Just because, okay!

JUST.

Isn’t just just the most interesting of words?

As an adverb, it just has so many meanings; each just so different from the others.

Just can mean something just “done recently; in the immediate past”.

“I just watched the ABC’s China correspondent Bill Birtles on the TV doing a report on the origins of COVID-19.”

But just as easily, just can mean “exactly”.

“Watching Bill’s report was just what I needed!”

Just can mean “barely, by a little”.

“I had dinner late so I just caught Bill’s story.”

As an adjective, just simply just means that something is based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

“I thought Bill’s report was just and fair.”

But let’s just go back to one last meaning as an adverb; that just can mean “simply, only”.

And that’s the meaning that caught The Glass House’s interest in Bill/s report on the ABC’s 7pm news on Wednesday night.

Just listen to what Bill had to say: “And Australia has copped an international backlash from Beijing just for proposing an international investigation…”

Just, Bill?

Bill is spot on in informing us that China is indeed “international”. It’s been overseas just about forever. China has been pilloried for months by US president Donald Trump as the source of the world pandemic. The Jina virus.

Birtle in his piece does acknowledge that China has repeatedly denied being the source of the outbreak and has blamed India, Italy “or anywhere but China”.

But let’s dissect Birtles’ claim that Australia was just doing nothing more than just seeking a just world investigation. Makes it almost seem unfair considering the flak poor old Oz has copped since.

China may be secretive and in blame-defecting denial – remind you of any government we know? Secret on-water matters; that not a single Morrison minister believes anyone killed themselves over Robodebt – but it can also be stung just by what it sees as unfair criticism.

Birtles as the ABC’s China correspondent just has to know Australia didn’t just call for an international investigation.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Insiders in April said the world community had to look at the origins of the pandemic. Big hint there from Marise. Jina!!!

PM Scott Morrison went further two days later, saying the World Health Organisation needed new “tough weapons inspector” to investigate what caused the outbreak. He wasn’t talking about the need for a team of international experts to go Timbucktoo. He meant Jina!!!

ABC journalist Stephen Dziedzic on May 20 rightly described those two comments as “political dynamite”. Dziedzic wrote: The Chinese Government was – predictably – incensed, accusing Australia of launching a political attack on China and “pandering” to the United States.

The furore intensified after China’s ambassador hit back by warning of a consumer boycott, and it was supercharged by China’s decision to hit Australian exports of beef, and lock in tariffs on barley. End of quote.

Now, just in case Bill hasn’t got the message we’ve just tried to make, let’s be just and just point out that the comments by Payne and Morrison clearly pointed fingers at China, especially when the PM doubled down in a virtual address to the UN in late September, claiming “a clear mandate to identify the zoonotic source of the COVID-19 virus and how it was transmitted to humans’’. Jina!!!!

Someone’s cock had been well and truly sucked in Washington at least metaphorically – well, we hope only metaphorically – and Australia’s would-be, greatest wartime leader ever was happy to play dumb deputy dog to the orange-tinged sheriff and come out with all guns blazing.

Just for Birtles’ sake, China from the get-go has been well and truly told (lectured) by Australia that the pandemic definitely emanated from a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan and not at a sale of highland cattle in Scotland or a children’s pet rabbit show in a quaint rural Kent village.

It probably did begin in Wuhan but Australia’s rural producers should now be cursing the fact that a puffed-up Morrison cast diplomacy aside for a chance to show off on the world stage way beyond his remit or intellectual stretch.

But that’s just what he did. For the moment, let’s just return to Birtles.

The Glass House expects just a little more professionalism, especially from ABC reporters. It’s just not good enough for Aunty’s scribes to be giving the impression they are editorialising in the Australian government’s favour just a tad. It’s just not their job. Leave that to Newcorpse, the Nine Entertainment rags and Andrew Bolt, wherever he’s just moved to.

And that just about concludes this report.

Don Gordon-Brown