"The Week on Wednesday" gives you a deep-dive into the news themes of the preceding week, every week. It's digestible, accessible and light-hearted half hour from two people unafraid to tell it like it REALLY is.
Episode 71: Morrison rambles while states make COVID moves, aged care calls for military help, NDIS being left behind in vaccine race and good news about Australian birds
Van Badham and Ben Davison breakdown the COVID updates in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia while diving into the long rambling list of activities that Scott Morrison's tried to pass off as being Prime Ministerial at his latest press conference.
With RATs being stolen, hospitals overwhelmed and death rates spiking Morrison used up an hour of live TV to announce a visa fee waver for international students and backpackers along with a grant for his former employer, Tourism Australia, in what amounts to just another piece of minor tinkering on his failed "workforce" management policies.
Supermarket shelves are bare, hundreds of thousands of people are sick and exposed to COVID and the Morrison government is talking about changing the rules that keep workplaces safe and bringing in more temporary visa holders as solutions. Australian Unions leader Sally McManus, on the back of stopping a corporate meat-works forcing hundreds of COVID infected workers to process meat alongside healthy workers, has said it will "strongly oppose" moves against "worker's health and safety" while the migrant workers centre has said that "temporary visa holders aren't an expendable last resort workforce".
You can join your union at australianunions.org.au/wow
In aged care the situation has become so desperate that the ACTU, Australian Nurses & Midwives Federation (ANMF), Health Services Union (HSU), United Workers Union (UWU), Australian Workers Union (AWU), Aged and Community Services Australia and Leading Aged Services Australia have requested military support to keep aged care facilities operational. The rare joint request from workers and employers was effectively dismissed by Morrison during the press conference without direct reference but with a curt "there aren't magic workforces".
Australian's living with a disability and on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are being left behind in the race to be vaccinated with the supposed priority group well below nationwide vaccine and booster rates. The rollout, described by the Disability Royal Commission in October as "seriously deficient", has been called a "roll call of failure by the Morrison government" by NDIS shadow minister Bill Shorten following damning evidence that booster levels are roughly half what has been provided to the general public.
Plus there is good news about Australian birds and the release of an ARIA Top 5 album of endangered bird songs called "Songs of Disappearance" which is raising money to support repopulation and conservation.
And we give shoutouts to our Extending the Reach and Cadre supporters. You can check out supporter options here www.buymeacoffee.com/WeekOnWednesday
Weekend Wrap16th January 2022 Morrison’s blunders see corporations trying to send COVID positive workers back to work, Djokovic exposing the flaws at immigration & WA prepares for Omicron
Ben Davison gives a wrap up on the COVID figures for the week and looks at how "mild" Omicron has been able to bring much of Australia into an undeclared lockdown.
Ben looks at the situation in WA as they learn from the failures of the NSW Liberal Party and prepare for re-opening to the rest of Australia on the 5th of February.
Morrison has opened the flood gates to corporations forcing COVID positive workers back into the workplace with Teys abattoir instructing its 140 covid infected staff to come to work in different coloured hairnets. Teys, who supply Woolworths, has apparently earmarked most of the meat for export. Australian Unions are running a campaign #WTFWoolies to pressure the supermarket giant to stop their supplier from making workers come to work infected.
Morrison opened the flood gate by announcing a three priorities framework for allowing exposed workers back to work earlier in the week.
Australian Unions are holding an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss how to deal with the situation
Ben looks at the double standards in applying the framework as dock management company Patrick tries to cancel its workplace agreement to cut workers wages, but in the process would end 24 unloading shifts, without a peep from the Morrison government about the impacts on Australia's supply chain.
And of course Novak Djokovic has ruined everyones weekend (and last two weeks really) with his ongoing anti-vax saga. Today we will find out if a court will keep him in Australia or if Morrison's punitive immigration system can throw out an anti-vax, lying, multi-millionaire friend of foreign governments or just poor, scared, refugees.
There is good news as RATS arrive in Victoria and listeners just like you have been contributing to the Week on Wednesday supporter page.
Episode 70: Morrison let it rip now the shelves are bare, ideology vs policy vs politics on COVID and were Djokovic’s COVID test results altered?
Van Badham and Ben Davison dive into the mess of Scott Morrison's ideology and the Boy Prince Dom's unenforceable COVID policies as the politics of material reality, that is millions of Australian's having COVID, being exposed to COVID and being too sick to go to work, starts to bite into both NSW based Liberal Party leaders. Shelves are bare, businesses cannot function, economic activity is collapsing and the truism is being proved: To have a healthy economy you need healthy people.
With workers being sick and exposed to COVID Morrison intends to use national cabinet to try and water down workplace safety protections while the Australian Union movement and leader Sally McManus have call on Morrison to abandon his plans and instead focus on more rapid antigen tests, masks and support for workers to stay safe and small businesses to function.
Ben takes us through the state by state numbers, the impacts across industries and some of the more "interesting" policy approaches, while Van gets theoretical guns blazing against two political leaders who have chosen ideological blindness just when more Australian's than ever are experiencing the lived reality of COVID.
In a late breaking addition Ben and Van look at whether Novak Djokovic was not only lying about his COVID situation but asks the question; Were Djokovic's tests altered?
Information published by German news outlet Spiegel questions the legitimacy of Djokovic's claims through an examination of public information, timelines and testing records. https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97
Good news out of Germany, where rapid antigen tests can be bought from vending machines and despite KFC running out of some chicken products there is good news in the form of plant based alternatives!
Plus we give shout outs to our first wave of Cadre and Extending the Reach supporters from our supporter page: www.buymeacoffee.com/WeekOnWednesday
Weekend Wrap 9th January 2022: COVID explosion in Australia, staff shortages, school return delayed and what the Djokovic saga shows us about asylum seeker policy
Ben looks at the explosion of COVID across Australia which has seen the country exceed the case load per capita of both the UK and USA. With over half a million people currently diagnosed with COVID 19, hospitalisations climbing to record levels and daily death numbers the worst in NSW you would hope the Let It Rip strategy of Morrison and NSW Premier Dom Perrottet was keeping the economy booming.
Ben explores how Let It Rip has crippled the economy, created staff shortages, bare supermarket shelves and has the Morrison government scrabbling to strip away workplace health and safety protections and create an even worse set of conditions going forward. The union movement is pushing back against the Morrison government and is pointing out the crisis is only made worse by sending sick and exposed people into workplaces.
QLD has confirmed schools won't go back until the 7th of February as the state grapples with the outbreak and a cyclone that has crashed into at least 80 homes and sees a 14 year old girl missing in flood waters.
Novak Djokovic is due to have is day in federal court tomorrow but the real story is what his case is telling us about the 30 asylum seekers being held in the same hotel. Here's a clue: they are genuinely in need of asylum and should be released from the "prison like conditions" in which they are being held.
Plus we've launched our contributor page https://www.buymeacoffee.com/WeekOnWednesday where you can help support the podcast, which will always be free to listen too and download.
Episode 69: Morrison surrenders to the virus, what Omicron means for you and the good news about beavers!
Van Badham and Ben Davison return in 2022 to breakdown the Morrison government's latest announcements about COVID, including the attacks on workplace health and safety, and examine how Morrison has gone from ham fisted and half hearted neo-Keynesian to full blown free market Friedmanite.
With COVID being let rip by boy Prince of NSW, Dom Perrottet, Morrison has taken the opportunity to make an ideological shift that will see 20 million Australian's left to "thunderdome" for RATs, bread and fuel while being told to go back to work when exposed to COVID. Because "critical workers" exposing our most vulnerable to COVID is apparently no longer a problem....
They look at the overseas experiences and what we can do to protect ourselves and our communities. Here's a hint: Join your union, get vaccinated, don't expose others when you're ill.
Plus there is good news about problematic beavers in Utah.
Welcome back to the Week on Wednesday!
Episode 68: Omicron COVID strikes back, What we learned about Morrison‘s government in 2021 and will 2022 be any better?
Van Badham and Ben Davison dive into what is happening with the Omicron variant and contrast the UK experience to the let it rip attitude of Morrison and Dom Perrottet. The northern hemisphere is our early warning system so why are these two Liberal leaders choosing to ignore the UK bringing back protections?
Is it just a cowardly political calculation?
Morrison's government is crooked, corrupt, incompetent, ideologically vacuous and failing to deliver. Van and Ben look at some of the best (and worst) elements of Morrison's government from 2021. From buying votes in wealthy seats using working people's money to ignoring ways to make workplaces safer for women and care homes safer for our elders Morrison isn't just failing to deliver more religious discrimination and an independent anti-corruption commission. He's failing full stop.
2021 was enough to make you cry, and in this episode Van and Germanicus both shed a tear, so we look at the hope on the horizon for 2022. There are elections to be won, striking workers to be supported (check out the CSR Gyprock fundraising page, links on our socials), cooperative power companies you can shift too and cool political actions like #AbscondmentDay to participate in that will all make 2022 an even better year.
Clever, funny, vital
This podcast should be required listening.
Van helps channel my rage
Van articulates what I’m feeling
I feel vindicated!
Finally, I found others who think like me. Great listen. Thank you.