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Monday 25 September 2023

A Whitewash


Image: Unsplash

One of the most consistent things those in high places do is look after each other, across both sides of the isle. And though an inquiry has been called into the Covid pandemic response in Australia, already, straight from the gate, it is going to avoid looking at those who were the most responsible for mandates and lockdowns that devastated lives, cities and economies, as the Guardian reports,

“Anthony Albanese has announced a Covid-19 inquiry to consider commonwealth responses to the pandemic but excluding “actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments”.

On Thursday, the prime minister announced the one-year inquiry will be headed by epidemiologist professor Catherine Bennett, health economist Dr Angela Jackson, and the former director general of the NSW health department Robyn Kruk.

The scope and powers of the inquiry have already sparked a war of words with the opposition, which has warned it is “a complete waste of time” if states cannot be compelled to give evidence, a criticism Albanese dismissed as “absurd”.

At a press conference in Adelaide, Albanese repeatedly deflected questions about whether the inquiry will have compulsory powers, telling reporters that seeking “conflict” is “completely contrary” to its aims.

The proposed scope of the inquiry includes “the role of the commonwealth, responsibilities of state and territory governments, [and] national governance mechanisms”, including the national cabinet.

Potential topics for the inquiry include: vaccine supply; “broader health supports for people affected by Covid-19 and/or lockdowns”; financial support for individuals, industry and business; community supports; international policies to support Australians at home and abroad; and “mechanisms to better target future responses to the needs of particular populations” including First Nations Australians.

But the scope excludes “actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments” – which would exclude state border closures and could exclude the length and severity of lockdown restrictions – and “international programs and activities assisting foreign countries”.[1]

Reading the way that some of our leaders in Australia are talking about this, it looks like they want to investigate how they can do socialism harder and faster next time, because this time they did not feel like they had enough things like masks and vaccines when they were needed. In other words, this is not the kind of inquiry that we have been hoping and praying for and that our nation needs. This is the kind of inquiry that allows the current government to critique the responses of the first government and tell us all how they plan to be more efficient next time. While at the same time overlooking how states, represented by governments on both sides of the isle, were responsible for many of the harshest measures.  

This is a whitewash. What we need is a genuine inquiry, a Royal Commission with broad terms of reference, that is given the powers it needs to investigate how Australians natural and constitutional rights were crushed by the Covid policies.  

There are still people who cannot work in their jobs. There are still people who were damaged by the vaccines. There are still people whose lives and businesses were ruined by disproportional uses of state power to turn Australia into the biggest open-air prison in the world. If they are not investigating this, then the inquiry is nothing more than a political point scoring exercise which will be of no benefit to anyone.

“Where is real justice!” This is the cry of many of the righteous men and women in the Bible. It is the cry of many righteous men and women throughout history. And it is the cry of many Australians today. Where is the real justice?

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