The NSW Government’s ‘gold standard’ in COVID management has soured into a more tarnished puce colour, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s reluctance to shut down Sydney a week earlier, resulting in a more protracted lockdown than would otherwise have been required.
Aside from the extra billions of dollars it will cost the NSW economy, it took a full 24 hours before Berejiklian could even mention the word that shall not be mentioned: LOCKDOWN – a dastardly word that fellow Liberals were ridiculing just the day before the lockdown was announced, and suggesting it was something only those lunatic states run by the Labor Party would think about doing.
But we are all lockdowners now. And it’s a reflection of the national ‘debts and deficits’ argument: Liberal Party lockdowns, good; Labor Party lockdowns, bad. It’s beyond belief that conservative politics in Australia can be so infantile.
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We can debate the merits of lockdowns, but the recent spate in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane could have been avoided with a more competent federal government in office. The federal government just had two jobs for 2021: rollout the vaccination program across Australia effectively, and repair the hotel quarantine system. And a failure of leadership by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has assured that both of these critical issues have been poorly managed or non-existent.
The disasters of the vaccination rollout and quarantine management cannot be underestimated: this was meant to be Australia’s pathway out of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as providing a pathway towards a victory for the Liberal Party at the next federal election. But it’s all gone to seed.
Morrison has released a four-phase ‘plan’, but it seems like it’s just another set of announcements: there are no targets, there are no definitions, there’s no guide for Australia to move through these four phases.
But one aspect is becoming clear: Morrison might not be the Prime Minister to lead Australia through these stages. He’s had a go to have a go; and now, it might be time for him to go as well. It’s really had become that bad.
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