Flat White

Dan, why not get Our Mary on the phone?

17 September 2021

1:26 PM

17 September 2021

1:26 PM

We need to get Our Mary on the line.

That’s Mary Donaldson from Tasmania, the future Queen consort of Denmark.

It seems her new home is rather sensible.

For in recent days, with 74 per cent of its people fully vaccinated, Denmark has decided to scrap all Covid-19 rules and regulations.

No masks, no mandates, no curfews, no vaccine passports.  Just life as they knew it.

Mary’s phone call might go something like this to the Victorian Premier: “Oh hello Premier, shame about the zero Delta boast. I thought you might like to know that, in Denmark, we trust adults to make sensible decisions about their health, just as they did before the pandemic. I noticed you’ve been offering advice to Gladys. Fred and I met in Sydney you know.  I thought, maybe I could help you now? Good chat.”

Or maybe not.

But what has become apparent to the world is that Victoria has morphed into a state of reckless rules without scientific or medical backing, steeped in political gamesmanship and a penchant for power – aka playground closures, curfews and drinking through masks.

In his State of Emergency, the Premier even admits to prioritising journalists’ questions over any in the Parliament.

However, his belligerence has become noticeably schizophrenic of late.

One day he’s touting zero, the next he’s ready to live with the virus. He plays dumb when Victoria gets extra vaccine doses, but then melts down about an egg-and-spoon race. He says everyone is essential but closes businesses with just an hour’s notice.

On Lockdown 6, he said ‘we have no choice’, but then, it seems, we do.

His challenge now is not to be schizophrenic in his approach to vaccine diplomacy.

The division he has created in Victoria is damage enough thank you: he has divided us into those he chooses to fine, and those he doesn’t. Those he allows to march, and those he pings with pepper.

Now we categorically need to know whether the Premier will enforce vaccine divisions.

At some point `we’re all in this together’ must mean something. The vaccinated still spread the virus.

Yet we hold our breaths because the Belt and Road deal with China has proven Dan will dance with the devil if it suits him. He could say anything. But Boris has declared vaccine passports have no place in the UK and across the channel, the French are cranky with their dichotomy.

The Victorian Government must also end its abrogation of responsibility for its illogical rules and restrictions.  It is wrong to force businesses to become the Premier’s personal police, the enforcers of his diktats, bouncers of their own business. It’s clever politics from the Premier: the anger arrows can be fired at someone else.

Dictatorship must be replaced with a big dose of Denmark.

The borders must open. Golfers need to be able to play and hand their cards in for competition. Do golf cards in Victoria now spread the virus like pizza boxes in Adelaide?

The white noise of our lives must revert to the background and allow the regular punctuations of pre-covid life to resume – including the confidence to plan and appreciate life as we should.

It’s freedom that we want — and need — after a Winter, Summer, Autumn and Spring of discontent.

We are done with feeling the fear.  Remember pregnant Ballarat mum, Zoe Buhler, who pointed to this sentiment some time ago in a Facebook post.

She was an early litmus test for the mood of the masses – a pyjama warrior for `normal’.

Yet these days, our freedom of thought is challenged in equal measure to our freedom of movement. If the climate change extremists or the cancel culture zealots don’t get you, the woke will. It’s a tough time to be wanting ‘normal’.

Currently in Victoria — the State of Disaster — there is a process underway to seek ‘the truth’.

The $58 million Yoo-rrook Justice Commission has been ‘afforded the full power of a Royal Commission’ to investigate the 233 years of ‘violence, dispossession and deprivation’ of Victorian Aboriginal people.

This Commission is about telling ‘their truth’.

That’s all very good.

But there are other truths to be told, and a Royal Commission into the Andrews Government’s handling of the virus must be a crucible for the distillation of fact and science from the current spin, deception and failings.

It’s time the schizophrenic storytelling and lack of science jumped to the sidewalk and allowed a clear road to a horizon of hope.

The road map for that journey must be written today. In fact, yesterday. Confidence demands it.

It must end the reign of bureaucrats and put a full stop to the national cabinet charade.

This is one Australia and the sooner all Premiers adopt that mentality the better. They may oversee their corner of this country – but they don’t own it. Let’s put an end to these fiefdom ‘emperors’ who prefer iron curtains to freedom.

I don’t want to hear another story about drivers of Victorian registered cars and caravans in WA being told to “go home and take their bloody virus with them” as one Broome encounter was described to my office.

Nor should we hear again about Premiers and Chief Health Officers who require public shaming before they enact humane responses to the seriously ill, or the dying, or even access to the dying. Life and death is a mountain big enough to climb without the burden of blocked borders or cruel hotel quarantine.

Let’s not be that place, or the place that puts fences around Anzac Day memorials ever again – for those wars were for freedom, not fences.

By the way, I wouldn’t want to be the Premier who locks Australians in their homes this summer.

Otherwise, Our Mary might be back on the phone saying “Dan, something is rotten in the state of Victoria.”

Beverley McArthur is a Liberal Legislative Councillor for the Western Victoria Region.

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