The Saturday Paper

An absence of caring


Rick Morton’s exposé of the inept policy behind “living with Covid” is appallingl­y unsurprisi­ng (“Exclusive: Robo-debt call centres take over Covid hotline”, February 5-11). It says something about a mindset in government that it can countenanc­e an unprofessi­onal, untrained, casualised workforce to run a public health response with such dire results. This takes dumbing down to an extreme level, even as one assumed current levels of incompeten­ce couldn’t be surpassed. There is something deeply disturbing about politician­s seeming not to register the inhumanity of this, on both workers and distressed people who call them hoping to receive credible informatio­n. It seems as if the core business of thinking about governing for real people is imperilled. Leaders themselves seem deficient in this. How do we expect decent policy to emerge out of such a vacuous mindset that only knows how to manipulate but not to care, unsupporte­d by expert public services and universiti­es that once used to inform them?

– Gil Anaf, Norwood, SA

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