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Pretending we give a shit

Nine years ago, Scott Morrison gave his maiden speech to Parliament expressing many noble ideals, none of which have been displayed by Mr Morrison in the ensuing years.

His remarks on foreign aid belie his government’s actions.

“The Howard government increased annual spending on foreign aid to $3.2 billion. The new government has committed to continue to increase this investment and I commend it for doing so. However, we still must go further. If we doubt the need, let us note that in 2007 the total world budget for global aid accounted for only one-third of basic global needs in areas such as education, general health, HIV-AIDS, water treatment and sanitation. This leaves a sizeable gap. The need is not diminishing, nor can our support. It is the Australian thing to do.”

Mr Morrison’s predecessor, Joe Hockey, slashed $11 billion from the aid budget during his tenure with Morrison cutting another $224 million in his first budget. That will reduce Australia’s foreign aid, as a proportion of gross national income, to a record low of just 0.22 per cent.

The International Monetary Fund estimated that, on national income per citizen, Australia ranked seventh among OECD donor countries in 2015 in US dollar terms, and eighth in terms of purchasing power. These cuts will take us to 17th in terms of aid as a share of national income. Australia’s prosperity ranking now far outstrips its ranking as an aid donor.

When Donald Trump announced that he would strip foreign aid funding from any health organisation that even mentioned the word abortion, Julie Bishop responded by pledging $9.5 million over three years for a partnership with Planned Parenthood.

What she didn’t mention was the many women’s programs which had been defunded in their previous budgets.

One example of a cut program was training midwives under an $83 million project to cut the high rate of death for mothers in childbirth and improve infant welfare in Indonesian village health clinics and hospitals. A similar program to improve maternal and child health in Burma was also axed.

This morning Fairfax reported that our new Ambassador for Women and Girls, the latest ex-politician to join the double-dipping gravy train, Sharman Stone attended a conference in Brussels which was convened to address the estimated shortfall in funding caused by Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ on abortion.

It is estimated it will leave aid organisations short of $US600 million (or around $790 million), which campaigners say will put millions of women’s lives at risk.

Ministers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark organised today’s pledging conference. Canada pledged $26 million, as did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One anonymous donor contributed $66 million. It raised €181 million or around $251 million. Australia gave nothing.

Ms Stone reannounced the same $9.5 million that was announced over 6 weeks ago by Julie Bishop as she told the crowd that “Empowering women and girls is a central objective of our foreign policy focus.”

Strange then that they would axe funding for the Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction Program. They also axed funding for training Bangladeshi primary school teachers and providing textbooks.

Why send someone, with staff no doubt, all the way from Australia to contribute nothing? Then again, that’s what we did at all the climate change conferences too.

Nice trip on the taxpayer’s purse I spose.

But please, we are not in any position to be pretending we give a shit.

17 comments

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  1. Jaquix

    Your first sentence is perfect Kaye. Morrison The Humble Christian spoke with forked tongue then, and has continued to do so ever since. Not only that but he is a sneering, gloating, incompetent bully who has no idea of how to do his job.

  2. Cath O'Conoor

    humble christian? good christian = oxymoron

  3. Ill fares the land

    What really staggers me is the self-avowed Christians in the Parliament who all profess their faith, but never actually seem to live by any of the fundamental tenets of their faith in their public life.

    Morrison, Christensen, Abbott, Rudd to name but four are all reprehensible human beings who will happily lie to Australia when it suits them.

    How do they reconcile that stuff with their faith?

    That actually tells me that perhaps their “faith” as they call it, it not that real for them – I am sure they rationalise this, but looking at Rudd, for example, his treatment of people around him in the Parliament was utterly appalling. I have also heard some quite horrific stories from his days as a petty bureaucrat where he (allegedly) treated very senior people in the military and in government with virtual contempt. I doubt that his peers missed him at all after he left the Parliament.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Also from Morrison’s speech regarding his “faith”

    “From my faith I derive the values of loving-kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others; to fight for a fair go for everyone to fulfil their human potential and to remove whatever unjust obstacles stand in their way, including diminishing their personal responsibility for their own wellbeing; and to do what is right, to respect the rule of law, the sanctity of human life and the moral integrity of marriage and the family. We must recognise an unchanging and absolute standard of what is good and what is evil. Desmond Tutu put it this way:

    … we expect Christians … to be those who stand up for the truth, to stand up for justice, to stand on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked, and when that happens, then Christians will be trustworthy believable witnesses.

    These are my principles.”

    I’m not sure how those comments gel with what he said three years later as shadow immigration minister

    Mr Morrison told the shadow cabinet meeting on December 1 at the Ryde Civic Centre that the Coalition should ramp up its questioning of “multiculturalism” and appeal to deep voter concerns about Muslim immigration and “inability” to integrate urging them to capitalise on it.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-sees-votes-in-antimuslim-strategy-20110216-1awmo.html

    Not to mention Manus and Nauru

  5. Alan Baird

    As David Michael Green used to head his blogs, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”. Love them christians to death. A race of grand pricks that are holier than thou.

  6. Ella Miller

    Ill fares the land, “How do they reconcile that stuff with their faith?”

    They go to confession on Friday, go to Church on Sunday, believe all is forgiven so they can do it all over again the following week. Round and round it goes. Sunday morning christians.!

    Kaye Lee, I think the only solution is that those of us who “give a shit” donate to o/s charities… sadly the need is so great that one person can only do so much, but collectively it may only be a drop in the ocean …BUT it may be the drop that save a life.
    I am guilt ridden every time I see the adverts on TV for various charities, that I have not contributed to .

  7. Gangey1959

    The wondrous scooter moronscum. As Python describes him. ”A vacuous, toffee nosed, malodorous christian”. I know, the real word is pervert. Same thing really, just in a better suit, and with fewer braincells.

  8. jim

    Shame on Australia for these cuts, Shame on the right wing LNP for these cuts, now those evil unions and the ALP will have to fight tooth and nail to overturn these un-humane cuts , LNP..creeps.

    The only way forward is rid the world of right wing governments (like Australias LNP) it’s the only way

    We have the worst government . since 1949 and it’s the LNP,……As the Australia Institute’s research in June found – across a broad range of economic measures, the Abbott/Turnbull government has performed the worst of any Australian government since 1949. Economist Jim Stanford’s report examines economic performance across 12 indicators – including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment …

  9. jim

    The Bloomberg Editorial Board said fossil fuel subsidies were the dumbest policy they could find in the world, saying that the “ridiculous” outlays would be economically wasteful even if they didn’t also harm the environment.

    “They fuel corruption, discourage efficient use of energy and promote needlessly capital-intensive industries,” the Bloomberg team wrote.
    LNP = CUTS TO THE POOR,Desperate, and the needy., can they get any sicker?.

  10. Johno

    How could Oz give a shit if Oz is a number one tight arse.

  11. king1394

    Consider also that much ‘foreign aid’ is to support Australian trade and business. Aid is often aimed at promoting certain responses, such as purchase of products from Australia, or to open doors for an Australian enterprise to set up in the aided country. We as a country also benefit from the ‘good will’ generated by giving aid, ranging through things like increases in tourism and even access to assets such as ports for our Navy. Often we give very little, and benefit greatly

  12. Maeve Carney

    We sent someone so that Australia could say that it had a representative there.

  13. zoltan balint

    The LNP is like the husband getting home on a night when he is to cook dinner with a pizza and saying ‘look darling … you don’t even have to wash any dishes’.

  14. Max Gross

    The terrorists are loving this!

  15. jim

    Opus Dei aka all the “catholic heads” is a strong defender of the Catholic position on matters of social morality particularly in the realm of marriage, abortion and euthanasia and………… its members are expected to influence government policies in these areas.
    Opus Dei has been associated with ultra-right wing regimes.
    Critics also believe that some more extreme forms exist.

    While professing the importance of faith in their agenda, their aim is overwhelmingly to further Catholic teaching………… ………..Faith is their smokescreen……..

    Have the lowered their 10% alms donations yet?. In a big way they are corrupting democracy.

  16. Arthur Baker

    The Morrison maiden speech, delivered on Valentine’s Day 2008, one day after Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation, has been a long-standing nadir of cant and hypocrisy. But new candidates pop up with ever-increasing frequency. None has exceeded Morrison’s record yet, but every day I expect to read a worse piece of self-serving crap.

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