The NSW Government, which trades under the name "liberal", is anything but. Its Minister for Digital, Victor Dominello, works under the radar. But his technocratic intentions are evil, for all of us.
In an admittedly crowded field, the Hon Victor Dominello is rapidly emerging as the most evil politician in New South Wales, the emerging “Papers Please” State.
For it is Dominello that is, more than anyone else, propelling the State towards the now almost inevitable vaccine passport tyranny, a new and especially vile form of Covid insanity that is currently engulfing the world. It is as if lockdowns, mask mandates and contact-trace people detectors weren’t enough. He is doing it all-but-silently and doing it without anyone’s knowledge, and certainly not with their consent. In other words, just like with the QR code mandates, by stealth. (Daily, manic press briefings about the case-demic certainly have their uses. You don’t notice other things going on). And Dominello is driving the NSW vaccine mandate in order to lock in a vaccine rollout that is intended as a fix to save his and his colleagues’ political hides, but will not “work”, is not needed for public health and will not, in any case, give us our freedom back.
It is good for the citizenry of the Premier State – and for people elsewhere, for that matter, for after New South Wales introduces its vaccine apartheid, all the others will surely follow – to know a little about those who are engineering the decisions that are crushing our freedoms. Their histories, backgrounds, belief systems.
Let us start with Mark Latham’s statement this week on what is afoot with vaccines:
With no public consultation, the NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello has announced his plan for the introduction of Vaccine Passports.
For the first time ever, adults will have to reveal their private health information to strangers just to go shopping for food and live a normal life (cafes, restaurants, cinema, sporting events, travelling around, children going to school). People without a Vaccine Passport will also lose their jobs in many workplaces.
The privacy and freedom implications of this are huge.
This goes well beyond QR codes, right to your private health information.
This is to force everyone to be Covid vaccinated, even though many people:
- are waiting for clearer evidence about the safety of these vaccines, especially given that AstraZeneca has led to 6 Australians dying, with a further 90 blood clot episodes and over 28,000 reports of adverse reactions (official Commonwealth TGA data);
- do not want the vaccines pushed upon their children;
- have conscientious objections to vaccines on religious and other grounds; and
- do not support the government holding and controlling so much private information about our lives.
It has not even consulted its own MPs about this dictatorial announcement.
To his eternal credit, Mark Latham is, along with Fred Nile of the Christian Democrats, emerging as a much-needed freedom fighter resisting vaccine tyranny. Tanya Davies, a Government backbencher with the annoying habit of espousing conservative causes and defending the underdog, now has a Private Member’s Bill and has elicited open support from two other backbenchers (Nat Smith and Kevin Conolly) and, indeed, from a minister (Anthony Roberts). The Labor Opposition, we know, wants to crush Covid dissent. The protests were, Chris Minns said, “inexcusable”. Shamefully, Minns has said his Party would not support Mrs Davies’ bill.
Davies has an unnamed Labor supporter as well. S/he is too scared to come out at this point. As per the Sydney Morning Herald:
“A person may not be vaccinated for any number of medical, ethical or religious reasons,” Mrs Davies said.
“We as a government should be protecting people’s individual rights and circumstances. Employees should not be forced into COVID-19 vaccination. This is an assault on an individual’s freedoms and civil liberties.”
Davies’ Bill emerges in the context of the Premier’s own drive for mandatory vaccine passports for construction workers in Covid hot spots. Another of the Premier’s ministers (Attorney General Mark Speakman, the man responsible for pursuing the truly absurd sex consent legislation) claimed:
Why should vaxxed tradies’ freedom be held back by those who won’t vax?
A truly strange view of citizen freedom, there. But it is good to see that the wife of the Minister responsible for implementing the construction passports, Deanna Barilaro, is supporting Davies’ Bill!
A cynical observer might just about conclude that the whole rigmarole with LGA-specific, tough lockdowns was set up solely to allow the Premier to wheel in localised and industry-specific vaccine passports as a trial run, under the radar. No doubt, even to suggest this would be to invite the charge of “conspiracy theorist” I these fetid times. Let alone to suggest that the very point of the lockdowns was merely to set up the vaccine pathway back to “normal”.
The Prime Minister has noted (according to Sharri Markson and Yoni Bashan):
… mandatory vaccination could breach discrimination laws, and that Australia’s policy remained that vaccines should be voluntary and free.
He also (alas) stated:
… businesses could pursue their own vaccination policies as long as they were legal and reasonable.
Davies perceptively noted:
The Prime Minister’s comments in the past few days have left the door wide open for employers to force their employees to be vaccinated. The federal government has effectively privatised compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations.
So, back to Victor Dominello. Who is he, given that most people have probably never heard him?
Well, he has held a number of ministries within the NSW Government, none of great consequence before he was appointed Minister for “Digital” and Minister for Customer Service after the 2019 election.
Dominello is armed with all the innovation and management-speak buzz words. The technocrat’s technocrat, a man of totalitarian bent, clearly, as anyone in favour of vaccine passports surely must be, and now he has been given the power to run our lives.
One definition of technocracy is as follows:
… the government or control of society or industry by an elite of technical experts.
Technocracy is not simply rule by experts, which we clearly have already in this age of governance by unelected chief health officers. It also has overtones of the coming new order of artificial intelligence, of rule by algorithm, of Beijing-driven “smart cities”, of the sinister “internet of things”. Of government knowing everything about us, including – thanks to contact-trace – where we are at any given moment. (Much of the march towards technocracy is clarified by Patrick Wood’s excellent books, including Technocracy Rising).
The whole tyrannical management of Covid by government is only possible with surveillance technology. None of this could have happened fifteen years ago. So Dominello is “following the technology”. It is said that Dominello is a geek. The overlap between geeks and totalitarians is not that uncommon.
An article in the Australian Financial Review last year was headlined ominously as follows – “Victor Dominello’s Brave New World of Citizen Control”. Aldous Huxley, indeed. With a soupcon of Orwell, and a dollop of William Golding (Lord of the Flies).
The same article linked Dominello’s alleged “innovation” to the State’s “gold standard” approach to managing Covid. Perhaps a little premature on the part of the AFR. Or perhaps the price of gold has slipped.
The models I look to in terms of innovation are Apple and Google.
So, his heroes are the kingpins of what Shoshana Zuboff has termed “the age of surveillance capitalism” in her ground-breaking book of the same name. This is, indeed, a creepy man to have making decisions about people’s (until now) inalienable human rights.
Then there is this:
Relentlessly challenging centuries of plodding Westminister style government and vested stakeholders interests, Dominello is an intriguing mix of evangelist, political philosopher, change agent and pragmatist.
This would be the “plodding Westminster style government” that has formed one of the core pillars of Western liberal democracy. Just what we need in office – a techno-evangelist out to trash traditional caution in government. A tool of the technocracy class that now runs the world from Davos, Beijing and Surveillance Valley.
The man again:
The changes [to a single app Service NSW] are more than simple digitisation of services, he says. The technology for QR codes, used to track people in retail and hospitality venues, has existed for years making their implementation “relatively easy”.
Tracking us down. Inflicting harm on innocent people. Ushering in the Deep State. Telling the burly coppers of the NSW Police State where we are. So they can hunt us down and harass us some more.
How did they do it? As Shoshana Zuboff outlined in her book, they hid what they were doing, they made much of it free and easy to use, they argued it was all about customer focus, and they made it all fun! Especially appealing to the clueless generation, aka millennials.
He [Dominello] argues consumers will “always gravitate towards a better service delivery”.
“It’s like water and gravity. [People will] quickly find the easiest point. That’s transformation in action.”
Clearly Dominello doesn’t get irony. He is lying to himself as well as to us:
“The world is splitting between autocracies and democracies,” he says “What is one of the fundamental rights or freedoms in a democracy that we wish to protect that you just don’t get in autocracies? Privacy.”
… Technology should be used to enhance privacy, he says.
Really? Almost single-handedly, he is, with the health bureaucrats and with his ally the Premier, turning the once great State of the Rum Rebellion into a fascist super-state, with blighted lives strewn across the land. Perhaps in his techno-innocence, Dominello thinks that surrendering our medical privacy to the Government is ok, so long as it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands (outside of the Government).
Where does Dominello stand philosophically? Is there anything in his world view or background to hint at an inner-authoritarian? Here is Victor speaking to a journalist in 2013:
Is Dominello at the smaller-l end of the party? ''Some people would typecast me that way, but some would see me as very conservative on some topics. I'm a lawyer, so traditionally I'm a civil libertarian…
Whoa … He says he is a civil libertarian! A civil libertarian now responsible for progressing within the NSW Government the most far-reaching attack on civil liberties in the history of this State. A member of the Cabinet that is sanctioning shocking new police powers, bring in the army, arresting business owners, crushing dissent, using every form of surveillance known to man, putting whole sub-regions of Sydney under house arrest. A Government that is now a global laughing stock. A Government criticised by the Chinese for being too draconian on Covid.
Now Dominello is attempting to ensure that those who are resisting vaccine tyranny, for whatever reason, when they see it, are prevented from living normal lives, from going to the cricket, from clubbing – if you are into that sort of thing – from having a beer at the local, from travelling interstate for a holiday or to see family.
He has already mandated (from 12 July 2021) QR code-only entry to just about every institution across New South Wales. Schools. Shops. Universities. Clubs. You name it. Under Victor’s regime, will you shortly need a vaccine passport to go to Mass. I wonder how Victor’s deeply Catholic mother would feel about that. Perhaps she should get on the phone to John Barilaro’s wife.
This is tyranny and surveillance by stealth – again. This evil idea has been creeping up on us very quietly during 2021. This covert operation mirrors the approach taken by the political class in other Western countries. Recently the French President broke cover, and has copped a shellacking on the streets. Hence the normal practice of Covid politicians prevaricating, speaking in riddles, feinting, effecting a sense of decision-making agility, dodging questions, avoiding giving straight answers, calling “passports” something else, and backing and forthing on one’s attitude according to the political breeze, an approach perfected by the British Labour Opposition and its leader, Keir Starmer.
Sky News reported in March 2021:
Discussions are underway for a vaccine passport-style plan for New South Wales residents which may prohibit a person from entering a venue if they have refused a COVID-19 jab.
Certificates would become readily accessible on the Service NSW app, and data sharing arrangements between the federal government and Service NSW are underway.
The government predicts airlines, clubs and entertainment venues may mandate the vaccine.
Hence in March, Dominello was treading very warily in public:
A spokesman for Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello, who is responsible for the Service NSW app, added that 'a range of options will be canvassed to ensure the vaccine rollout is implemented effectively'.
"We will work closely with the federal government to determine the best way forward," he said.
A range of options. Implemented effectively. Vaccine rollout. Keep the voters guessing.
Damon Rees is the public servant in charge of customer service for Service New South Wales.
Damon Rees assured that once a vaccine passport was officially decided, cybersecurity would involve 'a range of people and a range of organisations'.
"We would engage a range of external organisations from the start in the design and delivery," he said.
Once a vaccine passport is officially decided … Not much doubt, then, about the direction of travel.
It is clear that the Government is in cahoots with the corporate class on vaccine passports. We also notice that NSW public servants have learned from their political masters to never give any real information away, and to speak in riddles. But he did let the cat out of the bag, by accident. “Once a vaccine passport was officially decided” … They have been planning this a long time.
Dominello has had a checkered and, at times, unedifying career. This was what he was up to, when Finance Minister, in 2017:
The Herald revealed on Saturday that Mr Dominello was referred to the corruption commission after being accused of "threatening" a local councillor [Jane Stott] by allegedly suggesting her vote on a planned development could determine her council preselection.
But the Herald has now learnt that Holdmark, the developer whose project the minister had been arguing against, weeks later engaged the lobbying firm of Michael Photios, the man who for decades served as the boss of Mr Dominello's faction in the Liberal Party and is famous for his influence over party affairs and MPs.
No surprises there. Seeing the words “lobby”, “preselection” and “Photios” in the same sentence in a story about NSW politics is an everyday occurrence. The ill-named Moderate faction has been massively successful in vertically integrating its hold on New South Wales for a decade.
The Dominello to emerge from this sordid affair is a bully at best:
Mr Dominello has admitted to calling Ms Stott and saying: "I also indicated that if she rejected the advice of council officers then she would need to justify that decision to the 50 odd preselectors and the broader community."
Dominello has revealed by his vaccine passport plans that the man who once (allegedly) heavied a local councillor remains a bully. Now he is seeking to bully every single soul who refuses the jab. Still a bully. But, alas, not still a liberal.
That Dominello prospers in the cesspit that is the NSW Liberal Party should come as no surprise. He thrives, as do his close friends Matt Kean, who is almost single-handedly crushing the NSW energy industry with wall-to-wall rabid environmentalism, and Don Harwin, the man who got sacked for about five minutes for breaking Covid rules with his boyfriend, before a triumphant return to the Ministry. All, of course, are from the ruling Moderate faction, and the three form the Premier’s “praetorian guard”, as one journalist has termed it. As Andrew Clennell noted after the 2019 election, 13 of the 17 Liberals are Moderates. One from the Centre Right. Three from the Right. That about sums it up. This is not a Liberal Government in the sense that anyone would understand it to be.
Dominello’s close ties to the Premier go way back – to his own preselection for the seat of Ryde in 2008:
''Are you interested in running?'' she asked. ''Not at all,'' Dominello replied. ''In any event, I'm not a member of the party. And I don't even live in the area any more.''
Berejiklian assured him all these hurdles could be surmounted.
Of course they could! Just get Michael on the phone. Victor is still repaying the favour. He noted when his Dear Leader was under the pump for seemingly lying under oath in 2020:
Glad has sacrificed her life to serve the people of this state. She is unquestionably one of the greatest leaders this country has ever seen.
A little of Julia Gillard’s “hyperbowl”, right there. Then again, Victor once described Michael Photios as “prodigiously talented”. There is no accounting for taste.
He is also not averse to changing his mind on things that were once important to him, we find. As Labor MP Adam Searle noted (in 2020):
The NSW Labor Opposition is calling for Ryde MP Victor Dominello to resign from his position as a Minister, following reports that his own Liberal Government will approve a controversial mega-tower in Macquarie Park in his Ryde electorate.
Mr Dominello staked his whole 2019 election campaign on opposing the development, as part of a so-called “development freeze” in Ryde.
Now the election is over, reports indicate that 1270 units including a 42-storey high rise is set to be approved by the Berejiklian Government this week.
Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Planning and Better Living, Adam Searle MLC today said: “Victor Dominello staked his whole election campaign last year on opposing this development – and now the election is safely behind them his own Liberal Government has decided to approve it.”
This example shows a malleability when it coming to principles, a moral agility, a willingness to call white black if and when it suits. This is the stuff of the machine politics that so characterises NSW governance, whoever is in office. It has been perfected under the Photios/Berejiklian regime, what with just about every single member of the Government having been bought off with a job and a title and just about the whole of Cabinet being a true son or daughter of the left. There are simply no internal checks and balances to prevent absolute power corrupting absolutely, to stop those at the top believing they can simply do anything they want with and to the State and its citizens. They behave like a junta.
So, we can see that the technocrat Dominello is assuredly following the technology. Pity he isn’t following the science on Covid. If he had been, he might know some of the following FACTS:
- Vaccines are not needed, since over 99 per cent of those who get Covid recover fully;
- Vaccines do not work, as ever mounting overseas evidence shows, if the objective is to prevent transmission of the Covid virus;
- This vaccine is not, actually, a vaccine;
- There are tens of thousands of cases, only a small minority of them reported, of Covid vaccines causing great harm to those who take them;
- Vaccines seem to help reduce symptoms and death, though by how much is highly contested and yet to be fully measured, and in any case there are drugs around that do the same job without the side effects.
In which case, the whole case for vaccine passports evaporates. And no, Minister Roberts, those who refuse the jab are not “idiots”, as you suggest. These facts lead, inevitably, to people asking the not unreasonable question – why, then, in God’s name are they doing all this? And where does this leave the NSW Government and the Minister for Digital?
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the politicians running the Covid show in this State, as elsewhere, are not stupid. Also assume, for the sake of argument, that they are not evil, and not part of a global conspiracy to effect a new world order. That would leave a third possibility. That they are trashing the rights and freedoms of their citizens for no good reason – other than for the sake of their own political hides. If this is the case, it doesn’t make for a pretty picture.
It is to be hoped that the resistance in the Parliament continues and gains strength. To date, the main arguments have been about privacy and potential other uses of vaccine passports (the slippery slope argument). While these arguments are admirable, it is equally to be hoped that they are augmented by reference to fundamental human rights and the general idiocy and evil of the Covid State. Oh, and they also have the ultimate power, a power that, sadly, was threatened but not used during the abortion debate, if only they would threaten credibly to use it. The have the numbers to cross the floor and so consign the appalling Berejiklian Government to the dustbin of history. Only then will the full force of the Dominello technocracy push be crushed.
David Flint was wrong. Matt Kean is NOT the most dangerous politician in Australia.