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Hasta la vista, baby! I won’t be back.

I noticed a marked shift in sentiment this 4th of July. I admit to being a reader of tea leaves and a man who pays attention to stellar alignments. As a self-confessed hard-nosed rationalist I don’t know why I seek out these signs in the zeitgeist. But the resignation of Matthias Cormann and the ALP’s victory in the Eden-Monaro by-election, summarised in this ABC News clip, convinced me a cosmic flux is underway.

Despite a painfully obvious and ongoing kowtow by the ABC to the LNP, this news does not bode well for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Rupert Murdoch was convinced ScoMo had it in the bag, but somehow Scotty from Marketing got it wrong. As we all know the Dirty Digger does not like his plans to go astray. More on the Murdoch/LNP cabal later.

The man who bungled the numbers for Peter Dutton’s tilt at Malcolm Turnbull, Matthias Cormann, knows only too well that the Queensland hard man is gunning for the top job. The LNP’s failure to win Eden-Monaro especially with the Prime Minister’s personal popularity ratings at an all-time high, (if you can believe Newspoll) gives Dutton a rationale for a spill in the not-too-distant future

Here is why.

In 1992 US Democrat spin-meister James Carviile came up with the phrase “the economy, stupid.”

Since his appointment as Finance Minister Matthias Cormann managed Australia’s economy, for better or worse, thanks to his knack of being able to do deals with some of the most stupid senators ever to impart their skid marks onto the chairs of the Australian Senate.

With the Cormannator’s departure, the LNP loses the only politician in its ranks capable of successfully sooling Paul Keating’s “unrepresentative swill”.  And this is a serious problem for a Government financed in part by the Murdoch Shilling. Cormann, who does not blink, is the only senior Government Minister with the smarts to strong arm a Bill through the Senate. This Bill —  yet to materialise —  would fulfil Murdoch’s goal of selling-off the ABC.

With Cormann’s departure and the status quo in place in the Lower House, the demise of the ABC will not happen in the foreseeable future.

Instead Australia is about 10 weeks away from an economic precipice.

As of September 1 Job Seeker and Job Keeper are at risk of being withdrawn from the Australian economy. With the Covid-19 outbreak in Victoria looking in every practical sense like a page from Albert Camus’s novel The Plague, the LNP has no credible replacement for Cormann to either run the nation’s finances or negotiate tricky legislation through the Senate.

Not that Cormann was particularly good at his job as Michael Pascoe points out in this scorching indictment in The New Daily.

But with Cormann’s departure from Australian politics, no amount of spin by News Corp can save the LNP from losing the next election which will be held in the depths of a severe recession, if not a depression.

News Corp’s spin of an essentially status quo by-election made the former ALP Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, gasp. As for the ABC, despite the rude sneers of Patricia – Follow my Twitter Feed – Karvelas during an interview with the ALP Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, and the talk-over-the-top-of Labor-spokespeople, and ex Sky News presenter David Speers, its saving precept remains embedded in its Charter.

No government of any political persuasion can outwit this cornerstone of our nation’s identity,

When I worked as a producer for the ABC I learnt a fundamental lesson, namely the ABC is divided into four divisions. Each competes with one another for its share of the Budget. The divisions are:- News, Current Affairs, Sport and Regional. There are numerous name variations, but despite different sub-sectors of the ABC bureaucracy, the divisions are how the ABC conforms to its Charter. So whether it’s a collapse in the price of wool or bush fire coverage or sports reporting in rural Australia, the ABC will continue to make it uncomfortable for politicians, no matter how many of its staff are made redundant.

Staunch support for the ABC in rural Federal seats such as Eden-Monaro, and National Party stalwarts of the ABC like John Barilaro reinforce the feeling in my bones that the ABC will survive.

Gawd help us if Rupert Murdoch gets his way.

Henry Johnston is a Sydney-based author. His latest book, The Last Voyage of Aratus is on sale here.

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5 comments

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  1. Alpo

    Yes, the ABC will survive, unlike the ScuMo Coalition government that has been told that not only their Finance Minister but also their leader in the Senate, the Cormanator, is heading to his sunset….

    This incompetent bunch won an undeserved string of 3 federal elections…. but they have finally run out of luck….

  2. Phil

    Stand by for an early election. Morrison and his coterie of babbling baboons on the front bench are not in control of Australia, Murdoch and his filthy rich mates are. There is a depression coming down the pike that is going to make 1929 look like, it was an economic miracle. They want to be in opposition when the SHTF because they want Labor to carry the can for the collapse that is coming. One or two terms of Labor with an economy that is broken and they’ll be in waiting for when it starts to get back to normal. If it ever does. For mine, this is probably the end of the capitalist model in its current structure. The real worry is yet to materialise, the half wit Trump has sent two carrier task force’s to the South China Sea. The ABC is the least of our worries.

  3. wam

    If a coalition split stops the sale of the ABC or merged with the semi private SBS Smirko may lose.
    Now with ‘proof’ of ABC leftards following the ‘hope we hold Queanbeyan; gaffe sale seems imminent?

    DD go for god, could be, Phil.

  4. Ross

    Mr Cormann is leaving politics, no great loss to Australia in that event. The blatant LNP rorts and pork barrelling will continue and most probably get much worse. Whoever the replacement will have nowhere near the capability to look senators in the face and lie. Dirty deals done dirt cheap sums up Mr Cormann.
    As Mr Johnston notes it looks like we are heading into a severe recession/depression which no side of politics has any answer thus resulting in Scotty getting the arse and Labor being left to inflict the neoliberal policies which will only prolong the misery of ordinary people and ultimately result in the triumphant return of the LNP (aided with direct help of the MSM of course).
    So the circle of life in Australia continues, and we are poorer for it.

  5. Caz

    At least if Labor does win I would expect Albanese to resurrect some of the excellent policies that Bill Shorten proposed. If he doesn’t, he can expect to be tossed out as soon as there are signs of recovery on the horizon. Time to take a leaf out of Abbott’s book. Promise no new taxes and then hit the big end of town. That is what Labor supporters expect.

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