It’s inexplicable. Unfathomable. Mysterious, even. Bar the most rabid fans of the Morrison Government, right-minded denizens of this country are wondering how the heck the federal government is doing such a bad job of getting everyone in the country vaccinated.

And I don’t think this is entirely accidental. I think it’s a tactic imported from the US, designed to prove the power of the private sector. It sounds a little bit conspiratorial, I know, but bear with me.

The vaccine rollout has been a slow-moving car crash, so you’d be forgiven for not keeping up with the missed targets and confused messaging. But when it comes to vaccinating Australians, the government has failed on promise after promise, literally from the very first one. (Remember the PM saying Aussies were “at the front of the queue” for vaccines? Lol.)

The thing is, the task before the government is actually very simple: create a sense of national urgency for people to get vaccinated, and make it absolutely clear when and how that can happen, however slowly.

Instead, their messaging has been all over the shop, leaving people confused about the rollout and, worst of all, unnecessarily worried about the safety and efficacy of the entire operation.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison has continually framed the issue as ‘not a race’ and, worst of all, doubled-down on that rhetoric, even as Melbourne’s current lockdown makes it absolutely clear that a little more urgency could come in rather handy at this point.

Some might like to poke fun at the PM by calling him ‘Scotty from Marketing’, but even the lowliest intern at a C-list marketing firm could do a better job of message discipline than Morrison. A dog’s breakfast looks like something from a thrice Michelin Starred restaurant in comparison.

And like I said: I don’t think this is an accident.

Sure, some of it can be chalked up to pure incompetence – the Coalition is hardly a hotbed of talent and dynamism – but I suspect that they are comfortable soft-pedaling this one.

Why? Because it helps to underscore their broader ideology: that the state can’t be relied upon to efficiently deliver critical services to its citizens.

To be clear, I am not saying that Greg Hunt and Scott Morrison spend their days quietly coming up with ways to deliberately sabotage the rollout. I just suspect their real attitude, in their more private moments, is something along the lines of ‘if it takes a lot longer than it should, oh well!’

Because, after all, why should a government move swiftly to fix a problem? In their mind (as I see it), The State only exists to provide favours to their already rich friends, and to enrich themselves and ex-colleagues.

They’re terrified of us sliding down a slippery slope of thought. Provide a swift, comprehensive and well-managed vaccination program for all Australians? What’s next, universal dental coverage on Medicare?!

When you think about it through this lens, the great mystery becomes just a little less mysterious.

I sound cynical, sure, but I am talking about one of the most cynical Governments ever to exist. And, it is hardly a new tactic.

Way back in 2010, Tony Abbott declared that the NBN should be an area of ‘absolute focus’ for the then-Opposition, and then instructed Malcolm Turnbull – his newly-promoted Shadow Communications Minister – to “demolish it”.

Some presumed that this was because it represented a threat to News Corp, one of the Coalition’s key allies. But, I would argue that the NBN – a Government-run initiative to provide critical infrastructure that the private sector could not – threatened something much bigger: the free market ideology that underpins modern conservatism.

Do you really think it’s a coincidence that the NBN rollout has been so slow and clunky since Labor lost power in 2013?

This tactic doesn’t even come from their own playbook. It has been imported from the US, where Republicans gleefully throw sand into the gears of Government, starve it of resources, and then point to the results as proof that basically everything should be left to the private sector. Look no further than the case of the US Postal Service to see what I mean.

Either I am right, or they really are just the most useless bunch of idiots who ever got near Parliament’s lower house.

One way or the other, after this epic clusterfuck, the fact that rabid fans of the Morrison Government still exist, is perhaps the most inexplicable thing of all.

Stephen Harrington is an Associate Professor in Communication at the Queensland University of Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @_StephenH.