I can’t prove it but I have a sense that the Australian parliamentary system acts as a magnet attracting some of the lowest life forms in the universe. The parliament is not about freedom except in the sense of allowing some privileged libertarians to exploit the commons for their individual gain. Sometimes it is about the providing our better-offs the freedom from the demands of the masses for services or goods which would make the less affluent’s lives less oppressive.
Parliament is not about love, even though it is the hotbed of sordid illicit affairs. This in no way inhibits their desire to tell gay couples, transgendered people, bisexual friends and asexual people how they should comport themselves and more importantly that they cannot marry. It is not about mutuality, despite the fraternity of the old boys’ clubs ganging up on the enemy in the other parties, or more often their internecine enemies in the diverse factions on their side of the house. It is not about learning, despite the frequent pompous displays of erudition. They are simple acts of self-aggrandisement.
It is not about friendship – the back-stabbing of their fellows who are simultaneously attempting to climb the greasy pole precludes that. And it certainly is seldom about care or concern for the voters, irrespective of whether they voted for them or not. It certainly not about equality or equity or decency; it exists to enshrine the privileges of the select few – which fortunately often includes many parliamentarians. My friend Max suggested there should be a monument in every parliament dedicated to the memory of fallen lobbyists who died in the attempt to get their snout in the trough.
There are people like two dog, ten gun, Leyonhjelm. I find it passing strange that he stood on a Liberal Democrat ticket when he is neither a liberal nor a democrat – he is an egomaniacal libertine interested only in pursuing his personal prerequisites. He is allegedly an unpaid lobbyist aiming to import unlimited quantities of Adler rapid fire shotguns. Then there are men of vision, like Malcolm Turnbull, who can conceive of implementing the narcissistic embodiment of his own reflection in the still ponds of the stream.
There are of course people who enter parliament with the best intentions. But from the day they are enter the federal parliament they are paid an annual salary of just a nudge short of $200,000. This compares with the average full-time wage, including overtime, in Australia which is about $82,000. Two-thirds of Australian working people earn less than the average wage. Students, unemployed people, single parents and many others receive less than the poverty line. This creates at least a cognitive dissonance distancing politicians from ordinary people.
We have ex-prime minister Tony Abbot who would force women to go full term even when they don’t wish to do so, he would force the terminally ill and others who find life no longer bearable to continue to live, irrespective of the pain and discomfort they experience. He promotes the ongoing burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity, when there are viable alternatives, even though he knows that low lying island communities in the Pacific and Indian Oceans will be flooded as a direct result and the world as a whole could heat up to a disastrous degree.
Then there are the likes of Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, and fellow travelling Chris Bowen (nominally ALP) who have all taken turns supervising the rapes, deaths in custody, child abuse and slowly driving mad refugees and other asylum seekers who attempted to come here by boat and who Australia has transferred to Manus or Nauru. Dutton personally intervened to forcibly return to Nauru a woman who had sought counselling for an abortion to end a pregnancy which had occurred as a result of rape. This large piece of shit, ex-Queensland copper thug, was concerned that she might apply to stay in Australia rather than return to Nauru where she had been raped.
The current leader of the Liberals is a man who once said he would not lead a party which was not as committed to managing climate change as he was. As a result, he lost the leadership to Tony Abbott by one vote. He has now reversed this and many other philosophical positions he once held. He is now a straw man dangling on the whims of the conservative factions of the Liberal and National Parties. A spoilt brat, clinging to the vestiges of pomp and ceremony in his Point Piper Mansion. It may not be long before he, Canute style, will be seen standing on the beach ordering the sea levels, rising as a result of excessive coal burning, to turn back.
The Northern Territory has been ruled by a series of Labor and Country Liberal Party governments who have passed laws which have intentionally resulted in the indiscriminate jailing of a disproportionate percentage of Aborigines for street and minor property crimes.
The new Darwin jail is 100% full; the Alice Springs jail is 116% full. Labor is currently in power in the Territory. There is a reason for this overcrowding and that is racism combined with intentional dispossession of the traditional owners of the Territory. I think the all the Labor members should be offered honorary membership of the Country Liberal Party.
The most egregious exemplar of the true Liberal Party position is none other than the Minister for Social Security, Christian Porter. He was treasurer in the Western Australian state Liberal Government, moved onward and upward to his present Federal Ministerial position, en route to becoming Federal Treasurer. He has presided over the Robo debt scandal, where by the government discovers discrepancies between two data bases, often Taxation and Social Security, without further ado it raises a debt against the person and sooles private debt collectors (acting on commission) to stand over them for repayment, threatening amongst other things to cancel driving licences. Most of the discrepancies can be explained by the fact that the different data bases operate on differing time units. That is, the debts are not debts; but the Liberals don’t care if some people have been grossly distressed or driven to suicide by such government hounding of them. This excrement Porter consistently claims the system is working as it should.
Before returning to look at the un-Christian Porter, we need to consider the decade long run up to the NDIS. That is, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It was initially designed to be implemented by 2018. It is at least a year behind schedule. There is a predicted shortfall of 190,000 disability workers. The Turnbull Government is trying to soften us up to importing the bulk of them. Now just in case you are wondering. It doesn’t take 10 years to train most disability workers. Most could be trained in three years. Many in less time than that.
In an interview with the ABC Porter displayed his full neo-liberal credentials when he declared: that despite the NDIS being a year behind schedule, saddled with a huge number of complaints from people with disabilities and having a short fall of 190,000 trained staff that the NDIS was “on track and within budget”. His economic calculus might be superb but his morality leaves a little to be desired.
Copyright © 2020 John Tomlinson