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Coalition Government cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse for its failings

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Cartoon by Mark David/@mdavidcartoons

The Coalition and some media outlets have capitalised on the COVID-19 crisis for political points, says Grant Turner.

THE COALITION and the media largely blame any second wave of COVID-19 on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests against Indigenous deaths in custody and Australians showing support along with so many from around the world that were appalled by the hideous murder of George Floyd.

The Government gave little weight to the level of disgust felt by Australians at seeing Floyd's murder before their eyes or the statistics relating to deaths of First Nations people that receive similar treatment right here at home. 

They may obscure or neglect the opening up of restaurants, crowded shopping centres, churches, cafes, and their desire for Australians to return to work and the use of public transport to do so. Several schools have been shut down to curb the spread of the virus, also.

These things were all put in place by the government before the BLM protests.

This "blame game" has already begun with the media citing three positive tests from people that attended the protests. Many failed to report that the first case cited, only days later, tested negative and the third case according to Victorian health officials was very unlikely to have been infected or infected anyone at the protests.

Worldwide, people are presently up in arms against racist, violent and authoritarian actions taken by governments against minority groups in our societies. One can only hope that it's maintained and isn’t again reduced to insignificance by the media’s power to downplay such events.

Australians have to take stock of the media landscape that exists currently in our country. Two ex-prime ministers from opposing sides of the political spectrum, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, have said that Rupert Murdoch and News Corp wield far too much political power in the country. It's a sentiment we should take seriously.

Our media creates and curates the news; they set the agenda on the morning breakfast TV shows. This continues to the evening news all the way to Sunday morning political programs like the ABC's Insiders.

Although COVID-19 has well and truly put the budget into further deficit, the Government was never really going to produce their "back in black" surplus. The truth is as many economists have stated their claimed surplus was never a certainty and was on shaky ground, our economy was in a very weak state well before the bush fires or COVID-19 were upon us.

Undoubtedly the Coalition is saddened by the tragic loss of life that COVID-19 has caused. Nevertheless, it has provided a political shield, papering over their fiscal failings and concealing their rorts and corruption from view.

And now the media blurting endlessly about branch stacking in the Victorian Labor Party As awful as branch stacking is, it has been around as long as politics. It's used by both sides of politics.

With the by-election imminent, the media and Labor's opponents jumped on the story. 

As Australia attempts to ease COVID-19 restrictions and works towards normality that our Government will use COVID-19 as a smokescreen to further erode Australians civil rights, living standards, working conditions. Indeed, we will all be bombarded with its spin and lies, relying on its mostly compliant and complicit media allies.

Grant Turner has a strong interest in politics and fairness in society and believes in honest independent media. You can follow him on Twitter @gruntat.

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