“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end.” George Orwell, 1984
When you think of an authoritarian governing regime, what countries spring to mind? Does Australia? It should now.
Take a closer look at this graphic to see the company we Australians are keeping. I included Japan to show where a more liberal country sits on this index. As the note explains, for sub-regions within a country, the most stringent sub-region is used. It is Victoria that is driving the Australian figure.
The State of Disaster declared by Premier Andrews will not have any effect on the COVID19 virus. Severity of lockdowns do not affect mortality outcomes, as many emerging studies of the northern hemisphere experience show. But Andrews’ suspension of democracy, the instant political disenfranchisement of the people, the social and economic catastrophe he has unleashed under the stamp of the heavy handed police state is not going unnoticed outside Victoria.
Two cases in point, first from Greg Sheridan.
and second from Jeffrey Tucker.
In case things were not bad enough already in China, there is a serious situation rapidly turning into the risk of a catastrophe with the Three Gorges Dam. In brief, its structural integrity appears to be compromised. Combined with very high rainfall in the catchment area of the Yangtze River, the Dam is buckling and the authorities are releasing as much water as is possible to take the pressure off. But it might not be enough. Should the dam fail, it would cause a catastrophe in China.
The first impact would be humanitarian. Millions of people live and work downstream of the dam. Casualties would be large in number. The second impact would be local economic wipe out. The third would be international economic consequences. The fourth impact would be political reprisal. This is not looking good.
In a previous post I asked where are the deaths? This following chart goes some way to answering that in showing the rise in numbers of recoveries (worldwide data).
It’s time to get back to the business of life, if only our political masters would permit us. There is nothing to see anymore. The media fascination with counting each new COVID-19 case ought to be over.
What is notable from the next two charts is the shape of the curves. First, some larger countries and secondly smaller, (just to make the data easier to see).
Conclusion: the daily deaths have been falling everywhere, even bad boy Sweden, since the peak in late April. This is despite the rapidly growing number of reported cases globally for the last month.
Next, look at the excess deaths from the continuous mortality study, Euromomo, with 24 participating countries:
Conclusion: the spike in deaths, relative to normal, was 4 months ago. Also notable is that there is a spike in deaths every European winter. In 2017, the excess deaths reached 70,000 per week. In 2018 and 2019, they reached 60,000-65,000 per week. In 2020, there were two spikes: the ‘normal’ winter spike around 60,000 per week and then the COVID-19 spike reaching 90,000 per week.
Time to get back to living, working, schooling, business, socialising and recreation.
Where is the global panic about deaths from road accidents? Or HIV/AIDS? Or tuberculosis? Why is COVID-19 worthy of a 6 month on-going panic when TB doesn’t rate a mention?
Currently, the global total death toll from COVID-19 is 562,000 people. Round that out to 0.6 million.
In other news, annual deaths from road accident trauma total 1.2m people, tuberculosis also kills 1.2m people annually and HIV/AIDS is killing about 1m people each year. Each and every year.
Let’s tally up the score over the last three years in terms of aggregate deaths:
- Combined road trauma, TB and HIV/AIDS: 10.2m deaths
- COVID-19: 0.6m deaths
Why weren’t economies busted and free people locked down years ago?
This is the picture of a man under pressure. He looks bewildered.
He has just announced the reintroduction of hard lockdown rules to apply to all of metropolitan Melbourne and one neighboring municipality. Back to square one. Covid19 lockdown strategy, here we go again in the State of Victoria.Continue reading
There was a time in the middle 1980s when Western Australia punched above its weight in the Culture Stakes of Australia. Those were the days of Alan Bond, the Royal Perth Yacht Club, America’s Cup and Swan Lager. One of the more famous video clips of Bob Hawke, who had been Prime Minister for only 6 months by the time Australia II became the first challenger in 132 years to win the Cup, thereby breaking the longest winning streak in sporting history, had Bob on breakfast TV looking as if he was soaked in champagne. Still, such was the era that his image was enhanced. Today, one can imagine a craven apology being delivered by a subdued PM guilty of much less wayward antics than merely being soaked in champagne at breakfast.
I was reminded of those days recently while in my local Dan Murphys liquor store in Melbourne when I spotted a beer that I had not seen in over 30 years: Emu Export. The label says ‘Beer for Western Australia’. Well, of course I had to buy a supply. For in my younger days, at the start of my career, I spent two years working in Perth, WA, the State of Excitement as the local car number plates intoned. It wasn’t particularly exciting in those days if your car was low on petrol at the weekend because the filling stations went onto a roster system so that half would shut down for the weekend. This could require some planning in the pre internet days of finding out where the nearest open filling station was. There was no app.Continue reading