Thankfully the playgrounds are opening again in Victoria. Over dinner, I told my son that I’d be able to take him there again tomorrow and hopefully that would improve his mental health. He pointed out that I hadn’t taken him there since he was in Grade 4 and – apart from the fact that he can now take himself because he’s already graduated university and that you only need to have passed Year 12 to go to the playground by yourself. I was about to point out that I was usually busy at work but he interrupted to say that he was going to bed because he has an early shift tomorrow.
sigh< His generation is never grateful.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to write about Victoria because I was more concerned about the epiphany I had when I realised that Scott Morrison’s message never changes no matter what he’s talking about… Actually, his message changes all the time… but it is consistent. What I mean is that he has a particular way with words, Mr Speaker, and that way is the way that words only work when they are used to mean something, Mr Speaker, and that is sometimes the way that leads people to think that he has said something when, Mr Speaker, he has not – in fact – said that very thing that people, Mr Speaker, think he has said, Mr Speaker, but has instead, Mr Speaker, said nothing at all. And, Mr Speaker, to quote Harvey Dent aka Two-Face from The Dark Knight, “It’s always darkest before the dawn comes and it hits you that the sun is up and it’s time that we were also looking forward with hope because there’s a new dawn and it’s better than the one we just had because that was today’s dawn and tomorrow’s dawn is the future and we must move forward, because moving backward could mean that you bump into something…”
Ok, I’m a bit slow sometimes, but I suddenly remembered his coal speech and I put it together with his Covid speech.
“This is coal,” he said, bringing a prop into Parliament in spite of the convention forbidding it. “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared.”
Compare this with his Covid speech: “We should not fear it. We should embrace it. And we should move forward together.”
Just lately, he’s been demanding that the Premiers stick to the Doherty plan and not keep locking down which sounds all right until you remember that only one state is anywhere near 80% vaccinated, and that’s because they got the lion’s share of the vaccines… Why was that again? Oh, that’s right, they needed them desperately and the other states weren’t going to miss out, NSW was just going to get the extra ones that didn’t exist. Whatever, the Doherty plan kicks in when the population is 70% vaccinated, not when NSW is ok.
I’d say that I’m starting to notice a pattern here, except I’m not. When it came to lockdowns, the same people who were telling us that we needed to “live with Covid” and not be scared, were the ones who suddenly grew concerned about people’s mental health. Yep, when people get depressed looking for jobs or dealing with Centrelink, the response is “Harden up, princess!” but Covid lockdowns are responsible for every mental health problem in the country and we need to open up businesses for the sake of mental health… mainly the mental health of the people who weren’t earning enough to double their donation to the Liberal Party.
As a Victorian whose been locked down more times than Scott Morrison says “Mr Speaker” in a sentence when answering a question, I have to say that lockdowns can be hard on your mental health and it’s very tempting some days to just move to NSW where Golden Gladys has managed a wonderful impersonation of Schrodinger’s Cat.
In the famous thought experiment, the cat was both alive and dead at the same time. Now, I’m not suggesting that Gladys is both alive and dead, but it does seem strange that she is both having the “harshest lockdown Australia has seen” and showing us how to live with the virus without the need for locking down.
Like the people who seem to be able to embrace the idea that we need to worry about mental health while not actually doing much to help people with mental health issues, as well as feeling like the budget has to get back to surplus but we need to give high-income earnings tax cuts, as well as telling us that we can’t afford the NDIS but franking credits refunds to people who don’t earn a taxable income are no problem*, Gladys seems to be able to hold two seemingly contradictory positions at the same time. Yes, she was unlucky in love and that Maguire guy pulled the wool over her eyes, but she should stay Premier because she’s very astute and makes good decisions.
Yes, it’s going to be a difficult month or so until the Federal election. I said October at the start of the year and I’m going to call it a win if it’s in November because, like Scotty’s approach to the vaccines, what difference does a month or two make?
*I should point out yet again that Labor weren’t going to abolish franking credits. People were never going to be taxed twice. They were simply going to stop the practice of giving a franking credit refund to the people who paid no tax which meant that this tax wasn’t even paid once. Generally speaking, the people who benefited from this had little or no TAXABLE income, which meant they could be earning large amounts from their superannuation if they were over sixty or had a clever negative gearing arrangement with several properties.
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