Mungo MacCallum on Covid-19

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

  1. Kaffeeklatscher,

    As a certain psychiatrist said to me nearly 3 decades ago:

    “Fiona, the only reason you won’t have a cat is that you don’t want the competition …”

    • I would like another dog but the bloody pound is shut! Demi did not die under the wheels of a car, she died of her y epsidother vice, eating anything that vaguely resembled food, ended up blocking her bowel.

      One funny episode of this: in Tassie last April, had a chili pizza delivered. Really nice and hot—I had to eat it slowly or it would burn my mouth! Ate all but one slice, told the dog “Let’s have a rest for a while!” Sure, fine, we hit the sack. I woke up 3 hours later and thought “That pizza box is no longer on the kitchen table” and it sure wasn’t. I did wonder if Demi had some hot farts as a consequence?

      Any crossbreed or mongrel will do! I do like terriers, independent minded little SOBs!

  2. Tony Blah’s right hand man Alistair Campbell goes the gush for Ardern………………Having also been watching daily he is not wrong.(paywalled)
    Staying at home in London 23 hours a day, without a direct role to play, I spend much of my time reading about, and watching, different leaders. Until now, Cuomo has been my stand-out crisis manager. I have now found another, and I am now recommending that leaders and teams around the world look at her public presentations, and seek to learn lessons.

    Yes, it is a she, namely Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    …You have to devise, execute and narrate a strategy. You have to set out difficult choices, make difficult decisions, take the country into your confidence about why you are making them. You have to live by example, and you have to show genuine empathy and understanding for the difficulties your people are facing, and take them with you.

    Having now watched all the key moments in Prime Minister Ardern’s handling of the crisis, I would say she has scored high marks on all of the above.

    • Ms Ardern is beyond exemplary. She is inspirational.

      IF ONLY all world leaders would follow her example.

    • According to the divvying up of responsibilities between the states and the federal government states get responsibility for ports, which explains why states can and do lease ports to anyone who will pay. That responsibility means, among other things, deciding which ships will be permitted to unload cargo and passengers and what should be done with ships carrying plagues.

      Border Force is responsible for checking the legality of passengers getting off those ships – checking passports and detecting illegal arrivals, inspecting luggage for illegal imports, doing drug checks and searches and other stuff. They “protect our borders” from illegal salami and weird Asian plants, from drugs and of course from undesirables.

      It was NSW Health’s responsibility to decide whether or not a ship full of sick people could dock and unload all its passengers.

      From what I’ve read this seems to be what happened –

      Initially the Ruby Princess was going to be left sitting in the harbour in quarantine until, it seems, someone asked the head of the cruise company to lean on the NSW minister/Sydney port authority (depending what story you read) and demand the Ruby Princess be allowed to dock, which then caused a whole string of lies from the ship about the health of passengers. The end result – whoever was responsible, the port authority, NSW Health, or someone else quickly reversed the first decision and allowed the ship to dock. We all know what happened next.

      No-one is going to admit fault in this mess, not NSW Health, not the port authority, not the cruise company and not Border Force. They are going to keep on saying “It wasn’t me, it was THEM” forever, or until such time as the NSW police reach a conclusion to their investigation. As they could not even find a case against Anus Taylor when it was obvious he was up to his neck in rorts I don’t think we have much hope of that inquiry going anywhere.

  3. Fiona

    I thought Ardern was pretty good before but having watched all her videos during the last few weeks i have become a full on fan.

    A 😆 observation from NZ’s main Newspaper was in an article listing 8 reasons why NZ is well placed to see this pandemic through. No.8 We have sane leaders .

    • Yes indeedy.

      BoJo, TrumPo, and ScoMo should watch and learn.

      Any bets on their doing so???

  4. Not good news.

    Eric Feigl-Ding
    This is very worrisome. Among recovered former #COVID19 cases, “nearly a third had unexpectedly low levels of antibodies. In some cases, antibodies could not be detected at all.” 🤔
    Coronavirus: low antibody levels raise questions about reinfection risk
    Scientists in Shanghai say some recovered patients show no signs of the neutralising proteins.
    Coronavirus: low antibody levels raise questions about reinfection risk
    Scientists in Shanghai say some recovered patients show no signs of the neutralising proteins
    Early-stage findings could have implications for vaccine development and herd immunity, they say.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Surprise, surprise! Between March 30 and April 5, demand across much of the economy was supported by lower income people, who were the main recipients of the stimulus payment.
    Andrew Charlton says that in times of crisis we need to track spending in real time to reveal how we’re dealing with the downturn. His company has a way of doing this.
    Dennis Shanahan writes that on a parliamentary day when everyone talked about co-operation, constructive behaviour, team Australia, working together and agreeing to pass the $130bn JobKeeper payments for six million workers, the Coalition and Labor were actually talking about different things. He says for Morrison the focus is now, for Labor the focus is later.
    The SMH reveals that an Australian Border Force officer told a Sydney harbourmaster to allow the troubled Ruby Princess to dock despite the ship having as many as 140 passengers in isolation on board. The plot thickens.
    Meanwhile detectives have raided the Ruby Princess cruise ship to seize evidence and question crew members about the docking and disembarkation of passengers in Sydney three weeks ago.
    Daniel Andrews has cautioned against easing social-distancing laws too soon, pointing out that US President Donald Trump talked two weeks ago about ending the shutdown by Easter — in just three days time — and is now presiding over a country gripped by death, where ice rinks are being used as mortuaries and New York’s Central Park as a field hospital.
    Phil Coorey explains why Morrison dropped the ‘snap back’ strategy.
    Smaller doctor-owned general practices are on the brink of financial collapse due to revenue losses from Covid-19, prompting fears more patients will be unnecessarily pushed into an already overstretched hospital system.
    Isabelle Lane looks at Australia’s telehealth revolution and explains how coronavirus is changing the way we access healthcare.
    Jess Irvine says that we shouldn’t add government debt to your list of things to worry about. There are enough of those already.
    Daniel Andrews has asked the PM to quickly release secret sections of a report on the historical conduct of Cardinal George Pell, in the wake of the senior Catholic’s acquittal on child sex abuse charges. Absolutely!
    The editorial in The Age says the Pell decision must not deter victims from speaking out. It also calls for the release of the redacted parts of the Royal Commission report.
    Legal academic Marylin McMahon looks at the Pell decision and explains why sexual offence trials often result in acquittal, even with credible witnesses.
    RJ Smith describes Pell’s Pyrrhic victory.
    In an interesting contribution Malcom Knox says that there are 12 unmentioned victims in the Pell verdict. The jurors.
    Former chief executive of the Catholic church’s truth justice and healing council, Francis Sullivan, opines that it is not possible to divorce George Pell’s acquittal from the Catholic church’s history of child abuse. He says that with the matter concluded the Catholic bishops should end their obsession with Pell and take up their moral responsibility to the victims of church perpetrators and those who obfuscated and concealed on their behalf.
    The ABC is re-editing, and will then restore online its documentary series Revelation, which includes previously unheard details of allegations against Cardinal George Pell the broadcaster has confirmed.
    In the same way the Black Death impacted art and religion, COVID-19 will shape our post-pandemic reality writes the AFR’s Andrew Clark.
    Rent waivers proportionate to lost revenue are needed for all businesses that meet the JobKeeper thresholds – and many big operations need rent relief, too writes Danielle Wood.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz suggests that the coronavirus will accelerate the trend towards a cashless society.
    Ratings agency puts Australia’s triple A credit rating on notice as job ads dive and the government faces the largest deficit since World War II reports Shane Wright.
    But employment in Australia’s renewable energy sector surged nearly 30 per cent to its highest-ever level following a boom in wind and solar power construction activity in 2018-19.
    Many residents in aged care facilities rely on their loved ones to feed them. We need a better option than a categorical ban on visitors during the COVID-19 lockdown say these two advocates.
    An “alarming” rise in online gambling coupled with an increase in alcohol sales has experts worried they will see a significant increase in harm caused to people who are isolated and financially stressed.
    NSW Police will use number plate recognition technology and cameras to ensure people adhere to social distancing measures over the Easter long weekend.
    Toll road behemoth Transurban pays no tax and controls 18 toll roads. How sustainable is this suite of tolling monopolies? Michael West investigates.
    Jonathan Freedland says that the coronavirus crisis has transformed our view of what’s important.
    The Age reports that the judicial umpire in Victoria has upheld complaints against a magistrate who told a rape victim she “put herself in that position” and a domestic violence survivor that it was “her right to get beaten up if she wants to”.
    Should the Narrabri project get the green light, high levels of CO2 will be vented straight into the atmosphere, hardly the credentials for a “low carbon” transition fuel claimed by Santos in its 2020 Climate Change Report. Chemical engineer and energy industry veteran, Dr Andrew Grogan reports.
    The World Health Organisation’s Director General has responded to US President Donald Trump’s criticism of the organisation, saying countries should avoid politicising the virus issue “if you don’t want to have many more body bags”.
    If coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, how come black people are bearing the brunt in the US ponders Afua Hirsch.
    That’s it for Bernie Sanders’ tilt at the Presidency.
    ‘We won’t see coronavirus here’ … and other gems from Trump’s new press secretary. She looks and sounds like she’s straight from Fox News!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Mark David

    Peter Broelman

    Alan Moir

    Andrew Dyson

    Cathy Wilcox

    Dionne Gain

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Glen Le Lievre

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  6. Although Trump is about the worst possible person to have in the office at a time like this the US schemozzle has been years in the making.

    Responsibility for pandemic preparation was privatized under the Obama and Trump administrations. It·s time to face down the national security state that wasted trillions on imperial wars and abandoned Americans to fight coronavirus alone.

    by Gareth Porter Posted onApril 08, 2020

    Donald Trump’s failure to act decisively to control the coronavirus pandemic has likely made the Covid-19 pandemic far more lethal than it should have been. But the reasons behind failure to get protective and life-saving equipment like masks and ventilators into the hands of health workers and hospitals run deeper than Trump’s self-centered recklessness.

    Both the Obama and Trump administrations quietly delegated state and local authorities with the essential national security responsibility for obtaining and distributing these vital items

  7. Chicken or the egg ? Was the RW support for the “miracle” drug hydroxychloroquine the result of Trumpenstein’s touting it or was Trumpenstein’s touting that brought about the RW support ?

    Whatever the case a look at the phenomena.
    Hydroxychloroquine: how an unproven drug became Trump’s coronavirus ‘miracle cure’

    …………………..But it’s also a story as old as medicine itself. When an epidemic killed thousands in ancient Rome, said Aaron Shakow, a research associate at Harvard Medical School and historian of medicine, the chief physician of the emperor Nero circulated a recipe for an old miracle cure.
    “It was an attempt by Nero to sustain his legitimacy in the midst of this catastrophic event,” Shakow said. “Epidemics are dangerous to rulers.”

  8. Bloody tony shepherd is saying over 70’s and vulnerable people should stay locked down, but everyone else can let her rip, so ‘businesses’ can get back to making their billion dollar profits. %#%$^#&@@&#$%#^%@@

    • Gideon Rozner, a little worm from the IPA, had a video up the other day urging the end of isolation because the IPA wants people to get back to making money for their bosses. Shepherd is just pushing the IPA/conservative view.

      I didn’t bother posting Rozner’s drivel because I’m not interested in giving the IPA free publicity.

      These types assume they will be immune, but if BoJo can end up in intensive care then so can they,

  9. “Surprise, surprise! Between March 30 and April 5, demand across much of the economy was supported by lower income people, who were the main recipients of the stimulus payment.”

    Not as much as whatever dolt wrote that article would have us believe.

    Not everyone received their payment last week. Mine arrived yesterday – 8 April – and I have not spent any of it yet. It will be used to buy a new washing machine, any left-overs will sit in the bank. Others are still waiting for their payment. Whatever department is handing out that money is taking their time.

    The original announcement said payments would start “from” 31 March, not “on” that date.

    Journalists need to do better research.

    The second payment is from 13 July, just in time for me to pay all the car rego costs.

    • Got mine on Tuesday, haven’t been shopping for about 3 weeks, will have to do a trip next week. Buying our milk and bread here in our little town, as usual.

  10. They didn’t and the rest for them is history. At the time UK had 1900 cases and the US 5800. Just a few short weeks later UK 7,000 dead US 14,000 dead
    I’m an ER doctor. Please take coronavirus seriously
    Fri 20 Mar 2020 21.15 AEDTLast modified on Wed 25 Mar 2020 14.43 AEDT

    But naysayers and doubters are still, incredibly, refusing to listen to the nearly unanimous voice of the nation’s health and medical authorities, who are pleading for everything to be canceled or closed that can be, and urging aggressive social distancing to limit the virus’s spread.

    On Sunday, friends reported that bars and restaurants in Brooklyn were packed. I heard about raucous St Patrick’s Day parties over the weekend here in Boston. And a popular flower market in London was teeming on Sunday. Polls are bearing this out.

  11. Mark David deserves a Walkley for today’s cartoon.

    And whoever did the Pell going into isolation one needs to keep up – Pell travelled to NSW yesterday by car, with a driver. He broke all the rules about non-essential travel and social distancing.

    He used the moving residence loophole, apparently. Shouldn’t he have been in quarantine for 14 days first? Prisons are not the safest places to be in this time of plague. We see daily reports on fears about coronavirus running through prisons and people begging for prisoners to be given early release to stop the spread, but Pell gets out of his cell and hits the road.

  12. The utterly useless, totally incompetent Don Harwin, minister in the NSW government, has been busted by police for staying at his holiday home on the NSW Central Coast. He has been fined and Gladys has ordered him back to Sydney.

    NSW Premier orders Minister Don Harwin back to Sydney amid coronavirus bans on non-essential travel

    Just to add to the drama – the Central Coast is a coronavirus hotspot, so maybe Donnie will pay for his escapade in more than a financial way.

  13. The NZ Health guy was on the money when at the start of the lock down he said that we would not see the success or otherwise of it until the 6th April. 5th April=89 cases, 6th April =>67 =>54 =>50 => Today= 29,

  14. Update on Don Harwin and his holiday home –

    The Australian has an update on the Don Harwin story which was broken by the Daily Telegraph this morning:

    From the Oz:

    Under-fire NSW minister Don Harwin has been hosting a young former Liberal party candidate – who recently returned on a flight from the UK – at his Central Coast holiday home for the past three weeks in spite of strict social distancing and isolation restrictions.

    The startling revelation comes as the state’s premier, Gladys Berejiklian, conceded she had been aware her special minister of state had left Sydney for his coastal retreat but had failed to address the situation – before finally demanding he return to the capital on Thursday.

    It is understood that lawyer Geoffrey Winters, who contested the seat of Sydney at the 2016 election, made a beeline for Harwin’s $1.3m Pearl beach pad after returning on a flight from London on 17 March.

    All returning Australian travellers were required to self-isolate at their own home for 14 days at the time Winters arrived back in the country – little more than a week before the government issued an edict making it mandatory for all newly returned Australians to undergo a two-week quarantine at a hotel

    The original story from The Oz – probably locked behind a paywall.

    There’s a photo at the head of that article, taken yesterday. It shows Harwin and Winters at the Pearl Beach home. They are not practicing social distancing.

    And something the media is not mentioning because it could be too icky.
    Don Harwin is gay, he admitted that years ago. His house guest, Geoffrey Winters, is also gay.

    Coincidence? Or is Harwin doing an Alan Jones and shacking up with a younger man? So much for social distancing.

  15. I agree.

    We could start with Fishnets Downer and the entire membership of the IPA.

    • There doesn’t seem to be any standards of humanity and care. If doctors had had enough equipment, they would have saved many more. This govt has blood on its hands.

  16. The Covid-19 situation in Australia is now at the stage where it’s getting better, not worse, according to these stats today.

    More people are recovering than new cases being recorded, and more people are leaving the ICU alive than dead. Which is a sign of improvement at this stage.

  17. This is the latest article on the “let’s just kill all the old people” theme. It attracted a hell of a lot of adverse comment on Facebook.

    Because Outline for reasons known only to themselves always hack off the beginning of AFR articles here is the missing opening –

    Lives matter but at what cost?
    It is legitimate to ask if policymakers should prioritise people of all ages equally.

    John Kehoe
    Senior Writer

    Scott Morrison says “every Australian matters”.

    “It doesn’t matter if they’ve just been born or they’re approaching the end of their life.”

    The Prime Minister was responding to criticism that governments are inflicting economic destruction on a generation of working-age Australians to save the lives of, overwhelmingly, older people from the coronavirus.

    As we head into Easter, the devoutly Christian Morrison is juggling his desire to preserve lives with his economic pragmatism as a former treasurer to save jobs.

    Federal and, particularly, state governments have put peoples’ physical health first, while engineering a deep recession by shutting down business activity.

    As a result, Australia is now successfully flattening the coronavirus curve as the growth in new infections slows significantly

    John Kehoe seems a real charmer in the best IPA tradition. His dad, now sentenced to death by his own son, deemed expendable in the interests of saving the economy, must be so proud.

  18. A hospital in France has had to stop an experimental treatment using hydroxychloroquine on at least one coronavirus patient after it became a “major risk” to their cardiac health.

    The University Hospital Center of Nice (CHU de Nice) is one of many hospitals trialing hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients. It announced it had been selected for the trial on March 22. A statement from the hospital said it was testing four experimental treatments, one of which included hydroxychloroquine. It hoped to establish its effectiveness and side effects of this and the other treatments being tested.

    In an interview with the French daily newspaper Nice-Matin, Professor Émile Ferrari, the head of the cardiology department at the Pasteur hospital in Nice, said the side effects had already been identified, with some patients having to stop treatment because of the risk posed.

    He said electrocardiogram recordings of patients involved with the trial were being constantly monitored. An ECG measures electrical activity in the heart, and represents this on a graph as a QT interval. Ferrari said these recordings are interpreted and, if anomalies are reported, treatment is stopped.

    Asked if this had happened yet, he said: “Yes, from the start of the trial. Thanks to this ECG follow-up, we highlighted the major risks of a very serious accident in a patient, and the treatment was immediately stopped.”

    • Feeble!

      At the very least, he should be drummed out of the regiment … erm … gummint.

  19. French pandemic boss in interview said obesity has been identified as a major risk factor if people become infected and added it was why he was particularly worried about “our friends in America” .:lol:

  20. A BINGO! moment. Scrott was criticised for dragging the chain a bit and leaving it for the State Premiers to take the lead. Slackness or …
    Analysts have noted that Putin’s approach mirrored some other countries, where local officials are tasked with enforcing tough regulations and the central government delivers economic stimulus. The approach would limit Putin’s exposure to unpopular decisions and preserve his public support.

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Boris Johnson is out of intensive care and now enters the recovery phase.
    In a confronting contribution John Hewson asks what it is we should “snap back” to and says that rather we need a steady march to reform – and a broader tax base.
    We’re seeing a moment of compromise with evidence-led politics, mostly uncorrupted by lobby groups. Pity it took a global pandemic to get us here writes Waleed Aly. Another good read.
    Morrison talks of ‘snapping back’ but the economic recovery from coronavirus will be slow writes Greg Jericho.
    South Australia’s post-COVID-19 unemployment rate could spiral to almost 11 per cent within a year, while the gross state product is predicted to fall almost seven per cent, according to grim economic tidings as Treasurer Rob Lucas warns of “a world of pain” ahead.
    This virus could change the way we live for years, not months says David Crowe.
    The government’s expert panel on disease control has recommended against the use of a controversial anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, for treating coronavirus, directly contradicting the federal health department, which has told doctors they can prescribe it for patients.
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that bitter disputes have broken out across the rental sector as thousands of residents plan a rent strike and owners fear they will lose thousands of dollars. This is heading to being a real mess.
    The effect on our economy from the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the problems with market liberalism, writes Professor John Quiggin.,13776
    Bloomberg has a hypothetical on how to restart the economy given the pulls of health, the economy itself and social behaviour.
    The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world will turn global economic growth “sharply negative” in 2020, triggering the worst fallout since the 1930s Great Depression, with only a partial recovery seen in 2021, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said.
    Malcolm Farr reports that the states have agreed to uniform hardship payments for households and small businesses struggling with water rates and energy bills during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Retail workers are ‘scared and desperate’ and are begging for businesses to stop in-store trading amid COVID-19 fears.
    Police raided an ultra-Orthodox Jewish prayer group in Melbourne’s inner-east on Thursday morning where a group of at least 10 men were praying in contravention of social-distancing rules. I have no comment to make!
    With Parliament closing shop until August, who will scrutinise the trillions ostensibly being dished out to a paralysed nation asks Michelle Pini.,13778
    Doug Dingwall writes that the wage freeze risks sending the wrong message to the public service.
    The Independent Australia explains how a series of mistakes was made that led to the Ruby Princess being responsible for a large number of COVID-19 deaths.,13775
    People who need cash in this crisis should have some access to super but it must not put the whole system at risk says the SMH editorial.
    Even if the financial regulator hadn’t advised banks to cut or defer their payouts to shareholders, they would have done so anyway opines Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    Bernard Keane concludes this article with, “It is comforting to know that Liberals aren’t letting a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of their war on industry super – and that the AFR remains as focused as ever on demonising a sector that, like pretty much the entire economy at the moment, doesn’t fit with its neoliberal obsession with what the world should look like.”
    Which critically ill patient gets the last ventilator could be decided by a random lottery if hospitals are overwhelmed by the virus writes Kate Aubusson who examines two new ethics road-maps – created at the behest of frontline doctors and local health districts –
    Andrew Tate writes about how the coronavirus could save Australia from climate change, or make it worse.
    Shane Wright tells us how suitcases of cash are now added to the mountains of loo paper and canned goods.
    Casualisation of the workforce disproportionally affects younger generations. From Amazon’s big MEL1 sweatshop to even the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), the gig economic proliferates. Millennial lawyer Geordie Wilson reports that even the Australian Government is casualising its workforce at an astounding rate.
    Hostility could be brewing as stood-down employees start their own businesses – that compete with their employers writes James Adonis.
    Private schools must open in term two for children who need supervision during the COVID-19 crisis, after Dan Tehan issued a binding legal directive tied to their funding.
    Angus Taylor is working with beleaguered oil refineries to protect the nation’s fuel security amid the coronavirus crisis but has assured motorists there is no immediate threat to supply.
    John Warhurst in this contribution begins with, “Australia, like many other countries, has turned in on itself during the pandemic. One element of this tendency is the way we have treated foreigners unfortunate enough to be trapped in our midst through no fault of their own – on working holidays, travelling, and even long-term resident non-citizens, as well as migrants, refugees and international students.”
    Tony Shepherd, who has much form says super should be turned into income for an ‘overnight pay increase’.
    In the wake of the Pell decision Steve Evans says that it would be sad to see a habit of judges overruling juries take hold.
    Donald Trump is trying to do something no US president has dared to do in decades: Drive up the price of oil.
    As a tabloid editor, I covered Trump – and his ego. He hasn’t changed a bit writes Martin Dunn.
    Lucy Cormack introduces today’s nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    Cathy Wilcox

    Mark David

    Oslo Davis

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Andrew Dyson

    Peter Broelman

    Glen Le Lievre

    From the US

  22. What a shame Mr Hewson couldn’t bring himself to say they words “dividend imputation” 🙂

    We could eliminate or containing expensive and inequitable tax concessions.

  23. Can someone explain this tweet to me. Are the 3000 that haven’t recovered still in hospital? I just don’t understand. Either you have got it, or you are well. If it’s only a 50% recovery rate, that doesn’t sound good.

    • Only about 20% need hospitalisation, so about 2400 people will recover at home or in quarantine.
      Generally starts off fairly mild but unlucky patients deteriorate on day 10 and when they need help to breathe they are hospitalised. Once a patient is intubated they are in ICU for 12 days and given the few videos we see of patients leaving hospital after intubation, I think its a rare thing

      Deb Kilroy who was on the same flight from America as Peter Dutton took 28 days to recover,
      Peter Dutton may still not have had 2 consecutive negative Covid tests.

  24. The Darwin Awards this year will be dominated by evangelical preachers.

    Here’s another one – a Pentecostal, of course.

    Louisiana Pastor: ‘True Christians Do Not Mind Dying’ Of Coronavirus If Infected At Church
    Rev. Tony Spell, who already faces charges for ignoring his state’s ban on public gatherings, bused people in for Palm Sunday services

    He plans to do the same thing on Easter Sunday.

    Never let common sense get in the way of making money, because that’s what this idiot and his ilk are really interested in. Every packed service they hold means more money raised for themselves.

  25. Given that this virus became virulent during the Northern Hemisphere ‘flu season, has anyone taken into account what will happen here when our ‘flu season hits? If everyone keeps abiding by ‘stay at home’ message, it should cut down how many get it, but if not, we will probably be in for an even more vicious time.

  26. Revealed: 6,000 passengers on cruise ships despite coronavirus crisis
    Guardian analysis comes amid growing scrutiny of industry’s response to outbreak

    Why did these people embark on cruises after WHO had declared a pandemic?
    Easy answer – stupidity.

    Why did cruise companies allow these cruises to go ahead?
    Easy answer – greed.

    The real horror of this is not thousands trapped on ships they willingly boarded despite warnings, it’s ordinary working people now have to risk their lives to take supplies to these ships, to provide medical care and to bring these fools home.

  27. Nearly half of global coal plants will be unprofitable this year: Carbon Tracker

    LONDON (Reuters) – China and other countries could be planning to build more coal plants to stimulate their economies in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic but nearly half of global coal plants will run at a loss this year, research showed on Wednesday.

    • rustednut

      US Frackers are ‘fracked’, they always were but the price drop and the Saudi v Russkiy set too will see them go down bigly as the tide is well and truly out.. Their debts are so large that veeeery “interesting times” are in store.

  28. Time to switch on the parental controls on the TV

    The prime minister, Scott Morrison, will address the children of Australia in a special broadcast on the ABC, the network has announced.

    The ABC says in a statement that Morrison will answer questions from children on the Monday bulletin of its flagship children’s news program, Behind The News.

    An ABC statement said the broadcast would include questions such as:

    .“My question is, what’s your advice to the population who have lost their jobs as their workplaces have shut down?”

    .“How long do you think it will take to find a cure for the coronavirus?”

    The program will air 6.25pm on Monday.

  29. As someone on twitter sagely remarked: “That’s because you are arseholes.”

    Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann says “we don’t accept that people are falling through the cracks” of the government’s JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs.

    Parliament passed the government’s $130 billion JobKeeper program on Wednesday – a program it said would keep six million Australians in work.

    “Between the JobKeeper program and JobSeeker program, more than half of the Australian workforce, as it was, will be receiving payments from the government,” he said.

    “In terms of temporary visa holders, these are temporary visitors to Australia, the expectation always is that they would be able to look after themselves while in Australia – either through work, savings or access to their superannuation.”

Comments are closed.