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Day to Day Politics: Leigh lite and Plebiscite trickery

Sunday June 26 2016

1 Earlier in the week Penny Wong said straight politicians calling for a plebiscite on the issue of gay marriage “don’t understand homophobia”.

Scott Morrison said:

“I understand the concerns Penny is raising, I know it from personal experience having been exposed to that sort of hatred and bigotry for the views I’ve taken from others who have a different view to me.”

Let’s remember that the plebiscite only came about because Tony Abbott was caught between a rock and a hard place.

Wong is correct for one reason. She is gay and he is not. It is rather like the Queen saying she understands poverty or the Pope birth control. Should I include the average person understanding the abuse of a child? You could add to that a white person understanding black racism or depression. The list goes on.

The nearest we can ever come to understanding these things is by being seriously empathetic toward understanding them. By looking at the facts surrounding the matter and eliminating preconceived cultural attitudes handed down from previous generations.

While the Australian Christian Lobby, the Charismatic Churches of which Scott Morrison is a member and who take a literal view of the Bible has signalled a very aggressive campaign.

Mr Turnbull says:

“If we win the election, we will have the plebiscite, it will be conducted in a respectful manner. People do have different views on the issue. They are entitled to those views.”

If he thinks it’s all going to be nice and respectful he is kidding himself. Then later in the week we learn that it’s not that simple. The right are flexing their muscles and now they will still have the free vote plus an option will be given to members in electorates who vote a simple majority no vote against the bill. And at this time Turnbull will not address what the question will be.

The rouse here of course is to destroy the majority vote in favour of an electorate by electorate one in the full knowledge that electorates in the country are more likely to vote against.

The Australian Christian Lobby would then concentrate its taxpayer funded resources on the electorates they know to have an ‘against’ stance, or close to it and after the result, force the member to vote accordingly.

An observation.

“Why is it we find such compelling reasons to treat each other badly?”

2 In an interview with Bill Shorten mid-week Leigh Sales was on something (or had had a bad day) when she interviewed Bill Shorten. It was hand guns at ten paces. Even to the point of Shorten suggesting she had crossed the line with one question.

Now I knew the PM owed her another interview before campaign’s end, and he has been playing small target but I didn’t expect him to take the coward’s way out but he did by slipping the interview in on a Friday night with little notice.

Consequently Leigh Sales had a disgraceful interview. No hard questions, just gratuitous lovey dovey “it’s your show Mal” talk about the European Union. It was almost as though she was doing some sort of perverse political flirting with him.

When they moved to the marriage equality plebiscite, with gushing smiles, she allowed him to get away with the “just you leave it to me, darling” defence.

It was excruciating to watch and the ABC need to do something about it. As it stands they have let him get away with it and in doing so also let down their own journalist standards and the interests of the viewers. Turnbull and his policies should have been subjected to the same aggressiveness of enquiry that was directed towards Shorten.

As a tweet from Verner Vergrass said.

”I’m just waiting for the Leigh Sales washes the feet of Malcolm Turnbull episode of the 7.30 report”

Here is a transcript of the interview. Ask yourself how could she possibly allowed the Prime Minister to get away with it.

3 The decision to leave the European Union was interesting from the angle of the most educated voting to remain while the least voted to leave.

An observation.

“At a time when the world needs as much internationalism as it can get England reverts to nationalism.”

4 Remarkable isn’t it how the electorate has been kept in the dark about boat arrivals for years then on the eve of an election we need to be brought into the light? The word ‘cynicism’ comes to mind.

5 Every election political parties fall for the trap of producing advertising material that reads of falsity. The Liberals “Tradie” commercial is no exception. On social media it has received much ridicule to the point of it being counterproductive. A bloody good laugh though.

6 Yes, Keating said “yes” he did cut company tax. But it was paid for by a massive broadening of the base of personal taxation, capital gains tax and a comprehensive fringe benefits tax. He would never have done what Morrison did. A $50 billion impost on the budget bottom line with nothing to help offset it.

7 Barnaby Joyce cannot spend all the time in his seat. Has to travel around Australia. A difficulty he faces, given his seat is under serious threat. As John Anderson said, preferences will favour Tony Windsor. So he needs a very high primary vote.

My thought for the day.

“Good grammar is vitality important but is secondary to the expression of a valid well-constructed point of view”.

PS Sorry for my absence the past few days. I caught a virus of sorts and ended up in hospital.



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  1. metadatalata

    Hi John, Good to have you back. Great piece and hope you are feeling better!

    I think this time Leigh Sales has given me a final reason to dump the TV for good and just use internet independant media for all my news and current affairs viewing.

  2. peartonblog

    My husband and I are terrified of the plebiscite. If Turnbull thinks that it will be conducted in a ‘respectful manner’ he is wilfully ignorant. Our son is gay and we are anxious for him and his friends, and for all the LGBT community and their friends and family. There may even be blood spilt, but certainly there will be hatred spilt, and it will never be the Turnbulls of this world cleaning up the mess.

    As for Leigh Sales, I worry that anyone still watches her. She can be vicious or flirty but never respectful. Either way it is cringeworthy television.

  3. Terry2

    Last week Peter Dutton emerged from his cave and told the media that there were placard carrying people outside his electorate office calling for Medicare not to be sold. He said that they were bikies because they had bikey club insignia on their clothing. Even worse, he suggested that they may have links to the Labor Party.

    What has been exercising my subconscious has been the previously unknown link that evidently exists between labor, the Finks, Hells’ Angels and the Bandidos and their commitment to saving Medicare : well good on them.

    In Peter Dutton’s world these alleged associations (Bikies and Labor) are potentially worse than asylum seekers, who can’t read and will languish on the dole, whilst taking our jobs and it is intended to stir up fear and loathing in the broader community.

    Here’s a plea to the good folk of Dickson, please don’t vote for this moron : surely there is a drover’s dog that could more effectively represent you ?

  4. helvityni

    Agree with John and with you, metadatalata.

    It’s fairer through to show Leigh the EXIT.

  5. michael lacey

    Keep well! Love your thoughts!

  6. kerri

    Whoaa! John Lord I hope you are OK now? Please put yourself first!
    Totally agree with your account of Leigh Sales with Malcolm Turnbull!
    They flirt constanlty! She is completely ablush and head over heels when interviewing him!
    Thankfully I think most ABC viewers are on to this. Or at least I hope so?
    Thanks again for your daily commentary!

  7. Ross Cornwill

    The episode with Leigh Sales was pathetic to the extreme. Not one hard question, no hand on the heart stuff, nothing contentious. Worst bit of tele for a long time. Thank you independant media.

  8. Jaquix

    Its obvious Leigh Sales likes listening to Truffles. She lets him waffle on, unhindered by interruptions or re-questioning.

  9. kerri

    May I suggest, as a balance to Leigh Sales biased interviews, you look up on iView Playground Politics with Sammy J? He does an episode per day in the style of playschool but with biting political commentary!
    Well worth watching! Very clever!

  10. Janice Warne

    We all know why the LNP have chosen a money wasting’ plebiscite’…..just as Howard did the same thing in the ‘plebiscite’ for the vote for a Republic! All the religious crazies will come out of the woodwork, so shame on Turnbull allowing this travesty, perpetuated by the hard line ‘ christian’ right in his party! Oh, and the word ‘ rouse’, is incorrect… should be ‘ ruse’!

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Leigh Sales and Uhlman are both right winged. I detest the flirty Leigh, it does no favours for women who want to be taken seriously.

    The real issue is that the ABC has fallen under control of the Libs. Even on Q&A, Turnbull got pandered to – even let get away with outrageous comments towards the host. It seems to me that the ABC are terrified of the Libs.
    Imagine the hue and cry if Labor had demanded the ABC rolled over and pandered over them while they were in power.

    More and more, Australia is becoming a fascist state.

  12. Lorraine Stansfiewld

    After watching the 7.30 report for many years I had to switch off once Leigh Sales took the chair. Sarah Ferguson and Kerry O’Brien are only the two worthwhile journalists on the ABC.

  13. Michael

    John, best wishes for a speedy and enduring recovery.

    4 Remarkable isn’t it how the electorate has been kept in the dark about boat arrivals for years then on the eve of an election we need to be brought into the light? The word ‘cynicism’ comes to mind.

    … more like hypnotised

    how did we get to this stage? – we should learn how this stuff works in school – bully myth busters.

  14. Rob G

    Sales was very weak that night. She had all guns blazing against Shorten, the night before, and couldn’t break through. Clearly two very contrasting interviews and concerning when compared. Fortunately Sarah Ferguson will interview both Turnbull and Shorten this Monday (on four corners) Maybe then we’ll see some real policy interrogation. I’m guessing there will be a lot of stumbling and pausing from Malcolm. Shorten will smile and survive as he always does.

  15. Jaquix

    Rob, thanks for the heads up! Will definitely watch, and record for re-viewing. Should be great viewing. Sarah Ferguson is the best.

  16. kerri

    Anon E Mouse Uhlmann is married to Gay Brodtman the Labor MP for Canberra!

  17. Anon E Mouse

    my spouse does not tell me who to vote for but I stand by my analysis of Uhlmann. If he supports his wife’s team, perhaps he goes too far the other way to counteract it. On the other hand, it has often been noted that there is little difference between Lib and Lab.

  18. jim

    And only on “our”ABC are the LNP in the poles highest since 14 years hip hip hurrah. A good thing fewer and fewer people watch the crap. A big shift in viewing the news on the internet hip hip hurrah. Vote LNP Last.

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