Just in case you haven’t got the message by now, there are pandemic rules for most of us, and quite different rules for the select few. If you’re an ordinary pleb, forget about going for your morning run, let alone to Granny’s funeral. If you’re one of the Elect – sportspeople, part of the “correct” political class, celebrities, or so on – well, you can do more or less as you please.

At the same time that the Queensland government refuses permission for people to cross the border for desperately-needed medical treatment, footballers and their families can swan in and out at will. Tasmanians, locked into their island state, likewise found themselves rudely shoved aside for footballers.

The list of public health bureaucrats and politicians caught breaking their own pandemic rules is longer than Siouxsie Wiles’s bike ride.

Even some religions are more favoured than others.

A coalition of Orthodox rabbis has written to Daniel Andrews seeking an exemption to the public health orders for Yom Kippur after the state health ­department allowed a Muay Thai boxing match to go ahead.

In a letter obtained by The Australian, nine rabbis representing 10,000 members of the strictly Orthodox Jewish communities ask the Victorian Premier, chief health officer Brett Sutton and Covid-19 logistics chief Jeroen Weimar to collaborate on devising a plan to mark the holy day of repentance.

“It would be fair to state that ­religious services in a place of ­worship, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, are more essential than a Thai boxing event,” the letter reads.

In recent weeks, Victorian police have raided several gatherings of the Orthodox Jewish community. Social media photos of a Jewish wedding gathering in Melbourne sparked a vitriolic reaction from Premier Daniel Andrews. Victorian police swiftly pounced.

Compare that, though, to the leniency shown to a similar gathering at a Muslim wedding during Melbourne’s first lockdown. Victoria Police turned up in response to complaints but chose to allow the event to proceed. Which, frankly, was a rare outbreak of decency – if only they had applied the same leniency to everyone else.

At the same time, the Victorian government was fully prepared to allow the Spring Racing Carnival to go ahead, only bowing in the face of public pressure when its plans leaked. Music festivals were allowed to proceed in Melbourne last summer.

Now it’s boxing that’s allowed to go ahead.

Victorian health officials have repeatedly defended allowing the crowdless Muay Thai boxing match to proceed at the Melbourne Pavilion in inner-city Kensington on Saturday ­because it was a professional competition.

According to the letter, synagogues have been closed in ­accordance with public health ­orders and the Orthodox community is at a disadvantage ­because it cannot use technology on their holy days.

Like church congregations, synagogue attendees have turned to small, home-based worship gatherings, called minyans.

Almost all of Melbourne’s 40 Orthodox synagogues have faithfully followed lockdown restrictions.

In their letter the rabbis promise to conduct the minyans in a Covid-19 safe way and adhere to density restrictions as well as ­requiring pre-registration, masks, a marshall and suitable social ­distancing […]

A Victorian Health Department spokesperson said there was no mechanism for the chief health officer to consider an exemption or exception to limits on public or private gatherings.

The Australian

Unless there’s a buck to be made, apparently.

Then you can play footy, but you can’t worship.

I think I’ve found the solution to their problem. The BFD. Photoshop by Lushington Brady.

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No Prayers but Boxing OK
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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...