The Three Stooges

A trio of bumblers once made the world a happier place. Now it seems their modern day counterparts are making government accountability a joke.

The Three Stooges
My editorial from Sky News 'In My View' program

You’ve most likely heard of the three stooges. They were a trio of bumblers who unleashed havoc wherever they went.

However, no matter how incompetent they were, even they didn’t shut down an entire state.

Now that role has been left to this trio – South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens.

This week they panicked when their quarantine protocols were exposed as flawed and a single family (and some associates) tested positive for coronavirus.

That’s right a total of 22 people were infected – that’s just 4 more than in NSW on the same date – but an entire state was locked down.

Premier Marshall told us this was a new, ‘particularly sneaky’ coronavirus that posed a much greater threat to us all.  Spurrier said it hadn’t been seen before. They told us the clear and present danger justified an immediate shutdown of the entire state.

However, what they told us simply wasn’t true.

But still they placed every South Australian in home detention – even communities hundreds of kilometres away  that haven’t ever seen a case of covid-19.

All stores were ordered to close with the exception of pharmacies, servo’s, supermarkets and… err..bottle shops.

The Chief Health Officer said that it was important that the liquor stores remained open because the government “didn’t want to see an escalation in domestic violence”!

That’s right, after decades of linking alcohol consumption to DV,  the SA Health boss now says it’s the absence of alcohol that is the actual problem.

You just couldn’t make this up if you tried.

At a sombre press conference, the three of them informed us that face masks were compulsory… until the next day when they were only ‘encouraging people to wear them’. The change arose because a hopeless lack of preparation meant they couldn’t ‘manage the logistics of distribution’.

Such was the haste in the decision making, the advice on the health website, the police website and the state  government website all offered incomplete and often contradictory instructions.

Incredibly, these are the people we are meant to rely on in times of crisis.

This latest outbreak emanated from hotel quarantine but we are assured there was nothing wrong with the protective measures in place.

That could be true, once you ignore the absence of regular testing and the clear breaches of those protocol by hotel workers.

Instead of admitting failure, we were spun the line that this new, sneakier strain lingered on surfaces and thus was more easily transmitted.

Under those circumstances, you may wonder why they drove South Australians into a few supermarkets to panic buy without expecting them to wear gloves.

Here’s a clue. What they told us was bovine excrement!

But more important than the desperate spin, it’s the spectacular lack of judgment of these ‘leaders’ that should have us all outraged.

While they now deny it, Marshall et al allowed a single tall tale from an infected person, likely designed to cover possibly illegal acts, to determine the outcome for an entire state.

In doing so, they couldn’t have undertaken even the most cursory of checks. If they had, the obvious lie would have bene detected within hours.

Silly me, I  thought uncovering falsehoods was what police (and politicians for that matter) specialised in.

This hapless trio have now cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.  The losses range from a few thousand for micro businesses through to millions for some larger private groups. The hospitality  industry alone estimates losses of over $50 million.

But that doesn’t seem to register with Premier Marshall and his flunkies.

There’s no apology, there’s no accountability. Apparently there’s not even a penalty for the fibbing fall guy they are all trying to blame as cover for their own incompetence.

Instead, these three continue to pick up their taxpayer salaries while trying to convince a gullible electorate that they saved them from the plague.

Well someone needs to save us from this farce.  Government by bureaucrat is not what South Australia or any other state voted for.

A true political leader doesn’t outsource their judgement and decision making to the unelected bureaucrat.

A true leader doesn’t blame others for their own spectacular lack of judgement, they take responsibility.

A true leader would remove those responsible for the panic that has made SA a national laughing stock and has prompted business to flee.

Unfortunately in South Australia we don’t have true leadership. We only have these three.

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