The Sydney lockdown continues into its third week and the Gladys Berejiklian show moves into the full public relations mode and spin cycle to get itself out of political trouble. It’s almost as though if the NSW Government put as much effort into managing the effects of COVID-19 as they put into media manipulation, there would be no lockdown to speak of. But where is the challenge in doing the right thing in the first place?
The facade of “The Woman Who Saved Australia” so prominently promoted in the media just a few weeks ago has receded into the distance, and slowly being replaced with an understanding that Berejiklian is now the woman who let her ideology stand in the way of the public interest.
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And she was all on her own, as the Prime Minister for Sydney – who is also in the position of Prime Minister of Australia but that seems to be a lesser role – disappeared for five days. Strangely for a Prime Minister who loves to make announcements, there was no announcement of his whereabouts, but he did return with what appeared to be a new tonsure and extra hair implants.
And what of the Liberal Party? Scott Morrison seems to be the end point of a lineage that commenced in the early 1990s, when the Liberal Party purged all of its moderates and turned itself into a fully-fledged conservative party, based on all the worst attributes of the US Republicans and the British Conservatives.
And it’s not a very good look, as can be attested by the former Liberal Party member for Chisholm, Julia Banks, who provides an excellent description of Scott Morrison: a menacing and controlling wallpaper.
The Liberal Party needs to be reformed from the rank conservative party it has become, into a political party Menzies and Fraser could be proud of, but that may have to wait until it finds itself in opposition again.
And after the mismanagement of vaccination, quarantine and now the Sydney lockdown that didn’t need to happen, that stint in opposition might not be too far away.
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