Climate Snippets #2

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Rossleigh is a writer, director and teacher. As a writer, his plays include “The Charles Manson Variety Hour”, “Pastiche”, “Snap!”, “That’s Me In The Distance”, “48 Hours (without Eddie Murphy)”, and “A King of Infinite Space”. His acting credits include “Pinor Noir Noir” for “Short and Sweet” and carrying the coffin in “The Slap”. His ten minutes play, “Y” won the 2013 Crash Test Drama Final.

Let’s Just Ignore The Bushfires!

This may seem like a strange question but can we afford the cost of fighting the bushfires over the coming months?

I’m just asking it because no interviewer is asking anyone this question. They’re not even asking Labor what they’d be spending on fighting fires if they were in government. Nobody is pointing to all the lost productivity from volunteers taking time off work and asking if we can afford it.

We have fires. They threaten parts of Australia, so we fight them. Nobody says we can’t afford it, because everyone understands that it would cost more not to fight them.

Compare this to climate change. Labor is not allowed to argue, as Bill Shorten tried: “People don’t stop me and ask what is the cost of acting on climate change, people ask what is the cost of not acting on climate change.”

Just imagine if Tony Bourke’s interview on the ABC the other day was about bushfires rather than climate change. The interview would have gone something like this:

ABC: What is Labor’s policy at the moment on bushfires?

BURKE: Our policy has always been that we should act on bushfires. Always.

ABC:Specifically how much are you proposing to spend on prevention and firefighting equipment? Because Bill Shoren took a policy to the election and you lost, so is there a change in policy?

BURKE:  Our next chance to implement Labor policy is in 2.5 years’ time. We can’t wait for that. There is a Government that won the election and they need to act on bushfires now. People are breathing in the impacts of these bushfires.

ABC: Can you put a figure on that then, Mr Burke? What specifically – when it comes to bushfires, are there specific targets in terms of the number you would like the government to commit to fighting?

BURKE: First of all, we’d like Scott Morrison to commit to putting them all out.

ABC: But put a figure on it. What would Labor be prepared to spend to do that?

BURKE: I’m not really in a position to put a figure on it.

ABC: Well, the PM has said the Government’s plan is to meet and beat all the bushfires without upping taxes, losing productivity, spending on equipment and without pulling the rug out from the building industry that will get an enormous boost from all the rebuilding. Can Labor also commit to doing the impossible? And if so, how much would it cost?

Yeah, you’re right. It makes no sense. Of course, nobody disputes that the fires are actually happening and tries to suggest that they’re part of some conspiracy of scientists to get more funding for bushfire science. Nobody argues that we’ve always had fires so there’s nothing we can do about it. (Ok, some people talk of “droughts and flooding rains” and try to suggest that it’s part of the landscape, but nobody suggests that we should do nothing.)

There’s a consensus that the fires are real, they are an actual threat and from there the only arguments are about how best to tackle the ones that are already burning and what to do about reducing future risk. Climate change, on the other hand, is a little bit more complicated. Leaving the deniers to one side – which is probably the best place for them – we still have the problem of the lip-service politician. Just like John Howard of 2007 who “intuitively” didn’t believe the scientists, but knew that telling the public what he really thought was politically dangerous, we have a large number of MPs who tell us that they accept the science when talking generally, but want to ignore it when it comes to talking about specific action. While nobody would say, “I saw you fall off the ladder and I’ve already written a letter asking for an ambulance to be sent as soon as it’s convenient, so you just lie there and medical help should arrive some time in the next week or so!”, we have politicians tell us that they’re fully committed to taking action on climate change, as long as it doesn’t affect anything or anybody.

Of course bushfires are immediate and urgent. Unlike climate change which sneaks up slowly, it’s impossible to argue that now is not the time to talk about them or to suggest that we won’t start fighting them until other countries do something about their own fires.

And, if one tries to mention any possible link between droughts and fires and climate change, why that’s just an attempt to politicise the disaster, which is quite shameful at a time when so many are suffering and the community is all pulling together, and we have ads telling us what a good job the Federal government is doing.

Besides, the Morrison government has all that climate stuff under control. We’re going to “meet and beat” our targets. Yep, we’ll beat our targets… Interestingly, no journalist ever asks, “By how much?”

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Morrison Tells Us It’s Not The Time For Politics

Interviewer: Good morning, First up we have an interview with Smirko the Jerko. Now just to make it clear that you are not Scomo.

Smirko: That s right. There’s a clear difference.

Interviewer: Yes, while one is an artificial creation and only good for the purpose of satire, the other is doing this interview with me. First up, let me ask you about the weather…

Smirko: Yes, isn’t that rain good? You’re welcome, by the way.

Interviewer: You’re welcome?

Smirko: Yes, a direct result of my prompt thoughts and prayers. But about the weather, I think it’d be hasty to try and link this current crisis to the weather. As I’ve gone around offering comfort to my backbench, one of the things that they’ve been most concerned about is the lack of hazard reduction burning…

Interviewer: Which is a result of cuts to budgets and a smaller window of opportunity for burns because of climate change.

Smirko: Look, it’s not the time to get political. Australia is burning and people are losing their homes.

Interviewer: Then why aren’t you accepting much of the help offered by overseas nations?

Smirko: Because we’ve got everything under control here and we need to keep our borders safe.

Interviewer: How can you say that everything’s under control when half of Australia is burning?

Smirko: I think you’ll find that Australia has always had fires and that we’re a resilient lot and we’ll manage to get through this with the true ANZAC spirit.

Interviewer: You mean that battle where Australian soldiers died needlessly trying to attack at a totally inaccessible part of Turkey?

Smirko: Now, I won’t have you attacking the ANZACs.

Interviewer: I wasn’t. I was more referring to their leadership. Which brings me to your holiday…

Smirko: You know the funny thing about that. I actually planned to holiday in Australia, but then at the last minute, back in March, I thought why not give my family a surprise and take them to Hawaii, because I had to go to India and once you’re in the air one country is much the same as another. If it hadn’t been for my trip to India I’d have been in Australia like I always am.

Interviewer: But you went to Fiji with them after the election.

Smirko: And you’re point is?

Interviewer: Well, Fiji isn’t part of Australia.

Smirko: Nobody would argue that it is.

Interviewer: But you just said that you always holiday in Australia.

Smirko: I think we’ve well and truly covered my holiday, and frankly it’s a bit of a non-issue so I don’t think that we should ever speak of it again.

Interviewer: Ok, then let’s move on to the link between climate change and the fires.

Smirko: There is NO link between climate change and the fires.

Interviewer: Surely, the drought has made the country tinder dry and this increased the likelihood of extreme fires.

Smirko: Yes, but I object to you trying to suggest that there’s a direct link.

Interviewer: So you concede that there’s an indirect link?

Smirko: Let’s be quite clear here. For a fire to start you need three things: Fuel, oxygen and something, or someone, to start it.

Interviewer: Are you trying to dog-whistle all those trying to suggest that the fires were started by arsonists?

Smirko: Not at all. I’m trying to suggest that more CO2 in the air would deprive the fires of vital oxygen.

Interviewer: So you have no plans to increase government action on climate change.

Smirko: I’ll repeat what I’ve always said my government will meet its emissions targets and we may even exceed them.

Interviewer: But any more radical action would be blocked by the climate change deniers in your party?

Smirko: I reject that entirely. We have no climate change deniers in our party.

Interviewer: Just recently Craig Kelly did that terrible interview with the British press where he was actually challenged and looked completely silly, and George Christensen was asserting that the fires were nothing to with climate change.

Smirko: Yes, well we are a broad church and unlike some parties, we value everyone’s opinion.

Interviewer: But you just said that there are no climate change deniers in your party.

Smirko: I think we’ve covered this, so we should move on.

Interviewer: Ok, sir, I’m sorry that I attempted to clarify your answer.

Smirko: Yes, you’re behaving as badly as those British journalists who kept interrupting Craig Kelly and ambushing him with a lot of things that contradicted his views.

Interviewer: So, finally, do you have any regrets about your handling of the fire situation?

Smirko: Let me say that obviously, in hindsight, there are things I would have done differently, but nothing that I’m going to specifically admit. Mostly I’d like to blame the states because they were slow to ask for help and the Federal government is prevented from doing things in the states by the constitution unless there’s a national emergency and we didn’t declare this a national emergency so I had to wait for them to ask. Certainly, nobody could have predicted the scale of the fires, unless they were alarmist lefties and we never listen to them. And, of course, I’d have ensured that I had a stunt double while I was in Hawaii so nobody noticed me gone.

Interviewer: What about further action in the future?

Smirko: Well, I certainly intend to consider the possibility of having an inquiry or possibly a Royal Commission to look at what we should do. In fact, I’ll probably consult the Cabinet and we’ll ask ourselves whether a Royal Commission is the way to go or whether we should simply appoint Maurice Newman or Justice Dysen to go away and come up with a report in a few months time that we can put with the report we didn’t look at because it was commissioned under the previous government.

Interviewer; Rudd or Gillard?

Smirko: No., Turnbull.

Interviewer: Thanks, but your time is up.

Smirko: Did Rupert Tell you that?

Interviewer: This has been another interview that didn’t actually happen but is still less absurd than the ones that do. Back to real life.

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Libspill – Does Dutton Have The Numbers?

Let’s be quite clear here: Thanks to a change introduced by Scott Morrison after he assumed the leadership, a two-thirds majority is required to trigger a spill in the Liberal Party. This only applies to leaders who win an election. One presumes that the Dutton supporters who voted for it weren’t expecting that it would apply to Morrison, but there you have it! It would be very, very difficult to force a spill and so Scottie seems to be safe because he’d have to have a clear majority turn against him.

However, remembering that almost nothing in politics is predictable these days, so picking the most unlikely thing and asserting that you’re almost positive that this will happen is a surefire way to seem like a genius. “No, no, Joe Hockey won’t win. Abbott will get up and then almost beat Julia Gillard in the election. Yes, yes, I know that Rudd is popular at the moment, but the polls will turn and then they’ll replace him with Julia, who’ll eventually lose to Tony. This will be followed by Britain leaving the EU, Trump being elected President… Yes, of the USA, and Boris Johnson will complete the trifecta of complete morons. Oh, sorry I forget to mention that Turnbull replaces Abbott and then gets replaced by Morrison… What do you mean I’m completely insane and you’ll give me good odds about any of those things happening?”

So given anything is possible, let’s take a quick look back at the Morrison versus Dutton contest.

Looking at  a list of those MPs who are believed to have voted for Morrison, one sees that there are a number of departures. Julie Bishop, Malcolm Turnbull,  Craig Laundy, Kelly O’Dwyer, Ann Sudmalis and Christopher Pyne all decided not contest the 2019 election. Mitch Fifield and Arthur Sinodinos were moved onto other jobs by Morrison, which may not have been the wisest move. Menzies and various other leaders used to move their rivals on to other roles, but I guess Slowmo didn’t feel that any threat was likely.

On the other side of the ledger, Dutton lost Tony Abbott and Jim Moylan. Moylan was returned to the Senate as a replacement for Arthur Sinodinos. Giving his first appointment was a replacement for Fiona Nash, he may be the only person to serve in two Parliaments while be pretty much unelectable having lost both attempts at winning a place at an election.

Anyway, working on the hypothetical assumption that all votes stayed the same, this would mean that the result of the spill would now be 37 to 39 in Dutton’s favour. Of course, this completely overlooks the fact that there were various new MPs elected and makes it a ridiculous hypothetical but, hey, hasn’t politics been littered with ridiculous analysis in the mainstream media? I mean, why should they have all the fun…

But, ridiculous or not, let’s consider the fact that a number of people only voted for Morrison because they were Turnbull supporters who thought that Dutton shouldn’t be rewarded. Ok, they still might harbour ill-feelings toward the Minister for Dark Arts, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t jump ship once they realise that they’re on The Titanic.

And, of course, there is the possibility that another contender could emerge. While Angus Taylor may be thought to be electorally risky for all the reasons which I can’t list because I don’t have a good lawyer, the Liberals have plenty of ministers with the talent to match Morrison’s skills. Unfortunately, they seem sadly lacking at anyone who might be vaguely competent at anything apart from saying, “It’s Labor’s fault!” or “The Greens did it!” or “I had a dream about coal last night, and it loved me back…”

So will Christian Porter get to carry the party into the next election? Can Josh manage to make another video where he walks AND talks at the same time? Will Spud the Dud win by having ASIO detain all his opponents?

Yes, I know there’s the matter of the two thirds majority. But it’s a rather silly safeguard. I mean, if you called for a spill and it was only defeated by slightly over a third, you’d have to think that the leader was on borrowed time. From that point on, the question would be not can he hang on, but rather, “Do we have to go with the idiot who called the spill or do we actually have someone that the electorate’s never heard of so we can pretend we’re a whole new government?”

No, this is all just silly and I am sure that there won’t be a spill and that Morrison is safe. Given the past ten years, that means it’s 100% certain he won’t last the summer.

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Some Of Us Owe Scott Morrison A Big Apology!

Some people will be surprised that I’m suggesting that we owe our PM an apology, but anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a fair man. And anyone who doesn’t think that I’m a fair man obviously doesn’t know me…

Yes, there are certain things that our PM has done recently that I’ve criticised:

  • Tweeting about how good the summer would be thanks to the cricket, while the bushfires were raging
  • Going on holiday in the midst of a crisis
  • Coming back
  • Having his office lie about his whereabouts
  • Shaking people’s hand against their will
  • Suggesting that the firies didn’t need any compensation, changing his mind, then telling us that they’d been working on it for a while
  • Making the compensation harder to get than a subsidy to start a coal mine
  • Telling people that Kangaroo Island still had two thirds not burnt so it was open for business.
  • Saying that it was good that nobody on Kangaroo Island had died only to be corrected by someone who pointed out that two people had
  • Implying that bushfires were all the fault of arsonists.
  • Calling arsonists “Un-Australian”. (What nationality promotes arson. Is it an English thing? A Canadian thing? A Greek custom? An Italian habit?)

But I’ve taken a step back over recent days and had a good long think about our PM.

When in New Zealand, he left his job as director of the Office of Tourism and Sport with a year to run on his contract for reasons unspecified. He was sacked from Tourism Australia, and not just because of the appalling “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign.

After failing to gain preselection, losing to Michael Towke 82 votes to 8, he managed to become the candidate, after Towke was disendorsed by the NSW executive of the Liberal Party after allegations of branch stacking against Towke. These allegations were later proven to be false and “The Daily Telegraph” settled a defamation case for an undisclosed amount.

Once in Parliament, Morrison quickly became noticed. One of the highlights of his career was when he complained about the Gillard government paying for relatives of the Christmas Island boat tragedy to attend the funerals. This early demonstration of his empathetic nature was something that made him a natural for advancement in the Abbott Ministry.

As Immigration Minister in the Abbott government, he introduced weekly briefings where he would tell the media nothing about boat arrivals or turnbacks because such things were a matter of “security”. When the media said that there was no point in having a weekly meeting where all that was said was that nothing could be said, Morrison quickly agreed and stopped the meetings altogether.

When the Australian Human Rights Commission issued a report in 2014 which asserted that Morrison failed in his responsibility to act in the best interests of children in detention, the Liberals suggested that the report was poorly timed because they were in power and it should have been critical of Labor who couldn’t retaliate by appointing Tim Wilson to the Human Rights Commission.

Morrison moved from Immigration to Social Services where he found that his strategy of locking up people and refusing to comment was a little trickier to implement. He announced that he didn’t want to take a combative approach to the portfolio, so if people would just agree with him that would make it a lot easier.

It was as Treasurer that Scott could really shine. Treasurers use lots of words like “fiscal”, “macroeconomic policy”, “market efficiency”, “superannuation” and various other phrases that even when understood, tend to make the listener drift off into a semi-hypnotic state where they conclude: “This guy is so boring, he really must know something about how to handle money.” (Ok, I did note the use of the male pronoun. I was going to change it to something more generic, but then I realised that Australia doesn’t have female Treasurers…)

Morrison had a natural advantage in that he was boring even before he was made Treasurer. Once he was made leader after Dutton’s aborted coup, Morrison managed to keep people in their semi-hypnotic state throughout the election campaign by talking about such things as curries and a fair go. Somehow he managed to have various people think that they were back in the fifties and it was a bonza country, but he was just a little bit alternative because he embraced these curry things, while Jen could whip up a mean salad.

All of which brings me to the apology…

Given his total and absolute inability to demonstrate empathy or competence in any job he’d ever held, and his ascent has only been through bastardry and nastiness, why on earth would we expect any better once he became our PM. Really, it’s our fault for electing him to a position far beyond his capabilities. He’s possibly doing the best that he can.

And so, on behalf of the Australian people, I’d just like to say, “Sorry, Scottie. We’ve expected far too much of you.”

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Scottie And The Miracle Of The Simultaneous!

One of the things about climate change deniers that’s always amazed me is their capacity to hold two contradictory positions simultaneously. You know the sort of thing I mean. After asserting for several minutes that the climate isn’t changing, that they can suddenly point to a cherry-picked set of figures and argue that not only is it getting cooler, but that climate has always changed and therefore it’s got nothing to do with mankind.

By itself, that would be contradictory enough, but then they will often move on and question the qualifications of someone like David Suzuki, Tim Flannery or Greta Thunberg because they’re “not experts” and have no “qualifications”. They know this because Alan and Andrew have told them. And what do you mean, they’re not experts either. Everyone has a right to an opinion and you are stifling my freedom of speech exactly like my teacher did when they said that I couldn’t call the other students certain names. It’s only because my teachers insisted that there was only one right answer that meant that I failed all my exams and why shouldn’t I be allowed to question whether A squared plus B squared really does equal C squared by writing any number I chose in the answer?

Now, you can expend a lot of hot air arguing with them, but that probably just helps contribute to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere so the best thing to do is quietly walk away… unless you can convince them that putting an “X” beside all the candidates they don’t like in the next election is a perfectly valid way to vote.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the miracle of the simultaneous lately as I read the comments on social media. Apparently we’ve always had bushfires so this is nothing out of the ordinary. At the same time, these fires are unprecedented and caused by what Prue MacSween called “greenie infiltrators” on councils who have someone prevented fuel reduction burning. Some people even go further and suggest that these are being started by arsonists belonging to Extension Rebellion in order to convince us about the need for climate change. Which, of course, brings up the further contradiction that these protestors were meant to be “inner-city types” who never venture outside their trendy cafes and are too lazy to do any proper work. But if we’ve always had fires, how is it suddenly only because of arsonists or the lack of fuel reduction burning.

Say what you like about Scott Morrison, the man is always thinking ahead as to how to turn a situation to his advantage. He’s gone to see John Howard, so I’m expecting them to trot old Johnny out so that he can do the empathy thing and Scott can stand around behind him hoping that his smirk seems like a smile of approval. That should free him from any more criticism about forced handshakes. Howard was occasionally good at the consoling thing and, if the sight of boats arriving with people from fires zones doesn’t make him slip up and instinctively say something like, “Children overboard!” then that should take the pressure of Morrison to look like he actually cares.

This will free up Morrison to do what he does best and make more Liberal Party ads. He’s just made one about the deployment of troops to help with the bushfires…

We know it’s a Liberal Pary ad and not a government announcement because it says “Authorised by S,Morrison, Liberal Party” at the end, and not “Australian Government”.  This ad has attracted a lot of criticism because some didn’t think that up-beat elevator music was the best backdrop. It’s attracted criticism from others because it seems to suggest that the only thing that matters to the government is its own image. The second criticism is unfair because people keep asking for truth in advertising so they shouldn’t complain when they get it.

So what will the next one be about?

Well, he did tell us that the most frequently raised issue with him by communities was lightening fuel loads…

Now, I’m not suggesting that this wouldn’t be an issue to some people. However, I do wonder that there weren’t many other issues that people would have been more likely to raise. For example, the funding of aircraft to fight the fires, the slowness in getting support to some of the victims, climate change, what’s happening about all the people who have lost their houses, his trip to Hawaii… the list goes on. Let’s take our PM at his word, and presume that this is the number one issue. Which is lucky for Scottie because, as he told us, these issues are overseen entirely by state and local governments, so nothing to do with him.

In spite of this being a state responsibility, it now needs a nationally coordinated approach.  Scottie already has the answer: more land-clearing and controlled burn-offs.

I must say that I am pleased to see the word “controlled” in there. Various people have been complaining that there were all these restrictions that stopped people doing burn-offs on their property. While I’m sure nobody meant something like days of “Total Fire-ban”, the idea that anyone can just decide to burn at any time doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

However, I suspect it’s the “more land-clearing” that we’re going to see in the next ad from Scottie from Marketing and we’ll see something like:

“These National Parks are a national asset and a national liability.”

SHOT OF FIRES BURNING THEM.

“Let’s liquefy the asset before fire takes it.”

SHOTS OF LOGGERS.

“There’ll always be those who seek to wreck”

SHOTS OF PROTESTORS

“But let’s build our future together.”

SHOTS OF ANZACS SUPERIMPOSED OVER AN AUSTRALIAN FLAG. 

Yes, you heard it here first. Ah, the Coalition Government… Satire one day; Policy the next!

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Scottie And The Art Of Shaking Hands!

When a worker refused to shake Bill Shorten’s hand in the election campaign, it made headlines. Bill should take a leaf out of Scott Morrison’s book who knows better than to let someone get away with that.

Here we see a woman reluctant to shake his hand.

Knowing that a photo can be paused anywhere, Scomo, using his famous “space invader” tactic, shows Bill how it should be done. Rather than being left hanging, he does something he hasn’t been able to do for much of his Prime Ministership: he takes his hand out of his pocket. He then uses it to grasp her wrist.

With a firm grasp on her arm, he manages to force her hand into his where he gives it a hearty, Mark Lathamesque pump, before walking off when she asks for more funding for the RFS.

At this point, I should issue the warning that this is only an approach that I would recommend to politicians. Don’t, for example, think that you can use the same approach if a person doesn’t want to kiss you at the Christmas office party, as political correctness gone mad demands that you obtain consent from people before manhandling them.

Just in case, you think there was something sexist in his approach, our Prime Marketer also showed the value of his empathy training by approaching a resting firefighter. Unlike most Liberal politicians, he didn’t ask him why he was resting. Instead he offered his hand.

This time, when it became clear that the man was just going to look disdainfully at the hand, Scottie adopted the switch approach, by quickly turning his hand and grabbing the fellow’s left hand as though this was some secret handshake between trusted colleagues.

Later, Morrison further showed the value of his empathy training by explaining that he didn’t take it personally and he understand that these people were just upset that they wouldn’t be able to make it to the cricket.

He went on to say, “There’s been a lot of noise and issues that people have sought to raise about these fires.”*

Noise? Don’t people realise that he only listens to the quiet Australians? You know, the ones who are saying anything…

*Actual quote. Not satire. 

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Scott Morrison Tries To Become A Quiet Australian

When Scott Morrison starts a press conference by justifying what he or his government are doing but halfway through says that now is not the time to politicise things, I have to wonder why none of the journalists point out that his two minutes of spin have done exactly that. Subtext: “This is all someone else’s fault but now is not the time to be laying blame! So there’s nothing more to say, and I’d like to be a quiet Australian and not respond to any difficult questions.”

Now, I know that all politicians try to spin things.

Not all the time, of course. Sometimes events are just too big or too tragic and so we have rare moments of bipartisanship where everybody just understands what needs to be done.

I’d like to think the current bushfires are such a time.

However, our parody of a Prime Minister just can’t help himself. From insisting that we were just fine and we didn’t need overseas help to his most recent statement that Australia has always had bushfires, everything is about trying to ensure that nobody tries to find some flaw in his government. He takes every opportunity to imply that this is really an issue for the states and any help the Federal government gives is a bonus. When he said that: “Our response has been to respond to our state and territory governments where they’ve sort additional support” I was sure that some focus group had suggested that they didn’t feel that the government was responsive enough. But hey, if they seek additional support, we’ll give it! That’s leadership, Scomo style!

While social media is showing a fair bit of extra hostility to the slow responses of our Prime Marketer, I wonder if his attempts at politicising this are as transparent to the “quiet Australians”.

His address from the command centre had “Authorised S.Morrison, Liberal Party” at the end. While party political ads need authorisation, surely an address from the PM doesn’t. Or does Morrison see himself as Liberal leader first, PM second… Actually, there’s probably a few things before PM like family holidays and talking to Brian about miracles.

While I’m cynical about all politicians using disasters as photo opportunities, I acknowledge that for people who are facing extreme events, a handshake or a brief chat from someone in power may actually help them to feel that people have noticed and that they care. Another photo of Morrison looking at someone pointing at a map, won’t do anything for anyone.

His message that we’ve always had bushfires was a clear attempt to suggest that this is nothing out of the ordinary, but I can’t help wonder if we’ve ever had so many fires burning out of control in so many different areas…

Ah, next I’ll be blaming coal or suggesting that speeding contributes to the road toll when we all know that it’s only to raise revenue that governments issue speeding fines. Nothing wrong with doing double the limit outside a kindergarten I say!

I’ve always thought it was the role of the media to educate. The media should be our collective memory reminding us what precedents are being broken and what traditionally has happened. It should be pointing out that misleading Parliament was always a serious matter and that ministerial responsibility meant that the buck stopped with the minister. It doesn’t mean: “I’ve found the person who stuffed up by producing an inaccurate report, leaking it and hidiing the fact that they were the leaker… and no, I’m not going to sack them because we all make mistakes.”

Yet we find the media has the attention span of a two-year-old on a sugar high. Why else would it be presenting Newspoll to us as though it’s completely accurate and we should just forget about the fact that it got the 2019 election so wildly wrong? Why else would it allow Morrison to go from saying that there was no need to pay volunteers one week, to announcing that not only would they be making funds available to some volunteers, but that the government had been working on it for some time? Why else would they not remind Morrison of his quote after the school climate strikes?

“I want children growing up in Australia to feel positive about their future, and I think it is important we give them that confidence that they will not only have a wonderful country and pristine environment to live in, that they will also have an economy to live in as well. I don’t want our children to have anxieties about these issues.”

Why else would they keep telling us about the puppets and not the shadow play which is where the action really is?

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From 2013: “Dealing With Liberals And Trolls – A How To Guide”

The following was first posted in early 2013. While I don’t normally do repeats, this one seemed appropriate:

Some Christians knocked on my door early this morning, even though there is “Do Not Knock” sign clearly displayed. Now I subscribe to the philosophy that religion is like a penis: Some people have one and others don’t and it’s fine either way. But if you have one, don’t knock on my door and  ask me to have a look at it. That they should pick today is ironic, because I was actually planning to write about the Christian ideal of turning the other cheek in this blog today.

It seems to me there are two sorts of people considered “trolls”: the first is attempting to win you over to their way of thinking by presenting an alternative viewpoint of reasonable arguments and evidence to make you consider a different viewpoint. It’s always been a danger that people associate with others like them, and don’t get to see a different world view. (After Jeff lost, Felicity Kennett said she didn’t know how that was possible as she didn’t know ANYONE who voted Labor!?!). The internet makes it easier for people to join groups that just perpetuate their view that God wants us all to own guns so we can shoot gay people who want to marry. Strictly speaking, people who just want to challenge and present other points of view, aren’t trolls. Trolls are, like Andrew Bolt, deliberately provocative, and use language designed to infuriate.

Bolt, of course, gets paid for it. So why do trolls do it? One possible explanation is that they like making people angry; another is that they have some sort of desperate need to be abused. Either way, I recommend we treat them all with compassion, and understanding, so when some troll writes: “Juliar is redhearded witch who wuz neva alleckted.”, writing back that they should use a spell check or commenting that this is what happens when Queenslanders marry only validates them. Far better to ignore them.

Quoting evidence or facts back at them may seem like a reasonable course of action, but I wasted many valuable moments of my life arguing with one troll who just dismissed all sources I presented as being part of a plan for world government which included the mainstream media and the left, scientists and government, the United Nations and, of course, teachers. (I pointed out that this was as likely as Hitler’s claim that the Reichstag was burned done by Jewish bankers working with the socialists, but he seemed to think the Jewish bankers and the socialists were STILL working together). He regularly told me that I was incapable of thinking for myself, followed by a link to a web site where someone was telling him what to think when he was thinking for himself.

And then I remembered the Christmas discussions with my older brother, who liked to provoke all tertiary educated by supporting One Nation policies. I don’t know whether he really believed the things he said, I do know that he enjoyed the argument. There was no point trying to win the argument, because he would change the subject. It was frustrating until I decided to become as irrational and dogmatic as he was. Then it just became fun.

So if you find yourself unable to ignore a troll. Or if you find yourself at a family lunch with a Liberal supporter, don’t expect reason to win the day. Try making them the frustrated exasperated one. For example:

“Well, you can’t deny global warming now, after what’s happened.”

“We’ve always had extreme temperatures, the recent weather patterns…”

“I’m talking about what’s happened in North Korea!”

“What!”

“Someone on the news said that it was the world’s biggest hot spots”

“That’s got nothing to do with the weather.”

“So, you’re denying that there’s a problem in North Korea!”

“It’s got nothing to do with global warming”

“Next you’ll be denying that Julia Gillard was born in Australia.”

“She wasn’t!”

“What’s that got to with anything? Neither was Tony Abbott!”

“It doesn’t matter where Julia was born!”

“Then why are people demanding to see Obama’s birth ceritificate?”

“To prove he’s an American!”

“What’s that got to do with the situation in Syria?”

“Nothing!”

“Then why did you bring it up? You’re just being ridiculous.”

Let them be the one with the high blood pressure.

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How Good Is Christmas In Speedos?

Merry Christmas one and all!

Ok, I’m a little late but I thought that I should say “Merry Christmas” to spite all those people who tell me that we can’t say it any more. Mind you, they’re usually conservative columnists.

Yes, every year we get told about political correctness gone mad and how there’s all these people objecting to the traditions of Christmas.

“When I went round knocking on doors and singing Christmas carols, some PC warrior called the police and they forced me to stop because, according to them, I was ‘too drunk’ and I should go home to bed. Honestly, what’s it come to when you can’t have a few beers and stay out past midnight on Christmas Eve!!”

And underdoubtedly some of you have carefully tried to avoid politics at your family Christmas get-together. In spite of that, of course, there’s always some relative who insists on bringing up something. When the Christmas ham is served, they suddenly remember the story in last week’s paper about the Muslim uber driver who refused to take a couple carrying a ham.

“Outrageous,” says Uncle Barry, “ham is a tradition going back to the time of Christ and the Last Supper where he insisted that his disciples eat meat and have a few wines every Christmas, so those vegans should be jailed along with those Muslims who stop us saying things like ‘Merry Christmas’…”

While wiser heads may let Uncle Barry have his rant, working on the theory that he’ll stop now that he’s had his say, but usually there’s at least one who can’t just let it lie and accept that Uncle Barry is still angry even though he has the Three Stooges trifecta of Donald, Boris and Scottie all in power… Ok, lots of Christmases it was probably me.

Anyway, at this point, the One Who Gets The Blame For Ruining Christmas makes the mistake of saying something like, “Well, won’t Morrison’s religious discrimination bill actually support the Islamic taxi driver in his decision to refuse service?”

“No,” says Uncle Barry, “that attorney general Christian bloke said it wouldn’t.”

“Oh,” asks the One, “on what grounds?”

“Because ham is a Christian tradition!” shouts Uncle Barry.

“But not a religious one.”

After a few moments of discussion about the finer points of what differentiates a secular tradition from a religious one, Uncle Barry will announce how the tertiary institutions are full of Communists who are confusing our kids with a lot of nonsense before switching the conversation to the left-wing media who wouldn’t even let Scomo take a holiday.

“Nobody says he couldn’t take a holiday. It was just his timing. And he knew his timing was bad so that’s why his office lied about him being in Hawaii…”

At this point, the Peacemaker will intervene and suggest that we change the subject and pudding will be served soon and she used grandma’s recipe and it looks really good.

A few moments of discussion about the pudding, then…

“Grandma would be asheamed of you,” says Uncle Barry. “You and all your greenie mates are responsible for all of Australia burning.”

Just as the One is about to reply, the Peacemaker serves the pudding and asks for a change of subject again. Everyone eats in silence before the Joker starts humming Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”

Later on, the Peacemaker will speak to the One and ask, “Do you have to? I mean, can’t you just leave politics out of it?” At this point, the One Who Gets The Blame will slink off and find a place as far away from Uncle Barry as possible before being told to rejoin the festivities because they are being anti-social and, it is Christmas, after all.

Yes, like I said at the beginning. Merry Christmas, one and all!

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The Age Of Entitlement May Be Over But Scott Morrison Is Entitled To A Holiday!

“Where’s Rossleigh?”

“He’s not here!”

“I know that. Where is he?”

“He’s on holiday. He’s taken some long service leave.”

“But he never told me. Surely as his boss I have a right to know.”

“Look, he’s entitled to his long service leave.”

“Yes, I know he is but it’s normal practice to inform me. Where’s he gone?”

“Um, can’t say…”

“Ok, so when will he be back?”

“Can’t tell you that either…”

“It’s the busiest time of the year and he didn’t tell you when he’d be back?”

“No. He just told us not to tell you.”

“This is outrageous!”

“Calm down. People are entitled to their long service leave.”

Yes, you can all see how unreasonable my boss is being in that little fiction. Of course, it’s a fiction because you’d never go off on a holiday without telling the person you work for, so when Morrison doesn’t tell the Australian people it’s because it’s not us that he works for.

Obviously, it’s only Twitterage that’s upset about Scottie’s little Hawaiian adventure… That and some of the journalists who were told point-blank… or should that be point break… that he wasn’t in Hawaii. It sort of made them wonder if they can trust anything coming from the Prime Minister’s Office. Journalists are not stupid… A little slow, perhaps, but not completely stupid.

By now most of you have probably seen the photo of the “legend”. Scott Morrison doing the hang ten sign, which I’m told means that he’s having a good time.

It always worries me a little when kids call me a “legend”. It makes me sound like I’m the teacher who’ll always be remembered for doing something wrong like handing out the actual exam instead of the revision sheet. (No, that wasn’t me!)

Of course, it usually goes down a treat when someone in authority does something a little bit out of character which shows that deep down they’re just like the rest of us really. So when the PM sculls a beer at the cricket it goes down a treat with the crowd. It’s a bit like when Auntie Maude has a wee drink at Christmas and suddenly starts dancing on the table-top. It’s not so funny when Uncle Roger has his weekly slab and crashes into your parked car…

I can’t help but think of Fonzie. I was never a regular “Happy Days” watcher but it was sort of impossible to miss. At first “The Fonze” was just too cool for school. You know, the “you’d never catch me doing that” kind of guy. So when he was first talked into something to save the day, it was funny because it was just so out of character. And, because it worked, the next thing you know, pretty much every episode had Fonzie doing something out of character.

The trouble is: Once you do something regularly, it’s no longer out of character.

And that’s the thing I sort of feel when I’m watching Morrison. It’s like he’s trying to say that I’m really this everyday sort of bloke, who’s just like all of you.

There’s just two things wrong with this. First, not only do I not believe it, but I don’t believe that he believes it. Second, I don’t what my leader to be someone who’s “just like me”. If that’s the case then I might as well be leader, because what have you got to offer if you’re not brighter, more hard-working and prepared to make sacrifices? You know, sacrifices like forgoing your family holiday because there’s a national emergency. But as the man said: “I don’t hold a hose, mate, and I don’t sit in a control room,”  He could have added: “and I don’t provide leadership or show compassion unless it’s for a photo opportunity.” Instead, he added:

“That’s the brave people who … are doing that job. But I know that Australians would want me back at this time … of these fatalities. So I’ll happily come back and do that.”

Mm, is it just me or does it suggest a certain lack of empathy to say that one will happily come back after talking about the fatalities? Anyway, he called the interviewer “mate” so that proves he’s a regular Aussie guy. I wonder if anyone is even tempted to call him “mate” back…

Whatever, Morrison is back and he’ll be going straight to a map to be shown where the fires are burning and then he’ll go to some evacuation centre where he’ll hug someone and say that we’re all in this together. And the media will be allowed to tag along and nobody will ask him about evacuation centres that wouldn’t allow the media nor whether he agrees with government MP Andrew Laming’s tweet which shows he doesn’t know the difference between hazard reduction burning and back burning.

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As An Old White Male, Nobody Listens To Me But You Can Read My Column…

There’s a rumour going around that Scott Morrison is in Hawaii staying in a Trump hotel with his wife and family, which includes the Hillsong guy who may or may not have been uninvited to the Whitehouse. This has caused some criticism from people who think he should be providing some sort of leadership because there are one or two fires burning round the country.

Now, I could spend a lot of time writing about this, but like Scottie, I never respond to gossip. Actually, at the moment, our PM isn’t responding to anything because he’s on a well-earned break in a place that may or may not be Hawaii. Whatever, I’m right behind the person who pointed out that he hasn’t had a holiday for over six months and that one was only to Fiji. All the rest of his overseas travel was for work and he surely needs a rest after all that water carrying.

Imagine if you only got two overseas holidays a year and it was a whole six months since your last one.

Anyway, there are more important things to worry about than those fires…

Ok, I acknowledge that some of you who are in the path of the fire may think differently but it’s a free country so you have a right to disagree with me… At least you do until the religious discrimination laws get up and I can say that you can’t because my God tells me that I’m right and any disagreement is a breach of my right to tell you that these fires are His punishment for suggesting that I was wrong.

As Chris Kenny told us: the fires are nothing to do with climate change; they’re being caused by the drought… And as we all know, droughts have nothing to do with climate, they’re all about weather, which is different from climate unless it’s a cold day which totally disproves climate change!

Whatever, we have more important things to worry about…

Apparently – according to the Kennyman – “woke, inner-city types” just aren’t celebrating Christmas hard enough. A theme picked up by our Treasurer who is worried that the Budget surplus is being threatened by people’s refusal to spend. Yes, austerity is fine for a government, but not so good for the rest of us. Whatever happened to the idea that we weren’t allowed to celebrate Christmas because it would offend people? Apparently now we’re not only allowed to, but Kenny seems to think it’s compulsory.

I guess I shouldn’t refer to him as “Kenny” because it may remind you of that Shane Jacobson movie about someone dealing with shit all day, and that would be unfair because the character in the film used to wash it off at the end of the day.

Now some of you are probably thinking that I shouldn’t be insulting a respected columnist like this and that I should be answering his arguments. However, writing in the same newspaper, Greg Sheridan is concerned that we don’t insult each other any more. He gives several examples of how people he knew would make jokes at his expense. Some of you may think that there’s a difference between someone in your social group making a joke at your expense and the sort of sexist and racist jokes that are no longer acceptable in polite society. However, that’s probably because you’re not friends with someone like Greg who seems to enjoy abuse.

Maybe you should try and make friends with him by writing to him with one of the following salutations: “You three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave! Or You lily-liver’d, action-taking, whoreson” While you’re at it, perhaps you could include Chris Kenny with some like: “Hello, you glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue”. And win a government contract by addressing Morrison as “Dear one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch.”

Yes, I’m sure you’d all become lifelong buddies.

Still, I know how hard it is being an old white male in these days of political correctness. Nobody listens to you so you just have to resort to writing opinion pieces in Murdoch’s Media about how hard it is to be heard and how, in the good old days – people like you would have had their opinion respected without the need to justify it with a lot of facts and evidence.

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Silly Lefties Trying To Blame Smoke Around Sydney On The Bushfires!

There’s been a lot of smoke hysteria lately with people trying to push an agenda just because there’s a little bit of smoke in Sydney. It’s always been smoky in Sydney and before all those cigarette restrictions came in, we’d go days without seeing across the harbour. That’s why there are no photos of the Opera House in the 1950s, it was too smoky…

Ok, nobody’s actually trying to suggest that. In fact, the PM and the NSW Premier are trying really hard not to mention the fires at all… Possibly it’s because any mention of the fires begs the question, “Is today the day to talk about climate change, or will we have to wait till the all the fires are out?”

And when it comes to absurd, can we top the Deputy PM, Michael McWhathisname, telling us that the fires were caused by kids lighting fires… I trust that these were woke, inner city kids and not your wholesome country kids?

Well, yes, we can. We have Nationals leader-in-waiting, David Littleproud declaring that the ADF can’t help with the fires because that would put our national security at risk. I’m not sure how, and I guess he can’t tell us for the same national security concerns that won’t allow Jacqui “Deal or No Deal” Lambie to tell us why she voted the way she did, or the media to report about on water matters….

Actually, people laughed when the then Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, said that they wouldn’t be commenting about “on water” matters. Little did the realise that he’d eventually follow up with no comments about “on land” matters. What’s next?

Oh, of course: “We don’t comment about ‘on fire’ matters!”

While I’m always cynical about politicians and photo opportunities, I can’t help but notice the absence of ScoMoMo anywhere near anything burning or anything burnt. The nearest we saw was one photo of him hugging a distraught old man. Since then it’s all been photos of our Prime Ad Man staring at maps in a way that suggests that someone is keeping him up to date with the situation so that he knows where not go for drinks or polo games. Still, somebody should tell him that keeping his hands in his pockets suggests a level of inactivity that may be sending the wrong message about the goverment’s level of action. Of course when I say “wrong message” I mean the accurate one and not the one they wish to convey…

The big problem with all of this is trying to get everyone to understand subtext. Lots of people do understand that when a politician says that they love a sunburnt country, it’s not just a simple nationalistic echo of Dorothea Mackellar’s poem; they’re trying to suggest something far more sinister. And when one tells us that we’ve always had droughts and bushfires, well, yes, it’s true. But there’s a subtext there, which suggests that there’s nothing we can do about it.

Nobody says that we’ve always had car accidents after a road fatality because the subtext would be that they just don’t care about the pain and suffering caused.  Similarly,  nobody tries to argue that we shouldn’t do anything to reduce the number of accidents because it would have a devasting effect on the economy. Nobody asks us to consider all the poor tow-truck drivers, panel beaters, doctors, nurses, and trauma counsellors who could be thrown out of work by the elimination of traffic accidents.

Still congratulations to the Coalition for announcing an extra $11 million to help with whatever the firies need. $11 million! Wow. To put it in perspective it may not be as much as the $250 million Morrison spent on refitting his VIP jet, but it is more than Barnaby Joyce spent on travel as drought envoy. It’s about the cost to keep that Tamil family on Christmas Island.

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Can Scott Morrison Outspin Shane Warne Or Is He More Likely To Resemble Howard?

Ok, let’s get the cricket analogy out of the way… You’ve undoubtedly seen the video of Howard bowling the short-pitched ball that was a little less threatening than you’d expect from an Australian bowler, but I’m more concerned with the nature of spin than fast bowling.

While one can admire spin on a cricket pitch where the aim is to deceive the batsman, one hopes that politics should be about honestly putting forward a point of view and trying to convince voters that what you say is the best way forward.

And yes, I concede that there is something admirable – in a sort of debating society sort of way –  watching a politician defend his party when it’s clear that nobody could possibly believe that he or she seriously believes what he or she is saying. However, that’s only true when one is actually removed from the situation. Nobody appreciates the smartarse that confuses people so that they think that their going through a red light is all part of the government revenue-raising and you deliberately crashed into them so that they could be fined, so you’re the one at fault.

When ScoMomo talks about the Canberra bubble, it’s like he’s trying to suggest that he’s not part of it.

Canberra bubble, my arse. If it wasn’t for the journalists who seem to admire politicians for not being accountable, politicians of all persuasions would be toast. I mean, if one of them would even ask why it’s expected that they have to swear allegiance to Coal, when other industries are just expected to get on with it, then we might have some semblance of sanity returning to the discussion. Nobody goes around saying that they support our wine industry and we need to ensure that we keep it going at all costs, so we need to pass laws against Alcoholics Anonymous. Imagine the Arts industry if it got the subsidies of fossil fuel. Gees, why don’t the major parties amalgamate and call themselves: “The Fossil Party”… That works on a number of levels.

On the other hand, it’s easy to understand the media’s position. I mean, if a batsman were to argue that they only went out because of Shane Warne’s spin we’d think that he was a bad sport. It’s easy to forgive journalists for admiring the spin of politician and for forgetting that these things have real-world consequences and aren’t simply a game.

It’s when the journalists actually start confusing spin for lying. To go back to my cricket analogy, it’s like a bowler appointing his friends and family as the umpires and appealing before a ball has been bowled.  “Wow,” say the Murdoch journalists, “these are the best figures from any bowler in history. One for none of no deliveries.” (No, in case he’s thinking of suing, I’m not referring to that judge who considered the facts and decided that he wasn’t biased even if he was intending to speak at a Liberal fundraiser. After all, if anyone was in a position to decide whether biased or not, surely he was.)

So it’s quite simple: Outside the Canberra bubble, nobody would be impressed with an exchange like this:

Interviewer – How are you going to manage the low economic growth?

Politician – Sorry, but I don’t accept the premise of your question.

Interviewer – Surely you have to concede that growth is low.

Politician – On the contrary, it’s higher than we expected and Labor caused the GFC and lit all the bushfires, so you can see why people voted us back in, and thanks to us you’re all getting a massive tax cut and everyone has a job and the borders are safe.

Interviewer – Are you blaming Labor for the bushfires? 

Politicians – There are no bushfires. It’s actually the largest fuel reduction burn in history and all those lefties want it stopped.

Next day, rather than opinion pieces criticising the hypothetical politician for outrageous lies, we’d have glowing tributes about his ability to handle a difficult interview.

Oh, here’s Howard’s bowl… In today’s world, he’d be praised for giving the batsman no chance to hit it.

 

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How Good Is Ignoring Just About Everything? OR Back To The Basics Again.

Writing about education reminds me of when Trump was elected. When I wrote something critical of The Donald, a number of people attacked me for being supportive of Hillary who – according to them – was responsible for just about every rotten decision that the United States has made over the past few years. I looked back over what I’d written and I couldn’t find anywhere that I’d said anything about Clinton at all. If you look back over my writing, you’ll find a number of times when I’ve been critical of the USA. Of course, those articles suggested that I go live in Russia, if I like it so much, even though I never said anything positive about it.

Just because I’m critical of one thing, doesn’t mean I support its enemies.

So when it comes to education, if you want to have a serious discussion about what’s wrong with it and how it could be improved, I’m more than happy to engage. If you want to tell me that there were halcyon days when everyone could read above the average and all students could do calculus in their heads, then I have to suggest that maybe you need to actually look at the reality and not your vague impression of the way it used to be.

However…

When I read nonsense like today’s Sundary Herald-Sun, I have to wonder exactly how bad the education really was in days gone by, if people can read it without tearing up their newspaper and cancelling their subscriptions.

Now, I could do a long analysis of why it would be wrong to use Australia’s recent “poor” performance in the PISA rankings to assess the whole education system. I could also point out that America also writes similar articles about how their education system is failing. I could also speculate that we have large numbers of International students from China, which seems strange when we’re being asked to believe that their education system is so much superior to ours.

Even pointing out while the headline screamed “Back To Basics” while the PISA doesn’t test basic skills such as spelling and punctuation, but actually tests thinking; the ability to solve problems and think laterally.

All these things would make an interesting discussion and I’m sure that some would be able to happily find reasons why they can be ignored.

What perhaps was the most galling thing in the article was the idea that somehow students can study literacy and numeracy all the time without referring to anything else. It’s as though some people think if we just sat round drilling kids on the meaning of words, then their literacy would improve. I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a place for the explicit teaching of vocabulary; I am suggesting that students need to do a lot of reading as well. It’s not – as Education Minister Dan Tehan suggested – that students shouldn’t do anything else until they’ve mastered literacy and numeracy… as though they shouldn’t learn any history, geography, health, music, drama or art until they’re literate. Let’s not acknowledge that many of these things help consolidate literacy and numeracy skills.

The paper asserted that 15 year-olds in Australia were several years behind the rest of the world in these tests. Actually, they did no such thing. They merely suggested that our rankings had dropped. While that’s not a good thing, I’d suggest that there a large number of fifteen year olds in third world countries that have had very little schooling and I’d be willing to suggest that we weren’t behind a number of these countries.

Whatever your beliefs on the literacy and numeracy levels, we can have a civilised and intelligent discussion on the best way to go forward in order to improve them. Notwithstanding that, I’d suggest that the push has nothing to do with literacy or numeracy. The idea is being pushed that we’re neglecting these things because the curriculum is too crowded with “left wing” concepts such as Australia wasn’t discovered by Captain Cook because there were already people living here, or that burning fossil fuel may be putting the planet at risk.

The editorial went on to say this in so many words: “From the anti-Australia Day forelock-tugging intelligentsia to the pro-injecting room drug apologists and the climate change alarmists, the views and rights of the average Australian are being trampled by the screaming fringe dwelling minority.”

Fringe dwelling? I thought most people accepted the idea of climate change, even if Australia day is still an excuse for bogans to wear the flag as a cape.

Anyway, It’s good to know that Morrison had a big win in the week when he not only managed to ignore the bushfires but he also managed to stop sick people getting treatment without Peter Dutton’s ok. It’s a great policy and there’s even talk of extending it to Medicare so that we can bring the Budget back to surplus by stopping people going to the doctor without the approval of Home Affairs. And in an effort to stop concerns about climate change, the government unveiled its latest weapon: Men with powerful guns that can shoot anyone reporting on any possible link between climate change and the fires.

How good are quiet Australians?

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How Good Are Secret Deals?

Forget Jacqui Lambie, I have a secret deal with the government to make something very important happen so you shouldn’t attack me for the fact that I’m now going to say nice things about them…

Ok, the government won’t admit that they’ve got a deal with me, but thanks to me they’ve put off their religious freedom bill and they leaned on Israel Folau to make him drop his case.

Don’t believe me? Well, the proof is that I’m about to say nice things about the government and Scott Morrison. And there’s further proof of what I’m saying by the government’s refusal to even acknowledge the deal that we have.

So, here goes.

As one commentator said today this is a big win for the Morrison government and I agree.

This is probably their most significant achievement. Yes, they’ve managed to repeal the legislation that they didn’t like and they’ve gone back to the situation as it was way back in 2018. Wow, this is almost as impressive as when they got rid of that silly carbon tax. And their repeal of all that red tape and green tape.

After all, isn’t getting rid of things what we hope all governments do? Isn’t the history of the world a record of the progress of what we’ve eliminated? Don’t we celebrate people like Edison for his non-inventions?

Repeal. Repeal. Repeal. The most repellant government in the history of the world.

 

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