sydney lockdown coronavirus covid-19 covid
(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).

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Alas, this was only hours before a new COVID-19 case forced the people of Perth and the Peel region back into masks for three days, a deprivation relative to their experience of COVID-19 that we can’t imagine.

Watching him like a Hawke “Bob Hawke acted as an ‘informer’ to the US government while boss of the Australian trade union movement and president of the ALP, a new study of declassified diplomatic cables claims,” The Australian tells us this morning. Apparently this revelation is based on research that turned up a “tranche of confidential diplomatic communications from 1973-79 held by the US National Archives and Records Administration”.

Except… we already knew all this. Back in 2013 WikiLeaks released a series of cables which revealed the former PM as (via the Oz‘s stable mate

… by far the US Embassy in Canberra’s most highly placed and reliable informant, over the years 1973 to 1976, the most riotous period in Australian political history. It is not suggested Hawke betrayed Australia; but he routinely dished the dirt to the Americans, especially on the failings of his prime minister, Gough Whitlam.

David ‘TS’ Elliott Thanks to Crikey Alum Josh Taylor for spotting this one: New South Wales police minister David Elliott has started reprinting chunks of his iso-diary — some of which is also being published on The Daily Telegraph — on LinkedIn. If you think he tones down his trademark — well, shall we say, eccentricity — on the page, you’d be mistaken.

Elliott covers a lot of ground in a short burst of free-form writing, from his wife Nicole “telling people of my predicament followed by that evil laugh reserved for when she finds out I have gout”, to his watching habits — he designates the characters of House of Cards as “amateurs” — to memories of Bankstown “thugs” calling “come out Elliott, we want to flog you”. It’s worth reading the whole thing, it’s quite something:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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