Election Diary No4: January 15 2022.
Continued from my No3 Diary.
1 The importance of leadership is vital for any organisation or country. “Character” is the word used to describe an individual’s mental and moral qualities.
It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of politics. But unexpected crisis can sometimes reveal the fibres from which it is woven. It is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct.
It also requires an amalgamation of traits that grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow. It is incumbent on them.
If the people vote for Scott Morrison to be Australia’s leader and Barnaby Joyce his deputy, they will overwhelmingly state by their action that they are content with buffoonery.
Morrison needs to consign COVID to history and Omicron with it politically. Omicron began to inflict its nefarious intent upon us over Christmas and into the New Year.
The Australian newspaper supported Morrison. On December 30 and 31, he continued to ease restrictions, and the pages of the newspaper were full of praise, running page-one banner headlines such as: “PM’s plea: set the people free”.
He persisted by easing restrictions further before the sounds of silence could be heard coming from his office.
On January 3, he started having withdrawal symptoms. He hadn’t had his photo taken or been on the telly for a few days.
He selected Seven’s Sunrise programme from his long list of media supporters, telling them that the Government wouldn’t be supporting free rapid antigen test kits to everyone because “we just can’t go round and make everything free“.
Well, shock and horror. Even News Corp’s Riah Matthews ran an opinion piece that showed how out of touch Morrison was with “hardworking everyday Australians.”
Two days later, Morrison sent down a weak second serve leaking a proposal for certain folk in the community to be given free rapid antigen tests.
The big guns of Murdoch’s stable, the Daily Telegraph in Sydney and Herald Sun in Melbourne, said it was a backflip. Still, the ever-reliable Australian found a way to put some positive spin on it, saying Morrison wanted to end the debate about COVID testing adding “which is of course a state and territory responsibility”.
It all raised the question of whether Morrison had dropped from the Murdoch group’s favour. It wouldn’t be allowed to happen in years past. Time will tell as to if he has the media mogul’s unquestioning support.
Rumour has it that he has upset the boss by reportedly trying to:
“… put pressure on the senior political correspondents of the Nine newspapers. According to a report in The Australian:
According to a report in The Australian, Nine’s chief executive Mike Sneesby and head of publishing James Chessell met Morrison and the head of his media team last month. Morrison was reported to have complained the political columnists on The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald were “too tough” on him.
The Nine organisation said no concessions had been made, and this became obvious within a week, when columns by the Herald’s political editor Peter Hartcher and the chief political correspondent for the two papers, David Crowe, were notably tough on Morrison.”
Maybe those who should have hadn’t told Morrison they had toughened up their culture of complete editorial independence.
On top of that, the media diversity inquiry was delivered to Government in early December. In the first instance, it was generated by public concern at the concentration of media ownership in Australia. The second happened as a result of a petition by former prime minister Kevin Rudd, focused on the influence of News Corp. News Corp controls two-thirds of the metropolitan daily newspaper circulation. Five thousand sixty-eight submissions and more than half a million signatures were received. One of the Senate’s most significant submissions ever received.
Both Murdoch and Morrison face difficult circumstances. The right of politics had always had Murdoch’s support, except for 1975 when it supported Whitlam, relying heavily on it. You might say that it has become the propaganda arm of the Liberal and Country parties over time.
Morrison needs Murdoch’s help to survive, and in light of the report, Murdoch needs less of Morrison.
2 From Daniel Hurst in The Guardian we learn that:
“Australia’s peak doctors’ body has revealed that it had warned governments to secure rapid antigen tests when they began planning to open up the country after Scott Morrison described the scarce screening tool as a “precious commodity”.
All policy failures:
- Initial vaccine rollout.
- Rats didn’t plan
- Rats isn’t free.
25 million people @ 4 tests per person $10 per test market rate = $1 billion. Perhaps much less when purchased buy in bulk. Say $150 million.
3 The latest on Novak Djokovic is this, as reported in The Guardian:
“Novak Djokovic could face a fine or even prison in Serbia after his admission that he broke isolation while he had Covid last month, lawyers have said, as the Serbian prime minister warned his behaviour appeared to be “a clear breach” of the rules.”
It seems to me that one can only conclude that after admitting he knew he had tested positive when attending a newspaper interview and photoshoot in the Serbian capital on December 18, he should not be serving any aces at the Australian Open.
Saying he had made an “error of judgment” will never pass an Australian pub test. However, after making a fool of himself yet again, Morrison’s best option may be to let him play and cop the boos. A double fault at best.
Previous Diary Entries:
My thought for the day
Lying in the media is wrong at any time; however, it is even more so when they do it by deliberate omission. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.
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