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It’s been a rough start for freedom in Perrottet’s NSW

Alexandra Marshall

One of the first acts of the New South Wales Police Force on ‘Freedom Day’ was to cancel the ‘Freedom Ball’.

In a scene reminiscent of a dystopian political drama, half a dozen officers and a superintendent showed up at Le Montage. They insisted that the anti-government ‘protest’ being conducted in black tie and sequins had to be shut down in the name of ‘safety’.

The Freedom Ball was relocated twice before finding a home at the Renaissance Westella as the eleventh hour drew near. Having heard of the event’s resurrection, the police once again tried to convince the premises to can the whole thing.

‘There has been a lot of speculation about my balls online,’ said Freedom Ball organiser, Aussie Cossack, to a roar of laughter.

Western Sydney is not a land easily bullied by police, and the Freedom Ball went ahead to a great many cheers and glasses of champagne. I suspect this freedom rebellion, packed full of ex-blue ribbon Liberals and National Party supporters, may become a staple in the political calendar.

Special mention goes to lead Senate candidate for the Liberal Democrats, John Ruddick, for bringing together so many people from various libertarian movements across the country.

Unlike the snooze-fests that saturate the political speaking scene, the Freedom Ball was an evening of fun, hope, illegal dance moves, and spirited conversation. There were no masks, no QR-codes, and no green Big Brother dots telling us where we could sit and stand.

And no – despite what the Sydney Morning Herald think, it wasn’t sponsored by Vladimir Putin.

The relentless pursuit of a perfectly legal freedom function has left some pointed questions dangling over New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet. He made a great big fuss about his love of ‘freedom’ on Alan Jones’ online streaming platform this week – so what was his Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, doing hunting down this innocent event?

It was clearly stated that the Freedom Ball was a celebration intended to bring together freedom-loving politicians, commentators, and political opinion writers – including a few contributors from The Spectator Australia.

When the mainstream media got their paws on the story it was re-imagined as a conspiracy theory convention set up by Nazis, held in the nine circles of Dante’s Inferno, and directed by Tarantino on a bad day. The Sydney Morning Herald ran the headline ‘No “freedom ball” for Kelly, pro-Putin activist and anti-lockdown right-wingers’.

It’s hard to work out from the nonsense masquerading as ‘news’ whether the press were more upset about the Carbon-heavy menu or the presence of Rukshan – an independent journalist and wedding photographer who did a better job filming the Melbourne protests than the combined budget of the ABC.

It was this fake-news mess that resulted in the original venue, Le Montage, being inundated with threatening phone calls and social media messages from pro-vaccine mandate activists ‘horrified’ by people getting together for a few Christmas drinks – clearly forgetting that the unwashed subclass have been mingling in supermarkets this whole time.

The ‘we’re all in this together’ narrative has swiftly turned into a real ‘how dare!’ affair, where far too many Australians want to see the unvaccinated locked up for the rest of their lives. Lacking in scientific arguments, their malice is starting to bleed through the conversation.

Whatever the motivation, internet spam was responsible for the first venue cancellation.

Keep in mind, the federal Liberal Party has recently launched a policy to help unmask and prosecute online trolls. I would ask Perrottet, why did police swarm all over the restaurant instead of using their detective task force to caution social media bullies?

This is the same New South Wales Police that set up a special detective unit to sift through social media accounts and hunt down Freedom protesters earlier in the year when they dared to protest Covid health orders. Those people got a knock on the door and nasty fine, so why is there no action being taken against the pro-vaccine mandate trolls? After all, they are the ones causing financial harm to a business while spreading hatred.

Australians want to believe that their police and politicians protect and govern for all equally, but the post-Covid era is painting a very different picture.

‘We want to leave this dark chapter in New South Wales history behind us,’ said United Australia Party leader Craig Kelly. ‘It’s hard to fully celebrate when I know that we have our fellow Australians – tens of thousands of them – that have not only been thrown out of their jobs, but have been thrown out of their careers so close to Christmas […] tonight we will take the wins that we have had and we will commit ourselves to continue the fight for freedom.’

Kelly’s strong words were among many that night in a room full of people who truly believe that the spirit of Australia – and Western Democracy itself – is worth fighting for. The campaign to restore freedom has been the work of scattered voices from across the political spectrum, buoyed by the mass of ordinary Australians pushed into financial ruin and social oblivion.

That is changing. Freedom is an idea too precious and strong to die under the weight of textbook propaganda and cheap fear-mongering spilled from the lips of D-grade politicians.

Freedom-loving Australians are tough. They turned their cancelled Freedom Ball into a Christmas Summer Soiree. More dangerously for the major parties, it was also very clearly a political movement made up of the most talented people from the conservative factions and a whole batch of spirited newcomers.

The ‘blue ribbon’ does not belong to the Liberals anymore.

If Perrottet really is the ‘champion of freedom’ that he repeatedly pretends to be on TV – he should have been opening the ball, not standing quietly in the shadows as it was stood-over by police ‘for its own safety’.

Leader of the United Australia Party Craig Kelly said it best, ‘They see this as an anti-government rally. This is how you expect police to operate in communist China – or communist countries – but this is what is happening in New South Wales.’

The next Freedom Ball will be hosted at the polling booths, where the public get to decide if there is to be a reckoning against those who dismantled liberty in Australia.

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