We’ve always all had the experience of watching the disappointing next series of a show we liked where it just doesn’t work for you any more… You know what I mean, it’s not that anything’s different or that the formula has changed, it’s just that it’s sort of that little bit staler because well, it’s just too much like the last series and the one before and you suddenly understand that you know the formula a bit too well to find this entertaining any more.
Well, this latest series of “The Disappointing Government” isn’t like that for me. I didn’t like the first series which had Tony Abbott as the lead character. It didn’t take long for everyone to realise that he was too unsympathetic to keep viewers hooked and his demise kept some people interested with the surprise twist of a new lead.
But when the new lead was hamstrung by the fact that he was given very similar lines as the old lead and he felt that he couldn’t do anything but repeat them without losing the role, the series wasn’t something I wanted to watch anymore.
Rather than try to appeal to a wider audience the writers again borrowed the “Death In Paradise” formula of bringing in a new lead character. However this time there was a twist: Suggest that the lead was going to be another unsympathetic man, then throw in the possibility of a woman, before eventually settling on the surprise compromise of Scotty the boat stopper.
This twist kept us all watching with the idea that this would be a last hurrah and that the show would be replaced in the new year by Bill and The Big Spenders but there was a twist in the tale.
Scotty and his boy wonder, Josh, got the Budget back in black… next year. When asked if this was a projection and not an actual return to surplus Scotty assured that, “No, the Budget is in surplus next year and that won’t change whatever happens.” What about unforeseen circumstances? “We know that there won’t be any of those.”
Well, all the episodes since have followed a familiar pattern: Something goes wrong, Scotty denies that it’s gone wrong, if that doesn’t work, he finds someone to blame, if it’s someone on his side, then Phil the fixer is asked to do an inquiry where he doesn’t ask questions of anyone who knows anything, then we all eat a curry or build a chook shed for non-existent chooks. If none of that works, we can always let Jenandthegirls out of the cupboard for a family photo and hope that distracts people until the next SNAFU which is almost certain to happen within days.
This week, however, things definitely became a little bit more interesting. While occasionally, governments may have trouble getting legislation through the Senate, it’s rare that they lose a vote in the House Of Representatives. To lose one, but insist that you haven’t really lost it because you’re not counting the people who voted remotely adds the new plot device of “Will Scotty be able to convince his own party to vote for his legislation?”
Then there’s the question of Peter Dutton moving that the member be no longer heard. Does that require an absolute majority or a simple majority? Will the new Speaker – the one that Barnaby prefers to the old one – have to consult every time we have a vote? Will Scotty try for the record of the most lies in one sitting? Will the fact that it’s such a predictable plot device mean that Josh won’t challenge even though it might keep people interested a while longer? Will the religious discrimination laws mean that if I say I’m a Satanist that the Christian school down the road can’t refuse to employ me because my beliefs will be protected? Will the journalist who allegedly misquoted Linda Reynolds and told readers that she said that NDIS shouldn’t be “welfare for life” face consequences, or are the government worried that he/she has the tapes? Was the idea that people can’t stay on the NDIS for life, part of Morrison’s miracles? If I suggest that any of the front bench are apologists for this government will I be sued? If I am, can I retract it and say that none of the bastards are sorry for any of their incompetence.
There are so many questions. Although it now seems clear that we won’t be invading Taiwan to keep it safe from China. Instead, we’re sending people to the Solomon Islands which is almost as good as a war because we can ramp up the rhetoric and find a way to suggest that not supporting the government at this time of conflict would be unpatriotic.
Of course, when I say time of conflict, I’m not suggesting that the Coalition is at war with itself…most of them will tell you that they’re completely united and there’s a general consensus on just about everything!
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