Birmingham’s hypocrisy

By July 1, 2021Australian Politics

After Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s AstraZeneca brain-fart, and the reaction against it1, Minister for Finance, Simon Birmingham has claimed that Morrison was simply trying to spread the word about the indemnity for GPs2. This is a lie. Morrison specifically mentioned those under 60, which was the age cut-off for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has stated that people under 60 should get the Pfizer vaccine1.

Birmingham said: “The politicisation of the vaccine rollout that has been attempted by some, particularly by some state politicians in Queensland, is shameful. I urge people to listen to sound, sensible advice like you just had from Nick Coatsworth rather than some of the extremist claims that have been made by the Queensland Premier and the chief health officer”2.

One wonders what he makes of the recent statement in response to the Morrison brain-fart, from the head of ATAGI, Associate Professor Christopher Blyth, who poured cold water on suggestions Australians under the age of 40 should be trying to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. He said it should only be considered in “pressing” circumstances and “the ATAGI advice is that Pfizer is our preference for those under the age of 60 years”3.

It makes you wonder where Birmingham was when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg attacked the lockdown in Victoria in October 2020, in saying: “There’s been a callous indifference in Victoria from the government to the loss of jobs and to the plight of small business. The bloody-mindedness is unforgivable”4. It also makes you wonder what happened to Frydenberg’s opinions on lockdowns when New South Wales’ greater Sydney, central coast and Illawarra shut up shop recently because of an outbreak of Covid-19. Was New South Wales’ premier Gladys Berejiklian showing callous indifference or bloody mindedness when she locked down over 5 million people, or was it because it was the sensible thing to do?

It makes you wonder where Birmingham was when the idiots (Michael O’Brien, Tim Smith and Georgie Crozier) in the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party were demanding that restrictions be eased and when Andrews refused, he was called ‘Dictator Dan’ or ‘Chairman Dan’. This drivel was also a constant theme in the Murdoch media5. I didn’t hear Birmingham complaining about their politicisation of the Covid-19 response. Nor did I hear him remonstrate against the numerous other cases of what Dave Milner has termed the ‘psychopathic commentary’ by numerous other politicians and media commentators6.

For Liberals like Birmingham, it is never about what is good for the country or the populace, it is always about what they perceive as obtaining political advantage. Nothing else matters. Th hypocrisy is astonishing and sickening.




  • Jon says:

    The farcical nature of the messaging from government and experts was starkly highlighted on ABC TV yesterday. Partner loves to watch the repetitious yabbering for some reason but I was only half engaged, hence my failure to remember the bloke’s name. Essence of it was that this expert/politician? was playing down the long-held, and still active, advice wrt AZ and under 60s (risk of dying from C19 is less than the risk of thrombosis) and encouraging people to get vaccinated (after consultation with their doctor etc etc). He was then asked if he was vaccinated. “Yes, some time ago”. Which vaccine? “PFIZER!”

    Meantime you have an exert – an outspoken critic of factual statements about the risks of AZ to younger people (alarmist according to him) – spruiking the patently misleading vaccination mantra that “we aren’t safe until we’re all safe”. I find this both astonishing and appalling.

    I acknowledge the need for short, sharp messaging, that they want to encourage vaccination and not assist anti-vaxxers etc but the simple facts (at this juncture) are that vaccination is not a 100% guarantee that you won’t get Covid19, or that you won’t pass it on, or even that you won’t die from it. That is, vaccination does guarantee either personal or mass SAFETY, as implied by the ad. For an expert who should and does know better to be publicly suggesting otherwise is disturbing to say the least. It will be grist to the mill for anti-vaxxers in the future.: “but YOU said we’d be safe after vaccination yet there’s still disease, transmission and deaths!”

    What vaccination does is SIGNIFANTLY reduce the risk of contracting, transmitting and dying from C19, while also relieving the symptoms of those infected (for most but not all people) . Equally importantly, vaccination gives societies a chance to manage the disease AND return to some semblance of normality (or mediocrity in our case), both of which are critical to societies and nations.

    If I was making government-sponsored public service announcements I’d be relentlessly hammering the latter two points using a mix of “normal” people (business, sportsmen and women, young people wanting to travel, etc), while offering incentives/hope for those vaccinated. As the States have discovered long ago, Morrison’s fear of responsibility and leadership paralysis means the only way we’ll progress is if we act ourselves. Our first act should be to toss the bastard – and his coterie of incompetents- out at the first opportunity.

    • admin says:

      I suspect the person you were talking about was Coatsworth who was in a half-arsed way supporting Morrison’s brainfart. This goes against the ATAGI recommendations. I am sick to death of these hopeless morons trying to second-guess experts, just because they can. It is symptomatic of the hatred of expertise current conservatives have.

      • Jon says:

        Yes two shot coffee Coatsworth, who has accused others of misinformation etc while appearing as the protagonist in an ad which clearly both misinforms and misleads.

        Here’s another classic example of unintentional irony from an expert:
        “Epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett also appeared on Sunrise to discuss Young’s AstraZeneca outburst. The Chair in Epidemiology at Deakin University labelled the comments “extreme” and urged young Australians to speak to their GP if they’re interested in getting the jab. “I do think that’s not the right way to give advice,” she said.

        [All good up to now, but the THIS:] “Getting any confusing and conflicting messages is dangerous at this time because we want people to trust the information that they’re getting.”

        Yep confused messaging like the official recommendation is STILL that under 60s should get Pfizer and at the same time promoting AZ simply because it’s available and Morrison and his buddies f’ed up not ordering adequate supplies of alternatives.

        • admin says:

          Yep. It has been shambolic, and solely because Morrison wanted to spend as little as possible to keep the Australian people safe. As far as he is concerned, we are scum.

  • Jon says:

    I have an inkling that the person I mentioned in the first par above MAY have been Birmingham himself.

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