Waiting for Godot's vaccine shipment
Scotty the cubby house curry king emerged from internal exile yesterday, startlingly thick of hairplug and frowny of smirkface, to pronounce that he was sticklian-with-Berejiklian. It was his first public appearance in nearly a week, and arrived in the public square like a beef stew fart in a crowded elevator.
The freshly-sewn weave probably explained the extra cranky pug face. I imagine having tufts of human astroturf stitched into your scalp would put anybody in a bad mood, but the PM’s butthurt was extra amplified by all those questions he’d hoped to dodge, which seemingly boiled down to one unavoidable enquiry.
“Where’s our fucking vaccines you hopeless bollard?”
Without a handy Hawaiian escape flight fuelled up and ready to whisk him away to umbrella drinks and safety with Jen and the kids, and dogged by all those inconvenient reality-based questions about why busted arse countries like El Salvador and Morocco are still eating our vaccine lunch, Morrison was forced to fall back on the Bart Simpson defence.
Yes, well, we already knew that Scotty.
The other source of his increasing testiness was undoubtedly the failure of yet another diversionary scheme to actually divert attention away from his responsibility for this embarrassing perma-shambles. Scotty almost certainly high-fived himself for coming up with the idea of dropping an actual Army General onto the vaccine rollout throne. He had tried it with a Navy Commodore earlier in the pandemic, but it turned out nobody really knew what ‘Commodore’ meant. Could be an admiral. Could the greeter at the door of the Double Bay Yacht Club.
But a general? In a khaki uniform with medals and stuff?
Yeah, that’s some kick arse imagineering right there.
Generals are good at giving orders, but generals are even better at taking them, no matter how ill-advised they might be. This isn’t a knock on Lieutenant General JJ Frewen, Scotty’s hand picked vax man. Whether it’s trying to hold Crete without air support, against 22 000 Nazi paratroopers and a Luftwaffe fleet of more than six hundred fighters and bombers, or trying to distribute a vaccine which just isn’t fucking there, a good General doesn’t grumble. He or she just gets on with the hopeless job in the face of impossible odds.
They’re the perfect cut out for a guy like Smirko, whose core competency is not taking responsibility for anything that goes even a little bit pear-shaped, while snatching up the gold medal glory for themselves when things do go well.
There is an even more cynical aspect to this however, and that’s the way Morrison has hijacked the civic capital of a national, non-political institution like the Army to protect himself and his government from legitimate critique and condemnation. In this he has made a human shield of General Frewen.
As rebel investigator and Twitter savant Ronni Salt put it:
He was brought in to add to Morrison's optics of control.
His uniform & all he represents is a powerful psychological image of safety & security in Australian's minds.
If it was about operational rollout logistics let's be blunt - they'd have brought in the CEO of Toll.
Or whoever keeps the shelves stocked at Woolies, or the manager of a busy restaurant or, I dunno, any one of thousands of logistics specialists working for dozens of logistics and supply chain companies like Toll or Linfox or Amazon. But of course they don’t come freighted with cultural reverence, especially not among Morrison’s target demographic of male voters down the butthead end of the intellectual bell curve.
Meanwhile, back in the world of made-up things…
“I’m increasingly confident that we will have additional supplies arriving on shore in August, and we’ll have confirmation in the coming days,” said alleged Health Minister and fraying glove puppet Greg Hunt on Thursday. “But we’re quietly working behind the scenes every single day to ensure that, and that’s beginning to bear fruit.”
It’s not exactly reassuring is it?
Not quite Henry V at the burning gates of the half-achieved Harfleur.
But it’s the same bullshit we’ve been spoon-fed all along.
Increasingly confident. Any day now. She’ll be right, mate.
But it won’t be right.
The Delta variant is spreading fast all over the world because that’s what it has evolved to do, and here in Vegemiteland it finds a perfect host population. Unvaccinated. Unprotected. Utterly vulnerable.
That’s bad enough, but the accelerating spread also raises the odds of a new variant emerging from the rapidly growing ranks of the infected. Something faster and hungrier than Delta.
That’s why all of Morrison’s plans and schedules and marketing tricks ultimately mean nothing.
If Delta or some other variant explodes before October with higher infection and mortality rates, what chance the EU or the US decide to hold onto their Pfizer supplies to mandate inoculation of the hundreds of millions of their own people who so far remain unvaccinated?