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.
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