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Day to Day Politics: When action is needed we get waffle

Thursday 18 February 2016

1 Gunna Morrison was at the Press Club yesterday spruicking about what the Government is gunna do with the economy. It was highly anticipated that he might make a policy announcement on negative gearing but surprised no one when he didn’t. They need more time to talk and plan. A blueprint perhaps.

They came into government two and a half years ago on the back of a concentrated campaign of the need for action. Remember, there was a budget emergency. Unprecedented in its depth. The country was in a situation as bad as that of Greece. The sky was about to fall in. Day after day Hockey and Abbott told us that we were in dire straits.

Yet two and a half years after being in government, knowing all too well that aspects of the economy needed attention, they decide to formulate a plan. But it is a plan remarkably short in detail. If the strategy, or the answer is in savings it didn’t make sense that he had saved 80 billion but allocated 70 in new spending. What he didn’t say was that without the spending we may very well have had a recession.

The only thing we got today was journalists shaking their heads at his answers to their questions.

Where is the much vented real structural tax reform that Turnbull has been talking about? The sort a treasurer of the ilk of Keating might deliver.

Like Hockey and Costello before him all Morrison did today was give himself a big pat on the back.

He’s going to fund tax cuts from savings on future spending. The look on Peter Martin’s face was priceless.

I told you he could waffle. ‘Assembly of God’ men can.

The punters really need to ask themselves what this government been doing for two and a half years.

2 Quoting Peter Reith:

The pity was that the Abbott government did little to address the longer term reform issues. Now people like Andrew Bolt expect Turnbull to rearrange Australia virtually overnight.’

It seems Turnbull had always had a long-term plan to displace Abbott but not one for the country. You might recall when he took over the leadership he gave a pungent appraisal of the Government’s performance. He said the country faced challenges that required a more developed conversation.

‘We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges … and sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans.’

So the question is: Where and what are they?

3 Essential Poll Tuesday has the Coalition on 51% and Labor 49%.

4 Steven Ciobo is the MP who once implied that Prime Minister Julia Gillard should have her throat cut. He was back on Q&A on Monday night. A huge supporter of Malcolm Turnbull I think he was hoping that his Government’s efforts in silencing the program last year wouldn’t be mentioned.

Tony Jones wasn’t going to let it pass. Ciobo wouldn’t take the bait. Talking about free speech:

‘I’m attracted to the classic liberal freedoms as a starting point but it doesn’t apply carte blanche’, he began.

Jones: ‘Didn’t apply to Zaky Mallah, for example.’

Ciobo waved the interjection away, as he did sniping from other members of the panel. ‘I am attracted to the principle but there does need to be limits on it. I think that’s a reasonable position.’

I was left wondering how a Turnbull government might have handled the matter just a few months back. It might have been an interesting avenue to pursue but Jones, perhaps wisely, didn’t pursue the matter.

An observation:

‘Until you are a victim of free speech you will truly never understand what free speech means.’

5 The request by the Australian Christian Lobby that existing laws pertaining to anti-discrimination be suspended, held over, over ridden or shelved for the duration of a plebiscite on equality in marriage would only serve to make a mockery of why they were legislated in the first place.

6 Every time you think the Republican Party has reached the zenith of its stupidity if finds another way to look ludicrous. By intending to vote against a new justice nominee put forward by President Obama (his constitutional right) it is doing enormous damage to the prospects of re-election of its incumbent senators.

On top of that we have Donald Trump suggesting that there are unusual circumstances behind the death of a Supreme Court justice.

Only in America!

7 It seems that New Zealand is set to again offer to take our refugees. On the surface you might say that the offer is compassionate and a way out for the Government.

It won’t be accepted for two reasons. Firstly we need to keep men, women and children incarcerated for life, no matter the human cost, so as to send others wanting to escape their hopelessness a message. Secondly giving them safe passage to a country more humane than us might encourage others to come. And we wouldn’t want them to become NZ citizens with rights to visit us.

My thought for the day

‘Everyone has a choice. You can either whinge about the issues you have or do something about them.’


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  1. John Kelly

    Waffle has become a signature response for Morrison. He has finally been caught out all at sea. I wonder how long the MSM will take to start saying so.

  2. Kaye Lee

    LAURA TINGLE: Morrison needs the answer, not just the question (and what was the question)


    LENORE TAYLOR: Four things we learnt from Scott Morrison’s first speech to the National Press Club


    STEPHEN KOUKOULAS: Morrison delivers empty speech devoid of vision


    SHALAILAH MEDORAH: Scott Morrison vetoes ‘rear view’ analysis of Trans-Pacific Partnership


    PAUL COLGAN: Scott Morrison whiffs it


    It is obvious that anyone who says the Coalition are a shoe-in to win the next election has absolutely no interest in policy.

    “at some stage even in Test cricket, you’ve got to stop just blocking it and start scoring some runs.”

  3. johnlord2013

    John I think Leigh Sales did on 7.30 last night. The “what have you been doing for two and a half years” questions arose.

  4. Matthew Oborne

    Morrison’s former position didnt require competence, it required cruelty and obnoxiousness. Barry Cassidy trumpeted Morrison because he achieved results in Cassidy’s opinion.

    He is just a man capable of the unthinkable, he is a man capable of ignoring the requirement of openness of government operation.

    Change the legislation to make the budget secret and dissenters detained and Morrison will shine again.

    His first speech to the press club was a waffle about taking time for people to adjust to reduced services and payments,

  5. kerri

    I used to think Morrison’s famous “On water matters” was stated cover what he knows! I now believe it was to cover what he doesn’t know. Which is a lot!

  6. Backyard Bob

    Steven Ciobo is the MP who once implied that Prime Minister Julia Gillard should have her throat cut.

    No, he did not. It’s way past time for this lie to end.

  7. JeffJL

    Backyard Bob. Agree 100%. Steven Ciobo did not say nor imply that Julia Gillard should have her throat cut. John please correct.

    I think Chris Bowen had it right when he said that when Gunna booked the National Press Club for his speech he was expecting to announce big tax cuts from the GST increase. He waffled for an extra 14 minutes to receive less questions.

    When did the treasury analysis of the proposed GST increase hit Gunna’s desk? You know the one that said there would be nil to very little growth (and wealth would have been distributed from the lower paid to the higher paid). Would we have seen it had not Malcolm Turnbull said it would have to clearly produce growth. You know, an ‘On Budget Matter’.

    Complaining that the government had spent 70 of the 80 billion ‘saved’ was a bit rich considering that of the 30? billion that was to be raised by the GST increase was all going to be returned in tax cuts. Would have been 100 of the 110 billion ‘saved’ being spent.

  8. Backyard Bob


    Backyard Bob. Agree 100%. Steven Ciobo did not say nor imply that Julia Gillard should have her throat cut. John please correct.

    Mind you, what he did do was worthy of condemnation; it just wasn’t this particular social media construct that has frankly had its day.

  9. Salstarat

    Watched this unbelievably ARROGANT mongrel shouting people down in his ABC interview this morning! Whenever I see this truly vile and pathetic excuse for a human being start ranting and raving, like some madman, on TV, I just switch channels! No one I know (and I know a LOT of people) can STAND watching this nauseating megalomaniacal narcissist for more than 2 seconds! Morrison has this “air” of contemptuous conceit about him …. he (wrongly) believes he is superior to anyone and everyone with an astonishing and absolutely DELUDED and thoroughly over-rated sense of importance .. what a joke!

    What a thoroughly reprehensible, repugnant creature this pompous bastard is! Morrison thinks that if he SCREAMS and SHOUTS people down, yelling over the top of interviewers or ANYONE who questions his staggering neoliberal and fascist views, it will (somehow) make his LIES and hyperbole more credible .. what Morrison is too dumb to realise is that it DOESN’T and it NEVER WILL! Best thing this sociopath can do is to SHUT his MOTOR MOUTH for once and LISTEN to what his employers, ie the PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA, tell him! The only way MorriScum can become more credible is if he ZIPS UP his BIG MOUTH, shuts up and resigns! MorriScum is one of the most vile, cold blooded psychopaths to have EVER crawled across the electoral line – a hysterical, sanctimonious hypocrite who has NEVER EVER achieved a single positive thing in his non-achieving, savagely brutal career as one of the most useless, depraved politicians in history.

    Morrison FAILED ABYSMALLY as the WORST Immigration Minister in history which, sadly, Mutton-head Dutton is desperately trying to live up to! Morrison’s savage inhumanity towards asylum seekers absolutely DESTROYED Australia’s international reputation. What is worse, is that Morrison attempts to hide his brutality and callous disregard for others under a thin, sanctimonious veil of bible thumping hypocrisy! What a rotter!

  10. Jexpat

    My guess is that whatever tightening there might be in the polling reflects the inability to completely walk back the proposed 50% GST increase.

    Once a cat like that is let out of the bag to roam around a bit, it’s tough to get people to believe that it’s really back in.

  11. Florence nee Fedup

    Morrison bad yesterday. Didn’t think it could get any worse. it has today, wherever he popped his head up.

    We then had Cash’s wonderful effort telling us how wonderful they’re in spite unemployment reversing to 6%. Figures worse than they look. Massive drop full time jobs. How can one, after her efforts of the last couple of weeks ever trust any words that come out of her mouth.

    Cormann seems to have taken sanctuary in telling the truth. Well half truth. Seems bracket creep not really a problem as wage inflation is blow inflation rate.

    I think the penny has dropped, their policies just aren’t working. Cutting taxes are wrong way to go. In fact would be surprise outside employers & wealthy, not many want them. More interested in services such as health and education. Opposite to what Morrison and co a re obsessed with.

    Not one smile from many ministers that have been out this morning. Dutton and Brandis look like they are in pain. Not sure why. Never seen Bishop looking like she has stuffing knocked out of her. At least we know why.

    What is pushing women back to work? Could it e Abbott’s cut to family benefits beginning to bite. Massive rise price meat wouldn’t be helping. Fruit and vegetables not much better.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    It was more than waffle yesterday. It was a filibuster. If I talk long enough, there won’t be time to be asked questions. ABC would go off air.

    Well failed. They extended time, questions asked. ABC 2 went off air, but ABC 24 continued to the bitter end.

    Uhlmann introduced Morrison like a a long lost friend. was noticeable by his absent on summing up ABC 24.

    This morning, on many stations his voice became louder, words more rapid, Completely out of his depth.

    With that strong job growth in which it seems unemployment has trended up. Ha ha

  13. John Lord

    Yes my comment is accurate so I withdraw it but what he did say was equally appalling.

  14. my say

    SO true every one has a choice ,and it is way past time that we said enough is enough
    complaining isn’t going to get us anywhere ,
    It is time we sent this dangerous government packing,We are being governed by a dictator,one who can tell you who to vote for,
    by taking away those who are going to campaign against Turnbulls chosen one,i hope the voters in that electorate vote for the one they are trying to keep out,
    Who will be the PM after the election ,how many more senators will loose their jobs,
    Australia is in the hands of the voters,don’t make the same mistake twice,
    Be ready for a DD election on the 2nd april

  15. JeffJL

    Thanks John

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