There are two views of the current COVID Victorian situation – it is a hell of lot better than the rest of the world; or, it could and should have been so much better as evidenced by Queensland, NSW, Tasmania, SA and the Northern Territory.
Both are obviously true and incompetent mistakes in quarantine were the biggest cause as no doubt the current inquiry will show. But whatever the alleged original sin, the second wave experience of other countries is illuminating and the polls show that you would rather be in Daniel Andrews’ position than Michael O’Brien’s. By the way, if you are wondering who O’Brien is – he’s the Victorian Opposition Leader.
In a recent Facebook post, the comedian and author, Catherine Deveney illustrated the Victorian situation in the following way:
On the 30 July there were 1377 new cases in France, 846 in the UK and 723 in Victoria.
As of last Friday there were 25,086 in France, 15,650 in France and 1 in Victoria.
Since her post it’s getting worse. By the weekend France had 32,427 confirmed new cases. Meanwhile in Trump’s America there have been 8,380,418 cases and 224,639 deaths as of October 18. France and the US have all increased since then.
Yesterday the UK had 26,668, Italy 15,199, The Czech Republic 11,984, The Netherlands 8,500.
Other countries which last week had record daily cases included Poland, Ukraine and Malaysia.
Around the world, as of this week, the number of cases was 41 million with total deaths 1.12 million. These figures are probably rubbery but it’s unlikely they are an overestimate. Germany, France and Spain have gone back into lockdown. The UK is sort of in local lockdowns but there is not much agreement about which areas they operate in.
At the end of last week global coronavirus cases increased by more than 400,000 for the first time and all those let her rip and save the economy advocates ought to take a look at the Swedish figures which suggest that none of this whole mess is a clear cut black and white mess.
Currently, according to the latest Roy Morgan poll, Andrews has a 59% approval rating down 2 per cent since last month. That’s less than it was and less than other Premiers but once again given the tidal wave of criticism and the unrelenting negativism of the Murdoch media it is amazing it’s still that high.
The Morgan poll showed a 2PP vote intention of 51.5% for Labor and 48.5% for the Liberals, down more than five percent since the 2018 election, but the Labor landslide in 2018 also makes winning very difficult for the Liberals.
Meanwhile, as the figures around the world show, coming out of lockdown too early can be disastrous. The UK is an outlier largely because, however many mistakes the Victorian Government made, they pale into insignificance when compared with the Johnson record where what could go wrong did go wrong and what could be chaotic has become chaotic.
Nevertheless, Tory ineptitude is not a fair comparison with anything other than the Trump administration, but it is worth noting that the UK test and track system is not working and has already cost more than the Government spends on universities or infant education. But then what would expect from an administration which employs Tony Abbott as an advisor on anything?
Meanwhile the tide of Andrews criticism grows. Big companies, rich listers, small business owners and a few Melbourne identities have signed on to ads and demands that Victoria open up. The Murdoch media is attacking him relentlessly. Peta Credlin uses the Andrews media briefings as a platform and the Federal Government has trotted out attack puppies Josh Frydenberg and Greg Hunt to criticise Andrews. Even Michaelia Cash has come out from behind the whiteboard to join in.
As Victoria is hopefully just about to come out of lockdown given recent numbers no doubt all of the above will then claim credit for the move. We might even see the Herald-Sun reprise the 1992 Murdoch UK Sun headline – ‘It’s the Sun Wot Won it’ – after the Tory election win.