Saturday 25 September 2016
Thinking things were a little quiet politically, I thought I would take some time off to write a series about the ‘Demise of Australian Democracy’. But as they say, “a week is a long time in politics” and all manner of things crept up on me. I will return to that on Sunday.
1 A Nutt case spoke at the National Press Club on Thursday and argued that Labor’s scare campaign on Medicare at the tail of the last election was a lie. In fact he described it as a complete lie, a cold-blooded lie and more. He actually made the point 16 times.
However, when confronted with a barrage of questions about the Liberal Party’s history of scare campaigns it appeared they were as white as snow.
He was asked about the $100 price tag of a leg of lamb, the wiping out of Whyalla, the smearing of Labor MP Anne Aly, asylum seekers, a budget crisis, ‘children overboard’ and of course the carbon tax. Have I missed any?
He said there were no lies in any of these and he said so with great conviction.
“Isn’t the broader lesson from this election that lying in Australian politics can win you votes, seats and almost win you an election?” a journalist asked.
“Are we really saying that taking an absolute lie, a cold-blooded lie, and shoving it down the throat of vulnerable people in their 70s and 80s who are scared to death that their Medicare might be pulled back is acceptable. Is there no standard? Is there no tactic unacceptable?”
Mr Nutt was almost in tears. The things that come back to haunt you. He had made a complete fool of himself in front of the nation and its most senior journalists.
“Memories of Tony Abbott came back to me standing on a football field the night before an election and I was also moved to tears”.
2 Education Minister Simon Birmingham bounced onto our screens telling us that David Gonski’s original vision for education was inequitable. What he didn’t say was that it was so, because Christopher Pyne signed many separate and different deals with the states when he was Education Minister. He blamed Labor for everything but really what he is trying to do is cut education funding.
“If Gonski is dead then someone is guilty of murder”.
3 In what can only be described as a monumental diplomatic dummy spit Malcolm Turnbull described Kevin Rudd’s Manus Island agreement as the worst policy failure in Australian history, citing that 1200 people had drowned at sea. All this while consigning 2000 people to life imprisonment having not committed any crime. And all just to set an example to others.
Of course it was all just a spat between two ultra-egos.
“I would suggest the both acquire a manager. They have been handling themselves too long”.
4 FOI documents suggest Attorney-General George Brandis misled parliament. The short of it is this. Under changes made days before the federal election, no minister – including the prime minister – can seek advice from Mr Gleeson “except with the consent of the Attorney-General”.
If that sounds ridiculous you are absolutely right. Even unlawful. This of course restricts the independence of the Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson who has released documents that cast doubt on Senator Brandis’ claims in Parliament that he was consulted about the move.
“Brandis has always been a law unto himself”.
5 Labor is considering a proposal that all parliamentarians sign a code of race ethics. The code would require parliamentarians to adhere to a set of principles, including respect for religious and cultural diversity, supporting tolerance and justice within a multicultural society, and “to speak and write in a manner which provides factual commentary on a foundation of truth about all issues being debated in the community and the parliament”.
“The idealist in me loves it but I couldn’t imagine the likes of Bernardi and Christensen signing it”.
6 The NSW Liberal Party has lost its dispute with the Electoral Commission. Bottom line is they lose $586,992 but will get $4.3 million in public funding when it finally revealed the source of its donations.
The commission’s inquiry drew on the ICAC investigations that it said found there were “significant breaches” of donation laws, and found that it should have declared a series of donations from the source of those who provided them to the Free Enterprise Foundation.
“Any charges. Probably not, but had it been Labor we would have had a supplement in the Murdoch tabloids”.
7 The Productivity Commission has recommended reforms in the following areas. By reform they mean private enterprise.
- Social housing
- Services at public hospitals
- Specialist palliative care
- Public dental services
- Services in remote Indigenous communities
- Grant-based family and community services
“Because Privatisation of Vocational Education went soooo well the PC suggesting health & housing next” (Richard Dennis).
8 Successive government’s inability to look further than the next election is an ingrown fault of our political system so it was pleasing to see that Labor Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen make the point that we are “a nation that can no longer house its own children”. Bowen has warned that our children and grand children with soaring home prices that young people will be prevented from entering the market and that a generation will face a crisis in affordability.
He also added that the growing wealth of the super-rich one per cent together with a relative decline in middle-class incomes had given rise to the popularity of parties like the Nick Xenophon Team and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Donald Trump in the United States and the success of the “Brexit” campaign.
9 Lastly, we have the Essential Poll that seemingly shows that half the population doesn’t want Muslim refugees. It is fair to say that events around the world by ISIS and others has placed fear in the hearts and minds of people.
But it also stems from misunderstanding, misinformation and blatant propaganda. The contribution to the ongoing cause of the demonising and the vilification of Muslims can be laid with those in the media who seek to profit from the exploitation of these people’s misery.
You know who they are. And those in the body politic who have victimized them from day one in search of a phony power.
“When people start a sentence with. I’m not a racist but. Rest assured that they are”.
My thought for the day.
Doubt be not our fear
Truth be our desire
Critics don’t condone us
Our contradictory thought
Doubt makes us wise
To question not a sin
Doubt be our journey
Questions be inspired
Integrity walk beside us
Truth will always win
Reason be our companion
Doubt our inner voice
Truth be the search
That doubt alone can bring