At some point during this week, an unvaccinated person will stroll into a newsagent in New South Wales to buy a copy of this magazine and this article. Or not.
And at that precise moment we will know whether Premier Dominic Perrottet – himself an occasional and welcome contributor to The Spectator Australia – is a man of his word. Or not.
We will know whether some writers and readers of this magazine were right to be seriously concerned about the steady erosion of democratic freedoms in this country under the cover of Covid and the slow slide towards medical apartheid and public health tyranny. Or not.
We will know whether there is hope for every small business person, every tourism operator, every shop or cafe owner, every family separated from certain loved ones. Or not.
Wednesday 15 December – or before then if the state reaches a vaccination rate of 95 per cent – is the day that certain Covid restrictions come to an end that apply only to the unvaccinated in New South Wales. Segregation is abolished. Dividing the community is over. Demonising the unvaccinated a thing of the past. That is the commitment.
Indeed, so pivotal is this date and that commitment, that it requires an editorial address to the Premier for either eventuality. So here they are.
Version A. In the event that, for whatever reason, the removal of restrictions that only apply to the unvaccinated is postponed:
In kowtowing to the worst instincts of the authoritarian public health bureaucratic classes, you have betrayed the values of the party that elected you to the position you now enjoy. In doing so you also make a mockery of your claim to being inspired by those great conservatives who have gone before you, from Robert Menzies to Margaret Thatcher.
Freedom is not a plaything of governments, as you yourself have accurately articulated. It is not a smart, shiny suit that you can afford to get all stained and dirty and then just send off to the dry cleaners afterwards. As the leader of the state it is your duty to protect and respect the beliefs and conscience of every individual who lives within your jurisdiction. As a beneficiary of the great teachings of the Enlightenment and our Judaeo-Christian heritage, you know full well that demonising sub-groups of people can only ever lead to persecution, human suffering and personal tragedy. In continuing this obscene policy of vaccine passports you deserve the harshest condemnation.
Version B: In the event that restrictions upon the unvaccinated have been lifted in accordance with previous commitments:
In keeping your promise and sticking to your previous commitments about freedom and the role of governments, you are to be congratulated for not only your personal bravery in standing up to the crushing forces of bureaucratic public health authoritarianism and over-reach, but also protecting those individual freedoms and choices that conservatives are only all too happy to pay lip service to but all too often lack the spine to enforce. In doing so, you have shown yourself to be infinitely superior to the other premiers this nation is burdened with, although we do admit that that is not a very high bar.
We trust that your actions will not only shame the other states, whose restrictions on any number of levels have become a global laughing stock, but hopefully force a radical re-think in their own approaches to mandatory vaccination requirements. (Although we do not hold our breath.)
Keep up the good work and may you enjoy – along with every other citizen of your state – an enjoyable and free festive season.
Christian Kerr, a rare talent
Last week, as many readers and members of The Spectator Australia family are only too painfully aware, Christian Kerr, the editor of our online magazine Flat White, passed away at the far-too-young age of 56. Christian joined us in June 2016 following a stellar career at both Crikey and the Australian. His passion for political intrigue, insider gossip and for highlighting the shenanigans of the media and academic elites was infectious, as was his hilarious sense of humour.
As an editor, Christian was dedicated to discovering and encouraging new talents, many of whose writings we all now enjoy. His family will miss him deeply, as shall we all.
A rare and special talent.
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