I keep reading that the Coalition will play to their strong points in the upcoming campaign which, according to some, are national security, the economy, cost of living, and something that hovers around vaccine rollout/post-pandemic recovery/getouttamyface freedom.
National security gets talked about a lot, mainly as a reason to block any scrutiny of what the government is doing.
Contracts are gifted without tender to obscure companies. Arms purchases are made involving eye-watering sums, all cloaked in a veil of secrecy. We export weapons – who knows what, who knows where?
Does anyone seriously believe that a few manned subs that might be delivered in several decades time are a deterrent to a supposedly imminent invasion by China?
Meanwhile, in response to our ham-fisted shirt-fronting in the media, China imposes trade sanctions, cutting off markets for our exporters and crucial supplies for our importers. So much for ChAFTA.
Diplomacy is for girlie-men – let’s get those great big armoured land vehicles for… ummmm…
Refugees and asylum seekers who have committed no crime are held hostage in the name of national security.
Instead of being strong on national security, they have angered China, alienated the French, neglected our neighbours, abandoned Afghani helpers and refugees, and outsourced control to the US/UK military machine.
At least the economy is going well… for some.
The final budget outcome for last financial year was a deficit of $134.2 billion. Gross debt is $855 billion and climbing, with deficits forecast for at least the next ten years. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, the tax cuts coming in 24-25 will create extra debt of 276 billion more by 2030-31.
We are the only G20 country to have increased debt by more than 200 per cent since the year 2000 – 221% according to the IMF – yet we are slashing revenue purely so the Coalition can say they cut taxes, not because it will bring a national benefit.
We experienced the first recession in thirty years even with the government pumping hundreds of billions into the economy through measures that saw many profitable businesses pocket a huge windfall courtesy of the taxpayer.
Despite all that government spending, there are more than 3.24 million people or 13.6% of the population living below the poverty line. That includes 774,000 children or more than 1 in 6.
Homelessness decreased during the pandemic when extra support payments were available but is now increasing again since that support has been wound back.
Wage growth has been stagnant. In the September quarter, growth in the wage price index was only 2.2 per cent, which is still below the rate of inflation with real wages going backwards even though unemployment is at low levels.
Headlines in The Australian tell us that energy prices are at an eight year low – which means they haven’t yet got down to what they were when we had carbon pricing. Headlines elsewhere point to petrol prices being at seven year highs, largely driven by even higher gas prices.
Putting the economy in front of public health must have sounded like a good idea at the time but, as per usual, we were unprepared for the inevitable result of that experiment.
ScoMo tells me there are millions of booster shots in the country but the earliest appointment I could get was for February and I can’t find a Rapid test for sale anywhere. PCR testing is now being reserved for those who are sick because the wait times for results are so long.
It’s all very well to open up but no-one can find uninfected unexposed staff as we let it rip. But we won’t mandate anything because the anti-vaxxers and the conspiracy theorists and religious fanatics and the bovver boys want the right to infect whoever they please with no-one telling them what to do in this new age of do-nothing government.
Everything is either someone else’s responsibility or someone else’s fault while the newspapers laud Morrison’s strong leadership, Frydenberg’s popularity, and Barnaby’s retail blokiness.
Everything will be fine if we all row together, united in our broad church of personal responsibility, reading the talking points with one voice.
Just don’t mention climate change, or bushfires, droughts, floods, coastal erosion, bleaching reefs or freak storms. Don’t be distracted by water security, biodiversity or endangered species.
Point to the reports and Royal Commissions and reviews if asked about endemic sexual harassment, neglect and abuse in the aged and disability care sectors, and the deaths in custody of Indigenous people and why they fill our detention centres. Consultation is ongoing in order to reach consensus before recommendations can be considered and trialled and reported back on to the committee.
Pork-barrelling is investing in electorates, rorting expenses is within guidelines, branch stacking is encouraging political engagement, photo shoots are connecting with the local community, attendance at sporting and cultural events is absolutely necessary for our lawmakers to network..
The Indue card and Robodebt show how much we care about getting people into jobs.
Any form of integrity or anti-corruption body would be a kangaroo court who destroys the careers of innocent people, crippling government largesse. A Voice to parliament would be a racist third chamber just after money and land for nothing. We’ll get to the religious freedom bill after their prayers are answered and the evil one is defeated.
ScoMo spoke of receiving a sign from God in the shape of a photograph of an eagle – divine endorsement for his ascension to high office.
Perhaps he should take heed of the warning in Jeremiah 49:15 “Now I will make you small among the nations, despised by mankind. 16 The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.
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