More ministers quit Australia’s disintegrating government


More ministers quit Australia’s disintegrating government

Mike Head

30 January 2019

Two more senior government ministers announced last weekend their decisions to quit at the imminent federal election, highlighting both the intensifying breakup of the Liberal-National Coalition and the broader fear in ruling circles of the rising social and political discontent.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan, a prominent Liberal, announced his departure last Friday, followed the next day by Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, the National Party leader in the Senate. That brought to three the number of such announcements in the past week, following that of Industrial Affairs and Women’s Affairs Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

Desperate to hold his government together until the election, which he must call by mid-May, Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked all three to remain in their posts until after the poll, effectively making them lame duck ministers.

The departures are another indication of the worsening factional war tearing apart the Coalition, one of the two wings of capitalist rule since World War II. More fundamentally, the entire political establishment has become increasingly discredited and unstable over the past decade, featuring a succession of short-lived prime ministers. It is now being further destabilised by the implosion of a seven-year real estate bubble, warnings of the dire implications of the far-reaching economic warfare launched by the US against China, and the resurgence of working class struggles internationally after decades of widening social inequality.

More high-profile exits are expected, according to various media reports, notably that of former Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and ex-Small Business Minister Craig Laundy. Like…

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