Continued from My view of the year that was (part 1)
Come April/May of 2020 the coronavirus had taken control of our economy and our health. The government, to its credit, believed in the science and took the advice of experts. Which is something they refused to do with climate change.
With the economy they acted quickly ditching its ideology for socialist action, having learned from Labor’s action with the GFC. Jobs were supported and union leader Sally McManus – together with the Government’s Attorney General Christian Porter – compromised to form a policy known as JobKeeper.
Every economic decision wasn’t seen to be fair and the conservative philosophy that jobs were there for those who wanted them, haunted them still.
At the time I wrote a two-part series titled What will happen in the aftershock of the corona virus? in which I said, among other things, that:
“Our political system is in crisis because our government fails to speak with any clarity on issues that concern us.”
It was a general comment about how they were governing outside of COVID-19. Nothing has changed since.
In America a disengaged President was making a proper mess of the pandemic. A problem that he knew more about than any other person on the planet. I wrote another piece about this dreadful individual.
“Since the coronavirus revealed itself to a world mostly preoccupied with how they would finance their living from month to month, Donald Trump, with his usual bullshit and lies, has been inventing or at least trying to invent, a world that is far from the reality of what damage this virus is capable of doing to the health and wealth of the world’s citizens.
COVID-19 is real and America isn’t immune from it and no amount of shouting fake news will make it go away.”
Trump’s response was predictable:
So much FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
Back to Australia… Have you noted this year how the word ‘Liberal’ has quietly begun to vanish from the writing of those involved in the reporting of politics? I know that I rarely use it. The word has an altogether different meaning that would describe the political right. They are all conservatives. Nothing more, nothing less. The same goes for the National Party – who are also conservatives.
Another American in Rupert Murdoch was also throwing his weight around asking or demanding money from our government to support his Foxtel (pay station).
In response I updated and reposted a review I had written a few years back of a biography by Paul Barry. My post was titled The Mongrel that is Rupert Murdoch and in which I wrote that:
“During the last election, Bill Shorten copped scathing headlines and opinions from the Murdoch stable of filthy headlines as to his character and anything else they could attack, which I covered in my Election Diary.”
Then when a second wave of the coronavirus hit Victoria Murdoch decided it was Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews turn to cop a pasting. Day after day he copped a pasting from the Herald Sun and Sky News.
The virus had a stranglehold on the media and it was twenty-four seven. It never left us and I wrote a two-part piece titled What will happen in the aftershock of the coronavirus? (part one). In it I used these words written by right-wing conservative journalist Greg Sheridan from the Australian (paywalled):
“The government’s massive fiscal intervention in the Australian economy, entirely justified by the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis, will change center-right politics in this country forever. You cannot make the need for small government, free markets and less state intervention your chief political narrative if you have just used government on a scale never before imagined to rescue the nation from a desperate health emergency.”
Jumping ahead to June the US election was beginning to take up more media space. I wrote The greatest showman, or the greatest threat? to show my distain for this person of ill repute.
“The protests spread like a festering ulcer across the United States making a vain attempt at overcoming an unpretentious and legitimate frustration over decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the USA.
Trump, in characteristic fashion, was condemning the violence he and his capitalistic ugliness were ultimately responsible for.
Condemning the violence of the protesters and promoting his.
Not once in his callous speech was there a hint that the protesters might have a point. That the knee had been bent over inequality and injustice for too long.”
I wrote another; Trump talks of God, but acts of evil before the odour of his words disappeared.
In June and July, the American police seemed to be at war with their dark-skinned people and the #BlackLivesMatter protests started. I wrote A dilemma of monumental proportion. Indigenous Australians joined in and so began a conflict with the COVID-19 rules. It was a clash that had no answers.
“So, on the one hand, you would have to say that the health warnings were in keeping with previous warnings, which had been obeyed and were very successful.
On the other you would have to acknowledge that 432 First Nations People have died while in the custody of the police, someone was responsible, and people want to know why. There had never been a greater opportunity to protest that point.
Who can blame our Indigenous brothers and sisters (and those who support them) for raising their voices? For seizing the moment.
For those who see the point of view of the health professionals but still wish to protest during the course of a pandemic raise’s questions of conscience and ethics.”
In June I was questioning how a government so bad could be so popular, penning The Morrison Government is bad, but is it that people don’t care anymore?
Bad and mismanaged policy suggestions of corruption, Claytons’ announcements and no sign of a national ICAC were all pointing to a government with its right hand unfamiliar with what its left was doing.
I followed that up with a terse article The Morrison government has no sense of urgency on our future … or perhaps the marketing plan isn’t finished and then We live in shadowy times and white men who inhabit it lead us further into darkness.
So disgusted was I with the malevolent way in which our democracy was being exploited that every time I felt my age, I determined to find something more in me.
It was now July and the coronavirus still had us by the short and curlies. The state governments were full of self-interest and the Prime Minister had a dose more than any of them. Trump was allowing his citizens to die and spent most of his time on the golf course. He was looking for something he had lost, and it wasn’t his ball.
My thought for the day
I often speculate about how much better a society we would be if people took the risk of thinking for themselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the Murdoch media and the Morrison Government.
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