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Day to Day Politics: The death throes have begun

Friday 1 December 2017

As a writer one is always searching for the truth of things in order to marry it with words that will give light to a given subject. Then you walk away emotionally charged knowing you have written something worthwhile.

At other times one has to rely on one’s experience to elevate the truth of things, to such heights: to give it reason.

In my article yesterday “2017- A deplorable year and it just keeps on getting worse” I felt met both criteria and I thought I had written one of my best for the year. However, the last six words of the title proved to be prophetic when the Prime Minister yesterday overturned 400 or so days of being stubbornly unenthusiastic about a Royal Commission into the banks, to supporting one.

How does this come about? Well, it goes something like this: The leader of the Coalition through no fault of his own loses two MPs and is in danger of being rolled on the floor of the House and an ensuing fight from the backbench would ultimately break out.

Barnaby Joyce had now indicated that he might support an RC. It would be a political disaster from anyway you look at it. As I had written previously, it might even lead to a split in the Coalition.

So what does one do? Well, it’s a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ situation. How about you (the banks) write us a letter, in effect saying, that in view of public opinion, and pressure from the media, we think it would be a good idea to have a Royal Commission just to clear the air? Good will and all that. Remember to indicate that we both reached our decisions independently.

In return we promise to author the terms of reference so as to avoid any contentious issues such as t interest rates on credit cards. Issues like it will be avoided. It would be an RC about culture that would have no real bite at all. We will leave open the issue of compensation so that the taxpayer can pick up the bill. We will make sure it’s a short inquiry and we won’t allow it to widen its scope.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with Royal Commissions but more to do with a Prime Minister trying to save himself and his government. The Prime Minister is now on life support and the entirety of his time is devoted to being one step ahead of the game.

The problem is that nobody’s buying it. The reaction to his scheming has been one of disbelief. That a man so stridently endowed intellectually could be so pathetically transparent.

At the press conference both Turnbull and Morison could hardly contain their contempt for the people who had put them in this position. Labor and Bill Shorten copped much of their venom. They excruciatingly tried to reason their argument but the experienced journalists of the press could see straight through them.

Now we have the Royal Commission John Howard dubbed as “rank socialism.” What on earth is the world coming to?

My thought for the day

“Politicians who change their minds aren’t necessarily seeing the light. They might just be feeling the heat.”

PS: By the way, how these massive financial institutions could put their names to such an obvious con job is typical of why a fair dinkum Royal Commission is needed.


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  1. Ella miller

    Thinking about Malcolm T and the LNP, I wrote this poem;

    An echo, a cry from the murky past,
    A longing to be free from the dye that was cast.
    Where is the sanctuary, please pray tell?
    There is no sanctuary only hell.
    A ship without a rudder ,at the mercy of the sea,
    Tossed and turned by currents and then dragged free.
    Life’s tempest has no mercy it shatters all,
    The sirens in the mist with their relentless call.

  2. Peter F

    Absolutely spa on John, there is no way the Banks would want Bill Shorten to prepare the terms of the RC. Unfortunately for them, he will have the power to widen the scope.

  3. stephengb2014

    Either turnbull went cap in hand to the banks!
    The banks told turnbull what to do!

    Either way turnbull once again displays a yellow streak down his rather fluid spine, assuming of course there is one.

    I often wonder what his family think of the gutless displays of this claytons prime minister!

  4. stephengb2014

    Would the real Prime Minister of Australia please ‘stand up’ we would like to see who it is?

  5. Graeme Henchel

    So Turnbull’s banking Royal Commission will be finished sooner and cheaper than Labor’s version.
    We’ve heard that line before. Turnbull’s NBN. What we will get is a costly and ineffective mess.

    A sonnet for our times.

    We live in times when thugs and shysters rule
    A house inept, led by a spineless spiv
    A senate, tainted, by a racist fool
    Alas lament these times, but don’t forgive

    A public misled by slogans and spin
    Fed by hacks, with symbiotic plots
    Behind it all, a cabal, deep within
    The malignant mega rich call the shots

    Yet, the wheels of power are falling off
    Their lies come back, to bite them on the arse
    We’ve had enough, of the Thug, and the Toff
    As fiasco, evolves into high farce

    The cycle of these charlatans repeats
    These liars destroyed by their own deceits

  6. wam

    When did this happen. Lord?
    Perhaps during the week of avoidance?
    Perhaps the boys did some lobbying of their own?

    This has all the hallmarks of the rabbott’s two commissions of no result.

    The banks will end up smelling of roses with a whiff of violets covering the stench of greed???

    A good recurring thought, Lord. Do you think pollies change their mind through learning or education?

    ps Howard remembers jack lang

    pps On boxing day, how many of you vics plan to toast Johnny Mullagh?
    beauty graham but some had enough in 2013 to no effect?

  7. Joseph Carli

    “… but the experienced journalists of the press could see straight through them.”….to their Christmas bonus’s being “charged and ready” if they also “keep the ball in play” in the LNP court…which is precisely what we witnessed in this morning’s RN Chris Bowen interview with Fran Kelly.

  8. Möbius Ecko

    It has now been turned into a Royal Commission predominately of the Super industry couched under the umbrella of an “all of financial institutions enquiry.”

    It won’t be short and will probably run to 2019, and I will be surprised if it does not find only minor breaches against the banks but finds major ones against the super industry, thus recommending the latter be run by the banks, which is what our richest citizens and the banks have been pushing for.

  9. Harquebus

    John Lord
    I agree that your article from yesterday was one of your best.

    The banks have had time to cover up their shenanigans and it is now okay to have that Royal Commission. Other shonky financial institutions now to be included may be at a disadvantage.

    “Everyone in these ‘professional’ institutions dealing in money lives a fundamentally dishonest life. Never mind ‘regulating’ interest rates, we must do away with interest, with the very idea of ‘money making money’. We must recognize that what is termed ‘Western Civilization’ is in fact an anti-civilization, a global social structure of death and destruction. However, the charade of ever-increasing debt can be kept up only as long as the public remains ignorant. Once ecological limits have been reached the capitalist political game is up.” — George Salzman

  10. Rob

    Agree entirely John Lord, thank you for your insight

    Oh, the last time turnbull crowed about his money saving ideas he gave us NBN v0.5.

    Not really sure how best to feel with the news of yesterdays ROC?? Am thinking most don’t know either. The LNP??? what are they searching for, Nirvana, the band broke up years ago. The rest of us who wanted the ROC, even demanded it as far as we could. No plebiscite to be had, too expensive, all those ambo chasing lawyers. We may never know from marvin trumball even in his “official autobiog” whenever that gets to press.

    Who is in the frame for the top job?? Does anyone want it, dragged kicking and screaming just yet??

    Bring on the ROC, be mindful that radio talk back has already had several ‘older sounding Australians’ talking up the ‘need to investigate the industry superfunds and the links to the unions. A bit of pre-emptive noise from the IPA Who themselves need a lot more transparency in various areas of their comings and goings In the right wing halls of power

  11. Ricardo29

    And then there’s the scenario where both Alexander and Baanaby lose their seats, Mal’s majority evaporates and the independents finally show they realise the wheels have fallen off the LNP bus, no confidence, Shorten invited to form Government before an election, goes on to win in a landslide and then expands or re-directs the terms of reference while holding another into the corruption of the Lib/Nats. Who are doomed to spend a long long time in Opposition, 23 years should do it.

  12. Frank Smith

    Dutton has already shown us how the Coalition want to use this RC to extend the Union bashing of their last RC. Let us hope that Dec 5 reveals another bunch of Coalition MPs who should not be in Parliament and that forces a General Election early in the New Year. Perhaps we can then hope for a proper RC.

  13. Jagger

    The RC into Banks will be all about how Merchant Mal and his banker mates can get their grubby hands on the trillions in the Super Funds.

  14. diannaart

    I don’t usually listen to the stock market reports – having no personal interest, however, I did catch the irony of stocks dipping due to announcement of RC. Does this mean stocks will rise again when banks can return to business as usual? Such as treating public with contempt, laundering money for crims, lining their own deep pockets…

  15. Frank Smith

    I thought Bowen acquitted himself quite well on RN this morning in spite of the line of questioning. His reply back to Kelly “This interview would proceed much better if you allowed me to answer your questions” brought a wry smile to my face and really appeared to put Fran back in her box.

    On the critical question of appointment of Royal Commissioners, I’m hoping that someone like Bernie Frazer might be appointed as one of several Commissioners.

  16. James

    I don’t believe much will come from a RC into the banks they’ve had enough time to prepare for it, what I’m bracing for is the bullshit excuses we’ll be forced to listen to from the suckhole parasites in government.

  17. helvityni

    Re: photo above

    When I saw Mal and Morrison leaving after their announcements, I thought Mal was going to faint, fall into a heap. He looked stressed, angry…his family must be getting worried…

    When nobody wants you, the best thing is to leave, why prolong the agony….

  18. Kronomex

    helvityni, I looked at the photo and thought, “Gosh, I wish I had as much brains as my penis then I would be a genius.”

  19. fnqlder

    It’s interesting to reflect how long it may have taken for the bosses of the big 4 banks to agree on the statement they released yesterday morning just in time for Turnbull and Co. to hold their presser announcing the RC about an hour later. It would have taken weeks, if not months of lead up discussion, and one has to wonder if senior government figures knew it was coming.

  20. Kronomex

    helvityni, I looked at the photo and thought, “Gosh, I wish I had as much brains as my penis then I would be a genius.”

    Trembles cannot let go of the leadership, snort, snigger, and being PM, it would a massive blow to his already fragile ego.

    Sorry about the first post, one of the cats jumped on the keyboard while I was typing.

  21. John K

    Insightful, thanks John.
    LNP plus the Banks, what a combination:
    @diannaart, yes, the irony of bank stock prices rising or falling dependent on a letter written by a cabal of bankers to the govt. I’d like to know if there was any insider trading of shares in the 2-3 days between the bankers deciding to collectively draft the letter and the govt declaring (on the same day it received the letter) the acceptance of a need for a RC.
    I don’t expect msm will investigate that background story.
    @helvityni, I noticed that also, Mal had that crestfallen look. Seems MT doesn’t want a RC but the outcome of political agendas is beyond the control of any one person these days.
    The position of PM looks like a position of power, but it’s not.
    Moral of the story? Don’t seek power externally as that’s a sign of personal weakness?

  22. Freethinker

    Now, John Barilaro is asking Malcolm Turnbull to resign.
    “You’ve got a party in disarray, a Coalition government in disarray and a community not unified and that is all at the feet of the prime minister of Australia,” he said.

    Not long ago I remember senior members of the Coalition “team”saying that unity was very important and that they were the only party able to keep unity because they do not have factions.

  23. David1

    Top writing again John thanks. I had experience of just how bloody minded and greedy banks are when I opened the snail mail yesterday. There was a Private and Confidential envelope prominently placed across the front.
    As there was no indication who the sender was I opened it to find a letter from my credit card providing bank, a full page and half advising me how I was a very bad person for not paying the balance of 30 dollars by the due date and there would be a late payment of another thirty dollars…and do keep up payments by the due date.etc etc

    On checking when I had paid it appears I was 2 days late, and realised I had been off colour at hat time and it had slipped my mind. However as I pay the cards balance regularly month by month it appears loyalty and not having missed a payment in all the years I had held the card meant zilch, I was rather annoyed at this rather ‘this is how it is’ approach, when a simple phone call would have saved on the postage and paper.

    i phoned and explained the situationand was told I would have to write a request to have the charge waived. What for a 30 dollar balance and years of being a good customer. Sorry sir it is bank precedure. Ok, I advised I would pay their 30 dollars plus the offending 30 dollars balance and the card would be in several pieces,the minute I ceased the call, thanks for nothing and please close the account. The banks charging that penalty fee is not only over the top, the computer generated letter is offensive in its wording.

    Good excuse to be rid of a credit card. Most business use EFTPOS these days and PayPal dont have charges of any type. Bring on the Banks Royal Commission.

  24. diannaart


    Reading your post practically brought on PTSD – I gave up on banks after similar experiences. I now use a Credit Union and, while it is not perfect, I can at least talk to people who actually listen and sincerely try to resolve any issues I have.

    Whatever the RC brings to light (which won’t be much if terms of reference are not broad), the best action the average person can do is what you did; close the account and open with a credit union or similar.

  25. Rob

    Had my mortgage with a well known second tier bank which is now one of the big four. Was retrenched, first pay off the mortgage. All done in 20mins. No fanfare, bank person took cheque and handed me the reciept. 7days later Are you listening Auspost?? Letter from said bank, they gleefully told me I was just another customer. All ‘special entitlements’ as the loan was paid out were null n void. ok went into bank had a chat they weer sympathetic. It was my local branch. Sympathy became a torrent when i said yep i hear you am closing my acct and going to the credit union over the road. Not the same entitlements but less BS. Better banking fees for me and bye bye Big Four.

    An isolated subject with regards to the ripoffs and massive errors that people are being subjected to by the big four banks, BUT, the banks have had it too good for so long, Chose your finanacial institution carefully. Make sure you do some comparisons and vote with your feet if your current lot stink.

    That said, the ROC will be unpalatable for the money people and various interest groups. The IPA will be trying anything to leverage it for themselves. Yet the IPA don;t go into details about what exactly a ‘Premier Member’ is. They covet their membership list for fear, so they say. of people shaming or naming or ridiculing their valued members and donors. So much for ‘free speech IPA’ unless its their own free speech. Thats different. No its not IPA its called two sets of rules. One for the IPA and the rest of us.

  26. @RosemaryJ36

    I have two credit cards, AMEX and Ignite (Westpac). I pay no fees and they take out the full amount due on the due date and my money earns interest while I use theirs. This is the only way, IMHO, to use a credit card. You should not spend money when you do not have the funds to cover the expense.

  27. diannaart


    Thanks for the lecture, however, bank fees can occur for a variety of reasons not just because someone has maxed out their credit card; illness, loss of job, glitch in banking systems. Bad stuff happens all the time through no one’s fault.

    … and for the record, I don’t bother with credit cards at all, I use a debit card.

  28. jimhaz

    John Barilaro is somewhat like Canavan – completely brainless. All just macho neoconism without rationality.

    We have seen people like him before ie Tripodi

  29. Florence nee Fedup

    I think they are still searching for corruption between unions & Super. Tried TURC, failed there. Now are attempting to use ROC, even FWC & ABCC if they can.

    Trouble for them, Industry Super performs best of all funds. There hasn’t been any corruption found from union officials sitting on boards. There wages are passed onto unions to support workers.

    Sometimes RC can prove how good one in, as TURC found in relation to Shorten.

  30. Glenn Barry

    Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t get out in front of something even if it was travelling backwards, he’d more likely get runover by walking the wrong direction and getting hit from behind.
    Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t do the right thing if it was the only possible action to be taken, instead he would choose to do NOTHING.

  31. Matters Not

    Malcolm Turnbull should immediately step aside in favour of Tony Abbott. It’s only fair and just that the person who founded this odious regime be there when its remnants are swept away.

    When will we hear the cries of: – Bring back Tony! Ready the tumbrils! After all – It’s Time!

  32. jim

    Labor is gunna need a bigger vote when they next win govt. like the mess we’re all in now after this fiasco of a govt.
    Abbott/Turnbull even the BOM (money slashed) today abc news Victoria prepares for severe flooding and wild storms and they barely got 20mm
    AMA doctors urge more for radio imaging after Abbotts cuts just the tip as more Abbotts cuts “bare fruit”
    Good strong LNP govt at making cuts to joe/jill.

    Banking RC donno ,will it even happen proberbly not.

  33. Matters Not

    Re the right of parents to withdraw children from particular classes (broadly defined to include parents’ rights to determine what their offspring should or should not be exposed to) calls into question the role of schooling in a democratic society. There’s lots of unresolved issues involved and they simply won’t go away. Seems to me that they are just starting to come out of the closet.

  34. jean

    50 years ago sir Humphrey made it clear that inquiries already know their findings. But to be sure the terms of references will be kept under wraps.

    I doubt if anyone in banking will have to resort to the ruses of sam et al
    ‘That is not as I remember..’
    I don’t recall’
    I just cannot remember
    the examinations will of the ‘seen’ variety?
    Matters not
    I spent many happy hours on friday mornings, when the bible bashers hit the school, sitting in a corner room in the library.

  35. Patagonian

    “Oh, and Malcolm, how about you throw in an investigation of union super funds, there’s a good chap”. Thanks muchly, the Big 4

  36. Peter F

    I am reminded of the Painters and Dockers RC which the Libs started in Victoria to attack the unions. It ended up exposing the ‘bottom of the harbour’ corruption involving many of their own staunch supporters. Attacking the Union backed Super Funds will not end happily for the Libs. ( I see that the word coalition is going out of fashion.)

  37. Ben

    stephengb2014: The real Australian Prime Minister is Kevin Rudd.

    Turnbull has never had a spine. Lucy wipes his bottom.

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