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
MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
‘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’.