There’s been a lot of smoke hysteria lately with people trying to push an agenda just because there’s a little bit of smoke in Sydney. It’s always been smoky in Sydney and before all those cigarette restrictions came in, we’d go days without seeing across the harbour. That’s why there are no photos of the Opera House in the 1950s, it was too smoky…
Ok, nobody’s actually trying to suggest that. In fact, the PM and the NSW Premier are trying really hard not to mention the fires at all… Possibly it’s because any mention of the fires begs the question, “Is today the day to talk about climate change, or will we have to wait till the all the fires are out?”
And when it comes to absurd, can we top the Deputy PM, Michael McWhathisname, telling us that the fires were caused by kids lighting fires… I trust that these were woke, inner city kids and not your wholesome country kids?
Well, yes, we can. We have Nationals leader-in-waiting, David Littleproud declaring that the ADF can’t help with the fires because that would put our national security at risk. I’m not sure how, and I guess he can’t tell us for the same national security concerns that won’t allow Jacqui “Deal or No Deal” Lambie to tell us why she voted the way she did, or the media to report about on water matters….
Actually, people laughed when the then Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, said that they wouldn’t be commenting about “on water” matters. Little did the realise that he’d eventually follow up with no comments about “on land” matters. What’s next?
Oh, of course: “We don’t comment about ‘on fire’ matters!”
While I’m always cynical about politicians and photo opportunities, I can’t help but notice the absence of ScoMoMo anywhere near anything burning or anything burnt. The nearest we saw was one photo of him hugging a distraught old man. Since then it’s all been photos of our Prime Ad Man staring at maps in a way that suggests that someone is keeping him up to date with the situation so that he knows where not go for drinks or polo games. Still, somebody should tell him that keeping his hands in his pockets suggests a level of inactivity that may be sending the wrong message about the goverment’s level of action. Of course when I say “wrong message” I mean the accurate one and not the one they wish to convey…
The big problem with all of this is trying to get everyone to understand subtext. Lots of people do understand that when a politician says that they love a sunburnt country, it’s not just a simple nationalistic echo of Dorothea Mackellar’s poem; they’re trying to suggest something far more sinister. And when one tells us that we’ve always had droughts and bushfires, well, yes, it’s true. But there’s a subtext there, which suggests that there’s nothing we can do about it.
Nobody says that we’ve always had car accidents after a road fatality because the subtext would be that they just don’t care about the pain and suffering caused. Similarly, nobody tries to argue that we shouldn’t do anything to reduce the number of accidents because it would have a devasting effect on the economy. Nobody asks us to consider all the poor tow-truck drivers, panel beaters, doctors, nurses, and trauma counsellors who could be thrown out of work by the elimination of traffic accidents.
Still congratulations to the Coalition for announcing an extra $11 million to help with whatever the firies need. $11 million! Wow. To put it in perspective it may not be as much as the $250 million Morrison spent on refitting his VIP jet, but it is more than Barnaby Joyce spent on travel as drought envoy. It’s about the cost to keep that Tamil family on Christmas Island.
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