1 How is it possible for a party that attains 6.4% of the primary vote to have so much influence on major policies? Or indeed its senior partner and leader? A party that derives approximately the same votes as the Greens, yet has 9 seats in the House of Representatives to the Greens one.
As it stands Barnaby Joyce is calling all the shots. Every time he says “jump”, Malcolm says “how high?”
Let’s run through some examples. There is no doubt that an efficient world’s best NBN would have been of enormous benefit to its constituents yet it is the National Party that has supported the Liberal policy of a second best service that will eventually have to be replaced.
It is the National Party that supports the Adler shotgun importation. Most Australians find guns abhorrent. The National Party needs to explain why we need more of them. We shouldn’t have to put a case for opposing lethal weapons.
It is the National Party who support the greyhound industry and in so doing condemns thousands of dogs to death.
It is the National Party who have converted a politician who once had a view that Climate Change needed urgent attention and had a sincere desire to do something about it.
We all now know that it was the Nationals who insisted Turnbull sign a document that he act to the contrary. What is more peculiar is that those on the land are among the most at risk. Even more amazing is that the more serious land owners take seriously the environment risks they face.
It’s the National Party who hold all the cards in the opposition of Marriage Equality. Whilst an overwhelming majority of the Australian population endorse it, it’s the Nats who hold sway over the Prime Minister and the parliament. It’s the junior coalition party imposing its cultural cringe on the rest of us.
It is the party of oddballs. The Party of Andrew Broad who would bring down the Government if a parliamentary vote was allowed on Marriage Equality. Or so he says.
It’s the party who attracts racists like George Christensen. A man of anti-Islam sentiments who also wants to end income tax because…
”There are only a few things more detestable than someone mooching directly off your income, even if it is the state and it is supposedly for the common good”.
It’s the party of the sexist Barry O’Sullivan, of Toowoomba.
”I thought you might like to hear a man’s voice”.
A man known for his rudeness in Senate Estimates.
Yes it’s the party of mediocre men where women are tolerated but not encouraged. A party where unexceptional minds like Barnaby Joyce dictate to exceptional, if not hypocritical ones, like Malcolm Turnbull.
It’s a party with a leader of clownish disposition and ocker country temperament inclined to a voice of stupidity when opening his mouth. Some find his ockerish-ness appealing while others find him simply moronic.
It’s the Nationals who breathe the air of a world that others have vacated. It is a world long gone where men of the land ruled and serfdom had its traditional customs.
2 In the meantime of course the senior party is, because of its own internal brawling between far right conservatives and small L Liberals, and who is the rightful leader, are finding it almost impossible to counter Joyce. Both the ideology argument and leadership battle is likely to be ongoing so good government may be hard to find for a while.
It’s a pity Turnbull has not had the guts to confront Joyce with the same intellectual hostility as he did with Abbott. But sooner or later Turnbull will have to become, or at least create the perception that he is his own man.
3 Richard Branson reminisces about a lunch with Donald Trump some years ago.
”Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help”.
”He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people”.
”He didn’t speak about anything else”.
”I was baffled why he had invited me to lunch solely to tell me this”.
”For a moment, I even wondered if he was going to ask me for financial help. If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!”
Sort of rings true, doesn’t it?
4 Scott Morrison out and about yesterday telling the States how to lower the cost of housing when Labor so ably demonstrated during the last election campaign that it was negative gearing that was the elephant in the room.
5 Back to Trump for a tick. There is this rumour apparently doing the rounds of Washington that Trump is planning to lose and lose big time. Why, well it seems, as conspiracy theories go, he plans to open another news network.
According to a story by Richard Parker from Fairfax:
”With Trump at the helm, it would present two opportunities: a rump movement of the far-right that will effectively destroy the Republican Party by cleaving it in two. More tangibly and lucratively, a new far-right-wing media empire would emerge from the ashes of the campaign. There is big money in conservative media for advertising, books, direct marketing and petition-based fundraising. Conservative media’s dirty little secret is that it takes a healthy rake on all of it”.
I’m not a praying man but in this case ”please don’t let it happen”.
6 Australia is now ranked 23 out of 26 countries for customer satisfaction of broadband services. Personally I registered for the NBN in September when I was told we would be on line mid October. Then it was delayed until November and now I’m told it will be March.
My thought for the day
“The danger in looking back to often is that we lose the will to go forward”.