Sunday, November 10, 2013

Secret, arrogant government

As expected, the government is reflecting PM Abbott's persona with its aggressive arrogance.  

To make it worse, it's all being done with as much secrecy as they can muster, apparently under tight control from the PM's office.

No-one's saying anything about anything. Parliament still hasn't opened for business more than two months after the election, there are virtually no press conferences, no statements from Ministers.

We have the ongoing saga of senior government figures, including the PM and a quarter of his cabinet, ripping taxpayers off by claiming expenses for private activities such as attending friends' weddings and footy finals.

There's public outrage and demands for tighter rules - maybe something akin to the way the tax office deals with the rest of us when we claim for business expenses. In an acknowledgement of the rorting, some of them have repaid some of the money, although only a fraction of it.

True to his arrogant nature Abbott declared: "I am not proposing to change the system. You don't want members of Parliament to be prisoners in their offices".

The clamour continued so suddenly he's announced 'reforms'  which he says "...will help to restore public confidence".
In fact that's all they're designed to do, they certainly aren't designed to stop the rorting. More arrogance, treating us with contempt.

We also have the fast deteriorating relationship with Indonesia caused by belligerence and arrogance.

As soon as he became PM we had the usual political platitudes from Abbott about how important the relationship was, we wanted to be warm, close friends co-operating on a range of regional problems.

When it was revealed publicly that our Embassy in Jakarta had been and was being used to spy on Indonesia the Indonesians were furious, not surprisingly.

They got the same contemptuous treatment that we're getting. 'We don't discuss security matters' they were told.

Surprise, surprise, that put them in an even worse mood.

Then an asylum-seeker boat was stopped by one of our naval ships, which was ordered to take the asylum seekers back to Indonesia. That was one of the actions that, in Opposition, Abbott said his government would take - but they didn't bother to discuss it with Indonesia.

The Indonesians refused to take them, and after a two day standoff we've had to back down. The asylum seekers are on their way here.

The arrogance of the government is also highlighted by their secrecy on asylum seekers.

In Opposition not a day went by without them screeching about stopping the boats, about the emergency on our borders. Now they're in government the issue can't be discussed. Nothing is said other than at a weekly 'briefing' - at which nothing is said and media questions go unanswered.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Lieutenant General Angus Campbell at the last meeting were asked about the latest situation. "I will not discuss on-water operations" the General said ad nauseum.  

As the Sydney Morning Herald said: "The federal government has refused to answer the most basic questions about asylum seekers".

Have a look at some of the questions and 'answers' here:  Q & non-A

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