This is an open letter to Australian politicians who have allowed our country to become a place I no longer recognise. But you have lost my consent. In fact, I don’t remember you ever asking.
So let me be clear. You DO NOT have my consent to crush our way of life. To criminalise me for going further than 5 kilometres from my home. To set up police checkpoints on our roads – roads that I paid for, when I used to be allowed to work, when I used to be allowed to leave my home without explaining myself to someone in uniform.
You DO NOT have my consent to keep me from my family. To tell me “we are all in this together” while forcing us to stay apart. To lecture me about the morality of seeing people I love or checking in on a neighbour I pass at the shops. To make me “register” to see a friend. What sort of nightmare are you creating?
Who are you to tell me it is “good” to obey you, and “bad” to defy you? To come onto my screen daily and lecture me on my “behaviour”. To position a police officer behind you every time you speak. To hide behind public health officials. To threaten me with jail if I don’t listen. To fly police helicopters over my neighbourhood. To put the “riot” squad and the military on our streets (for our own good, of course). Who are you to decide what is “good” and “bad”, and to enforce your new world order with weapons?
The only type of “bad” I recognise is the powerful forcing the weak to do something against their will.
You DO NOT have my consent to confiscate my right to protest. To paint those who make their voices heard as bad people. To pretend they punch horses. To use the dark tools of propaganda. To tell us they are criminals. What are you really scared of?
This is a hostage situation, dressed in the language of public health. You have created a nasty police state, a dystopian nightmare, an ex-democracy, a petty dictatorship. You are frightened of your own people, and you don’t want them to be heard. You need the media to serve up its daily offering of fear porn. Who knew that you guys would work so well together?
None of you have lost a dollar, of course. None of you have volunteered to stop drawing a salary, to accept $320 disaster payment instead of making a living. You are the worst type of hypocrites, lecturing on the morality of a pain you do not share.
And now you encourage us to call the police on each other? To be a nation of dobbers. To distrust our neighbours. How deep are the scars you are creating?
You DO NOT have my consent to trap me in this country. To make me seek an “exemption” to leave. To decide where I must live my life. Is there any clearer sign that you have lost the consent of the governed than to force them to stay?
How dare you masquerade as our saviours. Our behavioural masters. Our moral enforcers. Our life extenders. I do not want your “protection”.
You have forgotten what you are. ‘Public servants’. Think about those words. Don’t twist them. Why don’t you let us be the judge of our own safety? Let those who wish to hide, hide? How dare you make these decisions on my behalf. You are destroying our lives in order to save them.
You are no longer ‘public servants’. Instead, you demand the public’s obedience down the barrel of a gun. How have you become convinced that using force to prevent people from moving freely is anything other than criminal?
You are destroying everything I love about this country: our bravery in the face of danger, solidarity between neighbours, the strength to muddle on, the freedom to come and go as we please.
Let’s be clear: there are many who despise you. These are the ones you are trying to silence. These are the ones you are afraid of. They are growing in number and they are enraged by your conduct.
You will never have our trust again. We don’t propose to “put all this behind us” when the pandemic is eventually over. You have broken something beautiful, and it will stay broken long after this is gone.