Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has overnight been awarded a top honour for his “excellent contribution to the cause” during the COVID-19 crisis in Victorian aged-care homes.
“His contribution worked on so many levels; it was breathtaking in its scope, totally effective in its execution and the minister is an example to us all,” the Society of Australian Sophisists said in announcing the award.
“Minister Hunt gave us a level of sophistry that should become the benchmark for all of us who love the technique and strive to project it,” an SAS spokesperson said. “His media appearances over the last 24 hours should all be part of any Sophistry 101 lecture.”
The minister would be presented with his Gold Sophie statute at the earliest possible occasion.
“The minister’s response to a statement of fact by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews that a number of private aged care facilities had failed in their duty to provide proper care left our executive in awe,” the spokesperson added.
“Calling the Premier’s statement that he would not put his parents in some of these homes as ‘dangerous’ was fantastic.
“To totally ignore the fact that there clearly was a problem at a number of centres that required military nurses to be called in was absolutely wonderful.
“Then to double-down and defend all aged-care home staff and nurses from a generalised, perceived criticism that Andrews clearly was not making took our collective breaths away.
“In fact, there was spontaneous applause in our office when Mr Hunt stepped up a gear and, completely ignoring the Premier’s statement of fact that major breaches of care had been documented at some centres due party to low staffing numbers through sickness, said: ‘The idea that our carers, that our nurses are not providing that care, I think, is a dangerous statement to make. They are wonderful human beings and I will not hear a word against them.’
“Our office phones started ringing from members when Mr Hunt repeated loudly: ‘I will not hear a word against them.’
“And all this from the LNP side of politics that has cut hospitality and retail sector weekend penalty rates and has a self-confessed economic model to suppress general wages made it rolled-gold sophistry.
“And then to tug on the heartstrings with the comment about his own dad in aged care takes it all to a level that has rarely been surpassed.
“How’s that for chutzpah and a commitment to a debating technique too many people criticise unfairly, in our view.”
Life patron of the Society of Australian Sophisists, Lord Downer of Adelaide, (pictured) sent a message of congratulations to the health minister.
“Outstanding. Simply outstanding,” penned Lord Downer, who won 21 Gold Sophies during his time as Australian foreign minister.