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Day to Day Politics: Hunting with hypocrisy.

Thursday 11 February 2016

1 The news that Greg Hunt has received an award as ‘Best Minister in the World’ will be received with much scepticism by many Australians. Even hilarity.

Mr Hunt told Fairfax Media he was “genuinely humbled” by the prize, but noted “this is really an award for Australia”.

The criteria for winning the award, according to the organisers, is that the minister should lead quality successful initiatives that serve the needs of citizens.

Any economist, environmentalist or climate scientist or journalist specialising in the subject would be aghast that a person who has done so much harm to environmental policy could be honoured with an award.

Politics in this country is rapidly turning to farce. First we make Philip Ruddock our Human Rights Envoy, and now this!

Internationally, in environmental gatherings Hunt is referred to as the man for all seasons. He has long been admired for his ability to put the case for Direct Action without ever explaining exactly how it might work. Or how it might be paid for.

He gained a masters with honours in 1990 with a brilliantly argued thesis for a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions. Then he did an about turn when Abbott gained power supporting Direct Action. It was then that he lost all credibility and has been ridiculed ever since.

There is an award at every climate summit called ‘The Fossil of the Day’. The award is given by the international Climate Action Network to the country which has done the most to block progress at the climate change negotiations.

We are a regular recipient of this award.

2 The Polls are beginning to reveal the electorate’s disapproval of the government’s pathetic handling of the GST proposal and general Tax Reform.

It has become so silly that the State Ministers and Chief Ministers had to recently cancel a meeting on tax reform because they had no idea what on earth they should be talking about.

Essential this week has the Coalition 51/49 and Morgan 52.5/47.5.

“Morgan finds serious slippage in support for the Coalition for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became leader, bringing it more closely into line with Essential Research, which continues to find the Coalition with a narrow lead. Morgan also finds serious slippage in support for the Coalition for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became leader, bringing it more closely into line with Essential Research, which continues to find the Coalition with a narrow lead.’’

An observation:

Is it morally sustainable that in order to protect our borders that we should allow the indefinite incarceration of people? The sexual abuse of children. The rape of women and the murder of men. If it is so then by any fair judgement we must be a decadent society.

3 Health Minister Susan Ley said her department may outsource Government healthcare payments using innovative high-tech methods. I’m ok with that provided substantial safeguards are built-in and the work is conducted within Australia.

But the continuous floating of thought bubbles on top of an as yet unexplained narrative of why all these changes are warranted, is disconcerting.

4 The Stuart Robert scandal is taking a highly familiar road to nowhere. We have to wait on yet another report. The AFP are still to report on Mal Brough. We are still waiting on the report on parliamentary expenses and ICACs ruling on Arthur Sinodinos. Mounting a paper bill that might yet keep the paper mill in Morwell open. It is struggling because the government won’t buy its Reflex copy paper.

That aside, with the imminent retirement of Nationals leader Truss and Trade Minister Andrew Robb, Turnbull faces a nightmare of a cabinet reshuffle.

5 The ABC made a mistake in falsely reporting that a 5-year-old had been raped on Nauru. When it confirmed an error had been made it apologised. And correctly so.

I made the following remark on a Facebook debating site:

It’s a pity other news sources didn’t apologise when they make mistakes.

The following transpired:

Jack: Perhaps you could lead by example, John.

Me: Healthy thing to do, Jack.

Jack: You would be busy for quite some time bringing things up to date.

Me: How long do you think it would take Bolt, Jack?

Jack: I don’t believe Bolt lies – in fact the press would rip into him if he did. And that is irrelevant. We are talking about you.

Me: Two court cases and the Press Council think he does, Jack.

Me again: It would be a good idea if all media outlets corrected their errors.

Jack: Well that means nothing until proven guilty and I know you’re spreading lies and bullshit every time you post.

Jack again: We are talking about you, John Lord. Like all lefties you love to deflect and not take responsibility for your own actions.

Me: Two courts found him guilty of lying and the press council asked him to retract.

Jack: We are talking about you, John Lord. Like all lefties you love to deflect and not take responsibility for your actions.

Me: Jack, you are talking about me. I am not.

Jack: Like I said you deflect and won’t take responsibility for your actions.

Me: What am I deflecting from, Jack? All I suggested that it was a good idea for media outlets to own up when they make a mistake.

Geoff: Send them a terse letter, John. Let us know the response.

Jack: You are deflecting from my comment you should lead by example.

Rohan: That’s the AIMN guy’s modus operandi. Call all the media liars and de-flectors, then double down on lying and deflecting. Shouldn’t be surprised, Jack. It’s the only way they can cobble together their contrarian views.

An observation:

Social media has opened the world to a new method of communication. Unfortunately it has also given a voice to the nutters.

I recalled some lines from an old West Indian folk song:

‘It was as clear as mud and it covered the ground. And the confusion made me brain go round.’

6 Former PM Tony Abbott has warned disenchanted voters may be tempted to “flirt” with extreme right-wing parties.

What was it he was leading?

7 Gillian Triggs is reported as saying that the PM reversed a decision to include her on the selection panel for the sex discrimination commissioner and was not consulted about Ruddock being appointed Human Rights envoy:

My Thought for the day:

Never be burdened by the negativity of others. Wear positively as if your life depended on it’.

 

25 comments

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  1. keerti

    “Politics in this country is rapidly turning to farce.”
    First we make Philip Ruddock our Human Rights Envoy and now this!…??????It has been a farce for a long time…the fiction that we have a labor party with labor values making a credible opposition. The fiction that we live in a democrasy…

  2. Terry2

    3 Outsourcing government services

    When we outsource government services, in this case Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Human Services payments systems we are told that it’s all in the name of efficiency which is a euphemism for cost cutting and inevitably a reduction in service delivery.

    Perhaps more alarming is that to achieve these ‘efficiencies’ the private operators need to maximise their profits so they turn to our Asian neighbours to provide the low-cost operators and the services are effectively offshored and Australian employees sacked.

    At some stage Australia has to come to terms with the fact that we need to provide employment and career paths for our own people and this constant striving to cut cots and send the jobs to Asia is ultimately self defeating.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Jack seems like a completely brainwashed fool.

    I was wondering if there was still anybody in this country who worshipped Bolt and trusted his every word. Jack answered my question.

    Anyway, John, I think you came out with your credibility intact in your exchange with that buffoon.

    On top of that, this is an excellent post.

  4. Kaye Lee

    I KNEW it!!!! Tim Wilson wants preselection for Robb’s seat. Alexander Downer’s daughter is his main competition. How can Wilson even be considered when he is not a member of the Liberal Party? He resigned to take up his current high-paying sinecure. Will he risk that? I suppose if he won he could go back to advocating for the abolition of the human rights commission.

  5. Adrianne Haddow

    I don’t know why you bother with Farce book ( intentional spelling), John.

    It’s essentially a platform for self aggrandisement, followed by harassment if some no brainer disagrees with you, or a means of spreading vitriol and disinformation. That’s where the anti-halal movement began, lots of misinformation with links to appropriate websites with the same misinformation on steroids.

    Those who read the Murdoch press do so to have their own prejudices confirmed, without any need for self questioning or proof, so you can dismiss any criticisms from them.

    Obviously, the same applies to anybody who quotes Andrew Bolt, Piers Ackerman and the divine Devine.

    Keep up the good work and keep the bastards honest.

  6. mars08

    @Adrianne Haddow … excellent advice. Thank you.

  7. Deidre Zanker

    Great article as always John. I am still trying to get my head around the best minister award. What a farce.

  8. Ricardo29

    My question to Jack would be ‘ where have I told a porkie that you believe I should own up to, correct, or apologise for?

    On privatisation, completely agree with Terry. I don’t know that there is evidence anywhere that the private sector can do something more efficiently than the public service. Maybe short term, but over the long haul services always get more expensive, Telstra, electricity, Australia post (soon).

  9. margcal

    Facebook, for all its many faults, occasionally comes up with brilliance, like this …. Scott Ludlum’s address to the nation

    It’s on the Greens FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Australian.Greens/?fref=ts

    There’s an abbreviated version on the Guardian web site.

  10. John Lord

    Kaye. That is insightful.
    Adrianne. You are correct.
    Michael. We have both experienced worse. Its strange how a lot of them become very upset when you treat them nicely or even agree. They go feral.

  11. Ross in Gippsland

    Outsourcing government services, in this case Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Human Services payments systems to Manila, what could possibly go wrong?

    To let the Commonwealth Banksters or Australia Post get their greedy, inept, incompetent hands on something as sensitive as these services would probably be worse.

    As we have learnt to our great sorrow, outsourcing any services usually ends in tears, for the customer.

    Another IPA brain fart.

  12. Lee

    “3 Health Minister Susan Ley said her department may outsource Government healthcare payments using innovative high-tech methods.”

    That will probably be outsourced to a Church-run group, who will submit false claims that go into their own coffers. When the fraud is discovered, the Australian government will not take legal action.

  13. lawrencewinder

    What a bloody farce… “Tampa”Ruddock as Human Rights envoy, now “Ozone-Hole” Hunt as best minister…. Theatre of the Absurd at its finest. From Orwellian duplicity through to Kafka-esque surrealism and now Theatre of the Absurd…. what a ruling rabble!

  14. diannaart

    If anyone attempts to win a debate by resorting to Bolt or Devine or similar mouthpieces for Murdoch or the far-right – you have won the debate – a kind of Godwin’s law for Australia.

    As for award for Hunt – not to worry.

    Now if the award had been made by NASA, Greenpeace, BOM (insert organisation that is pro liveable planet), then I would really be on the next asteroid out of this place. But it was the Saudis – oil merchants, who really gives a f*ck?

    So when Greg Hunt says “it was really for Australia” no, Greg, its yours, all yours, you earned it you little %!#?@

  15. Lee

    10th February is the birth date of one of the most wonderful dogs to share my life, and now it will be forever tarnished as Greg Hunt Day.

  16. Mercurial

    “Morgan finds serious slippage in support for the Coalition for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became leader, bringing it more closely into line with Essential Research, which continues to find the Coalition with a narrow lead. Morgan also finds serious slippage in support for the Coalition for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became leader, bringing it more closely into line with Essential Research, which continues to find the Coalition with a narrow lead.’’

    That’s the same thing said twice.

  17. Wally

    “Jack: I don’t believe Bolt lies”

    Well Jack is clearly deluded, wonder if he knows NoS?
    They would definitely get on well together.

  18. John Lord

    Mercurial. Yes it is. My apologies.

  19. stephengb2014

    You have to remember that Facebook has a huge following of people

    Therefore it is a very worthwhile vehicle for getting a message out and believe me the Right wing nut jobs are at it 24/7.

    So do not thumb your nose at Facebook, use its popularity!

  20. The AIM Network

    Stephen, most of our traffic comes from Facebook.

  21. Rotha

    Greg Hunt the best environment minister in the world? What is this organisation? Are they connected with Monsanto? Mr Howard’s government handed Environment money over to a plethora of companies, all of
    Which promote Monsanto products. Now we spend more money than ever before on our environment, and it is deteriorating faster than ever. Crazy.

  22. jim

    How do we forget the lies the Abbott government told to get in power, I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbott has a really sore bum still. or Aids hopefully.

  23. chris

    I’d love any journo to ask any govt. minister “have they ever had any dealings with an outsourced department in their personal life & if so, was the matter dealt with efficiently?” but won’t hold my breath waiting for it…

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