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.’’
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.
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’.