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Tag Archives: Scott Morrison

A Tinpot Dictator?

When Scott John Morrison takes his Sunday fly-drive to leafy Yarralumla to visit His Excellency, David Hurley, AO, a former NSW Governor and his “captain’s pick” for GG, the jig is up; now everyone knows a federal election will be held 21 May and, sadly, the guess-the date-games must end, despite Morrison’s addiction to secrecy, quibbling and game playing. Things that help him lord it over other people.

Morrison loves evading or concealing truth as much as lying. “I just don’t care”, he tells ABC’s Annabel Crabb. It shows. Politics is mostly just a game to him. At the hint of a threat to his power, however, his game morphs instantly into Mortal Kombat.

ADF crew salute him, a Morrison idea, as our malignant narcissist-in-Chief alights Shark One, the QANTAS A330 VIP executive jet, his favourite boy’s toy, a Big Dick clubhouse with wings, done up to look like a business executive’s office suite with $250 million of public money. It’s more than PR. He loves to pretend he’s not just a sad, gutless, gas industry puppet. He’d take his jet to fetch the girls from school if he could.

Following protocol, Morrison knocks up his vice-regal manservant, low profile Governor-General, Dave Hurley to kick-start the election. It won’t be about policy, or even playing the game, it will be a rabid hyper partisan attack on Labor, especially its leader, Anthony Albanese. And pork-barrelling. While Shark One may soar, Morrison’s politicking plumbs the depths of the lowest gutter.

In a damaging flashback, former rival for Cook, Michael Towke, pops up to accuse Morrison of racism. Towke accuses the PM of resorting to “racial vilification” to overturn the initial ballot which Towke won convincingly. Morrison allegedly insinuated that Cook’s voters wouldn’t accept a Lebanese Australian candidate.

“At the time [in 2007] he was desperate, and it suited him to play the race card,” Towke tells The Project’s Waleed Aly,

By remarkable coincidence, during the 2004 federal campaign, when Morrison was state director of the Liberal Party, racist tactics were used against Labor candidate for Greenway, Ed Husic, not a practising Muslim.

A day before the election, a fake ALP brochure was distributed in Greenaway. “Ed Husic is a devout Muslim. Ed is working hard to get a better deal for Islam”.

Morrison wins no friends by leaving his GG call to the last possible moment – but that’s his trademark. He’d be late to his own (political) funeral. As events may prove, given the way he’s alienated women across the nation and more than a few in the Liberal branch of NSW, once a powerhouse the Coalition hoped might counter losses in other states.

Then there’s the pandemic failure. Going AWOL during the bushfires. The submarine fiasco which cost us at least $5.5 billion. The trade war with China that’s helping ruin our export trade and a fair bit of tertiary education. Morrison’s list of failures is huge.

Loyal Deputy Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce keeps the faith, however, if only with his followers who count on him to pick a winner. In a sensational leaked text from the Nationals’ leader composed in March 2021, Joyce confides that he does not “get along” with Morrison.

“He is a hypocrite and a liar from my observations and that is over a long time. have never trusted him, and I dislike how earnestly [he] rearranges the truth to a lie.”

A High Court challenge mounted by Matthew Camenzuli, from Parramatta, an IT mogul from the NSW Liberal conservative faction, aligned with former Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells slows things up but, here, Morrison’s only himself to blame. Getting his envoy, Alex Hawke to stall and delay local pre-selection meetings until the Federal executive would have to step in has not endeared him to everyone in the NSW branch nor nationally. Hawke is widely reviled.

Many Liberals resent his high-handed intervention in branch pre-selection. Retiring senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, stiffed for a winnable place on the ticket, calls Morrison a tyrant and a fraud who hides behind the façade of his church-going.

Others accuse him of remaking the party in his own image. Departing NSW Liberal, Catherine Cusack, joins a swelling chorus of women in Liberal politics who call Morrison a bully. He’s “ruined” the Liberal party, she says. She will not vote for him or the party at the federal election.

If you can’t run a Liberal branch, how can you run the country?

But there’s a ray of hope for ScoMo. Camenzuli’s lawyers fail to overrule Morrison’s intervention to save Environment Minister Sussan Ley, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke and North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman from a local preselection battle that could threaten their political futures. Camenzuli sought an injunction to block the preselection of nine Liberal candidates which would bar the party from printing their names on the ballot paper.

Keeping everyone else waiting while he gets his act together gives Morrison time to win his high-stakes game. Pick his favourites. Remake the party in his own image. Above all it gets him attention. Forget the daggy dad act. This PM is a ruthless Machievallian.

Will he pull the fat out of the fire? Critics of our PM’s self-abrogating demeanour still decry the way Morrison hogged the show at last January’s Australia Day awards ceremony. Worse, Grace Tame was threatened by someone from the Office. Women vote. They won’t forgive or forget the Morrison government’s record of sexism and misogyny. Nor will they overlook the spate of Liberal women who have recently spoken out against him.

Former commercial rose-grower, Minister for Family Service and manager of government business in the senate, Anne Ruston, Minister for Women’s Safety, fails her first real test. Who threatened Grace Tame? The former Australian of the year used a Press Club Address to explain that someone from “a government-funded organisation” rang to tell Tame she must not say anything “damning” about Morrison so close to an election.

Mystified. Jane Hume adds a bit of hand-wringing. We don’t even know if it were a man or a woman, she wails. Clearly, no-one’s tried very hard to find out. Tame says that she’d prefer that the person who felt they needed to make the call should out themselves. An investigation into the call is “the very same embedded structural silencing culture that drove the call in the first place and misses the point entirely. It’s not about the person who made the call, it’s the fact that they felt like they had to do it”, Tame explains.

It’s sexism; the age-old gendered response of doubting and discrediting the victim’s story when the victim is a woman. But it’s no vote winner for over half the population.

Yet the PM seems happy. Morrison promotes Ruston to Liberal Campaign Spokeswoman. Her Labor counterpart, Katy Gallagher will not give up on women so readily.

But look over there – how good is our invisible Governor General? A big gig every three years, if only to help a PM call a fresh election or witness signatures whenever Ministers are appointed. Morrison loves pomp and ceremony. It adds a legitimacy he craves and a distraction he badly needs. Dave Hurley’s happy. He’s hoping to win a trifecta.

The Governor General’s hazy job profile makes Morrison appear almost industrious by contrast. Being GG, on the other hand, keeps you busier than “the arts” or in tertiary education, both spurned by Frydenberg in JobKeeper, despite his forty billion dollar (Joe Aston calculates) windfall, for businesses in profit despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Fan-boy Greg Jennett, a Tarzan of adulation, if not fatal attraction to the PM, and Jane Norman, the John and Betty of ABC afternoon political television, become a hot mess of running commentary on the twenty minute meeting, breathlessly spilling the beans on such essentials as Morrison’s coffee with the Governor General.

Greg and Jane kindly remind us that Yarralumla sits in 58 hectares of Canberra prime real estate, in case we miss how the trappings of office are lavished on our ruling class, while others die of malnourishment, neglect and the latest mutant strain of coronavirus in “aged care facilities” a gulag of misery where our poor, wretched, vulnerable elders pass their final days in a fog of antipsychotics in state subsidised granny farms staffed by some of the lowest paid, most highly casualised workers in Australia.

The Coalition’s Aged Care Act 1997, ushered in a flood of private investment in the exploitation and commodification of the elderly. Private equity firms, new foreign investors, superannuation and property real estate investment trusts “entered the residential aged care market.” Data on residents’ safety and wellbeing must be kept top secret.

Our current aged care crisis stems from Howard’s Aged Care Act, writes Dr Sarah Russell. His government subsidised private health insurance is still helping scupper Medicare.

Amazingly, Dave, a spry 68 year-old corporate state welfare beneficiary with all his own teeth, is at Yarralumla this weekend and not entertaining Prince Andrew, who’s been known to slip in, sans fanfare, for a quick visit, as he did in 2018, to promote Pitch@Palace, his matchmaking of investors and corporate partners with startup companies. Now it’s wound up after Andy’s misadventures with underage women abroad, stories which his mother, Queen Elizabeth II refuses to believe, preferring the much more plausible “I was at Beatrice’s Birthday at Woking Pizza Express” alibi.

Pitch generated £1.345 million in economic activity, 6,323 jobs and 39% of its winners were women. Andy did quite well, too. Pitch@Palace Global Ltd, the private company set up to run the events, had a clause in its terms and conditions about its entitlement to a 2% equity share for three years for any company that went through its program.

Other royals also are put up at Admiralty House, the GG’s other historic pad on Sydney harbour with ten bedrooms enjoying views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Hosting VIPs keeps the Hurleys busy. Then there’s Linda’s staff singalongs.

And her serenades. The Guardian Australia reports Hurley wandering betwixt tables of war widows (average age 81, according to Dave), microphone in hand, leading them in song over cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches. Bit of dill with that, dearie?

“You are my sunshine” is the unofficial vice-regal national anthem – but only the chorus. The verses are a bit downbeat if you Google them. Don’t try this at home.

A staff of seventy-six don’t just run themselves and there’s travel involved in GG. All adds up. Representing HM at home and Australia overseas costs a million a year.

But the nation has to look after its investment. Hurley’s annual salary is around half a million. Of course, a governor general does get a generous pension scheme with that.

As Morrison arrives, his white BMW 7 Series Prime Ministerial limousine with AFP escort ghosting up the long drive, Dave’s lurking purposefully near the entrance to Yarralumla, a “colonial revival” pile set in what remains of an historic sheep station.

The property retains the original shearing shed atop a tumulus of a century and a half of merino droppings. A heritage overlay of decaying sheep shit is a fitting tribute to the types who led the colonial frontier wars waged by European imperial invaders on indigenous Australians in the name of the same British Crown that Governor-General Hurley represents.

The GG has his Mont Blanc Meisterstück Gold-Coated Fountain Pen uncapped, ready to sign a chit to let Morrison dissolve parliament and call a federal general election, a minefield of lies, furphies, turpitude and gratuitous character assassination which our GG can avoid entirely by express permission of the electoral commission. But he does get to look on.

A federal election campaign is a made for TV event just like Master Chef or Hard Quiz or The Melbourne Cup and corporate media regale us with the day’s political stunts.

There’s a scorecard on performance in The Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph and The Australian as in any horse race commentary. Tallying up the pratfalls displaces any more insightful commentary on commercial TV – Buckminster Fuller’s “bubblegum for the eyes”.

Analysis of issues and policies is supplanted by spectacle and mindless Vox Pops. In a rare departure, this year, however, the Sydney Morning Herald takes Morrison to task for his broken promise over a federal ICAC. Attempting to blame Labor doesn’t pass the pub test.

Imagine if Dave Hurley were to put his mouth where his money is. Our GG, would refuse Morrison permission to hold an election. Nope, ScoMo you’ve abused the trust of the Australian people. Piss off back to Bronte and stop wasting my time.

If only. A relic of colonial rule, a GG hasn’t colluded with the judiciary and The Palace to remove a PM since Whitlam, but it pays to keep him on side and avoid bagging Pine Gap, 16 km south west of Alice Springs, the eyes and ears of the US military, since it went on line in 1969. One of its uses is to provide information to aim drones.

If there’s a moral problem with hosting an outfit which is staffed largely by employees of Boeing Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics – along with niche companies that work exclusively for the CIA and NRO, such as Leidos, Scitor and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) our government doesn’t see it. Put simply, we host companies who profit from war and enable them to collect the data they need to make war.

In fascinating technological updates the satellites have multiplied to at least thirty-eight, which have the capacity to monitor everything from your text message to Dominos to thermal evidence of Chinese hypersonic missile launches. All of this vastly increases our value as a nuclear target. It could give us leverage in a more equal relationship with the US but given our lickspittle foreign policy don’t hold your breath.

Above all, Pine Gap makes Australia complicit in war crimes. Last December, the New York Times lists over 1300 reports of civilian casualties since 2014. Many are children, in wars that the US portrays as being waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.

Yet, ‘American air wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan have been plagued by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, thousands of civilian deaths – with scant accountability.”

But does our GG task our PM with this problem? Nope. Dave’s famous for his saying “the standard we walk by is the standard we accept”. He’s a big fan of ethical leadership, a political oxymoron “borrowed” by David Morrison in a sermon on another unicorn, gender equality in the army. Dave M later confesses on Q&A he’s “pinched” the line.

The PM just loves Dave H and the whole vibe of the ethical leader thing, which like cleanliness, is next to godliness and getting professionally photographed at a Hillsong service, eyes wide shut. Photographed? At least one former member of the parliament has read her King James Bible,

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites. are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and. in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.”

“His actions conflict with his portrayal as a man of faith; he has used his so-called faith as a marketing advantage,” says senator Concetta Fieravanti-Wells.

Federal Election 2022 is to be a forty-one day endurance event, not simply in order to dazzles us with hi-viz photo-opportunities, vapid talking points, or disgruntled punters in pubs, but to buy time, a gamble given incumbents generally decline in popularity over a long campaign. Opinion polls predict a Coalition defeat, Liberal/National 34%, ALP 36%. -7% swing against the Coalition but just a 2.6% swing in favour of the ALP

Perhaps, like Mr Micawber, Morrison is hoping something will turn up. As it does. Albo doesn’t know what the cash rate is and he can’t recite the official unemployment rate.

Of course there’s outcry from the usual suspects,“Unfit to be PM,” decrees Murdoch’s top toadie, Terry McCrann in the expatriate billionaire’s Australian, while AFR, shocker, Phil Coorey gasps “A horror,” leaving Professor Judith Sloan, alone, to hype the Labor leader’s howler into his “Party’s complete misunderstanding of the jobs figures”.

Seriously? Even John Howard who failed the same gotcha in ‘07 is underwhelmed. Babies Overboard Howard bobs up in WA to spare Morrison getting the bum’s rush. Again. Abbott has Covid. Or he’d be there with (bicycle) bells on. Don’t discount a late showing.

True, the Man of Steel’s got other things on his mind like minding Ken Wyatt in Hasluck – it’s not so long ago that Joe Aston had word Kenneth might defect to Labor.

And Swan’s Kristy McSweeney is busted misquoting herself on how if you can’t tell a bloke from a sheila just walking down the street, you probably shouldn’t be aiming for Canberra.

Is that a serious question? Okay, well Anthony Albanese didn’t know the unemployment rate. So what?”

Morrison’s first gaffe is a big one. He fudges when asked whether Alan Tudge, guardian of the curriculum from the left-wing, is currently education minister – (a Tudge of class?)

His reply that Al is “technically” still in cabinet is at odds with earlier assurances that he’d resigned. Of course, this could be merely another Morrison lie, but it does seem to be a clumsy attempt to divert press from a half million payout to former staffer Rachelle Miller which fails to keep the (unconsummated) affair off the front page.

First up, Tudge claims, “we never had sex.” They were “intimate” four times; sleeping naked together but there was no funny business. Sounds very plausible.

The minister without portfolio may be inspired by Gandhi’s tales of sleeping naked with young women who also took their clothes off just to test his chastity.

With Tudge mounting such an impregnable defence, it is little wonder that Morrison has had to pivot on his earlier version of events in which the Education Minister had surrendered his portfolio for his own sake.

No point asking why Miller was paid “well over $500,000”, if nothing untoward transpired between minister and media adviser. $500,000 is the sum whispered to have been his payout when Morrison himself was sacked as head of Tourism Australia citing irreconcilable differences with boss, Fran Bailey amidst claims tendering processes were not adhered to.

As for any ministerial code violation, the non-bonking occurred before the advent of Morrison’s code. Yet Miller was promoted while in an intimate relationship with her boss. The PM is OK with that. Yet Miller wants the details released. Samantha Maiden reports that legal costs in six figures are also to be paid by the Morrison government.

“He has chosen for the sake of his health and his family for a period of time to stand aside from the ministry,” Morrison claims.

“But here’s been no other education minister sworn in, no-one went out to the Governor-General, we’re very transparent about all of that.”

Morrison is creating an issue for himself in refusing Miller’s request that he release details. Unwisely.

Moonlighting as Education Minister, albeit unsworn, is Stuart “Rolex” Robert, the PM’s prayer partner, a tricky phrase now, given recent whistle-blower revelations that senior Liberal Party figures abuse the parliamentary prayer room for congress of a baser nature.

None of the parties implicated: MP Tim Wilson, former defence minister Christopher Pyne and others, or the investigating law firm Sparke Helmore, even try to rebut the story, notes Michael West. Give it time.

More of a problem to his own side than any scandal involving rent boys plying their trade in consecrated space within the House is Mendacity Morrison’s contempt for democracy and his addiction to micromanagement.

Notorious for his pledges that never eventuate, the PM is now hated by NSW Liberals for being too “hands on”.

Former Cook MP, Stephen Mutch, a self-styled moderate who credits himself with inventing the term if not founding the group, calls Scotty a “tinpot dictator” for riding rough-shod over democratic local branch pre-selection processes, to choose his own candidates for key NSW seats. Mutch is shocked at the way the moderate minority now runs the branch.

“Over decades … I saw how the faction changed from a relatively informal group of friends with a fair degree of collective decision-making into a more formalised operation run by politicians, staffers and some party activists,” Mutch tells The Saturday Paper.

As the former moderate explains, the moderates became more high-handed, serving the personalised agendas of a few at the top. Later, the faction morphed into “a professionalised, essentially privatised operation, run by a small coterie of business lobbyists.”

Which is where we are today.

All is not lost, however. Scotty is still a useful tool to the fossil fuel lobby, an old mate of Big Mining and our media oligopoly, Rupert, Kerry and tagalong Peter along with other shonks, shills and big-shots in Australia’s oligarchy.

But just to nip it in the bud, a few of his man-servants in the PMO, big up Morrison with Bushmasters and coal, while Rio shows it hasn’t blown up all its moral high ground along with the 46,000-year-old rock shelters at Juukan Gorge, by taking over RUSAL’s twenty per cent share in QAL’s aluminium smelter, in response to Russia’s attempt to obliterate Ukraine. That’s fixed Putin’s wagon.

How good is a Morrison government which struts the world like a colossus, punching above its weight? Shirt-fronting Putin. “Keeping Australia Safe” is not just hairy-chested electioneering or the Crosby-Textor textbook stunt of creating an external threat tactic.

Nor is this self-interested opportunism by Morrison’s omnishambles of a government plumbing record lows in all the opinion polls. Throw another dead cat on the table. We are the hawks of AUKUS keepers of the sacred flame of the temple of the rules-based order to which Australia, as US deputy Marshall, is so solemnly and selflessly pledged.

Not only does ScoMo continue to wow the international community with his statesmanship, he buys seventy thousand tonnes of Whitehaven coal which the big Liberal donor can’t sell, it’s still sitting in Newcastle until a hapless crew is press ganged into taking it to Odessa, currently in range of Russian rocketry, and on to Ukraine.

True, he’s copped a few shockers recently, including that’s just the price of decisive leadership. OK he may be “a complete psycho”, a “hypocrite and a liar “a fraud” to his own team, but a clutch of Liberal women, his “crumb maidens” as Amy Remeikis calls the women who support Morrison’s patriarchy for scant reward, step forward to back up his latest claim that his high-handed intervention in NSW politics stems from his unbridled feminism and his need to step in to protect a few good women.

It’s farcical, writes The Monthly’s Rachel Withers that Morrison can claim that he stood up for women in an intervention intended to save the seats of two men and woman.

Is he all fake religion and no moral compass? Morrison simply cannot be trusted, warns Fierravanti-Wells who is dropped to an unelectable spot on the Liberal senate ticket in favour of party apparatchik, Marise Payne, in number one spot for time-serving, with another former army officer, Jim Molan, butcher of Fallujah, in at number three.

It’s already turning nasty: in second spot is Nationals’ top NSW Senate candidate, Ross Cadell, another Nat in a hat, who threatens to “drop shit” on the party’s Hunter candidate James Thomson in a public row at Warners Bay Hippo Espresso cafe 20km south of Newcastle, if Thommo does not redistribute $120,000 in donations.

You can see why Cadell has beaten the venerable, born-again John Anderson, Joyce’s mentor, a man with a Big Mining background as well as a former Nationals leader.

“While professing to be a man of faith,” the retiring senator says, sporting a huge crucifix in her bitter Goodbye To All That speech, he is “adept at running with the foxes and hunting with the hounds, lacking a moral compass and having no conscience”.

Don’t hold yourself back, Connie. (As Morrison and his team insist on belittling the former Liberal senator, much as the PM does with “Grace” and “Brittany”.)

Team Morrison rushes to point out that hell hath no fury like a NSW senator relegated on the ballot paper. Connie’s just disappointed. A pile-on of other furious colleagues ensues, including much of the NSW Liberal Party. But ScoMo, a work of performance art in progress, won’t let a few dud reviews put him off his game.

Good Friday, Morrison tells national media how Jen and the girls go to church at Easter. Albo, Tony Abbott and 5000 others also attend Sydney’s Maronite Christian Mass. Easter is a time of hope he says, while claiming on national TV, religion is such a personal thing for him.

But there’s revived interest in how the PM deposed Lebanese-Australian and Maronite Christian Michael Towke in a dirty bid for pre-selection in Cook in 2007. So Morrison chooses a service in Victoria at Syndal Baptist Church with Gladys Liu MP, who failed to disclose her links with the Chinese government before preselection in Chisholm, a marginal Liberal seat.

There were also issues with an undisclosed donation to the Liberals of $37,000, together with questions as to how exactly the MP raised a million dollars for the party.

But Easter is a time of hope. No doubt Dave gives Scott a few pointers on the PM’s integrity commission model. Its architect, former Attorney-General, Christian Porter resigned over an anonymous donation or blind trust he’d accepted to pay his legal fees in a defamation case against ABC investigative journalist, Louise Milligan, a case he abandoned.

Ethical leadership is costly. The PM spends big money to get his own way in a high stakes poker game which goes right to the High Court over whether he can override local branches’ preferences in Liberal preselection in NSW. Chief Justice, Susan Kiefel says he can.

Not that Morrison gives a toss. It’s our money he’s spending. Has there ever been a bigger spending, higher taxing government? But the political cost of alienating so many NSW Liberals is huge. It’s already undone him in Warringah where his transphobic captain’s pick, Katharine Deves, proves a dud, with her social media post about “surgical mutilation”.

Having the arrogance to believe you know best and bypassing the local democratic process (with a bit of help from Premier Perrottet) leads to a poor choice?

Who’d have known?

Anti-trans activism could derail the Coalition’s election campaign. It triggers a pivot. Morrison backflips on his plan to dog whistle prejudice, intolerance and ignorance. He withdraws his support from Tassie Senator Claire Chandler’s bill banning transgender women from playing women’s sports, after he cops flak from Liberal “moderates” and independents.

Incredibly, the PM lies about why he pulls rank on NSW pre-selectors. The “menacing controlling wall-paper”, as former Liberal MP Julia Banks calls him, pretends to ABC 7:30 he’s a knight in shining armour rescuing women from “factions” whom he leaves unnamed, as if he’s just being protective; one of his most outrageous lies to date.

“Sussan Ley, one of my finest cabinet ministers and one of our most successful women members of parliament, was under threat. She was under threat from factions within the Liberal Party and I decided to stand up to it,” Morrison says.

“I’m very serious about having great women in my ranks…Fiona Martin was another.”

But Julia Banks tells a different story. “It was the three months of Morrison’s leadership that … was definitely the most gut-wrenching, distressing period of my entire career.”

Morrison an advocate for women? It’s risible and – as The Monthly’s Rachel Withers notes, it’s insulting to women.

“The claim is laughable. If there’s anyone Morrison was trying to save it was factional consigliore Alex Hawke in the seat of Mitchell, and his overarching aim was to maintain control of the numbers in the party. At the end of the day, the only person Scott Morrison truly stands up for is Scott Morrison.”

 

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Scott Morrison’s national security fail

The Morrison Government likes to flap their arms and say they’re strong on national security, but the evidence actually proves otherwise.

It has been reported today in The Guardian the American Government is privately saying that Australia has dropped the ball when it comes to the Solomon Islands. Indeed, the foreign minister hasn’t visited the Solomon Islands to discuss the situation with China, nor has Mr Morrison for that matter, and this national security failure in our backyard has disappointed the Americans.

This situation regarding the Solomon Islands only proves the Morrison Government is incompetent on national security, for many reasons.

I kindly ask you take your minds back to 11 September 2015, when The Guardian published footage of Mr Dutton, Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison indulging in Mr Dutton’s recorded comments of; “Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re, you know, about to have water lapping at your door.” Mr Abbott laughed at the remark, and Mr Morrison nodded his head before realising the boom Mike and cameras were on. This insensitive, or may I even say incendiary, remark by Mr Dutton enraged our Pacific neighbours. It was a huge diplomatic blunder that enraged our Pacific island neighbours, and despite as reported in The Guardian on 13 September 2015 an apology was made by Mr Dutton he still managed to further outrage our Pacific neighbours by saying, “it was a light-hearted moment with the Prime Minister.” What could possibly be light-hearted about island nations going under water because of climate change? Neither Mr Abbott nor Mr Morrison made any form of apology to our Pacific neighbours, nor did they admonish Mr Dutton.

As reported in the Australian Financial Review on 21 August 2020, short-term thinking by the Morrison Government towards foreign policy had become by then the political norm. The Morrison Government placed 1,000 potential coal jobs ahead of the Turnbull Government’s ‘Pacific Step Up’, announced in 2017 to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific. Once again, this failure in foreign policy and national security by the Morrison Government enraged our Pacific neighbours who were having to address climate change driven rising sea levels.

To add insult to injury Mr Morrison further insulted our Pacific neighbours at the Pacific Islands Forum in October 2019. The Guardian reported on 23 October 2019, the former prime minister of Tuvalu said he was “stunned” by Scott Morrison’s behaviour at the Pacific Islands Forum, which he thought communicated the view that Pacific leaders should; “take the money … then shut up about climate change.” Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, described Australia as “very insulting and condescending” in climate talks. The Pacific leaders also said the funding was repackaged from the existing ODA [official development assistance] to the Pacific and other sectors. That is a familiar story when it comes to the Morrison Government.

In an open letter dated 1 December 2020 all the leaders of our Pacific neighbours criticised Australia’s response to climate change (reported in The Guardian on 1 December 2020). Rather than being conciliatory and seeking to come to a mutually agreeable position, Mr Morrison maintained his rambunctious attitude towards the Pacific leaders by saying; “Australia is successfully meeting our commitments and our targets and in fact we are exceeding them,” a claim which was substantially untrue.

On 2 November 2021 it was reported in the PNG Attitude Mr Morrison was still not listening to the Pacific leaders about climate change, a matter of major international embarrassment for Australia regarding our ongoing failure with our foreign affairs and national security policies in the Pacific. Mr Morrison announced at Glasgow in November 2021 an extra $100 million a year for the next five years to cover all Pacific Island and South-East Asian countries which left his audience cold. Pacific leaders had told Mr Morrison they would rather he made sharper cuts to Australia’s emissions. Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said he told Morrison to slash Australia’s emissions by 2030. Mr Morrison has of course remained obstinate even up to today with an ineffectual 2030 target of a 28% reduction in emissions by 2030.

So, this national security and foreign policy failure is not a recent phenomenon, it has been 7 years in the making of successive Liberal governments insulting our Pacific neighbours, including how the Liberals have treated our Pacific neighbours’ concerns about climate change. What is most concerning is that after it was reported a number of weeks ago the Solomon Islands was entering into a closer relationship with China, not one single member of the Morrison Government travelled to the Solomon Islands to address the relationship with China, until last night after Mr Albanese called out the government for this national security disaster.

Of course, the majority of the Fourth Estate have ignored the Morrison Government’s massive national security failure, but the Americans aren’t happy with Australia for dropping the ball, and of course, the Port of Darwin has been previously leased to China.

This is undoubtedly the most embarrassing era for us in foreign affairs policy, and the Morrison Government has compromised our national security in the Pacific.

Vote the Morrison Government out, Australia.

 

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Labor, Schrodinger’s Cat And The Amazing Disappearing Man…

It’s quite interesting to examine the contradictions as politicians face the coming election.

Take Labor. We’re told that Labor are captive of the unions, that they spend too much and that they tax too highly, However, as the campaign begins we are also hearing that we have no idea about Labor in government and that they aren’t putting their policies out there. The political equivalent of Schrodinger’s Cat.

Schrodinger’s Cat for those of you who haven’t either read up on Quantum physics or watched “The Big Bang Theory” wasn’t an actual cat, but a thought experiment where Schrodinger’ theorised about a cat trapped in a box with a vial of poison which may or may not have been opened. Therefore, Schrodinger argued that until we open the box, the cat can be considered both alive and dead, which I’d argue that after a few days with no food or water the cat can pretty much be considered dead, but for the purposes of Schrodinger’s thought experiment, the fact of the cat being both alive and dead was central to some point he was trying to make about the problems with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics…

The best way to understand it, is to think of Alan Tudge. He was cleared of breaching ministerial standards by an investigation which didn’t speak to his accuser and then he stood down from his ministerial role, but – according to Mr Morrison yesterday – Tudge is still in the Cabinet. Like the cat, Mr Tudge is in a sealed space and we have no way of knowing whether he’s actually going to be a minister or not until the Cabinet is opened after the election.

Anyway, the Coalition and some of the media have found their own version of Schrodinger’s cat when it comes to the Labor Party: We don’t know enough about them and, rather than take a chance on the unknown, we should stick with Scot Morrison because we know what he’s like and it’s better to stick with a lying, cheating, bullying, rorting incompetent who makes curries every time something bad happens in the hope that people will mock his curry making and forget whatever disaster happened in the precious week. On the other hand, Labor is clearly the party that can’t be trusted with the economy because well, it’s in a difficult position at the moment and you don’t want to hand it over to someone else because the Liberals were the ones who’ve presided over the first recession in Australia for nearly thirty years, but now everything’s ok again, and we’ll drag out the Back In Black mugs to show just how well, we would have done if only we hadn’t had things go wrong which -even though it was under our watch – it was nothing to do with us because who can control the economy? Until we open the box, Labor is both a mystery with no policies and also the party who has all the wrong policies.

The Liberals also understand about cost of living pressures. The Budget included measures to help with these: If you’re on a welfare payment you get $250 which should tide you over for the next three years. However, if you’re a low-income worker, you’ll get (up to) an extra $450 when you do your tax return which is a one-off measure to help with your decision to vote for the Coalition.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks, this election will be all about character. Again we’ll be given the choice between a STRONG leader who stands up to people and how some people call it bullying just because he calls people into a room and threatens them with consequences over their recent behaviour, and an Opposition leader who is too weak to answer questions… Yes, I can see Anthony Albanese standing at a press conference being asked why he won’t appear at press conferences and answer questions about whatever it is that Scotty has told the press pack to ask, only to have Albo point out that he’s just answered the question without rejecting its premise even though the premise was completely rejectable… This will be followed by a question about why Labor is a policy-free zone, where he points out policies on Aged Care, Childcare, the environment, climate change and an integrity commission… Then he’ll be asked how he’s going to pay for the policies he doesn’t have.

Yes, one of the charges that will be levelled at our Prime Minister is that he has misunderstood the old saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going,, and that it doesn’t actually mean that you’re meant to disappear in a crisis. However, calling the PM names like “The Invisible Man” and “The disappearing actor” or “That Cowardly POS” is not really fair, because, well, it’s Anthony Albanese who seems to have disappeared without trace.

There seems no acknowledgement of his twenty-six years in Parliament, his campaign against nuclear energy, his role as manager of Opposition business, his ministerial roles as in Infrastructure & Transport and in Regional Development, or even his role as Deputy PM. Although the role of Deputy PM is clearly not a very important one because the Liberals allow the Nationals to pick it. It’s rather like when you let your children decide what they’ll have for dinner because it’s their birthday. It may be a shocking choice in the healthy eating department but it’s not like you’re going to let them have their choice about anything that has long term consequences.

Yes, it seems that Anthony Albanese is the one who’s disappeared and not Scott Morrison… although we never seem to hear about why he was sacked by Fran Bailey when he was at Tourism Australia.

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Fake democracy

Leaders from “approximately 110 countries were invited to take part in” President Biden’s two-day Summit for Democracy.

The complete list of participating countries can be found here. You’ll notice that Australia attended (represented by Prime Minister Prime Minister Scott Morrison), which I will get to shortly.

President Biden focused on a few issues, including “election integrity, countering authoritarian regimes and bolstering independent media.”

It is the latter that I wish to comment on.

The President clearly takes independent media seriously, requesting “$236 million dollars in the 2022 budget to support independent media around the globe,announcing that:

“A free and independent media [is] the bedrock of democracy,” Biden said in remarks kicking off the virtual Summit for Democracy. “It’s how the public stays informed and how governments are held accountable.”

Let’s repeat that. “It’s how the public stays informed and how governments are held accountable.”

Scott Morrison should have excused himself at that very moment. If a democracy means that you encourage independent media or independent journalism, then ours is a fake democracy.

Why?

Consider this:

Amendments to the Federal Treasurer’s media bargaining code will be tabled in the New Year.

In a nutshell, if passed, it will mean that in Australia, Facebook and Google can only publish articles from the Murdoch media, Kerry Stokes media, and Fairfax/Channel 9.

Basically, it will be ensure that the voices of independent (or dissenting) media is muffled in the lead up to the next election.

Consider also, that the largest media empire in Australia, the Murdoch media, do absolutely nothing to hold the Morrison government to account. If anything, they seem to behave like the government’s mouthpiece.

The two considerations above should disqualify us from calling ourselves true democracy.

 

 

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Morrison woos Gladys to attack ICAC

You can smell the exhaust, the burnt rubber and a thousand cigarettes, this is a crowd in love with living dangerously, breaking rules, especially the dictates of reason and common sense – the perfect setting for larrikin-lad, Scott Morrison, to head down to the racetrack at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama leaving Labor’s leader Anthony Albanese in Ashfield, flower of Sydney’s inner west to promise A Better Future, winning his listeners with a speech of passion, principle and authenticity.

The Liberal Party revs its gas guzzling 5.4 litre double-overhead cam V8. 447kW. It’s a grunt stunt. Our bloke’s bloke, PM –one of Morrison’s favourite avatars- along with Bunnings Dad’ and The Chosen One, to whom God speaks out of a photo of an eagle -is strapped into a Gen3 Ford Mustang for a mad lap at Bathurst, NSW’s petrol-head heartland, a bastion of toxic masculinity in an act of homage to a St Hydrocarbon shrine.

The ritual visit offers testosteronic risk-taking, horsepower and reckless endangerment – (how good is a near death experience?) – and at flag fall, high on hi-octane nitro, Morrison declares war on ICAC; calls the commission a kangaroo court.

Not that Scotty’s word means much, even this egregiously false smear. Macron destroyed forever the Liar from the Shire’s plausible deniability, outing, for the world to see, a deceitful, dishonest shonk. “I don’t think. I know.” Our PM’s a type the bard had in mind, “… a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”

Coalition water-boy Simon Birmingham rushes out of Kirribilli’s BS Castle and on to the field of Mars or Sky News or the Coalition’s ABC, to douse the flames after Macron sets fire to Morrison’s name. Dares call out a liar when he sees one. It’s all the fault of the media, says Birmo.

It’s only an issue because it’s being reported on. Just a beat-up, he says, as his PM’s reputation amongst key leaders of state becomes synonymous with deceit, distrust and duplicity. And disinformation, as in his latest slur on the NSW ICAC – a desperate attempt to discredit a body or its federal analogue which he knows full well would have a field day with his own corruption.

Not that Morrison will do anything. Act on his ICAC misgivings? He’s all talk. Scotty’s just a passenger along Conrod Straight, but in a post-Cobargo Australia, no-one expects him to hold a steering wheel.

Yet he’s firing on all three cylinders. An air kiss to Grid Girl, Gladys, completes the PM’s triple-pronged attack. He wows those few who revere St Gladys as a martyr to a monster ICAC, by cheering his favourite filly on in a race, whom, “close sources” say, is a hundred to one chance to even enter. There is also the teensy problem of Morrison’s picks all being duds, like Warren Mundine in Gilmore.

Morrison doesn’t stoop to ask the disgraced premier. He’s The Prime Minister, as he made clear to Julia Banks and other Liberal women he’s coerced. Of course, Glad’s hot to trot – she just can’t wait to be Morrison’s quocker-wodger after being bullied in National Cabinet. Privately, she calls Morrison “evil” and “a bully”, according to Peter Hartcher’s impeccable contacts.

But the PM has plans for her. The Australian reports that Morrison’s even intervened to extend the deadline for pre-selection applications, to 16 January, a move which, some gush, will give Glad more time to make up her mind, but which is also Morrison’s cynical each-way bet to accommodate the ICAC finding.

Even, then her odds are a bit iffy. True, The Warringa Liberal Preselection Stakes has only once not been won by a Tory candidate since its inception in 1922. Yet, apart from Zali Steggall, who won with a thirteen percent swing against Tony Abbott, in 2019, it’s also been a blokes-only show.

In a Steggall-Berejiklian contest, the incumbent must start as favourite, surely, before you even get to the political back-flip Gladys would have to do on climate change. In a state that’s run by the coal industry she, like former Energy Minister Matt Keane, favour a 50 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Morrison would have her scream at Labor for daring to suggest 43 percent?

While you can always back a nag called Self Interest because you know it will run on its merits, even folk in Sydney’s richest electorate are increasingly averse to cooking the planet, polluting precious waterways or voting for a candidate who helped bring COVID to Australia. Not just once.

But this is no spontaneous joy ride or gibe. Or punt. Everything with Morrison is a calculation.

Morrison’s 220 kph spin screams “un-woke bloke”- just as his gibe at the ICAC is so wrong that top silks take him to task. Expect to see a signed page in The Australian paid for by eminent judges, QCs, SCs and other members of the legal fraternity condemning Morrison for his slurs on the ICAC.

Let them protest. It’s all publicity. Tough-guy branding. Aloha, ScoMo the Brave. Above all, it’s part of his eternal, personal jihad on accountability as is his outrageous spruiking of Gladys Berejiklian.

Backing ScoMo’s captain’s call are a swag of Liberals. The PMO’s even dragged alleged Iraqi war criminal, John Howard, a narrow, mean-spirited little man, the “lying rodent” as George Brandis calls him, a moral and intellectual pygmy who frittered the proceeds of the mining boom on tax breaks for the wealthy while giving Australia a meaner, more divided society, but with school chaplains, babies overboard, more funds for private schools and Robert Hill’s Kyoto credits scam.

Howard raised up the rich and the strong, corporations over the vulnerable, the poor and wage earners. He divided us across most public policy areas notes The Canberra Times Crispin Hull.

Yet he’s a Liberal icon whose backing ensures Gladys’ preselection. If Gladys were to run.

Glad’s Morrison’s human shield, observes Katharine Murphy in a shrewd insight into Morrison’s war on an external scrutiny he can’t control and doesn’t care for. Berejiklian, certainly would feel used being dragged into the PM’s defence of his indefeasible delay of a federal ICAC nor the absurdly, toothless tiger proposed by the sandgropers’ Solon; MP for Pearce, retiring scion of a Liberal dynasty, Christian Porter – son of Olympic high jumper Chilla Porter – for whom no bar was too high – a limbo bar ICAC model (how low can you go?) which is designed to further hide MP’s corruption from the light of day. Even their fake proposal fails to get up because Morrison fears amendments that may give it teeth to bite him. Luckily, there’s always a scapegoat in the house.

In Morrison’s virtual reality, Labor is to blame for a thousand days’ delay in his government’s slow bicycle race to get its Clayton’s Federal ICAC bill through parliament and on the statute books. The claim is balderdash yet it gets repeated verbatim on the news. As does Berejiklian’s fake Warringah candidacy – who is not only applying for pre-selection, she’s in like Flynn according to most outlets.

Or giving former Winter Olympian Zali Steggall a downhill run for her money.

Oddly, Vox pops with voters in Warringah suggest Gladys would have Buckley’s chance of victory as federal Liberal candidate for Warringah, Tony Abbott’s former electorate, a Northern Sydney, former Liberal stronghold, whose current incumbent, independent Zali Steggall, cares about the environment, climate change and the need to preserve a world for our children. And has integrity.

Gladys for Warringah is, moreover, an untried filly over the distance with a lot of lead in the saddle. Her preparation for a shift into federal politics has been less than ideal. That’s the track talk.

Changing metaphor, in honour of the Bard, to Bathurst, the talented Joel Jenkins sums up the tactic,

The LNP, desperate from the loss of experienced crew and some promising drivers, looking at its outdated build and realising this might be its last attempt at glory, is looking toward former disgraced and disqualified prodigy, Gladys Berejiklian, to add some much needed calm into the team. This is despite her bringing the sport into disrepute, awaiting a decision from the race marshals and in spite of no indication from her personally.

The ordure first hits the fan, October 12, 2020, when Berejiklian outs secret lover, Wagga Wagga MP, rustic charmer, and notorious urger of the first degree, spiv, Daryl Maguire.

Silver-tongued Dazza sweeps Gladys off her feet, with his debonair charm, wit and his schemes to make himself rich out of their liaison. But true love never runs smooth. Especially in the classic country and western, Gladys finds herself in. So, she says. He was her man, but he was doing her wrong. Yet they are Frankie and Johnny for at least five years.

September 13, 2015, the premier of the premier state ditches Daryl and agrees to support an inquiry into his business interests. Yet, out of the blue appears a silver lining to the gold standard bust-up when who should happen along but high-profile barrister Arthur Moses, SC, who represents Gladys at the corruption hearing into Maguire. By June 2020, Arthur and Glad are seeing each other.

Daryl turns out to be such a political liability that Gladys tells her on-air confessor, spiritual adviser, KIIS 106.5 Sydney’s, Kyle Sandilands, that she’d fallen for the wrong fella – an MP for whose electorate she helps, loosening state purse strings by over $30 million, as Treasurer and later Premier, to fund a clay target shooting club, already flush with funds, and a conservatorium.

Liberals love the weak-headed woman alibi. How good is demeaning all women? Whilst some uphold her as a trail-blazing feminist, Gladys hawks her victimhood bid around all media.

Anyone who claps eyes on Mr Maguire, or does deals with him, would have trouble seeing him as a lady-killer. Nor is Gladys any shrinking violet. But it’s a pitch that resonates with respondents to a recent Essential Poll, who get almost all their news from a Murdoch-led media.

Now Berejiklian finds herself awaiting the deliberations of the ICAC, a body akin to a Royal Commission, not a court, on whether she breached public trust. Was her conduct in relation to decisions about funding grants dishonest? Did she breach public trust in failing to report her relationship? Could her conduct have allowed or encouraged corrupt conduct by Maguire?

“Even those who admire Berejiklian for many of her qualities when she was premier, realise there has to be a serious inquiry into the situation that arose … in unloading millions of dollars of public money into the Wagga electorate at the same time she was in a relationship with the member for Wagga,”

Chair of the Centre for Public Integrity, former NSW supreme court judge, Anthony Whealy, is alluding to to the Wagga Wagga Clay Target Club’s a $5.5 million upgrade and a $20.5 million plan to build a recital hall for the Riverina Conservatorium of Music.

“For Morrison to dismiss that as being of no significance, is to trash integrity and accountability in the most terrible fashion,” Whealy proceeds, unloading on a PM who is a household weasel-word.

But the fix is in for Morrison, a man Berejiklian loathes, after much bad blood between them during the NSW bushfires and her Delta disaster. He pretends he doesn’t understand, bizarrely touting the former NSW bean-counter-cum Premier as a candidate for Warringah. Anyone who can bring both alpha and delta strains of COVID-19 into Australia is bound to win big with voters.

What’s baffling is that Gladys still has any support in NSW despite her Ruby Princess and Limousine Man track record of incompetence, evasion and self-promotion as the “Gold Standard”, a title given her by Morrison. The PM hopes to harvest Glad’s fans by boosting her stakes as a candidate, a desperate bid to boost his tanking popularity, a tactic noted by Nicholas Cowdery QC, member of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and a former Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW.

Morrison’s perverse wooing of Gladys is also a cruel trick to let him bag ICAC calling it a kangaroo court and abusing parliamentary privilege to paint Berejiklian as the poor victim of witch hunt – and more. Spraying disinformation wildly as is his wont, he lies that the ICAC is a monster capable of

“… political vendettas, as we have seen in New South Wales with disgraceful treatment of the former premier … who was chased out of office before that even made a finding”.

“It’s absolutely outrageous,” sputters Labor’s Climate spokesperson, Chris Bowen, “the prime minister of the day has undermined the ICAC,” noting that his politicised kangaroo court smear was how the PM was undermining all independent anti-corruption bodies across the country.

Morrison’s heavily tarnished, gold standard diva, Australia’s Typhoid Mary, who let the Ruby Princess disembark and introduce the alpha strain of the virus to the nation, an act of “criminal negligence” is eclipsed by her role as “The Woman Who Saved Australia” an accolade the Australian Financial Review was soon to regret, as her government bungled vaccinating an airport chauffeur in his sixties plying a limousine ferrying aircrew between Sydney and its airport.

Her Limo-gate debacle will forever link her government with both alpha and delta strains of COVID-19 entering the country. Gladys get herself pre-selected for Warringah? Talk about recycling the trash. If Morrison pulls off this risky stunt, it will be the most cynical pivot in Australian politics.

Morrison’s muppet is being talked up as a proxy for an attack on ICAC as much as a pile-on on Zali Steggall – and all other independents across Australia, including the impressive Helen Haines whose prominence owes much to voters’ disgust at the corruption as normal routine of Coalition politics.

“Gladys was put in a position of actually having to stand down, and there was (sic) no findings of anything,” Svengali Morrison lies Friday. The facts are the premier chose to resign and ICAC’s inquiry is still in train. It has yet to hand down its findings. Morrison is in contempt of ICAC. Other stooges dutifully appear, Simon Birmingham, the Noddy in Toyland of the federal bikie gang.

“… by openly downplaying the seriousness of corruption, don’t the Liberals realise they are adding credibility to pro-integrity independent campaigns across the country? The Monthly’s Rachel Withers warns. Let’s hope Ms Withers is correct.

By Wednesday, Morrison is walking back his rhetoric, Gladys or Arthur or both have told his office it’s just not going to happen. Yet in the meantime, Morrison has used her to take a pot-shot at ICAC making great mileage out of disinformation and popular myth while normalising corruption and signalling that the NSW carbon emissions target needs to be trimmed back in line with federal policy.

The PM repeats his mantra that Gladys has not been charged with a criminal offence, wilfully obscuring the nature of the ICAC whilst narrowing the definition of corruption; restricting it to acts which are illegal. He dog-whistles the anti-vaxxers with a Bathurst analogy,

“What we’re about is getting government out of your lives, because I think Australians have had a gutful of government in their lives over the last few years, and they’re looking forward to getting back in the driver’s seat,” he lies about a Coalition which is uniquely involved in our lives.

For Jacqueline Maley there is a conundrum behind the rhetoric akin to a Zen koan.

The leader of a government lamenting government intervention is too brain-boggling a thing to ponder deeply, a sort of deep-state stoner’s dilemma: if the head of the government wants government to get out of our lives … isn’t that government telling us what to do with our lives?

Yet what if big government is actually good for us, as many respected economists suggest. What if we’d been denied, for example, the Rudd government’s $52 billion stimulus package?

This big government protected us from the recession which we know as the global financial crisis. Without big government, Australia would have suffered recession with the rest of the world.

The Australia Institute’s (TAI) Ebony Bennett reminds us how public investment, trend growth in public sector employment and household consumption drove Australia’s growth. Australia Institute polling shows most of us agree the stimulus package kept Australia from recession.

The final implication in Morrison’s rhetoric and the subtext of his key ministers in their retro campaign kick-off with its calculated swipe at regulation its salute to simple-minded hedonism is that the tap that was turned on to prime the economy during COVID-19 must now be turned off.

And although his stunts are wacky, embarrassingly corny, there is method in Morrison’s madness. He’s sowing the seeds of a simple-minded return to the world of the V8, a world in which you could burn rubber and hydrocarbon fuel like there was no tomorrow – a world with no COVID and no threat of anthropogenic climate causing irreversible global heating and our extinction.

A type of 1950s post-war Nirvana is within our grasp if politicians are allowed to go about their business growing the economy, doing deals with their mates without being pilloried by kangaroo courts. If politicians are just allowed to get on with their whatever it takes politics, Gladys Berejiklian would still be Premier of NSW. The ICAC forced her to resign, he lies, in flagrant Trumpian alternative factual zone of his own but with a petulant show of contempt for the historical record and the judiciary and the rule of law upon which our civil society is based.

Above all, Morrison’s backing of Gladys helps normalise corruption as a way of government and the price of doing business. Whilst it’s a dog-whistle to the “freedoms” mob demonstrating against being vaccinated and imported lies and conspiracies about a deep state, it is also an act of desperation born out a Machiavellian realpolitik that tells him his government needs to win at least one other seat in NSW.

“Politics is governed by the iron laws of arithmetic” his mentor Howard drily opined in an absurd reduction that helps our democracy drown in cynicism and distrust. In reality as Tony Fitzgerald argues, we need every politician to acknowledge that “membership of a political party doesn’t excuse them from their personal obligations to act honourably, and political parties to understand that voters will only vote for politicians who make and keep promises to act ethically.”

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What could possibly go wrong?

By Kathryn

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 he knew 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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Morrison creating tensions with Asia and New Zealand

By Darrell Egan

Fresh from Scott Morrison’s announcement to go to Washington later this year after Australian Foreign Ministers Asia and Washington visit, he introduces nuclear submarines to Australia as part of AUKUS pact between Australia, Britain and the US to take a assertive military approach to China in the South China Sea.

It is likely this AUKUS (or ORCUS) nuclear submarine deal will see these pod of AUKUS nuclear submarines sent to the South China Sea, creating more heightened tensions between Australia and China from an already rapidly deteriorating relationship.

In a hawkish pivot to Asia with the AUKUS pact, US military aircraft and weapons are looking to be stored in Australia seemingly to support sending forces into the South China Sea.

In a further development the US has pulled out Patriot missiles which appears to be in line with a pivot to Asia military redeployment build up.

From China’s point of view they are surrounded by US military bases in South Korea and Japan, with weapons pointed at them including heavy M1 Howitzer guns with a 23 kilometre range which can hit their city of Xiamen.

 

Fleet of AUKUS Nuclear Submarines likely for use in South China Sea

 

The United States has the view they believe China cannot have primacy in the South China, sea citing freedom of navigation.

However the United States have not ratified on to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1994 freedom of navigation.

In a sign China which appears to have lessened an primacy in the South China Sea, legalities are being finalised this year on a gas joint venture between the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and the China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC).

New Zealand who is not a member of AUKUS and the Quadrilateral Dialogue Group and seems to be taking a more independent stance as a member of ANZUS Australia New Zealand United States co operation treaty.

Whilst New Zealand has a Pacific partnership with Australia, this nuclear submarine deal has created tension in the relationship with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has announced that Australian Nuclear submarines are not welcome in New Zealand.

In a statement reported in yesterday stated Nanaia Mahuta was uncomfortable with expanding the role of the Five Eyes intelligence reach in provoking tensions in the Asia Pacific region with China.

It appears New Zealand’s principals are being put to the test with this development.

In contact with New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s media adviser with some informal discussions on the issue, there has yet to be a any further response from their office, into further formal statements.

In a statement sent to me by the office of the leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP, he conveyed:

“This move by Scott Morrison will make Australia and the region less safe with inciting a risk of conflict.”

Mirroring Adam Bandt’s comments condemning this move by Scott Morrison, ex Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating said this move trades away Australia’s Sovereignty and makes Australia’s defence policy solely dependent on the United States.

 

 

Paul Keating added further concern with Australia’s current strategy in relation to China and military escalation in the South china sea if we have a situation is another reckless style Donald Trump leader is elected in the next US elections.

The tensions in Scott Morrison’s move in the public and political realm in the Pacific is evident, in what appears to be very little discussion or debate with Australia’s most important Pacific partner before making his submarine buying deal which will give fresh indigestion to others.

This article was originally published on Dazza Egan Australia & China Watch Journo.

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Why Did We Need Katie Hopkins When We Have So Many Unemployed Bigots Here Already?

Ah, cancel culture strikes and Katie Hopkins is sent away simply because she refused to obey the law… The outrage industry strikes again.

I know I’m repeating myself, but well, isn’t history just littered with people who repeat themselves until somebody says why didn’t they say that before and when the person says that they did, they’re asked why they didn’t say it more often…

Ok, in capitals so we all hear it:

WHY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY PAID TO BE OUTRAGED ALL THE TIME LIKE BOLT AND JONES, THE VERY PEOPLE WHO ACCUSE OTHER PEOPLE OF BEING PART OF AN ‘OUTRAGE INDUSTRY”???

But then there’s a lot of things I don’t understand!

For example, what are we to make of this?

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government is in ‘constant appeal’ for the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation to change its advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine.” Sky News

However the matter doesn’t end there with Scotty thundering at reporters: “Are you suggesting that the government when advised by the technical and advisory group on immunisation, some of the most senior level scientific medicos in the country, tell the government that the preferred vaccine for people of particular ages is 50 then they changed it to 60 that the government should refuse that advice?”

Yep, but the recent brouhaha with Katie Hopkins confuses me even more.

Ok, it’s true that there’s a certain irony that someone who is so hostile to lockdowns would come all the way to Australia just so she could be locked down in the Big Brother house, However, one wonders whether she was ever more than a publicity stunt for Channel 7. You know, “We’ll pay you X amount to come to Australia and be so offensive that we sack you. You can go back home and every news outlet will be giving us free publicity and then you can go back home and do some interviews about cancel culture!”

Win/win!

Anyway, I sort of have trouble when “conservatives” decide that they can break the law because they don’t agree with it. Yeah, yeah, I get that people need to break laws when they feel that they’re unjust or something… But when someone like Sally McManus – that union person – says something about being prepared to do just that, wasn’t she’s told that the LAW is sacrosanct? It’s not up to us to decide, to pick and choose what laws to follow – but hey, she wasn’t a CONSERVATIVE saying that we should break the law. She was one of those people who don’t understand their place and who thinks that they can break laws just because they want to, as opposed to people who have lawyers who can get them off…

Hmm, I’m tempted to make some tasteless joke about Gladys dating her lawyer because she needs someone who can get her off, but that may seem sexist to some and I may be forced to do that optional training that’s meant to solve sexual harassment and bullying in Federal Parliament. Oh wait, it’s optional. Yes, well that should make about as much difference as Scotty’s recent hair transplant makes to the vaccine rollout.

Yes, compare the favourable coverage some publican in Echuca received from Nine News when he decided to defy the lockdown and stay open with how they react when some poor casual worker decides to keep working in breach of health orders. One is doing it because it’s hard to keep a business afloat so we need to be understanding of the pressures, while the other is only doing it so that they can eat.

Whatever, it was good to see the PM demonstrate to us all that he’s still alive by holding a press conference where he announced that things were basically on target but just a little bit late and that’s mainly the fault of ATAGI… which, apart from the fact that he told us earlier this year that they wouldn’t be setting targets, does use the term «on target » in a rather unique way. «I was basically there for the ten o’clock meeting, apart from the fact that it started at ten and I arrived at midday! »

Of course, it was offensive of one journalist to suggest that the government do anything other than follow the health advice. That’s why the PM is adopting the Great Barrier Reef strategy. It would be wrong to ignore an independent body, so we’ll do the best we can to pressure them to give us the advice we want to follow. And if that doesn’t work, we can cut their funding like we did with the audit office… Mind you that only works if they’re funded by the government.

Yes, sometimes Scott Morrison just rambles on with meaningless waffles and lies, but other times, he disappears and says nothing.

Either way, his detractors are never satisfied… and speaking of Dutton and Frydenberg, apparently, Dutton thinks he has the numbers but without Mathias there to confirm them, he’s not willing to move. Josh was sure he had the numbers but after a recount, he discovered that he was short by sixty billion…

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One Sign Of Intelligence Is Being Able To Change Your Mind or Why Scott Morrison Is Einstein!

Remember just a few years ago when we were told that we needed to be “energy agnostic”. Well, all that’s out the window. Apparently we now have to build a church to gas because the private operators have decided that they’d rather invest in something profitable.

Why do I call it “a church”? That’s because – like a church – it will be large and unused for much of the time and in future generations people will look at it and go, “Wow, what a large structure. I wonder why they spent so much money and something with no practical purpose. They must have really believed that someone would reward them in the next life!” (In the case of the Coalition, that’s Life After Politics!)

It’s very tempting to point out that once we took it for granted that governments would be responsible for building the infrastructure that enabled us to generate energy, but we were told by the Liberal Party that private industry was a lot better at it and market forces would make the whole thing a lot more efficient. Now we’re being told that the market has failed because the market relies on making a profit and nobody in private industry is keen to build a gas-fired power station for the simple reason that it’s not economically viable.

Of course, I shouldn’t criticise the Liberals for changing their mind and completely repudiating their free market principles and totally embracing socialism. After all, it’s only the intelligent who can change their minds. At least I think that’s true…

Whatever, the Liberals are certainly good at changing their minds. Sometimes they’ll even do it from one interview to the next.

Remember when they told us that people don’t need the government making decisions for them and that individuals were best placed to decide what to spend their money on… Of course, this was before they realised that once they got the Indue card out and accepted, they could eventually roll it out to pensioners and then the rest of us and we could only shop at approved Liberal donor stores.

Remember when Scotty was all about opening up the borders but then he saw how successful various state premiers were with their border closures. Now he’s determined to keep Australia’s borders closed until… well, it’s not like he intends to set a date because targets are for the accountable. We can’t say when borders will be open again, even with the majority vaccinated. As he put it: “Even in that circumstance, you’re talking about many Australians, millions of Australians, who wouldn’t have been vaccinated. Because A, they’re children or B, they’ve chosen not to be [vaccinated].” Unvaccinated children a concern? Is this different from “Schools are safe, I can’t be any clearer than that!” Too right it is, which just shows the intelligence of the man because he’s apparently changed his mind.

Remember when they labelled that ad about the vaccines with the Liberal Party logo? Well there’s another example of them changing their mind. Now they want bipartisan support for the rollout. Surely, Labor have to take part responsibility. Why? Well, they said that the logo shouldn’t be there because it was the government who were providing the vaccines and aren’t Labor an alternative government?

And then we have the NDIS which just a couple of Budgets ago was so awash with funds that Josh Frydenberg could take $4.7 billion from it to put us into surplus. While at $4.7 billion, those “Back In Black” coffee seemed overpriced, that’s nothing compared to the unsustainable nature of the NDIS now. We need to stop those “empathetic public servants” from giving wheelchairs to people. Everyone needs to stand on their own two feet even if they have no legs. Yes, social media was very cruel and mocked Linda Reynolds about her heart condition, but even she agrees that’s better than being awash with empathy like those public servants who fail to push those on the NDIS to get better. Our PM does believe in miracles, as we all know.

And Scotty’s changed his mind on debt and deficit too. We’re going to have deficits for the next ten years according to #Scottyfromannouncements. Yes, ok, Hockey said that the Liberals would deliver a surplus in their first year of government and every year thereafter but they changed their mind about that, as well as Hockey being Treasurer. And about having a stable government who didn’t change Prime Ministers. Of course it would be unfair to bring up how the Liberals changed their minds about Abbott’s rolled gold maternity leave, because that’s so many Prime Ministers ago.

Some of you will be expecting that I’ll also be pointing out the PM’s changing his mind on electric vehicles, but apparently he hasn’t. He told us that he never mocked EVs in the lead up to the 2019 election. No, no, he was complaining about Bill Shorten ruining the weekend by simply being PM and that would have ruined the weekend of everyone who mattered so EVs had nothing to do with it.

Yes, I can certainly recommend that you vote for Scott Morrison in the upcoming election which he assures won’t be held until next year, so I’d expect it in about three months. Even if you don’t like his policies and what he announces, there’s a better than fifty percent chance that they’ll never be implemented and that he’ll change them before the month is out. You can be content knowing that if you don’t like, for example, his intention to build a gas-fired power station, that once they’ve bought the land from the Liberal donor, and once they’ve spent a few million on consultants, they’ll change their mind and sell the land to a firm who wants to make electric vehicles or develop it for social housing.

I suppose you’ve noticed that lately, Mr Morrison seems to have a booklet in hands every time he appears in the media. Perhaps he’s working on the next slogan. “Liberals: We Have A Plan AND a Pamphlet.”

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Scott Morrison Knows Someone Who Can Change The World!

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass

Ok, consider this: your friend, Jane tells you about her new relationship. “It’s the real thing but we’re not ready to move in together or anything. We both want to lead independent lives.” Fair enough you think, but when you meet her again a few months later and ask how it’s going, she tells you that they’ve been talking about living together but there’s no rush. After a few years of this, she eventually tells you that moving in together isn’t all that important, but Scott is inching his way towards a commitment because he told her that a formal arrangement wasn’t necessary; the important thing is the relationship itself which is better than most people’s, and she’s sure that he’ll be happy to make some sort of promise in the future but at the moment it would cause problems with his wife.

Hands up, if you think Jane is fooling herself… Yep, thought so. The only people who didn’t put their hands up are the Canberra press gallery. Substitute “wife” for “backbench” and even they might get the allegory.

The idea that Morrison is “inching” towards a zero-emissions target does seem at odds with his most recent statements about it being performance rather than promises that count and how Australia delivers – or meets and beats – when it sets a target. If they think that’s moving toward a target they haven’t been paying attention to Scotty “I’m ambitious for this guy” Morrison!

With our PM, there’s frequently a qualifier in the promise and even more frequently, his inability to achieve something is usually glossed over in one of two ways:

  1. He uses some strange interpretation of what he previously said by concentrating on a couple of words or phrases in the original statement to explain that he’s actually done what he said he would. For example, promising that all Australians would be home by Christmas can be explained away by the fact that some Australians have now made their home overseas, so they can be considered home in London or New York or whatever city they currently reside in.
  2. He tells a Trump-like lie. For example, announcing that the vaccine roll-out was ahead of schedule.

Just recently, Morrison made some rather strange claims at a religious conference. Now before I start unpacking these, let me just say that I’m not trying to bully those who are religious. I’m all for religious tolerance. If someone wants to believe that they’re literally eating the flesh and drinking the blood of some guy who died two thousand years ago, I’m not going to get into a fight and suggest that this act of communion is more symbolic than literal just because I happen to have a different set of values. However, when someone argues that I need to allow them to practice their religion because it’s theirs and it involves loud chanting on my front lawn from sunset to sunrise, I think I have the right to tell them to bugger off, or else they may be a lot closer to finding enlightenment than they realise.

And so with our Part-time Mansplainer, I have a real concern that his decision to fly his/the taxpayers’ plane all the way to the conference in order to speak wasn’t all to do with his earthly duties. Of course, this is clearly something where the PM and I would disagree. He would argue that he was put there by God, so every action relates to his divine purpose and everything he does is part of that plan. I would argue that Morrison is full of shit because I’ve been put here by God to say exactly that.

Morrison told people that when he was contemplating his future electoral prospects he asked for a sign and God gave him one: he saw a soaring eagle. So this morning I asked for one too and the first thing that I saw was a dog defecating, so I presumed that God must want me to tell Scomoses that he’s full of shit. Still, the meaning of signs is in the eye of the beholder. How did he know that the eagle wasn’t a sign that he should follow the USA? How did I know that my sign wasn’t that I should watch my step?

Whatever, I find it worrying that our PM would announce to a crowd: “I said, I can’t fix the world. I can’t save the world, we both believe in someone who can”, and no, he wasn’t talking about Alan Jones. This certainly explains his reluctance to hold a hose, run quarantine, set climate targets, work weekends, organise vaccinations or meet with a delegation of women. (For a more comprehensive list of what Scotty doesn’t do, Nadine Von Cohen’s article examines them in detail.)

But perhaps even more worrying was this announcement:

I’ve been in evacuation centres, where people thought I was just giving someone a hug and I was praying. And putting my hands on people in various places, laying hands on them and praying in various situations.”

I don’t know about your professional life so maybe this doesn’t seem strange to you. However, unless you’re a doctor, a masseuse, a sex worker, or one of a very narrow range of professions, the idea of you “putting hands-on people in various places” while going about your job, does seem like it would lead to a conversation about appropriate behaviour, if not a whole milkshake being tossed in your face.

So maybe that’s his whole plan. He’s a “hands-on” PM who is hoping that by simply spending time in prayer (though definitely not the Prayer Room) and touching people occasionally that God will cast out the wicked Twitter from our land and climate change will be no more. Verily, we shall once again walk in the shadow of coal and fear it not, for Scott’s Twiggy and his staff shall comfort us and there will be a go for those who have a go…

Amen.

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Can the Libs come up with someone even worse than Morrison? History says they will

When discourse between fair-minded people turns to speculation as to who has been Australia’s most appalling Prime Minister there are four names that are consistently short-listed – $3 Bill McMahon, fellow goblin John Howard, the feral friar Tony Abbott and Scott Spinocchio Morrison.

Arguing who is the worst of this noxious quartet is stepping into a steaming dollop of dog do and speculating as to whether it was a labrador, great dane or spaniel. A more appropriate take is surely along the lines of “how did we not smell that earlier?” Or, more perplexingly in the case of Howard, why did we step in it four times?

However, the trajectory of recent events turns such conjecture into a rhetorical question. We now have a clear winner.

The also ran

“I confess to a dislike of McMahon. The longer one is associated with him the deeper the contempt for him grows and I find it hard to allow him any merit. Disloyal, devious, dishonest, untrustworthy, petty, cowardly – all these adjectives have been weighed by me and I could not in truth modify or reduce any one of them in its application to him.” (Paul Hasluck, 17th Governor-General).

McMahon usually avoids a place on the podium of odium due to the passage of time and the level of egregiousness set by the other three finalists for munt of the century. McMahon was best known as a self-serving weasel and is remembered mostly from his wife Sonia’s split evening gown and rumours that it was she who legged it before Billy Snedden, one time Opposition leader, was discovered sans-metabolism in a Rushcutter’s Bay motel room wearing nothing but a fixed smile and a condom, his todger pointing heavenward in tumescent tribute to the best of possible departures to celestial reward. The gossip at the time also had Snedden’s son’s ex-girlfriend in the frame as a possible candidate for the coital causa mortis. I mention this for two purposes – it’s amusing salaciousness and because it’s tawdry ordinariness is in stark contrast to the depravity of the L/NP’s contemporary private school lager boys whose proud personal brand is rapey “swinging dicks“. The sign-in book in the Tory wing of Parliament House now serves as a defacto sex offenders register.

Let’s move on.

Bronze

The English language has embraced many colourful German words – putsch, gestapo, blitzkrieg, obergruppenfuhrer and others to which we’ve become attuned since a certain Aldo Kipfler assumed the role of head tuber of the various spooks and goon squads. The more obscure term “sockenfalter” (a man who folds his socks) brings to mind a certain suburban pettifogger, a man of fifty shades of beige and the physical manifestation of a migraine. John Winston Howard set a standard of calculated mendacity and duplicity so low that arch-conservative and fully Range Rovered member of the squatocracy Malcolm Fraser resigned from the party in disgust.

Howard’s pre-selfies duck-face was a fixed expression of sour disapproval and resentment; his 1950s, white picket fence vision of an Anglican Australia where migrants are British and the working class know their place could not be resurrected, with no prospect that his local butcher would doff his cap as John Winston picked up his order of a 1/2 kilo (damn metrics) of sausages for Janette on his way home from his power walk.

Dumb luck (ala the mining boom, Tampa, 9/11) and a talent for lying kept him in the big chair for 12 years and cemented his reputation as a Tory icon.

“He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.” (Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in prescient anticipation of his acolyte and namesake).

Silver

Fast forward six years past a promisingly progressive but ultimately self-destructive Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Cirque du Solipsists and entering stage right came a discordant cackle in a yowie suit, bow-legged from his macho affectations and bike-riders’ ball rash. Shepherded by his Amazonian keeper Peta Credlin, an angry, big-haired figure retrieved from a 70s EuroVision demo-tape rejects bin, Abbott trashed convention, decency and the country.

Abbott’s legacy is his tearing down of the achievements of others as a substitute for having to conceive of any of his own, a man for whom opposition was so habitual he took it into government. Destructive idiocy has a short shelf-life – Abbott was soon consigned to the stuffed shirt speaking circuit and BoJo’s bob-a-job offer to spruik post-Brexit trade in spotted dicks and toads-in-the-hole.

The brevity of what the man himself laughingly calls the “Abbott era” (as if his two years of toxic presence at the helm is akin to a royal dynasty or geological time span – the bozozoic?) does not take him out of contention given his talent for setting fire to his own hair and the nation’s self-respect.

Gold

The Tories were later torn between leadership options – a psycopathic yam with a fondness for drowning kittens or a prosperity gospelling marketing spiv. They decided by a small margin that a familiarity with duping the punters was what was needed to lead the nation in times of unprecedented challenges and opportunities.

Morrison is maintaining the Howard business model of exploiting any niche for private profit, further enriching cronies and punching downwards but he has added his own weird Je$us Inc. endorsed fervour as justification for his disregard for any responsibility to those outside his rich=righteousness bubble; a righteousness that bristles at scrutiny or questioning.

Morrison settled into the big, green swivel chair through deception and treachery, claiming he came into the top job incidentally with no involvement on his own part. This is the MO that defines him.

Plausible deniability and a portfolio of personas – the artful dodger is never responsible, never accountable, the finger-pointing avoidance of any error is what we could call the Morrison Effect. The Wriggle Room that is the well-resourced Prime Minister’s Office carefully crafts his alibis, zealously guards the ScoMo® brand and initiates empathy training as a risk mitigation strategy. And they keep a practised eye on the bus schedule; Canberra’s road kill includes whistleblowers, non-partisan public service mandarins, female MPs and abused staffers.

The normalisation of corruption through a schedule of eye-wateringly costly rorts, the squalid, illegal persecution of legitimate welfare recipients and the exploitation of grannies to bolster the bottom line of Lamborghini-driving wideboys and chancers would be enough to set this government’s place in infamy but there is no bar too low. The crimes get worse and more frequent, the perps are more numerous and the sleaze and sexism spreads wider and it is Morrison who cultivates that toxic, consequences-free culture.

I’ve had plenty of mates who’ve asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson“… smirk. Scott Morrison, Nov 2018.

We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse…” Scott Morrison, 8th March 2019 – hence the presence of such talent as Craig Kelly then?

Omitting “sex pest and potential rapist” from your CV’s list of interests and hobbies when applying for a job with the Tories is a rational move given its inclusion could be considered tautological when “racist, entitled, misogynistic prick” is seemingly a default essential attribute on the L/NP job application form. Having accusations that the highest law officer in the country is an alleged rapist blithely brushed aside as “I won’t hold an enquiry, mate … case closed, move along” is quite the misreading of the mood.

Morrison can only empathise when events are filtered through the lens of his own limited experience. He hit the snooze button on the Tudge/Porter wake-up call and here we are.

* * * * *

There was a 22 year gap between McMahon and Howard, a six year gap between Howard and Abbott and a two year gap between Abbott and Morrison.

The question now is can the Libs come up with someone even worse than Morrison? History says so, and arithmetic says it’ll be soon.

References

A complete list of the Liberal Party’s corruption over the last 7 years. The Chaser.

Achievements Of The Coalition Government. Matthew Davis.

Investigation reveals history of sexism and inappropriate behaviour by Attorney-General Christian Porter. ABC.

Inside the Canberra bubble – Four Corners

Christian Porter: the unshakeable belief of a white man born to rule. The Mandarin.

Malcolm Farr, political leaders and rumours

The Christian Porter is now out of the running and Spud Dutton’s ambitions seem to have been lost in the noise. Ruprecht Shadenfraud our Maggie Thatcher reincarnated Treasurer doesn’t have the numeracy skills for organised crime but he has the requisite artifice and the ambition to be a contender for Morrison’s tainted crown. Can he maintain the tradition?

This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.

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Open letter to Scott Morrison and Christian Porter

By Tracie Aylmer

The first time it happened I was 16-years-old, in 1988 in Sydney. Thinking back, I was groomed by the perpetrator to accept him touching me, with intent to kiss me. If I had known he was going to touch me without the grooming he did to me, I wouldn’t have accepted for him to have touched me in the first place.

I was very vulnerable and had a really hard time at both school and home. I guess he saw me as an open target.

After the event I felt so ashamed. As he had called my place asking when I was going to return to his shop, I told my sister what he had done. I remember her telling him I was never going to go back, and to never call my place again.

There are so many more times. So many sexual assaults. Quite a few lost me my job. All of them had me in tears. I lost confidence. Each time, I had to start my life over again. I crumbled, not knowing how to restart my life (yet again).

I have studied, finding law easy. It didn’t get me a long-term job as by then I was considered too old.

The scars have held me back. I know that now.

I’m studying again – two full-time TAFE qualifications at the same time. I thought that time had healed the pain I’ve gone through in my life. I thought I was strong enough to turn the corner and strive for the incredible person that I am.

The past few weeks have brought it all crashing down on me again. The pain is front and centre again.

Mr Morrison, the fact that, without evidence, you believe Mr Porter is horrifying and disgusting. You believe your boys club without any question yet refuse to believe the mountains of evidence and proof of pain of the victims. You are the problem with this society, as you are not taking these rapes seriously.

You are not showing yourself to have any standard whatsoever. You blatantly lie, and we can all see it. You triggered me beyond anything these past few days, and I hold you in complete and utter contempt for doing so.

I do not need for you to behave without accountability over something as serious as rape and sexual assault. You did wrong, and I hope you lose your job emphatically over this fiasco.

Mr Porter, do you really think the country believes you? A recent investigation revealed your “history of sexism and inappropriate behaviour.” Do you think now that your boys club will now protect you?

Poor you thinks that mental health care is needed (let’s get the violins out). I really don’t care if you’re having mental health care sessions. Women who have been the victims of sexual assault or abuse face or have had a life-time of mental health care sessions. Do you or your government care about them?

You have triggered the whole country over your alleged behaviour and your response to it.

Resign! You are worthless now. You have destroyed the office of the Attorney General by your alleged behaviour. No one will believe or trust the legal system again. And neither will they believe or trust the Morrison government or its Ministers. Congratulations on the part you played in that.

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Another nail in Australia’s coffin – the silence will be deafening

Another nail in Australia’s coffin – Facebook bans sharing news in Australia and Google backs big business – guess who wins? PS: But… we can still write, post and share our own.

Does that sound like a tweet or what! Another nail in the coffin for Australian democracy, freedom of information, voice and ears. Flying blind – The silence will be deafening on FB.

Game, set and match? This is not freedom of choice. This is political censorship by default and design. The Australian media news landscape embroiled, further compromised, falling off the edge of the continental shelf and the Australian public alienated from its own local news and rest of the world, like have we all just been sent to Coventry?

This was the LNP Think Tank’s intention and a golden opportunity to fulfil their primary goal – Can you and I, can we not see this!

This guy (Josh) and his buddy (Scomo), and the whole frigging LNP camp of degenerates really need to fuck off to the casino big time. We have them now to blame for ‘all of us’ becoming news blind in Australia on Facebook and Social Media. Going against their declared political principles of free trade, freedom of information, news and free speech for a bigger prize. This is a huge setback for Australians.

This is exactly what Frydenberg and Morrison want, to silence and deafen FB or more to the point Australians who use FB to share their news, thoughts, views and opinions. By doing so they get to control the flow of news, media and opinion. The public broadcasters, ABC and SBS were never going to be free to enter these deals and you would be grossly naive if you thought smaller independent news outlets would ever gain traction on this legislation with the corporate giants – That’s not how Monopoly is played. Google have taken a different path but can you see them entering into the plethora of smaller agreements and will our government under this legislation or policy direction give a damn!

 

Image from dailymail.co.uk

 

So Frydenberg and Morrison get to spread their shit here on FB and everywhere else for free, what hypocrites. The News giants like Murdoch and News Corps get to rake in the money and spread the pain for their shit everywhere – and laughing. There will be no informed democracy and elections in this game. The Liberals are doing this, not for equity, fairness or justice, but given all the run offs and stacked consequences, as planned; giving them massive control over news, media information available, not available, accessibility on public and social platforms. Will this be good for the economy even?

The chosen ones, yes.

I don’t condone FB’s decision, but Morrison and Frydenberg knew very well this was the likely path, and why indeed should FB as a business pay for users, other people’s decisions on what they share – What kind of fucked up business model is that? What next? Will the Liberals have ‘us’ pay for shared advertising too? Actually, we already are, out of the public purse.

Would you charge me if I offered you a lift to the supermarket to get your groceries? The government (the Liberals) are raving bonkers.

Australia totally screwed on this one, folks! This is political censorship, where only the sharks profit at the expense of freedom of choice, information and information sharing, one of the founding principles of the internet, and ironically democracy, fair dinkum. Yes, the Liberals, Nationals, News Corps, big business elites et al are pushing our noses in it and our heads in the sand – make no mistake. I can’t breathe!

End game – Erosion of political and electoral public intelligence and information, control of the airwaves, right wing power grab and supremacy, come next election. Not even Trump could manage this (Foxy News versus Washington Post), but here by any other means, with a swoop of the pen, Morrison, Frydenberg and the Liberals (image source: ‘elbows kissing’ courtesy of the Australian, how ironic) are banking on that ignorance turning in their favour, like it did for 74 million Americans! Another nail in the coffin for Australian democracy, freedom of information, voice and ears.

Eyes to the right where we can expect the procreation of more lies, hypocrisy, false (manufactured) news and proliferation of extreme right wing and fundamentalist opinion, especially from Murdoch, News Corps, Government, corporate mining elites and big business; and sadly, Facebook and Google are deserting the public camp for consumerism in their own separate ways. Did I mention tongues and fiery pulpit of the very holy Morrison-Frydenberg spirit – Holy cow!

They say no man is an island, Australia is and has just become even more isolated from the rest of the world, thanks to the LNP and our government – Regulation be damned (on this one).

But maybe we are all just about to become more creative – We can write, post and share our own news and opinion pieces with complementary piccies. Isn’t that what these social platforms and truly independent media are for?

This is democracy. Let’s get to it!

 

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Sexual Assault in Canberra

Who knew what? In many cases of sexual assault in politics, events take place behind bolted doors, the perpetrator and victim bound by ties of power, seediness and suppression. The victim is left with an odious and onerous task: to report the event. The risks can be considerable. Careers can be ruined. Retaliation from the political tribe can be remorseless.

Parliaments present a paradox. Encrusted with surveillance, crawling with security, safety would surely be guaranteed for all who work within their walls. But the environment of power, ambition and conspiracy lends itself to hierarchies, asymmetries, and inequalities. Politicians find themselves with access to budgets, forums and staffers. There are receptions and meetings to attend, liquor to consume in abundance, deceptions to cultivate. The risk of wandering hands is ever present.

The staffers, in turn, are mindful of their careers, insecure about their futures to the point of neuroses. They are expected to be unconditionally loyal to politician and party. Nikki Savva, herself a former staffer turned scribe, remembers the time: “The hours were long, the demands never-ending, the stress phenomenal and the fear of stuffing up overwhelming.” The staffer is permanently vulnerable and precariously positioned. Reasons for terminating employment are broad and susceptible to abuse. The parliamentarian can, for instance, do so for having “lost trust or confidence in the employee.” When politicians become arbiters of trust, the condition of the absurd has been affirmed.

Maria Maley, an academic from the Australian National University, busies herself with the sordid business of researching political staff. Over the Australian summer, she interviewed eight former political staffers about their time spent in the offices of ministers and electorate offices at both state and federal level. Her findings were not earth shattering. Staffers were bullied, subject to sexual harassment by colleagues and bosses. “It is hard to know how common this is,” Maley suggests, “as the world they inhabit is secretive.” She is being unnecessarily coy.

On March 23, 2019, Brittany Higgins, a Liberal Party staffer, was allegedly raped in the offices of Australia’s Defence Minister, Senator Linda Reynolds. Having initially contacted police, she felt a deep reluctance to press matters further. An election was about to be called. A month ago, Higgins resigned her political job and recommenced the complaints process with the police.

Both the Defence Minister and then chief of staff Fiona Brown were told by Higgins about the incident. Both expressed shock and promised to support the staffer if she decided to take the matter up with the police. In a manner excised of empathy, Reynolds had decided at the time that it was appropriate to hold a meeting with Higgins at the same venue the attack is claimed to have taken place.

The political machine is coming into full play to stifle. Apologies have come from the Defence Minister and the Prime Minister. “At the time, I truly believed that I and my chief of staff were doing everything we could to support that young woman who I had responsibility for,” explained Senator Reynolds to her colleagues in the chamber. Her intention and aim at the time had been “to empower Brittany and let herself determine the course of her own situation, not by me, not by my staff, not by the government as a whole, but by Brittany.” A true philosophe, is the minister.

Morrison did not do much better. On the morning of February 16, he showed striking emotional immaturity in employing an advertising gimmick. He had, he told journalists, spoken to his wife the previous day. “She said to me, ‘You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls?’ Jenny has a way of clarifying things.” Evidently, things were rather cloudy for the prime minister prior to Monday.

 

Image from pedestrian.tv

 

The tenor of these apologies is tactical. Assault can be managed. Assault can be contained within a bureaucratic compass. And there was the issue of privacy, a weapon often used against the victim to muzzle matters and preserve the status quo. We kept quiet to help her and observe protocol.

Reviews into the complaints processes of Parliament House and the Liberal Party have been promised by Morrison. Much of this is due to ascertaining, or not, as the case often is, the scope of responsibility and prospects for reform. Reviews should be fiercely independent but the Morrison government is taking few risks, despite having conceded to the opposition that a third, independent inquiry should also be initiated. In one line of inquiry, the Liberal Party will be investigating itself, with West Australian MP and former vice-chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Celia Hammond steering matters.

With a former, overly remunerated university vice-chancellor managing the show, putative efficacy is all but guaranteed to fail. Hammond’s conservative Catholicism is also well known, and her views on sex Victorian in reservation.

Complaints regarding staff safety are currently made through the Department of Finance. There is no standalone body to perform that task. Various female members of parliament not affiliated with the major parties have decided that this be redressed. One is Rebekha Sharkie of the Centre Alliance. “I don’t think sitting within the Department of Finance with a minister still in government of the day is really going to provide that level of confidence.” As for Labor, Anthony Albanese has voiced support for “an arm’s length, independent body that is able to investigate and provide support to anyone in this building who has an issue with their safety.”

The looming question remains: Who knew what and when? Morrison is adamant that blissful ignorance reigned till the story broke, going so far as to publicly rebuke Reynolds for having not told him about the allegations. When asked in parliament by the opposition leader Albanese as to whether it was acceptable that the Defence Minister had kept the matter quiet for two years, Morrison was sharply insistent. “It’s not and it shouldn’t happen again.”

The whole matter is smelly enough to be drawing out the sceptics. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull found it “inconceivable that [the matter] wasn’t well known to at least key members of the prime minister’s staff.” Higgins also has an account that rather holes the narrative, claiming that one of Morrison’s senior advisers had called her some months ago to see how she was coping. At least another member of the prime minister’s staff was also charged with handling her complaint. A pattern, distressing and invidious, is rapidly emerging.

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When will Conservatives ever treat women with a modicum of decency, even dignity?

And to think that Morrison knew all about it. Well, to be more precise, both the Liberal and National parties knew of this rape before the 2019 election. In fact, right in the middle of the campaign.

Had it been disclosed at the time, it might have made the difference between winning and losing for Labor.

Shades of John Howard and children overboard again, but more important, however, this time is just who decided to do a hush job. You might recall his very Christian reaction when he became Prime Minister, but when a young woman was allegedly raped, he decided to cover up.

According to the victim, staffer Brittany Higgins, her rape took place in Defence Minister Lynda Reynolds’s office on 19 April after a Friday night drinking session.

The election was held on 18 May.

The damage that such an act would have done to the conservatives – both Liberal and National – during an election campaign would be immeasurable. So what did they decide to do?

Well, on the surface, at least it looks as though they decided to double up on her pain.

The poor girl involved says she didn’t make a formal complaint because she wanted to hang onto her job and not do any harm to the reputation of the Liberal Party. What reputation one might ask?

A follow-up meeting was held inside the same office; the offence is alleged to have taken place a decision the Government concedes is “regretted.”

What moronic individual made such an inhumane decision knowing that it would almost certainly do further harm. Was it intended to?

The issue of the toxic treatment of women inside Parliament House and men’s behaviour within the Liberal and National parties yet again raises its ugly head. Remember Barnaby Joyce and the affair that led to his marriage’s breakup. Remember the Attorney-General Christian Porter kissing in a Canberra pub.

Back to Brittany Higgins, it was reported that:

“… a man working for then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds took a 24-year-old female media staffer into Parliament House after a Friday night drinking session in March 2019 and allegedly raped her inside the defence industry minister’s office.”

On the Ministers, couch to be exact.

She should hang a sign on her door. “No defence here.”

Her story follows many other women known and unknown who have experienced similar situations.

The junior staffer was very new to her job – just four weeks, in fact – before this horrendous experience occurred. She then had to endure the decision between making a formal complaint or keeping her career.

After it was made perfectly clear that she might lose her job, she was shunted into Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s office before Ms Higgins resigned.

A statement from a member of the Prime Minister’s Office said the reports about the incident were “deeply distressing.”

“At all times, guidance was sought from Ms Higgins as to how she wished to proceed, and to support and respect her decisions.

Throughout the entire process the overriding concern for Government was to support Ms Higgins’ welfare in whatever way possible.”

It sounds like they were falling over backwards to help her make the right moves to their advantage.

 

Brittany Higgins and Scott Morrison (Image from huffingtonpost.com.au – Photos from Channel 10 and Getty Images)

 

But after all this time, even after being denied access to video footage of the two’s movements, Ms Higgins has decided to ask the AFP to investigate. The why of that is another question. Given their record of investigating this Government, I wouldn’t say I like her chances.

Come Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister in a solemn mood to fit the occasion, fronts the media with apologises for everything under the sun. He had discussed the matter with his wife overnight and now looks at it from the point of view of what if it were his children.

 

 

His first defence was that he never knew, no one had told him anything. I found this to be wholly implausible, and secondly, that it was all a disgrace and he would move Heaven and earth to right everything. But as I said initially, I contend that the Prime Minister knew about it and wanted it covered up.

Of course, “not knowing anything” gave him the excuse to repair matters. Had he known, would not he have the obvious question; “Why didn’t you do something then?”

Samantha Maiden gets its right when she reports that:

“If history is any guide, he the Scott Morrison’s response to Brittany Higgins’ shocking account of sexual assault at Parliament House in Canberra will be open and shut.

He will urge her to take the matter to the police – which she did at the time – and perhaps suggest that is the beginning and the end of the matter?

But is it?

Or, do political parties owe the people that work for them – in this case a 24-year-old young woman – a more significant duty of care if they are sexually assaulted at work?”

If I might add to that, I think that Morrison gets away with his teary act too often and the “I wasn’t told” defence is just a poor excuse.

But time never diminishes the crime. What is needed is for men to grow up and be the men they are supposed to be. These events are just another addition to the many incidents of mistreating women.

My thought for the day

History is just an ongoing commentary on the incompetence of men.

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