We need a COVID-19 Unity Cabinet now!

By Keith Davis

We all know, and can see on a growing daily basis, how thin and fragile the fabric of our society really is.

COVID-19 is testing our ability as a people to pull together. It is testing our sense of community. It is testing our notion of the Fair Go for everyone. It is testing our nerve as a nation.

The economic ramifications of COVID-19 are immense, they are unprecedented. Totally uncharted waters. Recession. Unemployment. Fear.

Now is not the time for political/ideological divides. Now is not the time for political ego. Now is not the time to throw blame. Now is not the time for could have, or should have. Now is not the time for point-scoring.

Now is the time for Unity.

The sight of older and infirm people being pushed aside by the frenzied rush of others to seek advantage is a political, moral, and societal wake-up call for all of us.

Now is the time for the leaders of the ALP, the Coalition, and the Greens to stand together on the one podium. Now is the time for all of them to speak with one voice.

Our nation needs calming. Our nation needs leadership. The spiralling levels of anxiety and fear need immediate dampening. The stimulus packages need to be well thought out and delivered quickly.

I believe that a temporary COVID-19 Emergency Cabinet needs to be formed to guide our nation through this crisis over the next six months. An Emergency Cabinet consisting of the best minds that the Coalition, the ALP, and the Greens, can come up with. We need unity at this time, we do not need division. Political allegiances need to be pushed aside by all for the welfare of all.

The policies that are being rolled out now are affecting all of us, and they will affect all of us for quite a long time, but those policies are coming out of only one side of the political divide. These policies should be coming out of the minds of the best and brightest on either side of the political divide.

Now is not the time for politics as usual. Now is the time for a very different, and urgent, approach.

Morrison, Albanese, and Bandt need to quickly sit down together. They need to forge common cause, they need to get over their differences, they need to get out there now, together, and guide and lead our nation. In the face of this crisis, they need to drop the political ‘need to win’. They need to become Leaders.

All three should stand together and deliver addresses to the nation. All three should be involved in emergency planning sessions. All three should be exposed to the immediacy of COVID-19 updates from our best medical experts. All three should roundtable with experts on policies designed to bulwark, and as best as it can be done given the circumstances, limit the undoubted damage that our economy is about to suffer.

We remain a democracy of sorts. There is plenty of time for political argy-bargy and point-scoring to return before the next election comes around. But now is not the time for that. Right now we need unity.

Right now we need a combined form of leadership to guide and protect our nation.

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