Tony Abbott, former Australian prime minister and current Envoy to the Underworld, has called on governments to ask “uncomfortable questions” about letting people die so the rest of us can enjoy a ‘normal’ life.
He also suggested that governments could act like the families of ill and elderly relatives, who step back “while nature takes its course.”
Let it rip, baby!
Addressing London’s Policy Exchange think tank on Tuesday, Abbott echoed suggestions from
a craven death cult some economists that strict lockdown measures are actually worse for public health than the virus itself.
“I suspect that it’s from an overall wellbeing perspective that it will turn out worst of all,” Abbott said.
“Because this is what happens when for much more than a mere moment, we let fear of falling sick stop us from being fully alive.”
Despite pretty regular claims that mental and spiritual impact of lockdowns could eventually take more lives than the virus itself, there’s precious little evidence to back it up. In fact, a recent report found the pandemic has not led to a rise in suicides in Victoria, a state currently under some of the strictest lockdowns in the world.
Abbott said individuals should be free to make their own decisions, pointing to Sweden as an example of a nation which essentially let is citizens do whatever they pleased – and still wound up in economic strife.
“For a free people, there’s a world of difference between a course of conduct that individuals choose for themselves, and one that government orders them to adopt,” Abbott said.
Even that ignores Sweden’s disastrous response to the crisis. The Scandinavian powerhouse, which took a punt on the sketchy idea of ‘herd immunity’, has a COVID-19 death rate of 571 per million. In Australia, that figure is Australia 26 deaths per million.
Then there’s the real good gear: Abbott’s insinuation that the amount spent to save the lives of elderly COVID-19 patients is simply too much.
“In this climate of fear it was hard for governments to ask ‘how much is a life worth?’ because every life is precious, and every death is sad,” Abbott said.
“But that has never stopped families sometimes electing to make elderly relatives as comfortable as possible while nature takes its course.”
We should be “trained to pose uncomfortable questions about a level of deaths we might have to live with,” he added.
Here’s the whole thing, if you really feel like doing that to yourself:
— Policy Exchange (@Policy_Exchange) September 1, 2020
His comments have already caused a stink back home, with senior Coalition figures distancing themselves from his claims.
“[He’s a] distinguished former prime minister, but these days obviously not taking direct responsibility for the affairs of our nation.” pic.twitter.com/S111P3gZbZ
— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) September 1, 2020
Is there any reason to take Abbott seriously? No, not really. And, as evidenced by reports he’ll take on a prominent role representing the UK in post-Brexit trade deals, he’s not really our problem any more.
I am kind of curious about one thing, though: If Abbott believes we can put a dollar figure on life, how much is an Australian COVID-19 patient worth? And, if he’s willing to spread his views on a world stage, is he willing to make that price tag public?