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When ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word

The Prime Minister’s sorrowful words over the deaths in aged care homes could hardly be described as those of a sincere man.

l’m sorry to say it but they lacked the necessary honesty to be taken seriously. In my view apologies should be full of sincerity, delivered with appropriate remorse and if possible with a commitment to right a wrong.

Scott Morrison – when he does apologise – usually precedes it with a cavalcade of indulgent words of self-praise intended to compliment he and his government. This he did again in his apology for the disastrous events in commonwealth-run aged care homes.

It is most unusual to hear the Prime Minister apologise for anything, but on the deaths at government-run aged care facilities he has issued one of sorrowful defiance. Not exactly an apology.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care insists that no plan existed and Morrison reckons there was. Simple, just produce it and it’s settled.

But that aside, would it not be better to decide just how much value we place on the lives of our elderly citizens who have so steadfastly served the nation, and act accordingly? Do we have to call them clients and measure their value by profit in some annual report? “I wouldn’t send my own mother there“ rings true as do all the stories we hear about these, before death, resting places.

Dennis Atkins in The New Daily reports that Morrison “copped a punch” from the Royal Commission. Counsel assisting Peter Rosen QC gave Morrison a decent foot up the Kyber Pass finding that:

“… the government had no real infection control plan for COVID-19 related problems, all of which were foreseeable.“

“He said there was complacency and hubris at a federal level stemming from a sense of self-congratulation.”

Which of course leaves me with the most puzzling of questions. That being, that at the end of their third term in office the government will have served close to nine years with three prime ministers. During that time they have committed numerous very serious misdemeanours, including the rejection of climate change. The current prime minister has a list as long as the Flemington straight. So how come his popularity sits at 68 per cent?

The Aged Care Minister, Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck, the minister whose name is as memorable as the deputy prime minister’s, even came out from hibernation, uttered a few words that nobody remembers, or understood, and quickly went back to sleep.

They then pushed forward Professor Brendan Murphy who had earned a reputation during the crisis and is now head of the Commonwealth Health Department.

He in turn had trouble with the authority of the Royal Commission and his evidence was lost in his amateurish attempts at defending the government’s actions and tried to outline just how “plan prepared” they were. It was a hoax of sorts.

The Royal Commissioner gave him a wrap over the knuckles with a sit still and shut up instruction.

Prime Minister Morrison himself had spent the week in Canberra rugged up against the Canberra weather and the upcoming reports. Besides the aged care pasting he was expecting another regarding the Ruby Princess. This time for not allowing evidence.

Andrew Probyn tweeted that on March 15 – four days before the Ruby Princess docked saying that all cruise ships would be “directly under the command of the Australian Border Force.”



The fact that the government wouldn’t allow senior public servants to appear at the inquiry only serves to ignite flames of doubt. That they have something to hide. Without this evidence the report must be considered fundamentally flawed.

By this time bashing the Victorian Premier had become somewhat of a blood sport. The Melbourne Herald Sun even ran a popularity poll only to find they backed the wrong horse – and reported it on page 13 of a later edition.


Image from pedestrian.tv

It was to become a sport without a name played out each day as though there was no greater media occupation than to find out what Daniel Andrews had or hadn’t done the day before. They even overlooked the fact that his own side were feeding the “Blame Dan” frenzy.

Morrison, in the meantime, said everyone was doing their best and he was sorry. In the background his acolytes were doing as much damage as they could.

Morrison was, as animals do, marking clear lines of demarcation. If things went wrong with roles, responsibilities and outcomes then it was Andrews’ duty to explain, but being sympathetic and sorry was his.

Morrison is and has always been a man unable to search within when he is wrong. Instead he apportions blame to others. He juts his chin to display his arrogance and regret at having to display an ounce of honesty.

It’s not the weak that are unable to say sorry. It’s the strong and the privileged.

The wrongs of the Aged Care system have been known for many years. Twenty or more reports have been delivered to government with recommendations that could have been implemented at any time. Morrison has refused to do so and won’t tell us why.

It is wrong to say that he has ripped billions from the sector because people are rapidly becoming older, consequently government spends more. The real question is are we spending enough.

For a Christian thoroughly immersed in the empathetic teachings of Jesus he allows none to filter into his politics.

In fact, l read last week that 2601 was the current number of days that nearly 400 innocent humans in PNG, Nauru, and 200 people in onshore detention centres had spent in detention despite having never committed a crime.

If ever you needed an example of just how cruel our Prime Minister and his off-sider in inhumanity Peter Dutton can be then you only need to look at our treatment of refugees.

Watch out for the October budget.

Unless there are worldwide changes in leadership then we can hold out little hope for massive changes in the way democracy incorporates its politics.

It all relates to a gradual rise in narcissism and inequality together with a demise in compassion that illustrates the state of the world.

My thought for the day

Our lives should be subject to constant reflection, otherwise the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts.

PS: On concluding this piece I note that the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has apologised “unreservedly” to anyone affected by community transmission resulting from the disembarkation of the Ruby Princess.

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  1. Baby Jewels

    Sorry. Not sorry.

  2. New England Cocky

    Sadly JL ”It is what it is”; a self inflicted wound to Australian democracy demonstrating the unthinking political contempt held by Australian voters for politics, their lack of interest and excitement for economic development using public infrastructure projects, and indeed their self-indulgent carefree preference for sun, surf & sex washed down with a few beers.

    Now throw in a politically biased MSM owned by a foreigner intent upon imposing his father’s will on destroying ”Our ABC” while ”making the bastards [Labor] look bad”, mix in some corrupt UnChristian preachers of a ”family values” including amorality, adultery, & alcoholism for electorates where the sheep have all the brains and personal pecuniary interests become the dominant theme of Australian politics.

    In other times and other places in the past such a combination of factors have caused political revolutions as the parasites are cleansed from society. But not in Australia where ”She’ll be right, mate”‘. Right indeed, but not correct and certainly NOT for the benefit of all Australian voters.

  3. Ed

    How many must die to feed the party?

  4. Jack Cade

    Morrison reportedly had to take ‘empathy lessons’ when he descended into the role of leader of the troglodytes. That little ‘empathy’ speech showed that he needed acting lessons too.
    But hey! Who cares? Not Australians, evidently. We are becoming a country like Trump’s USA – a nation without a soul.

  5. Lance Nash

    I am not a supporter of either Morrison or Dutton but this article is very much slanted to the left. The ALP, particularly under the leadership of Gillard and Shorten, has done little to improve Aged Care or the plight of refugees and their children. Also, while he gets a good average pass, overall, Andrews should face scrutiny over the decision to use security companies to oversee quarantine. It is not appropriate to launch an enquiry and use it as a reason to refuse to discuss the matter.

  6. Geoff Andrews

    One hundred years ago. C.J.Dennis defined the Australian character as:

    “and they all grew idle & fond of ease
    and easy to swindle & hard to please.”

    Even a failed marketing man could make good use of those four characteristics if he had to sell a flawed product.

  7. leefe

    There is nothing strong about refusing to admit error. It is the truly weak who cannot – or will not – look at themselves honestly and see the harm they have done others. Privilege indeed, and totally unearned.
    You mistake power for strength. The difference is appearance, in reputation, but not in fact.

  8. Phil Pryor

    Morrison is a liar, a chronic abuser of truth, as he lives in a confected world, artificially imagined, that never ever existed. The denizens of this fantasy world, microbial and misinformed, are able to creare inner rules of special status, imagined elevation, superior intellectual levels, freedom of restraint in sin and forgiveness, blessed, saved, anointed, all a huge primitive load of lying shit. So, forgive and forget, move on, bluff and bluster and bullshit, blather and brave any counter argument out. Modern life for a democracy is ruined by these lesser types, cheating on thinking, denying what is a challenge to indoctrinated ignorance. Religious superstition is big business, money earning cheap capitalist raw material, cash for stupidity, fear, paranoeia, for guilt, for an imaginary second go. The great vatican/mafia duopoly runs much profitably, with almost automatic controls. Other great superstitions will threaten life and take it to maintain their position of supremacist superstitious imperial domineering. It is an old and fatal sickness, embracing stupidity for comfort, brainlessness for guidance, ignorance for knowledge, lies as a basis for decency and sense.

  9. Kathryn

    WOW, not surprised that Morrison’s shallow, insincere apologies register ZERO on the Credibility Meter! Morrison is as fake as a $3 note and has proven himself to be nothing more than a useless CAREER political parasite, a nefarious, totally corrupt, self-serving, non-achieving grub who is the THIRD HIGHEST PAID politician in the western world and who has barely worked more than 35 days throughout the WHOLE year! What an audacious, callously inhumane, stone cold Capitalist this lying, conniving and totally vacuous neoliberal oxygen thief is. The fact is that Morrison doesn’t give a damn about anything or anyone else but himself and the non-taxpaying multi-billionaire LNP donors whom they enrich and empower at the expense of ordinary Australians.

    In the meantime, whilst the LNP are so desperate to divert our attention with issues relating to Covid-19, in the BACKGROUND, this repugnant individual is pushing through legislation that is allowing our country to be fracked into oblivion, selling off and privatising EVERYTHING taxpayers own to foreign-owned corporate predators and infiltrating OUR taxpayer-owned ABC with LNP sycophants and right-wing extremists (like David Speers) in a fascist move to manipulate, distort and control EVERYTHING Australians hear and see! The fascist alliance between the LNP, the unelected capitalistic swill in the IPA and their evil Propaganda Minister, Rupert Murdoch, is unspeakably undemocratic, works AGAINST Australians’ basic rights to be able to hear and read IMPARTIAL news by distorting everything we see and hear with non-stop right-wing bias and neoliberal propaganda! The Australian Murdoch press is internationally notorious and widely considered to be the worst, most biased and blatantly right-wing media in the world and the so-called “journalists” employed under Murdoch as the most malignant, untalented pack of gutter-crawling hacks on the planet (the shrieking harridan, Miranda Devine and the truly vile Andrew Bolt are testaments to this fact)!

    The conniving, evasive MorriScam absolutely REFUSES to take any responsibility whatsoever for the chaos and dysfunction the LNP have caused over the last 7 years of appalling waste, non-stop lies, relentless broken promises, nepotism, corruption and dysfunction. Morrison has NEVER acknowledged the fact that, under the disreputable governance of the snivelling war criminal, John Howard, the LNP sold off and privatised our federally-run AGED CARE SYSTEM to marauding, billionaire parasites (many of whom are foreign-owned predators) whose ruthless greed place PROFIT ahead of CARE resulting in the drastic reduction of staff and criminal dereliction of first grade care to our elderly. This horrific decision to sell off government care to our elderly to the highest bidder had the tragic end-result of so many of our vulnerable aged citizens dying in dysfunctional, profit-driven aged care facilities – it has become a national and international DISGRACE bringing shame upon our nation.

    Now we have the deplorable situation where MorriScum and his band of morally-bankrupt, greedy miscreants in the LNP, having the frigging AUDACITY to try and pass the blame onto the shoulders of Daniel Andrews who is working like a TROJAN to undo the catastrophic damage undertaken by Howard and the monstrous ex-premier of Victoria, the neoliberal bastard, Jeff Kennett! MorriScam and the rest of the lying, conniving parasites in the LNP are not good enough to lick Daniel Andrew’s boots!

  10. Jack Cade

    Oliver Cromwell famously told painters that they should portray his as he was – ‘…warts and all.’
    Portraits of our last 3 PMs would just be warts…

  11. wam

    Billy spent wasted 6 years in not using the autocue to stir up the morning shows about the rabbott and his chooks 6 years of letting the lnp do the stirring. So far albo a moved one step forward with his warning about stirring when next they meet. I expect scummo to shift sideways to avoid.
    My expectation is that albo will stand up and announce how much payrise gillard’s folly gave him in 2020 and that he will not support the deferring of the pension indexation this september.

    ps lance
    aged care:
    Just in case there are some people thinking the canberra clp are interested in aged care, this is from morrison, as treasurer:
    2016-17 The Budget includes savings of $1.2 billion over four years through changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument … This is in addition to the $472.4 million savings over four years that were announced in t 2015–16.
    How about this from dec 2013 (the rabbott’s first economic statement)”The federal government has dismantled a $1.2bn Labor scheme to increase the pay of aged-care workers, arguing the package was designed to impose “unionism by stealth””.
    Maybe this from the lying rodent’s day will convince you that the clp cannot be trusted to govern for all. In 2000, Regina Lohr and Mike Head ended their article about the aged care crisis with a chilling and prophetic description of such government privatising health services.
    Like every other aspect of life, aged care has become an increasingly two-class system. High quality homes with modern facilities, strict medical and hygiene standards, fresh and nourishing food and tranquil surroundings exist—but they are reserved for the wealthy who can afford fees in the order of $900 a week and entry bonds around $250,000. For lower middle class and working class retirees, the conditions have become Dickensian.

    But setting the standard of dispassionate thought is the rabbott’s little 2013 homily, delivered as he was demolishing labor’s aged-care workers’ pay initiative:
    We will work with providers to ensure available funding from the $1.2bn is distributed in a way that is more flexible and better targeted, without jeopardising the VIABILITY of aged care facilities.”
    The clp mentality of profit first society second has caused great hardship and in the aged care centre it has gone too far.

  12. Princess Mombi

    “Lance NashAugust 19, 2020 at 9:07 am
    I am not a supporter of either Morrison or Dutton but this article is very much slanted to the left. The ALP, particularly under the leadership of Gillard and Shorten, has done little to improve Aged Care” – UMMMM – AGED CARE IS A FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!!

  13. Florence Howarth

    I will let you guess who accused Andrews of giving to many stats on aged care. Seems doing so makes the PM look bad. Sure does. Makes him look a liar as well every time he takes credit for the massive improvement in aged care.

  14. Jack Cade

    As Princess Mombi has pointed out to the new – probably oncer – Lance Nash – Aged Care is a federal responsibility, and Andrews was given a list of bodies recommended to use to oversee quarantine by our dear leader.

  15. Ray

    John, I’m in about the same age bracket as you so I keep one eye on what is happening in Aged Care and pensioner world in general. The LNP looks at Aged Care through the lens of how to maximize profits through leasing beds and how best to send business the way of Big Pharma.
    The latest news out of blamestream media is that a free vaccine deal has been arranged by the govt with Astra Zeneca.
    Now the debate in govt is who should the vaccine be given to first. The idea floated this morning was pensioners should be the first guinea pigs off the rank.
    But this from the vaccine maker itself (30 July 2020):
    ‘AstraZeneca has been granted protection from future product liability claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine … the question of who pays for any claims for damages in case of side effects has been a tricky point in supply negotiations. … a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in … four years the vaccine is showing side effects’
    The govt wants me to take a vaccine the maker cannot guarantee for 4 years. Forget it. I can get more warranty on a cheap toaster. Take your free vaccine and give it to those most in need of a cure for duplicitous stupidity – politicians, journalist and pharmacists.
    If they want to give a vaccine, safety test it properly, it’s not a difficult concept to comprehend.

  16. Jon Chesterson

    Morrison is a narcissist, he knows not how to empathise, and substitutes warmth and understanding for arrogance and cliche. ‘Unfortunately’ he has a little more intelligence than Trump and he knows what to say, but not how to say it – he sermonises with platitudes and judgmental phrases, patronises and uses mocking slogans to put those who question him down, his latest unnecessary orphan comment this morning to a journalist was ‘we don’t dish out jelly beans’ preceding his reply, so it is in the content of his speech and vocabulary too. His body language, intonation, non-linguistics, attitude, facial expression, incongruent smirks and body language give away his disingenuous manner and motives, and one must always remember his fiery aggression in Parliament, his persistent lies, his absence and belated incompetence in times of crisis followed by band aid overtures and announcements not worth the airwaves they’re spread on. His non-verbals (behavioural) represents more than 70% of his communication, not always consciously visible to many, but this is what we see and how we know he is neither trustworthy nor respectful, rather deliberately combative, defensive, arrogant, emotionally detached, ignorant and arrogant. Compare this with Dan Andrews and you will see they are worlds apart, even before you consider which side of politics they come from. Unlike Dan Andrews, he is disingenuous and dishonest, he doesn’t care for or about others – He is entirely unfit for office.

  17. Jon Chesterson

    ‘Morrison was, as animals do, marking clear lines of demarcation. If things went wrong with roles, responsibilities and outcomes then it was Andrews’ duty to explain, but being sympathetic and sorry was his’ – Disingenuously.

    Quite literally – Morrison pisses in his own territory but especially he pisses on yours!

  18. Terence Mills

    Peter Dutton is worried about COVID-19 taking off in Australian refugee detention centres including those holed up in motels in Brisbane and Melbourne.

    Spud’s solution is to open up Christmas Island at a cost of $55million plus ongoing costs which will allow him to move these folk off the mainland and into this offshore island where you will hear no more of them.

    Some of these folk have been in detention for eight years and yet have not committed any crime – think about that !

  19. Kathryn

    Let me remind Princess Mombi that it was JOHN HOWARD who sold-off and privatised government-run aged care facilities throughout Australia to foreign-owned predators. Even BUPA is British owned and just about every government-run aged care facility that USED to be held to a standard, are now being run by profit-obsessed multimillionaires like the smug, self-obsessed and callously inhumane aged-care moguls Tony Antonopoulos and Peter Arvanitis – the smug, billionaire owners of the tragic Epping Gardens which is now considered a PETRI DISH for Covid-19!

    Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten had absolutely NOTHING to do with the sale and privatisation of aged care facilities – in fact, Labor policy is, in most cases, AGAINST the sale and privatisation of government-owned facilities. The disgusting sale of our aged care facilities to the highest bidder was all down to the war criminal, John Howard. As usual, whenever the LNP are in government, everything turns to SHIT in record time! Before you start pointing a finger, get the facts straight first ….


  20. Jack Cade


    Yes. Howard is responsible for the L-NP as it is today. All of the social and economic Ills of our slice of western society can be sheeted home to Reagan in the USA, Thatcher in the UK, and later Howard in Australia. I was appalled to hear Frydenberg lauding the Henna’d Harridan a week or so ago. George Galloway, who loathed Thatcher and opposed much of what Tony Blair did, has many times pointed out that Thatcher, when asked what her proudest achievement was, said ‘Tony Blair and New Labour.’
    When Thatcher died (I hope someone had the foresight to drive a stake through the corpse’s heart, assuming they could detect one) the BBC banned the playing of ‘Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead’ although there were thousands of requests for it.
    I make a point of playing it myself, on the anniversary.

  21. New England Cocky

    @kathryn: I am concerned that you are attempting to swipe the crown for accurate representation of the Scummo Sacked from Marketing COALition misgovernment from that doyen of description Phil Pryor. We are truly blessed to have not one, but two, articulate commentators who have the ability to accurately present our feelings about the present diabolical state of Australian politics under the control of foreign owned multinational corporations intent upon making Australia the worst third world export economy in the OECD.

  22. Phil Pryor

    Good onya, Cocky, and to Katherine too, for some useful facts to support the suppressed state of truith, things going back to my old classmate, the Hurlstone Park Whore for notice, the Earlwood Excremental Expulsion, Jack Howard. He was a self fixated nagging stirrer, fully convinced of his potential magnificence in a bid to project his future glory and avoid the inner thought that he might not even be worth a pinch of possum poo. Old people’s homes, (and I could become a candidate) are full of old buggers fit to be expended in short cut cheap profiteering. The heartless, gutless, brainless turds in this scenario should be eliminated, starting with the P M.

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