It seems strange to pity someone who has been so successful as to have won the most powerful position in the country, but it is increasingly hard to understand many of the prime minster’s decisions.
Perhaps the prime minister is being haunted by his behaviour as opposition leader. He has definitely brought Australian politics to a new low, not only with his own behaviour – the image of the placard sporting ‘JuLiar – Ditch the Witch’, sharing the platform with Mr Abbott, springs readily to mind – but also by the people he continues to endorse.
He seems to have chosen his inner cabinet by determining whose political loyalties are of the extreme right-wing, American Tea Party kind rather than selecting politicians for their abilities. No doubt education minister Pyne’s enviable grasp of Australian history would enable him to point to the considerable differences between the settlement history of North America and Australia. In North America, the Tea Party has historical resonance. There is also the fact that the settlement of North America occurred nearly two hundred years earlier than Australia’s, and after considerable European contact. Furthermore, North America was settled for freedom, not as a penal colony to punish, in some cases, political radicals.
But back to Team Australia. The great outstanding example of the week has been Senator Brandis, who may well be excellent when supplied with a good brief for his ministry, but as spokesperson for the communications ministry he has been a laughing stock even for his supporters in dealing with the wonders of recent technology.
Senator Brandis also starred recently with his penetrating comment that we have the ‘freedom to be bigots’. Goodness knows whose ministry he was representing. However, the redefinition of occupied Palestine (where has the man been for the last 60 years?) would certainly be the responsibility of the foreign minister.
Then there is Senator Abetz, adopting the role of spokesperson for women’s affairs, voicing his concern regarding the likelihood of abortions causing breast cancer.
Finally today there is the team selector, the one who decides who is in Team 1 or Team 6, the one who decides who does the heavy lifting and who lifts the heavies.
Poor selector treasurer Hocky – he has had an unhappy week. The media has picked on him while others think he is a whinger. Maybe he should look on the bright side – at least he will be able to afford to pay for his children’s education, while the public pay for his petrol, his general cost of travel and his considerable retirement pension, which somehow or other is not counted as a public pension.
When poor treasurer Hockey claimed public pensions were not included in the $844pa of lost income by the lowest paid, who are considered to be doing the heavy lifting in the unfair budget, the middle income earners , perhaps Teams 3 to 4, will only lose $492 pa.
Poor Mr Abbott – leader of Team Australia. We have heard over the years that the Liberal Party is a broad church. May I suggest that your experiment of limiting that church has not given the Australian people a lot of confidence in your judgement?