For the True Believer

In the relatively new Presidential style elections to which we are now being subjected it is accepted wisdom that current incumbent Morrison will lose to hopeful Shorten.

If and when that happens Australia will change. All the bad which has been inflicted on the average Aussie will be swept away with the Liberal/National Coalition. Wages will go up, Climate Change will stop, Newstart will become a living wage, the Banks will become honest, the Asylum Seeker problem will be solved, the Media will suddenly become evenhanded and honest; all that we hope for will come to pass!

All within the first hundred days of the new Government.


That is not going to happen.

It will take at least two terms of Government, probably three for the damage done to our nation by this increasingly inept and corrupt Coalition to be repaired.

Apart from the legislative tangle which needs unravelling, there is a bureaucratic minefield which will have to be cleared before many of the reforms can be achieved.

It is that minefield which is of most concern. And now to switch metaphors.

The Government we see is just the tip of the iceberg.  Beneath the ministers who are subject to a public Question Time are many many Public Servants who are there to firstly advise their Ministers and then to carry out the legislation as passed by the Parliament. Which used to be a great way to have stable governance regardless of which political party held the reins.

Since the Public Servants suffered a genocide at the hands of successive Governments all that has changed.

Now the fact that we never even know their names has not been a problem for a secretive ruling class which thrives on obfuscation and buck-passing.  It is becoming visible again with the actions of the Attorney General in the past few weeks. 86 appointments or re-appointments

‘Attorney-General Christian Porter has defended the appointment of former Liberal MPs to lucrative positions on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’

Some of these appointments are for three years, some for five. There are even a number of seven year terms. This means some appointments will extend into a THIRD parliamentary term. Without a second term, there is no chance for Labor to redress some of this unjust skewing of the political balance of these ‘unbiased’ tribunals.

Now Porter has added a young junior barrister, previously a Young Liberal, John Snaden, to a position on the Federal Court. He will be eligible to remain in that position until 2046!

Other Ministers in the doomed Morrison government are also making appointments to other Government Authorities and QUANGOs.  One appointment we have been allowed to see is that of Ita Buttrose to the ABC board. A ‘Captain’s pick’, not one made with due process.

These are the members of the public service who form the ‘invisible’ part of the Governmental Iceberg. The hidden friends of plutocrats and political operatives. The people who are in a position to frustrate any moves by a Shorten Government to bring humanity back into Australia’s civic life. The reason it is extremely difficult to change the direction of the Iceberg of State.

There is a remedy, drastic though it may be. Tony Abbott introduced it in 2013 using Julie Bishop as the instrument.

From Wikipedia’, ‘(Steve) Bracks was appointed to the role of Australian Consul-General in New York in May 2013, by the Federal ALP Government of Julia Gillard. At the time, the shadow Foreign Minister, the Coalition’s Julie Bishop, described the appointment as “inappropriate” because of the proximity to the upcoming election and “arrogant” because of a lack of consultation with the then-opposition. Following the defeat of the ALP at the 7 September election, incoming foreign minister Julie Bishop reversed the appointment in a decision described as ‘petty and vindictive’ by acting ALP foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek. The beneficiary of that decision, cigar chomping Joe Hockey, still holds that position.

But imagine the screams of faux outrage from the remaining Coalition members in a Shorten-led House of Representatives should the ALP use this Abbott-created tactic against its own creators. They are relying on the underwater portion of their iceberg to give them government again in the short term.

So don’t expect much of Shorten’s agenda to be activated within the first 100 days. In fact don’t expect much of genuine consequence to happen in the first two terms of a Shorten Government. They will not be given any clear navigable water at all for at least five years.

Helping the ALP win this election and institute change is not a quick game. It is something which needs us to fight for the two following elections. At least.

Keep the faith, Comrades!

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