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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