Two months ago almost to the day (tomorrow), Australia received a new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. I say received because we the people don’t elect them. We elect local representatives from parties who then in majority (usually) form the government of the day. In reality, the leader of the country isn’t directly elected, although some in the public think otherwise and talk as if they are. So, there was a ‘spill’ (love that term), the noxious Tony Abbott was voted out by his Liberal Party ‘mates’ (sic) and Malcolm Turnbull was installed in the chair.
What has changed?
Pretty much nothing but style – the policies have remained:
- children and their families are still in concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island, PNG;
- climate action is laughably bad paying polluters from tax coffers not to pollute instead of charging them when they do;
- marriage equality is a long way off, if ever
- all of our communications “metadata” (yeah right) is being collected for 2 years and law enforcement in some cases can access without judicial oversight
- the financial situation is still a mess, switching from a “budget emergency” to “go out and borrow on that credit card” to who knows what, the Treasurer (oh, yeah, we got a new one of those, too – prior Immigration — NOT Minister, Social Services — NOT Minister, Scott Morrison) doesn’t know if it’s a revenue problem or a spending problem (Hint: it’s a population change demand situation, not a problem at all)
- the health minister is still going to get her mitts on ALL of OUR HEALTH DATA through a goal-post shifting Health Record that will now become Opt-Out
- health funding is still cut (on future growth) by $80Billion
- education funding is still cut
- and the National Broadband Network redesign to cripple it, brought about by Malcolm himself, is still costing more and doing less than the original NBN we were promised by Labor.
What has changed is there is now a dapper dressing millionaire PM who can inflect his speech well when reading from a prepared speech, doesn’t embarrass us quite so much when we let him go out of the country, and has soothed/smoothed the worst of the worst aspects of Abbott’s reign. He did change a few of the Ministers, for good or bad, but he left in some really bad ones:
- Dutton as Immigration Minister — NOT, an ex Queensland drug squad cop who knows zilch about Immigration other than ‘lock them up’ in camps
- Morrison as Treasurer — NOT, a Hill$$$ong evangelical Christian who was an Liberal party apparatchik who is totally out of his depth
- Brandis as Attorney General (took away his Arts portfolio, though), a dilettante with $15,000 bookcases he keeps rebuilding in each office for same amount (maybe it was a cost saving measure to keep him in place) — Mr. Metadata extraordinaire who supports bigotry
- Christopher “Poodle” Pyne as Minister for ‘Malcolm’s favourite word of the moment’ Innovation — has Chris ever created anything? Anything???? Name just 2 things, please
- and a cast of more.
Did I say the policies stayed? Yeppers. It’s still the Libs. Doing deals with their under-buddies, the Nats and their business mates (cough)Rupert(cough). It’s still regressive tax proposals, anti-citizen, anti-civil rights, more for the 1% Neo-Liberalism/Neo-Conservative claptrap.
But at least Mal doesn’t embarrass us overseas. (Yet)