Thousands of NSW residents to receive surprise Christmas gifts.

Unvaccinated residents of New South Wales will give Christmas presents to vaccinated locals this year to thank them for granting the anti-vaxxers new freedoms.

Citizens who chose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are giving gifts to thank the vaccinated who created the freedoms which unvaccinated people are now enjoying. As of December 15, unvaccinated residents in NSW are allowed to access previously restricted premises such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as entertainment venues, places of worship and other shared indoor spaces, because 90% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

“Thanks to the 90% of residents who got the jab, we can now enjoy the same freedoms as them, even though we didn’t get the jab,” explained a spokesperson for the Society for Unvaccinated Patriotic Aussies (SUPA)

“And we’re so grateful to those people that we decided to give them all Christmas presents this year. Without the vaccinated, we would still be locked out of venues – then we’d really have something to claim about.”

A substantial number of residents in NSW chose not to get vaccinated against the deadly virus, for a host of reasons. Their reluctance slowed down the reopening of society and placed fellow residents at great risk, as unvaccinated people are more likely to spread the disease. Many people lost their jobs and were forced onto welfare, and suffered mental health issues due to extended lockdowns. People with vulnerable immune systems, such as babies and the elderly, as well as essential workers, were at heightened risk of illness as a result of unvaccinated people.

Gifts for the vaccinated will range from the usual socks, T-shirts and gift cards, to more tailored gifts such as membership of One Nation and the United Australia Party, Pete Evans cookbooks, and anything sporting a Byron Bay logo – all purchased by Clive Palmer.

Despite the risk they present to society in general, unvaccinated people were recently granted almost all of the freedoms available to vaccinated people in NSW, even as the new Omicron variant emerges and as case numbers surge across the state. Furthermore, case numbers are likely to increase yet again as Australians cut loose and celebrate the Christmas and summer break.

Sydneysider Jeremy was not so excited at the prospect of a gift from SUPA. He lost his grandfather, and has been prohibited from visiting his grandmother for months on end, due to COVID-19.

“I’d rather have healthy grandparents than a pair of socks this Christmas.”

Image: Jess Bailey

Unvaccinated Australians denied welfare.

Australian citizens who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be denied any form of welfare under a new law designed to protect the community and encourage vaccination.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, made the announcement in the final days of parliament for 2021, and said that the law will come into effect in the new year.

“Any Australian who chooses not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be ineligible for any form of government welfare,” Hunt declared.

“This new law applies to any Australian who chooses not to get vaccinated, without a legitimate reason such as a medical exemption. Australians who cannot provide official proof of vaccination when applying for welfare assistance will be denied that assistance until they agree to be vaccinated.”

The law was announced amid growing resistance to vaccination, vaccine mandates and pandemic-related laws throughout the country, including protests in Victoria which called for Premier Daniel Andrews to be hung. Many Australians have made the conscious decision not to get vaccinated, citing myriad reasons.

The law will take effect from January 1, 2022, and is bound to cause controversy among people who have lost their job because of their refusal to be vaccinated, and are thus forced to seek welfare such as Newstart.

“Unvaccinated Australians, who do not have a legitimate and proven exemption, have made the personal choice not to get jabbed. This not only puts their own health at risk, but endangers other members of the community at a time when the country is trying to get control over the pandemic and return to some degree of normality as soon as possible,” Hunt continued.

“Unvaccinated people delay the personal and economic recovery of the country and place an enormous burden on the public health system, and for that reason they will be denied any form of taxpayer-funded welfare.”

In addition to the withdrawal of payments, unvaccinated people will be denied entry to Centrelink offices and state-based service centres, such as Service NSW, unless they can show proof of vaccination.

Critics have attacked the government across all forms of media, arguing that it will leave many Australians without any form of income. They also argue that the law is unconstitutional, another form of coercive control, and is simply UnAustralian. Many argue that it is unlawful to place any conditions on the awarding of welfare payments. Hunt replied that welfare recipients already face conditions for payment:

“Newstart recipients must prove they have looked for work, and must accept any reasonable job offer. Furthermore, Indigenous Australians can have their welfare payments halted if their children do not attend school for enough days in the year, and many of them have been placed on the Indue card (or Cashless Debit Card), so there are already restrictions for people on welfare in Australia.”

The minister then explained that the government is already paying for the wellbeing of unvaccinated people because many of them have been treated in the public health system as a direct result of not taking the vaccine.

“Let’s not forget, Australians are not being refused vital medical treatment if they have chosen not to get vaccinated and they contract COVID-19. They are receiving treatment, often life-saving treatment, from qualified and dedicated front line medical staff. This treatment is paid for by the taxpayer.”

Minister Hunt then clarified that Australians will be offered medical treatment for COVID-19 related illnesses, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. He also reminded those refusing to comply with pandemic laws that they are creating the conditions for further possible restrictions, which is the very thing they are protesting against.

The new law is one of minster Hunt’s final actions before he leaves politics in 2022.

Image: Daniel Schludi

How to beat the Liberals and the Loonies.

The Liberal National Party could be removed from government at the next federal election if all Australians were required to be double vaccinated in order to enter a polling booth.

Currently this is not the case. At the recent local government elections, voters were allowed to enter polling booths without showing proof of vaccination. If voters were required to show proof of vaccination, or proof of legitimate exemption, this would prohibit many people from voting and cost the Liberal National Party (LNP) many votes.

Do loonies vote Liberal?

Not necessarily. But anti-vaxxers and anti-lockdown protestors are more likely to vote for the loonie parties upon which the LNP relies. The Coalition accepts preferences from many of the fringe parties and rely on these preferences in order to win elections at state and federal level.

Political analysts tell us that the Coalition won the unwinnable federal election in 2019 thanks largely to the preferences from Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party (UAP) in Queensland. Palmer is one of the loonies challenging pandemic laws and has recruited Craig Kelly from the Coalition. Kelly is a famous opponent of vaccines, vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related rules, and is the most high profile candidate in the UAP. Ironically, if Kelly attracts many votes, he could help his former party to win the election.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party has also sided with those opposing pandemic laws and some of her candidates direct their preferences to the LNP. Consequently, Scott Morrison has failed to publicly and unequivocally condemn anti-lockdown and anti-vaxxer protests because his operatives know that his party needs their vote.

At the recent local government elections, one voter was overheard commenting,

“You can’t get into a cafe without proof of vaccination, but you can get into a polling booth.”

Why is this?

If an unvaccinated person can spread COVID-19 in a cafe, surely they can spread COVID-19 in a polling booth. This presents a significant medical risk in a country in which voting is compulsory. Some voters could be immunocompromised and thus face the risk of contracting COVID-19, or being issued with a fine if they don’t vote.

They can vote online.

Yes, the loonies could vote online. Australians can register for ivote and the anti-vaxxers could still vote for the fringe parties via online voting. This, however, requires voters to take the initiative and complete this process well in advance of the upcoming election. If the loonies don’t vote at all, without a legitimate exemption, they would be issued with a fine in accordance with Australian law. Perhaps the threat of a significant fine would convince some people to get jabbed.

Is it lawful?

I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer or an expert in constitutional law. However, news from around the world suggest that other countries have prohibited unvaccinated people from entering certain places or enjoying certain rights that are available to vaccinated people. Thus, it should be possible to act according to the same principles in Australia. If loonies can vote online, they are not technically being denied the right to vote in a democratic country.

A dangerous precedent?

Have the local government elections established a dangerous precedent? When people find out that unvaccinated people were allowed into polling booths, will they demand access to other indoor spaces which currently require proof of vaccination? Many business owners publicly stated their intention to reject the ruling and to allow everyone to enter their premises whether vaccinated or not. If these owners cited the polling booth example, surely they would have a case…

Therefore, if people make a conscious choice not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, should they be prevented from entering a polling booth? And, if so, would this harm the LNP which relies heavily on the preferences of the fringe parties which are likely to attract the anti-vaxxer vote?

Will it happen?

Probably not. The people who would make this law are the very people who rely on the loonie vote for their political survival.

We could change the law, or we could allow double vaccinated people to vote twice.

Image: Darren England

Unique strategy to convince thousands of Australians to get vaccinated.

The Australian government has disguised the COVID-19 vaccination booking service as a sports gambling App in an effort to trick reluctant citizens into registering for the jab.

The world-first initiative is being hailed as a creative strategy to fool hesitant citizens into registering for the COVID-19 vaccine, at a time when almost half the nation is in some form of lockdown or even under curfew.

The App is called OddBetter and was developed in order to tap into the enormous popularity of sports gambling in the country.

“Refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is a huge gamble, and OddBetter is a brilliant, creative solution to a complicated problem,” announced the Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

“The world-first initiative will encourage reluctant Australians to get vaccinated, which will in turn allow the country to open up and to return to some form of normal. Sports betting is a popular activity in Australia and this App taps into Australia’s love of sport and our love of a punt.”

The App has the appearance and functionality of a conventional sports betting App. It offers betting choices on a wide range of results in a wide range of sports. It differs from legitimate gambling Apps in that every time a user places a bet, they have actually sent their personal details to the government health system and automatically registered their name for a vaccination for either Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca or Moderna.

“Users will not be charged any money at any stage of this process,” stressed Hunt. “They will be required to register a credit card in order to use the App, like any sports gambling service, but this will be used only to cross reference other personal details and to confirm the user’s identity. Once an identity is confirmed, health authorities will also know if the person has or hasn’t been vaccinated.”

The minister then explained that punters using Odd Better will ‘win’ or ‘lose’ money inside the App, but that this ‘OddBetter currency’ is not real and will not add or subtract from their bank balance in the real word.

“It’s like electronic Monopoly money.”

Of course, finding a way to make people register for a jab is only part of the process.

“Once registered, we still need people to actually turn up and get the vaccination. So, the App has been designed to shut out any user who does not honour their appointment. They will then be advised to show proof of vaccination in order to resume using the App. Also, punters who have already been vaccinated will not receive an appointment notification.”

The minister was asked what had been done to prevent users from simply turning to another gambling site once they are shut out of OddBetter for not being vaccinated.

“Two things. One, we will offer the impossibly good odds on every bet, as well as more options on more sports than any other gambling company – we can do so because our service is not real. Secondly, we know that Aussie punters have an insatiable appetite for gambling – which is why there are at least 70 online gambling sites in the country.”

Hunt was also asked whether announcing the App publicly and writing a press release would expose it’s inauthenticity and thus render it redundant, to which he replied:

“Most anti-vaxxers and vaccine-hesitant people don’t read – they just take all their health advice from social media influencers, or people like George Christensen, Clive Palmer or Craig Kelly.”

Image: Daniel Schludi

Defenders of free speech are destroying free speech.

The very people who decry the loss of free speech in modern society are destroying the ability of people to speak freely. Extremist views stifle reasoned discussions on important social issues and this prevents problems from being properly addressed or solved.

Extreme commentators at both ends of the political spectrum complain that their opinions and right to free speech are being quelled in modern society, while their own words stigmatise anyone who attempts to raise legitimate questions regarding a contentious issue.

Free speech crusaders throw around phrases such as ‘political correctness’ and ‘cancel culture’ and complain that they’re “…not allowed to say anything anymore.” They claim that the ‘thought police’ are denying them their right to express a personal opinion. In most cases, however, those opinions are blatantly racist and are often disguised as humour and casual racism which is borne of ignorance, and is deeply hurtful.

It was never right to be racist, it was just more accepted.

Immigration

Immigration is a perfect example of the death of free speech at the hands of extreme commentators. Extremists have hijacked the issue, and anyone else who attempts to publicly discuss the topic runs the risk of being branded as a racist or a bigot.

Donald Trump used racism. He famously promised to stop Muslims from entering the United States and to build a wall to stop Latinos entering the country, and these views contributed greatly to his election victory in 2016. He expressed the views that many extremists held in the United States, and he discussed immigration as a threat to the USA, to white Americans and to American values and their way of life.

Extremists have equated immigration with racism and xenophobia.

It is consequently difficult for anyone to raise the issue of immigration in the United States and other countries. Anyone who questions current immigration policies, for whatever reason, will be labelled a racist or a bigot. But mature, intelligent and measured discussions about immigration need to take place. Leaders and citizens need to ask how many people can safely live in a particular area. People need to ask if a landmass has enough resources to support a certain number of people, taking into consideration birth and death rates, existing infrastructure, employment opportunities and other factors which determine the success of immigration policies. These discussions are made difficult or impossible due to the hijacking of the issue by ignorant extremists.

Donald Trump is also famous for shutting down discussions with people who opposed his views. There is no better example of killing free speech.

LGBTQI+

The LGBTQI+ community also bear the brunt of intolerance and hateful speech. Issues such as gender fluidity, trans culture and same-sex marriage draw endless commentary from free speech crusaders, and prevent issues from being discussed.

Same-sex marriage is a contentious issue. Every country which has raised the prospect of legalising same-sex marriage, including those which succeeded, endured a divisive debate on the issue, and the defenders of free speech once again destroyed free speech.

Two prominent Australians weighed into the debate in Australia. Tennis legend Margaret Court and footballer Israel Folau exercised their right to free speech but consequently tarnished the debate. Court and Folau opposed same-sex marriage, and declared this publicly. This in itself was not a problem. However, they supported their views with statements claiming that all gay people will go to hell, that same-sex attraction is the work of the devil and that same-sex marriage is a dangerous threat to the social fabric and the family unit.

Anyone else who expressed opposition to same-sex marriage was accused of sharing the views of Court and Folau. Anyone should be allowed to express an opposition to same-sex marriage, but that is difficult to do when the likes of Court and Folau dominate the topic.

Trans athletes also provoke strong debate. Should people who are born male be allowed to play sport with and against females – if they identify as female, or if they have physically transitioned to female? This is a complex debate including issues of fairness and safety, and any decision must be made after a mature, evidence-based and open discussion. This discussion is impossible to conduct when some people label trans people as the devil’s work, an abomination, a disgrace and subhuman. When such hateful views are expressed freely, reasonable people cannot express their views on the topic, for fear of being associated with the bigots.

Gender-neutral language also divides the population. Gender fluid people prefer to use the words ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ and ‘them’ instead ‘him’ and ‘her’. A problem arises because they and them are plural pronouns, but they’re being used in a singular context – to refer to one person.

Linguists will point out that this is grammatically incorrect and confusing, while bigots will claim that is is outrageous, unnecessary…and worse. As a result, can anyone oppose the use of ‘they’ and ‘them’ to refer to individuals, without being labelled homophobic or transphobic?

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the threat to free speech at the hands of those who claim to defend it. Anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists abound online and express views contrary to expert medical advice. Extreme bloggers and social media influencers, celebrities and even elected politicians are expressing wild and unfounded theories about the pandemic, while defending their views as free speech. In reality, they are putting human lives at risk.

Free speech is a foundation of democracy and an open society. It must be defended. It must also be conducted with evidence, acceptance of opposing views and reason.

Image: Christian Bruehner