Tony Burke’s 5 and 5.

The 5 Best and 5 Worst of the week in Australian politics, written by Hon Tony Burke MP. Member for Watson NSW, Manager of Opposition Business for the Australian Labor Party in the Federal House of Representatives.

We need to talk about Scott.

Usually when someone makes a terrible mistake you can see the embarrassment on their face. But Scott seemed happy. He felt invincible, like a genius. After one of the worst weeks I’ve ever seen a government have.

So as you read this week’s #5and5 just remember this: Scott thought he did really well.


  • The Muppet Show Sequel
  • Morrison’s character
  • Cost of living
  • Same job, same pay
  • Tony Smith’s farewell


  • Hawaii lie
  • Civil disobedience
  • Corruption
  • “Made up issue”
  • Christian Porter

The Best:

1. Chaos. Everywhere. And Anthony Albanese summed it up beautifully in a speech at the end of the week. He recalled when Mr Morrison described his own side as a Muppet show: “Well he is now the Muppet-In-Chief. And the theme song to The Muppet Show goes like this: it’s like a kind of torture to have to watch the show.”

2. Every day this week we zeroed in on Mr Morrison’s character. The challenge when we were organising question time each day was choosing among the long list of Morrison lies.

Why did he and his office repeatedly lie about going to Hawaii while the country burned?

Why did he lie about electric vehicles?

Why did he lie about battery power?

Why did he lie about vaccine mandates?

Why did he lie about inviting his friend Brian Houston to the White House?

In response Mr Morrison just ducked and dissembled – and even bowled up some brand new lies. As Richard Marles asked on Thursday: “If the Prime Minister has no regard for what he said in the past why should Australians have regard for what he’s saying now?”

3. While the government was focused on itself we focused on the economy and the cost of living – things that matter to everyday Australians. Anthony, Amanda Rishworth, Kristy McBain and Susan Templeman asked why under this government petrol prices were surging by $900 a year for an average family – but real wages have fallen by $700. Josh Frydenberg tried to pivot to the government’s economic record, so Jim Chalmers asked: “Can the current Treasurer name any other Treasurer in the last 100 years that has a worse record than him on waste, rorts, debt, deficits, annual growth and real wages?” Frydenberg could not.

4. On Monday Anthony and Labor’s Meryl Swanson introduced a “same job, same pay” Private Members’ Bill to crack down on dodgy labour hire firms that are undercutting wages and conditions in mining and across the economy. Throughout the week we presented real life examples of labour hire workers getting ripped off to the tune of hundreds of dollars a week. We need to stop permanent jobs being replaced with lower paid casual jobs.

5. Monday was Tony Smith’s last day as Speaker. He’s from the other side of politics of course but few would dispute that Smith brought order, fairness, dignity and integrity back to the chair after the Bronwyn Bishop days. He belongs in the “best” column even though we’re sorry to see him go.

The Worst:

1. Mr Morrison’s character was on full display on Monday. Labor’s Fiona Phillips asked: “When my electorate was burning the Prime Minister’s office told journalists he was not on holiday in Hawaii. Why did the Prime Minister’s office say that when it wasn’t true?” Mr Morrison responded by trying to blame Labor – claiming he’d told Anthony Albanese ahead of time where he was going. If that was true it would be irrelevant. But it wasn’t true at all. Mr Morrison was trying to wriggle out of his lies by telling more lies. He had to have two goes at correcting the record because he’s pathologically incapable of admitting fault or taking responsibility.

2. The LNP’s George Christensen stood up in the House on Wednesday and likened state premiers to “Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot” – and then openly encouraged “civil disobedience” against their pandemic health orders. A few minutes later we asked Mr Morrison about these inflammatory and dangerous comments and he refused to even condemn Mr Christensen by name. Watch here.

3. On Thursday things went from bad to worse for the government. Supported by Labor, independent MP Helen Haines moved a motion to suspend standing orders to debate her bill for a federal anti-corruption body. In a totally unprecedented move a Liberal MP, Bridget Archer, seconded the motion and crossed the floor to support it. That means we had the numbers on the floor. After the vote the new Speaker Andrew Wallace declared that we’d won – but then saying we needed to vote again. That led to complete chaos on the floor as the government tried to get its act together and figure out what to do next. There was around ten minutes where we all sat in the chamber and nothing happened. No one spoke. Just. Nothing. Eventually the vote happened again and this time the requirement to have an absolute majority of 76 votes was invoked which mean even though we had more votes, we didn’t win. There’s one simple take out from all this, the only way to have an anti-corruption commission is to change the government.

4. We asked the government about the Same Job Same Pay legislation that Anthony Albanese had introduced on Monday. What was the government’s response? Paul Fletcher – who represents the Invisible Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash in the lower house – just arrogantly dismissed the labour hire rorts as a “made up issue”. I bet it doesn’t feel “made up” to the workers getting paid less every day or the families struggling to pay the bills. It only feels “made up” to a Government that is completely out of touch with the concerns of workers.

5. A few weeks ago the government took the completely unprecedented step of voting against a parliamentary inquiry into Christian Porter’s anonymous donations even though Tony Smith supported a referral. With a new Speaker in the chair I gave it another go. Mr Wallace rejected our request. So we are left with a situation where MPs can take large anonymous cash donations to pay for private bills. It’s beyond belief.

We’re back next week for the final sitting week of the year.

‘til then,


PS Song of the week goes to one of the early punk albums. It includes the perfect line “broke a confidence just to please your ego”. The song is called Liar. And while I never thought I’d say this: in honour of Scott Morrison, here’s the Sex Pistols

From Tony Burke’s Weekly Email., thank you Mr Burke.

Courtesy CK Watt who found this. In this political week

CK Watt, Tony Burke’s ‘5 and 5’ is too good to leave buried in the comments!

666 thoughts on “PANTS ON FIRE!

  1. Jeebus NSW 5715 ! What a jump. But it’s these numbers which will be the worry. Given the lag time the effect of the bigly case numbers will just start to flow through. Omicron damned well better be waaay milder.

    347 coronavirus patients in the state’s hospitals, up from 302 yesterday. Forty-five are in intensive care, up from 40 yesterday.

  2. This is an excellent point, perfectly illustrating why we should never expect logical thinking from anti-vaxxers, religious nutters and right-wing extremists.

  3. South Africa’s huge wave of omicron cases appears to be subsiding just as quickly as it grew in the weeks after the country first announced to the world that a new coronavirus variant had been identified.

    South Africa’s top infectious-disease scientist, who has been leading the country’s pandemic response, said Wednesday that the country had rapidly passed the peak of new omicron cases and, judging by preliminary evidence, he expected “every other country, or almost every other, to follow the same trajectory.”

    Someone on twitter remarked (can’t find it now)
    South African population is not a naive population, many people caught covid in first 3 waves

    In 1875? a third of the population of Fiji died of measles. Contrast with USA where measles was endemic and rolled through every 7 years, It wasn’t as virulent in USA because the population was not naive

    Virulence is a property of the host, virulence is not a property of the virus

  4. Why waste PCR tests on interstate travellers?
    Well its a pandemic and public health demands that virus is contained not spread up and down the east coast.

    Solutions to PCR test shortage
    Staff more clinics
    Staff walk in travel clinics with guarantee of less than 30 minute wait for test time and test turnaround guaranteed at under 24 hours costing $200 per test. Many travellers will stump up that sort of money, people really in struggle street can’t afford holidays

    NSW will have more that 5700 new infections as not all infected people get tested, also need to review number of infections detected per 1000 tests,

  5. Shorter epidemiologists: “Scovid is a dangerous dunce.”

    a little longer

    We need leadership in making mask-wearing indoors mandatory – leaving this to “personal responsibility” is frankly irresponsible. Wearing a mask to prevent Covid is not analogous to putting on sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. No amount of sunscreen I slap on will protect you from skin cancer. In contrast, Covid is an airborne transmissible virus so if you wear a mask it protects me and vice versa. And all of us wearing masks consistently will protect the health system.

  6. That Dr Nick ‘Riviera’ ‘Fabio’ Coatsworth really does have a few tickets on himself. AMA tweeted about the booster program falling behind and the importance of not making the mistake others have re Omicron.
    Dr. Nick Coatsworth @nick_coatsworth
    Three weeks into the omicron variant, the peanut gallery association decides we’re behind again. How are those memberships going? #auspol #covid19aus

  7. The ACT’s human rights laws provide better protection for religious freedom than the federal government’s proposed laws, which would force the territory to consider its legal position, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says.

    Mr Barr said in an appearance on ABC TV’s Q+A program on Thursday night that the debate about religious freedom should not start with the premise of protecting the right of people to say gay and lesbian people needed saving.

    “I don’t need saving. Gay and lesbian people do not need saving. The starting point in this debate should not be that we are broken and that we need love or saving. Even by well-meaning Christians. Thank you very much,” Mr Barr said.

    Mr Barr also said the territory would need to consider its legal position if the Coalition’s proposed religious discrimination laws were passed.

  8. Brisbane company’s home COVID testing kits approved for use in United States in landmark deal

  9. Perrottet says the pandemic is a balance of health and economic choices.

    “This pandemic is a balancing act and we balance the health needs with the mental health needs, with the economic needs.

    “The decisions of the NSW government has kept our state strong. People are working, being kept safe, low death rate, are ICU presentations are incredibly manageable at the moment, particularly given your case numbers are.

    … ”

    If people are sick they can’t work and they won’t go to the shops. And there WILL be a lot more of them. Ditto the dead.

  10. As for Hazzard. .. !

    “We are striking a balance of personal responsibility, get sensible, folks, don’t try and mingle too closely with people you don’t know. In some cases, even with people you know. But also if you can, get vaccinated.”

    • Brad Hazzard said that when chemists were paid $34 for delivering dose 2 and $24 for delivering dose 3, they are small usinesses who made the decision there was more money to be made in other activities.
      Doctors were paid $44 per dose
      This from the party of business. Big business who writes the governments legislation for them

  11. About time mask wearing was re-introduced in indoor settings in NSW, the new case numbers must be dire

    Interesting that Perrottet cited the UK experience with issuing Rapid Antigen Tests.

    Victoria has been distributing RATs through schools in term 4 to manage covid delta as it ripped through the unvaccinated primary school kids. Something like 80% covid delta cases in Victoria have been in primary school kids. Many schools have had covid cases, kids sent home if covid case in their class. Rumour has it that a catholic school did not notify parents of cases

  12. The obvious question not answered was “How can an unvaccinated person enter WA in December 2021”

    • cheap agricultural labour? partying hard before off to slave over the harvest or return to France

    • Billie – Simple! Just buy a four wheel drive! Stock up well with camping gear and grub. Run off-road and into the bush, then travel overland! There’s a lot of ground here to run to search for cover before even aerial surveillance has spotted you! Meantime you could die of heat stroke! Or dehydration! Easier just to have the jab, don’t you think? Best solution, all round. We can all relax over the holidays and save a few lives too.

  13. Well we Cave Dwellers are well and truly forked. Fecking party animal French back packer on the ran tan for 12 days. Top effort one day and night 3 nightclubs over 13 hours , no doubt sharing the Rona far and wide if it be the dreaded Omicron. Lots of house mates to help him out. Bustard had arrived from Qld 1 hour before rules tightened up .

    • And, it is a four or five hour flight from Queensland? Poor sod got on the plane before anything was announced in QLD. He’s really only guilty of having travelled in the eastern states (and heaven knows what this place had commented about the ability of their politicians to follow best practice public health directions!)

  14. Such is the need for straw clutching in Perth this is a ray of hope. It appears that our Gallic Plague Merchant has Delta rather than the oh so spreadable Omicron.

    • I’m more inclined to blame the state of disease management in the eastern states, particularly in NSW, rather than some poor French backpacker!

      Oh, and people who seem to think the work “aerosol” only applies to fly-spray …

  15. Scott Morrison PM of Australia (parody)
    How good is switching on your “out of office”

  16. The problem is infections in NSW spread to the other eastern states before any action can be taken, thanks to the dithering of first BinChicken and now Domicron.

    How long before NSW is back in lockdown? Tomorrow, I hope.

    • At today’s press conference Domicron said he follows UK’s covid measures. Pity he ignores what Victoria or New Zealand do?

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Lucy Carroll and Tom Rabe report that NSW hospitals are facing looming staff shortages, with hundreds isolating and others asked to reconsider taking Christmas leave as the Omicron surge forces the state government to reintroduce mask mandates and density limits.
    Dominic Perrottet, has backflipped on his “personal responsibility” approach to mask-wearing by reintroducing a mandate requiring them to be worn indoors while also reinstating social distancing measures in hospitality venues.
    Perrottet has finally realised that ‘letting it rip’ comes at too high a cost – for all of us, writes Anne Davies.
    The SMH editorial says that the NSW public health system should not have to devote scarce resources to meeting the excessive COVID-19 travel testing requirements of other states.
    Malcolm Farr says that Australians are at risk as too many of our leaders abdicate responsibility for Covid to pander to their political base.
    Josh Butler gives us confusion, mice, Craig Kelly and jab gibe, some of Auspol’s weirdest moments of 2021.
    Peter van Onselen ahs had enough, and begins this contribution with, “Why do some rational, law-abiding citizens take issue with mask mandates? I understand the notion of personal freedom, but the science tells us we have a responsibility to each other to wear masks even if we aren’t fussed about the risks not wearing one poses to ourselves.”
    In this interesting examination, Rob Harris looks at climate, the far-Left and the devilish problem facing the Greens.
    Law lecturer Elyse Methven says that public vengeance against COVID offenders won’t make us any safer.
    Madonna King reveals the special Australians who deserve a wonderful Christmas.
    Andrew Charlton tells us about six under-reported but quite remarkable economic achievements in 2021 that seemed unimaginable at the peak of the pandemic.
    Two managers at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, where 50 residents died during a coronavirus outbreak last year, have been directed by State Coroner John Cain to give evidence at the inquest into the deaths. If a probable appeal to a higher court does not succeed this will make for some interesting testimonies.
    The egregious, secretive behaviour of this federal government is on full display in the AAT with a push for the release of documents relating to the initiation of robodebt is being sought.
    More on this from Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    The AFR’s Andrew Milne gives us the good, bad and ugly of corporate Australia in 2021.
    According to Peter Milne, Andrew Forrest’s plan to kick off Fortescue’s global green hydrogen push in Tasmania has hit a snag after Hydro Tasmania’s decision to offer only a small portion of the power needed for the proposed $500 million-plus project.
    Life will soon become like that Monty Python sketch where a bunch of clerics burst in on an unsuspecting group to announce that no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition, writes Frank Jordan about the religious discrimination bill.,15881
    Pat Shell tells us about the ultimate one-shot deal with the launch on Christmas night of the huge and powerful replacement for the Hubble telescope.
    The shifting course of the pandemic and central bank policies next year will create a framework for greater risk and volatility than we saw in 2021, warns Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    Humiliated and unable to govern, Boris Johnson is close to the point of no return, opines Martin Kettle.
    Up to 13 million people have been placed into lockdown in the city of Xi’an in China, as authorities move to clamp down on the community spread of Covid-19 after 127 infections were found in a second round of mass testing.
    Judges across the US have been handing down stiff sentences and hard words in recent weeks for extremist supporters of Donald Trump who took part in the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol.

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding

    Cathy Wilcox

    John Shakespeare

    Peter Broelman

    Mark Knight

    John Spooner

    From the US

  18. Merry Christmas to all Pubsters. Thanks BK for your sterling efforts throughout the year.
    Be good, take care and see you on the otherside.

  19. Grunt has just announced this.

  20. What a difference a day makes,Albo suggested shortening booster dose interval from 5 – 4 months. Yesterday Kermit Hunt said of it

    “Utterly irresponsible. Utterly inappropriate. Utterly unworthy of somebody who wants to be a PM.”

    Today, Hunt has a press conference and

    Booster interval cut to 4 months,.

    What a shame it is virtually wall to wall Presstitutes in the MSM. Hunt deserves to be laughed out of town for such an effort.

  21. How many stories like this from former skeptics does it take to knock some sense into the antivaxers and those who put the dumb into Freedumb ? He’s a ‘live one’ you’d think all the dead ones would be a hint.

    ‘It is real’ – Man’s message after battling virus in hospital

    ….he was also “a bit sceptical” about Covid-19 before he caught it himself and hadn’t been vaccinated
    ……….the virus felt “suffocating”, as if he had a tonne of bricks on his chest.”It’s like trying to breathe through a straw while drowning,” he said……….I started coughing up blood, spewing up blood, a lot of phlegm and fluid,”……. breathing device a real challenge.”It’s pretty much like getting a leaf-blower and blowing it straight into your mouth. That’s what it’s like.

    ………..”After all this, taking a deep breath felt like winning the lotto to me. …………….He’s eager now to get fully vaccinated .

  22. Curioz
    I’m not blaming the backpacker. They appear to have followed all the rules. Oh wait, I do blame them for one thing. Being a 25 year old backpacker rather than an elderly retiree from the Gold Coast. I mean just look at the pace the young ‘whippersnapper’ kept up 😆
    Sunday 19/12/2021 at 10:00pm – 11:00pm Perth Airport
    Sunday 19/12/2021 Perth Mess Hall from 4pm – 9:30pm
    Sunday 19/12/2021 Geisha Nightclub from 12 midnight – 3am
    Sunday 19/12/2021 Connections Nightclub from 3am -5am

    I suppose the name made this place irresistible to the French guy !

    Friday 17/12/2021 ,Bloody French from 6pm – 8pm

    Their web site.
    Bloody French
    A MEDITERrANEAN RESTAURANT WITH A FRENCH TWIST. … Nestled in the heart of trendy Subiaco

  23. NOT AS DEADLY: Omicron strain has milder symptoms
    Omicron victims are only half as likely to need hospital treatment as those hit by earlier COVID strains, scientists have concluded.

    Good news, well it would have been if arsehats Domicron,and
    SfM had not ensured there are going to be 10 times the number of cases.

  24. Should they be in the same room rest assured there is little chance of mixing up the feral stick insect with poroti

  25. To get to the page I thought quite funny you need to highlight and copy this;

    “Moments When People Had One Job To Do But They Missed The Mark”

    and paste it into the search window at the bottom and it will open.

    Also for further fun reading, click on “HOME” and a wonderful list of funny stories will give you hours of great

    reading and a nice distraction from the ills of the world!

  26. Happy Christmas and a merry New year to all pubsters, lurkers and casuals, here’s hoping 2022 will be an improvement and we get rid of these rwnj’s who pervade our every waking moment. Cheers! 😀

    Michael West –

    Rachel Maddow –

    Chris Hayes –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

  27. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Merry Christmas folks – this is your paltry lot.

    Here are the Christmas from Morrison and Albanese. Morrison’s was overly religious IMHO.
    The Andrews government’s new pandemic legislation was put to its first major test this week as authorities sought to address the threat posed by the highly infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19. The controversial laws, which the state opposition and various interest groups argued would lead to more lockdowns, were used to implement a set of restrictions less onerous than those that the state’s public health team had pushed for, writes Paul Sakkal.
    The new COVID case has thrown the McGowan government’s plans of a ‘normal Christmas’ into disarray but when you consider the reopening date was just six weeks away, it isn’t all bad news for them, explains Hamish Hastie.
    Jenna Price unloads on our PM who ducks responsibility for on-virus matters.
    Michael Pascoe says that the aged will spend Christmas in solitary, thanks to Morrison and Perrottet. Pascoe is clearly unimpressed.
    In this contribution Bloomberg explains how COVID arbitrage became the trade of the year.
    The Morrison government has been accused of using the cover of Christmas to politicise research funding, after a federal minister vetoed grants for six recommended projects.
    A suburban Minneapolis police officer has been found guilty of two manslaughter charges in the killing of Daunte Wright, a black motorist she shot during a traffic stop after she said she confused her gun for her Taser.

    Cartoon Corner

    Mark David×900

  28. To you all – a Merry Christmas. Stay safe.

    What can I say about Scovid’s deeply religious and totally fake Christmas message? He comes across as a Pentecostal pastor preaching to his flock. I noticed it was “edited for length” – they could have cut all the phoney religious crap out too, we would never have noticed.

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