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If Anthony Albanese hasn’t made a case for change, Scott Morrison certainly has.

Election diary No. 19: Wednesday, 16, March 2022.

March 10, 2022: It was the day after our Prime Minister visited the very sodden town of Lismore. The rural city and its people were drenched to the bone, caked with mud. Mounds of rubbish lined the streets, waiting for trucks to carry it to the landfill. People would tell stories of bravery, stories that men would tell only after a few beers prompted them.

Acts of kindness were repeated, and the townsfolk, including men, women and children, praised the towns’ best and most courageous efforts.

But mainly on this day and night, the people of Lismore were looking for an ear of comprehension. A shoulder to cry on with words that might explain what the future had in store for them. Or if it wasn’t too much to ask, just somebody who would listen.

What they got was a leader without words to comfort them. He was bereft of observations that leaders bring on such tragic occasions, of grieving and suffering.

It was decided not to take the usual street walk because the angry inhabitants were in a lynching mood. The Prime Minister didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to face them anyway.

It was probably wise. It might’ve proved ugly given the strained tempers of the ordinarily stoic country folk.

It was a day when a very ordinary man found out what we already knew: that he wasn’t a true leader. In fact, the words he brought were valid in truth but carried no comfort. They lacked the message of a leader. A true leader somehow finds the correct phrases. Ones that fit the occasion regardless of their rights or wrongs.

Yes, the states were responsible for certain things, and the financial cost of rebuilding after disasters is enormous. Four years ago, “the federal government set aside roughly $4 billion for the Emergency Response Fund (ERF).”

“At the end of last year, that investment had returned the best part of a billion dollars. But just $150 million had been set aside for disaster-mitigation projects, and much less than that has actually been spent.”

“These people might very well be our first climate refugees,” I thought to myself as I watched the events on television. All they wanted was an explanation as to why they weren’t the recipients of some of it. And they wanted it from our leader.

Morrison muddied the waters of that issue by blaming everyone else.

There was a time in Australia when we had a Governor-General who assisted with matters of national grief. John Howard was the first Prime Minister to see himself titled over and above the Governor-General. Since then, the established ceremonial role has been downgraded to the point where most people couldn’t recall his name.

Prime Ministers have so diminished his place in the structure of our democracy that his presence is hardly noted, even unwanted. What is his name again?

The Prime Minister had been in isolation after a bout of the virus and, upon the seventh day of his isolation, declared the floods in Queensland and New South Wales to be a national emergency. If it was a national emergency on the day that ended his isolation, then it was a national emergency seven days earlier.

For a man who utters words in such a brisk fashion, he knows little of their use to soothe or ease the worries of the afflicted. Why was it that a national declaration needed to wait for his seven days of seclusion? Was it his ego? No doubt he wasn’t in touch with the human tragedy confronting him and the nation.

Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country?

Yet again, our Government hadn’t been proactive because it didn’t believe in climate change. Morrison started using the term “natural disaster” instead of just admitting that the continuity of these events is as unnatural as the sky turning green.

And yet again, our Prime Minister couldn’t see himself apologising. After all, he hadn’t done so since God made him Prime Minister. From sports rorts to Robodebt and unordered vaccines, it wasn’t within this human being, this Prime Minister, to say a simple “sorry”.

Conversely, at another place, the Opposition Leader on the same day offered a reconstructed parliament where bipartisanship might prevail when appropriate over hatred and mistrust. He used words that offered the hand of what is best for all the people.

In a keynote address, Albanese urged that:

“We must rediscover the spirit of consensus that former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke used to bring together governments, trade unions, businesses and civil society around their shared aims of growth and job creation,” he said.

“If Labor is successful in the coming federal election, I will take my lead from Bob Hawke and his successor, Paul Keating.”

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce appeared on the ABC’s 7.30 the same night. It was an interview filled with all the insensitivity of a jester who couldn’t raise a laugh. He had much to say about nothing. Let me rephrase that: It was an interview full of emptiness. Or words filled with it. So much so that I’m sure Leigh Sales, the presenter, cut him short.

If the Treasurer presents a budget aimed at buying the election with handouts on Tuesday, March 29 2022, I believe he will be guilty of a gross misjudgement. The electorate has already judged the Prime Minister a liar. This would seal the lid on his trustworthiness.

 

 

My thought for the day

Often our opinions are based on our values rather than our understanding, and the difficulty is separating the two.

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8 comments

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  1. L. S. Roberts

    Just out of curiosity; where did the government park the 4 billion dollars to get an interest return of 20% in nearly 3 years. I would like a bank like that!

  2. New England Cocky

    Neither Beetrooter nor Scummo are fit for public office. bring on the election!!

  3. Phil Pryor

    There is no actual heart, soul, intellect, conscience or awareness in this P M, a bag of decaying offal, for he clings to his only inner stiffener, rank and rotten superstition, with all the horrors of manipulation, self deception, synthetic fictioneering, alteration, distortion and certain non achievement. A garrulous garbage heap…and, under a continuum of Abbott, Turnbull and Moron-Slob, the nation has declined in all ways.

  4. wam

    There is always the danger of putting our values over those of others and judging our opinions superior to the opinions of others.
    I will be in for another dose of humble pie if the bandit doesn’t give Scummo the chance of another miracle or if labor’s no attack strategy works.

  5. Pete Petrass

    “Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country?”
    No, it makes me want to move somewhere else.

  6. Harry Lime

    At this point in time,the LNP cartel of corruption and incompetence,daily illustrated by the desperate lies and egregious acting by the dud Morrison,are careering towards a record smashing at the coming election.I’m sure some in said party are acutely aware of this.So ,unless he is replaced ASAP,there will be no furniture left to save.Has anyone got the guts,or has a monumental flogging already been factored in?
    Judging by a statement today by fellow traveler and wing nut happy clapper ‘Brother Stuie’ about Queensland public school teachers,they are flat out burning the ‘broad church’ down.Death by Hillsong haunts the Liar.Of course there are a lot of empty announcements to make yet.

  7. Stephengb

    Harry Lime,
    Remember at this point in the pre election for 2019 how bad the Polls were, how on the nose the LNP and snotty was !

    I am not holding my breath but I like I hope everyone will do, as soon as the campaign starts for real, blitz Facebook with the proven lies, and misinformation spread by these bully boy, liars, misfits, and authoritarian, charlatans.

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