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.”