Good people staying quiet is no longer an option.

Good people staying quiet is no longer an option.

The definition of fascism in the Cambridge dictionary is

“a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control of social and economic life, and extreme pride in country and race, with no expression of political disagreement allowed

Sound familiar?

We aren’t quite there yet, but unless you have the major party political blinkers on, it’s not hard to see that we are taking dangerous steps in that direction. More important is the understanding that a Fascist government doesn’t happen overnight, it develops over time, little by little and if it goes unchallenged for too long it will grow to a stage where it cannot be stopped. As the old and oft-repeated saying goes – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This should be at the forefront of every fair-minded person’s thinking in this country at the moment.

Alarmingly though many of my fellow citizens are instead embracing authoritarian governance and the demonising of individuals with different views or opinions to their own. Such an unequivocal approach is tremendously dangerous to the concept of a civil, peaceful and respectful society. 

These are characteristics that Australians on the whole have rightly claimed as reflective of their values since the nation’s federation in 1901, but at the moment they are values that we are jettisoning at a concerning rate.

This week in Australia for the first time I have felt a deep sense of shame and foreboding, not just in my country’s government behaviour and actions at both a state and federal level, but at a significant section of my fellow Australians. The bizarre and outrageous treatment of Novak Djokovic and the equally outrageous reasons given for his deportation should send quivers of anxiety up the spines of every liberty embracing person.

This has nothing to do with whether you are pro or anti-vaccination or whether you are for or against strong borders, it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you fall with your opinions on these matters or any other subject. What’s concerning is that our political system with the rubber stamp of our legal system now has effectively imposed a legal and law enforcement framework that will target you if you speak out against a government narrative or even if you think in a manner that can be perceived to be against the government interests. In Novak Djokovic’s case, they found grounds to take action for fear he may inspire others to think or speak out against the preferred government messaging surrounding vaccination.

Through their lawyers, the government went as far as to claim “that allowing Novak Djokovic to stay in Australia risks making him an icon for the anti-vaccination groups” or as others are interpreting those words “an icon for free choice”.

Think about that the next time you hear one of our politicians currently supporting this action when they make speeches championing freedoms at things such as ANZAC day ceremonies.

Despite Djokovic acquiring medical exemptions from two independent health committees and being granted a visa from our federal government, he was deported because his perceived positions on vaccines “might” inspire others to think negatively against vaccines.

If you extrapolate that out towards other areas of concern, then we should be banning any international celebrity or sportsperson or individual in general that potentially may inspire others to think or act out in a way that can be framed as not being in the public interest.

That can be a very broad interpretation.

If we can deport Novak what about overseas actors who have played parts in horror films, could those films not inspire a warped minority to act out their fantasy’s? Are sportspeople who express or inspire a viewpoint against other government narratives surrounding things such as climate change, BLM or transgendered people participating in female sport also be targeted for government and legal action?

How about owners, employees and developers of products such as PlayStation and Xbox games that promote violence? Wouldn’t that be in our public interest? You can make a list as long as your arm of such situations and in every instance, those arguments would be ridiculous, just as it is in this instance with Djokovic, a tennis player trying to defend his title.

For many, the only actions being enacted against the public interest are those by our various politicians and governments against their own citizen’s lives.

It doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you sit on with these issues, our federal Liberal government which proclaims to embrace an individual’s right to freedoms such as individual thought, speech and opinion have set a dangerous precedent that if you oppose the government narrative or even inspire others to oppose it, then you can become a valid target for legal recourse or intimidation by the federal and state governments.

That should put the fear of God into every freedom-loving Australian.

Instead, over the past fortnight, I have witnessed and argued with people who should know better than to embrace this approach. Their twisted reasoning for justifying that approach is that since they have had to tolerate government injustices and encroachment upon their lives, then so should everybody else on the planet.

With that sort of thinking you can also justify just about anything.

It’s nothing more than a massive pity party and instead of targeting those who have enforced the laws and restrictions that have made our lives a living hell for two years; many are instead aiming their anger at an individual with the ability to overcome those same rules. What we don’t see is the opportunity we have now lost. Had Novak been allowed to stay, play and even win, that would have been a massive win against those very restrictions and an embarrassment for those unethical, unscientific and authoritarian governments who have been imposing draconian dictates upon us all for two years.

Novak’s participation and potential success could have been a rallying point for the takedown of our politician’s precious system of control that they are now totally addicted to. As a country, we are so engulfed in collective self-pity that we have just missed one of the few beacons of freedom and liberty that have pierced through the oppressive dark clouds sitting above our heads.

A Novak win would have made further border mandates unjustifiable, it would have taken all credibility from the vile vaccine mandates, it could have potentially united a divided country and given extra fortitude to the brave few that are already speaking out within our borders.

People claimed this was about celebrities getting away with things that weren’t available to us as ordinary Australians. My retort to that is, where have you been for two years?

Politicians, celebrities, sportspeople and the ridiculously rich have been thumbing their noses at us throughout the entire pandemic. You only had to witness the actions of global leaders at the G7 summit or the Climate Change conference in Glasgow to realise that. Unfettered travel with no border issues, no social distancing or face masks unless it was for photo opportunities and plenty of socializing on the booze at functions and within their four walls. All this while at the same time enforcing restrictions that saw all of us banned from things such as dancing and singing or visiting family and loved ones.

How many celebrities didn’t have to quarantine, how many were given less time to do so or were granted the ability to quarantine at home while the rest of us were herded into hotels or camps? How many sportspeople such as the State of Origin rugby league players were extended special border privileges while ordinary Australians were denied such courtesies in the most oppressive fashion at the most difficult of times?

The question you have to ask is why wasn’t Djokovic extended the same treatment, the same nod and wink or the same turn of the administrative cheek as so many other high profile people were?

Well, it seems some people cannot see the trees for the forest. Novak was denied entry and made an example of because he stood up where others stood aside, he spoke out where others have been silent, he showed courage where others embraced cowardice and he has now paid a price for all of that. 

Despite paying that price, the one thing he didn’t sell was his soul, he lived by his ethics and values when others have surrendered them for convenience or to avoid conflict.

People such as Novak Djokovic, the Carlton Football Club’s Liam Jones and the Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving in the NBA should be embraced and championed by the ordinary person, not because they have celebrity status or because they are famous or rich, but because they are part of the brave few willing to draw a line in the sand and to speak out against government overreach and the oppression of ordinary citizens. They have had the courage to speak out when others stay silent and due to their status, their voices carry far more weight than any ordinary citizen which then makes them extremely dangerous to any authoritarian government such as ours.

If you understand that, then you understand the real reason for the federal government’s actions this week.

It wasn’t about border rules, visa laws or the public interest, or as our Prime Minister childishly tried to claim about rules being rules. It was about crushing dissent and more importantly using somebody with a sufficiently high profile to send a message of fear to any others thinking likewise from acting out. Now that they have been successful in making an example of Djokovic the government and the vile creatures within its ranks, will inevitably turn their focus upon those people within our borders who dare to think, speak or inspire thoughts they see as being dangerous to their hold on power.

So instead of embracing Novak as a voice speaking out against evil, we have instead made him a subject of derision and abuse. Sadly, it seems the majority have bought into the government mantra without question and fallen into line like the good fascist apparatchiks of the past.

That should scare us all and encourage us to find those good people who will stand for something instead of doing nothing and to find them fast before it’s too late.

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