The Coronavirus: How did Victoria get so much so wrong?
Gerard Henderson, The Sydney Institute, 11 August 2020
Around two months ago I walked up a one-way street in the Sydney CBD. A young man, wearing a mask approached me and asked, firmly but courteously, if I would use the opposite footpath. I did so.
On looking around, I noticed two parked police cars and a bus. After passing the bus I looked back and saw a member of the Australian Defence Force ushering passengers into a hotel. I realised that this was a group of people returning from overseas and going into 14-day quarantine. There was an air of quiet authority about the process.
This contrasts with the apparent mayhem in some of the hotels used for quarantine in Melbourne. For reasons currently unknown, the Victorian Labor government did not put Victoria Police in charge of quarantine and did not accept the commonwealth government’s early offers to provide the ADF’s assistance.
Accepting that the Victorian institutions involved in getting Pell need reforming, this two part essay explores the uncanny parallels between the Pell case here and similar cases in the UK, and draws lessons from these in charting a course towards reform.
Since the Australian High Court’s legal exoneration of George Cardinal Pell, debates have taken off in many directions. The baying mob has spoken through graffiti and on social media. Media pundits have had their say. The Cardinal’s supporter groups online have been overjoyed but are still angry. International observers have suggested Australia’s justice system has dodged a bullet in having its reputation for the rule of law saved by the bell. Politicians and others where perennially grieve for victims of abuse have mumbled and grumbled. “We still believe you, indeed now, more than ever we believe you”, they chant.
Many want answers to the question – how did this happen in Australia? There are now increasingly audible demands for an inquiry, or inquiries, into the key arms of the legal system in Victoria. These demands are growing by the day.
Professor Emeritus Garrett Ward Sheldon writes about the American situation in his article ‘Church and State in Virusland‘, but most of the his points on religious liberty could be applied to the Australian situation, and in particular to Victoria whose dictatorial overlord is the Marxist government of the eye-spinning leftist fanatic Daniel Andrews.
Professor Sheldon is an ordained Christian minister but, again, what he says about religious faith and its adherence applies as well to Catholics. In his opening paragraphs, he gets straight to the point.
As state governments all over America outlaw “social gatherings” except for “essential services” such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores, the implications for religion become obvious. Last Sunday, a minister in Florida was arrested for holding a normal church service and thereby endangering public health.
But a church worship service is not just a public gathering; it is a holy assembly. Our Faith tells us that God blesses and honors the prayers of His people in His House and that may well give comfort, healing, and peace to millions. The current discussion over this virus is almost exclusively scientific and economic, ignoring the psychological and spiritual dimensions of the crisis.
Paul Collits has worked in regional economic development analysis, policy and practice for over 20 years, in universities, State parliament, local and State government and in consulting. His longer career of 30 years has also included working in research and analysis in government at national level, industry and politics. This article, considered too hot for publication by some, is explosive. It gives the background to the most shocking episode in Australia in my lifetime – to Australia’s greatest case of justice miscarried.
The promos for Victorian Tourism and Destination Melbourne told us with considerable joy and pride that Roger Federer and Tiger Woods were visiting the southernmost mainland capital this summer.
So was one Ken Jones, who was visiting Victoria from the United Kingdom and not likely to be sighted anywhere near a tennis court or golf course. Jones’ visit is likely to have caused much more of a stir than that of the other two.
Under the heading Cardinal Pell’s appeal to go to High Court, Peter Westmore reported the news about the High Court Appeal in News Weekly on 16 November. He summarises the course of events leading to the conviction of the Cardinal as well as raising serious issues about Victoria’s legal system.
What is new in this report is that ‘two women, Lil Sinozic and Jean Cornish, who worked at the cathedral at the time have come forward to say that they believed the allegations were “impossible”.’ See their testimony below.
What I find particularly significant is their
claim that after Mass protestors holding placards shouted ‘PELL, GO TO HELL’.
and ‘WE WILL GET YOU, NO MATTER WHAT’ while the Cardinal was greeting Mass
All the evidence points to collusion and tight organization behind the unceasing vilification of George Pell with the uncompromising and non-negotiable object of ‘getting him’, of destroying him. The evidence points to the hierarchy of Victoria police and the Andrews government as players – among others less visible. What part, for example, did former members of the homosexual Rainbow Sash Movement play? They have succeeded beyond their dreams.
Tony Abbott visited his friend Cardinal Pell who has been in solitary confinement for months on end for crimes many people here in Australia and around the world refuse, on the evidence, to believe he committed. Indeed, some of us think Australia has descended into a Alfred Dreyfus phase of justice – meaning no justice.
Leaving aside a probable case of a miscarriage justice, surely there is nothing wrong in Abbott’s visit, as there would not be for anyone visiting a prison inmate. No sane person, no person who governs himself according to the ordinary rules of reason, would find a problem here, neither in terms of logic or fairness. Not Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria. Reason does not come into it.