When someone online asked me why I could not vote for the Morrison government (not that I ever would), I replied:
“The constant lies, misogyny, racism, idiocy, petulance, corruption, pork barrelling, religious nutjobbery, hatred of expertise, shirking of responsibility, shifting of blame to the blameless, the stealing of credit from the creditable. #WhyIWantChange”1
I elaborated on the first two items (lies and misogyny) in a previous article1. Here I elaborate on a couple more.
During the runup to the Victorian election Peter Dutton stated that Victorians are afraid to go out to restaurants because of ‘African gang violence’. This was a lie, as then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted. However, Turnbull later stated that “there are Sudanese gangs in Melbourne; it is an issue”. At the time Turnbull said this, he was standing alongside the Victorian opposition leader, Matthew Guy, who was pinged some time before having a lobster dinner with Tony Madafferi, the alleged head of Melbourne’s mafia2. I suppose it depends on your priorities. Sudanese people tend not to donate to the Liberal Party, so they are a logical target in the game of political football. This also appeals to the knuckledraggers in society.
Greg Hunt has also said that African gang crime is out of control in Victoria despite the Victoria police stating that youth crime is actually decreasing in Victoria3.
In 2018, in Bourke Street, Melbourne, 30-year-old, Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali crashed his vehicle loaded with gas bottles and apparently set it alight, and then stabbed three people one of whom died at the scene. He was shot by police and later died, and was known to have mental health and substance abuse problems. What did Prime Minister Scott Morrison do? He brought out the dog-whistle. He called on Muslim leaders to take “special responsibility” for stamping out radicalism in their communities, saying they must “call it out for what it is”, and has pointed out that Islamic extremism was the most dangerous form of radicalism in Australia. The year before, another person with mental health and substance abuse problems drove his car along the footpath on Bourke Street, killing 6 people and injuring 274. Nobody called on his community to stamp out his hatreds, but he was not a Muslim.
Some of the elected members of Coalition parties hate multiculturalism, believing it has failed. Some of them extended that disparagement to boycotting the apology to the stolen generation delivered by Kevin Rudd in February 2008. At least some of these were at the nasty end of the Coalition spectrum; people like Sophie Mirabella, Don Randall, Dennis Jensen, Alby Schultz, Wilson Tuckey, who are fortunately all gone from Parliament. However, one boycotter is still there; Peter Dutton5.
In the Senate, the vacant, idiotic Pauline Hanson of One Nation put forward a motion in two parts. It was, to ask the senate to acknowledge:
- The deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation
- That it is OK to be white
The vote was defeated 31 to 28. The fact that there could actually be 28 senators who were stupid enough to vote for such egregious white supremacist nonsense is staggering. Those who voted for it include Abetz, Anning, Bernardi, Birmingham, Brockman, Bushby, Canavan, Cash, Colbeck, Duniam, Fierravanti-Wells, Fifield, Georgiou, Gichuhi, Hanson, Hume, Leyonhjelm, McGrath, McKenzie, Molan, O’Sullivan, Reynolds, Ruston, Scullion, Seselja, Smith, Stoker and Williams6. If they had a modicum of intelligence, they would have known that it has been spread by neo-Nazis and white-supremacists including the KKK.
Josh Frydenberg tweeted some years ago: “I’m deeply concerned about the reports of children as young as 5 being attacked in schools because of their Jewishness. It’s completely unacceptable in our civilised society & State & Federal Govts must work together to educate our community about the atrocities of the Holocaust.” The fact that this came from a member of the government shows an exceptional lack of awareness of the readiness of the government to use the dog whistle at almost every opportunity when it thought it could gain some electoral advantage among the knuckledraggers7.
While I have no doubt there are racist bastards in the Liberal and National parties, I expect there are many who believe they are not. Despite this, they are willing to weaponise racism to obtain more votes from the far right. To me, racism is simple stupidity, but to use it for your electoral advantage, that is disgusting and demonstrates your absence of morality.
There have been many idiotic things said by members of the Morrison government. A few of them are listed here.
After 12 hectares of land near Badgery’s Creek were purchased from Liberal Party donors, the Leppington Pastoral Company, for $29 million but was valued, less than a year later, at $3 million, the idiotic Michael McCormack said that we’d all look back on this and say ‘What a bargain that was’8.
Craig Kelly, although now leader of the United Australia Party, when in the Liberal Party stated that you can determine the amount of sea level rise by looking at old photographs of Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour9. I presume he wonders why all these organisations spend so much money on such things as satellites and tide gauges to measure sea level rise. Kelly also believes that coral atolls float on the ocean, so sea level rise will not affect them10.
Of course, there was also the idiocy surrounding electric vehicles, particularly with regard to the Labor Party policy of having 50% of new vehicle sales by 2030. Michaelia Cash said that tradies were going to be forced to drive electric vehicles (they weren’t); and Morrison said the weekend would end (it wasn’t going to be), SUVs would disappear (many electric SUVs are available), and that electric vehicles cannot tow a boat (they can), when everyone knows electric vehicles are more powerful that their internal combustion competitors11,12.
The poor benighted Gerrard Rennick believes the Bureau of Meteorology is involved in a global conspiracy to doctor temperature data. Rennick does not have the slightest understanding of science, and vacuums up any drivel he is told, if it fits in with his peculiar belief system. In this case, this idiocy was sourced from The Spectator, a far-right anti-science magazine edited by the curly-headed buffoon from the Sky News After Dark menagerie, Rowan Dean13.
Barnaby Joyce opposed the free provision of Gardasil vaccine which helps prevent cervical cancer. He insisted MPs should be allowed to debate its ‘social implications’ and that the decision should not be left to the Therapeutic Goods Administration because “they will talk about the therapeutic aspects – they are not there to talk about the psychological implications or the social implications”. Believe it or not, Joyce actually said “There might be an overwhelming backlash from people saying ‘Don’t you dare put something out there that gives my 12-year-old daughter a licence to be promiscuous’”14.
Barnaby Joyce has determined what causes climate change: “There are a range of things that affect the climate and on a global scale, you should be part of it, and acknowledge it would have an effect and I acknowledge that there are other issues as well… There’s just the oscillation of the seasons. There’s a change in the magnetic field of the sun.” This was termed ‘wacky’ by a climate scientist and that it was ‘ludicrous and grossly ill-informed’ by another15.
This rampant idiocy is another reason I could never vote for any party that endorses people like these, whose knowledge is so limited they are a danger to their families and to the rest of us.