When you live in Australia these days you immediately become aware of the total lack of competent leadership, and the endless self-promotion of the Prime Minister. Talk of his personal photographer, tales of photo-shopping his image to show more hair on that head, and less fat in the face. His staff rolling out red carpets for when he leaves an aircraft. The man is a walking joke.
Watch a press conference from Morrison, and wait for the inevitable fact checking which follows; it always shows lies, half-truths, evasions, blame shifting. Of course if you have any brains, you know it’s happening before the fact-checkers verify it. He cannot help himself. Watch for the first difficult question, and watch him scamper away.
At the moment, in early January 2022, the country has descended into chaos. And yet you have the spectacle of the Prime Minister, and his boy treasurer asserting the recovery is on track. A walk through Ivanhoe shopping centre last Saturday showed more than half the shopfronts empty, and for lease. If that is a recovery, I will eat my baseball cap.
Every state except Western Australia, going from handfuls of cases, to thousands, every day. Hospitals filling up, staff becoming ill, or just plain overworked to exhaustion. Supermarket shelves are emptying, shops can’t get stock, or staff.
In Melbourne we have an informal, self-imposed lockdown. That is because we have been here before, and the Commonwealth Government is more interested in semantics, defining, and re-defining the meaning of words we all understand. Testing, isolation, quarantine, case numbers are all in the firing line. They are trying out the meaning of the word “death”, by planting the notion of “dying with covid” as somehow different from “dying of covid”.
Economists and health professionals are united in pushing for free Rapid Antigen Tests, (RAT) as being in the national interest, both from a health perspective, but economically as well. That is because if you suspect you have symptoms you can self-test and isolate at home. That way you don’t infect everyone you meet on the way to work, or at work. Simple really.
To say he wants to protect the private companies who would sell the test kits is false, and stupid. Harvey Norman and Chemist Warehouse are doing ok already, they don’t need a leg up from a person who has never worked in the private sector, and couldn’t organise a trip to the toilet on his own.
Of course switching over to RATs was suggested by epidemiologists as far back as February 2021, and again by the AMA in September 2021. But the gambler in the Lodge didn’t want to spend the money, which was of course a false economy, as so much of his penny-pinching (with our money) is.
Morrison denies being unprepared, even as our case numbers approach 100,000 a day, notwithstanding the lack of testing. So using Trump’s logic, his first act is to suspend testing, by not supporting the testing regime in the states. He exhibits a mixture of blind arrogance, and a total lack of planning.
He tells us not to look at the case numbers, look at hospitalisations. All right, look at hospitalisations. Going through the roof. So Morrison and his willing accomplice Perrottet have managed to upend our entire covid response, and to throw public health care back on to individuals.
That is not why we elect governments, and it is not the reason we pay these clowns. Part of modern governments’ remit is to keep their people safe. It is difficult to comprehend, but there is no responsible adult available to help. Greg Hunt is a cipher, toeing the party line, until he retires. It will be interesting to see who employs him post-parliament.
The medical officials have also been side-lined by the clowns, and the country is going to the dogs. In this free for all, the states are as guilty as the feds. All we can hope for is that the states step up, and take over. They are showing signs of panic, so maybe the ‘let it rip’ philosophy is going to change.
The latest diversion from our dire straits is a tennis player. Even then, Morrison cannot tell the tale without lies, half-truths, and blaming. The federal government issues visas, not the Victorian Government. Not Tennis Australia, but like he did with Christine Holgate, throw a tantrum, stand up for the ‘little man’ and throw someone under the public outrage bus. If he thinks this will save his bacon in Victoria come election day, think again. Most of us cannot stand the sight of you, and the quicker we can consign you back to obscurity, the better.
Norman Swan raised the issue of ‘acceptable number of deaths’ today. We accept 1000 road deaths a year, 1000 flu deaths. What will we consider an acceptable number of deaths a year from covid? And if you can provide a number, are you prepared to lose your grandmother, or a sibling who is immuno-compromised? An old friend with a dodgy ticker?
Considering the success we enjoyed over the last couple of pandemic years, we must demand a return to intelligent public health measures, and stop the steady creep down the path of allowing our vulnerable to die, because of the ideological preferences of narrow, unfit for public service, religious zealots and neoliberals.