Unfunded Empathy, Taking Sides, Diversionary Nuclear And S44 Solutions

Scott Morrison at Australian Parliament House

We are very impressed to hear there is a new part of the political lexicon: unfunded empathy. It’s the bureaucratic way of saying: “get %$knF!!” and we are just wondering how many focus groups were needed to test this one, because it’s an absolute beauty. It helped to dismiss calls for a raise in Newstart spontaneously and, simultaneously, protects the Coalition’s golden $7 billion Budget surplus. With, of course, a little help from friends in the media, who were eager to splash the ‘dole bludger’ story for a few days: mission accomplished.

Another stunning piece of political sloganeering reappeared, with the Prime Minister asking: “whose side are you on?”. It’s a loaded question, it’s divisive, but it works a treat. It’s what conservative politicians love to do – use seemingly innocuous statements that become something a long more sinister. “For all of us” [but not for them]. “We’re on your side” [but not theirs].

You are either with us, or against us. You have to choose.

But with the government struggling for a post-election political narrative, diversions are needed to occupy our time, and deciding “whose side are you on” will take up months of discussion and political space.

Did anyone mention nuclear power? Yes! Again and again, and the Minister for Energy has called for a review into the feasibility of nuclear power in Australia. The report from the review is due at the end of 2019, but we can tell you now what the conclusions will be. It should be a simple matter of a “cut and paste” job from those reviews performed in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and, more recently, 2006. Nuclear power will never be delivered in Australia. It’s unviable politically and economically.

Nuclear and breast feeding? Is there a relationship? Yes, but only in political terms. Breast feeding, like nuclear power, is being used as a classic diversionary tactic. The Government wants the conversation to be about the issues that it either doesn’t care about, or doesn’t think will ever happen, so it can cover up its many misfortunes. So, nuclear and breast feeding it is. This will keep everyone preoccupied, while the Government tries to work out what it’s doing.

And we provide a constitutional solution to the Section 44 citizenship debacle. It won’t save Josh Frydenberg with his High Court referral for now, because we’ll have to hold a referendum first, but it’s a worthy solution.

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