Our Prime Minister has been called a liar by the President of France, and the worst thing about that is that it is unsurprising. People’s worldview will now be that Australia and its politicians cannot be trusted, and our leaders have only themselves to blame.
Hardly a day has passed since Tony Abbott and the Coalition came to power that some form of corruption, controversy or pathetic behaviour hasn’t been the subject of our media headlines.
What is it that in a thriving multicultural and prosperous country that would invoke Scott Morrison to summon the expression; “we will do it the Australian way.”
Before he did so, I intended to invite the reader to comment on the list of subjects that follow, but now you can add “the Australian way” to it or even how the world sees us as a nation.
1 On leaving for the Glasgow summit and upon his arrival, Scott Morrison looked and acted decidedly nervous. As he approached the podium to announce Australia’s emissions target for 2050, the adrenalin was pumping like a man about to tell a lie. Mind you, nervousness when you knowingly tell lies must be different than when you unwittingly tell them. Now with the added slogan “we will do it the Australian way,” one would have to be super careful about how you apply a saying that could be turned around, twisted or turned upside down – just saying. Anyway, Katherine Murphy has a good article on the subject here. And writing in the New Daily, Alan Kohler says:
“Most people in Glasgow will dismiss him as a freeloader, or laugh at his gall to come to such a consequential conference with something so inconsequential, but some might seize upon it as a remarkably fine wheeze.”
And this is the Australian way?
2 Insiders 31 October. David Speers interviews Angus Taylor from Rome. Taylor says $20 billion of taxpayer’s money to fund new technology. No new taxes after that. If it doesn’t work, then the government of the day will have to sort it out. It seems that if they could describe the $20 billion as other than our taxes, they would.
This is the Australian way?
3 Just as it would seem that finally, the public comprehends the importance of doing something about climate change, Labor becomes overly cautious about being burnt again. Come on be brave, Albo.
This is the authentic Australian way.
4 This is what brave is. “I’m a footballer, and I’m gay.”
It’s hard to believe that in 2021, a young tearful soccer player, instead of just being one among many, has to identify himself as gay; otherwise, he won’t be recognised. Well done, young man.
Setting an example of the Australian way.
5 “Opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers has outlined a new political and policy strategy for Labor to target Australia’s middle class by developing an inclusive growth agenda.” The Australian 31, October Paywall.
A winning way.
6 On 31 October 2016, I wrote on Facebook that housing affordability is an issue they have put in the public domain without having anything positive to say about it.
No, this is not the Australian way.
7 I’m testing my memory, but I cannot recall an Australian Prime Minister who had his own personal photographers.
A marketing way.
8 Roy Morgan’s fortnightly poll has Labor’s two-party lead out from 53-47 to 54-46, from primary votes of Coalition 36.5% (down one), Labor 35% (down one), Greens 13.5% (up two) and One Nation 3.5% (up half).
Now, that’s the way.
9 “It was not done with a lot of grace. I was under the impression that France had been informed long before that the deal was not going through. Honest to God, I did not know you had not,” said the President of the USA.
Definitely not the Australian way.
10 The Australian Government, during its tenure, to put it lightly, has tried to bury our access to information. In my view, the only area where there is a valid reason to withhold information is in our national defence.
This article by Christopher Knaus of The Guardian points out the failings of the Morrison Government.
“Prime minister Scott Morrison’s office also again failed to meet lawful timeframes in the majority of FOI requests it received, according to the latest Office of the Australian Information Commission’s (OAIC) annual report.”
They do it their way.
11 The length to which the Morrison government has gone to protect Christian Porter is another example of power gone mad. The government doesn’t seem to mind how much it destroys our democracy.
“Despite Speaker of the House, Tony Smith – a Liberal MP – deeming there was a “prima facie” case to refer Mr Porter to Parliament’s privileges committee, the government general from further scrutiny.”
For 120 years, this has been critical protection against corruption, yet the government walks away from anything that threatens its power.
In silent protest, this fine Speaker has moved to the backbench.
Protesting in the Australian way.
12 JobKeeper continues to find its way into the headlines. Now churches, it seems, were the benefactors of thousands of dollars, and The Guardian reported that:
“Hope Unlimited Church, a global church that began on the New South Wales Central Coast, revealed in filings to the charity regulator that it posted a $1.6m profit last year while receiving $660,000 in Jobkeeper payments.”
An unChristian way.
13 What did you think about Murdoch’s publications doing a backflip on Climate Heating. True, after telling its readers that the whole thing was a hoax for over a generation. From The Monthly:
“News Corp, meanwhile, began its recently foreshadowed pivot towards advocating for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 (or “Mission Zero” as it has been labelled), shamelessly pretending it had not spent years tearing down any and all efforts to achieve it – something Australian of the Year Grace Tame quickly dubbed “greenhouse gaslighting“.
“Momentum has clearly shifted on the net-zero debate, especially in light of News Corp’s late-stage conversion: 69 per cent of Australians want the government to commit to the target, according to the latest Climate of the Nation report, while a whopping 82 per cent back the phasing-out of coal, and these numbers have been growing for a long while.”
He does it his way.
14 Paul Fletcher has become the go-to man when the government wants to tell lies and do it while at the same time sounding reasonable. The car parking scam is but one example. The Guardian reports that:
“The auditor-general lashed the scheme in a report released mid-year, finding it was “not effective” and projects had been handpicked by the government based on the advice of its own MPs and candidates ahead of the 2019 election.“
A conservative way.
15 Lest it be forgotten in the essence of time when the campaign starts, don’t forget these words about Greg Hunt.
“After claiming “official” discussions with Pfizer had only started in December, Health Minister Greg Hunt has finally confirmed that the government met with Pfizer last July to discuss purchasing the Pfizer vaccine. Sources say Australia was given options for as many doses as needed to be delivered in January this year, yet government officials turned down the offer Callum Foote reports from Michael West Media.”
Lying is un-Australian.
16 Paul Keating speaks at the National Press Club Wednesday, 10 November 12.30 ABC24.
A genuine Australian way.
17 Just to prove they are tough; our very conservative government has refugees who haven’t committed a crime incarcerated on Nauru for no good reason. It has been ten years now. And the Biloela family still languish somewhere in outer Perth. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, another Hillsong man, granted her parents and six-year-old sister Kopika bridging visas to be together while she recovers.
The Australian way?
And I’ll finish how I started: the Prime Minister has been called a liar by the President of France. The worst thing about that is that it is unsurprising.
My thought for the day
Life is about perception. Not what it is but what we perceive it to be.
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