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The Morrison Government is bad, but is it that people don’t care anymore?

Prior to the last election I was of the view that the good folk of Australia had their cricket bats at the ready preparing to hook the LNP for six over square leg. And given their performance so far in their third term you would think I would be entitled to feel the same way again.

The latest NewsPoll shows the LNP leading Labor 51-49. Not much in it, you might say, and given at this stage of the cycle, polling can only ever tell you what people are thinking at the time might I suggest another close call.

The Prime Minister enjoys a lead as preferred prime minister of 56-26 over Anthony Albanese. It seems that no matter how many stuff ups the government makes they can do no wrong.

The NewsPoll doesn’t reflect the truth of what is actually taking place. The truth is that Morrison and his government are performing just as appallingly as they did when Tony Abbot won government.

You don’t believe me? Well, let me see if I can make a case. Currently, I am inclined to the view that there are those, in the majority, who think that things are so bad that they have given up caring.

They would rather stick with the devil they know than the one they don’t. Otherwise you would think NewsPoll would reflect their dissatisfaction.

Conversely, the poll tells us that a majority of voters at this time are happy with the way they are being governed and if an election were held today the LNP would probably win.

Or if you’re an optimist you might say that 51/49 Morrison’s performance “hasn’t shifted anyone’s votes.”

Sure there is a sizeable proportion of the population who protest the government’s incompetence but under the circumstances, given all the governments ineffectiveness, one would expect the opposition to hold, at the very least, a 3 point lead over the government.

Let’s take a look at some performance examples before analysing why this is so.

1 The Guardian reports that:

Only one of the six commissioners (former Union man Greg Combet) on Scott Morrison’s COVID-19 commission has volunteered to release their conflicts of interest agreements, prompting calls for greater transparency from the publicly funded body.

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) is a prominent advisory body put together by Morrison to shape non-health aspects of Australia’s COVID-19 strategy. Most are ex mining executives.

2 In Parliament last Wednesday Brendan O’Connor – the Shadow Industry Minister – revealed that, “prior to the last election, the Coalition had awarded 97 per cent of first-round funding for the Export Hubs Initiative to Liberal or National seats.” Another sports rorts affair, perhaps?

Despite a sordid whiff of sleaze and corruption hanging over it the government has all but admitted that it has no intention of introducing legislation for a Federal Integrity commission. Mark Dreyfus for the ALP said in a statement:

“The truth is that the Morrison government is trying to delay this debate for as long as possible because it does not want a national integrity commission.”

The government also gave every indication that it will be sticking to its six-month timetable for the withdrawal of Job Keeper, and all signs suggest there is “zero appetite for the scheme to be extended.”

3 Following on from #BlackLivesMatter the Prime Minister rather stupidly said; “there was no slavery in Australia.”

He was of course wrong. It is a case of the way middle-aged white men think on the subject. Howard was the same. Morrison needs to take a course in Australian history.

The fact is that “Australia still turns a blind eye to Aboriginal people dying in police custody.” (More on that later). As for any inclusion in the constitution you can forget it. The remnant of racism still resides in the houses of the haves.

Never allow racism to disguise itself in the cloak of nationalism.

4 Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is expressing his usual “inequality” views saying that those attending the demonstrations that are on Newstart might have their payments taken away.

“Finance Minister Mathias Cormann threatens to pull welfare payments to punish protesters,” the headline read.

Surely in a democracy such as ours your right to protest shouldn’t be dependant upon where you derive your income so long as it is legal.

5 Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has also announced that the government plans to return to the mutual obligation system which forces unemployed people receiving benefits to show proof of their job seeking efforts to continue receiving their payments.

In other words, applying for jobs that simply don’t exist. Then they will argue that the jobs are there but the unemployed aren’t trying hard enough.

Not trying to be funny but there are tens of thousands of jobs in renewable energy. Why not invest in that Scotty.

12 pm Thursday 18 June the PM announces the latest unemployment figures.

  • Unemployment reaches a 19-year high in May after loss of 227,000 jobs
  • 835,000 have lost their jobs he didn’t dispute it when a journalist suggested a jobless rate of 11% was nearer the mark.
  • 1 in 5 Australians are looking for work or wanting more work and it will get worse.
  • Youth unemployment figure comes in at 16%.

Do you have confidence in a party who continuously denied the existence of the Global Financial Crisis to address this disaster?

6 The Attorney General has admitted that the Robodebt scheme was illegal and “plans to refund victims – now 460,000 debts at a cost of $720m – would only include those targeted after 2015.”

This has proven to be extremely embarrassing for the government. And very costly.

7 From The Sydney Morning Herald:

“Energy Minister Angus Taylor will fast-track changes to a $2 billion climate fund as he rejects furious criticism of a new plan to spend its cash on carbon capture and storage projects.

Mr Taylor called on the government’s critics to give up their “ideology” in opposing the controversial projects and said he would consider putting changes to the Parliament to overcome their objections.”

Corruption at its very worst.

8 Talking about corruption, both Sports Rorts and Branch Stackers prove beyond doubt that now more than ever we need an independent federal corruption watchdog:

“Then the “sports rorts” affair highlighted the government’s fast and loose approach to spending taxpayer money to win an election.”

The media has hammered Labor mercilessly over the member stacking scandal but not a word about how refreshing it is to witness a party taking action when it finds rotten apples in its team. It takes a strong leader with integrity to do it.

9 Anyone who says that racism isn’t alive and well in Australia is kidding themselves. It has taken a flood of 24/7 coverage of the death of an African American to highlight the fact. Our government turns a blind eye to it but one cannot deny that Aboriginal people are the most incarcerated race of people on the planet.

Not to mention the asylum seekers who have been detained on Manus and Nauru for almost 7 years having never committed a crime.

We are racist despite being told by the government that we are the most wonderful country on earth.

10 With hand on heart we like to think we are but when we bash and murder and murder our women on a regular basis we cannot, in all honesty accept the title.

11 We have a government who acted quickly on the science of a bug that turned into a pandemic, but for a decade has denied the science of climate change. People in other countries see us as simpletons in the same vain as they do the American President.

From the WWF:

“Australia faces a public health emergency with immediate economic impacts as well as longer-lasting global economic pain. Beyond the pandemic, Australian prosperity also depends on dealing with other long-term challenges, including the transition to net zero emissions.”

In our apathy we swat the flies away and reach for another stubby.

12 We cannot get our diplomacy right with China with whom our prosperity depends.

13 The stench of corruption seems to permeate its way down every corridor, into every office in Parliament House yet no doubt through the fear of being drawn into it the LNP refuse to any thought of implementation of a national corruption body.

No doubt there are some good and honourable people in our parliament but I’m ready to concede that many are just crooks.

It does make one wonder why is it that politicians are given the title “the honourable.” There is nothing honourable about illegal donations and shonky expenses claims.

No one resigns for misleading parliament anymore. It’s just another example of the declining standards of political integrity in this country.


The year just past since the election shows the government on the basis of performance has little to be excited about.

Sure, it has done a reasonable job with COVID-19 but its performance was patchy before the pandemic. We were heading for a recession with very poor economic management and record debt.

I often speculate about how much better a society we would be if people took the risk of thinking for themselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the Murdoch media and other vested interests.

We have even reached a point in our history where we are trying people in camera whereas we should be giving them medals for service to there country.

On top of that the Minister for Everything Peter Dutton risks “being jailed or fined if the home affairs minister is found to be in contempt of court for failing to comply with the law in an immigration case.”

Australians, however, don’t seem to have the stomach for voting out mediocrity let alone downright incompetence. The opposition leader may not have the charisma of a Hawke or Whitlam, but he is fair dinkum honest politician.

The Prime Minister who got his job by cleverly manipulating others in his party is, despite his pretence of being a Christian, nothing more than a charlatan on steroids.

When one looks at the enormity of the problems confronting this government and compare them with the Coalition’s past actions we are not left with any overwhelming sense of confidence.

My thought for the day

I found it impossible to imagine that the Australian people could be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two and has amongst its members some of the most devious, suspicious and corrupt men and women but they did.

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  1. Jack Cade

    I am very much afraid this columns title is correct. The other day I walked past a couple of old ladies – older than me, anyway -as one said ‘I think Sco-mo’s done really well.’
    I felt a chill, that his wish for an affectionate ekename should have caught on was bad enough…

  2. john smith

    We are suffering from Scomotosis more than Covid

  3. Wayne Turner

    Ultimately the majority of the public are the problem. You mentioned,the Murdoch media.That’s what leads the gullible and ignorant of this country. Most people are incapable of critical thinking,logical thinking,and actually being truly informed.Instead they are easily brainwashed by the main stream media,that is owned by too few,more than ever eg: Nine now owning SMH.

    Case in point: This federal government failed miserably with the Ruby Princess debacle.Yet all of the MSM,has ignored/buried this.We know if this was Labor,the undemocratic MSM, would still be blaming Labor,and the gullible public would be going along with it. egs:Still mention lies about Labor’s school halls,and pink batts schemeb- Dodgy small businesses to blame,and less deaths
    under that scheme,than under similar schemes,in similar time frame under Howard..Plus,just look at the biased cherry picking 60 minutes story on a Labor person being corrupt,while ignoring all the COALition corruption from the PM down.Report constantly,and highlight all corruption.NOT just cherry pick,the one example of the party the MSM don’t like.Then again,that story wasn’t really about corruption,it was about Labor bashing,and distracting a gullible public from all the COALition’s corruption.No surprise from the network that ran a Liberal party fundraiser,and chairman is former Federal Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello – So,of course they can’t and ain’t being impartial.And that story is a clear conflict of interest.Nine and it’s newspapers,might as well be called the COALition news.

    As it goes,with how most of the public are,and how the MSM is.I can’t see how the COALition will ever get voted out. Yes,our former democracy is that stuffed.

    The Australian mediaocracy continues….

  4. Jack Cade

    I used to think that the Coalition got in by default, by gerrymandering, by media bias. So I remained hopeful that, someday soon, the whole of the electorate would see that a progressive government held in check by sensible, fair- minded independents like Wilkie, Windsor, Oakshotte, was the only way a nation could see justice and national self-respect become the norm. But now I not only believe that the Morrison government is what Australians deserve, I am almost certain that it is quite probably the government Australians want.
    The Lucky Country indeed…

  5. wam

    A good read today lord., warmed me up after the pool.
    The crux is no matter how bad these conservayives are they have the ability to make labor look a ‘badder’ proposition.
    It is no accident that smirko finds a security crisis and, after 6 years of aggressively avoiding bipartisan approaches, decides to brief albo when he is campaigning? Coincidence my arse.
    As for identifying welfare recipients and protesters from that is now easy with computer face recognition a most scary development in the hands of the conservative police. You are right racism is rife and profiling is anti Aborigines.
    Your thought?
    50% are below average and believe what they hear and see That labor is illegal stacking and too busy to take a security briefing. With no media albo needs a miracle?

  6. Silvana Rechichi

    I totally agree with the content of the article but I beg to differ on the government “doing a reasonable job with the handling of COVID-19”. It was the individual State Premiers that took swift action with Scomo resisting their mounting calls for a National response, it was them who did the heavy lifting to begin with; he was going to attend the football for heaven’s sake! Scomo and the government were eventually led “kicking and screaming” into forming a “National Cabinet” to deal with the pandemic and the announced national stimulus that followed, the effectivness of which is debatable given that a large chunck of vulnerable workers were largely ignored as if their existence on this earth did not matter.

  7. Hotspringer

    I really dislike this assertion that people “lost their job”, as if this is entirely their fault. I had a job, it was here just a minute ago, wonder what happened to it, oh bugger, I must’ve lost it.
    People lose their wallets, keys, watches, spectacles, but who is so careless as to lose one’s job?
    People are fired, dumped, once the employers can no longer make a profit out of them.

  8. crypt0

    ‘fraid you’re right, John. Too many people have stopped caring.
    When will they start caring again?
    When they find their sorry asses homeless and living on the street, and then, only for themselves.
    Someone once said, in a democracy you get the government you deserve.
    George Orwell said …
    “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and
    traitors are not victims, but accomplices.”

  9. TuffGuy

    We have too many shellbacks in this country, that is the real problem. Too many people out there have always voted for whomever and regardless of there performance will just continue to do so “because we have always voted for them”

  10. Arthur Tarry

    ‘The Morrison Govt is bad, but is it that the people don’t care anymore’ A good question JL, but did they, the people, ever care ? It would take a monumental effort to change the voting preference of the ‘rusted-on’ particularly the baby boomers who have largely prospered under the benevolence of the conservatives. In my admittedly affluent neighborhood you hear comments from baby boomers about Morrison doing a good job with not any concern about the mismanagement, overt fiddling, outright corruption and authoritarianism and abuse of privilege that are the hall-marks of recent conservative governments, and especially the Morrison lot.The outright and summary dismissal by the conservatives of the Uluru Statement from the Heart from the First Nation’s People was despicable, as is the procrastination over the Closing the Gap issues. And the gulags of Manus island and Nauru were an affront to any civilized person.Yes, Jack Cade, we have the governments we deserve and seemingly want and like so many, I suspect, I have lost faith that things will change anytime soon. I’m becoming convinced that thinking, progressive,and liberally minded people are in the vast minority in Australia. We have instead a majority who don’t care unless unforeseen events intrude into their little patch and disturb the ways things should be. In despair.

  11. wam

    The people care as much as their life allows.
    Am I the only one who thinks labor doesn’t do enough opposing to win?
    This government was at best average over the crisis but labor despite wedge should keep attacking the individuals, the fires. robert rort and robodebt, the conflicts of interest in the covid recovery commission, unemployment, domestic violence and a myriadof wrongs.
    WTF are you albo eden monaro people watch sunrise and today? Start now or wait till 2025.

  12. Carina McNaughton.

    Yes I think we will get more corruption. People are just self centred. I was shocked when federal Labour were not elected. I was naive in thinking we could have some adjustments around equality, negative gearing and franking credits but no more of the same. I am educating my 2 young boys to think for themselves. Sadly all MSM is nothing more than a liberal mouthpiece. We still like Four corners and Media Watch and I read a lot and we talk about politics. Thank you for a great thoughtful piece of journalism.

  13. Andrew J. Smith

    Unfortunately what we see in Australia has become more common elsewhere due to ageing electorates being catered to, along with much ‘gaming’ of democracy and media, by especially conservative and/or nativist politics, though probably not the cohort here at AIMN.

    From Edoardo Campanella in ‘Is Pensioner Populism Here to Stay?’:

    ‘It is often assumed that the rise of populism in Western democracies is primarily a response to economic insecurity and anger toward privileged elites. But the fact is that neither of those sentiments can be understood without also accounting for the political consequences of population ageing.

    The right-wing populism that has emerged in many Western democracies in recent years could turn out to be much more than a blip on the political landscape. Beyond the Great Recession and the migration crisis, both of which created fertile ground for populist parties, the aging of the West’s population will continue to alter political power dynamics in populists’ favor….…Most likely, a growing sense of insecurity is pushing the elderly into the populists’arms.’

    Think some of the success of right wing or conservative politicians in recent years has been their charisma, ability to ‘wedge’ and appeal to various interests or coalitions; how does Labor achieve this federally when state wise have been quite successful? A Labor leader who can cut through the media filters to not be presented as one of the urban elites, as opposed to Shorten and Albanese, and present some Hawke like charisma and mongrel?

  14. My say

    This is the most corrupt, devious ,lying , government that Australia has had to bear, I nearly chocked on my coffee , when I heard Morrison mention in parliament the words corruption and Labor ,
    There are none so blind ,than those that cannot see ,
    Wake up Australia ,take your blinkers off ,and take notice what is going on around you ,instead of listening to the BS that is being fed to you from the Murdoch Media,

  15. DrakeN

    I made comment elsewhere: “Leadership, vision and above all integrity…” are not characteristics which I would attribute to the Australian public by any measure.
    There are notable exceptions – notable mostly by their rarity.

  16. Dave G.

    I am 85 years old & lived through some appalling governments,even spent a period in N.Z. under Piggy Muldoon’s wage & price freeze, & have pondered why the punters can’t see the obvious lies & dodgy behaviour of the Liberals in this country.They exist purely to protect the wealth of their backers, the welfare of the majority of us is not in their agenda at all.Nothing will change until they are strongly voted out but regrettably I am not hopeful this going to happen in my lifetime.

  17. Gangey1959

    Until Australia’s federal parliament has an opposition (leader) with, dare I say it, “Charisma”, and the ability and willingness to go mongrel on the current mob of slime-bags, the general public will sit back in their cocoons of desperation, watch “unbelievable housewitches” or “I can sing too” or whatever else of irrelevance, and read andrew dolt and hear that loverly aj (oh isn’t he just gorgeous) until the next time voldemurdoch telss us we have to go out and put our X in the square marked “dickhead”.
    As a population where 0.1% own the 99.9%, most of us are too busy trying to work out which end of a double bladed knife to butter the toast with to have time to work out that in fact we could use a spoon.
    Old habits are very hard to shake when everyone is under the personal stress of lack of work, new shiny car, money, education, decent leisure, how to raise the kids right while giving them what little billy next door got for christmas, and even knowing who our local pollie is would leave most people scratching their heads.
    On top of that, the whole system is rigged so that weak seats are propped up or altered so that the numbers change. I’ve voted for three different labor candidates at the last three federal elections, and I haven’t moved. WTF.
    I don’t know how to change this, apart from violent revolution.Maybe, with a 20% unemployment rate (in real terms), many of whom are skilled, educated and from management positions that is where we are headed. All hands to the barricades.

    Stay safe all.

  18. Kathryn

    If there is ONE thing the tragic result of the last federal election taught me it is that you can NEVER underestimate the stupidity of Murdoch-manipulated, misinformed, self-serving, rusted-on LNP voters who go on and on, ad nauseum, voting for the callously inhumane, misogynistic, totally corrupt, undemocratic and unspeakably inept pack of right-wing extremists, irrational Hillsong cultists and bible-thumping hypocrites in the LNP! These people are cheering on a government that despises them; an undemocratic regime that will lie and stoop to any level (no matter how low or virulent) to attain and maintain their bloodstained grip on power; a regressive pack of coal-living Neanderthals who believe that the acknowledgement of climate change is a lunatic “Leftist” delusion, a government that has displayed a consistent condescending contempt for the poorest, most vulnerable members of our community; a pack of ultra-conservative alpha males who have such contempt for women they are prepared to shield, protect and even promote appalling misogynistic predators in their midst! This is a totally corrupt, arrogant and elitist regime that has NO PLANS for the future, has achieved absolutely NOTHING to benefit the lives of ordinary Australians in eight long tedious years, give scant regard for the health and well-being of working- and middle- class Australians but, rather, has no other agenda other than enriching and empowering THEMSELVES and their billionaire donors in the Top 1%.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Kathryn, brilliantly said. 10/10.

  20. Williambtm

    Excellent article, Mr. Lord. I believe one can rely on all the pissed-off females who know the Liberals are full of shizer and will stoop ever lower to maintain their grip on Australia’s purse strings.
    There are not enough intelligent males that care a dicky bird about the antics of L/NP politicians being ever hateful toward the downtrodden man on the street… As long as you have a job, who gives a stuff?
    Gone are the days of compulsory Constitutional rule, the dirtbags, spivs, and silver-tongues among the L/NP charlatans are the persons that have relegated our Constitution to some dusty spider-webbed back-office. “Gee, it’s old, goes way back to the bloody 1900s, may as well piss it off.”

    Lawyers, Corporations, Bankers, Advertising Agencies, Advisory Consultants, POLITICIANS, Insurance Wallah’s, et al. The aforementioned should be imprisoned as they happen to be the most dishonest, scheming voracious predator bastards bent on consuming their slice of the hard-earned wages dutifully won by our humankind.

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