Gadfly: I’m the treasurer… Get me out of here!


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Treasurer Josh frydenberg must have been delighted to finally provide the government with media coverage that did not involve anyone masturbating on a desk in parliament, with an MP using Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to explain why he is hiding in the bushes or Craig kelly being Craig Kelly.

In a bold reminder that the federal government actually does things from the federal government every now and then, Frydenberg unveiled the 2021 budget with a bold statement: “Australia is coming back.” Other options being considered include: “Australia’s Return: Taking Stock”, “2 Australia 2 Furious” and “Australia’s Resurrection” (the latter option was suggested by Hillsong’s marketing team).

The treasurer then listed everyone in “Team Australia” – “doctors and nurses… teachers and students… businesses, large and small…” Australians currently in India were clearly absent.

With the arrival of the budget comes the inevitable WINNER and LOSER lists, allowing the Australian media to indulge in its two great loves: reducing thinking and dividing people.

A complex national financial plan with nuanced details that requires careful consideration, you say? Let’s explain it like a reality TV show! This year, universities, the renewable energy sector and foreigners were voted out of the island, whether they were foreign students, foreign tourists or foreigners wishing to emigrate here. If you weren’t already on the island at the start of this Team Australia season, you won’t get a rose.

Critics and supporters of Frydenberg’s third budget as treasurer have fallen on partisan lines. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if anyone has replaced most of the talking heads in Australian media with a machine learning algorithm that spits out generic takes based on the ‘expert’ analyst’s reactions to budgets. previous ones.

To give credit where it’s due – and to prove I’m not a two-line algorithm – it’s a budget that delivers programs that will benefit women, senior care, and daycare. For that he deserves a lot of credit.

However, this quite slyly changes the promised National Integrity Commission staffing list from 75 to zero. The commission was already a fantasy, as unrealistic as a unicorn or a competent vaccine deployment, but now it has been confirmed as an impossibility. Australia may be back, but integrity is being told to stay away.

Former Attorney General Christian Porter pursues libel lawsuit against ABC and journalist Louise milligan, with the national broadcaster defending itself by arguing that Porter was “reasonably suspected” of the crime he was alleged to have committed, without asserting that he was in fact guilty.

The ABC’s Defense, if you want to read it, is currently available online. However, it appears to have been written entirely with black marker pen, as almost the entire document is redacted.

Justice Jayne Jagot accepted Porter’s request that key CBA defense details be removed until further notice. Surely nothing will convince the public of Porter’s innocence better than suppressing the details of the charges, investigating those charges, or even paying for his legal defense of $ 20,000 a day.

Porter also claimed that the woman who made the allegations refused to speak to ABC or Milligan before her death. Her response accused ABC and Milligan of not obtaining the woman’s consent. This marks the first admission by a Coalition member that “consent” is a real thing that matters – at least. somebody watched this milkshake video.

Relegated to third place in the Liberal-National ticket for the next federal election, Amanda stoker worked hard to prove her good faith as a right-wing conservative politician. As an example, take last week, when she attended an anti-abortion rally in Brisbane.

The Deputy Minister for Women decided that women really don’t need as much choice as they think they do. Talk to The Australian of situations where a person has become pregnant as a result of rape, the senator said: “I am very convinced that when it comes to late abortion it is something that is wrong and that we should not anticipate. . Now, I don’t think that’s a controversial opinion.

Stoker’s other prominent position on rape has been to support Bettina arndt“False Rape on Campus” lecture tour. The senator defended doing so as her attempt to protect Australians from the “deep prejudice” that comes from de-datming. More serious harm than that caused by rape?

Aside from being vocally pro-life, Stoker has also carved out a niche for himself as a key anti-racist. The senator ruled that the Human Rights Commission should no longer investigate systemic or structural racism, an intervention her spokesperson justified by saying that Stoker was concerned about the use of the term “anti-racism.” There has to be a more effective way of describing someone who is anti-racist …

Last year Bernie finn, the shadow minister for autism in Victoria, drew attention by posting a Photoshopped photo of Daniel Andrews who portrayed the Prime Minister as a person with an intellectual disability. This week, deciding he’s been out of the news cycle too long, Finn continued his attention-seeking move with a stroke that was basically the media’s equivalent of urinating in public.

Post a collage on their Facebook page featuring the broadcaster Waleed ally, Senator of the Greens Lidia Thorpe, Andrews (again) and the CBA offices, Finn asked his supporters where a Chinese rocket should land – referring to an out of control rocket that has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. He added a caveat: “For the benefit of the humorless left pitchers, this is a joke.” It helped him to admit that he has no idea what a joke is.

For those unfamiliar with Finn, he has a form on that kind of edgy humor: in the past, he joked that Daniel Andrews had sex with a goat; he refused to defend the recognition of the country by the Parliament; and he believes that rape victims should not be allowed to have abortions. At this point, he’s sort of a bargain basement cosplay from George christensen.

Finn is obviously a parody of how an uninspiring far-right politician might try to gain relevance in the modern media landscape, as no one could in fact be so racist and misanthropic without surprise. Next year, when it is revealed at the 2021 Melbourne International Comedy Festival that Bernie Finn is, in fact, a comedian Greg Larsenthe least convincing satirical character, this revelation may result in the first laugh that Finn elicited.

It’s hard to say “I’m sorry”. There is an ego swallowing that many of us struggle with, and then the words themselves. Just three syllables that carry with them the weight of guilt and an admission of responsibility.

“I’m sorry” is what you say when you think about it. That’s what you mean when you say it. And if you are Robert doyle, who was Melbourne’s longest-serving mayor, you say so over the radio in an interview about the sexual harassment scandal that kicked you out of office, but not directly to the women who alleged you harassed them for your mandate.

In an interview so tearful that Christian Porter would have given him a standing ovation, Doyle told 3AW Neil mitchell his actions had caused people anguish and pain. What he did not clarify was whether the actions were alleged sexual harassment or blanket denials offered by powerful lawyers who were trying to cast doubt on the allegations of several women. The interview is long and, frankly, not that interesting. He’s a man who once had a lot of power feeling bad about how he lost his power because he could have sexually harassed several women who didn’t have the power he did.

“Australia is coming back,” Josh Frydenberg promised during this week’s budget unveiling. Doyle’s interview reminds us that some parts of Australia have never left.

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 15, 2021 under the title “Gadfly: I’m the Treasurer… Get me out of here!”

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