The Green Hills of Tyrol

Was watching that new program on the ABC last night about the…

Free Money And Was Google's "Don't Be Evil"…

Ok, as anybody who's a regular reader knows, I'm not an economist…

Willy Wilson's ferrets

Hello fellow travelers ... it being Sundee 'n all ... and I…

Challenging Conservative Populism: The Quest for Attainable Solutions

By Denis Bright The appeal of conservative populism has certainly gained momentum. It…

A Matter of Fifty Degrees: Climate Change in…

A country baked to the core, its citizens roasted, an electricity grid…

Day to Day Politics: I think Turnbull has…

Saturday 21 October 2017 1 There are times in political life when an…

Ends And Means - Or Why The Right…

Ok, let's read Neil Cadman's ad a little more closely here: Mm, as…

Replacing Neoliberalism: A model for the future

Neoliberalism is in its death throes around the world. In the United States…


Category Archives: Rossleigh

The Word I’m Afraid To Say… It Starts With “C”!

When I heard Scott Morrison list the five aspects of the Liberal energy policy today, I was a bit intrigued that he went from: “B. Yadda, yadda, yadda… 3. Yadda, yadda, yadda”, I thought that would be the best example of the confusion of the Coalition I’d hear for a few days. (Ok, Scott didn’t actually say, “Yadda, yadda, yadda” but he did move from “B to 3, 4, 5. I probably shouldn’t mock him for that when he’s doing his so many other things that I could mock him for!)

Then Bananaby Joyce spoke up and told us that the Nationals weren’t afraid to say the “word, Coal-fired Power”!

Now, even allowing for the possibility that one could hyphenate the words “coal-fired”, by my count that was at least two words. Still, Mr Joyce is in the National Party so he’s not expected to be able to count. Although he is an accountant by profession and one would expect him to be able to count past one even if did once confuse a million and a billion. Ok, he was only a shadow minister at the time, so it’s not like it was important.

Lately, I’ve been reading an interview with Milton Friedman from “Playboy”. It’s all right, because this is not an actual edition of “Playboy” and I don’t have to pretend that I bought it for the articles. It’s actually on my Kindle and I downloaded it from Amazon… Mm, I may be better pretending that I supported Hugh Heffner than those capitalist bastards…

Anyway, the interview is fifty years old and it’s quite interesting. Friedman mounts a very convincing argument… By that, I mean that the argument is convincing if one just totally ignores the reality of the world. Which Friedman manages to do quite nicely.

Basically, if I were to adopt the Friedman persona, I would argue that there’s no need to legislate any rules for tobacco companies because – being rational human beings – they would obviously realise that selling a product which kills their customers isn’t in their economic interest so, of course, they’d find ways to make their product safe or else they wouldn’t be able to stay in business.

Ok, Milton doesn’t actually argue that, but he certainly comes close. Regulation is unnecessary because Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” will lead people in the right direction and like that God who simultaneously allows free will and punishes those who don’t do what he wants by sending pestilence and nasty weather events to punish those who actually exercise it, there’s no need for us to intervene with silly rules and laws. Take polluting the environment, for example. No need for fines, because companies that pollute will be punished by losing market share.

I never realised how much in common, the neocons had in common with the punk movement until this very moment. “Fuck society!” says the punks, “We don’t won’t no bloody rules, although a lack of rules doesn’t give us much to rebel against!” “There’s no such thing as society,” says Maggie Thatcher, “so we shouldn’t have rules to stop anybody, except those bloody unions who want to hold the country to ransom by withdrawing their labour.”

Anyway, I find it strange that the Liberals can still believe in “the invisible hand” of capitalism, while arguing that the government needs to intervene to ensure that coalfiredpowerstations (I’m not afraid of the word either, Barnaby) are kept open. Actually, I find the one invisible hand that they seem to be able to consistently believe in, seems to be the invisible hand of Labor who are responsible for all the ills… Going wrong = Labor’s fault. Going well = what we did/didn’t do!

Mm, maybe I should do a bit of research on this Adam Smith guy and write something really intelligent instead of just taking pot shots at the Coalition’s very clear energy policy:

1. We want it to be cheaper, but we don’t want to subsidise anything but coal.
B. We want it to be reliable, but if it’s not it’s because Bill Shorten.
3. We want it to use lots of coal because coal is forever.
4. We want it to be agnostic.
5. We want it to include coal because we shouldn’t be ruling that out, but we don’t think we should pursue a Renewable Energy Target, but we will, probably. We’re certainly committed to Clean Energy but only if that includes Clean Coal, which Adani is going to mine just as soon as they get someone to lend them the money and if nobody else will then surely we should because that’s what the free market is all about

Mm, I’ll get back to Adam Smith later….

Marriage Equality – It’s The Kids We Need To Think About (Repost From September 2016)

This was written twelve months ago but it seems appropriate to post it again. For the record, this was a real interview with “Trevor” and everything he said was written verbatim.

Sitting in the cafe, I get a text message. My interview subject is running five minutes late. I’m tempted to suggest that this is because he was raised by two women, but then I remember that in these politically correct times such a thing may be considered sexist, so I’ll take a leaf out of Andrew Bolt’s book and be intimidated into saying nothing. He arrives. We sit down and order.

“I’m going to refer to you as ‘Trevor’ in the article to protect your identity,” I tell him.
“You can use my real name,” he tells me. “There’s no reason to hide who I am.”

Mm, he doesn’t see anything to be ashamed of. Clear evidence his mother has indoctrinated him into a particular world view.

“So,” I begin. “Tell me about your childhood.”
“Which bit?”

“The bit about being raised by a same sex couple. You know, what was it like at primary school? Were you aware that your home situation was different? That sort of thing.”

“Well, of course. Most of the kids and parents were cool about it. One boy wasn’t allowed set foot in our house, but that was about it.”
“But what about the stigma, the strangeness of it all? Surely you must have been victimised and picked on. After all, this is a Christian country. Weren’t there people trying to run you out of town?”
“Nah, it all seemed pretty normal to me. I mean, I knew our family was different. But it was more different like the Brady Bunch, as in, there were kids from each family belonging to each of the two parents.”

I realise that young children can be pretty unaware, so I move on to high school. I ask “Trevor” how it was. Surely there was less tolerance there.

“Sometimes kids would say things. I remember one saying, ‘You’re gay ‘coz your mum’s gay’, to which I replied, ‘I like women ‘coz my mum likes women; what does your mum like?’ That shut him up. And when kids said things like, ‘I was with your mum last night’, I’d just say, ‘That’s impossible because she was with your mum’. But doesn’t everybody get a hard time in high school? Anyway, I moved to a senior secondary school where being different was the norm…”

“So what about now? What’s your life like? Are you homeless? How has your upbringing caused you to be on the fringes of society? Do you have a job?”
“Well, I don’t have a ‘job’ as such.”
“I see, and do you think that your upbringing…”
“I have a film and event production business.”
“A business?”
“Yes, what’s the matter with that?”

“Well, according to Corey Bernardi, your life should be a mess. Surely your business doesn’t make enough to support you…”
“Actually, I employ several people and just the other day…”
“Let’s not get bogged down talking about your business. Have you ever been involved in dangerous or risk-taking behaviour?”
“Um, I guess so… Let’s think. I suppose being on The Sea Shepherd chasing down Japanese whalers could be considered risky.”
“You were on The Sea Shepherd! Did your mother put you up to such a left-wing, radical thing as trying to save whales?”
“Actually it was a paid gig. I was involved in making a documentary about it.”
“I see.”

Well, I can see that I’m going to have to go for some really hard-hitting questions if I’m going to show how poor “Trevor’s” life has been ruined by not growing up in the same sort of family as I did: mother, father, church on Sunday, and breakfast is the only meal where meat is optional.

“I’m going to take a photo of your lower torso just to show that you exist and that I’m not making you up. Don’t worry, I won’t show your face!”
“I don’t mind. Like I said, I’m not telling you anything that’s a secret.”

img_1990I take the photo. Mm, I think, clearly he’s grown up in a different sort of household. Tea with no milk, strange vegetables that weren’t even invented when I was a lad…
“Ok,” I say, “are you in favour of same sex marriage?”
“Marriage equality!”
“Well, saying I’m in favour of same sex marriage makes it sound like I want it to be compulsory.”
“Whatever! Are you in favour?”
“Yes, I’m in favour of marriage equality.”

Armed with this clear evidence of the way in which “Trevor” has been brainwashed, I continue: “Doesn’t it concern you that this could lead to all sorts of things? For example, have you ever considered marrying your dog?”
He pauses, then smiles: “I love my dogs. But they’re crap at massage.”

“What about polygamy?”
“Well, I do have one woman that I’m intending to marry. But I’m certainly not going to bring up polygamy in the first three years..”
“You’re going to marry a woman? Is your mother disappointed that you didn’t turn out gay?”
“No. She’s made it clear that she wants grandkids.”
“So your mother approves of your decision to marry a woman. You don’t think that she may have influenced you in choosing a woman.”
“You know, you been indoctrinated to be interested in women because your mother was attracted to women.”
“But didn’t you just suggest that my mother would have wanted me to be gay?”
“Look, I’m just asking questions. I’m just trying to give readers the chance to see what it’ll be like for the children if we allow…” I decide to be politically correct. “Marriage equality. I don’t have an agenda here.”
“Mm,” he says, “except that my upbringing has nothing to do with marriage equality. I mean, my mother and her partner weren’t married, were they? All the current situation does is prevent certain people from having the same rights to marry as others. I got to attend their commitment ceremony, sure, but why did anyone have the right to tell them that they weren’t legally entitled to marry?”

“Well,” I say. “That’s all the questions I have, so unless you’d like to add anything…”
“Gay people can already have children. And what’s more when they go to the trouble of having a child, at least it’s wanted and not the result of some accident. Marriage equality has nothing to do with it!”

I nod. Not because I’m saying yes, but because I don’t have any more questions.
We settle up the bill and say good-bye. As he walks away, I say a quiet prayer, thanking God for the presence of people like Cory Bernardi. Without the Bernardis of this world, people like “Trevor” may not even notice how terrible it is not to grow up in a family exactly like mine.

Turnbull’s Greatest Achievement Coming Up Next Week Or “Down And Out In Sydney And Canberra”!

Now, a lot of you have been trying to suggest that Malcolm has achieved nothing as Prime Minister. That’s hardly fair because he has achieved nearly everything that he set out to achieve. He won last year’s election… albeit, not by much, but like everything else, that was Labor’s fault. And he’s managed to successfully stop the Conservative forces from removing him. Ok, in order to do that, he’s had to do exactly as he’s told, but given his position on most issues was nowhere nearly as important as the position of leader, he managed to do this without a moment’s hesitation.

And soon, next week in fact, he’ll zoom past Tony Abbott in terms of time spent as PM. This is quite an achievement. This will make him the fourth longest-serving Prime Minister this century and, assuming that we don’t suddenly find ourselves at early election because a handful of MPs decide to cross the floor, then he’ll be closing in on Gillard and Rudd.

Of course, it is a little disappointing that beating Abbott’s record was all he set as a goal. After all, when Malcolm sets his mind to something there’s no stopping him. Even if anyone with any expertise tells him it’s a bad idea, Malcolm will go ahead anyway.

Take his decision to keep the Liddell coal-fired power station open, after its scheduled close in 2022. The owner, AGL, has made big announcements about getting out of coal and this was recently reinforced by the CEO, Andrew Vesey when he tweeted: “Keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need”. Not to be deterred, Magnificent Malcolm ploughed ahead anyway telling us that he’d spoken to Mr Vesey and while it’s true that AGL is getting out of coal, they’re “prepared to sell to a responsible party and that’s what we are talking about.” Prepared to sell to a responsible party? Mm, well at least we know that the government won’t be buying it.

Then we have his wonderful performance on the marriage equality plebiscite survey thingy. 2015: The Coalition decides that we need a Plebiscite and that this can’t happen until after the election. After all, there’s no rush. 2016: Plebiscite voted down, Turnbull tells us that there’s no hurry. This can wait till the next election. No, it doesn’t need to go to Parliament for a vote. 2017: Some Liberals suggest that they’ll try to bring on a vote in Parliament anyway. This could be a threat to Mal’s STRONG leadership, so he springs i into action. Right, we need to find a way around this plebiscite impasse. Let’s have a postal vote… Or rather survey. And we can appropriate the money because we can do that when something is URGENT and UNFORESEEN.

Mind you, a lot of people would find it hard to argue that something was urgent when the whole survey thing won’t actually decide anything and the whole thing could be decided next week by allowing a vote in Parliament, but not our Malcolm. He can change his position so often he could be named the “Kama Sutra”. As for it being unforeseen, can we therefore presume that they had no intention of doing it until it was obvious that there was going to be an ideological battle which may have led to Turnbull being hit with shrapnel from both sides? Although it would be hard to argue that in the High Court… Perhaps that could just say that this postal thingy is unforeseen because, in case it isn’t obvious by now, we can’t foresee things because that would involve planning and we just make it up as we go along!

Yep, with only week to go, Malcolm should outdo Tony in terms of the length of Prime Ministership… And speaking of Tony, did you happen to see his performance on “The House”? He seemed to regard his being so drunk that he missed a Parliamentary vote in 2009 as a bit of a joke. And, a few days ago, when he tweeted about the success of the welfare card for ensuring that money wasn’t wasted, there were quite a few jokes along the lines of politicians needing one to stop them spending too much on alcohol.

While it’s easy to laugh at the hypocritical nature of Abbott and most of his party, it’s also worth considering the serious nature of what he did. Let’s not forget that the Liberals went ahead and elected him leader after this incident, so it’s not like they can say that they didn’t know that he was unreliable. I’m not suggesting that one should be condemned for drinking too much on one occasion. However, it’s worth remembering that he did so at a time when he was meant to be at work. Imagine how the Liberals would respond if this were a typical worker. Or let’s say, some unemployed person missed a Centrelink appointment because they were “too drunk”. Would it still be a joke?

Of course not! But that’s the thing, the Coalition think that they got to where they are through hard work and merit, and that this qualifies them to lecture other people. And when they lose their seats, they have no trouble finding another job. Sophie Mirabella, for example, was hired to work on submarines. Mind you, most of them are hired to high paying jobs by the Liberals themselves, but that’s because it’s so hard to make ends meet on your Parliamentary Pension. Mm, maybe we should start a special Parliament for the long-term unemployed where they all sit around and make decisions about politicians’ benefits and entitlements.

Anyway, on the subject of unemployment and poverty, this video is worth a watch. The Orwell book he refers to is “Down And Out In London And Paris” and it too is worth scanning if you’ve never read it.


Vote No Because I Don’t Want To Shave My Legs!

Now I’ve spent a number of years in schools and one of the things I most admire about the young mind is its capacity for heroically battling against all logic when trying to mount a case. Anyway who’s ever dealt with a teenager will know what I mean. “I should be allowed to leave class whenever I like because you let Basil go to the nurse last week!” Pointing out that Basil was bleeding profusely at the time won’t help. It’s unfair and a complete double standard. At least in that example, there’s a vague relationship between the two things. Perhaps a better example would be when Kevin argues that he should be allowed to play basketball because Peta was allowed to play on her computer when she’d finished her work. Pointing out to Kevin that he hasn’t finished his work won’t end the discussion. Neither will pointing out that Peta wasn’t disturbing anyone else, but that dribbling a basketball inside a classroom tends to create the sort of atmosphere which prevents others from concentrating. Kevin will continue to argue even if he has to change the subject and bring up something totally irrelevant like the fact that you marked him late when he was only five minutes late! And anyway, Mrs Baxter is a much better teacher because she let’s him play basketball in PE. The only way to end the discussion is to point out that you have confiscated the basketball and if he wants it back at lunchtime, he needs to sit and complete his work.

I can’t help but be reminded of the teenage mind whenever I hear the arguments for the “no” case in the upcoming plebiscite opinion survey. Ok, the Liberal logic that they can’t simply have a Parliamentary vote because they promised to have a plebiscite before any vote, but now some of the issue is threatening the stability of Malcolm Turnbull they’ve decided that they can have one after a non-compulsory, non-binding survey costing $120 million – which is more than Tony Abbott’s travel claims – even though this would appear to also be a breaking of the their promise, is bad enough, but did you see the ad urging you to vote “no”?

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m sure that there are sane people out there with good sound, logical reasons for their decision to vote “no”. It’s just that I haven’t heard any of them speak yet. Probably too intimidated by the fact that it would just raise the whole tone of the debate. No, I’ve heard plenty of arguments along the “if this, then that” line, but I’m yet to hear a single rational argument against voting “Yes”. There was an article in the paper the other day from a woman whose main argument was that she was voting no and she didn’t have a strong, religious upbringing, but that was about the closest I’ve seen. Although the idea that “I’m doing this, you should too” is hardly something that regularly convinces me. (There was a bit of hatchet job done on the woman, where someone delved into her past and pointed out that, not only was her father a lay preacher, but that she herself had run church services to help out. Not that this disqualifies her from a point of view; it merely condemns her to Hell for lying about her upbringing!)

Anyway, to sum up briefly the arguments presented by the ad in question:

1. One woman is upset that her son was told “he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it”. So is this already happening and do we need an extra question about banning men wearing dresses. And where do kilts fit in? Will the Scots complain that they’re being oppressed? Aw, let’s add a question about banning the burqa too, while we’re at it. Might as well get value out of $120 million.
2. A second woman tells us: “When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas this type of program become widespread and compulsory”. Wearing dresses? Does that mean I’ll have to shave my legs? I’m outraged.
3. A caption tells us: “In countries with gay marriage, parents have lost their rights to choose”. It’s not clear to me exactly what they’ve lost their right to choose but maybe I was still too concerned about shaving my legs to pay attention at this point to pay complete attention.
4. A third woman expresses concern that “kids in Year 7 are being asked to role play being a same-sex relationship”. As with Argument 1, if this is already happening perhaps we need to add an extra question. Something along the lines of raising the age at which students can be asked to role play a same-sex relationship. Or possibly ensuring that students only role play heterosexual relationships in their classes. But then perhaps the person wasn’t concerned about the same-sex relationship part. Maybe they had some sort of moral objection to the whole notion of role play itself. Acting was banned as un-Christian during the Puritan era

Whatever, I think you’ll notice that not one of these arguments addresses the fundamental question of marriage equality itself. Most arguments I’ve heard are rather like arguing that the High Court must exclude Barn-boy Joyce from Parliament because if they don’t, then everybody who has a New Zealander as a parent will be Deputy PM.

I’ve heard a number of times that children need a mother and father, so gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Given that there’s no suggestion that at any point in the future, we’ll be passing laws that require gay people and single parents to relinquish children to heterosexual couples, I fail to see this as a strong case for voting no. To illustrate, instead of talking about the former and concentrating on the latter, imagine the absurdity of the following proposition: “Children have a right to a mother AND a father, so I’m proposing changing the marriage act to disqualify single parents from marrying.”

So I’ve decided that the “No” campaign needs some help. In the interest of a fair go, I’m offering my services. Here’s my suggestion for an ad:

“If you vote YES, in the coming postal vote, you will be telling Parliament that it’s all right for them to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. Then some gay people will get married. This will lead to them entering into legally binding relationships which protect them and give them the same sort of rights that other people have. Statistics show that children raised by people in a gay relationship are more likely to grow up tolerant of different lifestyles. Unless you have no problem with those different from you having the same rights, you must vote NO.”

Mm, yep. I can see their problem. It really is very hard to actually mount any sort of campaign by sticking to the actual subject.

Maybe it’d be easier to mount a campaign for the extension of the welfare card. I’d like to see the following question asked in Question Time:

“Minister, given the successful trial of the welfare card, can we have it extended to MPs who have a history of getting drunk and missing votes?”

Yeah, not going to happen. And speaking of things that I thought wouldn’t happen, Adani have announced that they’re starting the mine in October. Strange that we didn’t hear any announcement about them getting finance. Last I read, none of the banks would touch it because not only is the price of coal a concern, India have announced that they’re phasing out coal imports. Adani have disputed this and said that not only is the Indian government wrong about what it’s going to do, but that coal is the way of the future. Still you would have thought that something like Adani getting finance would have been worth a mention. Ah well, perhaps they’re just going to start digging and hope that someone comes along and says, “Here take this. It’s money. You look like you need it because you’re trying to start a coal mine with two shovels and a pick.”

I’d better stop. The absurdity of the teenage mind is looking more rational by the second! If I don’t stop trying to make sense of the world, I’ll be handing the ball back to Kevin and telling him that his argument is one of the best I’ve heard in quite a while.

Do We Really Need A Day To Celebrate Bloody Boat People Coming Here Without An Invitation!

They came here on boats. They had no permissions or passports. What’s more, many of them were guilty of crimes in their country of origin – that’s why they had to leave. Yes, I know that some of the bleeding hearts will say that their crimes were not that serious, but the fact remains, they broke the law of the country where they previously lived, and they had no intention of trying to adopt the values of Australia. They insisted that they had a right to be here, and many of them were aggressive and unwilling to behave in a friendly manner.

So why some people seem so intent on insisting that we celebrate Australian Day on the anniversary of their landing is totally beyond me. Particularly when we treat recent boat arrivals so harshly. January 26th – some people tell us that we should celebrate on that date because that was the date that a group of convicts and soldiers arrived, hoisted a flag and said, “This is Australia”. Except that they didn’t have any concept that they were starting up a country. This was just a British outpost and good for nothing except getting rid of human baggage. There was no pride in their new “country” and the flag that they raised was the British flag. You know, the same one that the ANZACs fought and died under.

I guess some people will think that I shouldn’t say these things. After all, countries depend on their myths, not the truth. Once one starts telling the truth, then one is an unpatriotic scoundrel. It’s like pointing out that, in some places, you’d be fighting for God and justice on the other side of the border were it not for the fact that they drew the line a few kilometres to the left in order not to make it too wobbly.

I’ve always said that we should celebrate the Rum Rebellion on January 26th. Coincidently, that’s the day it occurred. And who could object to people rising up and getting rid of a leader with Bligh in his name. Certainly not Malcolm Turnbull. Although his middle name is “Bligh”, nobody has called him a leader… Ok, Malcolm himself called himself “a strong leader”, but that’s like me looking in the mirror and saying “I am one gorgeous man”. Not only does it not make it true, it doesn’t make it any less pathetic just because one says it twice and nods.

Speaking of pathetic, has anyone else grown concerned about Australia turning into Cuba? And by anyone else, I don’t mean that I’ve grown concerned. I just mean anyone about from Liberal, Dan Tehan who backed up Matty Cormann’s concerns that if Bill Shorten gets elected Australia will turn into some sort of socialist state where people get taxed on the basis of their capacity to pay. At this point, I remember a line from some comedian who told us that everyone knew why Robin Hood only robbed from the rich: the poor didn’t have anything worth stealing.

Anyway, Mr Tehan told us:

“I‘ve also seen it in Cuba when I was a diplomat, we’ve seen socialism there and people called it socialism in the sun.

“They’d praise what they were doing with doctors and how they were exporting doctors, but when you went to hospital there you had to take your own bed linen, you had to take your own toilet roll, you had to take your own light bulb.”

Now, apart from the fact that this seems totally consistent with the Liberals “user pays” philosophy, one has to wonder what these terrible policies that’ll turn us all into Stalinists… Or were Cuba Trotskyites? Whatever, they weren’t capitalists and they have the sort of government that wants to interfere with your private life. You know, things like restricting who you marry and demanding that you pledge allegiance to national days…

Basically, the thing that you need to be concerned about are:

  1. You won’t be able to use your family trust any more.
  2. You won’t be able to negative gear any existing houses, unless you’ve already begun an arrangement like this.
  3. Your business won’t get the tax cut of a couple of percent.
  4. The bit of your income over $180,000 will be subject to an extra two percent tax. While it was the Liberals that brought this in, they only did it as a temporary measure until we’d all forgotten that they promised to bring the Budget back into surplus. Now that they’ve given up all hope of ever doing this, there’s no need to impose extra tax on those earning a paltry $180,000… Ok, it’s only being imposed on those earning MORE than $180,000 and surely we shouldn’t tax people like that, or else nobody will have an incentive to take on a job like the one at Australia Post that paid several million a year.
  5. Shorten is vowing to do something about inequality, but if people were meant to be equal, God wouldn’t have created people who vote for One Nation.

You know, come election day, I don’t see Shorten having a lot of potential votes in the people likely to be upset by anything on that list. This attack from the Liberals makes about as much sense as suggesting that if the Labor Party takes a particular course of action then none of the Murdoch editors will run an editorial telling us to vote for Shorten. Let’s be real, even if it was Labor policy to deify Rupert, they’d be unlikely to get a favourable response from the Daily Telegraph. Besides Rupert may see that as insulting because he already considers himself a god.

Sorry, I got sidetracked. Anyway, to sum up. Forget the controversy about citizenship ceremonies and Australia Day. Next January 26th, grab yourself a rum and parade the streets chanting, “Hey, hey, hi, hi, let’s get get of old man Bligh, ha, ha, he’s now gone, so up his bum, let’s all drink the bloody rum!” I promise you that you won’t be the most ridiculous looking person on that date!

Rossleigh Interviews Malcolm

Rossleigh: Good evening, we have the Primed Minister, Malcolm Tinbull.

Malcolm: With all due respect, I don’t think you can say that.

Rossleigh: Why not?

Malcolm: Well, I’m just a fictional character, aren’t I? I’m not the real Prime Minister.

Rossleigh: Yes, that’s what most people are saying.

Malcolm: No, they’re saying that I’m a strong leader. Haven’t I held on even though everybody in my party hates me?

Rossleigh: Anyway, let’s move on to the questions…

Malcolm: Bill Shorten is the reason why it didn’t work.

Rossleigh: I haven’t asked a question yet.

Malcolm: Yes, but that’s the answer. I don’t need to wait for the question because I’m a strong leader and I know lots and lots and sometimes people tell me that I look like George Clooney.

Rossleigh: Who…

Malcolm: Well, Lucy and the mirror and…

Rossleigh: That wasn’t the question. I was going to ask, “Who thinks that you can’t break your promise about a plebiscite and just have a vote in Parliament but it’ll be ok if you break it by just having a very flawed opinion poll run by the same people who stuffed up the Census?”

Malcolm: I’m glad you asked that.

Rossleigh: I didn’t – you interrupted me.

Malcolm: Now, now, don’t start behaving like Tony Abbott. I’m glad you asked me that because I’d just like to say that this will be a great opportunity for everyone to have their say and surely nobody can be against everybody having their say. Because that’s what democracy means. I mean we may not like what people say, but we should just put up with it. Unless they say it on the ABC. In which case, they need to have someone from the IPA to provide balance.

Rossleigh: Well, didn’t your party strengthen sedition laws when Howard was PM? I mean, can’t that be used to prevent people having their say?

Malcolm: Look, I’m not saying that it wasn’t the right thing to do, but they were different times and you need to remember that democracy is a wonderful concept and I won’t apologise for what we… And anyway, has Bill Shorten produced Obama’s birth certificate because, until he does, doubts must remain? He has no plan for jobs and I met Donald Trump.

Rossleigh: Mr Tinbull, you seem to be rambling.

Malcolm: Sorry, what was the question?

Rossleigh: It was a statement.

Malcolm: I’m not here to listen to political speeches. I’m here to not answer your questions.

Rossleigh: Recently, Donald Trump announced that he planned to send more troops to Afghanistan…

Malcolm: Yes, and as I told him, we’re here for you, Donald. He and I are friends, you know. He almost shook my hand once…

Rossleigh: I was just wondering why you need a plebiscite before you even allow Parliament to vote on marriage equality, but you can commit troops before you even consult your party, let alone Parliament.

Malcolm: We have a commitment to the USA because of the ANZUS treaty, and…

Rossleigh: So New Zealand will be committing troops automatically as well.

Malcolm: New Zealand? No that’s up to them.

Rossleigh: So it’s really just an A-US treaty… Mm, I see why they needed to add the “Z” in the treaty.

Malcolm: The question?

Rossleigh: Why are you so quick to commit troops?

Malcolm: The United States is an ally. Well, more than an ally. I’d like to think it as a friend.

Rossleigh: More than a friend. I mean you seem ready to let it fuck us…

Malcolm: What?

Rossleigh: Never mind. So what do you hope to achieve by committing troops to another war?

Malcolm: Well, I don’t want to be the only Liberal Prime Minister apart from Tony Abbott not to commit to a new war, or at the very least, not increase troops numbers in an existing war. We’ve been saying all along that we had a plan for jobs and nothing helps jobs like a good war.

Rossleigh: Or even a bad one… But wouldn’t the money be better spent on education, the Arts, Health…

Malcolm: No, these things just waste money. It’s only a good war that really boosts the economy.

Rossleigh: I had a few more questions, but I’m afraid your time is up.

Malcolm: That’s what Tony keeps saying, but…

Rossleigh: No, the interview time…

Malcolm: But I haven’t had a chance to tell you how close I am to Donald.

Rossleigh: I think we’ve all worked that out by now.

Tony Abbott And The Dangers Of Allowing Two People To Marry…

I guess most of you heard about Tony Abbott’s performance on the Ray Hardly Show. You know, the one where he talked about the dangers of two people marrying…

Yes, yes, I know, his parents got married and had him. Ha ha, very funny. That’s just typical of you lefties. Attack the man when you don’t have any arguments to counter what he’s saying.

For those of you who don’t listen to Sydney radio or following Tony on Twitter, Mr Abbott tweeted the following:


“A bill that legalises marriage between “any two persons” raises issues beyond marriage.. .E.g. would it be possible to exclude gender fluidity discussions from schools if gender fluidity is contemplated by the Marriage Act?”


He was also concerned that it could help the agenda those pushing for Safe Schools, and if there’s one thing that Tony opposes, it’s safe schools. After all, if it was good enough for schools not to be safe when he went to one, then why should we start pandering to a few inner-city types who don’t understand the beauty of a lump of coal.

Anyway, Mr Abbott is, of course, totally correct. This proposed survey that the Liberals are holding because they promised a plebiscite and to have a vote without a plebiscite would be breaking a promise – but it’s ok to do it without a plebiscite if you have a survey run by the ABS because that’s almost the same thing – will have implications beyond marriage. Or rather it will if the survey results – after tweaking and manipulating the results to ensure that those who don’t vote will also get a say because we can assume that anyone who didn’t vote would think exactly the same way that someone in the same demographic group would vote – show a “yes” then the government proposes to allow Parliament to consider the matter and, if Parliament votes in the affirmative for some legislation to do with marriage which we’re yet to see, then this will have some implications way beyond marriage.

For a start, it will enable schools to start talking about things like gender fluidity and as Tony keeps reminding us, it takes a man to run the country and not just any man, but a strong man. If people start to consider gender as fluid, then we could allow a female PM with the expectation that she’ll turn into a man once she gets the job. But more importantly, it will just confuse kids and they’ll all want sex change operations because everybody knows that the opposite sex always has it better.

Then schools might start doing things like advocating tolerance of difference and before you know where you are Australia will be full of people who aren’t like everybody else. You will note, that like Andrew Bolt, I’m prevented by political correctness from saying “foreigners”. Of course, I’m not against people like that but I just like to say that we only want people who accept Australian values in this country… although you can seek asylum in Federal Parliament if you have dual citizenship by declaring allegiance to the Coalition.

But it’s not just for schools that this has implications. Think of the implications for jobs. Archbishop Hart was quick to point out that if anyone employed by the Catholic Church were to marry their same-sex partner, then they’d be sacked. At a time when we’re trying to encourage jobs and growth, that’s not exactly the sort of thing that helps the government.

And the government needs all the help it can get, what with wages growing at the pace they said would be good for jobs. What they didn’t take into account was that the workers were also sometimes also consumers and when wages weren’t growing people don’t spend which doesn’t encourage employers to put on more people. Of course, the Liberals can’t be blamed for this because they didn’t realise that a person could consider themselves a worker one moment, and a consumer the next. This is even harder for the current government to come to terms with than gender fluidity. As far as the Liberals are concerned, everybody should stay exactly as they are forever. A worker should always be a worker and never go home. As for Bill Shorten, well, remember how cross Malcolm got with him. Bill wasn’t content to stay in his place, he was a “social climber” and a “sycophant”. He was meant to stay in his place. Although I’m not sure how Bill starting class warfare fits with this…

Anyway, as Tony reminded us the other week: If you don’t support same-sex marriage, vote No. If you’re against political correctness, vote No. If you’re against marriage generally vote No. If you don’t like Malcolm Turnbull, vote No. If you want a job, vote No. If you think climate change is a myth, vote No. In fact, whatever you’re stand on anything, vote No.

Ban The Bra… Mm, Wait, No, Burn The Bra… Um, Aw Shit!

Whenever I hear the phrase, “Ban The Burqa”, my mind wanders back to the feminists who insisted that we burn the bra…

Of course, the bra was a symbol of the oppression of the patriarchy and it was only by letting one’s boobies run free that one could truly embrace feminism…

Or something like that! I was rather young at the time and not really paying all that much attention, because the mere mention of words like bra or breasts or, indeed, almost anything at all would immediately start me thinking about sex.

Even though I didn’t pay much attention to the theory behind it at the time, I’m older now and I understand that the bra is a symbol of oppression. Not only that, one could conceal some rather dangerous items inside a bra…

By that I don’t mean what naturally fits inside a bra. I mean foreign bodies. And by foreign bodies I mean bombs. To prove this, I intend to slip on a bra and hide a foreign body inside it and slip quietly into the Senate without anyone noticing. Once I’ve successfully done that, I’ll whip off my bra and with a dramatic flourish, set it on fire and call for an end to this dangerous object and suggest that – in a spirit of Aussie freedom – the bra should be banned.

That should make the point. Anyway it’s probably likely to get me into less trouble than wandering around asking women to take off their bras. People might confuse my attempts to liberate, with some sort of sleazy attempt to look at women’s breasts. Which is unfair, because nobody accused Pauline of some sleazy attempt to look at women’s bodies when she suggested that the burqa should be banned.

That’s what’s so terrible about being a white, middle-class man in this country: everybody treats you differently, It’s one rule for us and another rule for all those who shouldn’t be allowed to say anything that upsets us. I mean, political correctness right? I can’t come out and say what I really think for fear of somebody telling me that they disagree and I haven’t been brought up to accept criticism. Or even disagreement with my point of view.

It’s one of the reasons I’m so upset about the marriage equality debate. People may say hurtful things to me if I express the view that I don’t think gay people should be allowed. So, I’m just going to say nothing apart from commenting on how good it was that Archbishop Dennis Hart made it clear that if any employees of the Church marry their same sex partner they’ll be sacked. That should stop all those gay people from oppressing Christians who want to prevent them from marrying, by saying things like, “We should be allowed to get married!” Or even worse, “I find your view very intolerant”.

If somebody said that to me, I’d be writing to the paper straight away, complaining that by suggesting her children would be hurt by the debate, Penny Wong was indulging in the worst sort of bullying, which is the bullying of a minority. And let’s be clear here: White, entitled old men ARE a minority. We just get so much criticism because people are jealous that our opinion seems to count a lot more than any else’s. Politics of envy, really.

Yep, I’d certainly vote for One Nation if it wasn’t being run by a woman.

Treachery From Bill Shorten While Kevin Andrews Admits Affection For His Cycling Mates!

What interesting times!

Just last night, I was thinking how Barnaby had stuffed up by not actually checking that he was a dinky di Aussie through and through. All right, I know that being born here normally qualifies you, but when you’re not a third generation on both sides of the family tree then merely listening to “Australia All Over” with Macca on Sundays may not be enough to ensure that you’re qualified to sit in Parliament in these troubled days. And, even though Bananaby has never shown any inclination to barrack for the All Blacks – or even partial ones – he surely should have thought to check that he wasn’t actually a citizen of the Long White Cloud. I know that sounds harsh, but remember what Mr Joyce told us about those Green senators who suddenly discovered their dual citizenship:


“I think you just have got to do your homework and make sure you’re not a citizen of two countries when you stand for parliament. That’s basically it. Larissa said she believed that was not the case and I am sure that would be the outcome for Scott Ludlam. But unfortunately ignorance is not an excuse, you’re in strife!”


However, what I didn’t realise was that unlike all the things that Malcolm and his Menagerie stand ready to take the blame for, this one was nothing to do with the government. No, this time it was Labor’s fault.

Now you have to admit that this has been a government of no surprises and no excuses, just like Abbott promised before his lack of excuses led to his unsurprising axing, so if they are telling us that it’s Labor’s fault, well, we should certainly listen. I mean they’ve never tried to blame Labor before, so for those of you who haven’t been paying attention, it’s sort of like this:

Yes, Barnaby is a dual citizen but he didn’t know, so he shouldn’t be blamed. The Greens didn’t know either, but they should have known because they’re not as busy as Mr Joyce and should have taken the time to check. Because Mr Joyce didn’t know, Malcolm Turnbull has assured us that the High Court will rule that Section 44 is a silly section and we should just ignore it if the person says they didn’t know. And, it’s Labor’s fault because if they hadn’t committed treason by asking that shady organisation, the New Zealand Labour Party, to ask about it in their Parliament, nobody else would have known either and there wouldn’t be any threat to the Australian government and we wouldn’t have to ask Peter Dutton if there’s any way to get his new department to raid the Labor Party offices like they did when national security was breached by someone giving them access to the NBN data. Yes, as Julie Bishop told us, her government will find it hard to work with NZ Labour should they win the upcoming election because they actually asked a question which threatens to destabilise Malcolm Turnbull’s hold on power, and this could lead to an election before she’s had a chance to convince the party that she’s a better bet than Peter Dutton to lead the next campaign.

Someone did suggest that to blame Labor for this was akin to suggesting that you only lost your driver’s licence because of the person who conspired with the policeman so that he gave you a breath test. And that this was outrageous and nothing to do with the fact that you were driving erratically. That’s a silly analogy because Barnaby does most things erratically and I’m sure that his red face is just because he’s not used to the Australian sun.

And speaking of road rules, Kevin Andrews is apparently worried about them. Last night, while discussing marriage equality… It’s all right. I’m not from the ABC, I can use the phrase “marriage equality”… Kevin Andrews told Sky News last night that he not only had an affectionate relationship with Sam, one of the presenters, but that he also had an “affectionate relationship” with his “cycling mates” with whom he goes “cycling” on the weekend, but that the law had “no place in those sort of relationships”. However, my understanding is that these cycling people should not be riding more than two abreast according to the law, but Mr Andrews seems to be advocating a change to allow them to ride all over the road. Of course, he didn’t actually say it, but we know that he and his “cycling mates” try to keep to the right while the law – and political correctness – insists that they stay on the left side.

Anyway, my wife and I were planning a trip to New Zealand later this year, so I hope that the break in diplomatic relations won’t leave us stranded there. Or taken into custody as possible enemy agents when we return. I guess we could change our travel plans and go somewhere like Russia so that Malcolm, or whoever’s there by then, won’t use the legislation about travelling to a war zone to arrest us!

Think Of The Children Say Some Church Leaders Without Even A Hint Of Irony…

Gee, that’ll make a really great piece for satire, I thought last night. Then, after hearing this morning’s news, I thought, nah, that one’s much better. After a day’s work, and checking the news at times throughout the day, I am forced to admit that in these times of Donald and Malcolm and Barnaby and Kim and… Anyway, you get the picture… After all that, I have to confess that I really need to make notes. I used to have the memory of an elephant. I’m not sure which elephant, but whichever one it is, he’s probably pretty pissed that I’ve taken it.

Anyway, I’m having a hard time remembering any of it.

I’m sure that there’s some gem I forgot. You know, something like defending Barnaby for saying he’d never been to England – even though he’d been there just a few weeks earlier – by pointing that he was told he was going to the United Kingdom, so how was he to know where he was. Of course that was when Barnaby was getting stuck into those Green senators for not knowing that they were dual citizens. But I forgot to write that because I didn’t make notes… Just like Barnaby forgot that he went to England.

Of course, Barnaby has more important things that he’s forgotten, so because the matter is before the High Court, I’ll refrain from laughing at the man until the High Court brings down a verdict allowing him to be the subject of ridicule for the term of his natural life.

Thankfully everything in the news cycle keeps getting repeated, so my memory is sometimes jogged. Which is good, because apparently jogging is exercise and I probably need exercise so that I don’t merely have the memory of an elephant but the physique as well.

No, I was going to share with you the strange position of the Catholic Church…

In arguing against marriage equality, one of the arguments they’ve put forward is that children deserve a mother and father, so it’s against nature for people of the same sex to marry. No, their position is crystal clear: People of the same sex shouldn’t marry. They should be like priests and remain unmarried. Besides, if we allow same sex marriage, it might lead to polygamy. Which is also a strange argument, considering all nuns are “brides of Christ”.

Now, let me be quite clear here. I’m not anti-Catholic. Just like I’m not anti-Muslim. Or anti-semitic. Or anti-Nazi. Like Trump, I think there has been some violence on all sides and I want to condemn violence, whether it comes from protesters I like or protesters who deserve to be run over.

But I wonder why some Catholic leaders feel more compelled to tell us to think of the children when it comes to marriage equality, when all they could say when it came to the cases of child abuse that they could have helped prevent, all they could say was think of England.

Or something like that.

Anyway, the Royal Commission – which is Royal, so it has something to do with our head of state, so it shouldn’t be ignored – today recommended that it should be made illegal for priests not to reveal cases of child abuse which they discover through confession.

I must say – in all seriousness – that I’m with Archbishop Dennis Hart on this one. He said that confession was a spiritual matter and, as a matter of conscience, priests shouldn’t comply with this.

Of course, Dennis was attacked for his position by various Coalition members:

Turnbull told us that Hart “believes that you only have to have to obey the law” or that the Church only has to obey the law “if they agree with it!”

Michaelia Cash thought that it was “an extraordinary admission” to believe that one “is above the law”.

Peter Dutton called him a “lunatic”!

Or wait, these comments weren’t directed at the Hart, they were directed at Sally McManus when she suggested that unions should break unjust laws.

Sorry, I must have mucked up my googling. Of course, Sally was suggesting that unions should stand up when laws impinged on the freedom to fight injustice which is unreasonable, whereas Dennis was telling us that, of course, the Church should be able to grant absolution to someone who’d merely engaged in a bit of child abuse without the fear that the law would come between them and their God.

Of course the Liberals wouldn’t find that as worthy of condemnation as a union leader suggesting that sometimes people have rights that the law can’t take away.

Or rights that we shouldn’t need a plebiscite to establishment them as a right…

Many Calls On Malcolm’s Time; Many Calls On His Mind…

When details of the Trump/Tinbull phone call leaked, Malcolm told us that he was all about protecting Australians. And what better way to protect Australians than to make a public declaration that if the USA is attacked then we want a part of the action.

“If you bomb the USA,” Malcolm announced during the week, “don’t forget to bomb us too!”

Now, I’ll bet I’m not the first person to point out that we need a plebiscite for marriage equality, but Malcolm can announce that we’ll join a war without even seeking the approval of Parliament, but I may be the first to suggest that the only reason Malcolm jumped so quickly on the war that hasn’t happened yet, is because he’s under the strange delusion that it’ll save his leadership…

His leadership…

You’d laugh, if it wasn’t such a joke. Or rather, you’d laugh if it was a joke. When he says seriously, “I am a STRONG leader!”, you have to seriously wonder whether he’s more out of touch with reality than either Donald or Kim…

Malcolm’s leadership is akin to the captain of the “Titanic” arguing that he removed the ship’s wheel and he still has his hands on it, so the fact that the ship is at the bottom of the ocean is irrelevant; he’s the one steering!

Day one: Julie Bishop says that the ANZUS treaty just means that we only need to consult, we won’t automatically be drawn into the potential “war”
Day two: Turnbull says, No, no, Donald’s a mate and I promised him that I’d do anything he asked if he’d only agree to send some people and pretend that they could go to United States, so if Mr Trump goes to war then I want to emulate Harold Holt or John Howard and buy a few more years by going “All the Way With Donald Trump!” (Ok, it doesn’t rhyme, but neither did “Into Iraq With Georgie Boy”!)
Day three: Arthur Sin (I can’t remember if he has more letters in his name… Whatever!) tells us that of course Turnbull will consult Parliament. We can’t just go to way without consulting the Parliament… And he’s sure that’s what Mr. Turnbull meant, even if that’s not what he said… Sinodinos, for some reason, reminds me of Sean Spicer at this moment…

Nobody asked if we needed a plebiscite.

Of course, it’s the Republic debate all over again. Because it’s not compulsory to vote, some people will boycott the poll, others won’t care enough to vote and John Howard and Tony Abbott will mobilise the forces that agree with them to turn out while the “Yes” vote is split, ensuring that – at the very best – the “Yes” case only limps over the line. At this point, the conservatives will argue that it didn’t win by enough to put it to the vote because all those who didn’t vote are on their side.

At this point, Turnbull hopes that he’ll be able to say that he’s appalled that people are concerned about things like same-sex marriage – we mustn’t call it “marriage equality”, the ABC have been given a directive – or climate change or the ever-increasing deficit or the Republic or asylum seekers being hacked to death on Manus when we need to make the country safe by declaring war on North Korea.

Ah dear, as someone said, “Malcolm doesn’t watch porn. I mean, why would he, when all he needs to excite himself is a mirror?”

This Is Not A Plebiscite… It’s Not A Knife Either

One of the most quoted lines from Paul Hogan’s “Crocodile Dundee” was: “That’s not a knife… This is an knife!”

And so to channel Hoges, “That’s not a referendum. It’s not even a plebiscite”

Now I don’t know if I’m correct here but – using Malcolm Roberts as a role model – I’m going to assert something anyway.

You know, Malcolm Roberts. “I was never a British citizen but I renounced my British citizenship by sending an email saying that if I am, then I don’t want to be.” Which is rather like sending a letter to the bank and telling them that you don’t think you have a debt but if you do, you don’t want one.

Anyway, there’s a little problem with the Liberal’s position. And it’s an even bigger problem than the one Matthew Guy has in Victoria. Matty Guy, for those of you who haven’t heard, had a dinner with a mafia boss. I should use the word “alleged” because there’s no proof that he ate anything. Or, indeed, no proof that he drank any of the Grange that was on offer. But Mr Guy has gone on the front foot and assured us all that – even though he’s ready to run the state after the next election – he had no idea that someone giving his name as “Antonio” could actually be sometimes called “Tony”. Even when the man was introduced at the dinner as “Cousin Tony”…

Mr Guy was very angry because he didn’t do anything wrong. He assured us all that nobody talked about donations; he only went because he was offered dinner and it was an offer he couldn’t refuse! So Mr Guy has referred himself to IBAC. This will, of course, clear him of any illegal activity. However, this is the equivalent of me going to a strip club, spending $500 and then telling my wife that I’ve referred myself to the police so unless they find something to charge me with, she has no reason to criticise me.

But moving on from the Family Guy, I’d like to point out that the reason that the Liberals won’t allow a free vote in Parliament is that they went to the last election promising a plebiscite. And once the plebiscite was rejected by the Senate, they couldn’t simply put it to a vote.

Senate votes no to plebiscite, so we’re going to use the ABS to run a…

Exactly what are the ABS going to run? Because they don’t have the legislative power to run an election. They’re not the AEC. And it’s this little loophole that’s enabling the government to hold the… is it a plebiscite? Because if it’s not, then they’re not keeping their promise. Which is their stated reason for not holding a free vote.


I know that I am.

But at least Turnbull told us today that he called all the energy companies together and told them that he was very cross and that they needed to do something and if they didn’t, then he’d be forced to consider doing something himself. And, just as he told us yesterday about marriage equality, he had more important things to worry about. Like how much longer he can stay as PM without feeling the need to punch Tony Abbott.

I don’t know what the postal vote will be, but I suspect that it’s not officially a plebiscite. And I know that when the results are in, Tony Abbott will be pointing out that because there were only X number of votes, then a majority of people didn’t vote for change. It was only a majority of those who voted.

Turnbull Shows Everyone Who’s Boss!

Malcolm Turnbull called the Liberal Party back to Canberra a day early. There was to be an important meeting. Julie Bishop cut short her overseas trip because it was important to resolve this whole marriage equality thing. You know that thing that nobody cares about. I know this because various Coalition politicians keep telling us that the average person is more concerned about rising energy prices and jobs and growth and making the country safe. However, in spite of the fact that it’s only a handful of people who care about this issue, it’s something that Parliament can’t vote on until all these people who don’t care have had their say on the issue via a plebiscite.

So, after much speculation about yesterday’s meeting, Turnbull managed what he does best. Nothing happened.

Since taking over the leadership, Turnbull has been quite successful at making nothing happen. But it would be wrong to think that it’s just since he became PM. It’s going to be the hallmark of his career. If we look back, he led the Republican movement – nothing happened. He was Environment Minister – nothing happened. When he took over the NBN from Labor, he managed to delight both Tony and Rupert with the speed at which he stopped things happening. Although, in this case, because some things had already happened he could only slow it down. Probably the one failure in a stellar career. Once he’d took over as PM, things started not happening at the sort of speed that make the nickname “Flash Malcolm” totally appropriate. I heard one of the Liberals call him that. At least, I think it was that. It could have been “Flush Malcolm”, Anyway… We’ve had a lot of things suggested on tax reform, but ruled out almost immediately. Then there’s all he hasn’t done on meeting our emissions target. And just recently, in his infamous phone call to Donald Trump, he managed to persuade the POTUS to honour a deal where no refugees would be resettled.

As PM, his main desire is to that nothing happens on the leadership front and consequently he’s been working day and night. He’s even given Peter Dutton a super ministry that will enable him to arrest anybody who criticises the government. “Look, Peter, you can have all the power, so long as you promise to let me continue in my role of ensuring change with continuity and innovation with tradition and government without slogans and anything else that you’d like me to say and not do.”

Yes, when Malcolm was elected leader, it was on the condition that he promise those in his party who thought that was a bit too clever, that he wouldn’t do anything that could be thought of as clever. When that wasn’t enough to win all of them over, he went further and promised to do nothing at all. And, after all the broken promises of politicians, one has to give him credit for sticking to his word.

At the end of yesterday’s meeting, the Liberals decided to stick to the policy that Tony Abbott crafted – with the help of the National Party joining the party room to ensure that he had the numbers. I can’t emphasise enough what a victory this was for Turnbull. An issue that was so important that people return from the winter break early, is resolved by the party deciding that it would stick to its policy.

Of course I’m being a little unfair. They did also work out a compromise where they decided to do what they normally do when a Bill gets blocked in the Senate: they’re going to have another go at getting it through, because it just looks a little half-hearted when you say, “We tried, ah well, I guess we can all just forget about it now and move on to talking about the economy and how Labor is starting a class war and look over there, more terrorists arrested but not charged.”

And, if the Senate block it again, they’ll use the latest in innovation: Australia Post. We’ll have a non-binding, non-compulsory postal vote. After which time, marriage equality still won’t be voted on, because a number of Liberals will argue that not enough people voted and therefore it isn’t a true reflection of people’s feelings.

Yep, Malcolm Tinbull certainly showed everyone who’s boss: Tony Abbott! Well, this was his policy, after all!

Here’s a little song for Malcolm and his mates:

Schmooze, Turnbull, Trump And Leaks!

If you read the whole transcript of the Turnbull/Trump phone call, your head will explode and you’ll have your brain replaced by a brain that can’t remember things.

I know this because I read the whole thing and now my brain can’t remember things. I know my brain can’t remember things because it’s very, very confused about a number of things that Turnbull said and they contradict the things that Turnbull and his band of merry men have assured us on a number of occasions.

For a start, we were told categorically that taking all those people from Central America was nothing to do with the US decision to agree to take some people from Manus and Nauru. Or rather, their decision to “vet” them, because, as our Prime Minister told Mr Trump the deal that isn’t a deal “does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.”

(Of course, some you may be reading this and wondering why I keep referring to Malcolm as “the Prime Minister”. That’s because at the time of writing he still holds that position. Yes, I know it’s a largely ceremonial position like the Governor-General and it’s not really a position of power because it doesn’t have the job security of say a casual worker at a call centre, but, until the Conservative faction of the Liberal party decide that Malcolm has gone too far by suggesting that he might actually consider doing something without raising his hand and politely waiting for permission and that it’s time to see if he’ll make good on his threat and leave Parliament if they tell him that they’ve let him have a good play and it’s time for the adults to take over.)

The second thing that’s confusing about the alleged transcript between our alleged PM and the T-Rump is his admission that these are good people who haven’t done anything wrong. Haven’t we been told over and over again that they’re lawbreakers and that they attempted to come to Australia “illegally”. So that makes it doubly confusing when Turnbull tells Trump that the people on Nauru and Manus are “economic refugees”. If this is true, then it means that we’ve been responsible for holding people who should have been returned to their homeland. While genuine refugees have the right to apply for asylum and aren’t breaking the law, Turnbull seems to be arguing that these people aren’t in that category. This seems to suggest that rather than having a hard-line position, they’re being very generous in providing accomodation to non-genuine refugees. And medical treatment. Ok, not much medical treatment. But given their position that taxpaying Australians should pay something towards their medical costs, it does seem a bit difficult to reconcile their different positions on the subject…

There are quite a few other things in the transcript that make the whole thing sound like a slick salesman trying to sell a confused old man something that he doesn’t need, but I didn’t find it rather worrying when Turnbull offered to take whoever Trump wanted to send. I half expected Trump to say that he had a few hundred thousand Mexican criminals and to read that Malcolm had said, “Sure Buddy, just so long as you don’t send them by boat!”

Of course it would be wrong to expect Turnbull to be anything but confused. He leads a party which is constantly telling us that governments should get out of people’s lives and that too much regulation is the root of all our evils. However, this didn’t stop the same party from changing the marriage act so that it said that marriage was between a man and woman. Any attempt to argue that the government shouldn’t be making a judgement like this and it would be better if consenting adults of the same sex were allowed to marry, we’re told that this would lead to all sorts of problems such as… Well, think of the children. All children deserve both a mother and a father… Which might be a convincing argument except for the fact that we already have single mothers and many gay people are already raising children. And I haven’t heard of any legislation in the pipeline arguing that we should remove children from anyone unlucky enough to lose their partner.

I’m sure that they’d argue that children aren’t the only reason for opposing marriage equality. There’s tradition. The Liberals have always upheld tradition. Look at how they’ve respected tradition and don’t try to make changes to workplace laws or institutions like Customs and Excise. Oh sorry, Border Force.

Let’s not forget that marriage equality would force all those people with objections to provide services to gay people getting married. Even though the clergyman has told them that he intends to make a speech on the day of their wedding condemning their lifestyle and telling them about the suffering and pain that awaits them – in the afterlife, not at the reception – who wouldn’t then insist that they get married at that church just to make the day absolutely perfect. And, of course, they’d insist on using a florist with threats of legal action rather than simply take their hundreds of dollars of business elsewhere. As for catering, well, surely they’d presume that the salmonella poisoning was just a coincidence and not because our happy couple insisted on finding a fundamentalist Christian caterer who understand that while attempted murder is considered a sin by some, it pales into insignificance beside two people making a commitment to each other when neither is of the opposite sex…

I’m not talking about the sort of commitment that Malcolm asked Donald to uphold, just in case there are any National Party voters out there who’ve managed to read this far.

And I know that some of you will find it strange that a party who keeps telling us that it’s good with money wants to waste money on a plebiscite.

I know, I know. We’ve all heard the conversation over and over.

“What’s wrong with giving the people a say?”
“You’ve got a point. So when the people vote yes, you’ll vote for marriage equality.”
“No, I’ll never vote for marriage equality. But I think it’s important that the people get a chance to vote.”
“But if it’s not going to make any difference, why not just allow the Parliament to vote?”
“Because we took a clear policy to the election on a plebiscite.”
“Yeah, but you took a clear policy to the 2007 election on having an emissions trading scheme.”
“We lost. So all promises were irrelevant.”
“Well, what about Tony’s paid parental leave scheme.”
“Oh, that was completely different.”
“We never intended to do that one.”

Yep, it’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. Will wiser heads prevail? Of course not. So the real questions are: Will Malcolm get rolled? Will several MPs leave the party and join Cory Bernardi? Who will win “Survivor”? And will we hit 2018 with no refugees from Manus or Nauru resettled in the USA but the Liberals insisting that the deal is still going ahead.

Whatever, I suspect that it’ll only be a matter of time before the Liberals start trying to argue that there are far fewer children in detention because a number of them have turned eighteen.

We All Misunderstood Scott Morrison, And Other Breaking News!

In the United States, the media is in shock after the White House has gone a full thirty-six hours without a firing or “resignation”. More on this later, but first let’s do our in-depth report on inequality.

When Bill Shorten started talking about inequality, there was some confusion about Scott Morrison’s assertion that inequality in Australia “hasn’t got worse, it has actually got better”. Many pundits rushed to show figures, median incomes, GINI coefficients, NINJA inefficients, X and Y charts, X and Y-not charts, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree – all suggesting that, unless you cherry-picked your figures, the gap between the haves and have-nots was actually growing.

The confusion, of course, rests on Morrison’s defintion of the word “better”. For most people, “better” means bigger or more. And so it is with inequality. When the Liberals talk of inequality “getting better” what they mean is that their supporters are actually getting more and everybody else is getting less. After all, that’s their stated policy. If we give companies a tax cut, then they’ll have more money and at some future date, they’ll raise your wages but not until they’ve got so much money that they think that they have enough and couldn’t possible have any more. And this, of course, is when they have it all. Which probably won’t happen because Labor may get in one day and they’ll start doing things like taxing the people who – out of the goodness of their heart – provide jobs and growth, and those nasty Greens will let them do it. Why Labor’s even talking of looking at Family Trusts. How anti-family is that? If I want to set up my business affairs so that my children get their own income, shouldn’t that be allowed? It’s not like I’m trying to minimise tax, I just think that an eighteen month old child needs to learn how to managed money. And, my Westland Terrier IS a part of the family so why shouldn’t he be part of the Trust too. Typical Labor. Anti-family and anti-dog.

Of course, there’s a pretty simple way to look at inequality. And like all simple ways of looking at things it can be complicated by not talking about the thing itself, but by comparing it to something else. For example, take the way that the Liberals compare their handling of the economy to a household budget. It’s then an easy step to argue that spending is too high because how many households spend so much on education and healthcare? Or take the way they always argue that any Labor debt is “putting it on the credit card” even though the Australian governments can borrow at around three percent. If my credit card interest was that low, I’d apply for a credit limit increase and use it to pay off my mortgage.

So, rather than look at inequality directly because that would involve looking up a lot of facts and figures, I’ll compare it to something else and then I can just write away without the need for any research.

A good way to look at inequality is to compare it to people’s weight. Again, I don’t want to have to waste time by actually doing any investigation so I’m going to ask you to imagine an imaginary country. Let’s call is Turnbullia.

If we decide that the average height of Turnbullians is about 180cm but their average weight is 100 kilos, it sounds like they have a massive obesity problem. However, if we delve a little closer, we find that this is not a problem at all because is Turnbullia being obese is considered a good thing and that the more obese you are, the more likely you are to encourage growth. And when of the people weighing 350 kilos grows, they all benefit because, well, they have to build bigger doorways and this provides work for people who can then afford to buy more fast food and chocolates and that will lead to their waist-line growing too.

Of course, when someone points out that there are people in Turnbullia who weigh less than thirty kilos, the newspaper “Merde Doc” finds someone with an eating disorder and uses this to argue that anybody weighing less than seventy kilos just doesn’t want to eat. If they get a letter to the editor suggesting that people with eating disorders aren’t typical, then the paper will run a story showing how during the GFC (Great Food Crisis), those weighing more than 250 kilos lost an average of forty kilos, while those weighing less than forty kilos didn’t. This will be accompanied by a graph demonstrating that those weighing nothing lost no weight at all during this time, because they still weighed nothing after the GFC. This was disputed by some academics on the grounds that they believed that there were, in fact, no actual people who weighed nothing so that this was a purely theoretical exercise and of no value to the starving masses.

I guess this would be a good time to leave Turnbullia and return to Australia. In simple terms, Shorten seems to be arguing that it’s a problem because apart from the unfairness of it all, it’s likely to create a whole range of social and economic problems and that something needs to be done about. The Liberals, on the other hand, seem to be arguing that if you do nothing about it, everything will be just fine because some of our best friends are – in terms of the analogy – pretty damned fat and we’d like to make them even fatter and that’s fine by them.

Ok, I realize that there might be obese people reading this who are offended. I’d like apologise if you took it the wrong way because I certainly didn’t mean to compare you to the sort of people who’d back the Liberal Party.

Finally, sources in the White House have just leaked that the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly has a really good handle on things and has managed to ensure that all future information will only come through official sources. It was also confirmed that the new strategy when one of Donald’s appointees proves less than satisfactory that rather than go through another public embarrassment, the person will be simply confined to their office until they can be quietly removed to Guatanamo Bay. There is no confirmation of the rumour that this is what is happening with Steve Bannon.

Scroll Up