Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was elected in a landslide this week in New Zealand. This country’s sensible and restrained broadsheet, The Australian, responded with the following sober headline: ‘Danger across the ditch as incompetent leader Ardern wins office’.
Of course, The Oz is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is our rightful lord, saviour and grand wizard. Our poor cousins across the “dutch” don’t have the gentle guiding hand of The Sun king to help them decide what they should think, eat, buy and, most of all, who should or should not be elected. Poor sods. No wonder we call ours "the Lucky Country".
Sadly, it seems King Rupert’s edicts are also being ignored in this most blessed of all lands, with a Labor Government also being returned in our nation’s fair capital, the ACT.
We can only hope the people of Queensland are not so rash on 31 October that they re-elect the popular Palasczuk Labor Government. Or indeed, that dirty rascal Daniel Andrews in Victoria, whom the flying monkeys in the Murdoch Press have been pelting, for what seems like an eternity, with every piece of faeces they can expel.
Meanwhile, Saint Gladys of New South Wales continues to enjoy the Murdoch media’s undying support, despite clear corruption allegations against her. It must be nice to be a Liberal leader in Australia — although perhaps not if The People start to think for themselves and rebel against their born-to-rulers.
Managing editor Michelle Pini talks about the gulf between the treatment of Saint Gladys and Devil Dan in this week’s smashing editorial, which you may read below.
Michelle and Dave Donovan also prepared a little spoof on this subject, ‘David Skynews interviews Gladys Bereftoclues’, in a podcast you may access HERE. You can also read the transcript of this spot of tomfoolery HERE.
There is another excellent new book available on a topic not dissimilar from the above in the Independent Australia Book Review Club. Take a look, also below.
See you again next week, as together we continue to follow the Yellow Cake Road.
Oh, and apropos of nothing, if you haven't signed Kevin Rudd's petition yet, you will be able to do so HERE.
EDITORIAL: Gladys Berejiklian and Dan Andrews: Spot the difference
In a recent ABC piece, Insiders host David Speers opined that, while the details may differ, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews were somehow facing similar crises of confidence.
You could say that premise is essentially true, in the same way as you might say Nixon and Gandi both faced crises, but that’s where any comparisons surely cease.
‘Berejiklian is defending her integrity. Andrews is defending his competence’, wrote Speers.
As a Victorian, this editor feels qualified to opine that the majority of Victorians are both relieved and grateful for Premier Daniel Andrews’ leadership and competence during this pandemic crisis. This fact has even been reflected in Newspoll surveys. Of course, no one wants to be in lockdown. And, of course, we have our share of "Karens" and "Jims", ranting continually about the unfairness of a premier wanting to keep us safe against our democratic right to fulfil our suicidal urges.
However, to use a comparison that actually illustrates something, on July 30, France had 1,377 new COVID cases to Victoria’s 723. On October 20, France recorded 20,468 new cases while Victoria had only one. Andrews’ safeguarding of the health of Victorians is a monumental success. He has managed this while simultaneously facing a hostile mainstream media on a daily basis (weekends included) for months on end, as well as a rabid Liberal Party Opposition anti-Dan campaign led by head crusader, Tim Smith MP.
And yet, Andrews' success has not been celebrated by many in the media; it is presented, instead, as a failure to lead.
The bizarre and disgraceful treatment of the Victorian Premier by a large sector of the media, however, has been nothing short of inspired. It has ranged from calling him names like “Dictator Dan”, criticising his every move for being both too autocratic and not dictatorial enough, impersonating journalists in order to repeat the same banal questions (in the case of Peta Credlin) and even inciting people to defy lockdown laws.
Sunrise's Sam Armytage defended a business owner who flouted lockdown laws, saying:
Now that we are enjoying the gradual easing of restrictions, Victorians are said to be suffering “Stockholm Syndrome” – rendering us all feebleminded and unable to make competent decisions. Rather like Gladys Berejiklian, really.
GLADYS' PRETTY LITTLE HEAD
Unfortunately, for Gladys, the State of NSW and women everywhere, the NSW Premier has decided that a good old-fashioned 1950s-style helpless female defence would best suit her image.
Shown looking variously sad and forlorn, and sporting an assortment of suitably feminine outfits ranging from casual to business-like yet still girlish, Gladys is doing her best to ditch her hard “koala killer” persona. The image makeover from hard-nosed politician to lovesick victim is an insult to women everywhere. Nonetheless, it has been given the celebrity treatment in every Murdoch rag and associated talk show from the Daily Telegraph to Karl Sandilands and a few of the saner outlets, as well.
So far, then, Gladys’ campaign seems to have worked. Not in lending Berejiklian – or self-respecting women anywhere – any credibility, obviously, but in detracting from the actual issue: the one of corruption in public office.
This is in sharp contrast to the treatment of other women by the mainstream media, …
Sally Rugg encapsulated the absurdity of this premise:
MONETISING MINISTERIAL OFFICES
For, let’s face it, most of us don’t give a toss (or shouldn’t) about Berejiklian’s love life, or lack of it. But we should be deeply disturbed about whether she is involved in corrupt dealings — corrupt dealings which have now not only implicated Gladys but the source of her so-called “gold standard” premier award: Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Berejiklian’s special friend Daryl Maguire allegedly abused his public office while serving as a State MP alongside her.
When the PM was Immigration Minister – and to whom Maguire may have made representations for visas – Maguire allegedly received thousands in exchange for visas on behalf of Chinese nationals. And Maguire is also implicated in the questionable $30 million Leppington airport deal. He has described his activities as “monetising” his ministerial position.
How much did Berejiklian know of Maguire’s sordid deals? Did she assist Maguire?
At best, the NSW Premier turned a blind eye to her boyfriend’s corruption. At worst, she was complicit. Either way, she is incompetent.
What we know so far, is that Maguire has said Berejiklian did know. He said he discussed deals with her and that she attended meetings with his business associates. On phone recordings presented at the ICAC hearing, Berejiklian is heard congratulating Maguire for at least one dubious business transaction, about which she was clearly aware. And it was Berejiklian who sacked Maguire over corruption allegations.
Berejiklian and Andrews are both State Premiers and there the similarity ends.
If Berejiklian was aware, then she was clearly complicit in criminal activity. If she was sufficiently blinded by her love for a scoundrel, by whom she claims to feel "used”, so as to be unaware of his underhanded activity, then she is clearly unfit to govern.
Really, it matters not whether Berejiklian knew or not because either way, she has needs to go. And there the fairy tale ends.
Not a subscriber? Get full access to Independent Australia HERE.
NEW BOOK IN IA BOOK REVIEW CLUB
Great news! We have another fabulous new book available for a budding reviewer in IA's exclusive subscribers-only Book Review Club.
So, if you can write a considered 400 to 600-word review for one of our books, we will send it to you — then it's yours to keep!
This week, we have a new book by long-time contributor to and supporter of Independent Australia, Ian Bersten.
Ian's book is sure to be a favourite among our fans. It is called Looters 'N' Polluters: How the Liberal Party Hoodwinked Australia.
This book details the lies and corruption that have become commonplace as Australia has been hoodwinked by its own government.
This book is also available at lootersnpolluters.net.au.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pandemic leadership chaos
Since March 17 2020, when the Governor-General, at the behest of the Minister for Health, declared there was a human biosecurity emergency under the Biosecurity Act 2015, Australia has been in chaos.
To clarify, Australia hasn't been in chaos because of the Act, but because the provisions of the Act have been ignored by the very Government that rolled it out when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.
The Biosecurity Act is very clear about how to manage a pandemic. It has systems and procedures and processes built in that are sensible and largely protect human rights. Processes like, for example, quarantine being the remit of the Australian Government — not those of the states and territories. Procedures, for example, that stipulate quarantine cannot be imposed on an individual without a proper risk assessment and a biosecurity control order being issued. Systems that ensure if an individual is quarantined, it must be in an appropriate medical facility.
According to the Act, groups of people, such as those inconveniently disembarking from planes or living in apartment blocks, cannot be quarantined on the assumption that they might be infected. People are assumed healthy until there is evidence that they are not — a proportionate, reasonable and sensible response.
Unfortunately, because of an accidental Prime Minister who has all the leadership skills of a wet blanket, the fear-mongering of the mainstream media, premiers who are drunk on power and a largely compliant population, Australia has become a nation of chaos, inconsistency and cruelty, driven by political populism, ministerial decree and whatever will get votes.
The pandemic has held a mirror up to contemporary Australia and it’s ugly. And I’m certain that history will prove the politicians “leading” us during this time to be the ugliest of all.
Adelaide, South Australia
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