While Daniel Andrews was rooting out sexism in fairy tales, Victoria’s health team was overlooked

While Daniel Andrews was rooting out sexism in fairy tales, Victoria’s health team was overlooked. By Greg Sheridan.

No government in Australia is more dedicatedly progressive than the Andrews government. It is woke in every way, but the woke is broke.

Progressive ideology is proving disastrous for Western governments. Progressive politics is focused on identity politics and performative symbolism, on woke gestures. …

Progressive politics demands from its leaders and citizenry a continuous performance of doctrinally orthodox gestures, apologies and credal recitals. Because the policy response is mainly gesture, the proof of good policy is the gesture’s emotional intensity and the status of officials making the gesture. Leadership, in this environment, is about smooth rendition of ideological mantras.

Progressives claim to follow the evidence or follow the science, but mostly they’re following the ideology, which is why any suggestion that their gestures are damaging is regarded as wilful sabotage of good policy.

Apart from the fact most of these gestures are ridiculous, they distract from doing mundane things such as making trains run, much less run on time. Thus only in Victoria, as one wag put it, could you get a quarantine hotel security guard who receives detailed training in diversity issues but no training at all on how to use his personal protective equipment.

Victoria is the most left-wing state. … Every other state had greater per capita resources devoted to their public health teams than Victoria.

While the Andrews government has been busy rooting out sexism in fairytales — I kid you not, there was a government initiative over this — trivial things such as the public health team were nowhere. …

Well-paying jobs for the comrades is what it’s all about:

Progressive ideology puts a premium on building ideological power through the relentless appointment of politically sympathetic fellow tribe members across all possible institutions, but it pays little attention to getting institutions to do their traditional jobs. …

In any normal circumstances a premier responsible for such a disaster should resign. But that would be bad for Victoria, in part because the quality of the state cabinet is very poor and any replacement would be even less effective.

They are good at spin, but not so good at decisions that involve skill:

The daily press conferences have been the way progressive politicians have fought back politically against the virus. … [They] allow leaders whose actual performance in policy delivery is terrible to engage in the one thing they do really well — the performative side of the delivery of public concern and authorised virtue. …

The Andrews government has so prodigiously failed at all sophisticated aspects of policy that its only real response is to practice a medieval quarantine on the scale of the Black Death.

It’s so easy to hate on Dan Andrews at the moment.