I think I figured it out. I discovered Scott Morrison’s strategy for dealing with crises. Delay, delay then save the day.
Let a crisis descend to a state of utter desperation then announce yourself as the saviour of the nation. Propose a solution which is not of your making and which should have been implemented long, long ago, and take all of the credit.
I can see this clearly now. I’m not a political strategist, nor even a keen follower of party politics, but even I can see the strategy.
Morrison announces a plan in such a way that state leaders are presented as the impediment to personal freedom and as the architects of restrictive lockdowns. This strategy is dependant upon doing nothing effective to solve the problem when it arises. The LNP did nothing to facilitate a coherent vaccination rollout. The federal government did nothing to manage nationwide quarantine facilities. The LNP did nothing to effectively manage the arrival of people from overseas.
COVIDSafe was an expensive waste of time. It failed.
Vaccination rollout was so slow the states took it upon themselves to create mass vaccination hubs.
So incompetent is the government’s response to the pandemic that it has to have been deliberate. Even if bumbling politicians are inept and out of their depth, some of their staffers, advisers and department heads are competent and capable of dealing with a crisis. Australia should not still be in lockdown, and waiting for vaccinations, in July 2021.
At some point since early 2020, the federal LNP must have realised that they were incapable of managing the response to the pandemic, and decided that the only way to save the public reputation of their leader was to let the crisis deepen, then swoop in at the last minute and claim to save the day.
The prime minister did just that. He recently gathered state leaders, then the mainstream media, and announced a plan for guiding Australia out of the COVID crisis. The announcement included promises to end lockdowns and open borders, and to have most Australians vaccinated in the near future. Once these measures are taken, Australia can return to some form of normal.
Australians are sick of lockdowns, Morrison promised to end lockdowns.
Australians want borders open, Morrison promised to open borders.
Australians want international travel to resume, Morrison promised to allow international travel.
He didn’t say exactly when. He didn’t say how. His advisors cleverly used vague language to hint at positive changes which will occur at some time in the future.
The announcement was made in such a way that it presents Morrison and the LNP government as the saviours. It dismisses the efforts of medical staff, state leaders and competent people within Australia who have worked behind the scenes day after day to prevent the deaths of thousands of people.
And it works.
The strategy works.
Many Australian people will see Morrison as their saviour. It helps to have the entire NewsCorp media network serving as your private propaganda network. It helps to have the mainstream media reprinting press releases and failing to hold the government to account. It helps to have the Murdoch press launch a sustained and personal attack on Victorian Labor Premier Dan Andrews, and to defend the actions of Liberal premiers and the federal government.
It helps to have a compliant media serve as chief distractor. During the pandemic, and the recent floods and bushfires, distractions were always at hand to draw people’s attention away from the current disaster. Morrison went missing at some point during all of these major crises, even famously escaping to Hawaii and inviting himself to a G7 summit. He said and did nothing in the midst of the crisis, then emerged triumphantly to do what he does best; hold a press conference.
He conveniently took credit for a massive seizure of illicit drugs in Australia. A drug bust carried out by police, but announced by Morrison. Australians were also conveniently distracted when the government announced a multi-million dollar upgrade to the War Memorial in Canberra, and when Morrison decided to change one word in the national anthem.
Morrison will now be seen as the man who ended lockdown. The man who opened the borders. The man who fixed quarantine. The man who got Australia back to normal. This could all have happened long ago if it were not for one man…Scott Morrison.