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Writing on the wall?

By David Southwell - posted Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Andrews stopped short of calling them the "enemies of the people" but as in so many of the Premier's methods (especially his social media focus) there was more than a touch of Trump.

Unlike Trump, Andrews has up until now controlled and corralled both the chattering classes and the blue collar workers, which has made his rule almost impregnable.

The flipside has been the outmatched and often internally squabbling Liberal Party. It recently ditched the milquetoast Michael O'Brien as leader and went back to Matthew Guy, who was drubbed by Andrews at the last election.


Victoria's Covid catastrophes are the classic signs and pitfalls of a one-party state.

The purpose of government is to keep Labor in power and the unions happy, not deliver outcomes to the punters. An engineered lack of transparency and accountability has meant problems have been hidden, denied or ignored.

In terms of rot masked by a thin democratic veneer, you might compare today's Victoria to gerrymandered Queensland under the Joh Bjelke Petersen Government.

Still, even the most solid-looking monolithic edifice may be hiding structural fissures that only need the right amount of pressure to become alarming cracks.

For example, the Berlin Wall stood so obdurately up until the surprising point where it was overrun and progressively torn down.

In Victoria's effectively one-party state the most telling rebellion against the continued ham-fisted approach to Covid was always likely to come from within.


As ordinary unionists and other workers (plus a few nutcases) decided enough was enough, the pressure of Covid finally revealed a startling crack in the Labor/union establishment.

Fittingly, you might even say portentously, the state also recorded a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that week.

It remains to be seen if the faultlines in Labor's rule run deep and wide enough to shake down the whole rotten superstructure.

The writing is no longer on the ambulances but for Labor's long calamitous misrule there is slight hope it might be on the wall.

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About the Author

David Southwell is a writer and editor living in Melbourne.

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