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Byron Shire
February 6, 2023

Political comment: Running for cover

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Scott Morrison on the hustings. Photo Twitter.

The phoney campaign is over and Australia will go to the polls on 21 May. Scott Morrison has delayed the moment of truth for as long as possible, giving his opponents plenty of opportunities to point out his deficiencies. He’s also dangled a few Budget carrots in the form of temporary petrol price tax deductions, free money for taxpayers (mostly for the rich), and thrown billions of dollars at Barnaby Joyce’s Nationals in exchange for them not blowing up the government.

Can the ALP get over the line? Will Anthony Albanese’s old-fashioned John Curtin glasses and new-fashioned waistline cut it? Opinion polls show Labor in a very strong position, but that didn’t mean anything last time, and it’s all going to come down to a few seats, mostly in Queensland and WA.

Morrison is known as a ruthless and energetic campaigner. In his corner is American citizen Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, along with most of Peter Costello’s Fairfax/Channel Nine, and an estimated $70 million from ‘freedom’ enthusiast Clive Palmer, designed to scoop up the disaffected and disenchanted and steer their votes back to the people who have been running the show for the last eight years.

It will be hard for anyone else to buy advertising space, and nothing has been done about the indefensible situation which allows Australian political parties to lie with impunity, helping confuse anyone who is actually interested in this election.

For the next six weeks, ‘blank page’ Albanese can no longer be a small target, but will have to start talking about actual policies, including extra money for health, a federal ICAC and some kind of action on climate. The usual contradictions and hypocrisies of Labor will be on display, and the ALP faces battles on multiple fronts in many seats, with Greens and independents chipping away at their traditional heartlands.

The Liberals will also have their hands full, with Simon Holmes à Court-backed teal independents challenging them on climate and integrity, and Pauline Hanson nipping at their heels on the other side.

There have been some attempts from the government to clear the decks, with asylum-seekers quietly released from long term detention recently and more likely to follow. Grieving mother Julie-Anne Finney has been barred from giving public evidence into the veteran suicide royal commission until after the election. The High Court gave a green light to captain’s picks for all electorates, regardless of the wishes of local Liberal Party members, and friends of Morrison have been appointed to well-paid, strategically important positions at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and elsewhere. The Member for Manila George Christensen is officially no longer part of the government, and the COVID threat appears to be receding.

According to traditional wisdom, war in Europe and growing tensions with China should help the incumbents, but it’s impossible to avoid the fact that this is the most fractured and fractious government in decades, with some of its most powerful criticism coming from within. If Morrison wins, it probably means that the electorate is prepared to ignore industrial strength dysfunction, corruption and incompetence in exchange for rising interest rates to be staved off for a little longer, but this is likely a forlorn hope.

Whoever wins this election is going to face a wicked collision of environmental and economic problems. The Greens reckon the answer is to tax the ultra-rich and stop subsidising fossil fuels to pay for free education and lower the pension age. Peter Dutton would like Australia to start a regional arms race, complete with nuclear submarines and hypersonic missiles. Labor sits somewhere in the middle.

Across the Pacific, US President Joe Biden is about to appoint Caroline Kennedy as Australian ambassador, ratcheting up the pressure on our next government to get serious about the climate emergency.

Meanwhile in NSW, while everyone was distracted by the floods and Shane Warne, Dominic Perrottet brought the state government back for an extra day, at great expense, to ram through extreme anti-protest laws designed to frighten active citizens who are concerned about the even more Biblical-level horrors predicted to be coming our way. If these laws had been in place at the time of the Bentley Blockade, thousands of people would have been up for $20,000 fines and four year prison terms. Some brave person will now need to risk their own liberty to prove these laws are unconstitutional, as Bob Brown did when something similar was tried in Tasmania.

Speaking of the island with an extinct animal on its number plates, in the week when Premier Gutwein mysteriously resigned, it was also proven that most of the logging there has been unlawful, which won’t slow the pace of destruction one iota.

Six weeks of this, Australia. Photo Twitter.

In Melbourne, UAP’s Craig Kelly was egged last week, showing the larrikin spirit of Australia is not entirely dead, and there were also glimmers of life shown in Newcastle when a couple of people got through Scott Morrison’s media and security cordon to tell him what they really thought.

A young mother named Chantelle Howard grabbed the grinning PM for a video selfie and said, ‘Congratulations on being the worst Prime Minister we’ve ever had.’

An angry pensioner named Ray Drury told Morrison, ‘I’ve had a go mate, I’ve worked all my life and paid my taxes… I’m sick of your bullshit.’

The nation waits for 21 May.

David Lowe
David Lowe – photo Tree Faerie

Originally from Canberra, David Lowe is an award-winning film-maker, writer and photographer with particular interests in the environment and technology. He’s known for his work with Cloudcatcher Media as a campaigner against unconventional gas and coal.

David has also written Australian history. Many years ago, he did work experience in Parliament House with Mungo MacCallum. David has lived off-grid in the Northern Rivers since 2008.

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  1. Shock horror!

    The first thing I saw when I opened today’s EchoNetDaily was a shot of that sociopathic bully a–hole Morrison sickeningly going coochy-coochy-coo at a child.

    The kid at least had the good sense to turn his back on Scummo.

    I hope that same photo doesn’t adorn the front page of this week’s print Echo, because I couldn’t even use it for toilet paper; I might catch some Scummo disease if I wiped my arse with it.

    We must get rid of Morrison and his pathetic, self-serving government!

  2. At least Morrison stood right with that bloke and
    Listened.. unlike Ablo who turned down a taxpayer
    Who pays his wage to ask a question.. Albo
    No mate journalists will not like this ? Really ..
    What’s the cash rate journalist asks ? Did not
    Know .. whats the unemployment rate the journalist asks ..did not know and for good reason
    Never held a portfolio when it comes to the
    Economy has no idea .. and yet his no1 sales
    Pitch policy for labor in this election campaign
    Is JOBS JOBS JOBS .. and Albo dos not know the jobless rate.. and this bloke wants to be
    Prime Minister? Good luck .. david your a greens
    Supporter i assume !! How did Mr Brandt and
    Sarah Hanson young get to the northern rivers?
    Its a climate emergency right .. surely he would not
    Be happy to be on a plane spewing fossil fuels
    Over the country side on his way to paradise. ?

    • Barrow, Barrow, Barrow, you and Albo.
      How’s that apology to Albo going? We been waiting since 9th March.
      See, that’s the problem when you jump on a Twitter partial line grab trying to be a smartarse without checking the full speech, it doesn’t go away.
      Be a man, own it, apologise it.

      Leaders not getting their numbers right, I get the feeling you enjoying Albo’s current troubles.
      Yes, he should have done better but at least he owned it.
      Which is something you haven’t done. So we don’t need to take lectures from you.

      But where were you when your Morrison gave the nation a Maths lesson when he recently visited the Badgerys Creek Airport Site and did the sums for the cameras, 3 plus 4 = 8. Wow!
      Barrow, your Morrison man, he needs Maths tutoring. Maybe you can help him.
      And where were you in February when your Morrison at The National Press Club took minutes before he had to finally admit he couldn’t give us the a price for bread or milk.

      The Not Knowing Numbers Scoreboard reads; Albanese 1 vs Morrison 2
      But that isn’t the tally that counts, it 21st May where its at.


      • Yes true Joachim !! However big difference between not knowing the price of a loaf of bread ..and not knowing the official unemployment rate ..also he did not know the cash rate been the same for how long ?
        he only had his budget reply speech
        2 weeks ago Joachim come on .. please !!
        Also asked how long werevyou acting
        Prime Minister for a big achievement for any
        Politicians..he did not know this as well
        Joachim.. and considering Albo’s and labors
        No. 2 sales pitch is Jobs, jobs ,jobs this was not a good impression for people out of work
        and yet Albo confirms thats wages growth has been slow ..not there own of course .. !!
        Look Albo seems as though he is a nice bloke
        But he doesn’t resonate with the people ..
        Labor needed a McGowan or a Andrews
        Type of politician to lead Labor..

        • Barrow, it is policy that is the prime, the Leader is a support act.
          With the Liberals it a double whammy Fail – crap and harmful policy with the Devil as their Leader.
          With Labor it some decent policy hits. But there so much copying of Liberal crap policy it makes you sick, that is on their Leader, a Fail.

          • Joachim have a think! Imagine if Labor cam out right now and said everything you want to hear:
            Yes, we’ll double Jobseeker
            Yes, we’ll stop turning boats back
            Yes, we’ll stop off-shore processing
            Yes, we’ll remove negative gearing
            Yes, we’ll have net zero emissions by 2025 …

            We have a huge debt run up by the LNP pork barrelling, performative border control, stuffing up defence contracts and crap targeting of Jobkeeper payments but we’ll start doing all this on day one as well as fully funding NDIS, targeting wage equity and reforming aged care.

            It’s easy for the Greens to promise the world (which by the way they are not) because the strategy and target audience is different. They want to increase seats in the lower house and have the balance of power with Labor. I assume this is the strategy because Adam Bandt seemed to suggest that getting rid of the current government is the BIG essential.

            Well guess what – sledging Labor at every opportunity won’t help that cause!

    • Morrison was unable to escape from Ray Drury, because of his huge media photo op unit and the media in tow.Don’t worry he was trying to run as he always does. It was only when Morrisons goon squad grabbed Ray that he became angry. The media protection racket has kept many of the Morrison daily failed media photo op disasters from the public. Morrison and Andrew Constance were filmed running to jump in the car from protesters in Hawaii shirts and ukulele’s in the bush fire ravaged electorate of Gilmore on Monday after the beer can photo op we all saw. Their cars almost ran people down at high speed, they took off so fast. It was only shown on channel WINN9 but it’s all over Facebook like a rash. A young man was almost arrested attempting to ask Morrison a question last night. All kept from the “MSM, BY THE MSM PROTECTION RACKET MORRISON AS GRIFTED MILLIONS OF OUR DOLLARS TOO”? We all remember how corrupted the media were in the “Miracle” 2019 election, we expect this one to be far, far worse and it already is! People are going to have to switch off the MSM TV, Radio, newspapers and just use trusted media like the Echo and others? See comment below for an example of what is happening with Govt/Media protection racket payola?

    • That Taxpayer Barrow? WTF? That was “asking the questions” interrupting Albo’s in the middle of a scheduled press conference, was from the extremist “Advance Australia party”, it was a staged stunt, he arrived in the truck with the Chinese premier on the side saying to vote Labor. This has been covered on “Media watch” last week. Again this has been on facebook but the MSM protection racket is not informing the public of the dirty tricks being used against opposition parties? We simply cannot trust any LNP supporters or MSM to tell the truth this election, PERIOD!

    • I can’t think of a less consequential bit of trivia to be on top of. The headline unemployment rate is a lie. From the time it has been manipulated by the definition of work being just few hours a week, the official unemployment rate has been meaningless. It is no indication of gross underemployment, youth unemployment – or demographic trends – nor wage fairness and profit share.

      The number is now atypically low because of an acute labour and skills shortage which is neither good news nor any indication of how many have secure, decent employment that will produce a living wage.

      I also despair at the levels to which Australian journalism has descended when these sorts of questions are seen as high priority and any supposed stumbles lead news bulletins. Let’s focus on some big picture vision of where we want to see the country heading.

      “Google it mate” is the response of the campaign to date.

    • Barrow, why you so mean on the Gordon.
      What harm has the Gordon done to anyone that he should feel he need to leave the country.

      On the other your President ScamMO is the one that need dealing with, he is the poison that needs antidoting.

      Your Morrison man, this is a bloke who professes to be a Christian who wilfully visited his signature project of RoboRobberyDebt upon 400,000 plus innocent Australians.
      Those innocent Australians had NO debts, Morrison just made it all up.
      Those innocent Australians had all manner of pain and suffering visited upon them – the suicides, the family and marriage breakdowns, the financial sufferings, all for NOTHING, except that Morrison wanted to bully and give a kicking to those in our society that need our collective help.
      The $1.2Billion monetary compensation cost of RoboRobberyDebt that your Morrison man has saddled the nation – you, me and everyone else – can never repair the damaged lives that your Morrison man has delivered.
      The whole RoboRobberyDebt scandal should have seen The Governor General dismiss Morrison and send him to court to face the charge of terrorism – that what RoboRobberyDebt was, domestic terrorism, sponsored by your man, Morrison.

  3. Why is our overwhelmingly MSM so bias toward the LNP, so blatantly corrupted, it’s almost like there’s no opposition party policies in this country, only blanket media attacks on them? Heres an extract explaining why. This is just one example of money being channelled to the big media corporations while smaller more trustworthy media are left with nothing. This doesn’t include the hundreds of millions grifted to them by Morrison in Govt advertising?
    “Modelling by the analysts allocates to Seven West media, following this week’s deal announcement, $63 million from both the platforms. That’s $54 million in fees from Google and $9 million from Facebook next financial year starting July 1. (Click here to read more)

    Add that to the $47 million Seven West Media received from Jobkeeper (Click here to read more) and you have one media company that has profited over $100 million over the last couple of years from the Scott Morrison government. Add that to Seven’s parent company the Seven Group and it’s associated companies then the major shareholders Kerry Stokes and his son Ryan Stokes have probably made between $100 million and $200 million just from Jobkeeper.

    They are huge dollars even for billionaires, so it is no wonder the Stokes’ want Scott Morrison to stay in power. Of course, Jobkeeper is fraud and theft from taxpayers but that doesn’t worry the Stokes’ or Morrison but it should worry voters.

    Other media companies such as News Corp have done just as well if not better than Seven from the Morrison government. While over at Nine its Chairman Peter Costello has his hand in a few government pies, such as the submarine deal, thanks to to his good mate Scott Morrison”.

    • Tweed you almost right about no opposition policies, that is if you hang your hat on The A lternate L iberal P arty to save the day.
      There are of course opposition policies but we don’t get to hear or read enough about them because RupertNews mostly ignores everyone else bar the ALP – RupertNews makes a sport out of clobbering the ALP.
      The ALP today, ran dead again in just copying The Lying Nasty Party, caved in on Unemployment Benefit, happy to keep the unemployed below the poverty. That’s the Labor Way these days, join in with The LNP to punish those that need help the most and give free passes to those that need help the least.
      Can add Albo’s announcement today to the list of LaborFAILS, that must have The Great Man and The Great Woman rolling in their graves.

  4. Just another fly-by. Seeing as how if anyone works a ‘one day week’ ScoMo
    lists that as an ’employed’ person. A deliberate lie. None of us can get the
    real & untarnished numbers. Not even God herself.


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