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Search Results for: false boast

The Coalition’s False Employment Boast

Bill Shorten addressed the National Press Club on Tuesday and committed a future Labor government to a policy of full employment. When asked by Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30 Tuesday evening what he considered to be an acceptable unemployment level, he said 5%.

It was a safe answer, but not the right answer. Full employment should mean just that; he should have answered, 0%. Full employment means a full time job for everyone who wants one and a part time job for everyone who wants one.

Anything less is not full employment. Whether or not Bill Shorten understands this, is open to conjecture. But on the other side of the parliamentary chamber, they don’t even care. Full employment is anathema to conservative, neo-classical politics.

Their most recent mantra, ‘jobs and growth’ is a smokescreen to hide their conviction that a minimum level of unemployment (somewhere between 5-8%), is needed to maintain an orderly workforce and control wages growth.

The present level has been hovering around 6% for the last two years and is probably right on the mark for them, evidenced by their lack of interest in reducing it.

Unemployment dropped to 5.8% for February due to a steep fall in the participation rate, but the trend figures are not encouraging, even worse when we compare February 2016 results with September 2013, when the Coalition came to office.

The ambivalence demonstrated by the government on the issue of employment is breathtaking. That the MSM allows them to get away with it, is outrageous.

Minister for Employment, Michaela Cash salivated recently over the claim that 300,000 new jobs had been created in 2015, but could not point to one convincing government initiative that had contributed to it. Well, let’s take a closer look at those figures.

You may remember one of Tony Abbott’s core election promises in 2013 was the creation of one million jobs over the next five years and two million jobs in ten years.

What he didn’t tell us was that natural population growth plus immigration requires around 125,000 new jobs to be created each year just to maintain existing levels of employment. Boasting to create one million jobs in five years sounds impressive, but in reality, it barely covers the minimum required.

And, as it happens, they have Buckley’s chance of achieving that.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show the September 2013 unemployment rate was 5.7% in trend terms. At that time there were 706,400 unemployed. In February 2016, unemployment was trending at 5.8% with 736,600 people unemployed, meaning unemployment has increased by 30,200 over the past 2 years and 5 months.

The same ABS reports show that 11,646,800 persons were employed in Australia in September 2013, while in February 2016 that number was 11,903,100. This tells us that there were 256,000 new jobs created over the past 2 years and 5 months (a big drop from that short term 300,000 in one year boast).

However, it gets worse. From an available workforce in September 2013 of 12,353,200 we grew in numbers to 12,639,700 in February 2016, an increase of 286,500. Which means the 256,000 new jobs created have failed to keep pace with population growth, let alone reduce existing unemployment.

By any language or spin, this is a failure of government to sufficiently stimulate the economy.

tonyabbott Tony Abbott’s 1,000,000 new jobs in 5 years was a pipe dream. He, or whoever came up with it, might as well have dreamt it.

No doubt Scott Morrison will put the usual optimistic spin on the latest figures but when proper comparisons are made, one can clearly see, that in trend terms, we are going in the wrong direction.

Going Global with NATO

Regional alliances should, for the most part, remain regional. Areas of the globe can count on a number of such bodies and associations with varying degrees of heft: the Organization of American States; the Organisation of African Unity; and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Only one has decided to move beyond its natural, subscribed limits, citing security and a militant basis, for its actions.

On April 27, the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, prime ministerial contender, made her claim that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization needed to be globalised. Her Mansion House speech at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet was one of those unusually frank disclosures that abandons pretence revealing, in its place, a disturbing reality.

After making it clear that NATO’s “open door policy” was “sacrosanct”, Truss also saw security in global terms, another way of promoting a broader commitment to international mischief. She rejected “the false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security. In the modern world we need both.” A “global NATO” was needed. “By that I don’t mean extending the membership to those from other regions. I mean that NATO must have a global outlook, ready to tackle global threats.”

The Truss vision is a simple one, marked by nations “free” and “assertive and in the ascendant. Where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships.” A “Network of Liberty” would be required to protect such a world, one that would essentially bypass the UN Security Council and institutions that “have been bent out of shape so far” in enabling rather than containing “aggression”.

This extraordinary, aggressive embrace of neoconservative bullishness, one that trashes international institutions rather than strengthening them, was on show again in Spain. At NATO’s summit, Truss reiterated her view that the alliance should take “a global outlook protecting Indo-Pacific as well as Euro-Atlantic security.”

The Truss position suggested less a remaking than a return to traditional, thuggish politics dressed up as objective, enduring rules. Free trade, that great oxymoron of governments, is seen as “fair”, which requires “playing by the rules.” The makers of those rules are never mentioned. But she finds room to be critical of powers “naïve about the geopolitical power of economics,” a remarkable suggestion coming from a nation responsible for the illegal export of opium to China in the nineteenth century and promoters of unequal treaties. “We are showing,” he boasted, “that economic access is no longer a given. It has to be earned.”

The Global NATO theme is not sparklingly novel, even if the Ukraine War has given impetus to its promotion and selling. The post-Cold War period left the alliance floundering. The great Satan – the Soviet Union – has ceased to exist, undercutting its raison d’être. New terrain, and theatres, were needed to flex muscle and show purpose.

The Kosovo intervention in 1999, evangelised as a human rights security operation against genocidal Serbian forces, put the world on notice where alliance members might be going. NATO was again involved in enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya as the country was ushered to imminent, post-Qaddafi collapse. When the International Security Force (ISAF) completed its ill-fated mission in Afghanistan in 2015, NATO was again on the scene.

In the organisation’s Strategic Concept document released at the end of June, the Euro-Atlantic dimension, certainly regarding the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s role, comes in for special mention. But room, and disapproval, is also made for China. “The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values.”

A number of “political, economic and military tools” had been used to increase Beijing’s “global footprint and project power,” all done in a manner distinctly not transparent. The security of allies had been challenged by “malicious hybrid and cyber operations”, along with “confrontational rhetoric and disinformation.” Of deep concern was the deepening relationship between Moscow and Beijing, “and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order” which ran “counter to our values and interests.”

The alliance’s recent self-inflation has led to curious developments. Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been pushing Canberra ever closer towards NATO, a process that has been ongoing for some years. At the alliance’s public forum in Madrid, Albanese used China’s “economic coercion” against Australia as a noisy platform while decrying Beijing’s encroachments into areas that had been the playground, and in some cases plaything, of Western powers. “Just as Russia seeks to recreate a Russian or Soviet empire, the Chinese government is seeking friends, whether it be […] through economic support to build up alliances to undermine what has historically been the Western alliance in places like the Indo-Pacific.”

At a press conference held at Madrid’s Torrejon Air Base, the Australian prime minister felt certain that “NATO members know that China is more forward leaning in our region.” Beijing had levelled sanctions not only against Canberra but had proven to “be more aggressive in its stance in the world.”

Australian pundits on the security circuit are warmed by the visit, seeing a chance to point NATO’s interest in the direction of China’s ambition in the Indo-Pacific. Just as Norwegian historian Geir Lundestad described Washington’s Cold War involvement in Western Europe as an empire by invitation, NATO, or some bit of it, is being envisaged as an invitee in regions far beyond its traditional scope. None of this will do much to encourage the prospects for stability while leaving every chance for further conflict.


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Chaff Candidates: The Race for the UK Tory Leadership

As UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the scene in spectacular fashion, all who sought to confine him to history, perished. He was the only one who seemed to survive, and reject, one diabolical scandal after the next – till now.

No leader with such a destructive sense of presence could do anything but impair those who followed him. But that impairment lingers in the contenders who are seeking to replace him, and it shows.

In a system that is admirably daft, the governing party, namely the Conservatives, have given themselves a remarkable span of time to pick Johnson’s successor. A number of candidates initially put their name forth, a chaff-wheat separation exercise that eventually led to the selection of chaff.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss rallies the Tories within the party ranks (a YouGov poll puts Truss at 62 per cent over her rival contender, Rishi Sunak, at 38 per cent). Sunak seems more appealing to the wider conservative vote. Both are unappealing in several ways and have already shown that they are not beneath populism and demagoguery in convincing the party faithful.

Like most Tories hoping to court gullible voters in the centre, we are facing an elaborate deception of privilege burnished as hard work and triumph in adversity. This is the season for counterfeiters.

Sunak is proving something of an adept in this, diminishing his privileged background in order to polish and flash invisible, underprivileged credentials. Truss supporter, culture secretary Nadine Dorries, will have none of it, noting that Truss will campaign around the country in £4.50 earrings, but Sunak will do so in a £3,500 bespoke suit, along with £450 Prada loafers.

Truss is also playing on false images, though prefers to lie in more confident fashion. With mendacious thrill, she claims to have grown up in a “red wall” seat, as if it might have proved anything. “I got where I am today through working hard and focusing on results.” If it is that mindless, corrosive activity of Instagramming, then she might have a point. If an event is not posted on social media, it never took place.

In terms of policy, if we dare go there, Truss is a conventional supply sider, wanting to cut taxes despite obstinately rising inflation. She argues that the budget has enough fiscal headroom to the tune of £30 billion, an amount that will be dramatically cheapened with inflation. She also boasts of delivering a number of trade agreements, though many were simply copied, roll-over versions of deals made when the UK was an EU member.

Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, does not see taxes as satanic, and is considering raising them as a dampening measure to cope with rising prices. Should he become Prime Minister, the corporation tax rate will rise from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in 2023.

Sunak, in some respects, is going for a softer touch, such as improving home insulation to cut energy bills. Unfortunately, the Energy Savings Trust has found that loft insulation, while saving a terraced home £230 a year on energy bills, would also cost £500 to install. Even as Chancellor, his efforts to encourage homes to install insulation via the green homes grant scheme failed to gain momentum, resulting in its scrapping.

On foreign policy, however, Sunak claims to be the hardest of hard men. Having been called by Chinese state outlet Global Times “clear and pragmatic” in the face of Sinophobia, he was bound to insist on a measure of difference. To that end, the closure of the Confucius Institutes in Britain – namely, all 30 of them – is promised. In doing so, he hopes to strangle Chinese “soft power” while rooting out Beijing’s industrial espionage efforts.

With militant fervour, he also promises to “kick the CCP out of our universities,” the sort of meaningless babble that risks harming academic endeavours. The method of doing so will involve mandating higher education establishments to disclose the nature of their foreign funding associations for amounts above £50,000, including the review of research partnerships. All such proposals always tend to harm the host institution more than the foreign target.

This was of little concern to Sunak, who has suddenly discovered an interest in human rights. “They torture, detain and indoctrinate their own people, including in Xinjian and Hong Kong, in contravention of their human rights. And they have continually rigged the global economy in their favour by suppressing their currency.”

Sunak’s language on rights is rich given his own attitude to those wishing to find sanctuary in Britain. His ideas on irregular migration have ranged from housing arrivals in cruise ships in a hark back to the bad old days of British penology to enthusiastically supporting, along with Truss, the transfer of irregular migrants to Rwanda, a country not exactly famed for its human rights record. This, from a grandson of immigrants from Punjab who ended up in East Africa before making their way to Britain.

A deliciously appropriate note on the campaign so far was struck in this week’s The Sun and TalkTV debate, hosted by journalist Kate McCann. Both Truss and Sunak fronted up. Harry Cole, political editor of The Sun, intended to co-host, but contracted Covid. McCann, left in charge, made her solid contribution to the whole affair by fainting. “We apologise to our viewers and listeners,” the channel stated with regret, sparing the audience the inanity of it all by calling the whole thing off. Johnson must have relished it all.

In the slime-touched final runoff between two bottom-of-the-barrel finds, voters meet two candidates who, in finding wealth or coming from it, seek the ultimate prize of a country that once kept a quarter of the globe in described, cricket-enlightened subjecthood. The prize is barely worth it, and, with Britain no longer part of the EU, barely noticeable.


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‘Gotcha’ fact checks and other important things

Diary entry 29: Saturday, April 20 2022

1 If a reputable fact-checker corrects a blatant attempt to pull the wool over the public, it could reasonably be a “gotcha moment”. The culprit has been found out telling a lie, lying by omission, gilding the lily, or simply trying to cloud the issue. “Gotcha”

Following are seven examples from AAP Factcheck of what could be called “gotcha” moments. Most fact-checked examples refute a wrong, then published and quickly forgotten, particularly by a media predisposed to self-interest or straight-out propaganda.

The culprit has achieved its purpose of misleading the public. This is not to say that Labor doesn’t also do it to a lesser extent. However, the overwhelming culprits are the Prime Minister and his ministers.

i) The claim. The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic saved 40,000 Australian lives.

AAP Fact check verdict.

Misleading. Experts say Australia’s low death rate is due to a mixture of state and federal government policy and non-government factors.

Read more here.

To claim that you have saved 40,000 lives while at the same time your mishandling of the ordering of vaccines probably cost some is shameful.

ii) The Claim. No trees have been planted toward the coalition Government’s 2018 target of one billion new trees by 2030.

AAP Fact Check verdict. Mostly True. Around 4300 hectares of trees have been planted since 2018, equivalent to only around one per cent of the 2030 goal.

A Labor claim that proved to be a gotcha one.

iii) The Claim. Minister Dan Tehan Claimed that the Australian economy is performing better than any other country after COVID-19.

AAP Fact Check verdict. False. Australia has had a strong recovery from the pandemic, but several other countries have performed better on key indicators.

Such lies are told regularly. I shall go on:

iv) The Claim. The Prime Minister has claimed that Australia has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by around 20 per cent – more than the US, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand.

AAP Fact Check verdict. Mixture. Australia likely reduced net emissions by more than all except the United States between 2005 and 2020; however, Australia was the worst performer when comparing gross emissions.

Lying by omission.

v) The Claim. The Morrison government cut climate spending by 35 per cent in the 2022 federal budget.

AAP Fact Check verdict. Mostly True. Budget papers show a 35 per cent decline in funding for climate programs over four years, although this doesn’t necessarily account for all spending by government agencies.

vi) The Claim. The Government insists that Labor will introduce a death tax.

ABC/RMIT fact check verdict. Death taxes or an inheritance tax are not part of Labor’s current official policy platform — nor were they in the lead-up to the 2019 election. While senior Labor figures Mr Albanese and Mr Leigh may have historically indicated support for an inheritance tax in their non-parliamentary roles, both have since indicated they no longer support such a policy.

Talk about the masters of the scare!

vii) The Claim. Defence Minister Peter Dutton has claimed that Labor cut billions of dollars from the defence budget when it was last in Government.

ABC/RMIT fact check verdict. Misleading. Labor cut defence spending in two years while in office, but overall real-term spending went up while in Government.

2 The Prime Minister is facing an uphill battle to convince the electorate that he is serious about a corruption commission. Trying to present an argument that it won’t happen because Labor cannot bring itself to support his policy is a friendless argument.

3 Another observation of the first week of campaigning is that the standard of media reporting is deplorable. Of course, we have come to expect it from the Murdoch tabloids whose bias seems to have no end but is this the best we can hope for. Scott Morrison, it has to be said, is an excellent campaigner but can they at least balance that against the destruction of our democracy over the past 10 years.

But when on day one, news anchors are asking their travelling correspondents whether or not Albanese had just lost the campaign, I’m afraid they leave me somewhat breathless.

4 “The first campaign poll shows the scars of Labor’s troubled first week but still suggests they lead on two-party preferred.” Read more at The Poll Bludger.

5 On Insiders last Sunday, Marise Payne refused to endorse Katherine Deves for Tony Abbott’s former seat of Warringah. There was a time when people with views like hers were immediately dis-endorsed. But then she was personally picked by Scott.

Marise Payne also refused to enlighten us as to why Rachel Miller, a staffer in Alan Tudge’s office, is to receive over half a million dollars plus expenses after having an affair with him. And, of course, he remains in the Ministry. We are entitled to know.

6 Let’s hope that this week we will see the campaigning move to some policy debate about things that matter instead of following some immature gotcha moment of little importance.

We have to change the government to one that is indeed a representative democracy that reflects the community’s views.

I could just go on repeating all those reasons for voting this government out, recounting their dishonesty, nit-picking the Canberra gossip, cataloguing dishonesties and incompetence’s – ceaselessly doing what I have been doing and losing readers because of my passion.

But I would implore our readers to think of the future and marry science, technology, and economics to best reflect a community with a compassionate heart.

A couple of months back, a Facebook reader wrote:

“Lately, John, you’re thinking has run into a brick wall that others have built. The significant issues are not parochial, not country or city, urban or rural; they are dire ubiquitous problems that are universally threatening.”

Alas, that is true. I must redouble my efforts not to just condemn the wrongs of this vile government but to point out the possibilities the future holds for a government intent on serving the people and not themselves.

My previous diary entry: This will be a ‘gotcha’ campaign

My thought for the day

We must have the courage to ask of our young that they should go beyond desire and aspiration in a changing world and accomplish not the trivial but greatness. They should not allow the morality they inherited from good folk to be corrupted by the immorality of nefarious governments.


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Obscene Outsourcing: The UK-Rwandan Refugee Deal

This month, the government of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined an ignominious collective in announcing a refugee deal with Rwanda, seedily entitled the UK-Rwanda Migration Partnership. The fact that such terms are used – a partnership or deal connotes contract and transaction – suggests how inhumane policies towards those seeking sanctuary and a better life have become.

In no small measure, the agreement between London and Kigali emulates the “Pacific Solution”, a venal response formulated by the Australian government to deter asylum seekers arriving by boat and create a two-tiered approach to assessing asylum claims. The centrepiece of the 2001 policy was the transfer of such arrivals to Pacific outposts in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru, where they would have no guarantee of being settled in Australia. Despite being scrapped by the Labor Rudd government at the end of 2007, the policy was reinstated by a politically panicked Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012 under what was billed the Pacific Solution Mark II.

The victory of the conservative Liberal-National Party coalition in the 2013 elections led to its most cruel manifestation. Operation Sovereign Borders, as the policy came to be known, cast a shroud of military secrecy over intercepting boats and initiating towaways. The crude, if simple slogan popularised by the Abbott government, was “Stop the Boats”. Such sadistic policies were justified as honourable ones: preventing drownings at sea; disrupting the “people smuggler model”. In truth, the approach merely redirected the pathways of arrival while doing little by way of discouraging the smugglers.

More measures followed: the creation of a specifically dedicated border force kitted out for violence; the passage of legislation criminalising whistleblowers for revealing squalid, torturous camp conditions featuring self-harm, suicide and sexual abuse.

Inspired by such a punitive example despite its gross failings and astronomical cost (the Australian policy saw a single asylum seeker’s detention bill come to $AU3.4 million), the Johnson government has been parroting the same themes in what the UK Home Office called, misleadingly, a “world first partnership” to combat the “global migration crisis”. The partnership sought to “address” the “shared international challenge of illegal migration and break the business model of smuggling gangs.” Not once did it refer to the right to asylum which exists irrespective of the mode of travel or arrival.

Johnson also reiterated the theme of targeting those “vile people smugglers” who have turned the ocean into a “watery graveyard”, failing to mention that such individuals serve to also advance the right of seeking asylum. More on point was his remark that compassion might be “infinite but our capacity to help people is not.”

If one is to believe the Home Office, sending individuals to Rwanda or, as it puts it, “migrants who make dangerous or illegal journeys” is a measure of some generosity. Successful applicants “will then be supported to build a new and prosperous life in one of the fastest-growing economies, recognised globally for its record on welcoming and integrating migrants.”

Rwanda is certainly going to benefit with a generous bribe of £120 million, slated for “economic development and growth”, while it will also receive funding for “asylum operations, accommodation and integration similar to the costs incurred in the UK for these services.”

The country will also take some pride in sidestepping its own less than savoury human rights records, which boasts a résumé of extrajudicial killings, torture, unlawful or arbitrary detention, suspicious deaths in custody and an aggressive approach to dissidents. In 2018, Rwanda security forces were responsible for killing at least 12 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They had been protesting a cut to their food rations. Various survivors were then arrested and prosecuted for charges ranging from rebellion to “spreading false information with intent to create a hostile international opinion against the Rwandan state.”

The UK-Rwandan partnership also perpetuates old libels in discrediting cross-Channel crossers as purely economic migrants who somehow forfeit their right to fair assessment. Emilie McDonnell of Human Rights Watch UK dispels this myth, noting Home Office data and information gathered via freedom of information laws that 61% of migrants who travel by boat are likely to remain in the UK after claiming asylum. The Refugee Council, in an analysis of Channel crossings and asylum outcomes between January 2020 and June 2021, noted that 91% of those making the journey came from 10 countries where human rights abuses are acknowledged as extensive.

Refugees and asylum seekers are the stuff of political value, rising and falling like stocks depending on the government of the day. For Johnson, the agreement with Rwanda was also a chance to preoccupy the newspaper columns and an irate blogosphere with another talking point. “Sending refugees to Rwanda,” claimed The Mirror, “is the political equivalent of a distraction burglary, only less subtle and infinitely more criminal.”

The event in question supposedly warranting that hideous distraction was serious enough. Johnson, along with his wife Carrie and UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, were all found to have breached government COVID-19 emergency laws and fined by the police. In the history books, this is already being written up as the “partygate affair”, which featured a number of socialising events conducted by staff as the rest of the country endured severe lockdown restrictions. Those same history books will also note that the prime minister and chancellor are both pioneers in facing police-mandated penalties.

Johnson’s own blotting took place on June 19, 2020, when he held a birthday gathering in the Cabinet Room of 10 Downing Street. “In all frankness, at that time,” he reasoned, “it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules.” With such a perspective on legality and breaches, the Rwanda deal seems a logical fit, heedless of human rights, a violation of dignity, a potential risk to life and a violation of international refugee law.


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Morrison’s feminine appeal – none at all

By John Haly

From THAT women’s network logo to a corseted perspective where he can only understand women through the lens of his wife or daughters; Scotty from Marketing can’t recognise the inequality, bias and dangers that women face.

Trying to defend himself, he ran the following list past Kymba Cahill during an intense interview on Perth Radio show Mix94.5. [See Fig 1.]

Scott Morrison raised these points asserting that the coalition had made significant progress on:

  • women’s employment and unemployment,
  • Women in executive roles and gender pay equity,
  • domestic violence funding.


Fig 1: Extract from News article on Morrison’s actions on behalf of women


Women’s Employment

Using unemployment figures from the ABS is a dubious exercise, as I have noted previously, but this will be the data to which Scott is referring [see Table 1]. According to ABS, Females employed in the workplace in Australia in Feb 2022 was 6,407,730 (Men were 6,964,2820). This left 256,378 of the female workforce unemployed. That is a 3.85% unemployment rate for women in the workforce. I will dispute this claim later.

In the meantime, the lack of inclusion of zero-hours workers (which the ABS calculates) in the unemployment percentages is a blatant misrepresentation. People with registered employees (usually in the Gig economy) offered zero hours of work in a month and zero dollars for pay, while considered “employed”, are not segregated by gender in the ABS stats. However, people in employment are segregated by gender. So calculating the ratio of women in the workforce to men at 47.9% in February 2022, provides a reasonable basis for extrapolation. Zero-hours workers for February 2022 were 130,000 people, and multiplying that by 47.9% for February gives you an estimate that 62,678 workers were likely female.

Adding zero-hours female workers back to ABS’s unemployment numbers means that 319,056 women (or 4.79% of the workforce) are without paid work. That means women in employment dropped to 6,345,053. Making the same relative month-by-month calculations over the last three years generates a female ratio that varied between 49.9% and 46.4%, resulting in the Fig 2 Graph.

Another consideration is that since our Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, claims our economy has recovered to pre-pandemic levels (i.e. 2019). Commencing with ABS stats from the beginning of 2019 will allow some trend analysis. Of course, other journalists have demonstrated Josh’s claims are fallacious propaganda, but let’s overlook that for now.


Fig 2: ABS’s Female Employment estimates in Australia 2019 to Feb 2022


Looking at the trends in the Graph for Full-time, part-time and workforce numbers for women, it is evident none of the categories has made a full recovery. Compared to February 2019, the ABS figures claim: 5.996 million women were employed and 314K unemployed. However, it is 375K, if you add back the female proportion of zero-hours “employed” estimated in Feb 2019. That would have reduced our wage-earning employed to 5.954 million. So Morrison seems correct that more females are employed.

Still, it should be apparent that his claiming credit is a misdirection. Over that same three years, the total workforce moved from 6.310 million to 6.664 million. The population of women over 15 went from 10.417 million to 10.687 million. Unless Morrison is claiming credit for population growth or women entering the workforce – both of which are rising at similar levels. Is a rising level of employment, therefore, something for which he can claim the credit? Significantly when they have not even risen to a level that an extrapolation of 2019 figures would predict? What legislative change has Morrison’s government passed that has even achieved this underwhelming rise in employment?

As for “the lowest level of unemployment” for women, the evidence for real domestic unemployment for women demonstrates otherwise. This is where I will review not just ABS data but also include zero-hours data, Jobseeker and Youth Allowance and Roy Morgan’s unemployment figures. These measures demonstrate that unemployment exists at around 8.5% for women. This was lower than current levels for all of the second half of 2019. However, just as zero-hours “employees” are not segregated into gender statistics, neither are Roy Morgan’s estimates. Roy Morgan’s methodology has more in common with the Jobseeker and Youth Allowance as a measure of unemployment. Accordingly, I have used their month-by-month ratio of men and women on both stats to extrapolate the proportion of Roy Morgan’s total estimates, likely female. The results in the following graph [see Fig 3] and accompanying sources and internal explanations demonstrate why Morrison’s claim is inaccurate. Please see my articles here and here if you want further explanations concerning this multi-data analysis.


Fig 3: Female Unemployment measure variations in Australia from 2019 to Feb 2022


More women on Boards and gender pay gaps

I assume Morrison boasting of more women on Government boards doesn’t include former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who is still waiting on his apology. It should be noted that more than 50%” of women on government boards is larger by a factor of 0.2%. In short, it is 50.2%. The history of that climb resembles a long and tortuous effort. Not unlike Morrison’s appointment of women to his cabinet – another point he raised.

This may be true for a tiny percentage of women who represent the country’s government executives. Still, many social and economic issues for women who are non-board members (i.e. the vast majority) remain unresolved. Women’s Agenda publishes a range of these issues, like sexual assault through to women’s career anxiety. As for Morrison’s claims about the gender pay gap, beyond some minor fluctuations, it has sat around 14% for the last three years. Taking credit for a recent 0.4% drop is hyperbole when you consider it depends:

  1. entirely on what State and with whom you are employed,
  2. and the changing state of employment and unemployment. [see Figs 2 & 3]

One doesn’t have to take a human’s claim that falling gender pay gaps are fallacious in a volatile employment economy with stagnating wages. Even internet bots are pointing out the disparity.

Domestic Violence funding

The Domestic Violence Package of $1.1 billion announced by the Minister for Women’s Safety, Anne Ruston’s media release from October 2021, is full of self-congratulatory praise for their “landmark” contribution to DV.

Keep in mind that the DV funding was not considered sterling before this point. Monash University’s assessment in 2020 was that previous funding arrangements for women were woefully inadequate. Although the subsequent $1.1 Billion in the following budget might improve on previous efforts, “it does not yet reflect the level of investment so desperately needed to address, interrupt and ultimately prevent what is a national crisis.” according to two Violence prevention experts. Other critics have noted it is hardly enough, and falls short of the need.

In truth, all this expenditure is a transparent effort to put a bandage on the gaping wound left in the wake of

But while that was a long sentence, no sentences of any length have been applied to any of the misogynistic male perpetrators responsible for these abuses.

Despite the massive protests by women over these issues, not even the Minister for Women, Marise Payne, showed solidarity by attending “March 4 Justice” at Parliament House. And I suspect we all recall Morrison’s bullet point based response in Parliament to that protest.


So yes, Morrison has poured in more money into domestic violence, but it isn’t anywhere near enough to deal with the scope of the problem. Yes, employment has risen but so has unemployment amongst women. Yes, the ruling class women at the height of the government echelons have enjoyed more executive work. But, in contrast, the non-executive women (known as the vast majority or working-class) are still increasingly unemployed, poorly and unequally paid, compared to their male counterparts.

So if this is Morrison’s idea of “action” in response to women’s needs, dare I suggest his “action” is quite definably “small” and “inadequate” to meet the real needs of women in Australia?


This article was originally published on AUSTRALIA AWAKEN – IGNITE YOUR TORCHES.


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Barnaby Joyce is an idiot

There are so many things that come to mind with that headline – like when Barnaby Joyce wrote off an $80,000 government Toyota LandCruiser wagon by driving it into a flooded creek on the way to his northern NSW grazing property. Or when he had unprotected extramarital sex with a staffer and got her pregnant. Or when he turned up drunk at work. Those are the sort of personal lapses of judgement you worry about with teenage kids.

Of far more concern is Barnaby’s full speed ahead, “get ‘er done” approach to infrastructure, be it the NBN, dams, or inland rail. These are all major projects that require significant planning to get them right but Barnaby gets annoyed with that sort of trivial impediment to his announcements.

In June 2016, Joyce appeared on Q&A where he said the majority of people only wanted 25mbps download speed and fibre to the premises NBN would be a waste.

“We have to try and always do things within our means to repay the debt that we have and that, unfortunately, is the raw rule of economics, trying to do as much as we can to make sure we run a tight ship,” said Barnaby.

Joyce added that returning to Labor’s FTTP version of the NBN would cost the Government an extra $30 billion and take six to eight years longer to deploy than the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix version of the NBN – a claim that has proven to be false.

With the government’s MTM $27 billion over budget and four years behind schedule, they finally announced an extra $4.5 billion to upgrade to FttP that “will give up to 75 per cent of fixed line premises across regional and metropolitan Australia access to ultra-fast broadband by 2023”… maybe.

The concept of “do it once and do it right” was lost on the LNP who thought the internet was for playing games and watching movies.

Now Barnaby is insisting that we spend more than $600,000 to provide a single fibre connection to a business in his electorate. In his letter requesting government funding, Joyce said the upgrade was “urgently needed to address the continued increases in bandwidth required at Costa’s Guyra facilities for the many software and online systems utilised to support the company’s high-tech practices and equipment used to achieve greater yield efficiencies”.

Bugger the little people who can’t access their emails or whose kids can’t sign in for online learning.

Barnaby brings this same level of foresight and planning to his fetish for building dams.

After drip feeding millions to an LNP donor and party operative, through various companies that all lead back to the same guy, for feasibility studies and business cases, Barnaby is sick of waiting and announced $5.4 billion in funding.

“We’ve done the homework on Hells Gates Dam and it’s now time to get on and build it. We have put our money on the table, so let’s cut the green tape, get the approvals and get it done.”

The dam proposals have not been scrutinised by the government’s own National Water Grid advisory board; the Hells Gates plan does not have an environmental impact study (no study is even in development); nor does it have a detailed business case.

So far, Barnaby wants dams to deal with droughts, requiring them to be full, floods, requiring them to be empty, and hydro-electricity, requiring them to be flowing. I’m not sure how he hopes to achieve that.

Joyce is also in a rush to get his pet boondoggle, the inland rail, underway. Four years after the project – worth $14.5bn and counting – was announced, about 130km of trach have been laid and we still don’t know the final route.

As reported in the Guardian:

“Some of those communities that will be most affected by the project are raising serious questions about who will really benefit from the massive outlay: big business or local towns?

Regional farmers have expressed alarm as their land is cut in two by the tracks and they question why local landscape knowledge has been ignored, particularly when it comes to flood risk.”

Sounds like another Joyce disaster in the making.

Barnaby likes to boast to the guys in the front bar that he can blackmail the government into giving him what he wants.

“We’ve taken water and put it back into agriculture so we can look after you and make sure we don’t have the greenies running the show basically sending you out the back door. That was a hard ask but we did it,” he told farmers at a Shepparton pub, saying an ABC Four Corners investigation into alleged water rorting in the Murray Darling Basin was trying to “create a calamity” from which Barnaby would save them.

At the time, the South Australian Water Minister Ian Hunter called for Joyce’s removal.

“He is absolutely incapable of doing the job he has been given,” he said.

I can only concur. Barnaby should never be put in a position of responsibility – he’s a very expensive idiot.


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Lies, lies, lies – and the lying liars who tell them

Politicians, predominantly on the right, have repeatedly been caught lying in direct contravention of video evidence. The falsifications aren’t minor.

In Canberra at the moment there is an almost total lack of accountability. Any effort to confront Prime Minister Scott Morrison or his cabinet with their lies, corruption and ineptitude is met with deflection to a disingenuous list of “achievements” or more lies. Without effective supervision and repercussions, the threat this poses to our democracy will only become more dire.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is potentially facing repercussions after years of lying to the electorate. Whether or not he does so, the damage to British democracy taking place under the Tories is confronting. In the US, Donald Trump’s lies have been embraced by the party he led and the majority of Republican voters. Deception is widespread in that party’s efforts to subvert the possibility of Democrat victories in the future. The American Republic’s democratic processes are already undermined; whether they will survive the next decade is in doubt.

From Plato’s time, philosophers have noted the instability of democracy. Its freedoms – including freedom of speech – are the seeds of its own destruction. Would-be tyrants and their propaganda have the capacity to end the system we prize, even without us noticing. Truth, and trust in what is being said, is crucial to the democratic system.

Deceit is at the heart of the problem. Sometimes it is the insidious propaganda that aims to (mis)represent our nations as well-run liberal democracies. At other times the stratagem is outright demagoguery that seems likely to end in bloodshed.

In Australia, Crikey in particular has been tracking the lies that mark Morrison’s government. While there has long been an expectation that politicians aren’t always truthful, the scope of deceit that has besmirched the performance of the Coalition, just like this era’s Republican and Tory parties, is enough to shove the timid media beyond euphemisms.

The brazenness of the deceit is the factor that has provoked that shift. Politicians – predominantly on the right – have repeatedly been caught lying in direct contravention of video evidence of their own previous statements. The falsifications aren’t minor: some are complete inversions of earlier positions. In America some Republican politicians supporting Trump’s Big Lie do so because they literally fear for their lives. Without an armed and angry base to threaten them back into line, Australian and British leaders have little justification beyond knowing that there are no consequences any more.

In January 2022, as Australians largely fail to find the rapid antigen tests (RATs) we need to participate in society in a pandemic, the government is running advertisements that boast it has them. Nobody is sure whether these are the collation of RATs that have been taken from private and public sector organisations’ deliveries, or an inflated boast. As with so many other (in)actions of this government, the disaster follows supply offers and warnings made months before, instructing the government that millions would be necessary. According to the AMA, the government refused to purchase them, wanting to let the private sector profiteer.

In the wake of the Park Hotel Djokovic drama, Morrison misinformed radio listeners about the refugee status of the people imprisoned for months in the Alternative Place of Detention (APOD). When confronted he disingenuously asserted he hadn’t “said” what he’d clearly implied. Given that the innocent men (some then boys) were placed in indefinite detention by Morrison as immigration minister eight years ago, his claim to vagueness on the cases seems disingenuous.

Over COP26 in Glasgow last year, the Australian delegation was reviled for its blatant climate action disinformation. French President Emmanuel Macron’s assertion that Morrison is a liar was confirmed by the Prime Minister’s former colleagues. It’s not just our own civic space under threat from constant deceit, but our standing among nations.

Part of the dissimulation is intended to suggest that the system is functioning well. In none of the three countries is that the case, and healthcare workers have been bearing the brunt of the pandemic mismanagement. NSW nurses held a stopwork protest in mid-January because their workplace is unsafe for them and their patients in the Omicron surge. Their exhaustion and the nurse-to-patient-ratio blowout are making hospitals dangerous. In the face of constant federal and state government mantras that they are coping, the nurses’ signs said they are not.

Rather than listening to poorly paid frontline workers exhausted by the third year of bearing the brunt, Josh Frydenberg mislabelled them “militant unions”. He hoped thus to nullify a cry for help for his voter base. The former “essential worker” praise was quickly inverted to disdain when the nurses drew attention to being Sisyphus borne down by the weight of government “let it rip” apathy.

The moment where the crisis of truth in “conservative” Anglosphere politics and some parts of the media became obvious might be pinned in 2016 when “post-truth” became word of the year. The fact that Trump’s victory and the Brexit referendum occurred in that year is not unrelated.

Many factors made the truth harder to detect at that moment: the swirl of social media disinformation; its targeting by bad actors like Cambridge Analytica; increasing competition in the attention economy; and the internet’s devastating impact on legacy media (partly celebrated initially because of the establishment’s own failures to convey truth, such as The New York Times and its assertion of the presence in Iraq of WMD).

It did not begin that recently, though. In 2004 George Bush adviser Karl Rove was alleged to have said that the US government did not function in the “reality-based community,” instead having the ability to “create our own reality.” Fittingly, he denies having said it.

The following year, commentator Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness” which became the American 2006 word of the year. It is intended to cover the sense or feeling that something feels true on intuition rather than requiring data to bear it out. It was meant to satirise the Tea Party development in Republican politics and its unhinged assertions. In Trump’s era, Kellyanne Conway called truthiness “alternative facts.”

Now Republican politicians and pundits spew the “blue lies” that divide tribes, and even the “accusations in a mirror” of total inversions of truth that precede horrors. Their followers often appear to see lies as weapons of war rather than necessarily a matter of sincerity. Verifiability does not matter as much hurting the loathed enemy.

The internet has unleashed those alternative realities. Right-wing thought leaders such as Joe Rogan on podcasts and YouTube and social media speak to millions around the world. They have a much more powerful impact than radio shock jocks or “conservative” media pundits. Provocative communications are shared to provoke “lib tears” and then these right wing figures “rage farm” the resultant furore.

Part of the long-term crisis is based in the role of PR in politics, with the right over the decades deploying increasingly effective marketing and communications strategies. Funded by the ultra wealthy and honed through free-market think-tanks, this strategy was intended to counteract alienating policies meant to benefit only the donors.

The Coalition government is much more concerned with messaging than being able to do the job of creating policy that benefits the country. It is aided by co-operative media that is satisfied to echo government talking points in gormless stenographic journalism. The fact that Morrison’s own marketing background is not strewn with successes might explain lacklustre efforts such as under-age forklift drivers.

Rather than finding strategies to solve the massive challenges of living through a pandemic, the government is involved with the spin project of their religious “freedom” bill or the ability to unmask anonymous “trolls” on the internet. This is intended to enable Coalition politicians to sue internet commentators for defamation if they expose government misdeeds. The point is to chill criticism of government (in)action, hardly consonant with their posture as “free speech” warriors. It sits well, however, with the government’s many efforts to prevent transparency over the years, including working to silence charities.

Structuring a narrative to sell a government as successful and a country as efficiently navigating difficult times is not the same as being successful or dealing with challenges. Lies and misleading messaging buttressed with strategies to silence criticism leave us with a crisis of trust, and with cynicism. This is combined with the swirl of internet misinformation centred in America but with enthusiastic adherents here. The result is a total inability to agree on a shared data-based reality that must ground our decisions as we face the much bigger crisis of the climate emergency.

The Coalition must confront its decision to pursue the American right into a focus on culture wars and spin. The US is proving to us that this divisive propaganda can only be destructive. We must transform the supervision of Australia’s federal government to ensure truth, integrity and accountability. Without those steps, we too risk losing our liberal democracy.

Lucy Hamilton is a Melbourne writer with degrees from the University of Melbourne and Monash University.



This article was originally published on Pearls and Irritations.

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Our Man on the Moon

By our Space correspondent: Jon Chesterson


Yup, I was in a pathology clinic waiting room today and a gentleman sat down beside me without a mask and muttered indifferently into empty space in the middle of the waiting room, ‘I’m not contagious’, as if we were all deaf mute, invisible androids with autoimmune nanobots in our bloodstream, or just mostly stunned… and then we carried on.

People are partying downtown in night club central in CBD sector’s Rigel and Betelgeuse, while the Omicron special forces squad are knocking down the doors with their electric toothbrushes and aerosol software updates on stealth technology and asteroids. Allegedly reported to be doubling up their tactical invasions every 2-3 days in UK, but Dutton is still fixated on the China wars. If we start with 1 case of Omicron (ground zero) in Aus, after 1 calendar month we are looking at somewhere between 1,000-30,000 active cases (invasions). The dark lunar forces of Omicron are upon us.

Except we had 3 confirmed cases reported yesterday from just one event on the glitzy HMAS Flagship Casino NSW – no less a party cruise in Sydney harbour on 3 December, 10 days ago followed by the Albion hotel in Parramatta and the Cult night club in Potts Point. OMG! Cruise ships, the razzmatazz dazzle opening up of international borders and inter-state outposts on screwed up or non-existent quarantine facilities, blind Freddie all over again on the incredibly dim-witted penal space colony of NSW!

84 Covid-19 cases have been reported from one event on HMAS Newcastle-Hunter at the Argyle club last week, of which NSW Health expect in their spectacular MoC algorithm predictions, will include a few undercover Omicron operatives already, not just one. But psychohistorian Hazzard was off world and not available for superficial or intelligent comment.

We are 10/30 days in on that algorithm already and people everywhere are ditching their bras and pants, throwing precautions to the solar winds, gathering and partying, wearing their nearly 6-month-old invisible vaccination spacesuits (version 1.0) without nanobots and sniff my arse Morrison space academy badges stapled proudly on their golden space boobs. But you need your digital certificates to get past the bouncers wherever you go.

And what’s Prime Regent Morrison telling us now, announcing every day – We are 80% (of eligible age groups, so not 80% at all but another false algorithm) vaccinated and in NSW 90% (not whole of population obviously, same modelling). As if the Omicron Darth Vader gives a shit about Morrison’s PR and invisible magic spacesuit, or the colour of his arse, public LNP slogans and curiously engineered tourist ABC satellite broadcasts.

And what else is Morrison boasting about on the under-funded public broadcaster’s Planet ABC, the Sky Corporation and News Corp H2S04 – we’ve got 150 million doses of Covid vaccine in the country, so what are you all worried about? Of which only Pfizer and Moderna are approved for rocket booster fuel. But wait, only 24 million people over the age of 5 who can have it, and 2.4 million (5-12yrs) won’t even start the roll out till January, when the other ‘rubbery bouncing cryogenic space kangarood’ 80-90% of the virtual population will have up to 50% jolly roger wear and tear in their ‘invisible’ double-vaxed cosmic armoury. I wouldn’t be rushing out in the vacuum of space, under probing pulsars and into psychedelic nightclubs with my visa up and osmotic holes all over my starry torso, singing dancing queen and hugging Venus cocktails, nightclub suckers! Barely any safer docking at the nearest suburban hypermarket dodging trolleys and space shuttles in Barnaby’s barking dog suits – check out the special offers aisle, half price space gums for happy chewers and spaced out unchilled dead fish water fountain bottles from the extinct Murray-Darling, again don’t worry, it’s been through the corporate sanitiser and re-packaged!

So what happens to the other 100+ million vaccines we’ve ordered and paid for? Those which could have gone directly to poorer countries without space stations, where mining colonies hurt real bad, and the next generation Omicron 1.2s and 1.3s special squads are busy working up their new intercellular flight shuttles on QANTAS Cosmos and VIRGIN Galactic – free entry permits for fee paying corporates. Bugger the Australian Space Agency (ASA), actually delete that thought, a little too close for comfort without that interplanetary ICAC. No turn backs here, every squad’s a cheap worker and here’s what you can do for your economy!

Morrison’s not too hot on numbers, bushfires, climate change, the pandemic, jobs, economy, crosswords or anagrams, in point of fact not much good at anything at all – Go figure ‘Omicron’. Not too hot on magic spacesuits either, but here’s an idea not a million light years from home, far far away… and plenty of it.

Anyway, blood’s taken. Tried booking my booster shot when I got home, nearest appointment on Morrison’s latest ‘get your booster shot now campaign’ is at least 5 weeks away and NSW Health are uncontactable. Seen the government adverts, got the mail today, yes it’s moonshit from our man on the moon – His hologram left the building middle of last week for Prime Regency summer holidays on Hawaii Alpha, but I can still hear his carcinogenic voice every day on screen and in my head, get that hand shake away from me.

5 weeks and the invasion is already here exploiting the gap, just like climate change and there are no magic vaccinations and Aussie space suits for that, just coal bunkers and more almighty cosmic bloopers!


Reference: NSW Health reports on new exposure venues to Omicron cases (10 December 2021)


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Jenny Hocking’s heroic palace coup is a victory for truth

By Tess Lawrence

IF ROYAL TITLES were still in political play in Oz, freedom fighter Jenny Hocking would surely be up for a gong by the “fountain of honour”, the Queen. As if.

She would be invested with the Order of St Michael and St George for service to the Commonwealth, Australia in particular, truth and history.

She has personally executed and driven a remarkable and bloodless palace coup.

Hocking has won a formidable battle

She’s given Boadicea a run for our money and self-respect. You go, girl!

For years, this tenacious Monash University Professor Hocking has been fighting the formidable clout of Buckingham Palace and the establishment for access to the correspondence between Queen Elizabeth and the then governor-general Sir John Kerr, leading up to and including the notorious 1975 bloodless putsch of Gough Whitlam’s Labor Government, now seared into the Australian psyche and simply known as The Dismissal.

Sir John immediately commissioned Opposition Liberal Party leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker prime minister on 11 November, a date of political infamy that marks Australia’s biggest constitutional crisis.

The NNA’s facile argument

In a shameful collaboration with the Palace, Government House and the Government, our Canberra-based National Archives of Australia refused Hocking and the nation access to these critical historical papers using the facile argument that they were private documents. Pathetic.

Such an obvious falsehood undermines our sovereignty and leads us to rightly question the integrity and independence of our National Archives. What else is being hidden from us? Well might you ask.

Here, in Professor Hocking’s own words in The Conversation, is a precis of her inspirational endeavour.

The correspondence between the Queen and her representative, Sir John, should have been released to us in 2005, 30 years after their “creation” in accordance with the Archives Act. It is an affront and gross insult that they were not. Hocking, subsequently, was having none of it.

The plucky academic took on not only the Palace but also Whitehall and thus the British Government. She was to win the seemingly unwinnable.

On 29 May, the High Court ruled in favour of the people and Professor Hocking in her valiant case versus DG National Archives of Australia. The documents would, at last, be released.

High Court enforced accountability over untouchable Monarchy

Hocking wrote:

‘In rejecting this presumption of royal secrecy, the High Court has enforced a measure of transparency and accountability over a monarch and a monarchy once seen as untouchable. The significance of the decision and its ramifications is tremendous, beginning with the release of the letters themselves.’

Indeed it is.

Director-General David Fricker undertook to start the process and in direct contradiction to the NAA’s previous and steadfast legal stance in this matter, noisily proclaimed:

‘The National Archives is a pro-disclosure organisation. We operate on the basis that a Commonwealth record should be made publicly available, unless there is a specific and compelling need to withhold it. We work extremely hard to do this for the Australian people.’

Er…only if the High Court orders you to do so, sir.

Kerr was jealous of Gough

Last week, Fricker issued another statement further detailing the tranche of correspondence and confirming Tuesday’s release date.

Again, given the NAA was legally compelled to produce the documents and indecently fought against their release, there was a hollow boast in his claim that:

‘The National Archives is proud to function as the memory and evidence of the nation, to preserve and provide historical Commonwealth records to the public.’

At the risk of repeating myself…

However, in that statement, Fricker left us a clue giving us some hope, describing the documents as the ‘Kerr Palace Letters’, perhaps hinting that it was Kerr rather than the Queen who contrived to oust Whitlam.

Sir John could never match Whitlam’s grandeur

We have known for some time, that Kerr’s bloated and alcohol-fuelled ego and his proactive, obsessive determination to get rid of Gough Whitlam was quite politically spooky and displayed great animus towards his nemesis. He always struck me as being jealous of Whitlam.

Despite his top hat, his knighthood, his distinguished mop of grey hair, the 18th governor-general could never emulate or match the grandeur and gravitas of the erudite Whitlam.

Who was taller? Gough Whitlam or Sir John Kerr? Probably Margaret Whitlam.

In fairness, it must be stated that successive governments maintained the “suppression order” on the letters and the mistress/slave obeisance to Australia’s offshore Queen, as indeed have all eight or so directors-general of the NAA since the still contentious Dismissal. Embarrassing and sad. Lackeys one and all.

So why did the Palace fight so hard to keep this secret from us? Especially since it was really the enemy within and under the top hat that brought down our own government – not our monarch.

Here are the Palace Letters, please monitor your blood pressure

Here for your own perusal are all the Kerr Palace Letters. Please monitor your blood pressure while you read.

Already there are premature and perhaps naive assessments about the contents of the letters from Kerr – and the Queen’s knowledge of them.

The letters must be read in context and with an understanding of Palace intrigue, powerplay, subterfuge and diplomatic doublespeak.

For example, when it is cited that the Queen was not told of this or that by a particular person, who is prepared to go on the diplomatic record for posterity (embargoes notwithstanding), it is possible that she was told by someone else – or shown documents, or documents left on her desk for her to casually rather than officially peruse.

The importance of context

It is utterly ridiculous to countenance that the Queen would be unaware of the imminent dismissal of one of her Commonwealth properties. It is premature and naïve of commentators to read such documents on face value. They should be read in context with other correspondence, reports and analyses at the time, including from both the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Now is the time to put in Freedom of Information requests to these agencies.

It needs to be remembered that the governor-general represents the Queen in Australia. The governor-general does not represent Australia, therefore his/her allegiance is first to the Crown, not Australia. Yes? No?

Should Britain ever compromise Australia’s security, perhaps even in alliance with a third country or corporation – say perhaps the United States and China and the governor-general of the day was made aware of possible conflicts of interest – what obligation and allegiance, if any, does the governor-general owe Australia? Should he/she inform Australia?

These are not only questions for a grown-up coming-of-age Australia or for the republic that will emerge after a Treaty with our First Nations. These are questions for now. For today.

Our National Archives hold a great many secrets. What the courageous Professor Hocking and her supporters have done is to turn that mighty key to the vaults that house and secrete so much of our past, including our shameful treatment of our Indigenous brothers and sisters, just for starters.

Her win in the High Court stands other seekers of truth, justice and history in good stead. Since her brave intervention, we all have a better chance of accessing these archives.

These archives belong to we people. They are ours. For better and worse. They do not belong to the Palace. They do not belong to the government of the day. They do not even belong to the National Archives and they most certainly do not belong to any governor-general who resides in the Queen’s house on Australian soil.

We can no longer continue to outsource our sovereignty to Mummy England. It is time we were weaned off Boadicea’s breast.




This article was originally published on Independent Australia.

Tess Lawrence is Contributing editor-at-large for Independent Australia and her most recent article is The night Porter and allegation of rape.




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Bronte Python’s Flying Circus and the mystery of Morrison’s moving vaccination goalposts.

“If they open up at 50 per cent, that would be insane. Even at 70 per cent they are going to have to be massively careful.” Professor Peter Doherty

Hoots and jeers break out from socially distanced Coalition MPs, with some zooming in from home lockdown as a depleted, motley, crew, who by chance and a good deal of Clive Palmer’s money, find themselves in government if not in power, continuing to show scant respect for Parliament, the people or the truth, as the clock ticks down on Team Morrison’s weakening grip on power, given its criminal neglect of its duty of care and its betrayal of the people’s trust; both brought dramatically into focus by the virulent, fast-spreading, Delta variant of SARS-Covid-19. And now the sixth IPCC panel report.

Not only is the rollout a race, the virus is winning. And we still don’t have nearly enough vaccine. Morrison lies to cover up how badly he and his team botched vax supply and distribution. Health Minister Hunt huffs and puffs on ABC Insiders, Sunday.

Tells us how lucky we are that we’re not Indonesia or India or Mexico – and how fabulously well we are by comparison and to deny there was any Pfizer deal.

But a deal was underway. The crisis in vaccine supply is entirely the Morrison government’s responsibility. We have Norman Swan’s word for it, supported albeit, by anonymous sources and by the Victorian government.

“From Pfizer’s perspective, I have been told they think there’s nothing in it for them to sour their commercial relationship with the government by getting caught up in a political row,” Swan says.

Despite a concerted coverup, a deal was aborted by Morrison, who insulted the giant multinational corporation’s head in sending a junior bureaucrat to negotiate; who then tried to haggle over the price and intellectual property rights. Hunt does himself and his government no favours in trying to fix the record with a semantic quibble. If all had gone to plan, why did Australia get so much less out of Pfizer than other countries?

The UK agreed to purchase 30 million Pfizer doses on July 20, the US followed with a deal for 100 million on July 22. Japan signed for 120 million doses on July 31, and Canada made its first agreement with Pfizer for 20 million doses on August 5, reports Rachel Clun, federal political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.

James Merlino is unequivocal. “There is no doubt at all. Meetings occurred. Negotiations occurred,” says the Victorian Deputy Premier. “The deal was not sealed, whereas other nations aggressively pursued Pfizer and got the vaccines that they needed for their community. We did not.”

Responding to climate change and global heating is also a race. Denialists hold sway in the federal government but it is our responsibility as global citizens to reduce our carbon emissions and to cease pretending that in exporting coal we’re not big polluters.

Just as Howard got Robert Hill to scam future generations with our dodgy Kyoto credits in 1998, an agreement his government didn’t deign to sign, the Coalition’s climate change canards are coming home to roost, Other countries will soon charge us a carbon tax on our exports. We are already the climate pariahs of our Pacific neighbourhood. And beyond. To say nothing of the legacy we leave our children.

Digging in, Tuesday, our coal lobby puppet-PM refuses to set a goal of net zero by 2050 because he’s scared he’ll be rolled by Dutton or what Barnaby and the boys might think, after an international “code red” warning is issued by global leaders. The least worst scenario is that urgent, concerted action between now and 2030 in doing everything we can to curb emissions will see a 1.5 degree rise which will go higher but then settle slightly below. The consequences of the least worst case will be felt for millennia.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases the first instalment of its landmark Sixth Assessment Report (1). It’s the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the physical science of climate change to date. The scale and pace with which humans are altering their environment is unprecedented, certainly in the last two thousand years, it reports. It’s accelerating, every fraction of a degree matters and we must do everything we can to lower emissions.

Forget the Canberra Press Club bubble nonsense of moving towards zero in 2050 as being in any sense a commendable commitment, the line the PMO is spinning, the report shows that the globe will warm by 1.5 degrees well before the end of 2040

Yet Morrison is not moved. He sets up a straw man, the lie that we don’t know what we are signing up to, if we commit to emission reduction targets. The other lie is that such targets cost people jobs – when the alternative is neither jobs nor planet – and when jobs may be created in renewable energy – if the government had another set of donors.

“I won’t be signing a blank cheque on, on behalf of Australians to targets with no plans,” Morrison says. (It didn’t hold the Coalition back from giving $440 million to its Great Barrier Reef Foundation boondogglers) – which the auditor general found had almost no useful detail in its plans at all apart from vaguely aiming at:

improved management of the Great Barrier Reef” and “management of key threats to the Great Barrier Reef.”

How good is having no targets? Instead, Morrison’s minders have got him to add as much of the word “Australia” he possibly can into every word salad. It’s cheapjack nationalism, he’s whipping up, a narrow and potentially dangerous brew which is based on the lie that there is somehow only one Australia.

But you can’t have an aim or a target if you don’t really believe climate change is real.

“It’s really important that this government actually resolves its internal issues and starts acting with intent in relation to action on climate change,” Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles says, urging the government to commit to a net zero target by 2050.

“To have the government party room full of a whole lot of people who are essentially denying the science of climate change in 2021, is genuinely unbelievable.”

What is also unbelievable is the Abbott-like determination to oppose everything Labor proposes. In full mock outrage mode, the PM squawks like a cornered galah, when Labor proposes a $300 incentive to encourage the eighty percent of the nation who remain unvaccinated, to get a jab. Perhaps Albo is winding ScoMo up. It works.

Outside, the virus rages out of control in NSW, fanned by the state’s Clayton’s lockdown, a lack of vaccine and an underclass of essential workers who cannot afford to take a day off, let alone a month or two of lockdown. The state has a record 356 cases by Tuesday and now six deaths, but gas-lighter-Hunt, on ABC Insiders, praises the job the premier has done in containing infection.

It’s a refrain which fails to distract from Ms Berejiklian’s affair with the-tractor-ate-my laptop, disgraced former man bag and bag man, Daryl McGuire, as ABC 7:30 Report has documents linking the then treasurer with the grant of a tidy five and a half million dollars to a shooting club in McGuire’s electorate. 7:30’s Paul Farrell is rebuffed by the Premier, Tuesday morning on the grounds that his questions are disrespectful.

“I refer you to my previous answer and please respect this press conference.”

Everyone knows what a bastard the truth can be; so it’s heart-warming to hear Gladys evading a question which goes to the heart of her integrity and credibility on the grounds of respect for what is, at best, a disastrous PR exercise.

How good is Covid Shield in protecting an unwary Premier from a matter she’d prefer kept off the record? If the NSW Premier keeps this up, she’ll be upstaging the Morrison government, the most secretive in our political history.

Given that the gun club grant is reassessed after she directly intervenes, when the original submission fails a cost-benefit analysis, a problem which never worries the PM with his sports rorts and his pork ‘n ride car parks, it would seem Gladys’ dismissal of the question shows her disrespect for the public; a shying away from her responsibility to act accountably with public funds.

But it’s no big deal, just a conflict of interest that would have the Newscorp pack howling had she been a Labor premier. Besides, she’s a minnow compared to the PMO with its colour-coded spreadsheet apportioning of the notorious sports rorts. And the sports rorts pale by comparison with Morrison’s $660 million carpark pork-‘n ride scandal.

Morrison appeals to national pride. It’s every Australian’s patriotic duty to comply with a corrupt, double-dealing state government, insanely keen to re-open at the end of August. NSW’s Delta variant now reaches Tasmania, while infection spreads in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. Learn to live with it, he says. In the meantime, there’ll be a zillion doses of vax arriving next month or next year – and we’ve just got our hands on some Moderna, a vaccine which other countries procured months ago.

We’re “hitting our marks”, Morrison lies. Not only do those marks change daily, Greg Hunt, our lame duck Health Minister quacks that “so far” fewer than 57% of residential aged care workers have had their first vaccination dose. Group 1A is of course, the Bronte Python’s Flying Circus’ highest priority group. No mention is made of personal carers who make door to door home visits. They’ve been left out of the plan.

(Python here has a less familiar meaning: a person who is possessed by a spirit and prophesies by its aid.)

“This plan is a bubble without a thought,” sneers Moriarty Morrison, troubled by Labor’s $300 carrot. (Baker Street fans will know Moriarty, a sadistic, psychopath who shows fiendish cunning, grandiosity, incapacity for remorse, arrogance, and overweening self-confidence. Machiavellian, Moriarty commits no crimes directly, but shrewdly uses his networks to get others to carry out his dirty deeds for him.)

Naturally, Moriarty’s character traits are found also in other colleagues but he is the archetype of our post truth, post modern, PM. Just add a dose of raging mythomania and a mentor who runs a megachurch, or a multinational corporation, selling its flock a prosperity theology; God loves you if you’re rich, Moriarty.

It pays to belong to Hillsong. Being granted riches is part its gospel. Serve him well and ye shall receive material wealth. Morrison’s mentor, Brian Houston, whom the police are charging with concealing his father’s alleged child sexual abuse, has written a book about the subject. You Need More Money: Discovering God’s Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life. Yet Morrison baulks at paying punters to get the jab.

It’s out of the question, he barks. First and foremost, the government doesn’t have nearly enough vaccine to want to boost demand. Secondly, it’s really not a race. Suppliers won’t be hurried and the government has changed its tune from suppressing the virus to “learning to live with it” – or die as the case may be.

And there will be a lot of deaths to live with even the vague 70-80 per cent vaccination rate that our Prime Weasel is now making noises about. Up to two thousand in six months. Third, it’s a good idea- even if it is heresy to true believers; Albanese is turning his back on the Labor ethos, to Guy Rundle’s disgust; putting the cash nexus above solidarity forever. Cue ancient, false analogies, comparing Covid with the flu.

It’s all on ATAGI or Doherty advice of course, which is another conundrum the government loves. When it suits its case, the Morrison government would have us believe it is like putty in the hands of expert bodies. Yes sir. No sir. Three bags full sir. At other times, the PM boasts without spelling it out, of bullying ATAGI into line.

“And doing it for the CASH, this is not what would motivate an Australian.” Morrison goes off like a frog in a sock. Or “like a dropped scrabble-box”, tweets Labor’s Graham Perrett, as the PM leaps to his feet, this week, to “Holgate” a Labor proposal; denouncing Albo’s $300 offer to entice us to get vaccinated.

“A vote of no confidence” in the Australian people, bellows the PM, whose government is prepared to splurge on carparks in the air, (only two were ever built); $660m handpicked by the government on advice of its MPs and candidates; “sports rorts on steroids” says Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Andrew Giles, all to buy votes in marginal electorates – 77% of the car parks were in Coalition-held electorates. 10% were in six non-Coalition held electorates after a word with candidates.

It’s a bit rich for a government of spivs, shonks and expense account rorters to pretend that it’s un-Australian to do it for the cash. Especially, given the government’s entire flat-tax proposal is engineered to buy votes and reward its pals. And the wannabes. Whilst it chiefly benefits its fat cat pals, earning over $200,000, other lower-paid workers are enticed by the delusion that, one day they, too, could be big earners.

As for doing it for the cash, Morrison’s government condoned Job-Keeper rorts by thriving firms, such as Harvey Norman, a franchise operation which supplies stock on credit at a rate that would shame a pay-day lender. Clearly not satisfied with its windfall, Hardly Normal seeks to freeze retail wages via the National Retail Association.

It didn’t need $20.6 million. Gerry Harvey, himself, netted $70 million in dividends. As for Un-Australian, thousands of millionaires claimed JobSeeker unemployment pensions from Centrelink when the assets test was temporarily lifted for six months in 2020.

Guardian Australia reports in July that Wesley College, a fabulously well endowed, elite Melbourne school for the privileged, offered fee discounts of 20% last year after banking $20m in JobKeeper payments.

As this generosity is extended, however, with no expectation that fat cats who never needed JobKeeper have to refund their windfall, the federal government demands that unless 11,771 poor Centrelink clients pay back any overpayment, they will be slugged with an interest fee.

“As at 30 April 2021, approximately $32.8m in debt has been raised through completed reviews,” the agency tells Greens senator Rachel Siewert.

“This is not a game show,” harrumphs a PM whose government evolved from The Price is Right, or the AWB wheat for oil scandal, exposed in The Cole Inquiry of 2006, in which we paid Saddam Hussein’s government $300 million in bribes in violation of UN Sanctions. Alexander Downer endorsed the wheat exporter. In true game show spirit, the Coalition sprung a $40 million door prize on Rupert Murdoch so that Fox could do a bit more on women’s sport or something – no strings attached. No questions asked. Gave money to polluters to plant trees they would have planted anyway.

Morrison’s manufactured outburst is a sure sign that the government has, itself, canvassed jab incentive payments. Just as it’s likely to be embarrassed by any increase in demand for vaccines which it has contrived to under-supply. As for material reward, it’s certainly talking to TABCORP about a lottery open only to those who’ve had a jab and booster.

Running Operation Covid Shield is Lieutenant-General JJ Frewen, whose uniform adds an illusion of authority and authority to Morrison’s ShitShow™. JJ’s candid about cash incentives being on the table, just as he does not hold back in his public attack on Gladys Berejiklian the week before when she asks for more. Vaccine, that is.

Of course we’re kept in the dark as to whether he’s in charge or just another Morrison stooge; firing the PM’s bullets. Either way, his rebuke of a state premier is way out of line. Under any other Prime Minister, it would lead to his resignation.

The incident passes without mention because it is reported by Rick Morton of The Saturday Paper and later commented upon by The New Daily’s Bruce Pascoe.

“The most extraordinary newspaper story over the weekend disappeared with little trace, swamped by broader, more immediate COVID issues, the Olympics and journalism’s frequent failure to follow up another paper’s exclusive – the “not invented here” syndrome.” Pascoe writes.

Most of us are prevented from learning that an unelected official fires a broadside at a State Premier and that this is condoned by the PM who speaks after the Lieutenant General, of Operation Khaki Creep as The Australia Institute’s Allan Behm puts it.

Naturally, Morrison would be looking at gambling, gimmicks, tricks and spot prizes, perhaps even a getaway to Hawaii, if and when it ever re-opens. It is his stock in trade. His failure to lead in a pandemic is now a running sore even with rusted-on Tory supporters, such as Denis Shanahan, economics editor at, The Australian.

It’s also on the nose in Newspoll’s online survey, published Monday, which continues to show the Coalition’s downward trend in all other recent opinion polls. And the PM’s.

“Scotty’s incessant jawboning, self-promoting and self-applause – “don’t just do it, talk about it” is alarming. His personal approval rating, whatever that means, is negative, whilst not yet the -16 percentage points of his Tory mentor, Boris Johnson.

The Morrison misgovernment and its Covid Shit-Show™, as Bill Shorten dubs it, are now as unpopular as in the Black Summer fires – largely over its capacity to turn crisis into catastrophe; its scandalous ineptitude in every aspect of its pandemic response from supply to distribution to quarantine. Yet there’s no chance of a bipartisan approach to promote vaccination.

For Morrison, the promise of incentives is merely another chance to be hyper partisan, the doom loop of mutual mistrust which has severely corroded democracy in the US and in the UK, as parties and their voters retreat into tribal epistemologies, an increasingly incompatible set of facts, alternative facts and first principles – except that Labor has dropped its opposition to the Coalition’s plans to give a third bracket of tax cuts to the rich – to present a small target. But the government’s intent on giving in to the business class’s demands to open up shop, come hell or high fever, however it dissembles – and especially in its theatrical faux deference to the best medical advice and its fetish for acronyms such as ATAGI and TGA.

In The Mystery of the Miraculous Moving goalposts, the latest ripping yarn from our Prime Mini-serialist, Morrison, part of his prolific Roads to Nowhere series, a 75 per cent vaccination rate – suddenly drops to 56. Risky, irresponsible and out of step with overseas experience and local expertise, his roadmap out of Covid takes us down a one-way, dead-end street, at speed with no brakes, no-one at the wheel and the lights out.

Meanwhile, a virus spreads out of control in NSW into Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, largely because the Morrison government botched its deal with Pfizer, underestimated the time it would take to produce sufficient quantities of AstraZeneca – and failed to set up an effective vaccination programme or quarantine system. Its lukewarm effort, its failure to secure vaccine and its insistence this is not a race, suggest more than ineptitude at play.

Remember, before his last-minute pivot, Morrison was, like Boris Johnson, happy to let ‘er rip. Above all, hovers the hypocrisy of a PM of handbrake turns; it was Pivot Morrison and his claque of ministers who urged open borders and railed against lockdowns, an idea, writes SMH’s economics editor, Ross Gittins,

“… eagerly pursued by the business lobbies and business’ media cheer squad. In his efforts to score points off Andrews, no one worked harder than Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to propagate the mythology that only Labor premiers were so dictatorial and disregarding of business wellbeing as to lockdown and close state borders at the first sneeze, whereas Liberal premiers knew how to get results with superior testing and contact tracing.”

Mystery is ghost written for the PM by his right hand man, John Kunkel, the PM’s Principal Private Secretary and his left hand man, former Crosby Textor CEO, Yaron “The Fixer” Finkelstein. There’s a bit of input from the Group, an assorted baker’s dozen of brown-nosed MPs, (Hunt’s in there), the odd hard-nosed miner, department head, past and present along with a clutch of big business and big banking bovver boys.

Mystery is about our path to a normal that doesn’t exist, as Pacific leaders remind Australia’s PM, who appears on Zoom, ripping into a slice of toast like a famished Mako shark at the Pacific Island forum leaders, 51st Meeting. It’s a confronting image of neo-colonial rapacity and Australia’s Pacific Aid.

The toast doesn’t stand a chance.

Incredibly, leaders are offended by vision of Morrison Zooming while on the tooth – not just because many Pasifika peoples consider it impolite to guts yourself while someone else is talking to you – especially the leader of Tuvalu – but because it’s clear that Morrison doesn’t give a toss about climate change; an existential threat to Islanders ahead of the rest of us. There’s also more than a hint of white privilege.

Minders are meant to make sure that the PM doesn’t disgrace himself in public. Do everything but eat his toast for him, Kunkel and Finkelstein are the masterminds behind the chaos, catastrophe and corruption of Scott Morrison’s Gaslight Orchestra but can reasonably disavow all responsibility for the PM’s “learn to live with it” speech last Friday.

Morrison confuses everyone, partly because what he says bears scant resemblance to the Doherty Report, on which it is based and partly because it just doesn’t make sense.

There is no normal after this pandemic, Rick Morton points out in The Saturday Paper.

The figures don’t provide for it mostly because they can’t.”

Cue the spin doctors. No-one knows Morrison’s pet-name for his minders, Fink ‘n Kunk? “Funk” has a ring about it given the desperation in the office these days with the PM’s perceived pandemic management plummeting, as it frets over a slew of bad opinion polls; Morrison’s negative popularity and the Coalition’s fading electoral prospects.

Friday, the PM makes another palaver about a Pandemic Exit Plan an “updated four-phase road map” that, in fact, has only two phases – only gets us six months down the track and contains absolutely nothing about the thousands a week likely to die once we “ease” restriction. As if that matters. Even 70 per cent means 2000 deaths over six months.

There’s nothing you can’t achieve if you lower your goals – as you see in a suite of federal policies from energy to environment to elder abuse and neglect in “aged-care facilities” locked down in profit-driven private prisons, staffed by underpaid, overworked casuals who are forced to share their services or COVID across several institutions.

And you can fox clever. Friday, our wily PM slyly mis-reports The Doherty Report as way out of our Delta blues. If we have three quarters of any one Australian state vaccinated and provided the Australian nation meets the same goal, lockdown will be lifted and we can go back to our Australian lives of blissful, contented fulfilment. Bingo. Feet up. Name your poison.

Gladys Berejiklian’s clearly smoking something. Several days in a row she’s been talking up a fifty per cent vaccination rate allowing restrictions to be lifted in most places. Kerry Chant’s on record Tuesday saying this would not be a good idea. Boris Johnson’s adopted the hands-free-let-‘er-rip approach to steering Little Britain through the UK’s Covid crises, driven by the latest headlines. My, it’s been a tremendous success.

For the virus, that is. Modelling suggests that the central case for UK daily hospitalisations at the peak of the third wave – expected at the end of August – could be between 1,000 and 2,000, with deaths predicted to be between 100 and 200 per day.

Last Friday sees the fiftieth “National Cabinet” another of Morrison’s fantasies, according to a recent verdict of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, explaining that it’s not an extension of cabinet; which means he can’t claim confidentiality. It’s a pity because, for a while it seemed such a neat way to get the premiers to do all the work while the federal government took the credit. It’s not working the way it should.

Now it’s Australian to do whatever the PM suggests. Australian content in the PM’s Shouty-McShoutface-oratory has been absurdly increased lately; but if patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, his first refuge is the barefaced lie. Scott Morrison’s no ordinary mythomaniac, however, nor pathological liar, he actually believes that because he’s said a thing, then it is true – not only true and incontrovertible but a precedent.

Strap yourself in, Australia. It’s going to be a wild Australian freedom ride.

“So, last Friday I announced Australia’s plan to live with the virus. I announced the whole country’s plan to get us back to that position where we can ultimately live with this virus, in the same way that we live with other infectious diseases that are present in the community, and we can get on with our lives.”

Aussie Morrison wraps himself in the flag and kids us it’s Australia’s plan, when in fact it’s a federal rather than a national plan. More specifically, it’s his government’s bid to appease Liberal Party donors who care more about their profits than our health. If it’s a plan at all, given that it’s not compulsory and there’s no timeline. No way known to man of calculating when we enter the last two phases.

Could be a few thousand dead each month, says Doherty, but, Morrison has been told, we’ve got to learn to live with the virus.

Or not as the case may be. The plan is a marvel of lucidity, cogency and futility.

“Phases [are] triggered in a jurisdiction when the average vaccination rates across the nation have reached the threshold and that rate is achieved in a jurisdiction expressed as a percentage of the eligible population (16+)…”

But if a crap vaccination state is stuck on fifty, the rest of the nation can still party on. (Lift your game NSW) but that’s the joy of federation, the rest of us need not hold back. And won’t. Given the state’s track record of infecting the rest of the nation – surely, it’ll be the other way round. Other countries, such as the US warn of the danger of localised pockets of pandemic, typically where anti-vaxxers are active.

Big business and high finance will be over the moon, however. A baker’s dozen strong, Morrison’s Group, a cabal of MPs, corporate heads, merchant bankers, civil servants, past and present, seem bent on an October election. Former Crosby Textor CEO, Finkelstein has mapped out the narrative.

Behold! Morrison, a deeply spiritual, otherworldly, almost saintly being, whose religion is everything to him, according to recent PMO press and emetic puff pieces, is now reborn, remade and with added hair plugs.

Let ‘er rip. Stop all this lockdown oppression. Open those borders. All hail our liberator, a sort of Simon Bolivar of Sutherland Shire in reverse.

Holy ScoMo will give us our freedom by lifting lockdown, just as a stash of vaccine arrives on our shores, which he defends from The Evil Empire of the Expanding Panda, China, a bad actor, which flouts a new Us-led global rules based order (neo-colonialism), runs bat-infested wet markets, does us down on trade and spies on our war games with the US. Cue a lot of play-acting which includes an Uncle Arthur slide-show or a presentation where the print is too small to read.

It’s not a bug. It’s a design feature. Morrisonian Democracy, invisible to the naked eye.

Affecting an eye-catching red, yellow and black, patterned neck-tie in a beguiling, serpentine, indigenous motif, borrowed from Ken Wyatt, perhaps, Snake oil Morrison is spruiking the success of his mob’s billion dollar reboot, or Closing The Gap 2.0, Thursday, when he abruptly abandons Ken.

It’s his style as laid down in crisis management 101; when the pandemic hit plague proportions, when you’re called out over your rorts, your pork barrelling and your diabolical failure to order enough vaccine, let alone discharge your responsibilities to those in aged care or those who must be put in quarantine – put out a good news story.

Slap on the snake oil. Smirk. Don’t twerk- leave that to Clive Palmer – Find something upbeat. Or beat something up. But Thursday, the Crosby-Textor playbook, the strategists who did so well for Theresa May and Malcolm Turnbull, lets a rattled PM down. He cuts and runs. Beats a hasty retreat. Makes a disgraceful exit.

What prompts Morrison to hurriedly exit stage right, pursued by a bear, like Antigonus who abandons the baby Perdita in The Winter’s Tale? A reporter asks about carparks.

It’s another stellar performance from a government which excels in showing itself up despite all its brilliant minders, its fixers and the grubs that “background” against their enemies, as they do against Brittany Higgins by leaking against David Sharaz, her partner.

Our PM blows hard, ending his homily on working together with our indigenous peoples by abandoning his Minister for Indigenous Australians to face a feral press on stage, alone.

Morrison pivots, Ducks and weaves out of the line of fire into the haven of a PMO where his minders, fixers and flunkeys are working out how to tell him that the carnival is over now that the AAPT has ruled that the PM has no grounds to keep his “national cabinet” proceedings secret given that it is not a subcommittee of the federal cabinet .

But don’t get your hopes up. There are no minutes. Just a record of outcomes such as Morrison announces after every meeting. No chance at all of unearthing any real dirt, such as what JJ – Lieutenant General John Frewen said when he monstered Gladys Berejiklian last week.

Ken’s breakthrough is that communities are involved. Apart from its title sounding enough like the Coalition to confuse unwary punters with Liberal Party which shacks up with the boondoggling, pork-barrelling, Akubra-wearing Nats, in a ruse to get enough seats to form government, the Coalition of Peaks represents community organisations.

Badly. It’s an outfit which senior Aboriginal leaders, including Noel Pearson, Professor Megan Davis and Roy Ah-See Pat Dodson claim lacks a mandate and is not representative of Aboriginal people. But you’ll hear nothing but good news of the breakthrough – which meets only three targets, can’t measure another seven, but gets the Coalition of Peaks on board. Nor will you hear anything but praise about carparks.

In a scene straight out of Utopia, Simon Birmingham tells former Sky News political editor, David Speers, now helping to turn away audiences as host of ABC Insiders:

“The Australian people had their chance and voted the Morrison government back in at the last election and we are determined to get on with local infrastructure, as we are nation-building infrastructure,” Birmingham tells Speers.

Poor Ken Wyatt, already a conflicted figure in a mining-lobby dominated government denying constitutional recognition and a voice to parliament by pretending it is a request for a third chamber in a bi-cameral parliament which can barely cope at that, left in the lurch once again … as the new plan is air-brushed to cover its conceptual failure, the notion that if old white men keep estimating indigenous disadvantage every year, systemic racism, paternalism and inequality will disappear but not as rapidly as the heat-evading missile that is the PM this Thursday.

“We’re doing things differently with accountability and transparency, and in true partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders,” Morrison’s statement, says.

“We are a good team and good teams know how to win when they are behind in the heavy weather on a hard and muddy track. That’s how you know you are a good team.”

That and moving the goalposts. Opening up at fifty per cent vaccination will be a disaster for NSW. And the percentages which Morrison is throwing around are shonky. Neither of his 70 or 80 per cent vaccination targets include children under sixteen. Above all, Morrison is misrepresenting the Doherty Report which is not a plan to open up prematurely at all but as a cover for his intentions to follow Boris Johnson.

As Morton points out the Doherty Report is no “roadmap to freedom.”

Under an 80 per cent vaccination scenario, the report is careful to underscore that low public health measures may be enough to control an outbreak. But to reduce the transmission potential of the Delta strain below one – similar to a virus reproductive number, below one demonstrates control – the Doherty work indicates moderate public health responses including stay-at-home orders will be needed at 70 per cent and possibly even at 80 per cent.

But that’s not what the Prime Minister is saying. But since when, in any field of endeavor, particularly climate science or medicine has Morrison ever been constrained by what the experts have to say? What he’s about to do now is not merely foolhardy, it’s an act of dereliction of duty of care, an act of criminal negligence. And rather than egg her on from the sidelines, he needs to let Gladys know that opening up NSW on a fifty per cent vaccination rate will bring no her state no freedoms. But it will invite disaster.

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Frydenberg’s maths problem

By John Haly

The media on both ends of the political spectrum promote Australia’s Liberal Party as the party of economic management. Pandemics and recession have not slowed the recovery down. “Frydenberg spends the bounty to drive unemployment to new lows,” reads one title from the Conversation. The Australian says of their Treasurer: “Australia to aim for less than 5 per cent unemployment: Treasurer.

Mr Frydenberg said it was necessary for unemployment, which stands at 5.6 per cent, to drop before workers would see their wage rise,“ wrote McHugh of The Australian, in April 2021. In May, the ABS reported April’s unemployment was 5.5% or 756.2K people. The last time Australia saw 5.5% under a Labor government, according to the ABS, had been in March 2013, when the numbers were lower at 687K. In 2013, the workforce was smaller; therefore, 5.5% in 2020 is more significant than 5.5% was in 2013. Perhaps percentage comparisons with previous administrations or even different time periods are misleading.

Still, imagine Frydenberg’s delight when “The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.1 per cent in May as the number of people employed surged by 115,200.” according to the SBS. As historically comparative percentages may be inherently deceptive, it is more accurate to state that the ABS reported the seasonally adjusted unemployment figures for May 2021 to be 701,100.


ABS unemployment percent divergencies 2013 and 2020


So much for Treasury doom forecasters who said that as the JobKeeper wage subsidy was to expire at the end of March 2021, that thousands could lose jobs. Treasury estimated 100,000 to 150,000 JobKeeper recipients could lose employment when the scheme ended.

Despite this, Josh Frydenberg tweeted on the 1st of June that Treasury confirmed: “150,000 Australians have come off unemployment benefits since the end of JobKeeper.” As the Treasurer, Frydenberg had some advanced knowledge of the Jobseeker statistics ahead of the May figures being released to the public.



At the end of JobKeeper, the March Statistics for people on JobSeeker were 1,167,392, and later in June, the Jobseeker stats released for May were 1,021,880. The difference being 145.5K. To be fair to Frydenberg, he would have received early estimates, and that is pretty close. I am not going to quarrel over rounding up of figures. As far as I am concerned, that was a reasonable claim based on those figures. Mr Frydenberg advised Canberra reporters in mid-June, “Unemployment fell for the seventh consecutive month to 5.1%“. He maintained, “The Australian economy is roaring back- bigger, stronger & leading the world.” Not that other economic analysts agreed. Frydenberg was proud to boast of his government’s accomplishments based on these figures.

One more time by the numbers?

I want to point out that Josh Frydenberg is intimately aware of two specific sets of figures from May 2021.

  1. ABS unemployment figures (701,100) and
  2. JobSeeker figures (1,021,880).

These are 320K apart from one another. It almost seems that the Government was paying 320K more people JobSeeker than the ABS was claiming were unemployed. ABS is an estimate based on surveys, so perhaps it was a little out that month? The ABS statistics list as employed “the number of people working fewer (or no) hours in May 2021” or what Roy Morgan refers to as “Australians who were working zero hours for ‘economic reasons’.” If these non-workers (58,200) are added back, the ABS unemployment estimate for May increases to 759,300, and the unemployment rate rises to 5.5%. That still leaves a difference of 262K people.

Having mentioned Roy Morgan, it should be noted that Roy Morgan has their own reporting of unemployment which for May 2021 was 1,493,000 people. This is 733K above the figure ABS claims even if we add back in the zero-hours “workers” numbers.

The numbers go further awry in the “JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance recipients – monthly profile” figures in Government Data record Table 1. According to their spreadsheet, these figures reference only “payment for recipients aged between 22 years to Age Pension qualification age.” Payments to ages 15 to 22 are classified as “Youth Allowance.”

ABS unemployment figures are supposed to represent ages 15 to age pension qualifying age. If you add back in Youth Allowance to Job Seeker to make it cover the same age groups as ABS, then the figure for May increases to 1,132,478 people (see Table 3). Mathematically it is 373K larger than the ABS figures (even after adjusting it for zero-hour workers). This is 360K less than Roy Morgan’s figures.

Number patterns

However, Roy Morgan’s claims are not our government’s numbers. Frydenberg, (Treasurer of the Nation and the man responsible for the Federal Budget) seems oblivious to the mathematical difference between just the Government’s figures despite quoting other mathematical discrepancies, over different time periods. Perhaps it is some anomalous aberration of May 2021. With that in mind, I have charted the figures since the early recession. Included are Roy Morgan’s figures, Jobseeker (with and without Youth Allowance), ABS Seasonally adjusted and a dotted line representing the zero-hours worker’s discrepancy collected since June 2020 and noted by Roy Morgan.

The ABS stats were always much lower than the Government’s JobSeeker numbers. Although the ABS acknowledges that zero-hours workers are not paid, it dubiously recognised these people as “employed.” There is something unreliable about Frydenberg using ABS’s statistics to measure real domestic Australian unemployment.


Unemployment measurement variations


More on ABS methodology

Unemployment seems to have declined if you consider the most inaccurate statistical method for counting the unemployed. However, the ABS methodology is apparently flawed when you consider what is and is not evaluated when it comes to measuring employment:

ABS’s inaccuracies are highlighted by real numbers when you realise that the Government is currently paying more people on Jobseeker than they are contending are unemployed. So the question should be what statistical gathering methodology does incorporate the multitudes being paid JobSeeker, as well as those managing without welfare because:

The remaining evaluation?

That leaves us with Roy Morgan’s statistics that illustrate unemployment has increased in May after JobKeeper was discontinued. As JobKeeper stopped from April onwards, it was always unlikely that April’s statistics might reflect that. Unemployment layoffs would not have occurred instantly, nor would wage payments supported by JobKeeper evaporate immediately as processing these continued till mid-April. ABS has a one month delay requisite to its data collection, so it is no surprise unemployment appeared to fall in May. The Government rightly assumes that few follow why their claims about ABS numbers do not reflect our domestic unemployment. Nor, how only once, briefly, in the last year did unemployment fall below 10% in April (9%), and that in May, 10.3% is a more accurate assessment of Australian unemployment. Recall that Treasury suggested that unemployment might rise as much as 150K. Roy Morgan’s figure for April was 1,307K, and May was 1,493K generating an unemployment rise of 186K, which is far more consistent with Treasury’s expectations.


Roy Morgan unemployment vs IVI job vacancies


The question remains. Why does Josh Frydenberg promote these obviously fallacious numbers? He isn’t stupid, nor is he deceived or deluded. He is well aware of the numbers from these divergent sources as he has not only referenced them but made sound mathematical calculations based on subsets of these numbers. He is our Treasurer, and he has to be aware that the Commonwealth is paying more people on Jobseeker than the ABS is claiming are unemployed. There is, therefore, only one conclusion left about his economic assertions! I leave that to the reader to discern.

This article was originally published on Australia Awaken – Ignite your Torches.

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Blood on your hands, Prime Minister?

“Future generations will thank us not for what we have promised but what we will deliver – and on that score Australia can always be relied upon,” Scott Morrison.


“PM, good morning to you. Do you have blood on your hands?” chirps a chipper Karl Stefanovic, who wears the same suit on Nine’s Today for a year to point up the sexism behind critics of former co-host, Lisa Wilkinson who dared wear the same shirt twice in four months. No-one noticed Karl; proving a breakfast TV point about sexist objectification which is neither original, unresearched, nor something not well understood by half the population. Perhaps in his next stunt he could don a dhoti – if he wants to disappear completely.

Everybody notices Morrison’s racist dog-whistle, “we’ll decide which of our citizens return to Australia and the circumstances in which they do so.” It’s a Tampa-style homage to his mentor, “lying rodent” John Howard. Thanks to both, it’s OK if our PM abandons the rule of law to be “tough on borders”. Or is it?

The criminalising of citizens just because they want to come home from pandemic-ravaged India is unprecedented. Experts warn that it may not even be legal. Former Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane asks what citizenship means if you can’t rush home from OS in time of crisis. Morrison’s practising discrimination; promoting an Australia where some are more Australian than others.

Typically hypocritical, Scott Morrison was quick to bag Queensland, last September, for closing its border, a move by a state aimed at saving lives, but one which drew the PM’s ire for risking Australia’s “humanity”.

Not that the federal government is keeping us all safe at home. The New England Journal of medicine reports new research suggesting Astra Zeneca, the mainstay of Australia’s vaccine program, is just 10% effective against the virulent South African Covid strain, which is found in Bali and Djakarta this week.

A range of vaccines would have been a wiser choice. Pfizer, for example, shows 75% effectiveness. Yet we’ve been unable to secure adequate Pfizer supplies. Nor do we have the multinational’s consent to manufacture our own even if we were all tooled up and ready to brew up a batch, as is CSL’s Melbourne lab, whose output the Morrison government keeps secret, in case we discover just how inadequate it is. Calculation based on current production, however, suggests it will take until 2024 before we’ve all had an AZ or Pfizer jab.

Preferably Pfizer. Because the SA variant shares key characteristics with another highly infectious variant which emerged in Brazil, (P.1) AstraZeneca’s vaccine may also have low efficacy rates on P.1. But Mum’s the word. Besides the government is in crisis management mode bringing citizens home from India. Or not.

Worse, the PM cops flack from unexpected quarters including the PM’s own back-bench, its chipper TV breakfast show hosts and its fair weather friends, Australia’s mainstream media. Even Tory hacks, such as Andrew Bolt say the decision to lock out brown Australians “stinks of racism”.

The death of any one Aussie will shame the PM, Bolt warns. By Saturday, one death is reported but this prompts the PM to declare that we don’t repatriate people with Covid-19. Always been policy. Standard practice globally. The man’s family is incensed. Even worse, “pushback” transcends mere mortals to reach the divine-pavilion of celebrity-cricketers, (Amen). Morrison just has to walk it all back. Duck, weave, deny and lie.

Karl’s first up on the PM’s media crab-walk, Tuesday. Our nation’s divinely ordained pastor, Morrison, to whom God speaks through a Ken Duncan photo of an eagle, confirming that he chose Scott ‘n Jen to lead us all, tries to weasel out of all responsibility for his SNAFU-prone government’s dumbest stuff-up.

Karl’s co-host, Allison Langdon, is on the (eye)ball, however. She cuts to the chase,

“The problem you have here, Prime Minister, the optics of threatening your own people with jail and huge fines is not a good one.” Criminalising citizenship? Definitely not a good look for a government which has busted a gut ear-bashing us all with how Aussie citizenship is a privilege not a right. Like extra virgin oil. Here’s Dutto blowing his bags over a bill entitled, Strengthening the Integrity of Australian Citizenship in 2017.

“Membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be granted to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia.

Citizenship is at the heart of our national identity. It is the foundation of our democracy…”

Work hard? Morrison’s off like a frog in a sock. Like a democracy sausage – all sizzle and no meat. His mission? He wants to con us that his fiat banning all travel from India is no big deal. What began as a brown ban is quickly toned down to a “temporary pause” until 15 May. It’s a worry. There’s a temporary pause on investigation into the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins, two years ago. As always, there’s a herd of scapegoats to whom he can pass the parcel of blame, this government’s next best game after its game of mates.

It’s the media’s fault. It hasn’t been helpful for “these things to be exaggerated,” he tells reporters, Tuesday.

It’s the doctors. The government’s acting only on the best advice of its medical experts – we are told ad nauseam – despite Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly making no such advice. In fact, the CMO alerts the federal government to the dire health risks to citizens who will be trapped in India by any travel ban.

It’s the law’s fault. Hunt tells a sleepy nation at just past midnight Friday a week ago, but this just buggers up Morrison’s attempt to blame the media for the threat of fines and gaol sentences. Hunt is unequivocal,

“Failure to comply with an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act 2015 may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years’ imprisonment, or both. The temporary pause will be reconsidered on 15 May by the government following advice from the chief medical officer (CMO).”

Morrison, however, can’t resist one last squeeze of the lemon even though the pips are squeaking.

“I’m not going to fail Australia. I’m going to protect our borders at this time.”

A duly sceptical Dennis Atkins in The New Daily won’t have a bar of it. Gutless Morrison “tried to pretend this didn’t happen six days later by saying it was the media’s fault, but he and his health minister did it. They did it for one reason: to get a tough guy headline, and that mission was accomplished.”

And because they could. The Biosecurity Act 2015 gives unbelievable power to the government, says Marque Lawyers partner, Michael Bradley, once a human biosecurity emergency has been declared.

Section 477 gives the health minister power to “determine any requirement that he is satisfied is necessary to prevent or control the entry of the disease into Australia.” This can include “requirements that restrict or prevent the movement of persons between specified places.”

But Greg Hunt’s got to watch himself. Measures must be “effective, appropriate and no more restrictive than necessary” – lyrical legalese from the unacknowledged poets of the world, as Shelley nearly said. A legal challenge on these grounds is mounted by Marque Lawyers, who file a case against Hunt in the Federal Court, Wednesday, on behalf of Gary Newman, a 73 year-old, who’s been banged up in Bangalore since last March.

Justice Stephen Burley will expedite the case for a hearing the following week.

Whilst there may be an implicit constitutional right to return, which courts would be unlikely to find unlimited, Bradley argues, the current ban is illegal – because it exceeds what is appropriate – and because it’s outside the powers which the constitution gives to federal government. Bradley echoes many others in noting that there are means by which the government could have rescued its 9000 citizens, concluding that its actions are “unlawful, disgraceful and racist.”

Another shot across the bows of Scotty’s Tampa 2.0 is fired by the UN’s commissioner for human rights, Rupert Colville who lets our federal government know that what it’s proposing flouts Australia’s human rights obligations; breaches international law.

“In particular, article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which is binding on Australia, provides that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.”

Elvis, aka his impersonator, Michael McCormack rushes on to ABC radio to repeat ScoMo’s sophistry that his government has to take a hard line but it never meant to lock anyone up … At this time.

Given his past record, Morrison, as did Abbott before him, is likely to tell the UN to stop meddling in our affairs, which rather defeats the object of signing up to international agreements.

“We can never answer to a higher authority than the people of Australia,” Morrison said two years ago. “We should avoid any reflex towards a negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community and, worse still, an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy.”

Is the PM is channelling Trump? It won’t wash. The Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, has already warned our PM that the scrutiny Australia is receiving is based on the high standards we ourselves helped create.

Marque Lawyers may well contend the ban is unconstitutional, but Morrison repeats no-one is going to gaol or anything. Welcome back to a Joh Bjelke-Petersen moonlight stage-like age of innocence and endemic corruption where the separation of powers can’t exist if your leader’s never heard of them. Not to be outdone, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews pops up to take matters from the subliminal to the ridiculous.

Always a barrel of laughs, a boss whom a senior Liberal adviser alleges to be “disrespectful, humiliating and demeaning,” Karen Andrews cracks hearty, at Wednesday’s chook-feeding presser. The best way to avoid doing time would be to stay where you were, if you were stuck in a raging pandemic, quips Kaz.

What a scream. Morrison’s cabinet is full of stand-up comics but lately it’s pure theatre of the absurd.

Only a ScoMo government could have a minister opine that your right to return is perfectly safe – provided you don’t try to exercise that right. Phil Ruddock is similarly reassuring in his religious freedom to discriminate bill which seems to have risen without trace to the Prime Minister’s orifice. But let’s not race ahead.

“Jailing and fining returning Aussies, I mean, as a sitting prime minister, it is incredibly heartless,” Karl Stefanovic says.

“Pretty much zero” chance of that happening replies Morrison, scrambling the separation of powers.

ScoMo tells Karl he doesn’t mean anything by his threats, Karl. His government’s vibe, Karl, is just one big warm and fuzzy buzz, Karl; like Strawberry Fields, Karl, where “nothing is real; nothing to get hung about.”

Karl’s keen to shirt-front Morrison but the PM’s dog-whistle is already exploding in his face as his hard borders, brown ban on Australian citizens’ trying to return from India earns a serve from “cricket great” Michael Slater. Meanwhile talking heads defend the PM; tell us how popular hard borders are with voters.

The messaging from the PM’s office is determined to blur the distinction between closing a state border and preventing Australians returning home from a nation which faces a catastrophic Coronavirus pandemic.

ScoMo’s speaking eagle must have been a wedgetail. He’s in a tight spot. Add in our pretensions to do business or be done over by Adani and how Modi loves our true blue, clean as a whistle Aussie coal. The ban has the government wedged between a black rock and a hard place. Aussie icons as Michael Hussey, who’s got Covid, David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins are stuck in Delhi. (Note: these men are cricketers a sport in international decline before Coronavirus struck, yet still more popular than religion in Australia.)

When Cricket Australia (CA) talks, governments take notice. On ABC TV’s PK show, some suit from CA, one of our Kafkaesque sports bureaucracies – aka “controlling bodies” that rival the medieval papacy for administrative bureaucracy – and alleged corruption – warns us that cricketers, bless their flannel trousers, may be super-heroes but some may still need a bit of TLC or an 1800 number state of the art type telephone counselling service when they return to the unreality of their Peter Pan lives.

Yes. It’s the poor hard-done by cricketers who tug CA’s heartstrings not those suffering the worst Covid outbreak yet, a pandemic which could reach a million cases per day. And unlike our own hospitals, or those to which cricketers would have access, India must deal with a dire shortage of essential supplies such as oxygen.

But no such TLC from CA nor from Barry O’Farrell our invisible ambassador to India for Sonali Ralhan’s father who dies in a New Delhi hospital Wednesday. Ralhan says she contacted consular officials with “great hopes” at first that her parents would be helped home. Instead, she finds herself mourning the death of her father.

“I write to you with so much anger brewing inside me,” Ralhan writes 6 May. “I am an Australian citizen and highly disappointed to be one today. What nation disowns their own citizens? (It) is a matter of wonder for the entire world.”

The family’s suffering is not helped by what seems to be Australia’s unjust targeting of citizens in India.

No ban happened with the UK or the USA, commentators helpfully chorus. They overlook at least 40,000 poor souls stranded overseas, whom Deliverance Morrison promised to bring home by Christmas, past. Plus both nations had more infections per capita than India, busting open the PM’s specious, “safety first” argument.

It doesn’t help Morrison when he claims that he’s halting all flights to safety from a pandemic ravaged land just so he can bring more Australians home safely. The fruit-loop is drowning in his own word salad gloop.

But blood on his hands? Is Karl plagiarising the late, great, Richard Carleton? Or paying homage? Or is he just quoting Slater, former Aussie cricketer cum presenter? Either way, Karl gets up Morrison’s nose.

“No, Karl,” the PM snaps. “We haven’t had a shift. How you’re reporting it is a shift.”

Mission accomplished. Morrison reverts to his government’s Trumpian default. Any unwanted criticism is fake news. He rebukes his genial host before falsely accusing a servile media for misrepresenting his government’s position. Position(s). It’s so simple a young child could grasp it, as The Monthly‘s Rachel Withers explains.

“The government will be defending the ban, which it insists it has the power to implement, but it won’t be imposing it, despite deliberately invoking it.”

It’s not an invisible pivot. It’s more of a flip-flop with a lot less flip than flop. Morrison is just making empty threats to act tough. Again. Like the war with China, pencil-rattling Pezzullo is picking in his bid to get back to Defence. Insiders say it will never happen. The Pezz is also over-stepping the mark for a shiny bum; an unelected pencil-pusher, even if his boss sees fit to over pay him nearly a million dollars a year.

Morrison utterly contradicts his Health Minister. Huntaway Hunt our fearless leader’s cub was baring his fangs and howling at the moon, midnight Friday. You could be banged up for five years or fined $66,600 if you even looked like you were an Aussie booking a flight home to safety. No wonder Labor is having fun accusing the Coalition of chest beating gone wrong. It’s easy to understand. But first make sure you have a chest.

Slater’s stuck on the subcontinent as Big White Bwana Aussie cricket commentators love to dub India, unable to get back to his Island Continent home on the NSW waterfront somewhere- just because the federal government’s sprung a travel ban. He’s not a happy camper. He nicks off to the tropical haven of the Maldives, a “no news, no shoes” Shangri-La, haunt of the rich and infamous, where COVID-19 is still a risk along with insect-borne diseases such as dengue, Zika virus and chikungunya. Falling coconuts can kill you, too.

China’s Long March 5B, which sounds as if it should be a pencil but is, in fact, a spacecraft plunges into the sea nearby but as its government says, most of the rocket burnt up on re-entry and besides it’s too early to know if any of the debris from the ten storey cylinder actually fell on any of the Maldives 1192 islands.

Slater’s not going anywhere. But the biggest threat to life in the low-lying islands is climate change, which for Morrison, or his former finance minister and newly appointed secretary-general of the OECD, who takes up his five year term in June, Mathias Cormann, will all be solved by exporting our super high-grade, extra clean coal to India where its cheery blaze will lift millions out of poverty as it heats the planet into oblivion.

Ninety islands have disappeared so far and even by the typically generous projections of climate scientists, the entire Maldives archipelago will be underwater in eighty years. Ironically, in a microcosm of parts of Australia’s economy, the tourism, on which islanders depend, fuels the global heating which will drown them. But to a man of Morrison’s faith, it’s all part of God’s plan. Whilst many churches are concerned about climate change, there is not a murmur from any evangelical group. It’s a perfect setting for Slater’s attack on Morrison.

Of course Morrison’s got blood on his hands. With this happy clapper, punters are spoilt for choice. And Karl knows it. It’s dramatic irony – if you could call Today’s cheesy infotainment a drama. A woman is killed a week by a current or former partner. Experts warn the Morrison government that its recent abolition of the family court will help cause a spike in men’s violence (or domestic violence as it’s officially euphemised). As Abbott’s border enforcer, we can only guess how many of Morrison’s boat turnbacks ended badly.

We do know that 23 year-old Iranian Kurd, Reza Berati was bludgeoned to death inside the Manus Island gulag, one of our offshore prisons we’ve been happy to call detention centres. Witnesses say guards were in a frenzy and jumped on the man’s head in a rage.

Despite first telling parliament it happened outside the compound during the riot where dozens were injured on Manus 17 February 2014, despite assuring all parties that G4S were able to maintain security without the use of force, Morrison did update his story several days later. Naturally, then PM Tony Abbott was quick to defend his captain’s pick.

After Morrison is caught out lying, Abbott helpfully declares that Morrison’s doing a “sterling” job, adding that “you don’t want a wimp running border protection.”

Blood? Morrison knifed his own PM, Turnbull in August 2018. Then, there’s the two thousand Australians who died after receiving Centrelink Robodebt letters of extortion. Thank heavens we don’t have a wimp in charge. But boosting a macho man image means putting in the hard yards. Take Scotty’s marvellous Barnes dancing.

Scott Morrison and Andrew Twiggy Forrest at Christmas Creek FMG mine site

Shots of Twiggy and Scotty in hi-vis rig stretching to Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Man along with 300 Fortescue Metals Group miners in a workout routine at the Christmas Creek iron ore mine in WA, also reassure a nation sick with worry over PMs turning wimpy or compassionate or that the Coalition is soft on its promises to dance in step with mining oligarchs. After a night on the beers, Scotty’s up early the next morning for the workout photo-shoot travesty.

Whilst statistics show our average worker may be a woman health professional, tradie votes depend on spinning work as blokey and physical; something you do outdoors in your hard hat and Yakka overalls, Bro.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest join workers for morning exercise during a visit to the Christmas Creek mine site in The Pilbara, Western Australia, Friday, April 16, 2021. (AAP Image/Pool, Justin Benson-Cooper)

Just in case limbering up to “Barnesy” isn’t enough bullshit in itself, Twiggy leaves nothing to chance, Fortescue’s owner tells Sam Maiden and other media hacks on tap that a bend and stretch routine is vital to get its workers ready for a long hard day’s work in the mine.

What isn’t spelled out is how highly automated and (buzzword-alert) “autonomous” modern mining is. While fitters have light, driverless, vehicles to fetch spare parts, even the big trucks can drive themselves. Fortescue boasts a fully automated haulage operation.

Still, it would pay to limber up before hitting the computer console or checking the smart sensors and drones.

Similarly, Scott Morrison’s office has cleverly taken much of the drudgery out of the PM’s work, substituting instead hand-crafted moving pictures of our leader being a man of the people, celebrating small business heroes in barre classes, building a Bunnings kit-set chook house or fawning all over the nation’s richest man, iron ore miner, Dr Twiggy Forrest, who in 2020, completed a PhD in marine ecology. As you do.

Scotty sucking up to Twiggy? Check. Hamming it up? Check. Token women workers taking part? Check. There’s even more talk, again of a gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter. Visionary. We’ll all be paying for it in the Coalition’s insatiable appetite for state socialism despite its gospel of self-help, small government and the invisible hand of capitalism. The word is Snowy Hydro’s already approved the little beauty which is said, variously, to be set to deliver anywhere from 350 to 1000MW – but you know how good our Minister for fossil fuel Energy, Angus Taylor, is with figures. And doctored documents. Just ask him. Or Clover Moore.

One thing not in dispute is the buckets of money Coalition government’s lobe to shower over the fossil fuel industry. A ten billion dollar a year annual subsidy helps the little Aussie billionaire battlers.

Who’s beating the drums of war? Just in case anyone, anywhere, is in any doubt as to who’s a climate criminal, mining muppet Scott Morrison, the only PM to flash his pet black rock in parliament, seals the deal for Australia when he takes his mark at the back of the pack of forty world leaders at the USA’s virtual Earth Day climate summit, 22 April. On ANZAC Day, Mike Pezzullo, deftly turns our attention to the fact that those drums of war don’t beat themselves in the mother of all beat ups our war with China over another bit of China.

In a forum set up so that forty nations can increase their commitment to fighting global heating, ahead of a Conference of Parties, (COP26) scheduled to be held in Glasgow, this November, Morrison pledges to do nothing. Nothing but spin. Australia will make “bankable” reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, he says; even without a concrete 2050 net-zero target.

Cutting emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, our current target, is already “insufficient” in the eyes of Biden’s administration.

As for being relied upon, just look at Kyoto, another meeting with the aim of producing binding commitments to reduce emissions. We are the world’s Artful Dodger, (a type-cast role played by “I’d Do Anything” Morrison at fifteen in the 1982 Sydney Boys High School production of Oliver!)

Kyoto credits – brainwave of John Howard’s Environment Minister Robert Hill are now off the Coalition table but that doesn’t mean other nations have either forgotten or forgiven our chicanery and bad faith.

Even a late spot on the programme flatters Morrison. He’s lucky to be invited to speak at all. Perhaps he believes in doing nothing because, the end times are upon us, as all good Pentecostalists believe.

Australia gets the Graveyard shift on a Long Earth Day’s Night. So why not tell the world just how much his government is a front for fossil fuel corporations who would kill the lot of us just to boost a balance sheet?

President Joe Biden sensibly leaves before ScoMo gets his slogan mojo on. Nature abhors a vacuum. “It’s not the when or the why it’s the how,” he says as if he’s doing some cheesy infomercial to teach teenagers, how good is consent. But he has no “how” to demonstrate and his insistence that carbon capture and storage is a viable technology makes us a laughing stock. We’ve spent nearly a billion dollars failing to make it work.

The Earth Day Zoom meeting is an international forum which acts as a prelude for heaps of other huff n’ puff stuff. BoJo is holding a G7 while Norway is getting the whole band back together.

Scotty’s also a hot prosperity gospeller. Believers get rich. The godly become wealthy and the wealthy become godly. If global heating means the world is going to fry like a fisherman’s basket, that’s God’s plan. Try to combat that? Sacrilege. Or even sin. Nothing to be done. Yet as one of the saved, our wealthy PM’s our to save others. Because he knows it’s what God wants him to do. Even if it means a Yuri Geller truth-bender. Not only does our happy clapping, rapture-rat, evangelical fabulist and con-artist, PM lie about Australia’s climate change policies, he bags every one of the forty nations who pledge to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.

The summit may be seen as the United States’ homage to the potlatch, a traditional, ceremonial gift-giving amongst some North American first peoples in which goods are given away for power in a complex ritual which includes the reaffirmation of family, clan and international relationships. The US opens the bidding with a pledge to cut emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

While a terrified nation hides under the doona, our PM spruiks hydrogen. Not just any hydrogen or the green hydrogen advocated by some climate change experts but hydrogen that will be produced by burning coal or gas. The details are murky. Morrison’s a big picture man. As big as possible when he’s in the frame, posing as a tough on borders populist or a mate of Twiggy Forrest and his working class men. No hint emerges from the PM or his government that extending fossil-fuel usage is an act of wilful criminal negligence if not homicide.

His answer to what Biden calls “the existential crisis of our time”? Hydrogen valley. Where the fatuous meets the vacuous. Setting up a totally unnecessary coal-fired power station in the Hunter. Seriously.

It’s not the why or the when it’s the how. It doesn’t help that Scotty’s still a rusted-on fanboy of The Donald or that his microphone is off or – he’s on mute – as he is in half of all households around the country. The President has already left the building. This administration will decide later how it will reward Australia’s obstructing global consensus in curbing carbon emissions and embracing renewable energy.

Trade Tariffs may well be added to nations such as ours which seek to evade their international responsibilities with regard to curbing greenhouse gas emission and climate change abatement. It will not go well for us.

Joe Biden knows that Morrison’s not speaking to him. The PM’s not trying to reach an international audience. His remarks are for domestic consumption. Our totally transactional PM is frantic to appease the right wing of his party which, he believes, will see him as a true believer with his hard-line stance on border protection. Yet it is, in fact, an act of calculated, callous inhumanity which goes against the spirit of our constitution and against the letter of international agreements to uphold human rights which we once helped to write.

Morrison is right – but not for his vacuous rhetoric. Future generations will judge us on what we deliver. Just as they judge us today on what we do rather than whatever our government might say – and then pretend it didn’t say or try to crabwalk away from. The inaction of this government to honour its obligations to its citizens in its travel ban on those trapped in India – or its chicanery on energy or climate change, its betrayal of its stewardship, or duty of care of the planet for future generations, is an indictment of its motives to seek and hold power for its own sake and a travesty of democratic principle and responsibility to its people. It is also a declaration of moral bankruptcy.

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Morrison can’t take a trick

Warning: this article discusses rape.

Morrison can’t take a trick lately. He fails the 4 million Covid vaccinations by March target he set in January. Massively. Andrew Laming is off on empathy training to stop his stalking women; curb his up-skirting? Because the party needs the pervert’s vote. Morrison doesn’t have the bottle to sack him. He’s barely promoted Amanda Stoker as deputy of his new women’s taskforce when Grace Tame calls him out. He’s either pulling a swiftie or he’s got dud judgement. And the latest skirmish in the PM’s guerrilla war on women who investigate rape accusations against mates and staffers blows up in his face.

The PM smears Sam Maiden via a snide dig at Sky’s Andrew Clennell for an act of sexual harassment in a News Corp women’s loo. But it didn’t happen. News Corp and Sky swiftly point out how wrong he is. Water closet-gate will be his undoing. But how good is ScoMo as a rapid-fire shit-canner?

“One more scandal. One more boneheaded disgrace. One more backbench troll sent off to study how to impersonate a human being.” Speaking at the ALP’s virtual annual conference, which our press mostly ignores, Bill Shorten sees Morrison’s as already a virtual minority government in disarray.

AFR’s Aaron Patrick has to do Morrison’s hit job for him. It backfires badly. “A crusade of women journos,” upbraids Maiden, Laura Tingle and others for being good journalists and being women.

“Anger at the government over the abuse of women is being led by a powerful group of female journalists,” Patrick pouts in a personal attack rubbishing the “challenging,” “spiky” and “difficult” Maiden’s single mother’s poverty, the writer’s bad temper and ambition. Other women are incensed.

“So apparently giving Brittany Higgins a platform, calling the powerful to account, exposing government coverups & a vile rape/sexual assault culture in Parliament House, is not journalism. According to the AFR, it’s angry activism. Welcome to the new world order boys. Tweets Lisa Wilkinson.

Morrison makes a shocker of an apology on Facebook and on MSM. Blames the emotion of the moment. His cabinet reshuffle just looks like a ruse to demote Dutton, Porter and Reynolds, promote Stoker and to dodge responsibility for his government’s sexism. Misogyny. He press-gangs his women ministers into a “taskforce” to deal with girly stuff. But he and Marise Payne will “co-chair” it, just to keep it on track.

Why put four men in a women’s taskforce? It’s Morrison’s signature; he loves to smirk while twisting the knife. He must know we see him thumbing his nose. The taskforce is just another cynical act of coercive control in the abusive relationship his sexist government has with the nation’s women.

But first his vax debacle; the four million Covid jabs, he promised us by 31 March turn out to be a paltry 600,000. Only 3.4 million shy. The “vaccine rollout” won’t even meet his fudged target (2.0) of the end of April. Seventy-seven leading epidemiologists warn, Tuesday, that failure to vaccinate within the year will pave the way for dangerous mutations against which most current vaccines will prove useless.

Complicating matters, a tad, AstraZeneca, (the only vaccine we, plebeians, are due to get) may cause blot clots in the brains of those under sixty. But only seven people have died, worldwide. So far. And we won’t be halting the program because our Therapeutic Goods Administration says no.

Of course, our corporate elite call the shots behind the scenes. Peter Costello is smirking all the way to the bank. The underwhelming, $161 billion Future Fund, which dropped 0.9% in value last year, whose grandiosely-titled “Board of Guardians,” he chairs, has doubled its one billion dollar investment in vax manufacturers to a $2 billion punt during the pandemic. Costello also chairs Nine newspapers. Always plugs a good cause. While Greg Hunt boosts the TGA ceaselessly, the investor class is in for the kill.

Covid Commission adviser, “Babies Overboard” Jane Halton, has also healthy interests in our nation’s well-being including being Director of Crown Resorts, the COVID-19 quarantine facility in Victoria.

Best TGA in the world, says Greg Hunt. Endlessly. A model regulator. Who is he kidding? While there’s not a corporate arse, in any boardroom, anywhere, this government won’t blow smoke up, the TGA is supposed to be a government body. But it’s one which depends on those it regulates for its funding.

A watchdog which receives funding from health and medical companies has no conflict of interest? Model regulation? Not its transvaginal mesh scandal. The TGA approved the mesh without any studies to show it was a safe or effective prolapse treatment. It wasn’t. Thousands of women report complications, including severe pain and damage to nerves and nearby organs, including the bladder and bowel.

Similarly, a herbal remedy for benign prostate enlargement, from The Tomato Pill Company is TGA approved, despite research showing it is no better than a placebo. Clearly, critics just don’t know how our TGA works. If you have BPH, you might like to try a tomato pill, a TGA spokesperson says.

Morrison could bullshit for Australia but even then he meets only 15% of his original target. Work Experience Boy, Minister for Health Hyperbole, Hunt storms Sunrise, Today and sundry other TV infotainments to spruik his government’s huge success. In Hunt’s view, we’re the envy of the Covid World. Everything his government ever does is world beating or world-leading. Even its wanking. Revelations that Liberal staffers regularly film acts of self-abuse at work do help take the focus off rape cases and the government’s failure to honour its vaccine commitments. Thank you, Peter van Onselen.

(Anxious readers will be relieved to learn that one Liberal has now been sacked for jerking off at work). Bound to fix the problem. But even this token bust is too much for Michelle Landry who stuns everyone when she is sent out to praise the young man.

“The young fellow concerned was a really good worker and he loved the place. I feel bad for him about this, but it’s unacceptable behaviour,” Landry, assistant minister for children and for Northern Australia, says, outside Parliament, trivialising, if not normalising, lewd sexual misconduct – whilst neatly turning the perpetrator into the victim – a common inversion in the defence of male violence and sexual abuse and no small part of Morrison’s declaration of Christian Porter’s innocence and need for sick leave.

“Politician feels bad someone is suffering from the consequences of their own actions. Right,” tweets former Fairfax reporter now The Guardian Australia‘s Political journalist, Amy Remeikis.

Others see the behaviour as more disturbing; a defilement or desecration. If it’s not an act of violence, it’s certainly an offensive display of disrespect to any female boss. Ten has video of at least four other staffers in a “wankers at work” video which those involved keenly shared amongst friends.

But Morrison moves on. Reports of any man masturbating over a woman boss’ desk are now consigned to the memory hole of history. Furthermore, it’s been made quite clear, in the usual fashion, that this story or others related to it, are not to be pursued if you value your place in the Canberra Press Gallery.

The PM would love to pick a fight with the states over his own failure to honour his vaccine promise. But the states aren’t having a bar of it even if the PM’s office is able to team up with News Corp to release figures which imply that vax hoarding is the reason for the slow pace of the rollout. Time for a reset.

Enter the ineffable Hunt. No-one believes Hunt. Ever. His spin echoes the twaddle of his “meet and beat” our Kyoto targets. Or his soil magic, a boondoggle of bogus carbon offsets to pay polluters to plant trees they would have planted anyway. Offsets were never measured nor were they permanent.

Our vaccine delivery’s been overhyped and under-delivered, writes Stephen Duckett, The Grattan Institute‘s Health Director, who diagnoses a lack of urgency and poor phasing – frontline workers should have been vaccinated first. Delivery has been compromised, furthermore, by being politicised with Liberal Party logos everywhere and countless, interminable, brag-fests of self-advertising and relentlessly upbeat, absurd over-promising. They call this messaging? The danger of this hype, notes Duckett, is that it leaves no margin for error; blocks any capacity for a government to learn from its mistakes.

Learn? This is a government of covering up mistakes. Beyond even Hunt’s puffery, our PM of sleaze-baggery, self-interest and government by decree even takes a hit in Murdoch’s News Poll. Amen.

Run by YouGov, News Poll now operates solely online – a change which may render it even less reliable than last election, an epic fail that would cause any self-respecting poll to close down – but there’s also an Essential poll out to suggest that Australian women don’t like what they’re seeing in their PM.

Women’s disapproval of the PM rises ten per cent in two weeks – from 30% to 40%. His approval rating drops to 57% (from 62% earlier in the month) driven by lower approval from women (59% to 49%). Three out of four Australian women do not believe women are treated fairly in politics.

Not meeting the women marching for justice has cost him. The sex scandals may not have helped. Along with Michelle Landry’s loveable lad with Portnoys’ Complaint, reports pour in of rent boys, assignations, orgies during Question Time, abuse of Parliament House’s prayer room for carnal pursuits.

Certainly not helping is the government’s mishandling of the rape allegation against former Attorney-General Christian Porter by Katharine Thornton, a complaint she emailed police not to proceed with, a day before the woman, tragically, took her own life. To pronounce Porter innocent is not leadership by the PM but a painful, gratuitous, reminder to women of how the system works to protect men.

Speaking of protecting men, where’s Bruce Lehrmann, the former Liberal staffer in Linda Reynolds’ office? The rising star seems to have vanished in plain sight after committing himself to a North Shore mental hospital. All this helps turn Morrison’s dag persona into a reprehensibly clueless Mr Magoo.

Yet is anyone fooled? The PM is as quick to tip a bucket of shit as he is with a disappearing trick.

No-one’s sure Lehrmann still in the country. No-one’s talking. Million dollar man, ($914,000 PA) Phil Gaetjens reveals he’s “paused” the inquiry that the PM set up because the AFP told him to. The AFP denies this – only quickly to change its tune. It’s clear to all, except, perhaps, Brittany Higgins, that there’s no inquiry under way. The AFP, moreover, not only lack the resources and the experience to pursue a rape investigation, since its inception in 1979, it has done nothing to embarrass a sitting government. It’s sheer bastardry to keep up the pretence. But don’t expect Morrison to back down. He enjoys it.

Worse, there’s an orchestrated campaign to discredit Higgins and to impugn her character which ranges from Eric Abetz’ alleged slut-shaming to the alleged briefing against her from the PM’s office. In similar vein, Aaron Patrick attacks Samantha Maiden, who published details of the late Katharine Thornton whom Christian Porter is alleged to have raped. Maiden also broke Ms Higgins’ story.

A cabinet reshuffle is just what’s needed. A reset. While he’s at it, Pro-Mo sets up his own advisory council or taskforce, a cringeworthy display of tokenism and duplicity nurtured by a pliant MSM.

The Liberal’s woman problem? Fixed. Morrison anoints Marise Payne,“the PM for women,” a preposterous over-promotion, to say nothing of its dud subtitle. A journo asks if Payne’s newly exalted status means he’s PM for blokes only? Morrison walks back his spin to a meaningless “Primary Minister for Women.” Now his mob will be all ears to all women. Just don’t expect an answer from his five media advisers. His government by secret fiat is flat out hiding its stuff ups. It has so much to cover up.

Crikey’s Amber Schultz asks Nick Creevey, Senior Media Adviser to Team Morrison, whether there’d been hint of allegations of bullying against Karen Andrews before the PM promoted her to Home Affairs, made vacant by Dutto’s demotion to Defence. The PM’s Media team does not respond.

Andrews is not alone. Cash is a controversial choice for Attorney General, given her role in the hounding of AWU and the leaking of a police raid to the press. Is Morrison’s reshuffle plus political CWA just another bum note from the tone deaf goanna strangler? Or is it more sinister, cynical skullduggery?

Scotty’s taskforce is a Jen’s party of all seven women in cabinet, co-chaired by himself and the invisible Minister for Women, our low-profile Trade Minister Marise Payne who’s been knocking herself out lately, not commenting, not visiting the women’s march; not calling out Andrew Laming. No. She has no comment on the government’s failure to read Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate JenkinsRespect at Work, a national sexual harassment inquiry report. It’s been on Porter’s desk over a year.

The Commission says fifty-four of the fifty-five recommendations still await a government response. Australia is also yet to take any action towards ratifying the 2019 ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment. Whilst it moots a women’s summit, the Morrison government has plenty to work on immediately. What it would like to label “women’s issues” – rather than matters of common humanity and justice are not a priority. This reality is revealed in its failure even to respond to Jenkins report.

“It may come as a surprise to some in the government, but women don’t exist in a vacuum, writes Crikey’s Amber Schultz. Childcare is an issue for parents, not women. Workplace sexual harassment is an issue for employees and companies, not women. Sexual violence is an issue for society, not women. As a new report shows, even women’s salaries are not only an issue for women: domestic violence risk increases by 35% when women start earning more than their partners.

Jenkins notes that Australia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in 1983 with accompanying domestic legislation. Yet “over 35 years on, the rate of change has been disappointingly slow. Australia now lags behind other countries in preventing and responding to sexual harassment.”

Despite calling herself a feminist, Payne acts the complete enabler, the Coalition’s iconic Stepford wife.

Women’s equality, safety, economic security, health and wellbeing are “on the agenda,” says the PM’s press drop. Or will be. How could they not? We all know they’ve gone MIA since 2012 when Abbott made himself the Minister for Women, a calculated gesture of contempt, that no-one could forget.

In 2014, the Commonwealth government suddenly abandons forty years of practice and fails fifty-one per cent of the population by ceasing to publish its Women’s Budget Statement, an integral part of its federal budget. No sources are tipping that anyone intends to restore it. Instead it’s all fluffy stuff.

Senior government sources add the rush of improv theatre to the TF concept by bullshitting The New Daily that “It’s about making sure the policies are aligned with where we want to go as a government.”

No shit, Sherlock.

Other seers of the bleeding obvious see a taskforce with “a major hand in federal budget preparation” putting a “gender lens” on (The Big Swinging Dicks’) major policy areas and government initiatives.

If that sounds a tad murky, what is crystal clear is that no thought at all has been given to what his taskforce will do. Or how. But that’s the nature of a political stunt. It’s not meant to work. This is for show. Worse. Just a glance at its composition suggests Morrison is making sure TF it won’t work.

Kaye Lee profiles the women in the taskforce in a compelling argument that whilst the ministers may be women, their record on women’s issues suggests that they will not be agents of change or real reform.

Michaelia Cash, a lip-readers’ dream, maintains the pernicious myth that feminism is so old hat that it’s irrelevant to today’s women. Like solidarity. In 2018 Cash, a former Minister for Women boasts that she has the dirt on Bill Shorten’s female staff. No-one had the foggiest idea what she was referring to but then, as our PM just showed, you don’t have to have any factual foundation for a smear to be effective.

She’d heard the “rumours.” For women, unspecified “rumours” are still career death. In fact, any whiff of sexual misbehaviour, even if not directly committed by them, sticks like glue,” writes Jane Caro who notes that Cash, along with many other conservative women MPs are content to ally themselves with men. Token blokes or worse – enablers of a sexist, misogynistic, patriarchal regime that gags on quotas.

Home Affairs is huge. So big in fact, that experts warned Malcolm Turnbull against creating it. The departing, demoted, Peter Dutton, a former Health Minister who was voted worst minister ever by a group of doctors has done nothing in the portfolio to suggest good management or even that the monster is, in fact manageable. Already, however, sleuths such as Mark Kenny are keen to know if Karen Andrews will bring more compassion. Forget it Kenny. Her reply is to make a threat about social media.

More compassion with our applications and ad hoc deportations? Wash your mouth out. The thing that sticks in Karen’s craw is anonymous online disrespect. Of course. Dutto had the same bugbear.

[I] will certainly be taking an active interest and engaging as much as I possibly can on that issue.

Look, social media has significant challenges, one of those issues is the level of anonymity. We need to make it very clear that people can’t hide or should not be allowed to hide on these social media platforms so absolutely I will be taking a very close look at that.

Assistant to Marise Payne is right-wing darling of the Christian lobby, Amanda Stoker. Observers note that she began her career being seen as some sort of libertarian by being parachuted into George Brandis’ Queensland senate seat with a couple of years left on the clock. Then she turned hard right.

Stoker gets a big rap on and she’s spoken up for the victims of false rape accusation. Tertiary institutions don’t do enough to protect the rights of students (overwhelmingly male) accused of sexual assault harassment and sexual assault. Accordingly, Bettina Arndt is a big fan.

The Catholic Leader dubs her “Queensland’s voice for life,” and she’s been an outspoken opponent of abortion, regularly starring at pro-life rallies around Brisbane. Naturally, she is convinced that something she calls “freedom of religion” to be under attack despite a lack of any empirical evidence. Morrison shares the same belief and it may help explain why Ms Stoker’s been so rapidly promoted.

He’s got that beaut bill which Phil Ruddock charged a fortune to shape up. Christian Porter’s polished it.

“If we fail to defend people’s right to believe, and to practise their faith, we deny our nation its moral bedrock. Tolerance must cut both ways. It is deeply troubling to have so many examples to point to that suggest this freedom is under attack in our culture,” she claims, declining to point to a single example. It’s the “everybody knows” or “folks tell me” fallacy integral to Trump’s populist rhetoric.

It’s dangerous. Luckily, Frydenberg and Birmingham are along for the ride; helping the ladies’ keep on track. Keeping the boys in line is Elvis impersonator Michael McCormack, who owes his job as The King of the Nats to not being Barnaby Joyce. Big Mac has yet to display any leadership ability whatsoever. He is, however, a National Party MP who owes his deputy PM badge to the Coalition’s quota system.

While Macca’s icon, Presley, liked to take a clutch of fourteen year old girls on tour, the titular Deputy is unlikely to emulate his hero’s pillow fights, tickling, kissing and cuddling. But he’s bound to be right on the button when it comes to helping the ladies come to a decision about gender equity.

If work permits. His “meetings all day” made it quite impossible for him to meet the March4Justice women or even organise his wife, Catherine Shaw, into whipping up a batch of lamingtons. Or a pav.

Morrison’s latest faux pas is greeted with derision, disbelief, anger and weary resignation by at least half the nation’s population who grit their teeth and just get on with their day to day oppression.

As second-class citizens, women know all about gaslighting and abusive relationships- even if the good news comes from Papa Morrison’s hand-picked, handmaid Marise Payne. Or will – if she gets to speak. She may leave that to her assistant, Amanda Stoker. Stokes and ScoMo could be quite a show.

Both would very much like you to believe there’s no such thing as objective truth, and that after a while, the audience will simply lack the energy to understand or argue with what they’re watching – as Marina Hyde observes of Boris and his Brexit clowns.

“Blokes don’t get it right all of the time,” Morrison opines to his oleaginous on-air masseur, Ray Hadley, on 2GB, Wednesday, using that cutesy Love-Rub man-child special pleading he tries on in emergencies.

On this occasion he’s got dirt all over his face after his mudslinging at Sky’s Clennell bombs because Sky and News Corp say there’s no mud to sling. Morrison is quick to invent a salacious slur about a woman being sexually assaulted in a women’s toilet. Only top-shelf stuff from our Prime Mud-slinger.

“Blokes don’t get it right all the time, we all know that, but what matters is that we’re desperately trying to, and that’s what I’m trying to do, and we will get this right – we all need to focus on that.”

Of course. It’s not the stuff-up that matters – it’s how hard you try that gets people vaccinated. Ray could be an honorary Stepford wife himself, the way he coos over the PM; soothes his fragile ego. The glass jaw is a bit more of a challenge. But just listen to Morrison begging to be given a koala stamp for trying his best. Telling us to focus on his rhetoric not the reality. Is this what national leadership has come to?

Come in spinner. A session with Jen the clarifier helps him to understand that rape is a criminal offence?

Women won’t forget. Men are not quite perfect? Incredible. This ploy is a tricked-up version of “boys will be boys.” But just lately, the PM’s been getting nothing right – least of all his call to cut Job-Keeper and raise job-seeker by a paltry fifty dollars. Women will be most affected as at least three million Australians will plunge below the poverty line – all in the interests of saving expenditure.

Yet, on the debit side of the ledger, there’s no compulsion for billionaires such as Gerry Harvey to pay back a profit-boosting Job-Keeper they simply didn’t need. Welfare beneficiaries who are overpaid get no such indulgence. The government’s double standard, here, does not augur well for its new taskforce.

But what Morrison’s up to is his old hand-ball trick. Rather than burden poor limited men with women’s issues, he’ll give them to the few women in his cabinet to sort out. ScoMo’s silo. In a flash, he elects the Minister for Women, Marise Payne, Prime Minister for Women, while Amanda Stoker, another senator, a pin up girl for men’s rights groups, who supported a fake rape crisis tour to be her deputy.

Grace Tame unerringly calls him out. Appointing Stoker to second in command of his faux-taskforce demonstrates he either is “ignorant of the cultural issues at hand, or he understands them completely, and is making calculated moves to perpetrate them.

“If the latter is true, then what we are seeing is further abuse of power, masterfully disguised as progress – the very same psychological manipulation at the heart of these recently exposed evils.”

All but forgotten, thanks to the PM’s orchestrated litany of false promises, dissimulation and paternalism is the story of Brittany Higgins, now pilloried by such crusty right wing henchmen of the government as Eric Abetz. Her story, as recounted recently on ABC Four Corners, must not be forgotten.

“As I opened the door, I noticed that the female was lying on her back, completely naked, on the lounge that was adjacent to the door … for which I’ve gone, ‘Oh’.”

A whole nation goes “Oh” with Nikola Anderson as the former security guard at Parliament House’s ministerial wing, who was on night shift at 2:35 am, 23 March 2019, tells ABC Four Corners her shock discovery of a nude Brittany Higgins on a sofa in Defence Minister, “Lying Cow” Linda Reynolds’, office, located only a drunken stumble away from Morrison’s office; aka Big Swinging Dick HQ.

Morrison claims that he didn’t hear about Miss Higgins for two years; a claim so improbable it would be laughable – were his abdication of responsibility – to say nothing of the suffering – his office’s leaks help heap up upon Brittany Higgins and her loved ones – a laughing matter. But he miscalculates. Badly.

“It’s incredible… Inconceivable” that Morrison’s own staff would keep him in the dark about such a serious matter, says former PM, “Fizza” Malcolm Turnbull, the man Morrison knifed to get the top job, a job proving way too big for the man. You know you’re in trouble when Fizza calls bullshit on you.

In a desperate reset of his story, Morrison: Model Boss 2.0, the man Michael Keenan describes as an absolute arsehole, now makes noises about having made offers to meet Ms Higgins – as if meeting her somehow atones for his abdication of duty of care, or his office’s subsequent cruelty. Or losing her job, her credibility, or, in the latest of an orchestrated campaign of attacks on her credibility and character, becoming the butt of gibes fired by Abetz, who, of course, denies he ever slut-shamed her.

Morrison’s new version of his own melodrama is crafted solely for the purpose of diminishing a young woman who alleges she is the victim of a rape; paint her as spurning his support. Once again, he displays a rare talent for breath-taking hypocrisy and brazen denial as he gas-lights her version of events.

M:MB 2.0 has a twist or two in the plot. “Just before she departed,” or resigned, the PM tells Channel Nine, Ms Higgins was “offered the opportunity” to meet with himself and Michaelia Cash. Yet Higgins left Cash’s office 5 February, ten days before the story broke. Ten days before he says he knew anything.

Belief will not be beggared, however, much Morrison has “steadfastly maintained that he knew nothing of the alleged rape until 15 February, 2019,” writes Dr Jennifer Wilson. And now he is undone.

Morrison’s bluster; and his big-noting, braggadocio on the run will prove the end of him. His posturing merely accentuates the vulnerability of his victim as she appeared to Nikola Anderson, two years ago. The encounter is richly resonant, confronting as it is instructive; a type of violation in itself.

It’s a nightmare for both women. You want Anderson to say she immediately covered up the young woman; put her clothes back on; took her to hospital. Comforted her. But Parliament house doesn’t work that way. Anderson loses a job she goes public to try to keep. Guards are low down parliament house’s food chain. Along with whistle-blowers, you get sacked, or worse, for speaking up.

Already, Anderson’s testimony contradicts Finance Department reports that Higgins was found half-dressed. Above all, the guard’s version negates the PM’s lie that Bruce Lehrmann’s employment was terminated because of a security breach. There was no security breach. Two guards let him in.

And they let in Ms Higgins, who was, clearly, unable to walk straight. Or put her own shoes on. Anderson’s narrative also hugely damages the myth of Parliament House – to say nothing of how it punctures the rhetoric of national security and the fantasy that we have vital defence secrets.

“Nobody really knows the truth but me,” Anderson tells Four Corners

There’s security and then there’s Parliament house’s travesty. It’s an indictment. If security guards are so subservient to their overlords, how do they challenge aberrant behaviour? Anderson’s story shows how. Badly. A young staffer, with neither pass nor key and an allegedly “falling down drunk” young woman in tow, is admitted into the office of the Defence Minister at 2:00 am Saturday, two years’ ago?

“Can’t it wait, guys?” Anderson asks.

“Not really,” replies the man.

It’d be a walking bust in most outfits. The male emerges around 2:35 am, alone and exits quickly. Says little. No-one on the security team puts two and two together? No. That’s beyond their pay-scale.

A wave of revelations of acts of depravity, debauchery and slut-shaming follow; including word that Tasmanian Senator and Christian-right Tsar, Abetz, is alleged to have said that on that night, Ms Brittany Higgins was “so disgustingly drunk [she] would sleep with anybody.”

Abetz is also reported to have said that Christian Porter is “safe because the woman’s dead” and the AG will be protected by the law. It’s classic victim-blaming which sides with both alleged perpetrators in a singularly prejudicial way. It’s almost as if such outbursts are orchestrated by a fixer somewhere.

But if the most dangerous place in the nation for a young woman to be is in a cabinet minister’s office, the Morrison government appear to be running a bawdy house elsewhere. A rising tide of licentiousness threatens to capsize Morrison, a leaky rudderless craft.

It’s clear that The Miller’s Tale has its counterpart in our parliament and doubtless there will be much clutching of pearls in the suburbs, but, for Morrison, the most damaging aspect of being publicly mugged by reality is that it reveals a PM who is a sham; a leader who is clearly neither in touch nor in control.

First, the PM’s security breach story is contradicted by Anderson’s candour. Security let in Ms Higgins and her companion, Bruce Lehrmann. There was no breach of security, she stresses, but this quandary is soon upstaged by Peter van Onselen. His timely account of lewd acts, dissipation and low pursuits atop the desktops of Canberra threatens the record of Calcutta (Kolkata) under the dissolute Wajid Ali Shah.

Hook-ups and blow jobs? A prayer room, where Stuart Robert knelt beside his pal Scott Morrison just before Morrison knifed Turnbull, appears to be a multi-function, pleasure centre. “Tom the Whistle-blower” provides confidential information to Senator Simon Birmingham, that would earn Parliament House an X-rating, were it a computer game. But he’s not talking about virtual reality. The testimony he supplies to Birmingham involves four current and former staffers; three non-staffers; one busy sex worker; a former minister and a sitting MP in a slew of sexual encounters from September 2015 to 2020.

Dangerous liaisons are taking place right under the PM’s nose. Or knees as the case may be.

Nothing to see here, of course. The Office of PM and Cabinet, (PM&C) positively reeks top-secrecy when not leaking against its enemies, such as Brittany Higgins’ loved ones. Ms Higgins lodges a formal complaint with John Kunkel, Morrison’s Chief of Staff with evidence that Morrison’s media team has been “backgrounding” or leaking, off the record, information to discredit, demean and disparage her partner, former Canberra lobbyist, David Sharaz, who has been forced to quit his Canberra job.

Nothing to see? Except when mud-slinging. The PM’s hack-counter-attack -Tuesday, a departure from his earlier set piece, a histrionic baring of his soul, climaxing in a tearing up scene as the ham actor soliloquises grandiloquently about how the women in his life mean everything to him. But then he loses the plot.

In a flash, the PM switches from treacle to brimstone. He rounds on Sky News’ political editor, Andrew Clennell. How dare he suggest that Morrison can’t control his motely crew! – Clennell had better wise up or he’ll tell what Clennell did to a woman in a ladies’ loo. The mind boggles. But it’s all a bluff

That’s his implication, a lie, for which the PM stages a faux apology later.

Will water-(closet)-gate, prove to be Scott Morrison’s Waterloo? A royal flush of pundits think so.

Is he threatening me or something? Clennell, later on his own show, reflects, in a rhetorical question. The Murdoch journo helpfully notes that Morrison can tell him to “Be careful” about a fake incident that he says took place in a Sky water closet – but, even after two years – he knows nothing about a rape which is allegedly occurred only fifty metres down the hall from his office.

“Captain Schultz” Morrison is infamous for running such a tight-lipped, ship of state that not even his AFP’s Reece Kershaw nor his chief dogsbody, political hack, Phil Gaetjens, know where it’s going. Just don’t ask. Especially when Phil tells a senate committee it’s been two weeks since he hit pause on his “inquiry” into who knew what, where, when and why about the body in the office.

Gaetjens’ drops Morrison right in it. The PM’s been telling the House that Phil’s got the inquiry steaming along. Ongoing. All shipshape and Bristol fashion, rather like his government. But it’s more like the Evergreen Marine, run aground; lodged sideways hard up against the banks of the Suez Canal.

True, former NT plod, now AFP Commissioner, a boyish, Reece Kershaw, tries a quick re-float and turn around. It’s a spectacular retreat. In record-breaking time, he executes a top copper reverse pike.

Commissioner Kershaw disavows all knowledge of ever phoning Gaetjens to stop him poking around, asking nosy questions, in case the AFP’s, much-vaunted but almost certainly apocryphal investigations into the alleged rape of Ms Higgins are compromised. It’s another cover up of a cover up.

Compromised? Least a wary nation take fright at the latest shenanigans, there’s a dead cat on every table or desk. There’s such frigging in the rigging that the air is blue with talk of it, be it a Portnoy on a desk or staffers at it like rabbits while the Dorothy Dixers drone on destroying Question Time.

It’s a remarkable tale in itself filled, as it is with date rape and the disappearing acts of the mysterious Lehrmann, an alleged rapist who has yet to be questioned by police. Once he was a rising star. His meteoric rise without trace included a spell under George “bookshelves” Brandis, the former Attorney-General whom the nation was given to make Christian Porter look good. Fat chance.

Last seen “checking himself” into a North Shore psychiatric ward in Sydney, Lehrmann has vanished off the face of the earth or at least that earthy Liberal dunghill that the PM loves to call his Canberra bubble.

Will Morrison survive? The Liberals and their corporate masters will. Think of the cockroach, a creature which can survive without its head. Or is the PM undone already by his ill-judged mudslinging and his naked desperation to destroy the reputation of Samantha Maiden, a woman journalist, whose only fault is to do her job investigating two notorious allegations of rape? Can a PM promise vaccination and fail so demonstrably, so lamentably to deliver? Now women have woken up to him is it all over for Morrison?

Let us not be distracted by speculation. What emerges most clearly from the latest reports of group madness, bonkers bonking, rent boys, Portnoys and sundry wankers on desks from our federal government in the midst of its women’s taskforce theatre is the textbook persecution of a young woman who came forward with an allegation of rape. The persecution of Brittany Higgins, directly and indirectly through the media and from the floor of the House of Representatives, the assassination of her character and the systematic, orchestrated attack on her credibility is a monstrous injustice that shames us all.

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Monty Python Life of Scotty: “But I’m the Prime Minister” from flying slime to the ridiculous

Warning – Truisms, delusions, flatulence and satire; not to be confused with news, fiction or entertainment, and this is not a joke.

“I’m the Prime Minister.”

… and I’m the President of Beeblebrox Prime – What a brainless Jurassic dodo Morrison is!

“Aged care is complex … Life is complex.”

“No I don’t agree with that, nor the premise of your question.”

“This is Australia.”

“If you have a go, you get a go.”

“If you want to do business here, you work according to our rules.” When in Rome huh

Whose rules? My aunt cockatoo – the ‘Rule of Law’ of course.

“Where the bloody hell are you?” – If only Morrison would make up his mind!

“I think I can speak for the people of Australia” – If you haven’t heard this one it is the arrogant pseudo-democratic subscript of rampant Ministerial Liberalism, the voice of entitlement and abuse of power.

“This is coal. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be scared! It won’t hurt you.”

Life isn’t as simple as Morrison makes out, but simplicity, ‘people-games’ and ridicule are his bread and butter, as obfuscation, deceit and lies his cue. Rule by lawfulness, statue, common law, case law, due process, natural justice, balance of probability, fair go where punishment or consequence fits the crime or is it much simpler than this – A Morrison interpretation and decree, absolute?

As the fossil record also tells us, survival isn’t always brighter – Here on earth in the Anthropocene it just gets dumber and dumber as we buckle down into the oblivion of banal arrogance, truisms, slogans, assumptions, generalisations, rationalisations and rebuffs; the gobsmacking repetition of Liberal media grabs, lies and dogma, when there is no substance left to spew from the Prime Minister’s heaving ‘mad cow’ disease gutless Mesozoic mouth, other than endless COVID-19 announcements and economy boasters for the light headed, those with short concentration spans, poor memories, recall, disbelief or general ignorance; before diversity of thought, living and human civilisation crashes (Take a breath).

Diversity and originality diminish and the toxic soup gets thicker and slimier as it engorges itself on the powerless overwhelmed suffocating discourse of public life. Opposition becomes futile and toothless, like a muffled voice in the wilderness as Morrison and News Corp press on with their rape, pillage and plunder of the moral, political, social, cultural, economic, and indeed personal landscape. Then we crash just like the Romans did, as have many others through history.

Here we are sitting on the great galactic rim of Morrison’s lips and cognitive insensibilities, where the next slogan pours out the vast desert of his backside like a dark solar prominence on (a)steroids in hyperspace, another magical leap of faith from a dying star in the Delta Quadrant. Like the endless self-righteous entitled groans, pestilence and murmurings of an entombed Egyptian mummy waiting to wow us with the natural wonders of revenge and the hidden talents of flea swarming goggle-eyed gumless beaming age cured cloak of the Scotty and Murdoch duo. Oh sorry, did I forget a few truculent cabinet ministers, sycophants and alleged sex abusers.

Betelgeuse is burning here on earth as Scotty plans his next holiday in downtown Hawaii Centauri sniffing in Trump’s lately dumped golden shit infested knickers. Yes, we have to put up with his daily poop and ‘tribal’ ramblings on the ABC who seem to think news, weather, business and ‘Rule of Law’ is about giving Morrison and his gutless wonders free to air publicity, broadcasting his mind-numbing truths and meaningless, thankless announcements ad nauseum. Nothing else to watch, the corporate channels, Seven, Nine and Ten (Christ, it’s all numeric labels and breakfast commandments) don’t make any sense in the real world as they prattle on from their virtual worlds and ivory towers, throwing out more slime and populist garbage than a Russian Mafia boss in between a mountain of dumb arse paid for advertising and programming, guaranteed to blow up your mind on knickerbocker glories, unreal life insurance and breathless testicle cupped macho underpants masquerading as boneless bras. Did anyone say KFC? That wasn’t me.

Back here on earth, in the land of Oz we once believed in something. It wasn’t a dream and there was no Dorothy or yellow brick road.

A democratic government in a civil society that would never say ‘never’ gag its press, when faced with mindless questions from a goggle-eyed bleeding press gallery. The reporter just doing her job called by the Immigration Minister a “mad fucking witch” as the microphone crackles to the background funnel-web cackle and natter of distant galaxies in ‘Question Time’ (okay that was an old one). A young woman who is allegedly raped in the Defence Minister’s office called a “lying cow” (note: fucking was dropped but not the gender) as ‘she and her partner are run out of town’ – that alien bitch of a parasitic institutional bubble we once called the Australian Parliament, walls riddled with vocational Liberal National slime and free speech dripping from the corridors and walls of ridicule, abuse and power. Morrison calls this democracy, which he seems to confuse also with free speech, representation, truth, facts, national security, law and leadership if not a host of other things which are belted like farts into a shitting bowl, a lethal and toxic mix, not to mention smelly!

The Prime Minister quick with faecal rhetoric calls the AFP and NSW police to order, like men in black neuralysing the minds of ABC viewers and the general public with nothing to see here, as if we weren’t already stupefied by the gormless babble and poisonous religious breath and sales pitch of the serpent’s tongue – Yes, you Morrison and, ‘we’ (where the shoe fits) your mummified tomb raiders, conspirators, dreamless pumpkin pen pushers and consumerised zombies of the Austral-American Liberal-Republican inter-continental clueless Kluxy clan.

Increasingly mesmerized, deluded and despotic just like Trump, the Prime Minister with his cabinet of knuckle-headed abusers and invocations of bogus conception have made us a laughing-stock ‘kiss and cuddle USA’ worldwide, not just in China. Whatever abuse of human rights overseas, we are called out as hypocrites and liars as we gringel and gobble at our own anal meanderings, gazing into our subcultural empty souls, indigenous and colonial toxic lethal rags or get caught with our pants down providing military arms and aide to criminal juntas, abusers and traffickers of human suffering. We find ourselves on the other side of everything we once stood for, or at least some of us did.

It runs deeper than the devil or a bag of serpents in Daniel’s den, and our Parliament is the devil’s den, where once the lion raged and feasted off the remains of elders, staffers, public servants, women, migrants, refugees, jobless, cashless, bludgers, pensioners, the old, the young, the toothless fairies, the unbelievers, convicts transported to the colony for stealing a loaf of bread (I’m sure I’ve missed a few). Did I say or imply ‘once did?’ Ah yes, little has changed in 250 years of colonisation, federation, ‘liberal democracy’ where the greedy club of present-day lions feed in fewer numbers on the unrecognisable culture and carcass of Australian life, but the economy is booming as we bleed profusely into the surrounding Great Barrier Reef, Pacific, Indian and Antarctic oceans – looking so pale and rickety.

“I’m the Prime Minister?” of this great vast land, this wilderness, this burning wasteland that Scotty is selling to the lowest bidders and gangs in town; our Public Service already thoroughly fucked over (so who are you going to call apart from some government funded help line, if you make it through the night on call waiting – That’s also what you get with Telstra and NBN, two other notable behemoths, legacy of our wacko Liberal-National zealot privatisation program).

… and we are the Borg, resistance is futile.

This Neolithic narcotic serpent Morrison leads us down the psychotic delusional path and Pythonesque parody ‘life of Brian’; not of fictional or divine comedy you’ll understand, but false prophet, myth and tragedy. Tragedy for Australia and all who sail in her bushfire, solar bleached, coal dusted, bronchitic, government raped womb of a giant burning wreck, half way between the starry flagged shores of the South China Sea and ravaged prehistoric Trump infested Mississippi swamps of Gondwanaland.

Australia is indeed a beautiful country, but Morrison’s gang from out of town are picking off all the flowers, raping and pillaging our country, laughing in our faces on national television and social media like big fat balls of slime. Rule of Law, democracy, fair go – long gone according to the book of revelation and the silent annals of our sublime constitution; all that’s left is the ridiculous.

The serpent has landed and he fully intends to stay unless another little spoilt and rotten spud, half as grotesque again, grows wings and repeatedly neuralyses us with national security legislation or we are serendipitously invaded by centaurean pigs from outer space. Whichever way these Liberals fall or land, they are sure to have inoculated themselves against this current self-inflicted bubonic plague and live off the fat of their ill-gotten wealth, investments, capital and government super they have bequeathed themselves in their promised land, behind giant walls of steel or somewhere far away, gloating, farting and salivating safe offshore. But it won’t be another planet, we only have this one.

Courtesy of President of Beeblebrox Prime, a Borg Cube somewhere in the Delta Quadrant sipping coal-digger pineapple Neros, donkey-faced cocktails; and all very ugly because there is nowhere else in the galaxy to go that we haven’t already fucked up and assimilated, 9 March 2021.

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