You could with relative ease make some rough judgments about who was on which side of politics until almost the present by where someone stood on particular issues. But first it was global warming that entered into the equation. There partisan divides were determined by whether someone thought they were in some kind of peril due to a warming planet and a subsequent melting of the glaciers. This warming was always round ten years ahead, as it has been for four lots of ten years which have never led to any serious evidence that the planet is heating. The only evidence has been the normal ebb and flow of temperatures and the regular recording of record temperatures somewhere on the planet, which occur all of the time.
Parties of what were once called the right are now filled with these people, as are, of course, parties of the left. Some of us on the right (most I hope) understand that AGW is nonsense, while absolutely no one on the left is allowed to doubt any of this even for a second. But parties of the right have to cater to their warmest constituencies or can never win an election.
Now we have Covid which has never appeared more dangerous that a bad flu. But however lethal it is or it isn’t, it has terrified all kinds of people so that parties on both sides of the former right-left divide now must promise to save us from what has always been a phantom menace, which is disappearing each day more and more. You can see this divide on the editorial page of The Oz just today.
First this, by Claire Lehmann: The ethical dilemma posed by vax ‘objectors’.
In 1885, Montreal suffered an outbreak of smallpox that would go on to kill more than 3000 people, which was at the time around 2 per cent of its population. During the outbreak, an eccentric physician known as Dr Alexander Ross circulated a pamphlet urging people to reconsider getting vaccinated against the infectious disease. The pamphlet, which has been preserved by historians and can be read online, states in bold letters “do not be alarmed by the smallpox!”, “thousands have had their health ruined (by vaccination)” and “many children are killed outright!”. This early pamphlet is a masterful example of the key rhetorical devices used by anti-vaxxers, devices still used today, often to great effect.
You see, all these people who are skeptical about Covid-vaccine safety are just like those ignorant people back in Montreal 140 years ago. But then we have this, from Nick Cater, who also begins by delving into the past, although not quite so deeply: No sign of ‘normal’ as fear infects our leaders. He takes a different tack entirely.
Two years ago, influenza A was ripping through South Australia. By early July 2019, 20,000 South Australians had tested positive to the virus and 86 nursing homes were infected. Perhaps the Premier and his chief health officer were asleep at the wheel a few months earlier when the warnings came that it was going to be a shocker of a flu season. Think of the lives that might have been saved if Steven Marshall had slammed the borders shut, frightened everyone witless and warned them they would be arrested if they stepped outside their own homes.
On July 7, 2019, 37 new flu deaths were announced in South Australia, bringing the total to 82. The state’s chief public health officer, Nicola Spurrier, called a press conference to remind South Australians to wash their hands and cough into their elbows if they were caught without a tissue. “It’s very unfortunate to see this number of people that have died,” she said, “however, the influenza virus this year is not considered to be any more deadly than the viruses in the past.”
The killer flu of 2019 claimed more than 800 lives in Australia, most of them elderly and most in nursing homes. Yet the authorities refrained from panic. There were no daily press conferences and no breathless reporting of the latest number of infections, which in NSW alone were averaging 826 a day in the first two weeks of July.
Both Claire and Nick would have once been seen as on the right side of politics. Meanwhile, the left is using Covid, along with global warming, to drive its socialist agenda, with plenty of those supposedly on the right doing everything they can to help.