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Rapid Antigen Test scandal reveals Morrison’s cruelty

On January 5 2022, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that he would make Rapid Antigen Tests freely available to concession cardholders.

This change of heart followed days of sustained criticism and soaring prices, as R.A.T.s became increasingly scarce and some retailers took advantage of the shortage to price gouge.

Australia, Morrison made clear, would not be joining other Western countries such as the UK and the U.S. in providing free tests to their populations. That would, he and his ministers claimed, lead to hoarding and wastage, and people misusing them for “social reasons”.

Like me, you might have been labouring under the misapprehension that the purpose of R.A.T.s is social, in the sense of individuals taking responsibility for the larger society in which we live. We use R.A.T.s (or would, if we could get them) to ensure we aren’t infected with COVID-19 before we go out and about, mingling with family, friends and strangers.

They are the cornerstone (or would be, if we could get them) of personal responsibility, that moral virtue urged upon us by a government itself so bereft of moral virtue and responsibility, personal and collective, that one can only howl with bitter mirth when they speak these words out loud.

No doubt many people felt some small relief when we heard the Prime Minister appear to soften his hard stance and announce that those with concession cards of one kind or another would be able to access R.A.T.s free from their pharmacy. People already financially challenged would not have to go without the vital tests, however, the working poor without concession cards are, as usual, cast into outer darkness. No free tests for you.

Morrison’s neoliberal Pentecostal prosperity ideology continues to operate from the premise that if you haven’t got enough money, you’ve nobody to blame but yourself.

However, on Monday we learned that the Government is not going to supply the R.A.T.s to pharmacies. Instead, pharmacies must source their own supply, give them without charge to those eligible and then claim the costs back from the Government via a structure that is yet to be determined.

Whether or not pharmacies are willing to do this remains to be seen. They can hardly be blamed if they don’t. Anecdotally, several people have reported on social media that their pharmacists have said they cannot supply the tests to the eligible if those tests are not supplied to them by the Government.

The possibility of free tests seems less and less likely. Indeed, it seems to be just one more Morrison announcement without substance.

It would be easy if the Federal Government simply supplied pharmacies with the tests. After all, Morrison and his ministers have access to as many as they need whenever they need them for free despite their substantial salaries and presumably they are able to extend this rare privilege to their families and close associates.

However, as we have seen repeatedly throughout this pandemic, the Federal Government operates on the premise that everything must be as difficult and complicated and slow as possible, and must require minimum outlay of public money. This is not because it endeavours to be responsible with public monies entrusted to them, but because they wish to retain as much as possible for rorts, election campaigning and military hardware. In other words, everything they can use to their own advantage and not yours.

In a move eerily echoing the priorities of dictatorships rather than democracies – on the same morning as we discovered that free tests will not be available as we thought, that many places are without adequate food supplies and that extremely ill people are being treated in hospital car parks – Defence Minister Peter Dutton announced he has committed to spending $3.5 billion on tanks, as well as assorted accessories.

That any government would refuse to make free tests available to financially disadvantaged citizens is both scandalous and bitterly cruel. That any government would announce free tests and simultaneously make it almost impossible for them to be accessed is nothing short of sadistic.

No doubt over the next days, we will hear Morrison declare that he’s offered the tests and it’s up to the pharmacies to source them and claim a refund. If they aren’t prepared to do that, he’ll say, then they’re the ones depriving people of R.A.T.s.

It writes itself, doesn’t it? We’ve heard it so many times since this pandemic began. “I don’t hold the R.A.T.s, mate” is but the next manifestation.

 

 

 

This article was originally published on Independent Australia.

 

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2022 has well and truly begun

2022 has now begun and here we are with the LNP in government for the past 8 years, and a worldwide pandemic with Covid-19, which has mutated several times and we are currently dealing with strains called Delta and Omicron.

Most people are getting on with getting vaccinated with a Covid-19 vaccine and we all need to have 2 doses, plus a booster shot 4-6 months later.

But now it’s become necessary for everyone to hurry up and get their boosters, as it’s running rampant in the eastern states, with more than 300,000 people with covid.

It goes without saying that mistakes have been made in the handling of the pandemic in Australia. This government were too slow with the procurement of vaccines, too slow with an efficient and coordinated rolling out of vaccines, too slow on going into lockdown, especially NSW and there’s always been an air of, we’ve got to keep things open, a rush to get back to the way things were pre-covid, fooling the people and themselves that we can live with the virus.

Well, we can’t live with the virus, because it makes everyone sick, even when vaccinated and when everyone is sick, well then there’s no workforce at all. In any case, I don’t think anything is ever going to be like pre-covid after this pandemic is over.

NSW, changed leaders recently, to Dominic Perrottet who was their treasurer. Well, he wanted us to ‘live with it’ and now the number of people infected has skyrocketed.

The below screenshot is the daily numbers for Sunday, 9 January 2022 as shown on the ABC daily blog.

The rollout of the vaccines has been a bungled mess, the messaging has been confusing and the coordinating of vaccine distribution has delayed a steady stream of vaccinations so that people are waiting for their vaccines and everywhere is booked out weeks in advance.

To date, according to the Australian Government Department of Health website ‘92% of people, 16 years and over are now double vaccinated’ but there is only about 17% of people who have had more than 2 vaccines, which I surmise means their booster shot.

We are nowhere near where we should be before all borders should open, but wait, it’s too late for that. The number of people diagnosed with Covid this past week has been eye-boggling.

Health experts knew that the vaccines would wane after some time, hence the need to get booster shots, so when so little of the population are yet to have their 3rd vaccine, and all children under 12 yet to have their first, why on earth would they be harping on about opening borders and easing restrictions, and going back to normal, whatever that is.

We can’t get back to completely normal like pre-covid. Not until the whole population is vaccinated a 3rd time or even a 4th time, and ideally getting infections down to a minimum in our communities.

It was known that opening up would lead to high infections. This article at the University of Sydney speaks about modelling done by the Centre for Complex Systems researchers saying that there could be as many as 40,000 infections per day if restrictions were fully lifted.

“If restrictions are fully lifted when 80 percent of adults are vaccinated, infections across Australia may rapidly grow to 40,000 per day and exceed half a million cases in the month following the lift according to this latest modelling.”

Well, it seems these predictions were accurate. Look at what’s happening in the Eastern States.

The first known cases of Omicron was in two returned travellers in late November who were asymptomatic.

By the 12th of December, a person infected with Omicron is admitted into hospital, with another 10 cases detected. This is where some of these people were linked to a boat party and attended the Argyle House nightclub.

From this date forward the number of infections started to climb, which you can see here, which shows the daily number of infections. It’s now at this point they should’ve gone into a hard lockdown for 5 to 7 days and got a hold of the number of infected people in the community identified.

I can tell you now the number of infections would have slowed, the infected would have been out of the community, and then tentative easing of restrictions would have allowed much to get back to usual.

I believe the whole east coast should be going into lockdown right now because it’s evident that even triple vaccinated can catch Covid and then be required to isolate, so the rhetoric about getting out there and getting vaccinated is all good and well…yes it will help fight infection but it won’t stop one from catching it and having to isolate until better.

It’s already disrupted the distribution centres for Woolworths and Coles, shelves are empty, delivery drivers are sick or having to isolate. The more they just let it go in the community the more the infection will spread. Even non-infected people going to work are at risk of catching Covid. Sooner or later no one will be able to go to their place of work.

Scott Morrison and Dominic Perrottet have a lot to answer for as they have neglected to protect Australians. This is all their fault. They let it loose instead of stomping on it in the beginning and relying too much on everyone getting their vaccines and now thousands of people are infected.

This article was originally published on A Written Word.

 

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Ode to a Rodent

John Howard – how this clusterfuck started

God save the queen

And bless all her palaces

Johnny was stuck in a time-warped paralysis

Back to the future is where we should be

Chaplains in schools and WorkChoices macht frei

 

Summers of cricket

And white picket fences

Bugging East Timor with no consequences

Men at the coal face and women in kitchens

God’s in his heaven; to hell with Chris Hitchens

 

The blacks should be grateful

There’ll be no notion of ‘sorry’

There’s just bin nights and bingo in his grand oratory

Mabo got land back but not on his watch

He’d rather die in a ditch, take a kick to the crotch

 

Then came the Tampa

Laden with distraught refugees

Said Little Johnny “they’re all killers and thieves”

FUD and dogwhistling and throw in a wedge

For the coming election brown folks were his best hedge

 

Planes into buildings

He couldn’t believe his good luck

At the bombing of children he would give not one fuck

He got out the atlas to locate Iraq

This was the keys to The Lodge to be handed him back

 

But the electorate awoke

And kicked his arse to the kerb

It was our national conscience he’d no longer perturb

Now his future’s uncertain, a little bit vague

But if karma’s a bitch he’s got a date at The Hague

* * * * *

Every election, without fail, the Tories turn on the heating in John Winston Howard’s crypt and trolly his defrosted, cadaverous presence around to jape and jolly for the cameras with their candidate du jour. To many this is not unlike exhuming a long-forgotten egg sandwich at the bottom of a pre-teen’s schoolbag. Or finding your weirdo old neighbour indulging in hand-to-gland combat on your nature strip. But for the posh north shore ladies and the Mercedied Toorak bankers and the Kings School born-to-rule old boys he’s Tory royalty.

John Winston’s a shrivelled little man with a petty little mind. In Paul Keating’s assessment he was “a shiver looking for a spine to run up” and he’s still Mungo MacCallum’s more earthy but equally on point “unflushable turd“. Or in the words of the Tories’ own – a “lying rodent” who’s “mean and tricky“. These apparently are the characteristics of Liberal Party iconography.

Our own diminutive Maggie Thatcher in drag Little Johnny didn’t want to keep things as they were. He wanted to send us back to the ’50s and beyond – a land of curtain twitchers and the cultural cringe, of portraits of Betty Battenberg hung in every classroom, church on Sundays (preferably Anglican), the missionary position, doffing of caps to our betters, busted unions, closeted gays and doclie, out-of-sight indigenous folks. It’s to the country’s credit that he failed at each.

Howard, like any die-hard conservative, sees the world through his own cozy lived experience and lacks the intellect to imagine anything outside of it. ‘Relaxed and comfortable’ was his grand ambition for the country; bland and beige as in his oxymoronic manifesto of 1950’s nostalgia – Future Directions.

“I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about their history; I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the present and I’d also like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the future.”

This explains his appeal to the fogies, young and old, in the leafy surrounds of the Tory heartlands. When your biggest problem is your over-chlorinated pool then a new cabana boy is all the change you want. Howard’s achievement was to convince tradies and suburban travel agents and Jim’s Mowing franchisees that with him in office then they too could one day employ their own pool guy.

Howard’s legacy is two-fold.

Australia’s Big Lie. The highest taxing, highest spending government in our history was carried along by the Hawke/Keating reforms to spawn the enduring myth of the Tories as better economic managers. They dine out on it to this day.

And his awfulness laid the groundwork for two horrendous successors – a badly shaved yowie in red sluggos and a failed marketing spiv who gets career advice from an eagle painting. Abbott’s style was to burn everything down, Morrison’s is to watch it burn.

To be fair to Little Johnny there were other accomplishments:

  • The lie-detecor destruction test of core and non-core promises
  • Entrenched middle class welfare
  • Punitive industrial relations
  • The move further right – flushing any talent down the drain should they give any hint of less than enthusiastic endorsement of RWFWittery
  • His AWB wheat for oil crimes
  • His East Timor bugging crimes
  • He killed the republic referendum
  • He finessed dog whistle politics
  • He’s was a dedicated practitioner of propaganda not persuasion – “stir emotion, scapegoat the innocent, enforce group identity and arouse suspicion without evidence*”
  • He provided a character reference for George Pell.

When you see him wheeled out round the Tory fundraisers and media it will confirm an election date is imminent.

*How Trump, Elon Musk and Gwyneth Paltrow short circuit your ability to think rationally. Business Week.

 

Image from independentaustralia.net (Photo via Twitter: David Marler / ‏@Qldaah)

Related readings wherein he hasn’t been called a c***:

if we judge Howard by his own standards as a reformer, there isn’t a great deal to show for his lengthy period in office“. John Winston Howard: The Biography. Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen

John Howard. A study in policy consistency. M.L.Murry. A long read of 355 pages. But interesting.

Where ‘mutual obligation’ began: John Howard’s paradigm shift on welfare. The Guardian

In truth, Labor is the superior economic manager. Craig Emerson Economics

John Howard. A study in policy consistency. M.L.Murry. A long read of 355 pages. But interesting.

Where ‘mutual obligation’ began: John Howard’s paradigm shift on welfare. The Guardian

 

This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.

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Know your Premier

As NSW records over 22,000 new cases of COVID and the number in hospital races towards a thousand, it’s worth getting to know the man who decided to “open up” just as the Omicron strain was taking off.

At 39, Dominic Perrottet is our youngest premier. He is one of 12 children and is about to become a father for the 7th time.

His younger brother gave an interesting defence to police when he faced allegations of rape in 2017.

Mr Perrottet, who comes from a large family belonging to the conservative Catholic order Opus Dei, later told police there was no way they had sexual intercourse. “It’s against my religion,” he said.

Dom was born in 1982 and was preselected in 2010 for the NSW seat of Castle Hill. Prior to that he had completed a commerce/law degree which takes 5 years. He apparently worked briefly for a law firm but it was purely a stepping stone as his political ambitions were clear, serving as the President of the NSW Young Liberals Movement in 2005 and on the NSW State Executive of the Liberal Party from 2008 to 2011.

Perrottet is an electorate hopper, moving from Castle Hill to Hawkesbury to Epping, wherever he sees the cushiest path.

In 2019, he voted against decriminalising abortion in NSW, saying anyone who believes women should have a right to an abortion are on the “wrong side of history”. He has also spoken out against same-sex marriage., saying “Marriage is about every child’s fundamental right to grow up with their own mum and dad.” On voluntary assisted dying he says “The answer to suffering is not to offer death, but care, comfort and compassion.”

There are still unanswered questions about Perrottet’s involvement in very dodgy dealings at icare, the state’s worker’s compensation scheme, which had underpaid up to 52,000 injured workers by up to $80m in compensation.,

The Information and Privacy Commission NSW found that icare had not publicly registered 422 contracts since 2015, each worth more than $150,000. These contracts include some being awarded without a competitive tender to companies associated with Liberal Party figures, such as marketing firm IVE Group being awarded millions of dollars in contracts. IVE Group is run by former NSW Liberal party president Geoff Selig.

An internal note among senior figures in the NSW Treasury in 2018 raised a concern that “a direct line to [Perrottet] means icare often bypasses Treasury”. Other concerns raised included icare’s non-compliance with recruitment policies and limited disclosures of capital expenditures.

Perrottet has decided he knows better than the health authorities how we should handle this pandemic. Back in July, when the vast majority of people were not fully vaccinated, he fervently opposed lockdowns and restrictions, saying, with zero regard for our health workers or the health system, we just had to learn to live with it.

This absolute certainty that he is right, this determination to impose his will, is truly scary.

And if you really want to know the type of man who is now our Premier, this was what he posted on Facebook in response to the election of Donald Trump:

Some people seem surprised by Donald Trump’s success in the US election.

But this result is a victory for people who have been taken for granted by the elites in the political establishment for too long.

There is a silent majority, a forgotten people, who feel like the values they hold dear are no longer being represented by the political class.

In fact, these values and the people who hold them are looked upon with contempt.

If you stand for free speech, you are not a bigot.

If you question man-made climate change, you are not a sceptic.

If you support stronger borders, you are not a racist.

If you want a plebiscite on same sex marriage, you are not a homophobe.

If you love your country, you are not an extremist.

These are mainstream values that people should be free to articulate without fear of ridicule or persecution by the Left.

It’s time for a new political conversation that reflects the concerns of everyday people.

It’s time for a conservative spring.

 

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Scott Morrison makes me sick

Assume an angry mood before reading; it’ll save time.

I’m sick of his spin. I’m sick of his lies. I’m sick of his dissembling and I’m sick of his dumb arrogance and his ever-present, self-satisfied smirk. I’m sick of his partisan politicking on every single issue. I’m sick of his inane slogans and his flatulent blatherings, as if he’s retrieved Scrabble tiles from a blender to form random words.

I’m sick of the relentless photo ops. I’m sick of the contrived personas – Spakfilla for a lack of personality cult. I’m sick of Daggy Dad and Scotty Takes Charge and Brave Sir Scotty and Sporty Scotty and Curry Cook Scotty and I’m sick of every hi-vizzed, hard-hatted mounting of machinery and his performative helping hand at flood clean ups and charity kitchens that stops the moment the cameras are packed away. My gag reflex is triggered whenever this vacuous poseur exploits front line workers, volunteers and grannies getting vaxxed as props for his media machine and who are then wiped from his mind the moment their immediate Instagram value has passed.

I felt a bit of sick in the back of my throat when he confessed to furtive, non-consensual feel-ups of disaster victims as some sort of subliminal Pentecostal conversion therapy – behaviour that should see him arrested and charged along with the coagulation of staff fondlers and upskirters and drink spikers who infest the government benches.

I’m tired of his disposable principles and transactional loyalties and least effort compliance with the proprieties of ethical governance. I’m angered by the vapidity of this piffler of modest abilities and questionable achievements, his general uselessness, his drain on our collective wellbeing. He’s a sinkhole for our national aspirations. I’m horrified that his only talent is to finagle avoidance of accountability and duck repercussions from his idiocies and neglect but then flagrantly claim credit for any incidental success.

I’m tired of his cowardice and his intimidation of the powerless. Impervious to self-reflection, comfortable in the belief he is the chosen one he’s a creepy, nasty and spiteful bully who will lash out and background against anyone challenging his authority or questioning his artfully crafted ‘authenticity’.

I’m bemused by his casual sexism – the confusion on his face at the notion that women are his equals and I’m aghast at the calculated misogyny of his suggesting he’s due some gratitude for the uppity ones not being shot.

I’m appalled at his facilitation of corruption, his suffocating incompetence, his abrogation of any responsibility (that’s not my job™) and his laughable claims to leadership when he flees the country or disappears behind the curtains when confronted with real-world challenges.

 

Cartoon and verse courtesy of Mark David

 

Truth is an entirely dispensable frippery whenever it doesn’t serve his purposes, which is often. Announcements and promises delivered with gish-galloped smugness in a condescending tone and without a thought as to implementation will be contradicted or denied in short order. All evidence that the shite is coming out his ears right there in front of everybody is disdainfully dismissed as if he travels between dimensions where reality is subjective and he gets to choose the version that applies to the moment.

I snort derisively that this Nigel No Friends had to invent his own tragic nickname. ‘ScoMo’ – the $50 note he’s pinned to the lapel of his unpleasant presence; a spiv raffling past-expiry-date rissoles at the local boozer, backslapping the punters and pretending he gives a fuck. I’m embarrassed that someone occupying the highest office in the land appends such an asinine moniker to official communications.

I hate that no freak fringe is off-limits for grooming as he chases the preference votes of the clunge farm escapees. He nods and winks to the arse-wash of sovereign citizens, freedumbing anti-maskers, red-pilled conspiracy wingnuts, horse-punchers, the self-righteous ACL homophobes who are obsessed with what the gays do with their pink bits and the UAP and One Notion over-spill that have me reaching for a puke bag.

I’m sick of his pandering to the wealth interests of an avaricious cohort of cardboard box billionaires, fridge magnates and private-schooled sybarites for whom too much is never enough. I’m disgusted at his punching down and victimisation of those least able to fight back and his denigration of those who show that they might.

I don’t like his stooges, I abhor his cronies, I detest his enablers and I’m dispirited by the appeal of his facile schtick – the pre-fab chook pen and cubby house, the bloke-next-door affectations of a transactional, calculating spruiker of the virtues of apathy and unquestioning acceptance of this superficial drivel.

I’m appalled at his Jesus-with-an-ABN sect that celebrates self interest and licences disdain for the disadvantaged. It makes me nauseous that he is OK with the destruction of the environment as his expected end times make our liveable planet an expendable, temporary stop-over on his way to his imaginary celestial forever-holiday resort, sharing beers and jokes about the povvos with his good mate Jebus down by the VIP pool.

His smarm makes me cringe, his voice makes me gag, his presence on the telly makes me feel defiled. His bloviating hypocrisy bubbles away in my colon like a bad oyster awaiting a projectile vomit of bile and loathing into the smug bastard’s face.

I’m ashamed that this grinning, vacuous opportunist connived and lied and inveigled his way into our country’s top job. Watching Morrison’s rise was like watching a fish climb a ladder – such things are difficult to comprehend. The way he gained office defines his character, or more accurately, his lack thereof. His behaviour during the fires disaster revealed his true useless, craven self. Given his surrender in adversity and his admissions of impotence in the face of real world challenges his delusional self-belief is staggering. A serial failure but for the intervention of grim happenstance this low-flying dullard reminds me that somewhere there’s a flushing toilet missing his head. He’s a void, a vacuum sucking the hopes and aspirations from all but the gullible, the toadies, grifters and subscribers to his disturbing talking-in-tongues prosperity cult.

He claims the imprimatur of his deity yet nonetheless fears all scrutiny, defaults to habitual lies and deception and depends upon his cabal of bag carriers and crime scene cleansers and the complicit Murdochrities and media specials to cultivate a dumbed-down audience for whom the news is only entertainment and entertainment is the only news.

He’s a squatter who fills in the time between elections by electioneering and buck passing. There is no nuance, no subtlety, no 3D chess in his behaviour – no intellect at all, no vision, no insight, nothing beyond the full time sales pitch of a tent revivalist. He’s a charlatan and a grifter to whom ethics is an English county and whose god-ordained tasks remain a mystery after 3 long, depressing years of this fuckwit cosplaying at PM.

Always late to the party he awaits poll results to form his opinions, scapegoating his cockups and disappearing until his minions can spin a means to lay claim to any upside or, failing that, to dig up another dead cat. For Scooter Morrison it’s the triumph of cheap politics over the national interest every time. Under this imbecilic galoot we are experiencing the erosion of our values and the sacrifice of our national integrity. Our transformation from a progressive, liberal democracy to Ayn Rand World in Pentecostal Disneyland is well under way.

I am gobsmacked that after Howard and Abbott the Libs somehow found someone who’s worse.

This bloviating pecksniff was scraped from the filter after an incontinents’ pool party. Our country will be vastly improved from the very moment this fatuous twat and his smirk are thrown out onto the street.

 

Image from Twitter

 

References:

“The plot is that once you make government a pay-for-play operation, you forget how to govern when there’s no one paying. Required to act in the public interest rather than deliver what his donors want, Scott Morrison and his government are all at sea.” Crikey

I’ve been in evacuation centres where people thought I was just giving someone a hug and I was praying, and putting my hands on people … laying hands on them and praying in various situations,” Scooter Morrison, April 2021

“Joel, I really feel like this is what the Lord wants … He wants me to become prime minister.” Scooter to his chum Joel A’Bell

Scott Morrison and the women’s movement. The Saturday Paper

 

This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.

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Albo seems to be everything that ScoMo isn’t

Who is this bloke called Albo?

In the Australian manner of receiving a title by plunking an “o” on the end of one’s name, Anthony Albanese became Albo. But what do we know about the man other than he mispronounces a word or two?

Wikipedia tells us that:

“… he was born 2 March 1963) is an Australian politician serving as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) since 2019. He has been a member of parliament (MP) for the division of Grayndler since 1996. Albanese was deputy prime minister of Australia under the second Rudd Government in 2013 and a Cabinet Minister in the Rudd and Gillard Governments from 2007 to 2013.

Albanese was born in Sydney and attended St Mary’s Cathedral College before going to the University of Sydney to study economics. He joined the Labor Party as a student, and before entering parliament, worked as a party official and research officer. Albanese was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1996 election, winning the seat of Grayndler in New South Wales.

He was first appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in 2001 and served in several roles, eventually becoming Manager of Opposition Business in 2006.

After Labor’s victory in the 2007 election, Albanese was appointed Leader of the House; he was also made Minister for Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

In the subsequent leadership tensions between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard from 2010 to 2013, Albanese was publicly critical of the conduct of both, calling for unity.

While serving in the Gillard Government, Albanese supported the introduction of carbon pricing and voted, along with the rest of the Labor Party, to establish the Clean Energy Act 2011, which instituted a carbon pricing scheme in Australia. After the Abbott Government abolished the system in July 2014, Albanese stated that carbon pricing was no longer needed, as “the circumstances have changed”.

Albanese is a prominent backer of renewable energy and has declared that Australia’s “long-term future lies in renewable energy sources”.

Personal life

In 2000, Albanese married Carmel Tebbutt, a future Deputy Premier of New South Wales. They have one son named Nathan. Albanese and Tebbutt separated in January 2019. In June 2020, it was reported that Albanese was in a new relationship with Jodie Haydon.

Albanese describes himself as “half-Italian and half-Irish” and a “non-practicising Catholic”. He is also a music fan who reportedly once went to a Pogues gig in a Pixies shirt and intervened as Transport Minister to save a Dolly Parton tour from bureaucratic red tape.

As a lifelong supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, he was a board member of the club from 1999 to 2002 and influential in the fight to have the club readmitted to the National Rugby League competition.”

In all its brevity, there is my rehashed profile of Anthony Albanese. There is more, of course, if you want to follow the link provided, but I’m trying to make a point here. I keep searching. I visit his web page, where he tells the story of being raised by a single mum who wanted him to have a better life than she had.

Then I peruse his parliamentary web page. No luck there. Very mundane stuff.

A Google search “Anthony Albanese Scandals” then takes me to news.com.au, where I find that; “Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese was involved in an awkward exchange during a grilling about a veteran MP involved in a scandal in Victoria.”

Albanese had refused to intervene.

I went back to my search for any sort of scandal concerning Albo. I’m led to The Daily Mail (England edition) to read that:

“It was revealed in June last year that Opposition leader Anthony Albanese had found love again with Jodie Haydon, after his devastating split from wife Carmel Tebbutt.

The politician previously revealed the break-up with his ex-wife Carmel, 57, in January 2019 wasn’t his decision.”

“One last go,” I said to myself. My final search told me that the son of the Albanese’s turned 20 this month.

Wow.

I cannot think of a politician with so little scandal. I think to myself; “What on earth will the conservatives do. How could you possibly trust a leader without a scandal or two behind him?”

My search yielded no corruption, no abundance of lying or lack of truth. There is none of the Morrison arrogance nor self-entitlement. No question of him being untrustworthy. Nothing to raise a scare campaign about. No mistakes, bungles or stuff ups. I shall leave it there. Once one has made one’s point, it is best to leave it.

Albo seems to be everything that Scomo isn’t.

My thought for the day

The way you think and feel about yourself affects every aspect of your life. When you love, accept, respect and approve of yourself, you validate your existence.

 

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Mr Joyce goes to Washington

Our nation is shocked at news from Washington that Tamworth’s favourite son, deputy PM, blue-blooded, Red Octopus, Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce, picks up a dose of ‘rona and must abort his mission to shirt-front Mark Zuckerberg after a brilliant one day bull-session in The Old Dart with deputy PM Dominic Raab who has great tips about his latest spreadsheet to select only the better type of refugee from Kabul and Transport Minister Grant Shapps, guru of infrastructure and the Zen puzzle of “levelling-up” which as every student of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s rhetoric will tell you, involves fixing inequality without making poor areas richer by making rich areas poorer.

If no-one can understand Al (to his pals and family) Johnson’s “levelling-up” gibberish, Riverview Old Boy, coal seam gas-lighter, Santos’ shill, Murray-Darling tilter and knight-errant in RM Williams’ armour, Barney is clear about one thing. He’s on a (very public) crusade to defend his daughter Bridgette’s honour from vile cowards on social media, who assume that she and her former boss, John Barilaro are an item. At it like rabbits. Vile stuff. Ugly. Even Harvey’s Weinstein’s casting couch would blush.

Turns out it’s all the work of one coward, @SewerRat420. No-one been seriously harmed, moreover. A tiny, online, rumour becomes an issue only when Joyce gives it oxygen. It’s the Streisand effect. You get a lot of it in a policy-free Morrison government.

But it’s timely. Joyce’s war on @SewerRat420’s tweets to their 69 followers may be quixotic but it’s all Barney needs to manufacture outrage. Grandstand. A protective Dad he takes things into his own hands; pens a lurid op-ed for Costello’s Nine Newspapers.

Brace yourselves, this is a disquieting passage; Barnabese is not easy to read.

‘Twitter, it is not the trolls that inspire the devastating mental health issues. The trolls don’t have a voice unless you give them one, and you do! You make money from their noise, their ambit scratchings on the back of a lavatory door. They post their character assassinations from the back of the door at the servo and you illuminate it in on a city billboard for all to see.’

BJ’s surely in the running for Australian Florid Laureate. But how could a young Nationals’ staffer, straight from Uni, who got her “senior political adviser” job through cronyism, be so wrongly accused of having an affair with her sleazebag boss, a married man? An MP?

Joyce has a veritable Flagstaff Mountain of moral high ground to stand on, given his own affair with his former media adviser Vikki Campion, now the mother of his two bouncing boys, although, at first, he nobly cast doubt on the paternity of the first. It is something he had to do but he wasn’t going to take any paternity tests.

A very post-modern anti-hero Joyce also has a history of groping women says WA Labor’s Jackie Jarvis. Yet rural advocate, Catherine Marriott’s allegation of sexual harassment goes nowhere when the NSW National Party’s thoroughly independent internal inquiry can reach no conclusion but won’t make its finding public.

It’s a long trip to protect your daughter’s virtue but someone has to do it. Of course, it’s overkill, but, just for perspective, Joyce did tell the house he would not let his girls get Gardasil because it would make them promiscuous. As for social media it is filth.

Anyone can post anything about anybody Joyce reckons. What is the world coming to?

Using anonymous social media should be restricted to the party in power. Or tapping Clive Palmer’s piggybank to peddle lies about the Labor Party raising taxes.

Andrew Laming has over 30 fake accounts. Amanda Stoker has her “Mandy Jane” alias.

Yet Barnaby’s complaint is a bit misleading. @SewerRat420’s account was promptly suspended. Twitter’s private information policy, prohibits sharing content that would violate anyone’s privacy. Phone numbers and addresses were the target but late last month the ban was extended to include photographs and videos of people taken without their permission, even if they’re depicted in public.

Crikey’s Cam Wilson reports that Twitter users who’d used the platform to document behaviours of people like QAnon adherents and Proud Boys were suspended from the platform for sharing footage of these groups taken in public. He, himself is suspended for tweeting details of public records freely available online of Alan Jones’ new YouTube venture backers Australian Digital Holdings.

None of this assuages Joyce’s fury. It’s an attack on Bridge’s morality, chastity, pedigree and a blot on the Joyce Family reputation for integrity. Paterfamilias and pocket moral philosopher, Barney whips himself into a lather. His blood is up. Nothing for it but to nip over to the US. Sort out the bastards in charge. Coronavirus? Can’t touch him.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, retired 29 November, but it won’t be too hard to rock up to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s palace. Nor should it be impossible to get hold of Dorsey’s successor, Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal.

Happily, Morrison’s VIP, private executive jet, is idle. That’s rare. Australia’s First Dad, ScoMo dashed down from Canberra to Kirribilli, last Father’s Day, at a bargain cost to us of $6000, last September.

Big family man, Barnaby is a Walter Mitty. Sees himself as a SAS crack paratrooper in the Morrison Jihad against social media, (SM) the Great Satan of our click-baited age of disinformation, trivia, superficiality and sexploitation, a formula not yet patented by ex-pat Rupert Murdoch, but very much his house style.

SM is a handy scapegoat in any election campaign when you have no real policy to campaign on – and when social media is less easily controlled than the mainstream – and can express unpalatable truths. If not hold you to account, it can at least expose your lies. Morrison calls it “coward’s castle”, a bit rich from someone whose MPs abuse parliamentary privilege to smear Labor regularly.

It’s rank hypocrisy, moreover, given the Liberal Party’s own rich history of anonymous trolls on social media, neatly summarised by Andrew P Street, in Independent Australia.

But in an era of post-truth, post-shame, Tory politics, who lets the facts get in the way of a top story? The Tamworth Family Values Crusader takes it up to Zuckerberg narrative evokes David v Goliath, despite Barn telling Gina’s daughter, Bianca, in a typically controversial intervention, in 2011, that his parents were millionaires.

You have to be a millionaire to run for office in the US.

In October, Joyce rings John Thune, number three Republican in the Senate, a long, tall South Dakotan (1.93m) who is big on algorithm transparency, and who looks like the president from central casting. Thune is pushing his Filter Bubble Transparency Act to unmask internet platforms’ perfidy. His own prose is a beacon of lucidity.

“For free markets to work as effectively and as efficiently as possible, consumers need as much information as possible, including a better understanding of how internet platforms use artificial intelligence and opaque algorithms to make inferences from the reams of personal data at their fingertips that can be used to affect behavior and influence outcomes. That’s why I believe consumers should have the option to either view a platform’s opaque algorithm-generated content or its filter bubble-free content, and, at the very least, they deserve to know how large-scale internet platforms are delivering information to their users.”

Thune is pushing it uphill. His bill is wishful thinking. Not exactly what Joyce is after. He wants something like the man with the red flag in the UK who had to walk in front of the new-fangled motorcar in 1865, restricting its speed to four miles per hour in case it frightened stock in the fields by the road. Or some protective censorship, such as is enjoyed by other repressive regimes around the world.

The Committee to Protect Journalists lists the top ten and their ways.

In the top three countries–Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan–the media serves as a mouthpiece of the state. Other countries on the list use harassment, arbitrary detention together with sophisticated surveillance and targeted hacking to silence any independent press.

Saudi Arabia, China, Vietnam, and Iran specialize in jailing and harassing journalists and their families, while also monitoring and censoring internet and social media.

But our Deputy PM offers Australia’s help to the bipartisan bill, especially, after whistleblower and former Facebook product manager, Frances Haugen tells Congress she’s seen how the company prioritises profits over the wellbeing of its users, reports the AFR’s Tom McIlroy.

Profits before well-being? Incredible. Sounds exactly like Australia’s Federal government-subsidised-private-Aged Care scam where 34% of homes for our elders are run for profit.

During the last Covid wave in Victoria in 2020, over forty per cent of the total of seven hundred deaths occurred in just ten homes, none of which were run by the state government. Yet the dominant media narrative is that the Andrews’ government is to blame. Who needs censorship?

Being placed in a for-profit home means an aged care resident is twice as likely to suffer serious injuries in a for-profit home as in a government-run one, the royal commission investigating the sector finds.

Yet there’ll be no rush to reform. Expect instead over five million dollars of public funds to be spent on a classic Crosby Textor ploy; a series of talking points and ads all repeating a pledge to keep Australia Safe from evil cyber trolls, hackers and other malignant unseen enemies of the public good.

Always identify a peril to unite your supporters around. Or invent one. Just skip the harm caused by the slurs, lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories posted by your own MPs including George Christensen and recent defector to the UAP, Craig Kelly.

To win votes, an anti-trolling bill is proposed. No draft is yet available, but the vibe of the new law is to make it easier for plaintiffs to un-mask real names of trolls on social media, a process already available through our legal system and one which then relies on the victim having the money to run a defamation case.

The federal Coalitions ’s plans will help it to sue you; not protect you. Cam Wilson notes, they are more likely to help the powerful get revenge than help your average Australian stop online abuse.”

Of course, there’s wealth of other public duties our multi-talented multi-tasking Deputy PM would be able to perform, according to the officialese released by his government’s organ-grinder. Some of it is pure poetry:

“Mr Joyce will focus on infrastructure and meetings with counterparts on how to restore the aviation industry after the pandemic.”

Yet public fuses with private for Joyce in a great display of a father avenging a wronged daughter. He’ll be able to claim he was prepared to go halfway around the world to go toe to toe with Zuckerberg, himself, to protect his innocent eldest child, the fair young maid Bridgette. Of course, there are personal motives behind Joyce’s quest.

Joyce is making another bid for redemption with the nation including ex-wife Natalie and his first family. (This would be his first second family if we followed the US nonsense of the President’s wife being the First Lady, his pet, First Dog, the late Champ, and so on.)

We are, nevertheless, on that track or steep decline, but it’s mainly Anti-vaxxers in MAGA hats waving Trump banners and protesting their rights under pseudolaw, close cousin to pseudoscience.)

Close also to madness. Last month, one of Australia’s aspiring singers, Claire Woodley, daughter of Bruce Woodley, of The Seekers, dedicates a performance of I am Australia to “victims of satanic ritual abuse” – a rhetoric common in US-born QAnon conspiracy theory about abducting children for satanic rites.

An equally bizarre aberration is the appropriation of My body My choice a slogan stolen from women seeking the right to control their own fertility through pregnancy termination if need be. Yet Trumpism, with its mindless morass of alternative facts, intoxicates our current PM who marvels at how the Donald did things, even appearing at a campaign rally with him in Ohio September 2019.

ScoMo’s sycophancy is rewarded with a medal, The Legion of Merit, for leadership in meeting global challenges and we’ve all seen how well that went for him in COP26 and by US suppliers nicking our markets in our trade war with China. Now there’s a submarine deal which could reach $170 billion.

Trump’s crypto-fascism is not without its parallel in Morrison’s politics but the two trends spring independently from larger changes including a decaying news media ecology and a failure of traditional empirical knowledge-gathering processes.

Also playing its part is the alienation as seen in the gig economy, wage theft and the rise in casual insecure underpaid work, a precariat of 2.3 million workers, last year according to the ABS.

But you’ll never find Barnaby voting to increase the minimum wage if you check the record. Nor, like his PM, is there evidence of any excess empathy for the battlers he eulogises when it suits him. He also shares with Morrison a type of narcissism.

For the Tamworth Rat, things haven’t been the same since he left Nat to shack up with his former media adviser, Vikki Campion. In Barnaby’s febrile mind, redemption and rehabilitation beckon but, given the nature of the man, it’s above all, another chance to star in his own movie as Australia’s elder statesman who can wrangle the plain truth out of any fancy-pants hombre in five minutes face to face.

The narrative of Joyce’s movie, Barnaby holes up in the Jefferson Hotel, is a postmodern version of Mr Smith goes to Washington with a twist: Mr. Smith turns out to be the grifter Barnaby Joyce.

Of course, the spin is terrific. BJ’s sorting out the UK’s transport issue, with his insights into inland rail and if only he could get out of that hotel, he’s just itching to hawk AUKUS. Of course, he’ll patch up the crack in the Liberty Bell while he’s in the land of the brave, and he’s got ways and wiles to fix Morrison’s blue with Macron, a new, post-Brexit EU with France in charge. Give that Marise Payne a run for her money.

BJ jets off in Shark One, A Qantas A330 converted in 2015 by Airbus to a freighter and air-to-air refueller, the KC30-A tanker. How good is ScoMo’s upgrade converting the ‘bus into a VIP executive jet, at a bargain $250m? You’d think that the Coalition won in a landslide – not that it clings to power by one miserable seat.

Cynics on social media suggest the OS junket is a chance for Scott Morrison to get Joyce out of the way. Labor’s slogan, “vote Liberal get Barnaby Joyce” seems to be cutting through. But that’s a bit harsh.

Not only is our urbane, suave, master of nuance, deputy PM a born diplomat, Joyce’s linguistic gifts are as legendary as his Akubra millinery. Bi-lingual, fluent in both New English and in word-salad, he knocks the socks off Scott Morrison when it comes to communication. Let alone oratory.

Who can forget Barnaby’s recorded speech to Shepparton irrigators in 2017 where he boasts that he forced Turnbull to take Water out of the Environment portfolio so that he could protect wealthy upstream interests? It’s the sort of sell-out that endears you to your children.

“We have taken water, put it back into agriculture, so we could look after you and make sure we don’t have the greenies running the show basically sending you out the back door, and that was a hard ask,” he is recorded, bragging.

Does he want a medal or a chest to pin it on?

But now, alas, Barn can’t riff about transport and infrastructure, make them boggle at his inland rail boondoggle or brag about his luck in acquiring “mongrel land” with coal-seam gas under it. Worse. Barn can’t shirtfront “Zuck”. Schmooze Ted Cruz. But he’s a Tongue-Fu Master from way back. Just listen to his mission statement.

“In a car, if I run over a person I go to jail, seatbelt or not. Online, I’m apparently indemnified. What’s the difference – breaking a leg or breaking a mind? We spend billions on mental health while they make billions in profits. I want to put the fear of God in them.”

Barney’s probably picked up a bit of man-flu in BoJo’s London, Brexit’s party animal playground, after a mask-less Dominic Raab, sacked Foreign Secretary but still deputy PM, ear-bashes Barn about his new spreadsheet to screen asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, although a plane load of dogs gets priority, when Carrie takes pity, another triumph in the Tory race to inflict gratuitous cruelty on the most vulnerable.

Oddly no-one seems to be talking about the latest of eight books which Andrew Leigh has published since entering parliament in 2010, What’s the Worst That Could Happen? Populism cops a serve.

“Tackling long-term threats requires four things: strong science, effective institutions, global engagement, and a sense of cooperation and order. Populists are anti-intellectual, anti-institutional, anti-international, and anti-irenic (‘irenic’ means to strive for peace and consensus).”

This posture is at the heart of their popular appeal – and denialist myopia regarding systemic risks is its inevitable by-product. Barnaby Joyce take a bow, with your claim that the COP26 accord doesn’t apply to your party, even though you are supposed to be in a coalition with the Liberals.

And whilst Joyce loves the fiction of the practical, man on the land, in contrast to the latte-sipping inner city urban guerrillas sabotaging The Australian Way, his trip as the UK is gripped by another pandemic wave including the highly infectious and still largely unresearched Omicron mutant variant seems decidedly ill-advised, if not foolhardy.

What is it that requires Barnaby Joyce to take such an ill-advised flight into the teeth of a raging pandemic in the UK – & then on to the wen of infection that is the US? What could he not do remotely via Zoom? His populist denialism is not heroic, it’s stupid.

Doubtless Joyce’s cult-followers will be sending him packages of the horse de-wormer Ivermectin that the Morrison government so desperate to court denialists, conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxers that it still permits quack Craig Kelly to spruik online.

What could Barnaby Joyce not do by Zoom that requires he risk his life on a junket taking in two nations with dangerously high rates of endemic infection?

Busier than a cat watching two rat-holes, devouring briefing papers and making calls, Joyce will at last get a bit of me-time. The Red Octopus, as Barn is known to Nationals’ women, can put the finishing touches to his submission to Morrison’s women’s taskforce to which he is a recent appointment.

Clearly Joyce’s gig on the women’s’ gabfest is endorsed by the formidable Marise Payne, the “one wise monkey” Easter Island statue of women’s issues and contender for worst advocate for women in history since Tony Abbott’s public gesture of contempt in appointing himself as Minister for Women.

He’s also got time at last to check the interest on the $675,000 he claimed for his three weeks’ work on the ground during his nine months stint as Special Drought Envoy for which he produces no written report. Swears he sent texts instead. No biggie, says the PMO, it never expected any report. The Envoy was to be “focused on getting into communities and talking to farmers in drought.”

The Morrison government claims that Joyce has Covid and will be in isolation for ten days but when has Morrison ever told the truth about anything? At best, the current PM’s enticing the old rogue bull elephant away from attacking McCormack, former nominal Nationals’ Leader who got the job only because he wasn’t Barnaby. Perhaps the Ivermectin will do the trick and Joyce will up and at them after Christmas. But by then, Morrison will want his jet back so that he can fly ahead of his campaign bus and pretend that he’s been on board it every inch of the way from Kirribilli to Queensland.

On reflection, Barnaby’s barnstorm is bananas. Dangerously daft. What was the Morrison government thinking in sending its Les Paterson to England, ravaged by pandemic at a time when Boris faces defeat over the lies he told about who paid for the gold wallpaper and the two hundred thousand pounds’ worth of other accoutrements to do up the flat above number 11 Downing Street where he and Carrie make do?

What evidence is there that even in perfect health, that a personal visit from Joyce would seal any deal? The prospect of his shirt-fronting the billionaires atop their social media empires is ludicrous. It just doesn’t work like that. Besides the whole idea of intervention and censorship doesn’t bear inspection.

There was never any likelihood of any good coming out of swapping ideas with a Johnson government that rode to power on a wave of Murdoch-fuelled Brexit-mania but which has now lost the plot on everything?

As for our family man’s personal mission to fend off the troll-masters and protect his vulnerable young daughter, it will be at best a noble failure. Barnaby will be able to say he did everything he can but his best efforts were sabotaged by Omicron.

The whole fiasco of Joyce’s trip to London and Washington is a cautionary tale. It smacks of ineptitude, dud judgement and miscalculation. Even if it did get the wretched Deputy PM out of the way of Morrison’s campaign, it shrieks desperation. Abdication of duty of care. And callous indifference, if not something more sinister.

The Morrison government’s intention to make a Clayton’s cyber-safety a plank in its re-election is an abuse of public funds. It’s also another cynical hoax.

While ScoMo gets to spin his South Korean stunt, a set piece in the world leadership strand of his Second Coming Miracle campaign, sending his deputy on an abortive tour of two major trading partners at the height of a pandemic, raises serious questions. We trust Joyce recovers. But ScoMo and his Crosby-Textor guard’s reputation won’t. Reason. Intelligence. Integrity. Where the bloody hell are you?

 

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A post from 7 December 2016. Check out the familiarity with the same day in 2021.

One of the more pleasurable activities I ingest when I have a moment to spare is to go back in time and see what I was writing about on the same day a few years before. Often the results reveal some interesting treasures. Sometimes I want to laugh, have a giggle, or bawl my eyes out at how little we have advanced as a society.

Why? Because our present Government will never change until it gets too uncomfortable to stay the same.

Here are a few things I wrote about on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. My 2021 comments are in italics.

1 It wasn’t long ago that we had a ‘carbon tax’. One that, over time, would have become a Carbon Trading Scheme. Then the conservatives conveniently converted a statement by the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, into a lie. Consequently, we have lost years to tackle a life-or-death challenge.

The conservatives’ decision to repeal the carbon tax will historically be recognised as the worst public policy decision in Australia’s history.

Despite knowing it would be a political disadvantage, Labor put the good of the country before politics and proceeded with a tax. The then Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, agreed with it and, when replaced, because of his views, gave the Coalition a critical serve it had coming to them on its hopeless Direct Action Plan.

Strange as it seems, as I write on December 9, 2021, there is an article in the Guardian about Turnbull supporting independents standing in marginal seats with Climate Change as their focus.

Sometimes, change disregard’s opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making, with Its own inevitability. Particularly now that our politics has degenerated into the chaotic mess it is now.

2 Abbott, an Oxford graduate, would suggest that climate change a socialist plot. In doing so, he does a great disservice to that esteemed university.

But here we are years later, with the conservatives still no further advanced other than lies on top of lies.

As is predictable, the far-right members the Coalition government are screaming and shouting over something that makes perfect sense to most people but is a monumental crime of ideology to them. (Referring to the carbon tax).

Those in the energy sector and the business community generally pleaded with both parties to stop the nonsense and develop a bi-partisan plan to cut emissions over the coming decades, including a carbon price. Will Turnbull take the bull by the horns and confront the denialists? If he does, he will get public support; it will confirm his weakness if he doesn’t. He has to do it sometime, so why not now?

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull faces a fresh outbreak of party disunity over climate policy, with backbench MPs questioning the government’s timing, scope and tactics after a formal review of the Direct Action plan was finally announced”.

As history will show, he didn’t, and the consequences are known to one and all.

3 If profit means the end of coal, that’s the decision business will take. But science and capitalism will win the day, and nothing will stop them.

I don’t think the word “tax” will appear in any legislation.

4 Josh Freydenberg says his Government “… is committed to adopting a non-ideological approach to emissions reduction to ensure we secure the lowest cost of abatement.”

So, it would necessarily consider a carbon price. Let the market decide which technology wins at “the lowest cost” if you take that seriously, you are as silly as Barnaby Joyce.

5 As if Barnaby Joyce’s decision to move the nation’s agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines regulator into his electorate for $250 million wasn’t enough.

Like most things this government does, it’s clear the move was never about what was best for the agricultural sector. We now find it was allegedly greatly influenced by celebrity gardener Don Burke over people in his department.

I wonder how all that went. Well, Barnaby Joyce continues to confirm he is not intellectually up to the task of Deputy Prime Minister. He needed to win his seat, and he did. That was the real motive. But $250 million.

6 Another thing I missed was this headline in The Sydney Morning Herald: “Barnaby Joyce vows LNP maverick George Christensen will become a cabinet minister.”

Sorry, I’m lost for words.

7 Senator Pauline Hanson said yesterday, when referring to party member Rod Culleton: “He’s not a team player at all. We can’t work with him; you can’t reason with him.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I ask myself where the right get these people from, but I never get an answer.

8 The special Minister of State Scott Ryan has an independent review of MPs entitlements but is dragging his feet with recommendations for an overhaul. In the meantime, there is a lot of activity in the skies with charter planes doing record business.

I don’t recall seeing the results of that enquiry. Like many things, they seemed to have fallen into the abyss of terrible governance.

With the purchase of yet another property, Peter Dutton has expanded his impressive portfolio to six properties.

Thank goodness I’m not a taxpayer and not contributing to his wealth, but I feel sorry for the silly buggers who are.

Many federal MPs have properties, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. It beats me why the taxpayer should have to fund their wealth.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy have seven properties, including their Point Piper home, a Hunter Valley farm and a New York apartment.

Nationals MP David Gillespie has 18 properties, including 17 for investment purposes.

Liberal MP Ian Goodenough has nine – three residential and six investments.

LNP MP Karen Andrews has six investment properties and one residential.

Of course, this was in 2016. God only knows how many they have added to their portfolios. Is it any wonder they opposed Labor’s negative gearing policy at the last election?

9 The characteristic that most defines modern Australia is ‘diversity’. In an argument last week about what defines an Australian, I came up with this:

In all its forms, together with multiculturalism, it defines us as a nation. People of my generation and later should divest themselves of their old and inferred racist superiority.

We have changed for the better. It is such a pity that this great nation is being held back by those of little understanding. There is no shame in not knowing. The shame is in not wanting to know.

10 I didn’t get the opportunity to voice my view on the ‘sugar’ debate last week. The suggestion that we should tax sugary soft drinks is nonsense and unnecessary. It’s as simple as this. Science knows that the primary cause of ill-health in society is consuming too much sugar, fat and salt. Mainly in fast foods. An enlightened society that wanted to save lives would legislate to, over time, reduce the amount of these killers in the foods we consume. Problem solved. It won’t happen for two reasons. One, ideology and two, we are not an enlightened society.

11 When talking about the cost of living, I think people get confused. There is a big difference between the cost of living and the cost of lifestyle. A recent survey found that 56% of those complaining about the cost of living had taken an overseas trip in the same year. And a further 52% had reduced dining out from three to two times a week.

And in 2021, it is still a hot topic. Have you looked at your grocery bill of late?

12 On December 8 2016, Newspoll has both parties the same. The Essential Poll has Labor on 52% and the Coalition on 48%.

On December 8 2021, Newspoll for the year records Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 53-47, from primary votes of Coalition 36%, Labor 38% (steady), Greens 10% (down one) and One Nation 3% (up one).

Yet again, Labor finds itself in the box seat to win Government. It must do so for the nation’s sake; otherwise, Scott Morrison will be emboldened or at least tempted to commit crimes against our society more extreme than he has thus far.

My thought for the day

I found it impossible to imagine that the Australian people could be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two. And it has has amongst its members some of the most devious, suspicious and chillingly corrupt men and women but they did.

 

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Angus Taylor makes no sense

Really, I could stop at the headline, but Angus Taylor’s latest foray to reassure us that he’s got us covered baffles me.

I’m not talking about hatred of wind farms or dodgy water deals, Grassgate or Clovergate. I’m not talking about securing our domestic oil supply by storing it in the US either. I’m talking urea (and I’m not taking the piss).

Earlier this week, Angus issued a press release addressing the potentially catastrophic shortage of urea. Apparently, it is a key ingredient in the diesel exhaust fluid (AdBlue) and in fertiliser, and China has stopped exporting it in order to keep domestic prices down.

Angus is vowing to ‘keep our trucks running’.

We are quickly and actively working to ensure supply chains of both refined urea and AdBlue are secure so that industry can have certainty on their operations.

Global supply pressures, stemming from increased domestic use in China, have led to international issues in securing refined urea, which is key to producing AdBlue. This is exacerbated by the global shortage of natural gas, the essential ingredient used to make urea.

Righto. Angus is on the job. Except …

Australia’s largest producer of urea, Incitec Pivot, told the stock exchange last month it plans to close its main urea plant in Brisbane’s Gibson Island by the end of next year. The facility had been unable to secure “an economically viable long-term gas supply.”

Paradoxically, Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources said in its Resources and Energy Quarterly released June 28 that the global LNG market is likely to be marked by a surplus of supply over the next couple of years, which will place downward pressure on prices.

“Given the large-scale expansion of global LNG capacity in recent years, import demand is expected to remain short of export capacity throughout the outlook period,” the report said.

Then I read in the New York Times

Tanker ships carrying liquefied natural gas from exporters like the United States, Qatar and Australia have been steaming toward China and Brazil, drawn by higher prices.

The pressure in the natural gas markets is pushing oil prices higher as well, analysts say. Traders are anticipating that, with gas having reached a level in some cases that is comparable to oil selling for about $170 a barrel, there is a large incentive in some industries to burn oil (lately about $75 to $80 a barrel) instead of gas for electric power, stoking demand.

So China won’t sell us urea but we will sell them LNG (at temporarily exorbitant prices that have pushed up the price of oil) when our own domestic producer of urea can’t get a gas deal that would allow them to keep production going even though the government is predicting an oversupply.

 

 

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“Vote Labor you vote Greens” – Morrison’s not so scary scare campaign

Scott Morrison has launched a scare campaign that, if Labor wins the election, they will need the Greens support to form government and that would result in higher emissions reduction targets.

Now that may seem scary to some right-wing voters who would never vote Labor anyway, and it may horrify some dyed in the wool Labor supporters whose hatred of the Greens is eternal – but I doubt it’s going to win Scott many votes. For a lot of us, greater action on climate change is not a threat but a necessity.

But Labor can do themselves some real damage if they allow Morrison to wedge them into refusing support from the Greens or promising targets are set in concrete never to be revisited or upgraded regardless of changing circumstances. Increasing aspiration in the future should not be cast as a bad thing.

The way it looks at the moment, Labor might well be negotiating with a crossbench with 1 Green and several teal Independents to form government. They should turn Morrison’s words against him by saying we must be responsive to the science and that they would negotiate with all MPs to achieve that.

A lot is made of the deal that Julia Gillard signed with Bob Brown for his support to form government in 2010.

Contrary to urban myth, the Greens did not get Labor to commit to a price on carbon or any move towards legalising gay marriage, with Greens leader Bob Brown saying the deal was still a “work in progress”. He knew those things would take time. Nor were the Greens promised a Ministry.

What they did agree to makes for very interesting reading today in light of Morrison’s attempts to spook the electorate.

The concessions secured by the Greens included:

  • the formation of a climate change committee
  • a parliamentary debate on Afghanistan
  • a referendum on recognising Indigenous Australians
  • restrictions on political donations
  • legislation on truth in political advertising
  • the establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Committee
  • a parliamentary integrity commissioner
  • improved processes for release of documents in Parliament
  • a leaders debates Commission
  • a move towards full three-year parliamentary terms
  • two-and-a-half hours of allocated debate for private members’ bills
  • access for Greens to various Treasury documents

An admirable list of requests, few of which appear to have come to fruition with the parliament, instead, paralysed by attacks on Julia Gillard’s decades old involvement with the AWU, the evisceration of Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper, and the constant demonising of asylum seekers.

That the Gillard government got so much important legislation passed in a minority government is reason enough alone to dismiss Scotty’s latest marketing campaign as trivial rubbish designed to cover his lack of any vision for our country and its people.

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If Gladys is a “great candidate”, our country is truly corrupt

By TBS Newsbot

Gladys Berejiklian managing to resign in disgrace, face the ICAC and bag a better job is emblematic of Australia becoming more corrupt.

Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before, but it seems that yet another public servant mired in political scandal will not only go unpunished, but will fail upwards. Today, Scott Morrison (alongside senior Liberal Party members) told the media that he would welcome Gladys Berejiklian to federal politics, regardless of the outcome of the ICAC hearing. For those of you playing at home, this is the scandal involving hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds potentially incorrectly spent, the one that she resigned over, and included (at the very least) turning a blind eye to the wanton shenanigans of her lover, disgraced Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.

On September 7, Jodi McKay, the Labor Member for Strathfield, took to social media to ask the questions that we should be asking, and indeed, the questions Gladys should be answering. Tagging the premier in her tweet, McKay directly asked, “Why did you fail to fulfil your legal obligation and report Daryl Maguire to (the) ICAC?”

In the words of McKay, Berejiklian “knew and did nothing”. As The Guardian outlined on October 12, “During a morning of stunning revelations, the inquiry heard intercepted phone calls in which Maguire told Berejiklian that he potentially stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars if land owned by the racing heir Louise Waterhouse near the site of the new Western Sydney airport was rezoned. The payment would have been enough to pay off ‘about half’ of his $1.5m personal debt, Maguire told Berejiklian in one phone call. Berejiklian responded: ‘I don’t need to know about that bit.’”

McKay also posed another question, of which Berejiklian answered, albeit indirectly. McKay asked, “A leader sets the standard for her Government, what standard are you setting for NSW?”

That afternoon’s Question Time, Berejiklian offered the following to excuse her toleration of corruption by saying: “I did no more than what the opposition did during corruption during their term in government…”

Despite all this, Morrison told reporters in Sydney that Berejiklian would be “very welcome” in his team and would be a “great” candidate for the independent-held seat, comments backed earlier by the finance minister, Simon Birmingham, and the environment minister, Sussan Ley.

As reported elsewhere, “nominations for the Liberal candidacy in Warringah have been extended to 14 January, a timeline that will allow Berejiklian to consider any recommendations for findings made in submissions by counsel assisting ICAC by 20 December. The submissions will not be public.”

As Paul Karp of The Guardian put it, “Despite the ongoing ICAC controversy, Berejiklian would walk into the Liberal nomination if she decided to put her hand up.”

Clearly, political accountability has become Australia’s Bunyip. We’ve all heard rumours, but nobody has managed to see it with their own two eyes. So, it comes as no surprise that our international credibility as a nation is slipping. In January 2019, Transparency International released its Corruption Perceptions Index, noting Australia’s slide into wrongdoing, finding it to be the 13th least corrupt nation.

Transparency International Australia chief executive Serena Lillywhite shared a range of issues which she believes are impairing our reputation as a democracy which actively targets corruption:

“The misuse of travel allowances, inadequate regulation of foreign political donations, conflicts of interest in planning approvals, revolving doors and a culture of mateship, inappropriate industry lobbying in large-scale projects such as mining, and the misuse of power by leading politicians have no doubt had an impact”.

Wind the clock forward, and while Australia has moved up a smidge, as we’re now the 12th-least corrupt nation in the world, Transparency International has flagged us as one of the 21 nations where perceived corruption has worsened “significantly” over the past eight years. Interestingly, 34% believed that corruption had significantly increased since then.

Indeed, the last twelve months has seemingly been a smorgasbord of political wrongdoing. Outside the many scandals of Gladys Berejiklian, or Peter Dutton hand-picking where grant money went, with the Sydney Morning Herald’s Katina Curtis noting that Dutton “diverted almost half the total pool of funding away from recommended projects to his handpicked ones in January 2019.”

A July audit of the Coalition-run commuter car park program found that “not one of the 47 commuter car park sites promised by the Coalition at the 2019 election was selected by the infrastructure department, with projects worth $660m handpicked by the government on advice of its MPs and candidates.”

The Australian National Audit Office released the findings, claiming that the program was “not effective” and identification of projects “was not demonstrably merit-based”, leading to shadow urban infrastructure minister, Andrew Giles calling the program “sports rorts on steroids”.

Perhaps the mindset could be best defined by the cocksure nonsense of Deputy NSW Premier John Baliaro, who defended the use of bushfire relief funds to pork-barrel his interests, claiming it is ‘what elections are for’.

Transparency International shares four key recommendations in order for us to buck the trend: “Putting in place laws and institutions that will prevent corrupt acts from happening in the first place. Legal frameworks and access to information are essential components of a healthy political system where citizens can play a role in demanding accountability and preventing corruption. Whistleblower protection mechanisms and autonomous, well-resourced anti-corruption agencies are also a must in the Asia Pacific region. Reducing impunity for the corrupt. Professional and independent justice systems are necessary where police and prosecutors can respond to technical criteria and not political power plays. Improving space for civil society to speak out. Governments should ensure that activists can speak freely throughout the region without fear of retaliation. Improving integrity and values. Schools and universities should educate youth about ethics and values. Corporations should promote business integrity in the private sector and make these ideas more mainstream.”

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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Let’s be clear, Gladys Berejiklian is being investigated because SHE brought her personal life to work

Over the last few days, there has been a full court press by senior Liberals to get Gladys Berejiklian to run against Zali Stegall for the Federal seat of Warringah.

This necessarily involves attacking the NSW ICAC for what Scott Morrison described as their shameful “pile-on”.

“We have seen plenty of these things and recordings of private conversations detailed intimate things that were paraded around in the media. What was that about? Was that about shaming Gladys Berejiklian? I thought that was awful.”

The ICAC is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian breached the public trust by failing to declare a conflict of interest from her relationship with Mr Maguire, and if she failed to report suspicions or encouraged corrupt conduct.

The reason private conversations were aired was because they showed Ms Berejiklian potentially ignoring corruption and blatantly misusing public money for political gain. The fact that the other party was her boyfriend was irrelevant to the act but relevant to the motivation. The more intimate parts of recordings were not made public but heard in private session.

Let’s be clear here.

It was Gladys that mixed work and play. It was Gladys that chose to keep the relationship secret rather than manage the conflict of interest transparently. It was Gladys that overruled departmental advice to, instead, award grant money to bolster her partner’s political standing.

As Gladys so arrogantly said in her defence, “I don’t think it would be a surprise to anybody that we throw money at seats to keep them. At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, that’s democracy.”

Pork barrelling is not illegal, but it certainly isn’t democracy either.

Morrison said this morning, “What I found is that Gladys was put in a position of actually having to stand down and there was no findings of anything. I don’t call that justice.”

I would remind the Prime Minister that the findings have not yet been brought down and that Ms Berejiklian stood down in compliance with the ministerial standards she herself made. Resigning was her choice entirely.

With the vast majority of the electorate in favour of a Federal ICAC with teeth, and the government’s broken promise to legislate one, attacking the NSW ICAC is a risky strategy.

Zali Stegall is no pushover. If I was Glad, I would seriously consider whether it’s worth the attention that her candidacy would draw.

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Spud, Godwin’s Law and the Streisand Effect

Who needs a truncheon when you’ve got expensive lawyers?

Adolf Kipfler, das Gruppenfritter, Herr Shickltuber, the Gestapotato, Dick Tater, Spudley Too-Right, Dutton dressed as yam, J. Edgar Tuber – these are all droll mockings of a rabid autocrat and all-round nasty piece of work whose head has an unfortunate resemblance to a popular starchy staple. At least while satire is still legal such sledging is beyond the reach of Spud’s defamation lawyer, the splendidly named Nick Ferrett, a tag that no clever pun could improve upon.

Führer-flavoured name calling, potato-themed as it may be, introduces the principle referred to as Godwin’s law that asserts when a Hitler comparison is made, whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress. Godwin clarified that “its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler to think a bit harder about the Holocaust“. Fair call. After all, Spud as Minister for Immigration & Refugee Degradation had merely adopted an apathetic approach to the slow mental torment of his konzentrationslager internees.

Nazi potato analogies included, lampooning politicians is everyone’s right in a free country and it’s been a long tradition in this one. When an indolent, flailing government reeking of corruption seeks all potential means to hide its incompetence and protect its criminality then scorn and ridicule become obligations. But this bin juice distillery t/a the Morrsion-Joyce grift shop gets beyond tetchy when their many shortcomings are pointed out. The ‘champions of free speech’ toss that concept onto their disposable principles binfire along with accountability, integrity, equality and other troublesome inconveniences.

A recent taste of their discomfort with challenges to their decency is from the Spud himself with a thinly disguised threat to “dirty lefties”. Spud has accumulated an impressive property portfolio and is the Minister for Defence – he’s a member of the wealthy power elite, a big cheese, the Potato au Gratin of the L/NP. In contrast Shane Bazzi is an obscure, arse-out-of-his-trousers refugee advocate. It turns out the Tubernator, a man whose idea of foreplay is to lock his pitbull in the wardrobe, has a sensitive side, taking offence from a Bazzi tweet calling him a rape apologist. A wise man would’ve let it go – to let it be lost in the noise of general social media heckling at a corrupted regime. Not the Spud. He invoked the Streisand Effect by persecuting Bazzi via a defamation suit thereby drawing attention anew to his “he-said-she-said” shrug at the in-house rape of a Lib staffer and the Tories’ general indifference to bullying, harassment and sexual assault.

The $35k in awarded damages would barely cover Spud’s head waxing bill – but, never get between a Tory and a dollar. Perhaps though it was his hurt feelings? Yeah but nah; the empathy deficit is strong in this one who could never be happier than when he’s pureeing kittens in his Kitchen Wizz. Feelings are weaknesses to be exploited. One of those feelings is people’s attachment to their house, and lawyered-up, paranoid grifters and predators on the government benches are catching on – Dutton’s message to the proles is ‘shut up or you’ll be out on the street’.

Scooter Morrison, possibly re-energised by the law suits from Spud, Laming and Barilaro has once more trotted out his cynical and routine attack on social media:

“Social media can too often be a cowards’ palace where the anonymous can bully, harass and ruin lives without consequence.”

Sounds reasonable. But the Tories harbour their own trolls, sockpuppets, social media stalkers and backgrounders and feigned indignation is a Scooter specialty, wrapped in hypocrisy, tied with a bow of shameless fabrications and delivered in a hectoring tone of dissembling twaddle. His genuine indignation is reserved for being challenged or held to account. Every utterance from this charlatan is misleading, obfuscating or blatant lying; every announcement is calculated from the perspective of political advantage – policing people’s social media is a handy distraction from their panicked avoidance of an integrity commission.

Social media users commonly have genuine reasons for anonymity including safety from the bullies and harassers Scooter pretends to be so offended by. Given the Tories’ disdain for scrutiny and intolerance of dissent it’s not a huge leap to suspect that anti-troll legislation is intended to be a trojan horse for regulations designed to silence critics through libel proceedings.

Average Australians could not afford to sue for defamation and any potential costs awarded would be swallowed by legal fees. Rather, the Tories’ ambitions will help the powerful to silence critics or to retaliate should that fail. Spud even had the front to suggest a fund from tax payers be established to cover the legal costs of the pursuit of their adversaries because even rich guys need our money to pay expensive silks to sue us and to intimidate inquisitive journalists.

First they came for the ABC. Then they came for journalists and whistle-blowers. Now they’re coming for the tweeters.

None of this is meant to imply that Spud is an actual Nazi or a sympathiser of the Stasi, Oprichnina, Geheime Staatspolizei, NKVD, DINA, the Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities or any other secret police organisation or goon squad for any repressive regime whatsoever. His resemblance to a versatile root vegetable is however indisputable.

 

 

 

 

Image from Twitter.

 

This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.

 

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Scotty Goes To War Or Series 3 Of “The Don’t Do Government”!

We’ve always all had the experience of watching the disappointing next series of a show we liked where it just doesn’t work for you any more… You know what I mean, it’s not that anything’s different or that the formula has changed, it’s just that it’s sort of that little bit staler because well, it’s just too much like the last series and the one before and you suddenly understand that you know the formula a bit too well to find this entertaining any more.

Well, this latest series of “The Disappointing Government” isn’t like that for me. I didn’t like the first series which had Tony Abbott as the lead character. It didn’t take long for everyone to realise that he was too unsympathetic to keep viewers hooked and his demise kept some people interested with the surprise twist of a new lead.

But when the new lead was hamstrung by the fact that he was given very similar lines as the old lead and he felt that he couldn’t do anything but repeat them without losing the role, the series wasn’t something I wanted to watch anymore.

Rather than try to appeal to a wider audience the writers again borrowed the “Death In Paradise” formula of bringing in a new lead character. However this time there was a twist: Suggest that the lead was going to be another unsympathetic man, then throw in the possibility of a woman, before eventually settling on the surprise compromise of Scotty the boat stopper.

This twist kept us all watching with the idea that this would be a last hurrah and that the show would be replaced in the new year by Bill and The Big Spenders but there was a twist in the tale.

Scotty and his boy wonder, Josh, got the Budget back in black… next year. When asked if this was a projection and not an actual return to surplus Scotty assured that, “No, the Budget is in surplus next year and that won’t change whatever happens.” What about unforeseen circumstances? “We know that there won’t be any of those.”

Well, all the episodes since have followed a familiar pattern: Something goes wrong, Scotty denies that it’s gone wrong, if that doesn’t work, he finds someone to blame, if it’s someone on his side, then Phil the fixer is asked to do an inquiry where he doesn’t ask questions of anyone who knows anything, then we all eat a curry or build a chook shed for non-existent chooks. If none of that works, we can always let Jenandthegirls out of the cupboard for a family photo and hope that distracts people until the next SNAFU which is almost certain to happen within days.

This week, however, things definitely became a little bit more interesting. While occasionally, governments may have trouble getting legislation through the Senate, it’s rare that they lose a vote in the House Of Representatives. To lose one, but insist that you haven’t really lost it because you’re not counting the people who voted remotely adds the new plot device of “Will Scotty be able to convince his own party to vote for his legislation?”

Then there’s the question of Peter Dutton moving that the member be no longer heard. Does that require an absolute majority or a simple majority? Will the new Speaker – the one that Barnaby prefers to the old one – have to consult every time we have a vote? Will Scotty try for the record of the most lies in one sitting? Will the fact that it’s such a predictable plot device mean that Josh won’t challenge even though it might keep people interested a while longer? Will the religious discrimination laws mean that if I say I’m a Satanist that the Christian school down the road can’t refuse to employ me because my beliefs will be protected? Will the journalist who allegedly misquoted Linda Reynolds and told readers that she said that NDIS shouldn’t be “welfare for life” face consequences, or are the government worried that he/she has the tapes? Was the idea that people can’t stay on the NDIS for life, part of Morrison’s miracles? If I suggest that any of the front bench are apologists for this government will I be sued? If I am, can I retract it and say that none of the bastards are sorry for any of their incompetence.

There are so many questions. Although it now seems clear that we won’t be invading Taiwan to keep it safe from China. Instead, we’re sending people to the Solomon Islands which is almost as good as a war because we can ramp up the rhetoric and find a way to suggest that not supporting the government at this time of conflict would be unpatriotic.

Of course, when I say time of conflict, I’m not suggesting that the Coalition is at war with itself…most of them will tell you that they’re completely united and there’s a general consensus on just about everything!

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Scott Morrison lies here

Porky pies – St Gladys leaves the field to Scotty Two Thumbs

That clanging sound you heard was St Gladys d’Berejiklian’s halo dropping round her ankles like a cheap pair of drawers. Please know that Our Glad has completed the porcine trifecta – telling ‘porky-pies’ is now written in under the ‘skills and experience’ dot points on her CV with pork barrelling and porking Dirty Dazza. In so doing she’s gazumped the liar and rorter exceptional, Two Thumbs himself, given that as far as we know, TwoT has limited his own mountings to heavy machinery photo-ops and handsy interference with oblivious bystanders. Turns out that in addition to the rortin’ and the rootin’ Glad had been flogging whoppers at her COVID pressers.

When Gladys said that locking down only Labor-oriented LGAs was on public health advice she was lying. The advice was the exact opposite.

“Gladys Berejiklian repeatedly said during the outbreak that all decisions were based on health advice”. Rather, Gold Standard Glady’s priorities were wedging Victoria, punching down on Labor LGAs and coddling her fan base of ladies-who-lunch from the leafy ‘burbs. Gladys’s delight at the prospect of Delta leaking to Melbourne had the chutzpah of a small boy peeing through someone’s letter box, then ringing the doorbell to ask how far it went (Maureen Lipman).

ICAC’s determination of Gladys’s fitness for office is a ways off yet and moot given she’s fleeing the field for, no doubt, some well remunerated sinecures in the banking industry where dodgy practice is a credential not a crime. Two Thumbs’ title as the most prolific liar in Oz politics can remain unchallenged.

Morrison finds himself the chameleon on a tartan rug; he and his image wranglers will be confused about where to turn. The carefully crafted personas that are on scheduled rotation now all come with a clear warning label – this man is a duplicitous liar and a fraud. It took Emmanuel Macron to bell the cat – “I don’t think, I know“. Our own sycophantic media, too cowed, compliant or complicit to bother with their KPI of holding power to account could not ignore the president of France calling out our Liar-In-Chief. Joe Biden sunk the slipper with his less than subtle dig at the deceit of his orange predecessor’s number 1 fanboy. The Riefenstahlists of the Kunkel/Finkelstein/Gaetjens lumpy carpet collective would’ve white-boarded dead cat scenarios through the wee small hours as their planned narrative of Brave Sir Scotty fighting for our freedoms is lost to the reality of a shouty Crusader Rabid – our own Trumpy Try-hard.

Being anointed by god makes him impervious to self-reflection or to accept that he is accountable to anyone real. Shouty, petulant man-baby is the real Scott Morrison. Under pressure he floats to the top of the borscht of his confected characters whose purpose it is to hide the real Scott Morrison from public scrutiny. Now the accumulated mistrust of a serial liar has permeated his own troops. Whenever he announces his latest position on an issue they all know he says whatever is convenient at the time regardless of the facts.

His lies are going fractal – each lie covered by another lie. Morrison’s liar tag will become a tattoo, his defining characteristic. The smarm will be replaced by the jutted jaw, shouted accusations, panicked, flatulant gibberings, and desperate sloganeering as the drain hole of a prospective Labor-initiated federal integrity commission draws nearer. “Who can you trust?” is an interesting election pitch from a bloke now widely tagged as a consummate deceiver, a nasty bully with a pathological fear of scrutiny.

The slow yet satisfying unravelling of the most loathsome toad to ever infect our politics is coming. Enjoy!

References:

 

This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.

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