Menadue, John: Militarism has become the norm. We now even have an Army Lieutenant General heading the vaccine roll out

John Menadue

Militarism has become the norm. We now even have an Army Lieutenant General heading the vaccine roll out‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 June 2021 updated

Concerned that the states were getting the political kudos for handling quarantine , the Morrison Government determined that it was going to lead the way in the rollout of vaccines.  But we know now that the rollout has been seriously bungled.  So the Government appointed Lt.Gen John Frewen to try to retrieve the vaccine rollout confusion.

Instead of facing up to the  debasing of the  Australian Public Service through out sourcing and under funding, the government lets the APS languish and then turns to the military. As Professor Seebeck of the ANU put it recently “It’s worrying when the government, under pressure,almost reflexively reaches for a military officer to help resolve messy, complex and conflicted policy matters-matters that are inherently political in nature”.

Public occasions are invariably backgrounded by numerous flags with military uniforms on display.

Goes on to discuss need to properly fund firefighters, contrast between government efforts in arms sales and failures in humanitarian aid, military look of Border Force, war against asylum seekers, military appointments to vice-regal jobs, Anzac centenary and War Memorial expansion (‘the ego trip of a former Director’), military alliance with US, going to war without involving Parliament, glossing over of war crimes. Includes a telling quote from historian, Henry Reynolds.

‘Militarisation has become an increasingly dangerous norm’, Menadue concludes. ‘We need a civil revival.’

Update 21 July 2021: Kishor Napier-Raman in Crikey on the same subject.

Update 24 July 2021: Karen Middleton in the Saturday Paper on the same subject.


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