Police Arbitrarily Abuse Their New Powers. Who’d Have Thought?

From the BFD

As one journalist recently noted, Australians in NSW went to bed one night and woke up in the morning in a police state. Overnight, the state’s government, in lockstep with most other Australian states, had passed “emergency laws” restricting citizens to their homes, except for…well, nobody’s exactly sure. So, best to be on the safe side.

Mixed messages and inconsistencies between states over corona­virus social-distancing laws have seen fishing and golf allowed on the northern banks of the Murray River but not south of the border.

Coppers are now patrolling everything up to and including the local Bunnings, where a citizen was fined $1900 for leaving home to buy a garden pot. Which apparently isn’t a “reasonable excuse”. As it happens, I need to replace the flushing system in our dunny soon – is that “reasonable”? Who knows? Should I risk it?

Victoria’s mixed messaging also saw a man who said he had been working up to 14-hour shifts making deliveries as an “essential worker” fined $1652 for taking his car to a legally open Melbourne car wash at 1.15am on Thursday.

Police said he’d left home for reasons other than work, buying necessities, exercising or seeking medical attention and was therefore in contravention of the laws.

The Fun Police tell us that we’re allowed out of our cells to exercise, yet people have been fined for playing cricket in the park – despite, by the nature of the game, being well-spaced. Maybe the wicket-keeper got too close to the batsman? Is silly mid-on a breach of social distancing rules? Does a wheelie-bin wicket break hygiene regulations?

Police in NSW have “moved on” people abiding by social distancing rules in Sydney parks, because, they said, “they were idle in the park and not exercising or outside for an essential purpose”.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has several times said there was “no prohibition” on travel to holiday houses in Victoria, but asked to clarify the government’s position on holiday houses on Friday, Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams said the preference was for people to “stay at home”.

The Andrews government also imposed a “love ban” on non-cohabiting couples, then grudgingly relented.

On a social media forum, a wannabe Stasi snitch protested that this isn’t a police state, because “no-one’s being shot on sight”. But that’s not how a police state works. As numerous definitions agree, a police state is one in which government exercises power arbitrarily through the police, and exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the people.

Which all sounds a bit familiar…

From Tasmania to WA, police are buzzing drones hither and yon, spying out potential curfew-breakers. Police cars with flashing lights are driving through parks in NSW, ordering people to leave. Political leaders are sternly warning that this is “not the time for fun”.

This is all in the nature of a police state: the arbitrary exercise of absolute power. As the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh asks, “tell me what a police state looks like if not like this?”

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