Flat White

All hail ‘Marshal’ Mark, the Canute of the West

24 January 2022

9:00 AM

24 January 2022

9:00 AM

The announcement by WA Premier Mark McGowan last Thursday that he would continue to preside over a hermit kingdom indefinitely is the ultimate act of a desperate, lazy, and incompetent politician, crazily addicted to a zero-Covid strategy and emergency rule. It is an addiction that has become pathological and thus requires an intervention.

In my line of work I get to read and hear a good deal of verbal diarrhoea on a daily basis, however, the Marshal’s press conference last Thursday doesn’t even fall into that category. It was simply horse manure.

The Marshal’s claim that the WA hospital system is ‘strong and ready’ is the first in a long list of statements unsupported by the evidence. Ambulance ramping is at record levels and public hospitals are constantly on code yellow. This is with a total number of Covid patients at zero. Last week it emerged that the main hospital in Western Australia’s Kimberley region narrowly avoided running out of dozens of basic and essential medical supplies. As reported in the Australian, a memo at Broome Regional Hospital said the facility’s supply warehouse was out of a host of supplies including sutures, swabs, scissors, surgical gloves, patient gowns, and even epidural kits.

This is despite McGowan as state Treasurer announcing a $5.6 billion budget surplus last October. On this, as with so much else, he has nowhere left to hide. Even his de facto propaganda arm, the West Australian, usually sycophantic in its praise, had to admit the obvious in a scathing editorial:

In whatever way Mr McGowan seeks to dress up the new policy, it smacks of waving a white flag.

‘Mr McGowan had more than 650 days to ready WA to reopen. It now seems all the Premier’s team did was enjoy the isolation and do none of the hard work. If WA can’t be prepared to open after two years, an economic boom, a relatively healthy population that lives in mostly hot weather and with an urban sprawl that means there’s little human congestion … then who the hell can be prepared?

‘That Mr McGowan hasn’t been able to get us ready after two years is an abject failure of leadership.’

Then there is the shameless hiding behind ‘the science’. The Marshal claimed that the Omicron variant had changed everything and hospital admissions and deaths had soared in the Eastern States.

He said it was clear that being double-dosed did not offer sufficient protection and the need for third doses of the Covid vaccine was a necessity. He said it would be ‘reckless and irresponsible’ to open up the state to the arrival of plane loads and car loads of visitors from February 5 which would seed Covid into the community. Indeed, his addiction to the ‘crush the virus’ nonsense he continuously sprouts means that he will not open until ‘between 80 and 90 per cent of those aged 12 and over have had boosters’, adding that ‘with a third dose it can provide 64 per cent protection’.


This was very quickly exposed as garbage by, of all people, the President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA). Interviewed on 6PR radio, Dr Omar Korshid, whose WA colleagues Andrew Miller and Mark Duncan-Smith have been the chief promoters of the fear porn, had this to say:

There is no evidence that I am aware of that the third dose actually stops transmission. In NSW there are plenty of people who are double and triple vaxxed and have contracted omicron […] whether it is something we that we should indefinitely delay opening our borders for many months, I am not sure there is scientific evidence for that.’

Darn right! Professor Cyrille Cohen, Head of Immunology at Bar Ilan University and a member of the advisory committee on vaccines for the Israeli government, confirmed that, ‘No, the vaccines are not protecting us, they are not causing what we call sterilising immunity.’

Prof Cohen added that in the context of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Israel’s Green Pass vaccine passport was no longer relevant.

‘We don’t see virtually any difference between people vaccinated and non-vaccinated, both can get infected with the virus more or less at the same pace,’ he said.

There goes the Marshal’s illogical justification for the most pernicious vaccine passport regime in the country.

But the Marshal has found space for some compassion, with a few reasons added to allow people to return to their homes – although WA Police will be left to determine the ‘merits’ of these applications. Based on his form in this area, you can be sure there will still be plenty of needless heartache.

However, the Marshal isn’t solely to blame for this dystopian nightmare. He has been aided and abetted by the ignoramus in the Lodge, masquerading as a prime minister, who, with all the fortitude of a rose petal, has said nothing about this disgraceful episode.

Morrison, of course, had a chance to put McGowan back in his place and ensure we are ‘one and free’, but instead chose to withdraw meekly from the Palmer High Court challenge. As James Allan has stated more than once, it is likely the High Court would have decided differently if the Federal Government had not quit the field. For that Morrison, along with the Marshal, deserves eternal condemnation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Curtin University.

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