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Changing fortunes

Put an asterisk against January 20th 2021 in your calendar. For on this day the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America, marks the end of Donald Trump’s presidency and his insidious enabling of the Australian Liberal/National conservative government.

The problem is the imbecilic members of this shambolic excuse for a national government, don’t realise their fortunes are about to change for the worse.

Shambolic? As I write in the COVID-19 security of Tasmania, the premier of the nation’s largest state – New South Wales – and prime minister Scott Morrison, are on leave.

This at a time when the nation requires articulate, cohesive leadership. Indeed, New South Wales is presently being led by a man, who just a few months ago, threatened to blow up his government then used mental health issues as an excuse to run away from a debacle of his own making.

Scottie from Marketing and Gladys (the ruby princess) Berejiklian have squibbed a coordinated national response to the pandemic, choosing instead their preferred tactic of vituperative partisan political insults.

Similarly, the world looks on as the same scenario unfolds in little Britain. Brazil, the Philippines, and the disunited states of America. The list of floundering states is long.

In theory this all ends with the Biden inauguration and with it the fig leaf behind which Morrison et al have hidden, falls away. After January 20th, the full extent of the COVID-19 catastrophe across a nation that once fancied itself the Leader of the Free World will be forensically displayed. What better way to destroy the Trump legacy than to tell the truth?

We watch America’s train wreck response to the disease on the nightly news, but up until inauguration day we are distracted by the daily shenanigans of the most dangerous American leader of modern times. Thankfully, once Trump is out of office, the antiseptic quality of truth might prevail. Or it may not. But if it does, the revelation will be ugly. Particularly for local Trump camp followers and enablers such as the Murdoch press, the IPA, the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, the robber barons of Western Australia, Clive Palmer, pauline hanson, much of the back bench of the National Party and the mandarins of Sydney’s north shore and Melbourne’s Toorak.

Their props fall away on inauguration day. Snap-back tropes prove hollow, while the endless carping of small business baristas, so-called struggling farmers, tourism operators and sundry masters of the universe, disappear like so much flatulent hot air.

We are in the maw of a global plague, and unless borders can be seamlessly slammed shut for the foreseeable future, as they are in Tasmania and across the ditch in New Zealand, there is nowhere to hide. A well-coordinated federal quarantine policy might help, but I am afraid this particular horse of the apocalypse has already bolted.

And as if on cue, the mean, penny-pinching exercise of cutting back Job Keeper and Job Seeker, mean poverty for even more Aussie Battlers.

On the international front China is already sizing up Joe Biden, and Iran will surely test the mettle of Israel and the United States. Because of the clumsy lock step dance strutted by Morrison with the erratic Trump, Australia is likely to feel more of an icy chill, and possibly worse.

And so to the alternative Australian government; the Australian Labor Party, announcing it is preparing for an election. My guess is Morrison goes early, gambling on a flummoxed, fearful electorate maintaining the status quo.

So if Anthony Albanese is to emulate Joe Biden – and I believe he can – Labor’s creative policy wonks need to come out with much more than abandoning franking credits. A cohesive blueprint to deal with a post COVID-19 world, might be a good starting point. And it would be prudent for Albanese to call on the expertise of Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, as well as the Australian State premiers – Liberal and Labor – for a few pointers.

We all know there is nothing to be learnt from the wafer-thin legacy of the current prime minister whose only claim to fame on the international stage is a worthless trinket called the Legion of Merit, bestowed on him by Trump for… wait for it … “Leadership in Addressing Global Challenges.”

Henry Johnston is an Australian author. His books, Best and Fairest and The Last Voyage of Aratus are on sale in both hard copy and electronic format.


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  1. Harry Lime

    I hope you’re right about Albanese.Henry,we desperately need to rid ourselves of the charlatan and impostor before the wreckage becomes terminal.I would also enjoy seeing that cretin Trump spend the rest of his miserable life trying to stay out of jail, and failing.

  2. Kerri

    How many consecutive days did “Dictator Dan” front the media and his constituents before he took a break? Just asking? 🤷🏼‍♀️
    Great article!

  3. pierre wilkinson

    “Scottie from Marketing and Gladys (the ruby princess) Berejiklian”
    says it all really
    as far as an early election, Scummo has definitively ruled it out, so it is a sure thing

  4. New England Cocky

    There seems to be a not too subtle competition to displace Grumpy Geezer and Phil Pryor from their pedestals as the most polite and accurate descriptors of Australian political events and personalities.

    The description of Giovanni Porkbarrelo is beautifully accurate without mentioning dirty water deals with Malpas Dam drinking water for growing profits for a foreign owned multinational agri-investment corporation.

    Certainly Scummo continues to underwhelm with his lack of talent, inane personal publicity campaign and refusal to accept responsibility for the COVID-19 decision to allow Hillsongers to go home for lunch rather than wait for medical reports. Consequently, Auntie Gladys has been pressured to encourage the spread of COVID-19 causing inadequate policies about the protection offered by face masks and bending over for major sporting events that may reasonably become major sources of further infection.

    Bring on the 2021 ”snap election” so that A8ustralian voters may remove this dark spot on the democracy of Australian politics.

  5. Andrew J. Smith

    Think the issue of borders is not about borders alone but a blunt instrument when other strategies or processes are not used or actively avoided for reasons of political risk….

    There is a high degree of probability, that even with supposedly closed borders, Covid would be in the community and any spread would be contingent upon the behaviour of a small number of infected people (while large scale strategic, not voluntary nor random, testing is not conducted).

    Clearly, although border control and quarantine is a national responsibility, fully for the former and shared with states on latter, Morrison government avoided that responsibility and ‘competence’ from the start, even though the LNP have constantly reminded the electorate of their strong border control competency (leaky refugee boats yes, but US owned cruise ships no….).

    However, it appears that ‘foreigners’ are not so much the issue but a chaotic system for arrivals, confusion amongst public agencies while ‘the top people’ are allowed to travel….. backgrounded by demands of opening up the economy, whatever the health cost and hence the crazed campaign directed against Victoria by national and NSW LNP in winter.

    There are now more ‘known knowns’ so no nation has any excuse now on strategy and tactics that are required i.e. follow the science, provide sufficient resources, strategic testing (and data analysis), tracing/tracking, effective methods of quarantine or isolation, local lockdowns and giving local govt. more responsibility over postcodes they already manage, including vaccinations with local health agencies.

    It’s a stark metaphor, like the UK, US, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey etc. where (top down or authoritarian rhetoric of) personal ‘freedom and liberty’ is allowed to usurp the health and well being of the citizenry who follow directives given or ‘the social contract’, unless they are the ‘top people’ (allowed to travel etc.); radical right libertarianism joined at the hip with eugenics* and people say Australia is egalitarian 🙂

    A metaphor, while Christian conservative enthusiasts like Bolt verbalise the clear inconsistencies, i.e. some years ago no freedom or liberty on voluntary euthanasia but now demanding involuntary euthanasia for oldies?

  6. wam

    Despite his little shuffle, Biden is somnambulant, wish albo was that active. Biden has kamala albo used to have tanya but she has gone with NO! NO! NO!

  7. Kronomex

    Looking at the photo all I can do is wish that I could congratulate the person who decided to see how easy it would be to distract the Gormless Twins by letting a balloon float up to the ceiling.

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