By Situation Theatre 17/2/2016.
Entirely in keeping with the Government's history of perverse political appointments.
The Abbott/Turnbull Government will always be remembered as the government which lived and died by the dystopic slogans of George Orwell:
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
For nearly three years the government has been chipping away at the public psyche, eroding their ability to distinguish between satire and news.
Thanks largely to a sterling catalogue made by Evan Williams at The Monthly, you can see why many would think these actual news items from 2013-2016 were jokes:
Abbott says Turnbull ‘invented internet’
Tony Abbott says he is ‘the guy with the not bad-looking daughters’
Portfolio details spell out Tony Abbott’s role as women’s minister
George Brandis Appoints IPA's Tim Wilson To Human Rights Commission
Greg Hunt uses Wikipedia research to dismiss climate change-bushfires link
Scott Morrison defends limiting asylum seeker’s time with newborn baby
Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann pictured smoking cigars ahead of tough budget
Treasurer Joe Hockey caught dancing to Best Day of My Life before delivering Federal Budget
Taxpayers fork out $3000 a week for a mansion Tony Abbott doesn’t want
Second George Brandis bookcase costs $15,000 after first was too big to move
Tony Abbott under fire for having only one woman in cabinet
Tony Abbott winks during radio phone call from phone sex worker and grandmother ‘Gloria’
Poor people don’t drive cars, according to Joe Hockey
Tony Abbott says Australia benefited from foreign investment because it was ‘unsettled’ before the British
Attorney-General George Brandis: 'People do have a right to be bigots'
‘Don’t migrate unless you want to join our team’: Abbott meets Islamic community
No more national parks as Tony Abbott pledges to support loggers as the 'ultimate conservationists'
Coal to fuel human progress for decades, Tony Abbott tells Texan business leaders
Coal ‘good for humanity, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says at $3.9b Queensland mine opening
Prince Philip awarded Knight of the Order of Australia by Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Bronwyn Bishop spends $5,000 on 80km charter helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong
Treasurer Joe Hockey is paid the same amount as Newstart, $1000 a month, to sleep at his wife’s house
Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi rack up a bill to attend anti-government waste do
Joe Hockey announces 50-centimetre extension of Parap pool which Darwin City Council says is already too long
Leaked talking points tell ministers to say ‘our cabinet is functioning exceptionally well’
LNP to host International Women’s Day function at club that only allows men
Australian Border Force: Peter Dutton says his office received copy of press release, but no-one read it
Johnny Depp’s dogs Boo and Pistol could be put down if they stay in Australia, Barnaby Joyce warns
Abbott government pledges to appoint a wind farm commissioner in leaked letter
Tony Abbott’s senior adviser accuses UN of creating climate change hoax to impose ‘new world order’
Joe Hockey’s advice to first homebuyers – get a good job that pays good money
Joe Hockey raises prospect of Australians living until 150 to justify budget cuts
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi mistakenly quotes American neo-Nazi
‘Learn to speak Australian’: Liberal Senator under fire for insensitive remark – but he insists it is ‘political correctness gone mad’
Twitter tracked to downfall of Operation Fortitude one Simpsons meme at a time
Australian Minister Barnaby Joyce Thinks Gay Marriage Will Affect Cattle Exports
Peter Dutton overheard joking about rising sea levels in Pacific Island nations
Prime Minister eats another raw onion, choosing it over caramelised onion quiche
$10 million splurge to rename Australian Border Force
One of four refugees sent to Cambodia under $55m-deal ‘wants to go home’
Tony Abbott ‘resigned as Prime Minister by fax’
Tony Abbott calls for ‘religious revolution inside Islam, defends controversial 2014 budget measures as ‘justifiable and right’
Tony Abbott Buys A Fridge On Gumtree
Tony Abbott: I would have won the next election
Tony Abbott says voters ‘overwhelmingly want him to remain in public life’
Lest you think it’s easier to tell satire from news since Turnbull has been Prime Minister, ponder these:
Julie Bishop chided for ‘joke’ about rising seas flooding Marshall Islands
Selling India Australian coal will cut global carbon emissions: Greg Hunt
Paris 2015: Greg Hunt says climate change action at summit a ‘deeply personal goal’
Australia approved coalmine because it isn’t a ‘neo-colonialist’ power, Greg Hunt claims
Hunt praises Turnbull on climate
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt approves dredging at Abbot Point for Galilee Basin mines
Immigration spends more than Defence on medals for its staff
‘Mad f***ing witch’: The cringeworthy moment minister Peter Dutton sent a ‘completely inappropriate’ text to a female journalist instead of a colleague
Jamie Briggs delayed his resignation as ‘Christmas gift’ to family
The faces of the babies Australia wants to send back to ‘hell’ on Nauru
Philip Ruddock to quit politics, become UN human rights envoy
Greg Hunt wins ‘best minister in the world’ for efforts to reduce carbon emissions
Cabinet reshuffle: Malcom Turnbull unveils ‘dynamic’ new ministry as Mal Brough resigns
Given these headlines, Pell’s association with child abuse in the Catholic Church, and the government’s history of perverse political appointments, the move makes perfect sense.
In fact, three years of Orwellian conditioning make this appointment seem almost inevitable.
While the cardinal doesn’t have the courage to face victims in person here in Australia, he does have the gumption to accept the new post to review Australia’s childcare policy settings.
Expect Pell to use his leadership position to ignore or cover up all critical details of the review.