Contributed from Victoria
Scott Morrison stuffed up on Monday. He accidently sent an email to the press gallery. It was only supposed to go to Liberal Party parliamentarians.
The contents covered a broad range of topics on which the government is vulnerable on. Three key issues are, the reaction to the government response to the drought. Affected farmers and communities believe they have been seriously let down. The fact that Australia’s carbon emissions are going up, shows that there is no real carbon emissions reduction policy is being applied. And there is worry about public reaction over the inadequacy of the Newstart allowance.
Interestingly, the unions and the industrial relations system were left out of the picture. The reason for this is not clear at this time.
Other issues were covered, like drug testing welfare recipients, the banking inquiry, Scott Morrison’s recent trip to Fiji, Julian Assange, the religious discrimination bill, and energy policy.
The disclosure is presented by listing the issues, including points of concern, and followed by suggested responses to awkward questions.
Pointers to make the government look good are made. Some examples are lowering taxes, delivering better wages and conditions, building infrastructure, outlawing uncompetitive practices of energy companies to deliver lower energy costs, and ensuring multinationals pay their fair share of tax. These are only some of the matters touched on
One other serves as a good example of the deliberate double speak used. The email mentions the ACCC bank inquiry. Many might think that at last there will be some action on last year’s Royal Commission findings. They will be disappointed. The brief is to focus on the passing of on interest rate cutss, and only for the period beginning from January 2019.
It is obvious that the idea behind this is to create the impression that this concern of the Australian community is being taken up, when almost nothing is being done.
By doing this, the government hopes to create the impression it is taking It is this action on an important issue, when it is doing very little.
In addition to the double speak, there is a tilt at diverting attention by blaming Labor. The drought is a good example. Failure is alienating an important political base of the Coalition. The answer to be given, the email suggests, is that Labor is politicising the issue.
this email reveals something about the state of parliamentary politics in Australia. There is fat too much sleight of hand and far too little straight out honesty.
Scott Morrison’s claims to make the government look good have little substance. Changes to the tax system have ensured that the benefits go to the top end. Wages and conditions at work are falling. Energy costs continue to rise. Multinationals are still not paying their fair share of tax, and the list goes on.
But it does show the government’s weakness.
The disparity between claim and performance cannot be buried, and this requires some glossing over with some smooth talk. Australia is not really buying it. This is where the government’s vulnerability lies.