Woke Gladys Broke our Coronavirus Deal, by Tim Blair.
In order to defeat the coronavirus, the people of NSW struck a deal with the Berejiklian Coalition government. It was a straightforward arrangement.
In exchange for the government doing its very best to increase medical preparedness and to otherwise do its utmost to contain the virus, the people of NSW would for a time surrender certain rights and liberties.
We gave up, in most cases, going to work. We gave up socialising. We gave up meeting friends and family, even over the long Easter break. [Etc. etc.] …
But imaginary racism in the USA!
But now the deal is broken. Gladys Berejiklian and her government have dashed all of the state’s sacrifices aside.
Yesterday, after so many people have given up so much to avoid breaching social distancing and isolation rules, the Berejiklian government announced that those rules, in certain select cases, simply won’t apply.
Faced with the prospect of thousands gathering in Sydney this weekend for US-imitating Black Lives Matter protests, Premier Gladys Berejiklian indicated that protesters would likely not be penalised at all.
This is despite public gatherings of more than ten people being explicitly banned under current restrictions.
“Protesting is an inherent right in our democracy,” the Premier said. But so is working. And going to school. And everything else we’ve surrendered.
“When you have a gathering of a certain number of people in close proximity indoors, that is the greatest risk to spreading the virus,” the Premier continued. So why were people previously hit with such heavy fines for being outdoors? …
Asked if it was fair that protests are allowed but large weddings and funerals are banned, [Police Minister David Elliott] had this to say:
“There’s a lot that’s unfair about what we’re going through at the moment. There’s no rule book, so we’ve got to draw a line somewhere.”
But there actually is a rule book, and it has a particular rule about public gatherings. David Elliott came up with it himself.
“The rules are clear and they apply to everyone,” Elliott said in March, reinforcing social distancing regulations.
“No one is above the law. If you decide to ignore a direction, you will be caught and you may find yourself slapped with a hefty fine.”
In just 71 days, the Police Minister has shifted from “the rules are clear and apply to everyone” to “there’s no rule book”. That’s quite an effort.
Such high handed hypocrisy would become less common if the media would return to reporting, instead of campaigning.
UPDATE: PM Scott Morrison urges Black Lives Matter protesters to stay home. On health grounds. Also, he’s not woke.
He says the health risks in gatherings of such large numbers “are real” and he does not want the hard work and “great sacrifices” made to be undone.