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Sunday, 07 June 2020 06:36

Take Me to a Food Court

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Two important things happened on the weekend of 6-7 June.  A court upheld the right to protest in large numbers in public, even in times of real or manufactured health scares.  This has implications for lockdown policies.  The second important thing to happen was that we can go to Church again.  For this, we should, all of us, bend the knee.

Two important things happened on the weekend of 6-7 June.  A court upheld the right to protest in large numbers in public, even in times of real or manufactured health scares.  This has implications for lockdown policies.  The second important thing to happen was that we can go to Church again.  For this, we should, all of us, bend the knee.

 

Two massively important things happened this weekend of 6-7 June 2020. 

The first was the decision by the NSW Court of Appeal to allow a few thousand leftist agitprop types and assorted do-gooding, primate misfits to protest (legally) about something that happened in another country far, far away.  Or about things that may have happened in this country that are like what happened in the other country.  Or something.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/thousands-march-in-sydney-black-lives-matter-protest-after-dramatic-last-minute-appeal-succeeds

Yes, indeed, single digit IQ protesters’ lives matter.

The second was the ability, for the first time in three months, for tens and tens of thousands of bad Catholics like me to attend Mass, and for priests to celebrate Mass publicly.  I don’t say, or think, that Catholics are special among Christians in these matters.  I single out Catholics above other Christians in this instance simply because for us, regular access in person to the sacraments may mean, literally, the difference between being destined for heaven or for the other place.  Priests acting in persona Christi need an actual penitent before them in order to be able to forgive sins.  Equally, the Body of Christ can do many things, but it cannot travel through cyberspace.  (Yes I know about perfect contrition and spiritual Communion, so hold the comments.  My point stands).  For non-Catholic (and non-High Church Anglican) Christians, say Pentecostals, who massively value worshipping-in-community as their theological core and their preferred liturgical form, this weekend has been massively important as well.  As Covid era Christ might say, “where fifty are gathered in my Name” …

https://www.wsfm.com.au/lifestyle/nsw-churches-reopen-amid-eased-coronavirus-rules/#

Oh yes, our religious liberty was taken away from us, and that matters.

While Christians may be saying “deo Gratias” with vigour and heartfelt gratitude this day, all of us might want to reflect as well on the import of the first of the two events I have mentioned.

What the NSW Court of Appeal decision did was to show that, after all, the past three months didn’t need to have happened.  At all.  The cat has been well and truly belled.  For the spineless, bureaucrat-driven, soulless, interiorly ugly fascists who claim to “run” this country, those same miniature gauleiters who seek to command our allegiance, on pain of arrest, in some kind of implied social contract, the legal imprimatur given yesterday to our protesting friends says one simple thing. 

You.  Had.  Absolutely.  No.  Right.  To.  Keep.  Us.  Locked.  Up. 

Or to stop us meeting.  Or to make silly, literally meaningless rules about who can and cannot sit in trains and buses.  (Andrew Constance, take a bow).  To stop people going to church.  To make it illegal for  people to farewell their dying loved ones.  To prevent my grandson from having a much need tonsils operation till a week ago.  To arrest people for surfing.  Or for sitting in a park.  Or for jogging too many times on the one day.  Or for removing people to buy their lunch in a food court and then stand around eating their food by a waste bin or at a seatless table imprisoned behind crime scene tape.

No, the courts NOW rule that we could have legally done all of these things.  By giving the dopey, virtue signalling protesters the big tick, they have said as much.  So, in a sense (ironically), good on the protesters!  They have done what many others of us have wished ourselves to do during these past months of household imprisonment and frayed rights.  They have had the temerity to test the legality of the state’s prevention of free association in this country.  Whether or not it meant to, the Court has revealed the utter fragility of the legal basis upon which the deep state technocracy has banged us all up these past three months, with all of its economic and social damage.

As my former fellow Quadrant writer Peter Smith has opined:

Did Nero, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Mao, Pol Pot or Pinochet ever dream of such power as has been ceded to our various public health officers? Did they ever dream of having such meekly compliant populations without wielding the threat of torture and death?

Indeed.

The mediocrities, chancers and third-raters who govern us have pulled off the greatest deprivation of personal liberty in the history of the post-enlightenment West.  Without nary a whisper in protest (other than some murmurings about an appeal to the High Court over s. 92 of the Constitution and the States’ border closures that impede free trade across State boundaries).  Until a poor unfortunate black man in Minneapolis was heavied to death by a white copper.

Most of the right-of-centre commentators across Australia, whether employed by the Spectator or by Rupert Murdoch, or merely banging on about it on social media, will no doubt call out the hypocrisy of the left – cheering on the lockdown while reserving for themselves the right to gather in their non-socially-distanced thousands to yell out their virtuous-yet-meaningless drivel.  Railing against the protesters in this way is merely an example of the much practised Tu Quoque Fallacy.  Calling out hypocrisy is a fair enough point, of course, but it isn’t the most important thing to say about yesterday’s events and, in particular, about the legal decision that enabled them.

The Court’s decision in effect says, either our rights to free assembly trump any governmental Covid health concerns, or, the endless government treatises and infomercials warning us of the health dangers of close proximity – upon which the alleged sanity of the lockdown entirely rests – were all bullshit all along.  Or maybe the Court’s decision says both.

So. 

In solidarity with our BLM brothers and sisters, these accidental freedom fighters who probably don’t even know they have done something very significant, I plan very soon to head off to a food court at one of our secular religious precincts, aka, shopping malls, buy some food, and just sit there at one of their cordoned-off seats, eating it.  Breaking secular bread, so to speak.

If one of Frank Lowy’s ersatz police officers comes and tells me to “move on” while quoting some public health ordinance or other, I will simply refuse to, and suggest that he goes off to find a real police officer, to whom I will also explain that I am merely exercising my inalienable right to protest peacefully, while it is his or her duty simply to stand by and watch me eat.  If he objects, I will simply refer him to the NSW Court of Appeal.

Nothing better signifies the farcical nature of the Covid rules as the prevention of food courts from sitting people at tables, while they can now again sit in restaurants and pubs.  Doing exactly the same thing.  So a food court seems like a good place to conduct a peaceful protest.

Bad Catholics’ lives matter.  KFC food court eaters’ lives matter.  Our rights and our freedom matter.  To the fascist Australian state, and States, I simply say this - see the image of Ronald Reagan proudly displayed above.

Setting aside democratic theory 101, the lame lot who find themselves atop the Australian political totem pole simply do not deserve our obedience, let alone our respect.

Oh, and I assume that anyone fined previously for breaking lockdown will get his or her money back.  Justice now demands nothing less.  And that the man now in gaol for breaking lockdown will be released immediately.  Or that Renee Altakrity, who had the temerity to protest against the lockdown outside the NSW Parliament on 9 May, will get the abject apology she deserves from both the police and from the woeful NSW Premier who frets about the lack of social distancing at  protests.  No, instead, Renee is threatened with further legal action.  Really?  After yesterday?

Renee’s son wailed as she was dragged away:

The vision of the Sydney woman’s arrest went viral as she was pictured clinging to her son who was visibly distressed while screaming, “mummy’s not going, leave mummy alone!”.

Perhaps Renee was simply the wrong colour on the day.

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-lockdown-protests-sydney-mum-being-investigated-by-police-after-arrest-c-1031202

We Australians once lived in a free country, in which our rights were protected by the law and by allegedly freedom-loving politicians.  Not any more.  It is patently now one rule for the woke virtue signallers, and another for the rest of us.  Normal people.  Families.  Entrepreneurs like Renee just trying to earn a buck.  Wedding parties.  Funeral attendees.  Churchgoers, clinging to our religion.  Just doing what we do.  Or, at least, wanting to.

It is all very well for right of centre politicians (like Matthias Cormann) to rail against “irresponsible” and “reckless” protesters supposedly endangering public health.  Equally the moderate rightists of the lamestream media.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-07/cormann-dubs-black-lives-matter-protesters-selfish-coronavirus/12330196

There is much confused thinking abroad at the moment, and missed opportunities for urging on our supine fellow citizens as great a respect for our own freedom as they seemingly have either for Big Brother or for unfortunate black Americans in Minneapolis.  If only these small f-fascists like Cormann paused for once to think a little about what they say, and do. 

The protesters are “reckless”?  Reckless?  That is a bit rich coming from a man who has helped his clueless colleagues to destroy lives, to gut our freedoms and to smash the economy to a pulp.  He and his government, along with all the malevolent hangers-on who run the States, are responsible for the most reckless and ill-thought-through act of public policy in the country’s history, from which we will take decades to recover.  And we will now never, ever be confident that any government in the future will, as a matter of course, safeguard our precious freedoms.  The freedoms that our ANZAC forebears gave their lives to preserve.  Suck on that Matthias.

No, our ordinary little lives don’t matter after all.  The mere loss of most of our freedoms and our erstwhile economic good fortune – you know, jobs and stuff – simply don’t excite either the woke rent-a protester brigade or our servile lockdowners.  Go figure.

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Paul Collits

Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent researcher who lives in Lismore New South Wales.  
 
He has worked in government, industry and the university sector, and has taught at tertiary level in three different disciplines - politics, geography and planning and business studies.  He spent over 25 years working in economic development and has published widely in Australian and international peer reviewed and other journals.  He has been a keynote speaker internationally on topics such as rural development, regional policy, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Much of his academic writing is available at https://independent.academia.edu/PaulCollits
 
His recent writings on ideology, conservatism, politics, religion, culture, education and police corruption have been published in such journals as Quadrant, News Weekly and The Spectator Australia.
 
He has BA Hons and MA degrees in political science from the Australian National University and a PhD in geography and planning from the University of New England.  He currently has an adjunct Associate Professor position at a New Zealand Polytechnic.