A Tale Of Two Protests, Branch Stacking, An Open Economy, Insiders, JobKeeper Rorts

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The Prime Minister supported radical anti-vaxer/5G/anti-lockdown/Bill Gates protests, saying people have a right to express themselves, but wanted to lockdown the Black Lives Matter and deaths in custody rallies. It’s an obvious duplicity but no one in the media pointed out this discrepancy.

Perhaps it’s a case where for the Prime Minister – and many in the media – black lives don’t really matter that much. After all, Rio Tinto detonated Aboriginal heritage in the Juukan Gorge but police decided to set up a 24-hour guard on the statue of Captain James Cook. There’s a history war that needs to be won.

Branch stacking hasn’t got anything to do with trees, but it’s also not the sole domain of the Labor Party. The past two Liberal Party Prime Ministers have entered parliament on the back of “industrial-scale branch stacking”: Malcolm Turnbull in the seat of Wentworth; Scott Morrison in the seat of Cook.

Branch stacking isn’t illegal, but it corrupts the democratic process. Labor has acted to remove the stackers in Victoria. Will the Liberal Party also clean out their substantial mess?

Are the economy and society opening up too quickly? Or too slowly? There’s a second wave of coronavirus developing in northern China – Australia is managing the infection rate very well but the maniacal calls to open up the borders are falling along political lines. These calls are becoming quite predictable and quite boring, but it’s best to show ‘abundance of caution’, as the Prime Minister keeps saying.

The ABC’s Insiders program has been broadcasting since 2001 and screened almost 800 episodes. That’s 20 years, and they’ve never invited an Indigenous journalist as a panelist until last weekend. 20 years.

What is important now is how long it will be before the second Indigenous journalist appears, and whether they’ll be asked to discuss general political issues, not just Indigenous issues.

The government wants to end the JobKeeper support as soon as possible but will wait until after the 4 July byelection in Eden-Monaro. Why? Because ending JobKeeper will be unpopular and they want to win the seat. Cynical, yes. But if JobKeeper is removed, it will create an economic calamity. Watch this space. It’s going to be fun.

  • 00.36 A tale of two protests: anti-vax/5G protests and Black Lives Matter.
  • 08.29 Comparisons of detonation of Juukan Gorge and police protection of Captain Cook. Should we keep or remove colonial statues?
  • 16.59 ‘Slavery has never existed in Australia’. Another attack opens up in the ongoing history wars.
  • 22.04 Labor Party branch stacking but let’s not forget about the Liberal Party: the preselection battle in the seats of Cook and Wentworth.
  • 30.30 The preselection contest between Scott Morrison and Michael Towke in 2007, and the smear campaign against Towke.
  • 35.27 60 Minutes releases their Labor branch stacking report on the eve of prepolls opening in the Eden-Monaro byelection. Coincidence?
  • 37.23 Is Australia opening up society and the economy too slowly, or too quickly? We look at the second wave of COVID-19.
  • 42.44 An Indigenous journalist, Bridget Brennan, appears as a panellist on Insiders for the first time ever. After 20 years and 800 episodes.
  • 46.44 The rorts in the JobKeeper program and the government’s intention to close the program after September.
  • 51.23 It’s a wrap.

Music stings:

  • Betty’s Worry Or The Slab, Hunters and Collectors
  • Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (Flying Remix), Ian Dury and The Blockheads
  • Tears Of A Clown, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
  • Field Of Glass, The Triffids
  • Stranger In Moscow, Tame Impala
  • The Only One That Knows, Ed Kuepper

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