Three years ago I wrote that our political system was failing to provide a safety valve for voters’ longstanding grievances. At the time I focused on the insular nature of political parties, and how the political system protected them from citizen action.
Today, the close to that article is even more relevant:
…if a polite and temperate request to address voter concerns and provide political accountability is ignored, it will re-emerge in an impolite and intemperate way.
Set aside the astonishing approach to Covid data and health policy. Focus instead on citizens’ rights to disagree with their government.
What we’re seeing is a NSW government and various ruling class players acting against the lessons of political history. For decades they have ignored normal political grievances like education, housing, energy, environment, immigration, free expression, sex and gender, and petty controls over aspects of daily life.
Now they’ve doubled-down, and are ignoring grievances about fundamental freedoms, forced propaganda, bodily autonomy, and the nature of our society.
It’s not just what they ignore. They’ve double-doubled-down on suppressing the right to dissent. And they’re doing it in ways that shows some causes like BLM are state-approved, but fundamental political concerns are not.
Any society will have bubbling social tensions of the type I’ve mentioned. The lessons we’ve learnt since the 18th Century are clear: provide an outlet for those tensions or watch your society implode.
In NSW and Victoria we’re seeing the result of politically-inept leaders outsourcing policy to bureaucrats and police who have no understanding of these issues.
And so, NSW stops a rally crowd gathering by instituting roadblocks, mass surveillance with helicopters and drones, mobile phone monitoring and increasingly absurd threats of fines and imprisonment.
That crowd would have been mostly middle class people happy to walk down a street for an hour and then go home. Yes, there would have been some yobs, but a very small number.
Those middle class people now know their views are worth less than crazed leftist radicals. They know their government is ignoring their grievances, demonising them, and will not let them speak. That they will send men with guns to people to imprison people who plan peaceful assemblies.
The failure of the Sydney rally on Saturday 21 August, and the over-violent response to the one in Melbourne have just radicalised those quiet, middle-class people. People with time, and big bank accounts.
They now know they need to professionalise their protest. They know they need to innovate, to hit and run, to operate as cells, to encrypt all communications. That walking down the street isn’t allowed, and isn’t enough.
In short, they’ve been taught to be impolite and intemperate.