Guest Post: mem – An Advertising Conundrum

Did anyone see the advertisement in the Herald Sun on Sunday, 31 October thanking Brett Sutton CMO Victoria and team for keeping us safe?

The text of the advertisement ran as follows:

“To Prof Brett Sutton, Prof Ben Cowan and A/Prof Deb Friedman

Thank you

To you and the team of people you lead,

For all you have done to keep us safe

Your expertise, compassion, hard work and dedication to the health

Of all Victorians during the pandemic is recognized and appreciated.

Again we say thank you.”

8 logos then inserted.

The timing and placement of the ad is interesting. The ad appeared on page 13 took up half a page and was placed directly below photos of the demonstration held in Melbourne on Saturday 30th October to protest the vaccine mandates and Daniel Andrews’ overreach of emergency powers. There would have been many health workers amongst the demonstrators.

This thankyou piece was presumably paid for by the organizations whose logos appeared at the bottom. The logos appearing were: AMA, ANMF (Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, HACS U, Victorian Ambulance Union and several other health unions. There was no mention of Daniel Andrews or the government in the content. Perhaps a bit of social/political distancing being displayed? Or maybe these unions are a bit worried they will lose members. In Queensland some 4000 health workers are expected to be stood down for not meeting the requirement to be vaxed by the Qld. Government’s timeline. I have not seen an equivalent figure for Victoria but it is likely to be similar. The unions are being criticized by many for not standing up for their members’ rights. And here we have them thanking Daniel Andrews’ right-hand-man, Brett Sutton, for keeping health workers safe. If I was a health worker who was about to lose my job, I would not be impressed. So, what was the real purpose of this advertisement? Perhaps intimidation of health workers. Perhaps a positioning statement for these unions in relation to others. Perhaps to finger the CMO as being responsible for the mandates rather than Andrews. Perhaps the advertisement was a genuine expression of the feelings of those that signed off on it and its placement coincidental. Comments welcome.

“We are arguing for proper accountability and oversight”

It’s about Daniel Andrews and the totalitarian laws Labor is trying to introduce into Victoria. The text may be found here. I particularly like that she quotes Edmund Burke, about whom you can read more about here.

The Irish philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.’ Those opposite tell us that unprecedented powers are required for unprecedented times. Governments always present compelling reasons to concentrate power. My grandmother came to this country fleeing Mussolini, and I am glad that she is not alive today to see what is happening. I genuinely am. I think she would be absolutely horrified. I honestly never believed that the people elected to this chamber would think that it is appropriate to hand the Premier and the health minister the kind of power to lock people up, to lock people down and to cancel protests without the checks and balances of Parliament – to strip people of their most basic rights without the oversight and the checks and balances of Parliament. The erosion of people’s liberties does not happen overnight; it happens by degrees. Streamline pandemic laws, by all means. We do not argue with that. We know that the government needs a certain degree of flexibility to control dangerous outbreaks of disease. We are not arguing about that. We are arguing for proper accountability and oversight. This Bill does not deliver those measures.

She also gets it right with the parallel to Mussolini.

Perrottet’s New Puppeteer

“Once every single person in this state has had the opportunity to be vaccinated then we should open up for everyone… I want to see more unity and not a two-tiered society… It’s not the government’s role to provide freedom.” Dominic Perrottet talking to Joe Hildebrand on 2GB on 24 September 2021.

The Berejiklian date for the unvaccinated to enjoy equality with their vaccinated superiors was 1 December. Surely Perrottet would bring this date forward. After all, as at to today 2 November 87.8% of those 16 years and over in NSW have been fully vaccinated. Time for universal freedom, one would think, from a principled “conservative” Catholic. One would think wrong.

The date has now been extended to 15 December or until 95% are fully vaxxed – an unlikely prior event.

Ms Berejiklian was caught by ICAC as saying Perrottet does what I tell him to do. Just so. Presumably, he wanted keep in sweet with the former premier. Now, presumably, it’s the turn of public health officials to pull his strings. Can’t say I’m surprised. Principles and politicians seldom, if ever, go together. We need Hayek’s model. No one under 50 years of age. Strict ten-year limit. Mind you, human nature being what it is, we’d still get mostly unprincipled tossers.

All Souls’ Day

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

-G. K. Chesterton

In the OT today, Calli made the following astute comment,

We seem to be in a perfect storm of physical and spiritual (or, if you like, moral) degradation, without the will to tackle it in the simplest of ways. That is, starting in the home. Our telescopic philanthropy has us viewing far away causes while ignoring our toddler of a country teetering on the precipice.

How do we do this? By honouring our immediate obligations, firstly, to God. Secondly, to our spouse and children, our parents and siblings, and extended families. Thirdly, our obligations to our nearest neighbors, community, and so on; as the concentric circle enlarges, our obligations become less onerous because they become more diffuse and less direct. 

If we want to preserve what remains of our civilization, and regenerate robust and flourishing communities, there is no alternative than beginning at the level of the household. And given the day, there is no better means of honouring our obligations than remembering our dearly departed. Light a candle. Visit their graves. Remember them in your prayers. 

One of the most moving things I saw last year was a daughter on a picnic rug enjoying a sunny afternoon by what I guess was her parent/s? graveside on All Souls’ Day. Among all the ignoble things we have witnessed these last couple of years, that remains a ray of hope. 

PM Mandates Military Service

By political editor Tow Mater in Canberra

Posted 3 hours ago, updated 2 hours ago

Strong Leadership: PM Announces new scheme

Fresh from saving Australia from Armageddon in Glasgow, the Prime Minister yesterday announced the re-establishment of National Military Service, with the call up of all eligible individuals between 12 to 59 years of age.

“In light of, and in response to, the increasing threat of the Chinese within the Asia Pacific region, it behoves us to band together to discourage this scourge.”, he declared yesterday from Canberra yesterday. “No sacrifice is too great”.

Questioned yesterday as to the reasoning behind the re-establishment of such a long-absent scheme, one seen as so unpopular when it was abolished nearly 50 years ago, the Prime Minister seemed bewildered.

“I don’t think the scheme will be unpopular. We have taken our lead from the response to our vaccination program and the currently trending #withfreedomcomesresponsibility”, he responded.

Continue reading “PM Mandates Military Service”

How Daniel Andrews became Australia’s most popular premier

This is taken from Nick Cater’s article in today’s Oz: Victoria: From a state of emergency to a state of tyranny. Daniel Andrew’s level of incompetence is astonishing, but the high regard so many still have for this utterly stupid buffoon is more astonishing still. Here is the story as told by Nick.

The Andrews government serves as a living example of why governments that rule by fiat are more prone to failure than those forced to run the gauntlet of parliament. Decision-making is restricted to a handful of individuals who lack perfect knowledge and are vulnerable to groupthink. Contrary facts, discordant data and alternative strategies are suppressed. Since all power emanates from the emperor, no one in his inner circle is game to tell him he has no clothes. Increased power leads to an excess of hubris. Any reserves of humility the leader might have had are depleted as the god complex begins to set in.

From the start of the outbreak, there were many who tried to argue for a different strategy, one a lot less like that employed in China and more in keeping with the principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility that have served us well. The alternative approach advocated focusing protection on the elderly and vulnerable instead of pretending the risks were equally shared. There was strong evidence in March 2020 that the World Health Organisation’s estimate of a 3 per cent fatality rate was wildly overstated. It was also known the risk of death for the elderly was substantial, but the risk for the young was statistically insignificant.

Yet instead of putting all available resources into protecting the few, most governments were fixated with the false indicator of the incidence of Covid-19 in the general population. Kids with almost no risk of becoming seriously ill were kept home from school and barred from playgrounds to stop infection spreading to the elderly.

The strategy failed. The notorious hotel quarantine bungle that led to Melbourne’s outbreak in the winter of 2020 was a minor hiccup compared with what happened afterwards in Victorian nursing homes. The government followed flawed advice that Covid-positive residents should be treated in their nursing homes, supposedly to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed.

By early July, it was apparent that scores of residents were dying in nursing homes who might have survived if they had been treated in hospital. Since nursing homes lacked the experience and equipment to abide by the highest protocols of quarantine, the virus rapidly spread to other residents.

Nursing homes were screaming for ambulances, but Andrews’ bureaucracy was slow to react. In mid-July, chief health officer Brett Sutton said the official strategy was to keep the virus out of aged-care homes by screening healthcare workers who entered, rather than removing sick residents: “I don’t think moving residents out who are infected is always the control measure that is required.”

Belatedly, the policy was changed, but by then the coronavirus wave was passing and the damage was done. In 2020, 678 nursing home residents died, all but 19 in Victoria. In 2020, three out of four Covid deaths were nursing home residents. So far this year, with the new policy in place, the figure is one in 50.

The core to understanding Victorian policy is to understand that it is entirely the will of Andrews who is a particularly stupid man. I would also add that he seems to have taken all of his policies from Andrew Cuomo, who was at the time the Governor of New York. Putting elderly covid patients back into nursing homes was a particularly deadly killer. But for those who have not died, they are grateful to be alive and think it is in some way because of Andrews they have been spared.

Obligatory ignorance

It is a curious thing that in the midst of a mass vaccination program of heretofore little used en masse vaccine delivery systems that OSHA adopts the following policy:

This left me thinking, what does OSHA’s antipodean relation, WorkSafe Victoria, do in this respect? Does it require employers to notify WorkSafe of any adverse events that occur following the administration of one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines or not? It certainly requires that employers notify WorkSafe of an positive cases of COVID among its workers. Looking at an employer’s obligations, it in fact doesn’t require that employers notify WorkSafe of any adverse events among its workers even when the vaccination is administered in the workplace! This is all the more extraordinary because employers in Victoria are being used by the state as its muscle, firstly bombarding them with pleas to vaccinate, then gaslighting them about potential adverse events often with the assistence of DoH personnel, and finally, presenting them with the choices of either getting vaccinated in order to remain at work or standing them down if they do get vaccinated. How that doesn’t violate the requirements of informed consent is still yet to be explained. It does, however, handball the problem of collation of any adverse events, to the Dept. of Health, requiring clinicians to report severe adverse events while the rest is to be left to individual patients themselves. But given the intellectual climate currently pervading the medical profession, which through its official organs, repeats ad nauseam the same lines generated by the government and BigPharma, this is hardly encouraging.

What an extraordinary state of affairs.