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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