Most people turn away from politics over the holiday period when the subject is off the front pages of mainstream media. But it isn’t for those of us who have a closer relationship with the issues. Come late January, the opposition is usually looking for a weakness in the government to attack. Unfortunately, it has chosen to denounce the government’s proposal for a referendum giving our First Nations people a voice. That is a voice, or a guiding say in their future.
1 In all of this, l am trying to figure out who Peter Dutton is representing. Is he representing the people, or is he just a wrecker in the Tony Abbott mould? With Liberalism now finished, is he a conservative stopgap Opposition leader of the far right filling a spot until a natural leader comes along, which may take forever?
Is he, in the absence of anything to attack, now looking for points of difference and is prepared to deploy negative, racist tactics of the sort rejected so emphatically by voters at the last federal election?
Barnaby Joyce is even suggesting we don’t know the referendum question. Lies die hard.
Dutton has an extremely long history of using whatever means his dirty hands can find to send messages of hate to damage any form of reconciliation. Dirty tricks, racist policies, dog whistling and many others, and remember his punitive measures against refugees.
And if you read between the lines, Dutton intends to muddy the waters of this referendum to the extent of withdrawing support. Then Albanese will have no choice but to ditch the referendum.
The federal opposition, mainly Peter Dutton, has almost daily been asking the government for the release of more detail, knowing full well that once the referendum is passed, the parliament then passes the detail. I find it difficult to see the Opposition leader standing in front of the cameras pretending to be a paragon of virtue whilst possessing a record of cruelty unmatched by any other politician.
Albanese should ask Dutton what level of information he requires to support it. Currently, he is showing a great need for knowledge of how referendums work. As for Julian Lesser, the opposition spokesperson on this matter – he should be made to swim in his hypocrisy:
“Even for people who want to explain the voice – it is very hard to explain how it will work when the government is not providing the detail… “
Dutton is again showing us more evidence of his political DNA. It is not a pretty sight but not unexpected. The information he requires is available. Please pick up the phone or Google it.
On top of that, in constitutional law expert Anne Twomey‘s opinion, it would not be appropriate for the government to release draft legislation ahead of the vote. Who would you trust?
Dutton should think about our First Nations people, whom he treats like political trash and seemingly doesn’t see their point of view. Or he wants to play politics disregarding the main objective, which is allocating a voice for our Indigenous folk.
In a Michael West Media email newsletter, Noel Pearson summed it up like this:
“The question that will be put is do we recognise Indigenous people in the constitution, and if we say no to that then I can’t see how the future will be anything other than protest,” he said.
“The Indigenous presence in this country will forever be associated with protest rather than a proper response by the Australian people to this call for recognition and the achievement of reconciliation.”
“What is at stake is the chance for reconciliation,” he said.
“If this referendum is kiboshed through game play and a spoiling game by the opposition we will lose the opportunity, I think, forever.”
Mr Dutton should reflect on that.
2 As reported by The Poll Bludger, the Liberal Party review of election 2022 concludes that “perceived unresponsiveness to issues important to women was ‘not sufficiently and effectively addressed’.”
It also tells us that the review acknowledges the problem it has with women, rejects Labors quota system and only calls for targets. It also notes that the difficulty of “a membership becoming ever less representative of the electorate as it declines in numbers.”
The report to some degree, paints the government “as a victim of the pandemic.” It lists many problems but is short on solutions. Morrison is mentioned, but the report is primarily uncritical of him.
One can only conclude that the report was as dismal as its performance.
3 Now Liberal Party moderates want former foreign affairs minister Marise Payne to retire (firewall) “from politics soon after the NSW state election.” With the death of Jim Moylan, this would make room for two women. If indeed they have two female candidates.
4 Attorney General Mark Dreyfus continues his tireless work updating and revising many aspects of Australian law to make it fairer and more aligned with community standards. This time as reported in The Guardian after:
“… receiving a review of the Privacy Act conducted by the Attorney General’s Department, Dreyfus said in December that the former Coalition government had left it ‘out of date and not fit-for-purpose in our digital age’. Dreyfus has indicated that there would be a “whole range of … modernisations of the Privacy Act.”
5 Two former ministers will soon appear before the Robodebt Royal Commission. What exciting tales of deceit will Alan Tudge and Christian Porter have to tell?
6 Tony Abbott can’t keep his nose out of it. This time, he is said to be advising the far-right group Advance Australia, who:
“… published false information about the Voice to Parliament proposal in Facebook ads last December.”
“… the group was Founded in 2018 and backed by wealthy donors. Advance Australia has twice been found to have breached electoral laws with misleading or false political advertising.”
7 In December, Resolve Political Monitor reported what I have been spruiking for years. Eventually, the traditional rights source of votes, our older folk, would die off, and Labor’s natural constituency would come to the fore.
Well, now it has happened. According to Resolve:
“… just 21 per cent of voters aged 18 to 34 would vote for the Coalition, down from 27 per cent at the May federal election. Young people don’t want a bar of conservatives.”
Roy Morgan has support for the government at 59.5% and the LNP at 40.5%
8 As is the custom after twenty years, the cabinet papers for the year 2002 were released by the National Archives of Australia. They reveal that the government was about to send troops to Afghanistan but was strangely quiet about joining the United States-led invasion of Iraq.
The year was overwhelmingly dominated by national security, asylum seeker policy, and many matters that prevail in politics today, including climate change and Indigenous constitutional recognition. One document reads:
“The cabinet noted an oral report by the prime minister on his discussion with the president of the United States on the American position in relation to efforts by Iraq to secure and maintain weapons of mass destruction.”
In other words, they never existed, and Howard just believed President Bush’s assertion that they did.
9 I’m currently reading Nikki Savva’s account of Morrison’s style of governance. Every page of Bulldozed reveals why he was so unfit to govern. Just a motormouth with an “I know all” attitude.
My thought for the day
The real enemy of neo-conservative politics in Australia is not Labor or democratic socialism. It is simply what Australians affectionally call “a fair go.”
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