Opinion

As Edmund Burke noted of revolutions, a brief outburst of unhinged passion can undo the long, patient work of years, even centuries. Repairing the damage can take far longer than it took to wreak.

The Covid pandemic unleashed its own revolution, one that the political-bureaucratic class had clearly long anticipated. The long, patient work of building up the freedoms Westerners took for granted was undone in a matter of weeks. Mostly at the stroke of bureaucrats’ pens, with the willing connivance of politicians and media.

Whether we’ll ever rebuild those freedoms is still an open question. But it will be a tortuous process, achieved, if at all, at the cost of arduous court cases.

Cases such as this:

A Sydney woman has claimed victory in a legal case against her employer after being put on unpaid leave over the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Xin Yin Ooi, who works as the lead data analyst at the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment, revealed the court’s oral decision on May 15, saying she felt “a deep sense of duty” to make the case public as it “may be useful for others who are pursuing similar cases.”

Well might she try and make it public — because, if the mainstream media have anything to do with it, the court victory will be buried as far from the public eye as they can inter it.

“I recently won a Court case (in NSW) related to employer COVID vaccine mandates,” she said in a post on X.

“I thank the Court for delivering justice over this grievance which has troubled me for a long time, and for acknowledging my right to pursue medical information before consenting to a medical procedure.”

“I self-represented in this case, which took more than a year to finalise.”

And there’s the rub: a bureaucrat can issue an order which can ruin a person in an instant. Fighting back against it takes not only immense courage, but time and money. Most people simply choose to comply, and who can blame them? Which makes brave freedom fighters like Ooi even more remarkable.

Ms. Ooi received a letter from the department’s deputy secretary on March 15, 2022, asking her to cease work on the basis that she failed to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and the condition of her temporary exemption.

The exemption, which was valid until April 1, required Ms. Ooi to get her first dose by March 9 and submit her signed vaccination declaration by April 1.

Now, remember that politicians, media and bureaucrats were adamant that vaccinations were never mandatory. “No-one was forced to take them,” they piously intone.

But the choice between complying, and losing your savings and your job, is hardly any kind of choice at all.

In true Kafka-esque faction, the bureaucrats heaped on the pressure, ignoring even their own agreements. Even though Ooi had an agreed exemption and work-from-home agreement, she was punished anyway.

On March 16, Ms. Ooi stopped working and the department placed her on leave without pay. She also received a misconduct notice on March 30 alleging that she had not complied with the vaccination policy.

Yet, before another month was out, the department changed its mind. But that’s still nearly a month’s wages she was now short. How many of us are so flush that we can go without a month’s pay? Still, it’s plain that the department expected Ooi to be so grateful that she’d let the matter rest there.

They were wrong.

In a transcript released on April 10, the local court in Downing Centre found that the department “acted unreasonably in its application of the policy” to Ms. Ooi.

“It was unreasonable to direct Ms. Ooi to get vaccinated or obtain an exemption and return to the office at that time as she had a valid working from home agreement in place,” the document read […]

The court also ruled that there is “no lawful basis to place an employee on leave without pay.”

The Epoch Times

Ooi successfully claimed unpaid wages and entitlements totalling $13,667.03. A lot of money, to most of us — but it begs the question of whether punitive damages were in order, to deter them from trying such obviously unlawful stuff on again.

The only way to stop these bastards from trying again, after all, is to punish them in a meaningful way.

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 the last decade...