Morrison can’t even see what’s holding Australia back. Climate damage is holding Australia back, already costing some $18 billion a year, according to a recent estimate. Poverty and homelessness are holding Australia back. The utter mess the Coalition made of the NBN is holding Australia back. The lack of an energy policy is holding Australia back. Corruption – from Helloworld to watergate – is holding Australia back. The government’s self-obsessed time-wasting culture wars – such as the debates over section 18C and Safe Schools, which exercise a tiny group on the fringes but are completely irrelevant or downright hurtful to the rest of the country – are holding Australia back. The disgrace of a thousand desperate people sitting on Manus and Nauru after six years with no hope in sight is holding Australia back. More than anything, what is holding Australia back is an execrable federal government that has no answers to anything because it’s too busy waging war on itself: the Liberals and Nationals are already skirmishing and the election’s not even done.

Paddy Manning

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