PERCEPTION IS ALL
Revealed is the hypocrisy, cant and calumny of the Coalition towards its bête noire, marriage equality. Over many months, our parliamentarians specious comment on “their undertaking, their promise, their reluctance to break faith, their wish for the people to decide” and similar cant has lost all ring of sincerity. If these sentiments were based on respect for the Australian people they might be taken seriously. Unfortunately this is not so. For members of the Coalition, incredibly, it is not the destination but the journey that is important. Behind this facade of verbal rectitude lies a trail of dishonoured pledges, broken promises and dissimulation by senior politicians and their acolytes. Why is this promise to the Australian people so important? To implement a plebiscite runs the risk of fueling sectarian discord among the Australian people.
THE UGLY TRUTH The Australian government purports to be non-sectarian. It would be instructive to ascertain which decision-makers are prepared to incur an expense of $160 million rather than reveal a faith based prejudice on the floor of the House during debate and subsequent ‘Lock the Doors’. Verily, some parliamentarians, stunted by dogma, would fear the third cock crow. Parliamentarians are elected to govern, not hide behind the the dictates of their own faith. Australia is non-sectarian! In recent years, the dishonoured pledges and backdowns perpetrated by the Coalition government (and Labor) is astonishing; there are dozens of separate issues. (see references) Just three examples of broken promises and an exposure of dissimulation represent less than 5% of these records:
- Paid parental leave, a signature policy, later abandoned.
- Hospital funding cuts, changes were to be implemented in three years time, they were immediately applied.
- Superannuation changes, adverse changes would not be made – this was not so.
- An example of dissimulation – the much vaunted South Australian submarine project was touted as a benefit to the state. Currently there is no construction tender, only a design contract in France. A decision on a construction contract may only eventuate around 2019.
In his article, Gottliebsen states “Trust in politicians is further eroded. The political class in Australia needs to take a good look at itself.”
THE LAST REFRAIN With respect to Marriage Equality the media needs to lift its game; reporters and interviewers verge on the supine in their questions to politicians. There is no vigorous probing as to why a plebiscite is essential and why there is the objection to a parliamentary debate. Since so many promises have been broken, what is the objection to breaking this one particularly as it will immediately benefit people and save $160 million. Is it possible some wish to save themselves the embarrassment of standing up for their principles or risk being accused of apostasy? The public deserve answers since,perhaps, only half-a-dozen people are delaying a democratic process. It is a matter for despair that our politicians are less by and more large purveyors of platitudes and soothing words. By hiding the bad news they tend to be wolves in sheep’s clothing. The true situation on any matter is either obtained from investigative journalists, experts or those au fait with current events.
The Honorable Michael Kirby, AC. CMG. has has added the firm voice of leadership to this sorry saga by stating he will not support a postal vote proposed by this Government that has clearly abrogated its responsibility to govern for the people of Australia.
Austin, A. 18 May 2015. Budget backflips bring broken promises. Indepentent Australia.
Gottliebsen, R. 8 May 2016. Coalition and Labor’s broken promises have shattered voter trust. The Australian.
JOHN HUGH HILL, firstname.lastname@example.org Current Affairs Flash Points, towardsthefinalhour.com