It started with the prime minister appearing on the morning television programme; The Today Show. He was making comments about Australia opening up.
Morrison was making comments about the possibility of the country opening up. You see, he has this plan put together by the Doherty Institute:
“Now, it’s like that movie – in The Croods, people wanted to stay in the cave … and that young girl, she wanted to go out and live again and deal with the challenges of living in a different world,” Mr Morrison said.
Now I’m sure Mr Morrison, like me, has never seen the movie, and someone has suggested that it would make a good metaphor for devious utterings.
When he took to Facebook overnight, WA premier McGowan replied to the Croods reference, saying it was “an odd thing to say.”
“It was an odd thing to say. I think everyone would rather just see the Commonwealth look beyond New South Wales and actually appreciate what life is like here in WA.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister went on to say that:
“COVID is a new, different world, and we need to get out there and live in it. We can’t stay in the cave, and we can get out of it safely.”
Outside Parliament House, he used the safe word repeatedly.
“It’s the safe plan to ensure that Australia can open up again with confidence.”
So, there’s the rub or the con, to put it another way. Yes, the Prime Minister is trying to con us into the plan the government had briefed the Doherty Institute on.
The brief put to Doherty was squarely aimed at winning an election, not the safety of our citizens. Not only that, the period they were asked to look at was the end of October to the beginning of May. Draw your own conclusions.
The procedure also requires only rudimentary measuring of half the population, which might fit into the Prime Minister’s plan for winning the next election, but it is by no means safe.
No one doubts that we will have to end the shutdowns and learn to live in the real world at some time. Has anyone ever suggested we shouldn’t? To say we can do it safely is another matter. It is a world in which the Delta strain of the coronavirus virus prevails.
Writing in The New Daily, Richard Dennis suggested that:
“The only fight the Prime Minister thinks he has a chance of winning against the premiers is that their people are tired of lockdowns (of course they are) and that we shouldn’t stay in lockdown forever.” (?) [That will not be safe. But in his mind, he needs to act urgently].
I’m no scientist, and I have little knowledge of epidemiology. Still, I know that keeping Australia safe from this monster requires high vaccination rates and measures of certainty on what percentage is the safe one. At the same time, there is the need to keep people away from each other while potentially infectious. Doing so requires science to dictate societal needs and not the timing of a federal election.
Allow me to put it another way: As I understand it, the Doherty modelling does not say it is safe to end lockdowns once the vaccination rate hits 70 or 80 per cent.
In a piece for The Australia Institute, Richard Dennis reasonably argues that it is:
“An inconvenient truth, perhaps, but no matter how many times the PM quotes the Doherty modelling, his false distinction between vaccines or lockdowns is all about messaging, not medicine.”
“Indeed, according to the Doherty modelling, we could spend up to 39 per cent of our time in lockdown if we begin to open up when vaccination hits 70 per cent.
Regardless of what the PM says, temporary city-wide lockdowns will be a near certainty for Australians over the next 12 months, regardless of when we open up.”
No matter how well Scott Morrison spins a safe opening up of society, there will still be limitations on our play, production, movements, and mingling.
The politics of it are this: Simply put, The Prime Minister stuffed up the purchase of vaccines, and before a rock-solid judgement by the Australian people that it is all his fault sets in (if it hasn’t already). He wants to be the Prime Minister who gave us our freedom and in so doing set up a win in the next election.
He is desperate to move the debate away from the fact that we wouldn’t have the current problem had he acquired enough vaccine when he should have.
We can sometimes become so engrossed in our own problems that we can easily overlook the enormity of the suffering of others.
Because of Morrison’s stupidity, the Australian people now face the unenviable position of:
“… letting COVID-19 have its way with more than eight million people – most of whom are children – who will still be unvaccinated when we hit the 80 per cent vaccination threshold that Scott Morrison is so focused on.”
His bad decisions have been numerous this year, and to place winning an election before the welfare of the people speaks more of his miserable leadership than anything else.
But while lockdowns will, over time, inevitably be lifted, whether partially or entirely, huge case numbers and high mortality rates are still forecast.
Heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.
If we wait until vaccination rates are high and uncontrolled outbreaks in states like NSW are controlled, the number of deaths will be much lower than if we let the virus rip after giving it a running start. So, we have to face the inevitable question…
How many deaths are acceptable?
It is not at all clear if the contact tracers will be able to cope. So, Morrison should not be shoving all this safe talk into unwitting ears when Doherty itself points out that even if the virus is raging, the assumptions it makes about the effectiveness of tracing once there are thousands of cases in the community are at best an even bet.
A point on contact tracing: Without it, “Australia would have looked more like the UK last year than New Zealand.”
Safe be buggered, I say. Without a fully supported hospital system together with the best possible tracing, any plan is futile.
Morrison’s words and actions bring into question the very essence of the word truth. Or he has at least devalued them to the point of obsolescence. Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.
To pretend that it is safe under any circumstances to venture into a new world with COVID-19 is the most exceptional con of all.
Given all the mistakes he has made, he cannot afford another one going into another one. Watching Insiders on Sunday, I was surprised that none of the panellists could make a connection between Morrison’s plan and the next election. In fact, the upcoming election didn’t rate a mention.
Perhaps Speersy was too busy doing what he usually does.
My thought for the day
The true test of any nation surely must be the manner in which it treats its most vulnerable.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!