NEWS THAT MATTERS

One big rat looking

over Morrison’s shoulder

Last Wednesday was the deadliest days so far of the COVID pandemic in Australia. Families have been mourning their loss and tens of thousands of Australians are suffering with COVID, and the Prime Minister just won’t give a R.A.T.s.

21 January 2022

ALAN HAYES

 

THE country’s hospital systems and aged care systems are completely overwhelmed trying to deal with the onslaught of the Omicron variant, and they're begging for the Defence Force to come and help but Scott Morrison, ‘I DON’T GIVE A R.A.T.s', ever defiant, is saying no.

 

Many Australians are suffering emotionally, physically, and financially and not sure if they can get back to work because they can’t get access to Rapid Antigen Tests. And why? Because Scott Morrison won't ‘GIVE A R.A.T.s’.

 

On Wednesday (19 January) Morrison tried to claim that nobody could have foreseen the need for Rapid Antigen Tests. Another lie from Scott Morrison, who won't ‘GIVE A R.A.T.s’. This is more spin from a Prime Minister who always finds someone else to blame – “I don't know hold a hose mate, that's a matter for the States”, or “getting Australians vaccinated wasn’t a race”.

 

Scott Morrison’s shameful behaviour is having an adverse impact on the Australian people and on the national economy. Governance is not meant to be easy and responsibility shouldn’t be shirked just because you don’t hold a hose on fires and you couldn’t be bothered, so you just let a pandemic rip – it’s about clear leadership and taking responsibility and not slinking away from it.

 

And let’s be absolutely clear – people have died because Scott Morrison failed to deliver Covid vaccines in a timely manner, as he promised he would, and because he failed to deliver booster shots as promised and because he failed, yet again, to deliver adequate supplies of Rapid Antigen Tests when needed.

 

Scott Morrison won’t listen and he won’t take advice. A member of his own Government, Katie Allen, a doctor, and the member for Higgins, wrote to him in June 2021 and warned about the need for Rapid Antigen Tests. The nation's business leaders wrote to him in September 2021, you can read about it Nine Newspapers, and begged for Rapid Antigen Tests (R.A.T.s). And then the Medical Association, the nation's doctors, wrote to him in September last year, as well, telling him how important it was to have R.A.T.s readily available. And then finally, the Transport Workers Union wrote to him in October last year stressing the urgency of R.A.Ts. Slomo Escargot was getting monthly advice about the need for Rapid Antigen Tests but did he listen? NO!

 

And why won’t Scott Morrison listen? Because he won't ‘GIVE A R.A.T.s’. Instead, last Wednesday Scott Morrison spent twenty minutes on television patting himself on the back, telling the country what a great job he thought he was doing. Australians deserve better than Slomo Escargot’s failed effort.

 

Australian’s deserve a Prime Minister who understands that health, vaccines and the people are a Federal responsibility. They deserve a Prime Minister who actually cares and who will actually step up to the plate and take charge.

 

In lieu of leadership, the hustings and getting re-elected would appear to be more important to Scott Morrison and coming up with 'the ridiculous' to take the country’s eye off his failure to keep people from harm’s way. So, what has Morrison done to avert people's attention? In National Cabinet this week the Prime Minister came up with the ludicrous proposal to allow 16 year-olds to drive forklifts, which was, in a moment of sanity, rejected by all the other members of the cabinet.

 

It was a dangerous thought bubble from a desperate Prime Minister who has run out of ideas.

 

Instead of doing the job Australians want him to do – sourcing and providing rapid antigen tests for free for everyone who needs them, supporting our ailing health system and protecting essential workers – Scott Morrison has been busy thinking up ways to allow children to drive forklifts.

 

Scott Morrison’s time would have been better spent thinking about children ready to commence the new school year and ensuring that there was enough vaccines on time to protect them from Covid. Because, right now, parents are desperate to get their children vaccinated before school goes back.

 

And what’s Scott Morrison doing? He has just stood by while three members of his own Government, George Christensen, Senator Matt Canavan and Senator Alex Antic, used taxpayer money and taxpayer resources to support the anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. All three went online to an event called ‘Prayers and Pushback’. It's was an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory event headlined by one of the world's foremost anti vaccination conspiracy theorists, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – look at ‘Me’, I'm a Christian, I'm for prayers.

 

The religious leaders across Australia are to be congratulated for encouraging their congregations to get vaccinated. They've done  a tremendous job. Yet this anti-vaccination conspiracy event was supported, attended, and addressed by three members of the Morrison Government and flies in the face of the good work that the church has done in Australia supporting vaccination and Rapid Antigen Tests. So why didn’t Morrison pull the plug on the Christensen-Canavan-Antic circus that undermined our health systems good work?

 

The Chief Medical Officer has been begging people go out and get their boosters, to get their third vaccinations and for children to be vaccinated before the school term commenced, but Professor Paul Kelly’s pleas have fallen on the Prime Minister’s deaf ears.

 

Sharryn Brownlee from the Central Council of P&Cs said that they were keen to get the message out that parents are scared and not at all trusting of the Prime Minister or the new Premier and feel they have had no communication about their children.

 

“They do not trust that their children and family’s interests are front of mind,” Ms. Brownlee said.

 

“It is with scepticism when they hear rarely from the PM and there is no communication from the Health Minister.

 

“NSW is going ahead with more vaccinations and is ahead of the commonwealth but there are not enough vaccines and time to protect young children before the due date back to school.

 

“The snippets they glean from the media are not reassuring and they cannot see how teachers will undertake millions of rapid antigen tests with the random nature of the days to be tested. It’s not a guarantee that a child will not catch and pass on the virus to all their classmates, staff and the whole school and to their families as well.

 

“How is it now okay to just open up and let lives be lost?”

 

Decisions should be made on medical advice, not ideological considerations, and yet that's what Scott Morrison is doing. He's out on the hustings, just making political statements, with no clear direction to deal with the pandemic or to have the nation's children vaccinated before school starts.

 

The lives of school children and every Australian is Scott Morrison’s responsibility. The unnecessary deaths because of his ineptitude are his responsibility. And there is no doubt that the Prime Minister should be held accountable for his negligence. And there is no doubt that the Human Rights Commission may be interested in hearing from the Australian people about Scott Morrison's slipshod execution of his duties during the pandemic.

 

The Grapevine intends to forward to the Human Rights Commission all the stories, and the evidence upon which it relied, that have been published on Scott Morrison’s failure to provide vaccines on time, booster shots on time and to provide enough rapid antigen testing to make sure that people could remain safe during this pandemic. You, Australians, whose lives matter, should also consider expressing your concerns to the Human Rights Commission about Scott Morrison’s failure to provide vaccines and rapid antigen tests when needed.

 

Scott Morrison has lost the ability to govern. It is now the third year into the Covid pandemic and yet the same issues that bedeviled the vaccine rollout are still plaguing the nation - not enough rapid antigen tests, not enough vaccine supply to get children vaccinated and supply shortages on supermarket shelves. It's time for Scott Morrison to go!

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