Remember when the Surplus was Everything (ODT)
Both of these facts around this part of the government’s response expose the brazen hypocrisy at the core of Neoliberalism. The takeaway is this: these governments have the money for increased social safety net programmes and infrastructure, but they choose to not invest in these things. To put it crudely, the issue is not ‘we can’t afford these programmes’, you fuckers are just unwilling to pay for them! A blank cheque and the keys to the treasury for the political donor class with crumbs and scraps for the serfs! As the Irish poet W.B. Yeats said ‘the centre cannot hold’.
Keeping people at work seems counterintuitive if there is no work to keep them there for. Give the money to the workers not the businesses alone. The record of wage theft has been clear and evident. (ODT)
Compare and Contrast two Governments and two Crises (ODT)
Throughout various crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has shown negligence towards the good of its people, writes Grant Turner.
The most striking reversal of LNP ideology though was the government’s decision to double the Newstart allowance and extend it to others. Hoping that voters would not see that as tacit acceptance of the repeated advice of countless social advocates, as well as hard-nosed economists, they ditched the name ‘Newstart’ in favour of the more benign-sounding ‘Jobseeker Allowance’. It was obvious to all that the LNP was devoted to the belief that Newstart recipients were bludgers, ‘leaners’ rather than ‘lifters’, people who ought to be out getting a job. It must have been a hard pill to swallow to accept that increasing Newstart would have large economic benefits, as so many have been telling them for months.
Morrison and Frydenberg have been given praise for their package, bordering on lavish from their media set. But we have to ask why it took a crisis the magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic to bring about their awakening.
The party whose benefactors hold them to ransom must always put the needs of the rich first. This same pattern of behaviour may be seen in the responses of Tory governments everywhere.
This all adds up to the inescapable conclusion that conservatives will do the right thing but only when a more profitable choice fails to materialise. It is about pushing survival of the fittest, one hand-wash at a time.
The grossly inadequate and slow response from Australia has been primarily only about washing hands. It has not been about stringent quarantine procedures, the production of testing kits, investing in cures or vaccines.
Today they are telling us to wash our hands while they wash their hands of the great unwashed.
Virgin Australia boss Paul Scurrah and his predecessor John Borghetti have, over the past two years alone, personally handed Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg – and at least 52 other current Coalition MPs – “gifts” worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Already, the Prime Minister and Treasurer have given Virgin taxpayer support – part of the $715 million fees and charges waiver – but Scurrah is chasing more. Does the Government bail-out a company which is 91% foreign owned and which pays no tax? Anthony Klan reports on a classic case of political influence.
It used to be called nationalisation; a term once considered abhorrent for any Liberal leader. But these aren’t normal times.
IPA?Murdoch/LNP the triumvariate of an unhinged and diminished Democracy (ODT)
What are some of the things they succeeded in?
Many of the items can be ticked off, as having been completed, or at least attempted. Most, if not all of them, as reactionary, elitist and nasty:
Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it;
Abolish the Department of Climate Change;
Cease subsidising the car industry;
Repeal the mining tax;
Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states;
Cease funding the Australia Network; and
It seems like the sort of list that very young, privileged brats would produce before they actually encountered some real life. Let us just say it is a work of stupendous lightness and the Liberal Party has been captured by it for nearly eight years now.
There isn’t one thing that would materially improve the life of a single citizen. It is all self-aggrandisement writ large, with not a thought for the weak or the helpless. We have been blaming Abbott, Hockey, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton for a long time, but they are just dupes of three would-be intellectuals, who wouldn’t know what the words mutual obligation meant.
The IPA gave Abbott a plan for Australia and he bought it.
Corona Virus has made a mockery of the economic excuses. When the bell tolls for the powerful no level of economic sacrifice is too great, but when it comes to economic realignment to stem climate change, our children and grandchildren can quite literally burn in hell.
In these ways, the coronavirus health and economic crisis will be Morrison’s nemesis as it will his mentor Donald Trump. As Bret Stephens concludes
It should not have had to take a deadly virus to expose this presidency (or prime ministership) for what it is. But it’s fitting that it has. A man who thinks he can twist every truth to suit his needs has at last discovered that he cannot twist the truths of nature and of one of nature’s gods. Her name remains Nemesis.
Instep and doing the Trump our PM believes Prayer will save him (ODT)
Peter Dutton has just admitted in a radio interview that he became symptomatic on Wednesday, not Friday as he stated in his press release. This means anyone in contact with him on Tuesday must self-isolate.
It’s actually worse than that. Australia has waited until the end of the game, seen the result and is trying to have the game and umpire declared invalid so a result is not declared.
Under a Morrison Government, we have become a nation that is content to see an innocent family locked up indefinitely in a detention centre on Christmas Island while using self-made loopholes to try and block the prosecution of international war criminals.
What is even more tragic is that hardly anyone raises an eyebrow.
The ICC is still determining whether it has jurisdiction to prosecute. Let’s hope justice is done despite the Australian Government.
The Coronavirus will Test the LNP NBN and those working from home (ODT)
Our Politicians are far from leaders but followers. Albo leads from behind calling for a bipartisan plan to tackle Covid-19. However the decision to cancel the GP was made by “The FIA and Formula 1, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix is cancelled.” It seems the LNP really only sees this as a political performance for Scotty from marketing. Event decisions are still left up to individual organisations. Meanwhile chaos and confusion reign. (ODT)
The Grand Prix, The Football, all come first and we are like children looking to America to lead us out of the bewilderness (ODT)
Through poor leadership and a media who loves to sensationalise, our government is turning Australians against those truly in need, writes Noely Neate.
Coronavirus-panic sweeps the nation. There’s barely a bottle of Dettol hand sanitizer left on a metal supermarket shelf across the land. Panic buying of toilet paper, pasta and rice turns ugly. A fight erupts in a Western Sydney Woolworths. Two Bankstown women, aged 23 and 60 are charged with affray.
Whilst no injury seems to have been sustained, the same cannot be said of the Morrison government which ends the week reeking of corruption after misleading the senate over changes to its rorted sports grants after it had entered caretaker mode 11 April 2019, whilst former Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie departs from the script by insisting she knows nothing of changes made in her name after caretaker mode commenced.
Sport Australia has refused to answer forty questions, which officials took on notice, effectively denying a senate committee request and failing to meet its Friday deadline. Former Health Department Head, Glenys Beauchamp, did comply but she’s destroyed all of her personal notes following her resignation in January. Genius.
Adding injury to insult, Attorney-General Porter has to be corrected by his own department on his misunderstanding of his own paper tiger DIY federal anti-corruption body he’s been drafting since 2018. Then, from up shit creek, there’s a hullabaloo about all that bushfire crisis money being as scarce as rocking-horse poo. Labor’s Murray Watt makes a convincing case that Scotty’s $2 billion dollar fund doesn’t even exist.
But you can be sure the virus will be made to take the blame for four years of its own, woeful, economic mismanagement. And the welfare of business mates and wealth creators will matter far more than that of households or pensioners or wage and salary earners. And we’ll never stop hearing about how wonderful it is.
And it’ll be no good asking about sports rorts corruption and illegality or anything unconstitutional because the PM’s presser will always be about something else.
When you look back through the ignominious history of the Republican movement and the LNP, there isn’t a single right-wing MP worth a dime. Every commitment made to a vile, nasty off-shore war (such as Korea, Vietnam and the horrendous genocidal Iraqi war) has been under a Republican/LNP government who consistently use war, terror, hatred and fear to divide nations. When things look bleak in the polls, the war-mongering right-wing are always prepared to stoop to using war as the last resort to cling onto power with bloodstained fingers – ready and willing to sacrifice millions of lives and spend billions to distract focus from their horrendous policies and/or use hatred and division for their own political agenda. It is always a hate-filled, xenophobic right wing government that drags us into war and it always takes a left-wing, socialist government to get us out of it!
Australia now has a record number of underemployed workers, and total hours worked per person per month are also at an all-time low. Alan Austin reports on the latest jobs data ahead what many believe will be a dreadful week for the Government as a slew of economic data is about to be released and two-year bonds have just halved, hitting a record low yield of only 0.4 per cent.
Their argument seems the antithesis of rationality and based purely on ensuring a political difference only. (ODT)
Having dithered on real action to tackle global warming, some in the Coalition are now taking a keen interest in solving it — by going nuclear. Noel Wauchope investigates what’s behind the sudden push to overturn legislation prohibiting the exploration and mining of thorium and uranium and puts a definitive case against a nuclear industry in Australia.
When Politics gets in the way of rationality (ODT)
For example, in 2020 our gas output will probably outstrip that of Qatar which gets $26.6 billion in tax while Australia gets only $600 million. ExxonMobil Australia has a total income of $42.3 billion over the past five years. It has not paid one cent in income tax in this country.
This passion for technology is newfound and insincere. In truth, our government has a long history of undermining climate technologies.
In the three years to 2016, the government ripped just shy of $1bn from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena), the body charged with helping early stage technologies through to commercial launch.
The funding of a feasibility study for a coal power station in Collinsville and the foreshadowed gift of $11m to extend the life of the 42 years old Vales Point coal power station in the Hunter, demonstrate just how reluctant the Coalition is to let go of last century’s energy technologies.
One of the most promising and critical new technologies is the rapid maturation of the electric vehicle, but who can forget the government’s pushback against EVs during last year’s election?
Far from being the Christian that invited media into his church to film him praying and far from espousing the values of Christianity, our current Prime Minister thrives on division, spin and lies. This failed marketing man is a danger to all Australians — “divide and conquer” may be a well-worn cliché, but this is exactly what Scotty from Marketing does on a daily basis. A caring government is one that seeks to unite its citizens and work to build a better society for all, sadly we have a PM that seeks to feather his and his mates’ nests with his hideous politics of division.
The Government meanwhile deregulates (ODT)
“They are trashing our democracy in the way they are dealing with this disgusting political cover-up,” Penny Wong [says] on Wednesday. “… This is all about protection of the prime minister, who is up to his neck in the sports rorts scandal. Well, I’ve got some news for the government: it’s too late. It’s too late for a cover-up when you’ve already been caught.”
Is it consternation or apoplectic rage? The shocked disbelief on Senator Erich Abetz’s typically saturnine features, Thursday, at a senate select committee on Administration of Sports Grants, or sports rorts sums up a disastrous fortnight for the Morrison-Gaetjens duumvirate that rules Australia when it’s not blaming the states, the COVID-19 Coronavirus, The Greens “creeping environmentalism” or Labor for its own failures.
God Bless for the gift of the Corrupt Miracle (ODT)
It’s so easy to become complacent, so easy to accept the corruption, let alone the sheer incompetence of the Morrison government, so easy to let our preoccupation with the cricket or the football or the golf distract us from how our nation is being governed, how poorly our government is addressing the crucial issues of climate change, inequality, and a stuttering economy, and how incompetent, dishonest and corrupt our politicians have become. As the image that heads this piece highlights, money, and with it power and influence, is at the heart of all corruption, as the recent ‘sports rort’ saga so strikingly demonstrates.
If we let our leaders off the hook, we will have only ourselves to blame.
So this piece is a heartfelt call to be aware of the peril we face while the Morrison government is in charge, an earnest call for the courage to speak up loudly, a plea to call out its corruption, its self-serving behaviour, and its incompetence. Otherwise we are doomed. The corrupto-virus epidemic will continue unchecked. Unless we can bring about a change, our beloved country will wither, and we with it.
Looking at The man who tried to market a miracle (ODT
Looking back over the last few years, I would sum it up like this:
We have a prime Minister who is not interested in honesty, does not seek the best for the Australian people, and has a single focus which is keeping his party – and himself – in power.
Suitability for office? Absolutely none!
Once more – this is my 2020 new Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
It goes to show just how American we have become. (ODT)
It doesn’t bear contemplating, now they’re gone, what they might have thought about a country that allowed its entire store of gas to be flogged off without first setting aside enough of the stuff to ensure the nation’s power grid continued humming and that consumers could afford to turn on a light switch.
Most jurisdictions in Australia have an independent body that investigates apparent corruption in politics and government. The Federal Government doesn’t. Taylor has questions to answer over the water rights dealings noted above, as well as the apparent falsifying of data for political ends. McKenzie only ‘resigned’ once she became a political liability to Morrison.
In addition, it is currently being reported that Infrastructure Minister (and Deputy Prime Minister) McCormack awarded 94% of infrastructure grants to areas represented by the coalition political parties.
And they keep refusing to consider legislation for a ‘Federal ICAC’.
What do you think?
The massive Home Affairs Department, with a remit for “emergency management”, was entirely absent during the bushfire crisis and yet between 2016 and 2020, $9 billion of taxpayers’ money was spent on indefinite mandatory detention of men, women and children identified as refugees. Has a quarter or even a third of that amount been allocated as the Federal response package to the bushfire crisis?
Meanwhile, in the Coalition party room, even as nations around the world are committed to getting rid of the internal combustion engine – including Boris Johnson’s Britain – the commitment to coal has been reaffirmed. Like all regimes which place their own personal interests above all else, it is always the country, the nation, the majority of the people, the land, the water systems, the very air itself which are all weakened, polluted and made ill, often irretrievably.
Welcome to Australia’s own version of a new Easter Island story.