1 What a terrible time it is for our Australian democracy, the government and its Prime Minister who is trying to cover up a minister, Angus Taylor, who judged by any pub test has lied about his conduct.
This is a sackable offence and the Australian people are entitled to know what is going on, but now we find that Labor has been denied an FOI request for the contents of two emails because they relate to an unspecified “ongoing process.
This government has made a mockery of the very existence of Freedom of Information by repeatedly knocking back request after request.
The two emails in question were sent at 8.52am on 25 October – the day after Guardian Australia revealed the controversy – and a second email chain at 3.23pm on the same day.
It is not only Labor’s right to know the contents of these two emails, but also the public’s.
When a political party deliberately withholds information that the voter needs to make an informed, balanced and reasoned assessment of how it is being governed is, in essence, lying by omission. It is also tantamount to the manipulation of our democracy.
2 The lack of any action by the government on climate change is regrettable. It is just trying to tough it out while it spends more on fossil fuels: but it is making a usually docile Australian public become decidedly angry.
Politicians who change their minds aren’t necessarily seeing the light. They might just be feeling the heat.
Important to most Prime Ministers is the legacy they leave behind, and with Scott Morrison, it may very well be a picture of him in Parliament handing around a chunk of coal. The symbolism would be telling. A metaphor of Morrison’s complete incompetency.
It would paint a story of a man hopelessly out of touch with science, inflexible of mind with an inability to lead in the face of hostile opposition from within.
Having adopted the Trump methodology of governance bullshitting, sacking, threatening and lying he believes the more lies you tell the more confused people become.
It could be said that he may be satisfying those with vested interests, those with financial interests, those whose jobs are coal-dependent – those who rely on political donations for their survival or those who simply don’t believe in science but at the same time he empowers those who have the capacity to think for themselves.
What a profound moment it is when you discover an opinion that is absolutely of yourself. Completely devoid of any other influence.
But for all the untruth and repetition of it, those who inhabit middle ground, those who swing – who determine government, know that something is amiss. That our climate is changing not for the better but for the worse. Observation is the basis of all science. Finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.
Repeating lines like; “We’re only 1.3 per cent of global emissions so we have no impact” has been trotted out and shot down so often as to be useless, or; “We are meeting our Paris targets” are wearing very thin indeed.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also gave the government an environmental going over in this interview with Katherine Murphy of The Guardian.
Yes, as I said, Morrison’s legacy might very well be just a lump of coal and all the judgement that goes with it.
3 Robodebt has been added to a long list of government policy failures that has left it red-faced and embarrassed.
Failures with the NBN, NDIS, climate, power, equality of opportunity in education, water, drought, infrastructure, submarines and motor vehicles. Marriage Equality’s success you can give to the people. You could make a list as long as the lord’s arm.
With Robodebt, management quietly sent an email to staff of the Department of Human Services telling them that it would abandon sole reliance on the controversial “income averaging” method and instead require additional proof before demanding welfare recipients pay back alleged debts.
The department also revealed it would review all existing alleged debts and freeze existing debt recovery pending the review.
And then they found out what they were doing was illegal anyway.
4 An illustration of just how secret our society has become is when a Canberra judge doesn’t know what happened to a man who appears to have been tried in secret. Are we now an authoritarian state?
Last Thursday Greens Senator Nick McKim asked the government to tell the Senate why the inmate – given the court pseudonym Alan Johns – was charged and imprisoned in near-total secrecy due to commonwealth orders.
Anthony Whealy, a judge in NSW’s highest courts, reckons the secret prosecution and imprisonment of a man in the ACT raises many questions about the quality of our justice system. The judge said:
Are we now a totalitarian state where people are prosecuted, convicted and shunted off to prison without they or the public having any notion as to what has happened?
5 The Prime Minister is still refusing to answer questions about Pastor Brian Houston’s knockback invitation to the White House giving the impression that he is hiding something.
6 On top of the Royal Commission into the Financial Industry, we now have Westpac breaking the rules a zillion times without caring.
With the government refusing to have a RC and repeatedly voting against it gives off a whiff of corruption somewhere in the corridors of power.
All things considered, the banks and large companies – avoiding tax and not paying award wages – commit more crime than all the unions put together.
But even with unions now only making up 14% of the workforce the federal government was hopeful that One Nation would support its Ensuring Integrity Bill, with the minor party’s two votes being crucial to its passage through the Senate. Meanwhile, independent senator Jacqui Lambie had proposed a number of last-minute amendments to the bill in return for her support. (Taken from the Roy Morgan daily newsletter 26/11/2019).
How anyone could barter with peoples right to receive medical treatment is beyond me.
Then in the midst of my writing, a bill in the Senate is voted on and to the shock and horror of the government, the bill is defeated in the Senate. Yes, the redhead, the mad scientist and the queen of Tassie have said “no” to the elimination of unions in this country.
7 Also in the same Roy Morgan newsletter and coming on top of the band-aid $500 million infrastructure spend announced by the government:
The Parliamentary Budget Office has forecast that Australia’s net infrastructure investment will peak at $38 billion in 2019-20, before falling over the next three years.
This is primarily due to expectations that the net debt of the state governments will blow out to around $156 billion by 2022. This would constitute the states’ highest share of public debt in two decades.
8 As the China Syndrome takes a foothold in the consciousness of our citizens Scott Morrison is doing his usual band-aid solution on our relationship with the great mass from the north. Logic would have it that in the future China will become, in many ways, the most dominant country on earth.
Time for a policy that recognises this and logically makes the most of it while at the same time caters for the most self-obsessed nation on earth.
9 The same can be said for the $500 million for Aged Care. It won’t even cover a shaving nick by a 90-year-old. Always reactionary never proactive, that’s our government.
10 But for what it’s worth the answers to these questions are summed up in the way the cake is carved. Take a look at my post on just how much money is used this government gives away to the rich in subsidies.
My thought for the day
It’s now over six years that I first tapped out an article for The AIMN. Its title was “An Abbott in the lodge – NEVER.”
During that time I have enjoyed the assistance of the editor Michael Taylor and his small band of followers who dedicate their time to keeping the individual writers relevant and interesting, alive and valid and importantly, in a time of much crap comment, truthful.
In particular, I want to thank Michael whose strength of character has helped me along the way. It has at times been more than I deserve.
My arthritis causes me grief almost daily but so far it hasn’t touched my fingers. I have lost count of how many articles I have penned in my time with The AIMN.
As I near my 80th year my mind remains young and my enthusiasm for change remains undaunted.
We live in a time where horrible things are being perpetrated on us. This government’s performance over its time in office has been like a daily shower of offensiveness. I remain steadfast in my desire to see it removed.
PS: In conclusion might I add that no legislation has passed since the miracle of Scott Morrison’s election victory. That in itself is proof of my criticism of a do-nothing government.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!