Tuesday January 3 2017
The Government did do us all a favour in ridding itself of the gutter politician, Tony Abbott, as leader. Political historians will record his contribution to the destruction of our democracy and it won’t make for pleasant reading. It was and still is a blight on the body politic. Despite saying when he lost the top job that there would be no wrecking, no undermining and no sniping he continues to parade the political stage as though he were still the legitimate Prime Minister, telling Turnbull how to govern. Placing tests of far right conservative values on him so he can say that nothing really has changed, so why did you replace me.
In an article for The Australian on Friday 30 December he bemoans the current internal divisions in the party saying any Liberal supporter who thinks the party should be punished for “behaving dishonorably and for emulating Labor’s political execution of an elected prime minister … needs to realise they would be punishing our country” if they supported a breakaway conservative party, because it would help to elect a Labor government.
He is of course referring to the egotistical Bernardi and Christensen who’s ideological driven, far-right ugliness threatens to pull the Coalition apart.
The dilemma that conservatives face in my view is that they find themselves in the future but act like the want to stay in the past.
Should Cory (You’ll hear more from me in 2017) Bernardi decide to leave the Liberals and form his own far right party funded by the first lady of wealth Ghina Rinehart it will split the Coalition, and the conservative vote, and lose another vote in the senate. And it will, as Tony Abbott says, hand government to Labor.
Former Victorian Premier Jeff said this of Bernardi:
“He has no record of note in politics. He has hidden under the umbrella of the Liberal Party for years and if he was to walk down the main street of Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane not one person would recognise him.”
Another MP of his own party added:
“He is a show pony with no substance, with an ugly political agenda, and good riddance to him if he does quit the party.”
With Abbott having little chance of leading his party again the right in the Liberal Party would be left without a symbolic leader.
Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott and everyone, including me, hoped that finally we had a person we could argue with but at least it would be civil. Our hopes were quickly dashed when he revealed that the true Malcolm was just another politician. Well not altogether. Malcolm also turned out to be a hypocrite of the highest order giving up long-held beliefs in policy areas to take the job. He even gave a speech prior to Christmas to the Australian Republican Movement reinforcing his support for a republic but like marriage equality lacked the intestinal fortitude and leadership to progress his arguments. There is not much one can look to as achievements unless you count occupancy as one.
He had the world at his feet but the right had him by the balls. Now he is locked into cycle of internal appeasement giving up the dignified position of being true to who you are and instead caving into lessor mortals.
It would be fair to say that the move to swap Tony Abbott for Malcolm Turnbull has been an unmitigated disaster. So much so that we enter 2017 with a Government in disarray. More focused on its ideology than serving the people.
His arrival saw a highly educated group of mainly men making atrocious decisions. Placing economic matters on a supposed dinner table and taking them off before we had a chance to read the menu. It went on for months. After just scraping home in an election everyone thought he would win comfortably he couldn’t do a thing right. He had a win with the ABCC bill but most commentators agree it is a toothless tiger. He also connived with the Greens to change the Senate voting rules and made a complete mess of it.
In February we will find out how much of his personal fortune he gave to secure the job.
That’s at least seven months since the election was held but in some cases, its years before donations are revealed. The political disclosure laws are nothing more than a joke, except it’s not funny. They are blatantly devious, purposely designed to disguise or conceal the link between money and political outcomes.
At least we know that Independent candidate Tony Windsor raised nearly half a million dollars in donations to try to oust the Deputy Prime Minister from his seat at this year’s federal election. Why, it’s rather simple really. He told us.
It is a question, together with MPs expenses, that the electorate is rightly angry about but one that politicians, to their own peril think little of.
But if anyone wants to discover the real Malcolm one only has to find a video of his speech on election night when he put on display the extraordinary superior opinion he has of himself.
The pressures on Turnbull as he confronts 2017 are enormous. Some say he won’t last until March but that aside, surely underperforming Ministers within a party more concerned with its cultural wars, will have to go. It is hard to imagine another year of continuous embarrassment from Dutton, George Brandis, Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, Mathias Cormann (he’s the man who said that domestic violence leave would be just another cost to the economy. He also refused to say if the Turnbull government still has confidence in Dr. Alan Finkel after the chief scientist warned Australia would not meet its emissions reduction target)and Scott Morrison.
The supporters of changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination will have to disclose what it is they want to say that they can’t say now.
Some things will, without some action from Turnbull, remain festering sores on a party hoping about on one leg.
Besides the aforementioned, unemployment and the scourge of underemployment will need to be addressed, science re-established and sources of revenue found. Very difficult when your underlying principle is to take from those who have not to further enhance the wealth of those who have and by some miracle the trickle down effect will somehow make us all equal.
The New Year has also greeted some pensioners with a cut in pensions. The move, although in some cases a reversal of money given by John Howard to win elections, has been unpopular.
Tomorrow: Part 3
My thought for the day.
“There is nothing more self-destructive than the inability to forgive. Especially yourself.”
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