Chris Merritt is vice-president of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia. On October 2 he has produced a powerful critique of the NSW ICAC in The Oz newspaper. ‘Gladys Berejiklian has not been accused of anything yet her political career is in tatters’
For eighteen months my household has watched state premiers tell us what to expect and what we should do. Premier Dan is the 'big man' who has produced six (six!) lockdowns. He is slippery with different opinions. Like ‘We will smash the virus’ (year 1) and ‘We cannot smash the virus but we shall open the state and make people happy!) recently when it became obvious that Victorians are sick of bullshit and begin to visit friends after dark for a good dinner and a bottle or two of fine wine. Dan looks increasingly furtive as illness numbers begin to rise and surely he must go.
Gladys, on the other hand, has provided no-bullshit discussion, just plain discussion of the challenge of the pandemic and why the long-suffering voters need to be freed. NSW went into a reasonable lockdown, in contrast to Dan’s unreasonable lockdowns. I took the trouble to ask Dan three questions.
Here are my questions, sent by email months ago
1. Why can we not visit our holiday house in Merricks North? There is work to be done and our annual rents are approximately $21,500. Water comes from a large tank. A neighbour checks the health of our horses from time to time. One visit each week, for two days, would satisfy our work needs.
2. Why can we not invite another couple or our adult children and their partners (all properly vaccinated) to our house in Kew for a meal?
3. Why does our fully vaccinated daughter have to go into hotel quarantine when she returns from New York?
People who are fully vaccinated deserve some relaxation of what are increasingly disliked ‘lockdown’ policies. The proposals I am suggesting would I believe provide some real and helpful reform, especially as there are few if any adverse health effects.
You will presumably be aware that ratepayers and other citizens are becoming increasingly disgruntled. I see my proposals as having no adverse physical effects. As a beneficent and intelligent leader, the premier of a state should be willing to take account of matters other than physical health effects.
This email was sent several months ago but of course has not been answered.
I return to Chris Merritt.
‘Berejiklian is resigning as NSW Premier not because she is corrupt but because this state has undermined the rule of law and established a parallel system of rough justice in which presumption of innocence and equality before the law count for nothing.
‘The unchecked power of that parallel system can be gauged in that the nation’s most successful premier has been forced from office because an over-mighty institution, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, merely issued a press release.
‘In a state governed by the rule of law, Berejiklian’s departure from public life would be unjustified. She has been charged by nothing and accused of nothing.
‘But she has been damned by innuendo, …’
Please read the full version of Chris Merritt’s brilliant account. I look forward to applauding Berejiklian’s return to public life, perhaps as a senior member of Scott Morrison’s cabinet.