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Abbott’s subversion fails, yet Turnbull succeeds in undermining a fair and just society.

“The nose of Cleopatra, if it had been shorter, would have changed the face of the Earth,” ventured philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal in 1669.… This indefinable something, so trifling that we cannot recognize it, upsets the whole earth, princes, armies, the entire world.”

David Leyonhjelm would not have been elected to the Senate had Malcolm Turnbull not bet the house on a double dissolution election, a stroke of Turnbullian genius, according to Annabel Crabb, one of the PM’s many Canberra media fans.

“Turnbull’s a soft cock and a pussy”, David cat-calls merrily this week.

“Fuck-off”, he tells a journo, because this is how Australians talk to one another. He defends his coprolalia by pretending obscenity, like slut-shaming, is a Libertarian thing. His misogyny is undisguised. It’s OK to call women bitches “when they are bitches“, he tells Channel 10.

Even less plausible is his claim to crusader status. It’s his duty to manfully call out misandry. This he does by asking his colleague when she’ll “stop shagging men”. It’s done so softly that it is not recorded in Hansard; not heard by the Senate President, Scott Ryan.

Naturally, he must repeat and expand upon the slur in a series of media interviews.

In the Leyonhjelm parallel universe, men are victims of a powerful, all-pervasive misandry, because, as Clem Ford writes, “being made to feel bad or implicated somehow in the power advantage enjoyed by men is exactly the same as living with an increased statistical likelihood of being beaten, raped or murdered by one.”

Leyonhjelm refuses to apologise. There’s no such thing as bad publicity for him. Even if the election is not until 2019, voters will recognise Leyonhjelm’s name. It’s all he needs to get his 7000 votes.

By Sunday, ABC Insiders, delivers the nation the ever-popular celebrity-gossip politics, spats and leadership tussles that sustain us. Why risk a slow show investigating the big issues, such as the crypto-fascism of Turnbull’s corporate oligarchy of secrets and lies with its flat tax madness, mass surveillance, its war on workers, the poor and The ABC or its $1bn unfunded GST bid to buy back voters in WA? Happily, it gives an already over-exposed Leyonhjelm another free plug.

But for Leyonhjelm to trash the PM for weak leadership is ungenerous. Cleopatra’s nose knows he should be grateful. If gratitude is a Libertarian thing. Or do Libertarians pretend that gratitude, like offence, can only be taken, not given?

Leyonhjelm owes his place to Mal’s dud judgement. (And tricking some would-be Liberal voters with the Liberal in Liberal Democrat). Turnbull’s genius shrank his government to a one-seat majority; delivered a senate cross-bench like a scene by Hieronymus Bosch, a nightmarish, macabre image of hell complete with mutant monsters and goblins.

So, too with One Nation, the senate’s Cheshire hellcat, now rapidly vanishing leaving nothing behind but its scowl. Yet Turnbull has only himself to blame for having to contend with a One Nation puss too big for its boots. A half senate election may have returned only Pauline herself.

Now, as The Guardian’s Nick Evershed shows, after 23 months, a rapid succession of changes in the senate has seen senators switch parties several times, leave politics or depart because of their dual citizenship. Hey presto, the government has a malleable senate cross bench. Last week, it passes its socially disfiguring monster income tax cuts.

The nation may never recover. Even if One Nation’s populism is in decline, it’s infected the body politic. We are a less equal nation today partly because of Mal’s courtship of Queen Pauline with her batty flat tax ideas, her state-built coal-fired station and her personal vendetta against The ABC.

And Turnbull’s readiness to use her.

Flat tax? As the IMF reports in its Fiscal Monitor for 2017, “Australia is among countries with the highest growth in income inequality in the world over the past thirty years.” The flattening of our tax system, will ensure that by 2024, when the Turnbull government’s tax cuts take full effect, the rich will pay a lost less than their fair share of tax.

It’s a recipe for increased inequality. Ben Eltham notes that a worker earning $200,000 a year in 2024, will pay the same rate of tax as someone earning $41,000. Scott Morrison’s largesse to the Liberal base will cost a mind-boggling $144 billion dollars which can only come from cuts to spending. It’s the Coalition’s small government, mean-spirited ideology at work.

None of those making the tax changes have the faintest clue what it’s like to get by on $41,000.

Rather than invest in a democratic and just society, the Coalition chooses to reward the well to do – taking from the poor, impoverishing the many, to give to its rich supporters. The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at The University of Canberra modelling finds “a couple both earning twice the average full-time salary can expect an extra $13,000 in 2024-25”.

What a stroke of good fortune for a lucky few; Morrison’s Aspirationals. Those who need it least.

Pauline backs the tax cut; betrays her battlers, yet again, thanks to Matthias Cormann’s sweet talk. Cormann promises government can wring billions out of corporate tax avoiders, a fairy story. And Pauline’s keen to get help with her ABC vendetta.  Stop all the lies its lefties tell about her; about climate change, Four Corners’ fake news and how she runs her party like a malignant despot.

“Absolute dictatorship. Brutal,” says One Nation’s former Queensland president and treasurer Ian Nelson.

Help is on its way. Who better to look into the left-leaning, Jihadist, ABC than former-Foxtel head honcho Peter Tonagh? Tonagh and former Australian Communications and Media Authority acting chairman, Richard Bean will head the government’s “efficiency review” of the ABC and SBS.

Fox Sports and Foxtel are 65 per cent owned by Jerry Hall’s husband, Rupert Murdoch’s family business, News Corp. The other 35 per cent is owned by Telstra. Rupe is back on deck now after a fall on his son’s yacht, an occupational hazard for billionaires and their kin, and a potential ABC buyer.

“Efficiency review” means cutting funds. Minister for Communications and Complaining About Emma Alberici, Mitch Fifield, who sees no conflict between his role and his membership of an IPA pledged to privatise the ABC, (the Liberal Party Annual Council, last month, voted 2:1 in favour) complains of Auntie’s bias and slack journalism – five times in six months.

“In the fast-evolving world of media organisations, it is important to support our public broadcasters to be the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars in undertaking their important work for the community,” Fifield says. Nothing about speaking truth to power. Community voice? Never.

An IPA bean-counter orders a commercial rival to review Aunty. What could possibly go wrong?

Pascal is on to something. Had Mark Anthony not been smitten by the beauty of Egypt’s Queen in 41 BC, he would never have gone to war for her; changed the destiny of the Roman Empire and the History of the West, whose civilising legacy yobbo, Tony Abbott, convinced his private health tycoon pal and fellow St Ignatius Riverview old boy, Liberal donor, Paul Ramsay, to leave $3.3 billion to perpetuate. Without Abbott’s intercession, who knows whom may have benefited?

In 2012, Ramsay gave $300,000 to help the now defunct The Kevin Spacey Foundation to aid arts education. Spacey set up his foundation in 2008, when, as artistic director at the Old Vic, he is accused of routinely preying on younger men.

Paul Ramsay wouldn’t have built his private hospital empire without tinpot Neocon general John Howard ‘s dogged determination to subsidise private health insurance; part of his grand plan to undermine the Medicare system, dismantle public health and his dedication to welfare for the wealthy. Battlers like Ramsay deserve a hand up.

Efficiency! Flexibility! The words buzz. And it’s all about choice. Public health is not for everyone.

Forcing the poor to pay more, Howard kept bulk billing rebates down, discouraging doctors from helping the needy by prescribing a low scheduled fee, a goal recently revisited in the Coalition’s thawing of his Medicare rebate freeze. It’s a wee puddle in the permafrost.

“General Practice has been transformed” spruiks Minister for Private Health Insurance, Hyperbole Hunt. GPs weep with gratitude for the few extra cents he’s wantonly thrown their way.

Last July, the Federal Government allowed indexation for bulk-billing incentives – putting an extra 12 cents in doctors’ pockets. This July, GPs will benefit as indexation is applied to GP attendance items.

This adds a whopping 55 cents on a standard consultation. Naturally, GPs must wait until mid-2020 for indexation on a further 140 MBS (Medical Benefits Scheme) items. Had the same price-fixing strategies been applied to private business, Howard, Abbott, Turnbull would be in gaol.

Like Howard’s squandering of the mining boom, Coalition health policy is an intergenerational fail. Twenty years after his 30% subsidy for private health insurance came in, premiums continue to rise every year. The subsidy does, however, sop up those lazy billions we’d otherwise fritter away on education, public hospitals, dental health, refuges, infrastructure or social welfare.

It’s costly but outsourcing democracy to titans of industry and commerce is never cheap. Just ask Donald Trump’s if his BFF, Vlad Putin is thriving along with his fellow oligarchs and Mafia pals.

“Putin’s fine,” Trump says. “He’s fine. We’re all fine.

Health insurance companies are fine, too, thanks to the nation’s generous taxpayers. $6.5 billion went to insurance companies from the government subsidy alone in the 2016 federal budget. If nothing else, Ken Hayne’s Royal Commission into Banksters , round four, currently playing in Darwin, shows just how fabulously successful our nation’s insurers can be with a bit of a hand up.

If the neoliberal Turnbull government is more attuned to maintaining the rude good health of private health corporations than to improving public health, it does plan to inoculate the body politic against toxic ideas. Or it did, thanks to former failed health minister, now Liberal Party pariah, Tony Abbott who chatted up Paul Ramsay long before Paul had a heart attack on his yacht Oscar II off Ibiza, May 2014 and was subsequently rushed all the way back to Bowral NSW to die.

Now The Ramsay Centre is on the nose despite its promise of “a cadre of leaders … whose awareness and appreciation of their country’s Western heritage and values … would help guide their decision making in the future”. Or because of it.

Ramsay wants its lectures to be vetted by what Guy Rundle describes as “a Stasi-like process of commissar-auditors in lectures” but now the ANU has rejected it, all bets are off. Will it be buried out the back of the ACU under the eye of Abbott pal, Greg Craven, as recently forecast? Or will it instead, end up at Notre Dame University at Fremantle and Sydney where its mission to civilise by promoting a bogus western supremacy, will cause far less grief and mischief?

Even if Dr Tony Abbott doesn’t end up as its director, Ramsay’s been exposed as a travesty of the fundamental idea of the university as a university, a place of free inquiry, a notion that baffles Liberals who confuse Uni with job training.

In brief, The Ramsay Centre’s a grubby think tank peddling an entirely spurious and dangerous notion of western supremacy, and Leyonhjelm IPA-type nonsense about freedoms , a cause Dan Tehan, our federal Minister for Social Affairs, takes up in The Weekend Australian  where he argues we should have a religious discrimination act. Get us ready for Phil Ruddock’s committee report.

In 2008, a clear majority of Australians favoured some form of bill of rights, according to the report of the  National Human Rights Consultation, a Government commissioned inquiry chaired by Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer, Father Frank Brennan. The concept was howled down by leaders of religious groups, predominantly some Christian groups, who claimed that rights would take away religious freedoms, especially the freedom to discriminate. So much for brotherly love.

As befits an urbane civilised westerner, Toxic Tony Abbott, the incredible sulk, the asp forever at Turnbull’s bosom, hisses with malevolence and petty jealousy. Tuesday night, he hunkers down at The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF), a front for the IPA, which keeps its funding secret, but is revealed this week to have overlooked declaring a $4.5m donation from Gina Rinehart.

The Australian flatters the AEF as “a climate sceptic think tank” – as if climate change were a matter of belief not established scientific measurement. It does not burden readers with the fact that the AEF was founded by the IPA. Curiously, no mention is made at all of Don Burke, AEF’s hand-picked celebrity gardener and green-wash mascot.

Snug as a slug in a slag-heap, coal-bagged by climate deniers, Abbott snipes at Turnbull. Abbo doesn’t understand climate change. Never has. Never will. Instead he channels his former business adviser, Maurice Newman, a former head of the Australian Stock Exchange and chairman of the ABC.

“He is either intentionally misleading the public or he is incapable of understanding scientific consensus, in which case he has no business advising the government” warned The Climate Council, a non-profit body set up by former members of the Climate Commission after it was abolished by the federal government three years ago. They had tin-foil hatter Maurice in their sights but it may as well have been The Mad Monk Abbott for his efforts this week.

Abbott is all over the media this week trying to bring down the NEG, Turnbull’s singularly unworkable national energy guarantee. It’s his cunning plan to bring down Turnbull.

Tuesday, he claims no means yes: he’s the only man in Australia not to know the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, he signed was a binding commitment. Anyway, he reckons now that stable genius Trump has pulled out, that we should never have joined. Or words to that effect.

When it comes to argument, there’s always less to Abbott than meets the ear.

But what is he smoking? In his sights is “the emissions obsession that’s at the heart of our power crisis”. Yep. The reason we don’t have enough power, or cheaper power, or fabulously well-paid coal workers eagerly stoking filthy hot furnaces in power stations fired by the lung-destroying, toxic, dirty black rock is because of our folly to commit to lower emissions in Paris. Obvious, really.

The rest of Abbott’s nonsense may safely be left to the reader. It’s a reprise of his quick study of coal-lobby spin and it hasn’t changed since 2010. He tries to raise insurrection amongst The Nationals, whose new leader, Michael McCormack settles the pit-ponies by telling Queensland Nats that “coal will be in the mix”, an expensive hoax perpetrated by Josh Frydenberg the Minister whose NEG is ill-defined, unworkable and in current draft form, long, verbose and incomprehensible.

Abbott, on the other hand, is going over the top. He wages the same campaign as he waged against Gillard, a campaign he and Peta Credlin now openly admit was based on a lie, ” a label to stir up brutal, retail politics”. This week, Abbott recycles the lie that coal is cheap and reliable.

“Far from wrecking the government, MPs worried about energy policy are trying to save it, with a policy that would be different from Labor’s and would give voters the affordable and reliable power they want.”

Sadly, his colleagues avoid him. They fear to join his rebellion lest it be an attack on Turnbull. Far from fomenting dissent, he is creating some type of cohesion. A Liberal wag notes that Abbott has wasted years only to make himself completely irrelevant and the object of his colleagues’ pity.

Modelling done for The Australian Energy Market Commission, Reliability Panel the government expert energy adviser, puts the lie to the scare campaign led by the federal government. The risks of power supply not being met are “so small, they are generally not visible on the chart.”

On the other hand, many old coal plants are unreliable, especially in Victoria, where The Australia Institute reports 16 major breakdowns at Victoria’s three brown coal plants, Loy Yang A, Loy Yang B and Yallourn took place last summer. All saw hundreds of megawatts of capacity withdrawn from the grid almost instantly. This makes Victoria the standout state for power plant breakdowns.

Even more alarming, reports TAI, were two fires. The first was at Loy Yang A on January 6th, within 500m of the mine. Another in the coal pit of Yallourn on February 4th, cost $100 million dollars and endangered the health of 14,000 Morwell residents

Of course, Abbott believes in new power stations, the great black hope of the future for the coal industry lobbyist. Yet even those spun as High Efficiency Low Emissions are almost as polluting as the old. And their prohibitive cost far outweighs installing a renewable plant with battery back-up.

“It takes character to do what’s right and it takes courage to disagree with your peers,” Abbott quotes Bob Carter, a climate science quack, to his fellow climate change deniers Tuesday.

Time to heed your own advice, Tone. Get out more. Cycle down to the library. Open your mind. Do some independent research. There is no time to waste on coal lobby lies and propaganda. Take time out. Malcolm Turnbull would be delighted to arrange a year or two’s study leave.

The week ends with Abbott exposing Coalition division over energy, one of the causes, says Paul Bongiorno of a record 35 News Poll losses. Could it also be that voters are not fooled by a party so keen to bribe the rich with $144 bn of uncosted tax cuts – a government dedicated to the destruction of a just and fair democratic society which its flat tax policy, its social welfare war and its increasing secrecy and surveillance and its relentless clampdown on dissent, all inevitably lead.


19 comments

  1. John O'Callaghan

    That photo of Abbott reminds me of one of those 16th Century Dutch Masterpieces entitled……..
    ” Ravings Of An Insane Celebrant”

  2. Cool Pete

    That abbott is a bloody idiot!

  3. John Higgins

    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
    Marcus Aurelius (died 180 AD).

    Hello Tony Abbott!

  4. paul walter

    When I think of these politicians I just feel angry capital punishment was abolished.

  5. Matters Not

    Re:

    David Leyonhjelm would not have been elected to the Senate had Malcolm Turnbull not bet the house on a double dissolution election

    Not quite true. Leyonhjelm was elected at the 2013 federal election, he took office on 1 July 2014, and was re-elected in the 2016 full Senate election. His initial election was probably due to his position on the ticket (first) and the fact that some voters probably confused his party (the Liberal Democratic Party) with the Liberal Party.

    Lots of luck all round. First the ‘donkey’ – in the positional sense – then the ‘donkey’ in the turnbullian sense.

  6. helvityni

    Jerry Hall’s husband? Am I supposed to know…..as for Ministers for Private Health and Complaining About Emma Alberici…very funny…LOL

  7. David Tyler

    Thanks, Matters Not – this needs clarification – Leyonhjelm was helped to be elected to the senate the second time by Turnbull’s dud decision to call a double dissolution – and by his reforms.

    True, he was elected in 2013, although he only managed 3.91% of the primary vote- but this was under the old rules permitting horse-whisperers – or bizarre preference deals because preferences were managed by parties. Preferences brought him up to 9.5%.

    Reforms were introduced so that voters, not parties, would now control their own preferences

    In 2016 he was helped by Turnbull calling a double dissolution. In contrast to a normal half-senate election, the number of seats up for grabs when the whole senate is dissolved is doubled. So the percentage quota required to win one is halved.

    Yet in 2016, Leyonhjelm was also helped, according to The Australia Institute by Turnbull’s reforms. The institute predicted that rather than locking out the micro parties and independents, a full senate election and the new voting system could combine in the 2016 election to see small players win just as many senate seats as they had before – or more.

  8. Kaye Lee

    David,

    He was the twelfth senator elected. He didn’t get even half a quota in a DD election which, as you say, only requires half the votes to reach a quota. The Liberal Democrats, as a party, got 0.4023 of a quota or 3.09% of the vote. I can’t see him making it in a normal election. .

  9. Ross in Gippsland

    I applaud Tony Abbott in his mission to destroy the Turnbull Coalition Government.
    Well done that man and let us hope he succeeds beyond his wildest dreams.

  10. David Bruce

    If nothing changes, we can expect 9 billion people on planet Earth by 2050 (or sooner if Muslim birth rates continue climbing). The options for dealing with this look pretty grim. China has demonstrated the ability to control a population of 3+ billion, so maybe 9 billion, using the Chinese model, is feasible. Other power groups want to reduce the population by any means to less than 3 billion (Georgia Guidestones specify 500 million). A third option is to find another planet! Now, some climate scientists are predicting a new Ice Age, with crop failures and subsequent deaths for millions by starvation. What to do and whom to believe?
    Seems toxic tony and turnbully are fiddling while the fires are starting?

  11. guest

    Abbott is a self-confessed liar and technology illiterate. He knows diddly-squat. He will say anything to get attention and spoil the party for Turnbull, who has his own problems.

    As for Climate Change and what it is, the wisdom of Abbott, Andrew Bolt, Maurice Newman and Graham Lloyd amounts to four fifths of nothing.

    I have tried reading Bob Carter’s “Taxing Air” and the title itself betrays the fatuous nature of its contents, along with the silly cartoons.

    Bolt wrote in The Advertiser last week. He describes Climate Change as “global warming madness” and we were “conned”. The present policies have helped to “shut nine of our coal-fired power stations in five years”. So does that mean we do not need them for base load?

    So what are we talking about with carbon dioxide? It is just a colourless gas (echos Abbott’s colourless, odorless). It is not soot, as if that makes a difference. Bolt forgets about the health problems of mining, transporting and burning coal. See China for details.

    Anyway, Oz emits only 1.3% of world emissions (some say 1.5%) What Bolt does not say is that Oz is a very high emitter in per capita terms; 9.56 metric tonnes since 1/1/2018. Compare China 3.95, Germany 4.93, USA 8.27.

    Meeting targets is an issue for Bolt and Lloyd. Germany is wheeled on as a witness, to wit: Germany will not meet its target of 40% reduction by 2020. Compare that target with Oz’s gutsy 26% by 2030.

    And the claim is that reducing Oz’s emissions will not make any difference. But it is not a matter of Oz going it alone. Imagine 50 countries each reducing their 1.3 – 1.5%, that would be a world reduction of 65 – 75% reduction right there. Add sizable reductions from USA, China, India and Europe and we numerically meet the 100% reduction. Actual % emissions can be checked. It is all a matter of political will.

    But Abbott’s argument is that the Paris Agreement is about reducing emissions, not about “building prosperity”. Does he really think that pumping million of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere is a viable way to build prosperity?

    Since Abbott and Lloyd are obsessed with money and jobs and growth, I ask them: What is the cost of cooking the planet?

    Just recently we have heard about the “Linc stink”, where a failed QId coal seam gas extractor allowed toxic gasses into the air; fined $4.5m. Will the wrecked ground be rehabilitated? Will the fine be paid?

    And all that is only part of the misinformation disseminated by Messrs Bolt, Newman and Lloyd. When the truth comes out, no one will be thanking them.

  12. guest

    And so today, surprise, surprise, The Australian continues with the same kind of scribble in an article by Chris Mitchell and an anonymous Editorial.

    Mitchell is trying to demonstrate “critical thinking” because he thinks this de rigeur amongst progressive activists and he is going to show them how it is really done.

    He tells us that $61bn worth of coking and steaming coal is sold from Oz each year. Critical thinking, apparently, should tell us that this must be a good thing. So it is silly, according to his critical thinking, that it should be sold into places such as India – and if it is sold to be burnt there, why can’t we burn coal here? Again it is about jobs and growth.

    More simply, money and economics trumps science.

    And Mitchell has a list of things which he claims are not being thought about with critical thinking: paying for plastic shopping bags (all it does is save Coles and Woolworths $170m per year); the Ramsay centre rejected by the ANU (Asian students’ parents might object to that denial); cynicism about renewable energy and support of coal.

    In other words, it is all about conservative values from way back. Whereas, opposition to their thinking is just pieties, rent-seeking and identity politics. As if the Murdoch media does not operate with a jealously guarded identity politics of its own: free speech for them but not for others.

    Mitchell’s sly look in his eyes gives him away.

    And the Editorial is obsessed with the money as well: what it costs without coal; what it costs to sign the Paris Agreement; what it costs to help poorer countries to meet their commitments…

    It’s all about the money, stupid. Because the Oz government is so concerned and caring about its citizens. Oh, yes!

  13. Kaye Lee

    The only person impressed by Chris Mitchell is Chris Mitchell. If he’s risen his head again then he must have just published another book.

  14. Matters Not

    Major Mitchell, closely related to the galah, is a regular contributor to The Australian. The species is listed as vulnerable but will soon be listed as threatened. Its end is nigh. Have pity.

  15. wam

    Seems futile to label the rabbott archaic and expect him to know that renewables are getting cheaper with investment by countries that realise the enormous potential profits.
    To him, his mates and the hansonites, coal is cheaper it is 24/7 and it employs Australians.
    The majority of Australians also believe that is true.
    Indeed there are many who believe climate change is a lefty UN plot against coal.
    My simplistic argument:
    if nature took billion of tons out over billions of years and white men put billions back in a couple of hundred years and are selling coal to the 3rd world to do the same the world’s climate must be affected.
    is unsupported.
    ps
    The rabbott is opus dei and cannot risk reading anything that may conflict with his faith.
    He, brough and macklin spent biggest mobs oh millions on the intervention to discover no pedophile rings but found heaps in the white churches, religious schools and children’s homes. This triumvirate signalled that all Aborigines can be treated as one but priest are individuals and the signals are still wafting through society.
    With macklin gone labor should dump the intervention, give opt out provision for basic cards and dispense with twiggy’s ideas on Aborigines as well as his outrageous cash grab through indue.
    pps If the lnp were truly exposed the polls would not be close. Sadly unless the economy lnp gooodd labor baaaddd slogan is proven to be the bullshit it is, the lnp will win the next elected when trumball uses his call on the GG at the best time. ie labor dissent in the ranks can albo hang on to his tongue and can shorten ‘do something???

  16. David Tyler

    I didn’t include it at the time but Senate President Scott Ryan’s comment is an extraordinary cop out:

    Friday, Ryan tweeted: “As the comments were not part of the formal proceedings of the Senate, they are not recorded in Hansard and therefore I have no authority to require a withdrawal, nor do I have the power to demand an apology from any senator or apply a sanction such as suspension.”

    Seriously?

    On Leyonhjelm being re-elected – on 2016 voting, the Coalition would take Leyonhjelm’s vote, but now that he’s become a household name, his prospects can only improve – especially among the ten per cent of voters who would abolish The Family Court – (OK Turnbull’s had a pretty good crack at that already).

    My concern is that other blokes with a sense of grievance and entitlement who feel hard done by – especially at being ordered by The Family Court to make child support payments to their estranged wives and partners – may rally around the misogynist anti-hero Leyonhjelm – instead of supporting Pauline Hanson whose party is imploding and who votes with the government mostly anyway.

  17. paul walter

    Cherubic smiles on high… ordained by the IPA.

    It comes to pass, even unto the AIM.

  18. Keith

    Q&A citizen panelists last night highlighted just how out of touch politicians are.
    I believe a Code of Ethics and a National ICAC would be a good start to toning down some of the nonsense displayed by politicians.

    Where politicians have vested interests they ought not be able to vote on those matters; transferring ownership to family members or a foundation should still be seen to be a vested interest. Voting on tax matters such as negative gearing where more than one house is owned, being an example.
    The appointment books of politicians need to be open to allow voters to assess the role of lobbyists in decision making. We need records of donations to be continually updated.

    Where technical matters are to be voted on, politicians need at first to be briefed by experts with the appropriate qualifications. Here Canavan comes to mind spruiking coal and coal fired power stations. Apart from being a climate change matter, it is also an economic, and health matter.

  19. John Lord

    He is now firmly entrenched on the side trying to be rid of Turnbull. Let him be.

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