Neither a Race Nor Duty

For three years politics headlines reflected whatever ink slingers could make of our prime ministerial word salads.

When August’s IPCC report thumped on various ministerial desks around the sheep station, the PM trotted duly onto the paddock to face the press hounds.

Insurgent and anarchist retailers quickly position to meet niche needs of the modern protester.

As he grimaced, lips curled with contempt, brow furrowed, fists clenched, the inevitable questions arose. How was Australia to explain its near last OECD ranking on emissions, or a rubbery equivocation on meeting 2050 targets?

With a TWS, of course.

A TLA, you’ll recall, is a self-referencing acronym for… three-letter acronyms. TWS is that endless issue from the marketing wing of the country’s conservative LNP government. It denotes the Three Word Slogan, whose mission statement is apparently also a slogan: Bullshit the Bogan.

“Technology, not Taxes,” said the PM, Scott Morrison, echoed by his Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, ‘Gassy’ Gus Taylor. The subtext of the PM’s edict was that emissions were the fault of poor countries. And China. We just dig their coal and pump their gas according to marketplace demand.

Meanwhile, taxpayer-wielded technology was at work outside parliament house in the form of aerosol spray, glue, flares, and a perambulator. The folk from Extinction Rebellion were having none of the government’s weaselling, so they incinerated a sacrificial pram, ignited flares, glued themselves to the forecourt, and deployed red spray paint onto the hallowed pillars of Carpetbagger Central.

The baby buggy bonfire symbolised the burning hell young people fear as the planet warms. The significance of the flares escapes Throsby, although it was a jolly good show. The gluing of hands to immovable surfaces assumes a walloper will check the source of resistance as he drags you off to the dungeon. The graffiti shouted “Duty of Care” that, although self-explanatory in context with the IPCC report, refers in particular to a recent court decision.

In 2020 high school students filed a lawsuit against federal environment minister Sussan Ley, seeking to stymie approval of an extension to a NSW coal mine. One Justice Mordecai (yes, Mordecai) Bromberg ruled that Minister Ley did have a duty of care to protect young people from climate change.

Well! The Minister, bound to contest the ruling, thereby found herself, she, the Minister for the Environment, in the superbly awkwardly ironical position – although a position non-ironical to every Coalition government minister since the onion-eater led them to a 2013 victory – of claiming she had no duty of care to young people.

Sort of a Ghostbusters moment…

Dr. Raymond Stantz: Everything was fine until our power grid was shut off by dickless here.
Mayor: Is this true?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes, it’s true. This man has no dick.

Hence the graffiti.