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Morrison's Government has trashed its right to govern

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Cartoon by Mark David/@mdavidcartoons.

Australia can no longer afford to have such an incompetent and disgraceful Federal Government.

As Australia burns and as the mainstream media even now tells Morrison it’s not too late for him to become a leader of the nation, this is exactly the time when he should be told to go and to go now, and that means for the whole Coalition Government to go and go now, not for Peter Dutton or some other Liberal politician to continue with the same old nation-destroying drivel.

Even now troglodytes like Eric Abetz, Craig Kelly and the Prime Minister are being given platforms by the mainstream media to spout their misinformation to the public, muddying and polluting the messages coming from the firefighting experts, the scientists and the researchers regarding climate change.

Even now people like Shane Fitzsimmons are being diverted from their hugely heavy and responsible leadership roles by the need to counter the garbage conservative politicians continue to spruik. For example, he has been forced to say that increased hazard reduction burns are not the panacea that Morrison, Abetz and Barnaby Joyce are suggesting.

There has been comprehensive coverage on this site and elsewhere about the total failure of this Government and its conservative predecessors under Abbott and Turnbull, yet some insist that the Government should remain in place.

If now is not the time to argue loudly for this Government to go, when the catastrophic consequences of their stupidity, inertia and ignorance is plain for all to see, both at home and abroad, when is the time?

Labor leader Anthony Albanese and his senior colleagues surely have to be given a chance as soon as possible to change the direction this country will inevitably follow if the Coalition's ship of Trump-like characters continue to hold office. 

The Morrison Government – and yes, everyone in it – is not equipped, in any way, to even understand the issues facing this country, let alone have the capacity to provide effective leadership. 

In the face of overwhelming evidence of the need for change, will Australians themselves be willing to do so? Will a government of another political stripe be able to comprehend the need, to prioritise action and be able to shift ways of thinking?

Historians like Jared DiamondDaron Acemoglu and James Robinson have argued that societies in the heart of crises which cling to the past, repeat the same mistakes on a larger scale and dig deeper in maintaining the status quo, are societies which decline or collapse, or both.

One would hope, however, that Australia is capable of providing an alternative government which places a high priority on scientific expertise in policy development. At the moment, there are a number of highly qualified scientists who have entered the public debate about the bushfire disasters. They all have much the same message. 

Michael Feller, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Forestry at British Columbia) wrote that:

'Scott Morrison’s comments on fuel reduction suggest he has as little understanding of forest fire science as he has of climate science.'

David Lindenmayer from ANU and Phillip Zylstra from Curtin University have long been voices in the public arena about forest and fire management, but who is listening to what they are saying now?.

Certainly no one in the Federal Government. They have nothing to learn because they are incapable of learning. 

Then there's people like Bruce Pascoe, who wrote Dark Emu and who is currently fighting fires where he lives. Who is listening to what he has to say? Dark Emu should be compulsory reading for all politicians.  It’s certainly a waste of time for any Coalition politician to read it, for their very own right-wing think tanks and propagandists are doing their level best right now to destroy Pascoe’s reputation.

The evidence is overwhelming and even Kevin Rudd has declared that Morrison is unfit for office. So are all the rest of Morrison’s colleagues. They will spend huge amounts of money, and while they are politically, socially and morally bound to do so in full measure in the current national emergency, ultimately – to be blunt – nothing they do is designed to do anything except shore up their own positions.

They had to be dragged, kicking and struggling, every step of the way, to provide resources, exemplified in all its gory glory when the amazing Abetz argued against supporting volunteer firefighters, as it “diminishes the spirit” of voluntarism to pay them. 

The reality is that Australia’s future cannot be built on a failure to acknowledge that what is happening now is different to the past. What is happening now is a sign of things to come, not some freakish event from left field that will go away when 200 ml of rain indicates to Morrison that his prayers have been answered and Australia can return to business as usual, where coal is king.

Albert Einstein made the point very succinctly when he said that “no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. Apart from the issue of the bushfires, where is the evidence that Morrison or any of his colleagues are doing anything constructive, or will do anything constructive, to save the inland river system of Australia from being irreparably wrecked?

One could go on and on, and mention education, health, housing, energy policy, Morrison’s “great place to raise kids” while he keeps some locked up on Christmas Island, the working precariat, declining wages and conditions. 

But Australians voted for all that last May, and they voted for what they wished for, didn’t they?

Conservative politicians love to describe social and environmental activists as “anarchists” and “insane extremists”. Einstein had an entirely different definition of insanity. He said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

But then Einstein was just a scientist, after all, and why would Australia’s Trumpist political elite, and the majority of Australians listen to scientists?

Peter Henning is a Tasmanian historian and author.

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