Sunday 11 September 2016
1 On the eve of Malcolm Turnbull’s first year in office on Wednesday, what has become clear? The thing that is indelible in my mind is that we now know that he wanted the job more than he wanted to implement any sort of personal agenda for the country. That he gave up many long-held personal beliefs in order to live at the Lodge. We also know that he was a staunch supporter of Tony Abbott’s policies despite having criticised them.
On top of that, despite saying that his government would be more reasoned in style, the truth is that it is no better than Abbott’s robust lying demeanour.
After one year he has said that his greatest achievement is implementing a sound economic plan. If that’s so then it is one of life’s mysteries that the vast majority of the population haven’t a clue as to how it works.
When asked to name the government’s achievements prominent Liberals were at a loss to name any.
In yesterday’s Liberal Party Newsletter (The Australian), Peter Costello blasted the Turnbull Government saying they have failed to set out a clear vision. The party, he said, lacks vision as compared to the Labor Party.
Costello also stated the Liberal Party is supposed to be custodian of small government and low tax. He says they cannot give up this traditional ground
They do not seem to know what they stand for or where they are taking the country.
Probably his greatest achievement was that he contained the Coalition’s losses which would have been much greater had Abbott gone to the election as leader.
His graceless speech on election night is firmly engrained in the electorate’s mind as is his hypocrisy.
In the time that has elapsed since the election there has never been a hint that he and his government failed to meet community expectations and needed to perform better.
It was as if their born to rule mentality had been questioned and like chastised schoolboys they weren’t happy about it.
To quote social researcher Hugh Mackay:
“There’s a history of leaders who get an electoral shock acknowledging that they have heard the message, but not a hint of it from this government.”
“They were crowing as if they’d won the Olympic gold medal and it didn’t matter what the margin was.”
To make matters worse the future looks dank and Turnbull has a ministry of well-educated people who haven’t a clue as to how to govern outside of extreme ideology. The Ministry is populated with people who come across as nasty types, or at least give that impression.
Then there is an expectation that Turnbull won’t last the distance and Abbott is waiting in the wings ready to take over.
And if you think the worst is over, you would be wrong. Mountains of leftover unpopular policy going back to 2014 is yet to pass the Senate. The next session of parliament is sure to have its share of fireworks.
No, there is nothing you could point to as achievement in the first year of Turnbull’s tenure and the next looks like being a repeat of the same. Andrew Bolt gave Abbott a glowing report after his first year. I wonder what he will give Turnbull?
2 The Prime Minister said of the proposed the West Australian plan for a new $7.2 billion mining tax:
“It obviously sends a very troubling message to mining companies and other people considering making long-term investment,” he said.
“It’s a state issue, of course, but we view with great concern, as does the whole business community, the imposition of substantially increased taxes on particular, nominated companies.”
The acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said:
“The proposal was a matter for the state government and he would not run down any proposal that was designed to get a better deal for its constituents.”
Strange how things change when you’re in Government. You might recall that Barnaby called Labor’s mining profits tax a “debacle” and a “shambles” and even criticised respected senior public servant Ken Henry for proposing it in his comprehensive tax reform review.
My thought for the day.
“Current experience would suggest that the Australian people need to take more care when electing its leaders”.