Tag Archives: Climate Emergency

Morrison reaped what he had sown


Writing this a couple of days after the most important election in Australian history, Australians did finally find their voices, and in no uncertain manner told the neo-liberal jackals who had come storming into public life that they were finished.

Why the most important election? Because Morrison was on a path to Trumpian glory. Surrounded by white evangelicals and emboldened by the sound of acquiescence from his front benchers, he was on a path to immortality. He had no reason to listen, he suffered no self-doubt.

His disdain for conventional behaviour, his seeming inability to act respectfully toward anyone he encountered, his feigned religious conviction all pointed to something deeply wrong about this man, and his government.

He was trashing our institutions daily. He had devalued the truth. He had signed an infernal bargain with his party-room members, whereby even the most hard headed had handed over their autonomy to him. They had sold their souls in the hope that he would lead them to the promised election victory.

I can find no sadness, no sympathy for this man, who has had the grandfather of hidings handed to him. He has been publicly humiliated, and there are no tears for his loss. Morrison is seen as being devoid of feeling, as being so devious and calculating that any instinct for sharing a moment of kindness with him is impossible.

But beyond the human failings, he was on the track to autocracy. He bullied those around him. Julia Banks described him as “menacing, controlling wallpaper”, and it is clear to see in his body language. Images of him leaning forward, fists clenched, jaw jutting conveyed something more than tension.

Cast your minds back to the election campaign. His jeering references to Anthony Albanese’s upbringing, his newly lost weight, his likeability, his new glasses, were all deemed fair game by Morrison.

His dismissal of Albanese as “weak, not up to the job, inexperienced” were classic signs of a bully, which would have had him sacked from any other workplace in Australia. There was an unmistakeable hint of Morrison projecting menace toward a smaller man, but not necessarily a weaker one.

Perhaps it is the missing piece of the puzzle as to why he has been moved on from so many positions in the past. His plan to take over our country was hatched back in 2000. As State Director of the Liberal Party from 2000 – 2004 Morrison put in place the building blocks for his eventual takeover of the Liberals, and he has in the process weakened the party until it is an empty, hollowed-out IPA shell.

Ask yourself why Rupert Murdoch is such a supporter. Ask why John Howard is the talisman of the modern party. Lastly, where would the Petro Georgios and the Ian Macphees of yesteryear fit within this ruin?

Why Katherine Deves? Because he saw it as the wedge which would empower all the narrow-minded bigots he was trawling for, to speak out in support of his grubby tactic. The only problem was that apart from the crazy anti-everythings no-one was interested.

How did all the other captain’s picks perform? Made by Captain Morrison and his wild-eyed offsider Alex Hawke, they performed as expected – they lost. Morrison’s behaviour in the New South Wales pre-selections was a handy reminder of what we could expect if he won this election.

Morrison’s reputation as a master campaigner and strategist has been blown apart. The best thing is that we woke up in time. The worst is that the entire Liberal Party hierarchy was blind to the totality of the takeover.

The women of the party deserted, because enough of them recognise toxic masculinity when they see it. . They read the body language, and they remembered the talking over of Liberal women, the refusal to engage with them, on any meaningful level. Possibly the pivotal moment was when he put on the ‘big baby performance’, when he wasn’t sure if rape was wrong, and he had to check with Jen first.

Women will not be ignored, nor made to feel powerless. His statement that “SHE CAN GO” about Christine Holgate was a message that, no matter how successful a woman is, he remained in charge. It was a dog-whistle to every inadequate man in the country that, when the rubber hits the road, men are still in charge. Wrong.

The patriarch and his fellows have been thrown out of the temple. What irony that Tudge and Sukkar might be the last men standing in the suburban Melbourne landscape. Porter gone, Tudge disgraced, Dutton their last remaining hope.

The climate is descending into hell territory. We need a timely intervention, and along comes Albanese, who will be goaded along by a newly invigorated Green Party. Labor kept the seat of Hunter, because the coal industry has read the writing on the wall, and it says “renew now”.

Did no-one ever explain how governments work? How did Morrison spend four years in the highest office in the land, and not know that he and his party, as the government, had sole responsibility for introducing legislation to the parliament? Why did he persist in excusing his failure to deliver a National Integrity Commission as being Labor’s fault? Labor was not the government. Not for nine years.

Many of us felt that there was no escape from the megalomaniac in the Lodge. The opinion polls were sowing doubt, his teflon coating made every day a bright, new day. His promises of billions of dollars, daily, had sapped our ability to resist. His insane energy and imperviousness to shame, had us all bluffed.

People have been dying in record numbers from the pandemic, and yet all Morrison and his group of zombie ministers could talk about was the economy. Memo to the Liberal Party: Put people first.

He and Dutton promised all sorts of lethal weapons for war, while demanding Albanese justify paying aged care workers a living wage. He was also criticised for promising to feed the aged adequately, and asked by the feral media how Labor would pay for it. So it was as if we were living in a parallel universe, where white was black, and vice versa.

So it is with a huge sigh of relief that I laud the Australian sense of right, their internal ability to finally wake up to a charlatan, and hopefully a return to decent, caring government. I couldn’t be more proud of the Australian way, today.

Into the third week, 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 sidelines 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. Paul Karp in The Guardian today. 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.

Why is our government so hopeless?


Australia is a signatory to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) The Commonwealth of Australia was one of the 193 countries that adopted the 2030 Agenda in September 2015.

Implementation of the agenda is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) with different federal government agencies responsible for each of the goals. Australia is not on-track to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

The 17 SDGs are:

(1) No Poverty, Anne Ruston. Clearly failing. In Australia, there are more than 3 million people or 13.2% of the population living below the poverty line. That includes 739,000 children or more than 1 in 6.

(2) Zero Hunger, Anne Ruston. Clearly failing. Refer (1) above

(3) Good Health and Well-being, Greg Hunt Anne Ruston? The country is in the grip of a wave of Covid deaths and infections, lingering but unaddressed “long-Covid”, no restrictions, all bull-dozed through by Scott Morrison.

(4) Quality Education, Alan Tudge Stuart Robert or Alan Tudge? If quality means private & expensive, terrific. Government funding for independent schools increased by $3338 a student over a decade, compared with $703 more per student for public schools. Trying to dumb us all down.

(5) Gender Equality, Marise Payne. Really? We have a minister. One woman a week murdered in Australia, by an intimate partner. And yet an alleged rapist and an alleged physical abuser of a female partner seemingly deemed suitable to continue their government employ. We’re even paying damages to one of the victims, but he’s still employable?

(6) Clean Water and Sanitation, Keith Pitt. When Keith puts his mind to it, it will be ok. Between him & Barnaby Joyce, buying groundwater and favouring mining interests, building dams; not much hope for dry Australia.

(7) Affordable and Clean Energy, Angus Taylor. What to say. He hates wind, he went to Glasgow COP26 to spruik fossil fuels. This minister is seemingly working against our interests.

(8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, Stuart Robert. Casualisation of the workforce, and pressure on employers to keep wages low has led to a surge in corporate profitability, and stagnant wages. Removal of penalty rates was a shocker.

(9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Barnaby Joyce or Angus Taylor? With these two sharing the responsibility, about the best they can think of is keeping coal power stations emitting, & building dams. Handy – NOT.

(10) Reduced Inequality, No-one appointed. They all take perverted pleasure in keeping the poor poor. The Labor Party has just trashed the hopes of millions of poor Australians, by promising to not review the JpbSeeker rate. So a pox on both your houses.

(11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, Paul Fletcher. Depends on where you live. If in Melbourne, bad luck. A marginal seat, Paul is your man. You might get a car-park, whether you need it or not.

(12) Responsible Consumption and Production, No-one appointed. Two examples – 1. VIP jet loaned to Matthias Cormann to fly around the world, seeking a job when he already had one. 2. $5.5 billion wasted on cancelling our submarine contract. Replacement – a drawing of a future nuclear sub.

(13) Climate Action, Angus Taylor. Refer to (7)

(14) Life Below Water, Sussan Ley. The Great Barrier Reef is now considered to be over half dead. She and her ministerial colleagues, but mainly Angus Taylor, have colluded to ignore climate change. A massive fail, on every front.

(15) Life On Land, Sussan Ley. Sussan Ley has overseen the approval of massive land clearing, for coal mining operations, leading to the koala being moved from “vulnerable to endangered.” One of many unique species under severe threat. She also went to court to appeal an earlier ruling that she owed a duty of care to future generations. Terrific win Sussan.

(16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Christian Porter Michaelia Cash. Still allowing ‘secret’ trials of whistleblowers, who alerted us that Australia had broken the law in East Timor. Still locking up kids as young as ten. Still stacking the AAT with political hacks.

(17) Partnerships for the Goals. Well, they are colluding to deliver the worst results to the Aussie pleb, while feathering their own nests. DFAT and PM&C are the partners.

Just to be perfectly clear, Australia is failing on ALL 17 goals. Australia is wealthy, and Australia has a government which employs Ministers of the Crown to achieve these goals. I know that because one (not sure which PM) of the recent prime ministers signed us up.

The first of these goals is “No poverty”. Source – Wikipedia

However, Australia has the 16th highest poverty rate out of the 34 wealthiest countries in the OECD – higher than the average for the OECD; higher than the UK, Germany and New Zealand.

People living in poverty in Australia often miss out on essentials such as food or a roof over their heads. Children living in poverty often miss out on items such as school excursions.

If “no poverty” is the goal, why are we prepared to look the other way? We know that poverty exists, we know how to fix it, and yet we tolerate keeping people down. Why?

Waiting for the climate change replay


Scott Morrison is now having to deal with the two very distinct wings of his party, as they gird themselves for the culture war which will probably erupt at any moment. This culture war will not be about indigenous history, or the date of Australia Day, or even immigration. It is about climate change.

Since the election there seems to have been something of a re-birth of ‘wet’ liberals, or as they sometimes call themselves, Modern Liberals. Tim Wilson, Dave Sharma, Jason Falinski, Katie Allen, Angie Bell and Trent Zimmerman have even gone as far as joining the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action group.

Now it is difficult to gauge the sincerity of several of the members, especially Tim Wilson and Jason Falinsky, because they have proved in the past to have a skittish relationship with the truth, but it just might be a sign of change. The group includes people from the other tribes, such as Labor and the Independents, so the Libs might even learn something. Apparently their ‘modernism’ is predicated on their acceptance that something is afoot with, you know, the weather, or the climate, or some-such.

Knowing whether any of them are prepared to ‘go to the barricades’ for the climate is another matter, entirely. Tim Wilson is a hard man to categorise. One day a thinker, the next wilfully awful, and a shameless self-promoter. His electorate expects something of him, however, and he is something of a weather vane (pardon the pun). They will be joined by others, eventually, but for the majority who do join them it will not be a matter of principle, but more one of crude survivalism, where instead of preparing for the climate catastrophe, they will be preparing for electoral Armageddon. Australians MUST run out of patience soon. If the bushfires in rainforests don’t prompt a wake-up, the smoke will.

We know that Malcolm Turnbull is the major casualty of the Climate Change War, versions 1.0 and 2.0. Will Scott Morrison be the next one? I think not, because Scott Morrison is playing a clever game, wherein he acknowledges the science behind the change, but then he slinks away, calling out such evasions as “our position will evolve, over time”. He has even had his Science Minister call for an end to the discussion, and for action! A mere diversion, I fear.

On the other side of this culture war are the usual suspects. Craig Kelly, George Christensen, Matt Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, Michael McCormack and even David Littleproud. There have been two prominent recruits to their ranks since the election; Gerard Rennick and Samantha McMahon, and they distinguish themselves with the strength of their denialism, and some of their creativity regarding the “climate change conspiracy”. Senator Rennick believes that the Bureau of Meteorology is in on it, and has been using a dodgy thermometer.

But their spiritual leader must be the formidable Peter Dutton, he who made that terrific joke about water lapping at the feet of citizens of the Pacific. Perhaps we need look no further than that notorious film clip, to see where Morrison really stands – with Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton. And it is Scotty from Marketing who spots the microphone. Always on the lookout to protect his image.

But back to the culture war. Morrison is desperately trying to re-fashion his image, and to move on from his odd coal-clutching moment in Parliament, but he is either the creature of the right, or he is their hostage. Considering that keeping his job is the main game, and the perception that the electorate is indeed waking up, and will at some time demand climate action, he is indeed caught between a rock and a hard place.

What exquisite irony! Morrison could suddenly wake up, smell the smoke, and reverse a decade of lies, deceit and wilful blindness concerning the climate emergency, and undertake a belated transition to a low carbon future. Presumably he would have the Greens, the Labor Party, the Independents (the sane ones) and even the Modern Liberals on his side, as well as the Australian public.

The question is would he survive the inevitable reaction from what can fairly be called the Alternative Government? Craig and George, Barnaby and Samantha, Michaelia of ‘lost utes’ fame, and Dutts? I think he would, but I doubt he has the ticker, or the commitment to our future, to even try.

Balance is over-rated


The Australian press and media is stricken with a terrible misunderstanding about its role, and responsibilities. It thinks that each and every view, no matter how stupid or misled, or just plain muddle-headed, needs to receive equal time.

This is wrong, because, in the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld, there are certain things, which are known, while some are unknown, and some are just unknowable. It is up to the media, as gatekeepers, to make a call, and ignore the unbearably silly offerings of the wrong ones.

Most of what passes for conservatism, and conservative thought in this country, is just wrong. The right wing of the Coalition seem to have trouble grasping certain facets of modern life which are ‘known knowns’.

Global warming is happening, because we all watch weather reports, and we know the difference between climate and weather. Similarly, there is no connection between paedophilia and homosexuality. There is no credible threat to religious freedom in Australia, because most people don’t care about religion. And if they did, I do not know anyone who wants to impose Christianity on Buddhists, or Islam on the St Brigid’s schoolkids. Letting a transgender kid use a particular toilet will not lead to indiscriminate gender-swapping at the next toilet break. And we must remember that marriage equality will not lead to a craze for bestiality.

The massacre at Port Arthur really happened, and so did the moon landing, and vaccines really are beneficial, for you and your children. Most of the politicians and community leaders who think otherwise should be shunned, not necessarily because their opinions are wrong, but because they have the resources to better educate themselves, and yet they wilfully continue to believe in some sort of primitive voodooism, where all change is evil.

So let’s stop letting them onto television and radio. So let us stop presenting the counter-view as if it carried equivalent weight. It does not. Let’s stop electing idiots to Parliament. It is embarrassing. At some point a discerning public has to draw a line in the sand, especially when the stupid and the misled continue to spout rubbish.

There is also a sub-group of canny contrarians who actually take the controversial, road – less -travelled, type of journey. They don’t believe their particular rubbish, but they have spotted a gap in the market, and capitalise on the media’s penchant for ‘balance’, in order to obtain a platform.

An even better argument for not giving too much credence to obviously wrong – headed tripe.