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Day to Day Politics. It’s not a happy party.

Friday 4 December

1 How embarrassing for the Prime Minister. Former Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane is set to defect from the Liberal Party to junior Coalition partners the Nationals. Like Rudd, Turnbull is intently disliked within his party.

The National Party gets roughly the same vote in the Lower House as the Greens yet has 8 members to the Green’s one. Hardly fair you would think, but that’s the way the system works.

Ask me to explain the difference between the Nationals and Liberals. Well I cannot. I can say that at times the Nationals are decidedly unrepresentative of its constituency.

What this does show is a deep-seated hatred of a leader who wants to take his party back to its roots being dragged into line by those who think the party’s future is further to the right. A neo-Conservative party concerned more with those who have rather than those who have not.

Macfarlane’s decision may mean that he will go back to Cabinet giving the Nationals more power than it deserves. After the next election it well may be that he is deputy leader to Barnaby Joyce who in turn will be deputy PM. God help us.

And we are told there might be more defections.

2 Yesterday’s mass shooting in California that killed at least 14 was not the only one. There was another in Georgia that killed four. America is certainly the world’s most technologically advanced country. In terms of social cohesion and life values they certainly are not. On the subject of gun laws their politicians are devoid of the sanctity of human life in so much as they know they could address the problem but they place power and position above it.

I suggest DEFAT issue a travel warning to those contemplating a visit to the US.

3 In case you hadn’t noticed, the Paris Climate talks are still in full swing. Australia is under fire amid concern we are taking advantage of overly flexible rules to claim greenhouse gas emissions are falling when they are actually on the increase.

Australia is relying on its negotiating teams securing a definition of emissions that allows the country to count a reduction in deforestation towards its target.

As I said earlier in the week, we are relying on dodgy accounting rules to include land use in order to massage the figures and do nothing.

4 After declaring Labor’s plan for the NBN disaster many times over it has to be said that Malcolm Turnbull has made a monumental stuff up of this vital technology.

We now find out that repairing and replacing parts of the copper network purchased from Telstra for the Coalition’s National Broadband Network could cost up to $640 million, a leaked NBN document shows.

Labor had declared the copper network redundant three years ago and knew it would have to be replaced. Turnbull has doubled the cost, the time of completion and it will not deliver sufficient speeds for the future.

5 Up to 300 of Australia’s wealthiest private companies will be forced to disclose their annual tax bill for the first time after the Greens cut a compromise deal with Treasurer Scott Morrison on contested tax transparency legislation.

But the deal, which has been branded a “sell out” by the Labor Party, will shield up to 600 more companies that would have been brought under new transparency requirements.

Until the Greens shook hands with Mr Morrison, the crossbench and Labor had the numbers to insist the government’s multinational tax avoidance bill could only pass with an amendment to force all companies with revenues of $100 million or more publishing their tax contribution.

That measure will now be doubled to $200 million – effectively shielding two-thirds of the companies that would have been brought into the light for the first time.

Shame on the Greens


A Malcolm Turnbull should divest himself immediately of the impression that he is talking down to people.

B Brough might have been saved by the bell. For the time being at least. Tony Burke has asked the Speaker to refer Mal Brough to the privileges committee. Speaker Smith says he’ll consider it


‘We all have to make important decisions in our lives. None more important than the rejection of those things that tempt us into being somebody we are not’.



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  1. Sen Nearly Ile

    loved it lord, especially a bash at shaming the greens putting their trust in turnball and supporting the big business boys.
    Although you do give the green loonies a plug(Hardly fair you would think) but how many seats do the loony nationals contest?
    Being true to yourself, turnball talking down, is the way to avoid guilt but being somebody we are depends on education to reach somebody we are not?
    nah too complicated let’s rely on god and confession.

  2. Friday

    Thought provoking on the nationals! Those in my sphere are at odds with the libs and question the use of ‘coalition’ to describe the connection and advocate following your ‘thought’.
    Labor missed the chance to remind us about turnball embarrassment standing next to the computer illiterate PM on broadband. But ‘missing’ seems par for the course for the ‘oh’ position.

  3. gee

    you seem to reserve some condemnation for the greens for doing a deal re disclosure without including the main focus of the legislation in question, that being the crackdown on multinational reporting that is the much larger fish. what was the ALP’s position on this?

    if there are any finger pointing and shaming to be done, how about the ALP’s utter capitulation on the metadata legislation? I know what has more of an impact on the average Joe and is the larger step towards totalitarianism.

    Face it, for the last decade, there has been far too much “me-tooism” going on in the Laboral party as the entire political spectrum is brought into conflict and disrepute as they chase each other to the extreme right.

  4. Sen Nearly Ile

    hahaha gee whizz the rule is little fish are sweet and the greens are ‘littler’ than the nats but just as ambitious for an extra body or just as gullible and trusting? Perhaps both are out of step with the thought and don’t know or care what or who they are????

  5. John Lord

    The Nats share power disproportionate to the vote the receive.

  6. Chris

    “Shame on the Greens”….I reckon you could be fairly sure it is not as straight forward as that. It may not have been the best outcome but I’d bet it would never have got to a free vote in the house. The Labor Party would have been negotiating a deal with the Libs as well (as they continually do). I suspect it was as much a case of Labor and the Greens politicking for the limelight with something that can be portrayed as a win (no matter how small or not).

    …..a qualified GP voting to keep the drug companies profits out of the public eye ? That never happens….

  7. Roswell

    I think you’ll find that John is more than critical of Labor’s willingness to support the metadata legislation.

  8. David

    @Chris…Penny Wong made it very clear as she told the Senate, Labor had already informed the Govt…no deals. That was before the Greens midnight hour sell out. As she put it, a delegation came crawling on hands and knees (not figuratively) offering a deal and they were told no deals emphatically. The Greens were the ‘oh well better than nothing choice.’ The Govt holds them in such high regard!!!

  9. Chris

    David, I generally do like what Penny Wong says in the Senate but would she have had the ultimate say if things had worked out differently ? I’m not sure….
    I am not entirely sure about Di Natale either…..Christine Milne (and Adam Bandt) seemed generally ‘cleverer’. It is hard to know why this deal was done from outside but Labor continually opposes amendments and bills for what seem like purely cynical reasons. I think that ‘bad blood’ between Labor and Greens sometimes gets the better of both, perhaps.

  10. John Lord

    Chris. Labor already had the numbers with cross bench to defeat the legleslation. The Green have said that they will be more open to pass more legleslation in the future if only to show that they are not opposed to everything. And I totally oppose the metadata laws.

  11. Sen Nearly Ile

    well lord, the greens contested 150 seats, the nationals 20 and the liberal nationals 30. That may have some bearing on your ‘disproportionate’. As for ‘not opposed’ why vote, with turnball, to double the ante for tax ‘transparency’? What was dinatale’s quid pro quo????
    ps Chris, it is very difficult for labor to trust the greens who, are more likely to gain by opposing labor and agreeing with the libs.

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