29 April 2020

Guy Rundle [$]: “Now, as the possibility of, and pressure to have, a relaxation of such begins, there is the time to debate the principles, practices and priorities of continuing lockdowns. That needs to be done in parliament. So that the government has to make its best case for the changes it is proposing. So that opposition and crossbenches can hold the proposed policy to account, offer alternatives, speak up for those who have been excluded from JobKeeper and other measures, raise the interests of those who may be treated as expendable citizens in the move to reopening: the aged, the chronically ill and disabled, remote-area indigenous people and others. Governments in power have loved the de facto dictatorship of lockdown by regulation. … Unity derived from dictatorial fiat is no unity at all. Faced with second and third waves of this disease, we may have to do this all over again. That will be far more difficult to impose. Only with the legitimacy of unity after debate — an achieved and created unity, a shared responsibility — will we able to do what is necessary to avoid the disasters of the US and the UK. The place for this is parliament and the time is now.”