Thursday 17 August 2017
When The Australian publishes headlines like those listed below (all behind a paywall, sadly), you know you are in deep trouble. We are being governed by clowns but it’s no laughing matter. The Government has found itself in an agonizing muddle over Joyce’s actual citizenship status and sought to ensnare Australia’s trusted security Five Eyes partner, New Zealand.
“Was there a cover-up on Joyce?” (Greg Brown)
Cory Bernardi asks if government knew about Barnaby Joyce’s dual citizenship and tried to cover it up.
“Mad mad days in Canberra” (Paul Kelly)
Labor outsmarts the government at almost every step — and it’s not just good luck.
“Barnaby only has self to blame” (Simon Benson)
Barnaby Joyce – and others – have only themselves to blame for the predicament they are in. It is no fault of the law.
“Coalition Response a Disaster” (Dennis Shanahan)
Julie Bishop has thrown petrol on the flames and damaged our closest relationship.
“Jokes on Turnbull in this mess” (David Crow)
The Prime Minister not only strolled toward a trap set by the Opposition, he leapt the final steps.
“Payback as Labor senses blood” (Dennis Shanahan)
Barnaby Joyce will have to step aside at least as a cabinet minister or have the government face ongoing chaos.
Making a fool of Australia
Julie Bishop is well remembered for her remark when representing a mining company “why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying.”
She is also known for overreach.
Her actions on Tuesday when she decided that New Zealand and Bill Shorten had colluded to bring down the Australian Government bordered on being unhinged. As Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she might not be able to trust a New Zealand Labor government.
When you boil it all down and rid all the talk of its conspiracy nonsense it would seem that Penny Wong’s Chief of Staff who happened to be a New Zealander made some enquiries about citizenship and found that indeed Joyce was a dual citizen. It’s politics. The Coalition would do the same and as I write is probably trying to unearth anything they can on those Labor MPs alleged to be doubtful.
The problem for Turnbull and Bishop and others is that a superior opponent is politically outplaying them.
For example, Turnbull is being played like a puppet on a string. He is threatening to name up to 9 Labor MPs as having dual citizenship. He is only threatening because he knows that he would be condemned by all and sundry if they were found to be squeaky clean.
And it would amaze everyone if Labor had not done due diligence on the matter from day one.
Bishop has once again made a fool of herself. The government’s near hysterical campaign about traitors has not gone down well.
Tuesday 15 August might well go down in Australian political history as the day a conservative party accused our close neighbour, friend and sporting foe as treacherous. Christopher (the fixer) Pyne gets the gong for using the ‘T’ word. Mind you have used the ‘C’ to describe Bill Shorten previously I suppose the ‘T’ word was a little less offensive to New Zealand.
Then in keeping with the dastardly conduct of the Government (if you can call it that) the Prime Minister motivated his party room by repeating that Bill Shorten wanted to steal government by entering into a conspiracy with a foreign power, Turnbull told colleagues.
Everyone had treated the matter with a bit of good old Australia V New Zealand competitiveness to this point but when Julie Bishop high heeled her way into the mural hall to suggest she would struggle to trust a Labor government in New Zealand the mood changed.
It was a Trumpish press conference from Australia’s normally highly professional foreign minister. She looked uncertain and nervous and as soon as she cottoned onto the fact that she was making a fool of herself she walked out.
When the clowns of the circus moved to Question Time the acrobatics were in full swing. Those responsible for the questions, required backbenchers, with forlorn looks on their faces, to ask questions about foreign state interference in Australian political matters. And with a straight face. Was war about to break out between two friends?
The Dorothy Dixers would have you believe a cold war had erupted across the Tasman and New Zealand was now some axis of evil.
And all this time Barnaby Joyce sat dejected like a man accused of a great wrong but was really innocent. As I watched I was reminded of how he wasted millions of taxpayer’s dollars moving a department into his own electorate and his pub confession of stealing water from the Murray to give to farmers.
He breaks the law with gay abandonment but pleads ignorance when confronted by his own ignorance. I have no sympathy for his dejection. He plays the game hard and what goes around comes around.
The bear pit known as Question Time descended into a government fiasco, excruciating in its capacity for reducing otherwise intelligent people into moronic imbeciles.
The government spent Question TIme painting pictures of New Zealand as an enemy of Australia conspiring with the Labor Party to bring down the Government. How ridiculous, how ludicrous, how silly, how absurd, how preposterous and how typical of this government and its leader.
Labor had outsmarted them and used ridicule to embarrass the Government.
Other than just being downright offensive this government is worthless. It is not fit to hold office. It’s desperation, panic and recklessness is there for all to see.
My thought for the day:
Current experience would suggest that the Australian people need to take more care when electing its leaders.
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