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Wednesday, 08 December 2021 03:32

Professors Sans Frontieres

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There have been a number of strategies to make everyone get the Covid jab.  Some offer carrots, others use sticks.  The othering of the unvaccinated has taken many forms, too, some of them nasty, others clueless.  Our low information professors are now entering the fray, much to their shame.

There have been a number of strategies to make everyone get the Covid jab.  Some offer carrots, others use sticks.  The othering of the unvaccinated has taken many forms, too, some of them nasty, others clueless.  Our low information professors are now entering the fray, much to their shame.


Australia’s ageing professors might be sans frontiers (without borders), in terms of the infinite subjects over which they range and on which they claim expertise, and the disparate forms of media they now embrace.  But they are also, seemingly, without arguments and without intellectual rigour and honesty.  Their meagre intellectual efforts in so many areas – say, climate alarmism – are, alas, increasingly well known among the taxpaying public.  That their squalid endeavours of the mind attract not only taxpayer funds but now global private sector backing should worry us all, given their increasingly compromised, indeed, clueless, and in many cases, dangerous, output.

Once respectable research institutes are now in the pay of Big Pharma.

But it isn’t only the medical sciences, with direct, pay-day largesse from the pharmaceutical industrial complex, who are getting in on the act of cheering on the vaccines, the vaccine mandates and the multifarious, new forms of discrimination they bring.  Now the social sciences and the humanities are in danger of losing what little credibility they still possess.

Recently I had cause to critique the output of one academic who should know better.  He is, or was, from the right-of-centre of Australian scholarship.  Greg Melleuish of the University of Wollongong opined that the still-unvaccinated were an example of what economists call the “free rider” problem.  The unvaxxed, in other words, were receiving a “benefit” from the State and (supposedly) not paying for it.

Now there is another, decidedly not from the right-of-centre.  His name is David Hayward, of RMIT University.  When I worked there, two of my then colleagues, Sinclair Davidson and Steven Kates, and I used to joke that we were the only known right-wingers in the entire University, which counted around six thousand academic staff. 

Let us unpack RMIT a little.

RMIT, of course, employs the former Victorian Attorney General, Rob Hulls, in its Centre for Innovative Justice.  Readers familiar with the case of George Pell, let alone with the more recent world class justice and law enforcement meted out in Hulls’ State, will be familiar with just how “innovative” Victoria’s justice system is.  Radical abortion laws, euthanasia, attacks on the Church, a radically feminised, me-too judiciary, politicised police, and, of course, rampant and now seemingly permanent Covid fascism.  Hulls was directly responsible for much of the architecture of the latter.  It is quite a legacy, and it says much about his subsequent employer that they chose to accept him into their ranks.  The whole University is riddled with people of Hulls’ political sensibilities. 

And now, moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, RMIT is linked to the ultimate low-rent politician, Jacqui Lambie, who, following her war of words with Pauline Hanson over vaccine mandates, has created a new line of “merch”, the profits (if any) from which will go to RMIT’s laughably named Factlab, which seeks to counter “online misinformation”.  Part of the work of factlab is CoronaCheck:

Launched at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the weekly CoronaCheck newsletter delivers an inoculation against misinformation. From debunking bogus cures and treatments, to the latest on the vaccine rollout, CoronaCheck contains essential information to inform the public when the sharing of false and misleading claims is disrupting the implementation of health safety.

Oh dear.  For any Australian university, let alone RMIT, to set itself up to check anyone else’s facts is risible.  It is a swamp of postmodernist ideology and corporatist wokedom that routinely and expertly diminishes the very notion of “truth” and relentlessly promotes a leftist world view.  Now it is a core part of the Covid State and its very own propaganda machine.

Oh, and RMIT has received funding from – guess where? – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “to test whether infant footprints captured by low-tech mobile phone cameras could provide a biometric identification system for use in immunization programs”.  And for the project “to develop a nanochip patch that utilizes a surface enhanced raman scattering platform to detect infectious diseases along with malaria”.

Pretty unaligned, then.  Luckily, one of the Factlab’s early tasks was as follows:

We've also run the rule over an onslaught of misinformation being spread about another billionaire, Bill Gates.

We simply cannot have anyone questioning the ideas and the motives of one of our key benefactors, especially one who now runs global public health.  The Factlab’s predecessor was a joint effort between RMIT and … The Australian Broadcasting Corporation!  Covid scare campaign central.

Microsoft founder, philanthropist and world’s third-richest man Bill Gates has been the subject of an overwhelming volume of coronavirus-related misinformation.

Two points here.  First, it is truly astonishing that left wing institutions like RMIT and the ABC now see their roles as defending multi billionaires and multinationals, standing up for what C J Hopkins terms “globocap”.  And second, the backroom operations of the Covid State are broad and deep, indeed.

So much for RMIT.  But what of David Hayward?  His article on “solutions” to the persistence of the “vaccine hesitant” appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald of 4 October 2021.  Its title – “Anti-vax tax could be a solution to COVID policy muddle.”

The governments of the world are ever finding new ways of discriminating against those who, for whatever reason, do not wish to submit to a Covid vaccine that is experimental, unapproved except for an “emergency” that, patently, does not exist, utterly ineffective in doing its main job, dangerous for many and unnecessary for all but a tiny minority of the population.  In Austria they are literally locking them up.  Germany is likely to follow, perhaps all of Europe, if the European Union’s Gauleiter, Ursula von der Leyen, has her way.  In the United States, its geriatric kleptocrat-President wants to mandate vaccines for as many as he can get away with (although there is emerging pushback from the Federal Court). 

In Australia, the jobs and career prospects of the vaccine refuseniks are either gone or hanging by a thread.  They are stopped from entering all-but-essential retailers. They are denied access to reasonable culture and recreation.  They cannot cross certain borders, in their own country.  They are gaslit by third rate journalists.  They must believe very strongly in what they are doing, you would think.

It must take a peculiar mind to see these people as free riders or as people to be further discriminated against, further punished.  Ironically, RMIT University goes out of its way to tender to those discriminated.  It even has a Business and Human Rights Centre (formerly the Human Rights Law Centre), and its social science endeavours are riddled with leftist human rights “scholars”.  Indeed, in 2018, the Centre put on a special lecture in which its speaker argued the case for an Australian charter of human rights.  Australian academics clearly do not do irony.

Hayward, astonishingly, doesn’t seem to notice the extent and seriousness of the discrimination in play, including right under his own Melburnian proboscis.  Instead, he wants to wield the baseball bat some more.  He opens with:

We seem to be in a policy muddle right now, unsure what to do about the 10-15 per cent of the adult population who are likely to refuse the jab. Is it time for an anti-vax tax?

First, he entirely misses the “policy muddle”.  It is, in reality a political, not a policy, muddle.  The muddle is how the political class extricates itself from the giant hole it has dug itself by proclaiming that the vaccines will save us and that ONLY vaccines will and can restore freedom.  These were, and remain, self-serving lies, told to us every day, over and over.  How about the booster shots, speaking of policy muddles?  Should those who “refuse” to get the (currently non-mandated) booster jabs – however many are subsequently needed (perhaps two a year for the rest of our lives) – be double-taxed as well, Professor?  Are those people, currently numbering around 98 per cent of the population, “a problem to be solved”?  If not, why not?

Second, Hayward assumes that the politicians have to “do something”.  They do not.  The unvaccinated are not a problem to be solved. 

Third, he gets his numbers wrong.  The correct figure for vaccinated adults is around 74 per cent of the population at the time of writing.  Governments routinely count 16s and above (sometimes even younger) as vaccinated, in order (it would seem) to make out it is a tiny minority who will not play ball.  Three errors in the first paragraph from the Professor-sans-facts.  And sans analysis.

To his shame, Hayward does not even try to mount the case that they are a problem. 

Others reckon we should pay refuseniks to take their medicine. The problem with this is that it would be a huge waste of money to pay all of those who have already got the jab, while it would be mightily unfair just to pay those who are proposing otherwise to do the wrong thing.

Do the wrong thing?  More gaslighting.  No explanation is attempted to justify this slur.  It is assumed, clearly without knowledge of the nature of the vaccines or the slimy politics of their forced implementation.  Especially by his own Dictator-Premier.  To assume that those who submit to the jab are “doing the right thing” contains a whole lot of assumptions about the vaccines, about what is moral behaviour and about the public good.  Hayward provides no evidence that he even understands this.

Hayward’s “solution” to a non-problem, to make the unvaccinated pay a topped-up Medicare levy, isn’t even original.  They already do this in Singapore, or a version of it.  The unvaccinated are, idiotically and callously, made to pay medical bills normally paid for by the State. 

Hayward blunders on:

Some will say this is too tough. People should be free to choose. And not all of those who decline are anti-vax as much as apathetic or have been enticed by other values or dodgy YouTube clips that keep them away.

Apathetic?  I am not sure where he gets this assumed-yet-unargued-and-unevidenced rubbish from.  I know of many people who are unvaxxed, and they are not in any way apathetic.  To call them so is an insult to those who continue to suffer much, because they will not join in a political charade. 

Other values?  Like not wishing to “benefit” from the cell lines of aborted foetuses, perhaps, in order to acquire protection that isn’t actually protection, for those (the healthy and the young) who do not need it anyway.  Morally repugnant, that.  I think that perhaps Hayward is, actually, sublimely ignorant of the people he chastises, and equally ignorant of their motivations.  After all, the deplorables don’t normally mix in the same circles as the high and mighty of the academy.

Dodgy YouTube clips?  Ah, those pesky quacks and conspiracy theorists are at it again.  What about some of the world’s leading clinicians, medical researchers, epidemiologists and virologists, of independent mind, who are not in the pay of vaccine manufacturers like many of Hayward’s academic colleagues clearly are?  Let us put Hayward in a room with Sukharit Bhakdi, or Sunetra Gupta, or Carl Heneghan, or Jay Bhattacharya, or Peter McCullough, or Robert Malone (who actually co-invented mRNA vaccine technology), or Mike Yeadon, or any of the over 7,500 medicos and scientists who have signed The Great Barrington Declaration (which eschews mass vaccinations), and see whose ideas are “dodgy”.

I suspect that Hayward might never have heard of all – perhaps any – of these people.  Finally, there is this:

Well, sorry, irrespective of their motives, by choosing to be unvaccinated the refuseniks will generate many costs that without a policy intervention will be worn by innocent third parties.

Well, some might argue that by being denied access to basic services, jobs, infrastructure, and so on, the unvaccinated are the ones incurring the costs, and should be given tax breaks, not tax punishment.  There is not the remotest evidence that “innocent third parties” are wearing any costs whatsoever from the actions of the unvaccinated.  You might be forgiven for taking the view that those who are vaccinated CANNOT (by definition) be harmed, because, you know, the vaccines work.  Perhaps it is fair to assume that Hayward himself holds to such a view.  If the vaccines work, the vaccinated cannot be an “innocent third party”.  If they don’t work, why should those who conclude correctly that they aren’t worth the trouble be asked to pay extra taxes?

If the assumption here is that we are in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, well Hayward needs to do two things to support this farcical assertion.  Do his homework on his assumptions.  And prove it.  That is what scientists, even social scientists, are paid to do.

No, the “innocent third parties” are not wearing costs, but rather they are receiving benefits from the unvaccinated.  How so?

These are, remember, people who are now LESS likely than the vaccinated to spread Covid, the latest variant of which appears to pose almost zero risk to anyone.  With high natural immunity – and the unvaccinated would have had even higher natural immunity had they been not forcibly locked down off and on for eighteen months – the healthy and the recovered should be rewarded rather than punished for being unvaccinated.  Especially those who catch the new (to date, harmless) variant, and so boost further the overall percentage of the genuinely immunised.  If you get Covid and recover, you cannot spread it to anyone.  Unlike the vaccinated, you are the ultimate threat to no one.  You are the ultimate, low risk non-spreader.  Remember herd immunity?  This is, unlike zero Covid madness, both attainable and reasonable as a Covid policy objective.  The very opposite of the insanity that now pretends to be rational policy.  Perhaps a tax rebate for the unvaxxed would be in order, Professor, in the era of Omicron and this emerging pandemic of the vaccinated?  The unvaccinated and unhospitalised are actually doing society a massive favour, when it comes down to it.  If a government actually wished to stop the spread of Covid, it wouldn’t be firing the unvaccinated.  It would be cheering them on.  Let people get an antigen test instead of the jab, perhaps.  Especially given that places like Queensland now don’t even let the fully vaccinated cross the border.  You need to test negative as well.  You could not make this up, to repeat the quintessential Covid-era cliché.

It takes one of considerable dimness not to see all of this.  How stupid the suggestion of a tax for the unvaxxed really is.  Especially one who claims expertise in public policy. 

This retired, floundering professor, who like his emeritus brethren, still accesses the perks of office, wants us not only to pay the salaries of his colleagues, but now he wants the principled unvaccinated – who, remember count for over a quarter of the adult population – to pay tax twice over.  At least he might have offered an argument for his preferred form of discrimination, rather than simply asserting it.  He might also have, or at least his sub-editor at the Herald might have, inserted a disclaimer to the effect that his ultimate boss at this once august journal, Peter Costello, has a conflict of interest in relation to vaccines.  Costello, of course, chairs Australia’s Future Fund, which has substantial investments in Big Pharma, as the most rudimentary “fact check” will reveal.

The fourth estate in Australia has long since ceased to function as a source of investigative, honest journalism.  Now, on the evidence of Hayward’s empty hit-piece as well as Greg Melleuish’s effort in The Australian, the corporate media doesn’t even seek to have a crack at intellectual respectability.  Shame on the Herald for deeming this embarrassing piece worthy of publication.

Professors Sans Frontieres now inhabit the bloated world of the Australian higher education system, where media mentions, dutifully recorded by the equally bloated marketing departments of these same institutions, count for far more than intellectual rigour.  They roam widely and do not stick to their areas of expertise.  They are intellectually lazy, or worse, they confine themselves to their ideological echo chambers where they do not remotely feel the need to argue their case.  Because they know their readers will not call them out.  They speak only to the zeitgeist.  And to their benefactors.  They need to be called out.  Their vengeance is both bitter and charmless.  It is a step down the pathway towards Chines social credit.  Make those who don’t do “the right thing” pay!

Mercifully, the recently elevated New South Wales Premier seems, so far, and unlike his southern counterpart who is, no doubt, revered by many at RMIT, to be unpersuaded by the likes of Hayward and all of his fellow gaslighters who wish to isolate and do harm to the dissidents and sceptics.  And whose previous sympathies for alleged victims of discrimination seem to vanish when confronted with discrimination that is real.

Read 2631 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 December 2021 04:15
Paul Collits

Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent researcher who lives in Lismore New South Wales.  
He has worked in government, industry and the university sector, and has taught at tertiary level in three different disciplines - politics, geography and planning and business studies.  He spent over 25 years working in economic development and has published widely in Australian and international peer reviewed and other journals.  He has been a keynote speaker internationally on topics such as rural development, regional policy, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Much of his academic writing is available at
His recent writings on ideology, conservatism, politics, religion, culture, education and police corruption have been published in such journals as Quadrant, News Weekly and The Spectator Australia.
He has BA Hons and MA degrees in political science from the Australian National University and a PhD in geography and planning from the University of New England.  He currently has an adjunct Associate Professor position at a New Zealand Polytechnic.