The Victorian road map out of lockdown is tough. That fact isn’t lost on anyone, much less Victorians – Melburnians in particular. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, however, has made it abundantly clear that he sees the roadmap laid out by Premier Daniel Andrews – a Labor Premier, notably – not as a pathway to normalcy for the state, but as an opportunity for political point scoring. And it’s a line of attack that even a former leader of the Liberal Party has had enough of.
Providing backline support for the Victorian Liberal Party – almost certainly the most comically inept opposition presence in Australian politics – Morrison has quickly eschewed previous sentiments of support in favour of undermining the Victorian Government’s directives.
On July 8th, Morrison rather empathetically asserted “we are all Melburnians now” after the city was placed back under Stage 3 lockdown conditions. Fast forward to this past Monday and that sentiment was gone completely. In its place, Morrison insisted that the Victorian roadmap was “a worst-case scenario,” and played directly into the tired old Sydney/Melbourne rivalry by insisting “What I can’t help but be struck by is that, under the thresholds that have been set in that plan, Sydney would be under curfew now. Sydney doesn’t need to be under curfew now,” ignoring the fact that Melbourne’s roadmap conditions are linked to levels of community transmission, not raw COVID-19 numbers.
That very thinly-veiled politicising has drawn the ire of former Liberal Party leader John Hewson, who pillared the Prime Minister on social media for talking shit without providing an alternative solution.
Hewson took to Twitter yesterday to harangue the Prime Minister for the hit job the Federal Government seems to be running on State matters, imploring Morrison to not only provide an alternative strategy, but to own the failures of the aged care sector – which is a Federal Government remit – in the process.
No more cheap shots. If Morrison doesn’t like/accept Andrew’s pathway let him detail his alternative for which he can then be held fully accountable-be sure to focus on aged care his clear responsibility
— John Hewson (@JohnRHewson) September 7, 2020
‘Course it’s a vastly different Liberal Party to the one Hewson lead in the early 90s when he torpedoed the party’s chances in the infamous “Unloseable Election” of 1993. But even still, at this point you’d probably take a party leader fumbling over the definition of a birthday cake over… whatever the hell it is we’ve got now.Image: Getty Images / David Gray