Vale the Doherty Model: Unloved by many and misunderstood by most

Sep 17, 2021
(Image: Unsplash)

It is with great relief and pleasure that we announce the passing of DM, the Doherty Model.

Unloved by many and not understood by almost everyone, our thoughts are with the mother, an esteemed institute in Melbourne, who we expect will share our glee.

While totally planned, DM was ill-conceived.

Its father, our prime minister, was delighted to announce the arrival of DM at the end of July and proudly presented it to the rest of his national cabinet family.

From all reports, while not welcomed with open arms, DM was at least taken on board at short notice by the family of eight siblings.

For father Scott, for whom it is always more important to talk than to think, DM was exactly what he had ordered. It meant he only had to remember two numbers — 70 per cent and 80 per cent — which he could deliver to the Australian public, repeatedly, in his parson-like sermons from his parliamentary pulpit.

DM, however, proved to be a difficult new arrival for the national cabinet family. To start with, DM was incomprehensible. And some siblings soon came to realise that while a model child, DM was highly flawed, and at best only functional under certain limited and very rigid conditions known as TTIQ.

During the pandemic the cabinet family had been a cohesive group and generally a happy one, despite a father who, from some reports, has a tendency to bully his national cabinet children.

However, yet another PM shortcoming would be exposed — favouritism. After DM’s arrival, it soon became clear that one of the siblings, Gladys, was easily her dad’s favourite. With his encouragement she thumbed her nose at her sister and six brothers. She liked to do things differently and would do so, whether she knew what she was doing or not.

She began pushing the boundaries for DM’s existence. She decided to run her own race. In one instance, while her siblings were just loading their spoons with a raw egg, she was sprinting off down the straight to be the first to freedom. Not the brightest candle on the cake, it is reported she thought 70 per cent meant first doses, not two.

Favouritism by the father is of course a no-no for a cohesive family. Worse is a father showing a clear distaste for three of his children. The PM was thus divisive, pitting siblings against siblings.

DM itself was also divisive. It was only kindly to 70 per cent of people, or 80 per cent if they behaved. It was far from kindly to down-and-outs and other unfortunates or anyone in regional or remote Australia.

Worse, having been sold to the cabinet family and to all Australians, DM did not come with a use-by date!

Thus, it was not long before DM was being rejected by some of its siblings.

The PM and his off-sider, Josh, whose favourite word is BILLIONS (spoken in a very loud voice) quickly tried to pull (read “bully”) the cabinet family into line — after all, the eight members had agreed to take DM into the family.

But some siblings argued, as did many health experts and epidemiologists, that the conditions the cabinet family had agreed to no longer existed. DM’s limit of 30 cases a day soon surged past 30 cases an hour, possibly on the way to 30 every minute. Gladys wanted to relax at 50 per cent, others said 70 per cent, some 80 per cent, while others insisted they would wait for 90 per cent.

Worse for DM, other potential model siblings, like Burnet and OzSage, came muscling in, questioning the PM’s child and vying for attention and favouritism.

The Reff had to be called in. The verdict: DM had been delta mortal blow.

Not even the ceaseless gushings from the PM and treasurer could breathe life back into it.

Gladys in the meantime, seems to have decided to talk a lot less to people, possibly to avoid Doherty Dix questions.

In summary, DM received little support outside the family — not even a personalised QR code that worked more than 70 per cent of the time. It became a sad casualty of TTIQ: having failed the Test, it was Isolated in Quarantine, and now gone without Trace.

Though DM was a nice idea to bring our Australian extended family together, it is now a distant memory. Given its glaring flaws, it is expected that DM’s mother will be glad to see the last of it.

A death notice for DM is yet to be posted by her family, but one will, we are sure, assuming the father remembers to order one.


  • A recent spate of surveys indicated why DM failed: it seems 70 per cent was the main sticking point;
  • Families of 10 eligible for vaccination thought only seven would get the jab;
  • Suburban streets thought it meant three in 10 houses would not be vaccinated;
  • Cafes and restaurants were confused how they would manage a customer mix of 7:3; and
  • Finally, we are trying to confirm if it is true that one MP thought it meant we would vaccinate 100 per cent of people but with only 70 per cent of a dose.

See also this article in The Conversation yesterday:

“A blanket lifting of restrictions when the vaccination rate reaches 70 per cent will have devastating effects on Indigenous and other vulnerable populations… Once restrictions are lifted everyone unvaccinated will be exposed to the virus. The outcomes for Indigenous people may therefore resemble the early effects of British colonialism, when a high proportion of the population died from introduced infections.”

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