1/ Emerging information on the govt's 'negotiations' with #Pfizer is alarming.
Greg Hunt has been avoiding answering questions on when discussions started but claimed official negotiations didn't begin until Dec 2020.
Listen to Dr Norman Swan & Raf Epstein. ⬇️
2/ In #qt on Thursday Greg Hunt said the govt commenced "negotiations with #Pfizer...after the end of June". He said govt decided to back #AstraZeneca instead, on the basis of medical advice. Callum Foote's article (Michael West Media 19 June) suggests this could not...
3/ ...have been possible. Bill Bowtell, UNSW Adjunct Professor of Strategic Health Policy, that advice must have been based on “commercial and political advice”. michaelwest.com.au/governments-ap…
You may have seen the recent decision by Justice Bernard Murphy in the Federal Court to approve a settlement of at least $1.8billion for victims in the #robodebt class action.
Justice Murphy called the #Robodebt program a huge waste of public money. 1/
2/ Justice Murphy also said the #Robodebt scheme was unlawful, "a shameful chapter" and "massive failure in public administration" of Australia's social security scheme. abc.net.au/news/2021-06-1…
3/ The judge also commented on victims' sense of shame at wrongly being branded 'welfare cheats', their anxiety & distress, which led in some cases to suicidal ideation & suicide. 😭
You'd hope the Morrison govt would have learned from this shocking saga, but you might be wrong.
This is important. We saw the role of #QAnon in what was essentially an attempt to overthrow American democracy. The FBI has classified QAnon as a domestic terror threat.
Any PM, regardless of party, with an association with a QAnon follower, is at risk in a number of ways. 1/
2/ Risks to a PM include to his/her physical safety, potential blackmail, attempts to influence national debate or policy, even if via another person. There are also potential risks that sensitive information being accessed.
If we had a Labor govt, the Coalition would be...
3/ ...screaming for the (Labor) PM to answer any and all questions, fully and frankly. This is a matter beyond party politics as it goes to national security. A PM who thought he/she was not vulnerable by an association with someone with ties to #QAnon would be very foolish.
Peter Hartcher nails it. In the Morrison govt there's no care & no acceptance of responsibility. We know what happened in #agedcare last year. You’d think the fed govt would have put extra protections in place against any recurrence. 1/ smh.com.au/politics/feder…
2/ The Morrison govt would have a plan for vaccinating residents AND workers in #agedcare homes as a priority. You'd think...but it seems only around 10% of workers in aged care homes have been vaccinated. They think...
3/ Turns out the fed govt doesn’t know how many have been vaccinated & they don’t even know how many workers are in the system. 😳😳😳
This week, Sen Richard Colbeck refused to say he was responsible for aged care vaccinations. When Sen Watt (Labor) criticised Colbeck...
As I could hardly make sense of the PM's presser today, I thought it might work as a children's book...
Scotty makes a word stew
Scotty had been having a bad time. It seemed nothing was going right and everyone was blaming him. Scotty didn't like this. Not one little bit! 1/
2/ But Scotty knew what to do. He'd hold a presser! He'd say lots and lots of words and put on his important face.
So he came out from his office at Bubbleworld, puffed himself up as everyone watched, and started to talk...
3/ ...and talk...and talk. Scotty said lots of words. He said things like "points of presence", and "an in principle disposition", "fast lanes, green lanes, priority lanes". The words got more and more mixed up. They started to turn into a stew...
2/ So the govt either thinks #DomesticViolence will be non-existent by 2025 or the funding from 2021-2025 is a cynical political move.
3/ Alison Pennington @ak_pennington points out the "pink" bits of #Budget21 involves "small, short-term spending for women, compared with permanent & much more expensive changes announced for high-income earners & men. #auspol
Some interesting reader comments on Scott Morrison in the SMH.
"rather than showing true leadership, the PM is totally focused on gaining electoral advantage...his refusal to admit any mistakes and never apologise has become rather tiresome". 1/ smh.com.au/national/nsw/c…
2/ "Many have noted Morrison’s reactive style, particularly in areas of discomfort or when challenged and his unguarded, sometimes clumsy, comments...Stubbornness and an absolute inability to admit error and to attempt to deflect blame only add fuel to the fire".
3/ The fed govt "...has sidestepped its full constitutional responsibilities for quarantine; tried to dump as much of the work as it can on the states; poured cold water on any creative proposals; and been dragged kicking and screaming into any expansion of quarantine services...
2/ #ScottyFromDamageControl called for National Cabinet to meet three times a week. Oh, & call in someone from the Navy who's good with logistics. They'd do all the heavy lifting & sort out the #vaccinerollout. Here's a photo illustrating how this works.
3/ Then at the top of the steep hill, he could be triumphant, "I did it! All by myself!"
Except something else has happened...Or gone wrong...
Scotty isn't at the top of the #vaccinerollout hill but he's taken of his marching boots & is no longer on a war footing. 🙄
Laura Tingle spot on as usual.
Media release from #ScottyTheAnnouncer on Friday:
"Government chartered repatriation flights to the Centre for National Resilience at Howard Springs for Australians returning from India will resume on May 15," 1/ abc.net.au/news/2021-05-0…
2/ What is the "Centre for National Resilience"?
Answer: a quarantine centre (Howard Springs)
Yep, the Minister for Announcements &🐂💩, #ScottyFromMarketing, had a "jazzy name" for it. Always the most important thing in a pandemic & you've stuffed up.
3/ @latingle writes, it shows the depressing priorities of this government. The starting point for communicating policies is not to tell taxpayers what they need to know is approached "through the prism of a political opportunity, or political badging". #auspol
I'm looking at the Senate COVID committee recording. DFAT does not appear to have a means to determine how many of the Australians stuck in India are children who travelled to India with relatives other than their parents.1/ #auspol
2/ Some children have been in India, while their parents are in Australia, for 18 months. Some of these children are very young (around 5). They are not allowed to travel on Qantas repatriation flights as unaccompanied minors, so these very young children cannot return home.
3/ It seems the Morrison govt have not made any specific requests to DFAT to try to develop solutions to enable these children to return home so their wellbeing & safety is provided for.
As well as the very ugly hallmarks of the Morrison govt, another one sticks out to me: complacency. 'She'll be right'. From the start of the COVID19 pandemic, there has been complacency, which thankfully, premiers & chief ministers haven't shared. 1/
2/ Complacency that COVID would be a faint memory in six months & life would be completely normal. Complacency, despite advice to the contrary, that expanding current fed quarantine facilities & building new ones, wouldn't be required.
3/ Complacency that once states & territories took on hotel quarantine (I imagine, in part because they didn't trust the fed govt to do what was necessary), they could sit back, relax, & accept accolades. #auspol
India Sports Club president Raj Natarajan, who formed the club in Sydney 19 years ago, said bringing cricket stars home while thousands of Australians were unable to return would not be well received by the Indian-Australian community. 1/ smh.com.au/sport/cricket/…
2/ Australians involved in the IPL- 11 coaches, including Ricky Pointing, support staff, commentators & umpires - chose to stay in India. Cricket Australia is considering facilitating a charter flight to bring them home.
3/ Yet more than 9000 Australian (non IPL cricket) citizens are believed to be trapped in India. Sean Kelly's piece in the SMH is relevant. smh.com.au/national/scott…
Now to some great insights from @murpharoo. I thought she hit the nail on the head with this piece.
Scott Morrison did a lot of making things worse this week, although he was trying to make things better. 1/ theguardian.com/australia-news…
2/ Katharine Murphy shares an insight about Morrison: he "speaks almost exclusively to one cohort of voters: men at risk of voting Labor". If you are a male swinging voter, you probably don't notice this but the rest of us might feel excluded.
3/ The PM's not talking to you - he never is. Morrison always thinks like a campaign director but of late has been "whacked, and hard", so he's now faced with trying to engage with women - meaningfully. Hence the "hapless fumbling" we've seen.
I'm starting afresh after getting too far ahead of myself this morning & mixing up the great writings of @latingle and @murpharoo, for which I sincerely apologise! First to Laura Tingle's astute article. 1/
2/ On Thursday morning the PM apparently achieved some clarity on the full extent of the political chaos overwhelming him. Apparently the media had failed to complain to the PM's chief of staff about PMO staff "backgrounding" Brittany Higgins' partner. 2/
3/ Aside: I'm still unclear as to why after nearly two weeks of being questioned on this, with much stonewalling, the PM thought was the fault of all those slack journalists for not lodging a complaint.
Tracey Grimshaw asked Scott Morrison why he didn't reach out to Brittany Higgins after she spoke out publicly. He said it was "daunting".
Doesn't get that speaking out publicly about what happened would have been more than daunting for Brittany Higgins.
It's always about him.
Still refers to Ms Higgins as "Brittany", although he doesn't know her, hasn't spoken to her. Overly familiar. Morrison is #ToneDeaf, with the EQ of a gnat.
He assumes to know Ms Higgins trauma or how it unfolded. Referring to the lack of support provided "As she became more traumatised by these events...".
2/ Slow on the uptake but apparently members of his govt have FINALLY drawn the link between Morrison's mishandling of the Black Summer bushfires & the past month's allegations of rape, harassment & sexism.
3/ "Both required human empathy, an ability to read community sentiment and judgement — important traits for a Prime Minister".
I'd say, important traits for a human being...
According to Speers, "more than a few" Lib MPs believe...
Der Spiegel: Scott Morrison in 'dire straits' and the Australian government is sinking into a scandalous swamp. Berliner-Zeitung, Le Monde, Le Figaro, the Washington Post, Bloomberg...1/ theguardian.com/australia-news…
2/ The Washington Post focused on Morrison’s “disastrous” press conference on Tuesday, with the headline, “Facing fury over sex scandals, Australia’s leader fights tears – then retaliates in outburst at reporter”.
3/ Morrison dug himself a "deeper political hole" and quoted Kirstin Ferguson as saying “The fish rots from the head … I just can’t imagine what would happen if there was a board responsible for Parliament House.”
1/ Without wanting to be unkind, it's evident from looking at Scott Morrison that he's prefers to be a spectator of sport rather than a participant.
When he ran for Cook, he developed a character. A rugby league loving, everyday bloke, a daggy dad. #auspol#AustraliaDay
2/ Morrison hadn't followed league but he learnt about it. He became the Sharkies number 1 ticket holder, wore his scarf, waved it, & drank beers.
This character, eventually named ScoMo, was used to gain a following & send political messages. #ScottyFromMarketing was astute.