When both teams complain about the umpire’s decisions, there’s a tendency to presume that there was no bias because both were upset about perceived injustices. Of course, there is the possibility that the umpire was just terrible.
A few days ago, I started to feel sorry for Scott Morrison because he was being attacked from both sides of politics. While the IPA and business interests were telling everyone that we needed to end restrictions because the economy’s more important than a few deaths here and there, there were some on the left that saw the lockdown as part of a conspiracy to stop protests and to impose a fascist state…
Now, I’m not dismissing either viewpoint entirely. While I think that some people have expressed it badly, there is a case for saying that we need to work out a cost-benefit analysis for easing restrictions. On one hand, too much restriction on the economy may lead to deaths anyway and letting the virus rip will mainly kill old people, speeding up your inheritance and possibly getting rid of Rupert…
Ok, calm down people, I didn’t say that I supported this view. I just said there was a case to be examined. I’m not John Kehoe who wrote that his father had had a good run at 68 and he was sure that his dad would be happy to give up his life for the good of the economy. Clearly his parents weren’t among those who weren’t prepared to give up their franking credits for the good of the budget a year back, but a lot can change in a year.
Take Alexander Downer who tweeted: “We either save avoidable deaths & destroy society OR accept avoidable deaths & save society. The moral dilemma of our time.” In the short time since he’s left his public role, he’s managed to develop a concept of a “dilemma”. That’s progress.
And I do understand the concern from some of the more paranoid among us… particularly those who are concerned that 5G will activate the vaccines that they refuse to have because polio was a made-up disease and then there’ll be no stopping the lizard people from taking total control. Without subscribing to any of the various conspiracy theories, I do share the concern that Covid-19 shows how easily a government can just impose restrictions, shut down Parliament and start making decisions with little or no oversight. While Labor objected, the media did manage to treat this as though Parliament was another one of those bureaucratic bits of red tape that we don’t need in an emergency.
So there I was feeling like I should write a considered piece on the difficulties of doing anything right in such a troubled time. There I was thinking that we could move on and say: “How good is ScoMo?” and just forget the trip to Hawaii, the inability to actually deliver a surplus, Robodebt, his refusal to say that he’d tried to get Brian Houston an invite to the White House, the sports rorts, his refusal to even think about a solution for the people on Manus and Nauru, Watergate, the corruption, the Ruby Princess debacle, his annoying habit of suggesting curry as the solution to any problem big or even bigger, his insistence that his religion is a private matter which can only be used by him in statements as PM, his inappropriate smirk when disaster strikes… Yes, we could just forget all that and press the reset button. Yes, because he hasn’t completely stuffed things up this time we could start writing him up as one of the great Australian Prime Ministers. Wait, did I say “Australian”? Too limited. He was bordering on being one of the great all-time leaders with his consistent messages once the rugby stopped and the Hillsong conference was over.
And then today, he makes a statement suggesting that teachers shouldn’t force parents to choose between homeschooling their child and “putting food on the table”. This just shows that Morrison could limbo under a snake’s belly without limbering up.
Ideally, of course, every kid should be at school. So let’s start with the idea that this is not an ideal situation. Here in Victoria, the government has announced that second term will be done via remote learning as far as possible with provision for parents to send kids to school “if they need to”. It’s not ideal, but it’s clear.
Now when Morrison makes his pronouncement suggesting homeschooling is forcing people into starvation, he conveniently overlooks that it’s not teachers who are making these decisions. When our PM asked teachers to “reopen the schools”, he conveniently overlooked the fact that most of them don’t have alarm keys and they’d be soon grabbed by police or security guards. Just like when he closed Parliament, but to keep schools open there was no teacher input into that decision. Teachers who felt at risk only had the choice of letting down their students and taking sick leave.
It struck me as odd several times that playgrounds had to be closed to stop children picking up Covid-19 but it was just fine for them to potentially pick it up at school because it doesn’t affect young people that badly, according to our Chief Medical Officer. Which always begged the question, “But what about the people they take it home to?”
I could list several other reasons why Morrison’s statement is inconsistent and potentially dangerous, but I’ll stick to one main one: Yet again he seeks to suggest that someone else is to blame, that like his role model Trump, he has limited power but he’s the one in charge. I can’t make that decision, but you don’t get to make this one.
You know how it goes. I can’t help with the bushfires because it’s a state thing and Gladys didn’t want any help, but now I’m sending in the army because it’s about time I took charge which I couldn’t do before because it wasn’t my job but I can do it now because I want to take some credit for something that’s going right.
Recently, Scottie compared himself to Moses. To be fair to Moses, he led people around in the wilderness for forty years because he was commanded to by God. I trust that isn’t ScoMoses’ excuse.
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