Australia Opinion

The Case Against Lockdowns (and Police States)

We MUST learn from history here. These diabolical lockdowns are causing incalculable damage, death and destruction.
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‘Unless we have extreme and indefinite lockdowns in place, we’re all gonna die.’ That is basically the daily mantra we hear from the corona alarmists and the panic-mongers, fuelled by an alarmist press and power-drunk politicians. Never mind that the facts and the evidence tell us otherwise.

Consider Sweden for example – a country that did not fall for the panic and hype. While largely free of lockdown madness, its death rate (per million people) is 578. Compare that with other European nations that did have draconian lockdowns in place.

Belgium has 855. Spain has 634. Italy has 589. Yes, some other European nations have similar death rates to Sweden, and some lower. So the point is, lockdown measures certainly are not foolproof means by which to keep the death rates down. And other nations could be mentioned, including Taiwan. It has a population similar to Australia’s, it is also an island nation, it had no strict lockdown policies in place, and it has had only 7 deaths in total!

Yet in Victoria, Dan Andrews keeps insisting we must have perpetual lockdowns in place, regardless of there being no actual basis for them. Consider his massively destructive curfew. He keeps saying he is doing nothing but on medical and scientific advice. Yet he admits that the curfew had nothing to do with this!

In fact, he sought to shift the blame to the police. But the police are saying they did not push for a curfew! Nor did Brett Sutton. All that Andrews can now say is it was to make the job of the police easier. So there are NO health reasons for the grotesque curfew that Melbournians are so savagely suffering under – none!

This is not disease control. This is population control, pure and simple. As Victorian MP Bernie Finn has rightly said, “Both the Chief Health Officer and Chief Commissioner of Police have denied requesting or suggesting a curfew on Victorians. Daniel Andrews is on a power trip the likes of which is UNPRECEDENTED in Australian history. No more lies! No more breaches of faith with Victorians! Despot Dan must go NOW!!!”

Quite so. For months Andrews has said the system is working perfectly – well we all know it is a disastrous failure. He lied and people died. But let me look more closely at what the experts are saying about lockdowns. Plenty of authorities can be appealed to here.

In Victoria over 500 medical experts have told the Premier that his lockdown measures are doing far more harm than good. As Dr Eamonn Mathieson said: “This attempt for viral elimination is irrational and unachievable. And simply it is madness and it needs to stop. He needs to take on a second opinion urgently from doctors who know and can convey the story of the harm that is being caused by this approach.”

Overseas experts are saying the same thing. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University has fully resisted these lockdowns as a sledgehammer approach which is harmful – not helpful. Her PhD dissertation, by the way, was on the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. At the end of a long and important interview, she said this:

I would recommend the Swedish model. And I would invest heavily in sheltering the vulnerable over a particular period, which is, as we can see, not a long period. It’s a period of maybe six months. I know it’s painful, but it’s the best we can do. The alternative is to lock everyone down, which is going to harm the vulnerable or have equal consequences for the vulnerable anyway. I would allow the virus to spread naturally so that you do achieve the herd-immunity levels naturally. That seems to be protecting the rest of the world. And in the meantime, of course, I would also urge investment in research to mitigate the suffering of those who do unfortunately succumb to the virus and develop symptoms.

And as Mark Woolhouse, the leading British health advisor said several weeks ago, the “lockdown was a panic measure.” As one news report notes:

Mark Woolhouse said lockdown was a “panic measure” but admitted it was the only option at the time because “we couldn’t think of anything better to do”. But it is a crude measure that takes no accounts of the risk levels to different individuals, the University of Edinburgh professor said, meaning that back in March the nation was “concentrating on schools when we should have been concentrating on care homes”. The professor of infectious disease epidemiology said that the Government must now focus on increasing testing and striving to unlock society safely rather than restricting it further.

Prof Woolhouse OBE, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours that advises the Government, said: “Lockdown was a panic measure and I believe history will say trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease. I never want to see national lockdown again. It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now. It was never going to change anything fundamentally, however low we drove down the number of cases, and now we know more about the virus and how to track it we should not be in this position again. We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school. I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by Covid-19.”

Consider also the words of Michael Levitt, a Nobel Prize-winning structural biology professor at Stanford University. When asked about lockdowns he said this:

I think lockdown is a very crude, medieval-sounding phrase. I think closing schools, closing business and places of work is not such a great idea and causes huge damage to the economy. It’s wicked to people in the economy, because if you’re a gardener or you own a restaurant, you can’t work from home.

These people have been very badly hit. I think that the retail sector in the United States is not going to recover, which has been a great gift to Amazon. What you want to do is social distancing because you don’t want everyone to get infected at the same time, because that could have a very negative effect on hospitals. On the other hand, when you look at New York city, where by all accounts, things went completely crazy, they ended up not using up all their hospitals and having ventilators to spare.

It’s also very unfair to the younger people and to the disadvantaged people — people have not fully estimated some negative results of the lockdown. Suicides, for example, have increased dramatically in certain locations, along with marital abuse, child abuse and addiction. Tobacco use has increased very substantially, and that is going to end up killing people. If people smoke 5% more, it would result in much more deaths than all the COVID-19 deaths by far.

There are clever ways of distancing, and washing your hands is a really good idea — wearing a mask is a good idea. There are lots of ways of doing a gentle lockdown or distancing, so I think a lockdown is very, very crude and shouldn’t have been used in this century.

And historian Michael Barone offers some perspective here:

Were lockdowns a mistake? To that nagging question, the answer increasingly seems to be yes. Certainly, they were a novelty. As novelist Lionel Shriver writes, “We’ve never before responded to a contagion by closing down whole countries.” As I’ve noted, the 1957-58 Asian flu killed between 70,000 and 116,000 Americans, between 0.04 percent and 0.07 percent of the nation’s population. The 1968-70 Hong Kong flu killed about 100,000, 0.05 percent of the population. The US coronavirus death toll of 186,000 is 0.055 percent of the current population. It will go higher, but it’s about the same magnitude as those two flus, and it has been less deadly to those under 65 than the flus were. Yet there were no statewide lockdowns; no massive school closings; no closings of office buildings and factories, restaurants and museums. No one considered shutting down Woodstock.

Finally, it must be understood that when we mention police states like those found under the Communists and under the Nazis, we are not being alarmist or hysterical. We are simply pointing out historical realities. And many people who have lived under such systems are expressing their horror at what they are now seeing take place in Victoria. As one example, Jack Mordes has just penned a frightening piece on this:

The restrictions in Victoria on our movements, our work, and even our thoughts bring back chilling memories for those of us who escaped totalitarian regimes. My family and I left Poland for Melbourne in 1981, fleeing martial law imposed by dictator General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who was determined to hold on to power and crush the rise of the Solidarity movement. Poland at that stage was firmly ruled by the communist leader in alliance with the Soviet Union. However, the independent trade union Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa and supported by Pope John Paul II, was gathering support from everyday people.

The communists couldn’t risk the Solidarity movement gaining more ground so hit back with restrictions under martial law to prevent further dissent. Those martial law restrictions enacted by Jaruzelski in 1981 are oddly similar to those Victorians are living with under Daniel Andrews’s rule four decades on.

There was a 10pm curfew with police patrols enforcing zero tolerance. Borders were closed. Movement between cities and regions was prohibited unless you carried a special permit. Classes in schools and universities were suspended. Telephone communications were monitored. Opposition activists were arrested, many without charge. The police (called the Militia) became an arm of the government.

The Poland we left was in turmoil. The economy was failing, with food shortages commonplace. Protests were on the rise as Poles were restless that they bore the cost of the government’s failures. The effect of martial law was to punish all citizens for the government’s — and the socialist system’s — failures. Jaruzelski’s priority was to hold on to power rather than address the failings of his government.

Many families engaged in silent but brave protest by placing lit candles in their windows after curfew. Thousands of candles flickering in apartment windows were a poignant sign of a people lamenting lost freedoms, together in silence. I remember my mother and father being nervous in expressing their views on the government to others, even close friends, for fear of being denounced to the authorities. At school, we were taught to follow the example of Pavlik Morozov, a Russian boy who denounced his father to the Soviet authorities and was killed for it by his family. He was held up as a hero. For my parents, the prospect of being reported to the authorities by their own child must have been terrifying. The socialist system aimed at supplanting family loyalty with loyalty to the state.

He concludes:

Andrews’s rhetoric is worryingly reminiscent of the former Eastern bloc’s socialist leaders. He blames Victorians for the actions he has had to take to protect us while removing civil liberties that no democratic government should ever touch. He is relying on unelected and unseen “experts” to justify removing our freedoms, much like Jaruzelski did with his Military Council of National Salvation.

My mother cannot believe that at 78 she again finds herself under effective house arrest in a democratic Australia. A crisis can lay bare the instincts of leaders. Once a government takes away civil liberties, it doesn’t always find it easy to give them back without a fight.

And what of Poland now? It is one of the fastest growing large economies in Europe. Even in a COVID-19 world, domestic and international travel is allowed, masks are not compulsory in public spaces and indoor and outdoor gatherings are permitted. Compared with Victoria, Poland has experienced lower cases and deaths per population. And all without sacrificing civil liberties. Perhaps it is only when you have to fight for your civil liberties that you learn you never want to give them up again.

Exactly. We MUST learn from history here. These diabolical lockdowns are causing incalculable damage, death and destruction. Living in total fear and in complete subservience to the all-powerful State is NOT how we will beat a virus. But it is how we will beat freedom, democracy and human rights – perhaps forever.


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