So the year has crawled to a dingy close. Remember a few short years ago when Australian democracy was seen as having developed a uniquely Australian flavour. We believed in the fair go, we frowned on favouritism, we all had a sort of grudging respect for our leaders, but we held them to account. We definitely had no time for politicians who were in it for the money, or the post-political career. We thought they were on Australia’s side.
Well, cast aside any sense of false pride, because as the fish rots from the head, so has our form of democracy. We now have a leader who is regularly described as a noted liar. Our Deputy Prime Minister is a man that even his own party does not respect. He represents nothing that I can identify, beyond advancing his own pay packet. He is apparently afraid of his own backbenchers. The Nationals as a group are reviled everywhere outside their own party room.
The country is standing on the abyss as climate change moves into top gear. Our Minister for Reducing Emissions went to the Glasgow Climate Summit with the intention of spruiking for the fossil fuel industry, and the Prime Minister, representing Australia on the world stage, described our contribution to reducing emissions as being “uniquely Australian”. To anyone with half a brain that meant using the old “the dog ate my homework” excuse, and they then came home and released a brochure which only met their own target by 85%. The other 15% was wishing for the best.
Most Australians do not read at all, because almost a half of them cannot read. That is because successive governments have so robbed the public education system that only those who attend private, heavily subsidised schools can read. Of course what they read is heavily monocultural. So if you wonder why all the private school educated boys and girls these days behave like entitled twits, that is why.
Our ex-Education Minister, Alan Tudge had a bee in his bonnet about children questioning the Anzac Day myth. Imagine putting a person in charge of education, in this country, who believes that history should be taught with an optimistic slant. Cue the Turkish Government: They imprison anyone mentioning the Armenian genocide (1915-16). Or Japan, which denies the use of Korean women as sex slaves during the Second War.
Many of those private schools are so-called Christian Schools, because our political class is unrepresentative of the population at large, and many of them profess fundamentalist religious beliefs, which have nothing to do with the values of our country.
We do not like ‘bible bashers’, or wowsers. We are uncomfortable with people who wear their religiosity like a magic cloak, and I am personally creeped out at the prospect of Scott Morrison laying his hands on me, or any one of my fellow citizens, in his inane search for godly connection. I was born once, and baptised once, and that is enough for me.
How did we come to a position where the only item on the National Agenda is a Religious Freedom Bill? The only people in Australia with an agenda against the right to practise your personal religion is the Coalition.
From Dutton and his African gangs (code for Muslims) to Dutton (again) and his Lebanese-Australians carrying a criminal gene (code for Muslims) to the ex-Education Minister (again), who made a call for Australia to mount a ‘muscular’ defense of western liberal values, and an amplification of the values clash narrative, using examples popular with ‘the right’ such as the prospect of female genital cutting, child marriage, and domestic violence. He warned that Australia was veering toward a separatist multicultural model. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/7/11/213/htm
Mr Tudge is a family values politician. He is the ex-Minister because his ex-mistress has accused him of emotional and physical abuse. Which brings us to the thorny question of women.
Morrison and his Ministry have constantly sidelined women, and even his female ministers are not safe from Scott. Scott interrupts them, he counsels them, he ‘supports’ them, he volunteers them (Gladys for Warringah), and he consults them. Remember his response to Brittany Higgins’ alleged rape. He consulted his wife, who told him to behave like a father. We would prefer he acted like a competent, fully formed human being who has been elected leader of a vibrant nation of men, and women.
Of course he has also, aided and abetted by Peter Dutton, vilified China, the Chinese political system, and Chinese culture. Seemingly unaware of China’s history, or its size and power, he seems to be rattling his tiny sabre, and hitching our wagon to the USA.
Today we discovered that over the last four years the Coalition Government has spent three times as much on Liberal electorates, when compared to Labor-held seats. This proves that we should move house if we want some of our taxes to come back to us, or maybe just vote them out.
Which brings us to accountability. No bill has been seen. Morrison blames Labor because he cannot get his own pathetic version of an integrity commission past his own backbenchers. Ask yourself why he won’t legislate a National Integrity Commission. Ask yourself why he vilifies the NSW ICAC every second day. You know the old saying – if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.
The verdict is that, for me, the current Coalition Government is the single worst government in living memory, possibly in our history of representative government. From the top to the bottom they shred convention, they outsource our governing functions to multinationals, they have starved our elderly in Aged Care, they keep the unemployed poverty stricken, they are fanning the flames of conflict with China, they have destroyed our social fabric, and they run kangaroo courts. There’s not a lot to like.