Last night I watched the Anne Summers interview with Julia Gillard, and it was amazing. I highly recommend that everyone watch it, no matter your political persuasion. She was relaxed and honest, no longer having to be worried about how her words may affect her government. I thought she demonstrated class and humanity, something I wish we’d seen more of when she was in political life. Anyway, give it a viewing.
Now to the actual reason for my writing:
I’m feeling distressed about many things about our new government. I’m clearly no Liberal voter, but I think there are some things that we all ought to be concerned about.
We now have a Prime Minister who, in 2010, said to Independents Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie that he’d give them anything if they’d support him to form a minority government. No seriously, he actually said that he’d literally give them anything. They’re both on record stating this. They thought that was grossly irresponsible, not to mention ridiculous, and chose to support Julia Gillard instead. He appears incredibly power hungry to me, and those are the kind of people who should never have power. If you want to read some more of my thoughts on Abbott, you can read some of them here.
There is something sinister about this photo of him being sworn in as PM. I know he doesn’t photograph well, but this photo makes me really uneasy.
We now have an education minister who doesn’t think class sizes matter (see an interview about this here). Anyone who has ever taught in a classroom can tell you that it’s incredibly important. I teach small class sizes (usually in the high teens) and I still don’t get to spend enough time with all my students to help them reach their full potential. The bigger the class, the less time you have to spend with each child. Der. But apparently Christopher Pyne doesn’t think that’s a concern. I certainly do. I wish I could do more for my students, but the time pressures teachers face means that we can’t spend as much time as we need to with each student, we have to work within our parameters. Give us more students and that spreads our time even thinner. The students suffer, not the teachers. Our next generation ought to concern us all.
We have a treasurer who now thinks that treasury numbers are just fine. This is after constantly telling us for months how wrong they were and how the Labor government was using misleading numbers to exaggerate our economic position Hockey now says that those numbers are correct. He’s saying that we’re on track to get back to surplus exactly when Labor said we would. What a joke.
Our new immigration minister claims (now) that the government shouldn’t be a news feed for people smugglers. Apparently it’s now in our nation’s interest to keep boat arrivals, boats turned back and deaths at sea out of the media. Oh really Scott Morrison? Then what the hell were those billboards during the election campaign about? You were so keen to talk about boats, boats and more boats before the election, but now it’s an inappropriate thing to do? So are you admitting now that you only did it to screw Labor, even though you thought it was a bad thing to do? That is so irresponsible and selfish.
When Tony Abbott was asked about asylum seeker deaths at sea on Saturday morning he literally ran away from the media. Literally ran away. It’s not the first time he has refused to answer questions and simply walked out of a press conference, in fact it’s becoming rather common. A PM who refuses to answer questions on serious matters is of grave concern to me. It’s not ok to hide information, especially when it relates to people’s lives. The government’s policy is to no longer comment on boat arrivals apart from a short, once a week briefing. Hiding information means that there is much more room for abuse. This is a slippery slope.
Next issue; Tony Abbott has been accused of being a misogynist and having issues with women (over and over and over again). He says he doesn’t and takes his daughters everywhere to prove a point. I’m not sure what point that proves though. Liking your own family doesn’t prove that you don’t have a problem with women. In fact, he’s on record multiple, multiple times making comments that clearly state otherwise. If you don’t think he has a problem with women, then I think you’re being wilfully blind. If you don’t care that he has a problem with women, then I’m really concerned.
Having one woman in the cabinet is a serious problem. I agree with the idea that you ought to promote on merit, but if you have 1/20 women in your cabinet, then you didn’t do your recruiting stage properly. So after the renewed criticisms this brings about, what does Abbott do? He appoints himself the Minister for Women’s Affairs. You have GOT to be kidding me! How is that a smart thing to do? No matter what you think of Abbott, you must agree that this move is beyond ludicrous. He’s just making it worse and worse. Keep digging Tony.
This is a man who cannot speak off-script without saying something stupid. He is largely protected from off-script interviews by his minders and only uses pre-prepared statements to make his points. When he does go off script he says things like; candidates have sex appeal, housewives need to be concerned about ironing prices, women get abortions for the sake of convenience, women shouldn’t withhold sex, bad bosses are like bad fathers doing more good than harm, it would be folly to expect women to ever be equal with men, homosexuality should have a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy around it, and many others.
I think it’s usually harsh & unfair to bring up stupid things that people have said in the past, but these sorts of comments are frequent, almost every time he goes off script, and they all come together to form a picture of his real position.
I don’t like a number of the new ministers, but that’s my opinion, not everyone needs to agree. However, lots of the issues I have brought up in this blog I think are genuine concerns that can’t be ignored.