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A Triumph Of Leadership

For the past 5 months or so, I have been engaged in debates on Facebook on the subject of Victoria’s second COVID-19 wave. Not surprisingly, the debates have been fierce, on several fronts and against some heavy-hitting conservatives who have demonstrated an unwillingness to understand, in any rational way, what happened.

Their intent has only been in favour of campaigning to have the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, strung up by a rope in a smokehouse

They have been relentless in their efforts to undermine the premier, spurred on, no doubt, by some appalling daily headlines in the Murdoch owned Herald-Sun.

The reality is, the government did not cause the second wave, anymore than it caused the first. As difficult as it is for some people to accept that, so hell-bent as they are, to bring down a premier, it is a matter of fact.

The second wave was caused by a succession of contracted infections which began with a night manager becoming infected by a returned traveller at the Rydges Hotel in Carlton. It spread like wildfire throughout the northern suburbs and into aged care facilities. That is how it happened, pure and simple.

Sadly, those with ulterior motives have been trying desperately to sheet home the blame to the government and Dan Andrews, in particular, citing failures in the provision of adequate security, provision of proper protective equipment for health care workers and the use of police and ADF personnel in quarantine.

But, thankfully, there have also been those with clearer heads and more convincing arguments who have tried to rationalise with them. Now that the lockdown is over and the rolling average daily cases have fallen to zero, something most conservatives argued was not possible, the antagonists are struggling to find a sustainable argument against the measures the government imposed.

Here is an example of one particularly belligerent conservative when replying to the suggestion that Dan Andrews’ lockdown was successful and that he should be congratulated for doing a great job…

Yes, his plan worked. But why should someone be congratulated for fixing a mistake that should never have happened in the first place ? Scenario : You hire me to do some kind of repair work on your home. Let’s say I botch it and reduce it to rubble … In the meantime whilst rebuilding said home you are out of pocket and hardship … Once it is rebuilt with all returned , are you going to congratulate me ?

And here is the reply from one whose focus was more circumspect…

Yeah except the scenario you are putting forward isn’t what happened. You hire me to do some work. Unknown to you, I breach my contract with you and hire untrained subcontractors, don’t provide them with the training that I agreed to in our contract. They reduce your home to rubble. If we then continue the argument being put forth about Dan Andrews, it’s not their fault, or my fault, it’s your fault for hiring me in the first place and not having a crystal ball and foreseeing that I would breach my contract. If people are going to insist that Dan Andrews was responsible for the second wave and slam him on a daily basis, then he’s also responsible for the position we are now in with 14 consecutive days of no new cases and most importantly, no more deaths, so obviously, (he) should be congratulated.

This is just one example across thousands that have flown to and fro on Facebook during the lockdown. In most cases, the antagonists have been far more acerbic, highly defamatory and more political than they were in addressing the issue at hand.

An inquiry, soon to be released, will not change this. Nor will it be as vitriolic and as savage in its report as those so filled with feigned and false outrage, would hope. But, I have no doubt they will continue.

In the meantime, the success of the state government’s lockdown has been hailed as a game changer by governments and medical experts around the world.

This fact must be utterly galling for those who want Dan Andrew’s head on a spike. But if one thing is certain, it is that this entire episode will go down in history as a triumph of leadership by a premier who simply did his job, no more, no less.

I stand with Dan.

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  1. JudithW

    I’m haunted by the scenario where Victorians are still waiting for Scott Morrison to come good on his promise to deliver ADF forces for hotel quarantine. Ask bushfire communities how that might have turned out.
    Or where Dan Andrews waited for the PM’s plan for aged care instead of using trained Victorian health care workers to replace untrained, unregulated staff.

  2. New England Cocky

    Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has done a magnificent job with the COVID-10 pandemic, keeping Victorians informed on a daily basis, ignoring stupid questions from petulant cretins, following advice from medical experts in a logical conservative manner, making haste slowly. Victorian voters have assisted by following the government lock-down directives. Now Victoria and Australia have joined NZ as apparently COVID-19 free jurisdictions.

    If you don’t like what happened in Victoria and Queensland with lockdown measures, just look at the US and European daily infection rates and cumulative death counts, then ask yourself, “Was Australia safer than the USA (United States of Apartheid) or Europe”?

    Now what was that about Scummo demanding that passengers on the Ruby Princess at Sydney Harbour be disembarked before the COVID-19 test results were returned to the ship’s medical staff, so that Hillsongers could be home in time for lunch?

  3. Michael Taylor

    I’m a Victorian and I stand with Dan, too.

  4. Dennis Bardenhagen

    A leader is only as good as their team. In Andrew’s case he is a good man surrounded by incompetence. The DHHS should be gutted and rebuilt with ANY of it’s current management need not apply.

  5. Ken Fabian

    I never quite understood how use of commercial security companies should have raised any “red flag”, especially to proponents of handing important jobs to private enterprise. Failure to make clear and explicit the requirements to contracted companies would be a red flag although I still think taking on that job, during a pandemic, would imply an understanding of the importance of using protective equipment, distancing etc. The full on attacks are partisan theatre in my view, that would not be so fierce had it not been for Andrews being Labor and popular.

  6. Darren

    Yes Dan did a magnificent job containing COVID – only 819 deaths, compared to a whopping 53 in NSW, or an astronomical 6 in QLD.

    The building contractor analogy is apt but should say that “I could have picked from a list of known, proven contractors but for ideological reasons I went for someone not on that list. How was I to know that they weren’t up to the job – its not like any of my neighbors were going through a similar situation”.

  7. Alc

    Would he consider moving to the Federal arena? We could assuredly use someone with his undoubted leadership skills in the top job. And Morrison and his motley crew keep banging on about Labor politicising everything whilst they were forever firing shots at Victoria and Andrews in particular. I cannot imagine how this would have been handled if the hapless and hopeless opposition party been in office.

  8. Ross

    In summing up the politics of the pandemic responses;
    Premier Dan Andrews’s public rating, positive, high to very high.
    Leader of the opposition Michael O’Brien public rating, positive, low to very low.

  9. Henry Rodrigues

    And where oh where is that incredible Credlin ? Why doesn’t she front up and tell Victorians why she was leading the attack on Dan Andrews. Is she the preferred attack female canine for Scummo and the inadequate Josh ? I think the Victorian opposition leader acknowledges that he is not fit to kiss Dan Andrews arse. But then neither is Scummo or Josh.
    To his credit, Scummo is good at holidaying in Hawaii. No one does it better.

  10. DrakeN

    L & NP poliies “…doing a Donald” – constantly gaslighting, perpetually projecting and limitlessly lying.

    “For the truth is not in them.”

  11. Marilyn Shepherd

    Nothing much actually happened but a giant gaslight, There is no evidence to suggest there was ever anything called covid in the old folks homes, they died of normal old age, many were over 90 and even 100, many with end stage alzheimers, but for all the talk no medical staff seem to have even got a cold.

    This article is totally devoid of facts. 1. Dan and Brett Sutton outsourced ”tests” to Twiggy Forrest in early July, those tests were discarded by the world in April due to the fact they were 90% false positives. Of course since then the world’s scientists have all realised and reported that all the so called tests are between 89-94% false positive and don’t diagnose anything at all.
    2. On that criteria of the 20,000 so called ”cases” based on a fake test and being in quarantine but never getting sick, about 1200 might have actually had something, 1% of them might have got sick as they are around the world, as no one outside the old folks homes died then the death rate is literally zero, the average age of the ”deaths” is 87, way above normal life spans.
    Brett and Dan have been listening to the same catastrophists who predicted that 34,000 Victorians would die from the virus, well over 35,000 Victorians have died this year but that is nothing to do with any virus. Honestly, Dan and Brett have been gaslighting and outright lying for months and still you think they did their jobs.

  12. Wam

    Those who don’t stand with Dan are, like kennet, playing politics. They share things like trump has been cheated.
    As confirmation ofDan, I have seen and heard O’Brien and he makes trump sound good.

  13. Elaine Richardson

    Yes, I just hark back to Malcolm Farr’s comment about government ministers giving information and instructions to the journalists, in Canberra, to attack Dan Andrews. Dan stood there at his pressers for 120 straight days and took all the heat that was going and only, near the end, decided enough was enough and called out Frydenberg and, to a lesser extent, Hunt and Tudge. I don’t recall him saying anything derogatory about the PM. He maintained that he wasn’t involved in a popularity contest; that he was there to do a job and he wasn’t going anywhere until it was done. I admire him greatly for his dedication to the task and his integrity…something that’s been in very short supply at the federal level. I recall when Morrison was asked questions about the states’ handling of the restrictions etc, in the early days, he fobbed journos off with words to the effect that the people should listen to their premiers. Then, when it was under control, he wanted to take that control back and open everything up. Hotel quarantine was a mess, but it could just as easily have happened in other states. I recall several breaches of quarantine in NSW which were reported but, fortunately for them, nothing came of them. The federal government have got off lightly, again, with bringing stranded Australians home. Morrison has been bullying the states to take more and more when his government could’ve been using that facility in the NT, in conjunction with the states’ efforts, and brought most, if not all, these Australians back over the last 7 months. And just don’t get me started on private aged care neglect…. Dan Andrews has done an outstanding job. He and his team, plus all the effort, hard work and sacrifice of the Victorian people, have pulled off a remarkable result. Well done. I stand with Dan also.

  14. Ted

    Marilyn, gaslighting is abundant. Every time I watch the first 5 minutes of news there it is – covid covid covid. I have done some research and see a very different world to what the media and government would have me believe. I don’t know if you have seen the following on BitChute – ‘Connecting the Dots, Why they’re doing this’, but I recommend it. It covers the view that we are now in the midst of a ‘Marxist Communist takeover’. Some points covered are: UN Agenda 21, Klaus Schwabs pet project the World Economic Forum, the WHO pandemic scam of 2009-10, the 4th Industrial Revolution, Marxism, UBI, Land tax. At the end of the day it comes down to the concept promoted by the WEF, ‘You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy’. How good is communism?

  15. Darren

    Wow, I am absolutely gobsmacked at the devoted support that Dan Andrews attracts.

    The cult of personality writ large in Australia. Never thought I would see it.

    Its as if the 819 people who died from COVID in Victoria count for nothing in the eyes of his accolytes.

    Here’s a question – out of all the state premiers, who handled the COVID pandemic the best? Who handled it the worst?

  16. Jamal

    “This article is totally devoid of facts. 1. Dan and Brett Sutton outsourced ”tests” to Twiggy Forrest in early July, those tests were discarded by the world in April due to the fact they were 90% false positives. Of course since then the world’s scientists have all realised and reported that all the so called tests are between 89-94% false positive and don’t diagnose anything at all.”

    At the time that was done, there was no other COVID19 Testkits that was being mass produced. China was the only one to my knowledge. And since every gov’t in the world was also making the same orders to the same manufacturer, timing was of paramount importance. Being late to place the orders meant waiting months in the waiting list queue.

  17. Roswell

    Marilyn Shepherd, you claim that “this article is totally devoid of facts.”

    Just listen to yourself.

    Take a look at your own comment. The only things factual in your ridiculous rant are the full stops.

  18. !

    Dear oh dear there’s a new coalition been formed. Marilyn Shepherd’s joined forces with Ted (same moniker as Technology, Entertainment and Design) to spread the anti-vaxxer message – along the lines you’ve all been conned. But never mind – you’re in the company of medical professionals who spend their time just making shit up. Lol.

    But it’s not a case for censorship. Ridicule should do the trick. And make that a fact!

  19. Michael Taylor

    No, this isn’t satire…

    From Channel 10 news:

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed he is now advising U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on how to deal with #COVID19.

    I give up.

  20. paul walter

    I love AIM, but this thread is not running well.

    Just watching ABC news with a reporter outlining the utterly horrific behaviour of Minister Paul Fletcher concerning unmonitored treats for Murdoch while they do down the ABC.

    I, too, give up.

  21. Michael Taylor

    We’ll give up together, Paul. But we’ll be back. ✊

    ! is right, btw, that we shouldn’t censor commenters because they are idiots.

  22. John

    If as the conservatives claim the hotel quarantine fiasco is the fault of the person at the top, it is all Scott Morrisons fault.

    Morrison ordered the quarantine so he should have arranged the security, sent in the army and managed the entire thing.

    But it was obvious it could easily turn to out bad so he made the states take the responsibility and cop the shit when/if it all turned sour.

  23. Phil Pryor

    Daren the Dummy may have been locked up for a year, incomprehensibly ignorant and unable to search for truth; But, even if he is a common or garden idiot, D Andrews, has done more work, put in more time, done better, for any provable fault, than any other person in any position of responsiblitiy in Australia on the crisis issue of virus covid 19. He has been betrayed by arsehole conservative profiteering misfits who have undertrained, underpaid, oversucked, overbribed their bumboy federal conservative mates with the cash tap for private donor types. Old Glad Legge-Zappart, the fraud NSW premier can not focus on duties and decencies, only ceilings.

  24. paul walter

    Michael Taylor it is demoralising for politics tragics, but the problem is, so much of existence turns on what happens in politics.

    You won’t give up, neither will I, because in the end some of what goes is such an insult to intelligence and sensibilities that it is impossible to avoid comment if only as a cry of release for one’s own soul.

    Some things cannot be allowed to pass without comment or for the sake of one’s own sanity.

    It is true that most of us ought to be pitched also, if only for reacting to media agit prop, but my sense is that this place represents an oasis of relatively clear thinking compared to the world “out there”.

    If we are the best society can come up with it, that becomes problematic. But if we are damaged in the pursuit of understanding by a corporatist information vacuum, we can hardly feel much but sympathy for the Kafkaesque utterings of Daily Telegraph readers, Alan Jones fans, Hansonists and Trump supporters.

    If It’s hard enough to sift bullshit with half a brain, how difficult with the seeming cognitive burdens of many of our fellow citizens.

    Of course it is normal to wonder if “ignorance is bliss”, yes?

  25. Roswell

    Those Dan Andrews haters might want to move to Texas. Over there they do things the Tim Smith/Jeff Kennett/Sam Newman way.

    Texas now has one million infections. That’s more than one in every 30 people.

  26. paul walter

    It is not “those Dan Andrews haters” it is

    “They Dan Andrews haters look it here, Y’all”,


    And don’t forget “they” hidden Soviet armoured divisions varmint critters high in the Rockies ready to come after patriotic Xtian decent folk Republicans like Mitch McConnell if the counting tallies for Joe next week.

    Five million vote lead is a LOT of fraud, expecially from the comm’nists but Trump and god fearin’ middle Americans ain’t fooled, that ol’ gummint!!

  27. Russel

    The thing that bugs me about all of this is that everyone has missed the real problem. The real problem is not that the virus got through quarantine (it shouldn’t have) but rather than when it got into the community, it spread rapidly.

    That tells us the virus found a friendly environment. People who were not compliant (social distancing etc). People who were not testing when they should have been. But worse, it tells us that the Victorian government eased restrictions far too soon.

    I recall well the days of late April, leading into early May when Scott Morrison and his sycophantic Chief Medical Officer were telling us that it was time to get out from under the doona. We were told that restrictions would ease on May 11. But then we were given Scomo’s “early mark” and restrictions were eased nearly a week earlier. My heart sank when Andrews gave into serious pressure from Scomo, reopened schools too soon and eased restrictions too soon.

    Lets make it clear here. Australia could have eliminated the virus. The expert modellers were telling us that a few more weeks of restrictions could see this happen. Scomo and his sycophantic CMO ignored this advice. Victoria was pushed into easing restrictions, at a time when its testing rate was far too low. Remember that even before the virus escaped quarantine in May, there was already a pool of undetected infections in the community. Had there been no quarantine leak, its pretty much certain we would have had a second wave regardless.

    The blame here lies with Scott Morrison and the non epidemiologists that infected the AHPPC, whose advice he chose to go on. It would good if the media could step back from the issue of “who is to blame for a quarantine leak” and instead ask a far more important question: “who is to blame for premature easing of restrictions?”.

  28. Russel

    John a bit of background here. Morrison and his favoured advisers did not want hotel quarantine at first. They were seriously considering quarantine at home. We all know how that would have gone. The idea of hotel quarantine came from the states. The blunders in hotel quarantine (there were also mistakes made in NSW, including at least one leak) are attributable to the haste in which the system was stood up.

    The Federal Government sat on its hands. It was advised of a pandemic in late January. It failed to close the international borders in February. Had it done so, the “first wave” would have been hundreds of cases, not thousands. The Federal Government also dithered and denied well into March. Meaning that when the states finally took control, various things were done in extreme haste.

    We also have the states (and especially Andrews) to thank for the first lockdown. It was done over Scott Morrison’s dead body. Had we gone into lockdown in early rather than late March, the lockdown would have been shorter and we’d have achieved elimination. The evidence for this is clear in other countries such as Vietnam and Taiwan that acted even sooner than us (and New Zealand).They also have achieved elimination in arguably more difficult circumstances than us.

  29. Sailor Mick

    As stated by Russel (09:08), the ‘second wave’ seeded from the Hotel Quarantine program. That may have been the starting point, but the real ‘disaster’ was that early community spread was not contained. Never has so much effort been put into looking in the wrong place to solve a problem (if the ‘disaster’ is the real problem to be solved).

    All of the facts are stated within the Hotel Inquiry evidence, but it would be a fulltime career to read all of the submissions, transcripts, etc. Hopefully the final report will put all the data into one readable table.

    Some of the key figures are: Approximately 21000 ‘guests’ were quarantined. At least 13 hotels were used (possibly up to 20?). Approximately 2900 private security guards were used. That’s approximately 10% of the Army. If the Army is the solution to a National approach to Covid quarantine, then there won’t be many troops left to pursue other activities, like our war, woops, I mean training, in Afghanistan, etc.

    If we did use Army personnel, say Special Forces personnel, for security, there would sure be rigid discipline from the ‘guests’. But also, probably lifelong trauma!

    Two hotels had staff infections. The Rydges Hotel outbreak is considered to be the source of the ‘second wave’ commencement.

    The wobbly system ran from 28th March to 25th May, before the first staff tested positive. They were 1 Rydges employee (who isolated), 2 security guards (at least one didn’t isolate), & 1 nurse. For a far from perfect system, that was stood up in 48 hours, that is really quite remarkable. It’s a pity that continuous improvement didn’t seem to contain the mess effectively.

    Before someone whacks me on the side of the head, I do concede that I wouldn’t feel comfortable flying in an aircraft that stays up in the air most of the time, but not always.

    There were multiple failures, at many levels, but I believe the use of private security guards was not the most serious issue. Had they been trained & supervised properly maybe things would have gone better. Some type of ‘monitoring’ of guests was needed, but not by poorly trained people in a highly infectious environment. Infection control, & cleaning, were probably of more significance.

  30. DrakeN

    I have decided to invest in tinfoil production, mainly for export to the good ol’ USofA, but it seems, from the writings of Darren, Ted and Marilyn Shepherd, that there is a domestic market as well.

  31. Russel

    Mick – yes the real disaster was that the leak became a second wave. And again, before the leak there were already a number of hidden carriers in the community. So, even if the leak had not occurred, a second wave was almost certainly going to happen.

    But let me be blunt. The fault ultimately lies with those who pushed premature reopening. Andrews isn’t entirely blameless in this, but the people I would like to single out are Scott Morrison (for the pressure he put on the states to prematurely reopen) and on Scott Morrison’s favoured experts who pushed the whole “suppression” idea. Some months ago, Dr. Norman Swan pointed out (quite bravely) that the experts advising the AHPPC were indeed experts in their field, but none were expert epidemiologists. And certainly not the then Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, whose speciality was kidneys. There were at the time other experts who supported elimination of the virus and showed (through modelling) that a few more weeks of similar restrictions would almost certainly result in elimination. Had these experts been heard, the Victorian 2nd wave would not have occurred. But Scomo and the idiots he associated with just didn’t want to listen. Btw, the experts who did this modelling were later vindicated in absolutely nailing the modelling for the Victorian (2nd wave) lockdown.

  32. Stuart

    Leadership skills? You must be joking. Just look at the the Adem Somyurek branch-stacking scandal. He either knew about it and did nothing or he didn’t know anything about it. Either way, is a sign of very poor leadership. In the commercial world, either would have been grounds for rather rapid dismissal.

    Then the quarantine debacle. Again, all the people involved in the stuff up worked for him. Same scenario, he either knew and did nothing or didn’t know….. Please don’t undersell the fact that 700+ people DIED because of their failings.

    The measurement of his success with regards virus control is not one dimensional. Sure he reduced the numbers, but that is not the sole measure. His measures should have been cases + business failures + mental health problems + suicides + economic damage + visa holder breadlines etc etc.

    Don’t compare his performance with that overseas. We are an island nation and our internal borders were all closed (to Victoria at least). The ability to control spread was far easier here. And remember, Dan told you all not to compare us with overseas performance as such comparison was unrealistic. You disagreeing with him?

    Our performance in terms of cases and deaths was the worst of any State of Australia, certainly in proportional terms. As our ‘leader’ he is now the worst of Australia’s eight State and Territory leaders. Communication? Well, forget that too. Sure he fronted up every day to the media but his answers were, in the main, misleading, constantly changing, erratic and severely lacking in detail. “Masks are not helpful” quickly changed to “You all have to wear masks”.

    His solving of the spread was successful, but at a grossly excessive cost. It would be a bit like having a leaking tap at home and in response, shutting off all water coming out of the dams, blocking all water pipes across the State, not letting anyone drink water etc etc for six months. Sure, the tap stopped dripping but everyone suffered. Similarly, I could win Lotto every week if I spent $50m on tickets.

    His decision-making was based on the so called ‘data’. I’d love to know what this data was. Conveniently, he didn’t share any of this and I have no doubt it was severely limited. I would have liked closure decisions to have been based on specific facts. Base closure of small retail outlets on how many people were infected by visiting small retailer outlets etc. How many people were infected in schools? (There is NO evidence of Primary School aged kids infecting anyone) How many people were infected while playing golf? The list goes on. Blanket restrictions are ill-informed and unnecessary. The lockdowns did not affect me financially, but I’ve witnessed the terrible harm they’ve caused small business people, families and the like.

    The only ‘leadership skill’ he has shown is his ability to get everyone else to take the blame.

    PS. I am not a fan of the Morrison government or Rupert Murdoch either. But they’re for another day.

  33. Lambchop Simnel

    I’ll just add that folk should not be too critical of the variant opinions here, possibly they are pessimistic because they see the Democrats and Republicans, or Labor (even the partially digested Greens) and the LNP, as window dressing, “shopfronts” to obscure the true nature of oligarchic globatising neo liberalism, that differences between the major visible political formations amounts only to a changing of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Many Righties are panicked for similar reasons to Lefties, but false news disseminated in a true information deficit encourages anxious folk to develop conspiracy ideations to fill in the huge redacted gaps involving truth. It is anther reason why the hard right want to eliminate Crit Theory from university education, in order for people to be denied the training that can allow them to decipher the bullshit of the myopic oligarchy as such as anything to do with “savings” derived of “efficiencies”.

    No wonder many people do not understand the implications of global warming and enviro destruction in general, for example.

  34. Stephengb

    Lambcjop is right

    The issue is not Left versus Right but it is the ‘haves versus the ‘have nots’

  35. John Kelly

    Stuart, perhaps you could explain to us just how the night manager’s infection and him subsequently infecting the security guards, could have been avoided. And please, don’t speak with the benefit of hindsight. That would make you no better than all the armchair critics on Facebook.

  36. Matters Not

    @ Stuart and John Kelly re points made and implications. Not commenting on the rights and wrongs of Dan but meta considerations instead (because they stand out a bit like pointer’s testicles.). People often say: Just give me the facts. As though having access to facts and citing only facts resolves debates. Clearly it doesn’t. There are so many facts that can be cited but also there’s almost an infinite number of facts that fly above/below the metaphorical radar, which then lie dormant waiting to be resurrected by future historians, including those who visit beer-gardens and blogs.

    Then there’s the additional problem of giving different meanings or interpretations to the same, agreed fact(s) . Plus the hierarchy of importance explicitly designated or implied that comes with the selection (and non-selection) of the facts. Yes people construct their own reality – yet most people don’t accept that as well.

  37. Gangey1959

    Rationality will never win an argument or a fight against irrationality, because the rational follow accepted rules and customs, whilst the irrational just yell and scream and use whatever comes to hand, to the point of embarrassment that they don’t care about but the rational person does.
    Just look at the way our federal treasurer’s dummy spit.
    Did anyone stand up and tell him to pull his head in ? Not a chance. The shit might have stuck to them too, so he gets the headlines.
    “No press is bad press”

  38. A Commentator

    *The government cannot contract out its obligation to protect public health. The “blame the contractors ” argument seeks to do that.
    *Regardless of the contract for the provision of a service, there was inadequate governance and oversight of the hotel quarantine program by the state government
    *As the principal, the state government retains the obligation for the safety of the site. There was no safety auditing, no checking the adequacy of a plan.
    *There have been so many examples of systemic failure to the inquiry, it was a disaster waiting to happen.
    *Early, the issue of non compliance by contractors was raised directly with Andrews by an Age journalist at a press conference. This was not followed up.
    *Andrews declined to provide specific information about the times, dates and locations of cases. The NSW premier provided this information and advised people that had been in the vicinity to be mindful of symptoms. Andrews has since corrected the lack of detail.
    *In the first wave Victoria had the most severe restrictions in the country, on the longest, with the highest fines and more of them. We had Andrews make the longest speeches about dying from golf. Many are therefore less forgiving because the leaked into the community via a government program.

  39. Ken Fabian

    Are the accusations of responsibility only for Dan Andrews and/or Labor Premiers? 28 deaths from NSW’s poor handling of Ruby Princess passengers are a lot less than Victoria but if the one is culpable so is the other. Failures in aged care led to deaths – is there no responsibility on the Morrison government’s part for those, or, because they are less they don’t count?

    Darren and others above don’t seem to be demanding Gladys or Scott take full responsibility for their failures, only Dan.

    Me, I think it is a disease that caught a lot of governments off guard and as serious as the consequences of that have been the success of catching it before it got beyond all chance of containment ought to be celebrated.

  40. DrakeN

    Ken Fabian – it all comes back to rationality arguing with irrationality as Gangey1959 points out.
    Have you ever tried to argue facts with a convinced religionist?

    A failure of rationality, en masse, almost got the Demon Donald another term in the White House.

    Many people would rather die from their false concepts than recognise them and thus lose ‘face’, as the Covid19 denying in the USofA, the UK and across Europe so clearly indicates.

  41. leefe

    A Commentator:

    “*The government cannot contract out its obligation to protect public health. The “blame the contractors ” argument seeks to do that.
    *Regardless of the contract for the provision of a service, there was inadequate governance and oversight … ”

    Both these points, when applied equally across all levels of government and political parties, mean that ScoMo and his mob have to carry the can for the deaths in Aged Care Homes. I’m glad you agree.

  42. Jo.

    For government(s), there’s usually a big accountability gap between the political and the legal. In most instances, it’s the voter that determines political failure (or not) – every three years or so if the punters can remember back that far. Legal responsibility is even more difficult because individual liability usually evaporates through what might be called a collective process whether it be via cabinet, the advisory mechanisms or the absence of an audit trail. (Who made the actual decision, why it was made, or provided the crucial advice can be lost in the mists of time and often is, particularly if one or a number choose to not remember.)

  43. A Commentator

    Ken Fabian & leefe- on this site I have previously outlined my condemnation of the handling of aged care by the federal government.
    There is no question of that and I have never excused their culpability.
    However, there are so many systemic failures that occurred under the watch of the Andrews Government, it amounted to outrageous incompetence and negligence.
    I’m sure you are both gracious and fair minded enough to agree

  44. Jack Cade

    When citing state by state statistics, nobody seems to remember the Australian Border Force allowing the Plague Ship to spew its contents into Sydney airport and thence the rest of the country. And commercial operators were allowed to supervise the quarantined people because the ultimate authority – the Coalition government – gave state authorities a list of approved operators.
    They have castrated almost every pubic service on our home that is ‘girt by sea’.
    Its called democracy, apparently.

  45. Ken Fabian

    Overall the success story is bigger than these failures and that success is, besides the health care professionals, due in part to the efforts of Dan Andrews’ and Gladys Berejiklian’s and Scott Morrison’s and other’s governments. Turning on them – or each of their sides turning on each other – for short term political gain, because the success was imperfect, because political point scoring is more important than the combined efforts to stop a pandemic getting out of control seems kind of pointless. There are plenty of other issues and differences to argue and accuse each other over.

  46. A Commentator

    With regard to the Ruby Princess debacle, it is worth noting that after that outbreak all states, including Victoria, got their cases to almost zero.
    Only Victoria allowed the virus to leak into the community. Other states contained it.
    Victoria’s second wave wasn’t due to anything other than poor governance and lack of oversight.

  47. Darren

    Ken Fabian – “Darren and others above don’t seem to be demanding Gladys or Scott take full responsibility for their failures, only Dan.” Perhaps that is because the article is about Dan Andrews.

    DrakeN – “Have you ever tried to argue facts with a convinced religionist?”. No, but venturing into “All the way with Daniel A” sites is giving me a bit of an indication of what that might be like…

    Should Morrison have gone harder earlier? Yes. I thought was pretty clear at the time. Was there a monumental screw up with the Ruby Princess? Again, yes. No argument from me there. Has everyone else managed the pandemic better than Victoria so far? The answer again appears to be yes.

  48. leefe

    A Commentator:

    And the current new outbreak in South Australia?

  49. Henry Rodrigues

    We are all waiting to hear from the incredible Credlin, the officially designated attack female canine, to interrogate the premier of SA, as to why he is not responsible for the utter lack of governance and mis-management of the pandemic in his state, that now threatens the whole economic recovery of Australia , as envisaged by Scummo and his deputy idiot Josh ? Where are Murdoch’s minions and their accusations of state neglect and corruption ???

    Ah, but South Australia cannot be judged by the same standards as Victoria. The difference is, the coalition is above all criticism, just like Scummo and his band of dickheads in Canberra.

    Care to comment, Commentator ?

  50. A Commentator

    Please let me know when-
    *South Australia reaches 700 cases a day
    * People are allowed out for an hour of fresh air a day, and in bed by 9pm
    * There is prior evidence about safety non compliance raised directly with the state premier
    * An inquiry finds evidence of systemic failure on a state government program
    …beyond that you’re welcome to detail exactly what you’re talking about

  51. Michael Taylor

    Henry, SA is blessed by a lack of hard-core feral right-wing attack dogs. That would probably explain why those home-grown shrills Alexander Downer and Amanda Vanstone are given a lot of voice.

  52. Gangey1959

    @AC. IF SA gets anywhere near 100 cases their leadership needs to be desexed.
    There have been so many lessons learned from Victoria’s situation, as evidenced by the community respobnse in SA, that there is now almost a national “covid19 outbreak playbook”.
    Victoria’s crisis should never have eventuated. It did, because at the end of the day there were human’s put in charge of humans with no authority oversight. No other state is going to make that mistake again, just as another ruby princess will ever dock in Sydney, because next time the correct questions will be asked, probably several times, and border farce will be there with boots on to prove that dud-one has balls after all.
    Let’s look at the successes, and hope for a festive season with family instead of slinging stones at people who have i reality done a pretty amazing job.
    For anyone who wasn’t aware, fewer people have passed away in aged care in 2020 than in previous years. Weird huh.

    Aged care home death toll falls by 1,000 despite COVID: The Australian

  53. Mal Harris

    And what about those of us overseas who are still locked out of Victoria waiting to get home. I have been overseas since February and still waiting for a flight into Tullamarine. If there had been no stuff-up by the overseeing authority (ie. Vic Government) in the first place, there would not have been a second virus phase and I would be home by now.
    However, since I’m an 80-year-old, one might consider there is no urgency to get back: I’m retired, my wife has been dead for 19 years, I can afford the time and cost to spend in quarantine, I will have ample time to spend with my children and grandchildren when eventually I do get back, what’s a few extra months of waiting matter …….
    …….. wait a minute …………… at my age there’s a good chance I could die in the meantime!
    And I’m not alone, there are thousands of us.
    No Andrew, you get no praise from me.

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