Cults need their followers to be in constant contact because without that, followers may start to notice that there are more sensible ways of looking at things. So whenever I hear the Liberals say that they have a plan, I can’t help but think that – when other people say it – we usually expect the person saying it to follow up by describing the actual plan.
For years we heard that the Liberals had a plan for jobs and growth. Yes, they were in favour of both and, it seems, their plan was to wait until both things happened then claim the credit. This is similar to their plan for the recovery from the “Covid recession” which was nothing to do with them, but the sudden jump in growth in the most recent quarter was thanks to their economic management. Now when I pointed out a few weeks ago that the recession would be over quickly because growth had contracted so much that Australia was bound to get a bounce when restrictions were lifted, people wee sceptical. (Of course, when I say that the recession is over, I’m talking about the «technical recession ». What’s the difference between a «technical recession » and an actual one? Well, it depends on who whether we have a Liberal or Labor Treasurer. During the GFC, we didn’t have a recession in Australia – technical or otherwise – but that too was a technicality that was worth overlooking when talking about our economic performance.)
Usually when the Liberals make an announcement, I presume that’s to make us feel better about the fact that – while no actual evidence of one exists – they do actually have a plan to make some sort of improvement, so that when something good happens they can say that was our plan all along. Its supporters can feel reassured and anyone with any memory can be relieved that they’re probably just going to ignore everything and not stuff it up by doing any more than post the odd photo of our Prime Minister pretending to caught at a candid moment by his official photographer who sees no need to stage the shot and just happens to get the professional finish to the lighting and composition by accident.
Lately however, I’m worried that their modus operandi of not thinking about anything but how to give away money to their donors while not being so flagrant that they lose the next election, has left them unable to think about what happens beyond the immediate present.
Take Paul Fletcher’s letter to the ABC where he complained about the coverage of Porter and Tudge’s private lives. Now I could make the point that what one does in a public bar with plenty of other people – and journalists – around, is not exactly one’s private life. As Great Aunt Greta used to say, «I don’t mind what people do just so long as they don’t do it in the Main Street and frighten the horses. »
However, the point I wish to make is not the rights and wrongs of Fletcher trying to prove that he’s not completely irrelevant; the point is that the story has been largely forgotten and while he may think that this is sending a warning shot across the bows of the ABC, by questioning the accuracy of their report of Porter demonstrating his dental proficiency with his tongue, in actual fact he’s given all the media a free pass to establish whether or not the story was true. If you report that I was in a bar behaving inappropriately with an attractive woman, few people would care… some wouldn’t believe you and some would think that it’s nothing to do with them. But If I demand a retraction, suddenly the veracity of your story becomes a talking point… I seriously doubt that this was Fletcher’s intention.
Let’s move on from Porter to Morrison. No, I’m not going to talk about the rumours that he’s left Jen and the girls and started a relationship with his personal photographer. I’m more interested in his stance on China.
Before we go any further, I’d like to state for the record that China does have a poor record on human rights, but if we’re going to let detentions without charges, secret trials, government secrecy and unaccountable officials stop us trading with them, we won’t be trading with anyone… particularly if other countries apply the same standards to us. We’ve allowed China to become a very important trading partner in spite of all these things, so if we’re going to start a public bellowing competition, we should be prepared for them to remind us that they really don’t need most of the things we sell them.
So, when Scott Morrison demanded the investigation into the origins of Covid-19 did he really think that Australia was important enough to influence world opinion? I mean, when it comes to climate change, we’re too insignificant to have any impact, so why stick your head up over this one?
And did he think that China wouldn’t take the proposed legislation which would allow the federal government to cancel contracts without giving a reason, personally? Particularly after all the accusations that Chairman Dan would be beholden to the CCP.
So when you start a fight with the biggest guy in the room, the first question you should is ask is what will you do when he starts hitting back. Yes, you can complain that he’s being a bully and that you want an apology because it’s just not right when he starts saying things about you. But what’s your plan when he doubles down and starts saying things about your mother? Do you shout louder and hope that what hasn’t worked in the previous five minutes suddenly works? Do you suggest that he has no right to speak about your family when his is far worse?
Exactly what is Morrison’s plan? To keep China’s embargo going so that when we slip back into recession it’ll be the fault of China this time, so that any economic downturn can’t be blamed on the Liberals?
Or is he just incapable of thinking about anything but how it plays in the electorate and whether he’ll be able to get a good photo opportunity out it?
Whatever, he’s upsetting a lot of the traditional Liberal base because they can’t sell to China at the moment. More importantly, there are shiploads of coal not getting through. If our PM’s actions are hampering the sale of coal, how many days past Christmas can he last?
Yep, I suspect the Hawaiian holiday may be cut short again…
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