Flat White

Mateship’s lifted the vax rate? Maybe – and the odd walloping, too

13 November 2021

3:19 PM

13 November 2021

3:19 PM

Australia’s high vaccination rate is due to Aussie mateship and a high level of trust in government. Oh, and I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Seriously, if you buy research published in The Weekend Australian that we are all being jabbed due to a fuzzy sense of friendship and a childlike faith in our political leaders, you’ll buy anything.

The article – a classic example of gaslighting if ever there was one – quotes heath experts who attribute our high vaccine uptake to “a sense of mateship in the ­national psyche”.

“There’s some major values that vaccines tap into, like solidarity, protection, fairness. They’re very strong values in Australia,” the article said.

Well, that’s certainly one way to look at it.

You could also call it the result of a relentless fear campaign, the ridicule and demonisation of anyone who dared to think differently, and the curtailing of basic freedoms like getting married, visiting a dying loved one or buying a pair of shoes.

But no. Mateship is the reason we are all being vaccinated. Let me prove it to you with a simple story that has been played out a hundred thousand times across this great land of ours.

Employer: “Get vaccinated or you will lose your job, mate.”


Employee: “Mate, you’re a total bastard.”

Only an academic could spend hours studying that interaction and triumphantly conclude that a magical sense of Aussie mateship was driving vaccination. 

I imagine other examples of “solidarity” and “fairness” the experts refer to might include Daniel Andrews spending two years attacking NSW; Annastacia Palaszczuk banning fellow Aussies from Queensland hospitals, Mark McGowan quarantining West Australia from the rest of the country; and Dominic Perrottet insisting we are born free but can’t get a haircut unless we are jabbed.

If your heart is not swelling with national pride right now, there’s something wrong with you. Unless, of course, that swelling is myocarditis in which case there really is something wrong with you!

But hey, what do I know? Actual health experts quoted in The Weekend Australian boasted that, along with mateship, “high trust in government” had been the other factor behind our willingness to be vaccinated.

Now you might have imagined that trust in the political class was at an all-time low. But don’t believe your lying eyes. Listen to the experts…

They told reporters: “We’re a relatively compliant country and we have relatively high trust in government. And we also have performed quite well as a country with Covid, and past performance affects trust, which then affects public co-operation, including with vaccine uptake.”

Daniel Andrews is so trusted he was literally chased out of Bendigo — Labor territory — this week.

As for the Prime Minister, he must be experiencing such high levels of trust that they are only perceptible to experts perched in ivory towers.

When Morrison tweeted this week “Simply outstanding, Australia! We’ve now hit 90% first dose. Thank you”, he was derided as an abuser congratulating his victim for doing the right thing.

The marketing expert turned politician’s effort at fostering national pride served only to highlight national loathing.

Experts quoted by mainstream media might be getting jabbed because Daniel Andrews – who recently described himself as Victoria’s “daddy” — told them to. But I suspect a good majority of Australians are getting injected because they don’t want to be locked up again.

This week Queensland AMA President Chris Perry told Channel Nine’s Today show: “Get vaccinated or you’re going to have a very, very lonely life and you’re not going to be able to maintain your employment.” 

Feel the mateship. Breath in the solidarity. Luxuriate in the faith and trust.

Now, about that bridge I’m selling …

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