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Day to Day Politics: ‘Turnbull’s lack of leadership’

Wednesday 27 January 2016

1 Australia Day has now passed. I posted my view on why I believe Australia should become a Republic. The ferals were out (on Facebook) in force highlighting their total lack of understanding on this subject. It is truly remarkable. Most of it, I think, brought about by politicians themselves who have so demeaned public office over the years that it has become almost impossible to advance change because of the community’s mistrust of them.

As though kowtowing to the Monarchists in his party the Prime Minister in favour of a republic had this to say.

“I have led a yes case for a republic into a heroic defeat once. I have no desire to do so again,” he said. “If you really are committed to Australia becoming a republic, then you want to be sure that the manner and the timing of the referendum is as such that it is successful and that it unites rather than divides Australians.”

I thought good leaders led from the front foot. Bill Shorten may well be right when he says Turnbull is too afraid to confront his party.

2 The Australian of the year awards, in all categories had some wonderful choices. David Morisson in his speech correctly confronted the Prime Ministers assertion that it’s a good time to be Australian:

“It is an extraordinary time to be an Australian, but I need to give it qualified agreement.”

He went on to say:

” … too many of our fellow Australians are denied the opportunity to reach their potential.

It happens because of their gender, because of the god they believe in, because of their racial heritage, because they’re not able-bodied, because of their sexual orientation.”

I think this man might do a fair bit of stirring over the next 12 months.

3 And our past leader, Tony Abbott, decided that he would stand for another term in Parliament. As to why he might do so caused some differing reactions but the consensus seemed to be that it was for reasons other than servitude. On Australia Day he left the country to address the ‘Alliance Defending Freedom’, a group of far right Christian leaders in the US who are anti anything you can think of.

Quoting Fairfax:

‘The ADF has attracted trenchant criticism from the left for opposing “tolerance training” for schools aimed at reducing bullying of LGBTI students. Instead, it proposed “truth days”, in which homosexual behaviour was openly discussed as sinful’. The possibility of some speaking money might also be involved.

I’m thinking that the PM will really have to assert his authority over the party he leads. At the moment he just seems to be captive to the loonie right of which Abbott has much influence. And Abbott will become louder by the month.

Lenore Taylor got it right when she said:

“The public liked Turnbull because he seemed different to Abbott, but his colleagues voted for him because they were eventually persuaded he would be – in essence – pretty much the same.”

Or as Michael Kroger put it:

“Any guarantee Tony Abbott gives to stay on the backbench are ‘worthless’.”

I might be wrong but I should think his pension as a former PM would be more than a common backbencher which of course brings in to play other ulterior motives.

4 The latest Morgan Poll has Labor slightly improving at %45 to the Coalition %55.

5 Only in America.

US presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s claim sexual assaults on women in Australia went up significantly after strict gun laws were introduced.

6 Not politics I know but it looks as though Australia will have a few top 10 players soon in world tennis. I wonder if the coaches of these kids teach them anything about grace and respect for the game that provides handsome financial rewards. At the moment they are just petulant undeserving brats.

7 A friend told me he heard an interview with Julie Bishop in which a journalist asked her ‘What do you really think of foreign affairs’ she answered. ‘I don’t really know. I’ve never had one’

My thought for the day.

‘Sometimes it is good to stop, think, evaluate and formulate one’s ownopinion instead of being influenced by the media and other vested interests’.



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  1. lawrencewinder

    Call me a “Jeremiah” if you want but having just watched the news and seen what we call “celebrations of Australia Day”… I couldn’t help thinking that there was a tone of desperation in the sheer number and variety of festivities. Then a military man (retired), as Aussie of the Year who has made ONE call on gender issues has been nominated by a writer of historical self-portraits (Fitzsimons) as our first President of a Republic…I feel a fit-up!
    I also feel that the desperation implies that we, well and truly, have lost our way in the miasma of commercialist pap, advertising and spin!

    And that Mitch Hooke, a mining advocate who was responsible for a campaign against fair taxes being paid by this destructive industry get’s a gong ….shows how bereft of social conscious this ruling rabble still is… what a farce. What a joke they expect us to believe in! It’s a wonder they didn’t give an OA to “Kero-Bath” Bishop for services to transport!

  2. Terry2

    Surely the far right christian “Alliance Defending Freedom” don’t need an Australian politician to travel to the USA to give an address on “The importance of family” – sounds very much like a euphemism to me.

    I wonder if the real purpose of the trip is to meet with Rupert Murdoch in New York to look for support in undermining Malcolm Turnbull in the run-up to the next election – I’m not aware that Malcolm met with Murdoch when he was in the US last week.

    Abbott is a wrecker and he is committed to bringing down Turnbull even if he brings down the Liberal Party in the process.

    Interesting times ahead, unfortunately we have to watch (and pay) for all this..

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Although I would have preferred Julian McMahon to have been awarded Australian of the Year for his staunch stand on human rights and his tireless work in trying to save Chan and Sukumaran from their death sentences, now that Morrison has the position and especially after his acceptance speech, I’m hopeful he will be true to his word and work tirelessly for all Australians, who are denied reaching their full potential due to discrimination and lack of opportunity.

    I just hope he is true to his word and also focuses on age discrimination, for example, the discrimination against mature age people once they reach their 50’s and 60’s from re-entering meaningful employment in the paid workforce due to the ignorant and arrogant assumption that they are too old, outdated or opinionated to be given a fair go (and everybody is worried about how we are going to afford to pay for our ageing Australia!) This is of course the excuse the LNP needs to compound the problem with their lecherous threats to raising the pension age and decreasing pension entitlements while denying a dignified welfare security in the interim while people languish in unemployment.

    I really, really hope Morrison proves to be a good advocate for mature age, disadvantaged, discriminated unemployed people too!

  4. Matthew Oborne

    I am still confused as to why a group of convicts were forced into celebrating their exile to a country they didnt want to go to. I am confused how irish convicts would happily celebrate yet another measure to empty out their country. I am not surprised our indigenous people in large numbers dont celebrate Australia day. Adding it up the majority of people have no logical reason to celebrate Australia day, and if they do it was both the fleet arriving and the raising of the Flag of great Brittain, so why do we celebrate it with Australian flags?

    I wonder if ex convicts and their descendants from french guiana, celebrate the opening day of their penal colony?

  5. Terry2

    Australia Day is so…..yesterday !

  6. John Driggers

    No PM pension: “Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott probably thinks he is the unluckiest person in the world. If he had clung onto office until tomorrow he would have qualified for the PM’s pension rate of more than $500,000 a year for the rest of his life.” Plus perks! However, he now qualifies for around $307,000 as a pension or a cash-out of $1.5+ million dollars. Not bad for a failed leadership stint.

  7. Julian

    David Morisson appears to be a trojan horse for the republican movement. A captains pick by the new pm? We all discuss the merits of these chosen aussies but who does the choosing…

  8. Matters Not

    The choice is made at the national level by the Board of the National Australia Day Council. Current membership is:

    • Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG Chairman

    • Ms Robbie Sefton, Deputy Chair Director – Sefton & Associates

    • Ms Janet Whiting (Chair, Audit Committee) Lawyer

    • Professor Samina Yasmeen Director – Centre for Muslim States and Societies

    • Ms Elizabeth Kelly Deputy Secretary, Governance – Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    • Jason Glanville

    • Norman Schueler Director, Normetals

    • Dr Susan Alberti AO Chairman, Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation

    Clever PMs stay right out of it. They rely on the good sense of the Council Members, in particular the Deputy Secretary, Governance – Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

  9. Matters Not

    If he had clung onto office until tomorrow he would have qualified for the PM’s pension rate of more than $500,000 a year for the rest of his life

    Don’t think so. Yes his pension will be reduced because he fell short but (as I recall it’s about $20 000 a year less, not $200 000.

  10. rkg31557

    Turnbull’s statement on the Republic just confirms what I believe will become even more apparent in the lead up to the election, that he if nothing else but a coward, he likes to lead but his judgement and his actions belie his ability. He only wants to win and that win must be handed to him on a plate.

    Morrison seems to be a great choice to follow Rosie Batty. The more hand grenades that can be thrown the better.

    It seem holey appropriate for Australia to celebrate the National Day with Abbott out of the country. Because no one has done less for Australia than him!

    It is a start. It will be interesting to see how the machinations in NSW will play out.

    We are having a flirtation with Neo-Con religious extremism, I only hope that america learns from our mistakes. As for Cruz, he is a very long way from sanity.

    There appears to be a certain amount of arrogance in built in our elite sportspeople. That is quite of-putting, that sense of entitlement.

    A rather glib line to what could have been quite a serious question. I’m no fan of hers uses the “Only doing my Job” defense in relation to CSR but does not afford others the same.

  11. leonetwo

    The Abbott pension thing – the ‘if he had clung on for two more days’ thing is a myth, rubbish spread by stupid journalists, passed around on social media by the ill-informed and by those too lazy to check. The special prime ministerial pension payment was abolished decades ago.

    Way back in the dark ages we had legislation called the Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Act 1948. It included a clause that required prime ministers to serve three years in that position before qualifying for an extra allowance.

    In 1959 that act was replaced by the Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Act 1959, which reduced the required time served to two years.

    This is where the rumour came from.

    That act was repealed, as were many later amended versions, and eventually the whole thing was scrapped when politicians were required to make superannuation contributions.

    You can read all about it here.

    Abbott’s retirement income will be calculated according to the current rules, or the rules in place when he eventually leaves the parliament. This explains how it is calculated.

    Just remember – the longer Abbott stays in parliament the better his eventual super payment will be. No wonder he’s keen to hang on.

  12. margcal

    “No wonder he (Abbott)’s keen to hang on.”

    I wonder what amount of money would entice him to leave Parliament?
    Clearly, he want’s to do a Rudd and undermine Turnbull.
    But otherwise he seems to be unemployable. He even managed to put off like-minded Thatcher fans, so no more gigs in that direction. Now that he’s talking to right wing extremist religious nut jobs, the chances of speaking engagements to mainstream opinion groups have to be disappearing even further in front of his eyes. Will he get any gigs at all after the ADF show?
    So Parliament it is.

  13. Peter F

    Morrison is an excellent choice for Australian of the Year: anyone who can stand by a colleague in the circumstance in which he supported his assistant is a person who truly believes in equality.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    I am amaze FM has never had a foreign affair. She appears to have had sgh, if one looks at an ex or two.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    “wonder if ex convicts and their descendants from french guiana, celebrate the opening day of their penal colony?”

    I suspect many would be out leading the celebrations. It is their back breaking work, then later success that built foundations of this country.

    It was hard for them all, but most went onto build lives and success they wouldn’t been able to achieve in Britain.

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    Terry I see a man being defiant, thumbing his nose at us all. What a better way to do it, while picking up a good cheque. Expect to see Tony and his mob crossing the ocean to play big part in Tea Party campaign.

  17. Wally

    “And our past leader, Tony Abbott, decided that he would stand for another term in Parliament”

    When I first read this in the MSM I thought we should let Tony know we don’t want him in parliament and that we definitely do not want him back as PM. Then I realised that Abbott stirring the pot and showing his desire to take the top job from Turnbull may be what Labor need to help them win the next election. The thought of Tony Abbott becoming PM again is certain to swing 2-3% of voters against the LNP.

    Totally agree with your comment about the up and coming tennis players John Lord, a foot up the bum, education in sportsmanship and insisting that they show some respect would all be in order. It may just be what they need to get to the next level.

  18. keerti

    And the real news doesn’t get a mention! The gulf stream is barely flowing, the oceans are predicted to be dead by 2048 and there is worldwide coral bleaching event happening. Politics is reaching the end of relevance.

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes keerti,

    we all get caught up in explaining our own political viewpoint and the important occurrances get overlooked.

    Please continue to put these stark comments into every aimn narrative thread so to keep me and our compadres on the correct path.

  20. terry

    three nutters in a row. each have had a axe to grind, its not that its their nature of the person ” would rather seen a person that’s been feeding meals on wheels for 70 years ” now that’s a Australian of the year

  21. terry

    this government doesn’t actually do anything but hids behind the controversy they create ?

  22. win jeavons

    We celebrate Australia Day because nationalism is today’s religion. This is a bloodthirsty faith, as witness two world wars . In a globalised world it must be headed for failure. it explains why we put national wealth ahead of the future of many life forms on the planet, including , at the least , the future of civilised societies. Other religions promote the Golden Rule in various forms , but nationalism appears to just preach ” get the gold!” Australia day lately just reminds me how selfish and shallow its citizens are becoming –nothing to celebrate !

  23. Bacchus

    Yes leonetwo

    If he left parliament now, Abbott would be entitled to a pension of $138,750 pa (75% of the parliamentary allowance) plus an additional 0.0171% per day of the extra salary for all higher offices held (parliamentary secretary, minister, LOTO, shadow minister, prime minister). A day or two in any office makes virtually no difference.

  24. jim

    Abbott’s mess is yet to hit us ,health for one,gst, priests in schools who pays his security bill eh?.

  25. mars08


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