Oz Blog News Commentary

Government disinformation

October 23, 2020 - 14:11 -- Admin

Foreign Minister, Marise Payne tweeted this: “Disinformation
& misinformation can undermine efforts to contain Covid-19 & save
lives. will [sic] continue to work on countering the spread of false &
harmful material on social media by joining the PledgetoPause”1. The
‘Pledge to Pause’ is simply a reminder to think before you forward anything
which may contain disinformation. From a normal person this would be sensible,
but this is from a member of the Coalition federal government, and so is
effectively saying ‘do what we say, not what we do’. This is because, as one
respondent tweeted: “This would be a great message if you
didn’t sit on your hands every time Craig Kelly opened his big dumb mouth to
push a conspiracy theory or discredited cure”2. One could suspect
that Payne is only saying this to keep unengaged non-conspiracy theorist types
happy, and that Craig Kelly is laying out what a large proportion of the
nutters in this federal government believe. After all, Prime Minister Scott
Morrison is a QAnon conspiracy theorist.

In addition to Payne’s inaction, Greg Hunt,
the federal Health Minister, has refused to condemn the idiotic Coalition MPs Craig
Kelly and George Christensen who are continuing to push the debunked treatment
for Covid-19, saying the pair were “entitled to their views”. Medical experts have
ruled that the drug, hydroxychloroquine should not be used to treat Covid-19
outside clinical trials. Hydroxychloroquine became popular among
knuckledraggers when it was mentioned early in the pandemic by the
mind-numbingly stupid Donald Trump, despite mounting evidence from medical
experts it could cause more harm than good. Despite this, Kelly and Christensen
continue to use their public platforms to push for the drug’s inclusion in treatments
of Covid-19 in Australia4. Given that Hunt is the Health Minister
and, in the real world, would be expected to rebuke Kelly and Christensen, it
is unsurprising that Hunt’s name has entered the rhyming slang lexicon.

While the stupidity of Kelly, especially with
regard to his promotion of hydroxychloroquine, has been dealt with elsewhere5,
it is the inability or the unwillingness of senior ministers to point out that
Kelly is an idiot, which is astonishing. The electorate of Hughes deserves a better
representative in the parliament than Kelly and the nation deserves better
ministers than Hunt and Payne who put their majority in parliament above the
lives of citizens.