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Thoughts, prayers and budget cuts

Crikey readers discuss federal and state mishandling of the bushfire crisis in New South Wales, and remain unconvinced by the Coalition's cheap response.

Climate change Australia
(Image: AAP/Darren Pateman)

On the bush fires

Denise Marcos writes: “Thoughts and prayers” are weasel words, but one fears that trite phrase has been elevated to official Coalition policy to address our bushfire/climate emergency. The Morrison cabinet may as well perform a rain-dance, it would be equally (in)effective.

John Gleeson writes: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” — Noam Chomsky. Don’t talk about gutting state fire services funding; don’t talk about the effects of climate change, don’t mention the additional difficulties caused by drought — focus instead on the bravery of the firefighters and describe anything outside the narrative as “disgusting” and the work of “raving inner-city lunatics”. And don’t forget to offer “thoughts and prayers” to those affected, whilst making the most of the photo opportunities.

Geoffrey Wright writes: This is what you get from conservative governments ’cause its all about the bottom line. They think government is a business and its more important to balance the books than to have a balanced society. Ideology and idiotic denialism sees us faced with a climate we hardly recognise and which is set to only get worse. When will these faith followers place their faith in science?

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Marcus Hicks writes: Of course, whilst they claim it’s “not the right time to talk about climate change”, it is apparently always the right time to peddle the far right myth that the Greens are somehow preventing hazard reduction burns, and that this is allegedly the real reason the fires are so bad. I didn’t realise a minor party which lacks power at the state and federal level could have so great an influence on public policy… whilst being simultaneously unable to use that influence to stop coal mining!

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R. Ambrose Raven
R. Ambrose Raven
1 year ago

John Gleeson’s points above are excellent ones.

But have we forgotten scummo’s election promises as well as the delusion of his tax giveaways?

Presentation of our head of government in statesmanlike terms was inevitable in the context of the G7 in France in Aug ’19. After all, G7 was “Bantering blonds and cringeworthy kisses: G7 was the dinner party from deepest hell”. Manna from heaven for journalists focussed on feelings, trivia and salacious gossip.

But, could we remember that whatever Morrison might have promised to assist American breach of nuclear programme contract with Iran, he has made quite different promises to us:
– no positive action on global heating,
– no extra money for government services for 24 million people (plus half a million extra immigrants) over the next three years,
– implicitly to cut our wages,
– implicit preparedness to bring back all abbott’s 2014 nasties, including increasing the pension age by three years.

Certainly morrison is sincere. He was absolute straight with us; he ran a non-spending 2018 election campaign exactly as he had promised. But as demonstrated by headlines like “WA hospital emergency department crisis”. the truth is too little has been spent for a long time, so spending less now means even worse in future. That is actually bad.

The Curmudgeon
The Curmudgeon
1 year ago

The punters have taken the “surplus good; deficit bad” message from the government to heart and have preferred to pay off debt rather than buy loads of stuff they don’t need. How good is that?

1 year ago

On ABC Illawarra radio this morning they were interviewing a senior NPWS chap who says the park rangers organise most of the back-burning that is done in NSW, and they have suffered repeated budget cuts under the NSW coalition government that they don’t have enough trained people left to do what needs to be done….then they played a grab from the Nats deputy premier Barilaro where he boldly says he is the only one with the guts to stand up and say that not enough back-burning has been done….hypocrisy and dishonesty does not get much richer.