A short time ago I wrote these words: “The worse they govern the more popular they become.” This week’s post budget Newspoll confirms it to be so.
Mind you, it might also be an indication of the lack of interest we Aussies show in our national affairs.
That Newspoll would reveal such a commanding lead by the government after nearly three full terms of continuing scandals, bad policy, bad implementation, unfairness, shocking leadership and an assault on the very sustainability of planet earth is a scandal of enormous importance.
The latest Newspoll in The Australian has the Coalition leading 52-48, out from 51-49 last time, from primary votes of Coalition 44% (up one), Labor 34% (steady), Greens 11% (down one) and One Nation 3% (steady). Scott Morrison’s personal ratings are unchanged at 65% approval and 31% disapproval, while Anthony Albanese is steady on 39% approval and up three on disapproval to 43%. Morrison’s lead on preferred prime minister nonetheless narrows slightly, from 59-27 to 57-28.
They would win in a canter if an election were held today.
Anyone who follows my arguments will find an incessant trail of words that point to the unscrupulous lying of our Prime Minister and his ministers.
People need to wake up to the fact that government affects every part of their life and should be more interested. But there is a political malaise that is deep seated.
1 But let’s start with the story of former NSW MP Daryl Maguire’s litany of rackets and on-the-side business arrangements that for a price could get you an appointment with any one you wanted.
It is corruption of the worst kind because it’s done on the inside. Although peculiar to NSW, it is a typically pathetic lobbyists-scandal that includes Ministers who retire and immediately become employees of businesses pertaining to their former portfolio.
The stench of this pitiful racket has been waffling down the corridors of the Federal and State Parliaments for years.
People don’t want an appointment with a Minister just to tell him/her what a fine job they are doing. They want to extract an advantage be it financial or otherwise.
Lobbying interests represent millions of dollars in fees that in turn represent billions for companies or individuals who get what they want.
There is hardly an area of government be it, defence, housing, climate, education, industry policy that are not subjected to the persistent knock of the lobbyist at the ministers door and one has to wonder how many over the years have yielded not only to the knock but also the palm of the greased hand.
Less-informed voters unfortunately outnumber the more politically aware. Therefore, conservatives feed them all the bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains a fair portion of untruths.
“Cash-starved universities will pocket $1 billion in bonus bucks, while private schools were handed a bigger slice of the funding pie than public ones in the Morrison Government’s Budget.”
Having already reaped millions from Jobkeeper, they include in NSW the King’s School, St Joseph’s College, Frensham and The Armidale School, as well as Geelong Grammar, Trinity Grammar, Wesley College and Bialik College in Victoria, and as reported in Michael West, the government is handing out even more.
As is usually the case it’s the wealthiest schools that reap the harvest of government largess. It’s just pampering to the rich. Another form of dishonest, sleazy governance.
So emboldened has the Prime Minister become and so used to getting away with increasing the riches of the privileged that he takes every chance to do so.
3 So arrogant has he become that he saw it fitting to close his eyes, play with his phone or turn his back on Albo during his Budget in Reply speech. Thinking you are superior to others in politics can get you into trouble.
So, let’s continue our meander though what’s been happening in the last week or so, so that we might better understand why it is that this government retains its popularity in spite of itself. Even taking into account the fact that people generally stick with who they know in a crisis is no excuse for the general public to close their eyes to the evil being perpetrated on them.
4 Scott Morrison continues to cop a blast from the Aged Care Royal Commission but he keeps up his pompous denial of any fault in spite of 20 reports saying the government was responsible for many mistakes, simply by not taking advice.
The Prime Minister’s condescending defence of his government wrongs are so superficial that even a blind man could see through them. Morrison is becoming more like Trump with every month that passes.
5 I also learnt that the company known as the NBN Co, the $51 billion taxpayer-funded organisation, is dodging a bit of flak for paying bonusus to its executive team during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Cop this; 110 of its workers are paid between $300,000 and $400,000 and 34 received base salaries above $400,000 before bonuses. Any wonder it is so expensive. This corruption spreads like rust throughout every facet of the community.
6 And now we have another slush fund giving money to another political party in One Nation to announce a policy in their name in return for their support for a yet unnamed bill.
How bloody scandalous.
On top of that the Auditors General’s Department who disclosed the “Sports rorts” in the first instance has had its budget decreased after asking for a top up.
And we call this democratic government.
7 Our conservative government wanted to ban those in immigration from having mobile phones. The reason, well the acting Immigration Minister, Alan Tudge, claimed the government needed the power to:
“… declare phones and other items “prohibited,” to stop the spread of drugs and contraband items in detention centres.”
Civil society organisations pointed out that any ban could prevent detainees speaking to their lawyers.
Jackie Lambie responded by saying that:
“Most of them are using their phones to text their friends and family. They’re using it to watch YouTube videos about cats or movie trailers or whatever. They’re not using it to organise bloody riots. They’re using it the same way I’ve been using mine through Covid – just to get through the day. I’m not going to stop someone calling their dad on his birthday.”
8 With her tail up, the sharp-edged voice of Lambie has warned the Prime Minister that she will reveal the details of a secret deal made in order to win her support for the repeal of the so-called medevac law if he does not do so himself by the end of the year.
“The medical evacuation law was passed against the Government’s will in the last sitting week of 2018.”
The Government has consistently denied that any deal was made however you might remember at the time she told the Senate that she had made a “really hard decision” to support the legislation’s repeal, but had done so because the Government had agreed to an “outcome” that would improve medical treatment for refugees held in offshore detention.
9 Australia Institute analysis finds the term ‘not for publication’ or ‘NFP’ appears 384 times in the budget. It is claimed to be the most secretive budget ever.
10 When the Federal Coalition was last in opposition, during the global financial crisis, its political strategy was to demonise the Rudd Labor government’s deficit spending. It told voters Labor’s spending had created a “debt and deficit disaster.” The strategy was effective and it romped home in the 2013 election.
11 Kevin Rudd’s attempt to force a Royal Commission into the media bias and influence of Rupert Murdoch in Australia, although the government isn’t compelled to implement, is racking up the signatures with over 250,000 thus far.
This includes a very important Former Liberal leader Dr John Hewson who has also added his name to the growing list.
12 News Corp publish seven of the 10 top Australian newspapers and own 65% of metropolitan newspapers by circulation. To quote their own figures:
“… more than 16 million Australians consume news and information across News Corp Australia’s suite of products per month.”
13 An ABC Factcheck tells us the Prime Minister was lying when he said that:
“There are 40 ships, and I’m told there’s some 90,000 containers out there. That includes medical supplies,” Mr Morrison told reporters on September 29, referring to a pay dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia and port terminal operator Patrick.
“You can go down to Port Botany or down to Kurnell and have a look out there and you can see them lining up, and every single one of them lining up is being held back from Australians getting what they need.”
However, according to the ABC fact check:
“… the data shows just seven container ships arriving or waiting off the coast over the 24 hours to Mr Morrison’s news conference.
Four of the seven ships were yet to dock when Mr Morrison made his claim, with three of them ultimately waiting between two and five days.”
If we are to save our democracy, we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should tell the truth.
14 Leaked talking points from the Prime Minister’s office last Thursday, tell Coalition MPs to yet again recommit to create a Commonwealth Integrity Commission and to promise it will come “as soon as possible” after COVID-19 recovery efforts.
It won’t be anything like what the public wants or is expecting.
* * * * *
Since Tony Abbott became the leader of the opposition – and in the years following – our politics has declined morally and any character in conservative leadership has been missing. It is corrupt to the core.
I have written a piece along these lines at least once a month for 7 years, however as l said at the beginning of this piece: “The worse they govern the more popular they become.”
My thought for the day
Have we reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians have persuaded us to believe is, “Like alternative facts” rather than TRUTH based on factual evidence, arguments and assertions?
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