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What the dickens? Morrison wants kids driving forklifts

By TBS Newsbot

Faced with a labour shortage he helped create, Scott Morrison will ask the national cabinet if kids can legally drive forklifts.

Scott Morrison’s national cabinet has taken a bizarre, almost Antoinette-Esque solution to the crisis of supply. Instead of letting people eat the cake they don’t have, Morrison wants children to drive heavy machinery they really shouldn’t.

As reported by Ben Butler of The Guardian, “Scott Morrison will ask the states to allow children to drive forklifts at today’s national cabinet meeting as part of measures to ease the staff shortages crippling supply chains…as anyone who’s ever worked in a factory or warehouse knows, forklifts are a very dangerous piece of machinery – a person was killed in a forklift accident in Victoria on Tuesday.”

In the Eastern states, the minimum age to meet the eligibility for the high-risk work licence needed to drive one is 18. Now, let me preface this by saying that the children of today are extremely competent and would probably take it very seriously and be very professional throughout.

As former union boss Tim Lyons wrote on Twitter, “get back to me when you can square ‘unlicensed minors driving high-risk equipment’ with the employer’s statutory duty to maintain a safe system of work – and that’s before we get to straight out negligence.”

However, as far as solutions go, this absolutely isn’t it. Indeed, we find ourselves in an increasingly familiar position, reading actual quotes that we have to check isn’t satire. As satirical publication The Shovel noted, “Last week one of our regular contributors submitted the headline “PM To Roll Back Child Labour Laws To Fill Gaps In Supply Chains”. But we knocked it back because it was too ridiculous.”

 

But as Anne Twomey wrote for The Big Smoke, we don’t have to listen to any nonsense he puts forward, as “the national cabinet does not make laws. It has no legal powers at all. It is simply an intergovernmental body whose members discuss and agree on matters. As with any inter-governmental agreement, the national plan is not legally enforceable.

“The members of the national cabinet – the prime minister, state premiers and chief ministers – are each responsible to their own parliament and, through it, their own people. The decisions of the national cabinet can only be implemented by each jurisdiction in accordance with its own laws. If a state government and parliament object to something agreed on by the national cabinet, then it can choose not to implement it.

“This was recognised when the national cabinet was created. The minutes of the national cabinet meeting of March 15 2020, which record its terms of reference, state: “The National Cabinet does not derogate from the sovereign authority and powers of the Commonwealth or any State or Territory government. The Commonwealth and the States and Territories, as appropriate, remain responsible for the implementation of responses to the Coronavirus.”

“The prime minister also recognised this in a press conference on May 5 2020. He said: ‘We’re a federation and, at the end of the day, states have sovereignty over decisions that fall specifically within their domain […] At the end of the day, every Premier, every Chief Minister has to stand in front of their state and justify the decisions that they’re taking in terms of the extent of the restrictions that are in place […] I respect the fact that they’ve each got to make their own call, just like I do, and they’ve got to explain it to the people who live in their state and they’ve got to justify it. And I think that’s the appropriate transparency and accountability.’”

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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Distraction: It’s Morrison’s only policy

By Kathryn

The whole ludicrous Djokovic affair was nothing more than a ramped-up distraction in order to try to divert public attention away from the LNP’s appalling incompetence, inept mishandling of the fair and rapid distribution of Covid vaccinations, climate-change-denying idiocy and Morrison’s appalling short-sightedness and total lack of leadership!

Anyone with an IQ >10 knows that the smug, smirking, stratospherically arrogant and non-achieving Morrison couldn’t manage a free shout in a country pub, is about as popular as a pork chop in a Jewish synagogue and has the foresight of Mr Magoo sans spectacles! The fact that the bone-idle Sloth Morrison was cast as a lonely, pathetic and totally ostracised figure at the recent G20 climate change summit in Rome and, not surprisingly, outed as a pathological liar by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, proves that our nation’s government – right now – is internationally regarded as being on-the-nose and our people being thoroughly misled and mismanaged by a totally disingenuous, pathetic, spineless environmental vandal who embarrassingly, and very publicly, used the international stage to sing the praises of the filthy, polluting coal-mining and gas fracking industries!

If Australia wishes to redeem our flagging international reputation – now in freefall as a regressive haven ruled by a pack of political psychopaths who are up to their “red necks” in right-wing-extremism, government-approved racism and inherent skirt-lifting misogyny – then we need to get rid of the LNP, a dangerously undemocratic and totally corrupt regime that is destroying and defunding everything Australians value! If this nation wants to redeem what little is remaining of the respect our nation once held under the leadership and progressive foresight of the ALP, then it is imperative that we kick the smirking Neanderthal, Morrison out of government! Morrison only has one focus and that is to further enrich and empower himself and his billionaire donors in the Top 1%.

When you look back over the past nine long years of devastation, environmental vandalism, depravity, staggering incompetence and escalating self-serving corruption by a smug, callously inhumane and profit-obsessed regime who have no plans, no vision and absolutely no clue, it gives a terrifying insight into just how far our nation has fallen under the malevolent mismanagement of an undisciplined, arrogant pack of non-achieving political psychopaths in the LNP. The Jerk with the Smirk aka The Liar from the Shire, the bible-thumping hypocrite, Morrison – and his pompous predecessor, the swaggering, inarticulate misogynist, Tony Abbott, have dragged Australia back to the middle ages as a nation struggling under the jackboot of the absolute WORST, most regressive, dangerously undemocratic and corrupt regime in our history!

History has proven – going back decades – that the LNP are a pack of arrogant, self-appointed megalomaniacal narcissists who absolutely thrive on hate, division, conflict, fear and war! The LNP have dragged Australia back to the middle ages as a nation struggling under the jackboot of the absolute worst, most regressive, dangerously undemocratic and corrupt regime in our history! The Howard, Abbott and Morrison regimes have proven themselves to be nothing more than despicable, self-serving elitists who have not achieved a single thing that provides any benefit whatsoever to the lives of ordinary working- and middle-class Australians; a government whose only “talent” is their ability to lie, lie and attempt to deceive anyone and everyone – even lying about their lies – in order to maintain their grip on autocratic power.

FFS, kick the LNP to the gutter at the next Federal and State elections because, believe me, that is where they really belong!

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Citizen science helps nurture our health through nature

University of South Australia Media Release

From lifting our moods, to boosting our immune systems, the intrinsic health benefits of being in nature are well known. But as urbanisation continues to encroach on green spaces, finding ways to connect with natural environments is becoming more challenging.

Now, University of South Australia (UniSA) researchers are urging governments to consider nature-based citizen science as part of their public health policies in an effort improve the health and wellbeing of people living in urban areas.

By 2050, the United Nations estimates that 88 per cent of the population will be living in urban areas.

Given such mass urbanisation, UniSA’s Professor Craig Williams says it’s more important than ever to maintain a connection with natural environments.

“Whether you’re watering the garden, taking a stroll around the block, or simply watching the world go by, getting out into nature is good for your health,” Prof Williams says.

“Natural environments can enhance human performance, improve success at work (or school) and are known to provide significant mental, emotional, and physical health benefits.

“Conversely, urbanisation can negatively affect human health by increasing the prevalence of allergic, autoimmune, inflammatory, and infectious diseases, with some of these factors contributing to rise in cancers, depression and cardiovascular disease.

“As cities grow, fewer people have access to natural environments, which is part of the reason urban living can be bad for your health.

“Citizen science can change this. Nature-based citizen science projects can motivate people to engage with natural environments. And if they can be orchestrated, organised, and promoted in cities – particularly as part of a public health policy – then we have the potential to improve people’s health through that mechanism.”

Prof Williams says citizen science can also alleviate stress and isolation.

“In as little as 15 minutes in a natural environment, a person can experience lower stress levels as measured by blood pressure, cortisol levels and pulse rate,” Prof Williams says.

“In Australia, the outdoors remains one of the few places where people can safely get together despite the persistent risk of COVID-19.

“Being out and about in nature – whether in person, or by electronic means (as are many of our projects), is a great way to help people stay connected, while also providing them with a purpose, helping them feel like they’re contributing to something, and being part of a community.

“At the same time, they’re discovering great places to go in their city, and hopefully improving their wellbeing by doing so.”

The full paper is available here.

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Perrottet’s $1,000 RAT fine makes no sense

By TBS Newsbot

Dominic Perrottet promising to fine anyone who fails to register their positive RAT is more than draconian; it’s delusional.

Faced with spiralling COVID cases, long lines at testing facilities and a health system on the brink, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet enshrined the era of “personal responsibility” whereupon it was up to the people of his state to do the right thing and get tested. This was predicated on citizens being able to find rapid antigen tests that haven’t been ordered and not catch COVID, despite everything remaining open. To help track these new cases, QR codes would be discontinued, and masks would no longer be mandatory.

Today, the goalposts have shifted further, as Perrottet has announced a $1,000 fine for those who haven’t registered their positive test since January 1. It’s beyond farcical for two reasons, as Perrottet is punishing people for a situation he created, and the state has openly admitted that they have no idea how they’re going to police it.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, NSW’s health department was in talks with the Crown Solicitor’s Office to figure out how to legally enforce logging rapid tests.

“There has been much discussion regarding the possibility of mandatory enforcement and the health lawyers are consulting with Crown Solicitor’s to look at what may be possible… at the end of the day, it’s an obligation on all of us to make sure that we log in to the Service NSW app, particularly as it will give a clear picture of how the virus is moving through the community,” Hazzard told SMH

This, mind you, is the same app that we were told that we no longer need to use. Those still doing the right thing (against the official advice) will know that their check-in history is littered with close contacts, making the new plan to stop the virus already obsolete.

What’s more, we’ve seen this behaviour before.

In May 2021, one man’s thirst for the right barbecue returned Sydney to the embrace of COVID restrictions. For those who missed the story, one Sydney man in his 50s travelled to numerous barbecue outlets over the weekend, a voyage of more than 100 kilometres and more than seven stops.

As Kevin Nguyen of the ABC noted at the time, “The man’s nine other close contacts have returned negative swabs, but NSW Health remains concerned about a swathe of venues around Sydney the cases have visited while infectious. It’s prompted Premier Gladys Berejiklian to tighten social distancing restrictions.”

A month earlier, Gladys Berejiklian announced that citizens would no longer have the right to assemble with more than one person outside, besides their immediate family.

The NSW Police Force were empowered to ensure compliance with the two-person rule, under threat of a $1,000 infringement notice. And that was just one of the string of other recently enforced regulations designed to save our lives, as well as criminalise them.

At the time, Berejiklian also handed over the full reins of the COVID-19 pandemic response to NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller.

“A sensible escalation”

“We know there are some new laws that will come in line tonight in relation to two people being out together – that’s sensible,” the NSW police commissioner told reporters at the time. “We don’t want to have to enforce these laws.” Indeed, the transfer of power came soon after Berejiklian closed down state parliament – one day following the PM’s closure of federal parliament.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, NSW’s health department was in talks with the Crown Solicitor’s Office to figure out how to legally enforce logging rapid tests.

Soon thereafter, Health Minister Brad Hazzard passed a number of public health orders with new “laws” involving social distancing and quarantining. Issued under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW), if these orders are breached a person is liable to up to 6 months prison time and/or a fine of $11,000.

According to the official lettering, “The object of this Order is to give certain Ministerial directions to deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 and its possible consequences. In particular, this Order directs that a person must not, without reasonable excuse, leave the person’s place of residence. Examples of a reasonable excuse include leaving for reasons involving: obtaining food or other goods and services, or travelling for the purposes of work or education if the person cannot do it at home, or exercise, or medical or caring reasons.”

Last year, the NSW Police Force announced that it would have thousands of extra police on the streets enforcing COVID laws, in an attempt, as NSW police minister David Elliot put it, “to kill this virus before it kills us.”

Indeed.

 

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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Ngurra: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct will close gap in heart of national cultural institutions

AIATSIS Media Release

The Australian Government’s announcement today of its commitment to establish a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural precinct in the heart of Canberra was warmly welcomed by the Chair of the Council of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Ms Jodie Sizer, and by AIATSIS CEO, Mr Craig Ritchie.

Ms Sizer said Ngurra: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct will reinforce the country’s appreciation of the important place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and history play in our national story.

‘On behalf of AIATSIS, and on behalf of all First Nations people in this country, I welcome this commitment by the Australian Government,’ Ms Sizer said at today’s announcement by the Prime Minister at the AIATSIS Maraga building on Acton peninsula.

‘The Ngurra precinct will reinforce the country’s appreciation of the important place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories play in the story of this nation.

‘It will be a place of storytelling, and of teaching, and of sacred rest for ancestral remains and other sensitive materials for which the provenance is uncertain.

‘The inclusion of a National Resting Place is of vital importance, and is long overdue. Consultation on this concept dates back more than two decades.

‘Ngurra: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct will complement storytelling by other national institutions in the Parliamentary Triangle – the Parliamentary buildings, Reconciliation Place, the Tent Embassy, the High Court, the national collecting institutions.

‘And it will provide a new and more accessible home for AIATSIS.

‘For almost 60 years, AIATSIS has developed and been custodian of a unique collection that serves to increase understanding of the heritage of the First Nations peoples of this land.

‘We care for an unparalleled and growing collection of over one million items – works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge-keepers, artists, filmmakers, storytellers and writers, and academic research materials.

‘We lead and influence the conduct of research in First Nations studies – including in ethics, protocols, and collections practices.

‘It is clear that AIATSIS is valued by First Nations peoples across this country, and that they are invested in our work. Donations from First Nations communities steadily pour in to enlarge the collection.

‘And so, in total, this is the work that Ngurra: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct will enhance.

‘AIATSIS is honoured and proud to lead this project forward.’

Mr Ritchie said consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the project’s development will be essential.

‘Ngurra: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct have national significance in the Parliamentary Triangle as speaking to the central place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s story,’ he said.

‘The precinct will include education, exhibition and gallery spaces and a new, fit-for-purpose home for AIATSIS.

‘It will allow us to showcase the work of AIATSIS to the world in new ways, with built-for-purpose facilities.

‘It will be a place for discoveries by the tens of thousands of schoolchildren who visit Canberra each year, eager to learn.

‘These activities support telling the story of the central and enduring place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. A story that is over 65,000 years old.

‘Telling that story is very much at the core of what AIATSIS does. The new facilities offered by the Ngurra: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct will create new opportunities for people to encounter, engage with, and be transformed by that story.’

See more more about the Ngurra project: https://aiatsis.gov.au/ngurra

 

Image from abc.net.au

 

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We’ve made it!

We made it to 2022, but it feels like we just crawled over the line to get here.

Now we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and tread cautiously into the New Year.

The enthusiasm we felt twelve months ago to the day that 2021 was going to be better than the previous year is now a distant memory. We don’t have the same enthusiasm now.

Conversely, we’re somewhat deflated.

COVID is ripping through the community and is doing so because we have a federal government who wasn’t prepared for, or accepted, the consequences.

But we suffer more consequences of an underperforming government than COVID alone. To list them will just be covering old ground. We know what they are, and we have reported them in hundreds of articles throughout the course of the year.

We can venture into 2022 cautiously – as stated above – with the hope that we’ve learnt something from 2021.

We at The AIMN make no apologies for wishing for a change of government in 2022.

A change of government is just one of our wishes. The other is that we wish our readers stay safe and take care in what is likely to be another year of challenges.

From all at The AIMN, have a happy as can be New Year.

 

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Number 1 for 2021: The Morrison government is a sewer

The countdown is over! Number 1 goes to Dr Jennifer Wilson for this article from February 2021 on what would be one of the biggest stories – and one of the biggest scandals – of the year.

Congratulations, Jennifer.

The Morrison government is a sewer

An allegation of the brutal anal rape of a child in 1988 has been made against an un-named minister in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cabinet.

The victim took her own life in June 2020. NSW police have confirmed that a criminal investigation into the allegation dies with the victim.

Despite their knowledge that police will not investigate because the complainant is dead, government ministers and some journalists continue to claim that the matter must be left to the police.

All of them are wrong, according to police.

 

 

Morrison said that he has referred the allegations to police.

Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, yesterday said the accused minister will not be stood aside, and that the matter should be left to police.

(It is puzzling that Birmingham is commenting on this. It would seem to be more appropriately the job of senior lawmaker Attorney-General Christian Porter, who has thus far remained silent.)

On ABC Insiders program this morning, Australian Financial Review journalist Phil Coorey repeated the government line. “This is for the coppers,” he stated, “and it should be for the coppers first and foremost.”

This seems at first blush to be wilful ignorance, gross carelessness, the peddling of misinformation, or an attempt to yet again create and control a narrative that best favours the government.

The accused minister has not come forward to defend himself against the allegations. It is not credible that anyone who is innocent would want to continue public life with accusations such as these left unaddressed, and yet, that appears to be the case.

It is also only a matter of time until the suspect is named. There appears to be no legal requirement to suppress his name, particularly as there will be no trial. He can also be named under parliamentary privilege. It is undoubtedly in the public interest for his name to be released, and were he anyone other than a Liberal cabinet minister, he would not probably not be protected by anonymity. Footballers, for example, are stood aside while allegations of sexual assault are investigated, and they are named. Not so much cabinet ministers, it appears.

It is also remarkable that the accused minister appears to be happy for his cabinet colleagues to be tainted by the rape allegations. As long as we do not know who the minister is, there are around sixteen possibilities in the cabinet. Every time a cabinet minister opens his mouth we can legitimately ask, are you the alleged child rapist? This can’t help but have a destabilising effect on the government, as its already tenuous legitimacy is further eroded by the presence of an anonymous alleged rapist in its highest ranks.

 

 

Then there is the question of national security, a subject close to the hearts of both Morrison, and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, also a cabinet member. In 2017 when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister, he had occasion to warn Christian Porter, prior to making him Attorney-General, that his drinking and his behaviours towards young women were leaving him open to the possibility of compromise, making him a security risk:

“…it is just not acceptable. And he knew that I was considering appointing him attorney general, which of course is the first law officer of the crown, and has a seat on the national security committee, so the risk of compromise is very, very real.”

By the same token, one may conclude that an anonymous cabinet minister who is accused of the brutal anal rape of a child might well be a prime target for blackmail, and is a serious security risk.

Indeed, everyone in the cabinet who is aware of and concealing the alleged rapist’s identity is a security risk, and vulnerable to exploitation.

Is this government even tenable while this matter is “left to the coppers?”

It is alarming that Morrison seems oblivious to the security dangers the situation presents. It’s even more alarming that Morrison seems entirely impervious to the immorality of protecting and hiding an alleged child rapist.

The hideous situation has come to light just days after the government spectacularly failed to cope with the alleged rape of media advisor, Brittany Higgins, in Parliament House just metres from the Prime Minister’s office.

Ms Higgins was left unconscious and half naked by her attacker on Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ couch. This could have cost Ms Higgins her life, as she was inebriated and unable to care for herself. Security guards “checked on” Ms Higgins through the night, but nobody called for medical assistance. At least thirty people, including ministers, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the Prime Minister’s Office most senior staff knew about this “serious incident,” and none of them informed the Prime Minister until two years later.

The Morrison government is a sewer. It is steeped in allegations of rape and sexual assault of the most serious and sickening kind. It is almost certain that Morrison will attempt to brazen out this latest allegation. He will not stand the minister aside, and he will continue to contend that it is a matter for police, in full knowledge that the police cannot pursue criminal charges.

The minister will not be investigated by police. He will not be exonerated. His name will not be cleared. Suspicion will linger over the heads of all male cabinet members, including Scott Morrison, Christian Porter and Peter Dutton.

We should probably assume that being suspected of the anal rape of a child does not necessarily perturb any of them.

While we know not all cabinet ministers are alleged child rapists, we do not know which one is. The Prime Minister is doing everything possible to conceal that knowledge from us.

How good is that?

 

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

 

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Number 2 for 2021: The Day John Lennon Was Shot I Had A Cold Sore So It Was A Bad Day For Both Of Us!

We continue the countdown to our Top 5 most viewed articles in 2021. Number 2 goes to Rossleigh for this article from January 2021. It’s the second year in a row that Rossleigh has taken the Number 2 spot. Maybe next year he’ll have a Number 1.

The Day John Lennon Was Shot I Had A Cold Sore So It Was A Bad Day For Both Of Us!

I remember clearly that the day John Lennon was shot was a pretty bad day for a lot of people. Personally I had a cold sore so it wasn’t flash for me either…

Ok, I know a lot of people will think that I’m drawing an equivalence between the two but I don’t think you should draw that inference. And a number of you probably think I’m making reference to Scott Morrison’s remarks about January 26th not being flash for the convicts that arrived…

Although, now that I think about it, why would arriving in Australia after a long sea voyage be a day that wasn’t good for the convicts? I mean, I’m not saying that life was great for the convicts; I’m just suggesting that it may have been nice for them to actually survive the voyage and disembark but I wasn’t there so I’m only speculating and one shouldn’t speculate about such things unless one is the PM, which I was shocked to discover is short for Prime Minister and not Posing Model!

And speaking of not being flash, I must say that I was particularly shocked that Margaret Court is about to be given a Companion of Australia which is a higher honour than the one she has.

I’m not one of those left-wing people that think she should be excluded because of her views. After all, if we start excluding people from Australia Day honours just because their views are homophobic, racist, fascist, unscientific or ignorant, we’ll end up with a very small honours list indeed.

No, what surprised me was the number of people saying that she was being given it for her tennis! Given that she hasn’t won a grand slam event this century and that she already had a court named after her and the second highest gong, what tennis has she played to deserve an upgrade? I mean I’d not expecting Phar Lap to be named “Horse of the Year” or Bradman to be awarded the Alan Border medal any time soon, so I have to conclude that it’s her work spreading the word of Robert Copeland. (For those unfamiliar with the man, I’ve added a video at the end.) She apparently ordered a series of tapes from the Robert Copeland Ministries and that she wore them out which is a rather silly thing to do because that wouldn’t meet many dress codes. She then ordered a second set and this time she “listened to them until she was established in righteousness.”

So there, she’s established in righteousness, so take that people. When you call her self-righteous, she actually agrees.

Last year we had Bettina Arndt for her services to men and this year we have Court for her service game because what says “Australia” more than the capacity to hit a ball and if that’s not deserving of our highest honour, then what is?

Still, that controversy about changing the date just won’t go away… particularly when various media personalities and politicians start complaining about those suggesting a date change well before anyone has even mentioned it. I had an idea for a compromise this morning, so hear me out before you reject it out of hand.

Keep the date the same, but change the name. Yes, I have suggested calling it Rum Rebellion Day before because that actually occurred on January 26th and who couldn’t celebrate the overthrow of the ruling elite? Others have suggested it be called Invasion Day but that’s just likely to cause division.

No, I’m proposing we simply call it “White Australia Day”, because after all isn’t it actually celebrating the arrival of white people?

Ok, I realise that there may be some echo of the White Australia Policy which would make it seem a little racist, but surely the people who currently insist on keeping the date where it is would have no problem with a little racism. As for the rest of us, at least we’d know that those honouring the day have no doubt what they’re doing!

 

 

But is you want an unedited one:

 

 

 

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Number 3 for 2021: Downfall. Bunker Boy starts his run for the big house.

We continue the countdown to our Top 5 most viewed articles in 2021. Number 3 goes to Grumpy Geezer for this article from November 2020. The article took top spot in 2020’s Top 5, boosted by tens of thousands of views coming from the USA. The momentum didn’t stop there! They also came in their droves in January.

Downfall. Bunker Boy starts his run for the big house.

No grace, no dignity, no humility, no magnanimity, no class, no morals, no empathy, no soul.

He has no friends, not even a dog.

His wife can’t bear his touch, his daughter can’t avoid it.

Devoid of humour he doesn’t make jokes, he doesn’t laugh. Not ever. An occasional dismal rictus, a necrotic gash in his ochre-lacquered face-bladder signifies nothing more than his satisfaction in transacting another con.

He’s a loathsome coagulation of every human failing with no compensating virtues.

A craven coward.

A sociopath.

A serial rapist.

A racist.

A quisling.

An opportunistic grifter.

An inveterate cheat.

A deceitful toad.

A chronic liar.

A shameless braggart.

An ignoramus who lacks curiosity. He doesn’t read, he doesn’t care.

Trump is a ridiculous, combed-over cartoon villain, a deranged clown with a face sprayed the colour of hang-over piss and toilet paper stuck to his shoe whose wits are defeated by an open umbrella. Rake the forests, nuke the hurricanes, inject the bleach, waterbomb Notre Dame cathedral, trade Greenland for Puerto Rico. Trump’s pompous idiocies are exceeded only by his appalling ignorance.

Crediting the British with the foresight to build airstrips in the war of independence 110 years before the Wright Brothers first took flight, revealing the hitherto unknown Himalayan countries of Nipple and Button, accusing Baltic leaders of starting Balkans wars! This clueless buffoon brags that he was able to keep the crayon inside the lines on his dementia test. Accusing Trump of a lack of self-awareness is like accusing Myra Hindley of poor child care standards.

The Grand Fubar of dysfunction, the maestro of petty vindictiveness, of malice and resentful belligerence is testing coup options yet America flatters itself as being “the world’s greatest democracy” much to the bemusement of observers here in Oz. It’s beyond our imagining that we’d ever have a bloated braggart, a liar, a hypocrite, a lazy shirker, a crony-stacking blame shifter at the helm filtering Murdoch’s kidney stones through his teeth while monetising a pandemic for the benefit of rich mates. Oh… what?

Trump, if he’d had the imagination, would’ve considered handing out small-pox infected blankets in Democrat-leaning districts but it’s too late now. A majority of Americans have said enough is enough. After 4 years of what-the-fuck-has-he-done-now, 46,123 tweets and 20,000 documented lies while in office to 9th July 2020 he’s been reduced to pathetic whimperings from his puckered-sphincter pout, playing his invisible accordion to an audience of gormless dullards, fellow hucksters and his retinue of fawning toadies, thralls, invertebrate lickspittles and hangers-on whose fealty is demanded but never reciprocated and who had neither the self-respect nor the courage to call out the capture of the US by an amoral, moronic lunatic.

We cannot know what tipped the scales against Trump.

No lie has been too outrageous, bragging about sexual assault was just locker-room talk, five bankruptcies are apparently indicative of an astute businessman, stealing from a children’s cancer charity is fake news. Being laughed at by foreign leaders – meh, because y’all – “Merica!” Throwing meat to Boogaloos, Proud Boys, Klansmen and Call Of Duty cos-players was addressing his base. Perhaps it was inciting violence from uniformed goon squads sooled onto lawful BLM protesters that crossed the line. Perhaps it was the denigration of war dead and veterans as losers and suckers by a draft-dodging, yellow, mangy dog that did it.

More likely it was 11 million Covid-infected Americans, a quarter of a million who died while the orange blobulator ignored it, denied it, played it down, finger-pointed and then looked for ways to exploit it for his own advantage.

There is no excusing Trump, there is no sympathy that should be wasted on this pathetic parasite. History should not record him as some sort of tragic King Lear but as an effluvium, a discharge from the bowels of a diseased system; a funk that has now been sharted.

He had always exhibited the narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders of a lack of empathy, grandiosity, lying and deceit, indifference to conventional laws or rules or morality that characterise a despot. But he possessed none of the cunning, artifice, commitment to a cause beyond himself, the political skills of a Stalin or the oratory of a Mussolini. He had no ambition beyond the grift and the trappings – palaces awash with potentate kitsch, a yearning for military parades, a pneumatic wife and his narcissistic cult of personality. He has no talent beyond the con, he’s a schmuck with the dumb luck to be born into wealth that mestasised B-grade celebrity into A-grade larceny.

Fittingly, he’s spending his last days shaping his own humiliation. It’s an Armando Iannucci script playing out in real life. If Trump was to be found drooling in a pool of his own piss ala Stalin or dragged Sadam-like from his bolt-hole it would be the most metaphorically noteworthy achievement of his time in office.

Gone too will be his dreadful spawn. Ivanka’s in-it-up-to-her-nose-job reputation may limit her future career prospects to hand-job supervisor at a New York sperm bank while Uday and Qusay* could end up in Ryker’s Island trading sexual favours for lines. Jared Kushner may get a gig at a Madame Tussaud exhibit of automatronic rent boys. Melania, no doubt, would enjoy the embrace of a Justin Trudeau look-alike cabana boy, chuckling at the thought that Trump has only Rudi Guiliani left to go through the pre-nup looking for loopholes.

The end of America’s nightmare is near. However it plays out over the next two months Trump is finished.

The irrelevant man.

A loser.

*Nod to Marina Hyde in the UK Guardian

 

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Number 4 for 2021: Morrison (inadvertently) admits he knew?

We continue the countdown to our Top 5 most viewed articles in 2021. Number 4 goes to Dr Jennifer Wilson for this article from March 2021.

Morrison (inadvertently) admits he knew?

The following information was reported by Channel Nine news on the evening of Friday March 26, and has so far escaped the attention it deserves.

 

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison states in this interview that when Brittany Higgins expressed her intention to resign from the office of Michaelia Cash in January 2021, she was offered the opportunity to speak with him before her allegations of rape by a senior staffer in Parliament House were aired in the media.

“At the time just before she departed she was offered the opportunity to come and speak with me with Minister Cash,” he says.

The Higgins story broke on February 15 2021. Morrison has steadfastly denied that he knew anything about the alleged rape of Ms Higgins until that day.

Ms Higgins left Cash’s office on February 5 2021, ten days before the story broke.

Why would the Prime Minister offer to meet with Ms Higgins prior to her departure from Cash’s office, if, as he has maintained for the last two months and stated several times in Parliament, he knew nothing about the alleged rape until it was aired in the media?

Facing intense questioning on the involvement of his department and himself, Morrison instructed Secretary Phil Gaetjens to conduct an inquiry into when the PMO knew about the alleged rape, and who had been informed. This inquiry has since been halted, though Morrison did not notify Parliament of its cessation, leading the House to believe it was still underway.

Senator Cash has denied that she knew the “full details” of the allegations until Ms Higgins indicated her intention to resign at the end of January.

Why would Cash consider accompanying Ms Higgins to a proposed meeting with the Prime Minister if Cash believed Morrison knew nothing about the alleged rape and indeed, had only just found out herself?

Ms Higgins, by the way, says she was never informed of this invitation from the Prime Minister.

It’s not clear if Cash was ever informed, either.

Morrison has gone to extraordinary lengths to convince Parliament and the general public that he was ignorant of the rape allegations until the story appeared in the media on February 15. He claims his office was unaware until February 12.

In one sentence, the Prime Minister has done irrevocable damage to this narrative. He has also exposed the unreliability of all other accounts that have been tailored to support his own, accounts from ministers, senators, senior public servants and staffers.

Morrison’s one sentence has the power to bring the entire dysfunctional edifice crashing down, if the press gallery will follow it up.

If the Prime Minister didn’t know, why would he extend an offer to meet with Ms Higgins in January?

If the Prime Minister did know, he’s been lying to Parliament and the public.

Either way, he’s a liar.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

 

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Number 5 for 2021: Pentecostalism – The decline, infiltration and fall of Australian Democracy

We begin the countdown to our Top 5 most viewed articles in 2021. Number 5 goes to Steve Davies for this article from February 2020, which narrowly missed out last year coming in at Number 6.

Hardly a week goes by on Twitter where I don’t seen this article being tweeted and its popularity continues to grow.

Pentecostalism – The decline, infiltration and fall of Australian Democracy

There is a strong sentiment that there’s something not right with the Morrison Government. There is also a sentiment something is not right with Prime Minister Morrison’s leadership.

These sentiments and concerns have gradually increased since Morrison’s “miracle” election win in 2019. Broadly speaking, that increase is due to the aggressive and arrogant manner in which this government has pursued its agenda.

As important as they are, set aside the many policy issues for the moment and you are left scratching your head. What is driving this government to behave so aggressively and arrogantly after an election win?

All of these questions, sentiments, views and concerns have increased further due to the reactions of this Prime Minister and that of his government to Australia’s bushfire disasters and its ongoing denial of the global climate crisis.

There have been recurring questions and reports in both the mainstream media and social media concerning Morrison’s religion – Pentecostalism. Some of these reports highlight the secrecy of the Pentacostalism.

“ … it is also a characteristic of Pentecostalism itself. Little more than a century old, this highly distinctive expression of Christianity has flourished in the spiritual marketplace by selling a feel-good message to seekers while keeping the full truth for trusted true believers.”

However, there is actually quite a lot of information that lifts the veil on the nature of Pentecostalism. In particular, the ideas and strategies that drive its ‘influence’ in the world of politics and government.

The conclusion I have come to is that serious questions need to be asked of the Prime Minister and his government.

We, the people, need to demand transparency from government on these issues. Religious influence is one thing. Dominance another.

The conversation that we must have

It is well known that the Christian Right seeks to shape government and society. The question is to what extent is the Australian Government is in the grip of dominionism and Pentecostalism? Arguably you can see this influence in this government’s stance on climate change, social welfare, employment policies, religious freedom and education.

Morrison has made no secret of his religious beliefs and affiliations – Pentacostalism. In addition, there have been questions about the influence of his religion in the press, social media and the wider community. Questions about his religious beliefs and affiliations have been further amplified by his response, as Prime Minister, to the bushfires that have ravaged Australia since September 2019.

What I am writing here is not an attack on the religious freedom of politicians as private citizens. The information I am presenting concerns dominionist strategies associated with the Pentecostalist movement and Christian Right. Strategies intended to shape and dominate governments and societies.

The strategies in question are known as the Seven Mountains Mandate. The Seven mountains mandate has a long history. It is a dominionist strategy for transforming nations and with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The advocates of this strategy have taken to using the term sphere’s of influence rather than mountains. They are doing so to soften the language. Why? To slide under the radar. To minimise resistance.

The marketing and communication is very clever. However, at the end of it the agenda is the same. To conquer the seven mountains to transform nations in the image of a particular brand of Christianity.

 

 

These strategies and their underpinnings raise serious questions concerning the infiltration of Australia’s system of government – the policies it sets and, indeed, its behaviour. Seeking to influence is one thing, seeking to dominate another.

The ideology of dominionism remains a divisive issue within the broader the fundamentalist movement itself. It has been reported that attempts have been made to recast dominionism as a benign influence (to soften the language), in order to deceive people. There is more detailed information in this Church Watch Central article; Is your church part of Houston’s NARpostolic Australian ‘Christian Churches’ (ACC) network?

Church Watch is essentially a religious research group:

“Founded by pastors, elders and members from various denominations around Australia (now with pastoral contributors from around the world), CWC investigates and publishes news on controversies, reports on scandals, resources on discernment and tools to identify cults and sects.”

They state:

“We wish to be factual as we can on Church Watch Central. If there is any information on ChurchWatch Central that you think is not accurate, please contact us at c3churchwatch@hotmail.com. All constructive criticism will be appreciated.”

There has always been tension over the separation of church and state in Australia. In view of the activities of what is broadly coated the Christian Right and the dominionist ideology we need to revisit that issue in 2020 with a particular focus on the degree of infiltration and the influence of the Seven Mountains Mandate on government policy making.

Decline

Between 2010 and 2018 public trust in Australia’s democracy, its institutions and leaders has more than halved. Research undertaken by the Museum of Australian Democracy predicts that:

“By 2025 if nothing is done and current trends continue, fewer than 10 per cent of Australians will trust their politicians and political institutions — resulting in ineffective and illegitimate government, and declining social and economic wellbeing”.

The decline in trust was sparked by conflicts within the Rudd Government. Those conflicts became public and resulted in the removal of the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the installation of Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.

The Liberal Party under Tony Abbott exploited those divisions to win office in 2013. The tactics used by the Liberal Party to gain power emboldened them to aggressively pursue a policy agenda that did not match the promises it made during the election. That resulted in a further decline in public trust.

Due to the falling popularity of the government Tony Abbott was removed from the Prime Ministership. He was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull. Prime Minister Turnbull attempted to shift and soften policy directions. Contrary to expectations within the Liberal Party Turnbull barely won the election. Hence, the seeds of conflict festered and grew within the Turnbull Government.

Conflicts between the extreme right and moderate wings of the Liberal Party resulted in two leadership spills. The eventual result of these leadership spills was the installation of Scott Morrison as Prime Minister on 18 August 2018. Scott Morrison called an election for May 2019 and won with a wafer thin majority.

The Morrison Government has continued with a policy agenda driven by its extreme right. Public disquiet with its policies and approach has grown. The Morrison Government’s weak approach to climate change, coupled with its reaction to the bushfires that have devastated large areas of Australia and have outraged Australians and the world.

Public trust is still at an all time low. The tipping point alluded to by the Museum of Australian Democracy in its December 2018 report Trust and Democracy in Australia remains.

Indeed, we are arguably past the tipping point due to the arrogance shown by the Morrison Government since the last election. An arrogance underlined by the horrific impacts of the bushfires, the government’s refusal to accept the science of climate change and listen to the public.

The gulf between the government and the community is clear – Australia found to be much less divided on need to tackle climate change than US.

Infiltration

The community and media are scratching their heads over the reaction of the Prime Minister and his Government to climate change and the bushfires. This is on top of disquiet over policies as diverse as those associated with financial institutions, Newstart, Aged Care, health and more. Increasingly the sentiment is that we do not have a normal government.

There are also deep concerns over the behaviour of government politicians and, to this day, concerns about the influence of Pentecostalism within the Morrison Government. Concerns about dominionism and the Seven Mountains mandate have been raised some media reports.

An excellent 2011 report by Chrys Stevenson; Is the Australian Christian Lobby dominionist? states:

“They say when the United States sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. And so it is with dominionism. Now an international movement, dominionism is thriving in Australia.

From local parents and citizens associations to regional councils, from our previously secular state schools to state government departments and even within Parliament House, Canberra, this particular clique of evangelical Christian extremists is working quietly but assiduously to tear down the division between church and state, subvert secularism and reclaim this nation for Jesus.

But, is there sufficient evidence to suggest that the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is at the forefront of this ideological holy war? In order to achieve their aim, dominionists plan to infiltrate, influence and eventually take over seven key spheres of society: business, government (including the military and the law), media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion.”

The Seven Mountains Mandate is essentially a Christian Right strategy of political and cultural infiltration and conquest.

The mandate has a long history and is also a means of unifying and growing the Christian Right. Some say, of dominating Christianity itself. The Christian right and neo-conservative politics increasingly work hand in glove. The mandate is a strategic theocratic weapon.

The convergence of interests between the Christian Right and neo-conservatives was reflected in the election of Donald Trump and, indeed, in the election of Scott Morrison.

“The parallels between Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph and Scott Morrison’s “miracle” election win are remarkable. A week on, it’s increasingly apparent this was a Trump-like victory.”

This convergence is so strong that after Scott Morrison’s election victory:

“Some of Australia’s most extreme Christian-right parties have withdrawn from politics, claiming the election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison had rendered them redundant.”

In Australia, as in America, it is evident that:

“Dominionism, like the Christian Right itself, has come a long way from obscure beginnings. What is remarkable today is that the nature of this driving ideology of the Christian Right remains obscure to most of society, most of the time. Dominionism’s proponents and their allies know it takes time to infuse their ideas into the constituencies most likely to be receptive. They also know it is likely—and rightly—to alarm many others.

It is time to ring the alarm bells over the influence of dominionism in Australia and the very real threat it poses to our system of government, democracy and society.

Fall

In a very real sense Australian democracy has already fallen. Public trust in our institutions has collapsed. We have a government that simply does not listen.

We have a government under the influence of a religious ideology that advocates the establishment of a theocracy. Capturing the Government Mountain through “Archangels” is one of the keys to that.

We have a government whose behaviour and actions suggest that it has adopted the strategies and intent of the Seven Mountain Mandate. One indication of that is the Religious Freedom Bill.

One thing is certainly clear in all of this. This government needs to come clean on the influence of this religious ideology on its behaviour, policies and actions.

I will be writing more about these matters in the very near future.

 

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An inquiry into Australia’s regional newspapers

This was sent to The AIMN this afternoon, which may be of interest to some of our readers:

New inquiry: Australia’s regional newspapers

Invitation to make a submission

The Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has commenced a new inquiry into Australia’s regional newspapers (print and digital). Further information about the inquiry, including Terms of Reference and media release, are available at the committee’s website.

The committee is keen to receive the views of the community and stakeholders and invites you or your organisation’s input on the terms of reference. The committee also encourages you to pass this invitation on to any other organisations or individuals that you believe would be interested in making a submission to this inquiry. Further information about the inquiry is available at: https://www.aph.gov.au/Communications.

The closing date for submissions is 28 January 2022. It is preferred that submissions are uploaded electronically, through: www.aph.gov.au/Committee/Submissions.

Once a document is received, the Committee decides whether to accept the document as a submission and publish it on its website. Please note that making a submission constitutes giving evidence and attracts parliamentary privilege. Once you have provided a submission to the Committee you cannot withdraw it or alter it without the Committee’s permission. Prospective submitters are advised that any submission to the Committee’s inquiry must be prepared solely for the inquiry and should not be disclosed to any other person until its publication has been authorised by the Committee.

While the Committee generally prefers that submissions be made public, you may request that part or all of your submission be kept confidential. Any request for confidentiality should include reasons for the request, and be provided in writing for the Committee to consider.

Please refer to the following brochure for helpful information on preparing a submission, including information about parliamentary privilege and requests for confidentiality: www.aph.gov.au/MakeSubmission.

 

 

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Please help this man

Warning of Dangerous Deterioration Following Assange’s Reported Stroke, Doctors Implore Australian Deputy Prime Minister to Intervene

Over 300 doctors from around the world have today written to the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, imploring him to seek Julian Assange’s immediate release from prison in the UK on medical grounds. (Here is the link to the letter.)

The letter begins by commending Joyce for his recent statements calling for the US extradition request against Julian Assange to be dropped. It continues:

“We are concerned that Mr. Assange’s apparent mini stroke [reported in the Daily Mail on 11 December] may be the tip of a medical iceberg. Indeed his symptoms suggest as much. It is therefore imperative that Mr. Assange be released from prison, where his health will otherwise continue to deteriorate and where his complex medical needs cannot be met.” Continued incarceration, the doctors warn, will place Julian Assange’s life at risk.

In appendices to the letter, the doctors have released all former correspondence with the Australian Government – including previously unpublished material – in which they warned of cardiovascular pathology, such as that reported in the Daily Mail.

They write, “perhaps our concerns were previously dismissed by your colleagues as hyperbolic. They are not. On the issue of cardiovascular pathology, we have been proven right. We do not wish to be proven right on the issue of Mr. Assange’s survival.”

The authors note that they had previously cautioned the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, “should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”

In their letter the doctors reject US assurances, accepted by the High Court, that prison conditions in the US would be humane. They note that the US “retains the power to impose Special Administrative Measures on Mr. Assange, and to assign him to ADX Florence, two of the harshest, most brutal prison conditions in the US. Both facilities violate the Convention Against Torture, to which Australia is a party.”

They conclude, “we implore you, as Deputy Prime Minister, to intervene with the UK Government to seek Mr Assange’s immediate release on urgent medical grounds. We reiterate that he is an Australian citizen innocent in the eyes of the law, and guilty of and charged with nothing in the UK.”

 

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NSW, the land of hope, freedom and glory

By Jim McIntosh

Freedom Day has come and gone and the numbers of new COVID-19 infections are rising at a rate that has even NSW government officials concerned, as the newer variant of the virus sweeps through the community. At the time of writing, daily cases are in the two and a half thousands, whereas just a week or so back they were in the low hundreds. A worrying trend by any measure. But, still refusing to reintroduce restrictions, the state government is apparently gambling on the hope that the Omicron variant will be mild enough to keep the health system from being overwhelmed.

That may be a forlorn hope.

Heading into Christmas, several countries in Europe have experienced a rise in hospitalisations and increasing stress for overworked frontline medical staff. The number of new infections, doubling every few days, might be milder; whether or not it actually is a milder strain still remains to be seen. The sheer volume of people who are falling ill is clearly outweighing the optimistic view that the wave of illness can be set aside without the need for restrictions, lockdowns and travel bans. When the inevitable is actually happening right inside your own country, you must act to counter it, even if it might be already too late. It’s either that or face serious political consequences further down the track.

Which brings me back to NSW. Quite recently the health minister Brad Hazzard stated that according to modelling, the state may well have up to 25 thousand new daily cases. Standing behind him as he was saying this was premier Dominick Perrottet. Was that a scowl of disapproval on Dom’s face, as the health minister’s words were spoken? It sure looked like one. Or was the scowl associated with something we’re never to find out – perhaps he had accidentally stepped in something unpleasant. Who knows? But even if the health modelling is out, and numbers don’t quite reach the tens of thousands each day, is the NSW health system prepared to cope with the inevitable increase in illnesses? I’m not saying here that every sick person will wind up in ICU, but hospitalisations are hospitalisations whichever way we’d like to spin it. People who are ill still need beds and still need health care workers to nurse them.

It’s always been apparent and obvious, to me at least, that opening up too soon without retaining other precautions such as masks and distancing was a recipe for an eventual return to more stringent restrictions, sooner or later. Perrottet may think that his hope-filled, glass-half-full approach to the virus and his almost crusading zeal to bring about a free and happy conclusion to two years of COVID-19 misery is the way to go. I have reservations about that, and I’m possibly in reasonably good company.

To me, rather than bringing about a new freedom to the NSW people, it seems more likely that the state government has simply given up and feels it can no longer cope with this health emergency.

 

 

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As a fish rots from the head, so is Australia’s democracy

By Mark Buckley

A lack of accountability, incompetence, corruption, vilification, a shredded social fabric: the Morrison government is perhaps the worst in history.

So the year has crawled to a dingy close. Remember a few short years ago when Australian democracy was seen as having developed a uniquely Australian flavour. We believed in the fair go, we frowned on favouritism, we all had a sort of grudging respect for our leaders but we held them to account.

We definitely had no time for politicians who were in it for the money, or the post-political career. We thought they were on Australia’s side. Well, cast aside any sense of false pride because as the fish rots from the head, so has our form of democracy.

We now have a leader who is regularly described as a noted liar. Our deputy prime minister is a man that even his own party does not respect. He represents nothing that I can identify, beyond advancing his own pay packet. He is apparently afraid of his own backbenchers. The Nationals as a group are reviled everywhere outside their own party room.

The country is standing on the abyss as climate change moves into top gear. Our minister for reducing emissions went to the Glasgow climate summit with the intention of spruiking for the fossil fuel industry, and the prime minister, representing Australia on the world stage, described our contribution to reducing emissions as being “uniquely Australian”. To anyone with half a brain, that meant using the old “the dog ate my homework” excuse, and they then came home and released a brochure which only met 85 per cent of their own target. The other 15 per cent would be provided by Lady Luck.

Most Australians do not read at all because almost a half of them cannot read. That is because successive governments have so robbed the public education system that only those who attend private, heavily subsidised schools can read. Of course, what they read is heavily monocultural. So if you wonder why all the private school boys and girls these days behave like entitled twits, that is why.

Our former education minister, Alan Tudge, had a bee in his bonnet about children questioning the Anzac Day myth. Imagine putting a person in charge of education in this country who believes that history should be taught with an optimistic slant. Cue the Turkish government: it imprisons anyone mentioning the Armenian genocide (1915-16). Or Japan, which denies the use of Korean women as sex slaves during World War II.

Many of our private schools are so-called Christian schools, because our political class is unrepresentative of the population at large, and many of them profess fundamentalist religious beliefs which have nothing to do with the values of our country.

We do not like “bible bashers” or wowsers. We are uncomfortable with people who wear their religiosity like a magic cloak, and I am personally creeped out at the prospect of Scott Morrison laying his hands on me, or any of my fellow citizens, in his inane search for godly connection. I was born once, and baptised once, and that is enough for me.

How did we come to a position where the only item on the national agenda is a religious freedom bill? The only people in Australia with an agenda against the right to practise your personal religion is the Coalition. From Peter Dutton and his African gangs (code for Muslims) to Dutton (again) and his Lebanese-Australians carrying a criminal gene (code for Muslims) to the former education minister (again), who made a call for Australia to mount a “muscular” defence of Western liberal values and an amplification of the values clash narrative, using examples popular with the right such as the prospect of female genital cutting, child marriage and domestic violence. He warned that Australia was veering toward a separatist multicultural model.

Tudge is a family values politician. He is now an ex-minister because his former mistress has accused him of emotional and physical abuse. Which brings us to the thorny question of women.

Morrison and his ministry have constantly sidelined women, and even his female ministers are not safe from Scott. Scott interrupts them, he counsels them, he “‘supports” them, he volunteers them (Gladys Berejiklian for Warringah) and he consults them. Remember his response to Brittany Higgins’ rape allegation. He consulted his wife, who told him to behave like a father. We would prefer he acted like a competent, fully formed human being who has been elected leader of a vibrant nation of men and women.

Of course he has also, aided and abetted by Dutton, vilified China, the Chinese political system and Chinese culture. Seemingly unaware of China’s history or its size and power, he seems to be rattling his tiny sabre and hitching our wagon to the US.

Today we discovered that over the past four years the Coalition has spent three times as much on Liberal electorates, when compared to Labor-held seats. This proves that we should move house if we want some of our taxes to come back to us, or maybe just vote them out.

Which brings us to accountability. No bill has been seen. Morrison blames Labor because he cannot get his own pathetic version of an integrity commission past his own backbenchers. Ask yourself why he won’t legislate a national integrity commission. Ask yourself why he vilifies the NSW ICAC every second day. You know the old saying – if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.

The verdict is that, for me, the Coalition government is the single worst government in living memory, possibly in our history of representative government. From the top to the bottom they shred convention, they outsource our governing functions to multinationals, they have starved our elderly in aged care, they keep the unemployed poverty stricken, they are fanning the flames of conflict with China, they have destroyed our social fabric, and they run kangaroo courts. There’s not a lot to like.

 

This article was originally published on Pearls and Irritations and has been reproduced with permission.

 

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