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A show about nothing

By 2353NM

The long running TV series Seinfeld was supposed to be the show about nothing. Was it the inspiration for the ATM (that’s Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison) Coalition governments? To demonstrate the point, when you have a spare 6 minutes have a look at this TedX talk, you won’t be wasting your time.

As Will Stephen demonstrates, you can make real sentences and keep people’s attention for a period of time without actually saying anything. Stephen freely admits he ‘has nothing, zip, nada, nothing at all to say whatsoever’ and yet, he claims you will feel you have learnt something after his talk.

Morrison also seems to say nothing while waffling convincingly, although that might be a bit harsh as he is very good at blaming the last ALP Government (almost 6 years ago), or that horrible Bill Shorten, the Greens, the Senate or the independents in Parliament for problems as well as appropriating the credit for policies and actions introduced by the earlier incarnations of the ATM Government. Sometimes he scores a trifecta where he can blame a combination of the ALP, Shorten and the Parliament for failures on his watch. And haven’t there been a few recently.

In the same week as the Hayne Royal Commission into the Banking Industry was released to the public, a freedom of information request from the ACTU discloses that the banks and the Treasurer at the time, a certain Scott Morrison, colluded on the letter from the banks requesting the Commission be established and potentially the terms of reference. The ALP claim that Morrison voted against the establishment of the enquiry 26 times and this article by Samantha Maiden in The New Daily claims that Morrison was ‘the ‘last holdout’ against calling a royal commission into the big banks, according to insiders in the inner sanctum of Malcolm Turnbull’s economic team.

You would have to ask who in Liberal Party HQ thought it would be a good idea morally to start up a Parliamentary Enquiry into the ALP policy regarding the ‘cashing out’ of excess franking credits through the tax system. Regardless of the pros and cons of the policy (which is a story for another day), the ‘enquiry’ was established under the leadership of Liberal Party MP Tim Wilson, a former employee of the conservative ‘think tank’, Institute of Public Affairs. According to The Guardian

Wilson is the chair of a current inquiry into the Labor policy, but at the same time set up a website allowing people to register to attend public hearings and send submissions opposing the Labor policy. The site carried an authorisation by Wilson in his capacity as the chairman of the standing committee on economics. The website was privately funded by an undisclosed source.

New evidence emerged on Wednesday showing the Liberal MP had coordinated with the chairman of Wilson Asset Management, Geoff Wilson, a vocal opponent of the Labor policy, to coincide protest activity with hearings of the committee.

The two Wilsons are cousins and Tim has shares in Geoff’s company. Despite the obvious conflict of interest, Morrison did nothing, choosing not to demote or sack Wilson for the breach of ethics, while accusing Labor of throwing “mud” at the Liberal MP for “giving retirees a voice”. Ironically, while the Wilson cousins go around the country whipping up anger in pensioner groups, the ALP policy specifically exempts those already on a pension.

Those with an apparent attention span longer than the average Coalition politician at the ethics training session will remember that on the final Parliament sitting day for 2018, Morrison salvaged the Coalition Government from a defeat by closing down the House of Representatives earlier than scheduled. The action was to stop debate on legislation to allow those imprisoned in the Pacific by various Governments over the past 10 years to come to Australia for medical treatment without having to go to the Federal Court. The (amended) Legislation passed the House of Representatives and Senate in the first sitting week in 2019, despite Morrison playing the ‘trump card’ of tabling Solicitor General advice that cast doubt on the original Legislation passed in the Senate in the dying days of 2018. Unsurprisingly, Morrison unleashed the scare campaign as soon as it happened.

Prior to 2019, there have been two governments in Australia that lost a vote on Legislation in the House of Representatives (in October 1929 and October 1941). Both Prime Minister Bruce in 1929 and Prime Minister Fadden in 1941 advised the Governor-General of the day they had lost the confidence of the Parliament and an election should be called. The elections were subsequently held. Morrison in 2019 had a different response: “Votes will come and they will go, they do not trouble me,” he said.

Tony Wright, writing for Nine media looked at Morrison’s speech at the National Press Club in the first sitting week of 2019 and determined that Morrison really didn’t have anything to promote or discuss theorising that all Morrison had was a booklet as a prop, combined with bluster and a scare campaign. Tactics used in the vote on refugee health on the second sitting day bear this out. So in effect — he has nothing. At least Will Stephen was funny.

What do you think?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword.

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  1. New England Cocky

    It’s time ….. again!!


  2. Michael Taylor

    Oh joy oh joy politics is again delicious. And fun.

    After enduring the worst five and a half years I can’t tell you how excited I am that the curtain is about to close on the horror show.

    But …

    As 2353NM points out – and as we all know – every ill in the world is apparently the fault of Bill Shorten and/or Labor. The MSM is going to go feral on that point.

    That, in my opinion, sucks.

    They could spoil our party.

  3. Shaun Newman

    Personally I found that TV series more ridiculous than funny, and I have found this corrupt L’NP government more threatening and anti-people, pro-corporation who are trying to privatize every government function.

    The sad part may come in the April federal budget when as sure as eggs their will be a tax cut to low paid working people of perhaps $20 a week, and Aussie apathy being what is is some of these people will be grateful. They may not realize that what the tories will do to pay for their tax cut will be to cut funding to public health and education, again.

    The net result will be when they send their children to State schools the fess they pay will rise, and if they get really sick, and need hospitalization that, that too may incur a cost, even though it is a public hospital, it really is outrageous what this Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison tory government has done over the years. I just hope Australia can wake up to their reality.

  4. Adrianne Haddow

    The corruption and cronyism of this government is breathtaking.

    The arrogance with which they face down any attempts to question their dubious actions regarding grants to dodgy enterprises such as the Great Barrier Reef fiasco, the Paladin security contract and Michaela Screech’s attempt to nobble the unions via the media and the raid, Tim IPA Wilson’s courting of the ‘impoverished pensioners’ with huge share portfolios, smacks of contempt for both the justice system, the Senate estimates enquiries and other attempts to show their political misdemeanours is appalling.

    The co-opting of the AFP as their personal police force investigating their political and ideological rivals is abhorrent.

    The LNP contempt for the Australian public and the institutions, which are supposed to protect and serve us, is apparent in every action they take.
    They hide behind their inaction on governance by scheduling a laughable amount of sitting days for this year while squirrelling away vast amounts of public money to their donors, and stacking the boards of the ABC, and the Administrative Appeals tribunal with their supporters.

    We are no longer approaching fascism in our country, we are already there!

    As Shaun says the tossing of a few sheckles in the form of tiny tax breaks for the plebs will see many of the Telegraph readers reward them with a vote, in the hope of more pittances to come.

    I despair.

  5. helvityni

    …I feel dirtied by just reading about this lot…give me some Seinfeld repeats instead…..

  6. Diane Larsen

    Evil can be addressed if enough light is focused on it unfortunately stupidity is practically impossible to fix voters that continually vote against their best interests through lack of time to understand what is really happening instead of just getting their information from 60 second grabs on the nightly biased news or mudocks screaming headlines as they run for hopelessly crowded transport are difficult to reach with the truth of our current political system. Until there are consequences for lying in politics rorting and other crimes against the electorate we will continue to be in for a rough ride

  7. Josephus

    Despair is what they want. Venting anger in a closed bubble is what they want. They do not want people in the streets. They bash young people, they tell kids to get back to class, they multiply fines ten fold, they spread fear and crushing apathy.

    Despair never effected change. Join the refugee rallies. Support Lock the Gate and Get Up. Donate to conservation groups and to effective advertising. Choose carefully how you vote. Write to the papers. Talk on local radio.

    Yesterday a Sydney man told me ‘the Moslems’ were endangering society as many were extremists, and that these dangerous folk were also overwhelming the suburbs. I told him about the refugees I have met here, why and what they fled. I told him about the resource wars that kill citizens in far away places. I told him my mother was a refugee.

    And yes I attend rallies and yes I donate and yes I stand at polling booths and talk to people quietly with evidence to hand. Being angry or depressed is stage one. Stage 2 is: do what you can.

  8. Kronomex

    I can’t see this article getting much traction, let alone attention, from the majority of ‘strayans –


    Not when The Rupert Scum Media continually bombards them with puerile crap like –


    and on and on and…ad nauseam. Anything to distract them from reality and what the LNP is doing to wreck the country.

  9. Adrianne Haddow

    Josephus, I, like yourself, do what I can in resistance to this current mob of destroyers and pillagers. I am a core member of GetUp, I attend rallies, write submissions, sign petitions, write to members of parliament, support environmental and conservation groups. And have done so for the last 5 years.

    However, after the last fortnight’s horror parliament, with the Murdoch and other MSM rags, and their ABC running ‘soft’ news on the corruption and cronyism, I believe activism of any sort falls on deaf ears.

    Murdoch and the other purveyors of propaganda have made activists and conservationists, of any shape or form, objects of ridicule.
    The Greens run a platform of social justice and equality, and just look what the MSM and even some independent news sources think and say about them… even on this site we see opinions labelling them as looney, latte sipping city dwellers and the thieves of Labor’s rightful vote base and being accused of selling out to the LNP/IPA agenda. It seems equality is not everybody’s cup of tea.

    The current government are not listening and they do not care what members of the public think.

    Their arrogant behaviour in Parliament and their refusal to answer serious questions about collusion and cronyism show that they hold the average Australian punter in contempt, except during election time when they visit communities for average- guy photo ops, and make promises for the future, that we know they won’t keep.

    Their refusal to submit to our judicial system, and abide by an ethical code of conduct, shows how little value they place on democratic institutions which are supposed to keep us socially secure.

    Kronomex’s post says it all and provides evidence as well. These topics are what you hear being discussed in staff rooms and playgrounds throughout the nation, not the latest bastardry that the ‘ruling elite’ has committed.

    I have not given up resisting, but I still despair.

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