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Adapting to the “new normal” in politics is not an option

The government wants us all to adapt to the new normal, whether that’s the consequences of out-of-control global heating or equally uncontrolled political corruption.

Veteran political journalists, who literally have seen it all before, say this level of blatant corruption is unprecedented.

Katherine Murphy writes that “standards that were once considered essential are being replaced by new norms that might work for powerful people but don’t serve the rest of us.”

Laura Tingle bemoans “the growing chutzpah of governments who think they can remain unaccountable.”

One way to avoid breaching guidelines is not to have any, as has been exposed in #poolgate.  Not taking applications also saves so much work.

Another way to make a problem go away is to not investigate it because it would take too many resources to ask Angus Taylor who gave him the forged document.  Any notion of impartiality by the AFP has been shredded by that stellar decision.

One of the most concerning articles quoted University of Melbourne’s vice-chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, about the “politicisation of knowledge”.

“We are seeing much more challenge now coming especially from politicians and commentators, journalists and others … Some commentator can say, ‘Well I don’t believe that, actually it’s like this’. And that’s given credence,” he said.  “If society decides it is not going to operate on the basis of knowledge, then universities are really challenged in terms of why we are here.”

As the country faces simultaneous crises, the egomaniacal Barnaby Joyce decided now was a good time to make everyone look at him.

In 2018, Barnaby blamed a hectic travel schedule that saw him spend as little as 22 nights at home in a year for being the “substantial cause” of the breakdown of his marriage to wife Natalie.  Now that he has two new babies with Vicki, it seems he is ready to get out of the house more again.

Once again, we are distracted from addressing anything substantive by the circus in Canberra.  Once again, the noisy few hold the leader to ransom and take siege of parliament.

What we need is some hazard reduction and dead wood clearing in government.  And perhaps some form of income management – quarantine 80% of government revenue that can only be spent on things that benefit the community and we will decide what they are.

Whatever we do, it is up to all of us to stop this rot.

The standards we walk past are the standards we accept.

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14 comments

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  1. Baby Jewels

    Why aren’t people enraged? “Another way to make a problem go away is to not investigate it because it would take too many resources to ask Angus Taylor who gave him the forged document. Any notion of impartiality by the AFP has been shredded by that stellar decision.” The only thing you can take out of that is that the AFP won’t investigate the LNP, but if you’re an investigative journalist doing your job, you’re fair game.

  2. Phil Pryor

    With a rotten, romanist, raving ratbag like B Joyce, one knows that HE feels he is driven by unknown forces, hidden instincts, that dies have been cast, numbers are up, things have been written, fate has been established, superstitious drives, dreams, drenchings are in force, BUT, as one Saved, Blessed, Chosen, Filled with spirit (ethyl alcohol) , swollen with righteous rectitude, Joyce is set to continue being an effing pest, a maggot, an intrusive pox on our public life. The Head Moron is even worse, a harlot for hallelujah happiness and an egofixated fool blind to honesty and decency. We are losers out here in citizen land, for this shit is above us.., so DUCK.

  3. Max Gross

    Bloody brilliant! “What we need is some hazard reduction and dead wood clearing in government. And perhaps some form of income management – quarantine 80% of government revenue that can only be spent on things that benefit the community and we will decide what they are.”

  4. Matters Not

    From the link to Duncan Maskell

    absolutely essential that we retain, and we do retain, absolute control of the curriculum that is taught and the way that it’s taught,”

    So Maskell wants to retain absolute control of both the overt curriculum (what is taught) and the hidden curriculum (the way it’s taught) but he is aghast at the politicization of knowledge. Now that must have at least some of the academics in fits of laughter because he in fact is attempting to justify his own politicisation of knowledge but seems unaware of the irony. The former Vice-Chancellor Glyn Conrad Davis must be shaking his head at the extent and depth of the conservative coup.

  5. Kaye Lee

    To be fair MN, putting that statement into context, he was referring to concerns about the Confucius Institute operating as platforms for propaganda and interference by the Chinese government.

    Professor Maskell said the university had reviewed the arrangement and was renegotiating its contract with the Beijing headquarters that administers the institutes to clarify the university’s autonomy.

    Context makes a difference I think.

  6. Matters Not

    KL, I’m not advocating that Melbourne University should bow to the Chinese government. Far from it – indeed perish the thought. Just saying that any selection of knowledge (what to teach and what not to teach) and its transmission/consideration (including the how, when, why, and to whom) are essentially political acts because they are all about the exercise of power. Maskell (the conservative) doesn’t seem to be aware of that (and probably wouldn’t accept it anyway even if he was) and that’s probably why Glyn Davis was bumped by the incoming Chancellor who has long-standing conservative connections.

    What Maskell might have done was to be completely upfront about the Universities values, attitudes and beliefs – including its commitment to open inquiry, liberal tradition, freedom of thought and expression etc. But he wasn’t was he? Didn’t come clean as it were. Perhaps because he wants the money cake and wants to eat it as well.

  7. Terence Mills

    “Meritless political referrals to key law-enforcement agencies waste resources that could be allocated to the investigation of serious matters, such as homicides.”

    Christian Porter said this of referrals to the AFP for both the rorting of public funds for election pork-barrelling and the Angus Taylor forged documents issue.

    If he’s right then it’s a powerful argument to have an independent crime and corruption commission.

    These guys have learned lot from Trump : turn any adverse situation into an attack on your opposition – never worry about the merit of the matter.

    He’s not right because the resources of the AFP are being used by the government to harass journalists and the ABC apart from which rarely do the AFP investigate homicide as a federal crime (normally it’s state police).

  8. totaram

    Terence Mills: “He’s not right because the resources of the AFP are being used by the government to harass journalists and the ABC apart from which rarely do the AFP investigate homicide as a federal crime (normally it’s state police).”

    Absolutely right, but has anyone in the press pointed this out? No. And the voting numpties will never realise that this was a con, like so many other statements by these crooks. But if no one knows they are lies, how can they react to them? There lies your problem.

  9. Matters Not

    While I’m all in favour of a well thought through ICAC or its equivalent, it would probably shy away from political promises including blatant acts of pork-barreling. In the recent election, the knife-edge electorate of Petrie witnessed coalition MP Luke Howarth announce $2 million for a new pool at the Mango Hill State Secondary College. But Luke’s announcement was treated with disdain if not downright derision.

    My understanding was that the majority of people at the P&C (Parents and Citizens group), if not all of them, were against the pool,” said Karel Rees, … wanted to make sure there was enough room and there wasn’t overcrowding at the school or overcrowding in the classrooms because we decided to put a pool in and couldn’t build more classrooms.”

    Guidelines for the program were promised, but never published. And the great majority of the funding went towards swimming pools in just 11 Coalition-held seats.

    Probably not a matter for an ICAC but surely we can have the allocation of swimming pools, the building of assembly halls and like subject to a more rational allocation of funds than last minute ‘cash splashes’ just before elections in marginal seats. In a democracy, we need structural mechanism(s) that allow for more input from experts re needs based funding. And I am not talking about that bastard arrangement we currently have for ‘educational’ need.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-08/queensland-school-got-funding-to-build-unwanted-swimming-pool/11945596

  10. Josephus

    Max Gross what you advocate is anarchism which is not anarchy and has been maligned by the powerful ever since Prince Kropotkin and Bakunin advocated it and Marx and capitalists both attacked it
    Yes self governing communities with revolving responsibilities would be ideal if idealistic too.
    Instead our world is poisoned by our masters.

  11. New England Cocky

    Perhaps the “new normal” will be Barnyard Joke and his coven of cronies, O’Brien, Canavan, Little-tp be proud -of (?) and Christensen the Member for Manilla, voting against any LNP bills that reduce the profits of the COAL industry.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/driven-by-black-jack-s-determination-joyce-s-leadership-ambitions-not-dead-yet-20200207-p53yqy.html

    The question then becomes, “When will the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in the Nazianal$ tap Barnyard on the shoulder and suggest he should spend quality time with his two bastards?” But remember, if his favourite Auntie Gina puts up food money to buy her influence in Parliament to ensure that the Galilee Basin COAL development complete with all the disastrous consequences, goes ahead, then both Auntie Gina and Clive will be content, and New England voters can go to hell or anywhere else they choose.

    Tamworth Women Supporting Adultery Support National$.

  12. New England Cocky

    Perhaps the “new normal” will be Barnyard Joke and his coven of cronies, O’Brien, Canavan, Little-tp be proud -of (?) and Christensen the Member for Manilla, voting against any LNP bills that reduce the profits of the COAL industry.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/driven-by-black-jack-s-determination-joyce-s-leadership-ambitions-not-dead-yet-20200207-p53yqy.html

    The question then becomes, “When will the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in the Nazianal$ tap Barnyard on the shoulder and suggest he should spend quality time with his two bastards?” But remember, if his favourite Auntie Gina puts up food money to buy her influence in Parliament to ensure that the Galilee Basin COAL development complete with all the disastrous consequences, goes ahead, then both Auntie Gina and Clive will be content, and New England voters can go to hell or anywhere else they choose.

    Tamworth Women Supporting Adultery Support National$.

  13. wam

    if tingle knows the meaning of chutzpah she is having you on and if she doesn’t why use a jewish concept?
    That is the new normal in mudochian and the ABC, over the last 7 years, journalism where words mean little and are bandied around in opinions, often factless, are which are portrayed as truths..
    How did steers and the boys go, this morning compared to katharine??

  14. New England Cocky

    I am afraid that the compere cannot forget that he is, or has been, a Murdoch apparatchnick!

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