Political Norovirus Takes Hold In Canberra


Norovirus visits our home: pic by Lauren Kerns

Apologies for the lack of posts. It’s been a tough time, as members of my household have succumbed one by one to a beast of a gastro virus. Last week it was my turn.

Norovirus (aka Winter Vomiting Virus) infection is characterized by nausea, forceful vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and in some cases, loss of taste. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, coughs, and low-grade fever may occur. [Wikipedia]

Today is the first time since 21st that I have been able to eat or drink without unpleasant consequences. Last night was the first unbroken sleep in all that time.

As a result I am 3 kilos lighter and can just about go up and down stairs once before breaking into a trembling sweat. I’m now beginning to nurse my partner through the same ordeal.

In this state it is well nigh impossible to get motivated about anything, least of all writing a blog.

The federal government seems to have contracted a remarkably similar bug. In the last few days it has vomited up a stream of cuts, cancellations, and broken promises.

They’ve stopped funding legal aid to asylum seekers – without telling anyone. They’ve pulled the plug on The Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia, the peak body working to minimise the harm caused by drugs and alcohol at a time when binge drinking and ice addiction is at an all time high. Tried to sabotage an international climate change conference, tried to kill the carbon tax, abandoned any sensible pollution reduction targets. And abandoned the education reforms they said they supported, without restoring the $2.8 billion funding Labor ripped from universities to pay for it.

In foreign affairs they’ve put Indonesia offside with their clumsiness and white-man arrogance, and sided with the US and Japan against China, putting us in the front line in any future regional war.

Whoever has to nurse the country back to health after this will have an ocean of shit and vomit to mop up. And a weak and shrunken nation to care for.

Norovirus may be unpleasant, but it is rarely fatal. Let us hope the virus infecting Canberra is a little more virulent, so that it kills the government before it kills the country.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)