As it limps towards the end of 2018, the Morrison government is gradually establishing its own grand narrative – one of staggering ineptitude as it lurches from one self-inflicted crisis to another. On decisions from Jerusalem to Foodbank, there is no overarching purpose here, there is no direction or strategy, there are only missteps and backdowns, seemingly born of the blinkered pursuit of base political advantage, which never materialises. For a PM schooled in marketing, these are textbook fails. For the federal Opposition, the coup against Malcolm Turnbull has proved the gift that keeps on giving.
Today we read, in a Fairfax Media report that has not been denied, that former trade minister Steve Ciobo has privately advised the Indonesian trade minister that there is only a 5 per cent chance that Australia will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It is hard to see how the prime minister could have made more of a mess of this: Australia will have managed to offend everybody concerned, to no end.
PM Scott Morrison took a special bus tour up the Queensland Coast, except he flew in a plane because the bus was too slow, and the rest of the time he wanted to talk with Queenslanders, who weren’t to be found in the bus. Then he drank lots of XXXX beer and chomped on pies to show he’s a regular, fair dinkum guy bloke. Junkee has more, lots more:
On ABC RN’s The Science Show Robyn Williams spoke to Kate Hughes, Research Assistant in the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, and Ben Selinger, Emeritus Professor at ANU (transcript available) in the light of the ABC Four Corners program The Monsanto Papers.
Kate Hughes lives in a valley in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The decision is simple. Either you use glyphosate to counter the Chinese false bamboo, or you have a valley choked with the weed. Continue reading Weekly salon 28/10→
In Brazil’s first-round election on October 7, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro outperformed what polls predicted to win 46% of the vote — less than 5 points short of an outright victory. His top rival, left-leaning Fernando Haddad, earned 29%. The two will face each other in an October 28 runoff.
Cartoonist Mark David shows how Scott Morrison applied his proven skills in the Wentworth by-election:
Many commentators including Laura Tingle, talking to Phillip Adams, said the numerous own goals from the Coalition prior to the election turned enough votes away from the Liberal candidate David Sharma and towards Kerryn Phelps for the latter to win. The latest count shows Phelps ahead 51/49 two party preferred, with Phelps coming from a first preference count of 29.1% as against Sharma of 43.2%. Continue reading Wentworth a tipping point?→
That’s the message from Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex:
“This (leadership spill) isn’t exactly a first for Australian politics, but it does lead you to the conclusion that a stable government might not be as stable as some people would like you to think,” he said.
“To me, this particular event seems to show the Liberal party has been taken over, frankly from extremists on the hard right who aren’t particularly motivated to win an election and aren’t particularly motivated to serve the general public – they just want to pursue a crazy agenda.”
The Liberal party has changed leader, in part because of climate change, and are now proceeding with pretty much the final policy landed upon by Malcolm Turnbull, with a couple of significant twists. We now have a very explicit instruction that energy prices along with keeping the lights on are the main game, while emissions reductions can be safely put off to the never-never.
The Coalition government under Scott Morrison is now almost completely isolated on energy and climate change. Compared to adult countries we look completely foolish, The question remains whether the main actors, the states and the corporates investing in the system, can move forward regardless. Continue reading Reconnecting climate change politics with reality→
1. Washer’s lament – the end of deliberative democracy
Dr Mal Washer was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from October 1998 to August 2013. While he was there it is said he was doctor to the house, providing medical help and personal counselling to members of parliament.
When Waleed Aly and Scot Stevens spoke to Katharine Murphy about whether the Dutton insurrection was a symptom of how we do politics in Australia, she quoted Washer inter alia. She gave a three-part answer.
First, the major parties once represented stability to the electorate. Not any more. Rather the reverse. What happened is now hard-baked into the system. Continue reading Weekly salon 2/9→