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Day to Day Politics: Bolt is at it again

Sunday 14 February 2016

1 I haven’t read his full article but it seems Andrew Bolt is writing about race again. He has a very limited world view outside of racism, Muslims, free speech and Climate Change.

Apparently the headline read something like ‘Don’t blame whites for the failure of Closing the Gap’, inferring that it was the fault of our indigenous folk. The point that they don’t control the programs or the finance for them seemed to escape him.

Then he attacked the half time Super Bowl entertainment for what he perceived as black racism, citing a couple of examples of police brutality, to be fair, that were doubtful in fact, but he chose to completely ignore the fact that the overall consensus in the states is that black people still suffer from the worst aspects of racism.

What he does for money.

2 On the morning of his first day as Deputy PM when the inevitable sacking of Stuart Robert was ominous Barnaby Joyce told the Nine Network he had committed no crime.

“I haven’t yet seen what is it that he has done wrong. What is his crime?” Mr Joyce said.

In the afternoon it was Joyce who announced the sacking.

Retail politics again. I prefer wholesale honesty.

3 The departures of Robb, Ruddock and Truss together with the retirement, or sacking of Briggs, Brough and Robert leaves the impression of a Government in turmoil.

There is also a rumour doing the rounds that another Minister is in trouble and if true might prove disastrous.

With the Government doing a deal with the Greens and Xenophon to reform the Senate the possibility is open for an election after the budget.

4 We learn that an extreme right-wing Christian group paid all of Abbott’s expenses for his recent speech making trip to the US.

5 The Coalition’s $1 billion work-for-the-dole scheme has improved the probability that an unemployed person will find a job by just 2 percentage points, a government-commissioned review has found.

6 Almost six months ago Tony Abbott promised we would take 12,000 Syrian refugees. We were told that some would be settled by Christmas and the remainder by June this year.To date we have taken 10. In the meantime Canada has taken 15,157.

Good Government must be a figment of someone’s imagination.

7 Rupert Murdoch’s revenues declined for the fourth successive quarter and further cuts will have to be made to his Australian publications.

8 Hunt was named Best Minister in the World. Why is anyone’s guess, but it is well covered at The AIMN.

9 The GST got the flick but there is still no sign of any genuine tax reform from the Government. The talk, however, continues.

As if to take the lead on Tax reform, Labor has announced, in addition to reforms on superannuation, multinational tax and tobacco tax, it is now promising to cut negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions on new homes. It says the changes would raise $32bn over a decade, help make housing more affordable and generate construction industry jobs.

Labor is claiming the extra revenue will pay for election spending promises on things like health and education of $100bn over 10 years.

While the Coalition and its Treasurer Gunna Morrison have everything on the table, Labor seems to be doing the washing up.

10 Malcolm Turnbull came to power promising much. A fresh approach to Government following the dark, angry style of Abbott. He promised fairness, transparency and explanations of why change was needed

”Change is our friend, our ally, we’ve got to be nimble, agile”.

He said he could take us in the direction of honest Government with stability and purpose. A return to what Abbott opposed. A return to orderly Westminster processes defined by cabinet government. A Government that outlined its agenda and explained it.

The past fortnight has proved that besides looking and sounding like the Lord of the Manor, at the end of the first parliamentary fortnight for 2016, he has turned out to be a monumental flop.

Did we create an unfair expectation or did he?

Still hanging over Turnbull’s head is a defenceless policy on equality in marriage, a refusal to even give tacit approval to a debate on a Republic suggesting that he is beholden to those on the extreme right of his party instead of the national interest.

He has not as yet provided us with an answer as to why a change in leader was necessary. Abbott’s policies survive and there is little differentiation from this period.

He pumped up the innovation statement but at the same time would not commit to the final years funding of Gonski and the CSIRO, because of a lack of funding, will have to release more scientists. That’s hardly encouraging innovation.

On top of all this they decide to charge ahead with another Abbott policy, the Medicare payment system. It will not win votes even if it could be justified.

Leadership changes can throw up some unrealistic, even unfair expectations. The past two Coalition leaders have promised good leadership. Abbott never delivered and Turnbull thus far is following suit. Even with the revised Ministry announced on Saturday it is hardly likely to make a difference a few short months prior before the election.

Good governance will have been on hold for another three years.

11 My post a couple of weeks ago about Donald Trump was widely read. The American comments were often extremely sympathetic.

Hear is but one example:

Dear Mr Lord,

Thanks you for articulating, so well, the frustrations that Middle America feel with the current, hateful political scene and voter apathy. We appreciate your insight and how much you care for America. The American media, who like to think they are at the heart beat of politics, seem to be uninterested in divulging the facts of who Mr Trump really is. Which doesn’t take a great deal of journalism, as you are aware.

We are in awe of you!


Steve and Carol Walker

Redmond, Oregon, USA

My thought for the day

Generally people assume that a theory (for example the theory of evolution) is something unproven. In the scientific world, a theory is something that has evolved to fit known facts.


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  1. Jaquix

    Excellent summary of things John. Barnaby’s comment that Stuart Robert had committed no crime highlights the LNP mentality. They just dont know what is illegal, unethical, or against the rules (which I suppose they think are really only for the lower orders) a la Bronwyn Bishop as a prime example. Yet the penalty is just to be put onto the back bench, being paid a mere $200,000. Plus perks and entitlement to gold plated pension, for life, starting the day they have to leave Parliament, kicking and screaming “I did it for the people of Australia, I just wanted to make a difference…. ” Nice ending from your American readers, grappling with similar issues over there.

  2. Mercurial

    Excellent in tone, a few missing or incorrect details.

    Ruddock and Truss retired, not the three referred to.
    Either John or Bolt is wrong: it’s not Bridging the Gap, it’s ‘Closing the Gap’. (I know; John does write ‘something like’).
    Hunt didn’t win World Minister of the Year, he won Best Minister in the World. The difference is this gong lasts forever (heaven help us).
    “Labor is claiming the extra revenue to pay for election spending promises on things like health and education to $100bn over 10 years.” – what does that even mean?
    I’m sure the Coalition regard Morrison as a Treasure, but to the rest of us he’s just a Treasurer.

    But you’re bang on the money about people’s perception of theories. ‘Evolution? But that’s just a theory!’

    Um, so is gravity. And atomic theory didn’t stop us producing the hydrogen bomb.

  3. John Kelly

    Over the past two and a half years, no fewer than 14 ministers have either retired, stood aside, got sacked or resigned. They are, in no particular order: Sinodinis, Johnston, Briggs, Brough, Robert, Abbott, Bishop, Hockey, Robb, Truss, Andrews, Abetz, Billson and Macfarlane. Ruddock, who was chief whip, got a good whipping himself, before also announcing his retirement. What message does that send to the average voter?

  4. Terry2

    Back to the future, John ? The captioned date shows 14 October 2016.

  5. Michael Taylor

    Thanks Terry2. Fixed.

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Malcolm Turmoil strikes again. His ministers are dropping like flies. The lifeboat is leaking and the LNP are going down. Bring on the election!

  7. Jaquix

    To answer John Kelly’s (rhetorical) question – the message voters have already got loud and clear, is that it would be well worth $80 million to hold a Royal Commission into the electoral/parliamentary system/s in this country. Starting with how the candidates are selected, the preference bargaining, right through to politicians qualifications, standards, entitlements, penalties for breaches or misdemeanours, right through to the virtually legal corruption of “Political Donations” , and why their pensions are so out of step with other pensions. Of course it would take a brave (and truly GREAT) Prime Minister to call for this RC, but it is SO overdue and necessary for the integrity of this whole process, which has clearly broken down at so many levels.

  8. diannaart

    Not at all surprised, watching more fools leap overboard. Changing captains makes no difference if the crew is a bunch of idiots, refusing to change course to adjust to circumstances.

    Is Turnbull to blame for all of this? – he’s just another tool of the right. Therefore, he is responsible for his actions, but not to blame for the entire set-up which has been the destination of the far-right since Howard set the course.

    Please do not assume I am in anyway pitying Turnbull – he knows what he is doing, which is more than anyone can say for Abbott.

  9. lawrencewinder

    .Katherine Murphy let the cat out of the bag on “Insiders” today when in an aside she mentioned the the corruption of our political system, “Rolex” Robert being the latest in this rabble’s losses either through sheer incompetence, cupidity or both. And as Richard Ackland succinctly points out in “The Saturday Paper,” apart from the wrong decision on Carbon Pricing and becoming people smugglers as well as stuffing up the NBN… “just what have they done…in 21/2 years?”
    The rust-bucket, SS Liarbril is aground and listing…. but they are still rorting their way to wealth while the country is practically leaderless and with no policy except the IPA wish-list of destruction.

  10. thebustopher

    I’m not sure the punters are so interested about a government jettisoning members. Hartcher, Webb, Spence, O’Farrell, Ficarra, Gallacher, Owen, Cornwell, Edwards, Bassett and Baumann. all resigned from Mike Baird’s NSW government, yet he was re-elected convincingly on 28 March last year.

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