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Day to Day Politics: Oh for a leader with balls.

Friday 14 October 2016

1 If anyone wanted further proof that Malcolm Turnbull is not a leader then here it is. After the dumping of the Marriage Equality Plebiscite he publicly didn’t rule out the possibility of a free vote. His supposed deputy Barnarby Joyce quickly springs into action and tells his leader that it won’t happen.

On top of that ultra neo conservative Christian, George Christensen tells him that he cannot propose a free vote on same-sex marriage now the plebiscite has been knocked back because it would breech an agreement between the Nationals and Liberals.

”All I will say on that is if all of a sudden the policy becomes a free vote, my firm view, and it’s not just a view it’s actually the reality, [is] that is breaking one of the tenets of the Liberal National Coalition deal,” Christensen said.

”That would be quite a serious matter so I don’t think that’s going to eventuate.”

Another National MP Andrew Broad weighed in saying that he would withdraw support for the government if there was a parliamentary vote on marriage without a plebiscite.

Isn’t it astonishing that the Prime Minister of Australia can be so publicly neutered by three Nationals so intellectually inferior to himself? And he is powerless to rebuke them.

That the National Party have so much power over the Government is simply astonishing. Especially given the vote they receive.

And it’s not just on Marriage Equality policy. It’s on many policy issues. Climate Change is another example where the Prime Minister caves into them and the hypocrisy is overwhelming.

Rodney Croome Long-time marriage equality advocate said.

”Regardless of the exact wording of the agreement between the Liberal and National parties it is unconscionable for Nationals MPs to hold Malcolm Turnbull to ransom over a plebiscite”.

I have never known a party leader so owned by another party. And a junior one at that. The fact is that the campaign for Marriage Equality will only strengthen over the next three years and individual MPs might find themselves on the wrong side of history come the next election.

If Turnbull wants to be a leader with a chance of winning the next election then at some point in time he will have to confront the right of the Coalition about many issues. But given his actions so far perhaps he doesn’t want too.

Phillip Coorey writing in the AFR put another slant on the subject.

‘”The issue of same-sex marriage is divisive for both major political parties. The policy of the Australian Labor Party of a compulsory parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage is likely to be challenged at its national conference in 2017. Conservatives within the Liberal Party of Australia are likely to insist on a plebiscite as their preferred position on same-sex marriage, while moderates are inclined towards a parliamentary free vote’”

And it was somewhat cheeky of The Australian Christian Lobby spokesperson Lyle Shelton to publicly thank Bill Shorten for delivering ‘’the gift of time’’ with the announcement that Labor would not support a Plebiscite.

What the public, and not least what gays want, seems to be getting lost in the argument.

An observation.

”I have come to the conclusion that one of the truly bad effects religion (any religion) has on people is that it teaches that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding”

2 At the risk of repeating myself and I know I have written about it many times, but the question remains. When are we likely to see some decent government? When will we hear a mantra that tells the people more than a slogan like jobs and growth? Where is the broad outline, from our leader that tells the nation of his ideas beyond innovation?

Where is the plan into the future that addresses new technology and how and when it might affect the jobs of the future? What are the government’s goals for reform in the economy, our system of government, guaranteeing our health system and the environment?

These are all questions that require urgent action. What we have at the moment is a government that cannot see beyond the next election and how it might survive. And of course a Prime Minister who since becoming Prime Minister has not come up with one single policy idea, instead relying on the policies of his predecessor.

Where is the boldness, the daring and largess of thoughtful ideas to challenge the things that need to be done in a rapidly changing world?

An observation.

”Are you really doing what is important? What you believe in, or have you just adjusted to what you are doing”

3 Barnaby Joyce has made the extraordinary decision to point-blank defy a Senate order to produce the cost-benefit analysis on his plan to forcibly move 175 public servants from Canberra to the heart of his electorate.

Read more here.

4 The fact that the Turnbull Government suffered its second embarrassment on procedure may seem trivial to some but it does empathize the incompetence of the government.

It can now claim to be the first federal government in Australian history to vote against itself.

6 My secret source Tim tells me that Australians lose $23 billion a year on gambling every year and he reckons that we should have no more federal elections. Just swap the government every six years.

I suggested they would be just repairing each other’s mess.

He also tells me that the Labor Party has avoided being fined for bombarding voters with text messages purportedly from Medicare after the Australian Federal Police confirmed no offences had been committed.

On top of that he tells me that the 2013 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook statement showed net government debt at the time of the last election was $184 billion. The 2016 Budget, and Treasury’s independent PEFO which came out three weeks later, showed net debt for 2015-16 will be $285.8 billion – a blowout of more than $100 billion by the Liberals in less than three years. The Budget papers also show that in 2016-17, on the Liberals’ plans, net debt will reach 18.9% of GDP – the highest level since at least 1970.

Handy man to know my Tim.

My thought for the day.

”Everyone has a choice. You can either whinge about the issues you do something about them”



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  1. dragonnanny

    My date for today is Thursday 13 October, is this article for today or tomorrow?

  2. John Lord

    Sorry, I pushed the wrong button.

  3. Phil

    John, you refer to – “ultra neo conservative Christian, George Christensen”

    I say no, no, no!!! He might say he is a Christian but what evidence have you seen to support his claim?.

    I agree he is a neocon – there is plenty of evidence in his utterances and voting history – but there is nothing to demonstrate he is a Christian, in fact quite the contrary if the Christianity I understand holds any weight.

    Until there is some broadly acknowledged measure of what a Christian is, I’d be inclined to preface him as ‘one who claims to be a Christian’, or as a ‘Christian’ to call attention to the lack of evidence supporting the claim.

    I say the same applies to every claim of adherence to a religion – there can be no legitimate claim to ‘being’ a Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or any other religious system in the absence of a clear definition of what it means to be an adherent. There are some such definitions and from them its clear to me that very few Muslims, Buddhists, Christians et al, would be willing to be judged as living according to the definition – so let’s drop the presumption and instead call such beliefs for what they are rather than accept religious adherence without evidence, thus attributing values that are clearly not evident in most who make such claims – George being merely one of far too many.

  4. king1394

    I am puzzled as to whether Queensland MPs like Christensen are Liberal or National, seeing as their party is described as Liberal National. What does this mean? and how does it actually work as part of the coalition?

  5. kerri

    Lyle Shelton’s “gift of time” will actually work in favour of Marriage Equality as more dinosaurs whi share the opinions of Shelton and the “Old Fogey” die of old age!
    Mmmm?? Where did that “budget emergency” go?

  6. Stephen Bowler

    turnbull appears less frequent these days and when he does he says almost nothing, a leader he is not.

    I hated what Abbott represented and what was doing, but Abbott is without a doubt a leader!

    Even that gross individual Christianson displays more leadership skills that turnbull.

    The fact that turnbull is still there constitantly amazes me.


  7. Jaquix

    Why are so many of these Liberals and Nationals so truly unattractive? Christensen. Andrew Broad (reminds me of Lyle Shelton) Abetz. Andrews. Stuart Roberts. And then the borderline – O’Dwyer, Ciobo, and endless others.

  8. Matters Not

    king1394, once upon a time, In Queensland, there was the National Party (originally called the Country Party) and the Liberal Party. They each ran candidates in various electorates and effectively ‘vied’ for votes. After the demise of the ‘conservatives’ following the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the resurrection of Labor also saw the return of ‘first past the post’ or ‘optional preferential voting’. Peter Beattie successfully pushed the line of urging the voters to ‘just vote one’.

    It was a very successful strategy. Both the Nats and the Libs were perplexed. So under the urgings of Lawrence James Springborg (the brain was Greg Jackson his Press Secretary), the then leader of the Nats, proposed an ‘amalgamation’ as a way to counter the ‘just vote one strategy’. In that way the conservatives could avoid garrotting each other. And it came to pass. The LNP came into being. But only at the State level. Not the National level.

    (As an aside, Springborg thought that the Nats would actually ‘take over’ the Libs but when the numbers emerged, it was the Libs who had effectively taken over the Nats. Hence the demise of Springborg and the rise of Newman.)

    So while there are LNP political representatives at the Queensland State level, at the national level they are still either Nats or Libs and caucus accordingly.

    BTW, what I have outlined above is just a potted version – without detail and certainly without nuance.

  9. Rob Gregory

    People the ilk of George Christensen are in no way Christian. If anything, they are Biblical Fundamentalists of the first order.

  10. Terry2

    With the way that this one seat majority government has been managing the parliamentary process and with the penchant of certain of their ministers to ‘nick-off-early’, a disciplined Labor Party could hold a vote on SSM and probably get it through on the numbers.

    The Turnbull body language is showing the strain he is under, with a feral right-wing plus a coalition partner trying to call the shots, the Prime Minister is looking quite isolated with no loyal supporters backing him : maybe he needs to get a dog !

    Interesting that the increase is coal prices – thermal coal up 55% and coking coal up from $US81 to $US200 – is being lauded by the coal miners and the government but other more reflective commentators are noting that the increase in market prices of coal as a source of electricity generation is actually pushing renewables as being far more viable and cost effective into the future.

    PS: I saw Georgina Downer (daughter of Alexander) on the Drum the other night representing the IPA : seems that the IPA is now the preferred path into conservative politics – like a boot camp with cultural brainwashing thrown in.

  11. lawrencewinder

    So, coalition policy decisions trumps (oops) decisions in the national interest? Why do these banalities of little imagination seem happier destroying everything in their path than creating harmony?

  12. Jagger

    Turnball proves day after day he only wanted the title of Prime Minister , not the job.

  13. Wayne Turner

    Tony TurdNoBalls continues. The most GUTLESS PM in our history.

    Funny NoBalls and the Nats had no problem with breaking the promise to the public of the super changes they took to the election.And NoBalls had no problem lying to the public with his “Advocacy and NOT’s slogans”,then equals = “jobs and growth”.

    NoBalls is GUTLESS.If he had the guts he would put the policy of a free vote in parliament for SSM.What would the ultra right/nats do? Dump NoBalls to force an early election they will lose? Or replace him with someone that will lose the next election?

    NoBalls has the upper hand,he’s just a GUTLESS WIMP.

  14. Steve Laing

    Our system doesn’t really engender us getting good leaders. Andrew Street said it well yesterday

    And this is a serious issue with our wonderful political system, which puts huge emphasis on the leaders, but who actually have very little of the power they need to do things.

    But actually Turnbull has never had more power than he currently does. With a one seat majority HIS vote is enough to bring the government down, and given his wealth and the safety of his seat he could tell his party to step into line or face a new election. He has nothing to lose. His timidity to do so however speaks volumes, both about his political acumen, but also his alleged leadership experience – it is clear his business experience is actually a little thin.

  15. trishcorry

    Phil – George Christensen was going to be a priest. He is very religious.

  16. Jaquix

    Turnbull says he loves the job, but he doesnt really look as if he is enjoying himself most of the time. Except when the comm. car drops him off at the station so he can “catch a train” to the stop where the car will pick him up again. One thing he could do, is wait til the last minute, call an election, and then announce his retirement, so the seat of Wentworth is vacant, so is the Prime Ministership and what a wonderful chaotic scene that would be. Of course, I can dream.

  17. Jack Straw

    Trish He’s also very overweight… Too many Chew Chew bars

  18. Jaquix

    And needs a new tailor-made suit. Although on second thoughts, the crumpled look kind of goes with the persona.

  19. Kronomex

    Malcolm Turnbull, the sock puppet of the raving rabid right.

  20. Kaye Lee


    6 of the 21 LNP HoR MPs identify as Nationals. 2 of the Qld Senators identify as Nationals. You can find out who are Nationals here.

    Members, Senators and Candidates

  21. win jeavons

    What sort of democracy do we have if promises to the people ( no cuts to ABC, health, education ….. ) can be broken easily, but promises within your team are unbreakable? This is a Kleptocracy, where power is available to steal . Turnbull is a disgrace and a failure , I trust history records him as such.

  22. wayne117700

    i wouldnt feed anyone in the lnp they have lied to us for well over 4 years they have targeted the poor while trying to just give away 50 billion of our taxpayer dollars for nothing to greedy self serving multinationals who will take the cash shove it in their off shore accounts i think its time to take back our government

  23. townsvilleblog

    dragonnannyOctober 13, 2016 at 6:37 pmThis is a serious article, please don’t post frivolous things, we do need a leader with balls. Shorten picked up 14 seats at the last election. he should be cockahoop and be into them every day, God knows there is enough reason to be in to them on a daily basis.

    This is the time to seize the day for Labor, but Shorten appears to have gone back into his shell, the great E.G.Whitlam Q.C. would be up them on a daily basis, and where are the Shadow Cabinet, they played no role in the election campaign?

  24. townsvilleblog

    wayne117700October 15, 2016 at 12:24 am yes mate, the time has arrived for mass protest and for the Opposition Leader and the Shadow Cabinet to be on the attack on a daily basis.

  25. mark

    Labours’ weakness and the Lnp stranglehold,deserve each other.mark

  26. ausgronk

    Trish I understand where you are coming from in regards to G.C etc. My brother studied to become a minister but was undone by the psychology test which classified him borderline sociopath and when he actually had to deal with real life situations and the people in real life he ran faster than Usain Bolt the other way and declared that he wasn’t going to waste his abilities on people who “choose” that lifestyle ! He says one thing but his actions as with G.C say a whole other story.

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