PODCAST EPISODE

I Don’t Think, I Know: A Diplomatic Disaster and NSW Corruption

New Politics: Australian Politics

05-11-2021 • 29 mins


The Prime Minister was reluctant to go to the COP26 climate change conference and it’s obvious to see why. To say it was a diplomatic disaster is an understatement and the more Scott Morrison makes politics all about him, the more he is exposed as an ineffective prime minister who appears to be severely out of his depth. It’s one thing to create a diplomatic problem with a long-term European ally, but it’s another issue entirely to start leaking private text messages received from the French President. And as if to outdo his own stupidity, Morrison decided it would be a good idea to leak a confidential 15-page communications document to embarrass the US President. It’s hard to know who’s advising Morrison – he might be following his own advice – but it was an incredibly foolish action, and it may take years for the relationships with France to be repaired. An impassioned speech at COP26 by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, was received favourably by the world community – Morrison was in the audience but it’s hard to know if he actually listened: he ruled out supporting a 30% reduction of methane gases by 2030, and refused to join the 40 countries wanted to phase out coal production. Best to go off to the Australian pavilion at COP26 under the banner of “Positive Energy: The Australian Way” and view the Santos carbon capture to see how well they’re spending the $220 million credit they’ve received from the federal government’s $4.5 billion fund to pollute the environment. The former Premier of NSW – who we now believe is deserving of the moniker of “disgraced former Premier” – has provided all the evidence she needs to present to the NSW ICAC, and their findings will be presented in the early part of 2022. With Parliament no longer a forum for accountability and the media deciding to never hold conservative governments to account, the role of the NSW ICAC is becoming increasingly more important, and it’s a model which should be implemented at the federal level. And the release of these findings – which could be incredibly adverse for the NSW Liberal Party – could severely derail the next federal election. And there’s also a SA General Election to be held in March 2022, as well as five byelections for the NSW Parliament in the early part of the year. For the Morrison government to be re-elected at the next federal election, everything needs to start going right for them and everything is going in the opposite direction. It’s going to be a tough election to win.

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