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An Open Letter to Malcolm Turnbull

Dear Malcolm Turnbull

As we head into 2016, many people are reflecting on the year that has passed. But I’ve had enough of looking back at 2015, so instead I’m looking ahead. And while I do this, I just wanted to check with you if you’re sure about what you said about it never being a more exciting time to be Australian? I’ll admit now, I don’t feel excited about our future. I feel a sense of trepidation and doubt. Just like your government told me to.

To give you some context, I am a 34 year old with a husband and one child. My husband and I have careers that we enjoy, a comfortable home and a great lifestyle. We have all the ingredients for this exciting time you keep harping on about. But what is missing is optimism about the future. I don’t think I’m alone amongst my generation in my sense of doom and gloom about what the future holds for us. But can you really blame us after the last 7 years we’ve had? Let’s have a look at what might have dented the optimism of Australia’s young families over the last few years so you’ll understand why we’re struggling with understanding why on earth you think we should be excited.

Just as our careers were being established, the Global Financial Crisis hit. We were lucky enough to live in a country with a government at the time who acted quickly to avert disaster, and a recession was avoided. The rest of the world weren’t so lucky. Of course world financial crises are bad for everyone in a globalised market; it’s hard to think of many industries in Australia who didn’t take a hit. Nevertheless, our economy chugged along and didn’t go backwards, and we avoided devastating unemployment and its associated social problems far better than most other developed economies. So why didn’t we feel excited? I’ll tell you why. It’s because your Liberal Party – while in opposition and in government – turned Australia’s death-defying-recession-avoiding stimulus package into a bad thing for the economy and told everyone that the Labor government were wrong for doing it. And guess what? When you tell everyone the economy is ruined and that debt and deficit monsters are hiding under the bed and that the country is going to-hell-in-a-handbasket because we spent money saving the economy from ruin, guess how everyone feels when they’ve seen this all on the news every day for 7 years? Everyone feels a bit nervous! And then what happens? The economy feels a bit nervous and there is no optimism. See how your party’s political games cost this country 7 years of hope and optimism?

So now you’re here, telling us to be happy, to be excited, to get out there and invest in new businesses and to be entrepreneurs and to create the future jobs and to make a bright future for ourselves. But how are we meant to do this when you’ve spent all this time telling us the economy is a debt-ridden, risky, job-less mess? How are we meant to do this when you and your Liberal mates have turned this economy into a debt-ridden, risky, job-less mess? Hardly any of us have had a proper pay rise in 7 years and house prices are just getting more and more unobtainable on our stagnant wages. Jobs are disappearing too, even in new industries that were just getting started, like in the renewable energy sector. Do you see how your political games have hurt our country and how throwing around a few phrases about ‘exciting times’ is about as little too late as thinking you can eat a birthday cake after it’s already been flushed down a toilet?

But it’s not only the economy we’ve all been told is a big, scary, mess, thereby having any optimism and confidence kicked out of us. It is climate change too. Sorry to have to remind you again, but you’re the Prime Minister so you can do something about climate change now. You’re not just a white-anting, back-stabbing, sniggering-behind-Abbott’s-back never-crossed-the-floor-and-therefore-just-as-responsible-for-this-mess-of-a-government-as-the-rest-of-the-bastards Minister in the Abbott government anymore. You’re the new Prime Minister in the Abbott-Turnbull government. Adelaide is having the earliest, hottest December heatwave we’ve ever had, and across the world there is evidence of climate change expressing itself in natural disasters everywhere. Our generation, who were told by your government that the Carbon Price was an unnecessary extravagance the economy couldn’t afford, is now really scared by the knowledge that even with agreement in Paris, it is likely too late to undo a lot of the damage inaction by governments like yours has caused. What’s exciting about that?

And then of course we have the social policies your government is busily being very anti-social about. Eating away at universal healthcare. Taking family tax benefits from families, paid parental leave from new mothers, making it harder for the poorest in society to make ends meet. And we’re told we can never retire because the government piggy bank won’t have any money in it for us once the baby boomer generation has been cared for well into their 90s. And what about tax policies – when you could be going after the richest of the richest companies to pay only what they legally should be paying, but you refuse to do that and instead are driving up our cost of living by ‘talking about’ increasing the GST. We know you’re going to do it so just get it over and done with already. The impact of that decision on consumer confidence (and by consumer I mean everyone who lives here), will be another dagger in the heart of the economy.

I have absolutely no doubt it’s always been a very exciting time to be Malcolm Turnbull with your little white fluffy dogs in your harbour side mansion. But ‘excited’ is not a word I would use to describe the overarching vibe of my generation who has been pummelled by your political party for political purposes for far too long. In fact, the only thing that excites me about the future in 2016 is the chance to vote you and your excitement-killing government out with you. That is something to be optimistic about.

Yours Sincerely
Victoria Rollison

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40 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    “never-crossed-the-floor-and-therefore-just-as-responsible-for-this-mess-of-a-government-as-the-rest-of-the-bastards ”

    Actually, Malcolm did cross the floor to vote for an ETS but those sorts of principles are up for sale when the leadership is on offer. The last two leaders of the Liberal Party got there by promising to NOT do anything about climate change. Their own ambition is far more important to them than doing what is right.

    Could I add a personal beef. I am sick to death of Lucy Turnbull already. She is worse than Peta Credlin, popping up everywhere.

  2. jim

    Well said and these are my thoughts exactly, and the cuts upon cuts to every Australian compassionate NGO , like friends of the blind, for one, have not been realized as yet but the Liberals have the media in this country to cover up their lies, and just wait until the figures for our suicide rate for 2015 are released and people should surely see why it is wrong to ever vote for a right wing Liberal government, huh! excited, I’m pissed off by you Liberals thats what,https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2817-right-wing-governments-increase-suicide-rates/

  3. lawrencesroberts

    If Politicians put half the effort into running the country that they do scrambling for the glittering prizes and back stabbing colleagues we would live in Utopia.

  4. Ginny Lowndes

    I think the LNP is using The Great Disruption (Google it) created by technology to cover the dismantling of our civil society with no plan for the ‘losers’ in it.

  5. Sally

    Personall

  6. paul walter

    Ginny Londes, thank you. What you bring to light here is an enduring problem for me and many others, I think- certainly any one with over single digit IQ. To me the relevant term is “capture”. The “rupture” some historians talk of is down to technology in the wrong hands, with the subsequent “capture ” by vested interests of the apparatus of state, starting with the USA and reaching out across the planet, as a sort of giant Haarz Mountains project (see wiki, Nazi Germany), whereby all are reduced to the lowest levels and feudalism reconstituted.

  7. Sally

    Personally, I believe the best thing would be to get rid of Shorten, and because of the rules, that is near impossible. So, I believe the best thing would be for Malcolm to win the next election, and thus get Albo as our Opposition Leader and come back that way. I think the public haven’t forgiven the role Shorten played in the 2 spills, especially knifing Kevin. And why should they? There is a reason why Gillard knifing Rudd is seen different to Turnbull knifing Abbott. They are completely different. For one, Kevin was incredibly popular when he was knifed, thus the public could not understand it, nor did they wear the excuse of ‘dysfunctional’ (disproven on the Killing Season) that Gillard cooked up, after the fact, as justification. They saw what I and many saw: a hard-working, consultative, policy-passionate, much-loved man who was knifed, out of no where, with *no* justification for it, whatsoever. That, is NOT the case with Abbott. Abbott was loathed, and things had infamously been going bad for a long time. It was expected. It was even foreshadowed with that February spill meeting. So there was 7 months, between then, and Sept 14. Turnbull (or anyone, really) replacing Abbott was not a shock nor a surprise. Rather a welcome surprise. The public embraced it. Because just as they loved Kevin, they loved Malcolm. And just as they hated Gillard, they hated Abbott. There was no justification for the removal of Kevin. But there was, for Abbott. And considering the man behind what happened to Kevin is now the Leader of the Labor party, people still haven’t forgiven him, and they won’t. Regardless of his policies. Better to lose the next election and get Albo, than to win with Shorten who may be genuine, but is boring and comes across as insincere and will cause Labor to just lose all over again in 3 years. Shorten has no appeal. No chemistry. No charisma. I think we really should play the *long game* and think big. A leader who will win it for Labor not just for 3 years, but for 9+ years. Shorten even if he did by some miracle on a distant galaxy, win, he would collapse in those 3 years. Play to stay long term, not just for a win in the here and now. Shorten should never have become Leader, and if Labor is to have any hope (under Albo or Plibersek or other) it cannot go to an election with Shorten or if so, it is in our best interests that Labor lose *this* fight, for Labor’s long term game plan.

  8. trishcorry

    Great article Victoria, as usual. Please keep it up. I always enjoy reading your work.

  9. brickbob

    Wow,that is a great letter,let’s hope the bastard reads it, but even if he did i doubt he would act on it.

  10. babyjewels10

    Thank you Victoria, Well said.

  11. Phil

    If you weren’t married Vick -Star, I would sweep you off your feet. Love your work.

  12. margcal

    I’m 66 and a pensioner – too long out of the workforce caring for children (although doing voluntary work in the community all the while), then low paid “women’s work” and separation and single motherhood. So not too much in the superannuation kitty. The bright spot in all that, and amidst all the changes that will affect my age and income group, is that I do own the roof over my head. For that reason a lone, I should survive – helped by the women on my mother’s side of the family not having made 80 (so far?). However, I’m stuffed if I live as long as the women on my father’s side – all in their 80s and 90s, looking forward to a 100th (still with marbles and ambulant) in September, fingers crossed.

    But my youngest child is your age, Victoria, and I worry about the future for your generation.
    Worse, I feel physically ill every time I think of what the future holds for your child’s and my grandchildren’s generation.

    As well as a change of government we need an across the board change of attitude and vision, looking beyond one’s own backyard and hip-pocket. You only have to observe Kaye Lee’s recent excursion to George Christensen’s FB page to see that we have an up-hill battle to fight.

  13. Kaye Lee

    margcal,

    Whilst my period of being allowed to comment on George Christensen’s page was brief, it prompted a lot of discussion and questions. His blocking me makes a mockery of his campaign for “free speech”. This is one of our biggest problems in my opinion as shown by Abbott’s ridiculous attack on the ABC. Politicians should be able to argue their case and answer questions but, increasingly, they are trying to control the information we receive and stop us from questioning them – a real sign that your argument is weak. Look at the number of announcements over the Xmas period hoping no-one will notice. I despise this obvious manipulation.

    I too am concerned for my kids and any grandchildren I may be blessed to have in the future which is why this middle-aged woman in jammies will continue to ask questions despite their attempts to shut me down.

    PS George’s page looks pretty odd now because most of the recent comments were directed to Kaye Lee but all my previous comments have been removed. Who is this masked woman?

  14. Loz

    Kaye, we need the warriors and you are one of them, keep up the good work.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Loz, no more than you and all of the other contributors here. I feel very comfortable in the venue Michael has provided us with. It is well administered and open discussion and disagreement is not only tolerated but welcomed. It is up to all of us to keep asking questions, to keep talking to our friends, family and colleagues. Australians used to have a good radar for BS. Sadly that is being dulled by media control. But they can’t shut us all up.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Why do politicians use twitter? It is always going to come back and bite them in the arse.

  17. Roswell

    I think the authors here are among the best on social media.

  18. Kaye Lee

    It seems? Jamie Briggs told the public servant she “had piercing eyes”. He later put his arm around her, and then, as they were leaving, gave her a kiss on the cheek. Most of us would deal with that by telling him to f off. He must be a right dickwad for her to have made an official complaint, not that she was not entitled, but having been on after work drink nights myself, this sort of behaviour is way too common from male colleagues.

    I would suggest that Jamie’s resignation from his portfolio will be nothing to the explanations he will have to give at home.

  19. writerbyter

    Victoria, you’ve nailed the sentiment of every tax-paying Australian and every kid whose future prosperity is in doubt because of these scare-mongering Liberal joy-killers

  20. Matters Not

    nailed the sentiment of every tax-paying Australian

    tax-paying? . As a theoretical non-taxpayer myself, can you explain why I am a less important citizen than a person who pays a ‘motza’ in tax? Or none at all.

    Or are you suggesting that the more you pay, the greater your influence should be?

    If not then why do you imply that ‘tax-paying’ in a democracy is important?

  21. Sunday

    Turnball got in on the promise of not rocking the boat on their current environmental policy.There will zero change there.Turnballs not there for change.He’s there for pure ego and the photographs that will adorn his walls.This Prime Minister thingo is just on his bucket list. He’ll be off somewhere new when it suits him.

  22. diannaart

    Wish Turnbull would read your letter, Victoria.

    My only criticism is that you did not mention treatment of refugees under ‘social policies’ – I realise that Labor are as much to blame, however, Abbott did nothing and Turnbull still could (actually DO something), at the very least, release those families from our island concentration camps.

  23. terry

    if it was a game of chess this mob is about half a dozen moves in front of everybody else , quite brilliant brains in overtime here . abbott back on the front bench ha ha , appeases the abbott lovers and keeps the wise old head of turnbull squeaky clean. just remember they all on the same team , going for the same thing and head working this country like a hot dinner , don’t worry be plenty of gravey shortly before a early election , labour got no chance ,they have destroyed shortens character for nearly two years plus with Murdoch and co ,shorten suss anyway , nothing would surprise me with the amount of money involved by these multi national companies invested .like the parrot said when it was getting dragged by the cat , not much u can do except lay back and enjoy the ride . like always suffer the little children

  24. Terry2

    One liner from Jamie:

    ‘I met my wife in Hong Kong. I said, what the bloody hell are you doing here?’

    (Alexei Sayle actually )

  25. Matters Not

    I thought the ‘public servant’ in question was from his department. Now I find she’s from Foreign Affairs .

    Maybe Jamie took her job descriptor at face value. Would be an easy mistake to make for someone with his intelligence.

  26. jane

    Great letter, Vic. Pity Malcaymans won’t read it. Too truthful for him & he and the Liars aren’t fans of the truth.

    Sally, I’m afraid your devotion to Kevin Rudd is misplaced. He wasn’t consultative or popular with the people who had to work with him, otherwise 70+% of the caucus wouldn’t have voted for a new leader.

    The thing that destroyed my confidence in him was hanging Peter Garrett out to dry thus allowing those thugs in the Liars to label Garrett as a killer.

  27. terry

    least turnbull really has got a good sense of humour.. minister of integrity… was like a burden of shame hanging round his neck . briggs profile was too easy to set up , that’s what happens when your head is too far up that u cant see the ground , just batter your eyelids and laugh at everything he says , soon as he gropes u, his gone , not the sharpest tool in the shed . only minions anyway that had something on somebody . mister abbott is back , wondered why he was still hanging round . they are way in front , planned for the next 6 years at least

  28. terry

    notice when type Murdoch’s name in it goes straight to a capital letter . cracks me up

  29. Sally

    Jane, I suggest you watch the Killing Season, as well as read Maxine McKew’s book In The Trenches. They both more than adequately prove the allegations Gillard levelled against Kevin Rudd were false, and indeed there was no spill against him, most backbenchers and Ministers said they had no idea of the ‘dysfunctional’ or non-consultative allegations against him, and none of them had any problems with him. Most later said they were bullied into siding with Gillard and would never have done so, if they knew the truth. Sorry, but your faith in Gillard’s version is misplaced.

    Regarding Garrett, what you say makes no sense because Rudd was always called the killer, I never once heard or read of Garrett getting ANY flack, online/in print or from Liberals. They all blamed Rudd, so I am not sure where you got the information from. But Garrett destroyed himself and attempted to besmirch Rudd when he continually tried to avoid responsibility, as the minister available. Rudd had to take all the blame. I’ve never forgiven Garrett for such cowardice.

  30. Sally

    *minister responsible. Not available.

  31. Harry Cohen

    I wish the labor party would ask Victoria to write their speeches,blogs and messages.She is outstanding

  32. terry

    Victoria thats what happens when u vote in a heap of multinational companies to run your country . u have seen only the tip of the ice- berg . see what happens after another three years . remember abbott lied through his teeth to get elected , and was not only the worst pm and treasuer ever but it was all a act to make turnbull a shiny movie star . when will people see the whole thing was a stage act maybe when abbott comes back as the minister for infrastructure and cities like he always said he was , probably not . turnbull not running the show just part of the takeover ask kaye , shes the only one on the money . shame she doesnt have a bigger audience

  33. Michael Taylor

    Sally, I think you’ll find that Garrett was the fall guy over the HIP. He lost his job. Rudd laid all the blame on him.

  34. guest

    Sally,

    this is old news and recollections might vary. So check these points: 4 deaths in the Pink Batts venture – 2 from heat exhaustion, one from electrocution while using a staple gun after staple guns had been banned, one from electrocution caused byf the faulty work of an electrician.

    Was Garrett to blame, was he responsible, or was it a matter of OH&S not being observed by work supervisors?

    The CSIRO said the Pink Batts program was safer than work in that industry done prior to he Pink Batts program.

    Remember how the inquiries set up to investigate the program were designed to apportion blame to Rudd, and of course Garrett was in the firing line as well. The whole matter was politicised.

    As for Rudd being squeaky clean, remember that he came to Canberra with a reputation for being harsh in his dealings with his underlings. The press set about recording anything negative about this most popular PM: swearing at a stewardess for the lack of sandwiches, allowing correspondence to pile up in his micro-management, holding interviews on the church steps on Sundays… It was the drip-feed negativity, rumor-mongering technique expertly applied.

    Labor was in a difficult position 2007-2013. It was said before 2007 that whoever won the election that year would face an unenviable task – and so it turned out to be with the GFC, which some say is still with us.

    It is possible to see such a scenario facing Oz in the next few years. That the Coalition has so far in two years shown itself to be not up to the task is a big worry.

  35. bilko

    Victoria
    When the rest of the pension base who like me have an alternative income stream, whether it be ex PSU pension ex company pension part overseas pension etc, mostly coalition supporters, receive their Centrelink letter outlining cuts to their part OZ pension, in my case $140 per fortnight, that should send a wave of protest to dear Mal. This was passed by the crossbench prior to parliament closing for the xmas break as one of the outcome of Hockey’s past budgets. Your excellent letter needs more exposure however given this mobs history of missing important emails, letters in the past is anything to go by dont expect a response but dont be despondent stay alert keep penning your thoughts we need more lerts

  36. bilko

    Sally
    re the batts saga, had Rudd slapped down Abbott over his industrial manslaughter nonsense in parliament at the beginning perhaps reminding him of the many deaths in Hospitals around the country whilst on his Health minister watch and a few other simple examples of the rodents front bench he would have shut him up or his front bench could have done so and the current fiasco not exist. On insiders he had another chance with nothing to apologise for neither had Garrett but should have said that the police will investigate each of the four incidents and prosecute the culprits ie the contractors. He blew it for the second time and became history. As Abbot said s**t happens and we are all living that scenario now.

  37. Frida

    An excellent letter Victoria. Although my circumstances are different, as a disabled pensioner now, I still relate to your thoughts and feelings.
    I am so worried about the future for my adult children and grandchildren, they are also doing well, they’ve worked/studied very hard & deserve to, but there’s no guarantees for the future. The goalposts are continually shifting and planning is difficult and stressful.
    Over the last 18 months I’ve increasingly been made to feel that I’m a burden, a leaner, lazy etc, even though I worked for 40 years and paid taxes & all my HECS debts back. I am frightened for my own future, I’m desperately waiting to have access to medical marijuana as other medications do little to help me, I’m might as well just die and save everyone the money that I now cost.
    I need to add shame to my list of emotions. Shamed by this Govt’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. This nasty offshore detention system, with its inane ‘we stopped the boats’ motto, is cruel, illegal and breaks every human rights rule in the book. We are the bad guys in the eyes of the world, and how many new enemies will we have made through allowing people to suffer without hope?
    I’m disgusted and disillusioned for the first time in over 60 years. Your govt. has really trashed Australia and it will be years before it can be turned around. You’ve not earned your ridiculous pay packets, I’ve rarely seen such incompetence allowed to continue without some form of performance management enacted. In this case it will be an election, soon I hope!

  38. Anon E Mouse

    Sally, further support for your arguement is the fact that Wikileaks told us how Shorten was telling the yanks that Rudd was going to be axed, months before the event.

    As for support for Garrett – he was up to his eyeballs in the plot against Rudd, and may be why he didn’t keep his eye on the dodgy operators in the insulation scheme. Garrett, by his own confession is either a liar or incompetent as his recent recanting of statements made in his book show.

    In the time since the Rudd/Gillard era, just look where the big players ended up. Martin Fergeson has come out of the closet and shown his hand as a neo-lib handmaiden.
    Bitar and Arbib went straight to the gamblers den, showing us why Gillard reneged on the precommitment for pokies deal (Obviously Garrett’s original statement about the role of the gaming/clubs/pubs and persuasive ways towards pollies sounds convincing).

    As for Howse, I wonder how his union members felt when he had to admit to sleeping with the enemy, and went on to marry her.

    I am just dumbfounded that Labor is prepared to give the next election to the Libs rather than tapping Shorten on the shoulder. Shorten was so contaminated by his part in the backyard scheming of ousting Rudd, then Gillard, he should never have been a contender for leader.

    I fear that Bill Shorten hanging on to the leadership will give us an even harsher term of Lib/Nat/Murdoch/Reinhardt/Forrest etc government.

  39. Terry2

    Abetz is calling for Turnbull to move Abbott into Cabinet………..I wonder what he could do – perhaps Minister for women he’s done that before.

    No, seriously !

  40. Kieran Butler

    It’s an exciting time to be an Australian if you understand why it is that ‘Australia is F*cked’. Arguably, there will be nothing more exciting than watching the most myopic, deluded and ignorant polity in the western world cannibalise itself as it’s first recession in 25 years slams head first into Australia’s contemptible face.

    The fact is Australia couldn’t afford the luxury of voting for the Abbott government when it did – and changing horses mid stream is just too little, too late. The downward surge in Turnbull’s popularity as the economy tanks will spook the LNP who will turn straight back to Abbott who will whip up more fear and xenophobia prior to the next election than anyone thought was humanly possible.

    Of course, the Australian electorate will swallow it hook, line and sinker – and be subsequently left with a government more rudderless and incompetent than what we’re currently experiencing.

    That’s when the f*cking of Australia will truly begin.

    Exciting times indeed!

    Kill yourself now and avoid the rush.

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