SloMo credibility collapses

Cometh the moment, piss off the man. We saw it in the bushfires, now it is replaying for the virus. SloMo’s chosen strategy to fight the virus is that of Singapore but there is a problem, via Greg Sheridan:

So how has Singapore kept the infection rate so low, with just a couple of hundred cases and about 15 people in intensive care? Over the weekend, Singapore suffered its first two COVID-19 deaths.

“I would not say we have successfully prevented it,” Lee says carefully. “I think I would say so far we have reasonably successfully hindered the transmission.”

The key, Lee explains, is checking out all the people any infected person may have unwittingly infected before diagnosis.

…The Singapore government and its agencies are proactive in monitoring people’s compliance with orders and rules. “In most cases, it is self-isolation. But we will check on you at random times and you have to prove that you are where you have to be,” Lee says.

This has not been an oppressive or authoritarian exercise in Singapore. Rather, it reflects a society that is co-operative and takes its government and institutions seriously. This is a distinct advantage Singapore enjoys that reflects the way its society has developed over 60 years of independence.

“I think it is a great help to us that people listen to the government, they trust the mainstream media, they accept our explanations and they appreciate the fact that we have gone to enormous lengths to be transparent and to explain to people in a timely way what is happening, where they have to take precautions, what the prospects are,” Lee reflects.

Does that sound like a description of Australia to you?

The problem Australia faces with SloMo’s strategy is SloMo himself. After endless years of his politicking for interests, ruining the nation for personal gain, ruling with fear and division, eschewing all national interest policy, resorting to spin on everything, culminating in the Hawaiian trip mid-fires, why would the community trust his judgement now? The only thing that brings them together is their distrust in him. To wit:

Hundreds of people have flocked to closed beaches in defiance of the Prime Minister and local authorities, as police warned of a crackdown.

Anyone caught violating formal quarantine orders would face fines of up to $11,000 or six months in prison, NSW police said as the force set up a hotline enabling ­people to report individuals that continue to disobey public health orders, including gathering in large crowds.

Scott Morrison slammed beachgoers who violated the 500-person cap on outdoor gatherings, warning that more “draconian” social distancing measures would be put in place.


Why would individuals trust SloMo when the lack of trust is structural? It is a fact that state Labor and Liberal Governments hated the SloMo Government before the crisis. Now they have taken matters into their own hands, via the ABC:

On a day when the number of COVID-19 cases had surpassed 500 in New South Wales, Sydneysiders woke up to an opinion piece in the biggest selling newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, from Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.

Despite intense pressure from teachers, Catholic schools, some independent schools and most importantly parents, the minister was holding the line.

“The medical experts are telling us that pre-emptive closures of schools is not proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at this time,” he wrote.

But in coordinated media releases just after lunch, Victoria’s Labor Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian blew the status quo out of the water.

The health advice hadn’t changed — the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee that guides health emergencies was still advising that schools should remain open.

But the two states that had been pushing for Easter holidays to start at least a week earlier were no longer prepared to wait.

NSW and Victoria moved unilaterally ahead of the national cabinet meeting, trying to ensure making a public statement would mean they got their way.

It was move they had considered making last week, before they were overruled by the Prime Minister.

Mr Andrews has been the most assertive in pushing for school closures, which he has described as inevitable.

His decision to announce ahead of Sunday night’s meeting that schools in Victoria would shut down from Tuesday locked his state into a course of action.

NSW had also suggested it would move in the same direction, with an announcement from Ms Berejiklian expected today.

The Easter break starts later in New South Wales, which means schools could remain open for the next couple of weeks, with classes continuing through the already shortened week ending in Good Friday — but that’s not yet clear.

Why did the states act?

The state views in NSW and Victoria have been very different to that of the Federal Government.

In the states, absenteeism was rising to as high as 50 per cent.

There were reports of parents abusing teachers and state unions were increasingly demanding protections for members.

They made the point some health advice was contradictory — that vulnerable groups should avoid schoolchildren, but all teachers should show up for work.

The consensus of Catholic, independent and public schools around schools staying open also started to fracture.

Schools are a state responsibility and politically that pressure was much more acute in Sydney’s Macquarie Street and Melbourne’s Spring Street than at Parliament House in Canberra.

Federal Government clawed back ground at Cabinet

Prime Minister Scott Morrison reinforced at his Sunday night media conference that he strongly disagrees with decisions to close schools.

He said he doesn’t want to sacrifice students’ education.

Parents will be free to keep their children home but were warned sternly they will be expected to supervise them closely.

He also said he’d like all schools, subject to health advice, to remain open when they return from the school break.

So what happens next?

For parents, the messages have been confusing on a day they’re craving certainty.

The national cabinet will be hoping to reassert unity and reduce that confusion, when it meets again on Tuesday.

Reopening after the Easter Holidays — as the Prime Minister would like — will depend on the spread of the virus and the ability to unite the states.

Child care remains open

Adding to the somewhat contradictory message, childcare centres will remain open.

Education Minister Dan Tehan has announced the Government will introduce legislation today to keep them open and viable.

“The Morrison Government will help families with the cost of child care and provide support for childcare centres to remain viable and pay staff during enforced COVID-19 closures,” he said.

“The current expert medical advice is that the childcare sector remains open, except where individual services have been directed to close by health authorities.”

SloMo should recognise the fact of his collapsed authority and follow the lead of the states.

When the crisis eases, he should do the nation a great service and resign.

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


    • we are going stone-age – 1/2L Rakija a day keeps the Virus away. We can also do what Macedonians do in regards to face-masks (my sister’s joke) use half bra.

    • No I believe listening to the ABC radio on the weekend they’ve either ran out or very close to it hence the herd immunity bit.

      A jurno needs to ask Morrison flat if there is any left.

      • The questions being asked by journalists are a in most cases a complete joke….any parent with a child on school or daycare would be asking better questions. Instead they are focusing on all this BS disagreement between States and Federal govt. Flat out ask:
        – how many tests are there and when are we getting more?
        – if ScoMo says schools can stay open based on current medical advice from Chief Medical Officer, then what conditions would be required to close the schools, in the opinion of the Chief Medical Officer?
        – etc

        Basically, give us some info on the reasoning so people can make their own judgments.

    • No industrial economy means no productive capacity. The only way open to Straya may be to ramp up PR exports to raise money to pay for the test kits made in China.

    • Story on last night:

      The Health Minister has declared that Australia is ‘testing more than any other country in the world’.

      SloMo has declared that Straya has the lowest incidence of positive outcomes from testing of any country in the world i.e. 0.7%

  1. The rest of the MSM has given ScoMo a free pass on everything he has fucked up. What is it? We’re not allowed to be critical and question leadership judgement any more? Or is it because ScoMo black-balled Leigh Sales a la Trump and none of the other “news” outlets want to get cut off from the gravy train?

    He is so far beyond incompetent and we are frogs being boiled.

    It’s Angus time and I don’t mean Taylor

    • Coup de Whiskey

      Watching him on TV last night I kept thinking what a wasted opportunity it was. He could have called on Australia to come together, promised nothing but “blood sweat and tears” like Churchill did on the eve of WW2. That is what a leader would have done.

      Instead he lectured us like naughty school children. I thought “I refuse to be lectured by this crook”.

      Seven years before he was sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia – amid serious concerns about his management practices – Scott Morrison was the subject of criticism in a New Zealand audit report examining his activities as head of NZ’s Office of Tourism and Sport.

      Scott Morrison left NZ’s Office of Tourism and Sport in 2000, a year after the audit report was published and a year before the end of his contract. The reasons for his early departure have never been fully explained.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I was reprimanded by Mrs B for yelling abuse at the TV during Summies “speech”
        here are te highlights;
        THAT IS OUR LEADER ???
        FFS !!!!!!!!
        STATES ! STATES ! STATES ! its all their stuff . Nothing sticks to me.
        I have never seen such genuine cowardlliness and blame shifting in all my years. UTTERLY ! FU#kin shameful.

    • “…cut off from the gravy train?”

      That’s standard tactics these days to keep the MSM in line and servile.

      No more leaks, inside info, exclusive interviews etc etc. Those are reserved for the, er ‘compliant’ outlets.

  2. surflessMEMBER

    Scotty from marketing lost control of the message weeks ago, the real problem is Professor Brendan Murphy cannot cut across the noise from politicians or is seen as a lackey of Scotty from marketing. Now is the time to put forward some one like Dr Norman Swan.

  3. robert2013MEMBER

    A English speaking leader resign because they felt shame? An inner acknowledgment of their own shortcomings? Psychopaths don’t feel shame.

    • You can see his credibility if you use one of those electron microscopes. It is sitting just to the right of the coronavirus you can make out on the slide.

  4. This is Scotty’s happy clapper wet dream. Load up the kiddies with COVID-19 virions, then send them home to inculcate the parents and grandparents, then cometh the rapture.

    • It is his god’s wrath unleashed upon those savers who have not negatively geared. The indebted will be saved to sit by their finance lord singing praise to his celestial marketing strategies and predatory banking activities for eternity.

      For a camel can pass through the eye of a needle it seems, if lightly greased.

  5. The 9pm press conference was a shocker. I don’t like the fella on any level, but I at least expected the pompous car salesman veneer to hold longer than it has. Last night he moved between scowling head master (ironically) and buck passing middle manager….neither of which are becoming of the leader required for these times.

    And to introduce a new talking point as to why kids should be kept in school (importance of education), without any reference to those talking points offered previously (e.g. the child minding imposte on health care workers), just shows he’s constructing the narrative as he goes along. Reeks of obfuscation, if not confusion.

    Last one… for the poor old deer in the headlights CMO to confess they have no data on transmissions by and amongst children, clearly shows they’re taking a calculated punt by keeping schools open.

    • The sooner the god of mammon calls him and all the other good finance and marketing people to sit by his side for eternity the better off we will be. His interviews are an eternity of agony for me. Perhaps he will be beamed up by the man in the sky live on TV?

    • The only I things I got from the presser was that trampolines are out, “Andrew” apparently doesn’t run the press conference and when Morrison was asked about “Stage 2” of restrictions, he said it wasn’t defined yet.

      The guy is so far out of his depth it isn’t funny.

    • Because “public transport” is roughly equivalent to everything. At least in the capital cities.
      No PT would be instant gridlock if people are continuing to work in sydney. Parking wouldn’t exist for the extra cars.

  6. “When the crisis eases, he should do the nation a great service and resign.”
    That assumes that the crisis will ease under his service.. this is not bushfires which will just automatically recede in winter. In fact, the ooposite – “winter is coming”.

  7. Display NameMEMBER

    When Juice media often more accurately reflects events in Australia the alleged MSM, there is zero chance of the Singapore approach working here. Our politicians have no political capital. Spin, Obfuscation, dissembling and lies has been the mantra for almost 2 decades.


    Astonished at the Doc’s suggestion ‘kids’ not carriers / transmitter to support the open school policy.
    Humans are the vectors; large and small.

  9. Side DishMEMBER

    Has anyone contemplated the idea that his religious beliefs, coupled together with his sociopathic tendencies are the driving force behind his decision making. Not what is best advice or what produces the best outcome, just what best suits his view on the world

  10. greedypuppyMEMBER

    well there is plenty of incompetence to go around …NSW infection rates set to take off following the decision to disembark 3000 folks who may have been exposed -while the borders were being shuttered and ports were turning away cruisers -a land mark event in the spread of COVID19- facilitated by the very authorities excoriating young beach goers -who have received no public health messages and have heard the same government saying young people are not badly affected and 80 percent of people who get it are only mildly affected . Its a absolute mess

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      The universities there did a great job speeding this up. Seems Macquarie and UNSW were viral central hotspots last week thanks to Scummo letting those 3000 Chinese students to return after the travel ban was enacted, because of the insistence of the university lobbying. Good show chaps! Pigs.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      This whole episode is straight out of “yes minister”. You couldn’t script a SNAFU like that. Naturally all the responsible depts are blaming each other. It’s like dealing with 4 y.o.s in trouble. Pathetic.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      So far detected 48 infection after they are released into the general community , probably many more to come. There is stupid, and then there is Australia.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      While I doubt anyone thought the bar set for Broader Farce was particularly high, the incompetence demonstrated in the face of pretty much any serious issue of border protection so far has been genuinely breathtaking.

  11. The problem is, is that Scomo is largely incapable of thinking beyond what he is going to have for lunch. I truly believe that were you to measure the neuronal activity in his head, it would be at the low end of the spectrum. Which ironically, is probably why most Australians voted for him. To have someone like them, a good Aussie bloke in charge.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      House prices. That’s all that matters these days and Scummo the Incompetent knows it. Well a country built on ever inflating house prices is a country getting ready to be slammed into the ground.

  12. St JacquesMEMBER

    Now it’s the jobs of the schools to speed the plague spread through the community. Wow, the education industry is doing really well teaching us about contagion.

  13. darklydrawlMEMBER

    “Hundreds of people have flocked to closed beaches in defiance of the Prime Minister”… In fairness to ‘the people’ – our smirking village ido1t leader was only last weekend telling everyone to take a chill pill, go shopping, eat out for dinner and then go to the footy and cheer on your team. This weekend it is pure panic. These halfwits have not idea what they are doing.

    They should have called the shutdown weeks ago. Even now I see beauty therapists and hairdressers are considered ‘essential’ and can open as normal. WTF? What sort of message does that send?

  14. Is it true about his kids being taken out of school?

    I would also like to know if his residence in Sydney and Canberra is well stocked. I bet the deep freezes are full pantry stocked.

    And if they need fresh fruit … send a pleb out to get it and to drop it at the front gate.

  15. Jumping jack flash

    “Hundreds of people have flocked to closed beaches in defiance of the Prime Minister and local authorities, as police warned of a crackdown.”

    People hanging out the windows of the pub down the road from my place on Friday night. It is the most number of people I’ve seen in there for years.

    Yes, certainly a coronavirus-led recovery.

    Everything is going well. Retail spending up, inflation up. Debt is cheap and QE implemented. Wages probably will rise after this debt splurge on panic buying and political defiance, and unemployment will be curtailed by the increasing number of shelf-stacking and food delivery gigs created as a result.

    RBA will be pleased.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Panic buying hits Bunnings.

      Go you good thing!
      Isn’t it amazing how people can suddenly find all this money to spend?
      Just weeks ago retail was collapsing because nobody was spending.

      A bit of coronavirus and the economy is saved.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Well you can’t say that Scotty from Marketing didn’t lead on anything …
      when it comes to hitting the Beach in the midst of a crisis he is a trend setter.
      Rememeber that trip to Hawaii ?

  16. We need class actions against Media, Slomo, the CMO & the clowns who ‘accidentally’ let the boat people in a few days ago – some accountability for the positions, pay & decisions they make! How much more incompetence do we need to endure?

  17. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Talking with a guy in Bunnings and he blames the media (I absolutely hadn’t mentioned my hatred for them at that stage).

    Australian media will be changing at the other end of this.

  18. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    I’m pondering the thought process in the PM’s head. It’s obvious he thought God did him a favour in returning him at the last election so I wonder what he thinks now? That he’s likely (at best) to be reviled as one of the least competent PMs ever. Not Billy McMahon incompetent, but scorched earth mass-death and destruction incompetent. I like the touch of keeping his daughters home from school while everyone else’s kids should attend though. I’ve never seen so many people I know defying this order and pulling their kids from school. I wonder if they might also be having other thoughts about the quality of leadership this country has, particularly in light of the bushfire experience.

  19. Gladys told me to go check on the website to determine the type of businesses that would be closed after 12pm today. If you’re not on the “list” you can operate subject to personal space restrictions, etc. All there is on the “list” is 5 dot points lifted from Australian Government website. So I guess it’s OK to go to the hairdresser or beauty salon now, just pick one who have employees with 1.5m long arms.
    I also loved the NSW half pregnant position on kids attending schools. At least the Victorian Premier is decisive.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      Dan Andrews isn’t perfect, but the Vic Government seem to be doing a reasonable job so far – certainly better than QLD and/or NSW. Their alerts via the Vic Emergency app have been timely and clear. They also (as you mentioned) were decisive on the closing the schools, depsite Slomo’s opposition and pushback.

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