Why is sorry the hardest word for a politician to say? It wasn't until Thursday afternoon, more than 24 hours after Melbourne's Kiis FM host Jason Hawkins put him on the spot, that the Prime Minister finally expressed the regret over the bungling of the vaccination roll-out millions of Australians have been waiting for.
"I'm sorry that we haven't been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of the year," he said. "Of course I am."
Contrast that to his response when Hawkins asked "Can you just say "sorry Jase"?
"Well, we have had our problems, there is no doubt about that, and they are problems that are not always things within control," Mr Morrison said.
While he accepted responsibility for the vaccination program, he would not apologise for one of the worst examples of overpromising and underdelivering in the nation's history.
When the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, was questioned along similar lines on Thursday morning, he too doubled down on the "all care, no personal responsibility" line, telling the ABC's Lisa Miller: "The Prime Minister yesterday accepted responsibility for the vaccine rollout..."
The effect of this refusal to admit errors had been made and to apologise for them, as has so often been the case with this government, created another unfortunate distraction at a time of national crisis.
It is yet another example of the government remaining focussed on the rear view mirror and waxing lyrical about past achievements while failing to keep at least one eye on the twists, turns and bumps in the rocky road ahead.
The misapprehension, despite the fact the virulence of the Delta strain had been known for months, that it could be dealt with using the same techniques that had worked in mid-2020, is a classic example of this.
Instead of saying "this is not a race" the Prime Minister and his team should have been moving heaven and earth to get as many jabs into as many arms as possible using any and all of the means employed overseas.
And as for the claims that the vaccination program has been fixed and that everything will come good.... well we've heard that one before. Let's wait and see.
Another instance of this failure to realise just how quickly the situation could change was the decision to disband JobKeeper against the wishes of thousands of employers, millions of workers and significant expert opinion.
How much better off would we be right now if, instead of destroying such a highly successful program root and branch, the government had kept the mechanisms in place so they could be invoked in the event of additional extended lockdowns?
While it has belatedly come to the party with payments of $600 a week for full-time workers and $375 for part-timers, it has taken since the start of the fourth Victorian lockdown almost two months ago to get there.
Mr Morrison's dismissal of JobKeeper as the solution "to last year's problem" on the grounds that "when we put JobKeeper in place it took six weeks... for the system to be rolled out" is curious indeed.
That program, after all, had to be developed from scratch. It has taken almost as long this time around to come up with a far less satisfactory program that doesn't keep workers and employers connected.
This government, to its credit, flexed very successfully when the virus first struck in 2020.
It needs to demonstrate it has the capacity to do so again.
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