Have you got it yet?

According to Waters, Barrett came into what would be their last rehearsal session together with a new song. He was calling it, “Have You Got It Yet?,” and the first couple times they ran through it, it seemed simple enough. Soon the band realized that the song wasn’t simple at all – Barrett would change the melody and the arrangement constantly with each new practice run – slightly at first, but more and more each time they played it. Barrett would play it again for them, with the capricious structure changes, and each time he would ask, “Have you got it yet?”

Exhibit A: you’d better have 3 vaccines or you can’t earn minimum wage in Victoria. Meanwhile, please come and play in our world class tennis event, no need to have a single shot.

Exhibit B: rare, rare, rare, rare, rare, rare side effects. Meanwhile, it’s perfectly safe, so safe we have to threaten you with losing your income to ensure you take it.

Exhibit C: your three year old son is a threat to the State’s health so you can’t be reunited with him. Meanwhile, I’m flying to Tokyo and back for a taxpayer funded jolly to ink a deal with only one bidder.

Exhibit D: if you thought breathing through a face nappy was difficult, try it with a hand round your throat. Meanwhile, we pulled the science behind those rules out of our arse.

Bill’s Opinion

As Syd Barrett once asked, “have you got it yet?”.

If this ever was about public health, it stopped being based on fact or logic a very long time ago.

Now, it’s about remaining in power because losing it might mean criminal prosecutions or worse.

Chesterton’s Precautionary Principle

There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.” G. K. Chesterton.

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a single instance in medical history where we’ve vaccinated one demographic with the sole purpose of protecting another group.

Children are at no significant risk of COVID19. It seems repetitive to have to state this, but we seem to have collectively lost the ability to think critically when it comes to this damn virus.

Yet, here we are talking hopefully of stars aligning in time for an extra special Christmas present for the wee bairns:

Why?

No, why would a parent of an otherwise healthy five year old agree to this?

As a parent, I would balance the risks as follows:

Reasons to vaccinate my five year old against COVID19:

  • To protect the five year old against the disease.
  • To protect others from the risk of the five year old spreading the disease.

Reasons to not vaccinate my five year old against COVID19:

  • Natural immunity has been proven to have better outcomes than vaccine immunity for this virus.
  • No long term data exists regarding the safety of the vaccines.

Where one lands on this question is very much determined by where you get your news.

If you have outsourced your thinking to a group of professionals with qualifications in using the English language rather than medical or statistical subjects, you are likely to be booking GP appointments for little Johnny and Janey and not reading this.

If, however, you’ve bothered to look for primary sources of data, you might be applying the precautionary principle and becoming somewhat anxious about a zeitgeist that’s championing this latest vaccine push.

Bill’s Opinion

I’ll resist the temptation to post lots of links to studies and reports to make my case. If you’ve not read these already, it’s unlikely these will persuade you of my view.

We are a year into rolling out vaccines for COVID19, which is, let’s remember, a novel coronavirus. That is, it’s new.

The vaccines are even newer.

We have unanswered questions about the long term impacts on health of both the virus AND the vaccines.

What impact do either have on fertility in young people, for example? Is there a decadal carcinogenic risk, perhaps?

It’s too soon to know the answers for either situation; catching the virus as a child or taking the vaccines.

What’s a good trade off of risks for your 80 year old granny may not be quite the same calculation for your fit and healthy five year old child.

If you are happy to accept the government’s advice (let’s hope it remains advice and not a mandate) on this, perhaps recall how much of the previous 20 months they looked like startled rabbits in the headlights as they so obviously had as much idea about this stuff as anyone else:

Three weeks to flatten the curve”

Masks don’t work”

“It didn’t originate in a lab”

“Zero covid”

Vaccinating five year olds against this disease seems like a typical bureaucratic response; we’ve found a solution to a problem, now we must find more problems for this solution.

You can vaccinate your five year old children, embryos in utero, long dead childhood pets, fictional characters and inanimate objects, but I think I’ll pass this time, thanks.

First among First Nations equals

We just keep racking up the wins. In the same year we had our first Aboriginal Neurologist, now we have our first First Nations candidate for Mayor of Sydney.

It is 179 years this month since the City of Sydney was established by an Act of the NSW Parliament. In all that time, an Aboriginal Australian has never been nominated for Lord Mayor of Sydney – until Wiradjuri woman Yvonne Weldon.

Seems like a missed opportunity by all sides of politics. Still, we’re making progress as the incumbent is also running with a First Nations candidate too. Or is she?

Emelda Davis is on her {Mayor Moore’s} current ticket, and is talking up her “diverse Indigenous ancestry as as second-generation Australian South Sea Islander of First Nations and Caribbean descent” – but when I point this out to Weldon’s campaign manager, she’s definitive: “Concerning Emelda Davis, she is a South Sea Islander. South Sea Islanders are not First Nations.”

I wonder what the definition is of “First Nations” and how Weldon’s campaign manager can be sure Davis doesn’t qualify?

Melbourne doesn’t fare much better. Wiradjuri man Professor Mark McMillan was the first Indigenous person to run for council, unsuccessfully, late last year on Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp’s ticket. Whilst she won a definitive second term, she didn’t win enough votes to select him on her team.

More on McMillan later. Back to Yvonne Weldon, what relevant experience will she bring to the role?

She’s drawing upon her experience as elected Chair of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Deputy Chair of the NSW Australia Day Council, Board member of Domestic Violence NSW and Board member of Redfern Jarjum College to bring leadership experience to her campaign.

Perhaps the kindest thing one can say about that CV is at least she will feel comfortable sitting in public sector committee meetings every day.

So, to recap; of the three candidates mentioned above (Weldon, McMillan and Davis), two are “First Nations”, one is not.

Ok.

Bill’s Opinion

Ethnicity really should be the least interesting human characteristic when assessing someone’s suitability for a job.

Over the last three decades, it seems we have lived through a cultural version of the Brunhes–Matuyama Reversal, where the Right stopped being concerned about race and the Left took on that pointless angst instead.

We now have the unedifying situation of two mayoral campaigns competing over who qualifies as more “First Nations”. What next, DNA tests?

Jenna Hates…. women leaders

We’ve not had one of these for a while. Jenna Hates has penned another masterpiece. This time it’s on the Liberal Party’s problem with women leaders.

For those outside the bubble of mediocrity that is Australian politics, the “Liberal” party is nominally the right of centre party here. Of course, like all political parties claiming to be champions of the free market, they are no such thing. They’re as bad as the left but the cronyism and corruption has a different face and flavour.

Anyway, Jenna Hates is deeply concerned about the electability of the Liberal Party in New South Wales. Deeply concerned as, under normal circumstances, she’d be a natural voter for them, you understand.

She’s particularly disappointed about Gladys, as she’d definitely have voted for her this election.

Not one single woman’s name has been mentioned as a possible successor in the aftermath of Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation. Not the premier, not the deputy, not the treasurer. Instead, it’s blokes akimbo: Dominic Perrottet, Rob Stokes, Stuart Ayres, Matt Kean. In 2021, how is that possible?

Well, given the current themes this month about “people who are pregnant” and “bodies with a cervix”, maybe the Liberal Party didn’t think it mattered so much? I dunno.

The Liberals resist quotas with the force of a thousand kelvins. The market will make women if that’s what the market needs. Women, they would say, don’t need a hand out, but the Labor experience shows quotas work.

Kristina Keneally was the only Premier the Labor (sic) Party produced and she was an unmitigated disaster. She came to power in a backroom coup and left after a massive loss at the polling booth.

Without quotas, the remaining solution is the sisterhood, for women to pull other women up behind them.

Without quotas, the only solution is female solidarity and (therefore) favouritism?

Imagine being so convinced men hate women so much they are all actively conspiring against their success and the response is for women to actively conspire to do the opposite.

In Berejiklian’s time, that never happened. There never was a hand up. It is true she invested time as patron of the Women’s Council and there are indeed lovely photos of her, girlboss moments, surrounded by women aspiring to get elected.

Girlboss. Really?

Faced with another all-male revue, NSW Liberal women are not pleased. For the past three days, phones have run hot – how to get more women members, how to get more women in the ministry, how to get more women in cabinet. They are lobbying furiously, but it’s a pipeline problem, a timeline problem. They’ve been working away, some for years, and this latest upheaval has come earlier than anyone expected.

How likely is it this paragraph is factually correct, do we think? Compared to, say, party members ringing round trying to promote candidates for office who most closely reflect their views on the economy, the response to the Kung Flu, transport, education, the environment?

Last year, the NSW Liberal Party’s state executive decided to bite the bullet, believe in women. After all, NSW had a female premier and the party had survived, even thrived. Until last Friday, the sky had not fallen in. In a surprise move for the Liberals, the NSW state executive then confirmed gender targets for the upcoming local government elections and reaffirmed those targets in 2021 – 40 per cent women for winnable positions on council and 40 per cent in unwinnable positions, which at least gives those women some experience at running as candidates.

Hang on, you just said Berejiklian did nothing for women candidates? Do you even read this stuff before pressing “send”?

In the Liberal Party, men don’t respond to boundaries, particularly when it comes to improving gender equality, carrots not sticks, more a process of “negotiation and persuasion”, says Mary-Lou Jarvis, the female vice-president of NSW state executive. Jarvis genuinely believes the men in the party are finally on board.

Men don’t respond to boundaries”? What, like rapists?

It was helpful of Jenna Hates to let us know Mary-Lou was female too, otherwise we’d be left awkwardly guessing her pronouns. Who knows what offence may have been taken.

Isn’t it terrible that we require women to fix the man problem? Sure – but what are the options when the organisation itself is teeming with men who believe merit exists objectively?

Perhaps, unwittingly, Jenna Hates has hit upon the real problem in that last sentence.

Bill’s Opinion

Despite what Jenna Hates might believe or wish for, competence in politics is highly rewarded, regardless of sex, sexuality, religion or ethnicity.

The nuance is, the competence that’s rewarded is the skill to navigate one’s way up the greasy pole within the political party, not the ability to deliver good outcomes for the voters.

Presumably Jenna Hates is comforted that Gladys had to resign due to a corruption investigation, thus slightly redressing the gender balance of that particular category of Premier?

Anyway, what a trivial and pathetic thing to be concerned about at this time.