Australian Health Ministers: all power, no responsibility
I was had. I thought the WHO was the bad guy. Turns out I need to look closer to home. Shout out to James Roguski for helping me realise!
We gave them the power.
We let our parliaments pass emergency laws.
Like the Biosecurity Act 2015 at the federal level which gives the Chief Medical Officer unlimited power to issue directions regardless of any other laws.
Like the Public Health Act 2016 in Western Australia which legalises forced vaccination.
And like the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 in Vic (check out sections 190 and 200) which mean an “authorised officer” can detain you if you don’t give your “voluntary” informed consent.
We let Daniel Andrews say I’m not resigning because I’m not a quitter. Has he never heard of ministerial accountability? If you stuff up, you go.
We abdicated. We let “them” do those things. We even re-elected Daniel Andrews in Victoria. But why?
Because we imbibed the idea that it’s the goverment’s job to protect us, that they know best how to do that, that they can do that, and that in doing so they’ll have our interests at heart.
We forgot we have - if only we choose to own it - our own agency as human beings, our own capacity to take personal responsibility for our health and the health of our loved ones and of our community.
We gave the Chief Health officers and Health Ministers a blank cheque on the promise they would keep us safe. At the expense of anything and everything else, entirely at their discretion.
Our State and Territory governments and parliaments also abdicated - to a committee self-importantly called the National Cabinet, which is not a cabinet but likes to think it is so that it can argue it doesn’t have to disclose its decision-making processes (see also here).
How many Australians have even heard of the Health Ministers Meeting? But this is the crew who run the country now. Whether it’s during an emergency or not, the Health Ministers will make recommendations to the National Cabinet. The National Cabinet will make decisions. And in an apparent stitch up agreed amongst themselves, the Premiers and Chief Ministers who make up the National Cabinet will then implement national cabinet’s decisions. You can see this arrangement in black and white in the National Caninet’s “terms of reference” proudly displayed on a non- govt website with a logo you’ve never seen before. You can see it in action when the Health Ministers decide the “National Law” regulating health practitioners should change, and instruct the parliaments accordingly: in the Queensland parliament, the Health Minister complained the parliamentary debate was a waste of time:
“Also, it seems the opposition would have us vote down these three clauses of the bill in their entirety. This would have the effect of preventing these public safety measures from taking effect in all states and territories, not just Queensland. That would be contrary to what has been agreed to by Australian health ministers. While we can modify the application of the national law in Queensland, we have no licence to rewrite the law for the entire country based on the views of those opposite.” (emphasis added)
Who conjured up this decision-making body and called it the “National Cabinet”, to play arguably the most critical role of all in our so-called democracy? (Answer - the people who form the National Cabinet, ie the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers) made it up!)
So in an inversion of the proper democratic process, it’s the health ministers collectively who will tell the Victorian parliament and government what they should do to manage the next public health emergency.
Now that the health ministers have the power - because we gave it to them, thank you very much - they want to make sure they have no responsibility. Why else would they support the proposed amendments to the IHR which if passed will make the WHO’s “recommendations” binding under international law?
If only the State governments would take responsibility for health, the fact that the WHO’s recommendations may become binding in the realm of international law very soon would be entirely irrelevant. Without the local police force enforcing lockdowns how could those “binding” recommendations be enforced? The States and Territories who don’t follow the WHO’s recommendations may suffer no negative repercussions whatsoever. (Would there be significant political repurcussions?)
Health is the prerogative and responsibility of our States and Territories under the Australian constitution. But our governments and public health bureaucrats seem to want to pretend that they’ll be obliged to follow the WHO’s recommendations. I’ve previously pointed out that our Biosecurity Act gives the federal government the ability to issue emergency directions in order to follow WHO recommendations. But the Biosecurity Act doesn’t require the federal govt to do so. And the Biosecurity Act has nothing to say about whether our States and Territories can should or must follow WHO recommendations, binding or otherwise.
As Bruce Pardy so eloquently expresses in this excellent conversation with James Roguski, it takes two to cede sovereignty.
It seems the WHO wants to take it, and our Health Ministers want to give it. Is that so the Health Ministers to say “we had to lock down because we’re bound under international law to follow the WHO’s recommendations”? It turns out there is no obligation on our state governments to implement WHO recommendations just because our federal government signs us up to the IHR amendments in May. The whole thing is a hoax. And - with heartfelt thanks to James Roguski, I now realise - a decoy.
Is there a Health Minister or shadow health minister in any Australian state or territory willing to take responsibility for their own decisions and treat WHO recommendations as recommendations rather than legally or morally binding directions? If so, I’ll move to the other side of the continent to help you get elected, if I have to.
National Cabinet, the Health Ministers and the bureaucrats at the WHO have got carried away with an overinflated sense of their own importance. And ordinary Australians, our doctors and our parliaments have forgotten or been too overwhelmed by cowardice or confusion to take responsibility for ourselves. We have fallen hook line and sinker for the big idea that the government can protect us from everything. And that the government in power will know better than we do what’s best for our health.
Was there ever a better example of an emperor with no clothes, than the WHO?
Say no to the WHO. But more importantly, be a beacon for personal responsibility in your local neighbourhood and when you cast your vote at the next State or federal election. And in the meantime have a good hard look at what’s happening to our democracy. It’s worth taking a look under the hood to see what is really going on.
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