People are utterly fed up with Canberra and are starting to take back their Government and choosing to be "represented", writes Noely Neate.
I'M NOT GOING to focus too much on the detailed ins and outs of what happened in Wentworth.
If you were living under a rock and missed this historic flogging handed out to the Coalition Government, you can read about it here: 'Wentworth by-election: Kerryn Phelps claims victory, Government loses majority', or on any mainstream media site, in fact. The (still changing) vote tally can be checked on the Australian Electoral Commission website.
ABC attempted the faux balance rubbish of, Well, this is a problem for the ALP and Greens too, as their primary vote is down, which seriously paled into insignificance and was not even really worthy of mention when looking at the pantsing the Government received.
To be frank, I’m used to seeing ALP and Greens supporters usually very begrudging about an Independent winning with the only one vote, can’t lead Government vibe. But last night, a vast majority of these supporters were celebrating the Phelps win too, so, sorry ABC, I would not be concerned about that drop in the primary, think it was more "strategic" voting, thankfully.
For mine, Phelps won because people are fed up. Government is patently not talking about issues that Australians are worried about.
Katharine Murphy wrote a very good piece in the Guardian last night. I don’t agree with all of it, though I do the main points, 'The Wentworth byelection isn't just a loss for the Liberals. It's a disaster'.
And this paragraph, in particular, resonated with me:
A repudiation of amoral plots, schemes, coups and seat-of-the-pants bullshit – a howl of frustration from voters, from the most well-heeled to the couch surfers, about the endless weasel words from their disconnected, half-deranged politicians – a group with scant respect for facts and evidence, intermittent competence and no plan in evidence to address the problems the country faces.
I did a podcast with Denise Shrivell and Cheryl Kernot on Friday (19 October) which was a wrap of the shit-show that politics was last week. And we could not get through the list of highlights (read, lowlights) that happened in just seven days of Morrison Government stuff-ups in one hour.
- ignoring the IPCC climate change report;
- Stuart Robert's rorting and cover-up;
- Morrison insulting Science Awards with “belief”;
- the 'It’s okay to be white' motion;
- administrative "error" of above, illustrating that Coalition senators are paid over $200,000 a year to vote as told and are totally clueless;
- the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem Wentworth bribe;
- antagonising Muslim neighbours and endangering billions of trade dollars with Indonesia due to the above bribe;
- Neo-Nazis infiltrating Young Nationals;
- Melissa Price insulting former Kiribati Leader with "cash for Pacific" comments, then, of course, doubling down by misleading Parliament about it. (Ms Price also had a role in point one of this list);
- PM Morrison accusing Labor of being anti-semitic in Question Time for calling out the Israeli embassy move — and the Speaker letting that go;
- again using the children on Nauru as a political wedge, instead of listening to just about every prominent health and legal organisation in the nation;
- former ABC head, Michelle Guthrie, taking ABC to court for unfair dismissal;
- Nationals ignoring all semblance of integrity to consider reinstating the disgraced Member for New England Barnaby Joyce to replace Michael McWhatsHisName; and
- I didn’t even include the Ruddock report and beating up on LGBTIQ+ kiddies and teachers, because I think that was the prior week!
I have probably forgotten some, feel free to add in the comments below.
Why are we taxpayers paying millions and millions of dollars for this rubbish? The vast majority of the above just has punters at home either screaming about the future with climate change concerns, or totally pissed off the Government is so self-absorbed with its own petty games and interests that have zero effect on addressing the real concerns of those living in this nation.
To call this Prime Minister and Government tone-deaf is an understatement. Just when you thought a concession speech could not get any more graceless than Malcolm Turnbull’s election night sook – which was not even a concession speech – along comes Scott Morrison with a disgraceful "hold my beer" moment.
He carried on with the same ridiculous slogans that lost this by-election, plus that anti-Christ Bill Shorten – even though they ALP didn't beat them in Wentworth – and, to my utter disgust, actually invoked the "spirit of Invictus" for his Liberals! An utterly shameful insult to the Invictus Games competitors and beyond tacky to bring politics into it.
"I don't come to you with a vanquished spirit I come to you with an indomitable spirit" Now Morrison is actually invoking the Invictus spirit equating the same "indomitable spirit" with the Libs' "indomitable spirit." #WentworthVotes— Latika M Bourke (@latikambourke) October 20, 2018
I would suggest that had Opposition Leader Shorten done this – or a woman of colour – this disgraceful behaviour would have been splashed over the front pages of the nation this morning.
PM Morrison’s whole speech – and as painful as it is, I do suggest you watch it all – illustrated perfectly that he has not listened to the electorate and, in fact, probably does not give a damn what message the people in Wentworth were sending. And if we look back on the list above, he doesn’t give a damn about what Australians all over the nation care about either.
What Scott Morrison does give a damn about is winning an election and staying in Government. In fact, his whole Party seems to only have that as its primary focus. I lost count the number of times I heard, We need to stop Bill Shorten, or, We need to stop Labor, as a precursor to the weasel words in response to the perfectly acceptable question of, Well why did you roll PM Turnbull? Note, we still don’t really know.
No "improve the nation", no "better policy to benefit Australians" — nothing for us, just all about them.
I will remind you, now, we are paying these people a fortune for work in the “House of Representatives” — the quaint notion being that each member of Parliament is supposed to “represent” the interests of the electorate.
Instead, all we see is a bunch of self-obsessed tossers representing their own egos and political parties to assist in furthering their own ambitions and ideologies.
The people of Wentworth gave the Government a massive kick up the "Khyber".
I think many people are utterly fed up with Canberra and are starting to take back their Government and choosing to be "represented". Let’s hope this vibe spreads further afield, for all our sakes!
Note: At the time of writing, Phelps looked over the line. This might change with postal votes coming in but even if Sharma does sneak over the line, it seems unlikely the Government will learn from this scare and average Australians are still in the same fed up position.
Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.
Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.