Scott Morrison
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

In Your Say, Bernard Keane’s postcard from Australia prompted Crikey readers to chip in with more of the prime minister’s failings, while others respond to the government’s commitment (or lack thereof) to a federal corruption watchdog.

On postcard from Australia:

David McCallum writes: I think if you wanted to link some of the existing failings and the terrible job Scott Morrison is doing for Australians (as distinct from the owning classes), the oversight of disasters should include the bushfires, the failure to address their causes, and no attempt to address climate change. On the contrary. The private entrepreneurs stacked into the national committee, reporting to no one, to use the people’s money to boost gas resources incomes for the same owning classes is barely disguised corruption. 

This is not just bad governing; it is corrupt management of the country and its resources. It is performed with a degree of arrogance that is quite despicable. And this prime minister also shows he doesn’t care, not even about his government’s responsibility for aged care and the deaths it has caused.

Beverley Penwill writes: I thought this article was so interesting as we often read the “postcard” journalism snapshot of other countries and say, “Oh, how dreadful.” But it makes us think when applied quite reasonably to our own country. I did wonder, though, about Sydney appearing as our nation’s capital.

John Sinclair writes: Sydney the capital of Australia? Please, not even as a joke! Not mentioned: universities hung out to dry.

Frank Carlus writes: It’s all very good to snigger and mock the feds for their supposed failings and the extent to which they continue to let Australia down. What about a mention of some of their achievements and commitments? For example, they brought the country back into surplus while overcoming a well-documented debt and deficit crisis, didn’t they?

The commitment to making America great again through the unnecessary purchase of useless war-making equipment, among other things. The commitment to allowing the climate to fix itself. The commitment to trashing working conditions for all who are fortunate to have the privilege of a job. The commitment to the right of the rich to enjoy at least 100% of their rightful gains. Come on Bernard! You can do better than that!

On a federal corruption watchdog:

Marian Arnold writes: “Let me count the ways”, with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, that Australia needs a federal body to investigate corruption at the Federal level.

From time to time, both major parties have overseen the most egregious self-serving and corrupt behaviour, however it would be difficult to find a period more rife with issues that need investigating than this current period. The effort of everyone in power from the prime minister down to tell us that all is well and they’ll take that question on notice goes on and on and on.

The lengths to which the prime minister goes not to answer questions is dazzling in its immensity. The lack of respect that minister after minister demonstrates for the voting public is extraordinary in the way in which they non-answer questions or utter flat out untruths a la Trump.

Angus Taylor, for one, leaves me shaking my head in amazement at the sheer audacity of his stunts. And as for the plan we had for managing COVID-19 in aged care. Can we be allowed to know what that was?

While the royal commission headed by Mr Justice Hayne was happening, I believe that the government was not happy while we, the public who were watching, were rejoicing. Its purpose was to demonstrate the wonderful work of the “for profit” financial world. Ooops! The royal commission into aged care was also, I believe, set up to denigrate the not for profit/government sector in that field. COVID-19 has exposed that as another major, major oops.

The Australian people should not have to depend on royal commissions to expose the deep seated commitment of this government to do as they like, regardless of legality, and not be questioned. There is an urgent and pressing need for such a body right now.

Clive Davies writes: This government has an even greater aversion to scrutiny than its predecessors and with good reason. Sports grants rorting, Angus Taylor’s dealings, East Timor and the Woodside connection, COVID contracts to Liberal friends, dodgy lobbying for submarine contacts, et al. The chances of getting an ICAC with teeth for this lot are as likely as Clive Palmer swimming to Rotnest. 

Let us know your thoughts by writing to [email protected]. Please include your full name to be considered for publication in this column.

Peter Fray

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