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(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

A study in contrasts Judging by the responses, it's almost impossible to believe that the current lockdown in Sydney and the one that took place in Victoria last year happened in the same country. After the outbreak in New South Wales inevitably led to local-government-area-specific lockdown, and then a broader lockdown, the soothing voice of Scott Morrison intoned: “This is a necessary decision … by the NSW government, a decision that they have not rushed to, that they’ve sought to prevent.” Compare this to (to pick one among many, many examples) the accidentally-leaked government talking points which instructed Liberal MPs to hammer Victoria's Labor government over the mental health impacts of lockdown.

That said, of course, the people of Melbourne in particular are pretty broken and scarred by the bone-deep glumness of 2020, the sense that by turns they were hectored and abandoned by the federal government for no better reason than political point-scoring. How else to explain Jon Faine's piece in The Age which legitimately contains the sentence (albeit attributed to the "evil" side of his personality): “I sincerely hope no one gets sick and no one dies, but ... " before arguing, "It will do Sydney some good to be knocked off their high perch". Yeesh.

A day in Court Of course, when it comes to state-leader loyalty, the Dan-stans have got nothing on the people of WA. Perth's long-running, all-inclusive venue The Court plastered its interior with images of Premier Mark McGowan to mark the return to 100% capacity ("Daddy gives 100%", as one sign put it).