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Day to Day Politics: How on earth did I miss it?

Thursday 7 February 2018

In response to my post yesterday about the ABC Insiders program I received many comments, but none more telling than this (I don’t know how I missed it):

“I have to take issue with your impression of the interview with Turnbull on Insiders John. Barrie opened with THE question to be asked, “You still have strong faith in trickle-down economics – that if you give a company a benefit, then somehow that will mean higher wages for workers?” Turnbull lauded the debunked theory before Barrie followed up with, “But why is it, then, if companies can make a 20% profit – as they did in Australia in the last 12 months – and then wages go up by 2%? Where’s the trickle-down?”

Despite Turnbull trying to deflect from wages growth and focus only on investment in business, Barrie did not let up with his insistent questioning on wages stagnation. HOWEVER, for me, the one answer that seems to have gone completely under the radar came from this exchange, CASSIDY: The other issue that came up earlier this morning – Jason Falinski.

Now Labor says they have advice that he is a dual citizen. In the interests of transparency, would it be a good idea now to throw this in with the Labor MPs that you’ve identified?

TURNBULL: Well the Labor so-called advice is based on facts that are wrong. Jason Falinski has taken legal advice which he has presented into this citizenship register, and demonstrated he is not a citizen of any other countries. Let’s just be very clear about this. What Labor is trying to do is they want to pursue the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors – like Jason Falinski – …” JUST READ THAT LAST LINE AGAIN.”

Thanks to Kathleen Kildare (Facebook) for a razor-sharp ear. It does raise the point as to why the Prime Minister needed to use such language. Was he just being sarcastic, was he expecting Barrie to take the bait but didn’t, or was he insinuating that Labor was trying deliberately to hurt the children of holocaust survivors, or worse still, that Labor were not only bigots but anti-Semite as well?

Surely not? This is not the mild-mannered, calm man who came to power in September 2015. Now he seems to rant as much as his far/right colleagues. But who is Malcolm Turnbull really?

He is a Republican leading a party of Monarchists. A Prime Minister of Australia in which all state Premiers and Opposition Leaders as Republicans make him more absurd. He doesn’t even have the manners to have at least a plebiscite on the Republic before the monarch dies but suggests he will do it when she is dead. A tad insulting, I would suggest.

He used to be a believer in doing something about climate change but the many influential climate deniers in its ranks – and his deputy – favour capitalist greed over the future of our children.

He was a committed believer in marriage equality leading a coalition of homophobes until the people stood up to him.

He also leads a government intent on imposing its own religious values on a society rapidly backing away from religiosity.

Malcolm Turnbull is in effect an enormous contradiction.

He came to the job promising much. After Abbott’s calamitous period marked by ‘wars’ on everything, he seemed like a breath of fresh air. He told the public everything they wanted to hear. No more slogans. Transparency, optimism and fairness would be the order of the day, he would respect the people. Things would be different. The public loved his enthusiasm.

However, after two years of heavily overdosing on syrupy over/saccharised sweet talk he still remains in the concept of old politics. He gave promise to a new paradigm, but other than style the prototype is still the same.

Lenore Taylor got it right at the time he outed Abbott when she said:

He promised to “respect the intelligence of the Australian people,” to end the three-word slogans and instead advocate and explain policies he believed in.

But Malcolm Turnbull’s great dilemma was obvious as soon as he became prime minister. The public liked him for promising to be different, but many of his colleagues only voted for him because he told them he’d be pretty much the same.

“If he can’t begin to resolve this dilemma quickly, Turnbull’s perceived authenticity – the view that he is a man true to his convictions, a different kind of politician – could quickly turn into a perception that he is an opportunistic fake, just more of the same.”

If you look at his demeanour now you can see “Opportunistic fake” written all over his face.

He has shown little desire to be his own man. Unlike most incoming leaders there has never been any inclination to put his stamp on the party, instead, everyone seems to have free reign to run with their own ideas.

In terms of leadership, he has been abysmal yet he remains the popular choice as preferred Prime Minister. He has been for many months. At this stage in the election cycle it means little, and mostly has always been the same. It was thus before the last election, but Shorten lost by a seat. Historically preferred Prime Minister polling has counted for little.

The PM is the incumbent and the Opposition leader gets little attention and is criticised for not having any policies. Meaning the ones he will announce during the election campaign.

Newspoll has placed Labor 4 points ahead of the LNP and in an election year must be viewed as more accurate than it would otherwise be. The next Essential and Fairfax polls will give a better indication of just where we are at.

What amazes me, however, is that despite the Abbott/ Turnbull Governments being arguably the worst this country has ever seen that it can command such a percentage of the vote. The public obviously doesn’t place the bar very high.

My thought for the day

“The first judgement on any government is how well it treats its least well off. How do you think our’s is going?”


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  1. Terry2

    And then we have Barnaby !

    When Barnaby spoke out during the same sex marriage debate and said that, as a supporter of conservative family values, he believed that marriage was between one man and one woman what he actually meant was one man and one woman and another on the side.

    So hard to keep up with these conservatives who seem to change their [family] values as they would their underpants, perhaps more frequently !

  2. Kaye Lee

    Then there is the flag. As Peter FitzSimons put it……

    I was gobsmacked this week to hear him say, effectively, that the Australian flag will remain as it is for decades to come, if not forever, his specific words being: “So, I think – I think the Australian flag will be flying over Parliament House long after all of us have shuffled off the stage of history.”

    This, from a founding director of Ausflag – upon whose board I sit – who was a director there for six years, ’til 1994?

    It would be elucidating to know how one who once put a huge wad of money up to sponsor a hundred of Australia’s leading artists in a competition to come up with the design of a new flag, has so radically altered his view.

  3. Möbius Ecko

    Terry2 it’s similar to their values on freedom of speech and open government.

    Freedom of speech to them means they can say and vilify all they want, not matter the accuracy or consequences from that, yet no one else is allowed to say anything against them, their benefactors (controllers) or right wing MSM without facing the harshest criminal punishment this government can throw at them. They are exempt from all forms of penalty for falsification in their speeches, but everyone else must be penalised for telling the truth about them. That’s their, fascist, version of freedom of speech.

    Open government means that their opponents must on demand reveal all without hesitation and fall on their swords at the merest mention of a misconduct from the right, factual or not and whether it’s significant or not. They also reserve the right at all times to take anything from their opponents totally out of context. On the other hand their open government means they keep everything secret, highly classified, deny FOI at every turn, plead ignorance in light of overwhelming evidence against them, and get away with it because of their concealment.

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Business investment follows customers walking through the door.

  5. helvityni

    Never mind John Lord, Turnbull’s tactic was to keep talking over Cassidy, some of his questions could not be clearly heard…

    Turnbull looked a bit taken aback when Barrie wasn’t all full of smiles , joviality and good will..

  6. Jack Arnold

    Terry2, you appear to have fallen foul of the Conservative adage, “Don’t do as I do, do as I tell you to do because I am perfect!!”.

    The Barnyard phenomenon demonstrates all that is good about conservative politics. Barnyard strongly advocated “Christian” marriage values, the “sanctity of marriage” and “the importance of family”, when in fact he was simply a dishonest philandering thug mouthing platitudes for the adoring but poorly trained and under-skilled MSM.

    The real question is whether the early proposal for Barnyard to covert to Islam, so that he could raise his two families within the sanctity of marriage, will eventuate. This would save a family court settlement involving two “grazing properties” within the boundaries of the Santos Pilliga Scrub CSG lease and leave Barnyard with his over $1,000.00 PER DAY Parliamentary salary & allowances plus the expectation of a too generous Parliamentary Pension to raise his four teenage daughters and now the new sprog. Why even Auntie Gina may contribute to his financial support as seen with the offered but declined due to public pressure “unemployment benefits” accompanying the Kiwi bye-election.

    Tamworth business persons still Support Adultery Vote Joyce.

    Such is life in a formerly egalitarian Australia now suffering from political gridlock imposed by a fascist LNP misgovernment of self-serving, self-indulgent, uncaring egomaniacs.

  7. Julie (@Julieoz836)

    Turnbull is the lifesize cardboard cutout that the extreme right wing have used as a facade to hide their nasty neo-Liberal policies. Policies that have continued on from that first disastrous Joe Hockey budget that was soundly rejected by both the Senate and the public. These elitist university educated fools, in the main poorly educated beyond a useless law degree, which is no mark of intelligence or ability for that matter, make up the MPs and Senators in the Liberal and National parties. They are totally out of touch with the needs of the Nation and that of its people and show no desire or inclination to well and truly serve this Commonwealth of Australia. The only interests they appear to serve are their own selfish ones or that of those corporations and wealthy individuals who donate to party coffers.

  8. wam

    the trickle is obvious lord read:what you wrote.
    But why is it, then, if companies can make a 20% profit – as they did in Australia in the last 12 months – and then wages go up by 2%? Where’s the trickle-down?”
    That frydenberg and falinski are the children of survivors is true, lord???
    Remember trumball could stand on his head and fart upwards and he wouldn’t get a vote here and billy could continue to bleat and he would garner most votes the rest will give their cash to di’s boys.
    ps barnaby is fulfilling his church’s wish do what you wish confess but breed us new catholics.

  9. Klaus Petrat

    No John,

    He is no contradiction. He does what is required to get/stay in power. He will sell his wife and grand kids if this is what it takes. He will spend millions of dollars on his re-election campaign.

    He has no true conviction, driven by a deep believe in one issue or the other.

    He does what is popular at the time, even fashionable.

    This non-character trait of his is the single reason why he is a puppet on the right.

    I would predict, that had he joined Labor, he would possibly be a puppet of the left, or in any case, of the leading faction.

  10. etnorb

    Great article as usual John! How ANYONE in this country with at least a half a brain could even contemplate getting this so-called “liberal” mob into Federal Parliament again is beyond me! ALL this lying, inept mob of obscenely over-paid, so-called “liberals'” (sic) can do is continually rubbish, put down & disparage the Labor party & anything they do or say! Trouble is, they are continually supported on everything they say & do by the f#cking Mudrake press across Australia! Even “our” ABC has now (it seems) almost become another mouthpiece for everything this Liberal mob say & do! However, I wonder just how biased they are with this ex Mudrake person running the show now? I suppose we will have to endure another round of anti-Labor press, complete with screaming headlines & pages of crap form the Mudrake reporters, from now until the next election is called? And all of us who are NOT “fans” or supporters of this liberal mob will probably have to “accept” that he & his mob will get re-elected, f#ck!

  11. Terry2

    It appears that News Corp are going to do a Karl Stefanovic with Barnaby and we can expect to be told that Barney has found love and the happy couple are expecting their first child in April. Woman’s Day will probably shower the loving couple with coverage : you have to feel for Mrs Joyce.

    But wait a minute, Barnaby and his media adviser were having their affair well before the New England by-election in December and had it been made known then that she was already five months pregnant and that Barnaby had left his wife, the mother of his four daughters, would the electors of New England have been as enthusiastic about re-electing him ? And had they known that the Nats had tried to do a cover-up by shifting the young lady from Barnaby’s Department of Agriculture to good mate Matt Canvan’s office would they have looked so kindly at this bloke ?

    I’m not trying to moralize here but what I don’t like is being subjected to a media and political spin-job and that’s what’s happening here :

  12. Daryl Marshman

    I tend to agree with an article written by Robert Mann in the Monthly some time ago. He suggested that Turnball was just using his lawyer’s oration skill to present arguments while never having any dedication to any cause, just as they can defend the guilty or people they don’t like. He did go to a talk or something where Turnball demonstrated it. Which really means that this man’s only driving force is desire for glory and praise. Read somewhere that he is so thick he cannot understand that the ‘masses’ would not love him. That was displayed on election night.
    As for Joyce heard that his daughters drove around the town with a loud hailer telling people not to vote for him. Don’t know how true it is but I do like the picture.

  13. Glenn Barry

    Turnbull’s only gift is that he is a liar for every occasion, our curse is that we have to endure them broadcast all over the media for the near future at least.

    I know of even a few staunch liberal voters who truly loathe the man, they simply cannot tolerate his lying

  14. Topenda

    I’m glad others noticed what I did regarding Turnbull. I rarely watch free-to-air tv these days, so haven’t seen footage of him for months.

    My first thought was he looks well and truly over it; weary, haggard and having had a gutful. Throughout the interview he came across overtly arrogant, dismissive, rude, obnoxious and intolerant. There is little (if any) facade of civilised behaviour left. I was appalled at his attitude and that he apparently considers this representative of the Australian people ideas of Prime Ministership.

    However I was even more disgusted with his attack regarding Falinski; he unjustifiably accuses Labor of deliberately targeting Holocaust victim’s descendents, while using that very descent as a political tool to stall discussion of the actual point in question – the descendent’s citizenship status.

    Whether you like it or not, the horrendous suffering of one’s ancestors- while it may complicate determination of one’s citizenship status due to the vagaries of international law and reforms after war – is irrelevant to the fact of whether one actually has dual citizenship. Using it for fodder for a straw man argument is utterly disrespectful, and my level of disgust for the tactics of the Liberal Party has reached new lows.

  15. olddavey

    “Malcolm Turnbull is in effect an enormous contradiction”

    He certainly is an enormous something starting with “c”, but contradiction is much too long a word.
    Four letters would suffice.

  16. David Bruce

    Australia seems to unable to field a states-person from the cohort of current politicians. What has changed to make this situation? Is it the toxic poisons of the chambers in Canberra? Has living from paycheck to paycheck impacted our politicians, or is it a more sinister force or power located outside our shores? Something doesn’t compute!

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