Election diary No 12. Saturday, 19 February 2022.
1 In 1996, John Howard, the then Opposition leader, offered the Australian people a “comfortable and relaxed” future. It worked a treat.
Labor had been in power for two periods and had achieved bold economic and cultural reforms.
In the 1996 election, the silent majority spoke, and Australia voted for a more peaceful future, and that’s not what they got. From Howard on, conservatives have given us cultural upheaval and political ratbaggery. It seems to work for them.
The conservatives have been in power for almost nine years. By their incompetence and adherence to ideology, they have stuffed up so many things that a likely mantra for Labor is “Let’s change for the better.”
So, in March 1996, Australia opted for a bit of calm. Years later, after a succession of failed prime ministers, the conservatives continue their abysmal flirtation with corruption and bad governance to the point where you couldn’t trust them as far as you could kick them.
Now, after two years of the coronavirus pandemic and three months into a third, delivering a comfortable and relaxed Australia might be unsuitable for the times because we have become a “do-nothing else” nation.
Repairing the many things that need to be mended won’t be accomplished with a “comfortable and relaxed” attitude.
The return of the Morrison government might give us continued “comfortable and relaxed” governance of the sort you are used to while electing an Albanese government would enable “Change for the better.”
Desperately seeking re-election this week has been noticeable for the Government’s unjustifiable attacks on the Leader of the Opposition. As its desperation grows, its shame escalates to a point of disgrace hitherto unseen in this country, leaving us in no doubt about the country’s future under them.
The attacks have honed in on national security and the character of Anthony Albanese.
Even Mike Burgess, the Chief of ASIO, found it necessary to appear with Leigh Sales on 7.30 to tell Dutton, Frydenberg and Morrison to basically shut up about Albanese being a threat to national security.
Rather timely, Rachael Withers wrote in The Monthly that:
“As deputy Labor leader Richard Marles said in an interview on RN Breakfast (in which he used the word “desperate” around 10 times in 10 minutes), the scare campaign about the ALP being China’s pick actually puts Australia’s security at risk – a sentiment backed up by the experts. “The attempt to politicise this is not only desperate, but it’s also not in the national interest,” Marles said, adding there has traditionally been strong bipartisanship in this area.”
The Government’s behaviour in Parliament during the past two weeks has been deplorable, and who knows how much lower it will stoop before it reaches rock bottom. When it’s backed into a corner, its white teeth anger is frightening. It acts like an animal in a fight to the death, and what a terrifying animal it makes.
The secret of change is to focus all your energy on not fighting the old, but on building the future. (Socrates).
2 I don’t read The Australian the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, The Advertiser, the Courier Mail and the Mercury (all Murdoch journals) for the same reason I don’t eat out of the toilet.
3 For your interest, The ABC show “Vera” had a higher viewer ranking than the cringe-worthy Morrison interview on 60 Minutes with 587,000 metro viewers, just ahead of 60 Minutes on 574,000.
Vera beats “At home with the Morrisons”. But liberal strategists are unfussed. She’s not a candidate in any electorate. https://t.co/oWKtkT4qPY
— Barrie Cassidy (@barriecassidy) February 14, 2022
4 In the event of a Labor win in the May (?) election, would Treasurer Josh Frydenberg become the undisputed heir to the Liberal Party leadership, or would Peter Dutton claim it? Time will tell.
5 Deals with the devil or just buying votes?
Clive Palmer, who has previously likened the Prime Minister with Hendrick Himmler, now he is doing dirty deals with him. The Liberal Party has agreed to exchange preferences with Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party in a deal nutted out by the two parties last week. The deal could decide many marginal seats and give Palmer a fair chance of gaining a seat in the Senate and perhaps even the balance of power in a close vote.
According to Newspoll, Palmer’s vote is somewhere between 5% and 14%. Talk about buying votes.
6 The Prime Minister has had a report into allegations against Education Minister Alan Tudge since 28 January in his grubby little hands. Still, the Government cannot say if it will be dealt with before the coming election. Yet another cover-up that wouldn’t pass the pub test.
The ‘journalist for leaks’, Channel Ten commentator Peter van Onselen has revealed that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will soon cut Alan Tudge from the Ministry. Well, it’s a fair bet when you observe his name being taken from the door of his office.
Of course, Mr Tudge will be sacked, but Morrison cannot say when. You can bet it won’t be until the Parliament has risen.
7 After three years, the Conservatives confirmed today that they didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to legislate for a Federal ICAC. Incredible when you have had three years to do something about it. Yet to be seen if it will cost them votes.
8 Oh my God, not another one. Another Government grant’s scandal. This time, as reported in The Guardian, the Auditor General found that the Coalition used its $187m safer communities grants program to fund at least ten projects deemed “unsuitable” by the department.
This was after the project applicants were visited in person by Peter Dutton’s assistant minister, Jason Wood.
The Guardian reported that:
“… the audit, which found the program favoured Coalition-held seats in the lead-up to the last election, is critical of how grants were awarded more than half delivered without a “clear basis for the decision.”
9 Remember when? Memories of the last election?
With the knowledge we now have, it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that the Coalition won the last election in circumstances contrary to what people expect of our democracy.
Clive Palmer spent $60 million on advertising. This year it’s reported he will spend another $20 million. Why?
Street Signs were written in Chinese. Why?
Grants were given to sporting bodies in Coalition electorates, and the Auditor General found them out.
Unequivocally the Prime Minister lied repeatedly.
Then another $150 million scheme for government or fringe seats appeared without rules and no need to apply; just let us know how much?
If we had some form of ICAC, they would be out on their arse.
Have I made myself clear?
10 On the subject of winning, Eddie Otto, on 17 February, wrote the following Facebook comment:
“Thanks to Lynton Crosby, the Liberals have been winning elections since Howard in 1996 with the old “dead cat on the table” and contentless policies and vacuous platitudes.
And it happened again in 2019 with the Death Tax, Retiree Tax, and it has already started again…
Already creating fake Labor policies, fear-mongering, Labor “high taxing & spending”, economic mismanagement.
With no facts and figures, no justification, no validation… just lies…
And it was amplified repeatedly by the complicit mainstream media.
All the accusations are projections of the Liberal’s shortcomings.”
10 Broken promises.
In addition to breaking its promise to pass Religious Discrimination legislation this term, it can now add a bill for a National Integrity Commission.
Except on Wednesday 16 February, outgoing Liberal MP John Alexander, who reckons he would “seriously consider” supporting Helen Haine’s bill for a federal integrity commission if the independent member for Indi attempts to have her draft legislation debated by Parliament before the election.
11 Remember, $16 billion in the last budget for unallocated policies. Well, that’s code, meaning that its money put aside for Government giveaways in the election campaign.
12 The wash-up of the NSW By-elections was that large swings favoured Labor and the independents. No point repeating myself.
13 I received a message from an AIM reader asking why we don’t have donations with real-time online- and online voting. They are good points, and l will do some research.
14 The closure by Origin Energy of Australia’s most significant and largest coal mine says the 2,880MW black-coal generator in NSW is not well-suited to rapidly changing conditions in the national electricity market. Certainly, throws a cat amongst the pigeons.
My previous diary post: Let’s hear it for the ladies.
My thought for the day
If my judgment, my common sense and what my heart says is different from yours, then I might also be correct.
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