We see a tendency to blame individuals for the crisis in our politics across the AUKUS nations. This is facile. Donald Trump did not create the farce of a Republican party seen in the vote for the Speaker in early January. Boris Johnson did not create the catastrophe that is the British Conservative party displayed over the Liz Truss moment. Blaming Scott Morrison for the Liberal Party’s disastrous collapse is another shallow critique.
These figures damaged their already compromised right wing parties and their nations. They were, all three, also reflections of the damage that the right (and its donors and media allies) have inflicted over recent years. It is not only conservatism they have destroyed.
To read RJ Southey and CJ Puplick’s essay defining Liberal Thinking from 1980 is to mourn an Australia where Capital could engage with Government and the Worker in a far more nuanced and thoughtful way. The Liberal party they espouse is one that their ideological offspring killed stone dead.
Milton Friedman’s American definition of the interests of capital came to infest the Australian party, the “thinktanks” that fed it, and the corporate media that shaped the party as well as propagandised for it.
To argue that government is the enemy is to serve the tiny donor class; it wants government crippled so that regulation and programs that require tax funding can both be eliminated. We have seen the result of ideologues who embraced ultra free market libertarianism trying to enact these ideas in our governments. The damage shows in the growing chasm between rich and poor in our nations; in the crushing of the middle class; in the surging fury of masses irate at the death of hope, now harnessed by populist-nativist grifters.
The capitalists reveal repeatedly that without regulation too many of them will act without scruple. The fact that human civilisation is plunging towards existential crisis without concerted action to cushion the collapse is only the most dramatic example. We have had decades since Maggie Thatcher and George HW Bush discussed global warming as uncontroversial to steer away from carbon-based energy production. Instead we only mired ourselves in the tribal divisions that the lobbyists created, despite the fact that deaths and displacement have begun.
The Liberal party has, like the Republicans and Tories, invested itself in being the party of culture war division rather than a force for government. If one does not believe that government can solve problems but is rather purely a drag on the capitalist, destruction can be embraced. There is profit in chaos and dysfunction: disaster capitalism is even more lucrative than the peacetime version.
If a party has no real platform other than obliging the donors and keeping the opposition out of power, there is no campaign possible aside from disinformation and distraction.
The culture war focus across the AUKUS nations is powered by fear of progressive policy platforms that embrace equality. The religious right (rapidly growing out of America but with its own Australian tradition) is targeted and in turn shapes the social platforms of these right wing parties. The social libertarianism that should accompany economic libertarianism is anathema.
So to say that the Liberals need to encourage women to contest for preselection is a trite solution for a party that has embraced culture war games to the exclusion of governing for the nation. To argue that the Liberals failed to use social media campaigning well is part of the longterm problem of blaming “messaging” instead of examining the broad failure of the party to represent the majority.
Australia needs a genuine opposition to Labor for conservatives. The review completed by Brian Loughnane and Jane Hume has apparently attracted laughter as a superficial “cover up” like that of a mafia family for its “crimes.” If this displays the party’s scope for self-analysis, we are in trouble.
One factor Loughnane and Hume appear too cautious to tackle publicly is the systematic takeover of branches and party apparatus by extreme religious groups. If to vote “conservative” is to vote for a religious radical, our Australian politics will be transformed. It is not surprising that American religious right figures have joked (?) that America should have supported the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is certain that their America shares many policy prescriptions with those agents of oppression.
Pandering to the “base” as the Republicans have done has made them beholden to this radicalised group, violent and conspiracy-imbued. Republicans who have tried to counter Trump narratives and actions have either retired from politics or skipped back into line behind him, fearing the death threats they receive. The attempt to ride the tiger of radicalised populist energy has, as predicted, strengthened the beast until it devoured the party.
The Liberal party’s power brokers together with friends at the IPA and News Corp need to re-evaluate. Are they, like their equivalents in the US and the UK, willing to continue to destroy their inheritance? Can they rebuild the shredded remnant of past grandeur to try again? Or will a new descendant of Southey and Puplick be ready to start over with a truly liberal party that can fight for measured conservative values more reflective of Australia?
Last week a group of QAnon-adjacent drongos delivered a request at Duntroon for the Australian armed forces to stage a coup, overthrowing all levels of government. It is easy to laugh at these figures now, staging their embarrassing Iwo Jima photograph. To ignore them is foolish.
The forces – conspiracy-populist and Pentecostal – that attacked the Capitol in 2021 and the Brazilian government this week grew out of such seeds. They were nurtured by populist-nativist politicians who used their grievances to gain power.
Australia’s conservatives must look at what the radical right has done to them, and their political allies around the world. The teal victories were a cry for substance. To continue to radicalise a base with culture war fury can only harm us. Their review must offer something much more profound, or we all suffer.
Nominating those most worthy of their fall under the 2022 karma bus provides both a shortlist for fuck-knuckle of the year (FOTY) and solid evidence that the human species is at an evolutionary dead end when such bilge is the best we can come up with to run the world. It’s also a somewhat cathartic end to the year to call out these cockwombles, and it holds out some small hope for a better 2023.
I’ve pruned back a long list and may have overlooked some strong contenders – if you think someone truly worthwhile has not got a mention then please nominate them in the comments.
The Liberal Party. One of the great oxymorons of Oz politics, the Liberal (sic) Party is a collective noun for losers.
Corrupt by inclination, incompetent through habit, mean and nasty by nature there is no con they’re incapable of in any attempt to recapture the graft.
Kicked in the nuts at state, territory and federal levels, 2022 may have been the beginning of the end of this cabal of dolts, vandals and thieves.
Their dissolution can’t come soon enough – replaced by sensible independents and Greens with a few harmless nutters like Bob The Mad Hatted Katter retained as a repository for the irredeemable RWNJ vote and as occasional comedy relief – it can only be a good thing.
Image from Twitter (@TomRed43)
Spud and Suss – the meritocracy that is the “natural party of government” threw up the tuberesque undertater and his whiney sidekick. Bubba and Squeak are the best that Schrödinger’s opposition has to offer. These two are so ineffectual they barely even register as bad guys.
Liz Truss may have survived longer if she’d also gone that extra consonant – “Liz Trusss” has a certain multi-dimensional, reptilian cold bloodedness that could’ve keep the warm & fuzzy milquetoasts of the British financial establishment at bay until she fully sank the economy.
The horseshit producers from the Murdoch stable are another collective nomination. The plagiarists, phone hackers, bin rummagers, fossil fuel boosters, airheads and entropied fuddy duddies from the outrage factory of a withered, tax avoiding sociopath were left sobbing into their Tanqueray London Drys as their best efforts to turn Oz into a neo-liberal hellscape came to nought. $40 million in Lib government grants provided some consolation. Phil Coorey from planet Costello is an honorary member of this shameless Tory cheer squad.
Vladimir Putin‘s award of murderous psychopath of the century is likely assured but karma won’t have finished with him until his bloodied corpse is pelted with potatoes as it’s dragged behind a tractor through Red Square. Next year maybe. In the interim Vlad will not be admiring the views from any high windows.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest shitposter torched US$44 billion for Twitter and tanked Tesla shares as a consequence simply to show the cool guys how funny he is. He’s just a gormless twat with inherited wealth and Saudi riyals to squander but it’s his now revealed autocratic RWFWery that earns him a place on any list of prominent arseholes.
Cookers. No crazy is crazy enough for these whackadoodle ‘sovereign citizens’. Nutters desperately seeking relevance and importance as revealers of great truths in their otherwise dreary, meaningless existence?
They could be laughed off except these are the same types of deluded beer belly putschers, gravy seals and ammosexuals who invaded Washington’s Capitol seeking to murder Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi and are of the type who did murder two young coppers and a neighbour in Queensland.
Barnaby Joyce. No list of fuckwits is complete without Baranaby’s name being included.
Matthew Guy. “Call me Matt” ex-Vic Lib leader and the loser of losers smashed by Dan Andrews at the last state election. Not the worst of the worst because he’s such a loser and so never achieved the level of prominence that would have allowed him to let loose his worst mobster instincts.
Brian Houston‘s invisible BFF rewards the worthy with riches so with the tithe taps turned off Brother Brian is learning what it’s like for those of us who are out of favour with the Big Guy in the sky. Karma ran over his prosperity dogma. Sad!
Katherine Deves. Apparently there’s blokes going about chopping off their cocks so they can win ribbons at women’s swimming carnivals but like most, I can spot a genuine minge a mile away.
The final contenders
The final three are possibly obvious – they have in common a natural affinity with lying, a talent for the grift, a narcissistic self-belief that goes beyond delusion and a physical presence that would make a cadaver dog gag. They are the smirking, prosperity god-fodder who disproved the Peter Principle six jobs ago, an adulterous £5 haircut on an unmade bed and an apricot-coloured fatsuit filled with congealed hamburger grease.
ScoMo, BoJo and Fuckhead.
After an uninterrupted run 2016-2020 Trump misses out this year, a has-been loser wandering the despot kitsch of Mar-a-lago accosting patrons with his tired schtick of the Big Lie as the walls close in on him.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson still maintains the collosal conceit of a Churchillian resurrection of his interrupted career as one of Britain’s great PMs. A dilettante, a wastrel, a shambolic opportunist and agent of chaos with no fixed principles he gave top spot as FOTY a good run but conceded the win to our very own Grange label on a goon bag – Smirko von Skidmark.
Purging Scott Morrison from our system requires that we be exposed to some bit more Scott Morrison. The brighter the light shone on the behaviour of Resting Smug Face, that reprehensible black hole of honesty where truth bends around him, the less likely it is that hypocritical God shoppers like him will ever again steal such high public office.
Smirko’s shortcomings are many, manifest and of consequence. A colourless non-entity who through happenstance, arrogance and a disdain for common courtesies and proprieties, whose abuse of trust and loyalty gained him a role for which he was entirely unfit. Devoid of decency this Jesus-espousing hypocrite bullied and hectored those least able to fight back. A mongrel; a coward loathed by those who know of him and those who know him.
The final, public humiliation of Scooter Morrison is a play in two parts – his parliamentary censure and his appearance at the Royal Commission into Robodebt.
His Scotty The Saviour-themed response to parliamentary censure included apocalyptic eschatology (“staring into the abyss”), blame-deflecting and, self-congratulatory claims to the efforts of others and wholly-invented assertions of heroism. His responses to questioning at the Royal Commission were a Morrisonian masterclass in deflection, avoidance and dissembling. If anyone was to blame it was those public servants, who upon his gaining office he instructed to do only what they were told and no more. What a gold-plated minger he is.
If justice prevails there will be part 3 – Smirko fronting the The National Anti-Corruption Commission. Perhaps there the dawning realisation that he is the most widely loathed politician in our history will elicit some <sarcasm> genuine contrition </sarcasm>.
*The End of an Error – from a sign held up at the inauguration of Joe Biden.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison does not intend to remain in parliament for the long term and is likely to start thinking about pursuing a business career in the new year, according to confidants. (Aaron Patrick, Australian Financial Review, 22/12/2022).
Who can imagine the standards of any organisation that would employ this POS?
Australians welcoming the defeat of our nascent religious right in the May election need to pay attention to the echoes of the American right-wing strategies looming ahead of their 2024 election, and the faction in Australia that shares those goals.
The religious right has looked to Putin for leadership for years now. More quietly, the ideas and strategies of Hungary’s Viktor Orban have pervaded the sphere.
In America, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson has been an outlier speculated as a post-Trump Republican candidate. Florida’s Ron DeSantis looks much more likely to win the nomination at this stage. Both men have worked to promote Hungary’s Viktor Orban’s ideas in America.
Rod Dreher, ultra-conservative American intellectual, persuaded Carlson to broadcast for a week from Budapest in 2021, celebrating Orban’s achievements and his proudly illiberal democracy to the Fox base. This year Carlson released a documentary promoting Orban’s strategies as the ideal Republican model. These apparently led into the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), America’s key radical “conservative” event, being hosted in Budapest in May 2022, where Orban told the crowd that the right must have its own media and that it should broadcast the Murdochs’ favoured performer, Carlson, to the nation 24/7.
Orban continued that his latest election had “completely healed” Hungary of its “progressive dominance” and that the authoritarian right factions of the world should unite and coordinate to “take back” all the key institutions of the West.
It has just been announced that Orban is to return to speak to the CPAC audience again in Dallas in August.
DeSantis does not so much promote Orban as create what has been described as “American Orbanism.” His people admit, behind the scenes to following and echoing Orban’s strategies. Florida’s “Don’t say gay” bill which depicted any mention of anything to do with LGBTQI identity in schools as “grooming” echoed Orban’s 2021 bill focused on the same issue. DeSantis’s press secretary told Dreher that, “Oh yeah, we were watching the Hungarians, so yay Hungary.”
Orban targets minorities as a supposed threat to Hungarians and then devises laws that push Hungary further into authoritarianism to address the non-existent threat. LGBTQI people are the latest target after bigoted attacks on refugees, Romani, and non-Christians. Florida punishing Disney for its tepid pushback against anti-LGBTQI legislation echoes Orban’s strategies for punishing opponents. The primary institutional enemies are educational, media and social media. Control of the message is central.
The key appeal of Orban’s ideology, as well as Putin’s, is that they posit a white Christian – Western – Civilisation as the world’s great treasure and one that is under attack. Progressive “elites” or globalists – usually embodied in Jewish figures like the loathed George Soros – are depicted as executing a “Great Replacement” of the white embodiments of the west with black and brown non-Christians. The key appeal of his strategy is that he rejects liberalism in the existential battle to preserve the mythologised heritage.
This alliance of culture warriors is apparent in the Australian right. Morrison’s defeated government contained both the traditionalist defenders of a beleaguered Western Civilisation that Tony Abbott drew to prominence, alongside the American-style Evangelicals who are more theocratic in goal, aiming to impose national purity through government action.
Tony Abbott’s international advisor from 2010 to 2014 was Mark Higgie. His years as Australian ambassador to Hungary from 1998-2001 (before becoming our “senior spy” in London) seem to have made Orban’s career a focus for the ideologue. He echoes the same “Hungarians are free” line as Rod Dreher, but the latter when asked about the dark underbelly of living in an illiberal democracy tends to reply, “I don’t know much, to be honest.” Like Dreher, in 2019 Higgie moved to Budapest. He writes for The Australian Spectator.
The main intellectual conduit of Orban’s ideas to the West is the Danube Institute. Brian Loughnane, Peta Credlin’s husband and former Liberal Party federal director is on its international advisory board. Tony Abbott appeared with Higgie there before the pandemic conversing about immigrants “swarming” over the borders. Alexander Downer spoke in Budapest about immigrant Bantustans. Kevin Andrews spoke about reversing declining birth rates in the west at the Budapest Demographic Summit, a “biennial gathering of ultra-conservative and highly influential decision-makers, politicians and individuals actively working to curb the rights of sexual minorities and women.”
John O’Sullivan is the president of the Orban-funded Danube Institute. He has edited Quadrant and serves as its international editor with Keith Windshuttle. O’Sullivan too has written about how the left exaggerates the discomforts of living in an illiberal democracy.
One early event that aimed to foster Danube Institute immigration phobia for a broader Australian audience was a Conversazione in Melbourne in 2016. In fact, it fostered Great Replacement fears in a local audience of the rich and powerful albeit without using the term. Orchestrated by a Quadrant writing LaTrobe academic, with O’Sullivan as a speaker and featuring a Windshuttle essay on Quadrant in the program, it highlighted the connection between that publication and the Orban-booster spirit.
Loughnane also spoke at the event, although Credlin was not present. One of the nation’s leading News Corp journalists appeared, presenting a speech that expressed lurid objection to Muslim immigration. (That journalist has been a guest of the Orban-funded Mathias Corvinus Collegium in Hungary, which hosted another migration talkfest in 2019.)
Fresh from the January ‘Islamic Radicalism and the West’ conference held at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Brits Daniel Pryce-Jones and Daniel Johnson also spoke at the Melbourne Club that day alongside Geza Jeszensky, former Hungarian foreign minister and noted eugenicist.
Tucker Carlson is now watched by Murdoch’s Australian print editors as a guide to the beliefs of Rupert and Lachlan. Carlson’s show is pervaded with incitement to violence over the existential attacks on white Christian civilisation by the elites and their immigrant hordes; over the threat to (white) American children posed by progressive groomers particularly their teachers; over the existential threat posed by any liberal who embraces diversity and acceptance.
Dutton and News Corp’s new focus of a war on teachers in Australia has been picked up by the IPA in its “Class Action” program to stop teachers “dominating our children’s schools” with “woke ideology.” There they aim to gather “concerned parents and teachers” in a reproduction of American Christopher Rufo’s cynical moral panic about Critical Race Theory. In America, teachers are leaving the profession, exhausted partly by poor funding and the pandemic, but also by being barraged with conspiracy-fuelled hate by parents and outside groups attending school board meetings in threatening mode.
We saw Morrison fighting hard for his religious discrimination bill while neglecting crucial work, aiming to provide a tool of backlash for marriage equality. The trans sports issue was deployed in the election as an echo of the bitter American attacks on trans youth and LGBTQI people in general. The religious right here has begun to echo the fight against reproductive rights.
After the recent release of census data noted the decline in Christianity, Peta Credlin wrote in The Australian (paywalled) in full Orban mode warning of “the centrality of Christian inspiration to Western civilization.” She defined an Indigenous Voice to parliament as “anathema to the fundamentals of Christian faith” and obliquely blamed Chinese and Indian immigration for the crisis.
The combined forces of the radical right – whether Christian Nationalist in intent, or in bigoted fear of a Great Replacement, or cynically deploying culture wars – all have the capacity to distort our civic debates as they are doing at all levels of government in America. The outcome in America is catastrophic.
It is critical for Australians to watch the international right forces filtered through to our democratic project, directly from the opponents of democracy, or filtered through the American role models so central to our “conservatives.” They are not defeated here, but regrouping.
Why on earth would a climate-change-denying PM who shows 100% support for the filthy, polluting coal-mining and environmentally destructive gas fracking industries attend the COP26 (climate change conference) in Glasgow? Wasn’t this the same fool who dragged a piece of coal into Parliament House and declared – in front of a gleeful Barnyard Joyce – that “there is nothing to be afraid of – it’s just coal! Nothing to see here!” It came as no surprise that the yellow-bellied coward, Sloth Morrison, slunk away and returned back to Australia right before the conference even started! Why? Because heknew that his climate-change-denying ideology will be held up for ridicule on the world stage at any international summit on the emergency to address important issues on a subject the LNP do not believe in! That is exactly the type of disgraceful, cowardly behaviour we have come to expect from a useless, non-achieving PM who expends more energy trying to get out of work and totally avoiding any of his responsibilities as one of the highest paid “leaders” in the free world!
When we recall how Morrison hid behind a deck chair in Hawaii when his own state of NSW nearly burnt to the ground last year; when Australians recognise that this lazy, bone-idle political parasite delegated 99.99% of his job to the hapless State Premiers; When he tried to steal the “limelight” from the Ruby Princess aka Gladys Berejiklian when he thought she was the “Golden Girl” only to betray and abandon her the second he (and we) realised that she was not – it provides anyone with an IQ >10 a thorough insight into the self-serving, smirking entitlement of a stone-cold, ineffective, callous and contemptuous Sloth Morrison!
Now we have the LNP at State and Federal level making ridiculous claims to have some type of non-existent plan set up to halve emissions by 2030 – WTF??? Anyone with any semblance of foresight combined with a sense of reality knows that it is highly unlikely that the LNP will even be in power at that time! Truly, Morrison is right up there with John Howard (who has been likened to a war criminal), and that useless, swaggering, smirking misogynist, Phoney Abbott, as the three worst, most inept, stratospherically arrogant and totally corrupt politicians in Australian history! What makes them even worse is that, despite their appalling cowardice, despite their increasing level of corruption, their never-ending lies and broken promises, the way the LNP literally thrive on hate, fear, division, misogyny, chaos, dysfunction and war – especially when they are backed into a corner or right before an election; despite the LNP wasting countless billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars (that Australians can ill-afford) on useless weapons of war that will soon become obsolete – they remorselessly try to hide all this appalling depravity behind a thin, transparent cloak of sanctimonious bible-thumping hypocrisy!
The fact that Morrison is a signed-up member of a notorious, alleged paedophile-protecting cult of Hillsong and, indeed, stacking his cabinet and staff with other Hillsong members, should be a red flag warning that this dangerously undemocratic autocrat is determined to increase his sick, twisted and dangerous mix of politics with the rabid, misogynistic flat-earth ideology of Hillsong!
Ever since Morrison rose to power on the back of his treacherous, backstabbing betrayal of Michael Towke and Malcolm Turnbull, the level of political subterfuge, self-serving corruption, rorting and waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars has risen to an alarming level together with Morrison’s smirking arrogance, secrecy and autocracy which is now bordering on fascism. The sooner this monstrous and totally depraved regime are kicked to the kerb, the better for everyone.
The tragic fact is that the LNP – at State and Federal levels – are wrecking balls destroying, annihilating, vandalising and defunding everything Australians value including our taxpayer-funded ABC (into which they are parachuting obsequious right-wing sycophants like Lisa Millar and David Speers), Medicare, Aged Care and just about every socially-responsible program devised to protect our environment and the most vulnerable people in our society!
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In this third and final excerpt of her treatise, Tess Lawrence takes no prisoners but leaves no woman behind. In the face of the Mandemic, she calls for women – and the world – and politicians to all woman up. (Please also see Part 1 and Part 2).
Women have long lived with what I call the Mandemic virus.
Like Coronavirus, it has various global variants and mutations and as burgeoning statistics attest, can cause physical and psychological injury – and prove fatal.
Unlike Coronavirus, there is no Mandemic vaccine.
Ironically and catastrophically, Coronavirus has formed an antigenic shift with the Mandemic virus, igniting sporadic breakouts of increased ‘domestic’ violence, mostly by men, towards women, children and their families in general.
Women have become the punching bags of the world. As well as the perennial sexcuse ‘she made me do it’ chuck in another one. Blame Covid-19.
I killed her. I blame her and Covid. They made me do it
Blame Coronavirus and everything and anything for beating her up, for knifing her, for running over her with the car, for glassing her, for kicking her in the stomach while she’s carrying a baby, for breaking her arm, for strangling her, for pouring petrol on her, for throwing acid on her face, for gaslighting her, for beheading her, for drowning her, for stoning her, for starving her, for breaking her spirit, for drugging her, for killing her children, for setting her and the children alight in a car, for throwing her/your child off a bridge, for raping her, for gang raping her, for killing her by grief, for not allowing her to vote, to dance, to sing, to love, to lust, for harassing her, for demeaning her, for sodomising her with implements, for torturing her, for keeping her uneducated, unfed, unhealthy, poor, for selling her into sexual slavery, for not letting her vote or stand for public office, for killing her with an axe, for killing her with a gun, for killing her with a Kalashnikov, a rapid fire assault rifle, for killing her with barrel bombs, cluster munitions, landmines, chlorine and lewisite, for mutilating her, for slicing off her clitoris, for killing her by humiliation, for ridiculing her, by rumours, for degrading her in public, for killing her by stealth, for killing her dreams, for killing her hope, for killing her aspirations, for stealing her dreams, for slut-shaming her, for killing her with unkindness, for sobbing like a girl, for weaponising sex abuse, by killing her with political psycho violence, for killing her with coercive control.
To all the above I have been privy. As a journalist, as an advocate, as a sister to all the women and girls and girl babies above. Some of the above I have experienced.
She. We. I. Have nowhere to hide.
Govt in-house inquiries into rape and sex abuse, dead loss
The industrial strength parliamentary allegations of rape and sexual harassment have resulted in a plethora of various inquiries, reports and navel upskirting, making international headlines and deadlines.
The community has to endure the nonsensical and irritating propensity of time-wasting of so-called ‘independent’ in-house investigations, often led by party flunkies, former or current staffers. They are a dead loss.
They are meaningless and invariably have happy endings for the accused. Nothing to see here, nothing to hear here, nothing to say. The government is simply regurgitating its own vomit.
Morrison’s cos, John Kunkel, an émigré from Rio Tinto that used sacred Juukan Caves for target practice
They are an insult to our intelligence and to justice. Most of all they are an insult to those who are courageous enough to speak their truth.
Take the facile Kunkel Report. It should be read with more than a grain of Epsom salts.
Dr John Kunkel is Morrison’s chief of staff and general advisory factotum. A proud émigré from Rio Tinto, the blow up doll of the mining industry who used the indigenous sacred caves of Juukan for target practice.
See what I mean? Goodness me, he might as well have been seconded to the Prime Minister by Rio Tinto.
It was Dr Kunkel who was charged with the onerous task of investigating the black ops sleazebags who were spreading false rumours about David Sharaz, partner of Brittany Higgins – his own colleagues in his own office, mind you. As if.
The Battle of Great Brittany in Manberra
Inspired by Grace Tame’s courage and example, on February 14, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who worked for then Minister for Defence Industry, the hapless and some say hopeless, Linda Reynolds, revealed she had allegedly been raped by a colleague on a sofa in the Minister’s office in March, 2019.
The allegation stunned an already disgusted public, especially in learning how reaching out to her political peers left Higgins feeling threatened and isolated.
Headlines ricocheted around the world about this latest in a string of allegations and loud rumour that still swirl about Canberra, better named Manberra.
The usual platitudes of faux concern slid out of Morrison’s mouth, along with the pro forma denial of all knowledge of any such thing.
Il Duce Dutton Minister for Home Affairs and Au Pairs reduce Higgins’ claim to “He said, she said.” Really?
Add to this nothingness the repugnant, snide remarks by the ever plotting prime minister-in-waiting Peter Dutton, still smarting from Morrison shrewdly out manoeuvering him for the top job in the Turnbull coup.
Well no. Not really. It turns out that Il Duce Dutton was being less than honest with the Australian people he professes to serve. Further, he has been more than duplicitous and misrepresented the facts about his knowledge of the Higgins allegations and his contact with his nemesis, Prime Minister Morrison – his office and minions.
An appalling Home Affairs Minister, Il Duce is now busy making an even greater mess of his current Defence portfolio than his predecessor, Marise Payne, whom Morrison has pathetically crowned the Prime Minister for Women in yet another forensic red flag of his disassociation to women and dismissal of the physical and psycho political sexual assault crisis in our Parliament that now warrants a Royal Commission.
Moreover, this crisis continues to compromise our national security and confirms that Dutton has lost control of this aspect of both portfolios. The stereotyping of cherchez la femme has obscured the brutal reality of cherchez l’homme.
Security Alert! If Putin has video of Trump peeing on prostitutes, what does he have on Aussie politicians?
If Vladimir Putin really has footage of Donald Trump peeing on prostitutes (hope they got paid extra, not for the peeing but because it was the Donald) then imagine what filth he has on Australian ministers and parliamentarians in general.
Despite serious allegations made by a number of women employed by the government, most politicians, including females, failed to make any definitive statements.
They displayed the political cowardice for which Australia has become synonymous, whether the discussion is about submarines, asylum seekers, voting at the United Nations, the judicial system, the workplace, the home, wage parity, aged are, superannuation, employment opportunity, welfare, housing, gender equality, Indigenous and other human rights, religious persecution, abortion, climate change or change of life. By any measure women get a bum deal.
But Australia has been blessed with a singular tribe of mostly young, fearless warrior women who have emerged from the shadows of autocratic abusive male dominance to stand defiantly in front of their accusers and their fellow Australians to call out and denounce their abusers and the systemic culture of toxic masculinity that protects and incubate them, including within corrupt political and institutional spheres.
Grace refuses to tame the shrew
Grace Tame, 2021 Australian of the Year, left the nation in awe with her profoundly eloquent, inspiring and moving acceptance speech. It shamed those of us who could have done more and didn’t. Including female politicians.
No more shaming or taming of the shrew within!
The end of her courageous speech when she talks of her serial rapist teacher’s command to be quiet, still echoes in my head and turns my gut:
“I remember him saying, ‘Don’t make a sound… Well, hear me now! Using my voice, amongst a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced. Let’s make some noise, Australia!”
Grace Tame’s Australian of the Year speech… shamed those of us who could have done more and didn’t. Including female politicians (Image from abc.net.au)
Tame’s speech prompts ScoMo’s ‘Felt good to get that out’ remark as if he was speaking about a fart
The first publicly known survivor of child sexual abuse to win the award, as well as the first Tasmanian recipient (she earlier won Tasmanian of the Year) Tame was also responsible for changing Tasmania’s archaic gag laws to enable victims/survivors to identify themselves if they so wished.
And what did our Prime Minister say to Tame after her compelling speech?
‘Well, gee, I bet it felt good to get that out!’
Image from pedestrian.tv
This is our Prime Minister speaking for gawd’s sake. As if he were talking about a fart. His repugnant and crass response again reflects a patronising pathology. Either he just doesn’t get it, or he just doesn’t care. Or both.
Women force fed manburger with the lot
It is apparent that our political system is geared to protect the guilty from all sides of the political spectra. The Westminster system was constructed by men, for men and remains mostly comprised of men to this day.
This inequity is reflected in all tiers of our society and the body politic, women are force fed the manburger with the lot.
Lacklustre leaders and governments without vision like Scott Morrison and the LNP compound the problem. The Labor Party and the Greens are not without sin. The world has a glut of such men.
Of course, Australia is not on its Pat Malone with any of this but given our track record we are implicit and complicit in the decrepit legacy world order that subjugates women through coercive control, menace and mendacity. We need a new model of government and governance.
Women getting the short end of the dick
If it is correct that 80 per cent of the world is ruled by men, then at 20 per cent women are surely getting the short end of the dick.
Don’t be misled by inane Coalition propaganda that it is genuinely concerned about the plight of women and girls in this country or any other.
We openly trade, consort, cavort and play sport with regimes that treat girls and women as chattels ultimately owned and enslaved by the male dominated state.
We do so because we share strands of the same intellectual and societal DNA as these foul regimes.
Execution of adulterous Saudi Arabian women related to execution of Hannah Clarke and her three children
The stoning to death of an adulterous woman in Saudi Arabia is unquestionably related to the horrific murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah 6, Laianah 4, and Trey 3, burned alive by Hannah’s estranged husband Rowan Baxter, who poured petrol on his family and set them alight while they were in their car in Brisbane, February last year.
Ultimately, they were both executions engineered by the state. By defaullt. By intent.
“For a lot of people [coercive control] sounds like second-grade abuse, a lower form of abuse that wouldn’t be so hard to recover from. What the model of coercive control shows, is that where that is present, you are actually looking at a situation of entrapment, not just abuse.”
The psychological trap and the threat of violence for non-compliance is often enough to keep victims in a state of fear. In the case of Hannah Clarke, Baxter would change his routine randomly to keep her guessing his movements.”
Morrison’s – and the Coalition’s continual sometimes subliminal attempts to coercively control women – ultimately relegates us to instruments and possessions of the state, do they not? They are the same and similar tactics deployed by the likes of the Taliban, Islamic State, Boko Haram, cults, established religions and various pop up terrorist groups.
American Evan Stark’s book ‘Coercive Control – How men entrap women in personal life’ first published 14 years ago, nails the similarities between terrorism, hostage taking and coercive control.
I add the sexual grooming tactics of predators and the more blunt force tactics like cyber terrorism, spiking drinks and raping women whilst they are drunk or unconscious. Or dead.
I’m also adding government, fiscal, political and institutional coercive control of women. Dammit, chuck in manburger with the lot!
Australia slave to Granny England and Uncle Sam and any fossil that precedes the word ‘fuels’
In Australian politics we continue to follow whilst others lead. Latterly, there are no saints and few heroes. We boldly go only where others have already trod and that includes banal intellectual wastelands and fallow paddocks.
We don’t stand on the shoulders of our own giants, Instead we genuflect to the United States, party donors, benefactors, sponsors and any fossil that precedes the word ‘fuels.’ We buy, sell and trade policies and principles on the toss of a dollar.
Since white settlement, we have never stopped tugging at the mullet that grows like a razorback hog’s down what remains of our political backbone, to ingratiate ourselves with Granny England, Uncle Sam or the carpet baggery of home grown and imported marauding mining companies.
Today Morrison is at the helm of this fetid heap of poisonous tailings.
His benign demeanour is dangerous. Consider the company he keeps. I’m not talking only about his QAnon mate, Tim Stewart or indeed Brian Houston but rather those who comprise and compromise his government.
Red-faced wombat Barnaby, eats beetroot and leaves
For a start there’s the red-faced wombat, deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, so called because he eats beetroot and leaves.
Barnaby’s philandering Joyce stick had already once caused him to be stripped of the position and cost him a marriage as well as inspiring then PM Turnbull’s ministerial ‘bonk ban’ on having sex with staff.
Even though Morrison is said to loathe Joyce and claims he cannot interfere in National Party internal politics, he could have and should have in this instance, given the squalid, hypocrisy of Joyce’s past and the (strenuously denied) allegations of sexual harassment by Catherine Marriott.
Regional as well as National Party women have deplored Joyce’s return, including former federal and state president, Christine Ferguson. The Nationals are no different to others when it comes to the disregard and disrespect for the safety and well being of women and girls.
Not only did an in house investigation into the allegations against Joyce predictably prove inconclusive but now there are circumstances concerning the man who headed up that investigation that warrants a truly independent investigation into Marriott’s allegations that will be seen to be fair to both parties.
It was discovered that Ross Cadell, the Nationals’ NSW State Director who oversaw the Joyce inquiry had been the subject of an apprehended domestic violence order by police in 2014 on behalf of Cadell’s former wife, that had later been withdrawn.
Women have had enough of sexcuses
Morrison’s pimping of obnoxious behaviour has been debated on social and anti-social multimedia platforms, mainstream and upstream media alike, in the court of public opinion and in national protest marches led by angry women who have had enough of sexcuses; me included.
Enough is more than enough. We have reached a stage when the coalition’s response to serial allegations of rape and other forms of sexual abuse and intimidation, harassment, covert and overt violence both within and close to parliament’s portals, are met by SloMo and his bovver boys and girls with indifference and diffidence.
The Liberal and National parties are mired in sewage of their own making; muck expunged from a body politic riddled with parasites feeding on their egos.
Too harsh? I’m not finished.
The reflux of the allegations by a now dead woman of rape against former Attorney-General Christian Porter and the allegation by Brittany Higgins that she was raped by a former parliamentary staff member have forever severed the larynx of the LNP circa Scott Morrison.
The facile and arrogant notion held by Morrison and Porter that he could remain Attorney General after his inane press conference when he outed himself, is again another red flag on the coercive control map.
So too is Porter’s arrogant presumption that anonymous monies poured into a Blind Trust is yesterday’s news, now that he has stood down as Industry Minister. Porter has long forfeited his right to represent Australia and the good folk of Pearce.
Christian Porter is the Minister for Christian Porter. Even in this porterfolio he has proven his deceit
Christian Porter is the Minister for Christian Porter. Even in this porterfolio, time and again he has shown his propensity for deceit. This ghastly man, who presumed he would one day be Prime Minister has been the architect of his own demise.
When Morrison goes down, and go down he will, the Porter scandal will indisputably be writ large on his political epitaph.
We live in an era of big dick politics and big dick politicians. Hard men with hard-ons all the time, seemingly. Pun intended, there is more to come this side of the federal election.
Australia is a cause without a rebel
Time and again, claims of sexual harassment and cover-ups, the general fobbing off of women and the largely uncensured snide remarks and insult directed towards women for decades by members of both houses of parliament have brought the coalition into particular disrepute on this day. And for sure, some of the insult has been by women in the House.
Who can forget histrionic UteGirl, Michaelia Cash, the political scraps pecker who somehow reminds me of a gallus gallus domesticus (although that is probably unfair to your average chook) threatening to name “every young woman” in Bill Shorten’s office during a tit for tat Senates Estimates hearing?
This noxious bile spat from the mouth of a former Minister for Women! Now this political mercenary is the first law officer in the land. Just what is it about the likes of George Brandis, Christian Porter and Michaelia Cash that vaguely warrants their appointment to Attorney General?
Australia has become a cause without a rebel.
Women are political roadkill
Instead of railing against bigotry and bigots, the Prime Minister has led the Charge of the White Brigade. I’ve touched on only a few of the many worthy examples of proof
For too long in Australian politics, women have been perceived as roadkill. Politically, a bit on the side.
It is as if we should be grateful for extra housekeeping money – if we’re good girls and don’t march or make a noise!
Women around the world live under a mandemic yoke. We need to woman up
We don’t need to wait for the results of a Morrison Rorschach test. He has a list of priors that are sourced well before he was elected PM. He has a modus operandi when dealing with problems – largely ignores them.
The global reality for women is that the design of all governments and regimes, fractured, rogue or otherwise practice coercive control of women, as do institutions and society in general, where it is so often culturally enshrined.
Our world remains a patriarchal collective, like it or no. Even the spoils of war, the looting and the mooting of a new world order really refers to male power, military and political supremacy. Let’s not kid ourselves that the notion embraces gender equality on any level. Millions of women are enslaven to men and their governments and governance.
None of this is so called feminist rhetoric, or the spoutings of any womanifesto. This is the reality for women and girls. The societal dominant and dominating gender is male. It is men who hold the greater power.
Australia and the rest of the world needs to forensically analyse what is left of our degraded democracies and all other forms of regimes infected with the Mandemic virus.
Some of us must step up and take responsibility for not making enough noise, as Grace Tame urges us to do.
We have to fight against an elitism and the corporatisation of what must be a new kind of emancipation. We need to see more so-called ordinary women and indigenous women attend summits and contribute to reports; women who are not always renowned corporate game changers, but women who are mostly voiceless. We need to seek them out, we need to hear their voices. We need to learn from them.
I want to hear from potential Hannah Clarkes and not just hold a wake around their funeral pyre.
Women – and the wonderful men who love us and support us – need to lock this in. To lock our arms around one another. Leave no woman behind. Politicians throughout the world need to acknowledge the wars on women.
Women, myself included, need to woman up.
Please Note: If you need any support, please reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. You are not alone.
In her second excerpt on Scott Morrison’s Coercive Control of Women, Tess Lawrence doubles down on her treatise calling out Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s dangerous weak and duplicitous leadership. She asserts the continuous political assault and insult of women spills into his incompetency in foreign affairs and gross mismanagement of domestic policies and argues that the body politic itself is corrupted by toxic masculinity when it comes to the treatment of women.
Content warning: This article discusses rape, suicide and institutional political psychosexual violence.
By any abacus, Christian Porter’s Blind Trust adds up to dirty money.
More than that, it smacks of something more ominous and ugly; something sinister; perhaps a cover up.
One consolation for those of us who still mourn the death of the woman known as ’Kate’ who alleged she was raped by Porter when they were both teenagers, is that this outrageous contribution to Porter’s legal fees has resulted in Porter’s overdue resignation as a cabinet minister.
But that’s not enough. As a double act, Porter and Morrison clearly think we are fools. So must Porter’s donors. We need to know who donated those monies. We will find out.
Morrison’s obfuscation at Sunday’s press conference and his continued reticence to call out Porter’s latterly conduct is repugnant. SloMo has priors.
If Porter and Morrison continue to promulgate the myth that it is of no consequence who donated these monies to Porter, to help pay the legal fees for a spurious defamation action he initiated after outing himself as the alleged perpetrator, then I suggest they are deluded. Big time.
Porter saga proves Morrison government unfit for purpose.
This latest tawdry episode in the Porter saga, again confirms that he and Morrison are undeserving of the trust of the electorate.
The Morrison government is unfit for purpose and well beyond its use-by date.
While researching this article, I see that last year, Porter enjoyed the hospitality of former Fortescue chief honcho, now Perth Airport CEO, Neville Power on several charter flights, the first being in May, mere weeks after Scott Morrison appointed Power as Chairman of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).
A curious entity, ANI is owned by the Australian Government represented by two Shareholder Ministers, the Minister for Finance, Senator Simon Birmingham and Il Duce Peter Dutton, Minister for Defence and Prime Minister-in-Waiting.
Ships ahoy! When Porter leaves politics, of his own free will or otherwise, the old boy’s network will surely kick in for him. For your perusal and in the interest of transparency, we include below the text of Porter’s entry to the Register of Members’ Interests, dated September 13, 2021.
This is how the big boys pay their debts. Corporate jobseeker for mates, if you will:
“I wish to alter my statement of registrable interests as follows:
In March 2021, I commenced defamation proceedings in a purely personal capacity against the ABC and Ms Louise Milligan [NSD 206 of 2021]. On 31 August 2021 this matter was finalised by the Court.
Although these matters have been conducted in a personal capacity and all legal services were engaged in a purely personal capacity, out of an abundance of caution and consistent with approaches adopted by other parliamentarians in relation to the provision of reduced fee or pro bono legal services, I advise that, in addition to my own personal funds, the following contributions have recently or may shortly be made:
• As has been publicly reported, as part of the settlement an amount was paid by the ABC to Company Giles. Now that the matter has been resolved the relevant cheque will be deposited in Company Giles trust account and applied to my account.
• Part contribution to the payment of my fees by a blind trust known as the Legal Services Trust. As a potential beneficiary I have no access to information about the conduct and funding of the trust.
• My engagement of Ms Chrysanthou was on a commercial fee arrangement. However, consistent with her practice for individual clients, she did not charge me for all of the time she spent on the matter and in the recent settling of her fees I am aware there has been a reduction in fees which has resulted in me having received some services from Ms Chrysanthou on a reduced fee basis.
Although all of the above contributions were made to me, or were for my benefit, in a purely personal capacity, in the interest of transparency and out of an abundance of caution I make this disclosure pursuant to item 14 of the Register of Members Interest.”
Porter bombshell! He has copy of Kate’s signed document
Porter must have known that this perfunctory entry would unleash another media firestorm, but the statement he posted on his website on Sunday contained a bombshell that seems to have escaped closer scrutiny and yet it reveals so much about the man – the political milieu of Morrison’s collective narcissistic government and the LNP in general.
I’m not alone in noting that in talking about his dead accuser Porter rarely expresses any emotion, even when referring to her suicide.
I prefer the phrase ‘alleged suicide’ in this case not because I think Kate was murdered, but because I am well aware that we human beings can be driven to suicide. And we can be driven to it by individuals, by social media, by the ‘system’ and other factors and triggers.
Note: Here I must state categorically that in no way am I – or The Australian Independent Media Network – asserting or implying that Christian Porter had anything whatsoever to do with Kate’s suicide.
Read Porter’s analysis of Kate’s 88-page signed document!
Reading Porter’s resignation statement, I was struck by these words:
“…I have recently been provided from a source outside the ABC with a copy of the only signed document that the person who made and subsequently withdrew the complaint ever made.
Many parts of that 88-page document are such that any reasonable person would conclude that they show an allegation that lacks credibility; was based on repressed memory (which has been completely rejected by courts as unreliable and dangerous); which relied on diaries said to be drafted in 1990/91 but which were actually words composed in 2019; and, was written by someone who was, sadly, very unwell…”
Porter needs to be questioned about the above paragraphs in particular:
How can he be so adamant that the copy of the 88 page document in his possession is the only signed document by Kate that exists?
Has Porter given a copy of this signed document to the police?
Does Kate’s friend and one of her ardent champions, Jo Dyer have this document?
Did Porter show Prime Minister Scott Morrison the copy of this signed document?
Has the signature and the document been verified as Kate’s?
Was the document sworn and witnessed?
Where was it sworn and who was the witness?
Was the document stamped?
Was the document addressed to anyone?
Is the document source connected to Porter’s donor(s)?
How long has Porter been in possession of the 88 page document ?
Does the 88 page document contain Kate’s unsigned statement that was released by the Federal Court in the public interest?
Has Porter sent a copy of the 88 page document to the Federal Court?
Do Porter lawyers Sue Chrysanthou and Rebekah Giles have a copy of the 88 page document ? Are they obliged to forward that document to interested parties?
Has Kate’s family got a copy of the document?
Was that document produced in Court and/or presented as evidence?
So many more questions. So many more answers to be declined by Porter and the Government.
Federal Court releases unsigned statement by Kate
In March, my article The Night Porter and Allegation of Rape, published in Independent Australia prompted heartening interest and response from informants and sources, not just about the Porter saga but also about other allegations of rape and other forms of sexual violence within and outside of Federal and State Parliaments and invariably coercive control was discussed as a major factor, whether it be in institutions, companies, workplaces, including media outlets, or within households and relationships.
Out of respect for Kate’s own story, her truth as she believed it, of no less value because she is now dead – and because the Federal Court, in a breathtaking decision, thought we the people should hear Kate’s voice – I’m including this comment I posted under The Night Porter article – as is. It has all the links to access Kate’s unsigned statement.
PUBLIC INTEREST BOMBSHELL ! FEDERAL COURT RELEASES ‘ KATE’S ‘ STATEMENT!
* WARNING: KATE’S STATEMENT INCLUDES HER GRAPHIC AND DISTRESSING RAPE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AUSTRALIA’S FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL, CHRISTIAN PORTER, WHO REMAINS A CABINET MINISTER IN THE MORRISON GOVERNMENT.
* Dear Readers, we invite you to read ‘ Kate’s ‘ profoundly moving statement along with the preamble sent by her friends
The Federal Court yesterday released the redacted statement in the public interest and I’ve placed links to the actual ‘Exhibit 1’ that is the redacted document, as well as a link to the court case Dyer v Chrysanthou that precipitated its release.
‘KATE’ ALLEGES BRUTAL ANAL AND ORAL RAPE BY PORTER THAT LEFT HER BLEEDING AND ALSO ALLEGES HE SHAVED HER LEGS AND UNDERARMS.
The Federal Court is to be thanked for posting the statement online, so that the wider community has access to what many lawyers, politicians and journalists have been privy to, for some time.
24 June 2021 25 May 2021Exhibit 1 – Dossier + Letter (PDF, 1.8 MB)Second respondent
‘Kate’ was found hanged in the garden of her home in Adelaide last year. Her statement is a voice from that cold and lonely grave. We cannot exhume Justice for her. But we can at least, listen to her voice and allegations and yes, we can decide whom is more trustworthy – whom is to be believed – Kate or Porter?
Christian Porter criticised the ABC In connection with the settlement of his defamation case against it. He can say or believe what he wants, but his reputation is trash. Speaking for myself, I believe that he is a terrible, immoral and grotesque human being
Julian Burnside has spoken up for so many of us on so many occasions, invariably on behalf of the least of us, including indigenous Australians and Asylum Seekers.
In the above Tweet he says he is speaking for himself. But thousands of us will share his views on Christian Porter.
It is sickening to think Porter was once our Attorney General, holding the highest law office in the land. He was appalling then and more so now.
We have listened to him lie and distort the truth. If his reputation is trashed it was he who trashed it. He continues to hold himself unaccountable to no-one save his ego.
He has dashed his hope of becoming Prime Minister.
The Porter affair thus far can be viewed through the prism of institutional coercive control.
Porter’s lust for power is mirrored in Morrison’s ineptitude and mishandling of Porter’s clear political misconduct. Morrison thinks that if he ignores the stockpile of problems exacerbated by his leadership and a Coalition that clearly strives for mediocrity that we will go away – not the problems.
Australia is languishing through lack of leadership. Christian Porter, Scott Morrison and the LNP have forgotten that they are servants to the people. Instead, they are trying to enslave us to a decrepit legacy system that is reliant on coercive control, and social infrastructure drip fed by political bullies.
CONTACTS FOR SUPPORT. Please reach out. You are not alone.
Tess Lawrence is not known for holding back when holding forth. In this first excerpt from a longer treatise she calls out Prime Minister Scott Morrison, accusing him of both implicit and complicit coercive control over women in Australia, including female cabinet ministers as well as complainants of alleged rape and other forms of sexual assault and harassment.
Content warning: This article discusses rape and institutional political psychosexual violence.
Scott Morrison’s coercive control of women
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has burgeoned into a political psychopath.
His flaccid leadership and the gross logistical incompetence he’s displayed whilst mismanaging the accumulation, distribution and access to coronavirus vaccines for the comparatively small population who inhabit our vast continent are just two reasons why his tenure is doomed.
There are other crises that warrant immediate attention despite his continuing attempts to suffocate public debate. One of them is Morrison’s ‘woman problem.’ His misogyny and contempt for women have long been stripped bare. They are self-evident; two-faced on the one coin.
The government’s shrewd appropriation of last week’s National Summit on Women’s Safety was an indictment of the continuing irrelevance of the Liberal National Party when it comes to self-examination and institutional reform.
The lack of public advocacy by LNP female cabinet ministers and their appalling political subservience to the ‘father’ of the nation is galling, when it comes down to cleansing Parliament of its sleaze and sleazebags and rehabilitating the House of ill-repute it has become.
Many good and wonderful women attended the summit and participated in good faith. Many more should have been there. The paltry 48 hours assigned to the summit was cruel insult. As was Morrison’s keynote address. He is a study in hypocrisy.
His twinkling eyes belie a smarmy paternalism. We have watched him slither from autocrat minister to prime minister, snatching the wattle crown with stealth from more politically agile expectants after the Turnbull spillage.
Morrison’s coercive control stem from Christian Sharia
Afghanistan’s Taliban are shameless in their overt control over women, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s insidious coercive control of women stems from a fundamentalist white man’s version of Christian sharia that deems women, like animals, are mere chattels owned by men and the state.
Of course, all regimes and governments exercise greater coercive control over women than men. Institutional bullying of women in particular is endemic in the construct of rule and religion. Democracy and the Westminster System alike are founded on the coercive control of women, are they not? In the West we learn how heroic women died in the fight for suffrage. They did us proud. My generation has betrayed them. How so?
Elsewhere and everywhere millions of faceless, nameless women continue to die from the catastrophic realities of simply being born female; remaining third class humans within their family household, the notion of voting or standing for any kind of parliament or public office not even a secret fantasy. We all have a shared history, a shared humanity, a shared inhumanity.
What is our Prime Minister doing about it in our own backyard? Bugger all.
We know enough of Morrison’s past and present to call out his patriarchal authoritarianism.
He is publicly steeped in evangelical, biblical primitivism and the subversive, oppressive white tribalism that fuels racial and male gender supremacy.
The latter marches alongside the latent new dawn of pan aryanism now insinuating its emergence from the darker marginalia of history into the stark daylight of global reality; the memento mori of those black and white Pathe’ newsreels replaced and repurposed with full blown glorious technicolour that capture scenes of terrorism, murder and butchery most foul.
Yet blood shed by all nations is as the same crimson shared on humanity’s own Pantone colour chart, regardless of gender.
Morrison’s laying of hands one thing – what of that other kind of laying on of hands?
But it is his failure to adequately address allegations of the unwanted laying on of multiple hands of another kind by male parliamentary predators within the Liberal Party that renders him liable to being described a facilitator and enabler of such creeps; at the least, a bystander.
Then there’s the many allegations of historical and contemporary rape made against other politicians and staff – not all members of the Coalition either.
Morrison’s remit is Parliament and Australia entire; whether polity or populi. Time and again he has manhandled these allegations. He has weaponized them. He has turned that rapid fire assault rifle on the accusers themselves, forever trying to suppress their speech and control the public and political narrative.
His tolerance of what may yet prove to constitute criminal behaviour is disturbing.
Remember how he contemptuously nominated his bestie Brian Houston to be in Australia’s entourage and a guest at President Donald Trump’s White House state dinner?
Houston, we have a problem!
But hey, with Pastor Brian Houston, we had a problem.
Royal Commission cited Houston over father’s sex abuse.
The New Zealand-born founder of global behemoth Hillsong Church, Houston, Morrison’s religious guru and mentor was cited by the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for failing to inform police that his own father, Pastor Frank, was a self-confessed child abuser.
That failure dogs the son of the paedophile preacher man to this day. It dogs Morrison too.
Now I have learned from former White House insiders that they were not the only ones who didn’t want this episode in the life of Brian to cause political fission. I was told that powerful Australian business interests didn’t want a bar of Houston either.
Of course, Houston had visited Trump’s White House before and after Morrison’s visit but the intervention by some from big bizzo was uncompromising. Some were said to have threatened to boycott the state dinner if Houston attended.
I quote one member of the group who asked not to be identified:
“We don’t want to be in the same room as Houston, whether it’s the White House or the Lodge – let alone sit at the same table with him.”
White House rebuff kick in the goolies for Morrison
The fact that even pussy grabbing Trump knocked back the megachurch’s Pastor Houston in this instance was a kick in the goolies for the embarrassed and embarrassing Morrison.
He’d tried in vain to keep a lid on the fact that Houston’s name was on his intimate dance card, once even preposterously asserting that to do so would constitute a threat to national security.
Morrison and Houston were both humiliated by the knockback. I understand our US Ambassador Joe Hockey sided with the business power brokers. Surprise, surprise. Australia now has to endure the historical ignominy of inviting Houston to represent Australia in the first place over arguably worthier invitees.
But wait, there’s more, in less than a fortnight, SloMo is off to the White House again to attend the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Leaders Summit. President Joe Biden will be doing his darndest to get some sense out of Morrison on the subjects of Covid 19, climate change, cyberspace and oh, yeah, something about a free and open Indo-Pacific. Did someone mention China? No mention of the increasing violence towards women or the disintegration of Afghanistan and particularly the plight of women.
But out of earshot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan, Morrison will be discussing the implications of the Houston fracas.
Houston episode forensic insight into ScoMo’s psyche
The point is, this White House-Houston episode gives us important psycho-forensic insight into Morrison’s tolerance laissez-faire attitude and mindset about the proliferation and subject of sex abuse in general.
It exposes a worrying personal and political diffidence towards the many historical and contemporary allegations of rape, sexual harassment, insult, abuse and violence made by women – and directed at women within and beyond parliamentary precincts.
It shows too, how Morrison puts his mates first and Australia second. He does this time and again.
Does Scott Morrison really treat men against whom allegations have been made differently to their alleged victims? Yes. His biases favour males in general and they include alleged male perpetrators.
The siring of daughters has clearly done little to prompt him to be either friend, mentor, protector or prime minister for womankind. We are the last among equals and our Indigenous sisters are the least among the last.
The barbarians at the Holgate
Consider the outrageous bullying and egregious cowardly attack under the protection of parliamentary privilege upon then Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, by Scott Morrison.
On the morning of October 22, last year, Ms Holgate appeared before Senate Estimates where it was revealed Australia Post had gifted $3000 Cartier watches to four employees, as a bonus for (it has since been revealed ) securing contracts worth several hundred millions of dollars.
In feverish delight, Morrison seized the opportunity to put the boot in to Holgate in Parliament, once again displaying his capacity for demeaning women, going so far as to cast aside common sense let alone natural justice and the law:
“She has been instructed to stand aside, if she doesn’t wish to do that, she can go.”
It was a repugnant abuse of power and parliamentary privilege by a Prime Minister who is accustomed to maintaining a political harem of proudly compliant female ministers who lack the moral and political fortitude as individuals or even as a group, to seriously denounce and indict allegations of bullying and sexual abuse within their own party, even within their own cabinet.
Morrison’s notorious corporate slut-shaming and bullying of Holgate is forever documented in hansard and the ugly saga of the barbarians at the Holgate is far from over. Holgate recently received a $1million payout from Australia Post.
Morrison’s outrageous presumption of the woman’s guilt was out of order, given he did not have the facts at sleight of hand. It was an act of political psycho-violence against Holgate; part of a behavioural pattern, coercive control.
He bloody well knew that Australia Post had a history of dishing out opulent bonuses, including those made to Holgate’s male predecessor Ahmed Fahour.
Mathias Cormann, Onan the Invisible v CEO Holgate
Revelling in his power and toxic masculinity, Morrison proceeded to demean and vilify Holgate in the people’s house. In our name. Not only was he her accuser but also the jury and sentencing judge.
But there had been a long-time plan afoot. Months earlier, he’d sent in his bovver boy Communications Minister Paul Fletcher to politically stalk and undermine Holgate. Go-fetch-her-Fletcher was only part of it.
There was the sneaky skullduggery of Onan the Invincible, former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, he who was the regurgitator in 2014 of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s offensive “economic girlie man” slur. How is it okay for a minister to use the word ‘girlie’ as an insult?
The Government needn’t have bothered paying for actors for this ‘play like a girl’ ad – it simply should have featured Mathias Cormann and his ‘girlie man ’insult. After all, there’s no copyright on sexism:
Together with certain members of Australia Post’s Board and Executive, the blokes plotted to get rid of Holgate, who’d dug in her high heels, to keep Australia Post intact, despite being subjected to industrial strength gaslighting, undermining, mudslinging and character assassination.
She was steadfastly opposed to any Coalition privatisation or divestiture of Australia Post, as had been conveniently recommended in a Boston Consulting Group report.
It just so happened that Boston Consulting’s report happily coincided with the LNP’s intent to sell off AP and sell out Australia’s iconic mail delivery service.
Holgate’s apparent largesse provided Morrison with the perfect sexcuse. The perfidious plan to flay Holgate in public was detonated by the Primed Minister.
The Magna Cartier ‘scandal ’ provided him with cover for political thuggery. Or so he thought.
Parliamentary privilege – the politician’s condom and ScoMo’s soiled French letter to Ms Holgate.
It was malevolent character assassination writ large. She was a soft target. She wasn’t there to defend herself. It was a political mugging and seemingly entertained much of the hypocritical rabble in the well named Lower House. It was below the bikini line for sure and symptomatic of the toxic boys club that is our Parliament.
Wearing the politician’s protective condom of parliamentary privilege, Morrison had Holgate by the short and curlies. But it was a soiled French letter that again contained more forensic evidence of his appalling attitude towards women – and the CEO of Australia Post in particular.
Look at his body language in Parliament as he goes in for the Holgate kill. He’s enjoying it big time. He’s getting off on it. No question.
The popularity and proliferation of coercive control runs rampant across all societal strata: such is the level of physical and mental sexual violence towards women and girls in Australia, that it may as well be declared a national sport.
It is dangerously close to being described as a bonding mechanism for some males, given vituperative social media posts. For some males it is not a badge of dishonour but rather a campaign medal.
A war on a particular woman so often evolves into a war on all women.
If the sport was granted Olympic status, given our prolific expertise in domestic violence, we would probably win gold, silver, bronze and be runners up as well. This is the ugly reality for so many women in Australia. I know it to be true for my sisters everywhere.
Don’t just take my word for it. Let’s have a shufti at last year’s Parliamentary Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence and check out what it recorded about coercive control.
4.7: The concept of coercive control was developed by Professor Evan Stark, a sociologist and forensic social worker, who defined it as a ‘pattern of domination that includes tactics to isolate, degrade, exploit and control’ a person, ‘as well as to frighten them or hurt them physically’. Professor Stark describes coercive control as a ‘liberty crime’, and it has also been described as ‘intimate terrorism’.
4.8: Submitters to the inquiry characterised coercive control in various terms, but a common theme in evidence was that coercive control is not incident based, but instead involves a pattern of behaviour.
I rest my case. And for the time being, I rest my heart.
Please Note: If you need any support, please reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. You are not alone.
“Facts sometimes are contentious, aren’t they? And what you may think is right, somebody else might think is completely untrue. And that’s part of living in a democratic country.” (Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, January 12, 2021).
A neat four years ago Antique Barbie and Trump flunky Kellyanne Conway set the tone for a post-truth Trumpworld when she defended the tangerine tyrant’s ludicrous claims of an outsized inauguration crowd by invoking the Orwellian notion of “alternative facts”(1).
Fast forward from Trump’s Year Zero to when the seditionists and rioters obeyed the command of the despotic, half-sucked mango seed by attempting to literally torch American democracy, aided and abetted from within by treasonous, mercenary GOP urgers and spivs. All the result of four years of accumulated alternative facts and “fake news” gaslighting.
Across the Trump years tens of millions of willing dupes, oiks, the useful idiotista, Qrackpots, slope-shouldered racists and stool samplers wallowed in a steady effluvium of post-truth ordure that megaphoned Trump’s self-aggrandising lies and whiney grievance mongering.
But, the introductory quote at the start of this rant is not from some Trump vassal pissing out of the tent, it is not an artefact from crazy-town nor is it from the toxic bile factory that trades as the Dirty Digger’s Fox News. It is Australia’s acting Prime Minister Mickey The Dip McCormack speaking mere days after an attempted coup that was fuelled by “contentious facts”.
Apart from its timing the context of the quote is two-fold. Firstly, Mickey has an intellect that would not challenge foliage. He’s as thick as a coal miner’s sandwich yet he’s apparently the best and brightest the National Party has to offer – i.e. the least worst option. Secondly, he was defending the Trumpist effluent of two of the most egregious examples of the far right dross that has infected our own politics – specifically the swivel-eyed, Pete Evans-level Covid quackery from failed furniture salesman Fatty Carbuncle and, by extension, the trumpetings of Gorgeous George the Manila back street trawler and blubbertigibbet.
The BMI of these two globular nongs is such that they affect weather patterns, but that is not particularly germaine other than that these self-proclaimed champions of free speech should not have any problem with the deployment of a gratuitous sledge, yeah? The hypocrisy and idiocies of their flatulent gibberings have, following Trump’s attempted democrocide, received wide exposure and deserved ridicule but the bigger picture is the refusal of their respective masters to either call them to heel or penalise their Trumpian fanboy distortion of pandemic science and their anti-democratic blatherings and what that says about the mindset of the Tory side of our politics. Trumpism is a dangerous psychosis but both Scooter Morrison and Mickey Mac have now acknowledged by default that it has a home in the L/NP.
As the Tories go about their routine tasks of shovelling public money and assets to themselves and their cronies their ideological slide to the loony right has developed a distinctly orange tinge.
When Josh Freudenberg and Call Me Dave Sharma, two prominent Jewish Tory MPs, one an ostensible Prime Minister-in-waiting, the other an ex-Ambassador to Israel, jump aboard the anti-Twitter “free speech” ruse that propagates Nazi rhetoric and promotes Proud Boys’ fascist merch then something is deeply, deeply awry.
Scooter himself, interrupting his holidaying lifestyle to spend a few days attending to photo ops, has pointedly refused to criticise Trump in any way. Perhaps that’s down to Trump’s bestowal upon him of the Legion of Merit – the Right does so appreciate shiny baubles, ostentatious trophies and grandiose titles. The absurdity of a cowardly draft dodger gifting a militarty honour to a bloke whose first instinct is to flee from a crisis is lost on Scooter of course. Coming from Trump that medal merely symbolises Morrison’s membership of the cult of the citrus clunge.
From birtherism to The Big Lie (“the election was rigged”) Trump has long signalled his character. His betrayal of America is not new despite which Scooter has gone beyond the protocols of relationships between national leaders. His embrace of Trumpism was always enthusiastic, unquestioning and compliant with Trump’s grotesque adulteration of accepted norms and institutions. As one example Scooter, champion of the economy-first neo-lib mindset, jeopardised Australia’s economic interests on the altar of Trumpism by leading with his chin at the orange one’s urging to openly and loudly insult China.
Two deluded non-entities shouting at clouds from the backbench should be an amusing sideshow, after all the Tory goat rodeo had Abbott and Joyce in the two top jobs for a time. But Carbuncle and Gorgeous G are symptoms not abberations. With one notable exception(2), and Morrison’s dissembling weasel words aside, no Tory MP has condemned the radical right insurrection in the US last week.
Across the board the self-proclaimed champions of free speech hypocritically loathe any free speech that is not their own. They always have. Scrutiny, questioning, dissent, alternative views, truth…they don’t like it. Parliament, journalists, unions, the ABC, judges, scientists, academics, environmentalists, whistleblowers, safe schools, you and me…we’re all existing or potential targets for their mendacity.
RWNJ opinion is now the news. The Tories all watched Trump, they all liked what they saw. All the little lies are useful and the Big Lie almost worked.
What most citizens of Oz are not watching is our own Trumpist, post-truth creep to far right shitfuckery and that suits the Tories just fine.
(1) “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” George Orwell. 1984.
(2) Matt Keane, NSW Minister For The Environment
Image from 98five.com
Image from time.com (Photographer: Marco Bello/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Australia’s union movement has steadfastly rejected the Morrison government’s latest proposed reforms on superannuation on the grounds that workers would be worse off if choices about such accounts were left to the banks rather than to themselves or their employers.
And in addition to leaving Australia’s working classes potentially being worse off for retirement, the proposed reforms would leave the banks richer and grant the government’s superannuation minister – presently, Jane Hume – with a set of new powers that would go unchecked and with zero accountability.
In essence, the government seeks to use its Parliamentary and legislative powers to overhaul the superannuation system.
And doing so in a manner that leaves a trail of corruption in its wake, especially after the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has recently called for an ending of a freeze on superannuation rates that have been an LNP government policy staple since 2014.
“The union movement stands ready to resist any attacks on workers’ retirement savings. Like with Medicare, we need to improve and strengthen our retirement system, which is already the envy of the world – not tear it down,” Michele O’Neil, the ACTU’s president, said last month when defending the status quo of the superannuation system.
Under the government’s reform proposals, whose exposure drafts and explanatory materials are being weighed up in the midst of a Federal Senate Inquiry on the Superannuation Sector, would take the rights of choice among superannuation funds away from workers, particularly those new to the workforce or to a new employer, and be steered towards any for-profit funds run by the banks.
The ACTU, by labelling these reforms as “predatory”, views the suggested reforms as being politically motivated and as an attack based on ideology, and have unsurprisingly called for their legislative defeat.
“The federal government’s superannuation reforms will shortchange workers and erode the hard-won retirement savings of millions of Australians,” Scott Connolly, the ACTU’s national assistant secretary, said on Monday.
“A worker could be locked into an underperforming for-profit fund that is funnelling money to shareholders through exorbitant administration fees – and be misled by the Government that they are in a good fund,” added Connolly.
The ACTU juxtaposes the Industry Super network of superannuation funds against the perils of the banking-based for-profit funds advocated by the LNP and the Morrison government, due to the fact that Industry Super-linked funds perform better via all profits going to each of its respective fund’s members.
However, under the government’s reforms, that would change, thereby leaving workers worse off in the long run towards planning their retirements.
“If these laws are passed, for-profit funds will have a systemic advantage over all-profit-to-member funds, leaving workers worse off,” said Connolly.
“The exposure draft legislation represents an attack on working people, their retirement savings, and the best performing and best-governed superannuation funds,” he added.
As the superannuation sector inquiry is scheduled to resume in the Senate next month when the federal Parliament returns from its summer break, and expected to wrap up in March, the Department of the Treasury highlights its reform package to include:
Members being given notification upon whenever a superannuation fund fails an annual transparency performance test administered by the Australian Prudential Review Authority (APRA), and if this occurs two years in a row, trustees for such superannuation products are prohibited from accepting new beneficiaries into the product
Providing certainty and transparency about the basis by which superannuation products will be ranked and published on a website maintained by the ATO
Invoking a new set of standards to ensure that superannuation trustees work in a manner upholding its members’ best interests
Employers will still be required to make contributions to an employee’s single nominated superannuation fund. However, wrinkles are being proposed to ensure that unnecessary fees and insurance premiums are not paid on unintended multiple superannuation accounts.
“It is no coincidence that administration fees are excluded from benchmark proposals, as for-profit funds performances will be overstated to members and potential members,” said Connolly.
As Hume currently holds the portfolio for superannuation, as she has within the Morrison government since 2019, a bit of background about her history is required – especially since she is facing the prospect of having her powers expanded in a big way.
Although Hume served as a senior strategic policy advisor with Australian Super prior to her ascension to politics as a Senator for Victoria in 2016, she possesses a storied past in the banking sector.
Hume was a former Deutsche Bank Australia vice president in 2008-09 after previously working as a National Australia Bank sales and marketing research manager, investment manager and a private banker from 1995-99 before moving on to Rothschild Australia as a senior business development manager in the asset management division, and briefly as a key accounts manager from 2000-2002.
Any superannuation minister, present or future, would be given the power to possess the authority to deem as illegal any expense, investment, or activity, by any fund, at any time, as well as extending the preference for a single superannuation fund over any or all others while lacking the transparency is not required to give notice nor reason for those actions.
Moreover, the decisions of the minister nor any new regulations undertaking under the minister’s watch do not require to be challenged in court.
Given the context of what the Banking Royal Commission revealed, Connolly and the ACTU have called out the rogue nature of these reforms – as well as the extended, unchecked powers of any current or future superannuation minister for the government of the day.
“Despite the Banking Royal Commission finding for-profit funds blatantly rorting members, the government continues to favour them by making benchmarking based on net investment return,” said Connolly.
Unemployment numbers were reported to have improved on Thursday while federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg claimed that Australia’s economy was rebounding – but the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) sent out a message of its own: increase wages and help the insecure workforce, and the nation can be guided out of recession.
As the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was reporting two divergent numbers relating to the nation’s employment figures – unemployment had improved by 0.2 per cent to 6.8 per cent for the month of November, but also noted that underemployment figures had improved by 1.0 per cent to 9.4 per cent – Michele O’Neil, the ACTU’s president, insisted that wage growth was the best way to ensure a faster and stronger economic recovery.
And as O’Neil’s comments come in the wake of Thursday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) presentation update by Frydenberg and Simon Birmingham, the government’s minister for finance, she pointed out that the government’s update lends very little hope for those who had sacrificed close to a year of their working lives in 2020.
“The government had an opportunity to show that they do really care about the future of so many unemployed and underemployed Australians, but failed to deliver that today,” said O’Neil.
“We must not forget that 2.2 million Australians will be facing the end of the year with no job or not enough hours, and the government’s mid-year economic statement does not deal with this fundamental issue,” she added.
The ACTU also advised that the nation’s under-employment figures come with a caveat: while it is encouraging that people are returning to work, the government, as well as the ABS, defines anyone who works as little as an hour per week as being employed.
It also said that any current signs of recovery out of a once-in-a-generation recession possess a shaky foundation – of that recovery being quite fragile, warning that the jobless rate could possibly return to COVID-level rates without the proper vision and leadership to create jobs and increase wages.
“They had an opportunity today to redirect unspent JobKeeper to reverse the cut in payments coming at Christmas and to fund programs that would deliver decent secure jobs that help rebuild our economy, but have shirked that responsibility,” said O’Neil.
“Further, there is no plan to lift wages which have now seen eight years of low growth including the lowest on record – and we know that unless workers have confidence to spend the economy will suffer. Instead, the Morrison government has introduced industrial relations legislation which will cut workers take-home pay,” O’Neil added.
Meanwhile, both Frydenberg and Birmingham used the occasion of the MYEFO to thump the collective chest of the Morrison government, claiming that economic recovery is underway.
“The updated numbers are encouraging and better than what was expected at budget just ten weeks ago,” the Treasurer added.
“This Budget update tells a story of resilience, of recovery and of Australians getting back to work. Stronger business and consumer confidence means more Australians are in jobs [and] there are fewer demands on government programs and stronger than expected revenue,” said Birmingham, who has forecast that the budget deficit is expected to be $24 billion less than previously anticipated.
“These forecasts, along with the other economic forecasts, stand Australia in incredibly good stead, relative to many other comparable nations. In summary, Australia’s economic and fiscal strength enabled us to enter the COVID-19 crisis with resilience,” added Birmingham.
O’Neil also put the government’s figures – which also included a line from Frydenberg saying it could take up to four years to return the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels – in a perspective, that revenue numbers over deficits wouldn’t be possible without tax-related incentives to businesses.
And she feels that a long-term plan for growing the economy, raising wages for all workers, and jobs-based growth has been lost in the government’s feel-good messages.
“The government has chosen the ‘low road’ recovery, with un-tied tax cuts to big business, and failed to deliver a nation-building approach to job growth,” O’Neil said.
Previously, the ACTU had called for the Morrison government to adopt and implement its National Economic Recovery Plan (NERP), a jobs-based economic recovery blueprint geared towards getting Australia out of recession, on several occasions since unveiling it in July.
Areas such as creating more secure jobs, extending childcare and early learning free of charge, investing in job-training facilities and programs, such as the TAFE system, investing in the nation’s university system, and placing a focus on jobs and investment in the manufacturing sector, were among the items on that blueprint.
But as wage growth has stagnated under successive LNP governments since 2013, the view of O’Neil and the ACTU which holds that area as the most critical means of pushing economic recovery is shared by Brendan O’Connor, Labor’s shadow minister for employment and industry.
Shadow employment minister Brendan O’Connor, spruiking direct action to combat a jobs crisis (Photo from TWU Vic/Tas)
“If the economy was as strong as the Treasurer claims, there wouldn’t still be a million Australians stuck in the jobless queues, 1.4 million workers underemployed and more left out and left behind in this recovery,” O’Connor said earlier in the week.
“While too many Australians and communities are hurting, the Liberals and Nationals are reverting to form and using the pandemic as an excuse to cut workers’ pay, cut super and strip protections from borrowers,” added O’Connor, who earlier in the month announced on behalf of the ALP what it calls a Pandemic Recovery Jobs and Industry Taskforce.
As the ALP’s initiative could be viewed as a complement to the ACTU’s NERP blueprint, O’Connor says it runs counter to what the Morrison government has been alleged to be doing in the heart of a jobs and economic crisis – leaving people to go at it in a survival-of-the-fittest regimen.
“The Taskforce will travel around the country – particularly to outer-metropolitan, regional and rural areas – to hear from employees, employers, unions, industry bodies, academics and experts about what is needed to best respond to the Morrison recession,” O’Connor said.
A few weeks ago, Scott Morrison sent a tweet about a letter from a prep student asking if holidays could be abolished. Some people were unkind enough to suggest that the language and the handwriting were too sophisticated for your average prep student. Of course, they were overlooking the fact that school holidays are a state based responsibility, so the kid wasn’t that clever because he was writing to the wrong person. Anyway, I have it on good authority that children’s letters to ScoMo was going to become a regular thing until someone suggested that given his Hillsong association, it might remind the public of things his friend would like to pretend never happened. Unfortunately these tweets never saw the light of day, but I’ve been assured that they are just as genuine as Morrison’s assurance that he was only ambitious for Malcolm Turnbull.
Scott Morrison @ScottMorrisonMP(MissingPerson)
I love getting letters from kids. They say the greatest things and this letter from Greg, is a cracker. He wants me to meet with the fire chiefs because he loves Australia so much that he doesn’t want to see it burn…
Well, sorry, Greg but my approval rating has gone up so much since I was filmed huggng that Owen guy that I feel it would make it seem like I was backing down if I were to meet with them after ignoring them for so long.
Scott Morrison @ScottMorrisonMP(MissingPerson)
I just adore letters from kids. They say such funny things. Here’s one from Sally who says that she’s worried there won’t be any jobs for her when she grows up because everything will be automated. Gee, Sally, who’s been filling your head with nonsense. Clearly you’re a girl and you can just get married and look after your husband like my wife does. There’s no need for you to worry about getting work. That’ll be your husband’s problem.
Scott Morrison @ScottMorrisonMP(MissingPerson)
It’s really awesome when kids write to me. Here’s one from Timmy wondering why he has to wait so long for a wheelchair when the NDIS didn’t spend all its money last year. Well, Timmy, that’s because Labor spent all your money and we need to get back into surplus. Besides we needed to take some of the money to give to the farmers who are experiencing what’s called a drought. However, don’t despair because tonight I’ll be praying that you no longer need a wheelchair. You should pray too, because God gives a go to those have a go.
Scott Morrison @ScottMorrisonMP(MissingPerson)
Here’s a beauty from Georgie asking if the floods in Venice are a result of climate change. This one gave me a real laugh. No, Georgie, just as Australia has always had bushfires, Venice has always had water in its streets. The only difference is that, thanks to the greenies, nobody’s been able to do anything and that’s why we have fires and floods.
Scott Morrison @ScottMorrisonMP(MissingPerson)
Vicky wants to know if we have a plan for the children locked up in detention on Nauru. Well, Vicky, I don’t know who you’ve been talking to but no children are in detention. There were a few but they’ve all been there long enough to reach the age of criminal liabilty so they’re now they can be considered adults and illegal immigrants.
Scott Morrison @ScottMorrisonMP(MissingPerson)
Eddie says that he goes to a private school and they recently went to the local government school which has just received money to start building a new gym after waiting for twenty four years. He said that he doesn’t think that this is fair. Why should they get a new gym when his school doesn’t even have enough money to heat the river where they go rowing every morning. What you need to realise, Eddie, is that even though parents who send their children to public schools obviously don’t care about their exposure to degenerate teachers who’ll teach them strange values, they still vote and get upset if they don’t get some shiny new building at least once in generation.
* * *
Ok, they may not be 100% genuine, but at least they’re more believable than any of Angus Taylor’s explanations.
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Just lately I’ve noticed that we haven’t heard anything from our PM. His twitter account hasn’t been touched for a couple of days and there’s been no pronouncement telling us that we don’t like being told what to think.
My first reaction was to wonder if Peter Dutton had decided to use some of the laws at his disposal to take Scott Morrison into custody. After all, there are various anti-terror laws that enable people considered a risk to be questioned by ASIO for several days and nobody’s allowed to know where they are. Actually that’s not entirely true. They can tell their partner, and they don’t have to be a risk. It’s sufficient that ASIO believe they know something, so I guess that last point lets Scomo off the hook.
No, I decided, Morrison has decided to role model being a “quiet Australian” and to keep politics off the front page by saying nothing. This could be a winning strategy. It used to work for Tony Abbott. Every time he went on holiday or was otherwise incommunicado, his approval ratings went up; every time he spoke, he used to make people angrier than an interview on the ABC where they pretend that somebody who used to write for a Murdoch publication was a “quiet Australian”. I mean, forget Murdoch for a moment: Surely someone who used to be a journalist hardly qualifies as one of the quiet people.
I was rather annoyed at 7:30, but not because they interviewed people who voted Liberal and then seemed to be amazed that Liberal voters still voted for the current mob at the last election. No, I was annoyed because I was intending to do my own interviews with quiet Australians.
Yes, yes, all right. It is rather absurd because the quiet ones aren’t likely to speak, but leaving aside that oxymoron, I had the plan for the interviews in my head and they would have gone something like this:
“Why did you vote for Scott Morrison?”
“Because he got Labor’s debt under control.”
“Actually, the debt has doubled since the Liberals took over.”
“Didn’t the Liberals just announce a surplus in the last Budget?”
“Yes, but it’s only a projected surplus. It hasn’t happened yet and anyway, a surplus doesn’t actually pay off the debt. It’s complicated but because you voted for the Liberals and obviously like simple things, let me explain it this way. You’ve got a mortgage?”
“Did you spend more than your earned last year?”
“So your mortgage is paid off?”
“Of course not!”
“Well, that’s how the Liberals are presenting it. It’s likes once you get into surplus that’s the same as paying off your mortgage.”
“Look, I really don’t understand all this government debt. What really matters is getting my franking credits when I retire.”
“Do you own shares?”
“Then you don’t get any franking credits.”
“No, it’s only for people who own shares.”“Well, at least the NEG will get energy prices down.”
“They’ve abandoned that.”
“So, what’s their plan for getting energy prices down?”
“They don’t really have one.”
“So how are they going to get prices down?”
“The same way that they’re going to get wages up.”
“Cool and what’s that?”
“I don’t know, you tell me, you’re the one who voted for them…. you’ve suddenly gone very quiet.”
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Just four months out from the federal election, current indicators do suggest that the federal LNP is fumbling the future of the investment sector of the Australian economy to achieve its short-medium term budget projections and to appease the erratic policies of the Trump Administration.
The IMF data on economic growth trends in Australia confirms the state of flux relating to federal budget projections and delivery of planned tax cuts for higher income earners. These trends will not be unscrambled until the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) by early December 2019.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is still optimistic about future delivery of a fiscal balance for 2019-2020 without depressing economic growth projections or causing unemployment levels to rise further.
A key variable in this balancing act is the strength of the public sector spending at both state and federal levels as well as positive trend-lines for commodity and service exports. This favourable mix is marred by data for private sector capital investment over the last two quarters. Release of the September Quarter data on 28 November 2019 will be eagerly awaited. A continuation of the negative trends will be bad news for budget strategies for 2020-21, rather than in the current financial year.
Australia Private Capital Expenditure
To meet its budget targets, the federal LNP is now reigning in the growth in public sector. Probono Australia has revealed the benefits of under-spending on National Disability Insurance (NDIS) to the federal LNP’s efforts to maintain current budget surplus projections for 2019-20 (Luke Michael, ‘NDIS underspend helps return budget to the brink of surplus’, 20 September 2019):
The federal government spent $4.6 billion less on the National Disability Insurance Scheme than expected because of delays getting people into the program, new budget figures reveal.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Thursday announced the final budget outcome for 2018-19, showing a deficit of $690 million – $13.8 billion less than what the 2018 budget predicted.
This improved financial position – which leaves the budget on the brink of surplus for the first time since 2007-08 – was built on the back of underspending in areas including the NDIS.
The government says this underspend is a result of a slower than expected transition of people into the NDIS, but critics argue the money should be spent fixing various problems plaguing the scheme.
Frydenberg said the NDIS was a “demand driven system”, meaning that a slower uptake of the scheme resulted in less money being spent.
“This is in part because of the delays in some of the states coming on board, and also because it’s taken a bit more time for the service provider market to develop sufficiently to meet the available demand,” Frydenberg said.
Caution with the delivery of future Newstart increases and the delivery of NDIS will assist in the extension of taxation relief that is skewed to middle- and upper-income households as promised in the 2019-2020 federal budget.
Support for market-oriented strategies of the federal LNP came from the US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on his Australian visit with one important policy recommendation (The Australian, Geoff Chambers, ‘Tax cuts key to driving revival, says Wilbur Ross’, 10 October 2019):
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has suggested Australia could increase its global competitiveness and attract direct foreign investment if it replicated Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts.
Speaking to The Australian on Wednesday, Mr Ross — one of Mr Trump’s closest advisers — said the US company tax cuts combined with regulatory reform had worked “very, very well”.
Wilbur Ross should have added a note of caution to his Aussie Allies Down Under as shown by the latest data from his own Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in his own US Department of Commerce as released on 24 July 2019:
Direct Investment by Country and Industry, 2018
The U.S. direct investment abroad position, or cumulative level of investment, decreased $62.3 billion to $5.95 trillion at the end of 2018 from $6.01 trillion at the end of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The decrease was due to the repatriation of accumulated prior earnings by U.S. multinationals from their foreign affiliates, largely in response to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The decrease reflected a $75.8 billion decrease in the position in Latin America and Other Western Hemisphere locations, primarily in Bermuda. By industry, holding company affiliates owned by U.S. manufacturers accounted for most of the decrease.
The foreign direct investment in the United States position increased $319.1 billion to $4.34 trillion at the end of 2018 from $4.03 trillion at the end of 2017. The increase mainly reflected a $226.1 billion increase in the position from Europe, primarily the Netherlands and Ireland. By industry, affiliates in manufacturing, retail trade, and real estate accounted for the largest increases.
US Investment plays a relatively minor role in the Asia Pacific Region compared with commercial interactions with Britain and Europe as well as countries in the American Hemisphere from Canada to Central and South America:
Making America Great Strategies have resulted in a decline in US Capital Flows across the Asia Pacific Region between 2017 and 2018. Australia is an exception to the regional trends and provides the US with highly favourable surpluses for trade in commodities and services as well as capital flows.
Days after this visit to Australia by Wilbur Ross, President Trump announced new compromises in his trade and investment war with China that undercut our own export gains in the Asia Pacific Region in favour of new export incentives from the US farm lobby.
The honeymoon after the last election may still be in session. As the rhetorical euphoria continues, it is time for Aussies to do a fact check of our unfavourable commercial relations with the USA. The Trump Administration has left Australians high and dry in a slowing global economy as the Trade and Investment War is replaced by a new Lovefest with China to the cheers from the US farm and resource sector lobbies which are our real competitors on the world market.
It’s surely time for our federal LNP leaders to show a spark of independence in defending Australia’s commercial sovereignty within the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement as President Trump focuses on his re-election strategies for November 2020.
Denis Bright (pictured) is a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis is committed to citizens’ journalism from a critical, structuralist perspective. Comments from Insiders with a specialist knowledge of the topics covered are particularly welcome.
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In 2010, Tony Abbott, supported by the media in epic proportions, touted Gillard’s infamous “Carbon Tax Lie” as THE lie that cost Abbott the Prime Ministership. Moving forward to 2017, an even bigger lie has been revealed. This just may be THE lie which allowed Turnbull to hang on by the skin of his teeth to power. This lie is the Turnbull Government remained silent on the compulsory acquisition of farming land in Central Queensland for supplying land to the Singaporean Army for defence training.
Lust for Power and Political Lies
When the lust for political power is such that it sees citizens denied their rights, or it denies voters to make an informed vote, it is up to all of us to stand up against that.
In all instances, Michelle Landry framed the Shoalwater Bay investment in terms of an upgrade, implicitly insinuating that the upgrade was to existing facilities. Landry omitted the cold hard facts that this also included, or had even the potential to include compulsory acquisition of nearby farming land, owned by local farmers for generations (see maps in link above).
In addition, Bill Byrne, QLD Labor Minister for Agriculture has also accused Defence Minister Marise Payne of misleading the Senate.
QLD Labor Minister Byrne said that:
“There is no doubt in my mind that vital information was withheld to gain electoral advantage, and I am raising the possibility that Minister Payne… misled the senate estimates hearing,”
How Long Have They Known?
On 18th March, 2016, Defence Minister Payne issued a press release which detailed the enhanced development of training operations between Singapore and Australia.
Therefore, in March 2016, the Defence Minister, Minister for Trade and Investment, Special Envoy for Trade and the Foreign Minister knew that an increase of Singaporean Troops was earmarked or military training facilities. The question is:
Did not one of these Ministers have any awareness that this increase would indeed require an expansion to the military training areas?
Was this promise made without even developing an understanding of how it might impact on people living in the region or the impact on our economy?
Has the Member for Capricornia, shown absolutely no interest in asking her own Party about any perceived negative impacts on the constituency she is supposed to represent?
Do You Even Budget?
The Federal Budget papers do not detail any expenses for upgrading the Military Operations in Shoalwater Bay.
However, in capital expenses, the Government does commit to $29.9 billion over 10 years from 2016‑17 to 2025‑26 to support initiatives in the Defence White paper which includes:
A number of ADF training areas in northern Australia will receive upgrades by 2020, including Shoalwater Bay (Queensland)
Once again, Shoalwater Bay and Townsville are only discussed as upgrades and not as an expansion.
In October, Senator Payne took a question from Senator McDonald regarding the memorandum of understanding with Singapore. Senator Payne detailed that the Singaporean Army will invest “around $2.25 billion in upgrades to Australian training areas while up to 14,000 Singaporean troops will join our own for training for up to 18 weeks per year in Australia.”
However, in Senator Payne’s response in the Senate, she details that this inclusion in the Defence White Paper includes increasing international defence engagement. The CSP will particularly enhance training area access and joint development of facilities.
Shoalwater Bay Expansion
The expansion was announced in the Senator on 8th November. Senator Payne advised the house that she would make sure that ADF would conduct extensive engagement and consultation. This has not occurred and Farmers were advised via a letter of the compulsory acquisition of Land, a shock to many. The Coalition Government decided upon compulsory acquisition of land without consulting Farmers.
The strategic partnership is detailed as developed in May, the White Paper states upgrades as an aim. However, in May, 2016, the Government did not detail any expenses for an expansion, just an ‘upgrade.’ The Government knew the increase in Singaporean Personnel and the aims of the strategic plan, at least in May. Why did they not question the logistics of this increase? QLD Minister Bill Byrne goes into much more depth here.
Lies or Incompetence?
The Government either hid the information regarding the compulsory acquisition of farming land from voters prior to the election, or they were incompetent in their planning with the Singaporean Army in the land area that was required to achieve the aims of the strategic plan.
If the Government was evasive and did not disclose in May that this land was a necessity to acquire by force of compulsory acquisition, then the Government is also incompetent by excluding the loss of revenue from Beef Producers in the region in the Agriculture revenue within the Budget. This will rip approximately 100,000 head of cattle from our local producers and severely impact on the two meat works in Rockhampton. Rockhampton is the Beef Capital of Australia. This Defence threat to farmer’s land will hand this title to Casino in NSW.
The Defence Land Grab Lie
To put the omission of the compulsory acquisition of farming land into perspective of the infamous “Carbon Tax Lie” is that the Coalition rests on just 76 seats. Just enough to form Government. The Carbon Tax Lie was touted by the Coalition and by the media as the lie that denied Abbott the Prime Ministership.
In Queensland the Coalition won 21 seats. There are quite a number of seats in QLD that the coalition holds onto with very slim margins. Michelle Landry’s seat of Capricornia scraped through with only 1111 votes, with the majority of Liberal votes coming from the rural areas via postal votes. The nearby seat of Flynn, saw the local Labor candidate, Zac Beers, almost decimated O’Dowd’s comfortable seat, leaving O’Dowd with a swing against him of -8.96. Capricornia was one of the deciding seats in the election. Flynn now sits on a margin of 2.08, 1,814 votes.
These are just some examples of regional seats in Queensland, where the Liberal National Coalition and indeed the local LNP MPs fighting to keep their seats would know full well that attacks on our farming community and a farmers land grab would have banished at least Landry and O’Dowd into oblivion.
In Regional Queensland regardless of whether we live in town, or out on a property, or what our traditional political beliefs are, everyone is united in standing up for the farmers. No doubt, many Australians feel the way regional Queenslanders do and would have voted accordingly.
Announcements Before the Election
As detailed above in March, the Defence Minister met with Singapore to discuss mutual aims for Defence, including access and development of training facilities. From May, the Coalition were spruiking their deal with the Singaporean Army, which would bring 14,000 Singaporeans to the region for training. The ADF website details that:
“Identifying a remote parcel of land for Singapore Armed Forces training was considered during development of the agreement, but was dismissed due to the limited benefit for the Australian Defence Force.”
Therefore, in May, the Coalition knew full well that an expansion was required. In no instance, did Michelle Landry or Marise Payne identify the expansion and what land was to be (initially) used. They simply implicitly stated that they were ‘upgrading existing facilities’ to house the increase of Singaporeans.
The revelation that the Liberal National Government had no contingency plan if this ‘parcel of land’ detailed above fell over and that would mean forced acquisition of farming land, speaks to the either a cover up and deceit to voters or blatant incompetence.
How the LNP Duped Voters – Psychological Projection
Psychological projection is a tried and true campaign style of the LNP, particularly in Queensland. Psychological projection is when someone takes their undesirable feelings or beliefs and projects them onto others, with take the focus of them and project it onto others.
For example, if the Liberals stated the opposition would ‘harm families’ but knew it was their party and not the opposition, that had a plan to abolish funding that would harm families. This is psychological projection. This technique is also used by Republicans in America.
Setting up for the Campaign
On the 4th May, the Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry posed a question to the Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce. This question was put forward to demonstrate how much the LNP invest in helping farmers. This is such a contradiction in terms to the real truth that an expansion would heavily impact on Beef production and supply for the Capricornia region. Landry had already established a platform that LNP supports farmers and Labor does not prior to the election. That smells very much like a precursor for the campaign strategy below.
At the Norman Road booth in Capricornia, where I handed out HTV cards, Landry’s fly-in campaigners from down south (because her local volunteers do not appear to be in abundance) were screaming:
“Labor Hates Farmers!!!”
They were also telling voters not to vote for the Katter Party or Glenn Lazurus as “they are funded by the dirty filthy unions.” The absolute hatred for the worker by the LNP in Capricornia also runs deep.
If this was the campaign style at one booth, then it would stand to reason that this was the campaign strategy at many booths.
The truth in this, is that whilst Landry’s mob were screaming “Labor Hates Farmers!!” it was indeed Landry’s mob who were getting set to do the dirty on farmers in the Capricornia region.
Labor Supports Farmers
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, QLD Minister Bill Byrne, QLD MPs Jim Pearce and Brittany Lauga and Federal Senator Murray Watt, have organised forums and rallies to give these Farmers a voice. Brittany Lauga also organised counselling services for local farmers as, readers would appreciate the impact on their emotional health with this decision is heartbreaking and as Lauga said, quite urgent.
Please see the video below from the Rally, including a brilliant speech from local Farmer, Pip Rea.
Never Underestimate the Vote in QLD
We have already seen what happens in QLD when the Government defies the wishes of the electorate. In 2012, QLD Labor were banished to seven seats, for selling QLD Rail. In 2015, the LNP were thrown out of office after one term, with Labor taking 37 seats from the opposition for a total of 44 seats. Our assets are not for sale. Not now. Now ever.
Similar anger would have been felt from Queenslanders, on July 2, if they knew about the compulsory acquisition of farming land. This would have most certainly resulted in a very different parliament than we have today.
Write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Defence Minister Marise Payne and your local member and insist upon no forced compulsory acquisition of farming land for Defence Training to accommodate the Singaporean Army
Listen and Share Ray Hadley’s scathing interview with Barnaby Joyce linked below:
Are you angry enough yet? That is the question March Australia would like to know. In 2017, March in March are taking it to the streets again!
In 2014, Tony Abbott and the Liberal National Coalition Government saw the anger well up in so many people and March in March took it to the streets. Three years later the Australian people are still angry and Malcolm Turnbull, like Tony Abbott before him, still does not have a positive or progressive agenda.
Although this morning on Twitter John Wren thinks he knows where the Prime Minister’s agenda might be. If only Irona was not on holidays! ????
The Liberal and National Coalition Government is still NOT listening to the people and March in March is BACK!
The Liberal Government has failed miserably under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull and the list of things the Australians are angry about is almost endless.
It is time to Stand Up Australia! Instead, this year bring your best banners of Fizza, as the Lyin King has been removed and replaced! Thank you Australia! Give yourselves a round of applause!
How Many are YOU Angry About?
Here is the list presented by March in March as some of the things you may be angry about. If you are angry about any of these things, something else, or maybe just the flat-out incompetence of the Turnbull Coalition Government – then get amongst it. Boots on the ground people!
As we saw with the influence that marches like these had on the influence of the removal of Tony Abbott and the influence of pure people power to remove Campbell Newman from power in Queensland, with Labor and other parties taking 40 seats off the LNP Government. The removal of the Newman LNP Government freed Queenslanders from mass sackings, removal of civil liberties and the closure of many vital and important public and community services and the privatisation of our important assets.