Scott Morrison is normally averse to leadership of any kind, but his reluctance to offer leadership of on businesses mandating vaccinations, or vaccine passports, has been especially stark.

What's made it starker is that the prime minister is relying on a lockdown-driven uptake in vaccination to turn his political fortunes around, encouraging voters to forget about how badly he bungled the vaccine rollout and quarantine. Despite that, he has preferred to leave it to business to pursue the issue of vaccination mandates in a fragmented, costly fashion, and leave it to the states to deal with vaccine passports and privileges for the vaccinated.

That's because there's a deep tension within the Liberal Party between pro-business figures who want to reopen as fast as possible, no matter what the human cost -- the types who dominate the leadership of the NSW government -- and right-wing extremists who see the entire pandemic as just another culture war for whom vaccine mandates and passports are another form of socialist compulsion.