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Day to Day Politics: Another wasted year

Wednesday 6 December 2017

The end of the year is almost upon us and before we know it we will be celebrating the coming of 2018. In political terms 2017 was yet another wasted year, apart from the passing of the Marriage Equality bill. Malcolm Turnbull is claiming the credit for it but that is rather cynical given that all he and his party did was to create the hardest way possible to achieve it.

Anyway, before this year bleeds itself into the next I want to use the balance of the year to tidy up some issues.

1 Barnaby Joyce stormed home in what, as it turned out, was a short-term morale-boosting by-election. I had argued that there would be a swing against him. It seems that no matter how many crimes are perpetuated in his name the people still willingly vote for him. It did however, highlight the divide between city and country folk. With less than 7% of the vote the National Party is only representative of the country and should revert to their previous name of The Country Party.

For whatever reason right-wing parties attract people who are not quite the two bob’s worth. George Christensen, the cowardly Christian conservative who values his own self importance above all else withdrew yet another threat to bring down the government.

He phoned Andrew Bolt last week and tells him that he plans to quit the parliament if Malcolm Turnbull isn’t sacked. Then Bolt, thinking he had a headline, splashes it all over the Herald Sun. Then as usual, George changes his mind. Nothing unusual there? Andrew gets upset and names him. More fool Bolt for believing him in the first place:

“Nationals MP George Christensen privately told me, Peta Credlin and Cory Bernardi that he would quit the Turnbull government if Malcolm Turnbull was still prime minister this week,” Bolt wrote on his Daily Telegraph blog. “He authorised me and Peta to spread the word, without using his name, hoping to create maximum pressure on Turnbull. Twice more he urged me on, even after lying to Samantha Maiden of Sky News, telling her he was not the MP I’d referred to.”

“He told me that he meant his threat and explicitly told me I should report it without fear that he’d back down and make me look like a party to mischief.”

But why didn’t Turnbull demand he be sacked? Well, there was a time when a hack of a backbencher like Christensen would have been summarily dismissed.

2 The three major polls all ended the year with favourable leads to Labor. Newspoll and IPOS showed a 6 point lead to Labor and Essential gave them a ten point lead. But despite Malcolm Turnbull’s abysmal past couple of weeks Bill Shorten still cannot overtake the Turnbull as the preferred PM. Is it because he is unpopular or is it because he has been invisible for most of the year?

“I have every confidence, every confidence, that I will lead the Coalition to the next election in 2019 and we will win it, because we are putting in place the policies that will deliver for the Australian people,” the prime minister told Sky News in an interview.

Have I missed something? It is now 26 losses in a row on Newspoll so Turnbull should reach the magical 30 anytime between late January and early March. I wonder how he will dismiss his own measure of judgement then.

Last week I said that the Libs and Nats were likely to go their seperate ways given all the bickering. However, the Joyce win seems to have put an end to it.

The Essential Poll  also found 38% wanted the Liberals and Nationals to continue working together, compared with 34% who thought they should be independent – with the former option heavily favoured by Coalition voters.

3 Turnbull’s backflip with triple pyke on the Royal Commission into banks, and the subsequent suggestion that a deal had been done, was given further credence when fellow chrome dome Peter Coorey (Fin Review) was leaked information that the Terms of Reference had been worked on for some time. So why on earth were the Prime Minister and his ministers running around two days prior saying that there wouldn’t be a Royal Commission?

One journalist described it as full on moronic. And former Liberal leader Peter Collins said that the government’s political partisanship and “shabby” commercial motives by banks were the joint forces behind the Royal Commission being broadened to examine superannuation funds with links to unions.

4 Pensions have actually gone down against inflation over the last 20 years, but people have to pay rent, buy other things for which the cost has gone up etc. A rise of $50 per week would do wonders for the economy and the pensioners. Wishful thinking on my part.

5 I have been criticised for not opining on the misdeeds of Sam Dastyari. I have nothing to say other than; “Dill”

6 The next couple of days will be dominated by citizenship declarations, which will likely trigger more high court referrals. The cause for it all lays with a constitution that has never been updated. Rather like the Bible in that respect.

7 He talked the talk and then walked the walk. Yes, Mr Musk has delivered on his 90 day promise. As the headline said:

“Tesla to switch on SA mega lithium battery on Friday, hitting Musk’s deadline.”

8 I couldn’t let this go without a mention. A couple of weeks ago Communications Minister Mitch Fifield was upset about Tripple J’s decision to change the day for playing their Top 100 away from Australia Day. He intended telling the ABC how he felt about it. Well I think it’s a management decision. My concern is why Fifield won’t tell us why he gave Fox $30 million without explanation. It appeared in the last budget but again without explanation. What was it for?

My thought for the day

“I don’t mind you having a different opinion to me but please don’t create your own facts to support your view.”


34 comments

  1. Jack

    Another wasted year? I say a wasted 10.
    When Krudd came in I had so much confidence in Oz. I was OK with what the LNP had done up until then because the country was moving well in the right direction. Sure it was mostly courtesy of a growing China and resources boom but it was all still good for us.
    I voted for Krudd because it was time for a change.
    He turned out to be a bust, like the successive governments after him.
    We’re now in a cycle we won’t break for a long time.
    It’s lasted ten years and I fail to see it changing in the next 10 years

  2. Terry2

    It now seems that we will have referrals to the High Court of between eight but up to twelve unresolved dual citizens with by-elections to take place in the new year.

    A clear pronouncement on what reasonable steps actually means is necessary as it seems clear that those with dual British citizenship (the Labor people) took all of the steps that they could reasonablytake to renounce their British citizenship and as the standard reasonable is normally taken to be an objective test i.e. what steps would the average man or woman take in the same circumstances this would seem to be reasonable in my view but we are dealing with a High Court with a very black letter interpretation of the Constitution.

    I still believe that this swag of by-elections in the new year is ridiculous and the Prime Minister should bite the bullet and call a general election. Surely that is the sensible approach and one that that a reasonable person in the circumstances would adopt.

  3. John Lord

    Jack. I draw your attention to the word “another” in the headline.

  4. Barry Thompson.

    That would be Phil Coorey John and what has his baldness got to do with it?
    I think he is one of the better political reporters.

  5. Matters Not

    I don’t mind a general election but I feel betrayed by Shorten’s often repeated promises that all was well with ALP members and their citizenship. He’s now looking like a real goose. Apparently there’s pages and pages of documentation that depended on members telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Surely those in the ALP hierarchy would know that you never trust a politician when it comes to truth telling.

    Take Feeney as an example. He has form. Previously, he didn’t declare the ownership of a property because he forgot. One can only hope that in the coming by-election The Greens give him an electoral flogging. Speaking of The Greens – seems like they’re the only party which has integrity when it comes to this issue. Shame Labor Shame!

    (Don’t tell me the LNP are as bad – I know that – BUT I expect Labor to be so much better.) I just shake my head! Why oh Why did they go out on a limb.

  6. John Lord

    Barry I am also bald. It was a bit of a joke.

  7. townsvilleblog

    If there are many more politicians involved in this latest round of citizenship scandals, we may as well have a new general election, I wouldn’t be sad to see Feeney go, the miserable right wing faction of the Labor Party. I’m still to discover what the difference is between ‘right wing Labor’ and the Liberal Party ethos? Can anyone inform me, as from the outside looking in they appear to be a similar philosophy.

  8. Barry Thompson.

    I realised that John, but I don’t think joking about a physical feature that is beyond a person’s control is appropriate unless perhaps you are close mates.
    I am also balding and at 71 years it doesn’t bother me, but some are very touchy about it.
    Maybe I’m having a grumpy old man day. Cheers.

  9. guest

    Why blame the Constitution for the citizenship problems surfacing in recent times? People have been scrambling around trying to fix what had not been done. Labor claims to have sought documentation before elections. Some Labor people claim to have sought rejecting a second citizenship but have/have not received confirmation after the election. I seem to remember hearing about a politician getting confirmation from somewhere over a weekend! Then there are those suspicious looking documents produced after years of asking which are confirmed by some minor official in the UK.

    I would have thought that such a Constitutional matter as citizenship of politicians would have been checked regularly by some independent body such as the Electoral Commission. Or even Border Protection wallahs! One or two missed in the process perhaps, but a whole stack of them emerging over months and years – one being in Parliament for 16 years with dual citizenship!

  10. Graeme

    A wasted year? Not for LNP/IPA. Plenty of changes made under the radar (all to our detriment). Govt departments, ABC, trade deals…all bad.

  11. Freethinker

    And including in the wasted time we have this to add:
    “” The latest report from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACCR) shows more than half of Australian Indigenous students miss at least 10 per cent of the school year.”

    This increasing the gap IMO

  12. wam

    Yes, Lord, you are missing the point of the will of the voters and concentrating on the result of polls.

    New England elected a serial rorter and labor missed the chance to expose him but considering the chance of hypocrisy being exposed, the labor pollies claimed the right to silence on the ground of incrimination.

    Silly Sam goes outside to avoid being taped by asio and gets taped? He should have remembered the films and turned up the volume on the TV!

    Billy’s statements on the labor dual citizenship processes were the truth. Unfortunately his fellow poms et al forgot to follow them.

    The boys of Di are in raptures at the thought of winning those by-elections.

    ps
    spot on graham the year was wasted by shorten and tanya.

  13. townsvilleblog

    Graeme, yes a prominent union person began a list of these changes when Abbott won, she detailed at least 200 items before Turnbull took over and continued the Abbott program under the stewardship of the ultra right wing faction of the Liberal Party, so goodness knows how many changes we have now had as you say ‘under the radar’ that future generations will have to fight to regain a decent balance again. I don’t hold out much hope of a right wing Shorten Labor govt replacing them.

  14. Kaye Lee

    You gotta love country women. Apparently Barnaby’s wife, after kicking him out of home, ran over his clothes with a ride on mower.

  15. Terry2

    On the subject of balding men ; a category into which I fall . I have been intrigued to see that people like Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart all have long, flowing locks well into their mid-seventies.

    What’s going on ??

  16. wam

    how many wine women and songs have you had T2?
    I have plenty of hair unless the observer is taller and can see the ‘thinness’ Have you seen bill bailey??
    The funniest sketch was a comb over in a plane went to sleep and the baldy next to him put his head over and deftly took the comb over on to his head laughed out loud.

    ps Lord does Billy deserve the derision about the veracity of his duality free party? In simple term is he now a liar?

  17. MikeW

    I feel guilty, pushing seventy still with a full head of hair, in fact my barber still uses the thinning scissors on top.
    Starting to get a few grey streaks thank goodness stops my friends from accusing me of dying it.

  18. Shutterbug

    Kaye.

    You have made my day! Thank you.

  19. David Bruce

    I remember Eileen Bond cut one sleeve off each of Alan’s 100+ suits under similar circumstances to Barney’s wife.
    The article reminds me of “Nero fiddles while Rome burns”. Now I dread returning to Australia next year before the election. What surprises me is how many of the younger generation are waking up to the scams and have decided to ignore the 2 major political parties and vote for Independents or minority parties. Some one must have told them about the passage in the Protocols which says:

    “Voting; which we have made the instrument which will set us on the throne of the world, by teaching even the very smallest units of members of the human race to vote, by means of meetings and agreements by groups; will then have served its purposes and will play its part then, for the last time, by a unanimity of desire to make close acquaintances with us before condemning us”.

    “To secure this we must have everybody vote without distinction of classes and qualifications, in order to establish an absolute majority, which cannot be got from the educated propertied classes. In this way, by inculcating in all a sense of self-importance, we shall destroy among the goyim the importance of the family and its educational value and remove the possibility of individual minds splitting off, for the mob, handled by us, will not let them come to the front, nor even give them a hearing; it is accustomed to listen only to us who pay it for obedience and attention. In this way we shall create a blind, mighty force, which will never be in a position to move in any direction, without the guidance of our agents, set at its head, by us, as leaders of the mob. The people will submit to this regime, because it will know, that upon these leaders will depend its earnings, gratifications and the receipt of all kinds of benefits.”

  20. paul walter

    Yes another wasted year and at least some of it wasted not just because of incompetence, but scorched earth malice.

  21. paul walter

    Still, there is a silver lining sometimes comes with even the darkest clouds.

    Thanks, Kaye Lee.

  22. Max Gross

    Two more feckin’ years of this abysmal, malicious, self-serving LNP shite! No wonder I still drink!

  23. guest

    “The Protocols of the meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion (see David Bruce @1.22 pm) is an antisemitic fabricated text perporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The forgery was first published in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the C20th.

    Henry Ford funded printing for 500,000 copies in the USA in the 1920s. The Nazis sometimes used the Protocols as propaganda against the Jews and it is still presented as genuine.” (Wikipedia).

    Of course, the latest conspiracy theory is that the UN is using the IPCC to attempt to dominate the world through the alleged scam of Climate Change. Belief is in the eye of the beholder.

  24. Matters Not

    Perhaps the more sane members of the US power elite will invoke the 25th Amendment? Then again the prospect of a Pence White House has enormous downsides as well.

    The outlook is bleak here, there and everywhere.

  25. Zathras

    I expect Malcolm won’t be standing on his record of achievements at the next election.

    Kaye, thanks for the image of Barnaby’s shredded clothing.
    I’m wondering why the Press hasn’t being having a field day with this scandal. They were happy to serve it up to Gillard at every opportunity.

    I wonder if New Idea will be trying to bid for the first baby photos next year?

  26. Kaye Lee

    Zathras,

    Not to mention Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans. Don Randall got up in parliament and asked about their affair saying Kernot had “the morals of an alley cat on heat”.

    And I think a large part of the press gallery remaining mum is because some of them are guilty of the same thing.

  27. wam

    Women like kernot reinforce the stereotype in society.
    Should we acknowledge that evans, lying and thinking with his dick was unusual for a male politician, both now and then?

    But it is so sad that our boast that only labor could rule on its own has been jeopardised by bill and tanya. Instead of working to overturd brandt in melb they will lose upwards of 5 seats to the loonie di’s boys.

    ps
    It sad that Christine has died, Lord, but it is a blunt reminder to criticise bill’s inactivity.

  28. jim

    Maybe the banks are saying bring it on knowing if Labor get in the terms of reference will not be to their liking.

  29. Ross Cameron

    On another note, only three days until Shane Dowling exits the prison where a judge sent him for three months for contempt of court. When you become a whistleblower like Shane who has been exposing corruption on his website,, do not expect ANY government help.

  30. Ross Cameron

    four months, actually.

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