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A Slippery Slope

24 September 2013

On 7th September, Australia elected a Liberal Government (that’s Liberal with a large ‘L” – NOT to be confused with liberal with a small ‘l’).  And for the last three weeks, they’ve done everything they can to stem the flow of information to the Australian people and to tamper with our democracy.

Tony Abbott appointed a Cabinet with only one woman – Julie Bishop, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.  He says that he wishes to make appointments on merit, rather than on gender.  Fair enough but more than a little insulting to his female Parliamentary colleagues whom he would appear to hold in such low esteem. (It’s been pointed out that Afghanistan has more females in their Cabinet).

For the first time in 30 years, we haven’t got a Minister of Science.

He’s abolished the Climate Change Commission – a body set up to provide information and advice. In other words, what we’re now told will be totally in the hands of the Government. Fortunately the Commission has vowed to continue – they just won’t get paid.  (Thank you, Tim Flannery).

He immediately rescinded the appointment of Steve Bracks to the Australian Consulate in New York. He was appointed months ago and was days away from moving to the USA.  Apparently this was a “political appointment” (he was previously the Labor Premier of Victoria).  Of course it was a political appointment …..  does Abbott think that we really believe appointments to Embassies and Consulates are made just on merit? 

He’s decreed that the public won’t be given information about the number of boats arriving here with refugees and asylum seekers.  Nor will we be told how many are turned back or sink.  As they claimed that from Day One they’d be “Stopping the Boats” this decision would appear to be a bit disingenuous. I’m hoping that every Prime Minister’s Question Time will include the question, and that weekly requests are submitted under the Freedom of Information Act.  And I hope (and believe) that there will be enough people in the know who will pass on this information anyway.

Tony Abbott has been banging on for months about how he’s “ready to govern”.  But he’s not recalling Parliament until November so none of these decisions – and other ill-thought-out ones to come, no doubt – can be challenged on the floor of the House. 

I find this all a bit frightening.  Keep the peasants in ignorance and we’ll all think he’s doing a great job?

 

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7 comments

  1. Wow.
    And I got stuck at what to say after “Wow”.

    Your description does not paint a good picture. I just took a side trip to see how long his length of term would be and the answer is involved but seems to offer some options – of which I’m sure you know a great deal more about than I do.

    And now I’m “stuck” as I try to think of something encouraging to say. For the most part, I am too ignorant of Australian politics to be of much use but I hope things improve sooner over later.
    ‘Tis a paltry offering, but it is sincere.


    • His term is basically a maximum of 3 years (4 years in the US I believe and 5 in the UK). Relatively short but a meglomaniac like this can do a lot of damage in 3 years – AND make sure we never hear of it.


      • That was my core feeling under the “Wow” – that quite a bit of odd stuff had already happened in, what – a week? {This is what happened in a single Week of this person’s term?!? Wow.}

        I’m rather hoping my ignorance is making this seem worse.
        Skimming the news, a few of your comments are being echoed on a much larger scale.
        Perhaps that is the best hope – to ensure the communication and knowledge continues to be shared. Yet even as I type that, your comment about his decree “that the public won’t be given information” makes me pause.

        {sigh} Again, I hope things improve sooner over later.


  2. While ill in the last couple of weeks I rewatched some “Yes Minister” DVDs. 30 years old and still relevant…


  3. Have you heard of NaDIA? Neither did the people who worked there until we got the email telling them the new name. Completely rebranding disabilitycare less than three months after launch just to put their stamp on it. Wonder how many home modifications could have been completed just out of the funds it will take to change the stationery, let alone anything else with the old name on it!


    • I’ve heard nothing about this. Interested to hear more. What a complete waste of money. I feel a letter to my Federal Member coming on!!


  4. I don’t think he can keep us in the dark. A lot has changed since this party was in government six years ago – twitter, for example, which many journos use to get stories. Already a man on Christmas Island is pledging to let us all know about any boat arrivals. The genie is out of the bottle.



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