Saturday 3 March 2018
It was but a few days ago that I wrote at length about the deplorable state of our democracy. At first I hesitated because to some degree I was repeating a previous post. In it I wrote:
“The public might be forgiven for thinking that the chamber has descended into a chamber of hate where respect for the others view is seen as a weakness. Where light frivolity and wit has been replaced with smut sarcasm and even hatred. And in so doing they debase the parliament and themselves, as moronic imbecilic individuals.”
“I would not want to be on the end of a barrage of hate filled vile accusations from anyone but this lady seems to have an intensity to her that is unbecoming of any lady. Now the media will be filled with rumours and gossip about Shorten and his staff and he will be called on to deny them. Was it deliberate. Well, when you put the Joyce affair under the microscope and analyse the sequence of events, you would have to wonder.”
I was of course talking about the verbal barrage of hate-filled vitriol directed at the female staff of the Leader of the Opposition. And it was but a week after the Prime Minister gave the nation – and in particular our politicians – a lecture on decency and manners. Why he keeps making a hypocrite of himself is beyond me. The hypocrisy of an unedifying Turnbull is staggering. Last week he was proclaiming the essence of love and goodness and this week his former Minister for Women is ranting about rumours of sexual behaviour in Bill Shorten’s office.
He leads. Perhaps that’s a bad word. He heads a government of mediocrity and no one bothers to feign shock any more at what repulsion might be around the corner.
There is no doubt in my mind that we have now entered the American phase of politics. Its practice includes lying and slander with an edge that is rancid to the nth degree. To the right-wing conservatives these are legitimate tools in the armoury of political tactics. All that matters is that you create in the minds of the electorate a picture of a man you wouldn’t trust with your wife. If you can drag others in, so much the better. Present them in a tabloid manner of sexual tempestuousness. But I have a hunch that people are over all the personal stuff unless it’s affecting the job or the character of the person you voted for.
As in my piece on Barnaby Joyce where I connected the dots for his dismissal now I suggest for your consideration that the Michaelia Cash explosion is part of a deliberate plan of attack on the character assassination of Bill Shorten.The questions from Doug Cameron didn’t seem to warrant her reaction.
I have no proof of this other that sixty of so years of nose sniffing the Australian political scene. Has the Prime Ministers Department issued a directive to its MPs to attack Bill Shorten’s character at any opportunity. Proof of circumstance is not required and the more personal the better.
Of course a milder form of this tactic has proceeded this more vicious form for some time now but when Peter Dutton entered the fray so spontaneously without any facts I was convinced that it was a set up. Even if Cash stuffed it up.
Now allow me to walk you back on the history of this. Michaelia Cash in another time would not now be a Minister in the Turnbull government. Her actions as Employment Minister would have been so serious as to warrant instant dismissal. Her continuation in the position illustrates just how far ministerial standards have declined. On top of her deplorable performance at a Senate Estimates Committee meeting on Wednesday she is obviously guilty of misleading the Parliament 5 times over whether her own staff had tipped off the media ahead of a raid by the federal police on the offices of the AWU.
“Chair, during the dinner break I sought further assurances from my staff. I have just been advised that, without my knowledge, one staff member in my office, in the course of discussions with journalists, indicated that he had received information – indicated that he had received information that a raid may take place. I am advised that this information came from a media source. I was not aware of it at the time and was not aware of it earlier today in estimates. This took place without my knowledge and was not authorised by me. As previously indicated, I was not notified of the raids until I watched them unfold on the television. My staff member has resigned.”
According to the Westminster System she should have resigned without hesitation, but she didn’t. She simply blamed somebody else and moved on. And so she remains in office despite repeated calls for her to resign.
Now she maligns women in Bill Shorten’s office with innuendo about unsubstantiated rumours also calculated to harm Shorten’s character.
As if on script the Prime Minister, playing good cop, defending the indefensible, steps in and rather than sacking her, says that she had been bullied by the Scottish bloke Doug Cameron. As the laughter was dying down Peter Dutton, as if it were magic, playing bad cop, steps in for his turn:
“We’ve sat here taking a morals lecture from Bill Shorten in relation to Barnaby Joyce over the last few weeks and people know that there’s a history of problems in Bill Shorten’s personal life, Tony Burke’s personal life. And to be lectured by the Labor Party really sticks in the craw.”
The fact is that the only person giving anyone a lecture on morals was the Prime Minister. Shorten had never morally lectured Barnaby Joyce or anyone else. Burke always said pointedly Mr Joyce’s extramarital affair was none of his business and Labor had always focussed on the misuse of office funds and resources associated with Mr Joyce’s affair.
Dutton was trying to escalate the matter as much as possible even when reporters repeatedly asked him for evidence of what he was suggesting.
In Question Time the so-called leader of this great nation said that the lady with the savage tongue had been “bullied and provoked.” He showed no interest what so ever in the finer points of the Westminster System. They know that focus groups or private polling has shown them that their only chance of winning the next election is by attacking the character of Shorten. Or a very large whiteboard.
New Matilda’s Ben Eltham wrote: “no one resigns for misleading parliament anymore. It’s just another example of the declining standards of political integrity in this country.”
My thought for the day
”We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self-interested politicians.”
PS. BuzzFeed reports that the Department of Home Affairs has been ordered to release documents that will reveal whether Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg disclosed his alleged romantic relationship with a staff member to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Quaedvlieg has received close to $500,000 during his time on forced leave since May 2017.