Tag Archives: Scott Morrison

Just two weeks to go.


It is time to ask yourself who you want to wake up with, again. Three years ago, we faced this decision with the disastrous reigns of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull still fresh in our memories.

While our elections are about individual members in individual electorates, the system has gradually become more presidential. The result may be that people vote for the local candidate if they like the leader of his or her party.

The Leaders

Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison was relatively new then, known to us only through his leadership of the Immigration portfolio. He had set off some red flags through his refusal to account for his department’s actions at sea, and his propensity for using men and women dressed in military uniforms as props. This was the first indication of his ‘Scotty from Marketing’ persona.

He is damaged goods now, seen as a pathological liar by many, but he does have the advantage of being the incumbent. That still carries a lot of weight in this country. Some older voters, and many in regional areas, still innately respect the office of prime minister.

This is a valuable asset to hold, because it is only in more recent years that institutions and titles, world-wide, have become more ‘democratised’, so that ordinary citizens have felt more freedom in questioning power.  

If you are unfortunate enough to live in an area with a heavy Murdoch media presence, you may not have even heard about his problems with the truth. His main strength has been his ability to come back, day after day, from drubbings to embarrassments, with a fresh re-set, and a new attack line.

Instead of setting out policies, he appears to be entirely reactive, struck silent unless he can find a perceived gaffe, or a mis-spoken opinion, on which to pounce. When Anthony Albanese was isolating because he had Covid-19, Morrison was reduced to accusing the opposition leader of working less hard than he did, during his enforced break from campaigning.

Morrison has a series of spectacular fails on his cv; we know them all, but he has moved on. The big question about this election is, has the electorate moved on?

Each failure during a natural disaster has been exceeded by the next. The “holiday in Hawaii” while the country burned, to his abject failure on Lismore and the floods affected northern rivers. Of course that brings to mind the people of Mallacoota, and his “I brought in the Navy to help you”  rhetoric. These are now the stuff of popular myth, with “I don’t hold a hose” perhaps the most memorable.

His next task was to combat the pandemic. He was relatively successful in the first phase, although his eagerness to re-open the economy was kept in check by the state premiers. His failure was in the initial lack of vaccines, and once ordered, their chaotic rollout to the country.

He was seen as being  unable to organise anything properly, and his “it is not a race” remark, followed by vehement denials he ever said it, was both inaccurate and proof he could not be trusted.  

Morrison compounds his failures by deflecting blame, usually to a state premier, or by lying outright to cover himself. His propensity for claiming innocence is often easily overturned by video evidence, and yet his ability to re-set his world on a daily basis speaks to some form of neurological quirk.

The list of failures is long. Women feel let down by him, and his government. Christine Holgate, Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins are conspicuous victims of his seemingly unconscious misogyny.

His standing by his disgraced ministers, with never a question that he believes the men every time, has led to a $500,000 settlement to Rachelle Miller. She has accused a Liberal minister of physical abuse, and Morrison has still denied any wrong-doing on the part of Alan Tudge. There is another un-named current minister who is also a part of the compensation.

Hardly appropriate that there is a settlement, and yet no adverse finding against Tudge, or the other minister. Morrison has invited Tudge to resume as Education Minister, which puts him in charge of educational and cultural standards in our country. That means a person who has had a half million dollars in compensation paid to his alleged victim. A smoking gun?

Anthony Albanese

The worst thing Morrison has said about Albanese is that he is unknown, and rather interestingly, inexperienced. He has been in parliament since 1996, so he has been in a variety of senior positions, in government and in opposition, for 26 years.

He has obviously learned from the 2019 election loss, and so, to the dismay of many Labor voters, he is presenting a ‘small target’. This strategy has worked a treat so far, and it does serve to de-fang Morrison, who needs someone, or something, to attack.

There is a valid argument that getting into power is the main game, and worry about reform once you have got your hands on the levers of power. Morrison has run the line that we don’t know Albanese, so don’t take the risk. This makes it difficult to portray Albanese in any depth, because if he is unknown, we know nothing ill of him. Morrison is asking us to vote for him, because he is not Albanese.

Morrison’s campaign rests on Morrison, bright and relentless every day. He appears to be waiting for the fatal mishap from Albanese, but the press pack is so ill-disciplined, and light on knowledge, that such a moment is unlikely. Many are armed with lists of ‘gotcha’ questions, which merely highlight the vacuous nature of the pack.

Morrison’s team has been reduced to Simon Birmingham, the only Liberal who does not invite drawn pitchforks, and Darren Chester in Victoria. The rest are either invisible, in hiding, or in protective custody.

Morrison has made the pitch – trust me, I will lead you to victory. He has also effectively dumped his inner city ‘wets’, so they are relying on distancing themselves from the Liberals. His choice of candidates in N.S.W. is imploding, as he is suspected of pursuing the transphobic vote. Some think he is trying to re-create the Liberals as the light version of the (U.S.) Republicans.

As for Labor, there is a powerful team. The likes of Penny Wong, Jim Chalmers, Kristina Keneally, Tanya Plibersek, and the find of the election, Jason Clare are all showing what they can do. It appears impressive.

On current tracking, Labor seem to have this in the bag. They must not choke, but nor must they be  triumphalist. As many have said in the past, elections change the country. The current government has had close to ten years. Time’s up, perhaps?

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.

Morrison is a dangerous fanatic


Scott Morrison is dangerous because he is driven by a fantastically flawed personality, mixed with a deranged political ideology, with the added bonus of crazy end-of-times religious lunacy.

In Australia we presume the good faith of our political leaders. It has held to be true for over a century, but Morrison has picked up certain traits from his role models overseas, which are foreign to us.

The predominant trait I speak of is shamelessness, and an ability to instantly forget anything politically adverse; to instantly move on, in the naïve belief that we have no memories.

We have always looked at the authoritarian leaders of other countries as a strange breed, which would struggle in the Australian environment.

We characterise the victims of such leaders as strangely passive, helpless in the face of ruthless ambition, and though we pity their fate, we know it could never happen here.

We have deluded ourselves into believing that we are a nation of freedom-loving, individualistic larrikins, unable to be cowed into submission.

The perfect storm is here, and we should be on our guard. We should have noticed the changes to the political environment brought on by the never-ending pandemic, where in Australia we arguably gave up many of our rights, in the cause of public health.

There was a pay-off, which included a very low death rate, and pandemic financial support. Many of us thought that Morrison had grown into the role of leader. Of course Genghis Khan would have looked good when compared to some of the overseas leaders in power back in 2020. Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson were so hopeless that they made even Morrison look good.

It is impossible to detect a precise moment when Morrison abandoned Australians, and any semblance of answering to ‘the people’. He lives in a parallel universe, where he is, in his own mind, on a mission from his god, to lead Australia until the ‘end times’.

We can all see the results. The death toll throughout the chaos of the Omicron variant was suddenly unimportant. Morrison and his faceless minions in cabinet pushed the fiction that hospitalisations were more important than deaths, which is like something out of George Orwell’s 1984. Reminder to all: When death occurs, the health system is irrelevant. Untimely deaths are the absolute failure of public health.

We then had the farce of debating whether people who died did so from Covid-19, or with it. Ageing white men are familiar with the analogy – it relates to prostate cancer. The only problem is that Covid-19 is a novel, preventable way to die, and semantics merely indicates an empathy failure. This government minimises it, or parses the cause of death.

That was a pivotal moment in Australia, when we discovered that the Morrison Government had decided the pursuit of economic recovery was more important than the public’s health.

Shamefully, the premiers followed suit. They enabled his sociopathic path out of the pandemic. Morrison threw the dice, betting that the election would be held before the results of his negligence became evident. The mainstream media was complicit.

Many Australians believed them when they said it was now no more dangerous than the seasonal flu. Well, look around you. Over a half million active cases. If you read figures better than words, that is 500,000 + active cases, with a death count of over 6,000 and rising.

Recent elections in Hungary have shown us how a persistent and underhanded campaign can undermine democracy. Viktor Orban has allies in almost complete control of the media. He has a security apparatus which is reminiscent of Putin’s in Russia.

In Australia we have the shameful and sycophantic Murdoch Media, 7 West Media, and 9 Entertainment Media. Social media such as twitter, and the ‘ratbag independent media’ are the only outlets which dare to criticise Morrison and his government.

There is a groundswell of raw visceral loathing for Scott Morrison, but no-one dares to write him off yet. That is because he was able to pull off the 2019 ‘miracle win’.

This time around, his numbers are even worse than in 2019, many of his troops are accused of vile behaviour, many from his own party are either deserting the ship, or are voicing their resentment against his “egotism and bullying nature”.

He has just announced another round of appointments, to mates of the government, for six years, no less, to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), a sore point from 2019. But can it be seen as hubris, to do it so boldly, again, on the eve of an election campaign his party is expected to lose?

It seems every day we are privy to more shameful and embarrassing failures of public administration by this government. The latest is an expose which refers to three parliamentarians having been investigated, by the Australian Federal Police, for meeting in the Parliament House Prayer Room, with sex-workers, for sexual purposes.

The questions raised by this episode includes the time, the place, the age of the sex-workers, their safety, the slackness of the security, the national security aspects, the possibility of blackmail, the moral dimension of using taxpayers’ funds, or at best the tax-payers’ funds used to pay them for having sex at work.

This appears to have occurred in our national showpiece, the new(ish) and grandiose Parliament House. If true, it points to the moral bankruptcy of the current government, and the steady decline of standards since Mr Morrison became Prime Minister.

Mr Morrison is expected to call the election inside a week. Expect lots of rorting, no accountability, and no peace.

A government which could not lie straight in bed


When we look at the individual Morrison Government members we see very few who distinguish themselves from their peers. What we see is a collection of odd, socially awkward people, thrown together by a strange ideology which really sets them apart from our society. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

For convenience sake we can call it the anti-social cabal. They all seem to share certain ‘core beliefs’, which can be condensed into a single word – greed. Greedy for advancement, for money, for power, for success. They trust that the majority of our people share that basic belief, and they are callously indifferent to the inequity that is inevitably unleashed by unfettered venality. It invites us all to get in while the getting is good. Morrison has even given it a catchy theme – “You’ll get a go, if you have a go.”

They remind me of a man who has been on an alcohol and drug fuelled bender and wakes up in an opium den. The years of Liberal National Party domination of Australian politics has been like a gigantic bender, where decency, fairness and even care has been really, visibly absent.

We are all watching as the nine year ‘party’ ends. So when we speak of distinguishing themselves from the rest, has anyone called time on the excesses, the disrespect toward the Australian people, and the trashing of our international reputation?

Julia Banks did, and she has written about the experience. In her words “the Liberal Party has reached the point of no return for its self-described “broad church”. The moderate voice has been drowned out and the party is firmly a Christian, conservative, right-wing party.”

That is true. But what shocks us is the “Carry on and keep lying, and the party might never end.” The LNP’s collection of greedy hedonists is now drawing the wagons into a circle, and lying about every issue we find important, and using our money to broadcast their lies. Their terrified leader refuses to call the election, which means their so-called “public announcements” are being paid for out of consolidated revenue, rather than their own LNP funds.

Has any of us been spared those ads concerning Net Zero by 2050? Lies and more lies. The terms “clean hydrogen” and “carbon capture and storage” are lies. Morrison rather outperformed himself this week, when he managed to outrage those of us who care about global heating, with his stupid and embarrassing promise to send 70,000 tonnes of coal to Poland, for eventual use in Ukraine. Wow, we can’t send drinking water to Tonga, and we are going to send 70,000 tons of coal to Poland? I hope it arrives before winter.

When the Secretary-General of the United Nations called Australia out, by name, as a “hold-out” against climate action, Paul Fletcher dismissed the comments as being made by the “chattering classes”. This government is intent on reducing trust, not only in Australian democracy, but in the institutions we trust.

It is not just that they lie daily, but they actually persist in the belief that Australians are terminally stupid. Simon Birmingham, the inoffensive looking one, is regularly wheeled out for public appearances, because if they use any of their other leaders, there is an unseemly rush to turn the TV off. ‘Good ol Birmo’ seems to enrage us less than the others do.

Anyway, during The Insiders show this week, which actually had three Murdoch proxies (two as guests, the other the host) banging on about how the Labor Party’s “mean girls” had not actually murdered Kimberley Kitching, but had somehow ’caused’ her death. Perhaps Katie Allen, who is a real doctor, might be able to explain to anyone who cares to know, that heart attacks usually happen due to a range of underlying cardiac conditions.

The list of women, and men, Morrison has bullied personally, or has back-grounded against, is long. That is why it is so infuriating when he gets on his high horse about Albanese ‘hiding’ from scrutiny. Julia Banks, Bridget Archer, Christine Holgate, the entire NSW Liberal Party, Gladys Berejiklian, Brittany Higgins have all been in his sights at some time.

But it is the ‘jobs for the boys’ that is so tiresome. Stuart Robert should not be in Cabinet. Every area he is appointed to suffers. Richard Colbeck has failed our elderly in Aged Care for as long as Covid has lasted. Sussan Ley has presided over green-lighting coal mines, the continuing destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, and land clearing that is leading to the demise of the koala. That is some collection of failures. Thank God she won her case against those pesky children who dared to believe a Minister in an Australian government had a duty of care to them.

Matthias Cormann is now Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Wow. His friend Mr Morrison ‘loaned’ him a VIP jet so he could travel the world and lobby for the job. He already had one. It even included free holidays, did it not? Courtesy of Helloworld. In March 2021, 29 Australian and global humanitarian and environmental organisations wrote to the OECD, citing “grave concerns” and asking that Cormann be disqualified due to his record of “thwarting effective climate action”. Wikipedia

Morrison has a unique campaigning method. Death by boring repetition, and a boundless lack of shame. Only today he was upset that Lismore residents are not more grateful for Government assistance.

He also broke old ground today, informing us that if we vote for Labor, we will get Labor. That is something of a compliment to the Australian Electoral Commission, and a huge relief. He sees no warning in the South Australian election debacle. So, call the election. We know you now.

Did the parliamentary cat forget to order the RATs


You know something is awry when they roll out Simon Birmingham. That is because he is the only remaining member of Morrison’s Government who is not openly despised by the vast majority of people in Australia.

He took over the role after Matthias Cormann got his big job. It is hard to say who is more dedicated to talking points, but Birmingham is growing into the role. He makes the relentless spinning, no matter how dire the situation, appear normal. He would make a jolly good grief counsellor, post politics.

Today he was sent out to defend the so-called “push-through” that Morrison, and his fellow Christian fundamentalist Perrottet, have forced on an unwilling populace. Lost amongst the blather and the word salads look at the deaths recorded every single day, mainly restricted in these early days of Omicron, to Sydney and Melbourne.

How many deaths from this ‘mild’ variant are they prepared to wear? Do five figures mean they made a mistake? What about the next variant? Will we have the same magical thinkers still trying to manage this outbreak? Will they have an adviser explain that without healthy workers we cannot have a healthy economy?

Birmingham spent five minutes telling ABC morning television that the Omicron variant is mild, and that the government is on top of it, that RATs are on their way, and that there is no problem sending close contacts back to work, and school-kids back to school, because one it is mild, and two, the RATs are on their way. The fact that GPs all over the country are being forced to cancel their appointments to vaccinate schoolkids is merely a matter of people talking to their GP. Incorrect. There are not enough vaccines for the 5-11 year olds, and if there are they are not where they are needed.

Responding to questions as to why there are no RATs to be found, he responds that there is a world-wide shortage. There isn’t, because the other countries with which these people compare Australia, ordered theirs, in quantity, and in time. So there you have the complete picture. Morrison, or Hunt, or maybe the parliamentary cat, forgot to order any, until they lost the advantage of being able to observe the wave spread throughout the northern hemisphere.

They saw that hospitals became choked with desperate patients, looked after by exhausted medical staff. They were able to see the importance of RATs in controlling the ability of the workforces to be at least protected from infectious colleagues.

So, Morrison is embarrassed, again, by another crucial failure. Don’t they add up, though? The bushfires, the vaccine strollout, the fiasco in Glasgow, his failure to protect women in the workplace, in the home, and in the streets.

Now we are facing shortages of food, shortages of medical care, shortages of vaccines again, his re-deployment of the general to hide behind, and a new catch-cry, “push through”. He defends his inability to plan by the diversion of telling us we cannot be trusted not to hoard non-available RATs, and that as a responsible money manager, no free tests. We then had the outgoing Health Minister join in, telling us we can’t have any more free stuff. Let me assure my fellow Australians that Greg Hunt will retire this year, with lots and lots of our money, packaged into a super account which would make your eyes water.

But wait, there is more! Old freedom loving Morrison tells us to exercise our Australian larrikin spirit, by getting governments out of our lives. Remember who is speaking here; this freedom fighter is a devotee of a church which believes the bible is literal truth, and who will not be guaranteed a place in heaven unless he is publicly baptised. A man who voted against same-sex marriage, because he believes so strongly in freedom.

And yet we are continuing to die, at a steady rate, and rising. Sydney and Melbourne today, total deaths 50. Not so mild, if it has the ability to regularly take our lives. Remember his executive action when someone was putting pins in strawberries? Very strict laws, his most rewarding legislative triumph, we presume.

What about ensuring we have the necessary testing equipment before throwing the old and the sick to the wolves? How about telling the truth when asked about the kids’ vaccinations? What about the matter of free RATs, for everyone. Because it works. Even his role model, Boris the party boy, gives RATs away.

He is still pushing the Religious Discrimination Bill, which is so important that no-one in the country cares. Oh, except for the homophobes and the Christian lobby, who want to be able to discriminate against Muslims and gay school kids. And gay teachers, or even teachers who don’t see anything wrong with being gay.

He won’t even introduce his Federal Integrity Bill, though. It is interesting to watch the goings on inside this man’s head, even as the death toll mounts, and he continues to go missing when the going gets tough. Is this a good time to say, God help us! But no more tennis players, please.

The Morrison Government has just given up


When you live in Australia these days you immediately become aware of the total lack of competent leadership, and the endless self-promotion of the Prime Minister. Talk of his personal photographer, tales of photo-shopping his image to show more hair on that head, and less fat in the face. His staff rolling out red carpets for when he leaves an aircraft. The man is a walking joke.

Watch a press conference from Morrison, and wait for the inevitable fact checking which follows; it always shows lies, half-truths, evasions, blame shifting. Of course if you have any brains, you know it’s happening before the fact-checkers verify it. He cannot help himself. Watch for the first difficult question, and watch him scamper away.

At the moment, in early January 2022, the country has descended into chaos. And yet you have the spectacle of the Prime Minister, and his boy treasurer asserting the recovery is on track. A walk through Ivanhoe shopping centre last Saturday showed more than half the shopfronts empty, and for lease. If that is a recovery, I will eat my baseball cap.

Every state except Western Australia, going from handfuls of cases, to thousands, every day. Hospitals filling up, staff becoming ill, or just plain overworked to exhaustion. Supermarket shelves are emptying, shops can’t get stock, or staff.

In Melbourne we have an informal, self-imposed lockdown. That is because we have been here before, and the Commonwealth Government is more interested in semantics, defining, and re-defining the meaning of words we all understand. Testing, isolation, quarantine, case numbers are all in the firing line. They are trying out the meaning of the word “death”, by planting the notion of “dying with covid” as somehow different from “dying of covid”.

Economists and health professionals are united in pushing for free Rapid Antigen Tests, (RAT) as being in the national interest, both from a health perspective, but economically as well. That is because if you suspect you have symptoms you can self-test and isolate at home. That way you don’t infect everyone you meet on the way to work, or at work. Simple really.

To say he wants to protect the private companies who would sell the test kits is false, and stupid. Harvey Norman and Chemist Warehouse are doing ok already, they don’t need a leg up from a person who has never worked in the private sector, and couldn’t organise a trip to the toilet on his own.

Of course switching over to RATs was suggested by epidemiologists as far back as February 2021, and again by the AMA in September 2021. But the gambler in the Lodge didn’t want to spend the money, which was of course a false economy, as so much of his penny-pinching (with our money) is.

Morrison denies being unprepared, even as our case numbers approach 100,000 a day, notwithstanding the lack of testing. So using Trump’s logic, his first act is to suspend testing, by not supporting the testing regime in the states. He exhibits a mixture of blind arrogance, and a total lack of planning.

He tells us not to look at the case numbers, look at hospitalisations. All right, look at hospitalisations. Going through the roof. So Morrison and his willing accomplice Perrottet have managed to upend our entire covid response, and to throw public health care back on to individuals.

That is not why we elect governments, and it is not the reason we pay these clowns. Part of modern governments’ remit is to keep their people safe. It is difficult to comprehend, but there is no responsible adult available to help. Greg Hunt is a cipher, toeing the party line, until he retires. It will be interesting to see who employs him post-parliament.

The medical officials have also been side-lined by the clowns, and the country is going to the dogs. In this free for all, the states are as guilty as the feds. All we can hope for is that the states step up, and take over. They are showing signs of panic, so maybe the ‘let it rip’ philosophy is going to change.

The latest diversion from our dire straits is a tennis player. Even then, Morrison cannot tell the tale without lies, half-truths, and blaming. The federal government issues visas, not the Victorian Government. Not Tennis Australia, but like he did with Christine Holgate, throw a tantrum, stand up for the ‘little man’ and throw someone under the public outrage bus. If he thinks this will save his bacon in Victoria come election day, think again. Most of us cannot stand the sight of you, and the quicker we can consign you back to obscurity, the better.

Norman Swan raised the issue of ‘acceptable number of deaths’ today. We accept 1000 road deaths a year, 1000 flu deaths. What will we consider an acceptable number of deaths a year from covid? And if you can provide a number, are you prepared to lose your grandmother, or a sibling who is immuno-compromised? An old friend with a dodgy ticker?

Considering the success we enjoyed over the last couple of pandemic years, we must demand a return to intelligent public health measures, and stop the steady creep down the path of allowing our vulnerable to die, because of the ideological preferences of narrow, unfit for public service, religious zealots and neoliberals.

Scott puts in a Barry Crocker (shocker) in Glasgow


Scott Morrison has somehow imposed himself on the Australian consciousness like an annoying jingle, or even like that awful and embarrassing uncle who continues to turn up at family gatherings. We can now include Rome and Glasgow amongst the places where he has purported to represent us, so that most of the thinking universe now sees Australians as of a kind, throwbacks to the types of characters made ‘famous’ in the Adventures of Barry McKenzie era, of our cultural cringe.


His personality is endlessly grating, like the boy with a chip on his shoulder; he is always looking for the verbal trap, and his pugnacity is more suited to a rugby field than to a conference. Talk about being labelled by how you look, and by how you speak. Many of us expected him to grow into the job, as some have in the past, but he is permanently stuck in a battle to the death, with the forces of liberality, of reason, of social and political progress.


We are endlessly naive in Australia, in that we believe in the inherent fitness for purpose of our institutions, and the innate moral character of our representatives. Morrison has upended our moral certainties, because he is without conscience, without memory, and without a policy purpose. He also lacks a stabilising presence in his life.


His friends include Brian Houston, who is under investigation, and sidelined from leadership of his father’s church, for allegedly covering up his father’s sexual abuse of children; Stuart Robert, who has seen time on the sidelines himself, because of his own problems with record-keeping and conflicts of interest; and Alex Hawke, a man who believes that “The two greatest forces for good in human history are capitalism and Christianity, and when they’re blended it’s a very powerful duo.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

The Cabinet

We have all heard about Scott Morrison’s Cabinet, mostly because they are almost invisible, they are constantly changing roles, and also because the Cabinet seems to have no coherence, no sense of passion for governing, and only one defining rule – follow Morrison, and repeat his talking points, until your voice hurts. So no Minister is respected, no Minister is seen as being on top of his or her portfolio, no Minister is seen as a rival to Morrison, and the Agenda is virtually non-existent.


Cut the public service to the bone, sling cash at the world’s largest consultancies, privatise every possible service and watch it slide into decay and despair, look after your mates. Never apologise, if in doubt call an enquiry, ignore the vast majority of recommendations from the myriad Royal Commissions afoot, and for God’s sake do not introduce a Federal Integrity Commission.

Never admit that you once knew Christian Porter, but defend to the death his right to accept large amounts of money from anyone, as long as he promised to not divulge. Continue to demonise all refugees, except possibly white farmers from South Africa.

The Glasgow performance


Morrison’s performance in Glasgow and Rome was pathetic. He behaved like a thug, first of all by arriving in both cities, with nothing to show the other leaders, for the six long years since we signed up to Paris. As unashamedly as he had presented us with empty brochures, he did the same to them. Like us, they were underwhelmed, but too polite to really say so. Take it as read that our country has taken another reputational hit.


And never forget Angus Taylor. He delivers misleading statistics and rubbish conclusions with a passionate fervour. His background as a management consultant sees him with only one forward gear – manic, and no reverse gear. He was actually in Glasgow dealing with the other rogue nations, promoting fossil fuels, far into the future. It is totally amazing that Morrison and Taylor were running this scam, even as the world watched.

The French fiasco


Emmanuel Macron is still reeling from Morrison’s clumsy lack of style. First he meets with the French, and deceives them until, at the last moment, he dumps them for the Americans and the British. So, knowing how the French feel personally about him, he takes the first opportunity to speak to Macron, by sneaking up behind the French President, and touching him from behind, unannounced. Very like that annoying uncle I mentioned earlier. And laying on of hands? Not cool, Scott. We generally seek consent before touching one another.


Later Mr Macron asserts that Morrison is a liar, and instead of turning the other cheek, (after all, Macron was speaking the truth) he argues the point, and then selectively leaks some texts, supposedly strengthening his position. So we are in Glasgow, with the world watching, and Morrison is behaving as if he is involved in a factional turf war in Sydney, back-grounding his opponent, who is, did I mention this already, the President of France.


Do not believe for a moment that Morrison has had a change of heart. He wants only one thing, and that is re-election. Nothing else matters, and he will subvert COP26, Parliament, his own Government, even Sky News if he has to. The climate change policies he has pretended to create are meaningless, and his Government knows it.

The Pandemic Diaries-will he or won’t he?


October 12, 2021

The country is on a knife edge. We are all wondering if Scott Morrison will go to Glasgow, or will he not? He is presumably going through a long, dark night of the soul, deciding whether to represent Australia at this, the most important international conference, which just might light the way forward on Global Heating.

Does he hold a microphone? Should he put Australia’s future first, or should he stay behind and try and stitch up an election win, while the rest of the world is trying to save the planet? Australia, or Scott? Glasgow, or Sydney?

All his ‘close friends’ will be there, although Mr Macron will prove hard to pin down to a meeting.

Has Scott got the guts to attend? Or will his ‘leadership’ fail to deliver a credible pathway to emissions reduction? Will 2030 be the new normal target date? Will Scott continue with his nonsensical “technology not taxes” refrain?

There are several other issues bubbling away. New South Wales has just re-opened. Many say it is overdue, while many believe it was too early. Time will tell, but no matter which way the number of cases goes, Morrison will claim it as a victory for common sense.

Hospitals across the country are struggling. He believes that is a state responsibility, except that during a global pandemic it becomes everyone’s problem. And it is our money!

Victims of domestic violence have run out of funding. Again.

Parliament House in Canberra is still unsafe for women to work within.

We are failing to deliver on the challenges of loss of biodiversity. The Minister signed up to the latest UNESCO agreement, but 30% of the country is not included. How will that work? Should we say goodbye to the koala?

Luckily she saved the Great Barrier Reef. Sorry, she had its status upgraded from “in danger.” That didn’t actually help, because Matt Canavan and George Christensen are still reluctant to roll up their hi-vis sleeves, and help.

The country is drowning in malfeasance and public corruption. Three years later, they don’t want a real National Integrity Commission, because it might be too strict. Strict? They just want to be above the law.

Mr Morrison believes that Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation sent an alarming message. He saw it as unfair and an example of a kangaroo court, or of trial by media. Many saw it as “if you are a person of interest, we will investigate your behaviour.”

There was no trial, no verdict, no compulsion to resign. She resigned as a person of interest, which means she may have a case to answer. Not for being unlucky in love, but because she looked the other way when her boyfriend appeared to break the law. She had a positive duty to report the activity.

The Governments of Australia continue to lock up children who are ten years old. Our Attorneys General are paralysed by hand-wringing incompetence. They feel the need to publicly punish these children, somehow, which shines a ghastly light on the legal profession. If these are the brightest and the best the Law Schools have to offer, we might need to change the paradigm.

Barnaby Joyce wants to run another pork-barrel raffle. He thinks if it is fine in Sydney, why not in the regions?

Watching Barnaby speak about farmers and miners, and obtaining a price before you order a meal, rounding up his cattle, shutting down social media companies, though he was not too fussed by the lack of a price for submarines. A daily word salad from our Deputy Prime Minister.

Angus Taylor has claimed that the Business Council of Australia wants a carbon tax. He also wants to sequester carbon, which has been proved to be a dud technology, both expensive and useless. Even Twiggy Forrest agrees that it doesn’t work, but forge onward, Angus.

Matt Canavan and George Christensen continue their revolt against the science, and their own Government, which has tried to pivot away from its knuckle dragging climate ways.

On Scott Morrison’s tricky moral and social dilemmas, can he take Jenny with him? What if he meets up with Greta Thunberg, or some other difficult female? Greta is now 18, so she is becoming even more of a threat to the mental health of the world’s leaders, who are mostly middle aged and white.

So, plenty happening. Tune in for more news from Tiny-town next week.

Another farcical week in Australian politics


The last week has thrown up some thorny political issues. Firstly there was Christian Porter, thinking it was okay to accept bucket loads of cash, from anonymous donors, to pay a personal account.

As the previous Minister in charge of drafting the National Integrity Commission bill, one would hope that he would understand what those words actually meant. He delayed that bill for over one thousand days; it was never finished. And now we are relying on Michaelia Cash to step up. Good luck with that!

Porter sued the ABC for defamation. When the ABC presented its defence, Porter then went to court to suppress that defence. That cost even more money. I’m sure most of us would have the native common sense to find out what the costs would be, before engaging two teams of fancy lawyers. There is an old saying that if you have to ask what something costs, you probably can’t afford it, anyway.

We were then exposed to one of the biggest cop-outs in our history. We heard the Prime Minister’s pathetic approach to accountability, and leadership. Morrison stated that Porter “upheld the Ministerial code of conduct” by breaking it, and then by resigning, because he broke it.

He then went on to say that he wasn’t the boss of parliament, but only the boss of the Ministry. That would be news to every other PM in history. It is an excellent reason why the current PM should actually call an election, and see how we feel about him, and his team of clowns.

Porter is to be replaced in the portfolio of Industry, Innovation and Science by Angus Taylor. Taylor is the Minister who has a pathological aversion to wind-farms, and he also believes that the ute is about to be made illegal. The Chaser website says that Taylor is the least qualified Minister for Science, since the last Minister, Porter. We should tell him the new submarines are powered by gas.

Submarine diplomacy

Then we had the submarines controversy. We broke a huge contract with a close ally, but we didn’t bother to tell them beforehand. Mr Morrison said there was no way Australia could have been more transparent with the French, without potentially derailing the highly sensitive deal with the US and Britain. But do not despair-he did try to ring them, the night before the announcement, but he couldn’t get through. Oh well. There goes a century of good relations with the French. We should remind Morrison that it was our choice to order the submarines. We were not hoodwinked into it.

So Morrison said we had to be sneaky, but the Defence Minister, Peter Dutton, who will be an old man when the first nuclear submarine arrives in Australia, stated that Australia had been “open and honest” with the French about its concerns with the project, which had been beset by cost blow-outs and delays.

This is a tricky situation. Morrison’s word v Dutton’s word. This was a $90 billion contract, and we have already spent $2.4 billion on it, now down the drain. There will also be huge break fees, a broken relationship, the possible loss of a free trade agreement with the EU, but Morrison gets to boast about being America’s deputy again. We could have bought lots of hospitals, but hey. Everyone loves a nuclear sub.

He also committed us to nuclear power, with no debate in Parliament. We decided that we were possibly going to war against China, if Washington says so. We will not see a submarine until at least 2040. So we have gone from having no modern submarines, to having no nuclear submarines. We do not yet know the price. At all.

Someone should explain to Morrison that when you buy expensive military hardware, you are not buying them from our so-called ‘friends’, the Americans, but from a multi-national arms dealer.

In 2002, the Howard government ignored military advice that it was too soon to join the F-35 program, and directed the “Air 6000” program to settle on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The expected cost was $28 million per fighter in 1994 US dollars. Imagine what inflation has done to those prices already. Imagine the price for submarines in twenty years. Food for thought. Our Liberal Prime Ministers seem to have a bit of a thing for American weapons. Maybe they should just grow up. This was just a clumsy attempt to look busy, and important, in the lead-up to a looming election. Strewth!

A lucky country, run by second rate people


“Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.”
That is a quote taken directly from Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country. It was published in 1964.

Is that still true? The short answer is of course yes. Let me count the ways our lucky country is led by second rate people, and some of their signature ‘tunes’.

Morrison is like a bull in a china shop

In December 2010, the shadow cabinet were asked to bring three ideas each, to a tactics meeting, for attacking the Gillard Government. One of Mr Morrison’s ideas was to use an anti-Muslim campaign, as he thought it might be effective, and popular. He was dissuaded by colleagues, who thought it a step too far.

In February 2011, he objected to the cost of flying grieving relatives to Sydney, for the funerals of their loved ones, who had died in the Christmas Island boat disaster. After much criticism, he apologised for the timing of the statement, but not the substance. He made the statement on the actual day of the funerals.

He repeatedly referred to “illegal arrivals” and “illegal boats,” when discussing asylum seekers. He was eventually elevated to Immigration Minister in 2013, when Abbott came to power. He takes particular pride in having ‘stopped the boats’. He was widely criticised for his refusal to discuss “on water matters”. He has a basic disregard towards the public’s right to know what the Government does, on our behalf.

In November 2014 the Australian Human Rights Commission found that he had violated the rights of children in his care, and of breaching Australia’s international obligations. Tony Abbott was concerned that the report was politically motivated. No remorse, from either of them.

In the five years to 2019, more than 95,000 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by plane, causing a huge backlog of unsuccessful applicants, all waiting to be deported. Critics say that many are the victims of people smugglers, using the other, acceptable gateway, the airport. Many are vulnerable to exploitation, and possibly slavery. It is possible that Morrison has thought about this, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

In 2019 he went to Hawaii while Sydney was on fire, because he had promised his kids. He doesn’t hold a hose, because he is more of an office type of guy. He was busy, he said, and he deserved a holiday, like every other husband and father. This was the beginning of the ‘daggy dad’ routine. Beers at the footy, visits to Bunnings, silly hats. All part of a campaign to humanise him, to try and remove the ‘big end of town’ focus of his policies. Tax cuts for the rich, Robodebt for the poor. He has a mortgage, like everybody else, except he gets paid over half a million dollars a year.

The pandemic saved him, because he has so little regard for following process that he, and his Government, were in danger of being hounded out of office. It is still amazing how little he expected to be found out, with firstly his sports rorts affair, and now the supercharged car-parks scheme. He is like a burglar who thinks no-one can see him, as he breaks and enters, misusing taxpayers’ funds as if they were his own.

The vaccine rollout has been a disaster, because the daggy leader didn’t understand that he had only done the first part of his job. He was happy to coast on our low deaths and infection rates, without any curiosity as to what might come next. Second and third waves have been a part of pandemics since at least 1919 and the Spanish flu, but it was, in his mind, definitely not a race! More of a victory lap.

If we were to study Morrison’s response to gender issues this year, his calling in of his wife to advise him on an appropriate response to Brittany Higgins was a particular lowlight. He seems to be afraid of those pesky women, and their demands for, at the very least, a safe place to work. Again, his tone-deaf support of Christian Porter highlighted his inability to read the signs of change.

Ditto for global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered its Sixth Assessment Report this week, and the usual suspects fronted up to gaslight the Australian public. Morrison again stated that he supported the science, and his Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor, repeated the line that we are on target to “meet and beat” the Paris target. The climate crisis, for it really is one, was visible to scientists thirty years ago, and yet the Liberals think they can still fob us off with tales of “technology not taxes”.

In this instance we are going it alone. We are not even borrowing ideas from overseas; the rest of the world knows Climate Change is happening, but our leaders have stuck their heads in the sand. Like ostriches, or was that emus? How embarrassing, and ultimately dangerous. Clearly, we are led by second rate politicians, who hope their luck never ends.