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Question Time, a referendum, boats, more corruption and other matters

1 The first Question Time of the 47th Parliament this time last week was revealing for several reasons. Firstly, it demonstrated the enormous gap in experience between the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader. Secondly, it showed the considerable gulf in intellect between the two.

Because the Opposition carries so much baggage, they have to defend themselves one way or another making it nearly impossible to ask a question that somehow doesn’t reflect poorly on them.

Nowhere to be seen were the refreshingly new standards l was expecting. Well, except to say that the new Speaker, Milton Dick (Member for Oxley, impressed with his authoritative manner and dulcet tone that kept the bear pit under control.

I must admit it was more combative than I thought it might be, but that may have been because my idealism was on high alert. More time might be needed before making a judgement.

Paul Fletcher – considered a “Liberal moderate” – “is now Manager of Opposition Business.” His entry into the pit was both surprising and confusing. Was he angry at losing questions to the Teals? Was he flustered on his first day, or just incompetent? Fletcher’s anger at his party’s reduced number of questions brought forward this remarkable statement:

“Indeed, [with] this standing order, Mr Speaker, we will be right up there with the Russian Duma as a toothless legislative body.”

Really? On a day that Australia recorded the fastest annual rate of growth in consumer prices for more than 20 years. This occurred during the Coalition’s Luddite period, so Dutton didn’t want to go near it. It was a dark, dank day for the Opposition. Note: Luddite period is a term I use to describe the last period of Coalition governance.

However, the usual full of himself Angus Tayler went where angels fear to tread and asked the Prime Minister if he stood by claims in his pre-election modelling that power prices would come down as a consequence of the Government’s climate and energy policies. He conveniently left out two words, “longer term”.

Albanese gave a “come in, spinner” answer by listing all of Taylor’s mistakes as the former energy minister, including delaying a vital electricity pricing update until after the election, which left Australian voters blacked out about possible increases in their power bills.

He then congratulated Taylor “on his courage for asking the question”. And then proceeded to pound Taylor for keeping secret the fact that he knew prices would rise in July.

Dutton’s contribution to Question Time on the first day was to make vague accusations about a construction union he said would now run rampant because Labor had gutted the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Albanese answered his questions, smiling calmly at the opposition leader across the dispatch box and giving the Liberal leader some advice about his vocation:

“I wish him well,” the prime minister said, pausing for a beat, “and I hope he stays there for a very long time.”

Fortunately, Question Time isn’t high on the list of peoples viewing choices. Dutton looks like a loathsome character from a horror movie and speaks in a quiet, almost sinister tone. None of us can help the way we appear, but I find it impossible to see how he could ever gain any public popularity.

Every question asked by the Opposition had a hypothetical tag attached saying, “it was our fault.” And every answer contained all the force of a sucker punch.

 

 

On Thursday, rebuttals of onerous questions ensured that the Opposition received a battering from the Government, highlighting their inaction over the past decade.

It will take years, maybe a decade, for the Liberal and National parties to throw off a well-earned reputation for dreadful governance. Read on to find that we are still discovering more of their political shenanigans.

2 As if time has stood still, many things have converged to remind us just how bad the conservative Luddite period has been. Since May 21, we have learnt that Morrison deliberately brushed aside a long-standing convention to leak information about the arrival of a suspected asylum-seeker boat.

Every time one thought Morrison couldn’t sink any lower, he did.

The Guardian reported the incident with these words:

“The former government ‘sabotaged’ protocols for political gain and was ‘without precedent’ in Australian history.”

3 On top of that, yet another corrupt activity has surfaced:

“An audit of a controversial $1.15bn Coalition grants program for regional development found Liberal-held seats received twice as many grants as Labor electorates.”

Michael McCormack and Barnaby Joyce decided on the allocations. It seems they learnt nothing from the unethical activities of “Sports Rorts.”

4 Trent Zimmerman was one of those in the Coalition that you couldn’t help but like. Quietly spoken and centre-right with a pragmatic view, he always seemed to be on top of his subject. Indeed, it was sad to see him go at the last election. So, when I read his piece for The Guardian (Friday, July 29), I was impressed with the clarity of his thinking:

“When your party is on the losing side of an election, why double down on policies that helped facilitate that defeat?”

Zimmerman may have lost his seat but not his wits.

5 From what I read, many in the Liberal Party were unhappy with Dutton’s captain’s call to continue with a climate policy bereft of any creditability, let alone common sense.

Our lives should be subject to constant reflection; otherwise, the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts.

6 On Saturday, July 30, the Prime Minister at the 2022 Garma Cultural Festival in Arnhem Land released a draft of the proposed words that would enshrine a voice in our constitution for our First Nations People:

“Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?”

1.There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

2.The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

3.The parliament shall, subject to this constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

I believe Peter Dutton will play the spoiler in the proposed referendum. The same as he has on climate change. He will risk a backlash in doing so, but the man’s character dictates his actions.

In the mind’s smallness, genuine ignorance can be found.

7 Only a man of great charisma could deliver a despondent economic speech to the House of Reps with the charm of Jim Chalmers. He is also a much-appreciated truth-teller.

My thought for the day

Nothing matters more in life as to live it decently. And you don’t need any form of religious belief or political allegiance to do so. Be as humane as you can possibly be.

 

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5 comments

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  1. GL

    Their barely suppressed seething and bubbling resentment at being soundly clobbered at the election by the peasants is the only thing they have to sustain them for the foreseeable future. We can also count on the Spudinator, Annabelle and rest of the other petulant toddlers that make up the oppostion to continue with the tantrums and childish behaviour.

  2. leefe

    I have absolutely no problem with Albanese etc holding up a mirror to the LNP every time the latter try to hit with a ‘gotcha’ in Question Time.

    Remind them — remind everyone – exactly how we got in the mess we are in.

  3. Phil Pryor

    Remember, that Peter Duckwit-Futton is a known blunderer, a yabbering fool, so that every part of his public pronouncements goes on record, somewhere, by someoe who may bring things out. He has no intellect, little positive in awareness, morals, decency, ethics, awareness, modesty. A Dud, a Fool, he should slide on over the porcelain curves and through the pipes of oblivion, flushed, not with success, but by a damning record of stupidity and offence. And, that lovely picture also has Scott Gutless-Grubb, a pisserofferer from reality.., GONE.

  4. Graham King

    The LNP/IPA coalition destroyed themselves and this partnership is malignant. They have no future to look to now as they have destroyed both entities credibility

  5. wam

    zimmerman lost because of a clever trick, (cannot verify without a how to vote card), from the loonies when over 40% put the teal ahead of labor.
    ps
    what is your decency compared to dutton’s or the beetrooter or the bandit or ……..

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