Just twelve months ago, I was thinking about what a challenge writing was going to be. I mean, I expected that we were going to have a Shorten Labor government and, while I was sure that it would only be a matter of time before I’d be able to apply my satiric style to them, I was sure it was going to be more of a challenge. Let’s be real. With the Coalition the satire practically writes itself.
Take, for example, Scottie telling us that it’s time to get out from under the doona and that we need to get things moving again while it’s still too dangerous to fully re-open Parliament…
Of course the danger in having a full session of Parliament has nothing to do with Covid-19; the danger is all those tricky questions people get asked in Question Time and Senate Estimates. There’s only so many times you can ‘reject the premise of the question” before someone actually says, “Well, I reject the premise of your rejection!” leading to a premise rejecting interchange reminiscent of Monty Python’s argument sketch.
The strange thing to me about politics is the stupidity of what we discuss.
Now I’m not holding myself up as someone outside the stupidity here. I’m not trying to suggest that somehow I’m above it all and it’s all your fault. I’m just saying that there’s something basically wrong with the way we discuss politics. Because the media is all about conflict, it means that when we have that dinner party and people start to disagree we’re all concerned that it’s going to end up like a discussion between a Trump supporter and a supporter of ISIS whereas the reality is that we all share more common values than the media would have us believe… even the Trump and the ISIS guys…
Actually, probably especially the Trump and ISIS guys…
But anyway, we have people popping up all over social media talking about 5G and complaining about the conspiracy of silence over Bill Gates determination to control the world, but we have almost nobody concerned about the legislation that Dutton is trying to slip through that would enable him to arrest Morrison and prevent his access to a lawyer because the lawyer keeps making it difficult to obtain a confession.
Ok, ok, I know this is Australia and that sort of thing would never be done even though the legislation allows it. I mean, a few years ago people were concerned that some of the security legislation could be used to intimidate journalists and that’s never happened…
Well, as far as we know it’s never happened. Some of it would be illegal to report, so we just have to trust people, content in the knowledge that no journalist has been charged yet and as far as that Annika Smethurst is concerned if you’ve got nothing to hide there’s no problem with the AFP going through your underwear drawers.
In order to write this, I decided that it might be interesting to re-read the Liberal Party’s “Real Solutions” booklet. I suspect that’s not available in most good bookstores but here’s a copy
Now what do you notice about all the people on the front cover? Apart from the obvious that they were all ministers in Abbott’s attempt to prevent us from being too smug about the USA electing Donald Trump.
That’s right. There’s not a single one of them left in the government. (That’s Warren Truss, not Eric Aidsandabetz, in case you were going to try and point that the latter is still haunting the Senate like the ghost of Christmas Past.)
It’s pretty interesting when you think about it. I mean, you’d expect a few to have moved on, but just two elections later and nobody who was considered senior enough to make the front cover is left.
Which makes me wonder to what extent, Scottie was able to pull it off last year because voters thought of him as a new government and didn’t associate him with the mess from Abbott and Turnbull. After all, you only have to look at the way the media is presenting him as a candidate for canonisation due to his handling of the Covid-19 crisis. It seems to be something along the lines of, “He hasn’t stuffed up like he did with the bushfires because, not only did he stay in the country this time, but he also changed his mind about going to the football. Clearly he’s learned and is now up there with people like Menzies, Gandhi, Jesus and Alexander the Great.”
Of course, I still think of the fable about the scorpion and the frog*
I mean how else can you explain someone who’s put everyone on government benefits now complaining and telling us people shouldn’t be on government benefits and we need to get out from under the doona? How else do you explain someone suggesting that we need to Improve productivity (read lower wages) because nothing stimulates demand like workers on less money? And how else do we explain that every time a new advisory body is formed we find it’s stacked with ex-Liberal MPs and fossil fuel executives regardless of whether they have any expertise in that area or not.
Actually did you notice the story that Covid-19 recovery guy, Nev Power, is talking up a pipeline to take gas from WA to the eastern states. Some have suggested that because Nev is a director of Stryke Energy there appears to be a conflict of interest but as the Liberals frequently tell us, just because someone will benefit from the advice they give the government doesn’t mean there’s a conflict. Quite the opposite!
Yes, we can expect Saint Scottie of Marketing to soon be telling us that we’ve had our fine and it’s time to balance the budget again. We will do this by a combination of cutting services and government payments, while giving businesses big tax cuts. Why would cut taxes when we’re trying to make the budget balance and there’s no evidence that it’ll lead to more jobs?
Well, as the scorpion told the frog, “It’s my nature!”
* ”A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature.”
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