Mainstream media remains quiet on Scott Morrison’s untimely holiday

That’s the title of my latest column in Independent Australia, which came out on Thursday. The news has just come in that Morrison is to curtail his trip and return home. Strikingly, it was the lead headline on news outlets, including the ABC, Guardian, and Fairfax/Nine that failed to report Morrison’s absence for days, then buried the news in stories leading with other topics.

All of that led me to some ill-tempered Twitter exchanges (the usual kind of Twitter exchange, I guess) with a variety of journos, including Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy, who gave equivocal denials that the PM’s Office had ordered their papers not to report to the trip, before closing the discussion, and declining further comment.

The core of the problem, I think, is that I’ve given up on Labor. Hoping for the Greens to replace them as the major left party may be forlorn, but it’s more likely, in my view, than that Labor will propose a policy remotely appropriate to the crisis we face.

But that’s not a tenable position of you want to be a political correspondent for a major newspaper. You can back one or other of the major parties, or be neutral between them, but you can’t suggest an alternative to the existing system. This piece by Katharine Murphy makes the best of the case for pushing Labor to improve, but it doesn’t convince me.

It’s already been stated that Labor won’t proposed anything to limit coal exports, which are Australia’s biggest contribution to the global climate disaster. Even achieving a 45 per cent reduction on 2005 emissions, as proposed in the last campaign will require much sharper policies than could have been applied if Labor had won, especially if we rule out accounting cheats.

A hypothetical Albanese government will be starting in 2022, with three more years of rising emissions outside the electricity sector. We’ll need organised shutdown of coal-fired power, a massive investment in renewables, reforestation of land cleared under Coalition lawa a government-driven electrification of the coal fleet. Does that sound like Albo to you.

About the only way this could happen is if the Greens somehow give Labor such a scare that they stop worrying about a handful of seats in coal-mining areas and start worrying about losing the great mass of their supporters. Giving Labor the benefit of the doubt is the worst thing we can do,

69 thoughts on “Mainstream media remains quiet on Scott Morrison’s untimely holiday

  1. Interesting moniker.
    Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (/ɛˈvoʊlə/; Italian: [ˈɛːvola];[1] 19 May 1898 – 11 June 1974), better known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher, painter, poet, esotericist, and occultist. He has been described as a “fascist intellectual”,[2] a “radical traditionalist”,[3] “antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular”,[4] and as having been “the leading philosopher of Europe’s neofascist movement”.[4]

  2. JQ, the above link needs dumping as “But enough uneducated morons and right-wing ideologues link to my blog to grant me substantial ranking on Google search results”.

    Dirt good, desert loving trees may evolve, but being used as a proxy to up rank hell er is worth, as Val says, banning particular links, or editing away links even if the slippery sock puppet has multiple ip addresses.

    Come to think of it – too time consuming for you JQ. The planet is better served if you didnt have to manage such crap.

    GB – wait for a new sandpit and stop treating us as clouds – shout at hell er. He needs it.

    At least we know there are 61k “uneducated morons and right-wing ideologues “.

    3bn working age dived by 61k followers = 0.002% of population following a content creating denialist.

    Data. It is important. That makes 99.998% not following desert loving tree sustainance source.

    0.002 = Cool !

  3. I don’t know why you are so keen on posting here Graeme Bird, you are steadily building opposition to all your conspiracies.

  4. A resolute conviction that streams of browbeating sophistry publicly overturn highly cited, published evidence in science is delusional to me.

  5. Like war, banning should be a last resort but is sometimes necessary . Not feeding trolls helps . It’s complicated ,I don’t envy mediators .
    I make alot of effort to understand ‘the right ‘ , conservative s , nationalists , etc. Generally they make no attempt to understand me ,they just think I should be punished or ignored.

  6. What a sad thread.

    The original point, the silencing of msm bears a nasty Xmas gift and the subsequent revelation that democracy is all but done for here.

    Nobody seems aware yet of the implications…one day not so far into the future, people will sadly recall the good ol’ days before Gilead took over.

  7. JR/GBs allegation, supported by Alan Jones and George Christensen, is deeply flawed.

    One event does not make a trend yet this simple fact has been ignored by a sufficient number of commentators and political leaders to confuse the public.

  8. John Goss: “…the split in the progressive left between those in the Greens and a minority in the ALP is unfortunate…”.

    If what is meant here is that the current antagonism between these two groupings of the progressive left is unfortunate, I would tend to agree. However, if what is meant is that it is unfortunate that the progressive left is divided between these (and other) political spaces, I disagree.

    I think it is to the benefit of progressive politics that there exists both a progressive faction within the ALP and a more radical party to the left of Labor that emphasises strong sustainability, as well as progressive people engaged in other initiatives. This potentially enables progressive campaigning and initiatives to occur in the full range of forums in a democratic political framework. Of course it would be an improvement if progressive people in these different spaces had more of a sense of being part of a common project, collaborated more, and had some strategic sense of how their several efforts could synergise in an overall process of social change.

    I have been in any number of meetings, conferences and discussions over the last 40 years at which spokespersons for different groups (ALP Left, Greens, proto-Greens, post-communists, Trots, etc.) held forth the prospect of all the Left’s problems being solved if only we would all unite in the one political space (which was, of course, always whichever initiative the speaker was representing). Yet progressive people have disregarded such calls (or perhaps simply not agreed on which one to regard) and have continued to work through a number of parties, factions and spaces. I think those of us who support a more cooperative and collaborative Left need to find ways to work with the grain of this reality while combating its downsides of fragmentation and sectarian conflict.

  9. Is remaiining quiet by msmedia worse than “cooking the books”?

    Jq said; ” failed to report Morrison’s absence for days, then buried the news in stories leading with other topics.” is a failure.

    Yet a failure needs something to fail before a failure.

    Here is a fail which makes the msmedia look like “accessories after the fact” [offence?] and shows just what JQ is saying of the msm – the the tigger for a major failure is here. And that fail – altering carbon in soil data – makes not reporting seem like “a shame” compared to “a real detrimental effect” to humans & the planet.

    How do we make them accountable for such actions – altering data? Please tell me and I will make then accountable. Write a letter via market forces? Any other ideas please.

    [ I also already do that. I contacted Tom Tates office – (mayor gold coast 1.5bn budget 3,500 employees -) this morning to complain he had no plan for 80 homeless people to get a feed haircut and shower. The chatity has been banned from its usual park with no alternative given – the week before christmas. 3 people out of 80 who use the service are probably ice addicts and have caused trouble. But instead of help or support – go away. ]

    “Australia’s official greenhouse gas records have been adjusted such that emissions are now significantly higher than previously believed for the years when Labor was in power, and no longer rise each year since the Coalition repealed the carbon price.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/23/australia-has-changed-its-historic-data-on-carbon-emissions-what-happened

    I do not understand how it is we have no system in place to sanction public servants or politicians who would alter data.

    Do we.

    Advice please.

  10. “a handful of seats in coal-mining areas”

    Those seats in Queensland coal mining areas between Cairns and Bundaberg are all significantly under quota but within statutory limits. The entire area is over represented and could easily have half a division stripped out.

  11. KT2 – as I understand it the revised emissions data for soils and land use changes (that largely reflect decadal climatic variability) makes the LNP look better on overall emissions right now but… means future data should include the much worse emissions for soils and land use changes exacerbated by drought and fire (that may not ever draw back down the CO2 from those). But I do not doubt the current LNP leadership will make much of the immediate appearance of achieving more in order to justify doing less.

  12. Thanks Ken – “the current LNP leadership will make much of the immediate appearance of achieving more in order to justify doing less.”

    I fully understand the political lnp rationale and motives.

    What I do not understand is how a government is ABLE or ALLOWED to alter such PHYSICAL data sets.

    And I seem at a loss myself as to how to make such data safe from political machinations and malevolence.

    Any clues on locking down physical data sets? Making such a criminal offence for example.

    Apologies for caps – my mobile wony allow me to edit ala italics indents etc.

  13. From the article ““On the first of January 2030 our emissions will go straight back up because we have made no structural adjustment to our economy’s actual emissions,” he said.”

    So we smooth data. Over 4 yrs. Quadratic – geometric? IPCC specification?

    “Some experts told Guardian Australia the changes in soil carbon accounting made sense, but it was disingenuous for the government to take credit for it.”

    Makes sense yet still able to be used to bash labor and make carryover seem appropriate.

    How is it I still ask, we do not have controls in place for the lock down datasets and leave zero room political point scoring. Climate council neutered? Or dont I read the appropriate sites?

    I may be shouting at my own understanding of politics. But it still amazes me we have such a debate and one article in msm to become aware of it. 2 days before christmas. Published a day or so before data used – to stop agreement for pricing carbon at cop25.

    Still amazed.

  14. I would be very concerned if the “free the refugees” Greens were to infect the ALP in merger and influence policy. The ALP would be would be a dead horse like it’s social democratic counterparts in continental Europe if it opened the refugee floodgates.

  15. Paul Norton
    I agree with you that it is structurally desirable to have multiple voices on the left. The problem with the Greens is they have been so successful in that they have attracted a significant proportion of the left to their ranks! All credit to them, but the result is that the progressive left in the Labor Party is frequently losing out with regard to policy positions adopted – often by quite small margins. If only, say a third, of the Greens moved to the Labor party, the Labor party would be much more progressive. Because compromise is necessary in any broad movement, Labor wouldn’t be a copy of the Greens, but it would be a progressive party us idealists could be proud of.
    If that situation came to pass we would still need some other left independent voices. I would see no benefit in, for example, John Quiggin joining the Labor Party, (even though he would make a very good Treasurer).
    I recognise it is unlikely my vision will be realised, but I do hope at least there can be more civility between the Greens and the ALP. We should have vigorous policy debates, but I am sick of the personal abuse, and the assumption that all on the other side have venal motives. I am only too aware that too many in the Labor Party have venal motives, but I don’t appreciate being lumped in with them by the Greens.

  16. By the last sentence in my comment above, I have just demonstrated the black and white thinking I am criticising other for. So I should not have said ‘I don’t appreciate being lumped in with them by the Greens’. I should have said ‘I don’t appreciate being lumped in with them by some of the Greens’.

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