Monday 12 February 2018
I spent the weekend driving my grandchildren back and forth to a basketball tournament and as a consequence I couldn’t write my usual weekend piece. It did however give me the opportunity to cleanup my “To Read FIle.” Even with the best of intentions I never seem to get around to digesting it all. So here are a few comments, in no particular order.
1 The mainstream media are still in a frenzy over the Deputy Prime Minister’s personal morality, or lack of it. His appearance on 7.30 last week did nothing for those of us who believe that people in positions of leadership should be of good character, although these days it doesn’t seem to matter much. Ask Trump. For me, character does matter.
‘’In the recipe of what makes a good leader there are many ingredients. Self-awareness is one. The innate ability to know who you are and what your capabilities and limitations are. The need to have the aptitude to motivate people with your vision. Often the art of leadership is the ability to bring those otherwise opposed to your view, to accept it. It is also about delegation, empathy and understanding. It can also require from time to time the making of unpopular decisions. Decisions like going to war. However when they consistently imply the leaders own morality and spiritual beliefs they are more akin to autocracy.’’ (John Lord).
I think there is a lot more to be milked from this story yet. For starters, why was Campion moved to a higher paying position? When did the Prime Minister first Learn of the problem? Is Joyce claiming expenses on the gift of a rent free apartment from a friend? And many more.
This must be the best example of double standards I have ever witnessed, especially when you consider the unwarranted abuse consistently thrown at Julia Gillard by the Murdoch gutter press and the Sydney shock jocks. Barnaby included. Barnaby Joyce should feel blessed.
If we accept a leader’s low standards of morality then all we are doing is demeaning the position they hold. In this case the Deputy Prime Ministership.
Anyway it will only need the slightest infringement and Barnaby will be finished. He only looks a shell of his former self.
PS: My rumour expert tells me that two Labor MPs are to be outed soon.
2 So with the Senate looking as though they will reject the proposed $65 billion in tax cuts, Turnbull says he will leave the money in the budget and fight it out at the next election. I know what side of that debate I would rather be on. He will argue that by giving the big end of town a massive cut they will reinvest it in their businesses and in turn create thousands of jobs and raise wages. It well maybe that whoever wins the debate over wages might turn out to be the winner of the next election.
It’s called the “drip down theory”, originating from Margaret Thatcher. I don’t think the big banks are into employing more people. Over time when they do hit the headlines it’s for shedding them.
Sounds very simple, doesn’t it? Except that nobody seem to be in a rush to provide any evidence. With companies showing a 20% rise in profits, and wages stagnant, I would simply ask, where is the investment, where are the jobs? On top of that around 700 companies don’t pay any tax and with dividend imputation (a system by which the company pays tax at the same rate as the shareholders personal rate) only pay 10% anyway. It’s a bloody hard sell.)
3 Apparently, or so I hear, the irrepressible Miranda Divine has described those wanting Tony Abbott back as leader are called Abbott Restorationists and delusional conservatives are called Del-Cons. Apparently the Abbott Restorationists believe that Tony is the only one capable of giving the party the leadership it needs. I think that means marrying his nutters with the more rational members. Mission impossible?
On top of that I’m reliably informed that Andrew Bolt has created a formidable group of Turnbull haters, led by him of course.
4 I hope you can all get a copy of the latest GetUp! newsletter. GetUp! is now so powerful it warrants special legislation from the conservatives to stop its influence. It’s an influence, hard-won, by lawful means in a democracy. If you believe in free speech, you should support them.
5 A lot was made about last week’s Newspoll. The Prime Minister’s figures showed some improvement but The Australian said he “surged ahead” of Shorten. Ah, language. It’s a wonderful thing. It seems to me that Australians in their annual revery wake from it in a benevolent mood but cometh the month of February they are back with the baseball bats.
6 Some of us see with absolute clarity why political parties have been losing their appeal and no one wants to join them. Others would see losing their own little piece of power as anathema to them. Oh dear, the problems you have when people come together.
7 My congratulations to the Government in their attempt to create more asylum seekers by becoming one of the world’s biggest exporters of arms. It has two advantages. Firstly, the profits are substantial, and secondly, with more arms more innocent people will become seekers of asylum and our Government will be able to feed their propaganda machine. Remarkable how they can remove subsidies to the car industry but subsidise weapons of war.
8 The fight between the right and left of the Coalition continues with Dutton firing back at George Brandis over his remarks that the ultra right were trying to take over the Liberal Party. What a bloody mess they are in! I agree with a certain journalist on Insiders on Sunday who said that he was a goose. Whatever that means.
9 Question Time continues to be the bear pit it has always been. It is devoid of wit, humour, words of intelligence and those with the eloquence and debating skills to give them meaning. Mostly it embraces a maleness that believes in conflict as a means of political supremacy over and above the pursuit of excellence in argument.
10 It looks like the Government won’t refer Susan Lamb to the High Court. They have resurrected that table they used for all the economic debates and dear Susan is off it.
11 Malcolm Turnbull has much in common with John Howard. Howard has admitted in the past that he never truly understood Indigenous problems. In walking out of a meeting 15 minutes early Turnbull has shown the same attitude. In my lifetime of following politics I would hate to guess at how many billions of dollars have been spent on Indigenous affairs, including the Closing the Gap strategy. It was supposed to achieve health parity by 2030. It won’t happen. Together with the perception that he turned his back on the
Uluru Statement from the Heart, it is not a good look. His early writing as a journalist for the Bulletin also suggests an unsympathetic view of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
12 The Banking Royal Commission commences today and is expected to report in 12 months, which is ridiculous but it’s what this Government does?
13 The December quarter retail sales figures turned out to be very unhealthy and had it not been for the release of the new Apple iPhone in November they might have been a disaster. It’s retail sales that makes the economic wheel go around.
14 Jim Molan’s stupidity in posting ISIS videos on his Facebook page was about as stupid as The Greens’ response.
15 Labor’s announcement of an ICAC policy hasn’t had the response I thought it might get. This week’s polls might prove otherwise.
My thought for the day
“Life is about doing things. Not having things.”