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Day to Day Politics: A Government that should not be returned.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Four weeks down in an eight week election campaign and what has happened? What events, policy announcements, have impressed you, not impressed you, or hasn’t it even occurred to you that there is an election on July 2.

If I were to ask the reader to make a list of all the nuances, the mistakes, the ups and downs, of both major parties, of the four weeks thus far. Would you be able to list them?

Well let me help you. This is my random list from memory. So far the campaign will be noted for its negativity, its contradictions, its name calling and its lying. Basically it’s been about mud throwing. And because the Coalition has found itself in an election losing position the former Malcolm Turnbull, the one who promised reasoned debate without slogans, has turned from mild Malcolm to negative shit thrower and I suspect the voters are aghast at his behaviour.

Peta Credlin of course didn’t help his image when she called him Mr Habourside Mansion. I’m serious when I say the voters are aghast. It’s not what they expected, or were promised. When I see him muck raking his opponent my image of him is shattered.


Of course when Barnaby Joyce made that ridiculous connection between boat arrivals and the meat trade he simply reinforced what people think of him. That being that it is in the smallness of the mind that true ignorance can be found.

We have had two debates both of which were stage-managed and served little purpose other than to show how popular cooking shows are, or how battered politics is. I hesitate to use the word stewed.

Labor was caught between a rock and a hard place on Penalty Rates and in the end Shorten decided on some fortune-telling by pre-empting The Fair Work tribunal’s decision.

There were the usual rogue candidates on both sides.

And we had two of the worst press conferences of all time. The first was Scott Morrison’s “black hole” accusations. The black hole turned into a well of discontent with his aggressive confrontationist manner.

After learning nothing from it, he went in with all guns blazing at the second conference accusing Labor of a war on anything he could think of and even what he couldn’t.

After watching both I concluded that people like Morrison, those on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have hate on their lips and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile.

Shorten made what some saw as an undiplomatic observation on the persona of Donald Trump. Turnbull said it was unworthy while probably thinking the same thing but unwilling to say it.

As usual Labor was hammered by the Liberals on a perceived difference on Asylum Seeker Policy saying that up to 21 Labor backbenchers were in conflict when all they were guilty of was having humanitarian instincts. I have to say the demonising boat people has some sort of macabre character credibility from the un couth mouths of Abbott and Morison but it looks undecidedly classless from the mouth of the ‘’Lord of the Manor.’’

An observation

“It is the misinformed who shout the loudest. The rest of us are content with the truth we enquired about.”

Yesterday former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Yes the one who got booted out with a legacy in his own mind said in an interview with Michelle Gratton that while he didn’t agree with Bill Shorten at least he had the guts to put forward a plan for the future. At last Sundays debate Turnbull insisted he didn’t have one.

The Liberals are still having trouble convincing people that their changes to Superannuation are not retrospective. It’s hard to find an economist that doesn’t think they are. And deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop, like many others didn’t understand her parties policy. Nor did the Greens Sarah Hansen. Despite Turnbull standing firm most commentators reckon he will be rolled on the policy after the election.

An observation.

Perception interpreted unwisely can result in a mistaken conclusion of reality.”

In addition the LNP’s scare campaign against Labor’s Negative Gearing proposals seems to have run out of steam

Then there was also some juvenile name calling like “billion dollar bill”.

Other than that the only other thing that seemed to get any traction was who might form government in the event of a hung parliament. Labor said no way with the Greens but you can be assured they would if push came to shove.

So after four weeks of each party attacking the other shouting their differences and generally playing for time, to use a cricketing term. How is each party addressing the future needs of the nation?

Where is the exchange of ideas, the intellectual policy debate so needed and so promised? After three years of brain-dead governance are we not entitled to a quality of discourse that goes beyond simply throwing mud.

Is the electorate prepared to give such an incompetent bunch of Coalition politicians another term?

Well the next four weeks will tell. I hope it’s not as negative as the first four.

2 “Shorten ahead of Malcolm Turnbull for first time the headline shouts”. It’s bad news for the Turnbull Government coming into the final four weeks of an election campaign.

Labor Leads the Coalition 51/49 according to the latest IPOS Poll. It’s the first time it has led in both major polls and it is now indisputable that Labor is for the first time in a winning position.

Turnbull’s once stratospheric personal standing, continues to fall.

My thought for the day.

“In the information age, those who control the dissemination of news have more power than government“.



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  1. Arthur Plottier

    IMHO in the way that the election it is going and the behavior of the coalition members works in favor of the Greens. People like what they saw in the last Q&A debate.
    The purpose of Turnbull to call an election was to have control of the senate, well even if he win this election he lost the purpose of calling it.

  2. Ruth L

    Sadly the ‘voters on the street’ forget ,or are unaware of , the issues you raised. I despair.

  3. Max Gross

    John, I know many people have long held the wrong impression of Turnbull as a man of reason but I am surprised you didn’t see this coming. Did you forget Turnbull’s naked obsession for power exposed during the Grech scandal? THAT was the real Malcolm, a devious, conspiritorial, narcististic, self-entiteld LIEbral

  4. Shazz

    nailed it again John …a worthy short vs bull to the point Sunday morn’ coffee read LOL

  5. Kaye Lee

    One small thing that has gone largely unnoticed was George Christensen’s promise to personally donate $12,000 to a local environmental group “if I’m re-elected”. That has got to be illegal???

  6. Michael Taylor

    I would think that’s illegal, Kaye. He can make a contribution, of course, but to make it a congincency of being elected then it comes across as bribery. I could be wrong.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I seem to recall several companies and union officials being in trouble for offering/accepting inducements.

  8. Vikingduk

    Suggested reading: SMH Saturday Business Day section, FTA with China, how we are being screwed once more.

    How it works

    Company in Aus buys product or equipment from China

    Aus company sends letter of invitation to Chinese supplier to enable Chinese workers to apply for a subclass 400 visa for a temp worker in Aus. No wages, language, qualifications or skills shortage evidence required.

    Chinese workers apply for visa to Aus consulate in China. Visa granted same day.

    Workers arrive, work, paid by Chinese employer with no employment responsibilities in Aus.

    Aus company completes online course for “white card” on behalf of Chinese workers.

    Chinese worker returns to China having never received Aus wages and never having paid income tax in Aus.

    At the time when Labor were trying to introduce controls Robb attacked with his ” xenophobic racist ” bullshit.

    We are being betrayed on so many levels by this flucking mob of twunts, to accuse the fluckers of treason is putting it mildly.

    Dear Turnbull and co. Piss right off and then piss off some more, keep pissing off and if you return just piss off again.

    Did I read recently that after the FTA was signed that Robb’s re-election fund received $500,000 from the Chinese ? Even though the turd is retiring ?

    The complete article is worth a read, cheers all,

  9. lawrencewinder

    This has never been a Government…. just a ruling rabble!

  10. stephengb2014

    Whether something is illegal or not, does not stop people like Christensen from breaking the law with impunity

  11. Backyard Bob

    One small thing that has gone largely unnoticed was George Christensen’s promise to personally donate $12,000 to a local environmental group “if I’m re-elected”

    2) A person shall not, with the intention of influencing or affecting:
    (a) any vote of another person;
    (b) any candidature of another person; or
    (c) any support of, or opposition to, a candidate, a group of candidates or a political party by another person;
    (d) the doing of any act or thing by another person the purpose of which is, or the effect of which is likely to be, to influence the preferences set out in the vote of an elector; or
    (e) the order in which the names of candidates for election to the Senate whose names are included in a group in accordance with section 168 appear on a ballot paper;
    give or confer, or promise or offer to give or confer, any property or benefit of any kind to that other person or to a third person.

    Penalty: $5,000 or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

    or check out: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cea1918233/s326.html

    Personally I’d advocate for the pursuit of this. Contact ought be made with the AEC and various other persons of note, including journalists. You can actually speak to the AEC on Facebook and they do in fact respond, but I do not have an account with that den of iniquity. 🙂

  12. Michael Taylor

    Thanks ByB. I’ll post it all over the place on Facebook, including your quote from the Act. (At half time in the footy, of course). ?

  13. Backyard Bob

    Bloody Facebook, you can’t even view public pages now without that crap at the bottom of the page. Casts quite a shadow over the notion of the utility of politician’s Facebook pages.

  14. Michael

    The ultimate power in our democracy is our 1 vote = 1 value albeit for the 4 minutes it takes to complete a ballot paper, unfortunately, after that it is majority of votes = $$$ value.

  15. Backyard Bob

    Screw it, I’m going after Christensen. Wish me luck. The biggest problem for him, aside from brain lard, is that he promised personal monies. You can get away with promising Government funding should you be elected because you can pretend it’s part of your policy, but not when you offer your own money.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Good luck ByB 🙂 I am surprised no-one has launched a challenge to see Tony Abbott’s citizenship papers.

  17. Backyard Bob

    Thanks Kaye.

    I guess the difference is there’s no requirement for provision of evidence or facts here. George offered an inducement – his own money – to procure votes in a public space . Dead to rights. 🙂

  18. Kaye Lee

    Someone might also like to ask how Joe Hockey can be in Dubai on April 18 2011 but charging hire car fares in Sydney from his Hunters Hill home to Channel 7 studios and back….supposedly.

  19. Kaye Lee


    GetUp! have asked the Australian Electoral Commission to investigate whether this announcement by Coalition MP George Christensen constitutes bribery under section 326(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Let’s hope something comes of that, Kaye. I expecting nothing, of course. These people are above the law.

  21. Kaye Lee

    It’s astonishing isn’t it Michael. What Christensen did was the equivalent of one of the most damning allegations levelled against a company/union official by the TURC – the offer/acceptance of inducements

    While Peter Slipper was being investigated for claiming cab charges for trips he actually made, Hockey knew he was being investigated for claiming for trips he DIDN’T make.

    Craig Thomson has been crucified but Kathy Jackson continues wafting along.

    A Current Affair and the Telegraph are full of stories about insurance companies busting workers comp recipients at the gym or mowing their lawn but Michael Lawler gets off scot free.

    The Liberal Party executive who embezzled over $1.5 million spent $506,000 on shares, $81,000 on a car, put $611,000 into Cafe Gusto in Queenscliff, and put $45,000 into his home loan.

    “Initially .. I was under substantial financial duress and I had just gotten myself into too much debt,” Mantach told police.

    Ummm it’s not like he was struggling to pay the electricity bill. But that’s what can happen to mum and dad investors.

  22. Matters Not

    Seems to me that ‘many’ complainants would exert greater pressure on the AEC than the ‘few’.

    For those so inclined, here’s a link


    It can all be done online. But info must be provided.

    When making a complaint it is very important that you:

    •provide as much information as possible (dates, time, locations, names etc.);

    •describe the conduct you are concerned about; and

    •provide us with any materials (original documents if possible) you believe will support your complaint;

    While the ‘original documents’ might be a bit difficult to obtain, dates, time, locations, names etc are available I believe.

    So, perhaps, a few more people might lodge a ‘complaint’. Here’s hoping.

    Perhaps ByB might provide some appropriate wording, other advice and the like.

  23. Backyard Bob

    GetUp! have asked the Australian Electoral Commission to investigate whether this announcement by Coalition MP George Christensen constitutes bribery under section 326(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

    Ah, excellent. Makes me redundant, but not quite ….

  24. Matters Not

    Lodged my complaint. I now await their contact/response.

    Now to get my offspring to do likewise.

    I know George would approve of my actions because he’s so opposed to those who break the law. He’s fond of pointing out that no person is above the law. ? ?

  25. Matters Not

    ‘Listened’ to George espouse a ‘defence’ including his assertion that he has now withdrawn his offer.

    Why would he withdraw his offer? Is that an admission of guilt?

    Can you imagine a justice system that proceeds on the basis of : Yes I intended to break the law and there’s a mountain of evidence to prove same but having the illegality of my intention exposed (me being caught out) I will now withdraw same.

    Perhaps this defence ‘rationale’ might also be cited by those who tow boats to Cairns and beyond with the ‘intention’ of engaging in illegal activities but do not ‘succeed’ because of legal intervention.

    Nevertheless, I suspect George will get away with his illegal intent on the grounds of mental incapacity . And he will succeed, because the evidence abounds.

    BTW, any such admission will not disqualify him from being a candidate and probably a successful one. There’s some powerful ‘weed’ in the Dawson area.

  26. Backyard Bob

    Poor George. His response is truly pathetic:

    George Christensen ‏@GChristensenMP 4h
    My $12k pledge to @ecobarge Turtle Rescue charity is withdrawn due to @GetUp politicking. They should now donate $12k to the centre. #auspol

    Pity the ABC saw fit to characterise GetUp thusly: leftwing activist group GetUp

    I guess on some level it’s true, but the reason for using such language is obvious.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Due to GetUp politicking! I’d say it was due to being illegal. But blame someone else.

  28. Carol Taylor

    George states that GetUp should now donate the $12,000…well no, it’s Christiansen himself who should proceed with his personal offer of the money, just to prove that it wasn’t a bribe. He clearly has no intention of doing so..so much for the turtles…

  29. Michael Taylor

    The best result would be that he loses his seat THEN donates the $12,000 himself. No, make it $15,000.

  30. Backyard Bob

    Well, the AEC have referred Christensen to the AFP. Hopefully something will come of it. Mind you, the commentary regarding this on his Facebook page is pretty depressing. People are so stupid and dishonest.

  31. Arthur Plottier

    Now we need that they look into the Joe Hockey cab charge issue as well.

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