Former United States President, the late great Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Looking around the country at the moment, one wonders whether someone like President Reagan would have been worried about how many of our freedoms have been sacrificed at the altar of COVID paranoia in the last two years.
COVID politics has become toxic, and the following statement demonstrates just how toxic it has become, but I need to be clear, I am not an anti-vaxxer. I believe in medical science, but I also believe in the preservation of our most basic and fundamental freedoms such as freedom of speech, thought, association and freedom of choice.
If we are told to “trust the science” then that means being told the whole story, not just the parts which suit a particular narrative.
Our democracy needs medical science to be portrayed honestly and fairly and at the moment, the media and much of the political class are refusing to tell the whole truth. The truth is that those who are fully vaccinated still transmit COVID to others. That is why we have COVID cases in this State.
It is wrong and dangerous to speak of a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That is not just my view, that is the view of eminent German doctor Gunter Kampf writing in the highly respected medical journal The Lancet.
Many South Australians are suffering due to job losses, border restrictions, vaccine mandates and the social isolation which our COVID response has caused.
South Australians have been very patient in the last two years, but when the State reached the landmark 80% vaccination rate, we were told by bureaucratic class that border closures, contact tracing and medi hotels were not a thing of the past. How can that be?
Millions of Australians have had enough and are protesting across the country. These are the largest protests of my lifetime and for the media and political class to call these people “right wing agitators”, “anti vaxxers” and “white supremacists” is an insult. It degrades them as our fellow Australians, and it degrades the institution of journalism itself. It needs to stop.
These protestors are doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, and taxi drivers. They are from many different backgrounds, races, religions, faiths and even voting patterns. If you want to see genuine unity and diversity in the country at the moment, find a live stream of a protest and make up your own mind.
My office has been flooded with calls and emails from people across the country whose lives are being shattered by COVID restrictions. Many are worried about what is happening in our country. Many have lost their jobs and have nowhere to turn. All for the simple “crime” of wanting to make their own medical choices.
These Australians are worried that our freedoms are now “earned” by complying with government mandates, and that government has the right to dictate medical procedures to us.
It is my strongly held view that important medical decisions must always be an individual’s choice. What happened to “my body my choice”? That disappeared quickly.
They are also concerned about the development of a two-tiered society that is being created on vaccination battle lines. Our system is dividing Australians for no good reason. Whether discrimination and exclusion are based on race, religion, or medical decisions is irrelevant. It is all wrong.
As a result of standing up for these views, I’ve been labelled a “rebel” and a “rogue”. I don’t see what’s so rebellious about doing the job I was elected to do, which is to serve the interests of the people of South Australia. All people, not just those who have made a particular medical choice.
Last week I was advised by SA Health, that to come back to my home State from Canberra, I would be required to spend 14 days in a medi hotel. I had recently tested negative for COVID and was willing to quarantine at home.
When I reached the airport, I was confronted by the news media and cameras. I didn’t tip them off, but someone did. I wonder why there was such interest in splashing my trip to a medi hotel across the media?
Whatever the reason, rest assured, I will not stop speaking about these issues until they are fixed. Even if the system is letting people down, I don’t propose to.
We must start becoming more magnanimous about our fellow Aussies and cease the division and demonisation. We must start learning to live with COVID and that means living like we used to, not living subject to unreasonable bureaucratic demands and restrictions.
If freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction, we are now dancing dangerously close to a world which we don’t want to pass on to our children. After all, regardless of the medical choices people make, I thought we were “all in this together.”