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‘A Bigger Picture’ or Malcolm’s Adventures in Wonderland!

On Monday, Malcolm Turnbull’s memoir A Bigger Picture, will be released. Already the Turnbull haters mainly at Newscorp and SKY are ripping into him for having chosen the middle of a pandemic to launch his reflections on his life and times in politics. In reality, with so many folk at home in lock-down, perhaps this is a propitious time to be launching a memoir.

I haven’t read the book and may not, at least until it reaches the remainders bin at our local market. It is a large tome and I understand that it runs to a bit under 700 pages – thoughts of a doorstop come to mind after all Margaret Thatcher’s biography is looking a bit dog-eared.

Overall, the commentators without an axe to grind are recognising him as a good writer and humorous raconteur and evidently we come to learn a lot more about Malcolm’s early years than many of us would previously have been aware. We can expect in the next week that the Abbott supporters – yes there were such folk mainly at Newscorp and Sky, will rip into Turnbull and try to diminish his legacy.

I’m not saying he has a towering legacy like, say Churchill or Spike Milligan, who both in their own way did the world a favour by seeing off Hitler. But Malcolm did rid us of that pestiferous, strutting twerp, Abbott and that gave many of us a warm feeling for him, initially .

There is little doubt in my mind that Turnbull is his own man and that he’s a pretty honourable sort of cove when compared with the rabble he came to lead.

Being prime minister must have been a bit like being headmaster at school for wayward adolescents.

He recalls on one occasion how two senior members of his staff brought news that a Daily Telegraph reporter had learned that Barnaby Joyce, then deputy prime minister, had accompanied his press secretary, Vikki Campion, to a doctor’s appointment. The purpose, it was understood, was for Campion to have a pregnancy test. He initially accepted Joyce’s assurance he was supporting Campion because she had no family to help her through a difficult time. “He gave me an unequivocal assurance he wasn’t in a sexual relationship with Vikki,” Turnbull writes. This had the ring of truth as you may recall there was much speculation about immaculate conceptions at the time.

Not long afterwards – well into the third trimester they tell me – Campion was again photographed by the Tele this time in a state of advanced pregnancy which even Barnaby could no longer ignore. He fessed up on this occasion and Turnbull was shocked to find that his Deputy, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia who would be running the country in his absence, had lied to him. No suggestion of an immaculate conception this time ; Barnaby had done the deed !

Joyce duly fell on his sword – is that what they call it now ? – and Headmaster Turnbull issued the “bonk ban” edict to his ministers.

No sooner had Joyce resigned and moved on to warm and cuddly interviews with Vikki in the Australian Women’s Weekly than the head prefect, in the form of Andrew Colvin, AFP Commissioner, had to inform the prime minister that young Georgie Christensen a Queensland LNP member of our parliament had been spending inordinate amounts of time in the Philippines. Staying at “seedy hotels” in Angeles City, the red-light areas of Manila, where he patronised girly bars and bought drinks for all and sundry. The Australian Federal Police were concerned that as a member of our parliament he may become a target for blackmail. Headmaster Turnbull must have wondered what sort of nut House he had wandered into when, in speaking of Christensen’s absence from his electorate whilst in the Philippines he said : “it beggars belief” an MP could spend nearly a third of the year overseas, on full pay, with the Nationals (federal National Party) either not knowing or not caring. “The hypocrisy made me sick.”

The rest is history and I am sure that if you are so inclined, you will read the book when it’s released on Monday. Suffice to say that Malcolm is now out of politics and probably reflecting on how he ever got into that Canberra bubble. Perhaps he takes some comfort from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland :

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here !

In conclusion, it is interesting to note that both Joyce and Christensen are still in our parliament and were returned with increased majorities at the last election : what does that say about us as a nation !

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  1. Joseph Carli

    ” In conclusion, it is interesting to note that both Joyce and Christensen are still in our parliament and were returned with increased majorities at the last election : what does that say about us as a nation !”…..It has already been said in specific example / warning by Machiavelli :

    ” And this conclusion can be drawn, that where the people is not corrupted, tumults and other troubles do no harm; but where corruption exists, well ordered laws are of no benefit, unless they are administered by one who, with extreme strength, will make them be observed until the people become good [cured]; I do not know if this ever happened, or whether it be possible that it could happen; for it is seen (as I have said a little above) that a City coming to decadence because of the corruption of its people, if it ever happens that she is raised up again, it happens through the virtu of one man who is then living, and not by the virtu of the general public, that the good institutions are sustained: and as soon as such a one is dead, they will return to their pristine habits, as happened at Thebes, which by the virtu of Epaminondas, while he was alive, was able to maintain the form of a Republic and Empire, but after his death returned to its first disorders: the reason is this, that one man cannot live so long that the time will be enough to bring a City back to good habits which for a long time has had evil habits. And if one of very long life or two continuous successors of virtu do not restore it [the state], so one which lacks them (as was said above) is quickly ruined, unless it should be made to be restored through many dangers and much bloodshed. For such corruption and little inclination for a free society result from an inequality that exists in that City; and wanting to bring them to equality, it is necessary to use the most extraordinary means, which few know or want to use, as will be described in more detail in another place.”

    Unfortunately, the public’s “corporate memory” doesn’t extend to a historical perspective further back than the last episode of “bachelorette” ….”we don’t want your OLD HISTORY!!…Bring us the NEW HISTORY!!”…

  2. Jack Cade

    Turnbull’s time as PM was notable for his poor judgment. The release of this book – which was almost certainly intended to be the coup de grace for Scott ‘shithouse rat’ Morrison, has happened at the worst possible time for its intention to be realised. The CORVID-19 interfered.
    I take issue with the assessment of Turnbull as ‘honourable’; the HIH case alone negates that opinion. Turnbull joined the right political party for his character. He was a lightweight PM and I think he was a lightweight QC. His career actually reminds me of Harry Flashman…getting out of sewers smelling of eau de cologne.

  3. Roland Flickett

    Christensen’s scouring the bars of Manila was known to the voters in his electorate, and they gave him an increased majority. So hypocritical bible-bashing gluttons plundering the parliamentary expenses bucket looking for roots in impoverished Asian countries is ‘okay by Queenslanders, ay’!

  4. Frank Smith

    I will be interested to see if Malcolm reveals anything about the secretive Liberal-National Coalition agreement. After all it has been this secrret agreement that has kept the Coalition mis-governmment in power and provided the Nats with far more influential Cabinet positions than democratic principles would ordinarily require. Voters have every right to demand complete transparency of such “agreements”.

  5. Matters Not

    Greg Sheridan from The Australian – With great power comes great responsibility. So very true! And his target was – the ABC. Guess there was no mirror available.

    Apparently Turnbull’s effort has been widely leaked well in advance of the official release, giving plenty of time for an effective ambush. Turnbull was not an effective politician and this is further evidence of that.

  6. Kaye Lee

    ” he’s a pretty honourable sort of cove ”

    Not so sure about that. Just a couple of examples …..

    “He’s a turd,” says former Labor senator Jim McClelland. “He’s easy to loathe, he’s a shit, he’d devour anyone for breakfast, he’s on the make, he’s cynical, he’s offensively smug.”

    Packer once quipped to a friend that Turnbull frightened even him. (He told the same person he would never stand between Turnbull and a bag of money.)

    Turnbull and Wran’s cleaning company, Allcorp, lost in a tender a contract to a competitor, Tempo, to clean a State Bank building. Three days before Tempo was to begin the contract, a State Bank officer rang a Tempo executive: Tempo no longer had the contract, Allcorp would be retaining it, even though Tempo consultant James Cook claimed it had bid up to $70,000 a year less than AIlcorp. (“Odd things happen,” says Tumbull, “but whether that’s odd or strange I don’t know.”)

    He made millions denuding the Solomon Islands

    Turnbull was also the chairman of Axiom Forest Resources, which conducted logging in the Solomon Islands under the trading name Silvania Forest Products. The latter’s work was described by the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau as a “clear-felling operation”, and the then Solomon Islands Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni reportedly threatened to close it down for “constant breaches of logging practices”, according to a critical article in the Solomon Times.

  7. Matters Not

    Roland Flickett, there were lots of ‘unworthy’ politicians who increased their margins. Entertain the notion that the alternative(s) was considered an even worse choice. Sometimes considerable numbers vote FOR – while an even greater number vote AGAINST. Perhaps it was those who voted AGAINST that better explains why Labor lost a supposed unlosable election? And the evidence seems to point that way. At least according to Albo and the policy positions he’s now adopted. Or at least abandoned.

  8. Harry Lime

    I think our Malcolm has always been blinded by the light of his own brilliance,smartest man in the room ,etc.Keating opined that he had no judgement,hard to disagree.Smarmy,disparaging and vastly hypocritical,with a conveniently selective short memory.He can f*ck off to the Caymans and go swimming in his money bin.

  9. Andy56

    At the end of the day, a REAL leader would have called these guys out as it happened. A real leader would have said to his crew, you want to rock the boat, stand up now and called an election asap. A real leader would have lead the agenda not cow towed to keep his job. A real leader doesnt care about his position, only whats best for the country. A real leader wouldnt accept the job of destroying the NBN. Thats Malcolms legacy. As much as we wanted the “real” malcolm, this is the man we got. The rest is just a perv into his mind.

  10. Andy56

    Malcolm only has one strength. He knows how to package shit, ship it out as a turd and keep the difference. Commercial banker written all over his face. Exibit A, Fraudband.

  11. Baby Jewels

    I will never forgive Turnbull for his part in the NBN debacle/disgrace. Weak, weak, weak, the only three words I can come up with for his Prime Ministership.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Turnbull could have taken the NEG to parliament and won with the support of Labor. Personally, I would have relished the sight of Barnaby Joyce and George Christensen and Angus Taylor and Tony Abbott and Matt Canavan crossing the floor to sit with the Greens. But Malcolm was thinking about himself and the embarrassment of dissent. His own political future meant more to him than trying to achieve anything.

  13. Matters Not


    own political future meant more to him than trying to achieve anything.

    Probably. Turnbull Mark 1 seemed to have more robust ‘principles’ than the Mark 11 version. Remember Abbott defeated Turnbull in the second round of a leadership contest, 42–41 which must’ve cause lots of mental anguish – particularly when Abbott himself didn’t really compete and just relied on supporters to organise the numbers. That would have been soul destroying for someone with a rather large ego.

    That he will be remembered as a ‘failure’ by both sides of the political fence will grate, perhaps forever – but once upon a time Fraser was also in that position until he had a late resurrection or sorts. Seems like Turnbull will seek a similar ending by rediscovering his ‘principles’. More likely to be forgiven by Labor than the LNP members who hated even the Mark 1 version..

  14. Kerri

    It probably says what we allready know about LNP voters.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm does not have “people skills”. Julia Gillard did. Jacinda Ardern does.

    That being said, having such skills does not equate to political support. It truly has become dog eat dog.

    We need to be seriously thinking about what an Australian Republic should look like. The US shows us what NOT to do.

  16. Roland Flickett

    Matters Not

    Labour lost in Queensland. The false promise of Adani, the prevarication of Labor, and gypsy Bob and his caravan. Queensland is the sump of Aussie politics anyway; Joh, Hinze, Katter, Newman, Dutton, Christensen; all Australian versions of ‘good ole boys.’

  17. calculus witherspoon.

    It was a wonder Turnbull could even write, with those stilettos so deep in his back. Interesting, in the follow up to the Nikki Savva comments, when we thought Morrison and co were such nice Xtian people.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm Turnbull could not be considered middle-class by any stretch of the imagination

  19. Matters Not

    Don’t think there’s too many in Australia who would call Turnbull – middle class. And if there were, then who would fit into their upper class? Or are there only two classes in your conceptual framework?

    And if so – then why not use just goodies and baddies and remove any doubt?

  20. Jack Cade

    I’m with Matters Not. There is no person of ‘quality’ in Australia. Just mendacious chancers. The only person I truly admired in the last 20 years was Fred Hollows. And I can’t think of any ‘goodies’ right now. Perhaps John Pilger.

  21. Joseph Carli

    A lot of you don’t want to place Malcolm in the middle-class because you are also middle-class or aspirants thereof…It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if many of you don’t speculate on the stock-market, have a second or more properties to negative gear and also take the franking credits thank you very much…but if you have not the capacity to know how the class system is structured, then it would suit many of you more to post in the “Possums pages” than to demonstrate a basic ignorance of social order.

    What does surprise me is that there is a willingness to re-write social-science in relation to class order just so it suits a personal subjective opinion…There are THREE classes…Aristocratic – Middle – Lower…you can cut ‘n’ dice those classes all you want, but the basic order still stands.

  22. Joseph Carli

    . . . and while good Queen Bess, THE QUEEN of Australia..still shits in a dunny in Buckingham Palace, there still exists a Aristocratic class in this nation..and the rest, be they Gina, be they Twiggy or matter the wealth or the social respectability, they are middle and us trades/hands on producers are working.

  23. Kaye Lee

    The OECD defines the middle class as those households with disposable income of between 75 per cent and 200 per cent of the median (or mid-point of the income distribution).

    In Australia that translates into after-tax income of between $33,300 and $88,700 for a single person, and $66,600 and $177,400 for a couple with two children.

    For individuals who are neither poor nor “middle class” – people on incomes between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of the median – the probability of falling into poverty, at close to 15 per cent, was the second-highest in the OECD.

    This partly reflects the fact that unemployed people in Australia receive the lowest payment in the OECD, once account is taken of housing costs.

    But I don’t think we are talking about facts here – just segueing into an argument prepared earlier.

  24. Joseph Carli

    Tell you what, Kaye Lee…you take all those facts and figures, bundle them along with your “convincing” arguements and internet links etc. and take them to the front office of “Queen of England and Aust’ Inc.” and try to sell that snake oil there and see how far you get…there ARE 3 classes!!…Aristocratic, Middle, Working…that’s it…end of story…

    And Malcolm IS a middle-class wanker!

  25. Kaye Lee

    If you say so Joe. (eye roll)

  26. Matters Not

    The ‘class concept’ is a human construct. And what one human can construct, another can reconstruct – and they do it constantly. One wonders how many use the ‘aristocrat’ concept these days. The class concept develops in various ways. Depends on what is ‘useful’

  27. Jack Cade

    I believe that you are ‘working class’ if you earn a regular income and are able to be sacked. I don’t care how many houses you have or what kind of car you, your wife and your kids drive. John Howard created a new ’middle class’ by persuading some people to become their own employers and thus have no need for the power that people joining together in unions have. They thought themselves above that, because they were ow ‘middle class’.
    I was a member of a union all my working life. That foes does not mean that I support everything unions did in the days when they exercised the sort of powers that Murdoch fought when he took in the unions in the newspaper industry in the UK (if you don’t know what those unions did then I suggest you look it up).
    I worked in a factory in Liverpool where gross racism was part of the union’s tactics. I deplored it, but went along with it. But we need unions now, just as much as they were needed at the end of the 19th century.

  28. RomeoCharlie29

    Oh yeah Joe? Who are you nominating for the Aristocracy? Anyone who talks like a BBC announcer, who owns a few thousand hectares in Bowral? Do you have to trace your ancestry to the squattocracy? Is, for instance Gina Rinehart part of the Aristocracy, or due to her dad being a mining explorer, one of your working class, jumped up to the middle? Malcolm Fraser spoke like a BBC announcer and owned acreage, I guess he would have qualified as an Aristocrat? These are such meaningless divisions. I put it to you that there are indeed three classes in Australia but they are the rich, the not-so-rich and the poor. Of course these divisions could be sliced and diced a lot of ways. It’s a bit like saying the Top End of Australia has two seasons, the “wet” and the “dry”, but Aboriginal people identify six seasons all eminently recognisable when you know and experience them.

  29. Joseph Carli

    Well….until I can read Malcolms name and title up there in the “Lists of Peerage of the United Kingdom”….and while our elected representatives still swear allegiance on a holy-book (of choice) to a representative of “The Crown” at Yarralumla…he is of the bourgeoisie.

    (Perhaps you want to get that eye roll checked, KL…it could be fatal ! )

  30. Joseph Carli

    Oh Romeo, Romeo!…wherefore wanderest thou , Romeo…would the wilds of nature not satisfy thee enough that thou must venture reklessly into the abyss of doubts and despairs?…Renounce thy name, good squire and return to thoust (thoust!!??) roots and claim once again the sanity bequeath’d thee from thy mother’s womb!..Oh Romeo, Romeo!

  31. Barry Thompson.

    I find it amusing that a person would classify them self as Aristocratic, Upper Class, Middle Class or Lower Class.
    Your worth is what you give yourself. You earn it by being honourable, principled, respectful of others, decent in your behaviour and of some worth to the Society you live in amongst other values.

  32. Kaye Lee

    I agree Barry. I have never understood just what being middle-class is supposed to mean in an Australian context. Obviously, the OECD uses income as its determinant.

    Integrity, respect, tolerance, generosity, kindness, empathy – these are qualities that make the world a better place. Have you ever noticed how unhappy so many rich people are?

  33. Matters Not

    In constructing a (useful) ‘class’ framework these days people often use other concepts such as – power, wealth, income, status, prestige, education, occupation, residential location, race etc etc. Should stress, that the ‘class’ concept is not limited to those mentioned nor does it necessarily include all those outlined. The ‘class’ concept is meant to be ‘useful’. It’s meant to assist with ‘explaining’. Thus different ‘needs’ give rise to different inclusions (and exclusions). Should also stress that sometimes there are derivates from the ‘class’ concept – given that ‘class’ is not really ‘acceptable’ in our supposedly ‘classless’ society. Lol

    In NAPLAN ‘class’ (in the sociological sense) doesn’t get a mention but it can be seen as the underlying principle. In NAPLAN, they now use concepts such as (parents) occupation, education level, indigenous and geographical location. But in times gone by they used other ‘descriptors’. And I suspect will use others in the future – if and when other concepts prove to be more useful – provide greater insights etc.

    Then of course there’s the label people give themselves. Only rarely do they call themselves ‘upper’ class or ‘lower’ class usually middle class with maybe use of upper middle or lower middle and never ‘aristocratic – at least in Australia.

    Class is not a concept made in heaven

  34. Harry Lime

    Will this discussion about the semantics of social class assist in the urgent removal of our egregious governing class?Bigger fish etc.

  35. Joseph Carli

    ” Your worth is what you give yourself.”…That may be true, Barry Thompson, but I suspect that when applying for a position in high authority in perhaps the High Court or some other superior administation position or even in Govt’ itself, the applicant with graduation certificate from “Heidelburg High” public school would get less consideration than one from ..say..”Timbertop”….There IS a “consciousness of kind” consideration for many of those positions, as one has to rely on others of one’s own “cut-of-cloth” to do the right thing without being pressed.

    Harry Lime…There is only one way to “change the rules” and THAT is to change the ruling class…and that can only be done when the anger and hunger of the public turns to mob rule and the mob run riot over every institution so rebirth can regrow from the ruin…as is the case of most historical revolutions…but don’t hold your breath!…though in the USA…??

  36. Noel

    Enjoyed your article but you need to reacquaint yourself with the Immaculate Conception. It does not refer to the Virgin birth of Jesus but to the birth of his mother, Mary, who was said by the Church to have been conceived without sin, that being Original Sin, because, obviously, the woman who was to become the Mother of God could not be stained by sin of any kind.

  37. Andy56

    hey Noel, is that the same as” father, son, holly ghost” or more antipodean “I believe the children, i beleive pell” ?

  38. Phil

    Harry Lime…There is only one way to “change the rules” and THAT is to change the ruling class…and that can only be done when the anger and hunger of the public turns to mob rule and the mob run riot over every institution so rebirth can regrow from the ruin…as is the case of most historical revolutions…but don’t hold your breath!…though in the USA…??

    Hey I put that very proposition Joseph, I gave it five weeks I have three left. The US is going to go up in flames and that as they say, is money in the bank. The state matters not there was a Q three miles long for food in the old money, they aint gonna put up with that for too long.

  39. Graham

    Back when I was at uni, a fellow mature age student was told by one of the patrician youths (female in this case) we were having coffee with that “you are so working class”.

    To which he replied “Yes and that’s why I am working so f*cking hard to get out of it”

  40. Michael Taylor

    If Malcolm Turnbull is middle-class then I hate to think what I am.

  41. Joseph Carli

    ” If Malcolm Turnbull is middle-class then I hate to think what I am.”……retired.

  42. Joseph Carli

    Turnbull is your classic middle-class…classic : Entrepreneur/speculator..a non-producer, market man, buying and selling into and out of companies, property and start-ups…never worked a physical-hands-on day in his life and made his money through wheeling and dealing in the market place of money, stocks and bonds..another non-producer.

    He may not be up there with Gina or Twiggy, but he is still an upper middle-class wanker…some of you may like to identfy with the lower middle-class…the petty bourgeoisie…but I wouldn’t be proud of it if I were you.

    Myself..I proudly identify with the working class…Proudly..I have worked with my skilled labour for everything I have…and while I am not in any way financially enriched, I have home, love and companionship and family…also I have legion of memories of good fellowship with my working friends….I KNOW who my friends are…likewise my enemies.

  43. Andrew Smith

    It’s a bit rich, pardon the pun, for Turnbull to now complain about NewsCorp when the rot started to set in during the ’80s with Howard’s issues with Melbourne Libs, namely Peacock, Kennett et al., the soul of the Liberal Party moving to Sydney, along with the ascendency of Murdoch and the IPA becoming weaponised in Melbourne as the Lib’s policy unit.

    Nonetheless, NewsCorp is now under more scrutiny in the US


    and the UK (especially now Lachlan Murdoch)

  44. Matters Not

    Joseph Carli, you can be whatever class you want to be. Further, you can locate Turnbull in whatever class you choose. It’s up to you. But if you want to communicate effectively with others, then you will need a classification (a framework) that the other(s) can relate to. It needs to be ‘useful’ – fit for purpose. Can’t see how yours is.

  45. Joseph Carli

    Mattters not….you live in a fantasy world if you believe that…absolute fantasy! …Someone tell ‘im he’s dreamin’ !

  46. DrakeN

    MN, Joseph is a classic inverted snob and, judging only by his postings here, well read but an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  47. Joseph Carli

    And YOU..DrakeN are totally inconsequential….I fart in your general direction.

  48. Kaye Lee

    You’re fat and I’m not fingers crossed no return

  49. Phil

    Oh dear Joseph you’re not an insufferable inverted snob are you? Does that mean I wont be able to park my Bentley next to your Toyota Corolla anymore? And you have the Dunning – Kruger effect ta boot. That effect has spread faster than Covid- 19 on this ere blog. But to the matter at hand. Turnbull is an insufferable snob and a wanker. Come the revolution, after I adjust the hangman’s tables for a very short drop for Turnbull and his ilk, I will volunteer to pull the lever on them all and wont lose a minutes sleep. The plan was to do them all in the public but, listening to John Howard screaming for his mother, would be so undignified. Listening to Dutton singing ” ueber alles”) on the scaffold would be just too much. Some will have to be done in private.

  50. Joseph Carli

    Phil…I am certainly in a priveledged club…of which I believe you also are a member…it has regular “happy hours”, its members are equal, its rooms vast and congenial and the company of both genders amicable and obliging for their share of the shout…our motto : “Comrades…welcome home!”…..I am NOT an inverted snob…I am the real deal when it comes to the working class…our membership number is counted in the callouses earned.

  51. Cool Pete

    Baa-baa Barnaby and Georgie-Porgie may have been returned with increased majorities (so has Potty Rotten, but that’s due to a redistribution) but Broopsy La-La (aka Tone The Botty) was given the boot by the people of Warringah, who finally realised that he was a stodgy fart who couldn’t accept the reality of climate change and thought he was a latter day Sir Thomas More on Marriage Equality.

  52. Phil

    “…I am the real deal when it comes to the working class…our membership number is counted in the callouses earned. ”

    Ditto. I know you are Joe I also have the scars. I have worked laying bricks, I have worked in an office sorting out a 5 million dollar budget, I have searched for a missing liver, had to knock on doors to tell people their loved ones have passed on.I started and had my own business. However, I was never comfortable in the company of the middle class especially, office Johnny’s. I know when I shake a mans hand, which side of the tracks he’s from. In conversation as soon as you utter the word F-ck! The look on someones kisser is a dead give away. Over fifty years ago we had a couple of homosexuals living next to door to us in Adelaide. We got invited to a party and my old mum being the wag she was, invited the two homosexuals who btw we got on with very well with who were in on the prank.. The looks on the faces of the middle class snobs who were there was priceless. I knew then all those years ago where I belong.

  53. Kaye Lee

    A good tradie is worth their weight in gold. When I find one, I hang on to them and swing as much work their way as I can.

    But to think that any of us is not dependent on others is folly.

    We all have our skills.

  54. Roland Flickett

    Turnbull is called by some ‘a self-made man.’
    If my dad had given me $1,000,000 when I was 20, I reckon I’d be a self-made man, too.
    My dad left me only debts. Small debts, but debts all the same.

  55. terence mills

    Not totally unexpected and in many respects true to form, an ‘adviser’ in the prime minister’s office has sent out dozens of copies on Turnbull’s book in electronic form and has suggested that recipients forward it to as many people as possible – could be thousands.

    The actions of this ‘adviser’ are in breach of our Copyright Act and solicitors for the publishers have demanded a cease and desist and reported the theft of this copyright material to the Australian Federal Police to investigate and take appropriate action. The penalties for this type of infringement include, for corporations – financial penalty up to $585,000.
    For individuals – financial penalty up to $117,000 and a possible term of imprisonment of up to five years.

    What will be interesting to see is what the AFP do following their inability to find any unlawful offences in the Angus Taylor forged document issue.

    If the AFP look the other way again, we will need to assess whether we are getting value for money from this institution particularly after it was found that the search warrant they used for rummaging through Annika Smethursts’ underwear drawer was invalid.

  56. calculus witherspoon.

    I think some of you are wrong.
    If Malcolm is confessional and prepared to engage with candour as to understandings of people like Morrison, he should not be discouraged, but encouraged by responsible folk with all of our might.

  57. Jack Cade

    Terence Mills

    Remember Godwin Grech (a name right out of Looney Toons cartoons?) Liberal PMs officers are experienced in saturating the net with targeted stuff.
    I have no time for MT, even less for SM (Sado-masochists should protest), but I wish his timing for the book’s release had been better. Right after the fires would have been useful.

  58. Josephus

    Charlie Chaplin deserves credit too for seeing off Adolf.

  59. terence mills


    Agreed !

  60. Jack Cade

    Meanwhile, Andrew Hastie (give him a wave!) laments that we are too reliant upon an authoritarian Chinese government, leaving left unsaid the notion that they are hard at work building one of our own…

  61. Andrew Smith

    According to The Briefing, there a calls from Sydney Libs for Turnbull to be given a lifetime ban from the Liberal Party…; eating themselves.

  62. Jack Cade

    What did Keynes say?
    ‘Capitalism is dreadful people doing dreadful things for selfish reasons and pretending they are doing them for the good of all?’ Or words to that effect.
    The LNP is a snake pit. They obviously loathe one another, but not as much as they hate the ordinary people of this country. They are united only in their intent to keep Labor out of office. Labor has no allies in Australian politics, none of the independents and absolutely not the Greens.
    Talking of snakes, Boris has earned the wrath of the wrinkled yank, apparently. The Sunday Times savaged the Conservatives yesterday, probably because his rags sales have plummeted.

  63. Socrates.

    Just watching Leigh Sales interviewing him.

    For all his waverings, he (Turnbull) seems on the right side of the line compared to nutbags like Joyce, Dutton, Cash and Morrison.

  64. Graham

    It was interesting that at the conclusion of Leigh Sales interview with Turnbull tonight the ABC showed an advert for Lifeline and other suicide prevention programmes. Perfectly understandable!

  65. terence mills

    Andrew Smith

    Noted that the Liberals want a lifetime ban on Turnbull from Liberal party membership.

    The reason being that he actually believes in free speech which is repugnant to everything that the so called Liberal party stand for.

  66. Andrew Smith

    I doubt, along with falling membership, that the Liberal Party has any genuine or grounded membership base anymore (let alone original ideas or policies)…. like the ‘Tea Party’ was and the GOP has become more beholden to Koch funding and/or think tanks….. the Libs have become a plaything of the IPA and NewsCorp, also straight from the Koch et al. ‘play book’ for malign political influence.

  67. Matters Not

    Joseph Carli re your assertion:

    there ARE 3 classes!!…Aristocratic, Middle, Working…that’s it…end of story…

    Clearly it’s not the end of story for some. While it’s conceded that many, if not most Australians (and some researchers) think in terms of three classes – Upper, Middle and Lower – others have a more nuanced view. For example, the 2015 poll from the Australian National University argued that:

    Australians belonged to five distinct classes : established affluent (14 per cent), emergent affluent (12 per cent), mobile middle (25 per cent), established middle (25 per cent) and established working (24 per cent).

    And if you look further at the concepts used, one could easily create further sub-divisions (or more classes). But 5 is/was a manageable (useful) number for Dr Jill Sheppard from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.

    But times move on. And so do people. Including the issues to be understood – to be categorised – to be predicted – etc. Sometimes the same researcher uses different concepts, models, categories, frameworks etc. Take the 2018 version by the same Jill Sheppard. This time Shephard found that:

    The new, six-class model that the ANU report proposes, based on a similar study in the UK, takes these complexities into account by measuring, along with savings and income (your economic capital), two other metrics: social capital and cultural capital.

    In 2015, she found the notion of 5 classes to be the most ‘useful’ while in 2018 she added two other metrics (described as social and cultural capital) and found 6 classes the better way to go for this particular study.

    Unfortunately, my reference are to newspaper reports which tend to lack detail and be written by journalists who don’t really understand what they are writing about. But the point of this post is to support the view that – class definitions are human constructs. And what one human can construct another can reconstruct. In this case, it’s the same human doing the reconstructing. Further, it’s possible to have a much greater number of classes (simply by finer graining) but for a model(s) to be useful , nine is about the limit the average human can handle.

    Seems to be Joseph, that you are relying on the views of Marx who saw sharp divisions (classes) based on how people (of that time) related to the production process – broadly defined. Not denigrating Marx’s contribution at all which was seminal but time moves on. Other theorists developed other models. Developed different theoretical models – provided further insights etc. When it comes to social stratification, Weber is probably the starting point.

    Weber developed a multidimensional approach to social stratification that reflects the interplay among wealth, prestige and power. Weber argued that power can take a variety of forms. … Thus, class, status and party are each aspects of the distribution of power within a community

  68. Joseph Carli

    Matters Not…I see you lean heavily upon persons of scholarly credentials for your arguement….I too have read on the subject…and I fall back most times to Thorsten Veblen..trusting more on that age of intense concentration of subject matter to seek solition to a query in education rather than these days of Higher learning as conspicuous consumption…I myself trust such conclusion on the classes to no more than my own observations and experiences with such peoples…of course, I cannot give example of aristocracy, having never had the misfortune to stub my toe upon one, but of the middle-classes, I have had only TOO MUCH experience in dealing with them..and of course the working class I am in thick with…
    Here..this from the erstwhile Thorsten V….:

    ” Elegant diction, whether in writing or speaking, is an effective means of reputability. It is of moment to know with some precision what is the degree of archaism conventionally required in speaking on any given topic. Usage differs appreciably from the pulpit to the market-place; the latter, as might be expected, admits the use of relatively new and effective words and turns of expression, even by fastidious persons. A discriminative avoidance of neologisms (new words or expressions) is honorific, not only because it argues that time has been wasted in acquiring the obsolescent habit of speech, but also as showing that the speaker has from infancy habitually associated with persons who have been familiar with the obsolescent idiom. It thereby goes to show his leisure-class antecedents. Great purity of speech is presumptive evidence of several lives spent in other than vulgarly useful occupations. . . ”

    The greatest skill of the academic class…on behalf of their patrons in the upper-middle to take a subject of immediate importance and obfuscate, denunciate, obliterate and de-construct it untill it dissapears as an original topic and becomes reborn under a new title, and chapter with a more favourable conclusion.

    I repeat my first observation…there are 3 classes, and even in this “wide brown land”, while the Queen of England and Aust’ still “dumps” in “the throne” in Buckingham Palace, there is an aristocratic class in Oz….go ask Tony Abbott!

  69. Matters Not

    So Joseph, you’re sticking with the 3 class model while now citing Thorsten Veblen who wrote about the Leisure Class. Does that mean your original three classes have now become four (classes)? If not, then why not?

    (Lots more clear contradictions on display – but let’s begin there.)

  70. Kronomex

    Joseph, give us a break from your damned class obsession crap. It was tiresome weeks and months ago and it’s beyond tiresome now. Find something to whinge about.

  71. DrakeN

    Poor Joseph, going on repeating the same broken lines – like a worn out 78rpm shellac record and just as obsolete.

  72. Jack Cade

    Talking of political lies (not that this thread was), Fox News is suing people – for alleging it lies and distorts new items – on the grounds that their constitutional right to free speech does not prohibit lying and distorting information.

  73. paul walter

    Of course, the thing with Malcolm Turnbull’s book is that it was comprehensively leaked to his enemies before it even hit the the streets.

    Gretched again!

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