As so often with Morrison, there is no overall strategy – simply a series of reactive measures which, he hopes, will do the job unless a next one is needed. and then another one, and another one …
Scott Morrison insists that his message is clear – the government is fully on top of the coronavirus crisis, there is no reason for doubt or uncertainty.
Well, up to a point, prime minister. Viewed individually, ScoMo’s present barrage of edicts are indeed firm and unequivocal. If they are taken at face value, there is no room for confusion.
But the problem is that, taken together, they are not only confusing but often self-contradictory. As so often with Morrison, there is no overall strategy – simply a series of reactive measures which, he hopes, will do the job unless a next one is needed. and then another one, and another one …
The basic dilemma that has still not been resolved is whether we are to treat this as a disaster on a truly monumental scale, a crisis like the great pandemics of the past, rivaling world wars and the Great Depression in their long term destruction; or a temporary set back – a severe one, no doubt, but an aberration that can be managed with a shit load of taxpayer money a dash of discipline and patriotism until we bounce back and a resiient Australia resumes its triumphal progress under the steady and stable hands of the coalition.
In the first scenario, we have closed our borders, the Reserve Bank has taken unprecedented steps to save the remnants of a devastated economy and a quasi state of emergency is in place – there is even talk of the free-enterprise government considering nationalising sections of industry and rationing essential goods
But on the other side, gatherings have been limited but not shut down, schools, universities and even casinos remain open for business, and although I have been condemned to home isolation, I am able — indeed encouraged – to watch TV sport in which groups of athletes indulge in as much close personal contact as possible.
And there is confusion at all levels. In spite of Morrison’s worthy initiative in bringing the state and territory leaders into a national cabinet, he has mean-mindedly excluded the federal opposition .. Anthony Albanese has pointedly not been offered a guernsey. Although the idea is apparently to coordinate a nationwide approach Tasmania has effectively seceded from the mainland. Mixed messages galore.
And there is little point in telling everyone else to shut up and do what we are told, when those telling us admit that things are changing too fast for even them to catch up. The chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, said last week that the schools would, must, stay open – for now, but if circumstances changed, so would the policy.
Fair enough, but hardly reassuring to those who are already conflicted about what to do with their children. The Catholics are in open warfare, and some others in the private sector are voting with their feet. The arguments are complex and there is sense on both sides.
Morrison is adhering to the official, current, advice – he says he is happy to send his own children to school and for what it’s worth I feel the same about my grandchildren. But I do not regard Morrison’s – or my own – preference as making the position, or the message, unequivocally clear.
It would be nice to think that the resumption of parliament will sort it all out. Perhaps such wishful thinking is about all we have left.
Republished with – I devoutly hope – the kind permission of John Menadue
934 thoughts on “Mungo MacCallum on Covid-19”
Tim Brooke-Taylor has been a big part of my life. My family shared with me the escapades of The Goodies as well as the radio shows of I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue in which he’s been involved in from 1963 to 2019.
I feel very sad tonight to learn that he’s died from this wretched pestilence.
Tim was a very funny man and I hope that people in the future can still get joy out of life from what he has contributed.
Yes, same here. There are people really are missed,and who leave behind a positive legacy. The world is a better place because of them.
He was righjt……………………………….eventually 😦
Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Rather slim pickings today I’m afraid!
National cabinet has begun planning for advanced coronavirus surveillance and tracking methods to take the place of tough social distancing measures.
Leading us out of the maze will be as hard as taking us in opines Shaun Carney.
According to the AAP some doctors moving away from ventilators.
Sean Kelly is pleased that Scott Morrison is starting to take us into his confidence.
Euan Black explains why the coronavirus must spark a revival in Australian manufacturing.
Dr Anthony Fauci appeared on Sunday to confirm a bombshell New York Times report which said he and other Trump administration officials recommended the implementation of social distancing to combat the coronavirus in February, but were rebuffed for almost a month.
Ariel Dorfman warned of Trump’s attack on science but he never predicted the horror that lay ahead.
Paul Keating piles into Tony Shepherd, saying national emergency is no time for an attack on retirement savings.
Even if wealthy nations succeed in slowing the disease over the next few months, COVID-19 could return if the pandemic remains severe enough elsewhere, warns Bill Gates.
This epidemiologist simply does not know how long this social distancing framework will go on for.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to be leading the most un-Christian government I can remember. Fortunately, the virus crisis seems to be bringing out his more caring side”, writes Ross Gittins.
Leading national security official Border Force boss Michael Outram has called for a “hardening” of biosecurity at Australian ports in the wake of the Ruby Princess fiasco, in which scores of passengers infected with COVID-19 were dispersed across the country.
The operator of a cruise ship that sailed off the coast of Argentina in the same week that the deadly coronavirus was declared a global pandemic has been described as “irresponsible” by Australian medical experts.
Telstra boss Andy Penn says the coronavirus pandemic offers the perfect opportunity for the telco to further automate parts of its business.
Multiple nominations here from Kate McClymont for “Arseholes of the Week”.
From the US
BoJo sounding quite different after ,from the sound of it, a close encounter with his own mortality. Will it last ?
Well, it’s your baby, Outram!
“The operator of a cruise ship that sailed off the coast of Argentina in the same week that the deadly coronavirus was declared a global pandemic has been described as “irresponsible” by Australian medical experts.”
Equally irresponsible- the idiots who cheerfully embarked for that cruise, smugly assuming “it won’t happen to me”.
Dance along 🙂
Family Lockdown Boogie
All these journalists gushing over the CrimeMinister are making me want to throw up. He is “taking us into his confidence” (no, he has not) they say, and “showing his softer side” (he doesn’t have one).
They are gushing so much theynow seem to be portraying the CrimeMinister as some sort of Christ-like figure. Another week of this adoration and they will be assuring us they saw him walk across Lake Burley Griffin.
Ross Gittins has been completely fooled. He says –
There is nothing Christian or remotely “Christlike” about the CrimeMinister or the cargo cult he follows. He is greed personified, spite in human form.
Let’s dissect Gittins’ claims.
First his claim Rudd ignored the unemployed. Not exactly. Anyone unemployed who was studying received a $950 study allowance. People receiving Family Tax Benefit A, including unemployed families, received $1000 per child. The bulding stimulus Rudd created saw many unemployed find work.
Next – the CrimeMinister initially wanted to segregate the unemployed into two groups – the already jobless, who he still sees as undeserving bludgers, and those who would become jobless “through no fault of their own” as a result of business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus. The deserving unemployed were to get the bonus, the undeserving ones would stay on their inadequate pittance. He was persuaded – more likely dragged kicking and screaming – to give all unemployed the same payment,
This increased payment is temporary, for six months only. After that who knows what will happen. It might have to stay a few more months, or it might be pulled back to the original JobSeeker level immediately that six months is up. Either way this payment is not going to be permanent. It is ridiculous for any journalist to be telling us otherwise.
Money borrowed to finance stimulus payments has to be paid back. The CrimeMinister is still insisting his planned business tax cuts will go ahead. They have to be paid for too, and going by past history this government will penalise the unemployed, the disabled, the NDIS clients and public health care to find the funds.
The SMH is a lost cause now, filled with praise for a PM and a government that are doing little. If we did not have the state premiers, especially Andrews, leading the way and unions managing to negotiate with government ministers Australia would be on a par with the US by now, suffering a total lack of leadership. The CrimeMinister is not a leader, he’s not a leader’s bootstrap. He follows others. He is indecisive and weak. He is a coward. His daily pressers are a joke – thank goodness we were spared them over the weekend as he hunkered down in The Lodge with his family (rumour has it his mother and mother-in-law are there as well) to watch services from Horizon on Zoom.
Update on Saturday’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” and “Idiot of the Week”.celebrity scammer and total idiot Pete Evans.
Coronavirus treatment spruiked by chef Pete Evans criticised by health associations, to be investigated by TGA
Whinge ….. whine …… moan ……
No-one forced Ms Arena to buy a $5.7 million Toorak mansion. Why not sell it and buy something smaller and cheaper? Or is she hoping her No 1 fan the CrimeMinister will chip in with a donation?
Taxpayers already give this whinger $32,880 a year as a member of the Australia Council for the Arts, a year ago she was appointed to the board for a three year term. I wonder whose idea that was? So when she says she has not “worked” in 18 months she is lying. She has a job. It just doesn’t pay enough to support a mortgage on a mansion.
Tina Arena appointed to peak arts body
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