The trouble with most Prime Ministers is that you have to be a psychopath in order to make it into the Lodge. Let’s not forget that even though psychopaths lack empathy, they can be superficially charming in order to achieve their goals. Characteristics of a psychopath include such things as a grandiose sense of self-worth and a refusal to accept the blame for anything.
Now I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that our beloved Malcolm was a psychopath. I mean, I’m sure that he can really feel proud of his achievement in passing the marriage equality legislation. I’m equally sure that the NBN is simultaneously working well because of him and a complete shambles because of Labor. Just because these things could easily be used to suggest that he fits the profile, I’m sure that there is another explanation.
As one of the descriptions of a psychopath I found on the internet tells us (and, if I’ve read it on the internet, it must be true):
In general, psychopaths lack any sort of moral compass. They will do whatever they need to advance, and they really don’t care who they hurt in the process.
Now does that sound like Malcolm?
Anyway, I’ve been listening to various commentators tell us that the opinion polls are bad for the Coalition, but that Turnbull has the preferred PM thing in the bag. He’s leading Bill Shorten by quite a margin. Which must be nice for Malcolm. And it must make all those Labor supporters who don’t like Shorten feel really justified in joining with the Liberals in telling us all Bill’s shortcomings.
And it would be even nicer for Malcolm if nobody actually thinks about this for a nanosecond because, as I’ve pointed out before, Opposition Leaders are rarely preferred PM/Premier. Joan Kirner was facing a landslide in Victoria in 1992, but she was still preferred Premier by quite a margin. Tony Abbott never made it to preferred PM in the polls even with the Murdoch press constantly telling us that Gillard was the responsible for everything from the knifing of Kevin to the assassination of Kennedy. If you remember the joke, Gillard walks on water across Lake Burley Griffin; “The Australia” run with the headline: “JULIA CAN’T SWIM!”
I could list a heap of others, but it might be easier to list the ones where the Opposition Leader regularly won the preferred leader poll: Bob Hawke.
Ok, he was only Opposition Leader for a month. As a ratio of time spent as Prime Minister to Opposition Leader, he wins hands down.
So when looking at future potential election results, winning the either/or of preferred PM will have little bearing on the result. It’s like asking someone would they rather have the collected speeches of John Howard or a bout of dyssentry. Of course, the collected speeches of John Howard will win nine times out of ten… Unless one has to listen to them all. However, when an election is called people have their minds on things like the economy, health, education and to paraphrase Tony Abbott, which candidates have a bit of sex appeal.
But Malcolm is on a high because we actually have marriage equality in Australia. Unfortunately, in his latest example of FIGJAM (the polite version is Fans I’m Good, Just Ask Me!), he seems to be trying to argue that he should be given the credit for something that all his actions on the question only succeeded in delaying the inevitable. Let’s be real, if he’d simply got out of the way and let the Private Member’s Bill be debated, the whole thing could have been over months, even years ago. Of course, Malcolm is now telling us that the only important thing is that it happened, while arguing it’s all Labor’s fault that it didn’t happen sooner.
We were recently treated to the spectacle of Mr Turnbull trying to outdo Kevin Rudd by speaking Mandarin. Now I don’t speak Mandarin, so for all I know he could have been saying, “Hello, and welcome to the place where Disneyland will stay in your hearts forever. There are many horses in the planet of the moon and I am a gentle, purple man who likes putiting flowers in their saddlebags,” But hey, Malcolm was speaking Mandarin and aren’t we all impressed no matter what he said?
Speaking of impressive, while Christmas shopping I noticed a book by Ian Plimer called The Climate Change Delusion and The Great Electricity Ripoff. Plimer, you may remember, complained a few years ago that there was a rconspiracy on the part of the mainstream media on the topic of climate science because nobody would publish his book. Now, I’ve certainly found it difficult to get book publishers interested enough to offer me a contract for any of my ideas, such as “Bob Hawke is A Martian”, “Fluoride in the water has led to the hipster movement” and “Pauline Hanson is really Alex Downer in drag. (Have you ever seen them together?)” I think it’s only reasonable that they’d want to publish such things and it must be some conspiracy to silence the truth.
Just like me, Plimer wasn’t published because of a conspiracy. Now that he’s published several books, I guess it’s harder to argue the conspiracy line, but that was only one of a few arguments he has against wind turbines and solar panels. In looking up the title of the book, I did notice that Cory Bernardi launched his book. When it comes to integrity you can’t go past a man who stood on a Liberal Party ticket only to launch his own party within weeks of being re-elected. Plimer’s arguments can be best summarised thus:
- Carbon dioxide is just fine and not an environmental hazard.
- Renewable energy is terrible because it produces more carbon dioxide than coal-fired power stations.
- Coal-fired power stations are being closed which is wrong because they’ve always produced cheap energy in the past and nothing ever changes.
- We’re a long way off producing batteries to store renewables so we should just forget it because who cares about what might be possible in the future?
- Martin Luther objected to indulgences five hundred years ago, so we should object to the indulgences given to the renvewable energy sector. (No really, I’m not making this up. Check the back of the book or the Amazon blurb!)
- He knows how to draw graphs which makes it look like he’s basing his conclustions on actual evidence, instead of Spooner’s cartoons.
So, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift, I’d suggest picking up Ian Plimer’s book taking it to the counter and then as you’re about to buy it, say, “Oh, this isn’t put out by The Chaser. This guy is actually for real.” before putting it down and asking if they have any satire that’s actually as funny. If they do, buy it.
Anyway, as we head into final week of the campaign for Bennelong, we need to focus on more important issues than whether the whole planet is in danger. Will Sam’s resignation hurt or help? Will the fact that John Alexander is only there until the next election anyway play into Labor’s hands? Will the Liberals continue to let John Howard campaign without anyone pointing out that this is the electorate that threw him out, making him one of only two sitting Prime Ministers to lose their own seat? Will Malcolm try speaking Mandarin again, only to end up accidentally buying a used car and several dozen kilos of potatoes?
Watch this space. Sometime in the future, I’ll be revealling my evidence for Bob Hawke’s Martian citizenship… Unless, of course, there’s a conspiracy to stop me.