Dictator for a Day

Introducing the Harrumpf Government’s ‘Covid-19 – Emergency Powers Act’

Oh, come on, we’ve all played it, haven’t we? The ‘if I were dictator for a day’ game, where you get to impose your will on your fellow citizens, send the feckless to the dungeons, and generally set your world to rights, unhindered by the tiresome business of getting elected, and answering to a parliament. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much what our state and federal leaders have been doing for the last year and a half. Parliaments – who needs ‘em?

So, on behalf of Harrumpf, I’d like to invite you to play. I’m going to kick off by taking aim at a pet hate of mine – the woeful, scientifically illiterate fear-mongering way in which the mainstream media have covered the ‘crisis’.

Chris Mitchell, in today’s Australian, makes a valiant attempt to distinguish between the performance of our politicians, to which he gives a sort of ‘B+ – could do better’, and that of the media, which he rightly gives a Fail. In my view though, by concentrating on their shameless fear-mongering over highly improbable vaccine side-effects, he lets the MSM, and particularly the ABC off lightly. Their sins go far further back than vaccines, to the very start of the ‘crisis’, when they set about scaring the bejeezus out of the (admittedly gullible and scientifically-illiterate) Australian public by quoting naked, undenominated statistics for new cases, deaths, hospital admissions, and so forth.

As a beginner in the dictatorship game, I would sit at the feet of such past masters as Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, both of whom had at their disposal laws to prevent the irresponsible dissemination of defeatist material likely to sap the will and morale of the People.

My ‘Covid-19 – Emergency Powers Act’ (hereinafter C19EPA) would require journalists and talking heads to demonstrate a basic grasp of the scientific method before receiving a licence to write or broadcast on any clinical or statistical aspect of Covid. This measure alone would silence most of the ABC’s commentariat, to the great benefit of my grateful people.

C19EPA would require the broadcasting of any statistic related to the Covid panic to be accompanied by a suitable denominator. New case numbers would need to be followed by numbers of recoveries, and in each case broadcast of the number per million of the population would be mandatory. Numbers of hospital admissions would be required to be set against admissions for all causes, both on the day in question and on the average of the past five years for the date in question. Deaths from Covid would be required to be set alongside deaths from all causes, and the ‘excess’ deaths (if any) quoted. The same would go for hospital bed occupancy rates, ICU capacity, and indeed any other metric likely to scare the average citizen who has never before had occasion to consider these matters.

Penalties for breaches of my C19EPA would include loss of broadcasting license, public shamings and admissions of guilt (videoed and viewable by the public on the mygov website), and spells of re-education in which offenders are confined to a cheap motel for 14 days, during which time they must remain masked at all times, including meal-times, which will consist solely of chicken parmy with or without salad. During the day they will receive instruction in the basics of the scientific method. At night, they’d be confined to their rooms and made to watch Sammy J skits. That should deter them from re-offending.

As a gesture of supreme mercy, I would not summarily have Norman Swan and Leigh Sales shot, but they should consider themselves lucky.

Harrumpf readers who would like to propose amendments to C19EPA, to extend its scope and effectiveness, are invited to submit their drafts in the comments section below.

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