13.4 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Thus Spake Mungo: tap the mat

Latest News

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Other News

Jungle juice

There are times when water just doesn’t cut it. And luckily, for those times, there is Jungle Juice.

Hippie fools

Edward Kent, Suffolk Park So, have the ‘hippie’ hipsters of Byron Bay figured out how the new global establishment party at...

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

One, two, three, four.

Keeping faith’s a dreadful bore.

Five, six, seven, eight.

Tap the mat, capitulate.

This, it appears, is Labor’s new tribal chant. And needless to say, it is less of a battle cry than a muted whimper.

The party that once boasted of the fire in its belly is now too cowed by electoral defeat to resume the battle of ideas – it has no stomach for further conflict. Surrender is, at least for the moment, the preferred option.

But let us be clear, it is not a realistic option. Politics is inherently an antagonistic process – if you like, a war without blood. There are times when it can be, and should be, bipartisan but such truces are rare; if bipartisanship was the norm, there would be no need for parliamentary democracy in the first place.

Politics is not about avoiding conflict, but managing it: resolving disputes without killing people. But it does not mean the disputes disappear, or that the protagonists should be silenced. As the man said, maintain the rage.

And this is where Anthony Albanese needs to remain relevant. It is one thing to be careful, to settle into his new role and bring his troops to order. But if he continues to be too cautious, he will end up giving them nothing to fight for.

Scott Morrison is clearly on a high and is baiting Albanese mercilessly

Scott Morrison is clearly on a high and is baiting Albanese mercilessly. He has now got through three key pieces of legislation – his tax cuts, his drought fund and his foreign fighter exclusion bill. And although Labor argued passionately and at times convincingly about the shortcomings of all of them, in the end the opposition has folded.

Morrison sneers that Albanese is presiding over an opposition “with a capital O,” but in fact that capital O looks very like a big fat zero. Labor talks a good fight, but is unwilling to carry its passion through to vote for it.

Okay, it has not got the numbers. Oppositions never have – that is why they are oppositions. But they owe it to their supporters, only a small number fewer than those who supported the coalition, to give them a decent show. And to date, they haven’t.

The tax cuts, or at least the third stage, that will deliver a shitload of money for the rich, should have been resisted to the end. If the government continued to refuse to split the bills Albanese should have called their bluff and continued to agitate for stages one and two – as he had urged. The crossbench senators were prepared to cave – but Labor could still have stuck to its guns and its principles on such a fundamental issue of fairness and equity, not to mention hard economics.

Albanese’s refusal to hold the line against raiding Infrastructure Australia looks like not just pusillanimity, but something close to parricide

And as for the drought fund – Albanese’s refusal to hold the line against raiding Infrastructure Australia looks like not just pusillanimity, but something close to parricide. Infrastructure Australia was Albanese’s own creation – the very special baby he birthed in 2008 in one of his first forays as minister.

It was, and is, an attempt to make sense out of a confused area which had been dominated by slush funds and pork barrelling. It was independent and non-partisan. And it was Albo’s pride and joy. But now it is to be dismembered at the demands of the National Party to create a Drought Fund which, whatever reassurances will be given, will be an invitation to return to the past – to the slush funds and pork barrelling.

And it was not even an election promise – sprung on the new parliament as ‘a matter of urgency’, despite the fact that no money will actually be delivered to farmers for at least one year and probably two. The Minister, David Littleproud, howled that by delaying it, Labor was denying desperate farmers the only solace available to them. This was both untrue and cynical. But again, Albo tamely submitted.

Perhaps the most egregious backdown was the foreign fighters exclusion bill

But perhaps the most egregious backdown was the foreign fighters exclusion bill. Even the Liberals on the Parliamentary Committee that examined it thought that it need amending. The chairman, Andrew Hastie, a right wing warrior appointed by Morrison precisely because of his hard line approach, signed the unanimous report that said, among other things, that it gave too much power to the minister, Peter Dutton.

Given that Hastie had backed Dutton in last year’s leadership putsch, that was surely a reason for Labor to hold the line. If Morrison is determined to give Dutton everything he wants, make him wear it – and of course the doubts over whether Dutton’s latest exercise in megalomania is even constitutional should have been enough for Labor to vote against it anyway.

But once again, Albanese has taken the approach that if you can’t beat them on the numbers, you might as well join them in the chamber. And so the chickens come home to roost, and we do mean chickens. And as everyone knows, chickens are there to be plucked – or something that sounds very similar.

Morrison has now developed a new taunt: ‘Whose side are you on?’

Morrison has now developed a new taunt: ‘Whose side are you on?’ The correct reply should be: ‘Well, not yours, you vacuous marketeer of bluster and bullshit.’ Instead, when the crunch comes, it is to roll over and submit, and wait for the next ritual humiliation ScoMo can devise.

And of course, he will devise plenty – successful bullies always can.

It has now got to the stage where Albanese needs to stand up simply in order to remain in touch with his own side – if he does not believe in his own policies, why should he expect anyone else to?

And the crunch is about to come.  The government’s wedge of the week will be the bills spun to remove Albanese’s enemy John Setka. but are in fact far wider measure to neuter or even eliminate entire trades unions, the final solution to the centuries-old war between laissez faire capitalism and organised labour.

Surely Albanese cannot duck this one. Watch this space.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Labor in parliament is very wet and damp
    On the pitch they can’t match Scomo.
    The Opposition are mouthing a rant
    They can’t bowl a ball as good as Thommo
    Or as good at India’s Rishabh Pant.
    As far as winning their word is definitely “can’t’

  2. No observation from any journalist is going to change Albo. It is as if journalists know more about Labor than Albo and I say the biggest fools of the 2019 election were journalists. In Albo I trust in Labor I believe. Watch this space.

  3. The self-styled “Toryfighter” unveiled his cunning plan to frustrate the regime. The ALP will drop its dacks and roll over. Brilliant!!! Never to be wedged again! Hurray for Elbow, he must’ve heard Scummo’s seductive call for more love. Get ready to be ‘loved’

  4. As a woman I do not want Scum seduction. I’d
    sooner face a firing squad or the electric chair.
    As for the brain’s department… the skull’s good
    & empty there in la la land…

    RATTLE

    Beware of false Gods who share your
    fire, pick your pockets
    and snore like
    the void’s
    tin
    ear

  5. Yeah, yeah to Mungo. Over ten years ago now Obama declared income inequality ‘the defining challenge of our time .He was supported by that wild radical, Pope Francis who said inequality was ‘the root of social ills’, calling as he said it for a campaign against its ‘structural causes’. And we have Albo, ‘prince of the pussy foots’.

  6. Mungo’s pieces are beautifully written and deadly accurate. The Echo is fortunate to have him as a contributor, and may thus long continue, but I’d like his insights to have a wider readership from being reprinted in The Saturday Paper.

  7. No, Left Wing politics no longer fits the modern genre, it will go the way of Communism – it was a nice idea at the time ….

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

Jungle juice

There are times when water just doesn’t cut it. And luckily, for those times, there is Jungle Juice.