Australia Day OR Fun With Flags...

Flags are strange things. Or rather, that should be people's attitudes to flags…

Was COVID-19 born in the United States? (part…

Continued from: Of Eugenicists, Oligarchs and Psychopaths (part 18) By Outsider Chapter 5: Was COVID-19 born…

Don't expect leadership from Scott Morrison

"You are only as good as your Cabinet" are words that make…

Seven years later…

The Liberal Party have a very handy page that lists their achievements…

Reading the COVID Fine Print: The Undoing of…

The decision to go ahead with the Australian Open, the first of…

ME-ISM: The cult of the Individual

By Dr Stewart Hase Let me state from the beginning that I am…

Scomo, I thought you said they’d be back…

By Janet Grogan I’m wearing this shirt on behalf of my son and…

Trigger Finger for Armageddon: Trump and the Thermonuclear…

It is the sort of breezy, skimpy and careless reasoning that is…

«
»
Facebook

John has a strong interest in politics, especially the workings of a progressive democracy, together with social justice and the common good. He holds a Diploma in Fine Arts and enjoys portraiture, composing music, and writing poetry and short stories. He is also a keen amateur actor. Before retirement John ran his own advertising marketing business.

Don’t expect leadership from Scott Morrison

“You are only as good as your Cabinet” are words that make you think. For those of my vintage, it suggests a group of people who respect leadership and intelligence with the same broad objectives. Bob Hawke’s first Cabinet was such a group. They were a progressive bunch with the will to take the country forward, and they did so with hard work and diligence.

The Ministry included such luminaries as Hawke, Lionel Bowen, John Button, Paul Keating, Barry Jones, Bill Haydon, Susan Ryan, Mick Young and Gareth Evans.

Of course, talent doesn’t always follow those with degrees. The current Ministry is probably the most educated of all time, whereas the Hawke Cabinets conversely contained a fair few without degrees, other than life experience.

Sure, they had a bit of flair with a touch of Hawke larrikinism. Keating left school at 14, Mick Young worked as a shearer and roustabout, and Peter Walsh was a wheat and sheep farmer.

I mention these fleetingly because I have written in-depth on this subject before. I really wanted to comment on a few LNP politician’s behaviours who don’t represent the parties they stand for and are not representative of any standard of decency expected of our parliamentarians.

Let’s go back to President Trump’s Twitter ban and begin with the response by the climate change fact-denying, bible-bashing absentee George Christensen who believes that free speech that allows for the individual’s right to lie without consequence is a good thing:

“On Sunday, Christensen proposed laws to ‘stop social media platforms from censoring any and all lawful content created by their users’.”

He was, of course, opposing Twitter’s suspension of President Trump. Trump has been very active lately firing out violence-inspiring words. Words like these:

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Trump’s speech was riddled with imagery of warlike-violence and I wonder if Mr Christensen supports this example of ‘free speech.’

The New York Timesreported that:

“Several laws clearly make it a crime to incite a riot or otherwise try to get another person to engage in a violent crime against property or people.”

Again, I wonder what George thinks of that?

Acting Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack has been criticised in the media when his words compared the riots with the recent Black Lives Matter marches.

If hydroxychloroquine-deviates like Christensen and the clearly incompetent McCormack want to express their views in the guise of free speech, it does not mean it should be free from ethics like truth, but people often demand free speech to compensate for the freedom of thought they rarely use.

Christensen and McCormack are but two of one of many in the government with these traits.

I can but humbly conclude that if you agree with Trump’s right to free speech and it contains actions that promote violence, then you must in part at least own a bit of the story.

Scott Ludlum takes a dig:

 

 

Both Christensen and Craig Kelly have also agreed with the President that hydroxychloroquine is an effective coronavirus treatment.

The point here is that Morrison’s Cabinet members and those outside it appear to have carte blanche to say what they want on any subject. Matt Canavan regularly does on energy and climate change as does Kelly. No strong leader would allow it.

Chris Bowen gives the impression he doesn’t think highly of those guys.

 

 

Of course, it must be remembered that the two of them have power over the Government who with a one-seat majority are still vulnerable on the floor of the House. If one of them crossed the floor, their demise could mean life or death for the Government. They know it, as does Morrison.

McCormack said that he did not believe Christensen or Kelly should be criticised for having different opinions. Still, when those opinions aren’t substantiated with facts, they are just baseless crap.

“Facts are sometimes contentious and what you might think is right, somebody else might think is completely untrue … That is part of living in a democratic country,” McCormack said.

The Acting Prime Minister also doubled down on remarks he made comparing the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests to last week’s riot on the Capitol, saying “any form of violence” should be condemned.

McCormack, the acting Prime Minister while Scott Morrison takes a break, was asked whether Donald Trump should be removed from office for inciting the riots:

“It is unfortunate that we have seen the events at the Capitol Hill that we’ve seen in recent days, similar to those race riots that we saw around the country last year,” Mr McCormack told the ABC’s RN program.

In yet another tweet, Josh Frydenberg couldn’t support the Deputy Prime Minister quickly enough.

Tony Windsor also tweeted:

 

 

What is it in the Acting Prime Minister’s innermost thinking that compares a Black Death in custody with a protest by some uninformed “fascists”?

Now let’s move onto the Prime Minister and see how the leader is shaping up at the beginning of 2021.

Thus far, he has refused categorically to tell his backbench to stop spreading misinformation.

However, he tweeted:

 

 

The Australian chimed in:

 

 

On leave, the Prime Minister is quoted as saying that he is hoping for a peaceful transfer of power in the United States.

He criticised the rioters for their “terribly distressing” acts of violence in storming the Capitol building but could not find few condemning words for the President. When he asked the crowd to disperse, Trump’s mixed messages were overlooked when the rioters read between the lines.

Morrison also refused any criticism of others on his backbench (and others) for supporting and promoting unfounded conspiracy theories over the US presidential election results.

Anthony Albanese was direct and blunt in his response, saying the actions of the people involved were those of insurrectionists. In contrast, Malcolm Turnbull said Morrison had been “a bit weak” and “a bit tepid” compared to other world leaders’ condemnation.

So it has to be said that the Prime Minister is carrying a large amount of luggage from one year to the next he is also adding a significant amount into 2021.

2020 was a challenging year, and many societal and economic changes will be thrust on us by COVID-19. The Government is hardly likely to merge the economy with society and bring about a fairer governance system.

Their record whilst in power has been nothing short of deplorable. There are no “Liberals” left to bring about change that in turn would apply equality of opportunity, transparency, and an open government style that governs for all.

No doubt exists in my mind that all the small ‘L’ liberals have gone and we are left with a rabble of conservative, very right-wing Trump-like species who only have feelings for themselves. What’s in it for me?

The LNP is like the GOP. Both have lost the traditional values of at least having a heart. One only has to look at the decline in both their values over the past decade. They have sold them out to the corporations and the extreme right-wing of their parties, in other words, to the highest bidder who gives not a dam for the collective good.

America has proven that it can with the right people overcome the moronic-powerful like Trump, and this year Australia may have the same opportunity with Morrison.

The question is; Does Labor have the right people to do it?

My thought for the day

Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow. It is incumbent on them.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

How to clean up Australian politics

Hidden away in my ‘To read’ file I found a piece written by former Liberal Party leader John Hewson. I shall have to clean my list out more often in the hope of finding more gems. Hewson’s piece is important and I’m not sure how I missed it because I have witnessed him going through a Fraser-like conversion in his approach to politics in the past few years.

The piece was written almost 12 months ago and spoke of a favourite subject of mine: how to clean up our politics to make for a better democracy for all Australians. John Hewson proposes six Rules of engagement.

To make his case, Hewson recalls the time:

“Scott Morrison had his Trump Lite moment when he stared blankly at the Australian people and told them that an internal report – which they were not allowed to see – had found $100 million in sports grants were legitimate. It said much about the lack of transparency that is at the heart Australian politics and its parlous state.”

He goes on to recite other examples of Morrison’s oft-quoted adventures into fooling the Australian people and says that voters are sick to death of it. All of which is true except it doesn’t seem to hurt him in the polls. Even as I write, the public is being tricked into believing that the COVID-19 vaccines only a month ago could not be brought forward, yet now they miraculously can.

Hewson continues:

“The National Party carries on, seeing such programs as slush funds for the Nationals’ interest, not the national interest, blithely disregarding the erosion of their standing in regional Australia. On they go, pushing for the government to fund a new coal-fired power station in North Queensland in defiance of all logic: there is no net demand for electricity in North Queensland; banks won’t fund it; insurers won’t insure it; renewables are cheaper and have significant export potential.”

He notes that this is all to do with how we fund our political parties and who can lobby them in Australia. He also points to the standards and methods parties use to select their MPs and Senators.

“All political parties know these systemic weaknesses but, rather than fix them, and they seek to exploit them.”

Point one, he proposes cleaning up both campaign and party funding:

“While I would prefer to confine donations to individuals, to say $1000, and ban all corporate, union, foreign and institutional donations, I recognise some Constitutional questions. Hence, I recommend, with regret, that all campaigns be publicly funded, with tightened eligibility, and any administrative donations to parties and their affiliates are fully declared, on line, as they are made, and banning all foreign donations.”

The only thing preventing this is the major parties themselves who both have a vested interest in seeing that the status quo remains.

Second, he wants to:

“… make lobbying more transparent. Ministers and key bureaucrats should be subject to full and real-time disclosure of who they meet and when, and to what end.”

Of course, this would add a great deal of openness to how the public understands their representatives spending their time. Appointments should be fundamental to any MPs’ diary. It wouldn’t be hard to display a list of meetings/appointments daily and in real-time.

Thirdly, Dr Hewson says we should:

“… introduce truth-in-advertising legislation to politics. It would be independently monitored and enforced, with a limit on campaign advertising spending.”

Again, not challenging to monitor. The amount of money spent on government advertising in the guise of information when it is nothing more than political propaganda. This also to party advertising during elections where the truth seems to be ignored completely.

Fourth:

“… introduce legislation to identify and penalise false, deceptive, and misleading conduct, as is done in business. Politicians need to be held accountable for what they say, promise and do.”

The Prime Minister and many of his cabinet are an example of what Dr Hewson is suggesting here. The pace at which they speak. The half-truths-lies by omission and full-on lies are just calculated to mislead the public on the true meaning of the words they use. The voter doesn’t need to be lied to at all, let alone at the Coalition rate.

Fifth:

“… set independent standards for those who stand for election. The parties would still vet and verify their candidates – their CVs and their citizenship – but they would also be accountable for lapses and subject to penalties.”

Hewson again is correct. As a Coalition, the standard or intellectual quality of its MPs is nothing short of deplorable. People like Christensen, Kelly, Canavan, McCormack, Price, Robert and others would be passed over in private enterprise for a job of a similar standard.

And sixth, Dr Hewson recommends:

“… a fully-funded Independent Commission Against Corruption to oversee all activities of our politicians, bureaucrats and federal government, with the capacity to receive anonymous references, and with defined links to the Australian Federal Police for prosecution.”

Being elected to politics is not a ticket to put your snout in the funding trough.”

Such a body wouldn’t be necessary if politicians were honest, but they aren’t. However, the problem is that the party with the most corrupt offences is expected to write the legislation.

As justifiable as Dr Hewson’s six points may be l would, if reshaping our democracy is the purpose, treat his suggestions as the first salvo in a more significant reconstruction.

There still remain the questions of what sort of democracy we want to be and how far we are prepared to go to achieve it.

Nothing goes on forever without some form of repair work so we could start with the Constitution. What about Question Time and states’ rights? Then we might have another look at becoming a republic. And of course, the recognition of our First Nations People in the Constitution.

What about the voting system? Is it fair? What about the breakdown in the conventions and institutional arrangements of our democracy that Tony Abbott wrecked?

The reader might like to add to my list.

There was a time when we trusted our politicians to do the right thing while we got on with life. It was a time when politics was a principled occupation. Those times are long past.

My thought for the day

Debate is not of necessity about winning or taking down one’s opponent. It is an exchange of facts, ideas and principles. Or in its purest form, it is simply the art of persuasion.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

The baggage the Morrison government has lugged from one year to the next means that 2021 will be a hard slog

At this time last year, I wrote a four-part series about the Morrison government titled The luggage they have carried from one year to the next means 2020 will be a hard slog.

In Part 1, my focus, in the main, was on global warming and the lies being told to justify the Government’s denial of the problem. The Government’s vetoes have been with us for over a decade now. It is difficult to comprehend how educated men and women can be stupid enough to allow such a catastrophe to occur when it is in their power to do something about it.

In Part 2, I concentrated on a return to trust and transparency in our governance.

In Part 3, I talked about the lack of leadership in our country, and in Part 4, I presented the actual baggage list, with my observations centred on the Government’s problems it would carry with it into 2020.

So out of curiosity, I thought I would take a close look at those leftover remnants of 2019 to see how they ended up; how much was forwarded to 2020, what entered the list in 2020 and carried over to 2021. So here we go.

1 A continuing problem with global warming, which the Government continues to ignore (will be carried over as baggage into 2021).

2 There’s this problem which we can also expect to be carried over into 2021:

“One-third of Australia’s largest companies paid no corporate tax last year despite the total tax take increasing by more than $6.6 billion.”

3 Wage theft had become a big problem in for the Government in 2019 as accusations were being made from month to month. Ditto in 2020. Can expect another ditto in 2021.

4 Julian Burnside in The Saturday Paper (21/12/19) on The Secret Trial of Witness J:

“The underlying criminal case against Witness J remains a mystery to the public. In the Senate on November 28, 2019, the minister representing Attorney-General Christian Porter refused to provide any details about the case. That witness J was charged in secrecy is scandalous in a country that purports to be a democracy. It is also a serious warning to all of us, raising the risk that Australia is quietly becoming authoritarian.”

The two men involved should be treated as heroes, not criminals.

In 2020 whistle-blowers are still being persecuted. Don’t expect the government to change its stance in 2021.

5 Didn’t the Prime Minister promise a form of federal ICAC as part of his election campaign? Whatever happened to it? This has been going on for two years now. A draft was presented to the Parliament and outright rejected. The first and most business a national corruption body would attract would come from the Coalition itself so one would hardly expect them to hurry. (No clear outcome. Can forward this to 2021 as well).

6 The election 2019 narrative of “jobs and growth” seems to have dropped by the wayside now that the unemployment figures are rising. With school leavers about to hit the jobs market unemployment will be a pain in the Government’s backside this year. (Compromised by COVID-19. No clear plans outlined so we can comfortably carry this one to 2021 as well).

7 The issue of political donations won’t bury its head in the sand. A shake-up of political donation laws is well overdue, including real-time disclosures. This has been an ongoing problem for a decade or more, forwarded to 2021, where another controversy awaits.

8 A senate enquiry into how Question Time could be improved has never been started. Why? (Forwarded to 2021).

9 Will 2020 disclose just what the secret deal was with Jacqui Lambie to repeal Medevac? Lambie is still silent and Morrison is saying there was no secret deal. (Adding into the growing list in 2021).

10 Economic experts were saying that the Government would have to write down the value of the National Broadband Network. (Still no outcome. Move to 2021).

The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow.

11 Did you know that 2020 would, for some asylum seekers, be the beginning of year 7 of their incarceration for not even having committed a crime?

The Government does not indicate when this unfair and vile treatment will end. (Forward to 2021 horror treatment list).

12 Angus Taylor carries so much baggage that it’s hard to imagine him being off any list. Energy and climate change are the two main ones. (Forward to 2021 list). Let me remind you that we don’t yet have a formal energy or climate change policies.

* * * * *

The lack of funding for the NDIS will continue to be a thorn in the Government’s side as will the stench of its failure with Robodebt and the suicides it caused. You can expect more agitation from our First Nations peoples over The Uluru Statement and #BlackLivesMatter. But water theft will be forgotten unless there is a change in Government. The Cashless Welfare Card will also take prominence this year. New ideas will not arise until the next election. These will all remain on the 2021 list with varying degrees of importance.

What else of importance will fasten itself to this list in 2021? In what I am tipping as an election year climate change will secure itself more securely now that the latest survey finds 75% support for setting net-zero by 2030 target for emissions, and 81% support for net-zero by 2050.

Damaged relations with China and our region is such a hot topic that it will unavoidably find itself on the list.

Jumping onto the list will be aged care for which the Morrison Government is responsible. And of course the resulting deaths of COVID-19 in aged care facilities. Sports rorts – which I hadn’t included last year – may again rear its ugly head. Bush fires might drop a rung or two but remain in the public eye because of Morrison’s inept handling of the NSW and Victorian fires this time last year.

Wage stagnation, and attacks on welfare for the poor and vulnerable will also feature (as they do under any Coalition government).

A fence-sitter well my be Kevin Rudd’s ‘forced’ Senate inquiry into Rupert Murdoch’s political influence in Australia.

The pandemic and the economy have become intertwined, making it more challenging but not impossible to address all of these issues at once. However, it may take a Cabinet more blessed with talent than this one.

As I said in 2020:

“In Scott Morrison’s Australia, everyday citizens are not supposed to protest those things we know to be unfair. The things we know to be wrong. We are not supposed to object when the Government doesn’t meet our expectations. Workers cannot strike for better conditions.

Nor are we supposed to protest our inability to see or obtain information about the workings of Government.

Free speech is in rapid decline. People who report government wrongdoing are ostracised, and worst of all, government propaganda is seeking to change the way we think.

The absence of empathy is being replaced with narcissistic self-importance.

The Coalition contains some of the most outstanding liars, propagandists and hypocrites our Parliament has ever seen, including the Prime Minister. Is it possible the punters might, in 2021, see through them?”

What has changed? Nothing.

My thought for the day

Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politicians whose first interest was the peoples’ and not their own.

Eg:

  • Wage stagnation.
  • Massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Australians and foreign corporations.
  • Attempts to undermine Medicare.
  • More expensive university degrees.
  • Shrinking homeownership.
  • The everyday cost of living up.
  • Higher debt.

 

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

The last words on Trump, hopefully

Goodness knows how many words I have written about this man. I want to think it is my last, but I’m not confident.

74,222,957 Americans voted for Donald Trump in the recent election. 46.8% of them don’t hold the President responsible for any of his mistakes. They see no wrong in his most vile acts. It is these people that have the secret to the why of it. Why are so many people dissatisfied with their lot in the land of milk and honey?

No doubt there are many factors like inequality, jobs and many others. Still, in this piece, I want to concentrate on my thoughts on Donald Trump’s Presidency and what he has done and how he has impregnated his worshipers with the same vile hatreds. In part, the why of it can be explained by what I call the “if it’s okay for them” rule.

Suppose my government or its leader demonstrates that it’s fair to act in a certain way then it is okay for me to follow suit. When America’s most privileged and powerful break the rules of accountability with impunity, the less well-off act with the same impunity, albeit the destruction of property or other violent actions.

Remember back in 2008 when:

“Wall Street nearly destroyed the economy. The Street got bailed out while millions of Americans lost their jobs, savings, and homes. Yet no major Wall Street executive ever went to jail.

In more recent years, top executives of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, along with the members of the Sackler family that own it, knew the dangers of OxyContin but did nothing. Executives at Wells Fargo Bank pushed bank employees to defraud customers. Executives at Boeing hid the results of tests showing its 737 Max Jetliner was unsafe. Police chiefs across America looked the other way as police under their command repeatedly killed innocent Black Americans.”

Nothing has been fixed. It all continues to happen, and the disenfranchised respond accordingly. If it is okay for our leaders to break the rules, then it’s okay for me to respond in kind.

Trump became President thinking that no law was too rigid for him to break thus setting an example for the entire population. He, over four years, became a threat to American democracy itself. “IF THEY CAN DO IT, WHY CAN’T WE?”

He told the people that the Presidency gave him the power to:

“… dig up dirt on political rivals, fire inspectors general who find corruption, order the entire executive branch to refuse congressional subpoenas, flood the Internet with fake information about his opponents, refuse to release his tax returns, accuse the press of being “fake media” and “enemies of the people”, and make money off his presidency.”

He was a President who lied without conscience about the election result insisting he had won when the evidence insisted Biden had. And of course, he had.

At the dawn of his exit, he has misused his Presidential pardons to the point of corrupting them. They are typically used as a pardon for possible wrong sentence, good conduct or the grace of forgiveness.

Those pardoned include:

“… aides convicted of lying to the FBI and threatening potential witnesses in order to protect him; his son-in-law’s father, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, witness tampering, illegal campaign contributions, and lying to the Federal Election Commission; Blackwater security guards convicted of murdering Iraqi civilians, including women and children; border patrol agents convicted of assaulting or shooting unarmed suspects; and Republican lawmakers and their aides found guilty of fraud, obstruction of justice and campaign finance violations.”

Trump has not only deemed the crimes of those he has pardoned as unaccountable actions but also demeaned the courts that convicted them.

The problem here is societies’ willingness to accept his actions as standard, of somehow condoning actions that a mere decade ago might have condemned.

Other than saying the man was a sociopath, the why of it is not easily explained. If nobody is held accountable in a democratic society, norms collapse, and society’s very fabric decays with it.

History shows us that no former President has been convicted of ever having committed a crime. Perhaps this speaks volumes for the system. When Trump’s presidency is finally finished, and the last of his vilest words escape his tongue, he may very well face a barrage of lawsuits, but it is doubtful that he will serve time.

He will probably, almost certainly present himself with Presidential immunity or a self-pardon that will protect him.

One would think that the slightest hint of a criminal trial against the former President might see a partisan uprising across the states.

All this, of course, brings into perspective the power of future presidents. Congress might seek to make it tougher to break the rules. Trump will probably get away with all the mayhem he has created, including a new way of doing politics. Robert Reich writing for The Guardian, puts it this way:

“Congress may try to limit the power of future presidents – strengthening congressional oversight, fortifying the independence of inspectors general, demanding more financial disclosure, increasing penalties on presidential aides who break laws, restricting the pardon process, and so on.

But Congress – a co-equal branch of government under the constitution – cannot rein in rogue presidents. And the courts don’t want to weigh in on political questions.

The appalling reality is that Trump may get away with it. And in getting away with it he will have changed and degraded the norms governing American presidents. The giant windows he’s broken are invitations to a future president to break even more.”

America faces, whether they like it or not, the startling reality that Trump will get away with breaking many laws and degrading the norms of American democracy and decency.

Those who voted for Joe Biden voted for a return to normalcy whilst those who voted for Donald Trump voted for a continuance of his brand of hate-filled politics.

Democrats need to sort out the why of it if they want to return to a typical America. In the next four years, they will need to discover the answer to my question, address it and gain another term with control of both houses and set an agenda that will make America great again.

My thought for the day

If we are to save our democracy, we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should be transparent and tell the truth.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

 

Pathetic leadership = pathetic policy = pathetic cabinet = pathetic governance

Is it just a rumour or another timely deflection? Ambassador to the USA, Arthur Sinodinos was rumoured to be ill and would be replaced by a cabinet minister. However, he ruled out any shock early departure, saying he is well.

Another rumour suggested Marise Payne would take up the post. Yet another had Peter Dutton a laydown certainty of being the next Defence Minister. Nevertheless, all rumours aside when one has a pool with such little talent, what does one do?

One rumour on news.com said that Josh Frydenberg organised a women-only dinner with the Prime Minister to praise the work of Senator Reynolds.

When rumours of cabinet reshuffles are imminent, the grapevine becomes alive to the whispers of the political insiders.

So, let us take a look at the current Ministry, analyse the performance of the incumbent Ministers and throw in the changes.

Ministry List

The 46th Parliament Morrison’s second Cabinet.

They are updated after reshuffle made on 18 December 2020. My comments about each are in italics.

Prime Minister and Minister for the Public Service

The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Robodebt had Scott Morrison’s name written all over it when he was the Social Services Minister, and it followed him into Treasury and then the Prime Minister’s Department. Over 2030 people committed suicide because of Robodebt. It also cost the taxpayer $1.2 billion to settle the problem.

The same goes for Aged care. Seven hundred older adults died of COVID-19 because the Prime Minister turned his back on numerous reports demanding action.

It is now known beyond doubt that he took part in the distribution of the Sportsrorts funding.

That he is a liar is beyond doubt. Any honourable man would have resigned.

He alone as leader is responsible for all the irrational decisions, and the corruption that stems from them.

His greatest crime, of course, like leaders before him, is being unable to convince his party that Climate Change is real and requires immediate attention.

An ICAC candidate if ever there was one.

Minister for Indigenous Australians

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP

Retains his portfolio, but he will never achieve a mention in the constitution for our First Nations People. I think the “know your place” rule applies here. In other words, they will never become equal. He is a good man for a good cause but a member of the wrong party.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts

The Hon Michael McCormack MP

How this gay-hating individual ever became the leader of his party let alone Deputy Prime Minister is beyond my comprehension. He has also called for the return of caning in high schools. He has also dismissed climate change as the concerns of “raving inner-city lefties.”

Minister for Agriculture, Drought, and Emergency Management

The Hon David Littleproud MP

A trier at best. Still has a family water problem. Ambition to be the leader of his party (or is that just a rumour?).

Minister for Education and Youth

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Wikipedia records that:

In March 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ordered that an Afghan asylum seeker who had previously been a part of the Afghan National Army be granted a temporary protection visa. Tudge, who was Acting Immigration Minister at the time,[instantly appealed the judgement of the AAT to federal court, which failed. However, during the 6-day appeal process, the asylum seeker had been kept in the detention centre. Six months later, the Federal Court found that Tudge “engaged in conduct which can only be described as criminal,” and that Tudge had deprived the asylum seeker of his liberty, which has prompted calls for his resignation.

“In the ABC Four Corners episode broadcast on 9 November 2020, former Tudge staffer Rachelle Miller revealed that she and Tudge had engaged in an affair. A moderate Liberal Party member, Miller described Tudge’s opposition to same-sex marriage (based on his support for “traditional” marriage) is hypocrisy.”

A decade ago he would have been sacked for having an affair. Now there is no accountability.

Treasurer

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

Yet to prove himself in the court of public opinion.

Minister for Finance

(Vice-President of the Executive Council)

(Leader of the Government in the Senate)

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Steady as she goes. Doesn’t seem to stay in a ministry long enough to make a mark.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Kept her job despite persistent murmurs of underperformance and incompetence.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment (Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate)

The Hon Daniel Tehan MP

A big promotion given our relationship with China, which has the fragility of a bull in a china shop. Is he up to it?

Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Leader of the House

The Hon Christian Porter MP

A womaniser who is lucky to have retained his job after recent flirtations. You could also add to his titles the Minister for Never Allowing a National anti-Corruption Body.

From Wikipedia:

“On 20 September 2015, Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull announced that Porter would replace Scott Morrison as Social Services Minister as part of a Cabinet overhaul.

In 2016, Centrelink, operating under Porter’s senior oversight as Social Services Minister, became involved in a debt recovery controversy. Despite heightened media interest and complaints, after meeting with the Department of Human Services, Porter stated that the program was working “incredibly well”. The program was later subject to a Senate committee inquiry, and the program was estimated to be responsible for over 2000 deaths.”

An ICAC candidate if ever there was one.

Minister for Health and Aged Care.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

The workaholic who is good at making announcements about new medicines. Has inherited most of the Aged Care ministry from Richard Colbeck who could not count the dead from COVID-19. Brilliant liar when Environment Minister.

Wikipedia reminds us that:

“In June 2017 Hunt, Michael Sukkar and Alan Tudge faced the possibility of being prosecuted for contempt of court after they made public statements criticising the sentencing decisions of two senior judges while the government was awaiting their ruling on a related appeal. They avoided prosecution by, eventually, making an unconditional apology to the Victorian Court of Appeal.”

Minister for Home Affairs

The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Probably the most disliked Minister of all. Showed a distinct lack of judgment in thinking he was prime ministerial material.

An ICAC candidate if ever there was one.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Paul Fletcher was Urban Infrastructure Minister at the time of dodgy land deals worth $30Million at Western Sydney airport. The purchaser was a Liberal Party Donor. Pub test anyone.

Another ICAC candidate if ever there was one.

Minister for Education and Youth

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

He is just getting over a messy affair with former advisor Rachelle Miller.

“A former adviser to Population Minister Alan Tudge has lodged a formal complaint that alleges he engaged in workplace bullying and intimidation that left her “anxious and afraid” in a system that failed to support her and other staff.”

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business and (Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate)

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

In October 2017, the Australian Workers’ Union offices were raided by the Australian Federal Police, and media were tipped off before the event. Cash denied it was her office. She misled the parliament in doing so and should have been sacked for that alone.

Yep. Yet another ICAC candidate.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

The Hon Karen Andrews MP

There were no misdemeanours that could be found.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia

The Hon Keith Pitt MP

Another one were no misdemeanours that could be found.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

The Hon Angus Taylor MP

Where does one start with this individual? Controversy seems to follow him like a bad smell. Senator Penny Wong, the Labor leader in the Senate, said:

“I do not think there has been a climate minister, energy minister who has been more anti-renewable than Angus Taylor.”

His emphasis has always been on emphasis on reducing the cost of energy rather than reducing energy.

Taylor was accused of using $80 million of taxpayers’ money to buy water licences from two Queensland properties owned by Eastern Australia Agriculture (EAA). Taylor was a director of EAA, though resigned from his position in November 2009

October 2019, Taylor was said to be repeating misleading claims about the previous Labor government’s poor record on carbon emissions.

In July 2019 “An investigation into illegal land clearing against a company part-owned by the family of federal minister Angus Taylor.”

In October 2019, Taylor was accused of having “forged” a City of Sydney Council document and providing that document to The Daily Telegraph. The incident stemmed from a letter the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore wrote to the Minister, asking him to declare “a climate emergency.” In his reply to her, Taylor criticised her own department’s travel – claiming that the City of Sydney Council spent $15.9 million on travel for the 2017-18 period, which he attributed to an annual report document available on the council’s website.

When one looks at his ministerial record it hard to imagine how on earth, he is still a minister. An ICAC candidate if ever there was one.

Minister for the Environment

The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Came back into Ministry after serving time for misusing parliamentary expenses.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Ms Ley’s replacements in the health, aged care and sport portfolios would be announced next week.”

She was using the flights to negotiate her property investments.

Another one for the ICAC.

Minister for Defence

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Despite the rumours, she has held onto her Ministry. Journalists had formed the view that she was unqualified for such a significant portfolio.

Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel

The Hon Darren Chester MP

Chester is one of the few honest politicians left in the Coalition (and not because he is in the electorate of Gippsland where I reside).

Minister for Families and Social Services

(Manager of Government Business in the Senate)

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

There were no misdemeanours that could be found.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance SchemeMinister for Government Services

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Both he and the Prime Minister attend the same church and are personal friends. He has a list of controversies as long as one’s arm that genuinely make him unfit to be a minister. This article provides the truth of his misdemeanours.

Outer Ministry

Because this piece addresses significant decision-makers in the government l have left the Outer Ministry off the list in order to concentrate on the Ministry’s themselves.

Notwithstanding that, it is beneficial to mention some names which would prevent decent policy decisions. Names like Moylan, Canavan, Christensen, Joyce and Kelly, who are questionable in terms of intelligence, and have far too much influence.

People such as these are nothing more than enemies of progress.

I contend that my comments are a reminder of just how poorly equipped the Coalition is to make decisions that effect this great nation and its future..

Hardly any of the personal listed are qualified for the positions they hold. Particularly the Prime Minister.

My thought for the day

I feel people on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have hate on their lips, and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

How come a pathetic government leads in the polls?

“How come?” with almost three terms of pathetic governance is the Morrison government able to maintain such a lead in the polls?

On this very subject, I posted When ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word in which I wrote:

“… leaves me with the most puzzling of questions. That being, that at the end of their third term in office, the government will have served close to nine years with three prime ministers. During that time, they have committed numerous severe misdemeanours, including the rejection of climate change. The current prime minister has a list as long as the Flemington straight. So how come his popularity sits at 68 per cent?”

The “How come?” question is a perplexing one that leads to many others.

1 Is it because the people always look to its government in times of crisis for protection and leadership? History proves this to be so.

In Australia Scott Morrison, despite a holiday in Hawaii while parts of the country were going up in flames, became more popular when he gave the COVID-19 virus more of his attention. This is not a phenomenon confined to Australia.

“Leaders of wildly varying characters presiding over differing responses to the pandemic are seeing a similar coronavirus popularity dividend. Emmanuel Macron has become better regarded among the French. Germans are more appreciative of Angela Merkel. Despite the grim state of affairs in Italy, Giuseppe Conte, the leader of its strange coalition government, has seen his approval rating leap from 44% in February to more than 70%. Donald “it’s going to disappear” Trump’s sensationally reckless responses to the crisis have been accompanied by a rise in his ratings. Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, has never been more popular.”

During times of crisis, people seem to entrench the leadership they have. However, this only goes some way to explaining the popularity of our Prime Minister. One would have thought that the electorate would have also recognised his contradictions and what he was responsible for. Deaths in Aged care, for example.

2 Might it be that Scott Morrison is a consummate politician? In my view, he has “believability” even when telling the most outrageous lies. When questioned about his lies, he shows the right amount of chutzpah. “What! You don’t believe me?” He is forever confident, (thinks he) knows everything and talks like a machine. He is a “move on politician”, meaning he doesn’t allow mistakes or being found out to linger. He moves on as though nothing happened.

“The Prime Minister has brushed off his failure to gain a speaking role at the Glasgow global warming summit as inconsequential. But the reality is that the Prime Minister and his government continue to fail us.”

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.

3 Perhaps the people actually believe all the lies Morrison and his ministers tell. When Morrison tells straight out verifiable lies like meeting our carbon emissions in a canter and omits to say that it wouldn’t happen if we couldn’t use our carbon credits, he sounds – to too many people – believable and credible.

Have we reached the point in politics where truth is something that politicians have persuaded us to believe, “Like alternative facts” rather than truth based on factual evidence, arguments and assertions?

4 Another reason might be that all the propaganda by the Murdoch press over the years has worked. Murdoch media has been doing Labor over for so long in saying the big lie that; “They are bad managers of the economy” that it has become engrained in Australian polity. The Liberal Party, in unison with the Murdoch media, are the masters of the scare.

On the latter, in April last year I wrote about Coalition scare campaigns.

“As is my usual practice, I gather all my information and peruse it before beginning.

I always do a search on Google looking for facts to support my argument and for anything that might complement my own thoughts, or indeed, correct them.

In this instance, I typed in “scare campaigns of the Liberal Party”, and I was not surprised to find that the first three pages were full of links to [verifiable articles written] about Coalition scare campaigns.”

I wanted to show that the Coaltion are the masters of a scare. I also draw from a piece I wrote in 2016 (albeit rehashed).

We live in a time where horrible things are being perpetrated on us. The shame is that we have normalised them and adjusted accordingly.

5Character assassination techniques do not need to be true:

” ‘Mud sticks’ as they say, and an accusation of wrong-doing is enough to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of others – witch-hunts, both ancient and modern use such methods.”

Just ask Julia Gillard!

Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct. It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of politics. But unexpected moments can sometimes reveal the fibres from which it is woven.

6 The people reject Labor on the assumption that Albanese won’t make a leader yet he is arguably the most squeaky clean politician in the parliament.

In the recipe of good leadership, there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It, however, ranks far below getting things done for the common good.

In 2019 it was evident that Bill Shorten ran a good campaign with progressive policy and looked the winner. However, Morrison won because a) he showed a confident manner, he lied about anything he could get away with, and b) mainly because people had their doubts about Shorten. Although Morrison hadn’t been in the job for long, he was well-known. He had been Immigration Minister, Social Services Minister then Treasurer and finally Prime Minister. Shorten was merely a trade unionist with a shady past, apparently.

As for the Prime Minister, in the last Essential survey for the year:

“Morrison ends 2020 comfortably ahead of his opponent as better prime minister 50% to 24%. Still, the prime minister’s standing on that measure dropped three points in a month, with more voters moving to the ‘don’t know’ column (26%). The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three points.”

It needs to be remembered, in Albanese’s defence that it is difficult for any opposition to get a word in at the best of times, but during a worldwide corona crisis, it’s almost impossible.

The answer to the question I pose; “How come?” lays somewhere in the supplementary questions. Or even in a combination of two or all. However, the reader might have other ideas on why the left is so often defeated by mediocracy.

My thought for the day

I found it impossible to imagine that the Australian people could be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that had performed so miserably in the first two. And to think that it has amongst its members some of the most devious, suspicious and corrupt men and women but they did.

 

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

A considered reflection

‘Reflection’ is a marvellous word. It means to contemplate or give serious consideration to something.

That’s the reason I’m not talking about politics specifically in this piece. You see, I have been reflecting, considering as to why I do this, what’s the purpose of it.

Am I faithful to my political philosophy? The reassurance of what shaped it? That I am loyal to it? Sometimes in the daily grind of it, one is apt to forget the reason, the point, the why of what you do.

Why do I persist when confronted with the abuse the feral nutters (licenced by social media) dish out? The nonsense they spew forth in the absence of considered thought. I persist because I am firm in the belief that our present government is corrupt.

Is it all worthwhile? Other writers at The AIMN, I feel would attest to the time it takes to pull an article together. The challenges of being factual, of lifting one’s mind above the emotion of it all and at other times letting it have its way. At times it can be agonising. And of course, the endless challenge of getting a sentence to say what you want it to.

Many questions arise for the author. Am I objective or just biased? Is what I have written accurate and fair even when all you want is to throw shit because you are offended? Does it conform to The AIM and the editor’s standards?

So, to pause now and then to question oneself is a good thing. I started writing for The AIMN and on Facebook in 2013 and have enjoyed, by my standards at least, some success. I don’t profess any ownership of self-righteousness.

What I know is only surpassed by what I don’t. I am certainly of the left but believe that in a democracy we should never be foolish enough to feel our opponents should never win.

Central to my life experience is that the left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is more concerned with those who can.

But central to the purpose of my lingering reflection is also to think about those who take the time – or to put it another way – to make us worthy of their time by reading whatever it is our minds dictate to our keyboards.

A homeless man in Sydney messaged me to remind me of “how important it was for me to post my work in text form” on Facebook because it’s the only way he could get it on his phone and he looked forward to it every day.

Another lady wrote of how much she enjoyed my daily thoughts. Others do so, and they are the reassurance one craves to go the distance. I have given the reader those who value my words the truth of what l write.

I hope they go some way toward explaining even convincing the reader that there are better ways of doing politics.

 

 

My thought for the day

The pedlars of verbal violence and dishonesty are the most vigorous defenders of free speech because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy. With the use of free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers seek to influence those in the community who are susceptible or like-minded.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

My view of the year that was: A year of scandal and corruption

Continued from My view of the year that was (part 2)

The latter half of 2020 saw Australia as one of the leading countries in the world with its COVID-19 interventions, although the federal government always had its eyes on economics before people, it was the states that led the way. Victoria experienced a second wave, but with strong leadership from Premier Daniel Andrews, it gradually whittled down what was a horrendous list of casualties to none in over 30 days.

The Murdoch news media began a character assassination of the premier that was relentless. It was supported by the Victorian opposition leader who was more of a hindrance than a help in reducing the list of COVID-19 cases. Eventually, the premier overcame his distracters, and as a consequence, was praised for his leadership.

In July, I wrote a piece that was a record of my personal experience of the virus and my family. I make no apologies for its title: “You bastards,” I thought to myself. I wrote that:

“The waiting itself is like a custodial, totality severe sentence. Hour after hour ticks by as your thoughts imagine the worst. The tyranny of distance and a parental need to action is unbearable, overwhelming in its desire to help.”

I followed this up with From Abbott to Morrison: By God you need patience in which I talked about the dysfunctional government and how much patience was required if one was to have any confidence in conservative governments ever reversing their incompetence.

“In short, they had behaved criminally. I recall thinking at the time that if a hopelessly dysfunctional government can have a Royal Commission into alleged corruption in the Union Movement, why can it not have one into our financial institutions?

Well, you all know what happened after that. The government relentlessly resisted a financial services Royal Commission until the scandal became more significant than Ben Hur and the chariots of fire were let loose.”

As the months passed by the American elections – due in November – came closer and Trump became more desperate and erratic. He contacted the coronavirus, entered a hospital, and miraculously a few days later was cured. Many thought it was a stunt, as the polls had Biden well ahead. The election confirmed their predictions. The world sighed in relief at his loss, but Trump was far from convinced.

Speaking at a book launch of A long view from the left written by a former footballing friend Max Odgen, Bill Kelty raises the question “How come?” Trump wins so many states without a health policy, without a superannuation policy or a minimum wage. It is a question I have also posed in the context of Australia this year on many occasions.

“How come?” with almost nine years of pathetic governance is the Morrison government able to maintain such a lead in the polls.

On this very subject, I posted When ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word in which I wrote:

“Which of course leaves me with the most puzzling of questions. “That being, that at the end of their third term in office, the government will have served close to nine years with three prime ministers. During that time, they have committed numerous severe misdemeanours, including the rejection of climate change. The current prime minister has a list as long as the Flemington straight. So how come his popularity sits at 68 per cent?”

I followed this up with A damming report on aged care that the government cannot ignore and I wrote that:

“The COVID-19 deaths in our aged care institutions have revealed the dereliction of duty by the federal government. It is the federal government, which is ultimately responsible for setting the standards for their care. This failure, however, is not a recent phenomenon. The Interim Report into Aged Care Quality and Safety released late last year was also damning for the federal government…”

Why we find such compelling reasons to mistreat each other is beyond me. Even when old and frail the difference between being alive and truly living can still, with proper care, be experienced.

On the same theme, in late September I posted JJust because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.

“Yet another scandal surrounding the Liberal Party. A Liberal Party donor purchases a parcel of land near the Western Sydney airport for a fraction of its true value, and the Auditor General finds it to be a shonky deal.”

We were then in September scandal, and corruption has punctuated the year. The public – weary from the performance of corruption-riddled governance – had completely turned off to its effects.

October was quickly upon us when I wrote Who protects us from the government?”

The Prime Minister spruiks his lies but is the preferred Prime Minister by a mile. But few trust him. Well, that is until the virus came along and now everyone does because, in their minds, they want protection from it. So, they put their trust in someone with the power to protect them.

When the virus goes, and the ghastly hardship of recession takes on its most dreadful consequences, they will revert to their untrustworthy attitude.

We all know of the draconian laws legislated during the terrorist threats and asylum seeker periods that gave our government the right to intrude on our civil liberties.

In a speech delivered at the Sydney Human Rights Law Centre Dinner, 27 May 2016 Peter Greste said:

“The human rights that governments both state and federal have been chipping away at – the right to free speech, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of association and protest – are all foundational rights that underpin the way our democracy works.

Freedom of the press, protection of whistleblowers, the public’s right to know have all taken hits over the past few years. Yet they are fundamental reasons why our country has been one of the most stable, the most peaceable, the most prosperous and thriving on the planet.

To try to make us safer by undermining the system that has made us safe in the first place to me doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

In Australia, we have seen such a decline in the practice of government that it wouldn’t surprise me if circumstances might prevail that would give the conservatives a long period of power that might entrench them.

So good has the propaganda been. Add to it the lack of interest the public has in politics, and you have a situation where maintaining the status quo is but a few lies away.

How bitterly disappointing it is when this virus of political lies so utterly corrupts the hearts and minds of our politicians, but more demoralising it is that ordinary people catch the same infection.

We were almost into November, and I was still writing about the government’s crazy year. Nothing seemed to wash them from the uncleanliness of their brand of politics.

But the government was doing well in the polls when I wrote 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.”

By now it was certain that Donald Trump lost the American Presidential election. Joe Biden eventually won the popular vote by 7 million votes, however 75 million people voted for the incumbent. That needs further analysis.

In my post Trump is going to La La Land I wrote:

“I dared not think about it, but I couldn’t avoid reality. I dared to think that the vindictive nature of the President would come to the fore. Was he in his vindictiveness, by doing nothing to prevent further coronavirus-related deaths, actually punishing Americans for not voting for him? Was it possible? His personality suggests a categorical ‘yes’.”

In November I continued to attack the government for its continued sloppiness with This government isn’t fit for purpose followed by Government dishonesty continues unabated.

“Looking back on my writing for 2020 and what has motivated it the most common ingredient has been a sense of frustration that I do not have the impact I once did. By that I mean my readership has dropped a little. I want more people to know the truth. Perhaps I have become too repetitive, and people are bored with it. Or as my son suggests, I’m a bit too lengthy.”

And so this post brings me to the present. My writing will continue, but thin out during the run-up to Christmas and into the new year. 2021 might very well be an election year, and much writing is needed to inform and convince people of the damage these conservative fools are doing to this nation.

My thought for the day

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 deep-seated political malaise.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

Patting yourself on the back for what? It’s pitiful.

“Well done,” tweeted the NSW environment minister, Matt Kean, to the Prime Minister

There were many responses, but federal MP Zali Steggall’s was to the point:

“Are you kidding? A pat on the back for committing not to cheat but still no commitment to Net Zero? Come on, Aus needs leadership, not spin.”

She referred to a report in The SMH that the Prime Minister intended not to use the controversial Kyoto carry-over credits to achieve its emissions reduction targets.

It seems the worldwide embarrassment for using this scandalous accounting trick has become too much for the Prime Minister.

“Morrison signalled a political retreat on the issue in late November, saying in a speech, ‘my ambition is that we will not need them, and we are working to this as our goal, consistent with our record of over-delivering’.”

Goodness, does he mean like Robodebt and Sports Rorts, for example?

And there was Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman on the ABC’s Saturday news program telling Australia that we were on track to meet our target without using the carry-over credits. No mention as to how this was possible.

They are so pathetic and simultaneously self-congratulatory about a fall in our emissions. Still, they neglected to add that we have experienced it because there have been fewer cars on the road, businesses have been closed, and no planes in the air. Whoops, I just conveniently forgot such things.

What a turnaround it has been. For years Morrison has said that Australia was entitled to use the surplus carry-over credits but never justified why. The fact is, he rarely mentioned them. He just said that Australia would meet its targets.

“Mr Morrison’s stance will be a significant shift after years of government claims that Australia is entitled to use “surplus” units. The country accumulated them when meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets from 2008 to 2020 were negotiated and counted toward the Paris targets from 2021 to 2030.”

The latest national figures on greenhouse gases, released last Monday, came with an estimate that Australia would beat its 2020 316 million tonnes without relying on the credits. I agree with Malcolm Turnbull in being a bit sceptical about that given their record on ‘nonconditional announcements’.

Mr Turnbull said: ‘I welcome any advance, but a 28 per cent 2030 target – given the developments since 2015 – will be seen and will be a very cautious and hardly ambitious goal’.”

In response, the leader of the opposition leader Anthony Albanese said:

“… it was a ‘rather pathetic announcement by Scott Morrison’ not to use Kyoto credits, ‘as if that’s a positive’. ‘The rest of the world rejected that as an accounting trick,’ he said. ‘What we need is a plan to reduce emissions, not a plan for accounting tricks’.”

And Greens leader Adam Bandt chipped in, saying:

“… the government ‘deserves no applause’ for giving up the use of the credits, which he likened to ‘cheating’ on global pledges to reduce emissions.

At the upcoming climate ambition summit, when Australia announces its targets, this announcement will, compared with nations like the United Kingdom with a target to cut their emissions by 68% by 2030 levels, will seem miserly.”

Even without the use of credits, Australia will have to do much better than it is proposing. Our targets will be measured as insufficient when compared with other nations.

When one thinks back to the Coalition’s rejection of Labor’s ‘carbon tax’, one cannot but regret that decision’s folly. Had they agreed, it would have become a successful emissions trading scheme and we would have been leading the world.

My thought for the day

In terms of the environment, I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

My view of the year that was (part 2)

Continued from My view of the year that was (part 1)

Come April/May of 2020 the coronavirus had taken control of our economy and our health. The government, to its credit, believed in the science and took the advice of experts. Which is something they refused to do with climate change.

With the economy they acted quickly ditching its ideology for socialist action, having learned from Labor’s action with the GFC. Jobs were supported and union leader Sally McManus – together with the Government’s Attorney General Christian Porter – compromised to form a policy known as JobKeeper.

Every economic decision wasn’t seen to be fair and the conservative philosophy that jobs were there for those who wanted them, haunted them still.

At the time I wrote a two-part series titled What will happen in the aftershock of the corona virus? in which I said, among other things, that:

“Our political system is in crisis because our government fails to speak with any clarity on issues that concern us.”

It was a general comment about how they were governing outside of COVID-19. Nothing has changed since.

In America a disengaged President was making a proper mess of the pandemic. A problem that he knew more about than any other person on the planet. I wrote another piece about this dreadful individual.

“Since the coronavirus revealed itself to a world mostly preoccupied with how they would finance their living from month to month, Donald Trump, with his usual bullshit and lies, has been inventing or at least trying to invent, a world that is far from the reality of what damage this virus is capable of doing to the health and wealth of the world’s citizens.

COVID-19 is real and America isn’t immune from it and no amount of shouting fake news will make it go away.”

Trump’s response was predictable:

 

 

Back to Australia… Have you noted this year how the word ‘Liberal’ has quietly begun to vanish from the writing of those involved in the reporting of politics? I know that I rarely use it. The word has an altogether different meaning that would describe the political right. They are all conservatives. Nothing more, nothing less. The same goes for the National Party – who are also conservatives.

Another American in Rupert Murdoch was also throwing his weight around asking or demanding money from our government to support his Foxtel (pay station).

In response I updated and reposted a review I had written a few years back of a biography by Paul Barry. My post was titled The Mongrel that is Rupert Murdoch and in which I wrote that:

“During the last election, Bill Shorten copped scathing headlines and opinions from the Murdoch stable of filthy headlines as to his character and anything else they could attack, which I covered in my Election Diary.”

Then when a second wave of the coronavirus hit Victoria Murdoch decided it was Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews turn to cop a pasting. Day after day he copped a pasting from the Herald Sun and Sky News.

The virus had a stranglehold on the media and it was twenty-four seven. It never left us and I wrote a two-part piece titled What will happen in the aftershock of the coronavirus? (part one). In it I used these words written by right-wing conservative journalist Greg Sheridan from the Australian (paywalled):

“The government’s massive fiscal intervention in the Australian economy, entirely justified by the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis, will change center-right politics in this country forever. You cannot make the need for small government, free markets and less state intervention your chief political narrative if you have just used government on a scale never before imagined to rescue the nation from a desperate health emergency.”

Jumping ahead to June the US election was beginning to take up more media space. I wrote The greatest showman, or the greatest threat? to show my distain for this person of ill repute.

“The protests spread like a festering ulcer across the United States making a vain attempt at overcoming an unpretentious and legitimate frustration over decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the USA.

Trump, in characteristic fashion, was condemning the violence he and his capitalistic ugliness were ultimately responsible for.

Condemning the violence of the protesters and promoting his.

Not once in his callous speech was there a hint that the protesters might have a point. That the knee had been bent over inequality and injustice for too long.”

I wrote another; Trump talks of God, but acts of evilbefore the odour of his words disappeared.

In June and July, the American police seemed to be at war with their dark-skinned people and the #BlackLivesMatter protests started. I wrote A dilemma of monumental proportion. Indigenous Australians joined in and so began a conflict with the COVID-19 rules. It was a clash that had no answers.

“So, on the one hand, you would have to say that the health warnings were in keeping with previous warnings, which had been obeyed and were very successful.

On the other you would have to acknowledge that 432 First Nations People have died while in the custody of the police, someone was responsible, and people want to know why. There had never been a greater opportunity to protest that point.

Who can blame our Indigenous brothers and sisters (and those who support them) for raising their voices? For seizing the moment.

For those who see the point of view of the health professionals but still wish to protest during the course of a pandemic raise’s questions of conscience and ethics.”

In June I was questioning how a government so bad could be so popular, penning The Morrison Government is bad, but is it that people don’t care anymore?

Bad and mismanaged policy suggestions of corruption, Claytons’ announcements and no sign of a national ICAC were all pointing to a government with its right hand unfamiliar with what its left was doing.

I followed that up with a terse article The Morrison government has no sense of urgency on our future … or perhaps the marketing plan isn’t finished and then We live in shadowy times and white men who inhabit it lead us further into darkness.

So disgusted was I with the malevolent way in which our democracy was being exploited that every time I felt my age, I determined to find something more in me.

It was now July and the coronavirus still had us by the short and curlies. The state governments were full of self-interest and the Prime Minister had a dose more than any of them. Trump was allowing his citizens to die and spent most of his time on the golf course. He was looking for something he had lost, and it wasn’t his ball.

My thought for the day

I often speculate about how much better a society we would be if people took the risk of thinking for themselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the Murdoch media and the Morrison Government.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

My view of the year that was (part 1)

I finished the year 2019 with a piece titled George Christensen and other secrets about the rather rotund figure of George. Well, not about his wholesome physique but about why he needed to spend so much time in Manilla.

“Many fellow parliamentarians now call him the ‘Member for Manila’ because of his frequent travel to the region, including an astonishing 28 trips in a four-year period.”

Then as we Australians are apt to do, we shed as much clothing as possible and began our annual sojourn into the January siesta. Little did we know what was to confront us in the year ahead.

As for me, well, as one day merged with the next, I continued to write and in January a four-piece post arose from my keyboard. I gave it the title The baggage they have lugged from one year to the next means 2020 will be a hard slog not because I was trying to be prophetic, I was just pointing out how badly we were being governed and how ongoing it was.

And in my view, it has engaged the whole of 2020 and will do the same in 2021. During this period to make matters worse the country was ablaze with the ruddy redness of bushfires.

I followed up with another article in January; As prophetic as I may be in which I said: “I don’t see myself as being particularly gifted in prophetic wisdom, but on at least three occasions in 2019 I said that it would take an event of catastrophic proportion to wake the Australian population from its malaise over climate heating.”

That it happened attached no pleasure to my words. That they make for a catalyst for action does. A Guardian Essential poll (1 December) saying that “Three-quarters of Australians back a target of net zero by 2030” would seem to support my words.

In February I wrote my best read piece for the year; You cannot be a leader and a bare-faced liar at the same time. In it I lambasted Scott Morrison’s need to lie all the time. “Never in the history of this nation has a government been so unfit to serve, and never in the history of this nation has its people been so indoctrinated with so much propaganda that they, in effect, discarded any sense of levelheadedness or reasoning to re-elect this sordid lot of corrupt politicians.

And yet again I am compelled to watch Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the one with the mouth that weaves its way in and out of problems with all the charm and vigour of a rattlesnake ready to strike, and thus my writing may be intoxicated with the venom of his untruth and lies.”

It of course has never stopped and he continues on with his Trumpish bullshit. I followed up that piece with Keeping the bastards honest”: Was it just a passing fad that lost its way? The government had promised to have a national corruption body done and dusted by last December, but strangely, more than a few scandals seem to have gotten in their way.

Controversy still raged into March and April about Sports Rorts, the Prime Minister’s holiday during the fires and if he didn’t believe in the science of climate change, he was at least believing the science of COVID-19.

March came and I lifted my game. I wrote four pieces in anger as the appalling governance continued. However, with the help of the Murdoch press the conservatives, despite them experiencing disaster after disaster, were becoming increasingly popular.

I wrote The shopping spree and a 12-pack prize which was a spoof on buying toilet rolls during the height of the pandemic.

At the height of the virus, when the question of who can you trust was first and foremost in the public eye, I wrote this piece; The Public versus Scott Morrison such was my anger at this un Christian man. This was followed by; Our greatest failure has been the decline of our democracy in which I posed the question that conservatives were hard-pressed to explain: How come the science of climate that discovered our planet is overheating and threatening our existence is somehow different (and unbelievable) to the science that discovered a virus that also threatened great destruction? They were indeed A government trying to fix everything while they’re not even working (which was another post which referred to the fact that they wouldn’t allow the parliament to sit).

What makes the Morrison government’s actions of the past week so astonishing points out how the government used socialist monetary policy to resist the effects of the recession we inevitably found ourselves in. And remember that’s where we were headed prior to the pandemic.

In April I was so disgusted with the lying of this conservative government that I was compelled to write A layperson’s guide to lying:

“Lying in Australian politics has also reached unprecedented levels. The Prime minister and his Cabinet have taken lying to such depths that it is not disingenuous to suggest that this government under Morrison no longer has a moral compass nor any understanding of truth.”

With the virus now ripping the heart out of Australia, masses of people joining the dole queues, education upended, sporting fixtures being cancelled together with the arts and businesses across the country we were all looking each other in the eye wondering what was going to hurt us next. There wasn’t, it seemed, anything that this virus couldn’t reach and destroy.

It was a time when presenting facts to people who had reasoned by virtue of their feelings that they are right was totally futile. Conspiracy theories intermingled with the headlines of the Murdoch press to create an atmosphere of despondency.

At the end of April I posted It’s more than just a virus: there are culture wounds and abscesses of leadership:

“So submersed had we become with all the consequences and complications of COVID-19 that it preoccupied our minds as if nothing else existed.

And rightly so, given the deathly possibilities this virus insinuates upon society.

Like rust this deadly infection, without instruction, without fear or favour, spreads itself throughout the community; the wealthy and the poor die. The aged and not so aged.

Its side effects include the wrecking of lives, families, and the devastation of economies and cultures with the possibility of a world recession.

Without a cure our only defence is isolation and some meaningful rules that – if followed – suffice as effective and efficient weapons.

The rich with a negative worldview see the gloom as a reason to protect themselves and their wealth. The poor with no recourse to health insurance die because Trump hates the word Obama. But the rich do too because of an unpreparedness to combat this killer.”

To be continued …

My thought for the day

Death abides
Love hides
Goodness vanishes
Suffering manifests
Truth a causality
Faith is lost
Humanity stumbles
But
Hope survives

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

Trump is going to La La Land

I dared not think it but I couldn’t avoid the reality. I dared to think that the vindictive nature of the President would come to the fore. Was he in his vindictiveness, by doing nothing to prevent further coronavirus-related deaths, actually punishing Americans for not voting for him? Was it possible? His personality suggests a categorical ‘yes.’

Deaths are predicted to double and hospitalisations will soar before any vaccine offers relief.

If Nero fiddled while Rome burned then Trump is guilty of golfing while people perished.

Five years ago, he was to me nothing but a celebrity of little note. A person of no redeeming features; just another tin man who loved to exhibit his wealth, his racism floated around him, narcissism and nefariousness walked with him in a way that appealed to the like-minded.

At the same time, he displayed his ability to lie in a way that demonstrated his impaired process of believing his lies to be the truth.

Then in my analysis l felt an unexpected pang of sorrow for this sad excuse for a human being. That anyone, let alone a President, would allow an expected 500,000 of his people to die when avenues were open to try and save them could only be done by someone either brain damaged or brain dead, and that person was the POTUS.

Ad Astra on these pages described him as a cult leader. He may very well correct.

Grumpy Geezer, also on these pages, said he was:

“Devoid of friends, not even a dog.

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.”

Both are correct in their assertions and views such as theirs have been voiced by good people around the world.

I have no doubt that he should be committed or institutionalised for acts against society. That he is mentally unstable is a given. I of course have no qualifications that would merit such a judgement. I only have a lifetime of studying human nature to back up my supposition.

Farron Cousins writing for Stand Up. Move Forward has been one of many professionals to voice an opinion on the President.

“Former Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes didn’t mince words during a recent conversation with Salon.com when he said that Donald Trump is a successful sociopath. Dr. Dodes says that Trump only cares about his own well-being, and his presidency has just been an extension of his sociopathic tendencies.

Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are tired of mincing words about Donald Trump’s mental health and they’ve now come out and been very blunt about the fact that the president is not well.”

Psychiatrists usually stick with their associations advice and don’t comment on the health of prominent public figures but any Google search on the subject will reveal hundreds of professional people prepared to diagnose this POTUS.

Having said that, we have all made an effort either in our minds or with keyboard to analyse this person of ill repute. Diagnosing on mass those who have supported him is another matter altogether.

‘Crass’ is the first word that comes to mind when I think about Donald Trump. Another is ‘superficial.’ Crass because he has one of those mouths that seem to put you offside. His vile “pussy” comment seemed to sum him up. Superficial because there was always something sinister about him that was un-presidential. He wore a coat of many colours, none of which could be trusted. A man of superficial charm that left me cold. His glibness of sole and falseness of sincerity was astonishing and lacked any conscience. He wasn’t complex as many would have it. He was a simpleton. We normal people are complex.

People of Trump’s ilk, well, you can see right through them. He lacked empathy and in terms of mortal importance only one number mattered.

He was a sexual predator who failed intellectualism. A charmer, whose merit was purely verbal and had no underlying substance.

A very “stable genius” who knew more about anything than anyone else was the way he described himself.

 

 

But all these things accumulated together with his vindictiveness never approached his capacity for untruthfulness.

“All of Trump’s lies that contradicted commonly accepted facts challenged the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment, which are premised on the belief that there are objective facts discoverable through investigation, empirical evidence, rationality, and the scientific methods of enquiry.” (brookings.edu, April 13, 2018).

From these premises, it follows that political discourse involves making logical arguments and adducing evidence in support of those arguments, rather than asserting one’s own self-serving version of reality.

Senator Patrick Moynihan’s admonition is apropos: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

These are the diagnostic standards for a textbook sociopath.” He seems to fit them all.

Trump’s belief that as President he didn’t have to refute any charges that he wasn’t telling the truth, that as the President he didn’t have to explain himself to others.

This self-imposed God-like power suggested a highly inflated appreciation of the Presidency and that others had to accept his version of reality, or none at all.

Surprise slithered across his face when they didn’t.

Anyone for golf? No cheating.

My thought for the day

The Office of the American President was once viewed by its people as an office of prestige and importance. Trump has reduced it to one of ridicule and contempt.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

This government isn’t fit for purpose

Looking back on my writing for 2020 and what has motivated it the most common ingredient has been a sense of frustration that I’m not having the impact I once did. By that I mean my readership has dropped a little. I want more people to know the truth. Perhaps I have become too repetitive and people are bored by it. Or as my son suggests, l’m a bit too lengthy.

That’s not my fault of course, it’s the government’s. They have been so consistently horrific in yet another year of awfulness that one feels compelled to regularly convey it to the AIMN readers.

Governance is an amalgam of many things; of leadership, of managerial expertise, of economics and culture, and another element is crisis management. In fact, politics controls everything we do. Or at least government regulates what we can and cannot do. We aren’t truly free.

It is astonishing just how much control government has over us. Think about it. From how fast we can drive a car to how well we are cared for when ill or old. There are thousands of rules. How well it exercises these regulators indicates how well it is governing.

In a moment of meditation last week I began to think about how the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments have fared when their governance is put through the wringer of political performance. How well have they served us. Well, the answer is empathetically, poorly!

When you think deeply about the government’s performance during its time in office, it has been deplorable. Most of its ministers wouldn’t get a job in a major private company, or heads of departments in our public service based on current performance. How would you rate them on telling the truth, transparency and openness for example?

If we are to reverse this mediocracy, we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should be transparent and tell the truth.

What I’m trying to reason in my own mind is why a government without any of the aforementioned skills, with so many policies that are anathema to the common good of the country keeps getting elected by the people no matter how narrow the margin.

I’m not trying to put together some sort of study here. On the contrary, all my comments are just random thoughts that might fit into any of the aforementioned categories.

It is my contention that lying, misinformation, lying by omission, subliminally implied suggestions, straightforward propaganda, deliberate scare campaigning and corruption is nakedly practiced by this government.

Any form of untruthful communication has become the norm with Coalition politicians and the media conversing with the public through lies. So normal and long applied has this form of conversation become that we are now unquestioning of it.

When a political party deliberately withholds information that the voter needs to make an informed, balanced and reasoned assessment of how it is being governed. It is not only lying by omission… it is also tantamount to the manipulation of our democracy.

Why else would the people of Australia keep on electing a government that fails so often? Just look at their record.

Robodebt and lost lives. Sports Rorts, Aged Care, lost lives. Climate change and lost lives. Energy prices. Handling of fires and lost lives. Angus Taylor’s scandals, the behaviour of Coalition MPs and how they conduct themselves with women. Great Barrier Reef Foundation, land deals, corruption, money for Murdoch, contracts without tender, refusal of FOI applications, Barnaby Joyce’s water deals, and the failure of the NBN.

These aren’t just small errors of judgement; these are large scale mistakes, bad management or straight out corruption that have cost billions of dollars and hundreds of lives and the Coalition government is responsible. Yet they remain popular. How is it so?

It is fair to say they performed well with the coronavirus but always with an eye on the economy ahead of people’s health.

The electorate, however, seems unmoved. Why is it so?

Sooner or later we need to wake up to just how badly our politicians are governing our country. It has been going on for almost nine years. It is a disgrace and has to be stopped. The government must be challenged over its incompetence.

Is it that Australians believe, like some Americans believe, that everything that comes from the leader’s mouth is the honest to goodness truth when the facts dictate, they speak lies.

Have the same group caught the anti-socialist virus? Do they dislike the leaders Labor promotes? There is some truth in that but then the conservative leaders don’t stack up so well either. Is it a choice suggesting that it’s better to stick with the devil you know than the one you don’t?

At the last election not even the government thought it could win. but win they did. Labor couldn’t be accused of not putting forward progressive (perhaps too many) ideas and sound policies. They had an ambitious set of reforms. What they lacked was a popular leader and positive salesmanship but instead all the big-ticket items were complicated and difficult to sell.

They will, one day, have to be fixed or they will sink the economy: Franking credits, negative gearing, top-bracket tax, climate change.

We have a government supported by Australia’s biggest and most biased media outlet. So much so that more than 500,000 people have signed Kevin Rudd’s record-breaking petition to get a Royal Commission into the bias and power of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in Australia. With the help of Turnbull’s recent outburst on QandA at least a Senate inquiry has been secured. They might even talk about that $40 million Murdoch asked for… and got.

The Coalition has had a long-term problem with women. Last week the ABC Four Corners programme revealed some very bad behaviour by Ministers Alan Tudge and Christian Porter. Another example of these damaging affairs has been the behaviour of hillbilly Barnaby Joyce.

All have one thing in common. They all like to lecture us on how we should behave. Barnaby was doing it again on QandA last Monday night.

On that subject let’s look at the incident where the Prime Minister interrupted the Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston.

She was asked if the political culture for women had improved. Before she could say “Hiawatha” the Prime Minister jumped in to answer the question.

And it happened in the middle of the accusations of sexual misconduct by Porter and Tudge.

From a cultural point of view the Senate’s decision not to allow the Aboriginal flag to be flown alongside the Australian flag had the “know your place” sarcasm about it. So literally male, white and middle-aged. It tells our First Nation People all they need to know. A voice for our First Nations People seems further away.

Anyhow, let’s move on. A short time ago I wrote these words: “The worse they govern the more popular they become.” The recent post-budget Newspoll confirms it to be so.

Not joking. This is absolutely true. Nothing seems to put a dent in the government’s popularity or that of Morrison’s. Years of deplorable governance has made no difference.

Here is another example: Porter is also charged with putting together an Integrity Commission that will do them no harm, such is the list of scandals they are involved in. Really, you wouldn’t trust him to shuffle a pack of cards. Porter’s plan will help cover up corruption, not expose it,” wrote Geoffrey Watson in The SMH.

Another of course is the handling of our aged care sector and the failure of Morrison to respond to the many reports. The deaths of many can be directly blamed on this inaction together with the suicides from Robodebt. Possibly the worst example of maladministration in Australian political history.

The government has agreed to a $1.2 billion pay-out to nearly half a million Australians affected by the controversial Robodebt scheme. A record for class actions and a disgrace of governance.

The election of Joe Biden with a major pro-climate policy will place a lot of pressure on Morrison to improve his government’s climate policy and abandon the use of controversial Kyoto ‘carryover credits’ or risk damage to Australia’s reputation worldwide. He seems to laugh it off.

I think without doubt l have proven my point. We cannot allow this government and this Prime Minister to take us any further into this world of self-indulgence where nothing matters but the state of the economy. I will therefore continue to reveal the failings of this most incompetent mob of thoughtless managers.

Repetition be buggered.

My thought for the day

Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

Government dishonesty continues unabated

Murdoch has them by the balls.

What is it that Rupert Murdoch has that enables him to demand of our government millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money whenever he wants it?

I first came across this story in 2017 when the government kicked in $30 million dollars to Foxtel to promote women’s sports. It appeared as a one-line item in the budget of that year.

At the time it pricked a lot of ears, and questions were put to the then minister Mitch Fifield. As usual, he played a straight bat to all the questions he faced. There wasn’t a journalist who could penetrate his defence.

On the surface it looked as though Murdoch’s Foxtel man, Patrick Delany, just demanded 30 million dollars and got the money without so much as a condition being bowled.

They could spend the money in any way they wanted and the umpire would overlook any excessive appeals. Not a bad deal. The umpires didn’t even have to write a match report, meaning no plan on how the money would be spent even existed. There wasn’t even a plan to enforce a follow on.

Although it is supposedly to:

“… support the broadcast of underrepresented sports on subscription television, including women’s sports, niche sports, and sports with a high level of community involvement and participation.”

Why would you give that sort of money to a subscription television station? Wouldn’t the ABC be a better proposition for underrepresented women’s sports?

I mean, they didn’t even have a plan for a bit of ball tampering in Murdoch’s groin area when he was fielding in the covers, let alone the promotion of women’s sport.

There were never any terms or conditions, no plans needed to be submitted, no terms and no accountability. The women’s cricket team didn’t even have a dress code.

All attempts at fielding documents under Freedom of Information were denied for the reason that they didn’t exist. Any drunk on the boundary would reckon a googly had been bowled at the taxpayer during a pandemic.

Minister Fifield declined to comment:

“But a statement from his office said the decision was made by the Government as part of the budget process, and the FOI decision was made independently of him.”

Now you have to pay a subscription to Foxtel who have asked for money from the government, and in turn the ABC for broadcasting rights for women’s sports for which we already pay tax. Hit that one to fine leg.

Is that clear? If not, it simply means they got $30 million dollars no questions asked.

But Foxtel being the run hungry buggers they are weren’t satisfied. They asked for and got another $10 million. They don’t even have to submit a plan until the end of the season. Just before the footy starts. If you are thinking it’s a bit of a balls-up you would be correct.

With the latest $10 million a further FOI request was hit for six when:

“Communications Minister Paul Fletcher’s chief of staff Ryan Bloxsom said the disclosure ‘could reasonably be expected to have a detrimental effect on the working relationship between the minister’s office and the Prime Minister’s office, now and into the future’.”

That sounds to me like a bit of grafting at the crease now and into the future.

So, let’s hope that the parliamentary inquiry into Murdoch’s media ownership brings some sanity to the game. At the moment only one side is playing cricket.

My thought for the day

The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of reason never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

They have always had a problem with women

The ABC’s Four Corners revelation about the sexual dalliances of Messrs Christian Porter and Alan Tudge may have brought to light their inability to control their sexual desires but the reality is that the Liberal and National parties have always had a problem with women.

Well, to be fair both sides of the political divide have had their problems.

Bob Hawke was a known womaniser and had an affair with his biographer, Blanche d’Alpuget. Hawke always wore his heart on his sleeve and confessed his infidelities. And Whitlam minister Jim Cairns had a much publicised affair with Junie Morosi.

It was said that John Gorton had an affair with Ainsley Gotto, but Gorton was in fact having an extended affair with the widow of a “a very senior naval officer.” Democrats leader Cheryl Kernot had an affair with Labor’s Gareth Evans.

But I digress.

Tony Abbott often gave us the impression that he had a poor opinion of women. At university he referred to a women Chairperson as “Chairthing.”

He was accused of assaulting a woman at University and later acquitted. He was defended by a QC and the girl defended herself.

Another woman accused him of throwing punches; hitting either side of a wall she was standing against. He said it never happened but others corroborated her story.

And who could forget these?:

“I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak.”

“I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”

Or this?:

“I won’t be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated [for cervical cancer], maybe that’s because I’m a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard but, look, I won’t be”

More quotes by Abbott about women can be found here. I don’t feel I need to expand on his misogyny as it is well-known.

If you want to watch Julia Gillard’s famous misogyny speech fired directly at Abbott once again, go here.

It is the males of the Coalition who have had a long-established “masculine problem” of entitlement: specifically, a white male problem that believes they are allowed more superiority over women than women of today want to be subjected to.

It is the view of men who still cling to an age that no longer exists. These virile males are the ones who have never really grown up. The ones who have accepted the actions of the fathers or worse still the superiority of the male as taught in many churches.

Of course, the question arises as to whether it is any of our business as to what politicians or journalists get up to after hours.

The answer is yes and no. If a journalist writes about the moral standard of the community and in doing so identifies his or her own code of ethics, I think there is a public interest in disclosing what is happening in their private lives.

The same goes for the politician. If a minister or MP is in a position of power and in fact responsible for creating laws in the area of morality I would very much like to know what his or her attitudes are about their personal moral standards are.

If they are humping their employees on the side while working on legislation pertaining to sexual harassment then the hypocrisy should be exposed.

In a piece for The Daily Mail Paula Mathewson asked “…is it any of our business what politicians, staffers and yes, journalists, do in the privacy of their homes and hotel rooms?:

“Definitely not, says that bastion of family values, Barnaby Joyce, who claimed this week that former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, introduced a ban on ministers from having sexual relationships with their staff simply to remove him from the Nationals leadership”

“Of course, Mr Joyce conveniently forgot to mention that it was the accusation of sexual harassment levelled against him by a highly respected woman in the rural community that sealed his fate, not Mr Turnbull’s ‘bonk ban’.”

Barnaby Joyce – you might remember – was at the centre of alleged serious sexual harassment and molestation claim dating back to 2012 involving multiple women, including a 17-year-old teenage girl in a toilet.

Tony Windsor tweeted how things work in Canberra:

 

 

When politicians become involved in seedy situations such as an affair all sorts of things can happen. They leave themselves open to being denied a security clearance, they become an extortion risk, being denied access to classified information without having to get such a clearance and may also cause a conflict of interest if they have the potential to unduly influence a minister’s decisions.

Females are not well represented in Australian politics, particularly on the conservative side. Having said that, in my lifetime, their journey toward equality has been incremental despite their obvious intelligence. Much of this is attributable to what men take from the Bible about (taught or decoded) their superiority over women.

Sarah Hanson-Young, at 25, was the youngest women ever elected to the Senate. Like her politics or not, she has been subjected to more abuse than most men have to take. Interjections about her dress sense, her body shape and her sex life have been common. Usually from sleaze-bags from the right of the Senate chamber.

She usually ignored them, taking the moral high ground however last year she dug her heels in over a comment from one of these middle-aged white morons:

“It happened during a debate on women’s safety following a murder which shocked the nation. A young comedian walking home late at night had been killed by a stranger.

Ms Hanson-Young said women wouldn’t need extra protection if men didn’t rape them.

In response, an older male senator called out: “You should stop shagging men, Sarah.”

Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm – known for revelling in his controversial remarks – refused to apologise when confronted by Ms Hanson-Young, who is divorced with a child. He instead repeated his comments and other explicit claims in TV and radio interviews.

He accused her of hypocrisy. She accused him of “slut-shaming” – where slurs about a women’s alleged sexual activities are used to demean or silence her.

I decided at that moment I’d had enough of men in that place using sexism and sexist slurs, sexual innuendo as part of their intimidation and bullying on the floor of the parliament,” the senator [Hanson-Young] said in a later interview.”

She sued Senator David Leyonhjelm and received $120,000 for her trouble.

Sexism, sexist slurs and sexual innuendo is all part of the intimidation and bullying on the floor of the Australian Parliament. To say it is uncouth would be an understatement.

MP Julia Banks felt she had to act after experiencing vicious infighting and sexism so she quit. Julie Bishop, the Deputy Leader described the intimidation as “appalling” behaviour. The Minister for Women, Kelly Dwyer also backed the allegations.

There is nothing new here. Natasha Stott Despoja joined parliament in 1995 at age 26, and experienced her fair share of abuse. Sexism was “endemic” in the political culture, she said.

“It ranged from male senators saying to me ‘you really should wear skirts’ to another senator referring to me only as ‘mother’ once I had children,” she told the BBC.

It was Julia Gillard who copped the most abuse and when it became too much, she responded with a speech that reverberated around the world. She had been portrayed by conservatives’ politicians and the right-wing media as a modern-day witch.

Sometimes you have to wonder if history is just an ongoing commentary on the incompetence of men.

She was “routinely demonised” for being unmarried and “childless”. At various times she was called “a lying cow”, “a menopausal monster”, “deliberately barren”, a “bitch” and “Ju-liar”

The media had a strange fixation with her appearance which was at times simply lewd.

Then there was that Liberal party fundraising dinner with a ‘Julia Gillard menu’ listing overt sexual suggestions about parts of her body.

Alan Jones said she should be “put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea.” And that Australians “ought to be out there kicking her to death.”

There is something about Australian culture that excludes women. One sees it in all facets of society. In sport, in business, in many professions including law.

Which all brings me back to Monday night’s Four Corners programme that alleged the inappropriate conduct of two federal cabinet ministers and in doing so confirmed that there are men in our National Parliament who still hold sexist attitudes towards women.

These men, Attorney-General Christian Porter and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge who have both spent their careers publicly espousing family values, should have been given the opportunity to explain and then sacked.

As former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told journalist Louise Milligan:

“Some of the most trenchant opponents of same-sex marriage, all in the name of traditional marriage, were at the same time enthusiastic practitioners of traditional adultery.”

Given that ministerial responsibility no longer exists … where to now?

My thought for today

At some time in the human narrative… in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

Scroll Up