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The Failings of Westminster: Scott Morrison’s Shadow Government

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The Failings of Westminster: Scott Morrison’s Shadow Government

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Written by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Why the sharp intake of breath, the tingling shock?  In one of the world’s most secretive liberal democracies, the revelation that the previous Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison ran a shadow government overseen by personal quasi-despotic whim spanning several ministerial positions has caused chill and consternation.  That’s not the way we do things – except when we do. 

Such consternation, in a country that tolerates secret trials only revealed by accident, raids upon journalists and the headquarters of the national broadcaster, full-throated prosecutions of whistleblowers, the torture-tinged indefinite detention of refugees, and brazen immunities for intelligence officers engaged in alleged criminal activity.

Such consternation, in a country that mandates data retention by telecommunication companies for up to two years and disruptive warrants in violation of privacy, a country that gives government ministers, notably immigration ministers, God-like powers (in a secular sense, revolting) to determine the fate of individuals and, most unappealingly for believers in natural justice, rejects a bill of rights or a human rights charter.  With these monstrous realities, Morrison’s conduct and his shady actions indicate an almost mild consistency.

Given that Australia’s Pentecostal former PM has openly expressed his contempt for government and international institutions, almost in inverse proportion to a professed love of God, the hunky-dory afterlife and all matters divine, the assumption of extra duties, the encroachment, as it were, upon such ministerial portfolios as health and finance, was as natural as it was distasteful.  It may explain, in some measure, why he did not perform his mini-dictatorial duties with any degree of competence.  He could barely manage the prime ministerial portfolio, let alone any other duties.

The current volcanic fuss over Morrison is something to behold.  It was outrageous, say critics, because it was secret, given that such appointments are normally published in the never read Commonwealth Gazette.  For one thing, it brought in the Governor-General, David Hurley, representative of Queen Elizabeth II.  Hurley confirmed that he signed the relevant documents enabling Morrison to assume control over other portfolios “consistent with section 64 of the constitution.”  Hurley also confirmed that it was not an unusual process – in a fashion.  “The Governor-General signs an administrative instrument on the advice of the prime minister.”  Whether that decision was publicised or not was up to the relevant government of the day.

At the time, health minister Greg Hunt was one of the few who knew and agreed to the expansion as a measure to cope with possible COVID-19 incapacitation and turn the country into Fortress Australia.  Few would have noticed the difference, but it was good to cover the contingency.  However, the then finance minister Mathias Cormann, currently OECD Secretary-General, was not told that the Prime Minister had also appointed himself as joint holder of the role.  In such measures, the spirit of Caligula groaned and rumbled upon a horse he teasingly might have made consul.

Other members of the cabinet were also kept in blissful, mushroom-fecund darkness.  “I wasn’t part of that decision-making process and they’re decisions that are within the domain of the prime minister,” current opposition leader Peter Dutton stated, betraying a slight twinge of envy.

The leader of the Nationals, David Littleproud, who was also a member of the previous government, was less impressed.  “That’s pretty ordinary, as far as I’m concerned.”  In his view, “If you have a cabinet government, you trust your cabinet.”

Such a self-arrogation of power was also used to quash the controversial petroleum exploration permit known as PEP 11.  The then resources minister, Nationals MP Keith Pitt, was bemused by the whole matter, though he claimed no knowledge of Morrison’ usurpation of the Industry, Science, Energy and Resources portfolio.  “I certainly found it unusual, but as I said I worked very closely with Scott through a very difficult period through COVID.”

Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in casting an eye over the affair, was adamant that, “The people in Australia were kept in the dark as to what the ministerial arrangements were.” It was “very contrary to our Westminster system.  It was cynical and it was just weird that this has occurred.”

“Weird” is a term abuzz in the commentary.  The other is “bizarre”.  Former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull even called it “sinister”, wondering why the cabinet and the Governor-General went along with it.  Sinister, perhaps, but why so weird or bizarre?  There is no express provision preventing it, no law banning it, no figure halting it – necessarily.  This is the glorious, colonial relic known as the Australian constitution, plastered over by rusted practices born in the days of the old country when beheading was not frowned upon and conquering the swarthy races was deemed a good thing.

Of interest is the legal commentary, which has been prickly, picky and sometimes missing the point.  Constitutional law high priestess Anne Twomey reproaches those who err in claiming that Morrison swore himself in.  He could not do so – only the Governor-General can.  She also points out that the statutory landscape permits ministers to confer power on others.  What was unusual here was that powers of such sort are exercised by other ministers when the figure in question is unavailable. And that it was kept secret, which was “inappropriate”.  This “lack of transparency” showed a disregard for “the institutions of government and for the general public who have a right to know how power is allocated.”

Constitutional law academic Kim Rubenstein also shows a faith in the very system that produced such daring subversion on the part of Morrison.  On Australia’s Radio National, she offered the view that collective government responsibility and the Westminster system has a certain admirable accountability that, say, the US system lacks.  This is parochial nonsense, given that the prime minister is drawn from Parliament and not directly elected by the voters.  The US system may have appointed, unelected cabinet ministers, but the Westminster system comprising parliament, not the general voter, appoints the prime minister who, in turn, appoints the ministers who are then sworn in by the monarch’s Governor-General.  Hardly the paragon of accountable democracy.

The next step is to make a balanced assessment about a form of government that can so easily fall to usurpations of power by the executive.  It throws up other vital matters: how war is declared; how military agreements can be made without public or parliamentary scrutiny; and how decisions affecting sovereignty are implemented at enormous cost.

The chances of having that broader debate are minimal.  Albanese and his hounds smell blood, but the stains are not going to be that revealing.  The Westminster model will be praised and defended; Morrison will be dismissed as pettily dictatorial.  The fatuous notion of convention, the false assumption of gentlemanly conduct – for women do not feature in this – says everything about what is wrong about this rotten state of affairs.  Inadvertently, Morrison acted consistently with, and enacted his belief: government cannot be trusted.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He currently lectures at RMIT University.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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Ashok Varma

This Scott Morrison is an absolute disgrace, even for a British racist penal colony. Australia’s mere facade of being a Westminster “democracy” has been blown sky high. It is a repressive Anglo racist dictatorship with no diversity in government, even a sham like Canada has better representation.

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Australia is a shithole

Australia is a racist drug infested colonial shithole and a slave of US and Zionism. It is racist dump and still a police state penal colony as this moron Morrison taking all the powers has clearly exposed.

will

It’s a non event, Scott Morrison was thrown out of government about 3 months ago, he isn’t even an opposition leader. He is now only the former prime minister, I don’t understand why this is an issue at all.

Tony Lim

For a so-called “democracy” it is usurpation of power by a single individual and then these Anglo trash hypocrites complain of China and Russia as “authoritarian” states LOL

Messiah

Go back to sleep.

Michellettit

𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 $𝟮𝟲𝗸 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆. 𝗜 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 $𝟭𝟴𝟲𝟯𝟱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻 (𝗻𝗮𝘂-𝟯𝟬) 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴.

𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄=====>>>___𝗯𝘂𝘇𝘇𝗽𝗮𝘆𝟭.𝗯𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘀𝗽𝗼𝘁.𝗰𝗼𝗺

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Tony Lim

Australia is nothing in reality, it is occupied by US and is still a British colony with a nincompoop ex-military flunkie as the Queen’s Governor General. The CIA even overthrew Whitlam in 1975 for showing some signs of independence, just like they did in Pakistan recently with Imran Khan. Australia is a US lapdog and emulating the same “liberal” socio-economic path to destruction with massive military spending and growing poverty. Australia is now a dumping ground of the world’s unwanted with mass ghettos and unaffordable housing in most cities. Is government structure is totally racist without even superficial “diversity” like UK, Canada and US. It has massive crime, racism and drug problems. Even most of the educated Anglo’s leave the country if they get a chance as it is a staid, boring and racist non-entity. It jumps to US masters commands from Afghanistan to Ukraine, even though most ignorant Australians could not find either on a illuminated map.

Both the Liberal and Labor are mere vassals of the US which controls every aspect of the British penal colony from Pine Gap surveillance base to the US military occupation of Darwin and most of the north. It is unnecessary antagonizing China which basically feeds it. Australia can not even produce a spoon locally and everything is imported from China or Europe. Most of recent immigrants, mostly from India and the third world do menial jobs and are largely uneducated and brought in as cheap labor for jobs the Anglo lazy dole bludgers don’t do. Most Europeans shun Australia and now Chinese people have to contend with Anglo racism downunder too.

Joseph Day

I’m Australian, and I honestly cannot argue with your statement. Especially the US lapdog part

John Wallace

Australia was used as a penal colony a century or more ago. That most people there weren’t convicts but settlers and others so for you to call it a Racist Colony shows that you yourself are the racist and either ignorant or most likely usage of such words too inflame rather than educate. As your name suggests you are of Indian origin whose history of racism exceeds that of most countries I find is amusing for you to use such a term.

Shoot NAZIS

The British racists looted India and sent their convicts to kill Aborigines and loot their land. Ignorant much Anglo trash?

John Wallace

Looks like I know and understand much more than your ignorance shows. They didn’t send convicts to kill Abo’s ,That is a moronic thing to say. Looks like you are the racist

will

Ummmm, I’m an aussie, and there was some killing of Aboriginals by convicts, but more killing of them by settlers. My neighbor down the road has a gun up on the wall that he brags was used to kill the last black man in the valley we live in (not a nice man). His family was a prison guard family, so not convicts. More aboriginals died of disease than anything else, with no resistance to small pox, it killed lots of them. Far worse however the slavery, called ‘black birding’ look it up on wikipedia, where islanders and black men were held in slavery. There is a city called ‘Townsville’ that was built as a slavery port. These are issues that are still not resolved, there was a sorry day, but no reparations or actual steps to fix the history of Anglo-racism in Australia.

John Wallace

I lived in Aussie for many years and had lots of contact with the Aborigines so aware of a lot of their history. There was a lot of wrong that is being partially rectified but can never be fully done so. However it was an ignorant Indian whose ignorant racist vitriol against Australia was the point of my comment , not that that was innocence in Australia.

will

There was a funny documentary about 10 years ago called ‘Dumb Drunk and Racist,” and it was done by a few indian people who immersed themselves in Aussie culture, it made me cringe a bit, and yeah, the poster sounds like an angry young person, but there is some truth to his vitriol.

Tony Lim

Australia eve today is perhaps the most overtly racist country. Just look at the pale,s tale and ignorant Anglo power structure. The Aborigines were wiped out and not even recognized as humans until 1970’s. The British sent their worst criminals and scum down under who were selling women for alcohol. Now it is drugs and other crimes.

Australian penal convict past has a long and messy relationship with alcohol as even in urban Sydney suburb o] Pyrmont, the men were selling their wives for rum. (Article from SMH).

thoughtful

Many British settled in India and married locals, they would hire many servants in order to help to alleviate poverty. The kind ones had to rack their brains to find jobs for their servants.

Shoot Nazis

The British looted India and stole $45 trillion and instituted racism and sectarianism via policies of divide and rule. After being kicked out in 1947, their last spiteful act was the partition of India into Muslim and Hindu majority Pakistan and India, and sowed the seeds of endless conflict, just like in Palestine, Cyprus and now Ukraine. The British model of colonialism was just one dimensional like US today, the main goal was economic exploitation based on racism. They used the East India Company and the more ruthless Americans use the Jew Bilderberg corporations and NATO to plunder the world. Australia being a vassal of the US and a British colony is part and parcel of this evil.

John Wallace

What was the Indian caste system all about if it wasn’t racism. Those of a lower cast/race where not to be touched by those above.

Lee Lin Chin

Lazy, uneducated racist Anglo trash is just a US puppet and luckily the bludgers feed off Chinese demand for minerals, otherwise they would be complete third world shithole. They should thank China and hard working immigrants and educated civilized every day.

November

Yesterday’s (Aug 15?) MilitarySummary (t.me) podcast is well worth listening to. According to him many facts and circumstances have come to light that all or most of the Ukronazi spec ops and sabotage ops are being lead/aided by Brits. US is not really involved much, other than external support like weapons sales and donations and funding. It is the Brits that for some reason are involved sucking Soros’ balls and licking lord Rothchild’s arse whole dry. My best guess is there must be some massive Kompromat, perhaps on Prince Andrew, that the ruling class thinks they have no choice other than to lick anus and have actual boots on ground in Ukraine risking life and limb. What they should be doing instead is prosecuting the blackmailers and giving Andrew diplomatic immunity to protect England from the Epstein kompromat blackmailers.

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John Wallace

The US and UK always work together. The UK has specialised in these sorts of ops for decades and probably have better info and connections in Ukraine for these to happen than the US does. It should come as no surprise that the SAS would have been there from day one. They were the first to head too Afghanistan when 9/11 happened from Oman I think it was where they were doing training with other close international groups. They all disappeared overnight.

Paul

SAS is war criminals and killed Afghan civilians for their US masters. How humiliating to behave with such racist disgrace and losers. Australia is just a servant of the empire.

John Wallace

So a few rouge Aussie SAS killed some civilians in a war zone. Even been in a war zone and killed people. No, so you have no idea of what you are talking about. So why did they do that. Part of it was that they are usually doing the extreme jobs and in close combat so they did a lot of killing. Some enjoyed it or became so immune too it for kicks they just did it for fun. That happens in every war by all sides. The other point is that few people can kill other people so if you are in a dire situation and you need to rely on your other members you need to know if than can kill or not so part of the initiation for new members of the group was to put them into a situation where they had to kill. This is not condoning that action but as one who understands why.

thoughtful

Tory B Liar convinced Bush to go to war, with the VP. Rumsfeld and Cheney were the real warmongers in the US but without BLiar, Iraq would not have taken place. .

John Wallace

Thanks but I already know all about that and much much more. The US was intent on going to war with Iraq for any reason they could make and without Blair wouldn’t have changed that.

thoughtful

I really am not convinced that PA was guilty.

TheRightToArmBears

Since the British government is making 9,500 well-trained and experienced British soldiers redundant as part of their war on Russia, perhaps it would be appropriate for the new republics in the Donbas to offer some of these soon to be redundant soldiers positions training Donets and Lugansk recruits how to counter the pro-Soros/Gates/WEF actions currently being waged by their old colleagues. I have no doubt that old comrade networks could keep the game profitably going for years without anyone actually getting hurt.

Florian Geyer

I would think that Prince Charles has a retinue of skeletons in his cupboard as well as Prince Andrew.

An aside to this is the fact that Prince Andrew was given the the title, Foggy, by many of his fellow officers of the Falkland War vintage. He was not the brightest button in the Royal Navy, :)

John Wallace

Morrison truly believed he spoke to God personally and that God told him what to do in the best interests of Australia would have believed that God told him that he should take complete control of the government. He is still totally unhinged and probably can’t understand why God has forsaken him with his election loss and now those that understand nothing are lambasting him him for what God told him to do. He of course signed Australia up to a submarine deal that will cost billions more than necessary and placed Australia on a path to war with China all at the behest of another ” we are Gods chosen” country which is why they are so exceptional.

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Shoot NAZIS

Morrison is a typical dumb ignorant racist inbred convict. No wonder Indians, Chinese and other immigrants do all the work in Australia while the Anglo racist trash kisses US ass and are bludgeons. The Anglo trash in so-called Australia has a inferiority complex chip on their shoulder. A small country of 25 million people from all over the world acts and barks as if it is some major power LOL

John Wallace

Great isn’t it. Doesn’t matter that I make opposite comments the morons still vote them down just because i tickled a nerve. Got the fulls spitting tacks over nothing. Triggered much. Some people need to grow a brain and grow up. Bring back Jens. At least he makes sense compared to the fulls crying here.

John Wallace

Oh look a cry baby already. Go change your underwear , the stench is unbearable.

Florian Geyer

Sometimes I agree with you and sometimes not. It’s about 50/50.

I agree with your current post !

John Wallace

Upset a couple of kids that should have been at school and since then it has been playtime but they couldn’t see it. Been away for a long time and I see I haven’t missed much. Compared to this lot Jens was educational.😁

Warrior Nation

Morrison is a globalist, liar and statist fool…….but the writer who wrote this article is also a statist and a fool who prescribes the same as Morrison, that the state should disarm the people leaving the state with all the weapons.

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Shoot Nazis

Morrison like most corrupt Australian Anglo professional politicians is a CIA stooge. Even Bob Carr, the ex-FM exposed the Zionist control over Australia in his book. Both Liberal and Labor are mere fronts of the Bilderberg. Most Australian politicians openly worked for Goldman Sachs and other Jew banks who plunder the world. Josh Freydenberg the incompetent Zionist now has a $3 million job with Goldman Sachs, so does ex-PM Turnbull. Australia is corrupt to the rotten penal core.

JGarbo

Does it really matter? Australia is US/Corporate gravel pit. Foreign policy is US controlled, PMs are vetted by the US, the “unfit” rejected, eg Whitlam, Rudd. Much Ado about Nothing.

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kymsheba

Follow the MONEY and i bet they all lead to BRIBES FOR MORRISON to choose the Pfizer and other Covid vaccines that have killed more people than the actual so called covid 19 Flu. FOLLOW THE MONEY and see where the Submarine contracts were SUDDENLEY changed in favor of the USA and UK over the already agreed purchase with France, FOLLOW the money and see where the Purchase of the USELESS F-35 airplanes that still have over 4,000 problems with the actual aircraft and systems, FOLLOW the money and see why we suddenly decided to purchase M1 Abrams tanks that are over 30 years old and even with upgrades are not as good as GERMAN, FRENCH, UK, or RUSSIAN tanks that we could have bought for a 1/10 th of the price. Wherever there have been many BIG COSTING PURCHASES since Morrison was in power with all these hidden portfolios where he had the final say and ONLY HIM then you will find HIDDEN BANK ACCOUNTS STUFFED TO THE BRIM WITH BRIBES. He should be investigated and put on trial for BRIBERY, CORRUPTION and TREASON of acting AGAINST Australia best interest. Now you can see why we were all of a sudden ditching our biggest TRADE DEALS with China that we had for decades and then watch them same TRADE DEALS picked up by his pals the USA after they told us we should ditch them WONDER HOW MUCH THAT BRIBE COST THE USA i suspect NOT AS MUCH AS IT COST US IN EARNINGS thats for sure. FOLLOW THE MONEY it all leads to morrisons offshore accounts i bet +Z+

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Uncle Ho

Klaus: they’re coming for you. You POS of Nazi shise.

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