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?”