Leading article Australia
19 November 2022
In the 1980s movie Rain Man, the autistic Dustin Hoffman reliably informed Tom Cruise that Qantas was the safest airline in the world. Indeed, our national carrier has safely transported generations of Aussies around the world. The ‘flying kangaroo’ is our de facto international mascot and one of our most respected enterprises. Yet the ‘spirit of Australia’ now resides in a man who likes to tell members of the Australian public to ‘eff off’.
This occurred the other day when a disgruntled former employee attempted to ask Qantas CEO Alan Joyce about the vaccine mandates still in place for the airline’s employees.
During the same-sex marriage debate, Mr Joyce developed a taste for political campaigning and even encouraged people travelling on Qantas to wear a black ring on their finger to show their support for same-sex marriage – presumably so cabin crew could easily distinguish between those who were morally superior on supporting LGBT issues and those who were not. One Anglican archbishop complained that this sort of campaign was nothing short of corporate bullying of everyday Australians.
At the time Peter Dutton also maintained that it was completely unacceptable for Mr Joyce to use the Qantas brand in this way, saying, ‘Don’t use an iconic brand and the might of a multi-billion-dollar business on issues best left to the judgements of individuals….’
And that is the point. Whether it is political or cultural issues or medical interventions, the same principle should be true in a democracy: corporations and businesses should wherever possible leave judgment on non-corporate matters to the individual. But instead, Covid provided many corporations the opportunity to behave like the worst schoolyard bullies – imposing mandates and restrictions on loyal staff and customers despite then prime minister Scott Morrison insisting that there were no vaccine mandates in this country and that companies could only apply mandates that were ‘reasonable’.
Coerced vaccination is offensive and wrong under any circumstances. And the sort of draconian mass mandates imposed by Qantas, Woolworths and many other corporations were certainly not ‘reasonable’.
As we now know, and many writers in this magazine anticipated, the vaccines do not and never did protect other people from catching the coronavirus. By definition, all compulsory vaccine mandates and restrictions – which potentially damaged people’s mental health or income yet did not stop transmission – were futile and therefore unreasonable.
Many loyal long-serving employees of these companies had their lives, careers and livelihoods completely turned upside down. Ex-Qantas pilot Graham Hood who was forced to lose his career thanks to Mr Joyce’s unreasonable mandate was one, Alan Dana at Jetstar another. There were many, many others.
Woolworths appointed its own chief medical officer in August 2020 to ‘provide expert medical advice to help shape policies’ around Covid. In October last year, Woolies implemented a mandatory vaccination policy similar to that of Qantas and other large firms. At the time their chief medical officer stated that, ‘A vaccinated team member is far less likely to get Covid, much less likely to pass it on [our italics] and also significantly less likely to become seriously ill.’
But that was simply untrue. As was revealed in a recent article by the left-leaning Washington Post, the Biden administration knew in the early northern summer of 2021 – several months prior to that statement – that ‘the vaccines did a far worse job of blocking infection than originally expected.’ Similarly, Pfizer have also admitted that they never tested the vaccines for immunistation.
So Woolworths need to explain who specifically informed or advised them that the vaccines did stop transmission? As with so many other companies, where did this advice come from and what was it based on?
Furthermore, what steps were taken by each individual CEO, health officer or HR officer to verify that that information was factually correct before forcing people to lose their jobs because of an unnecessary mandate? Wasn’t there a duty of care to the mental health and wellbeing of all those individuals who lost their jobs because of reluctance to take the jab? A reluctance that with each passing day looks more and more understandable.
Indeed, read Rebecca Weisser in this week’s magazine on some of the disturbing questions that are now surfacing around issues of women’s reproductive health and potential vaccine injuries.
All of which is why we need a royal commission into the abuse of political and corporate power during Covid.
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comment by Nelle- Joyce is an evil despicable little gnome and should not be in charge of our iconic airline- with his views being implemented willy nilly and ruining Qantas-should be an Australian in charge (a man who use commonsense and integrity) both have been sadly lacking since Joyce has been in charge and being paid an over the top salary to bring the airline down