Put Warnie in charge

General SloMo contonues to fight his virus war as if mired in caramel, at Domain:

Guests will be banned from attending weddings and no more than 10 mourners will be allowed to attend funerals under a new nation-wide crackdown on public events to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Australians have also been told to stay inside and work from home as much as possible and cancel extended family barbecues, children’s birthdays and dinner parties.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new phase of shutdowns for Australian businesses from midnight on Wednesday, closing beauty therapy stores and shopping centre food courts and warning people hosting house parties they could face criminal charges.

The National Security Committee of cabinet also put a ban on any Australians flying overseas, lifting the government’s advice from a “do not travel” warning to a flat travel ban.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy confirmed chief health officers “very seriously considered” advice from 22 leading academics that a total lockdown of all non-essential services, including schools, be implemented immediately on Sunday.

“But the idea that you can put measures in place for four weeks and suddenly stop them and the virus will be gone is not credible,” he said. “So, we are very keen to put as restrictive measures in place without completely destroying life as we know it.”

…”Make no mistake, if there is widespread community transmission, we may have to introduce some harder measures,” he said.

And what will happen as the virus keeps slipping the cordon becasue you won’t shut down? Errr…total shutdown. This has nothing to do with logic, it is politics. All reactive measures and spin. Never leadership and getting in front of the problem with a national strategy. It has been like this from the beginning.

Put Warnie in charge:

Cricket legend Shane Warne quickly took to Twitter to call out the conflicting nature of the PM’s press conference.

“Listening to the PM like everyone here in Australia and what I understood was, ‘It’s essential, unless it’s not. Then it’s essentially not essential. I can’t be clearer’. Plus people can buy a new shirt at a shopping centre? WTF? PM just had a shocker. Surely should be in lockdown now,” Warne tweeted.

“I know it’s impossible to please everyone as PM at the moment, but surely clear rules and lockdown for Australia as of NOW is the only decision – end of. Let’s learn from the mistakes other countries have made. Health has to be the most important thing for everyone!”

Indeed, the Government’s priorities are psychopathic, via the AFR:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the ruinous economic impact of the coronavirus, as well as the virus itself, was now putting lives at risk as he reluctantly ordered the closure of more businesses and public gatherings, throwing thousands more workers onto the dole queue.

The Coalition echo chambers are on board with it, Paul Kelly:

Australia is trapped in the ultimate vicious circle of the COVID-19 threat — governments are impos­ing a massive recession on the economy and liquidating jobs on a huge scale, with inevitable conflicts among political leaders about the depth of the pain they impose.

The core calculation is that the community is better off with mass job losses than seeing the hospital system in intolerable crisis. Put brutally, the calculation is that people are better off unemployed than sick or dead.

The reality, however, is these are different groups: it is the young and middle-aged who are losing their jobs, while those most likely to get sick are the retired elderly, often with existing health issues. The Morrison government’s fiscal measures so far are geared to small-business jobs and equity, with many vulnerable people getting­ job and income assistance.

I’ll make the leap and agre with Warnie that most Australians consider not dying a higher priority than unemployment. What they need is decisive instruction to shut down and income while it happens. Is that really too much to ask?

Apparently so, via Peter Hartcher:

Different states announced different rules for quarantining foreign shipping. Then, on the weekend, Victoria broke away from everyone else and announced that its schools would be closed from Tuesday. Other states are keeping their schools open, but with attendance at the discretion of parents. When the Commonwealth looks so confused, is it any wonder that the people are, too?

Nope. No surprise. And so, you get stuff ups like this:

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a confidential partyroom meeting on Tuesday that Australian Border Force officials were ­responsible for a catastrophic decision to release 2700 cruise ship passengers into the community, and that the agency should wear the blame for the risk of contagion ­unfolding in various states.

Ms Berejiklian made the remarks as it emerged one passenger from the Ruby Princess died on Tuesday morning and at least 133 others had become infected with the virus — including one NSW man, Greg Butler, 56, who left the ship, travelled for six hours on public transport to Tamworth, and then fell ill days later while in quarantine. He is being treated in an isolation ward in hospital.

Passengers from the ship dispersed across the country and overseas after passing through the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney’s Circular Quay without being screened for the virus or having their passports checked.

That seems unbelievable. Yet, without leadership, it is unavoidable because nobody knows where the boundaries are.

Jen Hewitt at the AFR is making the most sense:

According to Greg Hunt’s update on Tuesday afternoon, people don’t have to wait for governments to order them to spend more time at home rather than going out anywhere. He warns people testing positive must go straight home without stopping and that social distancing may be “contrary to our nature but essential for our future”.

All true. But again, far too late to stop an escalating health contagion that will remain the leading edge of the devastating economic contagion until the virus is contained. This now seems certain to take months given the accelerating momentum of cases globally – except, that is, for China and other Asian countries which had learned the lessons of SARS.

In the US, Donald Trump is insisting the cure can’t be allowed to be worse than the problem. “Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” the President announced, declaring the US won’t be closed for three or four months as some are suggesting.

But even by his triumphalist standards, Trump’s latest assertion the US will be open for business “very soon” counts as one of the more absurd examples of rhetoric fighting reality – and losing.

The rhetoric of the Australian government is at least heading in the other direction. But its actions so far, even if based on the advice of its own medical experts, are yet to catch up with a staggering new reality.

Nobody is arguing that this is easy or pleasant or painless. But unemployment does not stack up against death for anyone but the psychopath.


P.S. It’s time to boycott Harvey Norman.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. any suggestions for a petition

    Dear Prime Minister,

    The Australian Government appears intent on a slow the curve policy, this policy is killing Australians and Australian business.

    The Federal Government has through inaction allowed the Covid 19 virus to infect Australians who could have been protected had a real shutdown of the borders been implemented 28 days ago.

    Even though it is too late to avoid the social and economic catastrophe that is happening right now, a stay at home shutdown, properly enforced in Australia with immediate effect will allow us to get back to work at the beginning of May, then keep Australia isolated until a vaccine is administered and avoid the death, unemployment and destruction for the 12 to 18 months that is being proposed.

    Just imagine, cafes and restaurants can open again, people can go to work again, sick people can go to hospitals without fear of being infected with Covid 19, children can go to school, medical workers and the majority can get back to normal life.

    These are some of the things that are needed immediately until there are no new cases

    · People need to stay at home

    · Only emergency service workers permitted to work

    · Close all shops except food and medical outlets

    · No-one to leave home without a face mask on so the sick do not infect others

    · Test people remaining at work

    · Increase food shopping hours to reduce consumer density

    Had Australia been isolated from the world 4 weeks ago we would not be in the mess we are in today. The problem has grown exponentially but unless you act today it will continue to grow.

    Please abandon the Slow the Curve policy and deliver on a Stop the Spread policy.

  2. Gerry was so buoyant in that 60min interview because he’d just walked out of one of his daily meetings with PM Sсum.

    He’s one of the key architects (gov word is key stakeholder) of the stimulus package. He’s telling (giving key recommendations to) Mr Sсum on this whole package. Of course he’s creaming his grampy pants. His business will do great out of this.

  3. Come on mate its only death for those with preexisting conditions or the old. Therefore those people need to be in complete lockdown and given money to do so. The rest of us carry on. Why should everyone stop for a certain few people.
    Tell you what when a virus comes out that targets fit and good looking males 30 to 40 years old, then I will go lock myself away for 4 months and let the rest of you carry on.
    Its clear that your business will carry on in a lockdown, hey you may even get more subscribers.

  4. $10,000 a ticket to spend the lockdown in Warnie’s mansion, proceeds donated to Warnie’s viral research of choice (covid-19, herpes and HPV). Probably as health-endangering as the virus, but what a way to go!

  5. I don’t know where to start this morning.

    Firstly, you simply can’t get an Adler 5 shot straight pull of any kind until god knows when.
    Secondly, the Services Australia GM interview on Kuddles Kelly this morning was horrible – what an odious, pompous dill. “MyGov isn’t crashing. We’ve had some interruptions.” OMG. Sack him now.
    Thirdly, that Chunt Hunt this morning on Kuddles Kelly got a free pass. Lean into it Fran, FFS. Ask the question. WHAT ABOUT THE FECKING CRUISE SHIPS

    At least Coles had tofu this morning.

    • Since the beginning all of the press has only been forcing the next minor step instead of asking why we aren’t going into full lockdown. She did keep pressing him on why we weren’t going into lockdown when the rest of the world was. Weeks late but I finally heard it. My favorite bit was when she asked who the gov’s medical experts were and he just stated roles, not the people themselves.
      Worryingly for me I’m hearing people say that this government is handling it well. We live in such a bubble with such poor journalism that the full scope of the problem and what is required is not hitting them.

    • Had a play with one on the weekend. Sports stock with pistol grip fits Real well, & quick to point & swing with that short barrel….. Good for the scrub, but not so much for clays.

  6. Saying that every job is essential? WTF? I’m convinced. ScoMo is a total moron.

    And Gerry Harvey? Well, I don’t think I’ve bought from Harvey Norman in years. I still remember him raising taxes on overseas purchases to save his stupid, bloated company. Cause after all, it obviously didn’t do much for the Australian economy like it was claimed. He’s a perfect example of “only the good die young”.

    • Toal moron? Is that fair?
      He only said every job is essential seconds after listing a whole raft of jobs that he had banned from being undertaken at all under severe punishment.

  7. Goldstandard1MEMBER

    Gerry- Reminds me of Jerry in “Rick and Morty”

    He basically said “I’m 80 and done well, so the virus doesn’t exist so all good”.

  8. on a conference call with number of small businesses today. All except me and a commercial photographer are like its “flattening the curve” and she’ll be OK and in month we will be back to usual. Agree this is complete politics. they have let the cat out and know it and trying to not have people panic in doing so people are laughing at the measures. drive around. hardly anyone distancing (is 1.5m even enough?) when the fatalities start happening whoa. i expect the army to need to be brought in to manage law and order.

  9. I have to admit I may have been very harsh in my past massive dislike of SW, ALWAYS thought he was a self-interested PRICK. Whereas that bunt, Hardly Normal is a self-interest munt.

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