The Divided States of Australia Are ‘All in This Together’
By David Long
Thank you Mr Morrison. It took Australia about fifty years or more of knowledgeable debate from 1850-99 to become a Crowned Republic with Section 128 of Constitution vesting sovereignty in the Australian people. Before that we were six independent, self-governing British colonies.
Under your Prime Ministership and the pressure of Covid, that federal scheme is being crushed by the states. The most cursory glance at today’s headlines shows that we are again six independent, self-governing colonies each doing precisely what it wants without regard to the national interest.
Once our federal republic is gone, I can say without a shadow of doubt, that there is no one among our legal and political intelligentsia who could put it back together again. You only have to read the insipid, ignorant attempts at constitutional re-design that recently received such prominence in the national press to realise the parlous situation we would be in.
Western Australia, under the Premiership of Mark McGowan, has declared its independence – closing its border to all visitors from the east of Perth while, like the old Soviet Union, reserving all powers to himself and preventing citizens from leaving. Scott Morrison will not challenge McGowan’s hegemony. He could fly to Perth, and by crossing the border, negate McGowan’s iron claw – or he could legislate to open the border; but he won’t do either.
Remember Clive Palmer’s trip to the High Court to open that border a couple of years back? Morrison’s Liberal/National government joined that case to support Clive, then withdrew when it looked as if he might win. Perhaps neither he nor Porter wanted a political fight with McGowan. It has been the same with every state.
Left with only one border to defend, the Morrison government chose to bully a Serbian tennis player and had their shins kicked in the Federal Court. What has happened since then is laughable. The federal government has focused all its resources trying to prove that the Commonwealth was right to deport Novak instead of defending the Constitution.
In the meantime, Daniel Andrews has re-introduced tough new Covid measures in Victoria while exempting tens of thousands of workers in a variety of industries from the need to isolate. Have a guess where their votes are going next election, Mr Morrison?
Any reasonable person would question Andrews’ bonafides. If the object of the states’ new isolation measures is to prevent transmission, why exempt tens of thousands from the isolation rule? Perhaps he knows like almost everyone that Omicron, as a rule, very rarely kills; but the effect of even a limited rule relaxation is electorally positive.
Queensland has border restrictions in place with compulsory public masking and social distancing; this at the same time as vaccination rates exceed 90 per cent. Remember when it was announced that at 70 per cent vaccination all the regulations would be lifted in Queensland? First 70, then 80, then 90, then double vaccinated, then double plus booster (all football players and fans exempted). Does sound like the same old failed game plan with different goal-posts, doesn’t it.
Queensland primary schools will now open two weeks later; but if you think that is to protect the children, think again. My information is that it was a demand by the teachers who wanted more paid leave.
It would be nice to know what is happening in New South Wales, but Dominic Perrottet seems to have reneged on his open borders/open state/freedom undertaking when he became premier. New social restrictions and fines for not registering RAT Covid results (even though results so far have overwhelmed the NSW Health Department) all suggest that he has been given a yellow card by his worried backbench: ‘Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring!’ might be a tad too late.
South Australia and the Northern Territory are also off doing their own thing, but since it only involves fifteen blokes, ten women, five sheep, and four dogs – no one gives a damn.
Where is the Commonwealth government in all of this? Well, what we have seen is that since Morrison decided to take himself out of the Covid fight, that has been the cue for the states to take control of the nation’s separate parts. Do we need a federal government? Not according to Scott Morrison.
We need someone to co-ordinate the states but not to actually do anything, leaving that person sufficient time to solve Australia’s most challenging problem: revenging a Serbian tennis player who kicked him in the shins.
Remember when he was on telly multiple times every night telling us ‘we’re all in this together’? Well, not anymore. The federal government handed back the national jersey after Morrison got his shins kicked in the Federal Court and now he must slay the windmill for revenge. However, since he doesn’t want to be known for shin-kicking, he has nominated his champion, a fellow called Hawke; except it’s not Bob.
Had it been Bob, Novak would have been sensibly advised to immediately get on a plane for Belgrade. Bob had proved his readiness to fight anyone anytime in the great airline pilots dispute, even sending Ansett broke as a result. Bob described the pilots as: ‘Bloody glorified bus drivers’ and the media, left, right, ultra-left, and right loved him for it – he could do not wrong.
Unfortunately, Scott Morrison’s champion is the largely unknown Honourable tyre-kicker Alex Hawke. Alex Hawke to serve; love 15, Mr Djokovic. We wonder if Alex realises that he is only there to make smoke?
Real justice, if it exists, would see Djokovic win against Alex Hawke and Scott Morrison, but get knocked out of the Australian Open by Nick Kyrgios in the first round.
Justice for Australia would be a Prime Minister who, understanding the virtues of our Constitution, would forget about a Serbian tennis player and defend the Australian people from the abuses of power by state Labor Party governments.
At least then, it could honestly be said, that we are all in this together.