*Pic: ABC of Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison
So it’s becoming increasingly clear what actually happened with that leadership change. The Party Shovers and Makers came up to Turnbull and said something like, “Hey. People out there are beginning to catch on that the loonies are running the asylum. We need somebody to cover up for us. We will just go and hide under the desks with our friends from the Australian Christian Lobby and you can tell anyone who comes by that we’re not here. Oh and just one last little thing. About that little device we had implanted next to your heart that we told you was a pacemaker ...”
I was one of the huge majority of Australians to heave a huge sigh of relief when Abbott was dumped. Most of the country felt and hoped that we had seen the back of, not only Abbott, but his whole gang, and that they would all retire to Broken Hill or somewhere and become surf lifesavers or maybe form an Antarctic cycling team.
And the omens at first looked promising. Almost all of the foaming-at-the mouth types were dumped from Cabinet, leaving only Scott Morrison and George Brandis trying to rebadge themselves as moderates.
After all, isn’t the ever-litigious Brandis a member of Melbourne’s elite and secretive Savage Club, which is supposed to be for progressives? Which seems to mean that they discuss among themselves over brandy whether to give more gruel to the children in workhouses?
Scott Morrison would very obviously react to any sign of recession by retrenchment and just those 1920’s measures which would send the economy into a terminal tailspin, but as time went on it was plain that Turnbull never told him anything, Australia’sTreasurer now being an unimportant member of the Outer Cabinet, where there shall be wailing and cashing of feet.
Cory Bernardi, livid over the total encouragement of Perverse Sex and Bestiality, maybe even seceding and starting his own party (Heaven be praised!) Turnbull reversed the scrapping of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Australia, admittedly under huge pressure from the other 195 countries in the world, finally admitting that just possibly, Climate Change might be a Thing, Turnbull bravely standing up against the entire Right of his party who were enraged that he even knew such a place as Paris existed, except for suits and handbags.
Actual retreat from the Liberal idea that bullying in schools is character-building - after all, we did the bullying in Our private schools and it didn’t do Us any harm. And most fabulous of all, Turnbull talked about ‘30 minute cities’. It looked like the unthinkable ... the Liberals (maybe prompted by the total collapse of the Australian auto industry) finally abandoning their crazed commitment to cars and actually supporting Public Transport Infrastructure! Yay! A new, sensible, moderate Liberal Party that might actually spend a few days in Australia a year!
I was fooled. I was wrong. I was hoaxed, just like everybody except for a few Hardened Political Cynics who thought that just maybe, the right-wingers might not be telling the truth.
Last week Turnbull announced just how much of the $1.5 billion that had formerly been earmarked for Melbourne’s moronic East/West link project would go to public transport. $10 million - and that was to go to consultants to find if buying houses was a good idea. It won’t get us so much as one single extra train carriage. This allows us to calculate a very precise and accurate figure on how different the Turnbull government is to the Abbott government. That is, 0.6%.
Moreover, the Climate Change policy turned out to be a continuation of Abbott’s Direct Action policy which, so far as I can work out what it means at all, seems to involve filling in holes the Coal Industry has left behind and planting trees that the Coal Industry should have paid for.
A Carbon Price - internationally shown to be the most effective solution - was not on the agenda. The $1 billion to help Pacific Island States threatened by sea-level rise was to come out of the money for their hospitals and schools. Meanwhile, hospitals and schools in Australia were to be paid for by State Premiers busking outside their parliaments 1. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency was to be replaced with a new “Clean Energy Innovation Fund’, which I think we can decipher as meaning ‘research on new ways to sell coal’. The Safe Schools program was gutted. 1
“It’s often difficult inside a closed system to see the boundaries that surround you. Sometimes you think you can see the whole of the universe. This is how closed systems like it: their inhabitants looking out through a distorted curvature that gives shape to space that is not there.” - Joshua Topolsky 1
So it’s becoming increasingly clear what actually happened with that leadership change. The Party shovers and makers came up to Turnbull and said something like, “Hey. People out there are beginning to catch on that the loonies are running the asylum. We need somebody to cover up for us. We will just go and hide under the desks with our friends from the Australian Christian Lobby and you can tell anyone who comes by that we’re not here. Oh and just one last little thing. About that little device we had implanted next to your heart that we told you was a pacemaker…”
And Now! (Drum Roll) Yay! An Austerity Budget! Just what we needed! Just what we knew that economic half-wit Scott Morrison would come up with!. And ‘However, he [Turnbull] confirmed his first budget would contain “changes to our tax system” designed to promote investment, innovation and enterprise’ 1, which we all now know is code for ‘we will cut taxes for the coal and oil industries to promote new mines’. An d ‘freeing up the economy’ means ‘reducing corporate taxes’.
We must all tighten our belts and give more $$$$ to the rich so a bit of it can trickle back down to us down their pants legs, because otherwise If we don’t give the rich more money, they won’t be able to get $50 million yachts made in Sweden and hire a Vietnamese crew and sip French champagne while wearing Armani suits and Gucci shoes made in sweatshops in China 1 and there will be no extra jobs for Australians at all!
The insanity of introducing a budget that all Australians will immediately recognise as a noxious fraud during an election year at least gives us hope that these losers will be boosted out on their Arses.
But it allows us to understand just how hopelessly out of touch with anything like the Australian People the Liberal Party has become. They have moved so far right that Turnbull with his new far-to-the-right of Ted Cruz policies actually believes he is a left-winger.
People like Senator Bernardi and Senator Concetta-Wells (who, let’s face it, would never ever ever stand any chance of being elected by an actual Electorate) are so right-wing that they will very soon stretch right around the block and find their noses inserted in their own fundamental apertures.
Which is what we can only hope happens to this whole cozening, meretricious, shyster government.
1 Which failed plan is now being touted as a masterpiece of strategy.
1 The term ‘frugal’ is used, so that we don’t get mixed up with the U.K. where David Cameron is now being asked to resign.
1 I don’t mean to imply here that Gucci and Armani are made in sweatshops in China. I don’t know which country’s sweatshops they are made in.
*Tom Kent is a composer and retired journalist who doesn’t think too much of Labor either.