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It’s time to resist the call to ‘move on from Covid’


The writer is in Australia

READERS of TCW will probably need no introduction to Daniel Andrews’ Covid State of Victoria. The military police of Danistan excelled themselves for thuggery during the worst days of Covid lockdowns, restrictions which even the Chinese Communist Party –Andrews’s controllers – thought were a little rich. All of this before Andrews’ bizarrely nonchalant pronouncement from on high in 2022 that ‘Covid exceptionalism was over’. Time to move on. 

But some of us will not move on just yet. 

One who is not moving on is Mark A Tarrant, producer and director of Tudsbury Films in Sydney. He is making a documentary about the September 2021 incident in Melbourne when a lockdown protester was violently hurled on to a concrete floor by police, hitting his head. You can see a video here.

Mark writes: ‘We have interviewed for our documentary the mother (Margaret) and mental health social worker (Donna) of Dan Peterson-English, who was slammed to the floor of Flinders St Station, by a policeman during the lockdown in Victoria – Donna said the earphones Dan was wearing saved him from greater brain injury as they absorbed the impact when he hit the floor with the side of his head. She showed us the broken headphones. Dan now lives in a care home with a fulltime carer. The police gave him a payout and have gagged him from speaking – but his mum can speak. Dan was an artistic and popular child at primary school – as per his school report he was chosen to attend classes for gifted students. We are flying to Melbourne again this weekend to recreate his train journey to Flinders St Station – his mum will be telling his story during the train journey.’

Those who witnessed (on film) some of the excesses of Andrews’s police state during Covid will remember the rubber bullets fired into the backs of street protesters, grandmothers forced to the ground under volleys of pepper spray, and pregnant mothers arrested in their home over social media posts. Did the low-information, look-the-other-way, amoral Victorians who rewarded Andrews with a fresh electoral mandate in November 2022 not know this as happening? Perhaps they didn’t. Censorship works magnificently and Victorians are known for being woke, not awake. As Tucker Carlson (much in the news of late) has said, humans wish to be herded and pushed around in the name of security. Victoria is a modern-day Hobbesian kingdom. It is not even remotely a simulacrum of a decent modern democracy. But even for those of us who saw the brutality abroad in Melbourne, nothing quite compared with the grisly head-slam at Flinders St Station.

As it turned out, the police had picked on a ‘frail’ mentally ill Indigenous man. There is a grim irony here in the Victorian State of Woke which has treaties with Indigenous peoples and shouts endlessly about the rights of the disabled. The Victoria Police Aboriginal Inclusion Strategy runs to 20 pages. As for the disabled, the police Accessibility Action Plan also runs to 20 pages. 

Not a good look, then.  Pity the police didn’t offer the same level of respect to Indigenous protesters.  Or to any protesters, for that matter. 

After the footage surfaced the officer involved, Acting Serjeant Beau Barrett, was charged with recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and common law assault.

Melbourne magistrates court heard that Mr Peterson-English had attended an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on September 22, 2021, and had been taunting police at the train station before the incident.

A witness said Mr Peterson-English was ‘swearing and rambling’, and the court heard that he ‘slipped’.

Magistrate Rob Stary discharged the case, saying the jury could not possibly conclude the officer had criminal intent and acted unlawfully.

This amounts to the criminalisation of the criminal justice system. The system that was, once, a long time ago, designed to protect citizens. 

The Victorian ‘justice’ system is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Daniel Andrews establishment. He bought up the police force years ago. It seems that the criminal justice system is controlled opposition as well. The man is untouchable. 

Acting Serjeant Beau Barrett goes free. Let loose to continue his peculiar brand of law enforcement. Only in Victoria. It is just fortunate that there are truth-tellers out there willing to keep fighting. Perhaps Ned Kelly had a point. 

When the justice system merges with the State, we have problems. The Victorian police state existed before Covid. Just ask – well, you can’t, he has died – Cardinal George Pell. The sinister merger between the bureaucracy and the political class in Victoria occurred during the 2000s, on the watch of Daniel Andrews’s predecessors. But Covid gave the fascists who run Victoria permission to unleash low-rent thuggery on any opponents of the State who might emerge to challenge its power. Including people like Mr Peterson-English. 

The decision on the Flinders Street head-smashing play simply reaffirms what those of us paying attention to the Victorian system already know. The judicial system has provided little if any protection to citizens crushed by the Covid State. 

There have been whistle-blowers, of course. Many Victorian police felt unease policing mothers seeking to allow their children to visit playgrounds during lockdowns. One such officer was Krystle Mitchell. She resigned, and ran for parliament. 

She wrote in the Spectator Australia: ‘I witnessed government control increase in every aspect of our daily lives. Victoria Police turned from its ‘community-focused’ policing mentality toward a strict enforcement of health orders above all else. Our organisational values seemed to be thrown out the window. Video footage was emerging almost daily of police being over-zealous. Dan was on our TVs every night scolding, berating, or gaslighting us. The protests pushing for less government control seemed pretty reasonable and not all that surprising to me, but my organisation’s response to them quickly escalated beyond any point of reason.’ 

While there are Krystle Mitchells and Mark Tarrants, we might dare to believe there is still hope. And to believe that the judicial system might somehow be re-oriented to the protection of liberty and citizen rights.  Even in Victoria. 

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Paul Collits
Paul Collits
Paul Collits is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Quadrant Online

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