The Prime Minister is never short on confidence, but mostly it borders on arrogance. This was on display in Question Time this week when Scott Morrison tried to defend his lack of progress on a Federal Integrity Commission. “Where the bloody hell is it?“ boomed Albo’s voice last Wednesday during question time.
It didn’t go unnoticed that the term “where the bloody hell” was a little provocative given that the same words were used by Morrison in one of his infamous advertisements while in charge of Tourism Australia.
During Question Time the government was asked several questions about the lack of progress on this most important piece of legislation.
It gave three answers that reminded me of that old West Indian madrigal that Harry Belafonte used to sing: “It was clear as mud and it covered the ground and my confusion made me head go around.”
The first answer was something to do with anti-corruption bodies being extremely complex, “and we need to consult widely before rushing to legislate,” came the excuse from the Prime Minister.
That sort of had a ring of truth to it, but we had been hearing that for two and a half years and sort of answered a rhetorical question as to why they stuffed so many things up.
The second answer used the soon to be overused riposte that it’s difficult to consult properly in the midst of a pandemic.
The third answer was a doozy: “Don’t you realise there’s a crisis, Anthony, you fool.” This was followed with an additional sputter from the mouth that roared to the effect that:
“I was not going to have one public servant diverted from the task [of managing the pandemic to deal with ICAC.”
Telling the truth should not be delayed simply because we are not sure how people might react to it.
In truth, what these answers delivered was confirmation of an ongoing capacity to lie to the Australian people. The government has been conducting business as normal since the outbreak began. Part of that normality has been legislation to overhauling the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the foreign veto power proposal plus powers allowing it to remove mobile phones from asylum seekers legislation. Add to these other examples, like doubling university fees for some future humanities students.
I could keep going, but I think you get my point. All of these everyday pieces of legislation have been worked on while at the same time coping with an awful pandemic.
With a list of alleged corruption growing longer by the day I repeat what I said in my previous post:
“If all the LNP errors, rorts and corrupt activities during their tenure were lumped in the same basket as corruption and looked at retrospectively, then an Integrity Commissioner would have years of work.”
This week the intensity on the government has grown with regards to the AFP looking into the sale of land in NSW at the site of a new airport.
The Guardian reported that:
“Three federal infrastructure department officials and federal MP Angus Taylor separately met with Louise Waterhouse while she lobbied for potentially lucrative changes to her vast landholdings near the Western Sydney airport.”
The Guardian also reported that Labor asked a series of questions in Senate estimates on Tuesday after Twitter confirmed it permanently suspended a QAnon account belonging to a family friend of the Prime Minister’s for “engaging in coordinated harmful activity.”
The Sydney Morning Herald informed that:
“the Australian Border Force is the target of a corruption investigation over allegations that it improperly funnelled $39 million from a national security project to share market-listed defence company Austal to prop up its financial position.”
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, The Age tells us that:
“a federal inquiry into the office of Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar was outsourced to the law firm he used to work for, sparking questions over a conflict of interest in its findings.”
When added to the existing scandals and given that the new commission is structured to handle the work load, the LNP should be more than a little terrified.
No matter what the spin, what excuse or what lies are told in defence of not completing the legislation a pile of corruption with the stench of LNP government involvement awaits the judgement of public opinion.
Finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.
Whilst it is well known that Christian Porter is the most overworked parliamentarian in the House of Representatives, there can be little doubt that the government wants the issue to go away as much as we all want the virus to disappear, it won’t.
There are so many clangers having a smell of corruption hanging over the Coalition since Tony Abbott became Opposition Leader. It has to stop.
The dilemma as I see it for the government, is that through their own promise is expected to formulate a policy that the public and the Opposition will accept and then successfully prosecute its own corruption.
Now that is a problem.
My thought for the day
This Government’s performance over its time in office has been like a daily shower of uncouthness raining down on society. Surely performance or lack of it must mean something.
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