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Day to Day Politics: The week that was.

Saturday 14 April 2018

Every Saturday from now on I plan to bring you something a little different. So this is a trial run and you will get the gist as you read through. Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.

Comment of the week

Russell Green on my Facebook comments on “30th Poll day.” If you look at the number of Newspolls since the election in 2013, there have been 99, including Turnbull’s 30th, in that time the coalition have “won” only 20 polls (of that 20, 7 were 50 – 50). So in 99 polls, the coalition has been ahead of Labor on a 2PP basis in only 13 Polls since they have been in government.

Think about that for a moment, it is a time period that includes the honeymoon after 2 elections and the period after Turnbull was made leader. That equates to about 6 months where the coalition have been the preferred government. Whichever way you look at it and whatever means you measure it, the Coalition Governments of Abbott and Turnbull have been nothing short of a disaster.

This is my point nobody is talking about how incompetent, corrupt and destructive they have been. This is the tragedy! If the coalition were being talked about in the same manner that Rudd/ Julia/Rudd were, the polls would be 60 – 40% Labor. While the Polls aren’t the story they do tell a story.

There has been a lot of speculation on how significant the 30 poll mark actually is and Turnbull’s use of that number. I believe that it comes down to HUBRIS pure and simple. When Turnbull spoke those words it was done with all the humility that comes from someone obsessed with his own infallibility. He simply couldn’t believe that he would be in the same position as Abbott. His ego wouldn’t allow for such a consequence. He is now and forever considered the SAME AS Abbott, an abject failure.”

The Polls from The Pollbludger

The Guardian, which joins the fun by spruiking the result as the “eightieth straight loss” for the Turnbull government, reports that Labor holds a lead of 53-47 in the latest Essential Research poll, out from 52-48 a fortnight ago. The poll also features Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which find Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister unchanged at 41-26.”

Bill Shorten has won: 30 Newspolls in a row against Tony Abbott; 30 Newspolls in a row against Malcolm Turnbull.

I think that would make him officially Australia’s most effective “Leader Of The Opposition.”

Overheard this week

Calling election before redistribution is complete would see Labor gain 2 seats and the Liberal Party lose 1 because both states and the ACT must elect the changed number of members. The AEC would have to do mini-redistributions before the election to match new numbers. Labor now looks like losing the seat of Hindmarsh in South Australia.

Peter Fitzsimons on the Republic

Have answered many times.

My preference: Current system: PM chooses GG, asks Q for blessing. New system. PM chooses GG, ask Parliament for blessing. All else same.GG still called GG. Oz still called Commonwealth of Australia.

But Oz, suddenly free-standing ‘neath Southern Cross!

Pollie Pedal and loss of energy

So Tony Abbott’s pollie pedal (where the MPs involved claim taxpayer-funded travel allowances) just happens to be riding through the La Trobe Valley – coal mining country – on the day the 30th Newspoll hits. You can only laugh at such a calculating use of a charity initiative…a blow out of sorts.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg doesn’t deny he called AGL directors to bag AGL CEO Andrew Vesey. PM Turnbull phoned AGL chairman Graeme Hunt. Liddell power station still in play. Intense pressure on this company.

Are we in a dictatorship? This rotten mob is interfering in the running of a company, putting pressure to bear on the CEO to reverse company decisions. What next? Send their pet attack dogs, the AFP, to raid his house?

If only the Coalition put as much pressure on multinationals to pay their fair share of tax as they’re putting on AGL to resurrect an unviable coal-fired power station #insiders #auspol


This government clearly has an improper relationship with the AFP. It has protected many since September 2013. The Campion jobs conspiracy is just another example of politicians breaking the law then quashing justice. The only difference here is the Prime Minister is involved.#insiders

Drinking will shorten your life, according to a major new study that suggests every glass of wine or pint of beer over the daily recommended limit will cut half an hour from the expected lifespan of a 40 year old.

I’m sure it’s a conservative plot?

Australia’s coal-loving, climate sceptics avowed monarchists might want to note Her Majesty has just addressed climate change for the first time.

2030 is the year it is predicted the 1% will own 2 thirds of the world’s wealth. Serfdom folks.?

The week’s top tweets

Tanya Plibersek

Retweeted Michael KoziolExtraordinary. Malcolm Turnbull has done more than 100 special deals with some of Australia’s most elite private schools to give them money from a secret $7.1 million government slush fund. This at the same time as he’s ripping billions of dollars from needy public school

Paul Bongiorno

Also, polling experts dismiss respondent allocated preferences as unreliable, based on long experience. It is why Newspoll doesn’t do it. A try on just like the isolated question on company tax cuts. Partisanship gone mad at the Fin.

Tosh Frydenberg invents new lie about emissions – claiming to Press Clubbers that on a per capita basis we have a record low. Utter nonsense. Emissions have risen every year under Coalition. No hint of population increase over the period of his latest specious statistic.


Pointing out that an interviewer demonstrates bias is not being sexist or abusive. Nobody in this conversation was defending the putrid abuse Sales copped yesterday. My concern is that as an @abc730 presenter we expect her to behave fairly. She doesn’t. It’s disappointing #abc730

Simon Banks

The outcome of 4 and 1/2 years of the LNP’s plan to “reduce” debt:

Today, gross debt is $522.3 billion

(Source: http://www.aofm.gov.au )

Up $249.3 billion since the 2013 election

Rising faster and by more than it did under the ALP

Without a GFC to explain why

Simon Banks

“If we expect the private sector to invest in the $200 billion of energy infrastructure Australia needs to 2050, it needs to know the rules of the game”

And for 10 years the LNP have created that very uncertainty

Tim’s timely tips

Tim Leeder is a Facebook friend who messages me every day with all manner of comments.

A It does have some parallels to 1991. The view was Hawke should go but Keating was a risk.

B Who was the last non-Australian GG?

C Saw a funny photo of Turnbull on a boat on Sydney Harbour without a paddle. Symbolic?

D Gillard lost 33 Newspolls. Hawke 8. Nelson 16.

True. This is what happens when a moderate leads a conservative party.

E Turnbull will not walk, if no one challenges, he stays.

F I suspect the view is the election is lost. Turnbull should take the hit.

G Joyce says if no improvement by Christmas then Turnbull should resign.

H Support for an undefined republic at 50 percent. Opposition at 41 percent. Undecided at 9 percent. It’s not enough to carry a referendum

I Quite possibly. This is the start of the end for Turnbull. it will be a process of leaking and undermining for some months. But will have an inevitable conclusion.

J Love thy neighbour means thy Muslim neighbour. Thy gay neighbour etc.

K Apparently a secret ALP report said Albo as leader would have won the last election

L Nick Xenophon will effectively disappear from the parties he founded as state and federal parties rebrand themselves.

Something going on there. Although probably a good idea.

M The war on drugs has been a failure, it is killing more people than it is helping. Prohibition leads to black markets which have led to more crime. 15 years ago in Portugal, drugs were decriminalised, this saw a reduction in crime, overdose and death. Recently, a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry made 50 recommendations on how drug reform could be tackled in the state. The question is who will act on them in an election year?

N I disagreed with Howard on heroin injecting rooms. He said they won’t be happening whilst I am PM.

O Labor’s push to slap a minimum 30% tax on dividends has incensed the nation’s million-plus army of self-funded retirees.

The view is they vote Liberal anyway.

P In 2015 Turnbull had an approval rating of 54 percent. About that. Today it is 39 percent.

Q Abbott said Turnbull should know 6 months before the election if he can win it.

R Rudd said Gillard’s 2010 campaign was the worst labor campaign in history. Well, leave it in the past l think. Move on

S The Labor leader is considering switching from his Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong following a rewriting of electoral boundaries.

To Fraser. Which is safer. Beazley did the same thing. Good luck to him. But can’t see his current seat being in any danger.

T GST distribution. SA gets $6.7 billion. ACT $1.2 billion. WA gets $3.2 billion. VIC gets $16.8 billion. NSW gets $18 billion. NT $2.7 billion. TAS $2.4 billion. QLD $14.4 billion.

U I am unsure why on earth the government puts up with public criticism of itself by Abbott

V Kevin Rudd has labelled Julia Gillard’s 2010 election campaign as the ‘worst-run in Labor history’.

Well ironic given he destroyed it.

W As Richo said in 2013 the Gillard supporters gave Rudd a free run at it. And the result was as good as could have been expected in the circumstances.

X PM says he will pay half the $10 billion cost for the Melbourne airport to city rail link. Wants the Victorian government to pay the rest.

Y Malcolm Turnbull is insisting the federal election will not be held until the first half of next year but he is creating the option of going earlier by requesting the state Liberal Party divisions to hurry up and finalise their preselections.

Z Sunday Mail editor Peter Gleeson: Many ordinary punters are telling Malcolm Turnbull to ‘lurch to the right a little’ in order to give the Coalition a chance of winning the next election.

Other argument is it does not matter. As people on the right will preference the Libs anyway.

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has told Sky News he would like up to 10,000 white South African farmers be resettled in Australia.

My read for the week. Penny Modra. Book review.

“Grammar gripes: why do we love to complain about language?”

Clown of the week

It was a toss-up between Turnbull’s inability to recite Farnham’s classic lyrics, Dutton’s ongoing racist remarks or Barnaby’s stupidity. In the end, I had to give it to Dutton because of his amazing consistency.

My thought for the day

“One who understands others has knowledge; One who understands himself has wisdom.”


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  1. New England Cocky

    A refreshing approach that I enjoyed; thank you. It allows more diversity of opinion and a greater perspective.

    Question: Do you want us to comment as usual? It would be preferred and could reasonably yield more information.

    Sadly, Turdball lacks the testicles to “do the right thing”; resign from the Liberal Party and sit as an Independent to allow the immediate implosion of the Rabbott NLP which is the greatest political disaster since MacMahon, and that includes the ALP 2007 to 2013 events.

    Paul Bongiorno confirms that the polls are flawed due to inappropriate methodology, so the NLP is likely even further behind than the margins reported in the Murdoch media. Let us hope that this dissatisfaction is suitably distributed over the necessary marginal seats.

  2. babyjewels10

    Ok, Newspolls show that the Coalition have been on the nose for years. Yet they won the last election. The last two State elections also. I don’t get it.

  3. John Lord

    New England Cocky. Comment all you want. The more the better.

  4. Glenn Barry

    babyjewels10 – the LNP lost 13 seats in the 2016 election and almost lost the election – Turnbull’s arrogance almost saw them defeated.

    The South Australian election was loss well explained as the result of the redistribution of four seats which gave them to Libs and the win as a result, that one was almost a foregone conclusion.

    Tasmania just defies explanation, especially as Hodgman almost immediately revealed himself to be a pathological liar.

    I do share your disbelief, more so as to how they came to be in power in the first instance, so that would be my general comment – given the LNP’s general level of corruption, dishonesty and untrustworthiness nation wide, how do they get into office at all

  5. johno

    Yes, I read it all and thanks Mr Lord. Tim is all over it with his timely tips.
    I am still rejoicing New Zealand’s new policy. No more new permits for offshore gas and oil exploration. Now when will oz follow our smarter neighbour’s example.
    Would it be possible for Jacinda Ardhern to run oz as well. I rekon she could juggle two countries.

  6. helvityni

    Re; Ms Sales on 7.30

    I certainly don’t see her as a fair, unbiased interviewer, she let Scottie rant without interruptions, and she hardly allowed Bill time to answer her questions…

  7. Jaquix

    AEC seems to have changed its mind about abolishing Sturt (Christopher Pyne) and instead is abolishing safe Labor seat of Port Adelaide (Mark Butler). Isnt this a bit suss? However, overall, Labor is the winner in the redistribution, and the extra 2 or so seats, should help it get over that election day line. Its a tragedy that with this history of losing polls to Labor, that the 2016 election got the Libs over the line. Of course Murdoch and Fairfax were going all out, to this end. ABC too, I remember the endless monologues from Turnbull, and tiny clips of Bill (if we were lucky) of a minute at best. But I do detect a mood of more anger than in 2016. And the Libs are just hanging on in a number of marginal seats.

  8. Jaquix

    Re the Republic: The model of choosing the new HOS was the sticking point last time, and will be this time too, if we are not careful. Will be the same story – people wont want the government to choose thje HOS. Yet they wont want to risk a big election and end up with Trump either. Messrs Jones & Pickering in January published a “hybrid model” which I would recommend everyone googles (sorry I dont have the link). It made good sense to me, was a mix of people nominating/choosing, then State involvement, and finally up to Federal government level. Ive tweeted this to Peter Fitz several times, but he remains mute.

  9. Jaquix

    Very important for the coming Federal Election, is the way the ABC has been infiltrated by Murdoch staffers. A process that started with the appointment of Michelle Guthrie as MD for 5yrs in May 2016 (just in time to axe Fact Check for the election!!). This week in senate questionings Kristine Keneally got Minister Fifield to admit he was a member of IPA – one of whose aims is the dismantling altogether of the ABC. How can the Minister of Communications not have a conflict of interest ? The IPA also seems to be getting very active against the ABC, taking advantage of the Guthrie regime. Leigh Sales 7.30 is barely watchable. Pat Karvelas of the same mould has a Sunday night spot with the same m.o. – be rude and continually interrupt Labor guests like Bill Shorten, but give free rein to any Liberal ! Meanwhile Emma Alberici, who far surpasses these 2, is languishing in a backroom, suffering from political interference (Turnbull & FIifield in parliament) and Murchoch vilifaction whenever they can. I imagine she is keeping a detailed journal though – and keeping it off site too! So we have ABC news and current affairs is currently run by Murdoch staff, pushing the Liberal line and ignoring anything to do with Labor. I still cant believe that Four Corners and MadAsHell havent been axed! Keep your eye on them folks!

  10. Jaquix

    Last one! Re your survey re the National Integrity Commission Bill Shorten announced in January at the National Press Club, has anyone noticed how the media has studiously ignored it? Amazing when polls have shown in the past that up to 80% of the population want one. Currently there is no mechanism to keep an eye on the Federal level of parliament. Yet the media stays resolutely mute. I believe Mark Dreyfus has got it “into the system” but of course the Libs are lukewarm, and doing nothing. Should be a solid election issue, IMO.

  11. Kronomex

    “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” is almost starting to look prophetic. Without the satire and comedy.

  12. Ricardo29

    No defender of Turnbull but I don’t know the words of “you’re the voice”, either. Seems a pretty minor way to get at him. I actually think it shows the patheticness of the twitterati, and I am increasingly coming to hate how tweets are being used as pegs for news stories, leave them for what they are, the first reaction of idiots (see POTUS, Abbott, Rudd etc)

  13. Matters Not

    Jaquix re the promised (?) National Integrity Commission (NIC), one wonders how it will affect a leader whose penchant is for political deals – with principles of secondary consideration.

    Take the recent Batman by-election as an example Shorten apparently did a special deal with the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) in the lead up, which would see their share of funding increase by $250 million. In return, CECV made a large number of telephone calls urging a vote for Labor.

    Is this buying of votes a matter for a future NIC? Given:

    One of the few positive aspects of the Coalition’s Gonski 2.0 policy has been the provision for a National Schools Resourcing Board (NSRB). Its first task is to resolve one of the key concerns expressed by the Catholic sector – the criteria for assessment of a school community’s anticipated private income, and it is due to report in June.

    So a process was in place to resolve he funding issue which has dogged education funding for decades. Shorten’s promised bribe once again corrupts the process. Is this a matter for the NIC? There are a number of other issues as well.

    Faced with dwindling congregations and authority, is this institution now intending to use its large school systems rather than its churches as the vehicle through which to exert its political influence? … what are the implications for our national system of education if a significant element of its schools, not to mention the children they serve, are to be used in this way? … public funds provided by governments … must be used for the educational purposes for which they were provided. It is hard to imagine that political Robocalling could be judged as such a purpose.

    Lots more here.

    LYNDSAY CONNORS. Where did the money come from for the recent Robocalling in Batman?

    Seems to me, that any NIC might be a bridge too far for a Leader with an addiction to deal making. Can he change? Probably not. Should he change? Or should political deals become the only acceptable future. I hope not.

  14. Pappinbarra Fox

    There is a simple explanation for the NLP winning at state and territory levels. Australians are lining up with baseball bats for the Federal NLP but as usual we like to have opposing parties in power at the state and commonwealth levels. Simple as that.

  15. Bert

    Hope you are going to make this a regular feature of yours Mr Lord.

  16. Kronomex

    I was just watching some wanker from Channel Seven basically telling anyone who wants to watch the cricket (apart from the free to air Women’s Big Bash) on Seven and Rupert that it’s, “Tough shit, you have to pay.” Anyone see possible backflips looming? Personally, I don’t give a damn about sport but it’s just another giant ripoff on the public with help from Trembles and Crony Co.

  17. diannaart

    Loving this new approach John Lord – excellent reading given my short attention span.

    Stuff that stands out, in no particular order:

    Malcolm Turnbull not knowing the words to “Sadie The Clean Lady”, indicative of his bias against workers… or was that about “The Voice”? (I have not been paying any attention to Turnbull).

    Whether someone challenges Turnbull for the leadership, as per Joyce’s Christmas wish – I predict the LNP will not win, whether Turnbull remains leader or not – damned if they do keep Turnbull as leader and damned if they don’t. Good for Labor.

    Rudd has now left no doubt as to why he was deposed as PM by Gillard – as big a sniper as Abbott. The question remains why he was brought back? Was it really about the polls? – one of those things that gnaws away as to why Shorten is not so popular – despite all his hard work. Being behind two leadership coups bothers me as much as Grech/UteGate bothered me about Turnbull.

    I agree collusion between federal government and AFP is a worry – also the collusion between the AFP and its leader in general.

    and finally…

    If only the Coalition put as much pressure on multinationals to pay their fair share of tax as they’re putting on AGL to resurrect an unviable coal-fired power station

    Which proves beyond doubt, the COALition are only about themselves and their cronies.

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