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Week three – what’s up?

Let’s start with the environment and the issues which we supposedly put at the top of our agendas. As a side note, Anthony Albanese caught Covid-19, so he is on the side-lines for at least a week. That would be the pandemic which we have apparently dodged, as thousands die every month.

Labor’s team has performed well, but circumstances have left the LNP exposed. Matt Canavan, inflation figures, News Corp’s bias, Malcolm Turnbull, the Teal Independents, Katherine Deves; lots going on. Peter Dutton’s comment that to preserve peace, we must prepare for war might be the quote of the year.

Climate Action

The floods began in Queensland in 2021, and they persisted. They then crossed the border, but continued to re-visit Queensland, and are about to soak Far North Queensland again. La Nina is expected to peter out soon, but the damage has been done.

Once we were able to write off such happenings as Mother Nature flexing her muscles. Not anymore. We know the reason why the floods are a metre or so higher than the last one – climate change.

Northern New South Wales has never recovered from the first round of floods, and the situation remains hazardous. Some areas have only had a month between drenchings, and every time it rains the residents fear the worst.

A fair go, for whom?

The situation in Lismore and the surrounding areas was doubly hurtful to the residents, and their families and friends, when it was discovered that the Federal Government had passed responsibility onto the states, and was even playing politics with the level of financial assistance available to those worst affected.

If you need evidence of Morrison’s innate stupidity when it comes to the issue of fairness, look no further. If you were in a Coalition seat you were entitled to three times the assistance available to those in Labor seats. He actually thought no-one would notice, until the entire country did.

Once upon a time, in a fairer and better Australia, such naked and shameless favouritism would have been exposed by every media outlet, and the guilty party would have been totally shamed and disgraced, and driven from office.

There are no empty houses or flats to rent, so many are forced to sleep on couches, or in their vehicles. At one pathetic but revealing moment Morrison announced that the government could not be relied on to help in every natural disaster.

Of course we know that governments are not all powerful. But we also know that this government has been found to have wasted billions of dollars on trifles – cancelling submarine contracts, overpaying companies who unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of JobKeeper, subsidies to fossil fuel corporations.

Private schools received an extra $10bn funding in Coalition ‘special deals’, study finds. Public schools underfunded by at least $6.5bn a year. Of course it looks like Morrison will sail through all of these, unscathed. But there is a change in the air, at this stage of the campaign.

When the Nationals’ Matt Canavan called the government’s ‘agreed position’ on Net Zero by 2050 dead in the water, he renewed the climate wars. Morrison hit him with a wet lettuce leaf, and effectively abandoned his so-called “Moderate Liberals” to the Teal Independents.

The transphobia outbreak

The “Teal Independents” as they are known are challenging in several inner urban Liberal seats. The LNP has flip-flopped between accusing them of being Labor stooges, and agents of parliamentary chaos. They are neither.

They have been drawn into a loose confederation by Simon Holmes A’ Court, whose Climate 200 has partially funded their endeavours. Their motivation appears to be action on Climate Change, and equally importantly, a National Integrity Commission.

Morrison has personally chosen a candidate, Katherine Deves, to contest Warringah, a New South Wales seat. His ‘captain’s pick’ appears to be a raging transphobe, and many see Morrison’s sticking with her candidacy as a backdoor effort to win seats in the regions and outer suburban areas, at the cost of losing several of his inner urban seats.

The conspiracy theorists believe it is Morrison’s plan to divest himself of the last remaining vestiges of John Howard’s broad church, because the Modern Liberals are the last of the ‘wets’. After the election, the Liberal Party will be stacked with far-right religious zealots, and whether in government or opposition, Morrison will be more ‘at home’.

Cost of living pressures

The inflation figures came out and they were a shock. Annually the figure was 5.1%, which is an easy number to remember. I am sure Albanese will be all over it.

Footage emerged of Matthias Cormann claiming that “low wages” were a part of the government’s “economic architecture”. So the gap between wages and inflation was not something the LNP could abandon. It is essentially the price they pay for neo-liberalism, and its assorted evils.



The government sent $250 to every welfare recipient and pensioner today. On Twitter it is a popular meme, where the homeless and the destitute will be ‘saved’ by such generosity. Note that it is less than the ‘bribe’ Albanese was accused of offering, to drive faster take up of vaccinations. It is also less than the daily travel allowance paid to MPs who go to work in Canberra. That is $288 per day, paid on top of their salaries.

Bring on the election, I say.


Mark Buckley is a writer based in regional Victoria. He has a particular interest in politics, history and ethics in public life. He blogs at www.askbucko.com.




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  1. New England Cocky

    iT’S TIME!! ….. AGAIN!!


  2. Kerri

    Now if Albo were to review politicians travel/accommodation allowances in order to avoid raising taxes …..
    Who would argue?

  3. Terence Mills

    During Albo’s absence we saw a refreshing side of modern Labor this week with the likes of Jim Chalmers, Katy Gallagher, Penny Wong, Jason Clare and others coming to the fore. It is a shame that Tanya Plibersek isn’t doing more and I don’t understand this.

    These people could help win the election for Labor but I’m not so sure about Albo.

    Dutton is turning into the coalition’s joker with his failed scare campaign on preparation for war (with anybody !) :

    Dads army

  4. wam

    dutton and marles were good on ‘boats’ the straws are there to be clutched. Keep on debt, economy and rorts, Albo.
    ps It is not often I disagree with kaye but torpid tanya and little billy have too much 2013-2019 in them to be useful in 2022. She is hopefully a future PM but not yet..

  5. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think Tanya Plibersek is carrying any baggage and I think she was the only one who showed any courage and conviction after the 2019 election.

    “Our policy agenda was big. It was bold. And I think perhaps we didn’t have enough time to explain all of the benefits of it to the people who would benefit,” Plibersek said.

    “I think genuinely, if every pensioner and seniors health care card-holder knew about pensioner dental, they would have voted for it.

    “I think if every family who was going to benefit from free or cheaper childcare knew about it, they would have voted for it. I think if every working person who thought they were going to get their penalty rates restored or get a pay rise under Labor knew about that, they would have voted for it.

    “But when you’ve got such a large agenda, it’s sometimes hard to explain all of the details to all of the people who benefit.”

    Tanya can focus messages like that. Albanese talks too much about himself and he rambles. His manner of speaking is distracting because he puts gaps in the wrong places in sentences. Anyway….now is not the time for that. But to sideline Plibersek is a VERY big mistake. She’s a better performer than the boys at the top.


  6. GL

    Jeez, Scummo just keeps getting scummier and lower day by day, ““We can’t just make nurses fall out of the sky,””


    Pretending to be cultured (gag, choke) and sniffing scotch like what a connysewer does is more betterer.


    Effing wanker!

  7. wam

    kaye her efforts in government showed her ability as a great labor operator and I think Australia will be a better place when she becomes PM.
    I am in total agreement with your post as to her ‘after’ the 2019 election words(why not before or better still not give the policy till after the election?). My query is her 2013-19 effort, with her choice as leader, shorten.
    If she had stuck with the grass roots choice, labor may have won, 16 or 19.
    But if Albo had lost, she could have been the leader.

  8. Kaye Lee

    I think she cares more about the country and Labor winning than she does about herself….unlike the bevy of boys who all think they do a better job. She handles interviews well too….none of “today’s phrase” which the boys seem to think is a great idea. Perhaps I’m not a good audience but the slogans infuriate me.

  9. New England Cocky

    @wam: I am a Plibersek fan and IMHO the Labor election team have stuffed up badly. It would appear that misogyny is not limited to the Nazional$ boys club but has spread across the aisle to prevent Maxine McKew, a well-liked profesion journalist, form becoming Labor spokesperson after the 201o election win evicting Little Johnnie Hoard from his comfortable Bennelong sinecure.

    Agreed Plibersek will make an excellent Prime Minister ….. if the LABOR boys club base leadership on merit rather than gender.


  10. corvusboreus

    Last time Morgan got around to conducting a poll on preferred coalition & ALP leaders (2016):
    Julie Bishop was the preffered option for coalition leader,
    whilst Tanya Plibersek remained popular favourite to head the ALP.

    Of course, the swinging dicks within both parties united to cock-block any moves to elevate these uppity shielas, and our 2022 presidential campaign is once again a braying contest between 2 loud ladz in grey suits (the evil of two lessers).

    Undoubtedly that is a factor, but I also suspect the parties are also deliberately spurning electoral wishes as a strategic ploy to further entrench political indifference & disengagement within the electorate.
    Much easier to get away with consistently piss-poor performance when your captive audience is too jaded to give a shit about the state of play.


  11. Albos Elbow

    In the latest Morgan Poll, the COAL-NP gained a small 0.5% points, on a two-party preferred basis, during the second week of the campaign, but are still well behind the ALP 54.5% over COAL-NP 45.5%.
    Polling is going well for the ALP with women and in most states, Frydenberg could lose his seat to the independent.
    Overall COAL-NP are set to lose a number of seats in WA, SA and Vic if the trend is maintained on election day.

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