The recent decision by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to introduce legislation consolidating his power — and his power alone — to declare a pandemic, enforce a continuous state of emergency and enforce ruinous fines and imprisonment for any who dare to oppose his dictates points to such an advanced manifestation of megalomania that it is valid — indeed, unavoidable — to consider if mental instability is a factor in his behaviour. Such is the Premier’s total disregard for long cherished rights and freedoms so many have died to defend that Christopher Blanden QC, head of the Victorian Bar Association, compares what is happening in Victoria to communist East Germany under its secret police, the Stasi.
As Lord Acton famously wrote “power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Based on his thirst for dominance and control, there is no clearer example than Premier Daniel Andrews’ (aka Dictator Dan) conduct since the COVID virus arrived.
Like Queensland’s premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson, who ruled between 1968 to 1987 and had no idea what was meant by the separation of powers, Dictator Dan’s record of closing down Parliament, banning elected representatives from the building and sidelining and discarding cabinet colleagues demonstrates a total disregard for our Westminster form of government. Add to that the Potemkin inquiry into his government’s incompetence, chaired by a retired Labor judge who, like Andrews, came up through the Monash Labor Club, and you have what Lord Acton would have recognised in an instant as the most brazen corruption.
Add to that the Premier’s refusal to take responsibility for the 800+ who died in aged care homes because of his government’s ineptitude, his refusal to release the advice that led to nightly 9pm curfews and his record of denying citizen’s freedoms and rights, it’s obvious his approach to governing has more in common with that of a Third World dictator than the accepted role as a representative of the people who elected him. Victorians have been refused the right to visit dying family and relatives, homes have been invaded by the police, small business owners driven into bankruptcy and students forced to learn as best they can from home for weeks and weeks on end.
Dictator Dan, like Big Brother and The Party in George Orwell’s dystopian 1984, consolidates his power and enforces obedience by inventing an external enemy that he presents as constituting an immediate and overwhelming threat only he can address: COVID-19 is a silent and deadly beast that strikes without regard to age and existing medical conditions, meaning all are vulnerable to sickness and death. Playgrounds have been sealed off as even healthy children are said be at deadly risk, which is simply not true, while citizens in regional areas unaffected by the pandemic are declared unsafe and locked down out of “an abundance of caution”. When a farmer going about his solitary business in an empty paddock is obliged by law to wear a mask, the sanity of the man responsible for such an order should be of prime concern.
While yet nothing like South Africa’s apartheid or Hitler’s holocaust, Dictator Dan’s regime increases his power and enforces compliance by creating two classes of citizens. Those vaccinated and thus deemed deserving of the freedoms and rights it is his fiat to bestow, versus those who must be ostracised and punished because they are unvaccinated.
Unlike Premier Dominic Perrottet in NSW, where, when the state has reached a 90 per cent vaccination rate by the end of this year, all citizens will be treated equally, Dictator Dan is happy to exclude the unvaccinated and force them to suffer the ignominy of being stripped of fundamental and essential rights and freedoms until December 2023. This need not be the case, but such is life in Victoria because Dictator Dan point-blank refuses to accept the increasingly used practice overseas which sees those undertaking regular, self-administered COVID home testing able to go about their business unrestricted if the result is negative.
Such is his arrogance the Premier acts without any sense of care or compassion for those his decisions will adversely affect. Such is the fear and distrust Dictator Dan has instilled in the community, as in communist Russia and China, the unvaccinated face discrimination, public shaming and being denied their inherent right to liberty and freedom. Christmas shopping, a restaurant meal, visiting the local pub — all will be denied to some citizens and not others. Even those who represent no risk to the community as Victoria opens up and herd immunity takes effect will be categorised as the unclean and declared outcasts.
So much, too, for Victoria’s Human Rights Charter, so lauded by the Labor Government when legislated in 2006. This is a document and law that states a person must not be “subjected to medical or scientific experimentation or treatment without his or her full, free and informed consent”. Such is Dictator Dan’s cunning, like that of Great Helmsman Mao, in presenting himself as a caring and benevolent figure genuinely concerned about safeguarding the community that, according to the polls, he and his government have not suffered electorally and are likely to retain power when Victorians next have the opportunity to vote in November 2022. By then Victoria will see the destructive and debilitating flow-on effect of small businesses being shut for months on end, families being isolated in their homes, students barred from their classrooms and the state groaning under a mountain of debt. The only hope for the state is that, after 12 more months of the Premier’s diktats and the brutal enforcing of his will by Victoria Police’s politicised brass, voters will wake up, say ‘enough!’ and be done with him.
Freed from whipping and regulating Victorians, Mr Andrews will then have time to address his megalomania and associated mental disorders with the help of a qualified medical professional.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a conservative author and commentator. His latest book Why Christianity Is Good For Us is available at kevindonnelly.com.au