It’s not “pandemic legislation”

There is a “can’t-happen-here” attitude even as it is happening. A just-in story in The Age: New pandemic legislation passes Victorian Parliament’s lower house. The legislation has nothing to do with medical care. It is entirely about Daniel Andrews taking power into his own hands. Here’s the story.

Victoria’s new pandemic laws passed State Parliament’s Labor-controlled lower house on Thursday evening following two days of heated debate in which MPs hurled abuse at one another across the chamber.

Earlier in the day, Premier Daniel Andrews responded to criticism from the president of the Victorian Bar saying the claim by Christopher Blanden, QC, that the government had not properly consulted the barristers’ peak body about the legislation was “factually wrong”.

[The issue is NOT whether there was proper consultation. The issue is whether such legislation should ever be introduced into a free society.]

The government’s proposed pandemic legislation will replace state of emergency powers which expire on December 15, curtailing the chief health officer’s powers, giving the premier the authority to declare a pandemic and the health minister the role of making public health orders.

[And what follows from the Premier declaring a state of emergency? Are these provisions acceptable is the issue.]

The bill passed by 51 votes to 26.

The opposition, many crossbench MPs, and legal groups have raised concerns about various aspects of the legislation, including what they say is a lack of checks and balances on the government’s powers.

[More detail would be welcome.]

Mr Blanden on Wednesday described the proposed laws as “appalling” and claimed the government had “grossly misrepresented” its consultation with the Victorian Bar.

He said the Department of Health officials conducted a 45-minute online meeting with him to discuss the issue of whether the chief health officer should retain the authority to declare a pandemic.

“That’s factually wrong,” Mr Andrews said. “There’s a lot of [online Microsoft Teams] meetings going on at the moment, we’re in a global pandemic. I’m terribly sorry if a Teams meeting wasn’t sufficient, there’s literally hundreds of thousands of Teams meetings.

The upper house will debate the bill in Parliament in three weeks and it is likely to pass with the approval of Samantha Ratnam, Fiona Patten and Andy Meddick, who were involved in the negotiations.

And there you have it. Why are so few people concerned? Why is The Age unconcerned?

39 thoughts on “It’s not “pandemic legislation””

  1. As an old 80 year old who once had to do what one had to do in other places might be forgiven for asking if Victoria still has lamp posts on streets and if rope is still available? It used to be for an outsider living there a wonderment about the AFL religion of the weekly bread and circuses, but it isn’t any longer for as they have sowed, so have they reaped, a pity really.

  2. Andrews has already hit the lower house with his ambit claim (the Bill) knowing full well that there will be blowback and he will have to make some concessions (which have been negotiated in advance with the three stooges) but will leave him with the powers he wants. Then when the Bill goes to the upper house he will “concede” the changes which will be publicized by The Age and ABC as Dan being flexible, benevolent and understanding. But he will have gained sufficient ground to continue his goals and maintain hold over the emergency powers. What a prick! He does not have the right to negotiate our freedoms. We are not in his union. We are the people of Victoria. He is cunning as a sewer rat and evil as the devil’s dog.
    PS Thanks Steve for important and timely posts.

  3. What’s the payoff for Patten? Churches and synagogues closed, brothels open? But they’ve had that anyway.

  4. Why are so few people concerned?

    Because it’s Victoria.

    Do we get concerned when California passes fresh crackpot legislation each week? No because they are different and it’s just their thing. The majority of locals like it and would vote for it all over again, just as Newsome got back. Accept the fact it’s been a loony state for many years now Steve and live with it.

  5. I have been a long time lurker on this blog. This legislation in Victoria is despicable and there is something seriously wrong with anyone that puts forward power being vested in an individual (or two) or anyone who supports it. What can we do to stop it? I suggest a pyjama protest (ie. go about your business, whatever it is in your pjs) or maybe write something on your mask – COVID SAFE? We have to do something. And I know that lots of people have been trying – Gab, Rick W, John of Mel, and others (apologies)

  6. And you Sictorians put up with him

    it’s all perfectly legal … just like everything that Austrian bloke did

  7. Why is The Age unconcerned?

    D’oh – it’s tribal.

    Victoria has a radical left-wing government. The Age always supports the radical left.

    Australia has a (notionally) right-wing LNP federal government. The Age opposes anything that isn’t left-wing, so it always opposes the LNP.

    The contents of The Age are utterly predictable. It never tells you anything you didn’t already know; it exists only to confirm the biases of the left-wing Australian minority.

  8. GreyRanga says:
    October 28, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    And you Sictorians put up with him.

    how would you suggest it be stopped?

  9. Unfortunately most are too wrapped up and focussed on their own lives that does not extend far from their front door . They avoid listening to the covid news and don’t read the newspapers .

  10. It is easy to see how quickly freedom can fall when you look at this latest disgraceful episode in Victorian politics.
    From one of the most wonderful places to live to a totalitarian, socialist sinkhole in no time flat. Slowly at first, then all at once.
    It has clearly identified the great number of dumb and frightened sheep in our population. Who believe themselves free as of today but cannot see they are being marched into a slightly larger paddock which still requires them to check in and provide their medical papers in order to enter. Which will see will their papers instantly invalidated unless they comply with the latest diktat from Dear Leader.
    We are witnessing the destruction of a legal system that us served us well for centuries. Those of us who can clearly see the effect of normalising of such abhorrent behaviour from the political class have been left with the tough responsibility of choosing to be a bit more courageous than we might want to be.

  11. Old Lefty – Pattens payoff is the decriminalisation of unregulated street prostitution, just so long as they stay away from schools between 6am and 7pm and churches on Sundays.

  12. Perfidious Albinosays:
    October 29, 2021 at 8:03 am
    Old Lefty – Pattens payoff is the decriminalisation of unregulated street prostitution, just so long as they stay away from schools between 6am and 7pm and churches on Sundays.

    Boomer concepts.

    Instagram, Sugar Babies & Tinder changed all of this.

  13. Funny how the Law Institute, Lawyers, Liberty Victoria and all the other human rights people have all gone quite.

  14. And you Sictorians put up with him.

    What do you suggest we do?
    Dictator Dan has the police in his pocket and knows it.
    Andrews tells VicPol hierarchy to jump, they ask “how high?”
    People have been arrested and charged merely for organizing protests against government policy on social media, let alone for actually peacefully protesting.
    Something has happened in Victoria I thought I would never see; black-clad, SS-style jackbooted thugs leaping out of an armoured vehicle and chasing people down city streets, even shooting them in the back with rubber bullets.
    Very easy to talk tough when you don’t live in Victoria.
    BTW, I have never voted for the POS, and hell will freeze over before I do.

  15. “…the decriminalisation of unregulated street prostitution…”

    Was speaking to one of my neighbours (unit block), who informed me quite shyly that she was a prostitute. She really didn’t have much of a choice – no job, but needs a roof over her head and food on the table for her little boy. She doesn’t want to do it, but she has to do something.
    She said “Please don’t hate me” and looked somewhat dejectedly at the floor. I replied “You are doing it for your boy?”. She nodded, still looking at the floor. I told her “That’s tough, and very brave. I don’t hate you. In some ways I admire it – not sure I could do such a job. And it’s for your boy, so…”. She raised her head, smiled and thanked me and now we talk often when we see each other in the lift or at the front door – she is a very nice person in a very hard spot, and is doing what she must to survive and look after her kid.

    I never thought I would say such things but circumstances alter cases, don’t they? And the position she is in is not one that any of us could or did foresee. It is a shame that such an otherwise good and nice person has to debase themselves in such a way to merely survive – thanks pollies, you really “saved” her, didn’t you? And if that is your idea of “saving” someone, I’d rather you just but out of everyone’s life thanks all the same.

  16. Most people would be unaware of this new power he is rushing through and even then they would be aware they would never think he will use it for evil, as they are too inured to the peaceful existence they’ve had for decades.
    It’s a new world alright a New World Order that been brought in globally and it looks like Victoria is the vanguard for it

  17. Kneel, I guess that she’s never heard of centrlink and all the freebies that are available. If she’s doing it she’s doing because it doesn’t bother her and it’s good money, probably a bit of cash on top of the centrelink. I don’t know if you’re naive or just trying to present Fiona Patten in a better light however I’m amazed that you would be sympathetic and justify her choice.

  18. They avoid listening to the covid news and don’t read the newspapers .

    High rates of functional illiteracy don’t help.

    Thank God for universal free education, eh?

    And make it compulsory for them to vote.


  19. Old Lefty says:
    October 28, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    What’s the payoff for Patten? Churches and synagogues closed, brothels open? But they’ve had that anyway.

    A more pressing question is, ‘What’s the payoff for the silence & compliance of those running houses of worship?’

  20. Just wait for this power to be put to use when fully vaccinated people start getting the upgraded virus in large numbers and a new pandemic is declared.

  21. ” I was very moved by your report of that young woman. What an awful position to be in.”

    Yes, Annie – I was also moved by her story, hence I offered my moral support. Clearly, from that interaction and both previous and subsequent conversations, she does not really want to do this, but doesn’t feel there is any other way to support her family (she is a single mum).

    sfw: I understand your position – I would normally think so too. But it doesn’t appear to me, as above, that she felt she had much choice. If you have ever dealt with CentreLink, you would be aware that in some cases, they are unable to assist in a timely manner, or at all. What do you do if you have $1k in the bank and need it to pay for, say, car rego? CentreLink won’t give you any cash until you spend that money, leaving you in an impossible position, and she is renting as well. Should she starve for a week or two – along with her small child – just to satisfy your sense of propriety and “proper” behaviour?
    No, she did what she had to. Should she feel bad about that? I don’t see why, even though it seems obvious to me that she feels it is a “bad” thing to do. And even that can be a “trap” – once she declares the income, if she stops doing it, it is equivalent to a resignation, so she would need to wait 6 weeks to get income support from CentreLink.

    Perhaps I am naive, or perhaps you are – as much as we might like to think otherwise, not everyone can obtain the gov support they need, not everyone even wants to get it (rather be self reliant), and I know she previously had a job and wasn’t “doing tricks” until she lost her job thanks to COVID rules.

    As I said, circumstances alter cases. Just to be clear, I have not used her services, so no conflict there.

    And as I noted, she is a good person from all my interactions with her – friendly, bright and bubbly, generally happy and has offered to help me, even before said conversation and even before I had offered her help when it looked like she needed it. In truth, she is one of my best neighbours – never any issues at all with her and as above, friendly and helpful individual. I would rather all my neighbours were like her, regardless of what they do for a crust!

  22. Kneelsays:
    October 29, 2021 at 12:59 pm
    ” I was very moved by your report of that young woman. What an awful position to be in.”
    It’s an old trade and has nothing to do with what is going on in the Victorian parliament now except that someone supposedly representing prostitutes is about to be in a position to sell us out. We don’t need sob stories now. We need strength and commitment to our democratic rights.

  23. What an awful position to be in.

    One guesses Mummy the Slut is in any number of positions in the course of a working day.

  24. Kneel’s story is symptomatic of the thinking that has got us into this mess.

    Short-term thinking without regard for ling-term consequences.
    “Compassion” over-ruling common sense.

    One of the greatest gifts that a parent can give their children is teaching them BY EXAMPLE how to deal with hard time with courage and self-disciple, instead of taking the easy way out.That kid will be far more damaged by its parent’s bad example than anything else.

    No…. the kid does not have to starve. Not only is Centrelink available, but so are a great number of charities. Instead, the most realistic view is that mummy is now charging for what she formerly gave for free. Exactly how do you think that she got to be a single mother in the first place?

    Meanwhile, Australia is in this shiite because it is focused on the immediate threat to a small minority, without regard to the far greater damage that it is doing in the longer term.

  25. “Areff: I wondered when somebody would come out with that type of ‘clever’ comment.”

    Indeed. “Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me”.

    We all make what appears to us to be the best choice based on our knowledge of the circumstances that exist when we make that choice. Often times, things change, but we are already committed. This is life, and we must deal with it as best we may. Sometimes we can fix bad choices, other times we cannot. Regardless, we must learn from our experiences in order to hopefully make better choices in the future.

    I am no oracle, and I put my trousers on one leg at a time, same as everyone else. I make plenty of mistakes, and I’m not afraid to say so, nor to take responsibility for those mistakes. I endeavour to minimise my mistakes, and to assist those who have also made mistakes – this is the moral and ethical position that I was taught is best. I agree that it is, but admit I may be biased in that. But regardless, it certainly appears to me that it is this moral and ethical framework that led to the “rise of the west”, along with all the good and bad that entails. I believe the good outweighs the bad, but again I may be biased.

    It also appears to me that this moral and ethical framework is – and has been for some time – under attack, and is in the process of being dismantled. Sadly, it appears to me that the replacement is inferior in almost every respect. I will fight it as I may, but this is increasingly appearing to be a rearguard action, merely slowing the change down at best, almost never reversing it.

    Such legislation – as well as those who write and pass it – is merely a symptom of the above retreat. I can and will do my part to try and fix it, but I am one and they are legion – I do not hold out much hope for my success, but feel compelled to make the attempt. I am only a single grain of sand, but perhaps I am that grain that makes it a dune. For this, I am reliant on others of like mind, and of good will. I ask only that you make what contribution you are willing and able to make in this effort, should you agree.

    We are not defeated until we ourselves believe we are – hope is a powerful thing, and those who have the means to fight the hardest and do so have my respect and such support as I can offer, as little as it may be. Such is a worthy and honourable task in my view, and never ending.

    It is the journey that is important, not the destination; it is how you play the game that matters, not whether you win or lose; that others lie, cheat and steal is no excuse for you to do the same; we are at our best when things are worst.
    Yes, these are all cliches, but never-the-less still apropos and of value – that is why they are cliches, and survive as memes.

    Make of it as you will – this is my position as concisely as I am able to express it, and it is unlikely to change. Others may disagree, and that is their affair. I offer it only so that you may understand my position. I hope and believe that at least some of you will agree.

  26. Kneel..

    That sounds good, but one sad story and you abandoned critical thinking and threw your claimed principles out the window.

    The appropriate response to “mistakes” is to correct them, not excuse them.

    There will always be excuses – Dan Andrews has a bucketful. There will always be people with a nice face and an appealing story – that is what makes politicians successful. What made Western Civilisation so successful is principles, not feelings.

  27. True enough Peter.
    Although I would point out that two of those principles are empathy and forgiveness.
    Both are more easily given when the consequences of one’s choices are almost entirely on the individual that makes the choice – as they are on my neighbour, but most certainly are not for Mr Andrews’ actions. Hence I am willing to empathise with and forgive my neighbour, but not Mr Andrews.
    Principles are just that – principles. As I noted, circumstances alter cases. To be firmly stuck on your principles is just as bad as having none.

  28. Kneel….

    It was not situational ethics or imagining how someone else feels that built western civ, either. It may not be ( it certainly isn’t) my position to apply consequences for wrong behaviour in this case, but it remains wrong and excusing it is little more than excusing yourself from doing something about it.

    Empathy – a product of your imagination, because you CANNOT stand in their shoes – is the opposite of principle. It is based entirely on your feelings, not on any moral standard.

    The same lack of judgement – may I remind you – which got her into that predicament as a single mother, and us into this….

  29. “Empathy – a product of your imagination, because you CANNOT stand in their shoes – is the opposite of principle. It is based entirely on your feelings, not on any moral standard. “

    So you have no empathy at all? Or just no imagination? It’s hard to be sure which you meant.

    Or perhaps you think yours is the only correct moral standard, and no forgiveness is due anyone.

    In any case, I have no desire to debate you on it – I have done and said what I have, and do not regret it. I would act the same again in the same situation, regardless of what anyone else thinks of me for it.


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