NSW Environment Minister, Matt Kean, recently suggested that some federal Liberals are pushing for more action on reducing emissions and arguing that we shouldn’t be using carryover credits from Kyoto. When Scott Morrison was asked about these comments he told us, “Matt Kean doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he doesn’t know what’s going on in the federal cabinet [and] most of the federal cabinet wouldn’t even know who Matt Kean was.”
Well, I guess that Kean is only a Liberal minister in the relatively unimportant portfolio of “The Environment”, in the relatively unimportant state of “NSW”, so why should any of the cabinet have any idea who he was, so I don’t understand why people are reacting so negatively to Scottie’s frank admission.
I, for one, am hoping that this will be the start of more honesty in politician’s answers.
For example, next time someone is asked about the Sporting Grants scandal, it’d be a refreshing change if, instead of trying to argue that no rules were broken, they simply said, “Look, this whole exercise was an obvious attempt to bribe marginal electorates. You know that, I know that, the general public know that and the people who got the bribes know it… But, they must have been pretty happy because they voted us back in, so we know that simply dangling shiny objects in front of them will be enough to distract them next time, so we may even get away without actually stuffing up our plans for a surplus.”
Next time Scottie gets asked something like, “Does Germany’s decision to quit coal put any extra pressure on Australia to increase its emission reduction efforts?”, he could reply, “Look, Germany can do what it likes, but half of my front bench couldn’t even identify it on a map, let alone tell you the name of any German leader since that one who did such a good job at getting the budget back under control.”
Actually our PM could go on and explain that the only reason he took that lump of coal into Parliament was because it had gone down a treat when he took it into the party room, where most Liberal MPs oohed and aahed and said that they’d always wondered what coal was, and it was really good to see it up close and to discover that it wasn’t dirty at all. He was actually quite surprised to find that many other people had actually seen coal before and, unlike his compadres, knew what it looked like.
Anthony Albanese could also benefit from this new approach too. Instead of playing all cagey when asked about putting a figure on Labor’s emissions reduction targets, he could simply say, “Look, it’d be silly to put a figure on it, but as you seem to want one, how much would you allow before you’d follow up with a question about how much that would cost… I tell you what, Morrison is committing to meet and beat their own targets and we’re prepared to commit to beating what they beat it by plus another one percent. And we’re committed to this costing $10 less than it would be under the Liberals. Are you happy now? Because there’s no way I can possibly know whether any of this is possible so far out from an election and once we’re elected we can just ignore all our commitments like the Liberals do… Budget, in the first year and every other year, my arse!”
Even the interviewers could get in on the act. Instead of repeating the unanswered question, they could simply say, “Minister, clearly you’re not going to ask the question that I just asked so can you just tell me which questions you will answer so we can stop this ridiculous pretense that somehow by repeating the question a couple of times, you’ll forget that you’ve been told to change the subject every time I mention this indefensible behaviour from your party?”
Ok, I guess it should be a matter of concern that if most… let’s remember Slomo did say “most”! Most of the front bench would respond to a text message from Matt Kean proposing a meeting with “Who dis?”
But they lack of knowledge of Matt Kean does make one wonder who else don’t they know.
I mean, did Pauline suddenly change her vote on the Ensuring Integrity For Anyone But Us and Our Friends Bill when one of the Liberal Cabinet members shook her hand and said, “Pauline was it? And which party do you represent?”
Did they ignore the Garnaut report because it was too hard to spell Ross Garnaut’s name? I mean, surely some of them could spell, “R-O-S-S”!
Do they ignore all those reports and Royal Commission recommendations because they don’t know the person who wrote them?
And is that what happened with the recent Auditor General’s report?
“Who’s this Grant Hehir guy?”
“He’s the Auditor-General?”
“Oh, what’s that?”
“It’s a role where they check to see that government money is appropriately and efficiently spent?
“Ah, do we really need someone doing that?”
“Yeah, it’s mandatory. Don’t worry, we’re going to privatise it.”
Now, I don’t want to start any silly rumours here. A high-up Liberal source told me that he was totally unaware of any government plans to privatise the role of auditor general, but then when I asked him what he thought about Scott Morrison’s comment regarding Matt Kean, he did reply:
“Hang on, I’m just trying to place the guy… Just a second, Scott, oh, he’s the PM, isn’t he?”
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