PNG & Oz ministers mull relationship
To a father who never came home

The vandals who trashed our nation

Morr Bere cartoonKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I set out to write this piece a couple of days ago, only to be confronted by Phil Fitzpatrick’s stirring polemic, ‘A government prepared to see its people die’.

This drilled deeply into my own feelings at what my country is being put through as a result of mindless political ambition. So I decided to wait a short while before launching into this.

Psychologist Robert Plutchik (1927-2006) sought to categorise emotions into a range of dimensions, which include my compounded feeling of anger and sadness.

The anger-sadness compound, according to Plutchik, could be best described as envy, bitterness or resentment, but none of these cut it for me. They are too harsh and ignoble

The film Inside Out proposed that as we age our emotions blend into newer, more complex feelings.

Vox Media culture editor Emily VanDerWerff, reviewing Inside Out, proposed that blended feeling of anger and sadness is best labelled ‘betrayal’. I think that nails it for me.


Professor Brendan Crabb AC, an eminent Australian microbiologist of Melbourne's Burnet Institute, has been a moderating voice in the often fierce debate in Australia about how to respond to Covid. He has now taken aim at the hypocrisy of those who promote 'living with Covid' as some high level strategic approach to managing the disease.


Dr Omar Khorshid, orthopaedic surgeon and president of the Australian Medical Association, previously reluctant to embroil doctors in a political fight over Covid, has just pointed to the "lazy planning" that would open up the country to Covid before vaccination has reached a significant proportion of the population.

And so to how I feel. I feel the Australian people have been betrayed by some of their leaders; not all of them, not most of them, but enough of them to have left us steering towards catastrophe.

These leaders, central amongst them prime minister Scott Morrison and NSW premier Gladys ‘Death is Horrible’ Berejiklian, have been actively enabled by big business corporations and big media.

And they have been passively enabled, that is not compelled to more rationally address the need to strategically, effectively, respond to Covid, by the silence or muted behaviour of most of the federal Labor Party, a cowed ABC and big institutions like the peak professional bodies, including medical and health organisations, the research institutes, trade unions, universities, churches and NGOs.

So these influential institutions - together with those noisy business and political agitators - silently or mutedly or aggressively encouraged the Morrison government to do what it wants, claiming expert support but never demonstrating it, and have created the space in which it could constantly strive to turn a national crisis to its political advantage, dividing the nation in doing so and making many, many poor choices along the way.

Only now are some of these institutions understanding they must speak out to avoid a catastrophe that seems, as I write, inevitable.

They realise that on its present course the Morrison government will have all Australia become the tragedy that is New South Wales.

It was on 27 January last year I tweeted for the first time about ‘the Corona virus’. Two days later I noted that, while PNG had reported no cases, the country’s health service was in a poor state and this was a cause for concern.

By mid-March, my tweets had taken on a more anxious tone and I wrote, “As Australia begins to recoil in horror from coronavirus, a leading PNG journalist tells his government to immediately shut the borders. ‘There is no sense of urgency’, he warns. And he's right, there should be.”

On 15 March, Phil Fitzpatrick wrote presciently that the emphasis in PNG's dealing with coronavirus was too much focused on the economy not the health of the population and that this could end up being a disastrous mistake for both PNG and Australia.

Three days later I asked rhetorically, “What is it that the governments of Australia do not understand about expert analysis that has transformed the US & UK approaches to trying to limit the human mortality of the disease?”

I could ask that same question today, 18 months later, about the federal and NSW governments as they have given up any intelligent effort to contain the spread of the disease.

Not permanent suppression, as the federal government’s straw man argument would have it as it tries to corral its opponents as irrational extremists, but a few months of greater suppressive effort until enough of the population has been vaccinated so that most people who catch the disease have at least some protection.

But then this was the same government that in March 2020 was already deciding it did not need effective quarantine facilities and that the vaccines then being developed didn’t need ordering in any great quantity or with any urgency.

This at the same time as most of our peer countries were ordering, sight unseen, enough of every viable vaccine under development, each in a quantity sufficient to cover the entirety of their populations.

This failure of judgement, imagination and risk management by the Morrison government is now making Australia pay a very heavy price.

There are still shortages of vaccine in this country, which the government has been lying about for nearly 12 months with talk of 'ramping up' and 'securing' and 'millions of', finally to be found out in their desperate pleading to Singapore and the UK to give us their stuff, even if it is near its use by date.

It has been a mistake of the Labor opposition, and of all those institutions I mentioned, that they have not sought a full audit of Australia’s purchase and distribution of vaccine, which the government regards as a secret. An audit would show how incapably and unfairly he Morrison government has managed every aspect of vaccine procurement and distribution.

Which is not surprising because, when the vaccines eventually did begin to trickle out, their distribution was slow, flawed and rorted.

It was worse than inefficient, it was incompetently managed.

The more vulnerable Australians had been categorised in two priority groups – 1A and 1B – for vaccination. Very old people, very ill people and very vulnerable people like the Indigenous population.

Frontline workers, those most likely to be exposed to the virus, were also near the top of the list.

Many of those people are still waiting, some of them are dying, while the smarties – those who know someone or are otherwise favoured – were vaccinated wanted many months ago.

KidsOn nobody’s list were children under 12, and this could be another disaster waiting to happen. As US physician Dr Denise Dewald has written: “What we are witnessing across the world with basically the forced infection of children with a virus of unknown future consequences may go down as one of the greatest mistakes in the history of public health.” And, she added, there is a vaccine already available and waiting approval.

Meanwhile Scott Morrison had established what he termed a ‘national cabinet’ comprising himself and the six state premiers and two territory first ministers. The opposition leader was excluded.

Throughout the pandemic, Morrison has never acted other than in a way that was seeking his own political advantage.

For 20 years I ran a company that specialised in issues and crisis management. One of the golden rules was, 'never politicise a crisis'. Crises need trust, unity, honesty, speed, clear messages, community understanding. The Morrison government broke the golden rules and every other rule. Never politicise a crisis.

It was soon clear that Morrison had run into trouble with the premiers – initially, it seems, with Victorian premier Dan Andrews. Morrison wanted to keep the borders open, presumably to let the virus flow through the community to achieve a hoped for herd immunity as Boris Johnson was trying to do in the UK at the same time.

But Andrews wouldn’t play that game, and one by one the other premiers followed him. All had calculated that their based health systems probably couldn’t cope with a rapidly spreading disease.

They all understood, some of them slower than others, that they needed to adopt isolation techniques wherever Covid was found. People who might have encountered the virus had to be isolated.

Others entering Australia had to be quarantined for 14 days in a hastily cobbled together and quite unsatisfactory quarantine system based on city hotels. From these porous facilities the virus was to leach out into the community at a sufficient rate to cause problems, some of them huge.

Locking down communities, then suburbs, then cities, then states became a favoured technique. It had a big strength: it worked. It had a big weakness: business hated it because it suppressed economic activity.

The tension built into that contradiction reflected almost exactly the tension between the state and federal governments and the tension between the Liberal National coalition and the Labor Party.

One premier, Berejiklian of NSW, soon became trapped between the need to manage the virus and her ideological commitment to keep commerce alive and allow people what she called ‘freedom’.

Although she had been caught out badly by the mismanaged arrival in Sydney of the Ruby Princess cruise liner on 19 March when 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark even though a large number of them were experiencing a mysterious influenza-like condition.

It was Covid, but the time the authorities woke up to the danger, the passengers had fled. The outcome was 28 deaths in Australia and the USA and 900 cases of Covid. Related Covid outbreaks occurred in a number of other places.

But despite this warning sign of how bad things could get, Berejiklian’s management of Covid in NSW seemed to be blessed with good luck. There were outbreaks which seemed to be contained fairly readily.

In Victoria, a serious outbreak mainly in federal government run aged care facilities, killed over 800 people. The prime minister and other ministers used this as an opportunity to deride and mock the Labor state and its leader, Dan Andrews, and to praise Berejiklian for her ‘gold standard’ management of the disease in NSW.

Eventually, in a major effort of community cooperation, the Victorians’ brought their outbreak under control. Nearly every state premier learned important lessons from that. One didn’t. Gladys Berejiklian thought she had superior management skills. The onset of the more transmissible Delta variant proved her wrong.

After early cases occurred in July 2021, Berejiklian waited nine days before locking down and, when she did, it was not a thoroughgoing effort. Now in early September the cases continue to grow and so do the deaths, to more than 100 so far.

Morrison and Berejiklian for some weeks did not know what to make of this. The messages to the community kept changing but the overlay of them all was, ‘nothing to concern you here, we’ve got this’.

They didn’t. They had responded in effectually. The virus spread to Victoria, to Canberra and to New Zealand, jurisdictions which are still trying to suppress it. Queensland already did this once, but may have another case to deal with.

Suddenly a couple of weeks ago, Morrison and Berejiklian changed whatever had been their strategy, but which had in fact been recklessness, and claimed that the goal now was vaccination not suppression of the virus.

The rational goal of course should have been both. Suppress the virus through effective isolation to protect the community while vaccinating like crazy to get to a place where an orderly re-opening is possible.

But Morrison and Berejiklian did not just leave a trail of wreckage behind them as the virus spread throughout NSW and beyond, they taunted the states that were keeping out the virus as ‘cavepeople’ or ‘hermit kingdoms’.

This even as the NSW testing, tracing and isolation capability was falling apart, health services were under huge pressure, nearly 200 people were in intensive care and premier Berejiklian was forecasting that the worst was yet to come.

“So here we have it,” wrote commentator Mark Davis. “The Let-It-Rip mob has won the day, led by a premier and a prime minister who have failed in their quarantine and vaccination obligations and their duty of care to the public.”

Meanwhile, the fallout from Morrison’s chaotic management of quarantine, vaccine purchases and vaccine distribution continues to impact on states, which say they need more supply. “We are using 100% of the vaccine we are getting,” said one health official in Queensland, “and people still can't get appointments to be vaccinated for months.”

Journalist Samantha Maiden of News Corp has revealed that intensive care doctors in NSW have been issued new guidelines outlining the “ethical challenges” they could face in coming weeks if forced to limit lifesaving ventilators to Covid-19 patients “who are the most likely to survive”.

The new guidelines advise doctors how to triage cases based on “probability of survival.”

“It says that triage may need to be considered and if patients are not going to make it, you should expedite at the end of life conversations,” said a Sydney ICU specialist.

“None of us want to get to that stage, but that is actually in the document…. intensive care, goes to the person who has the best chance of surviving.”

Dr Henry Madison wrote yesterday, “The libertarian politics began the pandemic by weaponising the most powerful weapon against any novel pathogen - basic quarantine - as ‘lockdown’.

“The government is not even pretending we have partial TTIQ [test, trace, isolate, quarantine] in NSW now. Not tracing at all, just letting people know they’ve been infected.

“The NSW premier today compared annual flu deaths to projected Covid deaths. An average flu year is about 600 deaths. Covid deaths opening up at 80% are projected to be over 25,000.

“Please, somebody, anybody at the (daily) press conference, point out that the 70-80% Doherty figures are totally reliant upon functioning TTIQ. Which NSW doesn't have.”

Meanwhile, the Victorian leadership has let citizens know that it is unlikely to eradicate the virus which it has done a number of times before, but will fight on to keep people as safe as possible until an effective level of vaccination is reached.

“Victoria and the Victorian Covid leadership team that fought for the whole nation last year, still is, and will continue to do so,” said Dr Julie Fletcher. “Gladys and Morrison have failed and betrayed the nation.”

The editor-in-chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, laureate professor Nick Talley tweeted that 70% coverage will “still not be enough” and that 80% full vaccination of the entire population is needed.

“The data I’ve seen from overseas and from recent modelling indicate that two weeks after 70% are fully vaccinated (when they will be protected) will still NOT be enough to prevent a tsunami of cases and hospitalisations,” Talley wrote. “Realistically, over 80% of the ENTIRE population need to be vaccinated.”

Entire – that’s everybody 0 to eternity. And that sure isn’t Morrison’s or Berejiklian’s plan right now.

And the ABC, its charter requirement for balance forgotten it seems, plays a strange game.

“Leigh Sales’ editorialising and factually incorrect commentary has unquestionably undermined public confidence and made this pandemic worse,” says Dr Richard Sallie MD PhD FRACP. “She is appalling and should be held accountable.”

Meanwhile, as I write this, the federal government continues its attack on premier Palaszczuk of Queensland who is pleading that the position of small children needs to be better considered before the virus is allowed to spread more easily through the community.

Prof Nick Talley agrees that there is a “need for robust information on the risk of long Covid in children as reported rates have varied widely from small to huge.”

And a recent article in the British Medical Journal signals that this is not the non-issue that the federal government would have us believe.

“Since the pandemic began (in the USA), children have represented 14.3% of total cumulated cases. However, for the week ending 29 July, children were 19% of reported weekly cases.

Children“The higher proportion of cases in this age group could be contributing to the spread of Covid-19.”

And last night the ABC ran this story.

Surely its reporters of government spin will now realise they need to become journalists of truth, otherwise significant responsibility will rest with them for the deaths and serious illness of children.

CNN reports that vaccine slowdowns in the wealthy West could incubate the next disaster in the Covid crisis. Has there been a more extreme example of 'vaccine slowdown in the wealthy West' than Australia? There has not.

Tally ho into this crisis and on to the next one.

Australians needs no more complacency, no more recklessness, no more ego and no more politicking around what could become a national catastrophe.

But it would be an optimist indeed who would expect two renegade Liberal governments – that of Morrison and that of Berejiklian – to change their losing streak at this stage.

Indeed, Morrison is looking for a chance at re-election before the situation worsens.

Instead of buckling down, he wants to roll the dice.


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Bernard Corden

“If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal” - Emma Goldman

Chris Overland

In response to Andrew Brown's point, I do not think that anyone in this discussion is suggesting that the economy is not important or that there have been no severe adverse effects on business.

Like him, I have observed that a number of local businesses have disappeared. On the other hand, more than a few have both survived and thrived, thanks partly to government largesse and partly to strong support from the local community.

As with any other serious economic trauma, there have been winners and losers as a result of the pandemic.

A necessary part of neo-liberal capitalism is what economists call 'creative destruction'. Basically, what this means is that the strong businesses survive and the weak perish.

This is the ugly truth underlying how capitalism works, although many of its more rabid proponents fail to understand this.

The criticism justly levelled at Morrison et al is that, apart from the absurd and hypocritical generosity of Jobkeeper, which has been hugely profitable for many businesses, they have constantly insisted that there is a viable trade off possible between the impact of the virus on health and its impact on the economy.

The plain fact is that no such trade off is possible. As we are discovering you cannot have a little bit of virus running in the community while the economy hums along.

People become frightened and stay home while the virus is running amok, and so normal consumption patterns are disrupted, mostly at the expense of small to medium businesses.

This happens whether or not there is any form of lock down and is a pattern evident in places like the UK and in the USA, both of which are enduring levels of illness, hospitalisation and death that I very much doubt Australians would accept as a reasonable price for opening up the economy.

Morrison's failure of judgement is that he cannot seem to get this understanding into his head and so blunders on insisting that opening up the economy is just a function of hitting some magical overall vaccination level.

He then compounds this problem by criticising state Premiers who, quite rightly, are not going to open their state borders unless and until they believe that the health impacts will be, at the very least, manageable.

As Morrison himself has acknowledged, people are going to die once the country opens up, especially amongst the unvaccinated.

He has, so far at least, declined to say what level of illness and death will be acceptable as the price to be paid to (theoretically) revitalise the economy.

He is making an already wicked policy problem even worse by his inability to devise and then adequately explain a coherent and scientifically based plan for the opening up process.

The main reason for this is that he does not appear to be gifted with the sort of brain that can handle the uncertainty and ambiguity that is inherent in this problem.

I guess it may reflecting his marketing background, whereby complex issues are necessarily reduced to sound bites or slogans.

Someone should remind Morrison of Oscar Wilde's famous aphorism that for every difficult and complex problem there is a clear, simple and entirely wrong solution.

Fortunately, our various state and territory leaders, Labor and Liberal alike, are having none of Morrison's posturing, entreaties and threats.

They have learned many bitter lessons over the last 18 months or so because they have been managing an ongoing disaster from 'the coal face', not the remote halls of power in Canberra.

They are dealing with the problems that Morrison et all have created by their dismal failure to recognise the need to establish a effective quarantine system and then implement a fast and effective vaccination program.

They know perfectly well that he lacks the insight or judgement required to provide effective national leadership and so are acting accordingly. Even 'Golden Gladys' has belatedly come to understand this.

So Andrew, the basis of the criticism in this thread is not a lack of insight into the very real perils confronting many business people or even instinctive anti-capitalism, but a realisation that Morrison et al lack the insight and judgement required to steer us safely into whatever the new normal may be.

Bernard Corden

Here is the latest from Juice Media:

Paul Oates

With due respect to all who shared their opinions on this rather tetchy subject, I suggest you may be judging all the various political leaders using yardsticks that are somewhat inappropriate. I don't disagree of your observations, but I suggest the real problem lies within our system of selecting political leaders.

Politicians in our country, are not selected by the voters. They are selected by a few Party members or factional leaders at preselection ballots. Only a few self funded, would be politicians actually are prepared to put up the money, time and effort to try and obtain a seat in Parliament, both State and Federal.

Voters are not given any real options in voting for leaders who have actually had practical experience in management and administration. More often than not, most political aspirants work their way up through the hierarchy of a political party and are therefore filtered in or out on their ability to conform and follow Party leadership, rules and policies.

When it comes to handling real threats like this current pandemic, most politicians are in no way trained or capable of managing and leading the nation through the problem successfully. They therefore rely on opinion polls and surveys, since they have no ideas and really don't know what else to do.

Normally, the traditional manner western governments used to bumble through was to rely on an efficient and trained public service who mostly, had been selected on ability and merit.

What seems to have now crept into the selection process of government officials, is political parochialism and favoritism. This works while ever there are no serious threats to the status quo. Just look however, how the current PM has sought assistance from the military, where we assume, merit still means something in the selection process.

Many have now suggested we are the cusp of a tipping point in civilization and this may well be true. Certainly, there seems to be a convergence in threats on many fronts, including overpopulation, climate change, potential mass extinctions, etc.

The human race has been here before and survived. Unfortunately, many will not survive along the way until a natural balance in the world is achieved.

I see that the ACT Greens actually did achieve something in their battles by outlawing or reducing the amount of electioneering material each Party may use at an election. Thousands of coloured plastic coreflutes and paper handouts might well now be discontinued if the funding for this expense is stopped. Each election however seems to amplify the requirement for the media scramble for more and more funding. Howard's idea of reimbursing Party funds based on the number of votes and discontinuing private funding unfortunately has just become a funding jolly used by all political parties or some 'personages'.

One of the serious problems in our current political system is financial donations and hidden funding by those who seek to influence political decisions. Even public funding can be subverted by legal entities and bending the rules.

So if politicians were judged on their results, is the main problem the time between elections when the voting public doesn't have the ability to change governments? Elections in Australia are usually lost, not won.
What happens when, as one American said about his not worrying to vote:
'No matter who I vote for, I always end up with a politician!'

So how do we select proven and effective leaders? How do we make certain they will not be influenced by hidden financial donations or public ones? How do we ensure our Public Servants are selected on merit and managed to ensure we are governed fairly and in a publically accountable manner?

'The answer my friends, in blowing in the wind'........ The real problem is that almost no one is interested in becoming involved in the political process until it suddenly affects them personally. That's suddenly when large numbers then start saying some, anything really, should be done.

But who knows what to do and how to escape the inevitable current cycle of incompetence?

Philip Fitzpatrick

I notice that the Minister for Disease, Greg Hunt, is again criticising the Queensland premier. This time it is over her comments about the impact of Covid-19 on children under twelve.

As Mr Hunt has frequently pointed out the virus is continually mutating. Why he thinks it won't mutate to cause deaths among children is a mystery. There are signs overseas that this is already happening.

If I was still living in Queensland I think I would put my trust in Annastacia Palaszczuk.

US Centres for Disease Control reports the rate of Covid in children 5-17 is comparable to the rate in adults 18-49 and higher than adults 50 and older. Although rates of hospitalisation and death among children are low, some racial and ethnic groups are affected similarly to adults. Australian data show 2.5% of children aged up to nine and 2.9% children and teenagers aged 10-19 are hospitalised compared to 7.7% of adults aged 20-29. Three children in Sydney are currently in intensive care. Annastacia Palaszczuk is rightly concerned - KJ

Andrew Brown

Pretty obvious none of you live in Victoria where we have been 'locked up' for over 220 days and counting.

The economy you all so easily deride is what pays all our bills.

At present people in small business are going broke by the dozen, the number of empty shops in my local area is frightening.

That is real hardship for people losing everything they have and not having any hope. The incidence of mental health problems has skyrocketed, the ongoing costs to the community from this alone will be enormous.

With no hope and no money there is not a lot to look forward to.

The federal government’s Institute of Health & Welfare: “There was a rise in the use of mental health services and an increase in psychological distress during 2020 [but] no evidence to date that Covid-19 has been associated with a rise in suspected deaths by suicide”.

Victorian state Coroner John Cain has reported that the suicide rate in his state since lockdowns began is consistent with past trends.

University researcher Dr Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, has found that lockdowns “may harm mental health to an extent but are not associated with any increase in suicide and they also prevent Covid epidemics, which definitely cause mental health harm” - KJ

Bernard Corden

There are three kinds of economists, those who can count and those who can't

John Johnston

Keith your article says it all. In my opinion, the Sydney Liberal Party establishment (including Scomo from Marketing and Gladys, their big business pals) have an awful lot to answer for.

It's high time for the Sydney folk to finally realise they have no authority to act on Australia's behalf as a whole!

Lindsay F Bond

once his luck
was shouldered,
sold with pluck
and bravado
and marketing sway -
con-vincing but
not honest-ing -
until sepsis flared
and it flared and flared,
perhaps you're aware,
until November, or
was it NO-vember

Jim Moore

When will the morons (who we were short-sighted, selfish and ignorant enough to elect) ever understand that without a stable and functioning environment, a healthy, educated citizenry and a shared sense of where we (ie, humanity) all are going collectively, that there is no such thing as an economy.

That is before we even start to ask how to design and implement this fabled economy.

To paraphrase Thatcher, "There is no such thing as an economy, there are only people, who have to live as one or die as one".

William Dunlop

And how many will opt for the devil they know as opposed to the inept opposition.

I had to demand off the minister assisting Defence, a former Captain in the SAS, to cease his begging emails seeking funds, no doubt for an election, a few weeks ago.

They still came until I used the word 'desist' and pointed out that I was a cousin of a real World War II Minister of the Crown and a former Major in the 51 Highland Regiment, prior to being recalled from the Army to serve in government in 1941.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I suspect that Morrison is looking for a sweet spot somewhere between completely fucking up and total disaster to call an election.

If he's successful and all the idiots who voted for him last time do the same thing again he'll win.

And if he wins he'll totally abandon the pretence of caring about the Australian people and let the virus rip knowing that he has plenty of time to shovel away the bodies before the next election.

I'm certain that is so. Morrison seems to have been searching for that window for much of this year but, because of his own prior incompetence, the virus keeps denying him the low risk opportunity he wants. So-called electoral experts mostly agree he will call an election for some time between late October and late November. I don't believe there is a sweet spot left, there are only less bitter ones - KJ

Chris Overland

Thanks for this piece Keith. You have expressed in clear terms the ugly truth of what has happened.

This pandemic will not be over anytime soon. The much vaunted 70% vaccination level spruiked by Morrison, Berejiklian and others will not come close to ending it.

Morrison should be asked to define what an acceptable death rate will be in order to open up the economy he is so determined to protect and preserve.

The suggestion being whispered within the halls of power will be that if opening the economy costs the lives of a few hundred or even a few thousand mostly older Australians, then this is a price that can be easily borne. After all, the old are not especially useful economic units any more.

As for Papua New Guineans, they would be deemed completely expendable in the name of capitalism. After all, most of them are not contributing economic units, just humble folk trying to eke out a subsistence in the traditional manner.

All must be sacrificed to the demanding great God we call 'the economy'. This is the creed of Morrison and the parties he leads.

At bottom, there is nothing more to them than this one big idea, combined with the absolute necessity to acquire and retain power to prevent any change to the status quo.

Once this is understood, their behaviour in relation to the pandemic becomes easily understandable.

Bernard Corden

A splendid piece that has left me applying much of the crisis damagement to the Cynefin Framework, which has been described as a sensemaking device in a complex and complicated world:

Cynefin is a Welsh word meaning habitat.

Lindsay F Bond

About slow to see, to cognate, to respond, there was a few weeks at the beginning of Covid-19 invasion of Australia, a few but some too many weeks before 'authority' responded.
Among family of my forebears there was a young chap urged by 'authority' (AIF) to take a short walk between Fleurbaix and Fromelles, when well appraised by 'authority', other course might prove much more beneficial.
Generally, it seems, authority can be too remote to time of need to respond.
Election and democratic process seems mired in historic cyclic spin.

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