Daniel Andrews fails public relations 101

There are two simple rules for public relations in politics:

  1. “Steer into it”; and
  2. “The cover-up is always worse than the crime”.

This means that when you commit a blunder, the best course of action is to steer into the problem, fess up, apologise, commit to do better, and then move on. Doing so will automatically extinguish opportunities for attack.

Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie was a master of steering into a problem and enjoyed a long and popular reign as a result. Voters will forgive you for most things if you admit to your mistakes and show humility.

The alternative option is to deflect blame. Doing so inevitably enrages punters, while heightening scrutiny. Attempting to cover one’s tracks shows a lack of humility, arrogance, and breeds distrust.

Unfortunately, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews chose the latter option yesterday by blaming Victorians for the COVID-19 surge rather than his own government’s incompetent handling of hotel quarantine, which spread the virus into the community in the first place.

Daniel Andrews needs to learn quickly from yesterday’s media conference farce and accept responsibility for quarantine failures. He showed positive signs this morning, but still sounds like someone trying to cover his tracks:

Baby steps…

Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. he spoke today only for few minutes and half of this time he wasted on this:

    the story of the day … from a public health and activity point of view is the fact that we did 29424 tests yesterday so substantially higher than the records we set earlier in the week that takes us to the total of 1008677 tests since January

    seriously, what a meaningless thing to say .. who cares even a bit
    not even epidemiologists care about these numbers … could have been twice as many or half and both reality and our understanding of it would have been identical

    the idea that somehow doing more tests helps is just rubbish – look at Qatar, Russia, UK, Spain, … all doing more tests than us (per million) and yet did not achieve anything while some of the countries with very few tests like Uruguay or Slovakia are one of the best performers

    Melbourne is facing very high likelihood of UK scenario no matter how many tests they do and that has very little to do with quarantine, government actions, … it’s just an environmental issue that likely made sars-cov2 became airborne in Melbourne … in that acse nothing can stop it but immunity like it did in NYC or London or Bergamo ….

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Number of test does matters : Beijing did 2.3 million test in a week. That stopped their second outbreak in its track.

      30k test is not going to do much at all.

      • you believe in Chinese numbers?

        that Beijing “second wave” was faked just to show how china suffers as well

        • kannigetMEMBER

          And Where is your proof of that, its one thing to be sceptical of CCP’s reporting but a lot of your claims just sound like tin foil hat rantings

          • imagine logistics of doing 2.3 million tests in a week in a single city (no matter how big)
            how many labs do they have?

          • kannigetMEMBER

            So, no proof it was faked, just a disbelief because of a logistics issue…

            I don’t know how many labs they have but I can tell you something, they would still get 10 times more done than we could ever do with the same number of labs…. They have far more resources and the threat of “disappearance” as a motivator.

            Say they had 10 labs, that’s only 200000 per lab an hour, with an 8 hour day, or 70000 with a 24 hr shift

            100 lab technicians per shift now your talking only 700 per tech.

            Sure it’s 10 per second but if most of its automated then big deal…

          • even if they did 2.3m tests in a week that would not be enough to stop the spread because even so many tests would fail to find most of infected people

          • kannigetMEMBER

            Really depends on who was tested and how they were identified… if it was completely random then I agree, but if targeted to those with relevant contacts to the outbreak then I disagree.

            Fact is you said the outbreak was faked, so far you have only backed up that claim with doubts and double doubts.

          • 2.3m tests in a week are definately random because few dozen known cases were unable to make 2.3m contacts
            That testing blitz in Beijing is all fake

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      The Donald has the right idea – reduce the amount of testing. That will fix it, just like dropping interest rates fixes everything.

      • absolute level of testing is irrelevant as long as some minimum numbers are used and as long as fixed testing policy is used
        that way tests can be used to show how epidemics is progressing

        what we do by rising levels of testing is just introducing confusion because we don’t know if epidemic is on the rise or not

        changing testing policies (to more or less) is the worst that can be done because it creates appearance of change in epidemic progression
        what may be happening is that government is just (willingly or accidentally) fabricating rise of cases by testing more while in fact epidemic is already slowing down.
        Imagine putting 6 million people into a detention while epidemic is already slowing down just because you screwed up testing policies

        • kannigetMEMBER

          So, if I have a fixed testing policy of 1 test per week that would be far more meaningful to you than a testing regime that covers 1000 one week and 1500 the next.

          Testing number IS valuable to the general public as it indicates how hard they are trying to identify infected people and reduce the spread. If your testing the equivalent of 20% of the local population a month your very likely to identify most of the infected and get them help and slow them infecting others, if your only testing 1% then you have very little chance of slowing the spread.

          Testing Numbers are important, but not on their own, you need to be testing the right people, not just the hypochondriacs who run up to the testing centre with a slight cough.

          • you didn’t even read first sentence in my post before the reply?

            I clearly said that the number of tests should meet minimal criteria so that testing has small statistical error

            on your second point … you are living in a fairy tale
            even if we rise testing to 20% of population in a 3 days we could still have as big problem (depending at what stage of epidemic we started mass testing)
            lets do thought experiment:
            imagine we have 5% of population infected with half of them still in incubation period and we randomly test 20% of population in 3 days -with those tests we would discover 20% (0.5%) of those with infection and fail to discover 2.5% of those in incubation and 2% of those with infection. so even such a dramatic testing of 20% of population would fail to detect 90% of those infected before testing blitz
            if we test more of those with symptoms we would probably get up to 0.5% more of those with active infection but due to high level of asymptomatic cases still fail to discover 80% of cases

          • kannigetMEMBER

            Nah, I did read it…. My second point was an exaggeration to make a point, no living in a dream.

            “absolute level of testing is irrelevant as long as some minimum numbers are used and as long as fixed testing policy is used
            that way tests can be used to show how epidemics is progressing”

            1 test a week would qualify to meet the criteria you outlined in that sentence. You said minimum numbers… 1 is a minimum number.

            My point is that numbers do matter, Sure maybe not as much as having more accurate tests, or faster turn around or even more consistency BUT numbers still matter. Even if they only make people feel calmer they matter.

            I have to I assume you are going out of your way to ignore this point because it doesn’t fit your viewpoint.

            You have slowly progressed over the last 4 months from,the equivalent of its only a flu, to it only hurts the vulnerable, to now its doesn’t matter how many you test.

            The sad thing is parts of what you say actually are valid, but not all. The way you correspond on her respond makes you just come across as having a narrow viewpoint and not caring about anyone else.

            I sure hope I have that position wrong, and if I do then maybe it might be due to the way you deliver your message.

          • I never said it’s flu. I said it glorified common cold that many don’t have immunity to.

            It hurts few very old and/or very sick and as time progressed it turned much less dangerous and deadly.

            Masive testing is just for politicians to show they are doing something

        • BubbleyMEMBER

          Your both ignoring one very vital aspect of the testing – the psychological impact on the population.
          – more testing give the people a feeling of confidence, like their gov is actually doing something
          – it gives them a sense of relief if they dont have it.
          – if they don’t have it, it heightens their awareness of the need for advanced hygiene, so that they don’t catch it.
          – and it catches those slippery asymptomatic little pricks that feel fine, but aren’t

          • kannigetMEMBER

            If you look around at some of my other comments you may see I didnt ignore the “psychology” of the testing. I was just responding to details of the comment I responded to.

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    At this point, public relation hardly matters. He’s a goner unless the number of new cases comes down below 100 within the week.

    • if that happens within a week … well than it’s definitely not thanks to lockdowns (it takes almost 2 weeks for lockdowns to start showing results) so he should be tried (and later imprisoned) for abuse of power for imposing unjustifiable and unnecessary limitations to personal freedoms and implementation of mass house arrests and arbitrary detentions without due trial

    • Can’t happen within a week. Remember 14 days incubation. So the people who infected today’s 134 And yesterday’s 191 did so two weeks ago… and they have had 14 days since then to infect a whole bunch more before the state finally got locked down today.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        Incubation period is 3 days to 21 days, with the average being 5 days. Quarantine is for 14 days because that excludes over 99% of the cases. So we should start to see an effect by next Monday.

        • effects should start be visible in 10 days because it takes two incubation periods to see if virus is spreading less

          only if we introduced individual self-isolation measures results would be visible after one average incubation period

          with lockdowns, after first incubation period rise in cases should still occur due to proximity of infected people to other people in their own household. Only after everyone in those households get infected spared should start slowing down

  3. But if he admits that outsourcing sensitive and specialised work such as supervising lock-downs to Uber drivers is a very stupid idea then he’s admitting that every Govt Consultant outsourcing project and private business Management practice in the country is…

    • kannigetMEMBER

      Its somewhat musing that the mantra from the Right of politics has been outsource because private enterprise is more efficient, but now, when those from the left have done so they are attacked for it by the right….

      If they had used government employees it would have been the same cry, ”you stuffed up because you didnt do it this way”.

      • What s not amusing is left wing people such as andrews have embraced the worst of neo liberal economics, at the same time as ramping up identity politics. Its why the labour party are unelectable on a federal level.

        • kannigetMEMBER

          Why do people keep claiming labor are promoting identity politics? Both sides of politics are doing it, calling someone leftist or right wing is also identity politics.

          Sure they have not condemned it but I have not seen anything to show they are promoting it. At worst they are embracing it to get votes.

          My general viewpoint about left vs right is that the left is “the good of the group over the good of the individual” and the right is “the good of the individual over the good of the group”…. based on that simplistic model then I would say identity politics is more right wing that left….

          But then again the whole left vs right argument is just control of the masses by division.

  4. Scab Quarantine Security

    Andrews is a clown and to blame for using scab, untrained security working for cash in hand to secure our nation’s biosecurity, letting the BLM protests go ahead, but in another 12 months the virus will probably just become a way of life in Victoria and NSW. There will be a lot of pressure for the non-virus states to stop being spoil sports and open their borders.

    • kannigetMEMBER

      The Protests had nothing to do with it.
      If they had used “Racist approved Staff” and it failed then people would be screaming for blood that they didnt do it some other way.

    • billygoatMEMBER

      Seriously who would give a rats a$$ about the Dan the man?
      He’s just doing as directed. Victoria’s financial Armageddon arriving by stealth cloaked in my my my Corona.
      Most folk thicker than two planks and long since given away their gut instinct, capacity to reason, any notion of rational thought and the good old Aussie BS meter. Are you for f$$ king real? Used to hear that a lot – not anymore.
      Question Nothing!!!!
      Just say CC
      Just say Si Si
      Just say Yes Yes oh yes please take away my rights under pretence if looking out for me & my fellow man.
      Cry me a river

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Westfields have been packed. There are far more going through Chaddy on a Saturday afternoon than the BLM protest. Unfortunately, the cause is far more prosaic.

  5. Yep Daniel Andrews and all his unionist, socialist and communist network of advisors and consultants have been totally outed. He can apologise all he likes, but the damage is done.

  6. BakuninMEMBER

    I love the ALP groupies on social media who comment on Dan Andrew’s public relations capabilities. They are totally missing the point which is this:

    ”Incompetence so, so extreme can only be dealt with by counting it as pure fraud”.

  7. Yes he does need to be accountable. What about making the pretend security guards, the security company the security company staff and CEO accountable as well. Not to mention the people in quarantine who flouted the rules why are they also not being made accountable. This isnt rocket science. if you have phone you have internet and you know what covid is about and you know what you should or should not be doing. Even at the end of it all simple basic common sense should have prevented those people doing what they did. That an basic sense of civic duty to this country. All this tells me is all these people should be deported.

    • I agree AngryMan, more at fault in Victoria than just Andrews. In Hills District Sydney I have noticed since the easing of restrictions lots of people, many older people included, not taking social distancing seriously. Maybe this spike in Victoria will wake everyone up.

  8. I am a left leaning voter from NSW, and magnanimous enough to say I think Scummo and the Premiers, Berejiklian and Andrews particularly as leaders of the most populous states, have done a good job since March. Mistakes, yes Ruby Princes, and the Victorian hotel quarantine stuff up. Trying to turn this into a partisan pile on, like Leith is doing, is anti productive. Lets back our leaders and communities to get on top of this virus. Let’s not turn into USA, divided down the middle.

    • DrBob127MEMBER

      Sensible Christian, I like it.

      I also think that now is not the time to change leader. Mistakes happen, people are not perfect. As long as they learn from their mistakes.

    • Agree. LVO’s post yesterday was hysterical. Sack Andrews was his call. What completely counter productive rubbish. The state government and the bureaucrats are trying to managing a massively difficult social and logistical challenge right now. They need our support to do that. They don’t need the added pressure of a public flogging making their job harder.

    • ABC didn’t get racilist though..

      At least 100 Chinese international students have “escaped” from Melbourne to Sydney ahead of the Victoria–NSW border closure, due to fears of being “stranded” and unable to catch flights home to China, according to travel agencies from the Chinese community.

      I think we should assure them of trips home.