#BackDanAndrews has been trending this afternoon and I genuinely cannot decide if Victorians are being sadistically cruel to their absent leader or if we have finally found proof that the left have no sense of irony.
Of course, it could also be karma.
The universe has a twisted sense of social justice that would make even the most devout #metoo activist blush. How else can you explain the double entendre his supporter’s favourite rally cry #IStandWithDan has taken on? It has become the fuel of mockery after the dear leader took a tumble down some wet stairs and hasn’t been seen since the beginning of March (it’s now June).
Why are we talking about hashtags?
Every human age has a form of civil disobedience. In the ancient world, people used to clamber upon buildings and shout at the gathering crowds. Through Europe’s revolutions, illegal pamphlets were distributed and burned. We like to print vulgar cartoons to embarrass the privileged and in 2021 – the internet trends hashtags.
Social media is the unshackled mob and hashtags are the battle cries of opposing ideological teams. Most of the time, these flicker in and out of the world, dying before the afternoon like Mayflies. Those that endure signify a social shift significant enough to make a bump in history. Think of it as the shrill of insects rising with the threat of rain. Civilisation always warns us when something frightening is coming, so long as you stop to listen.
Generally speaking, humanity treats politics like a hobby when things are going well, and an all out war if things veer off course. In Victoria, politics has gone horribly wrong. Instead of fleeting hashtags, two opposing schools of thought have persisted for over a year.
#SackDanAndrews and #IStandWithDan.
These two hashtags represent a shifting divide among Victorians between those who are prepared to endure lockdowns, and the rest who are inching toward open rebellion. The reasons for these positions are varied. There is an entire class of people on the public payroll who are happy to stay locked indoors, collecting their full salary and ordering UberEats indefinitely. Others have lost their businesses, jobs, homes, and life savings. House arrest for them is a mental prison that magnifies the terror of slowly going bankrupt.
The blue and white collar working class are disproportionately affected. They swell around freedom protests and are caught openly disobeying medical directives. Even those who agree with the concept of restrictions have been taken aback by video footage showing police officers throwing people to the ground, arresting heavily pregnant women in their own homes, and harassing the elderly for sitting on park benches. This ideological divide has widened with the newest lockdown occurring without the Federal government safety net of Jobkeeper.
Confusing the issue is the question of mandatory vaccination with a drug that has not finished its preliminary trial period. Many who still have jobs, even those within the public service, have balked at the idea that the State might blackmail their employment against vaccination. As for the unions which are meant to protect the rights of workers – they are aligning behind the Labor Party, prioritising a political position over their members.
The one thing we know for certain is that as more financial pressure builds, these two sides will entrench themselves. It is inevitable that increasing numbers of people will run out of money and join the verbal resistance – even if that means aligning themselves against their normal political affiliations. This can be observed by the combat of online hashtags, with increasing numbers of people opposing the once left-dominated Twittersphere.
As this happens, State officials will panic.
If they believe that they are losing control of the situation, the government will first attempt to increase fines and jail time for Covid infractions. Unreasonable threats always stir anger, which will force the government to double down on its carrot-stick approach toward essential rights. Citizens are going to find themselves offered things like the right to travel and work in exchange for vaccination – which is a polite way of saying that people who refuse will have their civil liberties and constitutional rights stripped. Attempting this on a hostile population is certain to start a war between the people and the government that is sure to threaten the authority of other State premiers who abuse their power in a similar fashion. The Prime Minister will eventually have to step in and assume what was always his sole Federal responsibility.
This predictable behaviour is a clear indication that the current political class have not studied history. If they had, they would have already pulled themselves back from the path of fear and civil unrest. Instead, the allure of endless press conferences and unquestioned power has made them dependent on a cult-like status.
To this I would warn our politicians to look towards America and the social assassination of Dr Fauci. He is proof that no one is safe from the crucible of the mob. Fear-driven movements will protect the idea of their existence above any and all leader. No one is too powerful to fall. It is an emotion-driven environment that, like social justice, has no basis in fairness or fact.
The mainstream press is openly accusing Victoria of operating as a police state and frankly, it is difficult to disagree with this assessment.
Truth is now an agreement between government and corporate.
What we have brewing is an old fashioned class divide. Although the Labor Party might think this is familiar ground that they can win on – poverty, anger, and fear are unpredictable. They supersede any leader and push the population around into the arms of whomever stands up and manages to capitalise on their emotions. The only reason Labor maintains its popularity is because Victoria is operating on a one-party system, with the Liberals flipping coins to decide who gets to hold the last remaining fragment of vertebra left between them.
The failing of the opposition does not mean that Labor is a success.
It is a huge mistake for any peaceful democracy to encourage these attributes in a population, but now that we have them, it is important that Australians become aware of the danger their emotional state has put them in. We are ripe to be preyed upon not just from power-hungry domestic politicians, but from civil unrest amongst our neighbours, and the existential threats of growing political rivals in the Pacific.
If ever there is a time to come together, it is now. To do so, we must return to the principles upon which this nation was built. Namely, individual liberty. Freedom of choice. Bravery, rather than fear. We cannot keep trying to control the tide of other people’s lives, nor can we cling to an unreasonable vision of reality in which we are untouchable immortals, guaranteed safety by a benevolent State.
Our jailers – our politicians – are the weakest, least qualified, historically illiterate, fame-obsessed brats we have ever seen. They have the emotional maturity of Kim Jong-un and the self control of Pakistan. In short, we are governed by the result of a hundred years of political inbreeding who have been sheltered from the difficult birthing pains of history. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t trust these people with a coffee order, let alone the future of Australia.
We all know that stairs are slippery when wet – but so too is civilisation after a downpour of fear.