Has Australia seen a much less competent, thinner-skinned, extra duplicitous and cowardly prime minister than Scott Morrison? Ever?
Half the nation is in lockdown at a time when, based on the schedule launched by Scott Morrison himself in March, round 25 million Australian vaccinations had been imagined to have been given. Morrison denies any such schedule ever existed. The present variety of vaccinations is somewhat over 10 million, leaving the majority of the inhabitants with out even a primary shot because the delta variant generates lots of of latest instances a day.
Staggeringly — frighteningly — outdoors the Northern Territory, 75% of aged care staff will not be totally vaccinated. Greater than half haven’t had their first jab. All the rollout to aged care and residential incapacity care by the federal government was, we had been promised by Morrison and Greg Hunt, going to be carried out and dusted by the top of March.
The quarantine failures which have triggered the 2 most up-to-date outbreaks are on each the state governments and Morrison. Each failed to make use of the success of our dealing with of the pandemic final yr to arrange some insurance coverage with quarantine amenities higher than tourism amenities in metropolis resorts.
So these lockdowns are totally on Morrison, and his authorities’s failure to supply enough vaccines, his authorities’s failure to arrange quarantine amenities together with the states, and his authorities’s failure to roll out its a part of the vaccination program on something just like the timetable proposed.
However Morrison refuses to just accept duty, and positively refuses to apologise for such a badly bungled rollout. There’s all the time another person responsible: the states — particularly in the event that they’re Labor — the Europeans, blood clots and, more and more, his vaccine advisory group, ATAGI.
Yesterday, stung by criticism even from conservative commentators that he’s been in hiding whereas a lot of the east coast of Australia confronts a disaster — gee, the place have we seen that earlier than — he emerged on the Lodge in Canberra, with unvaccinated journalists having been instructed to remain away by the Chief Medical officer.
His media convention was to announce… nothing. He was there, he mentioned, to offer “a little bit of an replace”, which concerned insisting that all the pieces was now going effectively with the rollout and that the Commonwealth was dashing to offer monetary help to folks in lockdown.
“Now, let me run by how that’s operating in every of the states, as a result of it’s now precisely the identical in all states,” Morrison mentioned.
“In all states,” he continued, “persons are, which can be affected by the lockdowns, the place there’s a Commonwealth hotspot definition put in place, the funds are being offered statewide by the partnership that I’ve been in a position to put in place with every of the state premiers, most lately final evening with Premier Marshall. So, it’s the identical proper throughout all of the states of the states affected…”
Reckon that Daniel Andrews jibe about “Prime Minister for NSW” hit the mark or what?
By the way in which, “all states have to raise their vaccination charges,” Morrison later added. They’re those letting Australia down, evidently. The spectacular, terrible rollout failure in aged and residential incapacity care went unmentioned by the Prime Minister, oddly. He doesn’t, as so many have mentioned so aptly, maintain a syringe, mate. Or a lot else.
Which brings us to the issue vexing Morrison — that he needs folks to take up AstraZeneca when his personal vaccine advisory physique insists Pfizer is most popular for under-60s. As loads of others have already famous since yesterday’s proceedings, Morrison needs it each methods.
Mustering excessive dudgeon, he insisted to at least one journalist that it was outrageous to counsel he may override the recommendation of ATAGI on AstraZeneca — in spite of everything, proper by the pandemic, Morrison has insisted he’s a humble politician following the recommendation of the well being consultants. The local weather consultants, the integrity consultants, the office harassment consultants, the vitality consultants, the financial consultants, they’ll sod off. However well being consultants? Properly, simply inform us how excessive to leap.
However he additionally made some extent of claiming he’s consistently bombarding ATAGI with calls for that it change its recommendation. “It’s a relentless enchantment,” he assured us. In different phrases, how dare you counsel I not observe the well being recommendation I’m consistently demanding be modified by those that concern it.
Even if you happen to had been pleased to miss Morrison’s fixed mendacity, even if you happen to thought pork-barrelling and gentle corruption was a relentless in politics, even if you happen to assume local weather change is a hoax created by the monetary wolves of worldwide markets, Morrison’s catastrophic bungling of the vaccination rollout and quarantine — issues he had ample time to plan and get proper as soon as closed borders enabled us obtained on high of the virus — is a low level in fashionable Australian authorities, with an financial and well being toll arguably even worse than the final nice coverage failure, the Iraq warfare.
Incompetent, thin-skinned, deceitful and cowardly — different prime ministers might need exceeded him in a kind of traits. However Morrison combines all of them, the entire bundle of non-leadership. His faults as a politician — a easy lack of ability to steer, a staggering lack of imaginative and prescient past retaining energy, an obsession with floor over substance — have mixed along with his obvious faults as an individual: the lies, the refusal to just accept duty, the interior ethical and mental vacuum.
The end result leaves Australia in horrible fingers at some extent when the virus threatens to interrupt out and the nation teeters on the point of recession once more.