As they wander round in their high-vis vests, shearing sheep, drinking beer, kicking footballs, and joining in the factory production line, Coalition politicians keep asking us “who do you trust” as part of their determined attempt to cast Bill Shorten as untrustworthy.
As a measure of their judgement, it’s perhaps more informative to ask who do they trust.
Tony Abbott and John Howard have both expressed their admiration for convicted pedophile George Pell. Abbott described him as “a fine man…one of the greatest churchmen that Australia has seen”, a personal mentor.
He also described James Ashby as “a decent man” for whom he “had a lot of sympathy”.
Abbott described Kathy Jackson, a woman who systematically robbed the Health Services Union of hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund her lavish lifestyle, as ‘brave’ and ‘decent’, while Christopher Pyne called her a ‘revolutionary’, a ‘lion of the union movement’.
One of Abbott’s first acts was to appoint Maurice Newman as head of his Business Advisory Council. This is the man who wrote that the world was ill-prepared for a period of global cooling and that the United Nations was using debunked climate science to impose a new world order under its own control.
Tony has also described Rupert Murdoch as a “hometown hero”, comparing him to John Monash and Howard Florey.
In this bizarro world, Gina Rinehart advises on tax policy, Twiggy Forest on Indigenous disadvantage, and Noel Pearson on education. The creche for aspiring Liberal politicians, aka the IPA, regularly dictate what is to be done to make their members wealthier – the only goal worth aspiring to.
Treasury advice is ignored in favour of “independent” modelling from the Minerals Council and the Property Council.
Government departments are regularly bypassed as compliant consultants produce reports supporting Coalition policy.
Scientific bodies and climate scientists are ignored in favour of tame (or should that be lame) economists who always seem to have links to the fossil fuel industry.
If you genuinely wanted to save the Great Barrier Reef, would you give half a billion dollars to universities and the CSIRO for research and action plans or would you give it to a few business middlemen to dole out to private companies who they may or may not have connections with?
And then there are the Ministers.
Trusting mining lawyer Melissa Price with the stewardship of the environment is a cruel joke. She should be called the Minister for Approvals. She is as trustworthy as Barnaby Joyce was as Minister for Water or Tony Abbott as Minister for Women or Michaelia Cash as Minister for Attacking Unions or Malcolm Turnbull as Minister for Destroying the NBN or Mitch Fifield as Minister for Foxtel.
For some unknown reason, and despite the horror expressed by the majority of their party and the nation at large at the notion of Peter Dutton becoming PM, he is entrusted with the most power of anyone in the country – the power to singlehandedly decide the fate of people’s lives. Every evaluation of his handling of every department he has ever overseen has been damning, but on he sails as a trusted lieutenant.
How many MPs trust tax havens to increase, and hide, their wealth? As Minister Taylor would say, “Fantastic. Great move. Well done Angus”.
Look at the candidates they have trusted to represent the Coalition in the upcoming election – racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, misogyny, white supremacy, religious fundamentalism – these appear to be the traits of those who aspire to join the conservative side nowadays.
If you ask the electorate who they trust, I doubt the answer would ever be a politician.
But if politicians are the only choice, then it certainly isn’t your mob Scott.
“If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea. If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself. Maybe you can become rich, but you don’t care whether other people’s kids can go to school, or can afford food to eat, or things like that. In the United States, that’s called “libertarian” for some wild reason. I mean, it’s actually highly authoritarian, but that doctrine is extremely important for power systems as a way of atomizing and undermining the public.”
Noam Chomsky “Business Elites Are Waging a Brutal Class War in America”.
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