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The weight of so much baggage

Australians in their somewhat laconic fashion voted to give arguably the worst government in its history another term in office. Little did they know that it would continue carrying its baggage around with it like lost passengers at a domestic baggage terminal.

When you take a look at the current load of baggage it is carrying you realise that nothing has changed. Their propensity for stuffing things up compares with not being able to find one’s car at the Melbourne airport and then not being able to afford the car parking.

The Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert has been running from one media studio to another trying to defend the use of Centrelink’s contentious Robodebt.

However, despite numerous errors, even a deceased person being chased for an alleged debt, they show little sympathy and they keep on doing it.

Angus Taylor, the Minister for Energy has spent another bad week searching through his luggage trying to find answers to all the questions he was asked last week. As it stands he looks as though Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has let him off the hook.

It seems a conversation with an unnamed Yass farmer (ha, ha), and not the interests of his family had prompted the minister Angus Taylor, to “request briefings from the environment department about a listing to protect native grasslands, he told parliament.”

Really, talk about the pub test. He wouldn’t pass a flight attendant’s luggage test he is so weighted down by his guilt.

Oh and don’t forget that it is Angus who has been charged with bringing our energy prices down. By the end of this term in office they will have had 9 years to do so, with no signs yet.

It has been three years since an attempt was made to bring Question Time up to date, and another attempt is being made to fix it. I’m suggesting they will come up with yet another band-aid solution because things like Dorothy Dixers wont even make the terms of reference.

Question time in the Australian Parliament is just an excuse for mediocre minds who are unable to debate with intellect, charm or wit, to act deplorably toward each other. And in doing so debase the parliament and themselves as moronic imbecilic individuals.

Then, internally at least, the Liberals are still having problems with the treatment of women.

One of the first prominent Liberal women to campaign for quotas, the former Victorian senator Judith Troeth, has urged state divisions to take action to improve the party’s culture, and says new sexual assault allegations involving staff are “absolutely deplorable”. (“Merit” isn’t working, so it’s time to introduce quotas, The Guardian).

Not to mention the utter inhumanity of refusing a rise in Newstart. It has now come to the point that the Coalition are prepared to place a surplus ahead of the welfare of the people. How many more will they put onto the streets? Sorry to say it, but we have a very sick government.

The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.

And at the risk of repeating myself, what has the government, after 6 years, got to show in terms of Aged Care. It has been known for decades that a crisis would eventuate. Sure we have an Aged care Royal Commission but there are known problems that could be attended to now. It’s as though the baggage collection wheel continuously revolves but no one wants to collect his or her baggage.

A classic example of this government’s inability to govern has to be the $5 million review into the Home Affairs portfolio.

The Senate demanded that the review, which was announced in last years budget, be produced. Peter Dutton – showing his usual disdain for criticism – refused to produce anything.

On the attack, Labor’s Home Affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said:

“This is either the single most expensive single piece of paper in the history of this chamber, or a blatant rejection of the will of the Senate by a minister who is allergic to scrutiny.

There was no single consolidated report prepared as part of the strategic review process.”

The department claimed even though $5 million had been spent on the review, Mr Dutton seems to be of the view that he is answerable to nobody.

Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politicians whose first interest was the peoples’ and not their own.

Now let’s move onto poverty,where we find the incidence of it on the increase and you can put it down to government decisions like moving people from welfare to Newstart.

A respected University of Melbourne study has found that:

“… the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (Hilda) survey, released last Tuesday, found the proportion of people living below the relative poverty line – 50% of the median income – increased in 2017, from 9.6% to 10.4%. Poverty rates also rose using the lower “anchored” measure in both 2016 and 2017.”

“A tightening of the screws” was the phrase used to describe the government’s rearrangement of the welfare system, which has seen Australians moved off higher pension benefits and on to the Newstart allowance.

Labor went into the election with the intention of addressing an unfair system whereas the Coalition always has the poor in mind when seeing that the rich and privileged are not touched.

Now let’s glance an eye towards Indigenous affairs and the Aboriginal desire for recognition in the constitution and a voice in parliament. Not unreasonable, you might say, but not that simple when you have a bunch of middle-aged white men mistily and audibly telling them to know their place.

For that reason, as much as I want it too, I believe it wont happen.

Noel Pearson – a man who knows how to call a spade a spade with the best use of words in Australia – has taken politicians and conservative media commentators like Andrew Bolt to task over what he deems as unfounded opposition to constitutional reform. “Only lies will defeat us,” said Pearson.

I don’t believe that even a voice as powerful a Pearson’s will move the racists in the government.

Whilst action on climate change has dropped off the radar – for the time being – it won’t take much to resurrect it, probably at that time the electorate realises that the government plans to do nothing. Yes, nothing. No, it won’t take much for it to resonate with voters.

It may take a disaster for our reactionary senses to reawaken the monster but it will happen.

On top of all that (above) they are still carrying the luggage from the Medevac bill and is determined to have it repealed. As it stands the government would, if the bill is defeated, have to make financial allocations to keep and maintain Christmas Island. In doing so it would blow a hole in the budget … and we all know what that means.

Other baggage still left of the conservative merry-go-round of too much baggage is the continuing saga of Josh Freydenberg’s eligibility to sit in the parliament, and if the court takes the moral high ground it took with the all the others then all sorts of possibilities arise.

Carrying so much baggage for so long is a heavy burden and it takes a certain kind of person to do so. You need to be strong, with a certain kind of religious fervour.

OMG, that reminds me that the Religious freedom review recommendations are due to be released soon and on top of that the enquiry into Crown Casino.

That’s a lot of baggage to carry for so long a journey.

My thoughts for the day

The Liberal Party has always been a party of elites and would be’s. The idea that economics and society are intertwined is abhorrent to them. Economics is the domain of the rich and privileged and society belongs to those of class and privilege.

It’s not often I agree with politicians who say the American gun problem is a mental one. The mentality of politicians certainly is.

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24 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    The Coalition has given us the three worst PMs in living memory (Billy McMahon can now RIP), consecutively. And they headed the three worst collections of thieves and liars.
    Today the Malevolence for Home Affairs criticised the AFP for bring silly enough to investigate a Murdoch journalist. And in doing so he more or less confirmed that the AFP acts under his directions. The leaking of minor details of that individual raid (rummaged through her underwear drawers) proves to my jaundiced mind that it was just a smoke screen and the ABC was the target.
    The new parliamentary term was only days old when the raids happened. I hesitate to raise the issue of 1930s Germany because that is generally held to be an admission that you’ve lost the argument, but luckily Hastie ‘threw his hand in’ and did it for me.
    Morrison has been invited to the White House to be wined and dined and presumably invited to cancel all contracts with China and put our troops on standby for an invasion of Venezuela or Iran. It worked with the Lying Rodent, and Scummo is an intellectual Pygmy by comparison. But so was GW Bush.
    I am sure Pence will convince him
    That its Gods will.
    If only we had an opposition. Right now the ALP consists of a senator with an American accent.

  2. Wam

    Wow, lord, very impressive Keneally said ‘single’ four times. It must have been on the ABC because I missed it.
    Your list is impressive as something for labor to read and learn how talkabout is the way with a new diversion every week or two till some labor twit makes a blue then whack attack and the stupid men and women on sunrise and today sensationalise and exaggerate to boost competition for ratings

    Funny I missed labor’s ‘attack’ on any of the lnp pollies who are sleazy, nasty, stupid or mendacious. Perhaps, Albo is waiting to clean up the labor boys before risking mentioning the inappropriate actions of the government boys and women on commercial TV?

    Loved your thought, lord, made sense to me. I loved the women who pointed out they have mental issues and guns but they are not in the malls and schools. There is no doubt the sale of assault weapons must stop but not for another 5 years till trump goes.
    ps
    human to human contex is still available and under used by labor to disseminate the answers to the conservative bullshit slogans and to debunk the incorrect beliefs about economic incompetence. We humans react to ridicule and ‘fuck up’ for the week could be displayed in the windows of offices and on the lips of pollies when they have opportunities.
    Albo needs to forget his nrl background and take up hawthorne’s Kennedy ‘don’t think DO’ to counteract these bullshit slogans. Every opportunity act like an opposition not a loser.

  3. Kerri

    The whole Frydenberg eligibility saga needs to be dealt with in a less emotive more factual manner.
    It really rankles me that every time his lies about his mother’s citizenship arise, the right jump up with anti-Semitic guns blazing.
    No one is saying Josh is ineligible because he is a Jew or because his mother is a Jew.
    Judaism has no place in this debate.
    The issue is whether Josh has Hungarian dual citizenship or whether he has renounced Hungarian citizenship.
    But in his anxiety to keep his role as treasurer Josh has mislead the Parliament.
    No one is above the law. Not even the treasurer, but no one in the Parliament will dare to raise the issue of his misleading the Parliament for fear of being labelled an anti-Semite.
    Like I said no one is above the law. Not even for their ancestry.
    Now watch me get criticised for being anti-Semitic for having said that?

  4. James Cook

    Great work, John. But I find it hard to agree when you say “it won’t take much for [climate change] to resonate with voters”. On the contrary, until fresh water runs out and sea water is lapping at our ankles the voters won’t give a stuff. For most of us it’s a constant work-in-progress just to make ends meet. And that’s how this mob of Criminals wants it to be!

  5. Terence Mills

    Kerri

    Spot on !

    Josh Frydenberg has brought this on himself by not producing the legal opinion on which he relies or more to the point certification from the Hungarian Embassy in Canberra.

    It can’t be that hard and to constantly claim anti-semitism is just being evasive and prolonging the doubt over his eligibility to Hungarian citizenship.

    The High Court have not been helpful in this issue, by not more clearly setting out the the criteria around dual citizenship.

  6. Jack Cade

    I am at least an agnostic (which really means ‘I don’t know’) but more likely an atheist because what I DO KNOW is that there is no God. and if there yes, it is nothing like Morrison’s God.
    But I have just been enthralled by an interview with Tim Costello on NewsRadio. Not by his religion, but by his absolute goodness and decency, good sense and honest assessment of this country and it’s politicians, in which, of course, his brother was influential. Tim’s take on poverty, social housing, loneliness, and the grip the gambling industry has on our major parties (‘the gambling industry is our NRA) was riveting for me.
    I think it was One On One.

  7. Jack Cade

    Terence Mills

    Frydenberg is a pillar of a government which deports people to New Zealand who have never lived there, seemingly on as much evidence as people who demand that HE show cause.
    The problem with Jewry is that Netanyahu has made them defensive about Israel; being anti-Netanyahu is NOT being anti-Semitic, but that is now the ‘stop the boats’ or ‘MAGA’ call that people use when talking about Israel. And the irony is that the people who use this call are the Christian Fundamentalists who hate the Jews ‘because they killed Jesus.’
    Trumps rump.

  8. David Stakes

    I wish I had his faith in the voters waking up, Electorate now is like Rip Van Winkle and will sleep along time. I can see another at least 2 terms of this gov, and the damage they will reign on the weak and poor and real Pensioners. Labor party seems to be rudderless and just waving stuff through. I hope its a long game being played here, of the enough rope. But would appreciate a bit of a roar occasionally. Most voters have turned their back on Labor and have opted for the status quo.

  9. wam

    Agree, James, senile bobby killed climate change in 2009.
    Hopefully, when the Greenland glacier melt his NZ global warming will be scary enough to deny the professional deniers the oxygen needed to sway the thoughtless. That is provided the loonie nose cutters will see the reality of ‘melting’ glaciers.

    David, I wonder if the voters have turned their back on labor and the greens? I certainly loath the slogan.

  10. Jack Cade

    Wan.
    Labor gets 32% of first preferences. That’s less than 1/3 of voters.

  11. Phil

    A lot of paragraphs John to explain what is already common knowledge.

    The government can be summed up in a couple of sentences.

    The Morrison government gives a flying fuck about the poor, the unemployed, the aged, the sick and global warming. So what’s new? Nothing, they are carrying on the fine tradition of business as usual.

    Btw this shower of shit houses has only just began to roll out what is in store for us. Next on the list is the indue card for everyone on social welfare. Medicare will soon be gone and now as we all know from the latest high court decision, free speech has not only gone but, surprise surprise, never was.

    Anyone heard the latest barrage from Farrage who is in the country? We are on the slippery slope to fascism and that is as sure as night follows day.

  12. David Bruce

    Good to see the COALition are giving equal opportunity to female MP’s in the numbers involved in Section 44 and Section 45 misleading statements and potential criminal behaviours.

  13. Ill fares the land

    And little or no mention is ever made of Angus Taylor and his role in the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (“IPFA”); which seems only to finance very large salaries and payments to at least some of Angus’s mates and seems to have achieved absolutely nothing but spending about 40% of its annual government appropriation (its only income it seems) on employee salaries and benefits. Apparently its staff talk at conferences a bit.

    We face a real dilemma in our society and our politics. We have all become absolutely convinced that we are all entitled to much more than we are getting (and that we are smarter than we really are as well). During the election campaign, Shorten was roundly lampooned by the press because when a “hi-viz” worker asked for tax cuts for his mates on $250,000pa incomes, Shorten appeared non-committal. Explain to me how a worker on $250,000 needs a tax cut?

    Well; because of the abiding growing sense of entitlement that looms like an ever-present dark cloud overhead, we will elect an incompetent and corrupt government comprising fruitcakes, backstabbers, happy-clappers, spivs, cheats, liars and touts because they promise to give us stuff and reject Labor because they are “only taking stuff away”. We are trained to respond to the dog-whistles for the Newstart recipients (we hate they get anything, and believe they deserve nothing because they are bludgers); the indigenous (apparently they choose to live in poverty and squallor and die 10 or 20 years before their Australian compatriots and get all this money they just piss up against a wall); boat refugees (they are economic migrants who are queue jumping – forgetting of course that tens of thousands come by plane, apply for holiday visas and then seek bridging visas to remain in Australia for years while their visa applications get bogged down in the AAT, in part because of … well, see above, the non-lawyer LNP flunkies appointed to the AAT). We hate to see others get so much (???????) when we get so little (???????).

    Then the massively needy Morrison surrounds himself with sycophants and flunkies, because he craves adulation and absolute power (his work history shows he does not work well with anyone to whom he is answerable). That’s even before we get to stacking the PS with more flunkies and nincompoops, but that is a bit off track for the present. I see real problems getting this LNP out of office at the next election – they are winning the “war of lies”. We are so stupid, a lie told confidently is far more likely to be believed than a truth expressed with caution.

    Our society is the “tragedy of the commons” writ large. Because we don’t bear the full cost of driving urban streets in gas-guzzling SUV’s and dual-cab “trucks”, we continue to buy them in increasing numbers (and scream if petrol prices rise). Because we don’t have to yet bear any direct cost for our wasteful consumption, including energy, we binge on everything – bigger houses, bigger TV’s bigger cars, bigger fridges that talk to the internet (and then scream when energy costs sky-rocket). When it comes to climate change, the demeted ramblings of one scientist or even one shock-jock debunking climate change drown out the thousands of respected scientists who all agree, as a result of ongoing studies, that man-made climate change is real and getting worse. We truly are getting more greedy by the day. Voting out an evil and incpompetent government? I’m not so sure.

  14. Robin Alexander

    I am82yr old widow pensioner live only on pension! Now live in fear of my government and what they have in store for elderly? Humiliating undeserved good hard working people all our lives! Workers wages but happy! Now in our final years they intend humiliating us with card introduced for people with addiction! We aged are not addicts? Undeserving of this evil card who hundreds to old to understand complexity of it! Disgrace totally! The the belief held by so called “religious” men look only after wealthy! Don’t trouble yourselves with the undeserving let’s them care for themselves a? Looks like putting it into practice soon!

  15. Denis Bright

    As a lifelong traveller, I like the bad baggage metaphors, John.

    The baggage carried by ministers with strategic and intelligence portfolios must be full of quarry stones from the Cold War and GWB’s War on Terror. Peter Dutton keeps bad company in this bloc and must be still elated by his unexpected win in Dickson.

    Others like Simon Birmingham and Josh Frydenberg are prepared to keep an open mind about the problems imposed on our economy by Trump’s trade and investment war on China. Awareness of the investment and trade multipliers is a welcome but waning insight.

    Meanwhile Scott Morrison uses his political skills to keep a semblance of peace between the factions and some of the inward looking demands of regional National Party Members and the shrill voice of the Liberal Member for Canning.

    AIM Network helps everyone to deconstruct these inconsistencies in the honeymoon phase of the Morrison Government.

  16. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    As a lifelong traveller, I like the bad baggage metaphors, John.

    The baggage carried by ministers with strategic and intelligence portfolios must be full of quarry stones from the Cold War and GWB’s War on Terror. Peter Dutton keeps bad company in this bloc and must be still elated by his unexpected win in Dickson.

    Others like Simon Birmingham and Josh Frydenberg are prepared to keep an open mind about the problems imposed on our economy by Trump’s trade and investment war on China. Awareness of the investment and trade multipliers is a welcome but waning insight.

    Meanwhile Scott Morrison uses his political skills to keep a semblance of peace between the factions and some of the inward looking demands of regional National Party Members and the shrill voice of the Liberal Member for Canning.

    AIM Network helps everyone to deconstruct these inconsistencies in the honeymoon phase of the Morrison Government.

  17. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    Very interesting article by Michael West. I just had a look at the IPFA that Taylor set up. They are running a three day course in October on the role of private sector investment in infrastructure projects. They are hosting it in Amsterdam!!!

    The more I hear about Taylor the louder the klaxons are sounding.

  18. Matters Not

    KL re the location of the Conference – Amsterdam – The Dam on the Amstel River – where ‘weed’ of many varieties is sold in the public market alongside potatoes, carrots, and whatever – while women (in windows) are readily available in the main street.

    Seems the appropriate location. Perhaps Jeffrey Epstein (if available) will do the opening? If not, maybe another with prosperity gospel qualifications? Stuart Roberts likes to preside.

  19. Zathras

    Labor may have only received 32% of first preferences but for the sake of maintaining some perspective, the swing away from the ALP to the coalition was only 1.17% – hardly a landslide.

    It was the unexpected result that surprised so many.

    There was also a 0.68% swing away from the Liberal Party and a 0.1% swing away from the Nationals but small swings to the Queensland LNP and the Country Liberals.

    It was the preferences that delivered the final result – people who voted in favour of other parties above both the ALP and the Coalition so Morrison can’t really claim he received a resounding electoral endorsement. Overall primary votes have decreased for both parties.

    Based on their current performance and the looming economic obstacles I can’t see Morrison government maintaining that position until the next election.

  20. Nigel Drake

    …and the Greens, with 10% of first preferences, got just one seat!

  21. Jack Cade

    Zathras.

    ANY swing AWAY from the ALP was an indictment of Australians rather than the ALP policies. How anybody could have considered the Coalition warranted another term is almost beyond belief. Wholesale rorting, Trumpesque lying, absolute dearth of any ideas whatsoever, and the least talented power group in Australia’s history, which is saying a lot.
    WE do not live in a Democracy anyway. A true democracy would have complete proportional representation, even giving a say to bible-bashing plonkers and people who think shooting wombats from a long distance with a high-powered rifle. Proportional representation gives a true picture of what percentage of nutters we harbour.

  22. Wayne Turner

    Along with Australia’ worst Main Stream Media in our history,and sadly most of the public are just as bad.

    Poor fellow my country 🙁

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