The government in charge of our nation has been keeping us in line through corruption, greed and bullying, but it's time to say “no more”, writes Dr Martin Hirst.
IT'S EASY TO BECOME more and more disengaged from the circus of the Canberra bubble. On one hand, we have the bloviating, blocking and gaslighting behaviour of the accidental Prime Minister and, on the other, the pretend leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition acting like a starstruck kid trying to get a selfie with all the ageing Vaudeville stars of yesteryear.
We are saddled with a hopeless Prime Minister who is running a protection racket for his miscreant MPs.
Not only that, this slogan bogan makes policy based on two things: a sign from God and letters from children.
But, of course, not any letters from all children, or all letters from any children. In fact, Morrison is very good at ignoring letters containing information he doesn’t want to know, like these kids pleading to be let out of immigration detention.
And when it comes to taking instructions from God, we are very much left in the dark. While Morrison is happy to be publicly identified with charismatic evangelism, he is not very forthcoming on what he actually believes.
Morrison refuses to come clean on his deeply-held beliefs beyond claiming to be a man of unwavering faith.
We also don’t know just how deeply he believes in the QAnon conspiracy theories being fed to him by his close family friend, Tim Stewart, also known on Twitter as @BurnedSpy34.
Mr Stewart’s wife, Lynelle, works for the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House and is supposed to have a security clearance to “top secret”, but the Government is refusing to release any details about its background checks. Government ministers were quizzed about this during Senate Estimates this week, but they just point-blank refused to answer. The arrogance is breathtaking.
What we are witnessing from Morrison and his cronies is not politics, it is intentional anti-politics.
This is not policy-driven debate, this is gold medal gaslighting meant to keep the punters in the dark, confused and disabled.
Quiet Australians are placid Australians
This is about creating a nation of placid, quiet Australians. It’s about silencing dissent and criminalising those who refuse to shut up and take their beatings without complaint.
We have a government based on photo opportunities and talking points.
A government that thinks any questioning of its lack of vision, its stale, male, pale priorities and its deliberate inaction on pressing social issues is rude, impertinent, irrelevant and unworthy of an intellectual response.
In this government, we have a compliant stable of Federal MPs beholden to a skilled and a deliberate liar with an authoritarian personality and a Ministry which resembles a cabal of loyal, if slightly stupid, henchmen who kick any head and all heads indiscriminately.
We have a government that is both stupid and cruel.
It is outrageous that a Minister’s office can find itself involved in a shameless and obvious scam to manufacture fake news against its political opponents.
But, we’re talking about Angus Taylor here — a minister up to his neck in dodgy accounting practices.
I’m not surprised he still has his job. Morrison is running a protection racket and Taylor has to be protected from himself and this means more lies and more obfuscation.
It’s outrageous that serial adulterer and corrupt rorter Barnaby Joyce can openly lie about how hard he’s been working on the drought issue. It’s outrageous that he hasn’t been sacked and sent packing for his shameless behaviour.
Joyce’s performance on the ABC this week would normally earn a stern rebuke from the Prime Minister for such an embarrassing display of lies and misleading fiction. But these are not normal times and Joyce is allowed to flaunt his corruption unchallenged and undisciplined.
I’m just not into it any more
But I’m beyond being outraged by the blatant rorting, the corruption, the lies and the deliberate gaslighting of the whole nation. I’ve moved into the realm of thinking that any outrage is an emotion wasted on these criminals.
I can’t get engaged in the Canberra bubble or enraged by the blatant sleaze and corruption of the Morrison Government. I can’t even get upset anymore by his holier-than-thou gospel spiel or the fact that a book about his favourite book somehow won his prize for non-fiction literature in 2019.
I can only barely manage a small dose of the Labor Party, too. Anthony Albanese is a joke. Labor is so frightened of its own shadow that it is contorting itself into a slightly pink version of the Government and has been conditioned into self-inflicting wedgies in a Pavlovian response to any threatening move by Morrison.
This week, I could summon just a smidgen of enthusiasm about Penny Wong and Kristina Keneally being animated and angry, but they are stars in an otherwise bleak and black firmament.
I get so lividly angry when I watch the likes of Home Affairs honcho Mike Pezzullo and ministers like Mathias Cormann parade like smug alpha primates who can’t be bothered with public accountability. It cuts my heart to see these monsters deflecting legitimate questions with haughty disdain.
It breaks my soul to hear Peter Dutton announce that returning captives of ISIL should have a DNA test to prove they’re worthy of Australian citizenship as if somehow he was stating scientific fact and not some racist ideology designed to dog-whistle Hansonites and worse from under their dark rock holes.
I want to punch the wall when I read about Morrison’s naked white nationalism.
I am ashamed of our Prime Minister’s religious zealotry and the way he fawns over the tangerine monstrosity that occupies the White House.
I can no longer take parliamentary politics seriously.
And that is both the problem and the solution.
The problem is that Morrison wants us all to disengage. He desires a nation of quiet Australians who won’t complain as he goes about dismantling what’s left of the public square by silencing whistleblowers and criminalising any half-decent journalist who dares question his authority.
I’m not going quietly, neither should you
Morrison wants to silence us so that we don’t question his quasi-fascist Home Affairs Minister when he kills another asylum seeker or launches another raid on the news media.
Morrison wants us to be disinterested and disengaged from politics so that we don’t notice his deliberate dismantling of our freedoms and our country.
That’s the downside and it’s dangerous to succumb. It is tempting to switch off and turn your back on the disgusting farce being staged in the Canberra bubble.
But there’s an upside.
Politics exists outside the Canberra bubble; politics is not limited to the charade of parliamentary democracy which is anything but democratic.
Politics take place on the streets and in the public square.
That’s where we need to place ourselves and our political energy.
It is also why the Government and its media enablers have worked too hard to discredit the recent large and successful climate emergency protests.
It is why Dutton, and shockingly the Queensland Labor Government, is now designing legislation to further criminalise effective methods of peaceful civil disobedience.
Our power on the streets and our ability to organise a different kind of politics – one beyond the control of fat cat politicians and their unelected, unaccountable public servants – frightens people like Morrison and Dutton.
It’s important we don’t switch off, but rather refocus our attention on effective, loud and colourful resistance.
There’s plenty of inspiring action going on right now in Spain, Chile, Lebanon, Hong Kong and other places. Extinction Rebellion is not going away. It’s time to get off the couch and join in.
You can follow Dr Martin Hirst on Twitter @ethicalmartini.
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