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Wentworth bites back against government chaos

On the same day Australia welcomed members of the English royal family to our shores to begin a fortnight of celebrating Anglo-Saxon heritage and hereditary monarchy, Australia’s Bigot-in-Chief Pauline Hanson moved the following motion in the upper house of our Nations’ parliament:

To move that the Senate acknowledges:

1. The deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western Civilisation,

2. That it is OK to be white.

That the motion even made it to the floor of the Senate in the first place was outrageous, it being a gross misuse of the Senate’s time and obvious example of Hanson abusing her position to pander to the lunatic fringe. The text was childish, the use of ‘deplorable’ in describing ‘anti-white racism’ asked for victimhood status for white Australia and is laced with paranoia.

Any follower of current affairs, or internet user, knows ‘OK to be white’ is the exact phrase used by neo-Nazi groups and embraced by ex-Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. Any student of history knows how Western Civilisation acted when it thought it was strong and had no rival, when colonialism, imperialism, and manifest destiny rode roughshod over peoples of differing skin tones, across the globe.

The motion was extremely easy to read, and therefore voting for it was an obvious concession to Hanson and her agenda. The motion was distributed amongst Senators in September, so should have not surprised anyone on the day of the vote.

Yet bizarrely the motion came within a few votes of being carried – 31 to 28 – with all LNP Senators on the floor that day voting for it, along with arch-conservative Fraser Anning and Cory Bernardi.

At this point it’s reasonable to ask – is this where Australia has arrived, with Senators voting for white privilege? But the LNP Senators advanced the chaos, once again attempting to play on the public’s gullibility, claiming it was ‘an administrative error’.

PM Morrison was quick to distance himself from the debacle (and any concept of leadership) putting the blame back on the Senate and their administration. The Coalition became mired in an ever-increasing self-inflicted fiasco. The same Party whose previous leader Tony Abbott declared after the 2013 election “the adults are back in charge and that strong, stable, methodical and purposeful government is once more the rule in our national capital”.

Interestingly, around the time of this snafu, Abbott praised Morrison as “a tribal Liberal, that’s what we want”. This is a former leader advocating for division and exclusion – the root of tribalism. If the ‘we’ is the Party which voted with Hanson then it appears the Party agrees with the exclusionary doctrine of Hanson.

The display of contrition when they were caught out did nothing to convince the public (and particularly the voters in the Wentworth electorate) that strong, stable, methodical government was present on the day. Further mockery of the public’s intelligence comes courtesy of Barnaby Joyce, an experienced parliamentarian – who is one act of political suicide away from resuming the National’s leadership – when he told Sky News “a lot of the time we don’t know what we are voting for”.

Can there be any better evidence of the contempt held for voters by the Coalition government and their ‘born to rule’ mentality?

PM Morrison must have finally woken up to the deficit between the promises and performance of the government when he started admitting the likely loss of the Liberal stronghold of Wentworth several days out from the by-election.

As I write this, Kerryn Phelps’ victory is being whittled back by postal votes, and a recount is looking likely before the final result is called. Regardless of the final outcome, Morrison has comprehensibly failed his first test as Prime Minister, being the captain of the ship that had no meaningful campaign announcements, was wilfully deaf to any community sentiment on climate change and refugee cruelty, and thought inflaming the unsolvable religious divide of the Middle East would play well on the streets of Rose Bay. All the while shouting about the threat to our nation of a hung parliament.

This ineptitude resulted in a Liberal heartland seat, held by a former Prime Minister, potentially falling to an independent ex-Union leader.

And what of a hung parliament? The last one saw huge volumes of legislation passed, despite the backdrop of a hostile opposition ‘robbed’ of victory and an ongoing campaign by the Murdoch press to undermine the Labour/Greens government.

Judging from his actions so far, his smugness, hubris and tribalism, Morrison isn’t up to the job of negotiation and compromise demanded by a hung parliament. He promises the world but delivers the moon – cruel, lifeless and expensive.

The one achievement of Morrison so far is energising smart, qualified, capable women to seek public office. This will benefit all of society and help dispatch Pauline Hanson and men ‘of merit’ from the public square.

 

Greg Smart

By his own admission, Greg Smart was born 40 years old and is in training to be a cranky old man. He spends his time avoiding commercial television and bad coffee.