At this time last year, I wrote a four-part series about the Morrison government titled The luggage they have carried from one year to the next means 2020 will be a hard slog.
In Part 1, my focus, in the main, was on global warming and the lies being told to justify the Government’s denial of the problem. The Government’s vetoes have been with us for over a decade now. It is difficult to comprehend how educated men and women can be stupid enough to allow such a catastrophe to occur when it is in their power to do something about it.
In Part 2, I concentrated on a return to trust and transparency in our governance.
In Part 3, I talked about the lack of leadership in our country, and in Part 4, I presented the actual baggage list, with my observations centred on the Government’s problems it would carry with it into 2020.
So out of curiosity, I thought I would take a close look at those leftover remnants of 2019 to see how they ended up; how much was forwarded to 2020, what entered the list in 2020 and carried over to 2021. So here we go.
1 A continuing problem with global warming, which the Government continues to ignore (will be carried over as baggage into 2021).
2 There’s this problem which we can also expect to be carried over into 2021:
“One-third of Australia’s largest companies paid no corporate tax last year despite the total tax take increasing by more than $6.6 billion.”
3 Wage theft had become a big problem in for the Government in 2019 as accusations were being made from month to month. Ditto in 2020. Can expect another ditto in 2021.
4 Julian Burnside in The Saturday Paper (21/12/19) on The Secret Trial of Witness J:
“The underlying criminal case against Witness J remains a mystery to the public. In the Senate on November 28, 2019, the minister representing Attorney-General Christian Porter refused to provide any details about the case. That witness J was charged in secrecy is scandalous in a country that purports to be a democracy. It is also a serious warning to all of us, raising the risk that Australia is quietly becoming authoritarian.”
The two men involved should be treated as heroes, not criminals.
In 2020 whistle-blowers are still being persecuted. Don’t expect the government to change its stance in 2021.
5 Didn’t the Prime Minister promise a form of federal ICAC as part of his election campaign? Whatever happened to it? This has been going on for two years now. A draft was presented to the Parliament and outright rejected. The first and most business a national corruption body would attract would come from the Coalition itself so one would hardly expect them to hurry. (No clear outcome. Can forward this to 2021 as well).
6 The election 2019 narrative of “jobs and growth” seems to have dropped by the wayside now that the unemployment figures are rising. With school leavers about to hit the jobs market unemployment will be a pain in the Government’s backside this year. (Compromised by COVID-19. No clear plans outlined so we can comfortably carry this one to 2021 as well).
7 The issue of political donations won’t bury its head in the sand. A shake-up of political donation laws is well overdue, including real-time disclosures. This has been an ongoing problem for a decade or more, forwarded to 2021, where another controversy awaits.
8 A senate enquiry into how Question Time could be improved has never been started. Why? (Forwarded to 2021).
9 Will 2020 disclose just what the secret deal was with Jacqui Lambie to repeal Medevac? Lambie is still silent and Morrison is saying there was no secret deal. (Adding into the growing list in 2021).
10 Economic experts were saying that the Government would have to write down the value of the National Broadband Network. (Still no outcome. Move to 2021).
The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow.
11 Did you know that 2020 would, for some asylum seekers, be the beginning of year 7 of their incarceration for not even having committed a crime?
The Government does not indicate when this unfair and vile treatment will end. (Forward to 2021 horror treatment list).
12 Angus Taylor carries so much baggage that it’s hard to imagine him being off any list. Energy and climate change are the two main ones. (Forward to 2021 list). Let me remind you that we don’t yet have a formal energy or climate change policies.
* * * * *
The lack of funding for the NDIS will continue to be a thorn in the Government’s side as will the stench of its failure with Robodebt and the suicides it caused. You can expect more agitation from our First Nations peoples over The Uluru Statement and #BlackLivesMatter. But water theft will be forgotten unless there is a change in Government. The Cashless Welfare Card will also take prominence this year. New ideas will not arise until the next election. These will all remain on the 2021 list with varying degrees of importance.
What else of importance will fasten itself to this list in 2021? In what I am tipping as an election year climate change will secure itself more securely now that the latest survey finds 75% support for setting net-zero by 2030 target for emissions, and 81% support for net-zero by 2050.
Damaged relations with China and our region is such a hot topic that it will unavoidably find itself on the list.
Jumping onto the list will be aged care for which the Morrison Government is responsible. And of course the resulting deaths of COVID-19 in aged care facilities. Sports rorts – which I hadn’t included last year – may again rear its ugly head. Bush fires might drop a rung or two but remain in the public eye because of Morrison’s inept handling of the NSW and Victorian fires this time last year.
Wage stagnation, and attacks on welfare for the poor and vulnerable will also feature (as they do under any Coalition government).
A fence-sitter well my be Kevin Rudd’s ‘forced’ Senate inquiry into Rupert Murdoch’s political influence in Australia.
The pandemic and the economy have become intertwined, making it more challenging but not impossible to address all of these issues at once. However, it may take a Cabinet more blessed with talent than this one.
As I said in 2020:
“In Scott Morrison’s Australia, everyday citizens are not supposed to protest those things we know to be unfair. The things we know to be wrong. We are not supposed to object when the Government doesn’t meet our expectations. Workers cannot strike for better conditions.
Nor are we supposed to protest our inability to see or obtain information about the workings of Government.
Free speech is in rapid decline. People who report government wrongdoing are ostracised, and worst of all, government propaganda is seeking to change the way we think.
The absence of empathy is being replaced with narcissistic self-importance.
The Coalition contains some of the most outstanding liars, propagandists and hypocrites our Parliament has ever seen, including the Prime Minister. Is it possible the punters might, in 2021, see through them?”
What has changed? Nothing.
My thought for the day
Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politicians whose first interest was the peoples’ and not their own.
- Wage stagnation.
- Massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Australians and foreign corporations.
- Attempts to undermine Medicare.
- More expensive university degrees.
- Shrinking homeownership.
- The everyday cost of living up.
- Higher debt.
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