Border Battles

Plucking figures out of thin air that no-one can disprove is the new political trick

Border Battles

There's a battle on over Australian borders.

As many readers will recall, it's not the first time the open slather refugee policies of the Rudd/Gillard era Labor Green alliance versus the coalition's border protection plan.

This time, though, the battle is between business and government.

It was kicked off by Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who warned Australia risked getting left behind if international borders did not open until the middle of next year. She acknowledged:

“Some people may die but it would be way smaller than the flu”

The PM was having none of it and slammed the comments as insensitive, claiming the pandemic was morphing and raging overseas.

“I’m not going to take risks with Australians’ lives. I’m not going to do that and I’m going to make sure we maintain a regime that so far has avoided the loss of 30,000 lives.”

Although I agree with the restrictions on international travel, I have to call the PM out on his avoiding deaths figure. It sounds made up to me, but then again, how would we know?

Do you remember when the 'modelling', on which the government pandemic response was based, said 250,000 Australian lives would be lost?

I said it was nonsensical then and that the models were rubbish. Those comments proved to be true.

So where did the 30k lives 'saved' figure come from? No doubt from some more junk modelling, and the PM knows his claim is almost impossible to disprove.

Politicians love saving us in a crisis...not from a crisis.

If they prevent something from happening, they get no credit. For political authority, they need to overstate the severity of the issue and then have you experience less pain than initially forecast.

That way, you might thank them and give them a vote in the next election.

The PM then pushed the sympathy button.

“I would encourage people to know 910 Australians lost their lives. Every single one of those lives was a terrible tragedy, and it doesn’t matter how old they were.”

Again, look past the superficial and consider that 169,000 Australians died in 2019 - including more than 4,000 from influenza. That same year, more infants died than those allegedly killed by COVID-19 in 202o.

There were no tragic statements about those deaths by the PM or acceptance that if only we'd closed down the economy for the entire year, some of those lives might have been saved.

Let's acknowledge that every death is a heartfelt event for someone.

We all have an expiry date, and it's reasonable to think that a life taken prematurely is more tragic than a life lost in its ninth decade, even one that's lost through government incompetence.

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