Marape to open business conference
PNG & Oz ministers mull relationship

A government prepared to see its people die

Scott Morrison - "pious Christian hypocrisies"


TUMBY BAY - After an initial desperate foray into Keynesian economics at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in Australia, the federal government is under increasing pressure from big corporations to revert to business as usual.

This is despite the rapid escalation in recent weeks of the crisis created by the Delta variant.

The original lukewarm rhetoric of tackling the health issues ahead of economic issues appears to be on the brink of abandonment.

The federal government and the New South Wales state government are now fixated on repairing the economic impact of the pandemic despite the suffering and deaths this will inevitably involve.

The New South Wales premier openly acknowledges that relaxing restrictions and opening up the country will result in many deaths.

What Gladys Berejiklian doesn’t say is that these deaths will predominantly occur among the poor and the vulnerable.

Sacrificing Australian citizens to rescue the economy has a particularly cold-blooded ring to it, but it’s not a sentiment unfamiliar to conservative governments and big business.

Indeed, in the neoliberal world, profit before people has always been accepted as a legitimate business principle.

It is obvious that the brief hope expressed after the pandemic emerged that it might provide an opportunity for a new, more benign economic dawn was a glorious moment of wishful thinking.

So what will happen now is that the susceptible people in our society, those least able to avoid the virus or its worst effects, are not only going to sacrifice their well-being in the cause of corporate profit and a bankrupt ideology, they could lose their very lives.

The elderly, the infirm and the poor will be cast adrift by an ideology that does not care. That they will struggle to cope and possibly die will be of no consequence to these zealots.

For many of these people, particularly from indigenous and minority communities, abandonment is something to which they are well-accustomed.

For others, like the newly impoverished middle classes, it will be a cruel blow.

Aunty Gladys, spruiking her saccharine homilies, and Scott Morrison, with his pious Christian hypocrisies, are now exposing themselves for all of us to see who they really are, charlatans who just don’t care.

For many Australians, being thus abandoned by their government is going to be a macabre novelty; but, of course, for people in places like Papua New Guinea such behaviour has long been accepted as the way things are.

Whether Australians have similar resilience and are prepared to meekly accept the situation, as Papua New Guineans do, will be an interesting test.

The obvious charade that a phony 70-80% vaccination rate applying only to adults (it is, in fact, just 56-64% of the population) will somehow mitigate the impact of throwing the doors open to the virus suggests there is even more deviousness afoot.

It is highly likely that a ruthless politician like Scott Morrison is busily counting the numbers and will take Australia to a federal election sometime after the economy ‘reopens’ and before the body count builds up.

If that’s what he is planning, he really has to get the timing right. It will be critical.

A snap election at a moment of such great uncertainty will be risky, divisive and potentially catastrophic for Australia.

The Australian commonwealth has been under considerable strain over the 18 months of the pandemic.

The push to abandon the health of the nation for dubious political purposes may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

If the camel is Scott Morrison and his cronies, that would be a well-deserved fate.

But if the victims are the Australian people, that will be a horrendous and unforgiveable legacy of Mr Morrison and his band of vandals.


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Philip Fitzpatrick

With the opening up, who decides who dies and who lives?

It's not a question that the health experts should be expected to decide upon.

Guardian Australia journalist Peter Lewis says that Scott Morrison is incapable of dealing with such an ethical dilemma and will only spin the blame onto someone else.

Glady Berejeklian, on the other hand, seems to be tough enough to see it through.

Harry Topham

I heard on the news that Sydney airport is up for sale.

It seems this once generous cash cow has stopped producing moolah since Covid.

No shortage of potential buyers, though, with cashed up superannuation funds lining up for some of the action.

What is with governments that they only look for short term gain, the Queensland government is no better.

When a water crisis hit several years ago the government privatised previous Council assets as quangos (a kind of half government, half private beast).

I believe the new quangos were told the debt would be fully recoverable within 15 years with a return on investment of 15% a year.

Result - Our water and sewerage bill is double our rates, a bit late paying and they hit you with an 11% late fee calculated monthly but nothing for you if your account is in credit.

All of this to pay for the $500 million loss the government made on their failed Mary River white elephant project.

I ask you.....

Philip Fitzpatrick

At today's exchange rate that translates to AU$2.92, AU$26.49 and AU$34.47 respectively.

Given Morrison's history of paying ten times as much for airport land I imagine he would have paid more than those values for both Astra Zeneca and Pfizer.

Goodness knows what he'll pay for the Moderna vaccine or what he has paid for the secondhand stuff he's been scrounging off Poland and Singapore.

Good to know that the Libs are better at economics than Labor though.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Somewhere I saw that a shot of Astra Zeneca costs AU$4 while a shot of Pfizer costs AU$40.

In US dollars: AZ $2.15; Pfizer $19.50; Moderna (which we're getting soon) $25.37 - KJ

Philip Fitzpatrick

The only time the neoliberals think about tackling particular health problems is when they can monetise those treatments. In Australia aged care is a classic example.

Worldwide none of the big drug companies are particularly interested in finding treatments for malaria because that is a malady confined to poorer countries that cannot afford to pay for any drugs that are developed.

Pfizer in particular, but also others like Moderna, are making money hand over fist supplying the world's richest nations with vaccines for Covid-19 while places like Africa languish at appalling vaccination rates of around 3%.

The real reason why tight arsed Greg Hunt wasn't interested in meeting with Pfizer is because their vaccine was so much more costly than the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

The deal with AstraZeneca is secret, so we do not know whether keeping Pfizer on the outer was part of the commercial/political arrangements around AstraZeneca being allowed to be manufactured by CSL in Australia.

I've found statistics on the distribution of total supply provided to poorer countries by major Covid vaccine manufacturers. - KJ

Sinovac (China) 100%
Sputnik (Russia) 99.7%
Novavax (USA) 73%
AstraZeneca (UK) 64%
Johnson (USA) 39%
Sanofi (France) 16%
Pfizer (USA) 4%
Moderna (USA) 0%

Lindsay F Bond

Some party in a way that is a "tragic imitation of a good time."
Then there is only a business to be built 'after' the event.

Like its talk about walking to the goldfields only to expire before arrival.

Chris Overland

This is neo-liberal capitalism at its finest Phil. The dead will just be collateral damage incurred for the greater good.

Besides, most of those who die will be old and thus no longer useful economic units.

And, on a cheery note, funerals generate income and so contribute to GDP. Even an ultra busy hospital system will be a source of GDP growth. Just think of all the drugs and PPE that can be sold!

All round, a good business result really.

Scomo and Golden Gladys are right on the money!

Philip Fitzpatrick

The following paragraphs appeared in an article by Greg Jericho on today's Guardian Australia website.

"At what point in the midst of a pandemic would anyone other than a politician think a good way to highlight the benefits of opening up is by saying, as did Scott Morrison last week, “they’ll have funerals, but people will be able to attend them”. I mean, even throwing in the “sadly” beforehand is a truly weird way to highlight hope.

"How do you get to a point where you stand up in front of reporters, as did Gladys Berejiklian, and state that “death is horrible, but we also need to put things into perspective, because at the moment there are 8 million citizens who don’t have choice in how they spend their free time”.

Does anyone still think they care?

Bernard Corden

"Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable" - Simone de Beauvoir

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