- Thursday 10 March 2016
1 I have been writing daily about Malcolm Turnbull’s takeover of the Liberal Party leadership. Anyone who follows my writing will attest to me at first embracing him as a new light on the hill. I said that Australians would be eternally grateful to him for removing the greatest liar of a politician the country had endured. He would bring a new era of reasoned political discourse.
For the ensuring five months it became apparent that despite his eloquent, articulate and grandiose statements, he had no plan, no economic reform agenda and his only motive has been one of self-interest. There was nothing to reasonably debate.
Some said I was overreacting and he just needed more time. Well I’m pleased that yesterday one of their own in former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett said it like it is.
Jeff, whether you liked him or not could never be accused of holding back. I got to ask him a question at a function many years ago. I asked him why he was going to an election when there was no reason to do so. His answer was a lie but forcefully put.
Anyhow, this is what he had to say about Malcolm Turnbull during a 2UE radio interview on Wednesday:
‘When they changed leaders, I thought we were in for a period of government, a period of stability, a period in which policy was going to be enunciated.’
‘This talk about an early election is an indication, sadly, that the government does not have a plan for the future of the country and they are trying, I think, to use this talk of a double dissolution, an early election, simply to cover up their own failings.’
Mr Kennett said the Prime Minister ‘did not have any plan at all’ when he took the leadership ‘for his own self-interest’.
He added that Turnbull had received much public goodwill in taking over the leadership but had squandered it with his failure to create a narrative when the public was ‘craving good leadership’.
‘What they can’t stand is vacillation where politicians don’t have the courage, in this case in my opinion, to put the interests of the country well before their own and their own party’.
He went on to say that he had failed to stand by his beliefs on negative gearing and same-sex marriage:
‘We don’t need a plebiscite on this. We don’t need to waste another $139 million on a vote. If Malcolm had any courage, he would have simply stood up and said ‘I’m going to put this through the Parliament.’ What he’s saying now: ‘This decision, this policy position was decided by Tony Abbott and we’re going to stay with it,’ he said.
‘There’s a good example of where Malcolm set himself apart from Tony Abbott and yet, when he took on the leadership, he hid behind Tony’s clothes and did not have the courage of his conviction and that applies right across the board.’
Nothing different in all that than what I have been saying for some time. At the risk of repeating myself the fact is that he never had any policy to bring to the table, nor the conviction of his own beliefs. We have a ‘yes’ man, a hypocrite doing what he is told to by the extremists in his party.
2 The total absurdity of the Government’s Asylum seeker deal with Cambodia is revealed with a married Iranian couple who were once refugees on Nauru deciding to return to Iran. The deal has cost $55 million so far. Put that together with the $160 million for a nonsensical plebiscite and you have $215 million of taxpayer’s money being wasted on bad decisions. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to know what could be done with those sorts of dollars.
Their inability to secure alternative resettlement arrangements means that those in detention may remain so for the rest of their lives. No, I’m not joking.
3 A reader yesterday asked if I could give an overview of The Australian newspapers contents because it’s behind a paywall. Well I don’t read it for the same reason. I’ll have a stab at it though.
One headline refers to the election date but it’s not news because it seems that the PM is confused himself. Another asks the question ‘Will Windsor Challenge?’ The answer to that is that we will know today. Recent polls in New England suggest Windsor would give it a great shake. Wouldn’t it be great if his brain replaced that of Barnaby Joyce? The Parliament would be a better place.
Yet another headline – ‘Pull Libs out of Ice Age’ – refers to the right of the party insisting on a series of debates on Climate Change insisting that the science isn’t settled.
Conversely, The Guardian reported it like this:
‘Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reportedly been heckled by parts of his party at a meeting where NSW Liberals voted for his government to conduct public debates about climate change and whether the science is settled.’
‘An overwhelming majority voted in favour of the motion at the party’s state council meeting on the NSW central coast following a speech by Mr Turnbull at the weekend, revealing the persisting level of climate change scepticism among the party, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.’
I know it’s hard to believe, but there it is.
An observation. A repeated one.
‘In terms of the environment. I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today’.
There is another headline about the ‘Risks mounting in poll timing’ another ‘PM might be in for a tough ride’ yet another talking about Turnbull’s confusion about the date of the poll and its effect on the budget.
All in all The Australian wasn’t its usual biased self.
4 I have also been warning about the public unrest a plebiscite on Marriage Equality might bring. Now I wouldn’t normally find myself on the same page as Alan Jones but he said this.
‘That means there must be a case presented for and against,” he said. “It could be angry and spiteful and divisive, the last thing we need. Many Australians have suffered enough as a result of their sexuality.’
5 Greens members who often comment on this blog must feel utterly betrayed with their party jumping into bed with the Conservatives. They joined the Greens because Labor wasn’t left enough and now the party is doing deals with the right.
DiNatale said this:
‘We are the natural home of progressive mainstream Australian voters…’
Is he saying that conservatives are progressive? Never heard such a thing. Is it all a hoax?
My thought for the day
‘On the NBN. The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow’.
PS I have it on good authority that the fixer has privately lobbied a broadcaster to help stop independent senator Nick Xenophon from running a candidate in his seat.
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