15th October 2020
What Scott Morrison could have told the nation in April 2020 – and even today
A person shared this speech he had written for Scott Morrison in April 2020. I’d agree, except maybe strengthen the protections for the elderly and require businesses to undertake appropriate OHS risk assessments. But a good draft for the PM to use – even today.
My fellow Australians,
Our country faces an existential dilemma. The coronavirus has challenged our nation and in response I have made decisions which have had consequences for all of us, heart-breaking for some, inconvenient for others, and all points in between.
The way Australians have responded has truly humbled me, as I have watched you sacrifice our very way of life. All the things we hold dear have been have been laid aside – you can rattle of the list just as well as I can – sport, family, a fair go and opportunity, freedom of movement, the list goes on and on – in our battle with this virus. Australians of all stripes have stepped up to the plate and taken their patriotic responsibilities seriously and bravely, and with good humour as well. For that I am deeply grateful.
As we have gone through these opening weeks of the coronavirus crisis, I have come to the realisation that what we are confronting is not a virus, nor an economic crisis, but our own individual mortality. Since time began, mortality is. Each of us must die.
We rightly twist and turn and wriggle and fight and scratch and claw and shout against anything that threatens our life. We move heaven and earth to find ways to lessen pain, to prolong life, to improve quality of life.
We have committed unprecedented amounts of taxpayer money, and borrowed money to be paid back by existing and unborn taxpayers many decades into the future, and made all sorts of changes with the aim of lessening pain and prolonging life. In doing so we have unfortunately brought our quality of life to the very edge of a precipice.
We have already climbed over the safety rail, and skidded past the warning sign. The rocks are unstable, and slippery. We are at the very edge. A gust of wind poses a catastrophic risk.
We must not fall off that cliff. To do so would bring unimaginable pain and change our country for ever.
Our country, united in communities, caring for each other. Our country, spellbound by acts of sporting courage and victories, and solid after defeats. Our country, where the quality of one’s twilight years is immeasurably, pricelessly buttressed by the joys of family, of grandchildren, of a quiet moment in the library, of a coffee with a lifelong friend, of gentle exercise classes at the local gym, of worshipping one’s God.
Our way of life is underpinned by freedom to choose the things we do, and the things we don’t do. Some of the things I have done have curtailed that freedom, and I am sorry for that.
Today I am announcing our first moves away from the edge of that precipice.
Our hospitals are ready. We have empty ICU beds. We can build more. We can cope.
- People who can work should go back to work.
- Schools are reopening, just as soon as practicable.
- Sport is back on – although without crowds for the moment.
- Weddings and funerals can be attended by all who need or want to be there, with social distancing rules observed.
- Restaurants and pubs can reopen – again with social distancing arrangements in place.
There are many arrangements to unwind, and new ones to put in place. I ask you to be patient with me, and our public servants, as we work through them. But they will all be targeted at regaining the way of life so central to the way we see ourselves at home and as part of the global community of nations.
To protect our most vulnerable Australians, notably our elderly, we encourage our whole country to take to heart the guidelines on cleanliness and social distancing with which we have all become so familiar.
The road back to the place we enjoyed will be a long one, with twists and turns, and some wrong turns. But we will arrive there, be assured of that. And we will keep going, beyond, to ever greener pastures, where the fruits of our labour and the blessings of this island will be evident for all to see, and all to taste.
My fellow Australians, now is not the time to be afraid of death. Our forefathers fought shooting wars in defence of our way of life. Many were killed, many more were maimed. But that didn’t stop them defending freedom. We owe them now to repeat the bravery, despite our fears, and face down this enemy, to save our way of life.
We don’t’ want to lose this country. I will die trying to save it.