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.”
Here's the PM on March 15, four days before Ruby Princess docked, saying cruise ships would be put "directly under the command of the Australian Border Force"… https://t.co/kIWNOlgt5V pic.twitter.com/t27mGgSr1h
— Andrew Probyn (@andrewprobyn) August 13, 2020
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.
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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