As a new government attempts to unpick Australia’s climate record, an old one carries on with chutzpah & More Trending News


If she had a second — between the celebration of a profitable election marketing campaign, travelling to Tokyo for a assembly with world leaders lower than 48 hours later, then to Fiji — Penny Wong might need paused to take into account the twists and turns of politics.

Thirteen years in the past, as Kevin Rudd’s climate change minister, she labored by way of the evening for 2 nights on the United Nations climate change convention in Copenhagen, catching energy naps on a blow-up mattress, making an attempt to push Australia’s case for worldwide motion on climate change.

It did not occur, in fact. Negotiations collapsed in a manner summarised by her then prime minister in an immortal quote captured by David Marr in his Quarterly Essay, Power Trip, as “those Chinese f**kers are trying to rat-f**k us”.

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This week as newly minted Foreign Minister Wong was on the world stage. This time she was not making an attempt to persuade the remainder of the world they need to do one thing about climate change. 

She was making an attempt to persuade the remainder of the world that a new government would do one thing about Australia’s personal woeful document within the intervening interval, and finish the earlier government’s willingness to do to an worldwide climate accord what Rudd accused China of doing in 2009.

It’s been a week through which the new government didn’t simply have to set down markers in a very totally different worldwide strategic setting to the one it confronted in 2007.

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It had to begin peeling away from all these positions it took because it tacked shut to the Coalition as a part of its small goal marketing campaign technique.

Penny Wong speaking behind a lectern in front of the Australian flag.
Newly minted Foreign Minister Penny Wong makes a speech whereas visiting Fiji.(Supplied: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

Unedifying spectacle and a jarring revelation

For the Coalition, there was the unedifying spectacle of MPs and senators — each those that survived and those that didn’t — rising to say that the issue was that voters did not perceive their insurance policies, or that they personally did not really imagine within the insurance policies their government has pursued for nearly a decade. Alternatively, they blithely proceeded to conduct day-to-day politics as if nothing notable had occurred final Saturday.

It was arduous not to draw the conclusion that the Liberals have learnt nothing from the election, persevering with the generally idiotic mantras, with the identical chutzpah, we now have develop into accustomed to.

Less than 24 hours earlier than polling closed, information experiences emerged that boats carrying asylum seekers had been intercepted — one off the coast of Sri Lanka, one off Christmas Island — by Border Force.

Scott Morrison wearing a dark suit and maroon tie looking off to the right
Scott Morrison instructed the Australian Border Force to publicise an interception of a suspected asylum seeker boat on election day.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Scott Morrison was more than pleased to verify this at a doorstop on election day, subsequently backed up by a assertion from Border Force which, as ABC defence correspondent Andrew Greene revealed on Friday, was on the instruction of the (outgoing) prime minister’s workplace. This assertion was then used to justify textual content messages being despatched to voters warning them that the one manner to safe the border was to vote Liberal.

The revelation jarred with all of these sanctimonious press conferences over time — beginning with Morrison — the place ministers primly insisted they could not remark on “on water matters”.

In his political desperation, the now former prime minister proved himself prepared to even trash the method he had taken which had first marked him out for point out when the Coalition took government in 2013.

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Marles hits out at Liberal Party over election-day boat turnback leak

Many of Morrison’s inside circle have misplaced their seats on this election. But his closest political ally, Stuart Robert, was on the radio on Friday morning rejecting the concept that the order for Border Force to launch the assertion had breached the caretaker conventions and correct course of.

He could not remark on it, he mentioned, “having not been involved, but I think all Australians understand Labor by virtue of history is incredibly weak on boat arrivals”.

So, even after being in workplace for nearly a decade, the most effective a former Coalition cupboard minister may do when confronted by an appalling politicisation of a course of his personal aspect had lengthy described as holy writ, was to prosecute a case in opposition to the government earlier than his government that had simply misplaced the election.

As if the Coalition hasn’t simply been devastated in its heartland and there may be a trigger for pause, for reflection, for some indication that the voters might have despatched a message.

The astonishing a part of the story

In the western districts of Victoria, Malcolm Fraser’s old seat of Wannon, held by Dan Tehan, has been teetering on the sting of being taken by a younger unbiased, Alex Dyson.

The psephologists predict that Tehan will ultimately prevail, simply. If he does, it will likely be the one seat left of a former Liberal prime minister — aside from the latest incumbent — that has not been misplaced to the celebration. 

The seats of Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, John Howard, Billy McMahon (similar space, reconstructed citizens), John Gorton and Bob Menzies are all now held by Labor or independents.

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