Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen has come out defiant against the Covid health mandates which have plagued Australia for more than eighteen months.
Christensen tore into lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine passports in a recent speech to federal parliament this week. The speech went viral on social media with over four million views, triggering the #IstandWithGeorge hashtag on Twitter.
“When will the madness end? How many more freedoms will we lose?” said Christensen, in his speech.
The video was subsequently removed from Facebook for containing ‘harmful health information’. Labor leader Anthony Albanese moved a motion against him, which was supported by the Liberals. Albanese called for Christensen to be expelled before the next election, but Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said that there was ‘no reason to prod the bear’.
“And I’ll say that to my colleagues, I can assure you that when you’ve got a thin margin, don’t start giving reasons for a byelection,” added Joyce.
George Christensen agreed to an exclusive interview with Rebel News to discuss online censorship, vaccine passports, and the fate of freedom in Australia.
Thank you for being here, George Christensen.
Facebook removed the video of your speech. There is plenty of content on Facebook more outrageous than your calls for freedom. Are social media companies engaging in selective political censorship – particularly against conservatives?
“I think, without a doubt, social media platforms have a bias towards the left and a bias against the right. That’s seen with the removal of people like Donald Trump, Craig Kelly, Rand Paul, and li’l ol’ me having my video taken down. It’s not the first video of mine that has been taken down off social media. We don’t hear about these stories from the left. It’s not because they’re not doing the same thing – they do do the same thing. I caution Big Tech because, sooner or later, enough is going to be enough and a government with backbone is going to act.”
Should this type of censorship come under the government’s foreign interference legislation? Social Media are foreign companies, they have their servers in America.
“It certainly does. It has hurt me as foreign interference in Australia’s politics. Just about all of these Big Tech social media platforms are foreign-owned and yet they dominate the Australian public square. I’m talking about Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WeChat, TikTok, Twitter – they are the big players in the Australian social media landscape and they dominate what is now the public square where public discourse goes on. Silencing one side of an argument is never going to be good for any democracy. It is particularly more egregious when it is foreign entities which are doing it.”
“The government has been encouraging social media to enforce their ‘community safety’ policies in regard to Covid and climate change. There is a task force of detectives in NSW using social media to hunt down people who voice support of freedom protests online. Is the government using social media companies to silence dissenting political views?
“Without a doubt governments in Australia have utterly abused their power by having people arrested for promoting protests and assemblies on Facebook and that is wrong. It goes against the right to freedom of speech. It goes against the right to freedom of association. They shouldn’t be arresting people.
“Any government that wants to get into the pocket of Big Tech and assist them in censoring people is playing with fire. At some stage these organisations are going to be too powerful and they are going to censor something else that perhaps the government doesn’t want censored, and there won’t be anything they can do about it.
“I am working with Senator Matt Canavan on a private member’s bill that will try to do something about this. Private member’s bills hardly ever get to a debate, let alone a vote. The point is to show the government, the communications minister, and the prime minister that it can be done – there is a way that you can legislate to ensure that there is freedom of speech.
“This is not an isolated problem. We have had the prime minister of the country taken down off WeChat. We have had the leader of the free world taken down off Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We have had a federal member of parliament in Craig Kelly taken off Facebook and videos taken off YouTube. When is that going to stop?
“There are elements that are fundamental for any democracy to flourish. One of these is free speech for everyone. As long as it’s not harmful, defamatory, or promoting something that’s illegal. Free speech – particularly for elected officeholders, news media organisations, and journalists – should be sacrosanct to protect democracy.”
Are you frustrated with those in the National Party who support Vaccine Passports?
“Not just frustrated with those in my party and the Liberal Party that support vaccine passports, I don’t understand where they are coming from. The Liberal and National parties both have as their constitutional objectives freedom and liberty, small government, ensuring people can live their lives how they want. Yet these proposals that we have – pieces of paper or digital documents which you have to flash in front of someone to get a service, a job, or travel across a state border – it is the antithesis of freedom.
“Quite honestly it is establishing a medical apartheid in this country and invades people’s privacy to a degree that we have not have seen before in this nation. I will continue to oppose it and fight wherever I can while I’m breathing and while I’m in federal parliament and beyond.”
Why are some ministers in the government blaming Australian citizens for Covid instead of the communist regime in China? Are they afraid of further sanctions – is it easier to blame innocent citizens? By which I mean, they treat people who refuse vaccination as if the Covid pandemic is their fault because they don’t want to partake in the vaccine...
“Commentary that demonises people that don’t want to have a particular medical treatment is divisive and stupid. It’s quite interesting how we’ve moved from, ‘this vaccine is going to be voluntary’ to ‘if you don’t get the vaccine you’re a danger to society’. That really is not the way that I think we should be going.
“People are forgetting that the real origin of this is the Chinese Communist Party and either their deliberate or sloppy handling of Corona viruses inside the Wuhan lab. Don’t blame people who don’t get a vaccine that has been developed in record time – blame the country which actually produced the virus and let it spread to the rest of the world.”
There doesn’t seem to be any kickback against the pharmaceutical companies who allow the kind of research to take place that led to the virus in the first place.
“There’s not much push back in Australia because some of our universities and the CSIRO have been up to their eyeballs in the gain of function research stuff and have been working hand-in-hand with some of these Corona virus researchers in the lab in Wuhan where this virus escaped from.”
Bill Gates is already talking about governments doing the same thing with Influenza as Covid. That is, keeping QR-check-ins, mask mandates and vaccines passports to eliminate Influenza – will Australia ever be free of these new restrictions?
“Bill Gates can stay in his own house. Bill Gates can have a monitor on him as to where he is and what he’s doing and the rest of us can get on with life. I am sick of these born-to-rule mentality billionaires who want to tell the rest of us mere mortals what we should and shouldn’t be doing. I’m not interested in Bill Gates, I’m interested in freedom. That is what every Australian deserves. That is what every human being deserves – not to be lectured at and ruled by our ‘billionaire betters’.”