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Another week in a government going from bad to worse

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.

2 Today, I learn that private schools get $19 billion more than state run schools, while:

“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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45 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Yes JL ”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.” So it becomes more important that independent reputable media like AIMN continue documenting this sad saga of political disrepute. Australia is in danger of becoming the worst third world export economy in the OECD as planned by the Club of Rome in 1969.

    2) ”“The worse they govern the more popular they become.” This week’s post budget Newspoll confirms it to be so.”
    Have you considered that the report by Newspoll is incorrect? Having some statistical experience, it is easy to ”mis-write” results constructed by only polling the same COALition individual supporters to get the same survey results. In these days of ”post truth” Murdoch Main Stream Media-ocrity everything is possible, even pigs flying to the moon on water wings every Tuesday at 5PM.

    3) ”[P]rivate schools get $19 billion more than state run schools”
    In the capitalist commercial world corporations that fail leave the economy. So why have successive governments propped up a third rate child care service masquerading as an education system for over 50 years at an ever increasing cost to the national economy?? Oh silly me!!!! It is to keep the politicians in their plush employment sinecure distributing government largess to foreign owned corporations while the unelected political hacks in the party machine harvest the consequent political donations received from grateful corporate executives. This is not ”bribery & corruption” merely how far down doing business in Australia has slipped under the RAbbott Turdball Scummo Liarbral Nazional$ misgovernment.

    3) ”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.”
    I must cease now as my good mate Blind Freddie is making the coffee this morning and my contempt for the Nazional$ destruction of the Australian way of life is making my blood boil.

  2. Terence Mills

    The more that is revealed of Daryl Maguire’s migration visa scam the more it pushes his other scams into the background.

    He was supporting and facilitating visa applications, principally it seems from China, with spurious job sponsors in Wagga Wagga. He was falsely saying that the jobs these migrants would take up in Wagga – they never actually went to Wagga – could not be filled by Australian citizens and then he was using his influence and his mates to have these scam visas hurried through the federal immigration system.

    In doing this he was exploiting the Wagga Wagga community that he claimed to represent, he was exploiting his office in the NSW parliament and he was subverting out immigration laws for personal gain.

    That has got to be worth at least five years in detention – perhaps in a motel in Preston Vic !

  3. Keitha Granville

    How do persuade people to listen to the truth? Trump in the US is evidence of the total gullibility of the electorate to hear what they want to hear, truth or lies. Woe betide anyone trying to denounce liars, and get the real stories heard.

    Scummo is following his lead, lies and more lies, obfuscation, denial, avoidance – anything but the truth.

  4. Terence Mills

    At the present time, in the run up to the Queensland election, Palmer’s United Australia Party is placing TV advertisements voiced by former NRL player and candidate Greg Dowling telling Queenslanders to “vote against Labor’s planned Death Taxes”

    Of course the ALP have no such policy but this misinformation and rumour mongering served the conservative side of politics well in Qld during the federal election so why not try it again.

    Is there no way that this nonsense can be brought to heel ?

  5. Jack sprat

    Working class Tories constantly voting for parties that exploit them and introduce policies that go against their self interest . This is what happens when they are bombarded with propaganda from the cradle to the grave . “propaganda is to democracy as the bludgeon is to totalitarianism “Mikail Bakunin .

  6. New England Cocky

    @Terence Mills: Perhaps a more appropriate location would be Christmas Island in the expensively renovated facility that Scummo opened for a promo pic. Then there is Manus without a mobile phone or maybe just a short life time in Long Bay Jail solitary confinement.

  7. Patricia

    Kevin Rudds petition. 1.52pm (Qld) 300,102 signatures.

    “At the present time, in the run up to the Queensland election, Palmer’s United Australia Party is placing TV advertisements voiced by former NRL player and candidate Greg Dowling telling Queenslanders to “vote against Labor’s planned Death Taxes” (TM).

    And even if there was a death tax, which there is not, only those who are wealthy would be effected by it and they vote liberal anyway. Why is it that those voters for whom a death tax would not effect them are so gullible that they would vote against their own interests because of something that is never going to impact their lives?

  8. king1394

    What’s that saying about the trees voting for the axe because its handle was made of wood, and they thought it was one of them?

  9. Yanta

    People’s attention seems to focus mostly, if not solely, on covid and everything else in life ceases to exist. Boredom, frustration, fatigue and abject fear have gripped the population so much so that they can’t even remember the last time the went to the bathroom.

    There seems to be a declining number of people that can quote 1 thing other than covid that is going on in Australia.

    So sad 🙁

  10. Jack Cade

    Jack sprat

    ‘Working class Tories’ are people who believe-
    on no good authority – that voting Tory makes them better than the herd. Every street has one.

  11. andy56

    Keitha, aint that the truth. people hear what they want to hear and nothing will change that. It seems i have lost a few friends too. I tried to call out their ignorance but then i was deemed too vocal, too intense, a know it all. Their standard answer is always, they are all corrupt and i cant change it. I dont vote or any other disinterested reply. So next time they whinge , my response will be, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Suck it up sunshine. Voting for indifference is the same as voting for the status quo. YOUR COMPLICIT. Your Not part of the solution but definitely part of the problem

  12. Max Gross

    With the greatest respect John, if last year’s federal election result proved anything it proved that Newpoll is meaningless

  13. Michael Taylor

    Don’t know much about the voting habits of people in our street. The young couple to the right, I presume, are lefties given their recent mutterings of dislike for Morrison and Trump.

    The rich bloke across the lane also appears to lean to the left from our scant discussions. I hadn’t really had a long chat until Thursday when we were both were out the front working in our gardens. He seems nice – learnt a lot about him. However after the tragic and corrupt events of last night I will be avoiding him for a year or so. 😡

  14. Michael Taylor

    Polls close in about 45 minutes in NZ.

    They’re going to embarrass us again by re-electing a good government. I hope.

  15. Jack Cade

    Michael Taylor

    We can only hope.
    My weekend is likely going to be ruined by Everton beating Liverpool tonight.
    My 6 year old grandson cried himself to sleep last night, apparently.
    I don’t like blaming umpires, but I’m sick and bloody tired of Vic umpires. Give deliberate once a game on average but 6 last night, the killer one that gave Richmond a goal when Hartlett attempted a pass to Rockliff on the boundary. I was there, right above it.
    Tory bastards…
    I can only hope the Kiwis realise what a diamond they have.

  16. Michael Taylor

    Jack, I saw the hashtag #umpiring on Twitter last night so I checked it out: Hundreds of comments from neutral supporters condemning the umpiring for their demonstrated favouritism towards the other mob, denying us with any hope. One bloke summed it up with “When in doubt, give Richmond a free kick.” It was 2014 all over again (our PF against Hawthorn). Still, last night could have been different had Ollie, Zak, Travis and Todd turned up. Were they there?

    Good luck tonight. I hope Liverpool triumphant.

    And a shoutout to John Lord – whose post I am derailing – for his Cats play tonight.

  17. Michael Taylor

    Early counting in NZ sees Labour off to a strong start. Also a nationwide swing to Labour. Go girl! 😀

  18. Jack Cade

    Michael Taylor

    Richmond milk frees. Plus we were carrying Burton for most of the game with a recurrent quad strain.
    I also think the Hoff does everything better than young Marshall, but it was an exciting game, outs error-strewn.
    Sorry, non-footy fans, but it’s over now!

  19. Michael Taylor

    Jack, my interest in footy from this point on is absolute zero. 😁

  20. Roswell

    Those umpires need to be arrested as well as forced to turn in their Richmond FC membership cards.

    End of rant.

  21. calculus witherspoon.

    From Adelaide, I wished Port well, but in the end Richmond were The Force.

    On another issue, not good to have to witness the execrable Tudge and his excuse for a response as to the Sydney Airport thought-bubble and those wily Kiwis off to contaminate the sacred motherland south of the Murray.

    Unspeakable creature…

  22. calculus witherspoon.

    Apparently the ACT does not look flash for the tories either.

  23. Michael Taylor

    The ACT too. That’s good news. 😀

  24. wam

    what a set of cut and paste, with still no understanding of the meaning of truth, lord.
    Surely your continual leaving out trump’s successes is, to use you words, lying by omission?
    So if trump believes a fact to be true and you believe the fact to be false the truth/bias is yours or his??
    ps
    carol, michael, jack and stephen, what a game with a sad free kick when richmond screamed and wide handed to influence the umpire(it is time the afl moves to stop this whinging umpire baiting), although the young port should have attempted to get the pass to make it easier for the umpire to ignore the quasi-cheats.
    But even sadder was no westie with a heart as big as port adelaide and didn’t we need him?.

  25. Jack Cade

    The only way the Tories can win in ACT is to organise a re-distribution overseen by Ann Vanstone, QC. She’s reliable. Ask Stephen Marshall.

  26. wam

    I thought stephen b was a port man???? Maybe he saw or heard a magpie when he landed in adelaide???
    We, portites are everywhere at my church today there was one sad eyed wearing a port’s shirt. This arvo at my grandkids basket ball there were old and young with ports shirts. I never saw a richmond at all.

  27. Michael Taylor

    wam, Roswell is one of us.

    Labour in a canter in NZ, btw. ✊

  28. wam

    thanks michael I shall revere rosswell’s posts in future.
    the 6th term labor did well in canberra???
    now back to putting the hex on the chief cheats. go go go brissie

  29. Andrew Smith

    Australia has really fallen down the list of nations with robust and broad based mainstream media, impacting our democracy, thanks largely to consolidation and hollowing out of legacy media, which used to inform people, anywhere. In fact, LNP MPs are more fearful of NewsCorp etc. (vs. Labor/Greens etc.) as not only can their political or govt. career be ruined if they do not follow the zeitgeist or preferred policies, their upward social mobility and earning capacity too…..

    Commercially we now have only govt. supported centre right to right wing print media, much of the radio similar and the fta tv/cable too, catering to ageing voters (or simply broadcasting brainless fluff for younger), especially in regions (ditto elsewhere in the world). ABC/SBS have slipped but still far superior while under constant attack….

    ‘In 2018 the Press Freedom Index ranked Australia 19th out of 180 countries, although by 2020 Australia’s ranking had somewhat declined to 26th out of 180 countries.’

    Perfectly stitched up ‘architecture’ creating a socially conservative and libertarian PR cycle that censors by omission, often bypasses viewers’ skills of critical analysis while we are encouraged to be quiet Australians, ‘prosperity gospel’ Christians, family/household oriented, obedient, fearful and prepared to the bidding of the powerful.

    So much for the Oz stereotype or myth of rugged independence where we do not put up with rubbish from powers that be….. maybe changing demographics will tell, especially when emerging diversity, dog whistled and used to spook many Anglo/Irish Australians, becomes the norm. In future Australia will have a larger and cleverer gene pool for public life versus decline in the pool via rusted on Anglo/Irish culture that has been hijacked and/or promoted by nativist conservatives looking to (or pining for ?) the UK/US, and deemed to be ‘Australian’.

    For now, Australians will crawl across cut glass for some benefit, financial or in kind, even inverse, (or worse, simply imagined) while the LNP can be bad to that ‘other’ social group but be nice to mine…. very feudal and viewed through a sporting prism by the fourth estate, ignoring the bigger picture and long term.

  30. Jane

    I am definitely going to pinch the Citrus Caligula. What. Saddens me is the willfull stupidity of the electorate. Clive tried the Death Tax stunt last year & it worked a treat. Hopefully, Palaszczuk will quickly neutralise his bullshit by threatening legal action. I too am baffled by people’s adoration of the liar from the shire. I find him terminally repugnant. We can only draw hope from the NZ and ACT elections and hope Palasczcukmakes it a Labor treble, costing the execrable Palmer many more millions.
    As for that fiasco of umpiring last night, i can’t say what I think of that except we were robbed.

  31. calculus witherspoon.

    Relevant and well put comment from Andrew Smith.

    It may eventuate that one Gladys Berejiklian is one such victim as being on the wrong factional formation to disruptive cranks like Morrison himself, whose mouthpieces include people like Craig Kelly.

    This is the “if it moves shoot it, if stationary chop it” grouping that currently wages war so vehemently on all things environmental. Even Gladys isn’t extreme enough for them and we have seen the result with the odd politics played out over the Murray Darling and during the Bushfires ten months ago, as well as some of the odder Covid stuff more recently.

    So much of the slash and burn lunacy originates from the US
    and has been spread by Murdoch throughout the world over the last fifty years. Although employing the language of ideas of ideology it is only alibiing for appetitive and unfulfillable greed and an unreflexive mania for control.

    It has destroyed Britain and finishing its work in the USA with Australia following close hehind.

  32. John Lord

    A purring has begun and its not a tiger.

  33. New England Cocky

    Naturally football (Soccer or AFL or NRL?) is much more important than politics.

  34. James

    And you didn’t even touch on the disintegration of the vital trade with China that Morrison’s obsequiousness to the Americans is now placing in serious jeopardy. That will have huge economic consequences for Australia.

  35. Graham Barnes

    If Aussies followed the doings of politicians as closely as they evaluate their favourite football teams and the doings of the Leagues and accordingly voted from conscious and objective thinking, we’d be the best governed nation in the world!

  36. Kronomex

    I look at the photo and all I can think of is, “Please dog, blow up that non-Rupert reporter I’m pointing at who is asking me awkward questions. I promise I’ll put an extra dollar…well…fifty cents…er…25 cents in the collection tray next Sunday.”

  37. Kathryn

    You cannot believe a single thing you read in any Z-rated, discredited piece of crap pushed out by the totally, right-wing biased Murdoch – especially anything relating to ELECTORAL POLLS. Never trust ANY lies or misinformation published in the rag, the “un-Australian” !! Yes there are a few of these moronic working-class Tories floating about but this stupid, Murdoch-manipulated, dumbed-down percentage of the population are so misinformed they just don’t realise that voting for the insufferably smug, totally corrupt, self-serving elitists in the worst government in living memory, can be compared to the Jewish community voting for the Nazi Party …. I mean, really? It all comes under the heading: “You just can’t stop STUPID” and, let’s face it, there’s NOTHING more inane, regressive and destructive as right-wing STUPID!

  38. Jack Cade

    I hope you all saw Stuart Roberts wonderful slip of the tongue when he said ‘I’m pleased to be here supporting Minister Tunt, sorry Tudge‘ the other day. So close…one ALMOST acknowledging another…

  39. Lambchop Simnel

    By jeepers some of them are gits, Jack Cade.

  40. jo chestersonn

    “The worse they govern the more popular they become.”
    The more corrupt they become the bolder they are.
    Who will rid us of this disease?

  41. B Sullivan

    Perhaps you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but to win government of a nation with a biased electoral system you only need to fool enough of some of the people at election time.

  42. Jack Cade

    B Sullivan

    With 23 federal seats in Qld, going to the Coalition, it only has to fool considerably less than half of the people in the rest of Australia to stay in government. The ALP won the rest of Australia fairly comfortably, last time, even with the usual swag of National seats in NSW and Victoria.

  43. Pollietragic

    Newspoll failed incredibly to predict the last election result. It bemuses me that journalists specialising in Oz political analysis continue to breathlessly quote it.
    Has it undergone massive quality improvements? Are journalists hooked on regular popularity contests to prop up their writing? Or is it an industry acceptance thing, and they feel there is no alternative?

    Politicians, journalists and voters would all be better off if our numerous discredited polls would disappear. It would have to prompt better outcomes for all. Megalogenis is on the record agreeing with this too.

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