MORE than 50 years after AP reporter Peter Arnett probably made up a famous ‘quote’ about the Battle of Ben Tre in 1968, delusions of ruinous necessity and artful exoneration both live on. With handy timing, the NSW government yesterday released an unfalsifiable Burnet Institute claim that “modelling suggests” Gladys Berejiklian’s lockups and “harsh” gestapo tactics “thwarted more than 580,000 cases and 5808 deaths.” Not more than 5803, mind you. More than 5808. The only class of humanity state bureaucrats ever pay true deference to are the hypothetical.
Governments and their virus advisers will always claim credit for a bell curve’s epidemiologically predictable decline. It’s the pay-off magicians call the ‘prestige.’ In politics the trick requires officials to go on being “harsh” until the “case” number falls. Ta-da! Back in May, 2020, the Burnet Institute declared mission accomplished. The modelling was “right,” gushed Professor Brendan Crabb, and the virus outcome for Australia was “fantastic.” Somewhere there must be a scrap yard where old covid models rust in the sun like unsalvageable Valiants.
Eventually, of course, the public’s willingness to suspend disbelief begins to slacken and that’s where scapegoating the unvaccinated comes in. The Premiers are frantically shifting culpability for their own reckless imbecility on to a patsy underclass. Have you noticed how the scolds and hypochondriacs never rationalise their fear of those who haven’t received The Vaccine? I use that last word loosely because if a condom company sold a prophylactic so prone to failure, it would be condemned by all – ambitious midwives excepted – and shut down.
The reason they don’t justify their oafish prejudice is simple: their “status” requires them to believe they’re impervious. Fearing the unvaccinated is therefore contrary to science and they know it. Nor can they argue the unvaccinated spread infection – even if it is to one another – because they carry and spread coronavirus too. The upturned nostrils of Andrew Bolt and Peter FitzSimons are no less homely for ‘rona than anybody else’s. I can, however, understand why Australia’s politicians – now internationally infamous for effete violence – are blackballing taxpayers from a world they’ve come to believe they own. Disincentivising laxity at an allegedly eleventh hour and all that. All the others are children crying to mummy about a sibling getting an ice cream too despite not making his bed. Goody-goodies take parental rewards very seriously.