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Day to Day Politics: The nuclear war on Turnbull.

Monday 13 November 2017

“What is best for the country?” I ask myself as I wrestle with the vexed question of dual citizenship. It’s somewhat of a quandary for an old purest wanting to improve the standard of governance in our nation.

Bill Shorten of course is milking the situation for all it’s worth. Blatantly so. On the one hand it’s about doing what’s best for the country but on the other I find it’s difficult, as a person of the left, to deny Labor the opportunity to give back some of what it has had to endure from the Coalition since Tony Abbott was appointed Opposition Leader in 2010.

And of course there is the ‘national good’ to consider. Does the end justify the means? The Government – because of its insipid governance – deserves to be evicted by whatever means possible.

What would you do in this game of cat and mouse? The Prime Minister is threatening to break with the convention that only the party of the accused should refer members to the High Court.

Perhaps Turnbull is thinking that Abbott broke so many conventions that another by him would go unnoticed.

The Opposition for its part has threatened to respond with some sort of “nuclear” retaliation if the government goes ahead with its threat. It is not so long ago that the government was arguing all High Court referrals should be made by the party to which they belong.

Even the Attorney-General George Brandis said High Court referrals “should never be done on a party-line vote”, calling it “a very dangerous course”. Labor argues that its members who are under a cloud have immunity because they made more than a reasonable attempt to clear up their dual citizenship issues.

If Turnbull did choose to go down the path of referring Opposition members then all hell would break loose with Labor making counter claims against five Government members. Labor says there are “compelling” doubts over the status of Julia Banks, Nola Marino, Alex Hawke, Tony Pasin and Ann Sudmalis:

“If Turnbull wants to fire this missile we’ve got the ammo to go nuclear,” the source said. “If I were Julia Banks, Nola Marino or Alex Hawke I’d be sweating bullets whenever he talks about referring Labor MPs. He is locking and loading the gun at his own MPs.”

With a wafer-thin excuse for trying to hang on, John Alexander elected to resign. He really had no choice and was probably instructed to. Now the Bennelong by by-election will be held on December 16. Is the electorate so displeased with the Government that it would vote it out. With a usually considered margin of 10% and an average by-election swing of 7% I should think the answer is “yes”, decidedly so.

When the electorate is angry the people can raise their collective voices as one and overcome the advantage of personal popularity and safe seat influences. With a margin of 10% you would, under normal circumstances, consider it a safe seat but these are certainly not normal times. Any swing against the Government would reflect badly on the Government and the performance of Malcolm Turnbull.

The seat by its extremely high multicultural nature is not averse to letting government know its feelings and it just might be that they intently dislike the Turnbull government’s controversial overhaul of the requirements to become an Australian citizen, which is stalled in the Senate.

For his part Bill Shorten has made his intentions clear. He will not be reporting any of his own thus creating an ongoing nightmare for Turnbull. If Turnbull reports Labor members then he will up the anti and report 5 Coalition members at different times creating staggered by-elections that would make governance nigh on impossible and on a daily basis.

Should this develop into a tit for tat prolonged citizenship war, it will be one that makes the Coalition susceptible to losing control of the House at any time. The Government’s reputation is already shattered. Why would you add to it further? It would make them look silly.

And while it has the Government on its knees it will pursue issues such as a royal commission into the banking industry, and the restoration of Sunday penalty rates when Parliament resumes in late November.

So there is still that part of me that say’s “go get ’em Bill,” they deserve everything you can throw at them. But there is also the idealist that wants to see democracy in its purest form.

On top of that is superimposed the greater good. Should I sell out my principles for it? That is the question.

My thought for the day

“Truth is pure yet fragile and requires delicacy in delivery. There are however times when it needs some diplomatic force to make it register.”

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  1. Ella miller

    The Liberals have for ages given Bill Shorten heaps.In Parliament it is sickening to hear the half truths and aspersions being cast.I think to date Labor has tried hard to provide alternative policies, playing with a straight bat. It is time for Labor to fight for what is best for the country.
    What ever it takes. Which is what has been the LNP policy to hang on to power.

  2. Peter F

    For a long time Shorten has remained calm and watched while the coalition imploded. If Turnbull is so foolish as to refer an ALP member to the high court, then we should be prepared to accept that Shorten may do the same.

    How can the coalition take action to refer an ALP member to the Court and then attack the ALP if their action is seen as setting a precedent?

    The sooner it is over the better for the Country.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Off topic, but today is supposed to be the start of Kathy Jackson’s four-week committal hearing, not that I have heard anything about it in the media.

  4. Graeme Henchel

    One thing we can be fairly sure of is that Turnbull will stuff it up. In this case the damage will be done to him and the coalition so that will be no bad thing unlike the other major stuff ups he has presided over such as the NBN.

    The game for the Abbott/ Turnbull kakistocracy is almost over.

    We live in times when thugs and shysters rule
    A house inept led by a spineless spiv
    A senate tainted by a racist fool
    Alas lament these times but don’t forgive

    A public misled by slogans and spin
    Fed by hacks with symbiotic plots
    Behind it all a cabal deep within
    As malignant mega rich call the shots

    Yet the wheels of power are falling off
    Their lies come back to bite them on the arse
    We’ve had enough of the Thug and the Toff
    As fiasco evolves into high farce

    The cycle of these charlatans repeats
    These liars destroyed by their own deceits

  5. Terry2

    Kaye Lee

    I too have been watching the news feeds to see if our Kathy will front court this morning but nothing. Which is quite odd when you consider how focused the Murdoch media in particular have been on union wrongdoings. Here we have the biggest case or union rorting and not a mention (so far).

    Perhaps Michaelia Cash didn’t alert the media !

  6. Kaye Lee

    The Murdoch media are too focused on trying to get Malcolm with Liberal Party sources feeding them info about Turnbull supporters who have citizenship questions. Sharri Markson is an absolute joke. Talk about a puppet.

  7. Pilot

    Righto you buggers!!!! Who pinched the bloody pop corn? I get a day off and no pop corn to be found!!! This is an utter farce. I mean, ffs, how long do we have to put up with the blustering lying greedy bastards some know as the LNP. Stone the bloody crows they’re a disgraceful bunch. Unions are squeaky clean compared to this mob.

    I need pop corn to munch on and watch these villages implode! I don’t think Bill needs to do anything at all, the clowns in power are doing the job on themselves. Talk about a righteous mob, lmao!! They think they are, but at the end of the day they are deluded, greedy, lying, grubby arseholes hellbent on destroying Australia as we knew it!

  8. John Lord

    The Newspoll today comes as no surprise. In fact I expected it.

  9. bearbrooke

    Should you sell out your principles John Lord?

    Good leaders don’t. Good people don’t. I doubt you will.

    But as for Shorten? He’s a politician. Isn’t it the mark a present day politician that he’ll sell his soul to the Devil for power and political advantage?

    From simple principles complexity evolves; that’s how the universe was made and it’s what makes politics so messy.

    Politics today is like the gangland of childhood. The kiddie belongs to this gang or that, plays for this team or that, Cowboy or Indian, cop or robber …. Principles? Ha! Winning is what it’s all about; in childhood and in politics.

  10. Harquebus

    “Now the Bennelong by by-election will be held on December 16.”
    I assume this means “the bye bye-election…”

  11. Phil

    The way our federal politics is playing out today is nothing to be surprised obout. A weak, divided but privileged Liberal party in a fractured coalition with a National Party wholly owned by mining interests is fixated on hiding its inability to govern. Instead of focusing on the purpose of national government it has for four years now poured every ounce of its energy including its reserves, into a relentless war on the Opposition. It has defined this war in class terms – workers and their unions bad – bosses and business good.

    Shorten has maintained cool unflappability and adopted the role of defacto government – a role reversal with Shorten as defacto PM and policy maker and Turnbull as defacto opposition and naysayer and this is driving the rest of Australia nuts. The LNP has debased and denigrated our democracy and parliament.

    When parliament resumes, my suggestion is for the two parties as they enter on the first day, to swap sides in the house and thereby save us from another election full of deceits, character assasinations, lies, slogans and pure humbug.

    Failing that, Shorten has every justification to respond to Turnbull provocations by turning the attack back on this disgusting government – this is not a time to appease.

  12. Terry2

    Christopher Pyne considers it quite legitimate to refer Labor politicians to the High Court but refuses to countenance including coalition parliamentarians.

    It’s almost as though Pyne is trying to destroy the Turnbull government.

  13. Sandra Searle

    This is somewhat off topic but, I listened very closely to both Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull after they had their meeting to try to get a concensus on the citizenship saga.
    Shorten stated quite clearly that he wanted every one in parliament from all parties and the independents to show proof that they were actually eligible to be elected into government. The date was very early in December, where as Turnbull just prevaricated about the date wanting to make it later which probably took it to the end of this years sitting, thereby nothing would probably get done about the problem until next year.
    Every news clip on the media sprouts how Shorten is the bad guy and Turnbull is being held to ransom and the he will be making sure that he will be naming more ALP members to be referred to the high court.
    Here is, yet again a distortion of the truth being reported by the right wing media.
    Here again is this stupid inept government wanting to waste more money on high court challenges.
    There is a very great need for a strong stance to be taken and the one that is the simplest and fairest way is that everyone table proof of citizenship surely.
    What does everyone think?

  14. Ross

    The great Mandala, the wheel of life has turned the full 360 degrees for the coalition, from boom to bust.
    Newspoll result today is 55-45%, Malcolm must have been very naughty in a previous life for such bad Karma while Bill Shorten must have been a paragon of virtue and goodness for such good Karma.
    (Karma refers to the principle of cause and effect where intent and actions influence the future).
    Labor hold all the cards, the coalition is a busted flush and as Bob Dylan once noted ”you can’t win with a losing hand”
    Julia Gillard must be walking around with a permanent grin these days.

  15. Robert

    Yes Sandra, I noticed that also. MSM, with few exceptions, is the enemy of progress. The media has perfected the art of creating a climate where squabbling replaces intelligent debate. The context of any public debate does not happen in a vacuum. Media is effectively the adjudicator and they’re doing a total rubbish job. Nothing gets fixed, or rather things do get ‘fixed’ (for the elite): trade deals that favor private interests over sovereign nations, foreign invasions in the name of oil profits, environmental degradation in the name of profitable trade, human rights trade-off in the name of trade, etc, it’s all good as far as the media’s concerned: TRADE > humanity. About all one can do is not add to the madness.

  16. Peter F

    Julia Gillard must be holding her head high in the knowledge that she withstood these liars for as long as she did.

  17. wam

    Massive storms and frog songs may have kept me awake last night, but 20 laps and a good laugh at the Lord’s truth, have given my monday a great start.

    Good to read that the Lord might be following the disingenuous dixxxnransimkims into pragmatism. If a lie/untruth/part truth/innuendo now will get to a truth later then principles can be ignored.

    The loonies supported the rabbott against climate change and when he was pm over doubling the debt ceiling. Over the last 4 years they took every opportunity they could embarrass shorten and labor.
    Today they support trumball’s witch hunt. “George Brandis said High Court referrals “should never be done on a party-line vote”, calling it “a very dangerous course’ Wonder if the christmas loony is an italian citizen from mum or dad?
    But whatever, how’s that for a flexible set of principles??

    The labor, liberal, national, green, nxt, one nation leaders are honest. Is this statement:
    partly true
    partly false

    If honesty was a factor in politics which leader comes closest to being true to themselves or. at least honest to beliefs? (Would you vote for her on that basis?)
    It seems to me there is a simple legislative solution for all pollies born in Australia. But, even by relatives, I can generate no facebook support. Perhaps if people advocated referring the eligibility of the retired pollies to the high coot judges, the issue would be resolved post haste?
    ‘Truth is fragile’?? Your truth or my truth?
    dastyari is:
    a dickhead, at least over ‘china’
    ll the 4 are true, Lord, and none represent a race, where is the truth in labor and the media squealing ‘racist attack’?

    ps terry 2 You have made so many humorous tongue in cheek comments they must be of louis armstrong proportions

  18. Kronomex

    The LNP is imploding quite nicely and I think Bill is doing the right thing for the moment by just sitting back and enjoying the unravelling of the Carnival of the Insane that is the Turnbull fiasco, I mean gubmint.

    Oh dear, oh dear, Poorwheen will be a tad upset –

    It hasn’t “battered Federal Parliament”, it smashed the crap out of the LNP.

  19. jimhaz

    Hilarious – someone else can’t stand Hanson

    “One Nation has lost a member in the Senate after the man replacing Malcolm Roberts – Queensland publican Fraser Anning – quit the party on his first morning on the job.

    Party leader Pauline Hanson issued a press release on Monday confirming Senator Anning had “abandoned” the party to stand as an independent.”

  20. Harquebus

    ““abandoned” the party to stand as an independent.”
    They all should and I am not just referring to One Nation.
    I think it was the QLD Labor politician who, when recently expelled from the party stated that, it was liberating to be able to speak his mind and vote according to his own conscience.

  21. David1

    As long as this beligerent, out of it’s depth, mismanaging, deceitful, lying Coalition Govt remains in office we are heading for a major popcorn shortage in this land

  22. David Stakes

    The Keating strategy, going to do them slowly.

  23. Terry2

    Interesting questions raised but not answered in the Senate:

    How is it that Stephen Parry former Senate President told Communications Minister Mitch Fifield that he thought he had a dual citizenship problem, but Fifield did not brief the Prime Minister to whom it came as a bolt from the blue.

    How is it that Michaelia Cash and her media adviser, David De Garis sat down with the Prime Minister shortly after De Garis had briefed the media on an AFP raid on the AWU, evidently without the knowledge of Cash and the PM also remained in the dark.

    In both cases the Prime Minster has been misled by senior ministers or he is pleading willful ignorance or they’re all telling lies.

  24. Alpo

    It is the duty of both Shorten and the ALP to speed up the end of this horrible Neoliberal Government to start a new phase in the political life of this country: a phase that will determine the development of a new Social Democratic path, where opportunities will be available to All, not just the top 1%.


    Turnbull’s threats will backfire. ‘that the government was arguing all High Court referrals should be made by the party to which they belong’. There is a serious question of legal costs if a party refers its own members to the court. No doubt Turnbull is also hoping to drain ALP coffers before the next election with his demands for the ALP to self report. In fact, that is probably the real reason behind Turnbull’s strategy. I think the issue of legal costs is seriously underestimated in this. Turnbull & the LNP would be advantaged by the ALP needing to spend money on legal proceedings and, thereby, be deprived of revenue that it could otherwise use to fight an election.

    In any event, Turnbull is once again misreading the recent HC decisions and misleading the public about that decision. The ALP candidates all made reasonable steps before they nominated as s 44 requires. Just because their renunciation was not confirmed until after nomination or the election does not detract from the fact they made reasonable efforts to renounce before nomination. The decision does not say what Turnbull says it does…it does not say that the members were disqualified because they failed to make reasonable efforts to renounce before nomination because none of them had made any efforts to renounce. Roberts, Joyce, Waters and Ludrum, like Alexander, made no efforts and Robert’s efforts were also contrived. Turnbull is bluffing and muck-raking. If he is any sort of lawyer at all he would know that s 44 and the HC only require reasonable efforts to be made before nomination not that renunciation was confirmed before nomination. If, in fact, the ALP MP’s have made reasonable efforts, which it appears they have, then Turnbull will once again look like the village idiot and be a laughing stock and his whole strategy will back fire on him and his idiot gov as it did when Shorten eventually produced his documents showing he had in fact renounced. Turnbull is on a hiding to nothing here and his prospects will end up even worse than they are now as his strategy will back-fire and leave him with gunpowder flavored egg all over his stupid face. Go for it Bill ….do them slowly…so we can all enjoy the show. No doubt that is what Labor intend to do here – do them slowly in full view of the whole country – as the law seems strongly on Labor’s side.


    Question for John Lord. You keep putting forward the idea that decisions should be made in the public or greater good. Given that what one person may believe is in the public good is very subjective and that what one person believes is in the public good another person may not believe it is, what test or method of assessment do you proposes by which ‘the public good’ is to be ascertained in specific or particular instances and issues? As seen by the same sex marriage debate, some people believe allowing same sex marriage to be against the public good while others believe it is in the public good. How do you propose the issue be determined one way or another? (Other than by resort to a citizen initiated referendum on every issue, which, by the way, may still not be in the public good as people have a record of voting for things that are not in the public good and on the basis of their prejudices. Euthenasia is another example).


    John Lord. You have not replied to my question. Shall we all presume then that ur concept of the common good is the same as that proposed by Bentham and Mill?

  28. Lord John

    Oppose Stop picking on the very marvelous writer that is; John Lord.

  29. David1

    ‘Oppose’ you have had your reply…work it out!!


    I haven’t had a reply and no one is picking on him. Just want to know the answer to the question. What he proposes is basically what we are supposed to have now but that hasn’t worked. So what is the difference between what he is proposing and what the liberalists like Bentham and Mill have already proposed? You know, the greatest good for the greatest number i.e.utilitarianism. Here’s a brief but ok outline.


    John Lord. some people believe trickledown economics is in the common good.

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