Tag Archives: Incompetence

Medals for our suffering journo’s-now!


The late, great comedian John Clarke always said that the best actors he had ever heard, were sports commentators. The reason, he explained, was that they were able to convey the impression, with the utmost conviction, that the outcome of a football match was crucial, almost a matter of life or death. And then, suddenly, the game was over, and life resumed.

Spare a thought for our mainstream political journalists then, who deserve a collective medal, as they struggle on, from day to day, covering absolute nonentities, who are almost universally tribal, colourless, elitist, unoriginal and indescribably dull. They speak, as if in unison, from prepared notes, about ‘talking points’, and they will swear, on a stack of bibles, that black is actually, after looking at all the facts, and taking into account a multiplicity of factors, white.

Trying to write something new and fresh about politics in Australia, and about our politicians, is like trying to make boiled cabbage exciting. To try and do it every day is beyond heroic, it actually verges on masochistic.

Although the country heaved a huge sigh of relief when Tony Abbott was finally ejected from power, I am beginning to miss him. Looking at the other clowns on display is just depressing. They lack his mad smile, his earnest and innocent fustiness, his anti-social beliefs stated so disarmingly. They instead display a cagey quality which makes their utterances generally lacking in – interest.

Craig Kelly tried out for the part, but he just lacks commitment. His misunderstanding of the facts, his tortuous use of English is just not in Abbott’s class. He could no more eat an onion without a hint of self-consciousness, than he could order an electric vehicle. And his climate change denialism, although monumentally stupid, never hits the rhetorical heights that Abbott did. Remember climate change being described as crap, and a cult. And he never talks about suppositories.

Pauline Hanson was another wannabe, but recently she seems to have removed herself from the public gaze. Perhaps it is disenchantment with her hand-picked minions, or is it an attack of self-awareness, of shame, licking at her confidence? Nothing is so debilitating as discovering that no-one likes you anymore.

Michaelia Cash might become mildly interesting, but on reflection anyone who models her hair on Maggie Thatcher’s ‘do’ is struggling. She wants to present like her, but maybe she needs a couple of seasons more, of classic neoliberal orthodoxy. I suspect she needs to lose some more of whatever humanity remains, and toughen up.

The Party Boys, Tudge and Porter, looked promising for a moment, but who can tell. Bob Hawke had their spirit on the dance floor, but he also had ideas, and charisma, and heart. The Party Boys just seem to parrot their leader, and to hide behind his avuncular protection. They would be more newsworthy if they were to shout, from the top of a roof-top bar, “Take me, or leave me, suckers. This is me!” That won’t happen. They have gone into ‘weasel in a burrow saving his arse’ mode.

They have shown some mongrel, I will admit. Tudge promising to hunt down, and even jail, those targeted by Robodebt, was sort of interesting, but his recent begging for mercy after his affair was made public brought him back to the pack, as he was shown to be just another religious, family -values hack. Hypocrisy is interesting, but there is a lot of it around.

Porter is the Attorney General, as well as Minister for Industrial Relations, and Leader of the House. His outing as something of a loose cannon when he has been ‘on the town’ suggests he might need to lose a couple of the big jobs he is signed up for. Big jobs require a big effort.

Currently he is ‘looking’ at an Integrity Bill, which I suspect none of his colleagues want, which would explain the go-slow tactics he has employed. Usually a man who likes to party should provide some interest, but the public are not that interested in arcane matters such as holding secret trials, destroying legal careers, not reporting to Parliament on time. He is no Lionel Murphy, although he does love a drink, we hear. He also wants to look at his legal options regarding the Four Corners revelations, but he seems to have backed off a bit. He recently ‘looked at’ Defamation Law.

That leaves us with Mr Charisma himself. Scotty from Marketing could talk the leg off a piano, he is adept at saying, “Look, over there”, or “Labor did the same thing”, or “nothing to see here”. Sometimes he even tries to save us from boredom, by claiming that he has “already answered that question”. Which is decent of him. My favourite is “I reject the premise of your question”, which is gaining some currency. That grand old vaudevillian Michael McCormack used a variant of the phrase a couple of days ago.

This Government seems to be prone to disastrous incompetence, dishonesty, failure to meet obligations, and outstanding secrecy. Recently it was discovered that the Prime Minister’s Office met its Freedom of Information deadlines in 7.5% of requests. I’m not sure if the PM counts well, but that meant they missed the deadline 92.5% of the time.

That fact is interesting, and indeed damning enough, but it suffers from ‘boiled cabbage syndrome’. It shows what we all know, day in and day out. They are dishonest, chronically breaking the law, with seemingly no consequences. So you can see why journalists deserve those medals.

Unknown Man Takes Over The Country


Scott Morrison was originally elevated to the Prime Ministership by pretending not to be a candidate, and then by swooping in on the prize when it came down to a choice between himself, and a man almost universally loathed by the electorate. Voters were actually relieved that it was won by ‘Anyone But Dutton’ Morrison. He came through as the Steven Bradbury of the Liberal Party.

The man he ‘released’ from politics, Malcolm Turnbull, was a walking, talking ‘stuffed shirt’. He was liked, and even admired, but the more we got to know him, the more we understood that politics was a ‘vanity project’ for him; one always felt that he was pleased that he had achieved one of his life’s goals, but that it was not quite up to what he had expected. He had not listened when he was told that if one lies down with dogs, one is prone to get up with fleas.

Scott Morrison will always be remembered for that awkward moment, when he put his arm around Turnbull, and responded to a question about his own ambitions for the top job – “This is my leader and I’m ambitious for him!” As we all know, Morrison replaced Turnbull two days later. That blokey image of affectionate support can now never be excised from our collective memories.

Morrison, having achieved his own Holy Grail, then spent eight months showing us why he was particularly unsuitable for the role, with a series of gaffes, misjudgements and ‘daggy dad’ routines. These included his blundering into the foreign affairs area, with no consultation and less judgement, when he announced the decision to move our Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This alienated most of the Muslim world, seemingly to send a message of ‘support’ to Donald Trump.

The Government continued on its merry way, with Morrison attempting to run his own version of “outside the beltway”, where he, the ultimate insider, a former public servant and Liberal Party State President, tried to convince us that his interests were with ordinary citizens, rather than with Canberra and its internal workings.

During this time some of his political appointments were almost beyond belief. His Environment Minister, Melissa Price, was particularly hapless, once accusing an ex-president of Kiribati of merely being in Australia for the hand-outs. She did, however, manage to sign off on some important approvals before the election, such as the Adani mine.

Now that might sound strange for an Environment Minister, because she was putting all her energy into matters pertaining to mining approvals, when many of us thought she might try to alleviate the extreme concerns for vanishing wildlife, or even their habitat, or casting her eye over the Murray Darling river system, or even the Great Barrier Reef, but no, first things first. Sign off on the mines, then look to the environment. Melissa then did a vanishing act; she was invisible for the entire election period, and she was quietly replaced in the portfolio after the election, although her leader vowed she would be kept on, thanks to her sterling efforts in the portfolio.

Morrison’s Energy Minister needs no introduction. Angus the Shameless doesn’t like renewable energy, apparently because he grew up next door to a wind farm. That can scar a young chap, and no amount of climate science can lessen the pain, and allow him to do his job. Since the election he has been promoted, so that he is now responsible for Energy, and Emissions Reduction. He distinguished himself before the election by actually arguing against his own Government’s electric car policy. You can see how well suited he is to the expanded role. I do not know if he sleeps with a lump of coal beneath his pillow, but I would not be surprised.

One can only wonder what sort of thinking goes into making some of these appointments. Is it that he is sending placatory messages that if he appoints duds they won’t achieve any changes for the better, so nothing to worry about. I think that keeping the likes of Dutto and Craig Kelly quiet is the main game, but is he achieving that?

Tony Abbott was never held hostage by his extreme right rump, because he was their spiritual leader, and he was capable of out-stupiding them. Poor Mr Turnbull was terrorised by them for his entire term, and he will be remembered forever, as our first hostage-in-chief. Mr Morrison is a man who has seemingly no political goals, except to be in the big chair. So it is difficult to know where he stands. He looks and sounds like one of them, and he talks about ‘the Canberra bubble’ a lot, so maybe he really wants to govern for those ‘quiet Australians’. I just don’t know how we got to this position.

The Government since the 2019 election seems to be obsessed with very little, except for national security, pesky journalists reporting things, paedophiles in boats on the high seas, and the right of Christians to be Christians. Now I was unaware that they were under threat, but then again this is the ‘ship of fools’, who went along with the vote that it was all right to be white, so perhaps being Christian is under threat.

It is difficult to choose the next ‘nation-building’ issue that the Coalition can sink their teeth into. Perhaps they should consider sending school children to detention, if they attend climate change action marches. Perhaps they could take a long hard look at toilet blocks in schools, because some of them are using non-binary gender signs on their doors. This could lead to a national emergency, and needs attention.

Otherwise, business as usual. Poor fellow, my country!