Victoria 'The Farcical State'
The recent events of this morning in Melbourne are just incredible, requiring an instant post. I hear the 'Benny Hill' music playing in my ear right now. The only difference is that Benny Hill as a farce is funny. The state of Victoria is just a tragedy.
On the 2nd of August, the Premier of Victoria announced that there would be a curfew between 8 pm and 5 am every night.
"We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever. It is not an easy decision to make but it is necessary and that’s why I’ve made it and that’s why police will be out in force and you will be stopped and you will be asked and need to demonstrate that you are lawfully out and you are not breaching that curfew,”
The guise of the Curfew was for medical grounds to stop the spread. With the extension of Stage 4 Lockdowns and the Curfew after six weeks of it, rightly so, people are a little antsy at the loss of their Civil Rights.
So yesterday morning the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, Professor Brett Sutton was quizzed about Victoria's rules, in particular, the curfew of citizens from 8 pm-5 am. The response from Prof. Sutton was:
"The curfew came in as part of the State of Disaster, for example, it wasn't a State of Emergency requirement so that was something that was introduced but that wasn't something that I was against from a Public Health perspective. Yeah, I was consulted on it but it was a separate decision-making pathway."
When asked if he would've introduced it he said:
"In a Public Heath direction, I'm not sure. I haven't reflected on it. I think it has been useful so if I put my mind to it, probably"
The Chief Health Officer, who currently is the guy who is "calling the shots" to get Melbourne and Victoria out of this effectively stated that the Curfew wasn't his idea, but if he had his time again he probably would've recommended it. Therefore the state was put into a curfew under Public Health orders but the man in charge of Public Health in the pandemic didn't make that call.
Media recognised this and put it to the Premier that afternoon. Wanting to know who had the idea of a curfew as it wasn't the Chief Medical Officer's idea. The Premier responded:
"Well the curfew is about the enforcement of these rules, it's not about crafting rules, it's not about crafting public health measures. I'm not quite sure what the point here is. There are only certain reasons to leave your home if you don't have a valid reason to leave your home, then, you can't leave your home and the fact that there's a curfew in place, which does extend out to 9 o'clock quite soon, that just makes the job of Victoria Police is much, much easier.
"Police then say these are hard rules to enforce. We reckon there's a bunch of people who are out when they shouldn't be out. Give us [Police] the clearest, simplest rules you can and a curfew that said unless you have a lawful reason to be outside after eight, soon 9 pm out to 5 am, then you can't be. It's much easier. Much easier for Victoria Police."
Therefore it's Police that wanted the Curfew to assist themselves with enforcing the Public Health rules right?
This morning the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Shane Patton stated:
"I was never consulted, I’ve made enquiries to determine if anyone in the organisation was briefed on the matter."
“We had never asked for a curfew,"
He also stated that they only received the Curfew details a couple of hours before the curfew was due to start and:
"We haven't had any input into them. It's not a decision that I was involved in. This is a decision that appears in the CHO directions. How it came to be there, I'm unaware."
So, Mr Andrews, you announce curfew on August 2nd under the guise of Public Health. Six weeks later your Chief Health Officer says "I didn't order the curfew" so the Premier says "oh it was the Police who wanted it" and the Police say "we had no idea about it until that day." Seriously what is going on with the Premier right now?
Today Daniel Andrews appears to have finally admitted, well as best as he can . . .
"Well, the Police Commissioner and Police Command throughout all our decisions have been really clear with us that they need rules that are as easily enforced as possible. The curfew, along with 5km rules together with, there's a very long list of different decisions that we've made over these last few months and since the beginning of the pandemic. It's always being clear to us to make the job, the amazing work that they do, as simple as possible."
Also highlighting the fact that there were very little opportunities at any hour under the rules that would permit you to be out of the home anyway. Repeating that the curfew made it . . .
"Much easier for Victoria Police to make that assessment about whether someone should or should not be at home"
Once again highlighting that it will be soon from 9 PM to 5 AM (one extra hour) and that it was all about limiting "unlawful movements" Before we go anywhere, don't make out the extra hour is a gracious act by you. It's called daylight savings.
When asked directly by a journalist, Rachel Baxendale, one who gets death threats by the "stand with Dan" Twitter mob, simply that if the Chief Health Officer and the Cheif Commissioner didn't ask for the curfew then who decided to do it, Andrews responded that if people wanted to find "fault with the rule" before being cut off by the journalist to say she wasn't after a fault in the rule but wanted to know "whose idea was it?". Andrews once again refused to directly answer the question:
"Well decisions are made by groups of people and I can't necessarily pinpoint for you the exact individual and exact moment that it was suggested that we put a curfew on. If anyone is displeased with that or doesn't think that's a proportionate measure well that's a decision that I've made all these decisions are ultimately decisions that the Government has made and as the Leader of the Government, I will be accountable for that."
Andrews quite simply why didn't you just say that yesterday. Also, why do you frequently have to be vague? Be to the point and yesterday you could've simply have said: "look we wanted to make the job easier for Police, as a cabinet, we decided to enact a curfew to assist with the enforcement of Public Health orders." Instead, you have gone from the start of August enacting these rules under the guise of the "medical advice" then it's due to "police advice" when both are not the case.
What is the decision making process and when will you present the data that aids in your decision-making? This is what the sensible Victorians have wanted from the get-go, like why was Golf not allowed but was in other states etc. Nothing logical was, and is, presented behind many of the decisions you are making. When you are pushed back then that person is shut down which is wrong. It's fair to ask questions because people have a right to know why. If you want everyone on side Mr Andrews then simply be upfront with them and don't spin it and be a sound-bite.
When you add this situation and the fact that he has lied about ADF (Australian Defence Force) being available to assist Victoria at any time as well as the justification of going to Stage 4 restrictions, and in turn, the curfew was the fact that 27% of people weren't following 'Stay at Home' orders but Victoria Police said it was "less than 1%" it has to be asked. Who the hell is advising you on these decisions?
Andrews, it's time to be upfront, get us out of this and then leave politics for the sake of Victorians everywhere. Moving forward we need real leadership. Not a person who frequently goes "I don't know, I'll get back to you" but doesn't, or shifts blame to others for his own decisions and continue to lie outright to the electorate.