Who trusts Scotty from Marketing to govern a virus crisis?

Via the AFR’s Phil Coorey:

The former fire chiefs had been begging the Prime Minister for a meeting since April to impress upon him the severity and scale of the forthcoming fire season and the need for increased resources such as firefighting aircraft and military deployment.

For months they were fobbed off and their advice ignored, because they also wanted to talk about climate change.

When Scott Morrison dashed home from his pre-Christmas Hawaiian holiday after having severely underestimated the situation, he put in place many of the measures that the fire chiefs had advocated.

… After first ignoring the warnings, he hid behind process, saying his hands were tied when it came to deploying the military or helping fund new planes.

…When he finally decided to act unilaterally, he made great ceremony of the fact and used his National Press Club speech this week to flag legislative changes to enable the Commonwealth to declare a state of emergency and deploy all resources as it deemed necessary.

And at the other end of the poltical spectrum is Crikey’s Bernard Keane:

After his National Press Club speech to mark the start of the political year yesterday, it’s clear that, at least for now, Scott Morrison has nothing to offer.

It looks like 2020 will be another year of doing nothing. There will be a pretense of action, and copious amounts of marketing spin, but Morrison, the most hollow prime minister in living memory, has nothing, at a moment when the country needs leadership more than at any stage in recent decades.

It’s also clear — to the extent that it might not have been from his stint at Tourism Australia — that Morrison isn’t a particularly good marketer. His speech made “where the bloody hell are you?” look like genius.

Condemned from left and right. So, let’s tally the ScoMo scorecard:

  • On China and the politcal influence crisis: 5/10. He has kept the corrupt Gladys Liu but did eventually fund a co-ordinated Home Affairs pushback.
  • On the bushfire crisis: 2/10. Fucked off to Hawaii. Too slow in every respect. Useless and often offensive with victims.
  • On the economy: 4/10. Housing obsessed. Mass immigration obsessed. Zero structural reform. Weak growth a direct result of Budget obsession. But jobs have held up so far.
  • On climate change and energy: 2/10. Lies constanly. Has no policy initiative. Bastardises whatever he touches.
  • Governing: 2/10. Has no policy process. Has tin ear and makes terrible captain’s calls. Generally does nothing so as to not disrupt house prices.

That’s about as bad a scorecard as I can remember for a first year PM. Worse than Tony Abbott who got the boot for it.

This morning we get classic Scotty from Marketing. All talking and no doing:

“The National Security Committee will meet today again to go over all of our arrangements, preparations, the co-operation, the pre-planning and the precautions we are putting in place and in particular, working with our State Government partners who are doing an amazing job on the ground with their tremendous facilities,” the Prime Minister said on Friday.

“Australia has been acting in advance of this decision,” Mr Morrison said. “All of the issues – isolation, case management, contract tracing, prevention of onward spread, active surveillance, early detection – Australia has been doing.’

Here’s an example of Scotty from Marketing’s “amazing job” at Nine:

Authorities are hunting down 170 passengers who were on a Tigerair flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast after an infected Chinese national on board potentially exposed them to coronavirus.

One of the passengers on board was 9News reporter Maggie Raworth, who is now in self-quarantine on the Gold Coast.

The flight took off on Monday, but Ms Raworth told Today she only found out yesterday that she could be at risk.

“I’ve been working all week on the Gold Coast as a reporter here. I was covering a story yesterday interviewing people as per usual. That’s when my producer called me and asked me a few questions asking what flight were you on on Monday night and that’s when I learned I was on the flight with the same man who has contracted coronavirus.”

Ms Raworth says there have been mixed messages from authorities when it comes to information and guidance on what she should do now.

“I’ve been told quite a few different things,” she said.

“Yesterday afternoon…they told me I was at risk…then late yesterday I called once again and…they are saying I am at a low risk.  I just don’t really know what to do.

If the virus crisis metastasises, such ineptitude will cost lives.

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  1. He really needs to come off this one strong. If I were advising him it’d be take one for the team, contract the virus, lead by example. The leadership example will be one for the ages and the polls will love it…..

  2. Give this a few more weeks and Australia will be the second biggest global epicentre of coronavirus. Then watch the world block all futher dealings with us when reports are released advising people to not make any necessary travels to Australia. Much like the warnings issued by many other countries against travel to China. What the bushfires did to Australian tourism will be nothing once the virus takes full hold here. Of course we still have 30 to 40 flights daily arriving direct from China. What a moronic place this country has become.

  3. Why 5/10 on China and the political influence crisis? He has been as reticent to act upon it as the previous leaders. What little he has done was only done because it seemed the right thing to look like doing at the time. If this government appears to be better than it its predecessors it is only because @ndrew Hastie has been the most member vocal of the two majors and happens to be in it and not the opposition.

    • because “being tough on china” was how MB justified their lack of support for Labor in the last election and their tacit endorsement of Scotty from marketing and co. Oh hindsight, you harsh harsh mistress

  4. The Hollow Men

    Mistah Kurtz-he dead
    A penny for the Old Guy


    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.


    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death’s dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind’s singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.

    Let me be no nearer
    In death’s dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer-

    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom


    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man’s hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.

    Is it like this
    In death’s other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.


    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death’s twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.


    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o’clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
    Life is very long

    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

  5. He won’t do s$$t and will likely flee when the shtf. I’m prepping myself and my family because it doesn’t take much to overrun an already stretched Mel/Syd hospital and then panic sets in when you can’t get medical care. I think if this spreads we will have to treat this on our own. Eat healthy and build your immune system folks.

    • If it does spread like in Wuhan, the LAST place you want to be is at the hospitals. The emergency ward waiting room will have the highest concentration of carriers, and you’ll have to queue up for several days (I kid you not) before you get to see a doctor.

      • Well, possibly the really last place you’d want to be would be on a remote island off the Australian North West coast, cooped up with dozens of other possibly infected people from virus-central, far from advanced hospital care and doomed to stay there another 14 days each time one of your number is diagnosed with nCoV, until there are none left…

  6. So how many Australians have contracted this in Australia (ie not from a Chinese trip)?
    Of course it’s quite possible and plausible that some will, but somehow the second coming of the black plague predicted by many here is about as likely as a property crash, trade of terms crash, mass unemployment (which is consistently covered up by numberwang <= sarcasm) — which are consistently wrongly predicted here.

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