Friday 1 July 2022

The new Prime Minister of Downunder

is still strutting the world stage. It is Europe this week. He is mixing with "world leaders". His new partner is also doing her "first lady" stunts. His Foreign Minister is back in Asia, in particular Malaysia right now - where she was born. So far they have not fronted parliament.

The law requires them to do that no later than thirty days after the day appointed for the return of writs. They are going to be able to do it - just.  Once there the sitting schedule shows that they will also be spending very little time actually in the house.

It seems they are so confident about their increased numbers and their ability to get legislation through they are not too worried about the process of doing just that.  That worries me. 

The present government went to the election saying "we have a plan" and then "we have a plan" and then again "we have a plan". Once in a while there would be a vague reference to what that plan might actually be and an even vaguer reference as to how it might be achieved. It is now becoming obvious that those "plans" were all too often nothing but "ideas" that would appeal to an unthinking electorate which is compelled to attend the ballot box. Those of you who know me will also know that this is one of my concerns about our so-called "compulsory" voting system - the compulsion to attend the ballot box. It means people vote because they believe they must, not because they are informed. 

If the present government also believes it can get legislation for its agenda through parliament without too much scrutiny then we could be in real trouble. There are too many "plans" that need work before they are in any way fit for implementation. We have already been told that the promised lower electricity prices will not be achieved, that in fact we will be paying more than ever, a lot more. Pay rises are fuelling inflation and the Reserve Bank is trying to put the brakes on by raising interest rates. Those things would have happened whichever party was in power - but it will be harder to handle with all those "plans".

The Prime Minister has been smiling and pontificating overseas. He has been making himself out to be some sort of "world leader" as he shakes the hand of the French President. The French President is looking rather smug - as well he might given his country has just been paid close on a billion dollars for a supposed "breach of contract". (Contracts that size have a lot of wriggle room on both sides. Those in the know say that the French have been well and truly overpaid winners here.)  

Of course Europe is important to us. We have ignored Europe for far too long. While Britain was part of the EU we didn't really need to be too concerned. We let them do the work. Now we need to do some instead. But I wonder about all the claims our new politicians are making. I wonder about all those claims that we won't be able to do business with the EU unless we do this or that or the other thing. I wonder what the real agenda is because I am quite certain it is not the pleasant, rosy agenda the new PM is claiming.

Someone called him "Airbus Albo" recently... "Absent Albo" might be a useful description as well.  

No comments: