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Scott Morrison takes “don’t-do government” to a whole new level

I’m not sure if Scotty is in his market testing phase or if the campaign is already settled, but selling yourself as a ‘won’t-do government’ is an interesting approach.

Don’t be cross with us – we don’t do anything.

“I don’t hold a hose, mate, and I don’t sit in a control room,” Scotty reminded us on 2GB when asked about holidaying overseas as the country burned.

Except he was warned about the danger before that horror fire season erupted and completely ignored all expert advice in his do-nothing way.

“There’s no action by Australia that’s going to change the temperature of the globe at all,” said Barnaby on Sky when discussing emissions reduction. Australia “makes no difference whatsoever. No difference at all.”

Morrison’s do-nothing government can’t set a target to reduce methane emissions by 30% because that would require farmers “to go grab a rifle, go out and start shooting your cattle” according to our “entertainer” Deputy PM.

Which makes me wonder if Barnaby reads as the Australian red meat and livestock industry has already set the target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and, according to them, it “doesn’t need to come at the cost of livestock numbers.”

FauxMo’s pretence that he hasn’t done a handbrake turn on electric vehicles is beyond even Credlin and Bolt’s ability to spin.

PETA CREDLIN: … hard to avoid the impression that what was wrong then is somehow right now … Not very convincing to me. You be the judge. – Credlin, Sky News Australia, 9 November, 2021

ANDREW BOLT: Why would Morrison today reinforce exactly the criticism that he’s been getting of being a fake, of being untrustworthy, of not telling the truth, of just being a salesman with no convictions at all? Who’s dreaming up the strategy in his office? It’s all so crazy. – The Bolt Report, Sky News Australia, 9 November, 2021

Scott won’t tell you what to drive. He also won’t provide any incentives to make it more attractive for people to buy EVs and he won’t be introducing vehicle fuel efficiency or emissions standards to encourage a shift to cleaner cars.

‘Labor would make petrol more expensive’ cries the man whose government, in their first budget in 2014, removed the freeze on indexation of fuel excise which had been in place since 2001. That has had the effect of lifting the fuel tax from a set 38.1c/litre to 43.3c/litre currently, rising every year with the CPI.

ScoMo also wants to make it clear that he did nothing during the pandemic, it wasn’t his job.

“My preference is to work with the states and territories to support them to do their job, and their job is to protect the public safety. Their job is to protect public safety within their jurisdictions. It’s not my job to go around second-guessing other people’s decisions….the states are doing what they’ve done throughout the course of this pandemic. They’re making judgements based on the health advice that has been provided to them.”

Yet when asked by all state and territory health ministers for increased hospital funding to help cope with the influx of COVID patients and staffing shortages, Morrison said it was the state’s responsibility to manage their own hospitals – “they’re in the same position to borrow money as the federal government, if that’s what they believe they need to do.” Thanks for the support.

Scotty’s don’t-do government hasn’t given a Voice to Indigenous people. It hasn’t given us a federal corruption watchdog. It hasn’t addressed housing affordability or the increasing number of Australians living in poverty.

In fact, they are campaigning on being a government who is not going to legislate anything and are going to leave everything up to the market and consumers to make the right choices (with the obvious fossil fuel support carve-out).

No wonder they keep spending hundreds of billions on war toys. They haven’t got anything else to do.

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  1. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I’m starting to think you’ve got this Morrison bloke all worked out. 😉

    We need more of you.

  2. Jack Cade

    Our derision is all well and good, and justified, but I can’t get past the fact that nothing about his repellent character is news; it was all bleedin’ obvious in 2019, and he got re-elected.
    Perhaps he REALLY – in the immortal phrase of the late Airey Neave – ‘…has his finger on the clitoris of the electorate’.

  3. pierre wilkinson

    oh, it isn’t that he does nothing,
    he excels at rorts, lying and incompetence
    his ministers excel at rorts, obfuscation and coverups
    and his government excels at rorts, opacity and stacking so called independent watch dogs,
    but otherwise, you are manifestly correct in your assessment Kaye Lee

  4. Phil Pryor

    How can a backward boy, a no hoper who has never ever worked successfully at anything known, who has failed the scientific liars of advertising propaganda who got nothing from a nobody, who is notoriously lazy, shallow, loudmouthed, outspoken and ultra ordinary? The great conservative corporate profiteering by control network of money, media, mining, manipulating, manufacturing and marketing use up recruits of no worth, mediocrities, the old Snedden types, for none of them since Menzies has been worth a bee spit. Our only hope, and a vague one, is that the premier’s meetings, advanced and promoted since the covid crisis, might bring intelligence, diversity, balance, cohesion and agreed variability back. The Morrison menagerie of lying, cheating, donor driven dickskulled deviates is beyond depressing, for it is nation ruining and planet threatening. Take B Joyce (please), a warted weak mind; you could mould a better man out of warm diarrhoea, who follows in the paths of former leaders who all seem to become prosperous bumboys for foreign interests in carbon related oil, gas, mining corporations. Treacherous political filth should be scrubbed out, NOW.

  5. David Stakes

    Wedging Labor to reveal what they would do, and then roll out the scare the cripes out of everyone wagon. Works every time people stupid.

  6. Michael Taylor

    I retired from the public service a few months before Abbott won office.

    A few weeks into Abbott’s term Carol and I were strolling around Canberra and I couldn’t help but notice so many people from my former department sitting in or outside coffee shops.

    We sat down and joined one group. I asked why nobody’s at work. The answer from one director was; “We’ve got nothing to do. Everything’s been cancelled.”

    Rinse and repeat for the next nine years.

  7. New England Cocky

    Scummo ”Don’t do government” and I ”Don’t do votes for Liarbral Nazional$ misgoverments”. Bring on the next feral elections!!

  8. Kaye Lee


    At least they don’t waste time advertising jobs and interviewing people and reviewing resumes to ensure positions are awarded on merit.

    Nor do they waste time on silly concepts like comparative assessment or opportunity cost.

    And morality is flexible – after all, gambling makes us a lot of money whether it be on poker machines, horses, or the health of the planet.

  9. pierre wilkinson

    Kaye Lee
    you are correct as usual, so I suppose in some ways doing nothing is beneficial – at least to their supporters

  10. Michael Taylor

    Youngest stepdaughter was in the final semester of her PhD in molecular biology when Abbott cancelled all funding to university programs that studied the effects of climate change.

    She went on to do medicine and is now a doctor on the frontline of the fight against Covid.

    They couldn’t keep her down.

    And btw, she’s a true Lefty.

  11. Douglas Pritchard

    Morrison is a follower, and not a leader. The worry is that he follows the teapot in the sky, and is convinced that with sufficient prayer he can get re-elected, or capture carbon, or overcome all the obstacles that get in his way. If only we can get 90% prayer support!

  12. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, just my hunch but I suspect that the original submarine deal that would bring 2,000 jobs to South Australia was nothing but a ploy to save Christopher Pyne.

    He won by a healthy margin, but before the deal the polls weren’t in his favour.

  13. Peter F

    Why doesn’t the PM take his ‘don’t do government’ philosophy to its logical conclusion, and ASAP.?

  14. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, Howard did same in 1996. I read somewhere that Canberra went into a recession because of it.

    These types failed to see that for every 1 public servant job lost means that 3 people in the private sector will lose their jobs (through retail job losses and cancellation of government programs).

  15. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, you could tell who won the 2007 election because of the spring in everyone’s step and the smiles on their faces the Monday morning after the election.

    Hockey was our minister at the time. Our new minister was Julia Gillard. Oh what a breath of fresh air she was.

  16. Terence Mills

    Well, there are a couple of things the are very anxious to legislate before the election.

    They call one the voter integrity legislation which will require us all to show ID when we go to vote. Curiously they have refused various requests to have the AEC provide all registered voters with proof of ID. They won’t do so as it will make it too easy to vote and they want a particular demographic not to vote. They want to cause chaos at the polling booths which they believe will be to their advantage.

    They are also desperate to get their Religious Freedom legislation through which will entrench the ability of religious institutions (schools, hospitals etc) to discriminate against people who do not follow a particular religion. They say it was an election promise but they seem to forget that the federal ICAC was also an election promise, one they have no intention of honouring.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Sept 7th, 2018

    A newly minted PM Scott Morrison said “If people expect me to be a culture warrior in this job, that’s not my job.”


    Non-existent voter fraud, protection for religious groups to discriminate in a way that would be illegal elsewhere whilst making it illegal to discriminate against them, countless complaints about and inquiries into the ABC whilst giving Murdoch media millions in grants, constantly rewriting the history curriculum, ANZAC mania….

    No culture wars here (rolling eyes)

  18. leefe

    “My preference is to work with the states and territories to support them to do their job, and their job is to protect the public safety. Their job is to protect public safety within their jurisdictions. It’s not my job to go around second-guessing other people’s decisions….the states are doing what they’ve done throughout the course of this pandemic. They’re making judgements based on the health advice that has been provided to them.”

    He left out the last bit ” … and then take the credit.”
    The same way he wants to take the credit for the hard work the states have done in reducing emissions and transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

  19. Lawrence S Roberts

    The concept of No Goverment touches my anarchist soul but not Porkies at the helm or non helm.

  20. Arnd

    Lawrence, you managed to say in one sentence what took me four or five paragraphs. (Two and a bit weeks ago, on John Lord’s lament And this is the bloke we’re sending to Glasgow!)

  21. Kaye Lee

    I am way too self-insufficient to be an anarchist.

  22. Michael Taylor

    And I am way too lazy. ☹️

  23. Arnd


    … I am way too lazy.

    You know what they say, though? “All it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men doing nothing!”

    Besides, you’re not doing nothing, anyway. You’re running this forum, so people like me can vent their spleen (or shout at clouds, for all the good it is doing!)

    But overall, I have to admit that I encounter Kaye’s (claimed) self-sufficiency and your type of indifference often enough to maintain my air of despondency.

    Especially since anarchism, properly understood, wouldn’t actually take all that much “doing” of anything. I am certainly one of those “quiet anarchists” – no loud demonstrations, and certainly no Molotov cocktails, smashing of shop windows, and running street battles with riot police. Scotty would be proud of me. If he knew of my existence. And didn’t mind being shown up for the grotesquely vacuous bullshitter that he is.

    And that is basically my main agenda: enable people to tell, with much greater assurance and discrimination, when they are being bolloxed by political and/or commercial interests, and politely decline.

    What makes this seemingly simple task so difficult, is that most all of us (including myself) are in one way or another ourselves involved in purveying bollox – and most people will strenuously object to being called out on their own bollox.

  24. Arnd


    I just had another look at your comment, and only now noticed your admission of self-insufficiency.

    Not sure whether you want to be drawn at all – but what do you actually mean?

  25. GL

    Scotty is purely about (sorry, I just can’t use that name again without feeling ill) Scummo and what Scummo wants: That is to keep Scummo in power and screw everything else.

  26. Kaye Lee

    It was more a throw away comment but I’ll give a brief reply.

    I’m a maths person. I like systems. I like order.

    I want my schools and hospitals and roads being built.

    I want protection for the vulnerable in our society.

    I don’t mind contributing to those things and having someone else organise them though I wish they did a better job of it.

    I’m not resentful of having the government in my life up to a point and cannot think of a viable alternative – do anarchists get medicare and the PBS and the age pension? That’s relevant at my age 🙂

    If being an ararchist just means objecting to being conned, then I’ve been one all my life. I don’t blindly accept what I am told or that authority is always right.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Maths – the universal language.

    Carol and I have the perfect balance: I’m good with numbers, she’s good with words.

    I could play with Excel or Access all day. Carol could read all day.

  28. LOVO

    119… that’s maths number worth remembering, 😈😆😉😛😛😛

  29. Michael Taylor

    LOVO, I’m having you blocked, banned, and deported. 👹

  30. LOVO

    LOVO :- Hey Joe, where ya goin’
    JOE :- Oh, I dunno
    LOVO :- Oh good..I’ll come too….
    LOVO :- By the way Joe… how much credit ya got on your Twitter account?

  31. Old Codger

    I note a new problem for the Liberals today. Xi and Biden have agreed to cool it when it comes to Taiwan. Bloody hell, what will Morrison and Dutton do now, start their own war against China? Urgers denied?

  32. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye. Another terrific piece.

    And thanks to the commentators, who have been interesting, insightful and wonderfully free of vituperation and personal attacks. (Although I’m not sure about LOVO, who seems to have been deported. Can’t work out why. Is there something secretly nasty about the number 119?)

  33. Arnd

    Thanks, Kaye,

    Anarchy is about the absence of rulers, not rules (that’d be anomie). So you absolutely can have the order that you desire! As can I.

    I am sure that there will be people to build schools and roads – I myself quite like designing and building things. And to protect the vulnerable – though the aim obviously would be to have a lot less vulnerable people needing protection in the first place.

    It is perfectly fine for you not to want to be involved in building schools and roads. But I imagine that there are things you would like to be involved in?

    There might still be some sort of PBS and aged pension, and suchlike – but again, I would anticipate a significantly reduced need for those. And they can be supplied in a much more de-centralised and networked fashion.

    At any rate, the kind of advance towards the deliberate deconstruction of concentrations of both political and economic/commercial powers simultaneously that I envisaged all those decades ago, would have proceeded at glacial pace, and have been heavily and vociferously contested, thus giving us plenty of time to nut out the complex details as needed.

    Instead, what we did was allow and foster the increasing concentration of political and commercial powers in ever fewer hands. Compare, for example, the discretionary powers of the immigration minister to make arbitrary decisions.

    In other words, for over forty years, we have done the opposite of what we should have done, is the main point I am making.

  34. leefe


    Someone has to make the decisions or you get nowhere. “Does the road go this side of the river or that one? What sort of bridge is best? Roundabout or traffic lights?. etc”
    You have more than one person, and you have disagreement. How does a society with no way of making final overruling decisions operate? Does the majority decide, or do you have to have 100% agreement? And who decides on how you decide?
    It’s not just anarchy, it’s chaos.

    As for “There might still be some sort of PBS and aged pension, and suchlike – but again, I would anticipate a significantly reduced need for those.”
    Oh, utopia. What makes the need less reduced? Does anarchy reduce illness, reduce disability, reduce the numbers of old people?

    Our system as it stands is stuffed, we pretty well all agree on that. But, given the size of our population, complete scrapping of any and all systems of government is not a practical solution.

  35. Terence Mills

    Just another point on voter ID.

    If this legislation passes it will create a perfect Catch22 !

    You turn up at the polling booth because you want to cast your vote.

    You have insufficient voter ID and you are turned away.

    Subsequently, you get fined for not voting as required by law.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Winning isn’t everything – what will be the Liberal moral legacy?

    Crafty politics and shameless, opportunistic utterances in politics have worked before, and they can easily work again. But they are corrosive. There is always a moral dimension to leadership. Each day, lessons are being handed down to the next generation of Liberal politicians about what government means and what is acceptable political behaviour. It’s hard to see how the way that Morrison is behaving now will leave the Liberals in good order in the long run.

  37. Arnd


    Someone has to make the decisions or you get nowhere.

    Of course, someone has to make decisions. The question is who, and on the basis of which principles and criteria.

    At the moment, we have a situation where the prime minister makes decisions about commuter car parks, on the basis of his estimates of how those decisions might best advance his fortunes at the next election – when, by rights, decisions about commuter car parks are a matter for local councils, on the basis of estimates about how best to improve traffic flow! !!!

    At the moment, we have a minister of immigration who personally makes arbitrary decisions about admitting au-pairs holding tourist visas only, on the basis that they phoned someone who knows someone who once upon a time scratched Dutton’s itchy backside – when this should be the decision of the border force official at the airport, on the basis of rules and regulations decided upon by the elected representatives of this country! !!!

    It’s not just anarchy, it’s chaos.

    It will be. Up to us to decide whether in a good way, or a bad way – as and when the rules-based order – the Rule of Law – increasingly gives way to arbitrary, and therefore increasingly incoherent and capricious decision-making by fewer and fewer individuals in high positions. It’s about the Rule of Law giving way to Rule by Executive Order and Ministerial Fiat.

    leefe, I am almost certain that that is not what you want … – but it is what you’re advocating with your insistence that someone – one? – in a high position should be able unilaterally to sign off on individual decisions. A sort of a Führerprinzip by stealth, and precisely the attitude that informs the emergence of illiberal democracy in places like Hungary, Russia, the Phillipines and Brazil. Beware! BEWARE!!!

    What makes the need less reduced?

    The fact that we subject all principles of political economy – all matters pertaining to the production, distribution and consumption of material goods – to a fundamental review, with the aim of identifying and eliminating the stupendous inefficiencies baked into the capitalist system.

    How stupendously inefficient is capitalism? Even after having looked at those matters for thirty years, I wouldn’t presume to give you a reliable estimate. But David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs provides a good starting point for further discussion. Cross-reference it with the A Bit Rich report by the
    New Economics Foundation, and we might begin to grasp the vast inefficiencies inflicted on us by modern international consumer/finance capitalism.

    Oh, utopia.

    In the final analysis, the choice is stark. Binary! You either work towards utopia, or you inexorably drift towards dystopia. And we’re way too far down that direction already!

  38. Kaye Lee

    ” it is what you’re advocating with your insistence that someone – one? – in a high position should be able unilaterally to sign off on individual decisions. ”

    That’s a classic example of verballing. leefe said nothing of the sort. You made that up so you could lead in to the point you wanted to make.

    It is not ONE person making the rule of law that anyone is advocating (though a benevolent selfless despot would save a lot of time and money)

  39. Kate Ahearne


    I Must agree with Kaye. You do seem to be drawing a very long bow. I can’t see any way of interpreting leefe’s remarks the way you have. You made some good points, but then you seemed to fly away with the fairies.

    The wonderful thing about democracy, no matter how many problems there may be, is that you can always vote the buggers out at the next election, and in the meantime, you can speak up!

  40. Kaye Lee

    And you can email and ring politicians’ offices and whilst they may never hear or read your words, someone will put one on the tally of sentiment about the topic. Our current crop are followers, not leaders, so we have to tell them what we want and tell them when they are being silly.

    Living in the Lucky Country has made too many of us apathetic. As Donald Horne wrote:

    “Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.”

    How true!!

  41. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, so true. Except on rare occasions (extremely rare occasions) government ministers or the prime minister never get to see correspondence sent to them by email or post. They end up with a public servant who replies with a standard letter saying what a great job the government is doing on the particular matter and how useless the opposition was.

    Things were slightly different when Rudd was PM (I had the unbelievably boring job of proofreading all replies) who directed that no replies were to rundown the former government. He was too nice.

  42. Keith

    “they’re [the states] in the same position to borrow money as the federal government, if that’s what they believe they need to do.”

    Obviously he has no idea how the Australian economy works, or is downright lying. of course the states aren’t in the same position, only the federal government is a currency issuer, they don’t need to “borrow”, but the states do.

  43. Kaye Lee


    That’s another interesting con job. At their meeting on Nov 2, the RBA decided to “continue to purchase government securities at the rate of $4 billion a week until at least mid February 2022”

    “since March 2020, the Bank has purchased around $315 billion of government bonds…..The Bank currently holds 32 per cent of outstanding AGS and 16 per cent of outstanding semis. By mid February 2022, these shares are projected to increase to around 36 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.”

    In other words, the RBA owns a significant portion of our debt. We owe it to ourselves. I guess it keeps accountants in a job.

  44. leefe


    “leefe, I am almost certain that that is not what you want … – but it is what you’re advocating with your insistence that someone – one? – in a high position should be able unilaterally to sign off on individual decisions. A sort of a Führerprinzip by stealth, and precisely the attitude that informs the emergence of illiberal democracy in places like Hungary, Russia, the Phillipines and Brazil. Beware! BEWARE!!!”

    me: points out that x extreme is unachieveable
    you: that means you want the opposite extreme

    FMD; can we apply a bit of rationality here?
    Anarchy can only work if ALL – every, single one – of the people are ethical. Or moral. Or whatever the right term is. They ALL have to have the same values, and apply them in the same way, and consider everyone to be of the same worth, ALL the time. Otherwise it just turns into “might is right”. because people are like that. There are always going to be some who put their own interests and preferences ahead of the common good. We’re seeing that as starkly as you can imagine right now with reactions to official responses to the pandemic.

    “Utopia” literally means “no place”. And that’s the reality of your pipedream. It does not exist, it never has existed, and it never will unless you can somehow change human nature. Good luck with that.

    Your dream is a great concept. But, in the words of one of my favourite authors “it has to be something you can do.”
    Someone else once said that politics is the art of pragmatism. Pragmatism is certainly something a functioning society needs. Yes, we work towards the best we can conceive – but we also have to accept that ideals are not ever fully achieveable.

  45. Arnd

    Kaye, if you really think that I was verballing leefe, you can’t have given a lot of thought to the subject and dynamics of collective decision making and public preference aggregation.

    For your edification: all I actually was doing, was to draw out the obvious implications of what leefe was saying. And I did explicitly preface it with the qualifying remark that I didn’t actually think that that was what she meant, thus inviting further correction and narrowing down on the actual issues under discussion.

    My suspicions about your questionable conceptualisation of democracy are further reinforced by your rather careless remark about benevolent despotism – in response to my observations about actually emerging illiberal democracy.

    I can’t help but think that you are one of those “adaptable ordinary people” who are responsible for electing second rate leaders. Certainly your attitude towards alternative forms of governance betray none of the curiosity the lack of which you bemoan in others.

  46. Kaye Lee

    You truly make me chuckle Arnd.

    For your edification, the benevolent despot comment was what we ordinary people call a joke.

    And it is extremely presumptuous of you to tell me what I have given thought to. How could you possibly know.

    My suspicion about your questionable misinterpretation of what others are saying and thinking by your rather verbose paragraphs full of nothing is that you rather enjoy lecturing from a self-elevated position of supposed greater perspicacity.

    I can’t help but think you one of those people who poke and prod in the hope of an argument..

    Put a smile on your dial petal. I wasn’t writing a political treatise.

  47. Kate Ahearne


    You must be a very brave person to be accusing Kaye Lee of ignorance or of not giving a lot of thought…

    And those ‘obvious implications’ you were trying to draw out? Eh? No amount of thought is making them obvious to poor old me.

  48. Vikingduk

    Well, jeez, here we are again, another spat between commenters. Well, dearies, go hard or go home.

  49. Arnd


    me: points out that x extreme is unachieveable
    you: that means you want the opposite extreme

    Thanks for summing it up so perceptively, and yes, that is exactly what I said, and what I meant to say. I indeed have convinced myself that we are dealing with a binary, and a stark one at that.

    As I put it many years ago, in passing:

    Things (human society, social affairs) do not remain stagnant. They move and change. And overall, they either get better, or they get worse. If they get better, and if only very gradually, over many years all those cumulative changes will generate conditions which to us, now, would look positively utopian.

    If, on the other hand, we let things slide and deteriorate, even if only a little bit, year on year, we will eventually end up in what to us now would look like an unbearable dystopia.

    Compare also the “Frog in boiling water” analogy.

    “it has to be something you can do.”

    Yes, of course. The problem that you introduce here has been examined under the heading of “path dependence”. And it is a serious and weighty one – but one we could be dealing with. If we chose to do so. And as a matter of fact, we already have successfully made the kind of changes that I am talking about, in isolated subject areas.

    Anarchy can only work if ALL – every, single one – of the people are ethical. Or moral. Or whatever

    That is another common (mis)conception. Even Isaiah Berlin, in the introductory remarks to his seminal reflections on Two concepts of liberty, (I urge all to read it) proclaims them.

    I demur: the defining aspect of anarchism is not that we never have any differences of view or preferences, but in how we go about negotiating, settling, accommodating and tolerating them.

    … but we also have to accept that ideals are not ever fully achieveable.

    I’m happy with that. Not least because I have long since convinced myself that if we ever were to come meaningfully close to realising anarchist ideals, we’d very quickly establish new and even more challenging ideal to work towards. Like I said: humanity is not, and cannot be stagnant.

    In some ways, this also sums up our current predicament: you would have come across the notion that someone – politician, business leader – “has lost his moral compass”. I have long held that this is an inaccurate analogy. What has happened is that, after many decades and even centuries of protracted and more often than not exceedingly violent struggle, we actually have realised numerous moral, ethical and political aims in meaningful ways – we have arrived at “moral north” – and it is no wonder that our individual compass needles are pointing any which way.


    We do need a new set of ideals to inform politics in the emerging Anthropocene.

  50. Arnd


    … was what we ordinary people call a joke.

    Right after my referencing the very real emergence of illiberal democracy? You sure pick your opportunities for comedy!

    I wasn’t writing a political treatise.

    I noticed!

  51. Michael Taylor

    Certainly your attitude towards alternative forms of governance…

    Arnd, I’ve known Kaye for close on ten years. I can give you comfort by assuring that Kaye has been a champion for advocating better governments or better policies. She takes no sides. She just demands that whoever is in government works for all Australians.

    As do I.

    And I’m guessing, so do you.

    We’re all on the same team.

  52. leefe


    “me: points out that x extreme is unachieveable
    you: that means you want the opposite extreme

    Thanks for summing it up so perceptively, and yes, that is exactly what I said, and what I meant to say. I indeed have convinced myself that we are dealing with a binary, and a stark one at that.”

    Well, that is not a concept I accept, nor what I was saying. There are options other than extremes. I want something that is neither extreme, albeit possibly closer to your ideal than to the current situation. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    Major detour:
    btw, how is it that you have – and not only during the recent stoush with Joe – said that the male response to the female is virtually universal and inevitable and possibly unchangeable, but now you’re insisting that it is possible to change human nature and desires in other ways?
    If we can educate away greed and selfishness and the lust for power, why can’t we also educate away sexism? If you want a stark binary, surely we must be able to fix both of those, or neither. Or is it simply that you care about one and not the other?

  53. leefe

    Sorry, missed this bit in my previous response.

    “I demur: the defining aspect of anarchism is not that we never have any differences of view or preferences, but in how we go about negotiating, settling, accommodating and tolerating them.”

    Which still does not deal with the issue of dealing with those with an overriding lust for power. I am not talking about views or preferences, I am talking about that percentage of humans who see others as nothing more than things they can use. The ones who would deny others a fair and reasonable share of resources, and who have the strength to enforce that.
    There have always been such people. Right now, they are principally the ones who are in power. In any system without a way to limit those people, they will do immense harm, and usually to the most vulnerable. So how do you deal with that in your imagined society?

  54. Arnd

    Thanks, Michael.

    She just demands that whoever is in government works for all Australians.

    But, by the looks of it, she expects everybody stay strictly within established political structures and procedures.

    Whereas it is my point, that those very structures and procedures are not fit for purpose anymore, and that by insisting on working within them, we condemn ourselves to ever worsening failure.

    I guess that this a fairly complex and ambitious subject to raise on a general discussion site. What’s worse, it is a subject that requires a fairly exacting degree of intellectual honesty, including self-critical honesty. Consequently, in broaching it, I will inevitably rattle some cages.

    You may be aware that my mere mention of the fact that the commercialisation of faith is incompatible with clearly stated Christian principles sent BB off in a paroxysmal tailspin, and s/he won’t ever talk to me again.

    Two comments in on the next thread, and Kaye Lee makes the political personal with a decidedly school-marmish “Dolores Umbridge” act that does look rather too well practiced.

    You tell me, Michael, as owner of this site: may I continue to post?

    Or would you rather keep a comfy peace, and have me try my luck elsewhere.

    No hard feelings, either way!

  55. Kaye Lee

    ” by the looks of it, she expects everybody stay strictly within established political structures and procedures.”

    Sigh……how far back shall we go with my critique that “the body politic is rotten”

    Who would you trust?

  56. Kate Ahearne


    Advice to the ‘wise’. Give it a rest. Please.

  57. Kaye Lee


    Could I recommend this for your perusal. You may find it interesting. I certainly did. It’s long but worth it.

    And if you continue to tell me about myself I am going to get really cross. You presume WAY too much. By all means explain what YOU think. Don’t EVER tell me what I think.

    PS Wow. I didn’t understand the Dolores Umbridge comment so googled …. “Dolores Umbridge was an evil woman, who represented the very worst of political power. She was extremely ruthless, cruel, callous, brutal, corrupt, sadistic, …”. What on earth did I say to give you that impression? Was it the comment where I copied yours and changed it a bit – the For your edification one? Let’s stick to topics.

  58. Michael Taylor


    Of course you’re welcome to comment here. Disagreeing with us doesn’t disqualify you from commenting.

    But I would like to suggest it is unwise to make generalisations or presumptions of people you don’t know. I can’t say I’d appreciate it if you tried it on me.

  59. Michael Taylor

    PS: We don’t tolerate commenters running down other commenters.

    That’s a no no, and I think you’ve crossed that line.

  60. Kate Ahearne


    What Kaye said.

    Among the myriad opportunities that are offered to us here on AIMN, one of the most important is that we all get the opportunity to work out what we really think about the various vital issues that beset us. We get to do this by exposure to the facts, and by consideration of all the facts/responses/ideas/arguments that are made for us by writers and commentators.

    Once upon a time, long, long ago, I found myself ‘teaching’ a course in Professional Writing. On the first day, I went around the class and asked each person why they wanted to write. The answer was unanimous – they wanted to express themselves. I was a bit dismayed by this response, truth be told. Surely someone in this room had ventured a little bit further than this! But, no, it seemed that they hadn’t, although two of these students went on, and turned out to be excellent writers.

    The students were right, of course. They knew their own minds. They knew what they wanted. They wanted to express themselves.

    But that’s not what writing is all about, is it? Isn’t it also about finding out, sorting, wondering, thinking, considering every possibility? And then proceeding thoughtfully – considering some more, jiggling commas?

  61. Vikingduk

    Beats tv, you guys, very interesting dialogue, reactions, justifications, I was only, I’ll just get the popcorn, settle in, wait for some more, or maybe . . .
    Arnd, if you’re still there, keep going, from my point of view I agree with what you say.
    Now, I’ve just given you someone else to attack. Yes, I am a slightly perverse creature, quite happy to stir the pot, get a bit more righteous outrage happening, a bit more disrespect for an entirely different point of view, but, jeez, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and groovers, did ya see that, another reason to become outraged. Well, enough of this idle chit chat, the couscous are a little disturbed tonight, must tend to their needs, arivaderci, sayonara, hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next instalment,surely someone is completely outraged, taken the bait, wants to tell me the error of my ways, upset by the words I choose to use

  62. Michael Taylor

    So true, Kate.

    I’ve gained so much from listening to other people here. “Listening” can be the hardest part of communication.

    I sat and listened to a bloke once – for an hour I didn’t get a word in – then he said how much he appreciated our chat. 😁

  63. Max Gross

    Sideshow Scott knows that he CAN fool some of the people ALL of the time.

  64. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Michael.

    As you say, listening can be the hardest part of communication. The best part, too, sometimes – the most rewarding, the most informative, the kindest – even though sometimes you’re biting your tongue in half!

    But sometimes you just have to butt in, object, demur, disagree, even get cranky.

    Just right now, I’m cranky with Vikingduk, but if I say say so, he’ll love it, so I’m biting my tongue in half instead.

  65. Consume Less

    Well said Kaye, on the money as usual.

  66. wam

    Such a sad read, Kaye. If only Albo, tanya et al could read. The lemon was gutless, boobie was ruthless and gillard was unlucky not to get a majority when Solomon was lost on a last minute clp announcement and Longman was lost on a last minute pollie’s mistake. She was so good despite being white-anted and blackmailed for 3 years. For those who are taught to be the rulers winning is everything. For those, whitlam, hawke, keating and gillard, who have ruled, and brought australia forward, winning depends on a charismatic leader AND the LNP cock up badly. Little billy couldn’t carry his beaconfield feats into his election efforts and was ‘soft’ on the ravages of the rabbott and the copperman.
    Albo is equally soft on the weaknesses of scummo et al. He has a chance but scummo knows the market and albo has millstones. Can he keep cool over thompson? Can he see the potential of stirring the morning shows with your words??

  67. Kaye Lee

    Outrage level zero.

    Sighing level elevated.

  68. Arnd


    … and I think you’ve crossed that line.

    Fair enough, and I’ll offer an apology. It’ll be a qualified one, and those often have the nasty habit of making things worse rather than better. But it’s the best I can do, and sincerely mean it.

  69. Kaye Lee

    No need for an apology as far as I am concerned. I’d rather we discuss the topic than each other.

  70. Arnd

    Vikingduk, thanks for your encouragement. As you might well know, applause is the artist’s bread, and I am greedily grateful for every last crumb.

    Would I be correct in assuming that you are the resident corporate ambassador for the Australasian Cock Fighting Association?

    Also: that’s definitely not how you spell “ariwerdertsy”!

    Hasta la vista!

  71. Arnd


    No need for an apology as far as I am concerned.

    Clarification, then?

    Or are we done altogether?

  72. Arnd


    I’d rather we discuss the topic than each other.

    I missed that bit the first time round.

    Absolutely fine by me!

  73. Kaye Lee

    Harmony and understanding
    Sympathy and trust abounding
    No more falsehoods or derisions
    Golden living dreams of visions
    Mystic crystal revelation
    And the mind’s true liberation

  74. Arnd


    and for the third time:

    thanks for the links, to the Ted Mack’s speech, and your own AIMN article. You clearly have given democracy a lot of thought, and I can see why my insinuating the contrary would piss you off.

    It is also clear that your thoughts about democracy are quite a lot different from mine. Comparing our outlooks, I think I can fairly say that I always painted with much bigger brushes and broader strokes than you.

    Before tapping out another lengthy post, let me link to one of my earlier offerings, just to see whether it connects at all:

    (The comments section might be a little slow loading.)

  75. Michael Taylor

    Now I have another ear worm.

    Last week it was ‘Puff, the Magic Dragon’.

    This week it’s been ‘Little Jimmy Brown’.

    Now it’s ‘Age of Aquarius.’

    I thank you, Kaye, for giving me an ear worm I won’t mind having. 😀

  76. Kaye Lee

    If people did the right thing just because it was obviously the most sensible and fairest path, religion wouldn’t exist.

    I find Engel’s theory that monogamy was the beginning of capitalism interesting. Instead of sharing a good spear or basket, a man wanted to pass it on to his offspring so the woman had to be monogamous so he knew the kid was his. Communal sharing and caring was replaced by individual wealth collection….greed…..power…..

    A commenter here said they had something Reinhart and Packer will never have – enough. They can’t stop the pursuit of more.

    I would love to be a communist – I just don’t trust people enough. I also think winner take all elections like ours don’t work. That’s one reason why i found ted mack’s essay so interesting.

    Michael, my husband had to put up with me singing at the top of my voice and go-go dancing.

  77. GL

    It almost seems to me that Reinhart, Packer, and their ilk and their greed for hoarding more and more money than they can ever spend in multiple lifetimes couldn’t be said to be suffering a form of mental illness that drives them to such obsessional ends.

  78. Arnd


    the power of operand conditioning!

    Already Socrates observed that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” And fair enough! But he failed to clarify that the examined life mightn’t turn out that much more enjoyable, either. I do hold that against him!

  79. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, is it on YouTube? 😁

  80. Kaye Lee

    Perish the thought Michael. I meant just now doing the Age of Aquarius in the lounge room.

  81. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I’m glad movie cameras were around much when I was a kid. I taught myself the chords of Puff The Magic Dragon and sang it to a few mates.

    A neighbour at the time taped me playing and singing Dear Prudence, but I was distracted by his daughter laughing at me. There ended my singing career.

    My acting wasn’t much better. In the Grade 2 end of year school play I was a tree in a forest, standing there covered with brown cardboard and holding small branches in my outstretched arms (my arms were branches). I spoilt the scene by falling over. ☹️

  82. Michael Taylor

    PS: If I play the piano or the guitar it scares our cats.

    They have no appreciation of my musical ability.

  83. GL

    Michael @3:49 pm,

    I’m betting you had a bad case of fast working termites.

  84. Michael Taylor

    Stage fright, GL. The vast audience of 50 unsettled me. 😁

  85. GL

    Oohh, when you said stage fright I thought you meant that you had scared the stage.

  86. Michael Taylor

    I scared everybody. 😁

    That’s what they get for not giving me the lead role. ☹️

  87. corvusboreus

    I once had a ‘lead’ role playing Roman plumbing.
    I drove the patricians mad (badoom-tisk).

  88. Wayne Turner

    If only they didn’t do Robodebt,Undue Card,rorts,and hand outs to their bribers.

    Since they don’t do government. The COALition can do opposition then.

  89. Kate Ahearne


    That remark around 1 o’clock must have been meant for Kaye, not Kate.


    How on earth do you ‘play’ Roman plumbing? (I did get the joke, but you left yourself wide open.)

  90. Michael Taylor

    cv, I keep think of Roman plumbing I saw In Pompeii.

    I’m glad I wasn’t living there two thousand years ago.

  91. corvusboreus

    The trick to playing Roman plumbing is not to to leave yourself open, but to form an enclosed cylinder.
    To prepare for this ‘roll’ I watched some tutorials on ‘you-tube’ (yuk-yuk).

  92. GL

    Is Roman Plumbing any relation to Roman Road and Roamin Gloamin the Pict?

  93. Kaye Lee

    Wayne Turner,

    All those things that you mentioned are still do-nothing government. They are lazy.

    Robodebt – get a machine to say someone has a debt and then make them prove they haven’t..

    Indue card – imposed by postcode rather than any appraisal that it would help an individual or expansion of support services to communities.

    Rorts, handouts and jobs for cronies is way easier than comparative assessments of merit or benefit.

  94. corvusboreus

    Despite my theatre troupe roamin the gloamin down Roman roads (or is that woeman woads?) for a one-hit wonder show at Mon Graupius, we achieved little in the field of moving Pict-ures.

  95. corvusboreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Regarding the robodebt debacle,
    Of the 3 ministers involved in systematically applying false equation to levee false debt upon vulnerable citizens, then breaking the law by disregarding legal presumption of innocence, only one has no current portfolio.
    That is only because of his non-disclosed acceptance of lavish anonymous donations to fund a patently frivolous lawsuit about media reports of a historical rape accusation (in which he was not explicitly named) was deemed a perfidy too far for an attorney general.
    Not news to you, I know, but still worth pointing out.

  96. Kaye Lee


    Luckily, when the government recently settled a class action for $112 million rather than go to court about robodebt, they didn’t have to use a crowd-funded blind trust – consolidated revenue is their piggy bank when they make an ooopsy. Maybe if we got a garnishee order on their wages and liquidated some of their multiple investment assets to pay for all the compensation claims instead of paying for their endless defamation cases?

  97. Michael Taylor

    It was a stupid comment of mine saying I’m glad I wasn’t around 2,000 years ago. I’m here now in 2021 and I’m wondering what’s different.

    A tour of any country in the UK or Europe you’ll hear stories of how cruel the upper class were to the poor, and you think; “It hasn’t bloody changed!” Not one little iota.

  98. corvusboreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Yeah, we pay into consolidated revenue to compensate us for them defrauding us, whilst they accept dodgy donations from anonymous sources in an attempt to sue our ABC (aka us).
    How good is strayan poly-ticks?
    Ps, on a personal note, it is very heartening to see you back on deck.

  99. Michael Taylor

    Speaking of things not changing.

    I took this in London in 2018.

  100. Michael Taylor

    Bullying females is a Tory pastime everywhere. 😡😢

  101. Michael Taylor

    It’s good to see you too, cb. I’ve always enjoyed your wisdom and your sense of humour.

  102. corvusboreus

    Thank you Michael (sincerely).
    Whilst my own tendencies toward ill-temperance and mental fragilities may render periodic absences pragmatically necessary, I nonetheless thoroughly appreciate the community forum that you and Carol provide and facilitate.
    PS, For ‘wisdom’ read ‘unavoidable perception of the bleeding obvious’, and for ‘sense of humour’ read ‘humourectomised appreciation of the bloody ridiculous’.

  103. Michael Taylor

    Plus you’re a wonderful wordsmith.

  104. Terence Mills

    Saw Morrison ranting on the news last night : “Australians don’t want government in their lives, they don’t want government in their faces”

    He could have mentioned that in the meantime his government is going to allow lawful religious discrimination and to pander to minority beliefs in bogey-men through his religious freedom legislation. This is government in our faces and yet he wants to put into law the ability for religious bodies to discriminate against the rest of us.

    Talk about mixed messages.

  105. Kaye Lee

    Personally, I would like the government to get out of my uterus.

    I am so not interested in what Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott and George Pell have to say about abortion.

    I would also like the government out of our educational institutions. They have no business dictating what should be studied or how.

  106. Michael Taylor

    Terry, if Morrison doesn’t want the government in our faces he could start with doing away with all his staged photo opps.

    He’s probably the most in our faces politician I ever known.

  107. Kaye Lee


    Sometimes we all need a break. Sometimes it all seems so futile.

    And then you get up, dust yourself off, and start again because otherwise, we cede the stage to those for whom self-gratification is all that matters.

    None of us are perfect and all of us can improve. Listening helps. But we cannot let our imperfections make us impotent. We keep on learning, we keep on caring, and we do what we can.

    Self-forgiveness is empowering because, as Rossleigh recently reminded us in a beautiful piece, we all count.

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