The $6 Billion Man

The Prime Minister said the extended lockdown in Victoria would reduce gross domestic product by between $7 billion and $9 billion in the September quarter.

The total hit to GDP from the coronavirus is now forecast to be $12 billion.

“This is a heavy blow, a heavy blow,” he said.

“80% of this economic cost is expected to be in the affected areas of Victoria, of around $6 billion to $7 billion in that state.

Source.

What Greg Sheridan has to say:

COVID-19 has accelerated the dominance of a type of political leader uniquely evolved to look the part, but who delivers consistently terrible results – in Frodo Baggins’s terms, who looks fair but delivers foul.

In Australia, the pre-eminent case is Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, whose purely political skills are unmatched among premiers, but whose government has delivered continuously shocking results in the pandemic, and generally. This is not to question Andrews’s motives or work ethic. He is plainly doing his best. But he and his political culture have failed.

Andrews fits the Cuomo/Sturgeon paradigm of the woke, earnest, ideologically perfect left liberal leader who cannot make the trains run, much less run on time, but who gains the plaudits of the dominant PC parts of the media, who projects a reassuring image while avoiding real scrutiny. Victoria has this crisis because of his government’s staggering incompetence. At the same time Andrews has avoided effective scrutiny and accountability by more or less abolishing democracy in Victoria.

The list of failures by the government includes (but is not exhausted by): catastrophic failure to manage quarantine hotels; an anaemic, poor contact tracing until this latest crisis; resisting federal help when the Victorian arms of the bureaucracy plainly couldn’t do the job; not issuing any fines at the Black Lives Matter demonstration, thus tacitly endorsing a huge event that broke social distancing restrictions and undermined the message; not naming Cedar Meats and thus not getting all its casual contacts to test; and even today, an opaque, slow approach to releasing data that would allow proper scrutiny of the government’s performance.

Further, under Andrews, all the mechanisms of democratic accountability have virtually disappeared. Labor has been in office in Melbourne for 18 of the past 21 years. It has permeated the bureaucracy and state agencies with ideological fellow travellers and political mates. It is the most ideologically left government in Australia; from Safe Schools to refusing to allow any gas exploration (recently, and belatedly, reversed) to refusing to say it respected the High Court decision to acquit Cardinal George Pell. It is great at discerning the oppression of the hetero-normative, patriarchal, global warming social order. It is not so good at running schools.

It is not often that I find myself agreeing with almost every word Greg Sheridan says. But he is on the money here.

This line is very scary:

His insistence that parliament should not sit is unambiguously a disgrace. The Chief Health Officer recommended against parliament sitting but that is because the government did not define it as an essential function.

Democracy and parliamentary representation is not an essential function. So all those people who carry on that we libertarians are hysterical conspiracy theorists – well, here we are.

Update:  Further proof that democracy and parliamentary representation is not an essential function.

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79 Responses to The $6 Billion Man

  1. John Bayley

    This is not to question Andrews’s motives or work ethic. He is plainly doing his best.

    To paraphrase another regular contributor here:

    “And I laughed and laughed and laughed…”

  2. Fair Shake

    The good thing about Australia is if the State Govmint is not to our liking, we can get up and move. If we are unable to remove this dude in the current climate the democratic model in Vic is broken. Will spend remainder of lockdown planning return to Queensland (yes, after restrictions lifted). I’ll let some other putz pay off the State debt. For the record I never voted for Chairman Daniel Xunt.

  3. duncanm

    He is plainly doing his best.

    I put it in another thread, but its worth repeating.

    As CS Lewis said:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

  4. Roger W

    Unhappily, all too true…
    but will Victorians vote him in again?
    I fear so, just as New Zealanders look set to re-elect Ardern.

  5. Fred

    The “defund the police” & “I cant breathe crowd” have become very quiet in Victoria.

  6. Some History

    but… but… the experts… the experts told me.

  7. Infidel Tiger King

    Greg must have a ghost writer today.

  8. MACK

    AFR: “From next Monday many travellers arriving in Singapore will be fitted with an electronic wristband that will track their movements and enable authorities to step in if two-week stay-at-home orders are ignored.”
    Yes – there are alternatives. The only technology Disaster Dan understands is shovels and concrete trucks.

  9. min

    Tracing and tracking a complete shambles and impossible to fix as too many not tracked . A friend was offered job by DHHS to run but did not take as such a complete mess.

  10. stackja

    Victorian voters keep electing ALP to government expecting a different result.

  11. Just Passing By

    His insistence that parliament should not sit is unambiguously a disgrace.

    Shop assistants on $15 hour turn up to work while parliamentarians on 200k+ per year don’t. These people are absolute cretins.

  12. Herodotus

    Greg must have a ghost writer today.
    Ghost Writer in the Sky?
    D’oh!
    Stand by for more music videos.

  13. H B Bear

    Victoriastanis will elect the Liars till there is no possible other choice.

    I’m not sure if we are there yet but it must be close.

  14. incoherent rambler

    So all those people who carry on that we libertarians are hysterical conspiracy theorists …

    One can be a hysterical conspiracy theorist and be right.

  15. John64

    but will Victorians vote him in again?

    During this debacle Andrews has gone out of his way not to upset his core constituencies.

    Public servants? Job security and got a pay increase.

    CFMMEU? Construction proceeds unaffected, although he has been forced to wind it back a little now.

    Welfare recipients? Being showered with money by the Feds like never before.

    The people that have been smashed are the wealth generators who operate in the productive sector of the economy; who would never vote for Andrews anyway.

    All the above ads up to a minimum of 51% of the vote after preferences and the likelihood of this goat rodeo continuing until late-2026 at least.

  16. Anonandon

    I’m with you Fair Shake. I made a pact with my wife last night that if Labor is re-elected we are moving north.

  17. K2

    18 of the last 21 years Labor running Victoria. The other 3 was a near invisible do-nothing Labor-Lite.

  18. Tim Neilson

    John64
    #3537824, posted on August 6, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    True, but it’s worse than that. There are others who should know better who are still uncritically believing everything the Hunchback tells them.
    Seriously, if the Hunchback announced that in order to fight the virus every Victorian has to have a 9 inch dildo stuck up their arse a large proportion of the population would drop their strides and bend over with alacrity, saying to each other how lucky we are to have such strong decisive leadership.

  19. C.L.

    Sheridan and Andrews are doppelgangers on coronavirus.
    This is simply Sheridan being a Young Liberal again.

  20. Shy Ted

    He’s succeeding perfectly. Andrews, not Sheridan.

  21. HT

    Does anybody understand how the AEC sets Victorian Electoral Boundaries? Is it a Gerrymandered result like it was in Queensland under Joe? (genuine question, I can’t find it in the WWW).

  22. Has anyone seen the Victorian opposition?

  23. HT

    K2
    #3537828, posted on August 6, 2020 at 2:58 pm
    18 of the last 21 years Labor running Victoria. The other 3 was a near invisible do-nothing Labor-Lite.

    Which I think is why they lost. If your gunna have a left leaning guberment it might as well be a Left Wing Government. And as much I disapprove / dislike the current Victorian government, they are good at building rail crossings and understanding all politics is local. I’m pretty well politically engaged (or least, aware), and I couldn’t pick O’Brien (is that even his name?) out of a line-up.

    Andrews should be hung by his toes from a hastily constructed Jib, at the very least put into head-stocks and pelted with rotten eggs before getting a good bass-brooming (a much under-rated, old style military solution for “Jack” soldiers) before being tarred and feathered. But the Libs need to step up.

  24. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    HT – the most recent and egregious example of a gerrymandered jurisdiction was South Australia.

    The body which determines electoral boundaries in Disasterstan is this lot.

  25. H B Bear

    The problem is not Victoriastani electoral boundaries. The problem is Victoriastanis.

  26. John Bayley

    Will spend remainder of lockdown planning return to Queensland (yes, after restrictions lifted)

    If anyone else here thinks that QLD is any different, I’ve got news for you:

    It’s not.

    Our saving grace up here has been the fact we don’t have Victorian-style winters.

    Even so, because a virus will do what this kind of viruses always does (spread until it runs out of available victims), and because we have no herd immunity thanks to all the retarded lockdowns, it is inevitable that there will be another, and likely a much bigger, breakout in QLD in due course.

    What happens then is anyone’s guess.
    But, either the morons in power come to their senses (unlikely, I admit), or the economy will collapse.

    Having visited Townsville and Cairns last week, I can assure you that there’s very little left of both the tourism and restaurant industry up there.

    There is only so much mining and stamp duty can do for the state government coffers.

    But then again, maybe none of that matters, now that we know printing money without limit will save us all. /s

  27. Bronson

    Victoria is FUBAR thanks to Dan of the Dead and his minions.

  28. K2

    Cheers HT.

    Am aware of bash-brooms and boot polish on the cods etc for Jack soldiers. Been there done that.

    But yes, why wouldn’t Andrews get voted in when the alternative is no alternative?

  29. exsteelworker

    Not one public servant has lost a job and to rub salt into the wounds, bankruptcy, depression, suicides of the private sector that pay for it all they get a f..king PAY RISE! That is just absolutely selfish, no accountability, no sacrifice. Cut all Government in half after the virus is over, they deserve it.

  30. John Bayley

    Has anyone seen the Victorian opposition?

    They are busily filling in their applications to join the ALP.
    After all, they agree with 95% of what Dan the Man does and wish they were as resolute as he is.

  31. Ian Macmillan

    I have read all the comments. All very true. But, I must ask, does anyone know who Michael O’Brien is?

  32. HT

    H B Bear
    #3537862, posted on August 6, 2020 at 3:34 pm
    The problem is not Victoriastani electoral boundaries. The problem is Victoriastanis.

    The Russian colloquialism “Да ну нафиг!” would be closer to the mark. And don’t think for a second that wherever you live is immune from the insanity: your situation only looks good in comparison to the arse clown that is Daniel Andrews.

  33. John Bayley

    I’m pretty well politically engaged (or least, aware), and I couldn’t pick O’Brien (is that even his name?) out of a line-up.

    Yes, and that’s why Labor will win in QLD in a couple of months.
    Because ….”Deb who?”

  34. K2

    I have seen O’Brien on Bolt’s show a few times. MSM being a cheer squad and gatekeeper for Left-wing gubmints doesn’t help his cause. Whatever it might be.

  35. HT

    Spurgeon Monkfish III
    #3537858, posted on August 6, 2020 at 3:31 pm
    HT – the most recent and egregious example of a gerrymandered jurisdiction was South Australia.

    The body which determines electoral boundaries in Disasterstan is this lot.

    Thank you. I was stuck on AEC.

  36. John Bayley

    But, I must ask, does anyone know who Michael O’Brien is?

    The brother of Kerry of ABC fame? 🙂

  37. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Because ….”Deb who?”

    I was under the impression that the Glib/Nats were maneuvering behind the scenes to have her removed. If they don’t, Queenslanders can (deservedly) enjoy four more years of that useless upscreechee Karenesque idiot Anesthesia Pluckachook.

  38. HT

    John Bayley
    #3537874, posted on August 6, 2020 at 3:42 pm
    I’m pretty well politically engaged (or least, aware), and I couldn’t pick O’Brien (is that even his name?) out of a line-up.

    Yes, and that’s why Labor will win in QLD in a couple of months.
    Because ….”Deb who?”

    She should get her tits out 😱

  39. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    does anyone know who Michael O’Brien is?

    More importantly, does anyone care?

  40. John Brumble

    John, I certainly agree that it’s “Deb who?”, but it’s not like any of the current wastes of space in the wings would be doing any differently or better. The Queensland LNP is completely worthless… worse, because they acted against the only decent leader Qld has had since Joh.

  41. bespoke

    So all those people who carry on that we libertarians are hysterical conspiracy theorists – well, here we are.

    Thinking about C.L’s crack at do nothing libertarians in the open forum. I remember many civil libertarians warning of government overreach like the patriot act only to be told “it’s ok we are in charge know” by conservatives. My guess once this is over most will go back to the usual MO unfortunately.

  42. mem

    I’ve put these stats together so Cats can see the impact of Covid 19 on health system compared to recent flu outbreaks. So far Covid is tracking similar to 2017. Yet we have closed down our industry, retail and now our parliament. PS The table disappeared when posted it but figures still able to be read. Perhaps our web master could clean this up on my behalf?

    INFLUENZA STATISTICS FOR AUSTRALIA
    Year Hospital ICU Deaths
    2020* 566 9% 247 * Covid 19 from 22 Jan to 6 Aug* ( current)
    2019 3915 6.3% 902 1 April to 6 October 2019 when season finished
    2018 725 8.1% 148
    2017 3960 8.9% 1255
    2016 n/a n/a 464

    Note data compiled from ABS, Australian Government Department of Health.

  43. incoherent rambler


    Year  Hospital ICU   Deaths
    2020*    566   9%     247 * Covid 19 from 22 Jan to 6 Aug* ( current)
    2019    3915   6.3%   902 1 April to 6 October 2019 when season finished
    2018     725   8.1%   148
    2017    3960   8.9%   1255
    2016     n/a    n/a   464

  44. min

    Be realistic how can Michael O’Brien get to be seen apart from conservative programmes hardly likely to be on ABC or The Project ? he is doing Zoom however when he gets out and tells it how it is re Labor he is rubbished for being critical .
    I have told him to do Kennett style advertising but Andrews there for another 2plus years.

  45. Iampeter

    I dunno. I’m pretty sure anyone else destroying billions of dollars would be going to jail, not be described as “plainly doing his best.”

  46. Catfeesh?

    True, but it’s worse than that. There are others who should know better who are still uncritically believing everything the Hunchback tells them.
    Seriously, if the Hunchback announced that in order to fight the virus every Victorian has to have a 9 inch dildo stuck up their arse a large proportion of the population would drop their strides and bend over with alacrity, saying to each other how lucky we are to have such strong decisive leadership.

    Seen “The Invention of Lying”? Cute Ricky Gervais movie where no-one on Earth knows how to lie until something breaks in his brain and he becomes the only person able to lie. Everyone else are like Melbournians. I found the movie amusing, unlike the clusterf*ck that is government in Victoria atm.

    “The world is going to end unless we have sex right now”!

  47. mem

    incoherent rambler
    #3537922, posted on August 6, 2020 at 4:23 pm
    Thank you for formatting. I owe you a virtual beer.

    Does anyone else pick up from these stats that we the people have been totally manipulated by the media and politicians who have fallen for the “Health Experts”manic and over the top response.

  48. Professor Fred Lenin

    I see Wuhan Dan the Chinaman is blaming the Police Union for the hotel quarantine fiasco , probabl cant find the owners of the Dodgy Bros “security “ firm ,they are probably doing a Ronnie Biggs in Rio with the Victorian Taxpayers money they got ,after the union took their bribe from it .

  49. stackja

    471 cases, eight deaths as Premier faces flood of questions on hotel quarantine
    Police have vowed to come down hard on “selfish” protesters who plan to join an event being billed as a “Freedom March” in Melbourne’s CBD on Sunday. Police say the protest will put Victorian lives at risk.

    Dennis Shanahan, Alex White, Alanah Frost and Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
    August 6, 2020 4:54pm

    This coronavirus article is unlocked and free to read in the interest of community health and safety.

    ‘SELFISH’ PROTESTERS ENDANGER LIVES: POLICE
    Anti-lockdown protesters are planning to defy authorities with a rally in Melbourne’s CBD on the weekend.

    More than 100 people are listed as attending the protest, billed as the “Freedom March” outside state parliament on Sunday.

  50. Adelagado

    incoherent rambler
    #3537922, posted on August 6, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Year Hospital ICU Deaths
    2020* 566 9% 247 * Covid 19 from 22 Jan to 6 Aug* ( current)
    2019 3915 6.3% 902 1 April to 6 October 2019 when season finished
    2018 725 8.1% 148
    2017 3960 8.9% 1255
    2016 n/a n/a 464

    Figures from 2019 and earlier are what you get without any precautions such as social distancing. You can multiply the 2020 figures by 10 to arrive at the numbers we would be looking at this year if we were not taking any precautions.

    So, without precautions, we would already have about 2500 deaths. Thats much higher than any normal flu season.

    (I say you times it by 10 because social distancing etc has kept ordinary flue cases down by about 92% according to articles I have read).

  51. Lee

    I see Wuhan Dan the Chinaman is blaming the Police Union for the hotel quarantine fiasco , probabl cant find the owners of the Dodgy Bros “security “ firm

    Andrews would throw his own grandmother under the bus if it would save his stinking hide.

  52. notafan

    Adelagado

    What about the flu vaccine factor?

    I’m not being a smart alec but that would be a factor in prior year death rates.

    Massive increase in people having flu vaccinations this year iirc

  53. a happy little debunker

    So – as it stands, Government is not an essential work activity, but a trade unionist being given a softball interview by the National Broadcaster is…?

  54. Cassie of Sydney

    “Further, under Andrews, all the mechanisms of democratic accountability have virtually disappeared. Labor has been in office in Melbourne for 18 of the past 21 years. It has permeated the bureaucracy and state agencies with ideological fellow travellers and political mates. It is the most ideologically left government in Australia; from Safe Schools to refusing to allow any gas exploration (recently, and belatedly, reversed) to refusing to say it respected the High Court decision to acquit Cardinal George Pell. It is great at discerning the oppression of the hetero-normative, patriarchal, global warming social order. It is not so good at running schools.”

    Sheridan nails it in his piece today and his above paragraph is a harsh and very accurate assessment about the toxic political situation in Victoria. I have said it before…that is in both Victoria and QLD the Liberal party is now the permanent party of opposition.

  55. The BigBlueCat

    David
    #3537856, posted on August 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm
    Has anyone seen the Victorian opposition?

    They’re doing a “Joe Biden” – keep your head down and hopefully let the incumbent stuff up so badly they’ll win in a canter. Not that I think Joe Biden will win though …

  56. Squirrel

    It probably won’t last, but some members of the We Lurve Dan fan club seemed to be getting a bit tetchy in today’s epic media conference – so maybe there is a very small silver lining in the effing great dark cloud of stage 4 lockdowns.

  57. Adelagado

    #3538007, posted on August 6, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Adelagado

    What about the flu vaccine factor?

    I’m not being a smart alec but that would be a factor in prior year death rates.

    Massive increase in people having flu vaccinations this year iirc

    Good point. My gut feel is that it wouldn’t dramatically screw up my rough calculations, but I don’t really know.

  58. HT

    Anyway…at least that $1,200,000,000.00 he blew not building a road suddenly looks like “the nothing” he always claimed.

  59. Dave in Marybrook

    Andrews does not have a work ethic.
    He does not wear a tie on the job. Sometimes, he even wears a parka.
    He is a poseur, like Springsteen in check shirt n jeans. And Sheridan has been hoodwinked by it.

  60. Jock

    And Victorians will probably vote them in again despite the incompetence. Same thing happens in the US. Chicago baltimore Portland. Any number of badly run democrat strongholds. You have to wonder. And can only come to the conclusion that the communities like their shot holes.

  61. Entropy

    To be fair to Frecklington she has been out and about releasing policies in the lead up to the election. It just that unless it is Covid and someone raving we are all going to die, the media won’t cover it.
    Palaszczuk must think Covid is the greatest political bonus ever.

  62. Megan

    I dunno. I’m pretty sure anyone else destroying billions of dollars would be going to jail, not be described as “plainly doing his best.”

    Finally written something succinct and coherent that I can agree with.

  63. Nob

    Have they reversed the gas “moratorium”?

    All they’ve done is set a review date, last I heard.

  64. MACK

    “it has been unlawful for any MP or their staff to work in their office in Victoria.”

    It’s time. For the independent upper house members to take a stand against this dictator.

  65. gafa

    the “Health Experts”manic and over the top response.

    The “health experts” and the AMA have a lot of background agendas going on (being the gods that they are) and Covid is merely a convenient tool, a very convenient enabler for them to manipulate.

  66. Nighthawk the Elder

    All this because some low skill security guard couldn’t keep their pants on and gave Victoria a really bad dose of the clap.

  67. a reader

    I’ve got friends who run small businesses with locations inside and outside of Melbourne. Unbelievably they’re basically asking for Andrews to punish them further. I love them dearly but they’re absolutely mad. Melbourne Syndrome.

  68. mem

    Adelagado
    #3537976, posted on August 6, 2020 at 5:16 pm
    incoherent rambler
    #3537922, posted on August 6, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Year Hospital ICU Deaths
    2020* 566 9% 247 * Covid 19 from 22 Jan to 6 Aug* ( current)
    2019 3915 6.3% 902 1 April to 6 October 2019 when season finished
    2018 725 8.1% 148
    2017 3960 8.9% 1255
    2016 n/a n/a 464

    Figures from 2019 and earlier are what you get without any precautions such as social distancing. You can multiply the 2020 figures by 10 to arrive at the numbers we would be looking at this year if we were not taking any precautions.

    So, without precautions, we would already have about 2500 deaths. Thats much higher than any normal flu season.

    (I say you times it by 10 because social distancing etc has kept ordinary flue cases down by about 92% according to articles I have read).
    What is ordinary flu? There is no such thing. There are different corona viruses that come through from the northern hemisphere each year. Some are more virulent than others. The corona virus is just one of these and happens to be about the same virulence as the 2017 virus except that we have not been bombarded by out of control media hype on a daily basis and an unleashed swag of medical experts that have got the politicians running around like mad cats.
    From the stats of those that have been hospitalized with corona approx 9% end up in ICU which is the same as the 2017 flu and the death rate is running on a par also.

  69. Iampeter

    Finally written something succinct and coherent that I can agree with.

    Love the condescension from politically illiterate lefties on a right wing blog.
    We don’t agree, Megan. You just read a talking point you like because of superficial technicalities, like it being directed at Andrews. If this was Trump, you’d be disagreeing.

  70. Chris M

    What about the flu vaccine factor?
    I’m not being a smart alec but that would be a factor in prior year death rates.

    Just to preface I’m pro-vaccine for those that actually work. The efficacy of the seasonal Flu vaccine is very low and last year in Australia calculated to be around 10%. In other words so close to useless it made little measurable difference. This figure came out quietly via US medical media after our flu season was over and wasn’t reported here that I’m aware of, for obvious reasons.

  71. Pauly

    If I had the ability to make one change to the constitution it would be:

    Parliament and MPs may not exempt themselves (or their staff) from any laws that affect the public.

  72. Patty Duke

    Absolutely infuriating yesterday to hear legions of Dan Fans frothing at the mouth because poor Danny boy had been “harshly” questioned at the press conference yesterday, apparently as directed by their “masters”(and we all know who they are, don’t we)
    So much blubbering because their great leader was put under pressure to answer questions and had hurt feelings but no thought for the tens of thousands of ruined businesses and lost jobs. He’s doing his best, don’t you know!
    And where’s Sutton? Hawaii?

  73. Lee

    I’ve got friends who run small businesses with locations inside and outside of Melbourne. Unbelievably they’re basically asking for Andrews to punish them further.

    I live in Melbourne, but I couldn’t disagree with your friends more.
    With all due respect, your friends don’t deserve to have businesses if that’s their attitude.
    By all means protect the elderly and the vulnerable, especially in nursing homes, but end the lockdown and stage 4 restrictions now.
    For all we know, a vaccine is pie in the sky stuff; we and the economy can’t afford to wait for it.

  74. A reader

    Lee…I’m with you mate. I have no idea how they make a profit if they live in that land of unicornnfarts and fairies

  75. Bad Samaritan

    I’ve stuck a lot of dough into gold over the past two years and it’s now about 75% up in $A terms. It’s safely stashed away so it’ll be out of harm’s way when the left comes to confiscate everything privately owned….

    I was looking at property but this can be easily stolen by thugs like VicPol, Antifa, the ADF etc. As an ‘investment”, if it isn’t confiscated, it depends on being rented out…but to who, now that businesses and workers are having their incomes “confiscated’ too.

    Any Cats got ideas apart from gold?

    BTW: Cryptos are for dead-set losers since the internet can be turned off any time.

  76. Rabbi Putin

    Bad Samaritan:
    Tools, a veggie garden, education (self-taught skills and licensing), bottles of wine and spirits, vape fluid (in the verge of being banned as an import which will make it a hot commodity),

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