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If you can’t control the kids, Mr Turnbull, then you are responsible for the damage

By Noely

As any parent can tell you, words matter as much as actions. If your kid mucks up, you just glance at them and carry on, your child does a little happy dance as they take that as a thumbs up to carry on with whatever mischief they were up to. It is only when you pull up your child and reprimand them do they take you seriously and stop misbehaving.

Adults are not a hell of a lot different. We have all worked in a job with disruptive or rude colleagues and it is really only the boss who can change that behaviour. The ‘culture’ of a team, school, family, hell any group, always comes from the top. Weak leaders mean bad behaviour, loser attitudes etc. Malcolm Turnbull showed us exactly what he stood for and the standard he was willing to walk past and it was not pretty judging by what he was going to allow the kids in his own party to get away with.

We saw Malcolm Turnbull, the boss in Government tacitly condone the most abhorrent behaviour by not just members of the Senate and Parliament, but by members of his own team.

It was wrong of Malcolm Turnbull who supposedly supports Marriage Equality to agree to the so-called non-binding squillion dollar poll that is the ‘plebiscite’, it was worse to bend to the first salvo in this war against the LGBT community by the extremist elements in his own party and allow a review of The Safe Schools programme.

This was sheer pandering and showed that the PM cared more about keeping his own job than the safety and well-being of vulnerable kids in our community. The press gallery can report the ‘political strategy’ as much as they like, though the final result is that a programme that is supposed to be a positive impact in regard to gender diversity and inclusion in schools – and maybe do a little thing like save a few lives on the way {dripping sarcasm} – is now being hijacked by the bigots and homophobes to use as a bat to bash the LGBTIQ community. As Judith Ireland so succinctly said “The review has given credence to the panic.

The Press Gallery may be able to discuss the past week as ‘political strategy’ without having to take a shower to get the muck off them but they do the nation – and the vulnerable LGBTIQ teenagers – no service with examples like Mark Kenny: “Responding to inflammatory comments by the LNP backbencher George Christensen”.

Inflammatory? Why yes, Mr Christensen’s comments did ‘inflame’ a horrible situation further, though maybe adding “Homophobic” or “Bigoted” might have been a more apt description befitting of the actual ‘grooming’ comments made?

Sadly, our PM then doubled down. He didn’t just fold that back bone of his, he totally concertinaed his spine by tacitly condoning the repulsive utterances of both Cory Bernardi and George Christensen.

When finally asked to respond to the scare mongering, ill-informed, bigoted, homophobic comments by George Christensen he squibbed. Our PM offered up the below pretty language which at no time actually acknowledged or condemned the harm his OWN team members were inflicting on the already persecuted and vulnerable youth in our nation. No, he said:

“And … consider very carefully the impact of the words they use on young people and on their families,” … “Every single one of us is absolutely, resolutely opposing to bullying of children of any kind.”

Well Mr Turnbull obviously NOT every single one of you is opposed to bullying as that weak as piss response gave every nasty person in your political party the opportunity to think your comment was either not directed at them personally, or worse, you didn’t consider their recent behaviour bullying.

I have an idea for Mr Turnbull … How about the PM “consider very carefully the impact” of his own words? Dog knows he uses enough of them, so how about he consider that by not reprimanding his kids he has tacitly condoned their current behaviour and they will continue to carry on their own merry way, inflicting as much damage as they can in pursuit of their extremists agendas? In fact, I would expect they will up the rage factor as quite clearly, there are no repercussions in their job for spreading their bile far and wide?


There are ramifications. Big ones. As we saw in the Abbott period, aggressive speech and dismissive behaviour towards women was allowed to flourish as it came from the top – though we have to note that even Abbott dealt with and demoted Bernardi for his repulsive ‘bestiality’ comment back in 2012 – and now Jill Dill and Joe Blow are seeing that it is perfectly acceptable to be homophobic or bigoted because Government Ministers are and the big man at the top has not pulled them up for it?

Who then is responsible for the culture of bullying in Schools? Who is responsible for the LGBTIQ (and other bullied kids) who in utter despair at this bullying, self-harm and worse, attempt to take their own lives? When you allow homophobic and bigoted language to flourish at the very heights of our Government can you still say your hands are clean and your actions are not in way attributable to further harm in the community?

I like many others, expected better from the more reasonable and erudite Malcolm Turnbull as leader. As Paula Matthewson said in her “PM spurns devoted supporters” piece yesterday:

“But voters do expect their politicians to be authentic, reliable, and true to whatever principles they claim to be guided by.”

Sadly, this recent ‘ethical weakness’ from Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t just disappoint those non party faithful who would have voted for him, it thoroughly disgusts them, as quite frankly, the bar was set higher for him as a ‘reasonable’, ‘thinking’ man and to quote Paula again:

Which, of course, brings us to Malcolm Turnbull, and the week in which the shards of smashed voter expectations started to rain down upon the prime minister.”

Many people can have an impact on a child’s education in regard to right and wrong, but only a parent can actually enforce and ensure that their child acts and lives by these expectations and they do their by their own words and actions in response to misbehaviour. Just as only the ‘boss’ can control their unruly staff and pull them into line by his words and actions. To not do so, as Malcolm Turnbull has done this week, just makes for a weak-willed, arse covering lackie more worried about keeping a going nowhere middle management job and this sort of ‘boss’ is utterly undeserving of respect.

If Turnbull is letting his parliamentary kids run riot now, just imagine what sort of damage they will cause in future when their war on those who are not white, Australian, heterosexual, or so-called Christian really ramps up?

Yours in despair 🙁


This article was originally published on Ya Think?

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  1. Backyard Bob

    Here we go again. Not a word on what Turnbull should do to “correct” this problem. I’m not sure why anyone thinks Turnbull should have an idea on what to do when no-one else seems to. Maybe the author has some suggestions?

    There is a large conceptual and practical difference between being gutless and being hamstrung. It is sometimes an injustice to characterise the latter as the former. The only way to escape that injustice is to state what Turnbull’s practical, realistic options are and show that he has ignored them. In the absence of that, an injustice shadows these observations.

  2. Michael Taylor

    Any ideas then, Bob?

  3. Backyard Bob

    I’ve already stated that I currently see no way out of this for Turnbull. I’m simply stating that without such a solution being proffered, calling Turnbull “gutless’ rings hollow.

    Besides which I don’t really want to give Turnbull a solution. This internal Government battle works just fine for me.

  4. Backyard Bob

    I also don’t believe a Prime Minister should ever behave like an autocrat. When Abbott did it, routinely, he was roundly and consistently denounced for it, but now here we are effectively demanding that Turnbull do so. As the old saying goes: be careful what you wish for.

    It’s funny, though, that when we decide to express a desire that a PM be essentially autocratic, we play with the language and refer to it as “showing leadership”. Language is an awesome thing.

  5. Michael Taylor

    Well, given all the things he publicly stood for, and given that he threw them away overnight in order to please the factions that landed him the top job, and that he lacks the courage to stand by his convictions . . . then I’d say he’s gutless.

  6. Peter Stanton

    The truth may be much simpler. Maybe Turnbull agrees with these bigots and has no wish to stop them.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Peter, that could be true too.

  8. Klaus

    No matter what the final reasons or a combination thereof, Turnbull can’t govern if beholden to factional movements on his side. The LNP is dysfunctional, rendering the Prime Minister dysfunctional.

  9. Glenn K

    Simple, Malcolm could publicly state George’s comments are unacceptable and do not represent the view of the LNP. He could publicly give George a slap down and a veiled threat to seek his expulsion from the LNP. (yes, I know George is Nat). Or he could publicly state Barnaby needs to pull his party members head it (or remove it from up his arse).
    That would be a sign of leadership and morality without being autocratic. It is not unprecedented for a party leader to do such a thing.

  10. Backyard Bob


    I think that last post expresses the most important thing. These dynamics render this Government [relentlessly] useless. I have to admit i don’t know why anyone wants Turnbull to suddenly find the guts to smack anyone down. How does that help the “left” win the next election? Better that he remain useless.

  11. Backyard Bob

    Michael Taylor March 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Well, given all the things he publicly stood for, and given that he threw them away overnight in order to please the factions that landed him the top job, and that he lacks the courage to stand by his convictions . . . then I’d say he’s gutless.

    It’s become plain that one of his convictions was not the moral conviction to stand by certain convictions in the face of his overarching conviction to have the top job. I guess he stands convicted. All that remains is for the date of sentencing to be announced.

  12. Michael Taylor

    Bob, if you’re saying that the job of PM is important to Malcolm above all else then yes, I have to agree with you. It was a context I’d failed to consider.

  13. Klaus

    Agree Bob. Let them remain useless, false, incompetent. Pain is, they do a lot of wrecking as long as they are in. Possibly out of ignorance/stupidity, incompetence or spite. I think it’s a combination of all.

  14. Backyard Bob


    I’m not explicitly saying it, but it seems to me that the circumstantial evidence for it is substantial. Then again, politics is so weird it’s always difficult to divine the truth from it. Maybe Turnbull only seemed to have abandoned long cherished ideals in order to win that top prize because that was necessary in the current conservative political climate. Maybe things will be different should he retain Government as leader. Maybe my man boobs will disappear without any effort on my part. Who can really say?

    But even if that unlikely scenario of Turnbull playing “possum” in order to secure the Prime Ministership were to be true, he’d still be a PM incapable of being trusted because of it. If you stare into the Machiavellian abyss long enough it eventually stares back at you (sorry, Fred). For me, the sort of fortitude Turnbull needs to show right now is not that of slapping down irritating also-rans, but that of presenting a figure of substance, because at the moment he’s not appealing to – anyone. It’s basically impossible to say who or what he is. I mean, being mysterious can have its charms but after a while it becomes an object of suspicion. There is no flying under the radar where the Prime Ministership is concerned.

  15. Matters Not

    Materials will be removed. George has backed off. George wins on points.

    Turnbull and Birmingham survive to run away again on another day. ?

  16. Stephen

    Yes but if you profess a series of beliefs and then walk on by saying nothing doing nothing because it would be inconvenient then do you hold them as beliefs or as convenient positions subject to change depending on need.
    Even if he can’t effect change not trying or even speaking out shows the strength of these convictions.
    If nothing else, and I can’t think of anything else, Abbott was at least open in his opinion.

  17. Aortic

    Watch the two most recent Clarke and Dawe episodes. They are as funny as but the ineptitude on display portraying Turnbull as a ditherer and Morrison as an incompetent is enough to bring frustrating tears to the eyes.

  18. Matters Not

    Birmingham asserts:

    Parents should have a right to withdraw their child from classes dealing with such matters

    Great in theory but it raises the question of ‘such matters’ and the limitations of parents right to withdraw children. Does it extend to Exclusive Brethren having the right to withdraw children from classes where computers or TVs are used? Does it extend to the teaching of ‘evolution’? Climate science?

    It can be a slippery slope. Be careful Simon because George’s victory will attract a whole range of nutters who have ‘concerns’ re so many other aspects of the curriculum.

  19. Kaye Lee

    When I was teaching in the 80s we had Plymouth Brethren kids at the school and we complied with their wishes to not watch videos or use computers (which a letter from a parent explained to me were a tool of the devil). We set different English texts for them when they objected. I am really glad I didn’t have to teach them science. It was certainly detrimental to their kids and a great deal of extra work for teachers but we did the best we could. I must admit getting slightly peeved when the kids expected me to help them out of hours to make up for all their absences.

    I think you would find most kids would overrule their parents’ objections about the SSC. They are not as scared as their parents and nowhere near as naive as parents think.

  20. susan

    This discussion is nuts. Turnbull as leader of Australia and the Liberals has a duty to demand civilised behaviour of everyone. He must do what is right and demand his party stop bullying vulnerable people. By not doing so, he shows us that he is part of the bullying and smug smiles cannot hide his viciousness.

  21. Matters Not

    I’m not sure that George really understands the decision and its implications. Certainly some ‘materials’ have been withdrawn but the basic Marxist underpinning (their description) is still in place. The lipstick’s been removed from the pig but it is still a pig in their view.

    KL the Exclusive Brethren are merely a subset of the Plymouth Brethren. Let’s not forget the influence they had in the Howard years.

  22. Wally


    “This discussion is nuts.”

    Problem is Malcolm doesn’t have any nuts, he needs to grow some balls and demand respect. While he continues bowing to the factions he is Labors best ally.

  23. Kaye Lee


    You don’t have to have nuts to warrant respect. (sorry, nitpicking)


    I am very sure, having listened to both Birmingham and Christensen giving their pressers, that George has been told what he wanted to hear, cleverly phrased to make him think he had a win so he will stop the destructive campaign. The changes sound reasonable to me to allay the concern whipped up by Shelton and his willing mouthpieces. Luckily, George doesn’t do his own research so he will be happy and the teachers and students can get on with using a valuable resource without further harassment.

  24. brickbob

    Jusr received my Labor news letter, Turnbull has cancelled the safe schools program from 2017, my god what a gutless wonder.

    The old take out the trash Friday trick.

  25. Salstarat

    The puerile, dummy spitting brats in the LNP make the wayward girls at St Trinian’s look like angels! Honestly, it would be almost impossible for ANYONE to cure the absolute ROT that permeates every level of the LNP. This government has more pricks than a second-hand dart board!

  26. Backyard Bob

    Why can’t we observe these political dynamics in terms of the actual politics and the various nuances that may be involved? Why do we have to look like a pack of partisans? Seriously, this whole discussion of Turnbull’s supposed lack of leadership is so self serving it’s embarrassing. The ONLY reason we are harping about this is because the vocal few are saying things we don’t approve of. It’s the ONLY reason. If these vocal few were talking about climate change or marriage equality of women’s quotas or any matter than appears to run contrary to Government policy but is appealing to the “left”, we’d be singing their freakin’ praises (e.g. Sharman Stone) and if Turnbull moved to silence them to demonstrate his leadership credibility – as many are currently demanding he do – we’d be crying into our keyboards about autocracy. I mean, for reason’s sake, give it a rest.

    I think Turnbull ought not even be the focus of the analysis of this state of affairs. It ought never, ever fall upon a Prime Minister to deal, openly and publicly with the shit that’s happening (unless it’s been contrived for the sake of the appearance of leadership strength). Where are the back-room head kickers? Where is Drew Clarke? This dynamic goes way beyond and possibly doesn’t even involve the question of Turnbull’s leadership capacity. Perhaps he and his office are cognizant of the damage done by the previous relationship? All sorts of questions arise.

    Gillard got rolled. What was her excuse for not stopping it? What a crap leader, huh?

  27. Wally

    Backyard Bob

    “Here we go again. Not a word on what Turnbull should do to “correct” this problem.”

    Don’t want to help Turnbull solve his problem want to see him and the rest of the LNP get ousted.

    “Why can’t we observe these political dynamics in terms of the actual politics and the various nuances that may be involved?”

    The LNP do not have any policies on the table for us to discuss the political dynamics of. We do know they have an agenda to reintroduce work choices through the ABCC and that has been discussed in other posts.

  28. Backyard Bob


    The issue at hand in this thread and article is not policy but Turnbull’s leadership. I think the politics of that dynamic is utterly intriguing in its nebulousness and for me cheap partisan commentary trying to pass as “analysis” is, well, cheap.

    In terms of its electoral affects, it’s pretty damn awesome. I’ve already put money on Labor.

  29. Matters Not

    I wrote above:

    Turnbull and Birmingham survive to run away again on another day

    I was wrong. The ‘another day’ becomes ‘today’.

    The headline tomorrow will undoubtedly read: The new Federal Education Minister George Christensen today announced that the National Curriculum will be suspended pending a review by a Committee headed by Lord Monk ..

    It really is hilarious. Turnbull believes in ‘nothing’. But if someone objects. Then he believes in … ??

    BYB there’s electoral ‘effects’ and then there’s electoral ‘affects’. Both seems to apply with respect to Turnbull’s lack of leadership.

    Tony come back. Your point is proven..

  30. Backyard Bob


    Agreed. I used “affects” deliberately, it best conveying my intended meaning.

  31. Wally

    Is this the headline you refer to MN?

    Hard week for the LNP when the Murdoch media is giving you a canning.

    Malcolm Turnbull should hang head in shame for overhauling Safe Schools program

    AUSTRALIAN actor and musician Brendan Maclean said it best.

    “Hey — to young queers who just had their #SafeSchools program edited to make

    old white men comfortable, we love you and I’m sorry. Xx”

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should hang his head in shame. He’s the one who should be sorry.

    He’s the one who bowed into pressure from his conservative backbench — including the odious George Christensen — and agreed to overhaul the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.

    Let’s be clear.

    This is not, as some in the government have claimed, a program that promotes and preaches the value of “alternate lifestyles”.

    It is merely a support structure to help and educate those who think they may be gay, or bi or transgender.

    So why the need to remove role-playing exercises and give parents a greater say in whether the resources are used in their children’s schools?

    What happens if one parent objects?

    Will that stop everyone getting the benefit?

    Why restrict it only to secondary schools?

    And why the need to prevent other parties from using the material from the program outside of schools? It’s taxpayer funded so why can’t we all use the resources?

    Once upon a time schools didn’t do anything like this and transgender and gay and intersex students suffered in silence and many of them took their own lives before they reached adulthood.

    Now we are aware that schools are an invaluable site to promote the social inclusion of all of students.

    In the case of transgender students, this support could be lifesaving and life-changing.

    These policies are there to provide support and flexibility for the one or two students who are transgender, and would not be used by the general student population.

    We should trust that teachers in schools, who are experienced and empathetic, to know how to use these resources in an appropriate way.

    I am proud that my taxes fund programs such as the Safe Schools Coalition, which are not about indoctrination, but providing essential support at a crucial time.

    I suppose we should be grateful the program hasn’t been scrapped altogether, but it is disgraceful it’s been under attack at all.

    Undermining and questioning programs that are merely designed to help other students fit in and stay safe is shameful.

  32. Matters Not

    Wally, I’ve been down this track for much of my working life. How it’s playing out (again) is no real surprise.

    Predictable and predicted.

  33. Matters Not

    Here’s a point that’s evaded MSM scrutiny. The Feds have no direct control over schools. Direct control according to the Constitution (residual power) lies with the States (and Territories). Waiting for a Premier or two to point that out with words such as:

    We will decide what is taught in our schools and the circumstances …

    How the Feds will actually remove the ‘content’ from schools will also be interesting. And how many schools will simply refuse to hand it over. I know when MACOS was banned, the Department sent couriers to collect same without any idea as to how many sets a school had. I still have my complete set.

  34. Kaye Lee

    People are saying the program has been defunded, That isn’t exactly true…it had initial funding of $2 million a year for 4 years. The funding was always due to run out in 2017. It was to develop resources for teachers. They have done a good job of doing just that. Despite anything George may say, teachers are free (within reason) to use whatever resources they feel appropriate for their students. If they consider it may be controversial, they send a note home first. George will lose interest soon and move on to bashing someone else and schools will, as always, make their own decisions.

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