Prime Minister Scott Morrison will establish a new federal government reference group to take responsibility for shortcomings in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and for any problems that arise with any aspect of his government’s pandemic response.
A source within the Prime Minister’s Office told The Bug that the decision to set up the new IDHAHM, followed criticism of Mr Morrison for allegedly blaming the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) for the slow national vaccine program.
“The PM, being the marketing genius that he is, realised that he needs a new reference group to ensure the clarity of the government’s messaging during the pandemic fight,” the source said.
“The PM also realises that the public will not notice or complain about yet another government body being announced.
“After all, Australians are already being bombarded with the names and acronyms of a host of government authorities in news stories about the vaccine rollout and the pandemic.
“People hear and read about ATAGI just about every day. Then there’s the TGA, CMOs, and the AMA who are all having their say. Even the CWA and RSL have had a go at some time or another since the pandemic broke.
“So the PM is banking on the fact most people won’t know or care if he starts to blame the new IDHAHM – or ‘eye-darm’ as we will encourage people to pronounce it – for any problems that happen from now on.”
The source rejected suggestions that the new organisation was a costly taxpayer-funded, bureaucratic response to a political problem.
“No, not at all. There’s almost zero cost, anyway,” the source said. “IDHAHM is just a name and it will have no staff and no offices.
“When I say it’s a ‘reference group’ I mean it’ll be there for the PM to refer to when he needs to blame someone or something for his own fuck-ups.
“The only real cost is the few bucks it’ll cost to register the name IDHAHM, or to be precise, the I Don’t Hold A Hose Mate.
“The guy’s a marketing genius. You’ve got to admit that. Hey?”