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The best a man can get

When the Prime Minister chooses his Ministry, he has many things to consider – reward for support, factions, states, urban/country, diversity, longevity of service.

Merit doesn’t get a look in.

Or perhaps this bunch are the best the Coalition has?

“If you vote Coalition, you get Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister” has become a campaign on its own and, for mine, that alone is sufficient reason to change government.

Until recently, we had an Attorney-General who thought it was fine to take anonymous donations to fund a private lawsuit against the national broadcaster.

He has been replaced by a woman who threatened to slut shame parliamentary staff, to “noim noims”, a Minister who refused to co-operate with police regarding the illegal tipping off of the media about an impending raid on union headquarters.

The Minister for Education and Youth has been stood down pending an investigation into allegations of domestic violence by a staffer he admits to having had an affair with.

Not that being stood down means much.

Bridget McKenzie was stood down for using sports rorts to give money to her gun club in 2020. In 2021 she was promoted to Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education plus Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience.

Likewise Sussan Ley, who was forced to quit as Health Minister amid investigations into expense claims which included billing taxpayers to attend two New Year’s Eve events hosted by a prominent Queensland businesswoman and donor and the “impulse purchase” of a luxury Gold Coast apartment while on a taxpayer funded trip. She is now Minister for the Environment.

Her predecessor in the portfolio, Melissa Price, will be remembered for insulting the former President of Kiribati by saying, when introduced to him at dinner by Pat Dodson, “I know why you are here, it’s for the cash. For the Pacific, it’s always about the cash. I have my chequebook here, how much do you want?”. After being dubbed the “Invisible Minister” for her obvious disinterest in the environment, Price was “demoted” to Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Science and Technology. Because that’s what happens when you do a crap job?

Take Linda Reynolds, who had to give Peter Dutton Defence after calling Brittany Higgins a lying cow. She only got the gig to keep her quiet after she made a speech in the Senate about the bullying during the leadership spill which she completely forgot about with her short-lived promotion. She is now Minister for Government Services and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Which I thought was Stuart Robert’s portfolio but I am so yesterday. Since the 2013 federal election, Robert has been appointed the Assistant Minister for Defence, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Human Services, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Minister for Government Services and, most recently, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, with responsibility for whole-of-government technology through the Digital Transformation Agency.

He is most remembered for Robodebt and charging us tens of thousands for his home internet. Oh and being a fellow Pentacostal who, along with Hillsong attendee Alex Hawke, did the numbers for Morrison’s leadership coup.

Hawke, who has only ever worked for the Liberal party (unless you count Woollies in uni holidays), was rewarded with Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Alex has the certainty that being a religious conservative Young Liberal bestows, which didn’t go over so well in his previous gig when he tried to convince Pacific leaders that Australia was doing more than enough on climate change.

I mean look who we have taking care of it for us – Angus Taylor who entered politics to protect his family’s view from wind farms and their right to poison whatever damn grass they please. Angus, who writes facebook messages congratulating himself (whilst forgetting to change his name), will be most remembered for giving a forged document to the Murdoch press, and quoting it in parliament, to try and belittle an opponent’s attempt to reduce emissions. The police couldn’t work out where Angus got the document because they didn’t ask him. Case over.

As Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, we have the archetypal dilettante Tim Wison, well suited for the job after his apprenticeship with the IPA where he penned a glowing review of Ian Plimer’s climate denial book. Tim now wanders around the country having his photo taken with solar panels.

Keith Pitt’s combined water and resources portfolio is presumably to make sure the coal mines, and nuclear power plants if the Minister gets his way, have all the water they need.

We have a health Minister who tells us that Australia has done the bestest in the whole wide world in dealing with the pandemic as our infection rate surges past the US, UK and India, RATs become rarer than numbats, and daily deaths hit new highs.

We have a Treasurer who thinks the most important part of his job is a slide show of cherry-picked graphs and smiling photo ops with the latest brochure.

We have a defence Minister, who talks very loudly and carries a tiny widdle stick, eagerly agreeing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to take obsolete weapons off the hands of the US and UK armaments industries.

The Minister for Aged Care has given up all pretence of knowing or caring what he is doing and gone to the cricket instead.

If, as the old Gillette ad goes, these are “the best a man can get”, a change of government isn’t just desirable, it’s a national imperative.

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25 comments

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  1. Keitha Granville

    We have to get rid of them all.

    VOTE LABOR

  2. Phil Pryor

    All too glaringly true and more and worse could be said (and will be), for this is a world record of brown logs in a huge perverted political pot, a’Lying in the way of progress, stability, planning, governing for all. No-one positive, nothing good, all too subservient to a deficient hollow backstabbing, blathering, lazy leaderless leader and the corruption of ingrained corporate conniving donor driven profiteering careless capitalism gone mad. How can standards be restored, at least for national pride?

  3. New England Cocky

    A sad indictment of backward thinking succinctly pronounced …..AGAIN!! Thank you KL.

    This abysmal COALiiton misgovernment is a self-inflicted wound that can only be solved by:
    .
    Voting anyone but Liarbrals in city electorates;
    .
    Voting credible local INDEPENDENT or SFF in country electorates &
    .
    Voting BELOW THE LINE for all the candidates in my order of prefernce;
    .
    Then we may save Australian democracy for pour grandkids.

  4. wam

    Right up there with your best, kaye, a sad indictment on the role and expectations of women in the liberal/national government.
    For me, the saddest image is:
    “Price was “demoted” to Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Science and Technology. Because that’s what happens when you do a crap job?”
    not only sad because she was kept in the ministry but, even worse, that industry-science-technology is recognised as a demotion.
    RATs don’t seem a problem to scummo’s mate domo?
    ps good one NEC

  5. JudithW

    This should be published more widely!
    I look forward to a summary of the ministry were the ALP to win the next election.

  6. John Boyd

    @NEC I suggest it is important to emphasise that to get rid of this government, one must put Labor above the LNP, no matter how far down you go. Most independents are looking to take votes off the LNP, but many of those voters, while making a protest vote, will still preference the LNP.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Great idea JudithW. A head-to-head comparison would really drive the point home.

  8. pierre wilkinson

    and yet the government and the MSM continually extol the “policies” that they operate, loudly claiming that all is well, even better than well, the best in the world in fact whereas it is demonstrably true that it is not the case at all
    alas our poor country, ruled by venal corrupt incompetent ditherers who regard lying and obfuscation as art forms

  9. Michael Taylor

    I’ve never known of such an incompetent, bone-lazy mob of misfits running the country. That includes the PM and his merry band of ministers.

  10. margcal

    Never forget that the anti Human Rights Commission hypocritical creep, Tim Wilson, was gifted the position of Human Rights Commissioner as a “holding job” between the HRC and Parliament, a gift he grabbed from George Brandis with both hands and huge snout. No advertising the position, no interviews …. no qualifications! Whereupon he ran up “expenses” almost equal to his not inconsiderable salary … amongst other questionable acts.

    One of the worst of the worst in Parliament. And it’s a tough field.
    Apart from the whole government and Morrison, Wilson and Frydenberg are the two whose dumping would give me the most pleasure.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Michael West’s view:

    It is a government of business lobby marionettes, a government which listens to those who give the Coalition money. How else could it ignore medical advice on the Pandemic, or allow 50 new fossil fuel projects to be on the boil? How else could it blow up $40bn in JobKeeper hand-outs to Italian fashion houses and other foreign multinationals as well as large local corporations and other entities with record incomes.

  12. Baby Jewels

    Do those three in the photo look like men with a clear conscience? Duds and crooks, which is what you get when you vote LNP.

    Watch this when you have the time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDBrImgqMds It’s about how even an Australian company which has created an excellent and well tested covid vaccine doesn’t get a look in because it can’t afford the millions for lobbyists.

  13. Ken

    Yes let’s make sure the LNP get voted OUT in the election this year (whenever that might be).

  14. Michael Taylor

    Ken, it can’t come quick enough.

  15. Terence Mills

    Michael, Ken et al, I agree with your sentiments but after seeing Albo on Insiders this morning, he has me worried that he may not be able to cut through.

    He is not inspiring and Australia is looking for inspiration at the moment and we need a vision for the future : Labor needs to accelerate our shift to electric vehicles so that we can get away from the greedy fuel price manipulators at OPEC. We need a housing policy that will ensure that young families can achieve the Australian dream of home ownership (and we need to see Labor commit once again to ending the distortions in the housing market caused by Negative Gearing and capital gains tax concessions to investors.)

    We need a proper defence policy – these clowns have moved from Japaneses submarines under Abbott to French under Turnbull to AUKUS under Duttion (this was not Morrison’s decision) and nothing even on the drawing board yet : to neglect national security to this extent is malfeasance in public office !!!

    Albanese needs to use his team more effectively : the shadow ministry is full of talent but we are not hearing from them. People like Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek, Tony Burke, Dr Jim Chalmers, Chris Bowen, Mark Dreyfus etc should be out there on a daily basis and perhaps they will be as the date draws closer. But don’t leave it too late and don’t leave it all to Albo.

    This election is going to be tough and we are already seeing Newscorp and SKY backing a Morrison win and then you’ve got Palmer’s millions which can only benefit the coalition : they certainly won’t help Labor.

  16. Mark Shields

    VOTE INDEPENDENT: The only way to remove CAREER POLITICIANS and their greedy, lazy indifference!

  17. Michael Taylor

    Terry, he’s not my preferred choice, but I prefer him to Morrison.

  18. Michael Taylor

    But does he inspire me? Not much, unfortunately.

  19. Kaye Lee

    I’ll settle for honest right now.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, that’s a big plus in his favour.

  21. Terence Mills

    With over a third of COVID deaths this month being in aged care facilities, according to Patricia Karvelas on ABC RN, Colbeck the minister responsible for Aged Care and Senior Australians will not make himself available for an interview with the ABC.

    WTF……………………….

  22. Geoff Andrews

    Everyone should forward the link to this article (https://theaimn.com/the-best-a-man-can-get/) to their local Labor Member/Senator/branch, asking them to draw it to the attention of the strategists in Labor’s back room.
    There’s more material here for a series of election ads that could use the talents of each of Labor’s front bench than could be obtained from any focus group.
    Labor should agree with the inevitable LNP “we’re better money managers” claptrap, particularly when it comes to managing the money into their own pockets.
    I have seen Albanese address the National Press Club twice and been suitably impressed both times. He spoke for possibly 20 minutes without notes and answered each subsequent question convincingly but I would like to see him speak with more passion, employing a few of the skills of oratory: stress and dramatic pauses.

  23. Terence Mills

    According to the government’s own figures, 389 aged care residents have perished as a result of COVID in January alone — far more than the total for the whole of 2021 — 282 .

    Richard Colbeck is the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians but you won’t hear a word from him, he has consistently declined to be interviewed and Morrison won’t sack him.

    There is nobody in this government who is accountable for anything, least of all their own portfolios.

  24. Mark Shields

    Oh FFS, surely we idiots realise that we have completely lost the Picture! We pathetic Low-Life simian beings have no answer as to where we primates came from: I think (but do not know) that we Homo-Sapiens are living on a very thin thread of Evolutionary Substance, but I fear that no-one else is willing to agree with my theory, and therefore willingly accept that Humanity is destined to evolutionary failure…!

  25. Mark Shields

    It is so sad that intelligent Human Beings are still able to witness the destruction of HUMAN CULTURES whilst they witness the decline of Nature and natural habitats, within their home-bred environment…

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