A Triumph Of Leadership

Written by: John Kelly

For the past 5 months or so, I have been engaged in debates on Facebook on the subject of Victoria’s second COVID-19 wave. Not surprisingly, the debates have been fierce, on several fronts and against some heavy-hitting conservatives who have demonstrated an unwillingness to understand, in any rational way, what happened.

Their intent has only been in favour of campaigning to have the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, strung up by a rope in a smokehouse

They have been relentless in their efforts to undermine the premier, spurred on, no doubt, by some appalling daily headlines in the Murdoch owned Herald-Sun.

The reality is, the government did not cause the second wave, anymore than it caused the first. As difficult as it is for some people to accept that, so hell-bent as they are, to bring down a premier, it is a matter of fact.

The second wave was caused by a succession of contracted infections which began with a night manager becoming infected by a returned traveller at the Rydges Hotel in Carlton. It spread like wildfire throughout the northern suburbs and into aged care facilities. That is how it happened, pure and simple.

Sadly, those with ulterior motives have been trying desperately to sheet home the blame to the government and Dan Andrews, in particular, citing failures in the provision of adequate security, provision of proper protective equipment for health care workers and the use of police and ADF personnel in quarantine.

But, thankfully, there have also been those with clearer heads and more convincing arguments who have tried to rationalise with them. Now that the lockdown is over and the rolling average daily cases have fallen to zero, something most conservatives argued was not possible, the antagonists are struggling to find a sustainable argument against the measures the government imposed.

Here is an example of one particularly belligerent conservative when replying to the suggestion that Dan Andrews’ lockdown was successful and that he should be congratulated for doing a great job…

Yes, his plan worked. But why should someone be congratulated for fixing a mistake that should never have happened in the first place ? Scenario : You hire me to do some kind of repair work on your home . Let’s say I botch it and reduce it to rubble .. In the meantime whilst rebuilding said home you are out of pocket and hardship .. Once it is rebuilt with all returned , are you going to congratulate me ? 

And here is the reply from one whose focus was more circumspect…..

Yeah except the scenario you are putting forward isn’t what happened. You hire me to do some work. Unknown to you, I breach my contract with you and hire untrained subcontractors, don’t provide them with the training that I agreed to in our contract. They reduce your home to rubble. If we then continue the argument being put forth about Dan Andrews, it’s not their fault, or my fault, it’s your fault for hiring me in the first place and not having a crystal ball and foreseeing that I would breach my contract.  If people are going to insist that Dan Andrews was responsible for the second wave and slam him on a daily basis, then he’s also responsible for the position we are now in with 14 consecutive days of no new cases and most importantly, no more deaths, so obviously, (he) should be congratulated. 

This is just one example across thousands that have flown to and fro on Facebook during the lockdown. In most cases, the antagonists have been far more acerbic, highly defamatory and more political than they were in addressing the issue at hand.

An inquiry, soon to be released, will not change this. Nor will it be as vitriolic and as savage in its report as those so filled with feigned and false outrage, would hope. But, I have no doubt they will continue.

In the meantime, the success of the state government’s lockdown has been hailed as a game changer by governments and medical experts around the world.

This fact must be utterly galling for those who want Dan Andrew’s head on a spike. But if one thing is certain, it is that this entire episode will go down in history as a triumph of leadership by a premier who simply did his job, no more, no less.

I stand with Dan.

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