Monday 19 February 2018
The events last week involving Barnaby Joyce have no doubt left the nation aghast at the ongoing destruction of our democracy. It wasn’t just a scandal, but a tragedy. His personal wrong doing and those who would condone it cannot see that events like this, each time they occur, further evaporate whatever is left in the trust jar of Australian politics.
The cynical use of words by a ministry hell-bent on protecting whatever is left of a tarnished reputation was nothing short of scandalous. It was as though words like obligation, honesty, courage, ethics, responsibility and decency had lept from the pages of Webster’s never to be seen again.
The outright lies told by the protagonists in this scandal illustrated just how deeply entrenched it has become in all sections of out community. Lying by politicians has become so habitual that they don’t even realise they are doing it.
Once upon a time people went into politics to fulfill a desire for public service. It was a noble pursuit. Now it seems that it is only for self-interest. There is no pursuit of good works or building a decent society. Now the rust of their corruption spreads itself through the halls of parliament house tarnishing every idealistic thought.
When I sit back and watch I am confounded by the thought that these supposedly intelligent men don’t realise what they are doing to our society. That the hypocrisy they display, the lies they tell and the corruption they do – the example they set is so self-evident. They are judgemental of our unaccountability yet oblivious to their own.
Not content with the damage done the Government’s attack on our democracy continued with the Prime Minister personally intervening with the freedom of the press. To tell an independent media outlet – the ABC – what it can and cannot print under the threat of funds being withdrawn is tantamount to behaving like a dictator.
Greg Jericho had this to say:
“On Friday, the ABC took down Alberici’s analysis, citing that it did not conform to the broadcaster’s editorial standards. Frankly, the article – which has been republished on John Menadue’s blog, is not all that different in focus from analyses by Ian Verrender published by the ABC last year, The Age’s Peter Martin and various others, including myself.”
Particularly when the article was meticulously researched by the author Emma Alberici. It really does highlight just how rotten this Government is. And it didn’t stop there. We lost more of our democracy when agreement couldn’t be reached on the Murray Darling legislation.
When Barnaby Joyce first claimed the extra 450 gigalitres of water didn’t have a “hope in Hades” of being delivered, people pricked their ears. It then got even worse when allegations of massive water theft became public last year. The Australian public are now well aware of the corruption that exists. Joyce in the loose voice of alcohol as much as admitted it when he was half pissed in a pub. As Water Minister he may well be the biggest crook. Well, people have alleged it.
Ostensibly 3 million Australians found politics so unconscionable that they didn’t bother to vote in the last election. They are well aware of just how the system operates and who runs it. Their view of politicians is that they are moronic individuals more intent in their own self-interest than ours. They wouldn’t trust them as far as they could kick them. So they either don’t vote or they turn to ratbags like Pauline Hanson. The fact that she is a drongo doesn’t matter in the least. They just want to be heard. Nor does it matter that she can do little to help them.
What I feel when I see our Prime Minister being so obviously hypocritical or when I hear Joyce using his supposed retail skills, or Morrison telling such obvious lies is a sense of shame. But even more I feel a great sorrow that they know exactly what they are doing.
My thought for the day
“To say that we are ambivalent about our politicians is an understatement. Now we are ashamed.”