Diary entry #26: Saturday, April 9 2022
1 It’s hard enough without all the criticism.
By the time this piece is posted, we may know the date of the 47th Australian Federal election. At that time, the Prime Minister’s power to do any more damage to our democracy, at least for the time being, will have been taken away.
Assuming it is Saturday, May 21, it will determine who governs our nation for the following three years. Clearly, for almost a decade now, the leaders of both Conservative parties and their acolytes of cruelness, dishonesty, corruption and self-interest haven’t governed for the nation’s good.
Scott Morrison is carrying so much lead in his saddle leading up to the election that you would think it is a handicap race.
Unquestionably, they have been the worst government in our history. (How many times have I said that?)
Accordingly, the polls show Labor well ahead of the Government:
“… the latest fortnightly Newspoll has Labor’s two-party lead narrowing from 55-45 to 54-46, from primary votes of Coalition 36% (up one), Labor 38% (down three) and Greens 10% (up two), with One Nation and the United Australia Party both steady on 3%.
We also have the first Ipsos poll for the Financial Review, as foreshadowed in the previous post, which has Labor’s two-party lead at 55-45.
Also, out on Wednesday:
“… was a new poll from Roy Morgan, which usually reports fortnightly but seems to have made an exception for a budget week, finds Labor recovering much of what it lost in last week’s poll, it’s two-party preferred having progressed over three polls from 58-42 to 55.5-44.5 to 57-43 in the latest result.”
Another survey conducted by The Resolve Political Monitor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age by research company Resolve Strategic showed that Labor was going into the election campaign in “pole position”. Its primary vote results produced a clear lead for the party in two-party terms.
The bookies have Labor at $1.33, and the Coalition is on $3.10.
Now that the election campaigns of both parties have started, it is time for the people of Australia to wake up from their political hibernation and be serious about this election. It well may be the most important one they will ever vote in.
Substantial and worthwhile change can come with short term controversy, but the pain is worth it for long term prosperity.
2 Journalists who work for Rupert Murdoch must find a place in their personal journalistic ethics to incorporate fairness into the words they write. That is, of course, if they have any. Other journalists must also lift their game and not be lazy.
3 An announcement of the date had to be delayed because the Liberal Party needed to sort out some preselection issues with candidates unwanted by the local branches. So severe that Scott took them to court (using taxpayer funds) to sort out his own mess.
On Wednesday, April 6, in The Guardian, Mostafa Rachana reported that New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet labelled the NSW Liberal preselection saga a ‘debacle’ and an ‘abject failure’.
Yet another example of Morrison not being able to manage his own party. Pathetic governance.
The exchange and intellectual debate of ideas need to be re-energised, and it is incumbent on everyone to become involved.
4 It was a strange ending to the 46th Australian Parliament with a budget delivered traditionally with the usual critiques from economic journalists, the Opposition and others. It was also timed to fit into the timing of an election, and its purpose was clear. Please give us your vote, and here are five hundred dollars with our compliments – the valedictory speeches – some worthy and others worthless – were heard from those who were not returning.
5 Then, on the tenth hour of that evening, the Senate Chamber erupted; a horrific payout echoed its way up and down the multitude of scandal-filled hallways with the words of Liberal Senator Fierravanti-Wells stopping at the Prime Minister’s door.
She joined a long list of parliamentarians and others critical of the prime minister’s character. The numbers that have spoken negatively regarding the man’s character are compelling.
The Senator concluded that he wasn’t a very nice man, among other unmentionable things. He has been called a liar by many, including Emmanuel Macron. His deputy, Barnaby Joyce said he was a hypocrite and a liar. The former NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian (allegedly) called him a horrible person. Jacquie Lambie and Pauline Hanson both called him an intimidating bully.
Michael Keenan – a former ministerial colleague of Morrison – (allegedly) called him a complete psycho. Another cabinet colleague described him as a fraud. Former MP Julia Banks said he was a “menacing controlling wallpaper“.
In Women’s Agenda, Madaline Hislop said that Katherine Cusak, the outgoing NSW Liberal, has joined a growing chorus of female politicians who have accused Scott Morrison of bullying. She also said that:
“… he had ‘ruined’ the Liberal party and that she would not vote for him or the party at the federal election.”
And on top of all that, David Crowe, in an article for the SMH, tells us that:
“Two men involved in a hard-fought Liberal preselection battle have signed written testimony that Scott Morrison warned people about the “Lebanese background” of his opponent in a crucial ballot to decide a safe federal seat, helping him win a bitter contest to enter Parliament more than a decade before he became Prime Minister.”
5 To say the least, trying to win an election carrying that sort of baggage plus the weight of his Christian hypocrisy will be burdensome.
Yet Scott Morrison robotically goes about his business like a talking machine, committed to rattling off one lie after another. There is no correction from the right-wing press, be it our carbon emissions reductions figures, the Great Barrier Reef, the budget or just questions in general.
6 Yet more scandal.
The well-informed ABC and its journalists found a tidy sum of $18 million (plus $4 million annually) hidden in the bowels of the budget for the Australian Future Leaders Foundation Limited Program. Have you ever heard of them? No, nor have I. Apparently, they have no staff or office. I’m confident they will follow up on this one.
7 And a blast from the past Barnaby Joyce scandal.
Did you know that when Barnaby Joyce was appointed drought envoy a couple of years ago he received $675,000 in expenses for the nine months he was in the job and was allocated two staff members at the cost of about $200,000? He never wrote a report, instead angrily claiming he sent “an awful lot” of correspondence to the prime minister, Scott Morrison, including by text message.
Oh dear, what a cesspool of corruption we have become.
8 What an awful look is all these government appointments are. They look like they are running scared and trying to prop up a tired and out of date conservative philosophy – jobs for the boys and girls.
9 The recently released United Nations Climate Report used what can only be ‘called last chance’ language:
“Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) is beyond reach. In the scenarios assessed, limiting warming to around 1.5°C requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030; at the same time, methane would also need to be reduced by about a third. “
We are at a crossroads.
Also on this subject, Lisa Cox of The Guardian reports that “the Morrison government has been accused of sitting on a significant report card on the state of Australia’s environment.” It was received in December but hasn’t been released because of all the “bad news” it contains.
“Labor, the Greens, the independent MP Zali Steggall, environment groups and scientists have called on the government to release the Australia State of the Environment report before the election in May. Produced by scientists and compiled every five years, it was last reported in 2016.”
Environment minister, Susan Ley, has had it since December.
Meanwhile on the other side of the political fence:
“As part of its climate change commitment, a Labor government would seek to co-host a UN COP meeting with Pacific Island nations.”
10 I repeat:
Make your vote count: The importance of this election is such that it will determine our future for better or for worse.
My previous diary entry: A gift or two from the Government now, but you will pay later.
My thought for the day
One of the cornerstones of Christianity is the concept of “truth”: in fact, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the light”: “the truth shall set you free”: Our Prime Minister is a fervent practising member of that faith.
Even allowing for the hue of political practice, it is difficult to imagine how arguably the greatest liar ever to have walked the corridors of Parliament can perpetuate its hypocrisy.
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