Are we there yet? Have we reached rock bottom?
The L/NP coagulation's purpose is, and always has been, to function as the primary mechanism for their corporate chums to shovel public money into their private hands - supplemented with a shoot-it-or-chop-it-down nod & wink to the squatocracy and the Kickatinalong kulaks to lock in the bumpkin vote.
There was a time when, as conservatives, the Tories believed in compliance with conventions and standards; when their born-to-rule beliefs at least included some sense of noblesse oblige, when rabid right-wing fuckwittery was hidden in the attic of their port and cigars old boy's fraternities. That time was way back when a New Guard proto-fascist Francis De Groot1 got arrested and charged for being a cunt whereas his present day facsimile, Herr Kipfler Spud-Dutton, gets handed the reins to the nation's spooks, goon squads and thought police and who, in a fully functional democracy would be as welcome as a loose stool in a preschool ball pit. This is progress?
The 1975 overthrow of Gough Whitlam kicked the legs out from under Australia's progressivism and showed the lengths that Tories are willing to go to when they lose control of the Treasury benches. But in the aftermath of the dark days of Kerr's coup Malcolm Fraser as PM at least showed glimpses of humanity with his sympathy for refugees and his antipathy to apartheid.
The fetid stench that settled over the Lying Nasty Party was from the beetle-browed goblin John Howard's shrivelled arse hitting the big, green Parliamentary swivel chair. His operating style was meanness and trickery, divide-and-conquor was his modus operandi and FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) was his tool of trade. He was the architect of Workchoices Macht Frei - the manifesto of his mendacity and duplicity in one nasty, divisive Newspeak package. It could not get any worse. Except it did.
Enter the living proof of the invalidity of the Peter Principle.
The Peter Principle is an observation that the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach a level of respective incompetence.
If all of the village idiots in all of the world gathered together in the one village they would elect Tony Abbott as their icon of idiocy. He's an ideas-free zone who through happenstance rose far beyond his level of incompetence. He would be mentally challenged in the role of porn theatre bucket boy, he could capture all of his thoughts on an Etch-A-Sketch and his rudimentary planning capacity had him thinking that tactics are a minty breath freshener. He's a void that could suck the vacuum from empty space.
With the face of a carp wrapped in cling film, his tongue flicking like a lizard trying to lick its own eyeballs he'd invade the personal space of visiting dignitaries while the colour drained from their faces. He'd cackle like marbles being dropped down a drain - somewhat undermining his self-image of a macho man. Covering his manhood in too-small red sluggos made him look like a moulting yowie, his bow-legged, shoulder-rolling affectation not so much butch as "chimpanzee-with-ball-rash". What a fucking disaster he was.
The L/NP effluvium was briefly masked with Eau de Swarovski-scented inertia in a leather jacket when the mendacious wrecker Abbott was consigned to the ignominy of the backbench by Malcolm Bligh Turnbull who impressed no-one more so than he impressed himself. He was a man of inaction but at least we were saved from the RWFWs; there was no-one who could be worse than Abbott.
Turnbull The Useless's legacy is three-fold. We have a national telecommunications infrastructure that would embarrass Lower Moustachistan. We have a neo-fascist tuber as Minsiter for Home Affairs and we inherited a carnival side-show spruiker and Armageddonist as PM, showing that the impossible is possible - Morrison is even worse than Abbott.
Howard to Abbott to Morrison, lower and lower and lower. The mendacity has multiplied, incompetence is rewarded, avoidance of scrutiny is embedded in their governance; Parliament is like a performance of Puppetry Of The Penis - we're watching cocks tie themselves in knots. Public service has been crushed by cronyism and profiteering privateers, authoritarianism is rampant and dodgy practice has devolved into brazen ciminality. It's as bad as it gets.
We have an end-of-times Prime Minister, an Armageddonist who wont buy long life milk let alone plan for the nation's future. He no doubt secretly welcomes the Carona virus as both a distraction from the blatant theft of hundreds of millions of our dollars to support his re-election, and as a marketing opportunity to salvage his image from the train-wreck that was his behaviour during the bushfire crisis. It's also a handy excuse for not delivering on his boasted budget surplus.
As a Pentacostalist nutter Morrison will believe that the virus, the fires and the drought are his god's will and that he and his righteous brethren will safely ascend to the heavens in a golden, chauffeured, stretched Beemer. His god apparently has no misgivings about larceny on a grand scale, brazen lying or the persecution of the unfortunate - as long as there's no lawn mowing on Sundays.
In the words of another ad man - but wait, there's more.
Despite Australia's governance being in the hands of a graduate of the Jimmy Swaggart School of Ethics and the deputy PM being a bobbleheaded dullard of such monumental dreariness that his pronouncements have been copyrighted as a sleep apnea therapy it can get even worse.
Like crows circling roadkill there's the usual chancers impatiently awaiting their opportunity. There's Christian Porter, an Attorney General who'd re-gift a Scrabble set to a school for dyslexics just so he could enjoy the bickering. There's Smarmy Josh Fraudburger, a pitiable PJK-wannabe who'd take bets on which blind beggar in a wheelchair would make it across the Bradfield Expressway at peak hour.
Of course there's also the spectral presence of that excremental, sadistic Erstazgruppenfuhrer, the ambitious head of the Gestapotato, Peter Spud-Dutton. Morrison is an outrageous liar and grifter, but imagine a dystopian future with this odious creature as PM.
And then there's that other ever-present miasma, Barking Barmy - aka Englebert Humpastaffer. As coherent as a cement mixer with tourettes who shouts at clouds while dressed as a haybale, who has more kids than teeth and who is a Riverview educated ex-Deputy PM raging against "elites" while trousering $600k for sending some text messages. This delusional cretin's lack of self-awareness tests the parameters of the Dunning-Kruger effect as he continues to harbour dark thoughts about shivving his bobbleheaded boss.
A Dutton/Joyce government?
With Dutton and Joyce the Tories can indeed sink even lower than the fetid depths that they have already plumbed.
Let's not forget some of Spud's and Joyce's appalling cheersquads who would be rewarded with further perks, rorts and influence.
Matt King Coal Canavan's perpetually pained expression could be constipation - an ongoing struggle to release an immovable chocolate hostage, however it's more likely a symptom of his frustration at his inability to monetise sunshine and wind for familial benefit as he has with coal. 2
The rotund Georgie Porgy Christenson has reportedly been trying to get into shape. Spherical apparently. His running machine has a remote control, he attends a drive-through gym, he puts mayonaisse on his diet pills, he supports his local sugar industry via Krispy Kreme but Georgie has threatened to work up the effort to cross the floor. He's just waiting for Harvey Weinstein's zimmer frame to appear on eBay.
Abbott loyalist Otto Abetz is so inflexible and leans so far to the right he could double as a sun-dial's gnomon. The possibility of a suitable position in Spud's Gestapotato (brown jacket included) could rekindle mein onkle-like ambition in Otto's withered loins. Kriminaldirektor Deportations perhaps.
With a voice like fingernails down a chalkboard, dunking stool passenger Michaelia Carcrash's palatability is limited and her loyalty is as suspect as a scoutmaster's lollybag - just ask Malcolm Turnbull. Well practiced in the duplicitous arts as she is she's comfortable in her current role as Minister For Employee Exploitation but likely could be tempted by a more rortable portfolio. Carcrash's contribution to the sisterhood is in proving that a woman can be just as contemptible as any man. Her red high heels are not feminist symbols, they are simply to stop her nasty from dragging along the pavement.
Cheap shots aside, what's my point?
The L/NP has provided easy targets for loathing and derision since Howard's time. Their only innovation is in exploring new ways to exploit most of us for the benefit of the few. They are feudalists, Randesque survival-of-the-richest oligarchs, environmental rapists, autocrats and religious fringe dwellers. They are manifestly incompetent, they are liars and grifters.
But as abominable as they are the Tories have proven time and again they can go lower still. They are now indulging in brazen criminality. They should be in prison not in government. Get angry, stay angry. If we let them they will continue to sink lower and lower.
1 Francis De Groot biography
2 Matt Canavan's family coal connections