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Neither democracy nor integrity, ScoMo? The rats get it right.

“For years – decades – we have had political correctness in this country, which I fear is raising kids in our country today to despise our history, to despise how we have grown as a nation and I am disappointed that Bill Shorten would want to feed into that.” Scott Morrison

Australia Day is not for moving, despite protests from thousands of Australians across the nation – and as far as London’s Westminster Bridge. At least this is the view of our current PM, Scott Morrison, who won’t move the date because, as he says Cook might have made the odd mistake, (ask the Hawaiians) but to change the date would be to kowtow to political correctness. The wishes of indigenous people don’t seem to count at all.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples see the commemoration of 26 January as a day of mourning, less a reminder of the arrival of Arthur Phillip’s first fleet than a harbinger of the genocide, alienation, dispossession and brutal oppression that followed. Nevertheless, Morrison’s government is seeking to keep the day and to deify Cook, in policies which seem calculated to celebrate white supremacy, invasion, slavery and forced colonisation.

Morrison’s recourse to “political correctness” is dangerous nonsense, a dog-whistle to the alt-right who us the term to invoke an imagined conspiracy to silence them. To be politically correct in its original sense means respecting diversity, modifying language to avoid giving offence to others. But Morrison is a Trumpista.

Trump constantly abused the term. Political correctness was to blame for everything in his 2016 presidential campaign. A Muslim with a gun killed forty-nine people at a night club in Orlando. Trump blamed Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They had “put at risk the lives of ordinary people.” Why? Political correctness.

“They have put political correctness above common sense, above your safety, and above all else,” Trump raved. When Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asks him if he were part of the war on women, he rants,

“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. ”His audience applauds. “I’ve been challenged by so many people, I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.”

Ironically, Trump’s own rise to success comes from a nation where voicing criticism of your government could put you in gaol, as Pussy Riot discovered, gaoled for hooliganism for two years in 2012 because they had challenged the support of Russian clergy for Putin and his regime.

Or it could be fatal. Twenty-one journalists have been killed since Putin came to power in March 2000. In most cases, no-one has been held responsible for the murders. Now the press is too frightened to tell the truth.

Only the RBC media holding, made a name for itself over seven years by its investigative coverage of business and politics, including Putin insiders. Otherwise a fearful Russian press ignored the Panama Papers.

A few weeks after its Panama Papers report, RBC’s top editors were dismissed. RBC holding changed ownership a few months later. It was bought by pro-Putin Onexim Group, controlled by metals magnate, Mikhail Prokhorov.

Trump became president with a little help from his friends; Russian oligarchs whom the West helped install in the carve-up of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Their funding helped rescue The Donald from himself; a series of disastrous business failures. Yet who could have predicted he would become a role model for Morrison?

“I think we both get it”, ScoMo tells The New York Times’, Maureen Dowd. Even though Australia did not get rocked by a recession like the US, some people feel forgotten, left off the globalism gravy train. “And that’s what we get. The president gets that. I get it.” What gravy train? No, ScoMo, you just love the propaganda technique.

Despite his posturing as battlers’ hero, Dowd sees ScoMo as a lucky chump, the Stephen Bradbury of Oz-politics.

“In 2002, ice skater Steven Bradbury became the first Australian to win a Winter Olympic gold medal when his three top rivals crashed in a last-minute pileup. The right-wing Peter Dutton kicked off the coup that felled Malcolm Turnbull, but then the slimy Dutton and the soignée Julie Bishop crashed in a pileup that allowed the unprepossessing Morrison to glide across the finish line.” Not that ScoMo didn’t have his skates on, already.

Heroic hamster-in-a-wheel, ScoMo the party apparatchik, remembers a forgotten people he never knew; ordinary folk, average workers, whose interests neither he, nor Trump, will do anything to promote; everything to imperil.

Wages are flat-lining and despite all the turd-polishing from government media spin units, workers are increasingly likely to be part-time, underemployed, underpaid and in casual, insecure jobs. They feel ripped off.

Overall, Australia may be richer but the rich are the winners. Alan Austin reports that Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report and wealth data-book — which show more Aussie millionaires — confirms that since 2013, wealth continues to flow from the working- and middle-classes to the rich.

For the Coalition, Frydenberg argues it’s just not happening. As for ScoMo, he’s too ordinary to be elitist.

Morrison’s minders script a PM of faux-mundanity who spends Australia Day with Jen and the kids at the Shoalhaven Heads Hotel, having a feed of flathead and chips as he savours a beer and his own propaganda-show.

“Can this cloying folksiness be any more unconvincing than his policies on energy, climate, anti-discrimination, anti-corruption and refugees both offshore and onshore?”, asks The Saturday Paper’s Richard Ackland.

Unconvincing or contrived? What is the Coalition’s climate, energy, immigration, population or water policy? As with economic and environmental policy, it is non-existent. Anne Summers finds “…so many policy deficits in Canberra, it is difficult to know if there are any established, well-based and effective policies still in existence.

Faux-Mo overlooks how Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan sheltered us from the GFC. Even if prompted, he’d rant about Rudd’s pink batt disaster or school hall folly, Abbott-Murdoch lies, which demean both projects’ role as community assets and as economic stimulus. But Faux-Mo is a post-fact poster boy. Spin is everything.

Part of his act is ignorance. This week Morrison imagines James Cook RN circumnavigating Australia, a school boy howler. Those who know their nation’s history shake their heads. Yet it is also a wilful re-writing of history in the service of white supremacy, evident in Morrison’s $5.7 billion fetish for all things Cook, an imaginary or fantasy Cook – the bearer of civilisation. It’s a calculated gesture of contempt for all indigenous peoples.

The racist Donald Trump whose real estate company in the 19770s avoided renting apartments to African-Americans, in favour of whites, in the 1970s would be proud of him. If he were interested in anyone but himself.

Or if he could read. Or if his inattention span or his narcissism permitted. In other words, were he not a bigoted, boorish, pre-literate, vainglorious lout. Or wooing his “base” with follies such as his hard-line on the Mexican wall, his potentially disastrous trade wars with China, his isolationist foreign policy – less policy than populist retreat.

And here’s the rub. It’s not so much that ScoMo admires Trump’s discovery of the people who “fell off the global gravy train”, whose interests both Trump and Morrison imperil in their mission to service the rich. It’s the bully.

ScoMo and some other locals – including what’s left of One Nation – have become fans. They are drunk on Trump’s contempt for convention and misread his wilful ignorance as licence to misbehave badly. Because it works: just look at Fox. Or Sky. Or anything by Greg Sheridan. It’s the vulgarian Trump’s bad-boy behaviour that appeals.

Trump peddles a heady but pernicious mix of philistinism, prejudice and brute ignorance, often confused with iconoclasm, strength or independence, by the naïve, immature or uneducated who form most of his base. Their uncritical adulation fits hand in baseball mitt with our US Alliance, a one-sided, unrequited love affair with the US as our protector when, in reality, the relationship is a liability. Seriously. Both, moreover, require maintenance.

The Coalition is “joined at the hip” to our once-great and powerful friend, the disunited states of America whose current decline into anarchy is presided over by a clapped-out, TV celebrity game-show host, Donald J Trump, heir to a real-estate fortune; a grifter whose career peaked when he appeared on a 1990 Playboy magazine cover.

The playboy who would later be drafted into The White House, in the emperor’s new clothes, is depicted in black tie, minus his jacket which he’s chivalrously given to Brandi Brandt, his Playmate companion. It’s all she’s wearing.

Oddly, there is no comment from Morrison’s government now that the fake president has hit a wall – in Mexico. You’d think there’d be a bit of applause from a PM who built a career on demonising immigrants and colluding in off-shore incarceration on Manus and Nauru so cruel, the UN says it’s torture. Or refusing medical treatment, especially to sick children, many of whom have been driven mad by five years of imprisonment, neglect and abuse.

Morrison could turn a blind eye to Trump’s lie that Mexico would stump up $5.7 billion, or so, to wall themselves in – just as he’s made no comment on Trump’s Mexican stand-off with congress. Morrison or Marise Payne could offer congrats – not that Trump’s backed down on his government shutdown, but on his bullying Congress that it had better pay for the wall come 15 February or he’d declare a state of emergency.

800,000 government workers are on leave or working without pay. Trump tells them to get credit at the store.

But still not a peep, not a word in any tongue from ScoMo or his government. Could it be that “chaos is reigning; the PM is jumping at shadows and doesn’t know what to do?” as a Liberal “hard-head” tells Paul Bongiorno.

Rats continue to jump ship. Nigel Scullion joins Michael Keenan who joins Kelly O’Dwyer in the rush to desert the sinking, stinking, Liberal ship.

Trump has hit a wall or two before, of course. After squandering the $413 million bequeathed him by his builder father, Fred C Trump, a bankrupt Trump Jnr allegedly sought help from Russian financiers.

Craving approval and control, Trump surrounds himself now with sycophants and incompetents. In his court are enablers and rent-seekers such as VP Mike Pence, who this week crowns Trump, – as a type of King.

Colluding in Trump’s paranoid delusion of invasion by a migrant caravan, Pence claims Martin Luther King, would support the President’s empty threat to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. “Now is the time to make real the promises for democracy,” Pence quotes King on the weekend of King’s birthday. It’s sycophancy on steroids.

It is a week of mutual Endeavour. In the US, The Donald’s rabid fear-mongering about how the land of the brave and the free is to be invaded by drug-crazed, diseased and dangerous criminals aka “many gang members and some very bad people” – from South of the Border, is boosted by his VP. Pence calls it an epoch-making speech, an epic, if not heroic, evocation of human rights worthy of the late great, civil rights leader himself.

For Trump’s small and powerless pal, ScoMo, too many Cooks are never enough when it comes to invaders. What’s left of Morrison’s government goes cuckoo over Cook. James Cook that is.

In Cairns, the PM busies himself setting the record crooked reinventing the doughty Scots-Yorkshireman as an icon of Western Civilisation, a scientist, whose mission was not to observe the transit of Venus or to make his men eat sauerkraut but to bear the precious gift of The Enlightenment to the poor, benighted inhabitants of this land.

The myth that Cook discovered Australia has been taught in schools for decades – too long-established to quickly challenge. ScoMo may know this. He has a solid base of disinformation to build his culture warfare on. Just for the record, however, James Cook never held the rank of Captain. The British navigator was a Lieutenant when he landed in Botany Bay in April 1770 and was promoted to Commodore soon after his return to England in 1771.

Not to be outdone in cooking the books, Nationals’ deputy leader, Bridget McKenzie, a “flash bit of kit”, according to former Tsar, Barnaby Joyce, not only wants to keep Australia Day on 26 January, she wants to rewrite history.

“That is when the course of our nation changed forever. When Captain Cook stepped ashore,” Senator McKenzie tells Sky News viewers on Tuesday. “And from then on, we’ve built an incredibly successful society, best multicultural society in the world.”

Australia Day commemorates the landing of Arthur Phillip in January 1788, nine years after Cook’s death. “The best multicultural society” boast is rhetorical nonsense; impossible to quantify. Yet it also slights or treats with contempt the migrant experience of racist rejection, exclusion, scapegoating and discrimination, at school, in the workplace and in society at large from the treatment of the traditional owners of the land through the Chinese gold-diggers, forced to walk 900km from Sydney southward across the Murray River to the goldfields to avoid the 1855 Victorian poll-tax, to Dutton’s African gangs. And the White Australia Policy is the elephant in the room.

Sadly, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young also errs. Incredibly, she hadn’t time to read her release before publication, she says. “Despite an important national debate about changing the date of Australia Day away from Captain Cook’s landing at Botany Bay, the Government has decided to spend taxpayer money it is stripping from the ABC on yet another monument to Captain Cook on the land of the Dharawal people,” her statement reads.

ScoMo will go ahead with his captain’s call, the commission of a replica of HMB Endeavour, a replica of James’ Cook’s barque, itself a copy of a Whitby collier, broad in the beam and shallow in the draft, ideally designed to navigate the shallows, or cope with running aground, even survive a collision with the Great Barrier Reef.

Top of the list it has a generous storage capacity for coal – a happy metaphor for Morrison’s government itself.

Oddly, Morrison’s second captain’s call is not going so well. Drafting wily Warren Mundine from his pay-TV show on Sky Mundine Means Business as candidate in the NSW ultra-marginal south coast seat of Gilmore, over the heads of the local Liberal Party branch may not fare so well. Ann Sudmalis was ejected from the seat in favour of Grant, “you better watch out” Schultz, the real-estate agent son of former Liberal party MP Alby Schultz.

Already there’s a bit of a fuss over the fact that Wokka’s company has received half a million government dollars to date, in two government grants in 2017 and 2018, in a process cryptically described as being “a closed process”.

Schultz quits the party and will run as an independent but not before firing a fine parting shot.

“I can no longer be a member of a party that does not support democracy or act with integrity,” he tells reporters.

Sometimes the rats get it right.

28 comments

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  1. nonsibicunctis

    “In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith”
    (James William Fulbright)

  2. Kaye Lee

    “Trump peddles a heady but pernicious mix of philistinism, prejudice and brute ignorance, often confused with iconoclasm, strength or independence, by the naïve, immature or uneducated who form most of his base.”

    Unsurprisingly, Craig Kelly think Trump is the ants pants which just goes to prove David’s assessment.

  3. Sharleen

    Could the use of Captain all these years be an accident. The Royal Navy and ours use Captain as both rank and position. You can be a Captain of a ship but not hold the higher rank of Captain.

  4. David John Tyler

    True, Sharleen – you can indeed be addressed as captain just because you are in charge of the vessel. You’d think, however, if you were a PM in charge of spending a fortune on yet another statue and a commemorative circumnavigation that you’d get the rank right

  5. Barry thompson.

    “Faux Mo”.I love it! Another great read David. Thank you.

  6. Robin

    I’m not in agreement with your summary of Putin,David.
    He stood up to a bully-another Israel/USA regime change war-in Syria.
    How does the msm get away with calling elected presidents/pm’s dictators?
    Saddam-elected
    Assad-elected
    Ghadaffy-elected
    Rouhani-elected

    And now Maduro-elected
    Saudi Arabia..not so much.

    All these ‘dictators’ have one thing in common. Immense resrves of natural resources.

    Funny how that works.

    The coup d’etat in Venezuela,happening right now,is another US regime change scandal.
    They’re doin it for freedom,democracy and ‘the people’
    Worked out beautifully for Iraqi’s,Libyans,Afghans,Syrians etc etc
    The self appointed ‘President’,Guiado, was educated at all the hallowed Ivy League schools in USA.

    His first agenda is to privatise the Venezuelan oil industry.

    Qui Bono?

    I’ll need time to think that one through.

    Keep up the excellent work David and I hope your recovery is giggling along.

    Viva Urbanwonkski.

  7. David John Tyler

    Thank you, Robin

    You get a better show at being elected if your rivals are mysteriously “disappeared”. Here’s a link to an article which lists ten Putin critics who died in mysterious or suspicious ways – it includes journalists and one former deputy PM.

    Russia is an oligarchy. It didn’t have to be. The West helped to set it up that way.

    Kind regards
    David
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/03/23/here-are-ten-critics-of-vladimir-putin-who-died-violently-or-in-suspicious-ways/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.48aaf29495f4

  8. Adrianne Haddow

    “Sometimes the rats get it right.”

    My concern is where the rats will end up.
    They are jumping ship now, after years of whiskers in the trough, and the promise of generous superannuation funds and continued access to various public funded ‘entitlements’ to prop up their futures, secure in the knowledge that the companies and industries, that they served so well, will find a highly paid position for them as a reward for services rendered.

    Their complicity in forming and furthering the LNP policies of inequality and division, and their total arrogance regarding their misuses of the public purse in pursuit of their own wealth accumulation and power grabs, is the reason their party is floundering.

    They’ve finished feeding on the corpse of our once social democracy. Now it’s time to scuttle into the rat’s nest of private enterprise.

  9. helvityni

    Yes, Robin, Trump ought to leave the elected Venezuelan presidents to the Venezuelans to worry about…

    On the other hand, could he not meddle with the Oz elections and get rid of Scomo…..?

  10. David Tyler

    A good point, Adrianne. Ministers are particularly in demand, given their specialist knowledge and networks. More than a quarter of all Federal Ministers have gone on to work for a lobbyist firm, peak body or other special interest since 1990, according to a major study published in The Guardian. Some of course have promising former careers or professions mad keen to see them back.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/23/one-in-four-australian-ministers-go-on-to-work-for-lobbyists-or-special-interests-study-finds

    Kelly O’Dwyer will most likely just go back into banking. As a minister, she always made a wonderful former bank employee. Michael Keenan’s a bit more versatile – he could go back to being an adviser – as he was for Amanda Vanstone – and my, didn’t that turn out well? Yet he’s also done a few years in real estate. Perhaps we’ll see him back hard at work at Irving and Keenan Real Estate.

    Nigel Scullion could just retire. Read all those reports on juvenile justice and on Don Dale which as Minister for the NT and Indigenous Affairs he was just too busy doing his job to read.

  11. helvityni

    …I thought that Nigel was a fisherman, what’s there for him: the rivers are drying and the fish are dying….

  12. Kaye Lee

    Giving Peter Reith an Australia Day award has brought up so many memories….

    Reith, the former defence minister, went to work for the defence contractor Tenix days after quitting politics.

    He gave his parliamentary telecard to his son, allowing young Reith and others to make 11,000 calls from 900 locations around the world at public expense. (and had to be forced kicking and screaming to pay back $50,000 after denying he did anything wrong)

    The children overboard lie where he KNEW it was wrong and did not correct it.

    Ah yes…..Peter Reith

    And his mate Michael Wooldridge ,Howard’s first health minister, who agreed to give the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners a $5 million grant for a new Canberra building a week before the 2001 election – and then went to work for the college shortly after.

  13. Diannaart

    Putin standing up to other blots on the landscape of power struggles? Not something which fills me with hope. I believe the old maxim of “the enemy of my enemy” to be very overrated.

    A pox on the lot of ‘em.

    Their internecine machinations are beyond reprehensible and there is not much to stop them. Asteroid?

  14. Robin

    Thanks for the link David.
    My computer skills are less than woeful so no links but as a return of serve,the Clintons have disappeared far more people than Putin and their “foundation” is way beyond corrupt…Haiti is one very good example.
    As far as Oligarchs go,the Clinton/Bush dichotomy are equally as murderous and have killed millions more people-illegal wars and regime changes-than Putin has.
    What did he say about negotiating with the USA..like playing chess with a pigeon,it shits on the board,knocks over all the pieces then struts around like it won. Or some such.
    One more point,John Bolton. Really? That warmonger again??
    Free Julian I say,comrade.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Acknowledging the wrongdoing by the US does not in any way lessen the crimes of the murderous totalitarian regime of Putin.

    I also wonder to what degree Assange has been used as a political pawn.

  16. Diannaart

    Robin

    Copying and pasting a link or even just a few words of text is very simple.

    However, not feeling energetic enough to give you the diannaart guide, so the following link with easy steps will have to suffice. Although I am not really happy with these particular instructions, they will get you started, whether you are using Windows, Mac whatever.

    The instructions are for copying and pasting text, however the same applies for copying and pasting a link to your AIMN comments. There are Wiki instructions for this as well, but I believe they are more confusing than helpful IMHO.

    https://m.wikihow.com/Copy-and-Paste

  17. Robin

    Kaye.

    The USA/Saudi/Israel coalition is responsible one of the worst humanitarian crisis the world has ever seen in Yemen.

    Right now,ongoing. Not a mention of it anywhere in our corporate media.

    The Saudi’s are openly bragging about targeting civilians,women and children. Hodeida is blockaded(Australian navy lending a hand cos the mincing poodle wants to sell arms to Saudi Arabia). No food,medicince.

    People are starving to death every day,if they haven’t already been blown to pieces, thanks to this blockade.

    Someone posted a pic of an emaciated Yemeni child on facebook. FB took it down,calling it ‘child porn’. it’s certainly something porn.

    I dont think USA war crimes are lessened by a far,far lesser ‘evil’ in Putin. They are never called out on it cos Murdoch,and Australia

    is complicit,like it or not.

    China and Russia have massive investments in Venezuela and stand to lose plenty should the US backed coup d’état succeed.

    I enjoy reading your posts.

    Diannaart. I’m assuming I’m not being patronised in your weary post,so thanks for the heads up..glass half full and all.

    Seems being anti war,inhumanity,murder and terror on an industrial scale is so passe these days.

  18. Kronomex

    No matter how hard we rail and protest about the ongoing destruction of democracy here and elsewhere by politicians on all sides, corporate greed, interference from foreign powers, and the main sleaze media we will almost always lose to apathy and circuses and the (purposeful?) dumbing down of the masses. Keep ’em dumb and keep ’em numb. Watch the movie Idiocracy or have a gander at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy#Reception (Wikipedia does have some use)

    The commentary (No. 6 in the contents) sums it up quite well. The Donald is Idiocracy in action.

  19. Robin

    Ooh,did it.

    Please watch my first copy/paste D 😉

    (Abby Martin,Jimmy Dore,get informed everyone,a slight language warning)

  20. Diannaart

    Robin

    I really am exhausted, have a chronic illness. Otherwise would’ve happily written Dianna’s nifty hacks.

    It really is simple. I do hope you will take a look at the Wiki instructions.

    Also if you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

    and while I was writing the student has passed with flying honours

    😉

  21. Robin

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re unwell Diannaart.

    My very best wishes to you and I hope you make a full recovery back to health.

    Thanks again for your help and congratulations to your student and their
    extremely gifted educator.

  22. Diannaart

    Thanks for link and kind wishes

    Am fan of Jimmy Dore

  23. Kronomex

    I wonder how long it will take the banks to start whinging in Scummo’s ear about how nasty…hint, hint, more donations…Kenneth Hayne is being to the nice…more hints…banks?

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/a-consumer-s-guide-to-the-banking-royal-commission-s-final-report-20190128-p50u2t.html

    Or will Morriscum and Crony Co. make a token effort (gee, I wonder if it because of the looming election?) to be tough as the LNP usually does and when they get the boot they can forget all about and, well, you know the mantra.

  24. S

    I for one think AUstralian day is a sydney centric festival when if you go to Perth or Adelaide their foundations as european colonies were in the 19th century and not anything to do with the 26th of January and Cook did not travel around Australia. In 2020 will be the 100 th birthday of QANTAS and that airline made Australia the nation we have today

  25. John L

    Sorry Kaye – Putin’s murderous totalitarian regime ?
    You have really taken western MSM’s 15 + years of Russiaphobic propaganda on board – you certainly haven’t studied Russia, Russian politics and it’s interplay with the rest of the world much..

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