COVID-19 day 72: Morrison, Seneca, co-morbidity, and Wellington.
Both the ABC’s Laura Tingle and The Guardian’s Katharine Murphy cut Prime Minister Scott Morrison some slack in their analyses of his news media standup yesterday with his chief health officer, Professor Brendan Murphy.
I was incredulous. What short and fickle memories these analysts have. And I say ‘his’ chief health officer, because the man is too much a political pawn for me to trust anything he has to say. My chief health officer is my GP, who gains nothing by lying to me.
News stories this morning about contradictory reports that early coronavirus (2019-nCoV) diagnostician Dr Li Wenliang was dead, or had died and been revived and was now in critical condition, came with some indications that China’s public image as world power and international leader is a shallow façade.
It seems Dr Li was threatened by police to stop spreading unfounded rumours when he warned colleagues early on in the disease’s discovery about the potential risks.
China panic is more concerning than dictatorial overreach; Morrison confirms he’s a liar; more political instability coming our way.
Like many others, I have only Western news reports on which to base my judgements about all things China, but it seems the coronavirus has created panic in Chinese corridors of power.
Twenty-thousand infections. More than 400 deaths. Building hospitals so fast the concrete surely hasn’t had time to cure. Cremating bodies en masse regardless of family wishes. Lodging official protests about editorial cartoons!
Just after the last federal election there was an onslaught of faux piety, socially and in news media, that had commentators wagging moral fingers: people shouldn’t be sore losers and now needed to get behind, or even embrace, a Morrison Coalition government. I remember the tutting and frowning when I responded to such advice with a growling: Over my dead body!
The man’s a smirking, dumb shit so ignorant and conceited he’ll ruin the country rather than make a single move for the right reasons, I hissed at them.
It’s not that I was surprised to read Peter Dutton making Coalition policy by media statement on Friday. It’s more that he would do so for the Indigenous Australians portfolio. It signals to the public and the party that the responsible minster, Ken Wyatt, is thus publicly stripped of any authority by the LPA’s extreme right wing, presumptively led by Home Affairs Minister Dutton after nihilist-in-chief Tony Abbott was voted out of Parliament.
Reading about the solidarity between the USA and UK about pointing the finger at Iran for the oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman recently, and the haste with which Western media uncritically reported these pointed fingers, I couldn’t help letting my mind wander a little. Why were Western analysts so quick to endorse ‘official’ statements? What should they be doing instead?
‘Teleology!’, I thought. The analysis of phenomena not by looking for causes, but by examining who benefits.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on the public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and News Corporation journalist Annika Smethurst’s private residence, are clear indications the AFP is being used to intimidate journalists and ‘whistleblowers’, meaning public servants willing to leak information about questionable government activities.
Ideologies always assume that one idea is sufficient to·explain everything in the development from the premise, and that no experience can teach anything because everything is comprehended in this consistent process of logical deduction. The danger in exchanging the necessary insecurity of philosophical thought for the total explanation of an ideology and its Weltanschauung, is not even so much the risk of falling for some usually vulgar, always uncritical assumption as of exchanging the freedom inherent in man’s capacity to think for the strait jacket of logic with which man can force himself almost as violently as he is forced by some outside power.
— Hannah Arendt, 1951, The Origins of Totalitarianism.