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Day to Day Politics: The Coalition is like Trump. A controversy every day

Friday 25 May 2018

I’m having one of those days where I’m relaxing, going over all those things that I haven’t got around to reading since my week away from the keyboard.

As I’m catching up on things that friends have sent me, articles outside the mainstream, and other bits and pieces, it occurred to me just how much information I take in on a daily basis. Some things hang around for a few days before giving way to whatever has hit the headlines to replace it.

It also occurred to me just how “Trumpish” the Coalition are. By that, I mean that there is hardly a day that passes where I don’t wake up to yet another negative headline, scandal or controversy. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one this morning.

The only difference is that Turnbull tries to put the spot fires out whereas Trump just lets them burn.

And that’s how it is at the moment. The Budget has come and gone leaving a residue of problems, complications and Senate procrastination. A red-headed tax hangover of sorts. I begin to wade my way through it.

1 Tuesdays Essential Poll showed Labor leading the Coalition 51/49 yet when I look back to the corresponding week last year Labor were 54/46. Go figure that out.

A budget can only really be judged when you define its purpose and that need not always be economics. This one was unashamedly political campaigning.

After 6 years of predicting that Australia was in the worst economic circumstances since the great depression, miraculously it all turned the corner on budget eve and wow the LNP has saved us all from a life sentence in hell.

2 The past few days we have been saturated with the news that the Son of a Preacher man Andrew Hastie has named under parliamentary privilege a certain Chinese gentleman, who is a large donor, to both major parties.

The major concern in all this is that the ongoing China bashing is damaging a relationship that needs to be long and lasting. Yet it is being trashed by this young “born again Christian.”

Yet another fire to put out. A living hell for Malcolm.

3 As this week’s Essential Report shows, just one-third of Australians can currently identify the Queen of Great Britain as the Australian head of state. Another 30% get close by nominating the Queen’s representative in Australia, while a quarter thinks the elected prime minister holds ultimate power.”

With a result like that one has to wonder about people’s ability to cast a serious vote.

4 Malcolm Turnbull who was once a fervent protector of the ABC has lodged a second complaint with the ABC about Emma Alberici. They certainly (the conservatives) don’t like people having views that differ from theirs.

This time it seems that Aunty has told Turnbull and his mate the Minister for hating the ABC and prominent IPA member Mitch Fifield to get stuffed.

As Greg Jericho puts it

“It is the standard operating procedure of the Liberal party: Cut funding to the ABC that in effect is designed to ensure it struggles to do a professional job, then either criticise it for not being up to scratch or, when it does something professionally, criticise it for wasting money.”

5 A bit late I know but here are a few views on the budget you might not have read:

Paddy Manning from The Monthly

“Go figure. Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have overreached and, instead of delivering a steady-as-she-goes budget that features a welcome early return to surplus and modest tax relief for low- and middle-income earners, they have decided to pick an ideological fight with Labor over a radical reshaping of the tax system in seven years’ time. Those in government had an opportunity, courtesy of bulging tax revenues, to underline their credentials as competent economic managers. The last word they needed to associate with this week’s budget was “radical”.

Ranald Macdonald

“Scarcely a day goes by when IPA member, Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield, does not represent the interests of those who would benefit financially or politically from a weakened or ‘privatised’ ABC.”

Peter Martin

“Has there ever been a more weird collection of tax cuts? Ahead of the budget, we were promised simple cuts. What we got was a collection of changes so eccentric they are almost impossible to explain quickly and even harder to make sense of quickly. Here goes.”

David Crow

“A clash over fairness threatens to derail the Coalition’s sweeping income tax plan as new analysis reveals the cost will climb to more than $18 billion a year while delivering the biggest gains to wealthier workers.”

Ross Gittens

“This budget is too good to be true. If you believe Malcolm Turnbull’s luck can turn on a sixpence, this is the budget for you. From now on, everything’s coming good. This is the blue skies budget. Things will be so good that we can have everything we want. The government can increase its spending on all the things we want it to provide.”

Rob Burgess

“It’s not exactly political dynamite, though Monday’s newspaper coverage suggests that News Corp is gearing up to support the ‘tax cap’ story with the same gusto it gave to the Abbott-era ‘debt and deficit’ stories.”

Peter Costello – SMH

“Former treasurer Peter Costello has slammed the Turnbull government’s budget strategy, predicting he will die before the nation’s finances return to a healthy state and calling for spending to be slashed by at least $18 billion a year to fix the problem.”

“In a pointed attack on the eve of Treasurer Scott Morrison’s third budget, Australia’s longest-serving treasurer said the Coalition had not done enough to control debt and forecast it would take at least 10 years of surplus budgets before it is paid off.”

6 Um, I’m getting a little tired. Other things I wanted to mention (or write about) were the School Chaplain’s scheme, which has now been made permanent and expanded. This to me is some sort of compensation to the Australian Christian Lobby for the loss of the Marriage Equality vote.

There is also the rise in the pension, which has to be some sort of strange joke. It would be cheaper to pay the medical expenses for those affected by laying bricks at 68 than their wages.

The banks are still up to their necks in it and gradually a fuller picture is emerging of their skulduggery.

I think that about brings me up to date. It has taken a little time and I could have continued for a few more pages but I’d have bored you to tears.

My thought for the day

“The peoples of all the nations of the world increasingly seem to be having less to say about their own destiny.”


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  1. Wam

    1 the budget was poll friendly
    2 hastie is descended from Noah? China bashing is rife on facebook with hastieites realising that foreign ownership is no longer white.
    3 I am a republican but our head of state is Australian. As little johnnie showed politicians trusted with change. We need a new constitution to replace the current rubbish we have.
    4 When I put.on 7:30 or lateline only my children stay the rest go down to the I go to the downstairs TV with who ever wants a yak. Funny but they watch the ch 9 twit they wouldn’t watch on the ABC???
    5 trickle down drivel from a few of the boys (any words from women?)
    6 A chaplain’s scheme gives them a few quid with tithe gone and attendances down
    Thought less to say or less of a say???

  2. Terence Mills

    Much giggling and glee on government benches in parliament yesterday – did Julie fart ? – when the Speaker announced Saturday 28 July as the most appropriate date for the various by-elections as there were no impediments such as school holidays and who cares if Labor are having their national conference ; for some reason he bypassed Saturday 30 June which was an alternative date proposed by the AEC.

    This purely cynical, political play may well backfire on the coalition, I hope so.

    I noticed that Peter Dutton was released from his cave yesterday – brought to mind Hannibal Lecter being paraded on his trolley – he is taking issue with impertinent suggestions from Linda Burney and Ged Kearney that people in offshore detention should not be detained indefinitely, that there should be – as with all prison terms – a date for release. But it seems that the coalition maintains detention for the term of their natural lives is the way to go and we seem to be happy with this.

  3. Ricardo29

    Arthur, as a former newspaper Proof-reader I am constantly annoyed at a low level by such grammaticals. The thing is that a written piece without some sort of grammatical error, no matter what it’s source, is a rare beast indeed. And I am sometimes guilty of it myself, My wife often accuses me of not re-reading my own contributions, whatever they may be, before pressing the send button.

  4. Keith

    Who do you believe LNP politicians in relation to economics, or a Noble Prise winning economist?

    Despite employment figures having apparently improved, the number of unemployed has remained roughly the same via government figures. There has been a record number of immigrants recorded arriving in Australia which is an employment creator.

    Roy Morgan research does not provide much confidence in what the LNP push in relation to how they are managing unemployment and underemployment:

  5. etnorb

    Well said as usual Mr Lord! Sadly, it seems–with the help of bloody Mudrakes press & the shock jocks–far too many Australians have yet again been taken in by ALL the Liberal party crap, especially concerning their “budget”! How the Polls can give a huge “advantage” to the Libs is beyond me, but as I said, it seems too many Australians are gullible enough to believe everything this inept, lying mob says & does!

  6. Wun Farlung

    Who needs facts?
    When the MSM wilfully omit questions related to the percentage of people unemployed despite the ‘record number of jobs created’ facts are an alternative truth

  7. Keith

    Wun Farlung

    Yep, the MSM and LNP lie by omission.

  8. helvityni

    I find you blokes a bit mean-spirited, you forget that John Lord writes an article almost daily, and he’s no spring chicken… an occasional spelling mistake or a typo is not doing too badly…. at any age.

    A bit of civility goes a long way when it comes to human interactions…

    I miss Emma Alberici, and I’m extremely disappointed in Malcolm; I never expected anything from Dutton, Morrison, Bishop, Abbott…etc.

  9. Keitha Granville

    “. . . . . .would have bored you to tears ”

    Never, never bored with your writing. It rushes into my head, it gives me hope every morning that one day we will be freed from this LNP nightmare.
    I want to meet one of the 49% who will vote for this mob again. I want to know WHY.

  10. Wam

    Keitha have you no rabbottian friends? Do you not know anyone from the national party? Find some facebrook friends and see what half the Australians believe.

    Helvityni, the old man started with a sat morning opinion of the week. Only stubborness forces him to continue such a punishing schedule.

  11. Glenn Barry

    Great article John – your efforts are always appreciated even with the occasional homophone masquerading as a grammatical anomaly – they add flavour and also check that your audience is paying close attention 😀

  12. DrakeN

    perhaps it is restrained fury at the endless injustices being perpetrated by the government and their cohorts which keeps him at it.
    I know that it is anger which keeps me returning to this site and other civically responsible on-line sources of information.
    Three quarters of a century treading this earth has tired me both physically and emotionally, but the neo-liberal protofacists currently controlling the world’s finances and politics have stirred me into significant mental activity.
    No cloud without a silver lining, eh?!

  13. diannaart

    Anyone feeling a little Trump-ish?

    Could be contagious, just ask NSW Labor’s Luke Foley:

    “I’m saying, what about that middle ring of suburbs that have experienced, if anything, just a slow decline. In terms of employment, in terms of white flight — where many Anglo families have moved out?”

    and then Pauline Hanson heaped praise upon Foley.

  14. Mick Byron


    It is a little concerning that way too many seem to be feeling “Trumpish”
    Stormy, Russians,Walls, no matter
    “President Donald Trump’s popularity is on the rise with approval ratings topping 50-percent for the first time since he took office 16-months ago,
    Rasmussen Reports Polling has President Trump’s approval rating at 51-percent with 49-percent disapproval. This is a first. Reuters/Ipsos Polling has the president tied at 49-percent approval/disapproval.

    The number of Americans who view the first lady favorably now rests at 57 percent.”

  15. Glenn Barry

    Mick, I’ll curse the day that I ever said this, but after seeing Mike Pence in the interview speaking on North Korea, Trump is the less lethal of the pair, for as he may do something stupid and stumble into a war, Pence will do something murderous and march straight into a war at the first opportunity – so I say long live Trump
    …and I cannot deal with the potentially insane outcome of his winning a second term…

  16. Mick Byron

    Glenn BarryMay 26, 2018 at 7:39 pm
    If you get an opportunity watch PBS Frontlines Trumps.Takeover. a VERY scary look ahead.
    With Trump beholden to no factions within the Republicans,it was tasked to the most senior and long standing elected Members to get him into line.
    That failed badly on Obamacare etc and a number had stand up arguments with him and refused to speak etc.
    So, the Don went to their hometowns and tipped shit on them and gave them a bollocking in front of their own constituents.
    The crowds were ever increasing..
    Some saw the inevitable and announced they would not stand for re election again, others saw it likely to happen to them so did the biggest suck up on the steps of the White House you will ever wish to see.
    Hence the current lot of Republicans, Tea Party etc had been “Trumpified”
    The scary part is, those who no longer will contest elections are being replaced by candidates who see they need to outTrump even Trump in their madness to get his blessing, so the new bunch of Republicans will be like Trump clones but worse if possible,
    The scary thing is, even with all the turmoil,the crowds turning out to Trump events are growing.
    At one, the lineup went around a city block TWICE just waiting to get in

  17. Glenn Barry

    Thanks Mick, I am usually diligent in catching all potentially worthwhile documentaries on both ABC and SBS – somehow that one slipped past me so I’ll watch it on SBS on demand
    It sounds like a horror film, as scary as Alien – the original?

  18. Glenn Barry

    I reckon the Koreans collectively both North and South want the US out and I suspect it’s very well incentivised by China
    US belligerence is just out of fashion these days

  19. Kaye Lee

    The Koreans and the Chinese all seem to have a plan and are working on it. The Americans have Trump. It seems sensible to cut him out. What does he add other than inflammatory tweets and glory-hunting?

  20. Glenn Barry

    Kaye Lee, he can pout also – he’s multi-skilled, OH and the cuts bum pucker.

    I still cannot believe they were actually considering him for a Nobel peace prize, but I suppose if you have to annihilate all credibility in something it should be done irretrievably

  21. johno

    Wikipedia.. Nobel Peace Prize
    Alfred Nobel
    According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who in the preceding year “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.[5]
    Trump is hell bent on increasing military expenditure so I would have thought he can’t be a contender for the nobel peace prize. Counts out Turnbull as well, not that Mal has been nominated.

  22. Glenn Barry

    johno, Ironic that a peace congress coerced amidst threats of nuclear annihilation would fulfill those eligibility conditions

  23. johno

    This nobel peace prize thingamajig all seems somewhat a farce, for egos to be stroked.

  24. Glenn Barry

    Well they gave it to Kissinger – ‘nuf said

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