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“When It Rains Everyone Gets A Rising Tide To Lift All Boats!” says Scott Morrison

Let’s begin by giving our PM a big round of applause for cutting short his Queensland trip. I know he deserves one because most of the stories in the media were about how he had to rush back to Canberra to deal with the crisis in Viictoria’s aged care, but I don’t know why he was in Queensland travelling around in the midst of this pandemic but I presume he had a good reason or why else would he be doing it? The bit that is hardest to explain is why he rushed back to Canberra which is too unsafe for everyone else to travel to, when the crisis was in Victoria.

Once back in Canberra, Scotty the Saviour…

Apparently that’s his name now. In case you missed it, last week he was at the beach and a woman fell and injured herself but the Saviour was on hand and he sent one of his men to help before coming over himself and laying his hands upon her at which point she was able to walk again after feeling his power…

Anyway, back in Canberra the Saviour was able to quickly explain the situation in aged care facilities:

  • The challenges are not unique to Australia so don’t try and blame the Federal Government who is responsible for the regulation of aged care.
  • It’s inevitable that Covid-19 will get into aged care facilities because of the high rate of community infection.
  • It’s being brought in by staff and not spontaneously appearing in the residents who are under lockdown and not allowed to leave.
  • Brendan Murphy still agrees with Morrison even though he’s no longer CMO but he’s always available for a press conference.
  • “When it rains, everyone gets wet.” This I presume is because the profit motive is so strong and the regulations so lax in Aged Care Facilities that there’s no necessity to fix the holes in the roof.

Of course, that last point he made is a bit of a cliche that comes from the financial markets. It’s something like “A rising tide lifts all boats”, which was one of the justifications for Reaganomics and Thatcherism and the idea that tax cuts for the rich will trickle down in much the same way that rain gets everybody wet. However, neither thing works the way that the saying suggests that it should. For a start, many people choose to stay home until the rain stops and others have an umbrella. Similarly, while it’s nice to think that a rising tide lifts all boats, some have leaks and just sink while the vast majority of people don’t own a boat at all and consequently won’t be lifted by the tax cuts to the richest people in our community. This is true on both a symbolic and a literal level. Of course, the other problem with the whole cliche is that the tide rises and falls on a daily basis, so the inference I draw is that tax cuts may increase the height of those lucky enough to have a good boat but before long the tide will fall and everything will return to the way it was.

And speaking of the way it was, it was certainly strange to see our Treasurer’s nostalgia for Thatcherism and Reaganomics. His idea that they were successful was even more odd. Thatcher increased unemployment and Reagan massively increased America’s debt. Although given his record as Treasurer so far, you’d have to say that he’s certainly succeeded in his aim to use them as role models!

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  1. Regional Elder

    A great article Rossleigh.

    However, I was overcome by a compulsion to do a minor edit to each of your three points you attribute to the magnificent thinking of Scotty the Saviour. Forgive me for this Rossleigh, but as the wise Scotty will surely tell us, in marketing, repetition of an idea or concept is both foundational and essential.

    For example, just look how ‘ Where the Bloody Hell Are You? ’ has become a question every Australian now resonates to. The question even manifests in the minds of some Australians, whenever Scotty the Saviour decides to take an unheralded holiday to Hawaii, to the north coast, or to Scotty’s very special political bailiwick, the vastness of regional Queensland. This phrase must sometimes haunt the intrepid Scotty.

    Thus I have just added for emphasis your phrase from the first point you made.

    It’s inevitable that Covid-19 will get into aged care facilities because of the high rate of community infection …. and the Commonwealth is responsible for aged care facilities nation-wide.

    It’s being brought in by staff and not spontaneously appearing in the residents who are under lockdown and not allowed to leave…… even though the Commonwealth is responsible for aged care facilities nation-wide.

    Brendan Murphy still agrees with Morrison even though he’s no longer CMO but he’s always available for a press conference, ……… because the Commonwealth is responsible for aged care facilities nation-wide, and Murphy’s double role is such fine evidence of our red tape cost-cutting in the public service, a bold initiative that began with the great and noble John Howard more than 20 years ago. How good is that !

    “When it rains, everyone gets wet.” This I presume is because the profit motive is so strong and the regulations so lax in Aged Care Facilities that there’s no necessity to fix the holes in the roof.

    And the Commonwealth is responsible for aged care facilities nation-wide !

  2. Egalitarian

    I think all Nursing Homes apart the religious ones should be run and controlled by the state.They should never be run by
    profiteering’s privatized groups.It was never going to work was it?

  3. Vikingduk

    Our glorious messiah from the shire spends $3.1 million on travel expenses in 15 months, this rotten parasite, this disgusting, sanctimonious smirking fucking jerk, the crime monster. Then to hear the weasel words justifying this profligacy is absolutely sickening. What have we become when refugees have now been locked up for seven years, when a family has been incarcerated for two years now, Christmas Island their current accommodation, the dutton thing, that malevolent excuse for a human, says they’ll never settle in Australia. Can we become a more disgusting, shame filled race? Is it possible?
    Hard to believe, when looking back over the centuries, what humans have achieved and also, of course, what we have rooted, leaving the lessons learned to endure and be ignored, the magnificent architecture, the artworks, the innovation.

    Now, what have we become? A race of selfish, incompetent, braindead drones following slavishly along this road to perdition? Fortunately with some around this beautiful planet trying to wake us the fuck up. Well, it’s time, past time for decency, compassion and good hearts to rise and subsume these evil bastards.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Scotty’s royal commission into aged care quality and safety released its interim report last October. It pointed out that there had been more than 35 public reviews of the sector in 40 years.

    Aged care, it said, was “a shocking tale of neglect”. Services were “floundering … fragmented, unsupported and underfunded. With some admirable exceptions, they are poorly managed. All too often, they are unsafe and seemingly uncaring.”

    Facilities lacked transparency about how they spent billions in public funding. The sector “suffers from severe difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff. Workloads are heavy. Pay and conditions are poor, signalling that working in aged care is not a valued occupation.”

    “This must change,” the interim report said again and again.

    I sometimes get this feeling that Gaia is really trying to get our attention

  5. Ill fares the land

    Thanks for the article. I know we are all inclined to like examples of people agreeing with us – but I wholeheartedly agree with your stance on King Morrison the Messiah (every possible form of greatness all in the one person – all self-granted titles I might add, but clearly he knows greatness when he sees it in the mirror). His “rush” back to Canberra was no more than another marketing stunt, probably part of deflecting blame for the current aged-car crisis away from him and onto Victorian Labor. Despite lambasting Daniel Andrews, this is an opportunity – Victoria is in crisis and only the most superior crisis management skills can save that state’s population. It is sickening that the PM is such a desperate and hollow talentless hack, scouring the country for crises he can “take charge of”. Even more sickening is that so many people fall for it. His lack of genuine policy post-Covid matches his abject lack of policy pre-Covid, but by rushing about and proclaiming himself as the great problem-solver, he gives the appearance of a person doing a great deal. Like his great mentor Mr Orange-Face, there is no depth he won’t plumb to inflate his fragile ego and damage Labor at the Federal and State level.

  6. New England Cocky

    The Federal Treasurer must be joshing. The removal by the COALition of legislation requiring Aged Care Homes to be accountable has faciliated very much lower staff: resident ratios, causing very much less service availability and very increased profits for the operators.

    Yep!! That sounds like a COALition policy promoting the best interests of their corporate financial patrons rather than the Australian voters who give them the cushy jobs.

  7. andy56

    Private Nursing homes and the gig economy, what a dreadful combination. Having visited many nursing homes in the past the lasting impression i have is that i wouldnt want to be in one too. Some of the homes in better off suburbs seemed reasonable but those for the plebs were woeful. You cant say that market driven accomodation is either caring or efficient . Nursing staff pared back so the owner can collect his/her 20% margin. Lets face it the owner has overheads and to maintain the margin or maximise the margin costs will have to be slashed.
    It all comes back to priorities. In government control, its a quantifiable 20% better care system because you can pay staff a decent salary with reduced stress levels and it reflects on the “inmates”. But in the rush to prop up private nursing homes, the owners profit is seen as the motivation to better care. As else where we have privatised, FAT FUCKING CHANCE.
    I remember well the call for worlds best practice, seems it was a call to the bottom line, AGAIN.
    Lets set the standards and shoot anyone who thinks it can be more efficient later. 5-1 staff ratio will never be better than 4-1 no matter how you turn the knife. Then be prepared to pay for it. We know that its not the final bill that stops us, its our priorities. The virus has exposed us like no revolution can, its made even the idiots amongst us stop to think. How we come out the other end will tell the tale.

  8. andy56

    The NDIS is travelling down a similar path. If the government took control of the industry and had an army of paid professionals on hand, how quickly the service will be looked on as outstanding. Yes government employees. At the moment, the private army is sucking funds as quickly as they are released and set to expand. Perfect opportunity to create worthwhile government jobs. Compassion comes at a cost, try to get a discount and compassion quickly evaporates.
    Yes it was a great labor initiative but flawed in that the core workforce is in private hands. Labor shows more compassion for sure but it needs to get away from Liberal lite.

  9. wam

    If you are rich enough to have cover you don’t get wet.
    Think of the flash cars of the past – the drivers were like the coach drivers and the horses out in the rain, The privileged still treat workers as receivers of their largesse not the producers of their wealth.
    People, like Dr Patience see the result of thatcher and reagan whilst josh sees the murdoch side of ‘dripping down ‘.
    They are both true unless you are forced to compare.
    As the base point of the lnp is not to be forced, remember the rabbott can lie to avoir pressure questions, into an evaluation comparison is not an issue.
    Kaye, Royal Commissions,
    Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013–2017)
    Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (2013–2014)
    Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption (2014–2015)
    Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Government of the Northern Territory (2016–2017)
    Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (2017–2019)
    Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (2018–present)
    Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (2019–present)
    Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements (2020–present)
    don’t seem to achieve much in any follow up???

  10. Neilwal

    Scummo – the tortured carrot-loper

  11. Anne Byam

    Very good article Rossleigh …

    While it is doubtless that staff ( and perhaps visitors earlier ) were responsible for bringing into the aged care facilities, this dreadful virus …. and while the residents are in a form of lockdown, or at least have been except for those who are ambulatory – who can go outside under supervision for enjoyment or a walk around freely – it is my experience having seen this very thing – that elderly people, especially those with even mild dementia, can wander in and out of others rooms, particularly as the rooms doors are most always open.

    That may have all changed now – I certainly hope it has / will. But prior to now I wonder what measures were put in place in ANY aged care facility since say February, to stop these resident walk-abouts, the how-are-yas, the stealing ( my late mother had items stolen – that goes back 10 years ) and the recreation rooms where people sit close to one another and if possible get up and move to talk to a friend – who has to lean close to hear what is being said ( being deaf – without hearing aids inserted because he/she cannot manipulate the hearing aids and re-battery them properly, and gets little to no help in doing so – family members were always relied upon to do those little jobs ).

    The point I am making is that only 1 person need bring in the virus, give it to 1 aged resident and that resident could easily pass it on to so many many others – in just a couple of hours after or even before, it has established itself in that 1 resident.

    And the level of care ( again going back 10 years – but apparently not much has changed ) was dismal, with people employed to do the lower types of jobs – the ‘downstairs’ stuff, who often literally could not speak or understand too much English at all. This was in a higher profile Anglicare aged care home in Melbourne, back then – and had permanent qualified nursing staff on hand 24/7, but so many of the casual / cleaning / delivery of meals etc. staff left much to be desired. I guess Anglicare had to make its money somehow ?

    The staffing arrangements have been ” looked at” now, but what action has been taken to improve it 100% ? It’s been minimal, especially from the Federal Government who are responsible for them all in Australia and for every aspect of running all aged care facilities.

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