exposed as a practitioner of the elites’ fundamental rule  ‘Do as I say; not as I do.’

In flagrant breach of the very lockdown he advised, he arranged secret assignations with his mistress.

When this was exposed, he resigned  as a principal government adviser, but  not before the British government had  acted on his warning of half a million deaths from the Wuhan virus as did the US on his warning of 2.2 million deaths there.

He was probably the direct or indirect source for the similar warning of 150,000 Australian deaths, a warning which no doubt put the National Cabinet into a state of panic.

Professor Lockdown’s hypocrisy is no more than par for the course for the elites. Similar hypocrisy was demonstrated recently by a letter to  Le Monde from a clutch of celebrities, including Madonna, Robert de Niro, Jane Fonda and our own Cate Blanchett. Notwithstanding the fact that as a result of their lives of luxury, their CO2 footprints would be very large multiples of the average person’s, they expressed their concern about such matters as climate change. To fight this, they called for an end to ‘consumerism’ and the ‘obsession with productivity’, the very factors  which fuel their extravagant lives, rather than ‘a return to normal’ after the current lockdowns.

What is surprising about the Professor Lockdown affair is not so much the fact that most politicians and journalists do not seem to realise that computer modelling, while a useful tool, must always be wrong but what is truly surprising is that anybody took the slightest notice of Professor Lockdown’s modelling .

His previous predictions could hardly have encouraged confidence. These include 150,000 UK deaths from mad cow disease (there were 177); 200 million world-wide deaths from the bird flu pandemic (281 died) and 6,500 UK deaths from the swine flu pandemic (457 died).

Surely that record would have encouraged some reservations about his modelling concerning the Wuhan virus.

But curiously, there seemed to be none among either the politicians, their  anointed experts or, as far as we know,  their vast armies of advisers.

By relying on their anointed expert advice, and, as argued in this column, not following world’s best practice, the National Cabinet allowed the virus to come into Australia and failed to protect the vulnerable to the high degree necessary.

But it went beyond the pale in imposing a draconian and wholly unnecessary lockdown

It has long been recognised that there is a time when the exercise of extraordinary powers is justified in a constitutional state.

While the threat of invasion, as in 1941, is an example, world’s best practice demonstrates that the Wuhan virus never came even close to justifying the seizure of such extraordinary powers.

In clear breach of the constitution as originally intended, the National Cabinet imposed a massive and unprecedented debt on the people, unlawfully suspending and destroying jobs, small business and much of the economic life of the nation as well as grotesquely limiting the people’s freedom with something approaching house arrest.

The people never agreed to this coup, this unconstitutional seizure of power.

We must never forget the principles on which Western, especially Anglosphere, civilisation is built.

These emerged in the world’s three greatest declarations of civil freedom and the rule of law in the last millennium, the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Rights in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the American Declaration of Independence.

Australians are heirs to these principles, with sovereignty in this federal commonwealth resting neither with the politicians nor with the judges but with the people.

There can be no better definition of the constitution in this Anglo-American  tradition than by Bolingbroke, a significant influence on the American founders. He defined the constitution broadly as that assembly of laws, customs and institutions by which the people have agreed to be governed.

It is important to stress then that our constitutional system depends on the people’s agreement, a principle strongly reflected in the constitution of our federal commonwealth. This, it should be stressed, was founded not by the politicians but by the people under the Corowa plan and with the constitution uniquely approved by them.

That the grant of power by the people to the political arm is implicitly limited as Bolingbroke declares was confirmed  by a unanimous High Court in Lange v. ABC (1997). This was a case on freedom of political communication with which I am well acquainted, having presented an amicus curiae brief there for the Press Council.

Instead of following world’s best practice and thereby suffering one fifteenth of the deaths so far recorded, our National Cabinet is quibbling in foolish and embrassing detail about the timing and stages of a ludicrously delayed reopening of the economy to repair the very mess for which it is totally responsible.

There was never an emergency which justified the use of such extreme powers.

The politicians, rejoicing in their constant access to the media, show a megalomania justifying the exercise of greater popular control in the future.

This is ominous as is the support for this process by the far Left, illustrated by GetUp! advertisements adorned by photographs of the Coalition Prime Minister.

Could our politicians  not learn from the great Cincinnatus, who handed back dictatorial powers once he achieved his goals, an example of self-abnegation mirrored by the great George Washington.

If our politicians cannot demonstrate such great civic virtue, could they at least abandon their resemblance to an out-of-touch power-drunk aristocracy at Versailles?

Could they at least offer not useless words but the sacrifice of  some aspect of their lives of luxury and some guarantee that never again can their ilk seize unconstitutional power.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments