Scott Morrison climate change
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

That was then, this is now Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the National Press Club, February 1, 2021: “We’ve been very clear to point out where you get your information from. You don’t get it from Facebook. You get it from official government websites.”

The New Daily, April 12, 2021: “Twice in two days, Morrison has used his Facebook page — which only has 626,000 followers — to announce vital updates to the COVID vaccination program. On Sunday night, he admitted the government had abandoned plans to set any sort of vaccination targets. Then on Monday, he went live on Facebook in a 10-minute video address that appeared to be an attempt to quell Australians’ concerns about the troublesome rollout.”

IDpol A tipster has sent us through a flyer for a panel discussing whether identity politics is helping or hindering the public debate. A worthwhile, if hardly unexplored, question, posed in this case by PR company Good Talent Media. And who better to really get to the heart of whether markers of identity are useful in engaging with broader politics than a panel consisting of ABC’s Caro Meldrum-Hanna, 10’s Lachlan Kennedy and The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Angus Thompson. Three people all with, shall we say, qwhite a specific experience of intersectionality:

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UPDATE: Good Talent Media have gotten in contact with us to tell us that Angus Thompson had now been replaced by SBS’s Omar Dehen.

Entering the theatre of conflict (of interest) Christopher Pyne’s grin (in a photo of him receiving an honorary degree) takes on a slightly ominous tone when you consider the fact that he’s just finished a speech telling us to prepare for war.

The former defence minister gave a graduation oration at the University of Adelaide in which he argued “the strategic posture of the People’s Republic of China is not as benign as it was”.

Five years ago, I would’ve said that the possibility [of a ‘kinetic war’] was very unlikely, now I would have to say that the possibility is more likely than it was then. Not a cyber war, but a real one involving loss of life, destruction of military platforms, with aggressors and defenders on different sides.

Of course, five years ago he was merely an MP, whereas now he is a consultant to several weapons suppliers, all of whom would stand to make a great deal of money (even more than they did when he was defence minister) if Australia were to follow his warning and put itself on a war footing.

Gimme Muir After his shock election and brief tenure in the Australian Senate from 2013 to 2016, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir proved to be one of the more interesting of that parliament’s strange influx of small-to-micro parties. A “revhead” who used his crucial vote to block funding cuts to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, he was pro-marriage equality, bloody loved guns and had previously been a shop steward for the CFMEU. Truly, he contained multitudes.

So we’ve kept half an eye on his post-Senate career, and via his Facebook page he has announced he is having a “Centre Life Adventure” (as opposed to a mid-life crisis) and promised a “political blog which will finally be my time to tell my story from my perspective”.

According to Muir, “content is on the way and it will be ready to publish soon”. We’ll be keeping a watch on the blog and will let you know if he shares anything particularly juicy about the heady days of Parliament 2013.

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Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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