Flat White

Daniel Andrews and his demons

20 October 2020

5:02 PM

20 October 2020

5:02 PM

Nobody seems to know what is driving Daniel Andrews on his road to Victoria’s damnation. Every time he turns the screw of restrictions, just when his citizens are gasping for relief, there is a gasp of disbelief, not relief around the country.  Why is he doing this when there is no valid (virus-relevant) medical rationale? Nor any other rationale? 

His stubbornness drives out any sense of empathy or understanding and confounds us. It seems to me that maybe we are looking in the wrong places (politics, power trip) for a rational explanation.   

Could it be that his motivations are not consciously rational but subconsciously psychological? Guilt. That powerful, destructive and all too human emotion that creates secretive demons within our psyches. Guilt. The overwhelming, corroding emotion that grows into demons. 

His anger at probing questions is a symptom of suppressed guilt. His overt recriminations that blame his citizens for breaches that cause the spread of infection is a symptom of guilt transference – guilt projection. It’s an autoresponse, a desperate defence. 

With 800 deaths on his bloodied hands, undisputed, surely, through so horribly mismanaging the hotel quarantine project, Daniel Andrews is a tragic figure now.  

With daily reminders, the deaths remain a stubborn bloody stain that he, like Lady Macbeth, cannot wash off, no matter the curfews, the lockdowns, the fines, the arrests  

It looks for all the world as if he is trying simultaneously to disseminate his own guilt, confer it to others — and at the same time, ignite flames of anger against him to punish his guilt at the stake of public opinion. And of course it’s never enough to absolve him.  

Today’s headline in The Australian “End lockdown ‘torture’: rage against regime” expresses this witch’s brew which has poisoned Victoria’s government: now it’s a ‘regime’, a term used to describe authoritarian governments. But it’s not his government; it’s the premier alone. 

Wracked by this secret guilt — a concept filled with medieval imagery of torture — Andrews flagellates himself seeking redemption. He can’t say so, he doesn’t consciously know so. But it is so.  

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