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Byron Shire
December 10, 2022

Thus Spake Mungo: under the blankets

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Having tried pleas, threats, restrictions, lockdowns, fines and closures in vain, our political masters are now apparently cutting to the melodramatic climax: scare the living crap out of us.

And, to set an example, their current action plan seems to be to hide under the blankets until the monsters go away and the nightmare ends.

Except part of the campaign of fear and loathing is the likelihood that it won’t end – at least not in the time span the quivering victims will accept.

We are now being bombarded with figures that are not just raising hair, blowing minds, watering eyes and smacking gobs; they are so horrific that they quite literally defy comprehension.

Credible modeling on various fronts is now predicting infection rates of over a thousand per day, remaining in the hundreds well into spring. Official unemployment will reach double figures, and stay there until next year, with the real numbers far worse. The hit to the economy will be in terms of tens of billions of dollars a month, and the recession will drag on for at least another two quarters.

The human cost of the pandemic is now starting to hit home with little hope of relief in sight

And these are just the raw statistics. The human cost of the pandemic is now starting to hit home with little hope of relief in sight. Many of those who survive will be broke and broken, without the hope of a job and the real risk of becoming homeless. There will be an aftermath of long-term post-COVID health problems. The fallout in the decline of the wellbeing of the populace – physical, mental and emotional – will lead to consequences that can barely be imagined.

But they will have to be, because even if our respective governments are unable to deal with them, we will have to. Our much-trumpeted resilience is likely to be tested in ways that Scott Morrison, too frightened of the virus to attend parliament, has never envisaged.

So he has given up even trying. Instead, we are offered distractions, like yet again re-opening the Christmas Island gulag, at vast cost and for no useful result. And absurd evasions, like the previously sensible Brendan Murphy, translated into a career bureaucrat, telling us he can’t name dysfunctional nursing homes for fear of causing ‘reputational damage’.

We need honesty, transparency, and a taste of the brutal truth. The real damage is being caused by the ducking and weaving, the buck-passing and cover-ups

But surely that is precisely the point. We need honesty, transparency, and a taste of the brutal truth. The real damage is being caused by the ducking and weaving, the buck-passing and cover-ups. And if a few reputations get bruised in the process of being honest, well, tough titty.

But that would require rather more conviction than our national cabinet of nervous Nellies is prepared to manifest in its present prevarication. Our leaders emerged briefly to rubberstamp another tweak to keep JobKeeper on the books, possibly in response to a cabal of billionaire property developers sooled on by The Australian to demand more handouts.

But then they dived back under the doona to resume their strategy of masterful inaction, which seems to consist largely of hoping, or if they prefer, praying, that the hard lockdown in Victoria will eventually produce results.

But not immediately. The old joke needs to be refurbished; the reply to the question ‘How do you keep an idiot in suspense?’ used to be, ‘I’ll tell you tomorrow’. Now it has to be pushed back to,’I’ll tell you in about two or three weeks. And in the meantime, quiver and obey’. And if, as September rolls in and there is still no credible answer… what then? Well, find a scapegoat, of course!

Scott Morrison got the process underway in the national cabinet meeting last week, when he gave the states a collective kick for not, as he saw it, doing their bit

Scott Morrison got the process underway in the national cabinet meeting last week, when he gave the states a collective kick for not, as he saw it, doing their bit; they were effectively hoarding, keeping their balance sheets relatively healthy, instead of contributing more assistance to those suffering economic hardship under the pandemic crisis.

They were chipping in a mere $40 billion between them, he complained, while the commonwealth had already shelled out well over $300 billion, and counting – about two per cent of GDP from the states and some 16 per cent from the feds. Clearly the skinflint premiers and their treasurers need to lift their game.

But this dodges the inconvenient fact that it is the feds who have the money – almost all the revenue the states raise comes straight from Canberra, and much of it depends purely on the whim of ScoMo and his team. This is how our fiscally imbalanced federation operates, and will continue to operate unless Morrison, or one of his braver successors, is prepared to tackle it. We are not holding our breath.

In any case, blaming the states is so passé, a refrain from the last century

And in any case, blaming the states is so passé, a refrain from the last century. We need a more personal approach; a victim who can be identified, named and shamed. Step forward, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews.

The rambunctious right rulers of the Liberal Party, egged on by the Murdocracy of the media, have been urging more belligerence for months. As a Labor lefty – a Maoist dictator, as they see it – Andrews is intrinsically loathsome. And as a successful and popular premier, he is utterly abhorrent. So let’s put in the boot.

Morrison has been reluctant, savouring his role as an inclusive leader, a mediator. But as his own position becomes more vulnerable, especially over the unraveling of the disastrous aged care industry, which the commonwealth ultimately controls, it is becoming more obvious that it’s time for a bit of duck-shoving. As Andrews admits, in Victoria the buck stops with him, but nationally, it ends up with ScoMo.

So we have a little scene setting: Morrison is now saying that Andrews must bear responsibility for the second COVID-19 wave. Not yet, perhaps – we can be all in this together for a bit longer. But the gloves are coming off, and, the brass knuckles are being readied to replace them.

And when we get back to political business as usual, it will not be pretty. Because this will not be an argument about who is responsible. It will be an argument about who can be blamed. So be afraid. Be very afraid.

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  1. Our political masters on a roll having tried pleas, threats, restrictions, lockdowns, fines and closures in vain, they are now apparently cutting to the melodramatic climax: scare the living crap out of us. More toilet paper rolls please.

  2. Hey, Mungo… I’ve been fear conscious for a long
    time with this ‘pack rat’ set up. Just take a slow
    breath in & out. How to fix it… this government
    that’s afraid of itself. Honesty doesn’t exist. The
    Maoist persona does. An imbalanced Federation
    is in a shambles we may never get out of. Amen.

  3. No debate about who is responsible
    Mungo ??? Well try and explain this to the population of Victoria Mungo !! Thousands of business going to the Wall , many suicides on a daily basis , and how long did it take for Dan Andrews and his health Minister to Accept
    Any responsibility for the Mess in Victoria??
    Months.. lower your Red Flag Mungo this is not
    China although you would hardly know the
    Difference especially in our Taxpayer funded
    Universities who silence anyone that dare speak
    Out against this bully that is China !! So yes we are all in this Together because we dont have any choice do we ??? And when all said and done , yes Mungo the gloves will be off not only in this Bias inquiry that Andrews setup , but the
    Millions of Victorians who are not stupid and will
    Be wanting A BIG PLEASE EXPLAIN from the Andrews Government.. my opinion he will have no choice but to stand down “, well may they say god
    Save the Queen, because nothing will save Dan Andrews ” bring in the Premier of WA he will sort
    This mess out !! One of the last true labor leaders
    Left, absolute credit to the Labor Party !!
    The Great Bob Hawke held a high opinion about this bloke and for good reason !! Are you listening
    Keith Duncan??

    • Barrow my man, so much to unpack, one doesn’t really know where to start. “Nothing will save Dan Andrews”, you say. I wouldn’t write off Premier Dan just yet. Look at your ScoNO, if you believe the latest opinion polling, seems to have been saved from his Bushfires, Climate, RoboRobbery Debt, Covid calamities. There is hope yet for Premier Dan, yes. If your ScoNO hasn’t resigned over his ‘troubles’ then there absolutely no need for Premier Dan to resign. Barrow old son, you will be pleased to know that “one of the last true labor leaders”, your WA Premier Mark, also used private security guards in relation to Hotel Quarantine. Was it just Premier Mark’s good luck or Premier Dan’s bad luck with private security guards? But then who is it to protect ALL of Australia that administers The Quarantine Act ( 1908 ) and Bio Security Act ( 2015 ); who is that ALLOWED the States to do their ‘own quarantine’ during a time of a Pandemic….yes Barrow, I know it hard for you to hear this….it is Your ScoNO!

      • Seriously you have lost it Joachim !! look its not hard accountability should be 100% toward any Governments state or federal !! And yes the nsw Premier is accountable as is her health Minister Brad Hazards absolute incompetence regarding The ruby princess..this guy should be sacked not only for the Ruby Princess but the way he spoke to A labor person in Parliament Recently, disrespectful . So yes Joachim the Victorians Deserve a “how did it come to this ” and it will all come out Joachim at the inquiry and maybe a Royal Commission. You know Joachim we put all differences aside the constituents are not happy .Its not a matter of luck regarding the security Guards Joachim the WA Premier is accross What needs to be done regarding quarantine “Chain of Command” fact ,due to cultural diversity.The Security that was put into action at the hotel In Melbourne were new migrants to the Australia 5 minutes for a pre- start , no experience off you Go and the rest is history! So yes Joachim i voted at the last Election and the Coalition got my vote. So far so good !! Election now they would romp in. At least i can call out the Conservatives Joachim As above ..!! Can you do the Same Joachim??

  4. Hey Mungo, I think that modelling that you refer to is actually not at all credible. It was put together by somebody working out their bedroom and lifted from the net because it suited theNewscorpse narrative…

  5. You are ‘rambling’ again, Barrow. Have a close look
    at your NSW Premier. W.A. ditto; Palmer will likely
    find a way around him. S.A. – they’ll manage along
    with the others. It is Kafka time & time our hide
    -away polly-people had guts enough to admit they
    have sold this country ie; the ‘states’ for a ‘cracker’.
    No way to treat the country that employs them. I’ve
    been in business & the LNP racket running is all
    too clear to me. The Australian people, of colour
    & not, deserve their ‘reps’ to have brains. Instead
    we’ve got a gutless & clueless group of good for
    nothing people we are supposed to cow-tow to.
    Not on my shift.

  6. The Liberals base ALL of their campaigns on a fear agenda-fear of refugees, fear of renewable energy, fear of debt (ha, not any more!), fear of terrorists (Liberals are King of the Dog whistle), fear of China, fear of electric cars, fear of The Death Tax(!), fear of climate change. The Looters invest heavily in the cynical manipulation of our basest human emotions. And they are VERY good at it. Mungo nailed it when he wrote “So be afraid. Be very afraid” because there is a helluva lot more fear to come and to be afraid of. The Looters personify the Politics of Fear. Let’s be honest, they have some of the scariest members- Kevin Andrews (The Undertaker), Screw Kelly (Craig), Big Arnie (Mathias), He who tears wings off butterflies-Dutts, George (The Member for Manila) Christensen, Angus Loose With The Truth Taylor, Stuart ;Roberry’ Roberts-The Minister for Robodebt, Michaelia ‘they are coming for your ute’ Cash. Its like a chapter out of a Stephen King Horror novel!

  7. Hey Mungo,
    in writing about the Scott Morrison government you take your pen and write ‘The Scott Morrison government”. Don’t apease the government in any ill-liberal way by tip-toeing around pleasing them when they are accusing.

  8. Hi Len. Government… what government? Aussie’s
    been controlled by vandals who sleep most days
    [& get paid] & work on their fright machine for an
    hour or so before dawn – bat-wings ‘n all. People,
    the real ones, have no power. Be frightened.

  9. You know what intrigues me with the likes of barrow. One minute their criticising the lockdown, saying it’s gone to far, pressing for more freedom of movement. Then when it backfires, well no responsibility for the rise in Covid numbers just shout abuse at the Daniel Andrews government. Come to think of it that’s all they seem to do call other people names will trying to act like they have the moral high ground.

  10. Barrow, Barrow, Barrow be careful what you wish for my man when you mention “accountability”. Very nice indeed that you mentioned the word “accountability”. Plenty of it to go around and share in these Covid times, yes. Perhaps you can explain the action of Your ScoNO to ban Federal Officials from giving evidence at the Ruby Princess Inquiry. Imma not seeing Federal “accountability” and we not going to hear Federal “accountability”. Say what you will about Premier Dan and his Covid troubles but at least he turns up at daily pressers despite knowing he getting a grilling . In contrast Your ScoNO runs and hides and shifts blame whenever the microscope is brought out – Bushfires and he cuts and runs off to Hawaii and blames his wife and daughters for doing the runner; Sports Rorts and it had nothing to do with him at all as he guillotines the hapless Bridget McKenzie; Covid and he doing a great job from the get go except PPE shortages,and Aged Care catastrophies say Your ScoNO has presided over ‘workplace manslaughter’. Your ScoNO is right in his element with NO Parliament sittings for months and NO sending of Officials to Ruby Princess Inquiry. Who needs “accountability” when Your ScoNO is creaming it in his Newspolls, eh. Newspoll result, that’s all the “accountability” that Australia deserves, yeah. How Good is Newspoll, How Good is Australia, How Good is ScoNO The Great Deflector and Evader!

  11. It took the ScoMo 3 months to respond to
    Victoria’s call to help slow the pandemic.
    Let’s clap hands for our un-sitting Goves
    Barrow. By the time LNP responded it
    was too late.

  12. Believe it or not, right wingers on this blog but there is an Aged Commission inquiry on right now. ScoNo is copping HEAPS! And this is by people HE appointed!. The commission is giving Morrison hell over the way the Libs have overseen most of the deaths…REMEMBER 2/3rds of the death are in AGED CARE-Morrison’s call! Why do Hard Righters keep ignoring this along with Dutton and Gladys failures? The Libs have form on the Aged-cutting pensions, cutting aged care funding, Helicopter Bronwyn Bishop’s kerosene wash downs of the aged. The crisis did NOT start in Victoria. It started in Liberal NSW AND with the Ruby Princess. The 1st Aged Care problems occurred at Sydney’s Dorothy Henderson Lodge. 6 died there before Victoria had ANY deaths. Then 17 died at Newmarch House Penrith. Security guards?…not a good call by Dan but there were no problems with them in W.A. In Morrison’s National Cabinet, Andrews was the only person advocating hotel quarantine. ScoSnow wanted them to isolate at home so they could roam the country at will infecting everybody! And the borders? Morrison wanted them opened. Gawd the whole country would be in intensive care. But quarantining is a Federal responsibility. Not a state’s. Oh and let’s not forget the economy-highest taxing, biggest spending, most debt, highest unemployment, lowest wage growth in 20yrs.
    ALL THIS BEFORE THE VIRUS HIT-can’t blame the virus for this mismanagement. Morrison’s rep at the commission, like his boss, will not answer questions. He is an embarrassment.

  13. Go get a job at the ABC Ray , you would be a good
    Fit where all think alike !! So no problems..
    This forum Raymondo is not to different to the ABC
    All posts are similar rubbish the Conservatives
    At any cost … yes iam centered and like it
    The left Ray are not tolerable one single bit !!
    How dare this Barrow have a difference of opinion
    Fortunately iam in the Majority with my views and
    Opinions Ray , thats why the Greens receive 9%
    Of the vote at the Ballot box and for good reason .
    Oh i forgot to mention Labor , but whats the use
    Just a bigger version of the Greens !!

  14. Stefanie absolute Balderdash !! Took 3 months
    For the Government to respond to Victoria’s
    SOS .. it fact Andrews lied at the inquiry regarding
    The Defense forces.. help to The Andrews Government.. facts Stefanie !!

  15. Barrow old son, you rambling on again, like Stefanie called you out previously. The Covid is an ugly affair to be sure. What is uglier is being warned of problems, to avoid potential catastrophe, but not acting upon the warnings. It is precisely in these Covid times where we expect the Federal Government to protect ALL the people and be accountable to the people. ‘ScoNO The Great Deflector and Evader’, it shameful hearing the unfolding accounts and developments from the current Royal Commission into Aged Care, there are no proper words. “Neglect”, the interim RC report handed down October last year was a stirring wake up call prior to Covid arriving and look where we at now – scores of elderly in aged care dead and still dying. But all we get from you is some sort of ABC conspiracy and Greens poll numbers, really! All we get from Federal Officials at The RC is about their fantastic, ‘The Plan’. ‘The Plan’, yes, giving us nothing less than Federal sponsored ‘workplace manslaughter’. The current class action and the compensation sought against your ScoNO over the deaths resulting from ScoNO’s lovechild of ‘RoboDebt’, will pale into insignificance compared with the looming class action over the deaths in Aged Care during Covid. But then again it isn’t your ScoNO that actually pays anything at all. It is the families that forever pay from their prematurely lost loved ones and the punters that will pay $millions of our collective hard earned in compensation payouts. How Good is ScoNO! How Good is ScoNO Newspoll numbers!

  16. How dare Stefanie [in the first person] have
    an opinion at all. We all expect women to
    shut up? Leave it to the man who knows
    where he stands & thinks women are
    aliens. Too big for their boots. Good
    breeders though. This one’s a great-grand
    mother. Senile? Depends who I [she] will
    choose to mix with I’d guess.

    • Yes Stefanie, you not allowed to think or worse still, say a word, yes. Just follow the sort of ‘instruction’ that NSW Minister Hazardous Brad gave to NSW ALP Leader Jodi McKay, put on the face mask and just shutup, Hazardous Brad knows it all and doesn’t need any womenfolk speaking up.

  17. Barrow my man, “SOS’ calls you scribble. Hotel Quarantine and the Victoria Enquiry hasn’t quite panned out as the black and white affair of sole failure from Premier Dan as you would have liked to see, yes. It’s become a rather unedifying “he said, she said, he said” affair between Andrews, Reynolds and Crisp. The truth of it all is in their somewhere. But we do have the truth of ScoNO’s / Australia’s quarantine responsibility ( Quarantine Act 1908 ) that was shoved off to the states in the most desperate of times, a time of Pandemic with the Covid. What sort of Federal Government does that, to cut and run from its responsibility to ALL citizens and leave affairs for someone else ( the States ) to deal with. Very nice that you mentioned “SOS” for where was your ScoNO when The Royal Commission into Aged Care issued their SOS for The Aged Care sector with the release of their interim report, “Neglect”, in October 2019. Scores of the elderly dead and more still will die. As indeed you like to say …facts Barrow !!

  18. Barrow my man, you waking up to the (very distressing for you) news about the source of the Hotel Covid infection in Melbourne? I know, it will hard for you to begin to put things right. But please do start with an apology to Premier Dan and the contributors here in the pages of The Echo. Perhaps you will finally understand that opinions are no substitute for reality. All that matters is …..facts Barrow!!

  19. A very interesting report in today’s Age about a leaked email suggesting patient zero in hotel quarantine was a regular staff member.

    ‘ The emails seen by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald show a considerable effort was then made to contain the spread of the infection.
    Seven security guards contracted to patrol the hotel were stood down immediately and told to get tested and go home to isolate. A small number of hotel staff and health workers were told to do the same.
    After a positive test result the 7 security guards were tested from which there were 5 positives. ‘

    It is believed the virus spread from there to the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne. Clearly if the ADF had been there none of this would have occurred!!!

    Makes no difference to the tragic outcome but puts a different slant on the accusations and pile-on that has been orchestrated and seized upon. Good idea to wait for the inquiry to explore the more complex layers of this saga.

  20. Now……… as a ratty aged female great-grandparent
    I assume you know what The Australian Citizens’
    Party have done to protect the land ‘down under’
    from the ScoMo Government. The ‘not quite legal’
    Bail-in “bank deposits” Amendment (deposits) Bill
    has passed & is now ‘protecting deposits’. Worth
    a thank you to those who formed & made the
    the submissions.

  21. Yo Barrow old son. The Covid, a rough day for you yesterday.eh. It started early when your claims, of Premier Dan and his supposed bonking security guards causing the latest Victoria Covid outbreak, was exploded out of the water; then onto affairs regarding The Ruby Princess Inquiry which delivered more pain for you; then onto your ‘ScoNO The Great’ with his ‘sorry’ business – a sorry affair indeed that he didn’t apologise directly for the scores of deaths in aged care that have happened on his watch. No, he apologised for the ‘The System’. Just like with his RoboDebt apology, he only apologises for ‘Systems’, whatever that is. The buck stops with your ScoNO but as usual he deflects and evades any direct responsibility for things that go wrong on his watch. How Good is ScoNO! How Good is Newspoll numbers!

  22. Right on, Joachim……… I reckon ‘the system’s’ been
    done to death by ScoNO & has an Agatha Christie
    feel to it. A sort of vacantness used by the PM. I am
    expecting to hear our leader say, “The butler’s wife
    did it.” Creepy stuff.


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