Toxic Morrison delivers vaccine chaos, again

The center cannot hold when it is occupied by a disordered personality. His method is to lie, to split and to gaslight. When what we need is a strong moral core to hold the place together. Without it, this:

Maverick Queensland MP George Christensen has joined a growing group of rebel backbenchers threatening to vote routinely against the government until Scott Morrison agrees to overturn state vaccination mandates, putting the Prime Minister’s political agenda at risk.

Mr Morrison faces an expanding Coalition rebellion after five government senators crossed the floor on Monday to vote with Pauline Hanson to try to overturn mandatory vaccination rules in the states.

But the pledge from Mr Christensen widens the revolt to the lower house and threatens to further reduce the Coalition to minority government and force Mr Morrison to rely on the crossbench to pass legislation.

However crossbench MPs Craig Kelly and Bob Katter have also told The Australian they are considering abstaining from votes until action is taken to bring state leaders into line on mandatory vaccinations.

And this:

An Australian government senator has shared content from an anti-vaccination leader who previously called for the execution of Jacinda Ardern, while posting a deluge of stories from other people about vaccine side-effects he admits he can’t verify.

Queensland Liberal party senator Gerard Rennick has seen his Facebook following explode by more than 500% in the past three months since he began sharing testimonials of people claiming to have suffered severe side-effects after receiving Covid-19 vaccines.

Delivered without context and in most cases without the person’s full name, the posts include the claims of people who say they developed severe conditions not linked to any known vaccine side-effect, including appendicitis, a stutter, and severe neurological conditions.

Many of the claims shared by Rennick are disputed by expert medical bodies such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration. In a number of cases the person whose story the Liberal senator shared reveals a pre-existing vaccine hesitancy or aversion.

And this:

On Monday the Senator’s ire was pointed solely at One Nation, which had introduced a bill intended to end coronavirus vaccine mandates.

The minor party’s leader, Pauline Hanson, said it was an attempt to stop discrimination.

Senator Jacqui Lambie has lashed One Nation’s bill opposing vaccine mandates saying people have a choice to make to keep others safe.

So, Senator Lambie went to the history books, pointing to One Nation’s history of opposition to Muslims immigrating to Australia, children with autism being educated in mainstream schools and same-sex marriage.

“One Nation is not a fighter against discrimination,” she said. “One Nation seeks to profit from it. It’s just a fundraising exercise for them.”

“If you’re able to get vaccinated, and you choose not to, discrimination is the wrong word,” Senator Lambie said. “You have freedom to make the choice but if you make a choice, those choices have consequences.”

Being unvaccinated and angry about mandates was like driving twice the speed limit and then complaining about a speeding fine, Senator Lambie said, or refusing a safety check to work with children and then insisting on being employed at a school.

Crikey’s Bernard Keane offers a sensible frame of reference for the debate which our disordered PM is unable to contain:

The incoherence and ignorance around basic rights in a pandemic not only demonstrate Australia’s inability to rationally discuss rights issues, but come with major political ramifications, with far-right politicians both within and outside the government threatening to block or refuse to support legislation over vaccine mandates.

That’s in addition to the growing violence and extremism of some sections of what used to be the anti-lockdown movement but which, in the face of a steady return to normality, has become a generic “freedom” movement, albeit with eccentric ideas about how freedom and rights interact.

The vaccine mandate issue is straightforward. It’s entirely ethical to mandate vaccinations for social environments. No one is compelled to be vaccinated; the compulsion lies in preventing the unvaccinated from increasing the risk of harm to others by mixing with them. Indeed, there’s an argument for compelling vaccination itself, given the costs the unvaccinated inflict on society through additional health system costs, but this can be addressed through other means, such as charging them the full cost of their treatment.

However, given we don’t do this for people who take other forms of medically expensive risk — the overweight and obese, or participants in injury-prone sports — singling out the unvaccinated would be inequitable.

Nonetheless, the far right has seized on the issue despite the small numbers of vaccine refuseniks, confusing it with a broader lament about freedom. Scott Morrison can have no complaints that his legislative agenda is being frustrated by anti-mandate senators, however, given that he himself has sought to pander to the same sentiments with his attacks on state Labor governments.

The broader “freedom” protests — putting aside for a moment the Nazis, anti-vaxxers and opportunists that infest them — relate to quite different issues: freedom of movement, economic freedom and freedom from government surveillance.

Instead of helping frame the issues with sense and reason, Morrison has instead gone back to what he does best. Lying:

Just when Scott Morrison might have hoped his ill-fated holiday to Hawaii was merely an unfortunate memory from two summers ago – the happy melody of ukuleles consumed by bushfires back home – it has returned to haunt him.

The holiday, kept secret while much of Australia burned, has now scorched Morrison for a second time.

He was forced to explain on Monday how he had misled Parliament when he claimed he had told the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, that he was going to Hawaii in the first place.

For a leader on the path to a tough election, so recently and spectacularly accused of being a liar, it could barely have been more squirm-inducing.

God only knows where the loons will take us from here. The only thing certain about the direction is that it will be based upon the stoking of wild emotion not clear thinking.

Houses and Holes


  1. Listening to radio the other day, they were bleating on about Scomo. Then they just put on We’re on a road to nowhere, and nothing more needed to be said

  2. Free ad advice for Labor: Start with Scomo saying he has never told a lie in public, then clips of all the most egregious easy to digest lies he has told and end with the words – I don’t think, I know.

    • Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.
      We are all in this category now as a quick glance at the news outlets show.

  3. It’s not that vaccine mandates are never justifiable under any circumstances; a sufficiently deadly virus with a sufficiently excellent vaccine could make a solid case that such intrusive measures are necessary. It’s that this particular virus and these particular vaccines don’t make such a case. If you’re going to implement such intrusive, authoritarian measures, you’d better have a very strong argument for doing so. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, that argument simply has not been made.

    This doesn’t make me an anti-vaxxer, or even someone who’s necessarily opposed to the idea of all vaccine mandates under all circumstances. It just means in this specific instance it’s pretty clear that governments are wildly overstepping in ways that will lead to further abuses. Universal availability of vaccines is justified, widespread public education is justified, regaining the public’s trust after decades of lies and abuse is certainly justified, but force and coercion is not.

    Everyone has a line at which they believe government mandates would be excessive. Prior to Covid flu-related illnesses were already killing up to 650,000 people a year, but you never heard anyone calling for governments to coerce entire populations into taking flu vaccines. This is not to compare Covid to the flu, it’s to point out that people didn’t believe that level of intrusiveness was justified for dealing with the flu. Others don’t believe it’s justified for the numbers we’re seeing with Covid and with the protections the vaccines provide either.

    I always get people explaining the rudimentary basic arguments for vaccines and mandates to me like I must never have heard them or don’t understand them. I understand the logic, I just object to their use under this specific instance. This isn’t actually that complicated.

    It’s possible to imagine a situation where the arguments being made for mandates today are actually true: that your refusal threatens people and you have no right to do that to them. Those arguments just don’t hold water in this instance. I am at my heart a collectivist first and foremost; I don’t believe the individual comes before the collective. Mandates could one day conceivably be needed to protect the interests of the collective. But these specific mandates hurt both individual rights and the collective.

    • Without very strong incentives to vaccinate it is quite clear that we will never reach a sufficient level of protection from severe illness to prevent the health system from falling to pieces … and all the human, social and economic destruction that goes along with that. That is what makes this situation qualitatively different from the flu.

      • the health system from falling to pieces

        Indeed that is a great concern. The Wuhan lab is still doing “gain of function” research on bat viruses. The Chinese govt is speaking against Australia in war-like terms. What will come out of that lab over the next few years?

        Don’t you think we should upgrade our health system very strongly and very urgently?

        • RobotSenseiMEMBER

          There won’t be any point if the health system is clogged up the U-pipe with patients with Covid in ICU. You could build a whole stack of new hospitals overnight, you won’t have the staff to run it.

      • Collapse of health systems is due to chronic underinvestment for decades. We got the outcome we invested in. CV-19 simply exposed it for what it was. Dedicated professionals at breaking point because they are not supported properly and have to spend time treating unhealthy slobs with lifestyle diseases.

        We wasted the good times allowing people free will to do what they wanted with their health (diet, drugs, exercise) but now force a non sterilizing vaccine on folks by exclusion from society because this same free will allowed them to become unhealthy.

        Hospitals aren’t full of Olympians.

        • Don’t disagree but this is the world we’ve got. Letting it rip isn’t going to solve yesterday’s problems. Unless this is your idea of a collective repenting or something

        • Absolute BeachMEMBER

          I agree with the under-investment statement but elite athletes have been very sick and died from COVID. For example:
          “Ben O’Donnell, a triathlete who lives in Anoka County, Minn., lost 45 pounds during a four-week hospital stay during which he was placed on a ventilator and a short-term life support machine.

          O’Donnell, 38, a former college football player who completed an Ironman race a couple of years ago and was planning on doing another this fall, said he was pulled back from the brink of death after struggling with dangerously low levels of oxygen and kidney and liver failure in the intensive care unit.”
          Plenty of Olympians have had similar outcomes. Fitness helps, but not enough.

      • The “medical system” could be saved by investment as opposed to taking away civil liberties no?
        Don’t you think it strange you dismiss one for the other – do you think it might be because of how the media have conditioned you to think based on their reporting?

        • RobotSenseiMEMBER

          To take a first year nurse and turn them into a suitably trained ICU nurse is 5 years bare minimum.
          To take a first year medical student and turn them into a competent-enough ICU doctor is 8 years bare minimum.
          To take a vaccine and stick it in your deltoid takes all of 15 seconds.

          • But it doesn’t actually fix the problem, merely pushes it out 6 months.
            And what about the next disease we don’t get a vax for at all?

          • Absolute BeachMEMBER

            Bravo Mr Sensei. Well put. My friend is a rural doc at a hospital with ICU beds. He has been trying for the past 2 years to increase capacity but it’s a slow process. In the meantime, he and I live in an area with a high anti-vax population and the lowest vax uptake in Qld. He is very, very worried about the next 6 months.

          • How about the time cost of training all the hundreds of nurses, midwives and doctors sacked in the recent wave of layoffs due to vaccine mandates? For a 13% reduction in transmission with close contacts (38 vs 25%)?
            What’s your theory on why areas in Africa where anti-parasitics are used prophylactically have done so well with COVID infection rates and death?

    • Jumping jack flash

      Agree completely.

      And this is my main problem with these vaccinations compared to any others I and my family have taken over the years – the vaccines just don’t work well. They simply don’t. They don’t stop anything, and they require boosting every 6 months to maintain that state of barely working, plus they’re known to be dangerous and not just a little bit dangerous every so often, once in a blue moon on a Tuesday kind of dangerous, they’re really pretty dangerous. That’s a pretty big fail for a vaccine as far as I’m concerned, and to mandate it and coerce people to take it is a travesty and tramples over the freedom of choice and basic human rights.

      There simply must be something else going on that we’re not being told as to why there is so much urgency that everyone gets vaccinated immediately with mRNA vaccines due to this new virus. The mind boggles, at least, mine does.

      • IT’s pretty simples.
        Politicians can barely hold one thought in their head, and have an event horizon of weeks.
        The vaccines and lockdowns reduce short term OBVIOUSLY VISIBLE problems like hospital overload and collapse. Short term side effects are fairly easily hidden as direct causation is hard to prove especially when you actively avoid doing so. Long term problems are far beyond a politicians event horizon.
        And once they latch onto vaccines as the solution, because of that single thought at a time problem all the negatives fall right out of their head so “more must be more better” so they go all in on their only plan and we end up here.

  4. “the posts include the claims of people who say they developed severe conditions not linked to any known vaccine side-effect, including appendicitis, a stutter, and severe neurological conditions.”
    Yeah, um, the CDC would like to disagree with that.
    “The most common serious adverse events in the vaccine group which were numerically higher than in the placebo group were appendicitis (7 in vaccine vs 2 in placebo), acute myocardial infarction (3 vs 0), and cerebrovascular accident (3 vs 1). ”

    Causes of stuttering.
    “Neurogenic stuttering typically appears following some sort of injury or disease to the central nervous system i.e. the brain and spinal cord, including cortex, subcortex, cerebellar, and even the neural pathway regions. These injuries or diseases include:
    Cerebrovascular accident (stroke), with or without aphasia
    Ischemic attacks (temporary obstruction of blood flow in the Brain
    Other diseases, such as meningitis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome” (which is a well known side effect of vaccines)

    • COVID is a multi organ desease, it doesn’t just attack the lungs.
      The vaccines also stress each of these areas. I’ll take the vaccine risk over the unvaccinated COVD risk.
      Of course the best outcome is zero COVID.

      • The sensibility of your position depends on your age, health and medical status.

        If you are healthy, aged under 50, and do not have any co-morbidities and are in general good health, your position actually ISN’T based on the science or reason, but stoked up unreasonable fear of covid.

        • Go get a membership and at least give Dave and Leith some $$$ in return for the opportunity to spread you bullsh*t.

    • Thanks for sharing, this final sentence is scary.

      “We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.”

    • COVD fvks your heart. Therefore the vaccines stress it.
      My father had astra zenica and had heart problems afterwards.

      Vaccine risk still better than dropping dead after a massive heart attack following recovery from COVID if unvaccinated.

        • The COVID vaccine, at it’s root, is a merely a less harmful version of the virus. If the vaccine causes someone issues, it’s almost certain that COVID will cause even more issues.

          • Not true.

            The vaccine mRNA tells the human body cell to create pure spike protein whereas the virus mRNA tells the human body cell to create the entire virus.

            In theory the human body cells can do more harm to the human by creating pure spike protein than by creating diluted spike protein as part of the entire virus.

            Don’t forget these jabs are experimental and have not passed the normal long-term safety studies.

          • RobotSenseiMEMBER

            In theory the human body cells can do more harm to the human by creating pure spike protein than by creating diluted spike protein as part of the entire virus.
            Really? Would you mind explaining the pathophysiology behind this statement?

          • Ivermectin from horse paste is also available in human form and has proven to be extremely safe over many years – unlike these vaccines.

            p.s. I am not a horse, nor a young male.

  5. Nothing in Bernard Keane’s writing was reasonable.
    It is unreasonable to impose experimental medical treatments (or really medical treatments of any kind), on healthy people, to go about their daily lives – including interfering with their work, businesses, and worship.
    It is entirely unethical, and if we had this conversation prior to 2020, most people on the pro mandate side of the debate, would have been on the other. The difference? Masses of gaslighting and propaganda.

    It would be different with an Ebola type threat – i.e. something with catastrophic consequences. Covid is not that.
    It may have been reasonable to put in place restrictions while that was assessed (with income support and the like), but the severity of the potential threat was downgraded a long time ago.