The best analysis and discussion about Australian politics. Presented by Eddy Jokovich and David Lewis, we go to all the places the mainstream media doesn't want to go.
Vaccination Fiasco, Feminising The Liberal Party, Labor On Your Side
The vaccination program is now officially in fiasco territory, with error after error and now another announcement of 20 million Pfizer doses "secured" after problems with the AstraZeneca vaccines. Which, of course, is not the same as actually having the doses in doctors’ surgeries all around Australia. We feel that it’s almost like the program has been designed to fail, because surely no government could handle such an important event so badly. If only Scott Morrison could stop overpromising and underdelivering, everything would be so much better for him.
Is the feminisation of the Liberal Party actually taking place, or is it another case of window-dressing? It might be just another charade: it's not just a case of adding "women" into the titles of ministries, or the Prime Minister being photographed with more of the women who make up 51% of the population. Or deciding to wait four months for an urgent women’s safety summit. And after waiting 13 months to release a national sexual harassment report, Morrison’s behaviour shows that it's all about politics.
The Labor National Conference was a virtual event this year, which means no backroom deals or incidental meetings to stitch up deals. Everything occurred online and in chatrooms rather than the backrooms, but a relatively sedate event suggests Labor believes it’s still likely that a federal election will be held this year. Otherwise, the conference would have seen old-school open brawls, hostilities between the factions, all of which would have been lapped up by the media. Best to wait for a non-election year.
And most chatter in the media has been "who will Scott Morrison’s opponent be at the next election". But this might need to be switched around a little bit to suggest "who will Anthony Albanese’s opponent be at the next election". That’s how poorly Morrison is performing.
March 4 Justice, Vaccination Meltdown And A Thrashing In The West
The many women of Australia have said “enough is enough”, and said it loudly through the March 4 Justice campaign. But the Prime Minister is hard of hearing and wants it all to be on his terms, refusing to meet the organisers of the rally in public, wanting to meet behind closed doors and in private. Which is exactly what a rapist would do. And, of course, Attorney–General Christian Porter decided to launch his defamation case on the same day of the March 4 Justice rallies. Tone deaf!
Vaccinations are another area which the federal government has totally mismanaged, and yet another example of incompetence which Scott Morrison, Greg Hunt and Chief Medical Officer are trying to spin their way through. The government promised the vaccination program would be completed by 31 October 2021, and have been using a megaphone to let everyone know. But now that the vaccination program is not going be completed by 31 October 2021, the government is adamant that they never actually said that. Apparently, everyone else in Australia has a collective case of mishearing and misinterpreting what Scott Morrison said, because he is always correct, even when he is wrong.
One landslide election victory is rare; a second consecutive landslide victory has never happened before in Australian politics. Until the Western Australian election victory – a 9% swing in 2017, and a 13% swing in 2021. And the Liberal Party has been left with two seats in a chamber of 59 seats. That really is a wipeout – the Liberal Party also lost the seat of Nedlands, home of Gina Rinehart and Kerry Stokes. When the Liberal Party loses a seat like Nedlands, it really means the party might be over.
The message? Competent governments are being rewarded at the ballot box. It will be interesting to see what the result will be for an incompetent government, which the federal government clearly is. Their time will come soon.
Untenable Porter, Aged Care Fiasco, Media Code Not In The Public Interest
Christian Porter’s political career is over. There won't be any legal proceedings arising from an allegation of rape in 1988 but the political repercussions will be far-reaching. And as long as the Prime Minister keeps resisting a call for a public inquiry into these events, this issue will keep burning in the background: for sure, there is a presumption of innocence within Australia’s legal system, but there also has to be a presumption of justice. Justice not only needs to be done, but it has to be seen to be done: and as it had been for many women in Australia for too long, justice has been left out of the equation.
The Royal Commission for Aged Care Quality and Safety has released its report and it has outlined a 25-year disaster that started off when Prime Minister John Howard reformed the sector in 1997 to create business opportunities for Liberal Party donors and the involvement of the private and corporatised sector into social services. And it's a mixture that simply does not work. For-profit thinking shouldn't be anywhere near the provision of aged care services.
The Media Bargaining Code is just one short step away from being law but, already, Google has signed deals with News Corporation, Nine Network, Seven West Media, The Guardian, and deals coming up soon for the ABC and SBS: $100 million from Google and another motza being delivered by FaceBook! And is this good for public interest journalism? Absolutely not, it's not even mentioned in the legislation. This is all about the government placing the media in its pocket in the lead-up to the next federal election. And a bucketload of money for legacy media, it's money for jam. It's actually a sad day for journalism and for the taxpayer.
A Rape At Parliament House, The Eagle Hasn't Landed, $20 Billion Tax Lies
It seems like there was a grand cover-up of a serious sexual assault of a female staffer in March 2019 at Parliament House, but who’s got time for that sort of wimmen’s business when there's an election to be won. If the allegations of rape had been revealed at that time, Scott Morrison would have lost that election, there's no question about this. A political decision was made to keep quiet about the incident but even then, the Liberal Party didn’t even have the decency to offer support to Brittany Higgins at the time. And now, they’ve started backgrounding the media that Higgin’s partner has a grudge against the government. So, it's all his fault. But she also happened to “find herself in this situation”, so it must be her fault. And “Jenny and the girls” seem to be offering Morrison all the advice he'll ever need about rape and serious sexual abuse. The Liberal Party is not just a threat to women, it's a threat to all of humanity.
“The Eagle Had Landed”? The federal government has no shame when it comes to making announcements, and judging by the amount of announcements the government has made, Australia has one billion vaccines, or around 50 per person. But it's all a lie: the first batch arrived in Sydney a few days ago – 140,000, or 0.1 per cent of what the government has actually promised – and zero have been administered, compared to 190 million doses administered around the world. The vaccine rollout is going to be a political exercise – and a painfully partisan affair.
The Labor Party has released policies which offer protection for workers in the gig economy, to guarantee superannuation payments, sick leave and holiday pay, and portable entitlements. Sounds very good for workers and a sensible reform. But that didn't stop Christian Porter from completely misrepresenting the policy as a $20 billion tax on business – which, conversely, means that keeping the existing arrangements is a $20 billion tax on workers, which no-one in the media decided to talk about. Can't stand in the way of a cheap and fast meal delivered to head office by a migrant riding dangerously through peak-hour traffic.
Not So Flash: Australia Day Hijacked, A New US President And An Early Election
Australia Day has been hijacked by the conservative side of politics. Which means that it's a day of vainglorious nationalism, jingoism, white imperialism and forgetting about the events of 1788, when an entire continent was stolen from Indigenous people, setting off 233 years of racism, oppression and subjugation: all at the stroke of a pen. Should the date be changed? Absolutely.
There is a new US President and while there was a massive amount of grandstanding from Donald Trump about vote-rigging and gaslighting that the election was stolen, there was never any doubt that Joe Biden was going be inaugurated as President. There was an insurrection at Capitol Hill – even though the ABC initially refused to use the word, and the Australian media generally underreported the event. One of the biggest events in US history, but nothing to see here. Scott Morrison has lost a “friend” at the White House, although Harry Truman did once say, “if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog”. What will a Biden presidency mean for Australian politics? What will it mean for world politics?
An early election is being pushed by the media, and the first available date for a half-Senate election is 7 August 2021. Will Morrison go early? Will he face Anthony Albanese? Or someone else? There has been speculation that Albanese might be replaced unless he seriously lifts his game: we believe if Labor can resolve this leadership issue – whether Albanese becomes a more substantial leader or a new leader is installed – the Liberal-National Coalition will be removed at the next election. It’s a government that waiting to be thrown out of office, and deservedly so.
An Evil Government, 2020 Political Wrap And A Crystal Ball For 2021
Just when we thought this federal government couldn't get any more evil, it goes out and tries to legislate the Indue card into permanance, enlists three debt recovery companies to chase down welfare recipients and creates workplace conditions that will be even worse than the WorkChoices policies that were too extreme for John Howard to introduce way back in 2005. But when your policies are guided by the ghosts of Margaret Thatcher, what more could we expect? Except for the end of society because, according to Thatcher, it doesn't exist. Out of sight, out of mind.
2020 will go down as one of the most dramatic years in human and political history, and we look at what went right, and what went wrong. Australia did manage the effects of the coronavirus well – despite the efforts of the federal government – but we could have done so much better on setting up the building blocks for a better and far more sustainable economy for the future. It was a lost opportunity. And it ended up being politics and business as per usual.
As we move into 2021, what are the dangers for Scott Morrison? And what are the dangers for Anthony Albanese? Both need to be looking over their shoulder, but for different reasons. It’s going to be an exciting year and, with the possibility of a federal election, it’s going to be a very interesting one.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Do you know how to silence iPhone notifications?
Good podcast but constant phone notifications in the background and not only unprofessional but quite annoying.
What a relief
What a relief it is to be able to listen to a political podcast from people who get it. Guys who see through the complete BS from the Liberal party and call it out. Big fan.
Thanks so much. I really appreciate the work you do to organise this podcast. I always find it very informative and reflective. A great analysis of politics