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Day to Day Politics: Turnbull still not leading.

1 Donald Trump’s win has certainly emboldened the more far right socially conservative members of the Government. The likes of Bernardi, Christensen, Hastie and Abetz have made it known that the message is to take his victory seriously and for the Government to embrace socially conservative values or risk losing power.

Tony Abbott says that Turnbull now talks less about innovation and the new economy, and more about national security, union corruption, and the claimed pitfalls of too much reliance on renewable energy.

Abbott has taken it upon himself to recreate Turnbull in his image and in his frequent interludes into Prime Ministerial business he more or less gives a commentary on his conversion.

We are expected to put to one side the old Malcolm Turnbull and embrace the new one with unbridled fondness.

The trouble is that “when we look at Malcolm Turnbull, we hear Tony Abbott”.

Well I am all for self-improvement. I like to think I have practiced it all my life. But in this instance I will not be conned with this nonsense.

An observation.

”In the concoction, the recipe that is called leadership there are many ingredients. None more important than integrity, positiveness and the ability to trust and delegate. But it is truth that glues it altogether to create character.”

The Prime Minister’s grip on power depends on how he placates those on the outer edges of the far right. Thus far he has had to concede to them at every turn, turning himself into a hypocrite at the same time.

The small ”l ”’ Malcolm we elected so far has gone AWOL.

Members such as Matthias Cormann, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenburg, it is said are prepared to work cooperatively with him for now but they might cut him loose if he dares to wonder of the leash.

The social conservatives still have strong reservations about same-sex marriage, inclusive multiculturalism and progressive climate change policy.

The Coalition shares the socially conservative values of its counterparts in America on issues of race, gender and sexuality but the American’s believe in a closed society whilst Australian conservatives believe in the value of free trade.

Tensions between the two are already starting to appear.

2 Those mikes are still catching out conservative loose mouths. This time one finds George Brandis giving his Queensland colleagues a serve while suggesting that Pauline Hansen could win a load of seats in that state.

”They’re not very good … mediocre” he called the Queensland Opposition.

3 Labor is at last addressing ”EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY” Chris Bowen is proposing that the Productivity Commission produce five-yearly reports measuring equality of opportunity and social mobility.

An observation.

”There is no greater need than the need for equality of opportunity in education”.

It’s part of plan to see that Australia maintains its egalitarian tradition of a fair go for all.

4 Malcolm Roberts is suggesting that Donald Trump’s victory will bring on the beginning of a ‘’Western Spring’’

While talking about Mr Robert’s, Gavin Schmidt,the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has told Senator Roberts he is “mistaken” in his assertion that the US agency had “removed” Arctic data to mask warming in the 1940s.

He went on to conclude that:

”I’m aware of who Malcolm Roberts is, and the only surprise is that he is in fact a senator”.

5 Labor holds its lead over Coalition in latest Newspoll 47/53.

6 The Senate has voted 33-30 to pass legislation to establish a Registered Organisations Commission, which will assume responsibility for regulating unions.

It passed only after the Government agreed to introduce greater protection for whistleblowers.

A good thing.

7 China might be asked to replace the US in the Trans-Pacific Partnership now that America has indicated it intends to drop out.

That will rattle some cages.

8 The big news that is receiving little exposure is that the deficit will blow out by an additional $24 billion over the next four years. Everyone knew at the time of the election that the growth assumptions in the budget were unlikely to occur. Even treasury told the government so.

The treasurer undoubtedly will rant on that you can only use the figures you are presented with. Well of course, but you could always tell the truth. Something will have to be done soon otherwise if Australia is to retain its triple-A credit rating. They could start with eliminating the subsidies given to rich mining companies. And getting rid of negative gearing would help.

To keep repeating the slogan of ”Jobs n growth” is only perpetuating a lie.

Remember the Conservative budget rhetoric of a couple of years ago. Maybe Labor should take a leaf out of their book and begin shouting “crisis”.

9 Now we hear that around 500,000 taxpayers including nurses, teachers and others who have traditionally claimed their uniforms as tax deductions will no longer be able to do so. The Government will save $30 million annually.

They could have cut back on their own expenses and saved the same amount.

10 60% of people under the age of 25 don’t have a driver’s licence.

Any thoughts?

11 Barnaby Joyce, the water minister, might find himself in hot water after telling the SA Government that the 450 gigalitres allocated to it by the Gillard could not be delivered by 2024 if there is a social and economic detriment. It has been reported that Nick Xenophon was seen in the Senate corridors with steam rising from his head.

12 In a speech to the business council of Australia last week the Prime Minister spoke of the need for fairness when making policy decisions.

”Fairness does not mean examining each decision in isolation, looking at a narrow set of winners and losers”.

”It means making sure our overall system is fair, examining the transfers of goods and services over a person’s lifetime and asking ourselves, does this reflect the benchmarks we set ourselves of an open, fair and just society?”

He went on to say that there will be winners and losers. Guess who?

In a later speech the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten responded by saying.

”The same old Liberal story – the law of the jungle, the survival of the fittest,” the Labor leader said.

”The prime minister has the nerve, the arrogance to say we shouldn’t talk about winners and losers in the short-term – that it all works out in the end.”

”Losing your job, losing your home, losing your support isn’t something you shrug off as the cost of doing business.”

My thought for the day.

”We experience happiness so that we might better understand sorrow and we experience sorrow so that we might better comprehend joy”.


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  1. Terry2

    It now appears that Dutton’s strangely timed attack on the Fraser government’s immigration policy forty years ago and the dog whistling against Lebanese Muslims is a cynical exercise in reaching out to One Nation by saying ” we’re with you, we too can be racist”.

    Grubby politics and Turnbull is not prepared to slap Dutton down and Dutton knows that he won’t.

  2. Ricardo29

    Re the latest polls. Labor increases its lead, but Bill still trails as PPM. The people wanted Albo to lead but the party gave us Bill. He did a good job in the election, just not good enough. Needs to be replaced by someone with some mongrel and who, incidentally, isn’t a mate of the IPA’s Roskam

  3. Kaye Lee

    “60% of people under the age of 25 don’t have a driver’s licence.”

    Almost 90% of Australians live in urban areas. Driving on city roads is a nightmare. If you are lucky enough to have a railway close by it is about the only way you can have some certainty of how long your trip will take. Under 25, insurance for a car is significantly more expensive. When you add up all the costs of driving, including increasing tolls, it’s probably cheaper to use public transport or Uber in cities

  4. wam

    dear Lord,
    labor no to shouting crisis but yes to touting the rabbott’s crisis lie – yes to shouting LABOR’S AAA rating is at risk. yes at shouting howard’s waste of resources and selling gold, telstra and airports, cambodia cost yes at medicare attacks yes to packer $5m for a ring but no income for medicare levy?
    It is time for all labor interviews to start with a question for the media to ask morrison or dutton or the women like cash pointing out a danger to the economy and labor’s AAA rating by libs emphasise the rifts libs nats start the next election now.
    ps why is the ‘jobs and growth’ slogan a lie?
    pps I don’t know any WASP/WASC 16-25 who doesn’t have a licence.
    a good thing to trust the gov????

  5. Terry2

    It now seems that the ABCC legislation will only get through the Senate with the support of Xenophon and Hinch if the government are prepared to introduce meaningful legislation to protect contractors and sub-contractors in the event of financial collapse of a developer or building principal.

    If Xenophon and Hinch are able to get this through it will be a major achievement dwarfing the ideological intent of the ABCC Bill, and introduces very real social reform. There will, of course, be massive resistance from the powerful end of town so you can expect some reluctance from the government to do something that is so socially progressive.

    I’m quite impressed with the way Hinch and Xenophon are approaching this and I think that even Labor would applaud a legislated compensation fund to protect vulnerable tradies.

    The next few day should be interesting and challenging to the Liberal Party.

  6. helvityni

    Ricardo29, I too wanted Albanese, he also happen to have people appeal which is always a plus in a leader…it just might be the deciding factor for some…

    Are there still people about who actually like Turnbull, he’s too condescending and his smiles come across as smirks. Maybe his ‘new me’ is a result of some effective couching by Abbott…?

  7. Kronomex

    Turncoat has well and truly become the ventriloquists puppet for the rabid right.
    The LNP is becoming desperate enough to prop up their failure of a government by losing the TPP (I’ve always had a feeling that it would fall over) frying pan to considering leaping into a FTA hot wok.
    “They could have cut back on their own expenses and saved the same amount.” We all know it won’t happen, just think of the screams of anguish from all sides whenever that issue raises its head.
    I wonder, do pollies claim their “work clothes” as deductions every year? Does Malcolm the Dancing Monkey want the taxpayers to pay for his, probably, $1,000 plus suits and other accoutrements because they are his “uniforms”?

  8. Matters Not

    introduce meaningful legislation to protect contractors and sub-contractors in the event of financial collapse of a developer or building principal

    Sounds great! But who will pay? Will it be just another burden on taxpayers or will there be a levy on industry to cover these expenses?

    I suspect that it will be an additional burden on the public purse and be rorted on a massive scale. For example, set up any number of companies and then bankrupt them in serial fashion. QED.

    Already we see example of companies going bankrupt, owing employees significant entitlements (Clive Palmer is a good example) and the public purse becomes the white knight. One wonders if these ‘rescuers’ know what they are doing.

  9. Terry2


    The sub-contractors guarantee scheme being proposed by Xenophon and Hinch would be funded by industry either by a levy or perhaps a bank guarantee.

    Inevitably there will be costs involved and, just like the builders warranty insurance, will put a small additional charge on building costs but when you consider the devastation that frequently hits unpaid tradesmen when there is a company collapse, the trade-off is in my opinion worth it.

  10. crypt0

    Turnbull seems highly confident that the advent of President-elect Trump will have no effect on his scheme to send the Manus Is. and Nauru refugees to the US … as many as possible presumably …
    No matter that … ” Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
    However long that will take is anyone’s guess.
    Of course, that was said prior to the election, and like our very own LieNP prior to various elections, should only be taken at face value by the wilfully ignorant.
    No wonder Trump is the pin-up boy of Australia’s LieNP.
    Not a word from any of them can be taken as unvarnished truth … I bet Hillary is happy about that !

  11. Mercurial

    “Something will have to be done soon (otherwise) if Australia is to retain its triple-A credit rating.”

    Blame Labor!

  12. Just saying is all

    Hi John, don’t want to be pedantic, but ( there is always a but) I am assuming your stat re drivers under 25 is only counting those who can have a licence. That is, those of legal driving age. Is this correct?

    As always your article is thought provoking.

  13. John Lord

    Hi John, don’t want to be pedantic, but ( there is always a but) I am assuming your stat re drivers under 25 is only counting those who can have a licence. That is, those of legal driving age. Is this correct?

    Not sure. It was something I heard on THE DRUM that took me by surprise.

  14. Harquebus

    Malcolm Turnbull is leading us. It’s just not where he intends to go and nor where others are expecting. He is completely lost due to incompetence.

  15. Michael Taylor

    helvityni, I don’t know about you, but I want another Paul Keating.

  16. helvityni

    Michael, I’d love another Keating, but they stopped making men/leaders like him….it’s all trumps now, wherever you look….boring bully boys.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    It passed only after the Government agreed to introduce greater protection for whistleblowers.

    I don’t think so, not from what I’ve read online.

    In a written agreement the government has promised a parliamentary inquiry to examine the Registered Organisations Commission whistleblower amendments “with the objective of implementing the substance and detail of hose amendments to achieve an equal or better whistleblower protection and compensation regime in the corporate and public sectors”.

    The parliamentary inquiry would report by the end of June next year. If the committee’s report recommended adopting stronger whistleblower protections in the corporate and public sectors, the government would establish an expert advisory panel to expedite the development and drafting of legislation. That legislation would be introduced into parliament by December 2017.

    “The government will commit to support enhancements to whistleblower protections and commit to a parliamentary vote on the legislation no later than 30 June 2018,” the agreement says.

    Xenophon, either deliberately as many are averring, and is my thought, or has been fooled by the L-NP as have others have been who have dealt with them in the past, has only agreed to the government setting up a committee sometime in 2018 to look at whistleblower legislation and who have promised in writing to extend the legislation to the corporate and public sectors. A written promise that isn’t worth a thing from the Libs as they’ve broken so many written promises previously.

    In the meantime the government gets through its Registered Organisations legislation the moment its passed.

    Doesn’t seem much of a fair deal to me.

  18. Harquebus

    Did you see my apology from yesterday?
    I will repeat it if not.

  19. Michael Taylor

    H’, if not, I will pass it on. I received your email but need to be on my computer to act upon it. That could be a few hours yet as I’m having internet issues. My apologies for any delay.

  20. Möbius Ecko

    ….boring bully boys.

    …or feckless puppets of boring bully boys.

  21. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    My thanks and appreciation.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    …I’m having internet issues.

    In medical terms you’re having Turnbull iatrogenic issues.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Telstra problems, Mo. Had to wait three weeks for them to lay the telephone cable (which they finally did on Monday) but my ISP can’t do anything until Telstra “click the switch” (their words). The dongle I brought for WiFi is about as useless as an ashtray on a motor bike.

  24. wam

    Helvityni what a marvellous freudian slip!!!!!
    Keating was unschooled but life educated none of his ilk in politics and outside of hanson or hinch none with his lack of private school indoctrination.
    labor has become the hope party and will patient stand bye dispassionately mouthing ‘I object’ in the hope that somebody is ?????

  25. helvityni

    Harquebus, all’s well; apology much appreciated… 🙂

    Have some relatives (house guests) keeping me busy, so my apologies for not responding earlier…

  26. Allan Jones

    I can’t even look at Malcolm Turnball anymore; so pathetic is he.I’m sure his father died of shame because of Malcolm.

  27. Harquebus

    Thank you. I am much relieved.
    No apologies necessary.

  28. Michael Taylor

    H’, still no internet for me, so I’m glad it was resolved.

  29. MichaelW

    Spent to much time on Andrew Bolts blog today, but hey did I have some fun. The ABC. What a hoot. I am convinced that the far right wing people are mentally deficient, whatever Bolt writes is taken as gospel, if he bags the ABC as he does most days, along come the sheep agreeing with him. Fortunately there seems to be independent moderators at the moment and people other than the nut jobs can have their say. Go for it folks hammer the blog, before it goes behind a paywall like Akermans did.

  30. win jeavons

    Western spring ? Now us the summer of our discontent ! Apologies to WS.

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