Caro’s flotsam and jetsam: spite and payback edition

It's payback time, as Australia's politicians and commentators set about being mean-spirited and spiteful. In response, our writer decides to come over all Marxist.

Jane Caro

Novelist, author and social commentator

It’s payback timeWhat is it with politicians and spite at the moment? This seems to be the dominant theme of the past week. My suspicions about a penchant for payback in the Abbott government have been growing steadily since its election, given it began with axing three prominent public servants the Coalition thought favoured the previous government, cancelling former Victorian premier Steve Bracks’ ambassadorial appointment, defunding the Climate Council and, very quietly, if what I am hearing from the NGO sector is any guide, defunding a whole lot of other groups the Coalition doesn’t approve of.

Then Attorney-General George Brandis appointed IPA stalwart Tim Wilson as head of the Human Rights Commission. Wilson is a lovely guy but about as qualified to run the HRC as I am, which is to say, not at all. Last week, Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi condemned gays, women who have abortions and (weirdly) single-parent families. Then came the big news; Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s announcement of a review of the shiny new national curriculum, headed by Ken Wiltshire and — this was the payback bit — Kevin Donnelly, but more about that later.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “Caro’s flotsam and jetsam: spite and payback edition

  1. klewso

    So is this how they similarly justify “not giving information” to their share-holders/electors, us, paying their wages?

  2. Andybob

    I heard a scientist talking to a teacher the other day: ‘We’d rather have no-one than Pyne’.

  3. vicki boucher

    The current liberal government certainly comes across as a spiteful group of bully boys. I always thought the Howard years were our darkest. This lot as topped it. I even sent a long email to turnball asking him to step up and listing my grievances. In turnball style I received an email back simply stating, “I don’t agree with you”! At least he responded

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details