Tuesday 29 March.
1 After a short break it’s a bit difficult to know where to start, Oh well, let’s start with Bolt. After 5 years of poor ratings with ‘The Bolt Report’ on 10 it seems he is looking to the sky with a nightly program. Ten apparently refused to continue funding his ratings disaster.
Monday to Friday he will cover his set topics of Racism, Free Speech, Muslims, National Defence, Tony Abbott, George Pell and Climate Change.
He will interview a stream of compliant guests who will undoubtedly agree with him. He will critique the media and politicians which of course means those who disagree with him and while doing so opine about the news of the day. He will preach to a smaller Sky audience but a more agreeable one.
“The worst thing of any of the jobs I’ve got, whether it’s the newspaper, radio or TV, is trying to get guests on … You go from being fearless to supplicant! The big question is, will Malcolm Turnbull come on?”
He has trouble getting guests. No, he can’t be serious.
We have so much to learn from people we disagree with that it’s a wonder we don’t do it more often.
2 Bolt’s fellow right-winger Cory Bernardi in the meantime has raised the prospect of a split in the Liberal Party by laying the background for a new Conservative party. It’s clear to anyone who takes an interest in politics that internally the party is split into two groups. The Neo Conservative, Tea Party types, and old style Small L libs. Tim Costello got it right when he said the party was two parties in one. It’s a battle royal for the ascendency.
As it stands, despite have a leftish leader, too weak to lead, conservative policies are having their way. There are many examples of this. Only last week they shelved a promise to announce the plebiscite question on Marriage Equality until after the election. The extremists are having their way. They want to frame the question to their own liking.
Tony Abbott is forging ahead with his own right-wing agenda openly critical of anything outside of his own legacy, highlighting meetings with world leaders as he travels and he intends campaigning in his own right. What he misses of course is the extent of his own unpopularity.
John Hewson suggested:
“He won’t go away, so I think you give him a role. Define the role very carefully and encourage him to be judged by his performance.”
As if he would take a role that in any way diminished his ego.
Former Howard Minister Peter Reith suggested he keep his head down lest he lose his legacy.
3 Former Labor minister Craig Emerson hit the mark when he said it was strange the prime minister had left the timing of the next election in the hands of four senators “who hate his guts”.
“That’s a master stroke, apparently” Emerson said.
However, late on Monday it was reported that Turnbull was in discussion with Senator Day about extending the Legislation to include other forms of corruption. Something Glenn Lazarus has been suggesting for months. If this compromise is reached and the bill passed if would make a mockery of wanting to be rid of the cross bench senators because our democracy wasn’t being served.
4 On top of all their other worries they still have the problem of Arthur Sinodinos to deal with. By any measure, including the pub test, Arthur doesn’t pass. It simply beggars belief that when he was finance director of the Liberal Party that he didn’t know about the intricate scheme to channel loads of illegal donations to his party.
His evidence at the ICAC enquiry was astonishing. It seemed that the poor Senator had had an early onset of dementia, so bad was his memory. In fact one has to wonder how a person with such a poor memory could possibly serve in any capacity.
Surely now it’s time for a national ICAC.
Once these accusations surface they usually have a way of growing legs of their own, with an inevitable guilt ridden conclusion.
It’s all very well for Mike Baird and the PM to say just fess up and reveal who the donors were, but the implications in doing so may be very bad indeed if favours are seen to be involved.
5 I have often wondered why it is that politicians address each other as honourable when it is obvious to most that they are not.
They are certainly not honourable when it comes to their expenses and the recent findings suggest that the proposed changes supported by the Government won’t make the less so. The proposed changes are an improvement but superficial at best.
Lenore Taylor put it this way:
“Question: When are expenses legitimate? Answer: When the politician says so.”
The report has yet to reach any conclusion about Bronwyn Bishops rorting of the system. In the meantime she hasn’t yet chosen an artist to paint her portrait to hang in Parliament House. Hope you’re sitting down. The cost is $30,000.
My Thought for the day.
“Those who cannot forgive are foolish but equally so are those who seek to forget.”