Omicron, OMG? No worries, Health Minister Greg Hunt is all abreast of the latest threat to public health, even finding time at the end of his statement to parliament to read aloud a letter from Olivia, the mother of Bella, a six-year-old girl in Koo Wee Rup, who is seriously ill, before a half-nelson clinch with bestie Josh Frydenberg as Hunt quits the Morrison government’s rapidly sinking ship; its motley crew mugged by sordid reality.
Trust Hunt to ensure his exit plan from the Morrison omnishambles includes a public back pat. Sentimentality triumphs over true feeling, particularly in a government whose PM gets high on his own schmaltz.
Treating the house to moving stories of his selfless efforts or his team’s tireless work to relieve suffering by making medication more available is Hunt’s signature and it is a fitting swan song for the self-indulgent egotist. Yet it is off-key in the context of his government’s vaccine debacle.
There is nothing wrong with alleviating the suffering of one person. But what of the five million who are known to have died worldwide of COVID-19 so far? It’s a figure likely to be only a third of the true total. Vaccine inequity is a huge global issue. Yet here we shirk our duty.
Whilst two thirds of people in wealthy countries are vaccinated, only 2.5 per cent of peoples of low-income nations are fully protected. The pandemic has, moreover, set back the work of tackling global disease and poverty
Hunt loves lashings of schmaltz. So did Charles Dickens. But, as Oscar Wilde warns, one would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing.
Yet there’s not a dry eye in the house as Hunt tears up as he tugs the heartstrings of his fellow empaths, woke blokes and sensitive New Age Males with a modest tale of his truly heroic procurement of compassionate access from an overseas company of a medication for Bella that would never be available in Australia and never a listed medication.
Yet is self-congratulation in order? Richard Denniss notes the “PM, his health minister and the secretary of the department of health have overseen the most expensive public policy mistakes in Australian history, but to hear Scott Morrison or Greg Hunt speak is to hear a man seeking praise for his performance. Yet their failures have cost tens of billions. Two thousand lives already. Many more must follow.
Then there’s the economic cost of the federal government’s failure to procure vaccines in a timely and adequate manner. NSW with its gold standard premier, Gladys Berejiklian, cheered on – and on – by the PM and his “team freedom” fail to contain the Delta variant. Both federal and NSW government’s COVID failures help create the third-largest quarterly decline in Australia’s economic activity in sixty years.
Beneath its veneer of inefficiency and inadequacy lies further corruption. exposed this week, in the release of a report which exposes a party rotten at the core; the rampant misogyny, bullying and frigging in the rigging, which Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ documents at length in her report ‘Set the Standard’ an indictment of male behaviour in parliamentary workplaces which the PM has no intention of reading, let alone heeding – preferring just to hold a copy aloft as a prop – while his MPs are all at sea over climate, energy, economic policy; baffled by a Captain barking orders which some just openly ignore. Or jump ship.
Hunt’s not the only Victorian rat to desert a ship that long since ceased to be sea-worthy. Former footballer, Damian Drum, Nationals MP for the northern Victorian electorate of Nicholls, also beats a retreat, Friday. Team Morrison is down ten members, two-thirds of a Rugby team but the PM’s game plan will stay unchanged. Labor hasn’t learned its lesson, he shrieks, claiming as Abbott did before him, that a modest increase in carbon emission targets will ruin the economy, triple the cost of the Sunday roast.
But he can’t blame Labor for his own snafu in making new laws no one needs or wants, a process fancifully dressed up as a legislative agenda.
Much fuss is made in the tamed estate of a legislative agenda getting stuck in the S-bend of the Senate, but Morrison’s agenda is the problem. It’s just unreal. Confected for its own sake. Religious discrimination is a lame way to appease a few religious conservatives who find 2021 confronting and yearn for a simpler world where God knows what’s best for us and who feel cheesed off they lost out to marriage equality in 2017.
Despite its title, the bill would promote discrimination. So it’s off to a committee for a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down. It’s been malingering since 2019, a bill if not an act of bad faith; a sop to gay marriage nay-sayers and other homophobes.
We have no religious discrimination – and like the government’s racist voter ID fraud law planned, it is another solution in search of a problem. Bernard Keane sums up the farce.
“The government has no actual agenda addressing issues of substance – not on climate, not on wage stagnation, not on housing affordability, not on higher education, not even on defence, where the year has been marked by a major step backward in procurement of our next generation of submarines.”
Luckily, a crisis pops up in the form of Omicron – the WHO latest “variant of concern” because it is highly infectious. It’s too early to know whether it’s deadlier than Delta but much of the fuss results from the federal government’s own failure to plan.
“We’re well-prepared and we are in the best scientific hands in the world,” Health Minister Hunt lies, the Dr Pangloss of a hands-free government of dud judgement and failure to deliver. Unless you’re talking about spin. Vacuity. Entropy. Or mindless, hyper partisanship.
Or the $10.3 billion in subsidies we paid our battling gas and coal producers last year, all part of the Liberal Party’s very postmodern interpretation of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, whereby the wealth of social goods and public benefits that flow over the beaver-dam of accumulated self-interest – are boosted heroically by a rising tide of subsidies that floats all boats and super yachts. Santos, Twiggy Forrest and Gina Rinehart never had it so good.
Just because there’s a pandemic on doesn’t mean you forget to look after your mates. Why waste funds on dedicated quarantine stations? OK. They do work. The Howard Springs facility is a 100 per cent success. But this is a federal government which works around the clock to dodge its federal responsibility. Evasive talking points don’t just write themselves.
“Well, I cannot control what ATAGI advises” says a PM in full flight, last July, implying he’s in a constant battle to get his scientific hands to change their advice but a new deference is apparent as Hunt does the prelude to OMG it’s Omicron, the latest show stopping number in our sensational government-drip-fed media’s Covid series, which includes such memorable performances as Wuhan Flu and Twiggy Bigs Up Test Kits, a spectacular confrontation in April 2020 between Australia’s richest man and a plutocracy he co-owns.
The Twigster gate-crashes a federal government press conference to present ten million test kits plus some PPE gear which his business links help him secure at a bargain $325 million, for which the Morrison government will reimburse him, naturally, despite initial press suggesting that the billionaire’s intervention is a philanthropic gift.
Some BGI kits are used in Victoria, but other states prefer their own tests. WA says, they weren’t needed at all, a reflection on federal government health efforts generally. The states have done all the heavy lifting, prompting some pundits to propose a new phase in commonwealth-state relations, or at least a shift in the balance of power under a weak and manifestly incompetent Prime Minister.
Hands? Let’s put our hands together for the biggest health policy disaster since federation from a government that cares not a jot about doing its job; whose dereliction of duty is matched only by its ability to cock up the simplest task. Like order vaccines. But be fair; at least Hunt’s got something right. Yep. He’s retiring to spend more time with his family.
As for Hunt’s glib lies and his incompetence, we will be paying the price for some time. The world’s “best scientific hands” help deliver us over 213,339 Covid cases. Nearly 15,000 cases are active. Two thousand and twenty-one Australians have died. Albanese’s right about the Morrison mob having two main jobs: vax and quarantine. They stuff up both.
Dutton backer, duck-‘n-cover-Hunt saw his credibility shredded well before his graveyard shift as Health Minister in a government that fails vaccine procurement and distribution whilst also evading responsibility for senior Australians; the elder abuse and neglect endemic in the nation’s corporatised aged care. Investors continue to prosper while their “clients” die. Dedicated quarantine facilities are simply another federal responsibility still in search of a responsible federal government.
As Greg legs it, we pause to reflect on his earlier incarnation as Mr Soil Magic, the MP who spruiked climate denialist, Tony Abbott’s Direct Action, boondoggle. Polluters were paid $3 billion to pursue efficiency projects which they would have implemented anyway, while soil-magic paid farmers to play-act carbon sequestration, or soil-carbon, a fantasy still popular with a National Party lining up to receive subsidies for farmers as recompense for having to agree to net-zero by 2050.
His legacy? Hunt will go down in history as the shyster who aided and abetted Tony Abbott, another IPA mining puppet in his disastrously successful crusade for the abolition of a price on carbon, a practical and effective way of curbing carbon dioxide emissions.
But it’s not as if fossil-fuel corporations don’t pony up when it comes to political donations. It’s just that they are very hard to trace. We do know from the Centre for Public Integrity that that over last twenty years, the resources sector gave at least $136.7 million to political parties and lobby groups. The real amount is many times higher. Yet this but one measure of influence in what is the owning and controlling of political decision-making.
There are lobbyists. Fund-raising dinners where corporate CEOs pay hugely to bend the ear of the minister who can help further their business interests and to hell with parliamentary democracy. What we have running the place is an oligarchy of corporate plutocrats.
Enter Clive the Dinosaur. The impossibly litigious Palmer gifts $89 million to getting the election result he wants in 2019. Big Clive is the most generous donor, but his gift is a tad one-sided. The Coalition gets over three times the amount directed to Labor, while a high disclosure threshold of $14,000 hides another estimated third of all political donations.
In effect, Australia’s federal government is a fully paid-up subsidiary of mining, banking, gambling, Big Farm and Big Pharma and allied commercial interests who get to decide climate and energy policy – and just when we open our borders to the latest WHO mutant variant of interest.
Yet all is well, as the Covid-19 pandemic proves endemic, just as experts predicted, an inevitable outcome of a world in which multinational corporate greed decrees that only the rich get vaccinated. Hapless millions have no choice but infection and becoming a giant human petri dish. Vaccination must be global if Covid is to be eliminated. Yet less than five per cent of all poor people in low-income countries have had one jab.
Hunt invokes ATAGI. We get boosters and if we can’t get boosters or they don’t work we get Omicron. But it won’t be as bad as we fear. Just like the flu bubbles Parnell McGuiness on The Drum.
Or it will be bad but we’ll get new vax.
Under the government thumb – yet only overruled when the PM disagrees – ATAGI could bring forward boosters. If we have any. Or if they work. ATAGI’s, an agile and dynamic if not svelte, advisory panel of twenty-three health experts and other interested parties. If boosters don’t work, there’s always Pfizer. Whip up a vat of vax overnight.
Outside a Morrisonian fantasy-land, Pfizer guesses it could make commercial quantities of an Omicron vaccine by March 2022. By then, the new variant will have spread everywhere.
Omicron, the latest WHO high risk Covid variant of concern will be all over the world well before Hunt remembers the paediatric vax he forgot. Greg The Unready is chief apologist, the man who is top pup on the empty tuckerbox of a Morrison policy-free government of perpetual unpreparedness and colossal bungling. And not just in failing Covid.
Who can forget the forty billion dollars the treasurer, Greg’s BFF from Kooyong gave to multi-nationals and big Australian firms that simply did not need the money?
We could have doubled Newstart for five years on forty billion.
The runs are on the board for the Morrison experiment. It’s already shown a criminal failure to provide quarantine, protect first nations’ peoples, or procure in timely fashion, vaccine for kids in a world where Covid mutates readily in populous nations such as South Africa, too poor to access vaccinations jealously hoarded by the rich. It can’t claim it wasn’t warned.
Instead, we got the shadow puppetry, a Covid Commission. Sounds potent, prudent and provident. Yet it was entirely gas-lighting, a secret cabinet committee led by a gas industry for a gas industry rich-lister nifty Nev Power, formerly Fortescue Metals CEO.
Morrison’s response to Covid has little to do with protecting public health and everything to do with private profit. The federal government gives the green light to Santos and co to guzzle even more public funds under the ruse of a “gas-led recovery.”
It’s grotesquely absurd. As TAI points out. If the Morrison government had to pick the industry least likely to help the economy, gas would have been the perfect choice. Not only does it employ few workers, its emissions help destroy our rapidly depleting atmosphere
Our federal MPs are in thrall to a mining oligarchy spruiking ecocide. It’s a rapacious, relentless, powerful elite which helps itself to resources, as in the NT intervention land grab, yet cannot prompt its Muppet government to honour its pledge to protect vulnerable, high-density extended family communities such as those in the Northern Territory.
Flash as a rat with a gold tooth, mining magnate Twiggy Forrest, is flogging green hydrogen, our robber-baron, corporate cowboy’s latest snake-oil, a product so rare that not a molecule is yet to be made. Twiggy’s butler, world-renowned liar “Pinocchio Morrison” shoots himself in both feet in international trade and diplomatic circles by scuttling our submarine deal with France. Lying. Leaking personal texts.
And then lying about lying afterwards.
Not that it stops Scotty setting up Australia’s stand at COP26, as a market stall for coal and gas – at a conference of handwringing over global warming, climate change and the need for everyone to promise to phase down but not phase out coal.
The Glasgow Climate Pact itself is a predictable let-down; a missed opportunity to address the catastrophic health impacts of the climate emergency, according to academics at the UNSW School of Population Health. They say it’s shameful.
But nothing deters Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) pitching its rocking horse manure to the world. Take a bow, mining titan Twiggy, godfather of The Indue cashless welfare card, a fantastic, plastic, social metastatic, which a Morrison government will extend to all welfare recipients. It’s a form of coercive control if not abuse.
As for abuse, Indue enables Twiggy to call The Greens, “the party for paedophiles” in 2017.
“I have to hold the Greens accountable here; the Greens might as well be the party for paedophiles, the party for child sex abusers – you’re the party of human rights and you’ve forgotten the human rights of children, just call yourself the party for paedophiles.”
Why? The Greens oppose the card which researchers say adds misery, is racist and helps only its backers, Murdoch reporters help promote Indue as the cure to sexual depravity, pornography addiction and drunken excess amongst Aboriginal communities.
In case the logic is not obvious, the Twigster alleges that because First Nations’ folk can’t budget, they fritter their income on drugs, grog and pornos, leaving children to roam the streets at night; their own kids are too frightened to be at home in their beds.
“Paedophile” arises in Howard ‘s 2007, The Northern Territory Emergency Response slur on Aboriginal culture in which paedophile rings were alleged to operate in the Northern Territory, despite ABS evidence that only 4.2% of substantiated reports for Aboriginal child abuse and neglect were for sexual abuse compared to 9.3% of non-Aboriginal NT children.
A Rumpelstiltskin in RM Williams moleskins, Forrest and his tame PM, Morrison, boast how they will spin straw into gold. Or water into hydrogen – a simple process which involves vast amounts of water and electricity. It’s so simple you could do it at home with a couple of jumper leads attached to the national grid. Try Bunnings. And a Murray Darling basin of water. Oh. And somewhere to dump toxic salt by-products.
To make 70 million tonnes of pure hydrogen per year – the current global output, you would need about one-and-a-half times as much renewable electricity as the world produces.
Funding? Part of the big picture. Build it and they will come with open cheque-books. Who cares if the Twiggy Piggy bank is empty? A mere bagatelle to a gas-captured Morrison government, which underwrites Santos’ gaslighting in Glasgow as at home.
In a post-truth, post-shame political world having nothing to sell but our souls is part of The Australian Way. And what better venue to set out our gas cartel’s stall than COP26? Certainly, the Morrison government goes out of it way to besmirch our nation’s credentials.
We are now dishonest broker, international conman, and carnival barker for the fossil fuel industry’s business as usual- exclusive greenwashing scam. Just listen to the Twigster,
“Hundreds of billions of dollars” in “implementation capital” will be “funded by the world’s greatest institutions, who must invest in humanity’s journey to a zero-carbon future.”
The green hydro hustle comes from the same mob that brought us natural gas – or re-badged methane, a gas with 80 times the global warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it enters our atmosphere. Hitching our wagon to the Santos star fixes Australia’s global reputation as money-grubbing, fossil fuel grifters.
Gas prices have tripled over the last seven years as gas production tripled in Australia. It takes a fair amount of effort, not to mention skullduggery to increase the price of a product as you increase supply.
Not that we’ve been idle behind the scenes, slogging our guts out to help China and India undermine any hope of an agreement to cease burning coal. Hopes for the planet’s survival are dashed when the hoopla that is COP26 fails to agree to phase out coal or even set effective rules for global carbon trading. Shonky carbon offsets will allow fossil fuel corporations to continue polluting and global heating in dirty business as usual.
The COP is now all over bar the shouting, squabbling and bickering. Until next year in Egypt where shameless, ecocidal, climate derelicts such as Australia will be flogged with a limp lettuce leaf, if we can’t improve on the Abbott Experiment’s pathetically inadequate 2030 carbon emission reduction target to reduce emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent on 2005 levels. Yet Barnaby Joyce is keen to have the last word.
In an Abbott-like gesture of integrity, Nationals’ Santos’ stooge, Joyce, who is also currently deputy PM of Australia claims “I did not sign it.”
Not to be out-bid, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) – representatives of 18 gas exporting countries meet in Qatar to stick up for the fossil fuel underdog, in a statement protesting the “the ongoing reductionism and cancel culture on hydrocarbons.”
Reporters ask Joyce if his rapidly dwindling and hopelessly divided party is onboard with COP26’s lamentably diluted communique, an anti-climactic flatulence from some self-deflating whoopee cushion at the end of the Glasgow-a-go-go climate summit. At the eleventh hour, India gets the text altered from “phasing out” coal to “phasing down”.
Providing a bit of slapstick slap-down, Elvis impersonator, Michael McCormack, upbraids Rinehart cowboy, Barnaby. Points out that anything the PM signs on behalf of the secret squirrel coalition that poses as a federal government automatically entails the assent of its junior partner. Given his PM’s capacity to pivot on submarine deals, Mick-Mack’s either a very brave or foolish ex-deputy. This will not end well for either MP.
Above the squalor of our Nationals’ barney a Santos’ float with blue and green LEDs showcases the wholesome new miracle fuel like some type of gelati vending machine.
Australia attracts gold diggers. Led by the US and the UK, other economies invest $4 trillion here, mostly in mining, followed by real estate and finance. We rely on foreign investment, DFAT is quick to tell us, to reach our “economic potential”, but let’s not confuse what fuels our economy with our right to a fair and decent society. Or pretend that economic imperialism is The Australian Way and not a global neoliberal tyranny. Above all is the reality that we are a neocolonial tributary state.
Ironically, the ambitiously bellicose Peter Dutton, eager to declare war on China, warns hacks at his Press Club harangue that China sees Australia as a “tributary state.” It doesn’t wish to occupy us, he says, but rather wants us to “refrain from making sovereign decisions and acting in [our] self-interest.” China is right, Mr Dutton but not in the way you would prefer us to believe. Our masters are the US and the UK and have been for as long as we began to be profitable to them.
Above all, while our PM or his Thatcherite treasurer babble about open markets and invisible hands, there’s nothing fair about market forces dominated by oligarchs or duopolies and monopolies. As most of our markets are. Before we even get to our corrupted government providing handouts to prop up uneconomic fossil fuels.
Government subsidies, to Santos, for example, permit it to continue business as usual, fracking and extracting, while its carbon capture and storage conjuring show, “a very elegant project” permits it to continue making methane while banking tax-payer subsidies or carbon credits because CCS.
Our rulers’ Neoliberal faith in market forces means that investors generally get what they want, while increasingly, middle- and working-class Australians miss out. Our lives are relentlessly impoverished, each year, as capital swells investors’ profits while leaving workers an ever -shrinking share of the economic pie.
That “can do capitalism,” our Prime mining muppet, Scott Morrison’s keen to embrace is increasingly a story of foreign investment largely out of Luxembourg, The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and other notorious tax havens.
Our neo-colony has also been seen as a cornucopia of fleece, beef, mutton, butter, wheat; hailed as a virtual workers’ paradise where Jack was as good as his master if not better, the antipodes of an Old World of class and privilege and a post-war place of refuge, a dream shattered during the eastern colonies’ depression of the 1890s.
But not today. Now we are the untrustworthy Australian, shunned after boat-stopper Morrison, mining corporation shill to the world goes full Cobargo in his own anti-charm offensive at the G20 pow-wow and its after-party, the COP26, where almost 200 heads of state see our PM publish Emmanuel Macron’s personal text then lie about its contents, while he is first of our PMs to leak a confidential security briefing against a sitting US President.
Morrison’s already abused the G7 gabfest in Cornwall to leak a list of 14 grievances Beijing has with Australia, including restrictions on foreign investment decisions based on national security grounds, government funding for Sinophobic think tanks, and hostile reporting by Australian media.
What could possibly go wrong?
First, there is the Morrison government’s abuse of a world convention on curbing carbon emissions as an excuse to flog fossil fuels, along with that naff Santos stall promoting carbon, capture and storage, (CCS), a notorious scam.
Twiggy Forrest’s artisanal, hand-crafted, bijou, behemoth, Fortescue Future Industries is also there along with NBN genius, Fizza Turnbull, AO, conscripted to explain how we’ll all be saved by Twiggy’s green hydrogen, despite his having no financial backing apart from a $500m pledge from Fortescue Metals on a project he talks up to cost hundreds of billions of dollars from anonymous investors and despite it not having produced a single droplet yet.
The investors have no names. There is not even indicative funding. It is FFI funded by NFI. Joe Aston scoffs in the AFR. But none of this stops the Twig from taking multi-billion pound orders for a product which doesn’t exist, has never been developed commercially and for which there is nothing but hot air in place of the cold cash of capital investment.
But it’s a great story in which heroic, humanitarian, eco-friendly, mining companies will brew up a bit of brown hydrogen and use it for a while, let’s say fifty years, before some lab invents a way to switch to blue hydrogen – or like the mouldy old orange that invented Fleming’s penicillin, then abracadabra up will jump, green hydrogen like Athene born fully armed from the head of Zeus.
Expect Green Hydrogen about the same time as CCS, elctrolyser technology and interplanetary travel become as cheap as chips. No wonder purists at Glasgow take offence. But how good is Forrest’s bait and switch scam?
“So, voters and investors might think they’re getting green hydrogen funded by Covid-19 relief packages, but they are actually being propositioned with polluting blue hydrogen, and will most likely end up with more brown hydrogen,”
write Alex Grant and Paul Martin in their paper Hydrogen is Big Oil’s Last Grand Scam.
Above, all, there is our clandestine love-in with China, India and Russia in which we punch above our weight; helping abort both gatherings of world leaders’ aims to phase out coal, an obstruction, helped no end, by five hundred reps from fossil fuel corporations.
Morrison can brag that not everyone’s giving us the bum’s rush. China, India and Russia are all over us like a rash even if it’s just cupboard love. And selective.
The land of Oz, an oligarchy of Big Miners backed by Rupert Murdoch’s army of hacks and flacks, wins Colossal Fossil Award as COP 26 winds up in chilly Glasgow – not that our PM and sidekick Taylor even hang around.
Minister Keith Pitt calls it an economic win. Australian mines won’t have to close. Within hours, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne cut up ugly in a pugnacious statement making it clear the government would not lift a finger to better its inadequate 2030 goal.
Multinational Muppet Morrison and his sidekick, fellow fossil fuel fanboy, Round Upper of rare, native grasses and Lord of Murray-Darling rorts, Angus Taylor, rush home to tell lies about Australia’s path to net zero. This translates as business as usual – we’ll actually increase our carbon emissions while, presto, the magic of CCS will suddenly start working; prove itself worth the six billion dollars we’ve already wasted on it.
Not that there is anything but gratitude from our Big Australian trans-national mining corporate party donors who are a hawking, talking, driverless truckload of promotion for what Morrison now calls can-do capitalism evoking old pal, Campbell Newman.
Our fossil fuel industry is a magic pudding. It banks $115 billion from selling Australia’s petroleum and coal resources in 2019-20. It pays state and federal governments $7.3 billion in royalties. Yet, in 2020-21, it gets over $10.7 billion in subsidies, reports Michael West Media’s Callum Foote citing The Australia Institute’s analysis of state budget papers.
Morrison bangs on about how private sector “can-do capitalism,” not government policy, will be crucial to cutting carbon emissions. Provided it is a fabulously well subsidised ward of the state. He hopes to further politicise climate change to win the next election.
“Glasgow has marked the passing of the baton from targets and timetables … to private enterprise and the millions of dispersed decisions, flashes of inspiration, which make up consumer-led technological progress,” he bullshits the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) on Wednesday, a hotbed of innovation, disruptive change and subversion of the dominant paradigm.
“We believe climate change will ultimately be solved by can-do capitalism … (not) governments seeking to control people’s lives.”
See what he does there? Someone on ABC Insiders credits Morrison with tapping into lockdown anger, something largely manufactured by the Murdoch gutter press – and like transitioning from brown to green hydrogen – fuelling a miracle election victory.
Morrison will be lucky to be around to hear the outcome of our betrayal of our Pacific neighbours as we choose self-interest, profit and plunder by siding with China, India and Russia at the G20 in Rome against a proposal by the UK and EU countries to pledge to phase out coal production.
Australia’s shores are girt by sea; lapped by an azure Pacific, a vast body of water bigger than all the world’s land masses and islands combined, whose rising seas will drown our Pacific Island neighbours on whom we rely to pick pears in Orrvale and harvest stone fruit in Maroopna and where Vanuatu is out to sue the fossil-fuel corporations responsible and the governments that enabled them.
Australia’s representatives steal away like a thief in the night from COP26, a conference based on the need to co-operate, but not because they are shamed but because they believe that the planet can wait.
The federal government’s contempt for global co-operation, humanity and for climate science is brazen. Nothing is more important than winning the next election. And serving the fossil-fuel oligarchs who rule us through their wholly-owned subsidiary, the Liberal National Coalition.
Yet what neither may have counted on is the Morrison government’s rapid disintegration through ineptitude and acute dysfunction combining with its record of betrayal over COVID to keep any of its promises; discharge its responsibilities. Add in the seamy underbelly revealed in the release of Kate Jenkin’s report, an expose of toxic masculinity and bullying guaranteed to alienate women voters. Despite all of Clive Palmer’s money and anti-Labor lies it may be in for a big shock at the ballot box.
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