On Wednesday, 20 July, The Prime Minister did three radio interviews. During the third on Melbourne’s KIIS 101.1, he was asked by the host Jase Hawkins to apologise for the “nightmare” of the vaccine rollout.
“Can you honestly say to me that the government has taken accountability?” he said.
“Like, I have never heard the word ‘sorry’ – ‘guys you know what, sorry, we did screw it up, but we are getting it right now’.”
For the entirety of the interview, Jase tried to elicit the word “sorry” from the Prime Minister. It was like trying to extract blood from a stone. He did, however, manage an admission of sorts that he was responsible for Australia being last on a list of nations well ahead of us with their vaccination programs.
He eventually conceded this fact but still refused to apologise.
“I am accountable for the vaccination program and everything that has happened in it.
“And I am also accountable for fixing it, and that is what I am doing.”
In Mathew Matt 7:15-20 of the Christian Bible, the author speaks of false prophets, saying you can spot false prophets by their behaviour.
It is a scripture that the Prime Minister would be very familiar with.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing”) for inwardly, “they are ravenous wolves.”
So, who takes responsibility for all the mistakes, lies, deaths, illnesses, billions of dollars of losses, quarantine failures and mental illnesses?
“Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
The Prime Minister continuously blames others, misleads and tries to lie his way out of situations. He has played a political game from which we have inherited so much misery and pain. He is responsible for the bitter harvest we have reaped. Consequently, he will be called out for his indiscretions until the next election.
One of the perils of writing articles of condemnation is that the person in question – midway through your writing – does an about-face and apologises for his actions.
And this is what happened. Before I had finished, I was greeted with this headline on news.com “PM apologises for vaccine rollout failure, despite previously denying responsibility.”
The article essentially said that:
“Adelaide’s FIVEaa radio hosts David and Will told the PM: “The reason you’ve got 12 million people in lockdown is because you got it (the rollout) so wrong in the first place.”
“No, I don’t accept that,” Mr Morrison said.
The PM made similar deflections later on Wednesday on ABC radio:
“We’ve had our problems … many have been out of our control,” he insisted.
But after 24 hours of intense scrutiny, “Mr Morrison chose a different form of words on Thursday.”
Then is the space of 24 hours; on Thursday, he had changed his tune. He had been lying.
“I take responsibility for the things that haven’t gone as well as we have liked and I take responsibility for the things that have worked as well,” he said.
But when pressed by reporters on why he didn’t accept responsibility sooner, Mr Morrison said:
“I think I have been very clear that as Prime Minister I am responsible for the vaccination program and I also have been very clear that that responsibility means fixing and dealing with the problems that we’ve had.”
In a mood of utter disgust and dissatisfaction that what I had read could in any way be described as an apology, I went in search of some words of sincerity that might be apologetic.
The nearest I came across was in The Guardian:
“I’m certainly sorry we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we hoped for at the beginning of this year,”
“Now hang on,” I thought to myself. Here we have arguably the worst public policy stuff up in the nation’s history, one that has cost many lives and will cost many more, and this is an apology. Simply outrageous
Perhaps in my haste to extract an apology from this buffoon purporting to be a leader, I have lost sight of the bigger picture. The need to have more people vaccinated. That this should be the main aim after all.
Or perhaps I find the apology empty because if he can find a few words representing an apology in this matter, he should be able to do so for the many other instances that require one.
For this reason, I cannot say that the apology offered is sufficient. It lacks grace and sincerity, and importantly it is devoid of anything that might restore the trust that has been lost.
It is difficult to restore trust in a leader who, when confronted by significant decisions (no matter the circumstances), allows his politics or religion to replace the common good.
We have so many lockdowns because Scott Morrison used his political judgment rather than his common sense and placed too much faith in AstraZeneca rather than putting in an order for Pfizer in July 2020.
He said that we were in the “front of the queue.”
When it became apparent that we were last, Mr Morrison changed his mind and said, “this isn’t a race.”
Contrary to the fact that we are in a race to save lives, Scott Morrison re-iterated in March and on no less than three other occasions, “it’s not a race, it’s not a competition.”
My thought for the day
Leaders who cannot comprehend the importance of truth and trust as being fundamental to the democratic process make the most contribution to its demise.
PS: “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
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