2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 6 JULY 2021
SUBJECTS: Government’s vaccine bungles; Julia Banks
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Someone who, I don't know whether he's fully vaccinated, but I know he's had at least one jab, Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day Marcus. I'm halfway there. Next is due at the middle of the month.
PAUL: I get my first today. I'm off to Royal North Shore this afternoon, and then I get my follow up on 30/7, so in less than a month. My first one, a Pfizer-vaxxed day, and then the second one, dose two is on the 30th. That's not too bad. By the end of this month, I'll be fully vaccinated.
LEIGH: That's the thing about Pfizer, that three-week rather than three-month gap means that you can actually get people vaccinated more quickly than if you go with AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca still has the efficacy, but a little bit slower to get people done.
PAUL: All right, just before we move on to the issue itself, of vaccines and the rollout problems that continue, I'm just wondering, One Nation: they appear on this program quite often, and I've had a lot of feedback from my conversation last week with Malcolm Roberts. A lot of my supporters think that it was a little bit, perhaps, irresponsible of me allowing him a platform which basically was an anti-vax platform. One Nation, that seems to be their stance. They're running around telling people stop, don't get vaccinated. They're not calling it a con, but they're calling it a trial and you know, they are dead set against things like vaccination passports. In other words, we want to have people working with the most vulnerable, those in aged care, vaccinated, but for some reason Malcolm Roberts doesn't think that's essential. I disagree.
LEIGH: It's the ostrich approach isn't it, Marcus: put your head in the sand and hope really hard this thing is going to go away. That hasn't been true of past diseases where we found cures, vaccinated people and moved on. Imagine if Malcolm Roberts' approach was how we dealt with polio or measles or Hepatitis B: these diseases would still be rampant through the population. People have a right to have their say, but as the argument goes, you can have your own views but you can't have your own facts. The facts are pretty clear when it comes to diseases like Covid.
PAUL: I mean, even now, someone's just sent me a screenshot of Pauline Hanson One Nation's Facebook page, where they've got two scientists, doctors, obviously in the medical fraternity, they're wearing a white vest as doctors do, one is, for some reason, looking into some kind of, I can't even think of the word now, anyway, they're doing some research under a microscope, and the heading is, 'It appears to be mutating into a totalitarian dictatorship.' This is concerning.
LEIGH: The fact is that every vaccination has some form of side effects. That's true of the childhood vaccines that we administer, but that doesn't mean that the benefits don't outweigh the costs. In this case the benefits come for our entire society. People who refuse to get that are effectively saying that they would like to be living in these sort of ongoing lockdowns, or else being in a situation in which the age care residents in Australia are perpetually vulnerable. The slow vaccine rollout in Australia has really contrasted with the effective way we dealt with the disease last year. Australians did extraordinarily well last year in handling the disease. Compared to Britain in the United States we massively outperformed them, but then this year, in terms of vaccination, we've botched it. They're doing much better on vaccination than we are. These lockdowns are Scott Morrison's lockdowns. They're a result of Scott Morrison's failure to get quarantine right, get vaccination right, get an ad program in place - we found out today that only $32,000 has been spent on social media advertising vaccinations - and domestic manufacture of mRNA vaccines. He bet the house on AstraZeneca and he bet wrong.
PAUL: All right. Just onto another issue here. I don't know whether you saw this, you probably did last night, being the political beagle as you are, like I am. Julia Banks - here is a little of Julia venting her spleen last night on The 7.30 Report. I thought it was fascinating, to be honest.
JULIA BANKS (CLIP): Treatment where I realised Morrison-
PAUL: -Oh hang on, I gotta fix this up, but we'll do it again. Here we go.
BANKS (CLIP): Because of that three months of treatment where I realised Morrison, the most powerful man in the country, he was, I describe him as like a menacing, controlling wallpaper. He was either doing it through his emissaries, or directly. He wanted me silenced. He wanted me to be quiet. He wanted me out of the Parliament. I mean, he wanted me out of the country, and I felt, you know, at that time, I thought, I'm challenging him and that was his response. His response was to drag me through this sort of sexist spectrum narrative.
PAUL: All right, well, that's a little of what Julia had to say. She says when she entered politics it really felt like I was going back to the 1980s. It was very, very mad. Mad Men meets House of Cards. It was quite extraordinary, her interview last night, I think. I know she's got a book to sell and all the rest of it, but I thought it was extraordinary.
LEIGH: I remember speaking Julia Banks in the corridors of Parliament around that time and just expressing my sympathy for what she was going through, and her effectively saying that after she decided to step down all they really needed to do is behave towards her with a modicum of decency, but instead there was this angry hate campaign, which was ultimately what led her to step away from the party. Marcus, anyone who wants to see the gender difference in Parliament just needs to sit in Question Time. Don't look at who is located directly behind the Prime Minister, but physically come into the Parliament and look at the two sides. You can immediately see from that that one side of the Parliament has something close to a quarter of their MPs are women. The other side has something close to half of their MPs who are women. The culture within Labor is just tangibly different around gender issues because about half the room - not quite half the room, but almost - are woman. That means that the women who stand up are supported by other women, that it is a culture which just feels like a normal Australian workplace, whereas the Coalition's really does feel like the way a typical Australian business would have been in the 1950s and 1960s.
PAUL: Oh, stop with all the mansplaining! Is it any wonder, Andrew, that women have swung against the Coalition in a powerful rebuff to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, cutting the Government's primary vote from 41 percent to 37 per cent among female voters since the last election? This is front page news, The Sydney Morning Herald today. They say the swing is strong enough to threaten Mr Morrison's hold on power, amid a growing debate over the treatment of women with a new analysis of quarterly data showing he has lower personal support from female voters than men. I'm not surprised by that.
LEIGH: It's a trend that's actually been going on for decades, women swinging steadily away from the Coalition. The fact is that Scott Morrison does have a tin ear when it comes to gender issues. His inner circle is almost entirely comprised of blokes, and the more women you have in the room, the better the decisions you have. If you want to make decisions that are going to be right for Australia, you have to have a decision-making team that looks like Australia.
PAUL: Yeah. All right, mate, good to have you on the program. We will talk again next week. Look after yourself.
LEIGH: You too, Marcus. Take care.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra