Gladys Berejiklian Scott Morrison NSW COVID-19
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Though you never see it in the movies, London in 1940 was in political uproar. The repeated failures of leadership, imminence of invasion, housing shortages from the blitz, wildcat occupations of private air raid shelters and much more all made some leftists wonder if there was not real revolutionary potential.

The problem, noted George Orwell -- one of the plotters -- was "a week of disruption and the Germans will be here". So the inherited image of the era is quite the opposite: everyone pulling together, making tea, keeping calm and carrying on.

We appear to be in the same position. The need to make do with the situation we have, improvise, cope, be public-spirited, is concealing the fact that our situation is a product of the federal government's abject failure. We need to step back and make this clear to ourselves as a first step.