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The three amigos finally bite the dust

Donald Trump

Donald Trump came into politics as an active player in 2016. He transformed every aspect of American life, and if that nation was headed toward disaster before, it is now there.

Trump’s chaotic and dishonest take on governance has infected the body politic, and the country is virtually ungovernable. Trump has not only allowed the rise of the next generation of nihilistic Republican leaders, he has legitimised stupidity, misogyny and religious extremism.

The country is now a legitimate candidate for third world status. It has a legislature which makes it nearly impossible to actually pass legislation. It has a Supreme Court, dutifully stacked by Trump with religious far-right conservatives, which is working towards throwing the country back toward becoming a theocracy. Gilead beckons.

They are now taking a literalist approach to its constitution, an outdated document which enshrines the views of an all-white, patriarchal cabal of slave owners and men of their time, with all their entrenched prejudices and unintended consequences being re-invigorated.

If this document continues to be read as if it was “sacred writ” then it can never be amended. Critics and those who question it are in peril of being named, and punished, as heretics; such is its power over the imaginations of the current Republicans.

The Supreme Court has recently reversed Roe v Wade, effectively criminalising abortion in many states. It has also further undermined American efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, which, owing to their status as a huge emitter, puts the planet’s health at risk of irremediable damage.

The court has plans to roll back many other measures meant to protect rights as diverse as same sex marriage, voting rights, equal opportunity. The list goes on, and may well prove to be the unravelling of American democracy.

So Trump, although out of power, and possibly facing criminal charges for his role in the January 6 uprising, continues to wreck his country’s future viability. He has divided the country with his deranged lies.

Scott Morrison

An unknown man who rose to power, almost unnoticed. A man who took the party of Menzies and made it his own. He almost captured Australia, and if he had not lost the 2022 election, the country was on track to rush down the American path.

He relished the company of Trump, and embodied many of the worst aspects of American populism. His entire political playbook was apparently lifted from the Republicans.

Although adjusted for Australian conditions, he believed in small government, low taxes for the rich, removal of regulations, punishment for those on welfare, disdain for the working poor, cronyism and jobs for ‘mates’. His stacking of the AAT must rival Trump’s work on the Supreme Court. He ignored women, and subsequently lost their votes

Morrison had no policies. He was a shallow religious zealot, with no creativity, no vision, and no care for Australia. He embodied the world-view of his religion, with all the viciousness of its ‘prosperity gospel’. His disregard for the environment, and especially the climate crisis convinced many that he believed in the end of the world, so why bother? The apocalypse was nigh.

The overwhelming feeling in Australia has been one of relief. We had no antidote for his smirking insolence, his lazy contempt for accountability, and he is now known as a serial liar, and a man who used the government’s budget for his own political purposes.

Many Christians struggled with his government’s cruel policies, towards whistleblowers, refugees, women, indigenous people, the aged and the disabled, even welfare recipients.

He trashed our international reputation wherever he went. An enduring image remains of Morrison standing alone at Glasgow for the COP26 meeting, studying his phone as the other world leaders stood in companionable groups.

His cabinet was filled with nonentities and toadies. Not one minister ever fought the good fight, over policy or principle. Many perfected the same teflon-coated approach to truth that Morrison practised so well.

It has been illuminating to see their shallow responses to a real government, with a real leader, with real policies. Not one has shown the capacity to provide a credible opposition, because lazy Morrison did all their ‘work’ for them.

The Albanese Government will spend years undoing the damage caused by the Morrison reign. Hopefully the Australian voter now knows how to spot a charlatan, and will take evasive action should another one pop up for election.

Boris Johnson

It is always amazing to read the press in countries which have reasonable defamation laws. Just this week we have seen Boris described as the “greased piglet”, the “Convict” and the “liar”.

He has shown himself as being as utterly shameless as his confederates in the ‘three amigos’. A self-interested liar, a chancer, a person who shamelessly hawked his government to wealthy donors.

His private life should have been a warning as to how he would perform in the ‘big chair’, but as the British have been heard to say, “I like Boris, he makes me laugh”. He doesn’t even know how many children he has fathered.

He had a set of rules for the plebs, and one for himself and his Conservative confreres. He took Britain back to the inequality of the 1960s, but not the glamour. Sadly this might be one reason why he failed so miserably during the Covid-19 pandemic. He ignored medical advice.

He made Great Britain into ‘little Britain’, by taking the country out of Europe. He fed the fantasy that Britain could return to past glories, while failing to realise that history has passed on, leaving plucky little countries like the U.K. alone, and searching for relevance.

His desperate use of the tactics of the discarded Morrison government’s refugee policy is the last gasp in a desperate search for a political solution to a moral question. Sending refugees to Rwanda sounds like an idea from a toddler, and a confused one at that.

Study the moral position of these three men. Populists, cynics, snobs, liars, opportunists, misogynists. In these most difficult of times, perhaps there is hope in the fact that the people are throwing out such obvious phonies, and voting for a bit of moral rectitude and honesty.

Imposing journalistic standards of truth-telling onto media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and his ilk, who seem to wallow in the strife they unleash on the societies which they pretend to uphold, would be a good start in improving the outlook for all of us.  

The three amigos have finally bitten the dust, and we can only hope that Russia, Brazil, Hungary, Poland and all the other nations still led by moral pygmies follow suit. We need good leaders to negotiate the next few difficult years in this planet’s existence.

 

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34 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    I and others have commented on this recently. Good riddance to horrible rubbish, political perverts, barely defined as normal or sane. But the world crawls on and Ukraine remains a sore issue from every angle. An article by Cameron Leckie in Pearls and Wisdom’s site should be sought out and considered by all who comment. Australia must cease slow and complacent orthodoxy and embrace a future of heavy restructuring. This ALP government is severely burdened with corrections, restorations, repair. But we must recognise the need for better independent thinking in military, resource, social, trade, political, commercial terms with climate, disaster, industrial attitudes and relations all deserving greater and more urgent attention. Lismore and Nth Coast problems suggest we are too slow, confused, overburdened, underprepared. Somehow we must do better, quicker.

  2. Phil Lohrey

    A great philosophical take on an era for backward-looking English-speaking democracies.

    One over-arching common factor has to be called out:-

    The Murdoch power, which enthroned these three men of the tabloids. The amigos were popularised, lauded, covered, and finally defended by the Murdoch power behind the power.

    Democracy will not be safe until the narrative that installed the amigos is called out and the un-elected Murdochs made accountable.

  3. Andrew Smith

    All three are symptoms of hollowed out &/or owned parties, institutions etc., while being supported and used by libertarian Koch &/or nativist Tanton networks of influence, with PR media comms by Murdoch et al.

  4. New England Cocky

    Australia and the Anglophone world could take a leaf out of the Fiji play book and remove the licences of all Murdoch publications and television services until they can prove that the editorial intent of every edition of their publications is made in the best interests of Australian taxpayers. Then apply the three strikes rule and ban News Ltd from holding any media assets at the concluison of their current licences.

    Long may Boofhead Duddo be called the Leader for Life of the Liarbral Party because nothing willsave the Liarbral Party from their corrupt political practices and inept toadie political candidates.

  5. Harry Lime

    When you look around at the state of this little blue planet,politically,physically, and spiritually (,in a humanistic sense),It’s hard not to feel humanity is on the brink of an unstoppable catastrophe.All the age old traits that have characterised us as a species,power,greed, etc, have been enabled and boosted,by those whose desire to wallow in gross materiality and inflict suffering on those of us they consider sub human.To be milked,bled and manipulated,exemplified nicely by those three morally rotten individuals.Of course, the bastard Murdoch deserves special mention..his demise cannot be too soon.Having just re read SAPIENS.A Brief History of .Humankind,by Yuval Noah Harari ( a brilliant book),hasn’t improved my outlook.

  6. Spindoctor

    The common denominator uniting Boris, Scott and Trump remains the scum stain on society of Murdoch and conservative lying, racist, domestic terrorism fomenting media. That propaganda apparatus remains diminished but also as yet unaccountable. That Fox is being sued for a billion is cause for joy but remains small change to the profits his empire makes and the risk of him facing personal or other penalties remains small in the US where the dollar is king. Boris survived because of the Uk media Tory protection racket dominated also by Murdoch and tax haven oligarths who ensure London remains a money laundering capital. There is no return to balanced journalism expected in UK Tabloids so the Tories remain the same incompetent self enriching vested interest backed blot on society. Labors win here, one would have thought, would have seen the Murdoch rags end their bias, bile and hate, but it is more of the same puerile anti labor and anyone centrist crap spouted by lib cronies. That the Looters N Plunderers were tossed is thanks to public disgust and aggressive social media who outed safe seat future PM and cabinet liberals. The three stooges have gone but their enabling billionaire backers remain serious challenges to democracy, which must be countered through ongoing world wide boycotts of their products and services, or more of the same fundamentalist racist backed ruthless conmen will take their place.

  7. Mark Buckley

    Reading the comments I realise that I don’t mention Murdoch and his media. That is because I don’t subscribe to any of it, and so I must admit I miss their influence. I am aware of the Sky News guys, but again I flick it on for a second or two, and turn off. I think it is time I took one for the team, and watched Rowan Dean(?) for an hour. That should bring me up to speed.
    Andrew Smith, I deleted a section on the Koch boys, because I thought it was too boring, but on reflection, the three amigos got their riding instructions from someone – it was probably broken down into mono syllables for the trio, so they could understand them.

  8. paul walter

    It will take a long time, if ever, to repair the damage done by these, also Abbott, Murdoch et al.

    Speaking of laughable, here is some stuff from Amanda Meade, the Guardian meeja columnist.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/jul/08/independence-day-labor-vows-to-end-abc-board-stacking-and-ministerial-interventions.

    PS, what goes round comes round, with ABC tabloid host Sara Ferguson caught neatly on a vicious slant by NZ PM Ardern last night. No wonder the Australian public’s brains have been rotted.

  9. leefe

    “If this document continues to be read as if it was “sacred writ” then it can never be amended … ” … apart from the (so far) 27 ratified amendments …

    All empires destroy themselves from within. The USA is currently doing that in spectacular fashion.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Mark, we were in the UK not long after the Brexit vote.

    From what people told us, polling had shown that the No vote looked the winner, but then something vile occurred that turned it all around: the Murdoch media played the race card, and in a big way. Big enough to ensure that the Yes vote would get the nod.

  11. Andrew J. Smith

    Kochs maybe ‘boring’ but their Heritage Foundation (Abbott has presented) website and related network is a predictor of the types of policies seen in the ‘Anglosphere’ of UK and Oz, including the big one, how to deny then delay action on climate (plus Covid science); Murdochs’ and media role is to simply dominate, promote and amplify the agitprop and/or preferred policies, but they neither develop nor write it.

    The Koch influence was all over Brexit via Tufton St. London e.g. IEA (= IPA); described as transAtlantic radical right libertarian coup due to antipathy, shared with Putin, towards the EU and regulation (supported by The New European, ByLine Times & Open Democracy UK); Tanton dog whistling used by Leavers on refugees, immigrants etc. that actually got it over the line.

    The ‘owned’ GOP, Tories and LNP do not develop independent policies anymore, but are hollowed out delivery systems where they import or are obliged to take on board fossil fueled Koch network think tank policies e.g. IPA, this is often also followed by Labor for fear of being wedged (via Murdoch media); who or where in Australia are any original, grounded and long term policies being developed by political parties?

    Can you explain the ‘coincidence’ when both UK Tories and Oz LNP floated ‘Voter ID’ simultaneously in 2021; Koch ‘bill mill’ ALEC has successfully promoted the same for ever to the GOP and now further, to suppress non conservative and/or black votes and environmental policies.

    This is an issue for Oz media (surely ‘medium’?) which does not look beyond our borders ex. the UK and US, so Oz citizens are in a bubble with our media helping to insularise us from the outside world, hence, Australians are largely uninformed of the outside world, and even Australia itself (ex., sport, property, entertainment etc.).

    However, many in the US and UK are now aware of this influence or ‘long game’ as outlined by Jane Mayer (‘Dark Money’) and Nancy MacLean (‘Democracy in Chains’), including adopting Evangelical Christians as a voter block, promoting anti-abortion laws and now controlling SCOTUS (thanks Koch linked Federalist Society); there is very clear architecture of influence that can be proven (they really went after Mayer almost a decade ago…).

  12. Michael Taylor

    Andrew, the American mid-term elections are in November and I just heard the bewildering news that the Democrats are trailing in the polls.

    Before we can have a true democracy we need to nullify Murdoch.

  13. Glenn K

    and voters need to take a big share of the responsibility for this triple shitshow. it is not enough to say “i don’t follow politics, or they are all the same”. it’s a cop-out and it’s ignorance. it is a responsibilty as a member of society to be aware and be informed. to actually give a shit about the things that affect your life.

  14. Mike J

    I have read in several US news journals that the pundits are predicting that the next targets after the Roe V Wade decision by SCOTUS will be things like banning contraception. It is a crazy enough idea that I suppose it could happen. I wonder if that will include the banning of vasectomies and enforcing the reversal of those who have already had one? It is sufficiently crazy/stupid enough to be considered by these religious RWNJs that I would not be in the least surprised. But then it is not misogynistic enough in some degree that it might not be allowed to be considered.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Mike, I’ve been hearing the same things. But it gets even worse: I heard talk that if you have a miscarriage you could be up for murder charges in some of the red states.

    I cannot comprehend why this would even be considered.

  16. A Commentator

    We’re far too concerned about the daily twists and turns of domestic politics of the US and UK
    The spread of autocratic regimes,the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, the risk of Russia using nuclear weapons are issues of far more consequence

  17. Michael Taylor

    AC, as for the latter, we’ve published numerous articles since 2017 that echo your concerns. Just type “Putin” in the search bar and they’ll pop up.

    Without doubt, most here see Putin as an evil, murderous thug. His threats to use nuclear weapons is not something to be taken lightly. If anyone were to cause a nuclear war it is that crazed madman in Moscow.

    In the meantime, Boris is resigning and it is one of the many events that are very topical. Hence we are writing about it.

  18. A Commentator

    Yes, that’s how rational people see Putin.
    My comment wasn’t singularly directed to this site.
    It’s a general observation.
    I think Putin and other autocrats rely on our short attention span to maintain their brutality.
    I also think it’s a form of cultural cringe/insular thinking that we become so focused on the domestic politics of a couple of other English speaking nations.
    Most people are probably more up to date with daily US politics than they are with the issues involving the state next to them

  19. Michael Taylor

    Yes, the world is more a global village these days, and we are all part of it.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Cripes! Did I just agree with you!?

    A mere faux pas.

  21. Mark Buckley

    I would have thought that an article about the 3 ex-leaders is relevant, because that is what the article is about. It is just a great time to write about them because Johnson has been the last pin to fall. The parallels between the 3 are quite stunning. Many times, especially when reading the Guardian, one could easily substitute Boris’ name for Morrison’s, and it would still make perfect sense. The lying, the shamelessness, the being above the law, the shallowness …
    One of my main interests when I studied history was WW2, and Hitler. Putin retains control mainly because he has total control of the media, and he has spent time building a sophisticated and ruthless enforcement apparatus. He reminds me of Hitler. An interesting book, Alan Bullock’s Parallel Lives, compares Stalin and Hitler, and their regimes. I just think Putin has carried on the tradition.
    As to whether we are interested in the U.S. why not? It is the modern Rome, and thus the biggest game in town.

  22. A Commentator

    MT, you must be wrong if you’ve agreed with me!

    Mark Buckley, I think it is entirely appropriate to talk about the role of the US in foreign relations, and I happily participate in those discussions.
    What I find odd is our focus on US domestic politics.
    We’ve lost the plot when one of their domestic issues displaces hugely significant international issues in public consciousness
    As I said, it’s a version of the cultural cringe

  23. Michael Taylor

    Mark,

    No matter what you do or say AC will always find fault.

    He’s like a primary school teacher I had on Kangaroo Island. Said teacher asked us to write down what we knew about nuclear fission.

    I wrote down four words.

    He failed me.

    I argued that I was 100% correct as he’d asked us to write down what we knew. I did exactly that. My answer of four words was the total sum of what I knew.

    AC is definitely related to that teacher, though clearly less intelligent.

  24. Canguro

    Michael, have I been banned?

    Twice tried reply to a Wam question on Airbus Albo thread, both times post failed to post.

    Or is it the use of Ukrainian Cyrillic in the post?

  25. Michael Taylor

    Definitely not banned. Never.

    I’ll have a look out back now.

  26. Michael Taylor

    Found them.

    They were in the spam folder. As many of the spammers come from Eastern Europe the system mistook you as a spammer.

    I’ve taken one out of spam and it appears above.

    I apologise for the inconvenience.

  27. Canguro

    Many thanks Michael, it’s appreciated.

  28. Michael Taylor

    Canguro, I have thought of a trick to beat the system.

    If there is any Eastern European writing in your comment, just write in the English words first and press “Post Comment”.

    Then click on “edit” and add the Eastern European words and click “update”.

    There’s a 15-minute window to edit comments, but you’d be able to get it done in only a few seconds.

    Yes, I’m a genius. 😁

  29. Canguro

    Gotta love this website… my portal to the world of enjoyable and intelligent conversation. Thanks again, amigo.

  30. Socrates.

    The writer is relieved to discover that Canguro’s comments are not spam.

  31. Michael Taylor

    Fun fact: To date our system has caught 1,117,768 spam comments.

  32. Socrates.

    Hasnt stopped AC.

  33. wam

    michael if people get bounced they can change their vote. The timing is when reality and common sense hasn’t time to return.
    WoMD, children overboard, debt lies and new PM with form both sides accepts (how wrong were the twits who thought the copperman was worthy) and screeching set of harridans. All won elections in Australia.
    The brexit had the slogan in the title and the question was flawed.
    https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/elections-and-referendums/past-elections-and-referendums/eu-referendum/testing-eu-referendum-question
    and the media screamed how much membership cost, how it overruled english laws and how it allowed poles to take jobs and the clincher ‘refugees’ all headlined in the last days.
    Even with that of the 72% of eligible voters who voted, 48.11% voted to not brexit.
    (we had a vote of 79% to same sex marriage referendum.)

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