AstraZeneca is a governance failure. Actual governance - not screaming about erroneous horseshit by yahoos. ATAGI, with their focus on individualised health risk of immunisation (that's not a flaw BTW, it's a feature) professionally executed their role. 1/n
2/ The problem is that their official role wasn't compatible with the complexities of the total costs and benefits of Covid vaccination advice, where the costs aren't just individualised health risks, but much broader risks of human detriment......
3/ .....think collective costs that we see in restrictions like lockdowns - such as wider social and economic well-being, childhood education disruption etc - let alone broader, individualised non-health costs such as earnings reductions etc.
4/ If one were a Prime Minister remotely interested in actual governance, this would have instantly appeared as an issue of concern, where a solution was required before letting *accurate information* about individualised health risk become a substitute for total risk
5/ The solution was easy. The Feds could simply form an ATAGI Sub-Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination, where additional expertise could be brought on board to enable a comprehensive risk assessment based on the much wider costs and benefits involved.
6/ But the Feds didn't do this. They just allowed square pegs to be pushed into round holes. This is not ATAGI's fault - they executed their role according to their terms of reference. They couldn't do otherwise. The fault lies with a Gov unable to do basic governance like this.

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More from @Pollytics

26 Apr
Just a few things about hotel quarantine - because everyone seems to be talking shit to idiots and have learned nothing over 12 months. Which is not surprising in contemporary Australia where everything seems to have become a choose your own adventure fantasy /Thread
1. Just because the Feds can do something under the Constitution, doesn't mean they have to or should, because states can still legislate in the absence of Fed legislation. Do you want the Feds running quarantine? Really? That mob of useless incompetents who couldn't run a bath?
2. But! Because the Feds have constitutional power, they also arguably have some semblance of responsibility, if through nothing else than funding because of the enormity of the vertical fiscal imbalance. They were given constitutional power for real reasons here.
Read 10 tweets
2 Apr
The Federal government was responsible for 4 things during the pandemic.

1. Border management - a no brainer, yet they still took too long to get their act together and were entirely responsible for the first wave. It wasn't NSW & the Ruby Princess, it was the Feds being useless
2. Quarantine - the States took it on as a stop gap measure as they had the resources to provide for the immediacy. The Feds have done nothing since, but play one state off against the other over a third best, temporary solution. We should have all Australians by home now.
3. Welfare - money into household's pockets and links to businesses to respond the massive shock. What we got was the largest ever rorted government payment program in Australian history that is an embarrassment to the word "governance"
Read 5 tweets
14 Mar
Thread on how many people I can get to unfollow me via my views on 12 months of the Covid prism. The following isn't about normal people and debate, it's about those people who think they're important and special. This is a very important caveat.
Not sure what was worse over the last 12 months. Everyone thinking they're epidemiologists, or epidemiologists thinking they're public policy specialists on everything from health system administration to apparently solving the vertical fiscal imbalance. Settle down.
The one thing we do know is worse, is one very particular sub-cohort of the IT profession who are very much like engineers in their predictably limited modular understanding of the universe, but where engineers learn and evolve and are much, much better at maths.
Read 11 tweets
5 Jul 20
Things the States need to learn from what's happening in Victoria, because this won't be the first time that these issues will occur over the next year /Thread.
1. The public aren't cretins, don't treat them as such. The difference between lockdowns (broad, area based, preventative infection control) and quarantine (specific locations under emergency) should be publicised as such. The panic saved by not using "quarantine" is illusory
2. "Quarantine" as a measure needs to be formally defined, with the protocols around it formally defined. It cannot be detention as a legal definition. It needs it's own definition with rights and obligations of the state and those under quarantine defined.
Read 10 tweets
21 May 20
Can we talk about border closures for a sec, because there's buckets of bullshit going on and people don't seem to know what happened early on. 1/n
Firstly, the Feds say they have no advice to close borders. That's because the Feds don't get that advice, as it was agreed that border management was purely a state matter at the very beginning of the national cabinet process.
To say the Feds have no medical advice to close borders is like saying the Feds have no advice on the need to prosecute speeding drivers. Of course they don't, it's not their business and it was *agreed* from the start that it wasn't their business.
Read 9 tweets
23 Jul 19
<rant> I look around at Australian politics at the moment and shake my head. On any specific example (big or small), if the ALP won't help themselves, why should they expect anyone else to step up and help them?

Let's have a couple of examples.
First off, a minutia thing (yeah, so unfashionable, but it's the building blocks of reality). Then a bigger Fed thing.
Palaszczuk's CoS got funding for a startup he has an interest in. He should know better(!) - BUT! - it wasn't a grant. It was a co-investment with private VC firms, where they effectively make the decision, and gov fronts up a maximum of half the investment dough.
Read 12 tweets

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