The reality of political conservatism is now well and truly with us. A three year journey of rule by an ideology that believes in privilege over altruistic necessity has begun. It must be said however, that the conservatives won the election and are perfectly entitled to govern.
Tony Abbott once said that ‘’oppositions oppose”. A statement I found to be intellectually barren. Oppositions also have a responsibility to the people and the common good and should act in a bi partisan manner when necessary. They should also hold the government to account for its actions and policies in the stoutest way possible.
Writers of the left (particularly bloggers) also have similar responsibilities. I have wondered since the election what I will write about for the next three years. I have concluded that it is also my duty to hold the government to account. To see to it that the Government governs honestly and transparently and that the media reports news rather than opinion in the guise of propaganda.
Now a week is a long time in politics. Take this week for example we had . . . Well let’s look at them individually and in no particular order as the talent show host would say.
Guess who’s coming to dinner.
Earlier in the week we were advised that the Prime Minister was having a dinner party for those in the right wing media who had given their support in the election campaign. I wondered if there was a room large enough. We were told by Peta Credlin that it was a private function but she couldn’t say who was footing the bill. Given that Tony Abbott is the main culprit in the expenses scandal one would have thought that he would be anxious to appear beyond reproach.
I agree that he should be able to entertain whoever he likes. Just so long as he pays the bill.
The guest list was a who’s who of far right media representation. Andrew Bolt couldn’t make it but indicated he considered Mr Abbott:
”Thoughtful, modest, kind, serious, practical and well-read”.
I seem to recall there were a few things he didn’t read that led to a bit of lying. And perhaps the journalists should all consider charging for the support they give the government. It might help with their declining advertising revenues.
Some of those invited were:
Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Alan Jones, Janet Albrechtsen, Miranda Devine, Chris Kenny, Col Allan, Paul Sheehan and Gerard Henderson.
I’m sure they all gave their undying loyalty to the conservative cause and that in due course Tony Abbott will legislate to give them all the unbridled freedom of expression they think they need.
Commission of Audit.
And of course we had the announcement of a ‘’Commission of Audit’’. It is supposedly independent but it is led by LCP supporters. One in particular who has financially benefited from his association with the party. Of course eliminated from the audit is revenue, health, education and defence. Complicating matters will be Abbott’s unaffordable Parental Leave Scheme and a commitment to removing Labor’s means test on Private Health Insurance.
And they plan to help pay for the Parental Leave scheme with the superannuation tax breaks promised to lower wage earners. Mostly women, and the elimination on the kids schools bonus.
Trust conservatives to get their priorities in order.
Why are some babies more valuable than others you might ask?
Time will tell, but I will be surprised if the audit doesn’t say that the budget is a disaster and we need cuts cuts and more cuts. Oh but there might just be some concessions for big business.
Washington Post interview.
Tony Abbott last weekend gave an interview to the Washington Post which can only be described in diplomacy terms as pathetic. As Dr Clinton Fernandes said. “Americans will see Tony Abbott as uncouth, coarse and amateurish.”
It is however typical of Abbott. He has never been able to control his tongue. Remember how he ran down the then government in the parliament in front of the American President and backed it up when the Indonesian President visited. You simply don’t bad mouth your own country to foreign journalists.
The Tasmanian Speech.
For years now neo conservatives around the world have been saying that the term “Climate Change” is but a ploy to replace socialism with environmentalism. Abbott said this.
“Let’s be under no illusions the carbon tax was socialism masquerading as environmentalism”
With this statement the Prime Minister confirmed what I have long suspected He does not believe in the science. He thinks it’s crap. The cat is out of the bag.
Then on Wednesday the Federal Government’s independent climate policy adviser declared Australia’s emissions reduction target inadequate and not credible. This is the same body Abbott plans to dump in January which only reinforces his total disregard for science.
The draft report said that Australia’s commitment to cutting emissions by 5 per cent from 2000 levels by 2020 would leave Australia lagging behind other comparable countries like the United States.
Throughout the week discussion has centred on whether Labor will drop its Carbon Tax policy. To do so would be a further capitulation on policy. They should persist with it while at the same time exposing the governments Direct Action plan for the sham it is. At the first sitting of question time every question should be directed at Abbott and Hunt on the finer points of its policy. For three years Tony Abbott has shouted about the ‘’toxic tax’” and turned people against science. It must be forced to explain how its scheme works. No one else can.
Suggesting that towns would be wiped from the map and that roast chickens would cost $100 may very well win you government but now real viable solutions are required.
First indications suggest that Hunt is intent on disregarding this report in the same manner as he has many others.
Then on Thursday the Guardian reported that One third of articles in Australia’s major newspapers rejected or cast doubt on the overwhelming findings of climate science, with climate sceptic Andrew Bolt monopolising coverage of the topic in several high-circulation News Corporation titles, according to a new analysis.
A study of 602 articles in 10 newspapers by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism found that 32% dismissed or questioned whether human activity was causing the climate to change. The articles were analysed between February and April in 2011 and again in the same period in 2012.
Significantly, newspapers based a small fraction of their coverage on peer-reviewed science, instead relying heavily on comment pieces penned by writers without a scientific background.
Isn’t it extraordinary that Australia’s largest newspaper circulation publisher chooses not to report on the findings of 97% of the world’s climate scientists?
‘The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of scientific fact, truth and reason,never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rationale explanation’
Pink Batts Witch Hunt Inquiry.
Invoking inquiries that are so obviously political sets a dangerous precedent. We have had eight enquiries thus far into Pink Bats that have revealed nothing that is not already known. When finally the judges reveal the result of the Ashbygate appeal can we also have one into it?
On Q&A Monday night Christopher Pyne the minister with an opinion on everything canvassed the possibility of selling of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme debt to private enterprise. This was promoted in England and proved so unpopular that the government decided not to proceed.
There is no interest on HECS fees and some 20 per cent of the debt is never repaid. Selling the current and future debt could only result in fees becoming more expensive because interest would have to be charged. This would make a University education more expensive for those who are already battling.
I think I shall end here. There were other topics worthy of comment such as the report into the standard of high school education. Malcolm Turnbull’s backflip on his NBN promise. Joe Hockey’s abysmal hypocrisy and self interest on debt and borrowing and his downgrading of the NDIS, but I am told my writing can be a bit long.
Before I end though I must draw your attention to the best piece I read this week.
An afterthought on Andrew Bolt.
Dan Rowden also recently wrote an article for The AIMN revealing the absurdity of Bolt’s writing. I also wrote one earlier in the month. For whatever reason the artist Picasso popped into my head. You see Picasso at the height of his popularity knew that he could produce absolute rubbish and people would believe it was good and he would be paid millions for it. Bolt also knows that he can produce rubbish, people will like it and he will be paid handsomely for it. Not a bad analogy I should think.