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Bishop Departs, Makes LNP Chaos Worse

The Roman historian Tacitus coined the phrase ‘fortune can bestow no greater reward upon us than discord among our foes’. Recently, Julie Bishop announced her retirement from politics. She is the latest example of a rat departing a sinking ship. I view the category five storm that has erupted as a result of Ms. Bishop’s recent interview as a fine example of fortune’s greatest reward. So, I want to look at the five takeaways from the interview offered by the West Australian in a recent piece and what they mean for the Liberals moving forward.

Self-Aggrandisement and Deflection

First, Ms. Bishop said, somehow with a straight face, that she believed that her popularity with the voters (source unknown) could have ‘saved the coalition at the coming poll’. The immediate issue, as the article noted, is Ms. Bishop’s unpopularity with the group Julia Banks called the reactionary right. It is unlikely that such a group would tolerate a female leader, even from their own side (to say nothing of how they treated Julia Gillard). Ms. Bishop appears to live in a parallel universe.

Second, Ms. Bishop blames fellow departing rat Christopher Pyne for undermining her attempt to assume leadership during the LNP civil war last August. In the leadership ballot, she received a mere eleven votes. How this is Pyne’s fault is less than clear. If you wish to blame Dutton that is something else, but as big an annoyance as I think Pyne is, I do not see the evidence that it was Pyne who kept Ms. Bishop out of the lodge. A far more likely reason, as the article makes clear, was the reactionary right.

Civil War 

Third, as much as the article is trying to frame this as essentially an inter-WA struggle, I think it misses the larger point: the LNP is at war with itself. Barnaby Joyce said the Nationals should take a separate Senate ticket to the election in NSW. Now Ms. Bishop has made quite the parting shot. This is not, evidently, the case is only one state. Their leadership is ineffective, with ProMo (Morrison) and Friesenburger (Josh Frydenberg) having the communication skills of Helen Keller. In addition, the rest of the party is either nowhere to be seen, or publically separating themselves from the plague-infested corpse that the LNP has become.

Ineffective Government

This is not purely a partisan criticism (valid as that would be). Rather, this is a critique of governmental effectiveness, which can, to a great extent, be measured. There are several issues on which no LNP policy is defined, from climate (ProMo reanimating the corpse that is the former Abbott government’s climate policy does not count) to the economy to humane treatment of refugees. They are such ideologues and reactionaries that they are forced to oppose and fear monger about even humane treatment of people seeking protection from bullets and bombs, often fired or dropped by the west.

The theme of the campaign this time (as it has been for the last six years if we are realistic) is fear mongering about race/religion plus a healthy serving of ‘Labor bad because Labor – did I mention Labor? Labor bad’. Examples of this abound, but the best example from recent memory comes from Friesenburger. A journalist asked him about some policy issue or other, and he responded with ‘we can talk for hours about Labor’s faults’ – not the question and a red herring to distract from your own internal chaos. Blaming the opposition for existing is not effective governance!

But back to the plot. The fourth point is that Ms. Bishop’s parting shot prevents the government from getting ‘clean air’ and places it on the back foot. She is undermining the government as she leaves. Talk about a team player.

Conclusion

The final point the article makes is that the government is basically dead, and so the issue now becomes legacy rather than re-election. At first, it may seem curious how such a divine-right, born to rule group as the LNP could ever think that they would lose an election, but the recent spate of resignations suggests otherwise. But let us say the focus is now legacy. What would the legacy of the last six years be? The GP co-payment? Freezing the Medicare rebate? Utter climate inaction? Cutting penalty rates? The cashless welfare card? Making Tony Abbott the indigenous envoy? Michaelia Cash and her Whiteboards?

Ms. Bishop’s parting shot and the rest of the LNP’s internal chaos reminds me of a saying my grandmother used to us;

Fight you buggers, I hate peace.

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19 comments

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  1. Alcibiades

    Sir, that is an egregious & reprehensible slur on Helen Keller’s communication skills, objectively and demonstrably, far superior to the two total tossers you referred.

  2. Acibiades

    Hm, IIRC,the Federal AEC re-distribution, means the Lying Nasty Parties (the COALition), are down two or three seats before the election even begins. They are currently a minority government of -1 seat, having scraped over the line under the ‘TCT’ (Turnbull Coalition Team banner & logos).

    Each of the departing rats further diminishes the odds of retaining the particular relevant seat, as the additional advantage of incumbency in the seat is lost, ~1%+ in 2PP terms IIRC. Combined with these being current high & low profile ministers departing (to ensure the maximum value re parliamentary pension & avoid the indignity of opposition), the negative effect re 2PP will be even higher regardless of the calibre of the replacement candidate.

    So, in essence, the LNP has to retain every seat and win ~4 additional seats simply to have any hope, 5 or more to obtain a majority in all likelihood.

    Simply put, not gonna happen.

    The COALition has lost 49 Newspolls in a row since one week after Turnbull scraped over the line, a consistent average of 53-47 ALP vs LNP thru all that time. IIRC they lost every Newspoll bar two from seven days after Abbott won in 2013 thru to the 2016 election.

    Ahem, voters, as opposed to, buyers remorse, hm ?

    It is the exception for federal governments to survive past a second term.

    Traditionally the 2PP will narrow once the election is called, and particularly during and distinctly in the last week, final days before the polls. However, that is typically a recovery of ~4% 2PP. The COALition would still obviously lose at 51-49 2PP.

    However, the result this time, as seen in recent elections is now skewed by early voting, majorly now as soon as the AEC early booths open, where the votes are cast before the 2PP narrows as described above,in this case whilst at a margin of ~6% 2PP against the LNP.

    The real kicker though, is that when the polls are this bad, consistently, for so long, the voters have turned off, and turned a tin ear to entreaties. Note the remarkable losses that have occurred in what were once Blue ribbon LNP ‘safe’ seats, they no longer have ‘safe’ seats. They have lost a significant percentage of thier small ‘l’ moderates and true economic conservatives.

    Taking all the above into account, many traditional Liberal and Notional party voters will literally lie when ‘polled’ re their coming voting intention, due to feelings of guilt, shame, etc.

    Under such circumstances the polls are not able to accurately reflect the true likely 2PP.

    Simply put, one expects a landslide, not a loss of ~20+ seats as would be the case with 53v47, but possibly 30 or even 40 seats plus. A bloodbath.

    Tired, aged, backbenchers have not resigned pre-election, cabinet ministers have. Along with the leadership and majority of the so called moderates.

    Their timing may well have further been influenced re their own internal electorate polling.

    With Scott NoMoralsNone and the rest with no record, no policies, little credibility or trust, blatantly lying and being called on it by even their own biased media flunkies, and still blaming Labor for the sun rising and setting and everything else in between, after two terms, whilst utterly disunited, riven, at each others throats and scrambling for safer seats (ie Dutton, Porter, etc) … they’re, objectively farked.

    If one carefully parses even the murdochracy propaganda, since December the phraseology re the LNP has gradually and fairly consistently changed to ” … IF they win the next election”.

    Bishop stated at her abrupt pseudo valedictory in the HoR, words to the effect, with excellent diplomatic composure (Diplomats are trained State liars), ” … given the performance of the party in parliament duringthe last two weeks, I am certain we will win the coming election”.

    Julie Bishop has a devious, wicked, sense of humour. Coalition & suborned corporate MSM … whoosh! 😉

    PS Expect the Coalition senate numbers to be even further reduced.

    PPS Generally the majority of the ‘safer’ seats are held by the RWNJs, whereas the less rabid & also wets/moderates remaining, in the marginal and less ‘safe’ seats will bear the brunt, being the majority of the Coalition losses. If its a Landslide, perhaps the Liberal ultra-conservative rump will merge with Cori Bernadi’s ‘Conservative’ party ? 😉

  3. Baby Jewels

    Do love a bit of Karma occasionally. Not only has she dissed Feminism and upheld the Patriarchy all these years, she’s behaved disgracefully towards fellow women politicians. Now her support of the Patriarchy has come back to bite her on her scrawny bum. Classic!

  4. New England Cocky

    “Julie Bishop has a devious, wicked, sense of humour. Coalition & suborned corporate MSM … whoosh! 😉”

    Many of us remember Julie “Asbestos” Bishop making uncaring, insensitive and cruel comments about the late Bernie Banton, a victim of the failed OH&S policies at James Hardy.

    But despite the excellent analysis by Acibiades above, let us remember the Liarbral Notional$ Parasites remain the Australian government UNTIL AUSTRALIAN VOTERS VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE at the next Federal election ….. and history tells us that international interference in the Australian political process is common practice.

    Remember, Toxic RAbbott retained the electorate of Warringah and formed government because of A ONE SEAT MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE OF REPS! ….. and a reported $1.75 MILLION personal political donation from Malcolm Turnbull ….. that must be political irony …..
    .
    NSW ELECTIONS MARCH 2019:

    “[T]he rest of the party is either nowhere to be seen, or publically separating themselves from the plague-infested corpse that the LNP has become.”

    There have been many reports from across NSW that candidates for LIarbal and Notional$ Parties have abandoned party logos and any attempt to have ministers attend very low profile pre-election meetings and rallies.

    VOTE ANYONE BUT NAT$ & SAVE THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY between Newcastle and Brisbane.

  5. Barry Thompson.

    Bishop would not have beaten Shorten because her own side would not have given her the leadership role. She did not perform well in other portfolios, lacking the required depth.
    DEFAT personnel are some of the best public servants in the business. Bishop was briefed by experts and only had to follow their advice to look good.
    Compared to Gareth Evans she was all froth and bubble.
    Her nasty streak is there for all to see.

  6. whatever

    The Liberal Party are having the same leadership crisis they have had since Menzies quit in 1966.

  7. Alcibiades

    New England Cocky

    One will never forget Julie ‘Asbestosis’ efforts on behalf of James Hardie. nor her endless rorts,

    Her ‘partner’ toyboy for travel rorts when it suited, and her ‘non partner’ when it didn’t. Hell, he sat by her, translation headset n all on the UNSC, FFS. Of course scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef whilst ‘briefing’ invited ambassadors & Consuls, the endless Horse Racing Carnivals et al, and always managing to arrange parliamentary travel so as to stopover annually in Adelaide on her sisters birthday, at our expense.

    Bishop is deluded in thinking the ‘party’ would ever vote her in as Leader. She was only ever valued as a public ornament and effective fundraiser for those members who had no presence and couldn’t. Bishop forgot her ‘place’ within the party of the 1850’s.

    She was the ‘loyal’ Deputy Lib Leader for 11(?) years because she never met a party leader she wasn’t willing to knife.

    Morrison summed up her value to the party in his response to her pseudo valedictory, after she’d already ‘swept’ out of the HoR, as “a valued SERVANT of the party”. Servants don’t become the Leader.

    Oh, and her 11 votes, and I was betrayed. In a party of counts, when it truly mattered, she couldn’t even count.

    The writs have yet to be issued, and yet she has already taken up a role as the sales ambassador of some brand …

    Turnbull and Brandis ‘Its OK to be bigot’ had the AFP/Murdoch press publicly raid, under spotlights, the offices of a shadow minister & staff of the crowns loyal opposition, during the caretaker period of the last election, and flooded the MSM for days with their egregious narrative. One expects no less and even worse from Scott NoMoralsNone and Obergruppenfuehrer Potato Head and that ‘It’s OK to be White’ travesty of an AG, Porter. Maybe even worse this time around …

    Lets not forget the drunken(?), bitter public rant of Turnbull declaring he’d sick the AFP on the opposition on election night 2016, when it wasn’t clear if he’d even won.

    Scott is desperately playing for time, a hopin’ n a prayin’ for an event he can take advantage of. If it doesn’t happen, he, Potato Head & Porter may just have to generate one. It worked for Goering with the Reichstag Fire …

    These 11th hour departures by sitting members further cruels their replacements candidates chances, as they individual have little opportunity to establish themselves, nor present themselves to their electorates, having parachuted in just prior to being lost in the presidential style campaigning focused on Scott.

    The party of ‘All for One, and one for oneself’.

    PS The Notionals haven’t managed to reach the minimum of 4% Federally for two elections now, and will likely achieve only ~2.4% or less this time. Should Labor win, they wont ex gratia grant them official party status, and the additional funding, resources, staff, office space etc that goes with it, as the Abbott and Trumble did, no sirree.

  8. helvityni

    Ok, Ok, she dresses well, she’s certainly not obese, she can run fast, but who can ever forget what she said about Bernie Benton and Julia Gillard…

    It’s always been about her, her red shoes, and her lost ear-ring…me,me, me….

  9. Kaye Lee

    Julie Bishop is an interesting case. She gets high marks for presentation, though why a 60 year old woman would wear stillettos and lobe-distorting earrings to work is beyond me. She is articulate with a cultured accent that fan-girl Michaelia Cash could only hope for. She has become more polished during her time as Foreign Minister – sorry Julie but I remember the cat claws and your hyperbolic screeching during your dogged pursuit of Julia Gillard for decades’ old legal work done for a friend. Poor form dear.

    I know people who have worked with her who say she’s nice. That’s nice.

    But when it comes to substance…..ummmmm…..she does a good death stare? She’s a good fundraiser?

    She has been a facilitator for the worst excesses of lying and bad behaviour from the rabid right of the Coalition despite her claims to be a moderate. She has willingly played their game.

    Instead of being a commanding voice within the party, which she should have been considering her position as deputy leader for so long to a passing parade of male leaders, she swanned around the world going to fashion shows and balls and the polo and sporting events where you would find her in line for the red carpet photo experience posing with her attractive companion. Hell, she even took him to the officials box at the UN with her. Really?

    I am torn between feeling outraged for her by the treatment she received from her colleagues at the end, and feeling angry with her for being a willing participant in allowing her supposedly “beloved” party to degenerate so far.

    What happened to her was unfair but her departure will make little difference to the political landscape. She was a lightweight.

  10. helvityni

    ….if we want female leaders, give me the likes of Julia Gillard, Angela Merkel Jacinta Ardern, Tarja Halonen, Helen Clarke any time…Penny Wong is to my liking too……

  11. Terence Mills

    What Julie Bishop is saying is that she could have beaten Shorten BUT what she means is that she could have beaten Morrison/Dutton BUT in both cases Julie, you need the numbers !

    Political advisers and spinners in the coalition team have adopted a dangerous Trump strategy : say anything you like no matter how bizarre it may be and then just bluster.

    We saw this with Dutton’s silly scare campaign on sick people being transferred from Manus [Nauru has been neutralised and politicized to avoid any offshore electronic assessments taking place] for treatment in Australia. An argument that has no substance yet it was echoed by Morrison and Cormann.

    Then there was the Insiders clash between host Barrie Cassidy and Energy Minister Angus Taylor over the state of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The facts and verifiable data show that our emissions have risen over the past five years, year on year. Yet Taylor was adamant that they were actually coming down (based on one quarter only).

    But be prepared for the big one currently being harmonised by Newscorp tabloids and Sky-after-dark with the coalition on electricity costs. You will be told that :

    Families will pay an estimated $480 a year to keep the lights on under Labor’s energy policies and Labor’s irrational commitment to renewables

    This is the big one on which the coalition are pinning their credibility and the future of their government …….but it’s all based on fabrications and falsehoods !

    Take care there are crocodiles out there !

  12. Matters Not

    Ms Bishop, the younger, reflecting deeply upon Ms Bishop, the younger, in the mirror.

    “… I did but see her passing by and yet I love her till I die.”

    with apologies to … Bob

    I coulda been a contenda .. no apology offered.

  13. David1

    Matters Not….thanks that brought a smile nicely put 🙂 and excellent topical article Dr Tim. Enjoyed all the comments so far as well.

  14. Kronomex

    “…with ProMo (Morrison) and Friesenburger (Josh Frydenberg) having the communication skills of Helen Keller.” Scummo come across more like Raymond from Rain Man than Helen Keller except the Dustin Hoffman character is more intelligent. Friedeggburger is Scummo’s homunculus Mini-Me.

  15. New England Cocky

    Kronomex, I must protest because you are denigrating the efforts of two unusually skilled persons.

    Helen Keller was deaf and blind from birth before learning communication skills.

    Raymond was an autistic savant with extraordinary mathematical skills.

    Today’s Treasurer, Junk Friedeggburger, lacks both communication skills and any mathematical ability. Rather, he reads the daily propaganda sheets prepared by the unelected political hacks of the Liarbral Party that infest Parliament House.

    I have yet to find any redeeming feature in Morriscum.

  16. margcal

    AlcibiadesMarch 4, 2019 at 2:03 am
    Sir, that is an egregious & reprehensible slur on Helen Keller’s communication skills, objectively and demonstrably, far superior to the two total tossers you referred.

    Absolutely!

  17. Kronomex

    “Kronomex, I must protest because you are denigrating the efforts of two unusually skilled persons.”

    Ah, how did you come to the conclusion that I was denigrating Keller and the fictional character of Raymond? I was quoting part of Tim Jone’s article, section Civil War. I cast NO assertions about Helen Keller and that Scummo reminded me of Raymond WITHOUT the intellect. I take umbrage at your assumption.

  18. Kronomex

    Aspersions not assertions. Shows how cranky I was when I replied.

  19. David Bruce

    I can’t bring myself to trust anything coming out of Canberra politicians mouths. What sayanim services will our blithering treasure provide for mossad and the bankers now the IMF want the Australian Government to legislate bail-in if the banks get into trouble again? Maybe Ms Bishop will be the attack dog for the IMF when she is back in private practice?

    Didn’t Murdoch support Ms Bishop as next Prime Minister of Australia? Who will he promote this time around?

    As Baby Jewels said, I love to see karma in practice! Unfortunately, it will be the people of Australia who will lose out. Without strong, coherent leadership, this country could be facing a very volatile decade.

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