Australia is heading into an election. The Prime Minister has contracted the coronavirus, with some of his cabinet designated as close contacts. Unbelievably, Barnaby Joyce, as Deputy Prime Minister, is nominally in charge of the country.
Scott Morrison has been running an undeclared election campaign since ? (we’re not sure when it started). It has involved a lot of dressing up, a few industrial accidents, and a lot of owlish looking at maps. Several old map-shots have been re-purposed and used again. The best is from 2019 where he was photographed looking at a map of Kangaroo Island. The pic has been cropped to remove the map’s title, so that we can’t see it’s an old shot. Ah, such is a marketer’s life.
His attempt to pull off another miraculous election victory this time around seems to be on a knife’s edge. He does have a large ‘slush fund’ of “decisions taken but not announced” with which to buy votes. With this government there is no certainty they will lose. They might discover that Anthony Albanese is a long-time Russian sleeper agent. Perhaps his father was Chinese. Who knows what a fevered imagination can concoct.
He certainly shouldn’t rely on his ‘troops’. It can seem cruel to judge a book by its cover, but we can only comment on what we see.
So our Prime Minister is caught up in a whirlwind of performance art. He does go missing whenever there is a crisis, and he is keen to dodge responsibility. This week he commented on the New South Wales floods by prefacing his remarks with the line that the NSW government would have the “lead” on the response. He gave up that one without a fight, didn’t he?
Our Treasurer has wasted a lot of our taxes on supporting his mates at the big end of town. He has attempted to remove consumer protections against the finance sector, and worst of all, he seemingly cannot count. He is also against any more “free stuff” for the free-loading public.
Our Defence Minister has managed to put us in a position where we have no practically usable naval ships, no submarines and lots of imaginary tanks. We recently bought 127 tanks and armoured vehicles, but it is fair to ask why, as we are surrounded by several wide oceans. Tanks are usually deployed against an enemy who is invading our territory. They are due by 2025, but expect delays, probably measured in years.
Mr Dutton also has an unhealthy obsession with our largest trading partner. He continually attacks China with every breath. His latest, out of left field brain-wave was to start a GoFundMe page to support Australians through the floods, as long as they are restricted to Queensland.
He wants to be Prime Minister one day. He should read up on the taxation system. It is like a giant GoFundMe page, and people pay into it even when they don’t want to. The taxation system includes Queensland, both in collections, but also disbursements.
We have an Emergency Minister who is reluctant to spend the disaster relief fund, an Environment Minister who actively undermines the country’s actions against climate change, and who continues to incidentally facilitate extinctions.
Our Emissions Reduction Minister wants us to use gas and coal to achieve our net zero goals, and he is convinced that selling fossil fuels into the distant future will assist greatly.
No collection of the lost would be complete without the Aged Care Minister, who prefers the cricket. He is unaware if the Aged Care residents have seen any improvement in their meals since the for-profits were allocated an extra $460 million to improve nutrition.
His boss, our Health Minister, has seemingly begun packing up his office. We have no protections, no policies in place, and we have suffered 1540 recent deaths. That is 1540. A number which would be a cause of national shame, except for the fact that the government seems packed with soul-less apparatchiks. There have also been 135,861 Covid infections in the past week, but the figure is known to be low (ie incorrect), because of the haphazard nature of our testing regime.
There are really no words to describe how the Liberal Party has lowered the standard of Australian life. Their names are enough: Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison. Even dyed in the wool Libs are abandoning them. You can’t blame them.
One thought on “Are we in election mode yet?”
Another perspicacious commentary, Mark, on the current standard of governance in this country. An ever-degrading standard upheld too frequently (68% in lockstep last time I looked) by the Labor, National, Hanson parties which fails to represent (as in House of Representatives) the Australian public or Australian public interests or governance for “peace, order and good government” as written in The Constitution. These failures are enhanced by the corporate, commercial media in the interests of corporations and big business and the censoring of the ABC.
In all, climate crises of ever-increasing destruction, wars, the pauperisation and denial of any civic reponsibility to the vulnerable, the refusal to account for decisions or communicate with independent media platforms or people, refusal to establish a corruption commission, the ever-growing fragmentation and conflict within directed by privately-owned algorithms and companies, the continued privatisation of the public service and essential services, attempts to limit voting rights, zealous support for the affluent, etc., are disheartening evidence of the public’s voting choices. May they check the policies of each party and individual candidates prior to casting their vote at the next election.
In the last election the Liberal policies were quite obviously an unintelligent and partisan throw of money to big business in a random list of unaccounted for financial amounts to random platforms. For example, $15 million for feral species (pests, weeds and diseases) control. There are 12 million feral cats in Australia and at a $1 a cat for removal (impossibly low) that only leaves $3 million for the camels, toads, Argentine ants, foxes, rabbits, weeds and diseases (Covid -19 that is now expected to cost $300 billion in the long run), An unforgivable oversight given decades of warning!
Labor’s 276-odd-page policy spread was quite obviously an exercise in avoidance of responsibilty, with Bill Shorten and his shenanigans in undermining prior leaders in his party promising no improvement to governance integrity.
The Nationals’ credibility over five decades morphs into trivia such as sport and failures in wheat, sugar cane, wool, upholding quarantine regulation, live export, water, etc., and simultaneously upholds the destructive practices of mining and the fossil fuel industries to farmer detriment.
The only policies which align with public benefit were the Greens; unfortunately the general media rarely gives them a direct voice because they are for the public not private interest, have creative or direct solutions and think ahead of the games (e.g. on climate change certainly they have been telling us to prepare for it for 30+ years) or we get fed the Murdoch-Zuckerberg-LNP-Labor version of the Greens.
Some individuals likewise are still working for the public benefit as their parliamentary records and directed preferences illustrate in voting.
Still, despite all the chaos that exists, and has in times past, people still can’t act (or vote) in their own interests as Voltaire said 400 years ago. People still vote for conservative right-wingers: bullies, show ponies, self-servers or ignoramuses; some vote for all four in the one person. Tragically to our cost. Such a record lends no optimism for the future.