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Scott Morrison Tells Us That The Bell Hasn’t Rung…

It was strangely ironic when Scottie told us last Saturday, “we will stand up for what we believe until the bell rings – the bell hasn’t rung.”

It was ironic because I’d been thinking that if the current government was a boxing match, the referee would surely have stopped the fight. I mean, when you have one boxer staggering around, not sure who he’s fighting, it’s clearly time to get the doctors to check him…

Although, on that basis, Abbott would have been gone years ago.

Of course, the trouble with the Liberals is that they don’t stand up for what they believe. Ok, they have a few times, but it’s been electoral suicide. Take Fightback ’93 as an example! Or Workchoices 2007, if you’re not that old.

In 1993, I wrote that the Liberals couldn’t work out what the lesson from Hewson’s loss in the unloosable election was. Ok, I wrote it on a bit of paper so I can’t find exactly what I wrote, but that simply means that – like the Liberals – I can pretend and nobody can call me out. Anyway, I remember writing that the Liberals couldn’t work out whether elections were about offering up a vision of an alternative future and if that vision was rejected, well, that’s democracy and we should change what we offer OR we take a stand on what we believe and we keep arguing for that until we bring the people along with us.

In the aftermath of ’93, they tended to explode and say things like, “We told them what we’d do and that was a mistake. We’ll never do that again!”

Ok, I’m not quoting directly, but if you want to search for quotes, I’ll bet you can find someone saying something pretty close… Actually, when I think about it, that’s pretty close to an accurate reflection of everything they’ve done since.

But back to the present…

There seems to be a strange view about the Wentworth by-election which goes something like this:

“No, we don’t need to reconsider our policies in light of the result because this is all down to one simple thing. It was a very, very silly thing to remove Malcolm as leader and that was all his fault, so we don’t need to think that maybe it was all about the policies and nobody gave a tinker’s cuss about Malcolm because clearly this was because everyone loved Malcolm but not because he seemed to want policies more in touch with the majority of Australia than the rest of us: it was personal. He was trying to push the party to the left so we got rid of him because people didn’t want that but unfortunately people didn’t realise that they didn’t want it and got angry because we got rid of this man because, well, he quit, we didn’t get rid of him…Sorry, what was the question?”

Yes, when Scott Morrison said, “This wasn’t unexpected,” on Saturday night, I had to wonder why wasn’t it? And not just because he used a double negative instead of saying, “This was expected.” I mean, yes, if I have three glasses of scotch, finish off the bottle of wine, see how many times I can spin around and then try to climb onto a table and dance, when I fall over and do some damage, the line, “This wasn’t unexpected,” may be true for anyone that witnessed the previous ten minutes, but the people who asked me to babysit an hour or two before, would be thinking that, while the end damage wasn’t unexpected, the drinking and twirling wasn’t something that they factored in before they entrusted their child to me.

Ok, nobody, would be silly enough to let me babysit. Unless they voted Liberal where they entrusted the whole country to Scott Morrison. To be fair, at the last election they thought they were entrustring it to Malcolm, but at the previous one, they were giving Tony Abbott the keys to the Lodge…

Actually, Tony never made it to the Lodge owing to some renovations. Scott emulated John Howard and announced that he needs to be based in Sydney owing to his young family, Fair enough, I suppose, but one really shouldn’t put one’s hand up for a caretaker role and then expect to be able to work from home.

Whatever, the Wentworth by-election does make it clear that we have an entire government with about as much self-awareness as Donald Trump on LSD… Actually, Trump may have more self-awareness after dropping acid…

The Liberals have lost one of their safest seats, but they conclude it was only because they removed Turnbull as PM and they did that when he called a spill after Peter Dutton was counting the numbers and threatening to challenge. Then, after losing, Dutton’s backers assured everybody that they had the numbers. However, owing to the Finance Minister’s inability to count, the Treasurer slipped by and emerged victorious. Turnbull then did as he promised and left Parliament, leaving an unwinnable by-election because the Liberals only held it by a margin of 17%, so you’d hardly expect that not to be down to Turnbull’s personal following. No, that’s the explanation and we don’t need to consider changing any policies because Wentworth is out of step because they’re all well-off and not like the rest of Australia. No, we don’t need to change any policies…

Oh, have we mentioned we’re bringing eleven children from Nauru for health reasons. Not a change of policy. We’ve always been nice guys where people’s health is concerned…

No, there’ll be no change of policy on anything else.To quote Tony Abbott from 2014 after a few little hiccups: “Good government starts today.”

I must go and check the news to see if the rumours of a Bishop challenge are true.That’s Julie, by the way. Bronwyn’s left Parliament and she’d make a terrible PM…

Although, when I think about it, the Liberals seem to think that’s a prerequisite for the job!

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  1. Keith

    Thanks Rossleigh, I had a good snigger.

    I loved the line .. “Whatever, the Wentworth by-election does make it clear that we have an entire government with about as much self-awareness as Donald Trump on LSD…” The sad part is that insight is not a skill that they display.

  2. jake

    when your head is solid cement – not even whacking it with a hammer is going to make dent – the ‘don’t be silly – it was nothing to do with our stupidity, ignorance, inability to think, count, plan ahead, actually have a policy” “it was all (select one or more of the following – bill’s, labour’s, malcolm’s, the weather’s, the royals, the colour of purple’s, someone else’s) fault

    and to top it off joshy comes out and says – no way are we changing anything (because you can’t change something that doesn’t exist like good government, climate change, education, health, social welfare)

  3. Matters Not


    bringing eleven children from Nauru for health reasons

    See what happens when you have a by-election, children on Islands get sick. It follows that by-elections are health hazards. It’s a rationale that will give Dutton ideas.


    needs to be based in Sydney owing to his young family

    Don’t forget, such children need special prosperity education which is simply not available in the nation’s capital at the moment. And finally:

    sure who he‘s fighting

    These days the opponent might even be a she. Just ask Dr Phelps or maybe Jane Caro?

    As you point out so well – it’s a mad, mad world we live in.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Father Chris Riley, the founder of Youth Off the Streets is in Canberra today, lobbying to have funding restored, after he said changes to the funding model for disabled students left his organisation “with 30% less funding for schools and over $600,000 in debt”.

    From his statement:

    “The government has introduced a new disability classification system that will negatively impact Youth Off The Streets’ education funding by $1.3m a year. On 19 November 2017, Youth Off The Streets received advice from the Department of Education and Training around an estimate of school funding for the coming year: allowing the organisation to plan accordingly. A short 10 months later, the Department informed Youth Off The Streets that, based on the revised funding model, they had been overpaid and they were advised of the requirement to pay back $631,406.

    “We work with vulnerable kids that have disengaged from mainstream education. This cut to our funding will devastate the service we offer these young people and it will devastate their future,” he said.

    “…The new classification takes a very narrow view of disability. Our kids may be dealing with trauma, substance use issues, domestic and family violence issues, and homelessness. The classification doesn’t factor in their circumstances. They need the specialised care we give in our schools and the government has effectively removed that from them. This change will cost the government a lot more in the long run if these kids are denied an education and are denied their full potential.”

  5. New England Cocky

    Excuses and lack of performance for the Australian people ….. now why did I expect anything else from the RAbbott Turdball Morriscum Murdoch LNP misgovernment?

    Oh dear …. the Australian voters believed the Murdoch propaganda machine and voted them into the Treasury benches ….. now that is a hard lesson learned …. or will it be??

    Bring on the women because the Liarbral Men are so underwhelming that a dead drover’s dog would make a better Prim Monster.

    Jane Caro for Warringah.

    Yvonne Langenberg for New England.

  6. Kronomex

    I believe in Scummo’s ‘default energy price’ as much as I believe in his invisible three way conflicted omnipotent being that lives in land of fantasy above the clouds.

    It’s all deity in the sky promises.

    I also seem to remember some LNP pollie, Trent something or other, on Saturday night saying the voters of Wentworth have spoken and we will listen and…and on, and on…ad nauseam.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Nick Cater says that it would be silly to listen to the voters in Wentworth.

    “Unlike most other Australians, the people of Wentworth can easily afford the high cost of virtue signalling.”

    “They’re great people, it’s a lovely part of the world, but it would be a huge mistake for the Liberal Party to think that defeat in Wentworth means they have to shift further towards the green agenda.”

    “They have to focus on the forgotten people… that’s where the big support comes from.”

    I wonder which forgotten people he means – there are so many.

  8. helvityni

    Rossleigh, you can baby-sit my grand children any time; they all like a good laugh…

    They also have a very well developed sense of fairness; one four-year old said to me: Oma, how would you FEEL if I said that I like Opa better..

    ( apologies for using Dutch terms)
    The Finnish words are too long, and even though I like the Russian Babushka, people in Oz might accuse me of being a Communist….

  9. Matters Not

    Re Nick Cater – isn’t he the one who sucks on the government teat for (approx.) $250 000.0 per annum?

    A very expensive, high-end, welfare bludger? Or is this how he repays the monies gifted?

  10. Ross in Gippsland

    Rossleigh, the federal coalition only exists to keep Bill Shorten and labor from the government benches. Morrison reiterated that point in his weird speech to the Liberal faithful on Saturday night. Their raison d’être is not to govern Australia it’s to stop Labor from governing Australia. They have said it umpteen times before to anybody who will listen, which is not that many these days.
    Absolute shellackings in by elections will make no difference to their mindset, good government is not the main objective here.

  11. Klaus


    My grand kids call us Omi/Opi respectively.

    But all that has been said is dead on right. Sad thing is, the MSM blows the Governments trumpet. However, I sense a slight sliver of hope appearing on the horizon re. Climate Change, Children on Nauru, perhaps even Newstart/Pensions or is that latter one a step too far?

  12. david higham

    Morrison is no joke,unfortunately. A dangerous, delusional scientific ignoramus who ignores the evidence about our climate future and advises us that prayer is the solution to drought. It is also worth remembering that he was the main architect and promoter of the
    ‘trickle-down ‘ tax cots for big business,which have been shown decades ago to be ineffective and increase inequality. This article by Joseph Stiglitz gives an insight into the nirvana that Morrison and the IPA would like to see here.

  13. SteveFitz


    With a collective will and a lot of hard work from individuals and organisations, Australia is being pushed back to the political centre and it’s a global phenomenon.

    Look at Wentworth, then Trump, then Britain’s decision to exit the EU, as well as the ongoing political crisis in many European countries clearly demonstrates a serious decline of (neo)liberal ideas. These ideas (including their various derivatives) have been the cause of many of the current problems which have led to the growth of populism, disappointment in globalization, and a push to reclaim democracy with a view to protecting the interests of the majority.

    Keep in mind that far right neo-liberal ideology is all about a ruling elite and a country being run on behalf of big business and, has little to do with democracy or protecting the average citizens. The LNP is more than happy to reduce government and let corporates run the show untethered.

    The events currently unfolding are a logical process insofar as neo-liberalism itself is a destructive force. Whether sooner or later, the collapse of the far right is inevitable. The question is rather how much or for how long the basic neo-liberal institutions around the world can be repressive, non-transparent, and unaccountable, and how people in different countries – primarily those in the West – will be able to change the status quo and develop an alternative way that corresponds to their own collective aspirations.

    An approach to international order premised solely on respect for sovereignty, together with the maintenance of the balance of power necessary to secure it, is no longer sufficient. The globe’s traditional operating system has been built around the protection and prerogatives of states. It is increasingly inadequate in today’s globalized world. Little now stays local; just about anyone and anything, from tourists, terrorists, and refugees to e-mails, diseases, dollars, and greenhouse gases, can reach anywhere. The result is that what goes on inside a country can no longer be considered the concern of that country alone. Embracing or rejecting the IPCC as an example.

    Today’s circumstances call for an updated operating system that includes not only the rights of sovereign states but also those states’ obligations to others. Such a concept of “sovereign obligation,” it is worth pointing out, differs from the notion of “sovereignty as responsibility,” which lies at the heart of the legal doctrine known as “the responsibility to protect.” Please take note Mr Morrison and the LNP government.

    It is not clear that economic ideologies, such as socialism and neoliberalism, which had dominated much of the 20th Century until challenged by the collapse of communism on one hand and, the 2008 financial crisis on the other, will remain relevant in a world in which both low-growth and high levels of inequality dominate political agendas.

    Many developing countries will strive for modernization more or less along Western lines, but the allure of neo-liberalism has taken some strong hits over the years as political polarization, financial volatility, and economic inequality in western countries have stoked a wave of protest and a push towards fairness and equality embraced by the centre left and labelled populism: “Support for the concerns of ordinary people”.

  14. Kyran

    “The Bell Hasn’t Rung…” has a noice ring to it, doesn’t it? Like those classical thingy’s, ‘For whom the bell tolls’, for example. Wentworth has a voting population of about 110k. As they are ‘privileged’, ‘wealthy’ and impervious to the daily assaults of a limited budget, it can come as little surprise that some of them still voted for THEM. It can come as little surprise that Scummo couldn’t hear the tolling of the bells.
    A few people took to the streets to request ‘his benign indifference’ give consideration to changing the rules. Our emaciated ABC even reported on it, in their own intrepid, fearless way.
    “Union rally floods Melbourne CBD as tens of thousands march for minimum wage increase.”

    It was a bit hard to hear any bell’s tolling. “tens of thousands” translates into over 150k in real speak. It should be expected the media will downplay the dissent and Scummo will be left, like the Mayor of Hiroshima on that fateful day, asking his minders “What was that?”
    Estimates for the Sydney rally are over the 20k mark. Them bells can be noisy, can’t they? Particularly with a hangover. Even a Wentworth hangover.
    He’s not the first PM to be thrown under a bus. His predecessors established that tradition, with varying degrees of ‘self inflicted’ culpability. But I can’t recall the last time a ‘new’ PM threw himself under so many busses in such a short time, all on his own.
    The only reasonably Australian thing to do is to start a ‘book’, “How many PM’s till Christmas?”
    There is a wonderful image of a fight from a few years back. If you search ‘Muhammad Ali V Sonny Liston’ you’ll get the drift. I have it on good authority, Sonny Liston didn’t hear bells, or anything else, for quite some time. Maybe I’m an optimist. There seem to be a few people who want to change the rules.
    Thankyou Mr Brisbane and commenters. Take care

  15. SteveFitz

    I think bus drivers would have been lining up to accommodate the PM on behalf of their fellow Australian workers. And, on that note, the union movement has taken a dramatic shift. To reinstate themselves as a pillar of society they have made it quite clear that their collective actions are for the benefit of every worker and every working family, not just their own members. It’s called a social conscience and there is power in that.

  16. Kyran

    It’s funny, Mr Fitz. Daniel Andrews was at the front of many images. Such a pity Mr Shorten doesn’t recognise the unions aren’t the enemy, they are the voice he’s fighting. He appears to be blindsided by the noise coming from the media.
    Whilst I can drive a bus, I don’t have the necessary permits. Likewise, Dr Kampmark recently posted an article about ‘firing squads’. I used to have a gun permit, which lapsed when I sold out of a farming interest. In either event, should the need arise, unlike the current government, I am up to the job. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
    Take care

  17. Kronomex

    “The Morrison government has held out the prospect of government support for new coal-fired power stations “where they meet all the requirements” of yet-to-be determined mechanisms to boost investment in new electricity generation.” Sounds like a LNP euphemism for “You give us scads more donations and we’ll bend over and part our cheeks.”

  18. SteveFitz

    At least we will have somewhere to park our pushbikes. No doubt they will install parking meters beside every polies butt crack.

    I propose a motion that Daniel Andrews be given a gold medal of honour for his tireless battle to protect the interests of mainstream Australia. And, his even greater battle against the corporate takeover of Victoria. Woolworths push, through the Victorian courts, to expand their pocker-machine empire into disadvantaged neighbourhoods as an example.

    Most of the injustice in society is driven by corporate greed and the right wing governments who pander to them. Those same governments who have so much trouble acknowledging the needs and the will of the electorate.

  19. paul walter

    After Wentworth, and Longman and Braddon, we may well ask

    ” for whom the bell tolls”

    Does it toll for thee and thine, Scottie?

  20. Peter F

    Kyran, I heard Minister O’D say of the unions “They don’t want to change the rules- The want NO rules”. Sorry, minister, you have named the wrong party there. Fortunately your ‘work choices’ attempt failed.

  21. Geoff Andrews

    I wonder if it would be a crime or actionable to go into a Woolworths “supermarket” that you had never visited before (and had no intention of doing so again); filling a trolley with non-perishable items from throughout the store, park it in a remote corner and quietly leave. Think of it as a training exercise in “what aisle did this packet of chick peas come from” for the staff member assigned to return the goods. Of course, the cost to Woolworths of the 30 minutes staff time to replace the goods, is still less than the loss of some poor bastard on a pension in the same 30 minutes. A note to that effect on the floor of the trolley would be a good message.

  22. DrakeN

    Peter F,

    That was a classic example of projection.

    Unfettered access to the peasants’ pockets is the only rule applicable to them, it seems.

  23. Stephen Fitzgerald

    Geoff – I love pro-active. Lets all do it… And, it will keep the unskilled immigrant labour they import to pack the shelves, gainfully employed and thriving. I noticed one of the Woolworths checkouts, not that long back, was playing poker-machine winning music every 10 minutes, really loud. I wonder if they also have Woolworths adds on poker-machines?

    If it weren’t for Food Standards Australia NZ, I would not trust Woolworths to feed my children. Like most corporates they are a parasite on society with a fabricated air of respectability. The suicide rate from gambling stress will continue to spike upward if the likes of Woolworths have their way.

  24. Glenn Barry

    In the aftermath of this – one thing has changed – the Libs. still insisted it’s not our fault, but they didn’t then go on to blame Labor, only because they couldn’t, not because they wouldn’t have liked to…

  25. Kronomex

    The stench of corruption grows ever stronger –

    “This dispels many of the myths perpetuated by Labor that outsourcing leads to higher cost and reduced standards of service,” Keenan said. But the Coalition has refused to release the report, which it says is a “cabinet document”.”

    Of course they won’t release the report because it no doubt refutes the bullshit spin from the LNP.

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