A national state of danger has existed for months and it is only now that the Prime Minister, who cleared out to Hawaii as the disaster built up, announced yesterday a goddam meeting by the Federal Government: “The National Security Committee of Cabinet would meet on Monday to address ‘contingencies’ required for the current fire season “as well as the longer-term response and some issues we have identified to consider amongst premiers after the fires”.

Why it is the National Security Committee of Cabinet [NSCC] that is meeting is not clear. Why is Morrison trumpeting the meeting of the National Security Committee of Cabinet? Is the LNP Government finally recognising that the greatest challenge to the security of the nation is the mounting extreme weather events associated with the climate crisis and that the massive bushfires represent one of the threats of climate change to national security?

I doubt there is a positive answer to this question. The purpose of the NSCC is to consider:

… major foreign policy and national security issues of strategic importance to Australia, border protection policy, national responses to developing foreign policy and security situations (either domestic or international) and classified matters relating to aspects of operation and activities of the Australian Intelligence Community.

National Security Committee, https://www.directory.gov.au/commonwealth-parliament/cabinet/cabinet-committees/national-security-committee

National disasters do not appear in the official objectives, which relate mainly to foreign policy, terrorism, national security and organised crime. The Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, is not even a member.

To put it in no uncertain terms – the Federal Government’s response to the conflagration in every State of the nation marks the incompetence, inadequacy and perverted priorities of a morally corrupt government that long ago abandoned the function of governing for the national interest and the welfare of the people, instead governing for coal and polluters that keep the LNP coffers full of dirty money.

That incompetence, the reluctant involvement of this do-nothing Federal Government, and dereliction of responsibility is part of a vile ideology that subverts democracy in every way and fails the nation and its people. But you expect that from a government whose official policies violate human rights and undermine civil liberties

It is why Morrison’s Regime has no planning for what has been evident for years – the visitation upon the Australian landscape of disasters the scale of which have never before been seen, a situation about which the scientists and fire chiefs warned these tin-earned denialist coal flunkeys.

The slow response of this sociopathic Regime to the bushfire crisis raises a number of questions:

Why is it only now that any meeting of the Cabinet is being called after another weekend of projected emergency when fires have ravaged areas of the country since September demonstrating the need for urgent upscaling of planning and funding?

Why hasn’t the ADF long since been put in the field – after the devastating September fires – to assist exhausted volunteer firefighters confronting the present catastrophe when soldiers are trained in civilian disaster support?

Why has this government consistently denied responsibility in planning for the climate crises, of which fires are only one, accompanying climate change that the science bears out?

Why is laziness the defining characteristic of this government that only acts when it thinks the polls are turning against it?

The anger Morrison faced at Cobargo in New South Wales was met with platitudes in the midst of the wreckage from the conflagration: “Asked whether his response to the crisis was adequate, the Prime Minister said now was a time to remain calm.”

He has attempted for ideology’s sake to normalise the damage of these unprecedented bushfires, that are part of a global threat evidenced in Californian wildfires, in Portugal and Spain, in the Amazon , and in the Arctic. In some cases significant fires have been deliberate actions, often sanctioned by governments – mankind exacerbating the crises that 300 years of industrialisation, transportation and urban emissions have contributed to in the unprecedented rapidity of increased CO2 levels.

It is time to rid the nation of this scourge of malevolent incompetence in government for while individuals can make decisions to cut their personal carbon footprint, the solutions to the global scale of climate crisis are only solvable by nationally and internationally decisive action. And that seems to be unforthcoming among the plethora of platitudes in international agreements to do as little as possible, or nothing at all in the case of Australia. And that is a measure of the demise of political morality that is destroying the future.

For me, political morality has to do with satisfying the ideals of democracy, especially the principles – and processes incorporating those principles – of social justice, equity, equality before the law, government for primarily the welfare of the people, active application of human rights, which have been codified by the United Nations, of civil liberties, which encompass these principles that maintain the dignity of all, and State support for the more vulnerable, the poorer and retired citizens. To this I would add: protection of the environment as a resource for the people, sustainability to pass on the benefits of natural, social, and technological resources, care for consequences in husbanding all these resources, and protection of the national interest against incursions by other nations. These are not the characteristics of the present misgovernment of Australia.

James McDonald
3 January 2020