The failed politics of a pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic has revealed an alarming fact about modern day politics and our politicians in particular. One side of the political divide – clearly in this case, the conservative side – has unfortunately adopted a disappointing approach by which its political judgement has been swayed by purely by its narrow, self-centred ideology.

In any time of crisis, we need governments to perform an important role in protecting the social fabric of our society. It is what we elect our governments to do. We need clear, rational and responsive leadership. Importantly, we need people who can reach across the political divide to act as statesmen and stateswomen, putting the needs of our citizens first, especially the vulnerable in our community.

Unfortunately, the reluctance of the Coalition – both at national and state levels – to promote a consistent, comprehensive plan to tackle COVID and its impact has been clear from Day 1.

Mr Morrison, in particular, is a classic example of failed leadership.

As has been pointed out, time and time again, Mr Morrison, and many in his government, has failed the test of leadership in a crisis by resorting to blame everyone but himself for his own public policy failures and to divide the country dependent upon which political party is in government at the state level.

Mr Morrison’s criticism of state leaders who were guided by professional health advice is disgraceful. Rather than act in a supportive role, Mr Morrison placed his energy into undermining the messages that state health professionals were promoting. Indeed, if Mr Morrison put as much time, energy and resources into properly addressing COVID as he does his obsession with ‘announcements’, we would be well on the way to a better outcome for everyone.

If we also look to the LNP at the state level here in Queensland, we also see a sad and sorry mish-mash of policy failure. Their message in undermining the Palaszczuk Government in its attempt to keep Queenslanders safe is well documented. The LNP opposition were opposed to many of the measure that kept people safe. Their half-measured, ill thought out policy responses were clearly rejected by voters at the 2020 state election. Yet, nine months later, they still cling to their hysterical stance. It is a failure that is now cemented in the history books.

Regardless of ideology, our public policy responses – especially in the field of public health and safety – must be guided by evidence, science and the facts. Resorting to a purely political stance to satisfy the corporate elite, conspiracy theorists and those in the media peddling misinformation is abhorrent and must be soundly rejected.

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