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From Abbott to Morrison: by God you need patience

In August 2016 I wrote a piece about dysfunctional government and how much patience was needed if one was to have any confidence in conservative governments ever reversing their incompetence.

There is probably no need for me to tell you that Tony Abbott won government in 2013 – he poured his ideology over society in a period of disastrous dysfunctional leadership that saw him warned by his party that he needed to shape up or ship out.

His answer was to say that “Good government starts today” and we all wondered why it didn’t start on day one.

It never came, of course, and yet another Prime Minister in Malcolm Turnbull not only promised better government, but a more open one that would listen and be more transparent.

Now I am a patient man, but I must say it’s not infinite. I’m still waiting for it to happen. Take for example the kerfuffle at the time over the banking sector.

Blind Freddy knew that the banks had been ripping off their customers for yonks. There is ample evidence that they had destroyed the lives of many thousands of people.

The conduct of their financial advisers was criminal and a drover’s dog knew that they had manipulated interest rates, even colluded on them.

In short, they had behaved criminally. I recall thinking at the time that if a government that was hopelessly dysfunctional can have a Royal Commission into alleged corruption in the Union Movement, why can it not have one into our financial institutions?

Well, you all know what happened after that. The government relentlessly resisted a financial services Royal Commission until the scandal became bigger than Ben Hur and the chariots of fire were let loose.

Good conservative governance requires patience. Lots of it. Which rather laboriously brings me to my point.

Seven long years after Tony Abbott spoke those now infamous words, “Good government starts today” I am still mustering every ounce of something that is very foreign to me. I am by nature a very impatient man.

And so it was when I learnt that none of the $250 million set aside for ‘The Arts’ in June had been allocated.

Art in all it’s forms is just a reflection of society.

By God, they didn’t take long deciding on the allocation of funds prior to the last election.

Now being a thespian of long-standing, a composer of poetry, short story writer and portrait artist,  I was a touch upset for those in the arts who are now unemployed. Well, I’m more than a touch upset, I’m actually filthy on the government that since the announcement by Minister Paul Fletcher on 25 June, nothing has been done.

“Thousands of jobs across Australia’s arts industry will be backed with a new $250 million targeted package to help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.”

“We are backing over 600,000 Australians in the cultural and creative sectors whose work contributes $112 billion to our economy. These sectors have been hit hard during the pandemic, and the Government’s investment will play an important role in the nation’s economic recovery,” Minister Fletcher said.

Surely, in the circumstances we find ourselves, time is of the essence. Drawing up the guidelines for the allocation of funds could be done overnight. As I said the sports rorts funding was a very hasty effort. They didn’t waste any time with that.

Some six weeks have now flowed under the bridge since the announcement of the arts package. The Office of the Arts has submitted the draft guidelines but Minister Fletcher is sitting on them.

Once the Minister gives the go-ahead it will take another eight to twelve weeks for the cash to start flowing. So it will be November before anyone gets funding. Eight months after the announcement meaning we won’t see any production until the New Year.

Please forgive my impatience but I thought we were in some sort of crisis.

My thought for the day

An artist creates a sculpture alone; a painter uses a brush in isolation. But music forms a community, where the Spirit of life can be felt.

It didn’t take him long to give Murdoch another $10 million on top of the previous $30 million. Still waiting on an answer as to what for. Just be patient.

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16 comments

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  1. Cool Pete

    If Malcolm Turnbull said one thing that was applicable to both major parties it’s that ex-PMs are best off out of Parliament. Were it not for Rudd’s destabilising, the Labor Party should have won a third term.
    Botty farted earlier this year that his leadership was the victim of Turnbull’s overweening ambition to be PM. Apart from the fact that Botty was the most incompetent excuse for a PM this country has had since Federation, he is arrogant, rude and completely incapable of seeing that he was the architect of his own downfall as leader. His entire plan was to destroy Labor’s legacy and to follow the IPA wish-list. The Liberal Party has failed to understand that while most of us were delighted to hear the Liberal Party spokesperson announce, on September 14, 2015, that Botty was no longer leader, and hence had to vacate Kirribilli, it was the policy agenda of the Liberal excuse for a Government that caused it to lose 30 consecutive Newspolls, not the fact that their leader looked and sounded like an idiot at every turn!
    Botty would have done well, also, to consider that he made a bloody fool of himself, last May, in his concession speech. A quitter knows when their time is up, and bows out at the time of their choice, whereas a loser is someone who needs to be told during the contest, “Your time is up!” As Bill Shorten said, “You don’t need a fake Rolex to tell you that this government’s time is up.” Botty was too arrogant to understand that even a real Rolex was telling him it was time to quit.

  2. Kate

    When the repugnant, totally inept, Mother and Father of All Liars, Phoney Abbott said: “Good governance starts today” – what he omitted to add was what we ALL know the continuation of that sentence to be:

    “Good governance starts the day the LNP get kicked to the kerb and Australians have the common sense, compassion and foresight to elect a LABOR government who have the historical competence to be able to manage our nation effectively in a crisis”

    This fact has been borne out by Australia’s only two Treasurers being named as the WORLD’S BEST TREASURERS and both of them being LABOR Treasurers: Paul Keating and Wayne Swan. This is NOT a coincidence! When the IMF and the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Josef Stiglitz named Swan as the world’s best treasurer, they ALSO stated that our WORST, most incompetent and wasteful government were, indeed, the appalling Howard/Costello regime which politically-motivated depravity expended countless BILLIONS on a criminal, genocidal invasion of Iraq/Syria – a hideous and ILLEGAL war that Howard ramped up as a diversion because his reputation as a corrupt, pathological liar and callously inhumane capitalist caused his popularity to (justifiably) slump in the polls! When this happens, history has shown that the LNP will, almost immediately, look to get us involved in a war (albeit Korea, Vietnam or Iraq) to take Australians attention away from the LNP’s increasing incompetence and inability to manage the nation in any way that is remotely egalitarian or effective! The LNP THRIVE on war, hatred, division and fear – their MO is to divide and conquer!

    Not only did the war criminal, John Howard and his grossly over-rated treasurer, Peter Costello, almost treble our national deficit (a disastrous deficit that the Kevin Rudd government inherited and which the disreputable hypocrite Abbott then had the audacity to accuse of creating!). The ALP (Wayne Swan in particular) were instrumental in ensuring that Australia became the only major developed economy to come through the great global recession unscathed. Despite the ocean of opportunistic conservative political commentary that has followed, we did so with among the lowest debt-to-GDP and deficit-to-GDP ratios in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, evidenced by the fact that through the GFC, the global recession and the years that followed, Australia maintained AAA credit ratings with all three global ratings agencies. None of this happened by chance. It required careful financial and economic management – careful financial management instigated and undertaken by the ALP!

    The fact is that when you look back through history, the WORST political decisions and ineptitude have ALL taken place under the gross negligence, waste and criminal corruption of an LNP government. You wonder HOW so many Australians can be so stupid as to believe all the gormless three word slogans, the empty platitudes, the never-ending lies and relentless broken promises spewed out by the LNP – especially the horrific hand-on-your-black-heart promises made BEFORE the election by Phoney Abbott, ALL of which were broken immediately after he crawled into power!

    It isn’t a coincidence that, years later, Julia Gillard is rising and shining and becoming more and more respected for her dignity, compassion and foresight whereas the ignominious, vindictive, xenophobic and divisive John Howard and, worse, Tony Abbott have sunk into justifiable obscurity! Self-serving political parasites and callously inhumane sociopaths reign supreme in the LNP and the long, long list of the damage done by them makes for unsettling reading. The LNP’s massive, ongoing defundment of our taxpayer-owned ABC whilst the LNP continue to politically interfere in the management of the ABC, parachuting right-wing sycophants onto the Board of the ABC to influence and control what Australians hear and see; the manner in which the LNP ALWAYS favour the obscenely rich over ordinary hard-working Australians; the way the Abbott regime defunded scientific and medical research into oblivion – shutting down the scientific research centre of the CSIRO; the way the LNP go all out to protect the insidious and inherent corruption of BIG BUSINESS and the banking industry – doing everything in their power to prevent a Royal Commission into dodgy banking practises yet targeting, harassing and intimidating Unions (even invading Union offices); marginalising minorities in xenophobic attacks against asylum seekers in order to marginalise minorities proving that the LNP have always got to have someone to attack, someone to vilify in order to garnish their vote from right-wing conservatives who thrive on hate and fear. So much destruction that one has to stop and reflect HOW MUCH our once welcoming, friendly nation …. the long, endless list of dangerous decisions made by the LNP is just too numerous to list here!

    The LNP’s horrendous politically-motivated and hideously expensive Royal Commissions into Unions and other “enemies of the LNP” that proved fruitless and added to our national deficit that now exceeds AUD $580 BILLION (that is half a trillion dollars!), their blatant misogynistic attacks against Julia Gillard, a disgusting level of misogyny that is inherent in a deeply conservative party where only a handful of women hold positions in government, the LNP’s escalating lack of democracy bordering on fascism. Truly, the LAST government this country wants or needs in a crisis is the LNP! Everything they touch, turns to shit in record time.

    Isn’t it ironic that, despite the LNP’s outspoken hatred of anything that smacks of democratic socialism, how – when things got tough during the Covid-19 pandemic, the FIRST thing they did (with a lot of pressure from the ALP), was to introduce the socialistic initiatives of stimulus packages (that the LNP so greatly criticised the ALP of undertaking 10 years ago), Job Seeker and Job Keeper programs that have their heart and soul in socialism! Funny how SOCIALISTIC programs manage to keep the country moving when the self-centred, neoliberal CAPITALISM and the EPIC LIE of the Trickle Down Economic Theory has FAILED on all accounts!

  3. Phil Pryor

    Abbott, the Manly mental masturbator is and was a shitspray of incompetent drives, utterly incapable of normality, it being removed by religious, superstitious, perverted romanist traditions and patterns of misbehaviour over time. Turnbull, the Turbulent turd, invents streams of excuses for internal consumption, having become a romanist fantasist fool in adulthood (hah). Morrison, a trained and developed liar and double crosser, knows cheating, lying, distorting, twisting, manipulating, better than any conservative anus since Adolf began his psychotic fantasising about his own masturbatory magnificence, Australia has been cursed with these three in a row, thrust down and back, And, they were supported by the filth, depravity, brainlessness and boweldrippings of the Country Party, posing as a national party (hah) a little idiotic rump of bushy bullshitters who prop up the city based thieves and liars. With media backing of the political profiteering perverted pox from Yankeeland, a volunteer to leave this nation, the local conservative barebum and toetouch for Murdoch, for foreign corporates, especially the unspeakable miners, all to ruin our present and doom our future. They all need a good 1789, and a 1917, even a 1688, a 1949, perhaps add a 1776, just to get rid of this covid beating pox of politics that aims only for exploitation of the suckers, serfs, shiteaters and sufferers among us. Is this a fair go? Is this to do with advancing Australia.

  4. Ken

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse it does and until the
    LNP is kicked out of power it’s going to get a whole lot worse.

  5. Keitha Granville

    And that paltry sum puts just $450 odd dollars into the hands of each worker affected by the collapse of the sector. Big deal. Even if it was given to them now, it starts nothing. Nothing will appear in the arts, entertainment and event space for a very long time. Get used to no concerts, no plays, no festivals. Many of the people who produce and stage and staff these gigs will have vanished, unable to survive. Many of the venues will have closed.

    The more than $100 billion which flows into the economy every year from this sector is gone, for who knows how long.

    It is a catastrophe.

  6. Jack Cade

    The thought struck me that Australians really like to be bullied, and preferably by louts. Hawke was a lout. I can’t explain Howard’s ascendancy excepting that he had louts in his cabinet, like Peter Reith, tough old no nonsense Reith who bloody near beshat his britches when he went to a war zone he had avidly supported when he appeared on the SBS programme ‘Go Back Where You Came From.
    There is no tougher warrior than a pollie who has avoided the draft and has no children of the right age to send. But Aussies vote for them, in full cognisance.

  7. New England Cocky

    @Phil Pryor: Now, now Phil, Scummo Sacked from Marketing is doing it real tough because he has NOT YET seen his income package cut because of the COVID-19 pandemic, unlike most other Australian voters.

    So, why are the arts community whingeing about starvation; why can’t they eat cake?

    And remembe … it is important to pour public monies into the coffers of local bosses and foreign corporations that pay no tax in Australia because those are the most likely political donors to the COALition and keeping the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in the manner to which they wish to remain accustomed.

  8. DrakeN

    Jack Cade,

    you are on the right track about a large portion of the community liking bullies and louts, and I would go a bit further in that analysis:

    A large portion of humanity suffer from a sense of inadequacy and hence a deep seated anxiety that leads to them needing “strong “leaders.
    Like sheep need a shepherd and his dogs, so these people need to be told what to do, what to think and to be content with what is provided to them.
    And, like sheep, they resort to mob behaviour – often milling around with no purpose in mind; just going with the crowd.
    Religions depend on this cultural attitude being indoctrinated early, commerce depends on questionable advertising to convince people that more stuff will make them happy, and politics is – well – just politics where “Bullshit Baffles Brains.”

    I will disagree with your bit about: “…in full cogniscance.”
    A lot of people have neither the knowledge nor the awareness with which to make rational decisions: On the face of it a greater proportion of the electorate.

  9. Dave G.

    I think it is worth remembering Abbott had a majority of six, a figure not matched by anyone since.It was always obvious what he was but still he was given a good working majority by the electorate.This fact has baffled me,his relentless denigrading of Gillard was disgusting yet enough voters gave him the prize.The Australian voter is a mystery to me.

  10. HumeAndTwain

    Dave G. …. Agree completely. Actually the non-wealthy “conservative” voter in any country puzzles me. Usually casting votes against their own, and their family’s, best interests.

  11. DrakeN

    Dave G. & HumeAndTwain,

    The appropriate epithet is sheeple.

    No other possible explanation.

  12. wam

    At first memory was the gift of $400+ million to a company with 4 members. What an easy million a year profit each. The move has saved the reef as pauline says the is plenty of life in the reef, I have seen it.
    What about the shack on michael beautiful KI with another $400m. These are actions that, like sports rorts, rupert’s cash and little secrets in reports like intergenenerational, budgets and who know where else, we learned about AFTER the fact???
    The arts are before so these are the rabbott’s lying to avoid stress tactic. In the crisis there has been great talk but little evaluation of action.
    Albo could whisper to fryer that labor would a pink batts style royal commission into, the rabbott, turnbull and scummo’s handling of the cash splashes of the virus crisis and rorts over last 7 years
    ps
    the lnp have found that the poor don’t automatically spend if given money. Wonder if the conservatives and labor will take the next step that society is a group of individual men and women and there are families
    Then by the middle of the century the politicians may confer the title of ‘individual’ on an Aborigine. What do you think, lord, will equality with whites be reached where if a white man gets drunk all whites are banned or will the whites get treated as an individual and Aborigines get the ‘they’ treatment????

  13. Barry Thompson.

    Kate.
    What a great post!
    I just wish the ALP would do more to highlight the fact that it has proved to be a better manager of the economy over the years, instead of allowing the LNP to continually spread their bullshit.

  14. James Cook

    FFS people. Can no-one understand that the MSM, Murdoch in particular, have conspired with the Coagulition to keep Scummo and his parasites in power knowing full well that these turds will continue to funnel money and other forms of largesse into the sewers they call media. The majority of the “sheeple” get their “news” from these fetid sources. And Albo and Labor struggle to get a couple of journos to any presser they hold.

  15. Jack Cade

    James Connolly was a Scots-born Irish Republican leader who was executed by firing squad after the Easter Rising. A socialist, he wrote this little ‘poem’ that appealed to me many years ago. It’s probably doggerel, really…

    ‘The robbers made our fathers slaves, and chained them to the soil,
    for a little larger chain – a wage- we must exchange our toil,
    Then open force gave way to fraud,
    But force again behind
    prepares to strike if fraud should fail
    to make men deaf and blind.’

    Connolly died in 1916, and nothing much has changed. He would recognise that politicians and ‘robbers’ today are the natural successors of the people who he wrote about and who condemned him: and men are no less ‘…deaf and blind.’

  16. ajogrady

    Under the masterful guidance of the L/NP Australia is destined to become a major economic backwater and an internationally recognised pariah state.
    Three words describe the L/NP.
    corruption 
    illegal, bad, or dishonest behaviour, especially by people in 
    positions of power:
    scotosis:
    A term used to refer to intellectual blindness.A hardening of the mind against unwanted wisdom.
    sophistry:
    the clever use of arguments that seem true but are really false, in  order to deceive people.

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