Showing posts with label right wing politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label right wing politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The extreme far-right in Australian politics is on the march and hopes to capture the Liberal and Nationals' party machines


In October 2018 Australian mainstream media reported that a far right group had attempted to infiltrate the NSW National Party.

The Guardian, 15 October 2018:

The New South Wales Young Nationals has expelled one member and suspended two others after revelations the group had been infiltrated by members of Australia’s alt-right movement. 


On Sunday the ABC’s Background Briefing revealed that members of the NSW Young Nationals were members of the Lads Society, a far-right fight club whose leaders include the prominent alt-right figure Blair Cottrell. 

The Young Nationals – including one member of the party executive – were or had also been members of a Facebook group called the New Guard, whose followers include self-described fascists. 

Membership to the party’s youth organisation has also been temporarily suspended. 

On Monday the deputy premier and leader of the NSW Nationals, John Barilaro, admitted his party may have been an “easy target” for members of the far-right seeking to influence mainstream politics. 

“We are a grassroots party that is brought together by geography so I think we are probably an easy target,” he told ABC radio. 

“If you want to become a member and then start bringing more members in, we are a small party so a small number of members joining can actually change the structure of a branch or an electorate council as we call them.

“So maybe it’s because we are an easy target for individuals to infiltrate.”

Barilaro admitted the reports were “worrying”, saying there was a “question mark” over how influential the members identified by the ABC had been in developing policy within the party’s youth wing. 

He downplayed the significance of the group on the wider party. 

Earlier in 2018 media was reporting on a religious right attempt to infiltrate the Liberal Party at Victorian state level

The Guardian, 19 May 2018: 

It’s one of those dilemmas politicians like to call wicked problems. Politicians, at least the folks still on the planet, know that it’s important to build a political movement from the ground up, but such movements can sometimes produce outcomes that are uncomfortable for people in power. 

One of these case studies exists presently with the Liberal party in Victoria, where Malcolm Turnbull has been used as a recruitment tool, and not in a positive way. Conservative forces in the Victorian branch have used the rolling of Tony Abbott and Turnbull’s alleged progressivity as a rallying cry to recruit new members. 

An army is being raised in Melbourne’s outer-eastern suburbs with the objective of taking the Liberal party back from the Costello clique – the group that rose to a position of influence when Peter Costello was the most significant centre-right political figure in Victoria. 

The grassroots recruitment drive has been active amongst conservative church groups looking for a home after the collapse of the Christian micro-party Family First.

The Age, 3 June 2018:

An Age investigation has confirmed with senior church sources that at least 10 of the 78 people elected to the Liberals’ administrative bodies at the party’s April state council are Mormons.

This amounts to nearly 13 per cent of all those now in key positions within the Liberals’ organisational wing, compared to just 0.3 per cent of all Australians who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Combined with conservative Catholics, evangelical Christians from churches such as Victory Faith Centre and City Builders, the religious right-wing now has unprecedented sway in Liberal Party politics.

West Australian Liberal Party members were going public with their concerns at the beginning of 2019.

The West Australian, 15 January 2019:

Any political party trying to win the majority of voters at the silent centre of noisy left/right politics understands why religious zealotry is a turn off. 

Depending on who you talk to, given most people in politics are motivated by self-interest, the Liberals are either approaching a crossroads over the evangelical push for influence in the northern and southern suburbs branches, or they are already past the tipping point.

Plenty of party players will offer background on the battles being fought inside Liberal branches and divisions, but few want to go public for fear of the powerbrokers who control the numbers.

Long-standing Liberal Party member Deidre Willmott has been a chief of staff at the highest levels of government, was chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry until recently, is a proud Anglican and is not one for sensationalism.

Therefore, her view that evangelical forces were gaining control of the party should matter in Liberal land and party leaders, like Mike Nahan, and other stalwarts should take note. Willmott talked freely about “those people” from the religious right “getting the numbers”.

“The party runs the risk that a narrow-based agenda will be the priority of the party and make it irrelevant to the broad base it has represented,” she said. “I have no problem with Christians, I am one myself, but I just don’t think a socially conservative agenda is part of a mainstream Liberal Party.”

Following on from weekend news about members of another evangelical church, True North, nominating for control of the party’s Sorrento-Duncraig branch, there was much chatter on social media about the so-called “alliance” of Liberal powerbrokers.

Perhaps, given the topic, southern suburbs Christian warrior and Upper House Liberal Nick Goiran, his northern suburbs parliamentary colleague Peter Collier and Federal Liberal minister Mathias Cormann should be dubbed the Holy Trinity. 

Highly placed Liberals insist they control the party’s dominant faction and do so with the help of scores of members from Pentecostal and Baptist churches.

Federal Liberal MP Ian Goodenough is one politician who does not shy away from confirming the support he receives from the evangelical community, including Globalheart and True North churches. 


But he will not concede that the systematic approach Globalheart members have taken to winning key positions in Liberal branches differs greatly from other followers of religions getting involved in the party.

Now we are hearing that mid-2019 the Queensland Liberal-National Party had to shore up its barricades. 

The Courier Mail, 18 August 2019: 

QUEENSLAND’s Liberal National Party changed it rules last month in a bid to thwart an ultra conservative takeover of the party. 

Now it can be revealed the party has launched a widened investigation into who was behind the alleged “religious right” takeover push and what methods they were using in their bid. 

The investigation is an extension of a probe launched earlier this year into allegations attempts were being made to woo far-right extremists into the fold and use their networks trawl for new recruits. 

It is understood there are three to four people of interest to the investigation with the focus on stacking efforts witnessed at two party unit AGMs – the Metro South AGM and the Metro North AGM – where officer bearer positions that also have a vote on the LNP’s powerful state executive were up for grabs. 

It was the Metro North AGM – where more than 100 new faces arrived including some who allegedly were bussed in – that was the catalyst for the rule change brought in last month. 

Now new members must wait a year before voting on office bearer elections just as they have to for MP preselections.

And once more New South Wales is in the news, but this time it's the NSW Liberals, not the Nationals, who are being targeted.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August 2019:


A group promoting religious freedom is working to recruit 5000 Christian conservatives to the NSW Liberals as part of an ambitious scheme aimed at taking "control" of the state division of the party.

Leaked documents obtained by the Herald, which contain metadata leading back to Federal and NSW parliaments, reveal the NSW Reformers group hopes to recruit thousands of members across Sydney.


A 900-word document titled ‘NSW Reformers - Taking Back Our Nation Through Good Government’ lays out the group's intentions to exert influence on politicians by joining Liberal branches and gaining pre-selection votes.


“If we recruit 5000 Christian conservatives we will control the NSW division of the Liberal Party,” it reads.


“We will organise information sessions for local coordinators as to how the intricate parts of the party work ...


Politicians are far more receptive to people and causes if they directly impact their chances of being in Parliament.” 


The group believes greater control of state and federal preselection in NSW would ensure a strong "conservative representation in Parliament".

The document’s metadata suggests it was written by a staff member in a federal ministerial office last year. The staffer did not return calls or text messages....


Other documents show names, addresses and contact details of hundreds of constituents were collated from a series of petitions advertised on the NSW Reformers' page.


The petitions that netted the data of hundreds of constituents refers to "gender ideology", “gay surrogacy”, religious freedom and Zoe’s Law legislation, which would make it a crime to cause death to a fetus.


The spreadsheets also contain lists of dozens of churches across Sydney to be targeted in the recruitment drive.


Friday, 16 August 2019

Northern Rivers landowners can breathe a sigh of relief, council rates will not rise sharply this year


Northern Rivers local governments and landowners have had a reprieve - for now.

One increase in NSW Government charges on local councils will not go ahead and Clarence Valley Council will not have to find an additional $260,000 this financial year.

However, there is no guarantee that by July 2020 the emergency services levy hike will not again be back on the books and, there is also no guarantee that the Berejiklian Government's plan to abandon unimproved value as the baseline for land rate calculations is either dead, buried or cremated.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 August 2019:

The NSW government is backflipping on a controversial plan to force councils across the state to pay for a $14 million emergency services levy hike.
The Berejiklian government wanted the state's 128 councils to share the financial burden of the increase in the emergency services levy to fund reforms to workers’ compensation for firefighters suffering from work-related cancers.

The move follows a radical proposal to change the way NSW council rates are calculated, that would drive up costs for owners of expensive apartments, and steep increases in waste management fees in some council areas.
The emergency services levy hike was opposed by the local government sector, which voiced concerns that the increase, which varied in amounts between areas, would force councils to cut funds to services and facilities.
Local Government NSW president Linda Scott said that councils' share of the emergency services budget was embedded in council rates, with additional costs recovered through insurance premiums.....
In 2017, Premier Gladys Berejiklian's shelved plans for a new system to fund fire and emergency services in response to backlash over sharp increases in what some property owners would pay.
Labor's local government spokesman Greg Warren said the decision to grant NSW's councils a year-long reprieve from the levy increase was "little comfort to councils across the state".
"This is another backflip from the government on this issue, they've simply kicked the can down the road.....

Ms Hancock said the government would continue to "consult with local councils to better manage the impacts of the emergency services levy, especially on their annual budgeting cycles".

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

An as yet unconfirmed rumour about the Indue Cashless Welfare Card


Indue Limited (ABN 97 087 822 464) is a bank and Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (“ADI”) that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Indue is owned by financial institutions, each of which is also an ADI. Indue provides transaction processing and settlement services to credit unions, building societies, church funds, mortgage originators, commercial clients and the Australian government.

via @CartwheelPrint


Facebook, The Say NO Seven, 9 August 2019:

🐦⚠⚠⚠⚠⚠ #LNP_CASHLESS_CARD_AGENDA 


Whistle blower testimony sent to the SNS has confirmed the LNP agenda for Indue Cards.


As long time members are aware, the SNS operates an encrypted mail service and drop box specifically for those people within the system to speak out in relative safety.


A rarely used resource, this week and we assume as a direct result of the the muzzling of certain sectors, we have received information from two independent sources attached to the department and public service that corroborate our concerns.


The LNP Agenda is clear. They are "confidant" that regardless of whether ALP support/do not support further expansions, that with Cross Bench support, they will reach this target prior to the next Federal election.


We do not send this notice to generate groundless fear. We send it to inform you and to inform those within our government who feel themselves above the law and the will of the people, that we *will* and will continue to resist.


We have deliberated deeply about presenting this information, which should come as no real surprise to those are literate in card matters and current political machinations.


We concluded it was necessary to post, despite being unable to provide documentation to you at this time, as has been our standard thus far and will continue to be. The risks are simply too great to not speak out now, while we still can, and are as great as the risks whistle blowers face if we provide any further detail.


We can confirm the sources are credible, reliable, are informed, and have been vetted.


⚠ We must reiterate that AT THIS TIME there are NO Bills before parliament that would permit ANY further roll out in ANY location nor are there any current Bills before parliament to expand payment captures to include aged pension aka under the Act as Mature Aged Payment. 


We must continue to remain steadfast and take one step at a time, and take each presentation to parliament as it comes.


Information sharing over several weeks along with these new posts has confirmed that four Bills concerning or including cashless cards are in progress and that these Bills may arrive as a single Omnibus Bill. We are informed that the writing of these Bills has been outsourced to partisan legal interests.


Even so, as we said, we must remain steadfast and take each presentation to parliament as it comes and not allow fear to dictate or determine *our* outcomes decisions or directions.


We send this to you for 'the grace of time' - for your emotional and mental preparation and for wider general awareness of what we are likely to be facing over the next three years.


We will post over the next week on just what this agenda, if successful, could mean for Australians and our nation and economy; on the utilization and role of religious groups as relates to LNP's social welfare policy as a whole; and we will also speak on issues of effective resistance.


Now we know. Time to wake the masses.


Heads up..eyes open..no fear. ✊


- SNS🌿


Monday, 12 August 2019

So is there an army of "Quiet Australians" backing the Morrison Coalition Government or is it just another political myth


The Morrison Coalition Government, its ministers, senators and MPs, have been making much of the notion that there is a large mass of citizens who quietly agree with them on every subject they discuss and every policy position they hold. 

This survey suggests that rather than there being a large number of head nodders in the community, these so-called 'quiet' Australians may broadly disagree with the Morrison Government on issues involving treatment of vulnerable people and low income households - especially when it comes to the Newstart Allowance 
level of payment
  http://www.scribd.com/document/421336946/Essential-Report-Australian-survey-8-August-2019

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Under Prime Minister Scott Morrison's own peculiar mix of politics & social engineering the 'haves' are relentlessly screwing the 'have nots' into the ground


ABC News, 2 August 2019: 

Whistleblowers are warning a $351 million Government program aimed at getting parents back to work is exploiting vulnerable single mothers, and even the homeless. 

Key points: 


ParentsNext is a $351 million scheme to get parents on welfare to meet work and study goals, then return to the workforce 


Employment service providers receive $600 for every client who is on ParentsNext 


Whistleblowers say service providers have kept parents in the scheme who should be exempt. 

At the centre of the controversy is ParentsNext, a program some people must take part in to receive parenting payments from Centrelink. 

It is also the first Australia-wide program to allow private employment service providers to decide who must participate. 

Background Briefing has interviewed current and former employees in Australia's lucrative employment services sector who claim some caseworkers are pressured to sign up and retain people who face significant personal crises, even though departmental guidelines stipulate they should be exempted. 

Homeless but signed up anyway Mel, 33, is one of more than 3,000 homeless Australians who've been signed up to the compulsory employment training program ParentsNext despite having no fixed address to take a shower or prepare a warm meal for her kids. 

A mother of four, Mel's spent more than two years on Tasmania's public housing waiting list. 

She was furious when she received a letter demanding she undergo an eligibility assessment for ParentsNext or else her parenting payments would be cut off. 

 "It's degrading, it's making us feel like we're lazy, like we're not doing nothing for our kids," said Mel, whose last name is being withheld for privacy reasons. Guidelines from the Department of Jobs specify Centrelink could have exempted her from participating on the grounds of her homelessness. 

Mel was instead referred to a local not-for-profit community provider, Workskills, which were paid a government fee just for her turning up. Under ParentsNext, employment service providers are paid $600 for each new recipient they take on. 

Mel was exempted at her first meeting with Workskills, but will be re-examined for eligibility in 12 months. She says she can't understand why the Department did not exempt her at the outset.

Despite being exempted from ParentsNext, last week Mel's parenting payment was cut off after she forgot to tick a box declaring her zero income to Centrelink.

ABCBackground Briefing, "Welfare to Worse", 2 August 2019 podcast here.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Morrison Government intends to go ahead with the drug testing of welfare recipients


"…the bill is not written like a research trial, it's written as policy by stealth…and if this is about introducing new policy, then…it misunderstands the nature of drug problems and drug dependence." [UNSW Professor Lisa Maher, Committee Hansard, 23 April 2018, p.18] 

According to data.gov.au, between January 2017 and and December 2018 there were 5.82 million Australian citizens receiving Newstart Allowance unemployment benefits for all or part of that period.

Based on the New Zealand experience of widespread drug testing, it is highly likely that just one year into any Australian scheme which regularly drug tests Newstart recipients running costs would not be less than $3.27 billion.

When you add those receiving Youth Allowance,  then drug testing and intervention costs would run even higher.

Even the limited trial currently proposed by the Morrison Government would in all probability cost somewhere in the vicinity of $20 million in its first year.

In the health care sector there is almost universal condemnation of the Morrison Government's drug testing bill as being either unworkable in practice as a reliable drug detection scheme or ineffective as a method of medical intervention.

Indeed, it is reported that Clinical Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds, an expert in addiction medicine, has stated that the drug testing trial is 'unlikely to bring about any sustained changes in patients' drug use behaviours and may even be counterproductive.'

Nor does it appear that there is any solid evidence that such a testing regime actually assists unemployed people to either find work or successfully access treatment. 


Given how many drug or alcohol dependent individuals currently cannot get a timely appointment or find a inpatient bed in the est. 952 publicly funded drug & alcohol agencies across Australia and the fact that the majority of both private and publicly funded agencies are in large metropolitan areasthis lack of evidence comes as no surprise.

Here is just one submission made to the Senate Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018 in April 2018 by the peak medical practitioners organisation.


http://www.scribd.com/document/420530854/Social-Services-Legislation-Amendment-Drug-Testing-Trial-Bill-2018-Australian-Parliament


Thursday, 1 August 2019

Every journalist,political commentator, blogger & tweeter who has ever been critical of government - be afraid, be very afraid


The Mercury, 29 July 2019: 

Last week the rise of authoritarian government was confirmed with the Morrison Government, aided by the as usual spineless Labor Party, passing legislation which would allow the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to block any Australian from returning to this country for up to two years on the grounds they are associated with terrorism, even in the most tangential way. And as Crikey, a news site, revealed last week, the Morrison Government revealed its complete contempt for the rule of law and independent scrutiny of the power Mr Dutton now has vested in him. 

While the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Act, to give the law its formal name, is designed to stop Australians who have fought in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere for organisations deemed to be terrorist, from returning to this country, one section in the Act appears so broadly drafted it could be used to prevent whistleblowers, journalists and others who reveal the secrets of the US, Australia and other allies in the so-called war on terror from re-entering Australia. 

Section 10 of the Act gives Mr Dutton the power to prevent a person, aged 14 or over, from coming back to Australia for up to two years at a time on a number of grounds. 

One of those grounds is that “the person has been assessed by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to be directly or indirectly a risk to security … for reasons related to politically motivated violence.” This provision is extraordinarily broad. How might ASIO think that a person is “directly or indirectly a risk to security” because of some link to terrorism, which is what politically motivated violence means. 

Does it include a whistleblower who reveals US and Australian misconduct in the context of the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan or Iraq? 

Or what about a journalist and publisher who lets the world see cables, emails and other forms of communication to and from Australian security and defence agencies and which relate to terrorist activity? 

The answer is yes, it could apply in both cases. When whistleblowers, media organisations and journalists have published material such as in the case of WikiLeaks, the Iraq War Logs, or the trove of materials that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden smuggled out in 2013 such exercises have been labelled as irresponsible and assisting terrorism…... 

If ASIO answers yes, and of course its reasons for the assessment cannot be challenged because they are secret, then the loose wording of section 10 suggests that Mr Dutton would be prepared to issue an order preventing those individuals from entering Australia for up to two years. 

To give a minister such enormous power to interfere with the right to freedom of speech and free movement is indicative of a mindset that cares nothing for the rule of law or democracy. 

Even the parliamentary committee which looks at security legislation, and which is chaired by a Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and includes Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz, was ignored by the Morrison Government in this case. 

The committee in question, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, is a highly regarded bipartisan committee that routinely looks at security legislation and whose recommendations are adopted by government because of its expertise. 

Bernard Keane writing in Crikey last Thursday revealed that the committee had recommended that an independent person be given the role of considering banning returning citizens. 

But Mr Dutton justified ignoring the committee’s recommendation in what can only be described as an exercise in gross manipulation of the facts….. 

The Morrison Government would only accept the bipartisan committee’s recommendation if “it was in the national interest” to do so. 

In other words, Mr Dutton and the Morrison Government generally do not believe in a fundamental premise of the rule of law. It is anathema to democracy for ministers to have unbridled power when it comes to dealing with people’s lives. 

Another bad week for Australian democracy. [my yellow highlighting]


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Australia attempts to "erase the science" on climate change at UN talks in Bonn?


BBC News, 27 June 2019:

Oil producing countries are trying to "erase the science" on keeping the world's temperatures below 1.5C, say some delegates at UN talks in Bonn.

The chair of the Alliance of Small Island States said Saudi Arabia and others were trying to pretend a key scientific report didn't exist.

Small island states believe keeping temperatures below 1.5C this century is critical to their survival.

A key report in October said this was possible.

But huge emissions cuts would be needed in the short term.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5C was commissioned by the UN back in 2015.

But when it was presented to climate negotiators in December in Poland, four countries including the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait refused to "welcome" it.

The simmering battle over the report has re-emerged here at this meeting in Bonn.

There has been a serious battle over a text that would include reference to the scientists' conclusion that carbon emissions would have to be reduced by 45% by 2030.

Saudi Arabia has been at the fore in wanting to include text that underlined the uncertainties in the report.

For the group of around 40 small island states, this has proved inflammatory.

"The report came out in in October of 2018 and now we see this move at the negotiations to try and have it almost erased from existence, which is impossible to do," Lois Young, the ambassador from Belize, who is chairing the group, told the BBC.

"There's this move to pretend as though it's not there, to not to refer to it in documents. And it's been ongoing since we got here."

The Saudis have gained some support in their arguments from an unlikely alliance of countries, including the US, Australia and Iran.

"The countries that are trying to downplay the importance of the document, erase it from the records, not all of them are showing their faces," said Ambassador Young.

"It's unreal, it's as though they're resigning our Aosis states to collateral damage, I mean, it's like we have no importance doesn't matter." [my yellow highlighting]

Read the full article here.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Yet more opinions that the 46th Australian Government - the Morrison Government - will not end well for the nation


The Australian: Morrison Government Ministry 2019

The Monthly, 9 July 2019:

As Australia’s economy falters, the government’s fiscal heart is hardening, not softening. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s determination to deliver his much-vaunted budget surplus for 2019–20 and retain Australia’s AAA credit rating – which is hardly in danger – is of a piece with junior minister Luke Howarth telling the homeless to look on the bright side. In prospect is more of the same punishing austerity towards anyone doing it tough; it’s the flipside of celebrating those who aspire and get ahead, and who are rewarded with taxpayer largesse through subsidies and tax loopholes. Last week’s $158 billion tax-cut package is going to accelerate the trend to an increasingly unequal Australia, which has resulted from the Coalition’s agenda since it was elected in 2013. As former treasurer Joe Hockey said when defending his first budget, the worst-received in living memory: “Governments have never been able to achieve equality of outcomes … It is not the role of government to use the taxation and welfare system as a tool to ‘level the playing field’”.

Flanked by his assistant minister, Michael Sukkar, and the tax commissioner, Chris Jordan, Frydenberg today announced [$] that more than 810,000 Australians had already filed their 2018–19 tax returns and could be receiving their rebates of up to $1080 by the weekend. But, resisting calls from the Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, he stressed that there would be no further stimulus, citing the “non-negotiable” imperative of reaching a budget surplus this year, and saying that the government would be focused on reducing debt….

Doing the same thing over and over while hoping for a different result is clearly not working. Today’s NAB business confidence survey showed that the post-election bounce has been short-lived, and the first of the RBA’s two recent rate cuts has failed to improve conditions. A small uptick in employment growth is positive, but NAB’s chief economist, Alan Oster, says the overall decrease in business conditions has been “relatively broad-based across states and industries – suggesting that there has been sector-wide loss of momentum over the past year”. The share market is jumpy, selling off sharply today as APRA, in a sign of nervousness, lowered its capital requirements for banks, and bond markets are reportedly “screaming economic downturn”…..

The Saturday Paper, editorial, 6 July 2019:

And so it passes, the greatest assault on the safety net from which Australian life is built. Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are through and the revenue base that provides for health and education and social welfare is shredded. The legacy of the 46th parliament is there in its very first week: the destruction of the social compact that made this country stable.

On analysis by the Grattan Institute, to pay for these cuts at least $40 billion a year will need to be trimmed from government spending by 2030. The Coalition argues it will not cut services. It says jobs growth will reduce spending on welfare. A surplus will mean less interest paid on debt.

The assumptions are heroic and unsustainable. They show an extraordinary indifference to reality. More than that, they are indifferent to need. People will be worse off under these cuts. They will face greater hardship, have less access to health and to quality education. The people worst affected did not vote for Scott Morrison. Half the country didn’t. The damage done is near irreversible. It is infinitely easier to cut taxes than to raise them. This is a triumph of greed and political cowardice. The Labor Party waved it through.

The principles of this policy were first written on a paper napkin in 1974, when the conservative economist Arthur Laffer sketched out his famous tax curve for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. That serviette is one of the most pernicious documents in modern politics. It made the case for what became trickle-down economics. It became the lie through which governments gave money to the rich and pretended they were helping the poor.

The year Scott Morrison became treasurer, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry brought Laffer to Australia for a speaking tour. He met with Josh Frydenberg. His doctrine has its most explicit contemporary expression in the cuts passed this week…...

In his first major speech as prime minister, Morrison said he didn’t believe people should be taxed more to improve the lives of others. He said people had to work for it: they had to have a go. “I think that’s what fairness means in this country,” he said. “It’s not about everybody getting the same thing. If you put in, you get to take out, and you get to keep more of what you earn.”

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of taxation. You don’t pay tax in exchange for services. You pay tax for a society. Under Morrison, you pay less tax and you have less society. The obliterating self-interest of this week will be felt for generations. Morrison’s victory is a huge, huge loss.