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Do your job, Malcolm Turnbull, it’s what we pay you for

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

I had a robust set-to with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Twitter this morning, after he arrogantly informed a regionally based small business owner that if she wanted reliable internet connections she ought to have bought her house in a different area.

Vaucluse, maybe?

Perhaps I was exceptionally irritated by this comment because it reminded me of when my entire family went missing for a week in a Mexican hurricane, & Alexander Downer remarked that it was their own fault for living in a hurricane-prone place.

I didn’t argue with Turnbull about the government’s plans (I use the word reservedly) for our future communications. I argued with him because every response he made to me referred not to the issues, but to the deficiencies of the ALP when in government. No matter how consistently I pointed out to him that his tactic of attempting to deflect a questioner from her concerns by arguing that “the ALP started it and were worse than us” only serves to convince me that the government fears its own policies aren’t worthy of mention, the man would not cease his epic struggle to gain a political point.

“You’re winning no support trying to avoid questions by point scoring,” I tweeted. ” You’re in charge, govern, in our best interests.” To which the Communications Minister replied” “So it’s shameful to tell the truth is it? Or is it that you are ashamed of the mess Labor left us to clean up?” And so on. The battle is still going on as I write this, though Malcolm retreated a couple of hours ago. I obviously struck a nerve: there are a lot of people wanting governance from this lot, and increasingly fed up with them behaving as if they are still in opposition.

What the Abbott government and their advisers are apparently unable to grasp is that every time they attempt to deflect the focus from their policies onto a critique of the ALP, they reinforce the impression many of us have that their policies either don’t exist, or are too inadequate to be discussed, leaving them obliged to resort to employing critique of the former government as their only narrative. This is not governing the country.

It’s a serious abrogation of responsibility.

The Abbott government seems to me exceptionally disregarding of the future. This causes me great concern for the well-being of my grandchildren and their peers. Surely it is a government’s job to do everything possible to ensure the best for our young, now and as they become adults.

The Abbott government must understand that governing a country is not a game: it is the most profoundly serious enterprise anyone can undertake, it affects the lives and futures of millions of people, and arrogance and point scoring will not cut it.

You won the election, Mr Turnbull. Get governing, or get out.

This article was first published on Jennifer’s blog No Place For Sheep and has been reproduced with permission.

 682 total views,  2 views today


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  1. Where Is My Ostrich

    Here you go:

  2. dyoll09

    I was following your encounter today via Twitter…..’The mess that Labor left us’ is wearing very thin!!

  3. Carol Taylor

    Bacchus, that’s a minor running with the story. To add to the #turnbullogic..if you want to get married, then you shouldn’t have been born gay. If you don’t want to be defamed by Andrew Bolt, then you shouldn’t have been born an Aborigine..

  4. Kaye Lee

    If you wanted a government for the people then you shouldn’t have voted Liberal

  5. randalstella

    The Abbott regime don’t think having Government is a game at all. They think it is the rightful power to wage civil war against any and all opponents. That is what they are doing. They are very serious about it.
    Turnbull is more articulate and urbane than Abbott; but then so are my two guard dogs. This makes Turnbull more sneaky and no less ruthless. He is the alternative leader the regime will fall back on if Abbott happens not to finish one of his sentences. To anyone with any misplaced respect for him, a name sufficed to end that: Godwin Grech. Turnbull’s moral alter ego.

  6. 2rhoeas3

    I did have respect for Malcolm Turnbull in the early days, I even thought that if Abbott was deposed, Turnbull would be a good choice. However, in Opposition, he soon showed his real colours, and my respect for him has totally eroded away. His arrogance has again emerged. His rude and nasty comments regarding Labor ministers is getting worse, and of course his intransigence on the most efficient, and therefore most cost-effective roll-out (in the long run)of the NBN will cost Australia much in our near future. I am growing decidedly weary of the constant ‘blame-game’ towards Labor and to a lesser extent, The Greens. If we, as a nation, don’t manage to turn around the direction that this Government is steering us in, Australia will not only have an extremely damaged reputation internationally, but our own social structure and environment will be damaged, maybe beyond repair.

  7. randalstella

    Mal,old chap. While we’ve got you there: ‘the mess that Labor left us’ – is you.

  8. zone

    google “Axiom Forest Reuouces Malcolm Turnbull” to find out how Malcolm made his first bundle. He’s an environmental vandal! Shameful.

  9. cornlegend

    I have more respect for Abbott than I do for Turnbull.
    Now Abbott is an out and out DICKHEAD , but he managed to stick to his 3 word slogans, and his slogans won the bogans.
    Now whether his bogan slogans were true or not is another matter, but Abbott held his line and even turned out to be an effective Opposition Leader {please take note Bill]
    Turnbull on the other hand wanted to be all things to all people , and in doing so, sold out what little principles and dignity and courage he may have ever had, and that wouldn’t have been much.
    Now he likes to play sleight of hand, saying what he thinks the masses need to hear but never committing never standing up for his beliefs and hoping on day, he will be the anointed one.
    Sorry, Turnbull, , Abbott might be a DICKHEAD, but you mate are a SCUMBAG

  10. Carol Taylor

    Turnbull lost me a while back..there was the will he challenge/won’t he challenge thing happening, in the end he didn’t. Then he whimped over the issue of gay marriage. Turnbull was Howard’s revenge against Costello, pity that he never had the gumption to follow through…

  11. Don Winther


    ‘the mess that Labor left us’ – is you. ( The Liberal Gov )

    Dont forget: “Australia its all for sale”

    It took us 200 years to build it and 20 years to sell it, but where did all our money go? Politicians entitlements?
    Bad luck Holden Abbott drives a BMW

  12. Nicki Slade

    whilst waiting for all the part faithful to turn up and make a mess, Mr Turnbull missed a very important point very early on in the piece, the lady stated she brought the home and then discovered that while it was supposed to have broadband access it does not. Suggesting she should move her family and Business elsewhere insults every small business owner in the country. Proves undoubtedly that all the government is interested in doing is blaming labor for everything and re affirms in my eyes that the Government cannot function. The liberal party has lost it’s way and unless and until the party itself can start dealing with the mess they have going on in the leadership corner they are going to end up in the same boat as labor, stop whining you had an idea what you were letting yourselves in for, Now get up there stop acting like spoilt brats and destroying everything good that has happened since the 1990’s and start recognizing the people that actually put you there and get to work because we sure as heck can change our minds again.

  13. Shevill Mathers

    The problem the government have is that “They DO NOT have a plan”. That was all smoke & mirrors before the election, so, now all they can do is to continue to look backwards and talk about the LNP & what it did/did not do when in government. Like ‘Question Time” these ministers have become irrelevant and incapable of positive thought or action. They spent years in opposition say “NO” all the time, they have not changed.
    Get rid of the current overpaid and biased Speaker ASAP, too.

  14. john921fraser


    I can't hear what Shorten or Turnbull are saying.

    To be truthful I gave up listening to what both of them are saying because they are both useless pettifoggers.

  15. john921fraser


    @Where is My Ostrich

    Happy to throw more feathers on the bonfire.

  16. bighead1883

    Part of the $4.3 mill JF.

  17. john921fraser


    @Where is My Ostrich

    Only yellow feathers from the genus Turnbull.


  18. Kerri

    The other sign of a lack of policy or for that matter any future thoughts or plans is the mantra of
    “Slowly and methodically” Any time they are caught short, and there are numerous examples, it is either a matter of National Secrecy or they are going slowly and methodically. In other words, they went to the polls with no plans. No policies. Just one thought. Win. And figure it out after the fact. The smokescreen is wearing very thin. Especially for those of us who saw it coming..

  19. GretchenG

    Agree with @Where is my Ostrich, the #turnbulllogic twitter is going off. Clever, inventive and hilarious postings. Only a matter of time before Turnbulllogic is in the urban dictionary.
    btw I thought Credlin had banned the use of social media for Liberal Pollies?

  20. Damo

    I think Turnbull must be working out of Bowman (distant) back bencher Andrew Laming’s playbook. I’ve had an ongoing disagreement with the local member over broadband since about 2007. In the run up to the 2010 election he stated online that (despite to this day constituents reporting that they are unable to get ANY form of connection) his connection was perfectly adequate for ‘banging out emails’ and those requiring higher speeds than those available should ‘move to an area where those services are available’, where exactly I’m not sure? South Korea? Japan?

    Predictably a recent UQ study commissioned by the Council found that businesses are in fact leaving the Redlands and cited broadband as a major factor:-

    The Liberal Party, the Party for Business!

    Well, not really…

  21. Where Is My Ostrich

    >March 21, 2014 • 6:09 pm
    >@Where is My Ostrich
    >Happy to throw more feathers on the bonfire.

    Not sure if this comment is for me or against me…

  22. Dave

    The following was ‘lifted’ from Bruce Billsons ( now Minister For Small Business) web site before September 7th 2013: I don’t know if Mr. Rankin ever received a reply or not, but I would STILL like to see billsons and turnbulls response!

    Our Dunkley Issues
    25 Latest ArticlesCurrent Articles | Archives | Search
    Coalition Broadband Survey
    Monday, 24 September 2012
    Today the Coalition launched a nationwide broadband survey which allows every Australian to see for themselves the speed of their existing fixed line and mobile broadband services.

    The survey will provide important information to the Coalition about the speed of existing broadband in Australian cities, suburbs, towns and regions.

    We urge all Australians to complete the broadband survey to help us ensure better broadband is available across the nation sooner, and those who need upgrades the most get it first.

    Arthur Ranken
    # Arthur Ranken
    Monday, 8 October 2012 2:48 PM
    I have been having great difficulty with the telephone service in our court, (Arundel Court, Mt Eliza). So much so that I took up a pertition of all 20 residents in the court and got a discription of their problems as well. This with a covering letter was then sent to the Chief Executive Officer of Telstra in May2012 and copy to Bruce Billson’s office. The problems mostly related to badly corroded 40 to 45 year old underground cable wiring causing phone connections to break, noisie telephone lines, very slow internet services and internet drop outs. Even with ADSL high speed broadband the internet service speeds are really no better than the old dial up braodband. Two proper telstra technitions spent 6 days replacing cables in the lower part of the court which helped some residents but others are still experiencing very slow internet and drop-outs including myself. Last week my phone was put on restricted servise after I had “no productive conversations” with 8 phillipino women in the phillipines call centre resulting on my being put on indefinate “Music Hold”.! NBN Broad band conduets have been installed in Humphries Rd from Baden Powel Drive up to Overport rd. When I spoke to one of the workmen on that job they mentioned that a resident in Walkers Rd was complaining of phone line troubles such as we have been having in Arundel Crt. Thus it is likely that there are line corrosion problems through out the ‘Woodland’ Area of Mt Eliza which is all about 40 to 50 yeaars old. The Woodland area of Mt Eliza is about 750 Hectares of land between Nepean Highway,Humphries Rd. Moorooduc Highway and Canadan Bay Road in Mt Eliza. Extra details or further details can be obtained from the copies of my 2 letters (with about 15 pages attached over both letters) to the CEO of telstra which are in your Bruce Billson’s office and you have my approval to access them (Referr to Cain in Bruce Billson’s office). The workmen working on the NBN conduet instalations could not give me any idea at all as to when the NBN cables would be installed or when local connections might occure, may be years they said. My problems with telstra are still ongoing after about 5 months and 2 years plus of problems

  23. rossleighbrisbane

    When Turnbull asks if it’s shameful to to tell the truth the obvious answer is no. Then ask him if he now realises why Abbott’s policies on things such as climate change and the republic are so much superior to his. You could follow by asking him if Godwin Grech was too smart and just fooled him with those fake emails or whether he was lying.

  24. jasonblog


    Not on your own. The only person who continues to profit from the inept privatisation of Telstra is Rupert & his FOXTEL & that appears to be on a hiding to nothing.

    The whole NBN thing is a joke. It contains the essence of how ridiculous Neoliberalism is. The truth is out there, albeit continuously obfuscated by Rupert’s incessant media machine… The average Australian has been well and truly f’d over and hopefully it won’t be long before they awake to that.

    Neoliberalism has as its goal the reiteration of an intractable class system. Australia would never have had a universal telecommunications network without it being a public utility. I.e. certain parts of Sydney would have had a phone service (probably the Wentworth electorate) and the people of Lake Boga – for example – would have been told to go themselves…

    Now Australia got through World War II & they expected something for the suffering and sacrifice that had been made. They got through it because of a collectivist spirit that understood the meaning of camaraderie and mateship and how everybody has something to offer to the common good.

    Australians need to quickly relearn what it is that has provided opportunity and prosperity in Australia & it has never been cavalier laissez-faire attitudes accompanied by hierarchical conservatism that contemptuously treats people as belonging to pre-ordained social strata… F OFF MALCOLM TURNBULL YOU NUT-JOB

  25. olddavey

    Turnbull hasn’t got a clue what he is doing.
    Along with his mates JB Roolot and Ziggy “What am I doing here apart from earning squillions” Switkowski he is doing his best to destroy the NBN by having no understanding of what is required for the present, let alone the future.
    And he is turning into a smart ass which in the long run will turn even the RWNJ’s off him.

  26. Scott Hewitt

    All I have to say is, how amazing that in other parts of the world when governments fail the citizens there’s civil unrest and ultimately the government are overthrown. The sooner something similar happens in this country, the better. Every single member of the federal government, on both sides of the House Of Reps and the Senate need to be thrown onto the street and replaced with company project managers, manufacturing and engineering estimators and blue collar workers who would bring a far stronger work ethic to our nation’s governance…

  27. mars08

    STOP THE BOATS!!! AXE THE TAX!!! Oh oops…hehehe… sorry… force of habit! Back in the good old days those slogans were the answer to everything. Now… not so much…

  28. Matters Not

    One should remember that a democratically elected government is really the only ‘direct’ power the citizens have. Democracy is a ‘good’ and ‘valid’ concept. It’s based on well informed citizens making rational choices.

    Needless to say, there’s lots of ‘simplistic’ assumptions in my assertions.

    But let’s not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

    It’s not the ‘government’ (and all that implies) that’s the problem, it’s those who occupy the Treasury Benches who are clearly aims far removed from the ‘common good’. Both here and now and in the past.

    Arthur Sinodinos is clearly a classic example. His mask is the common good, but his historic and recent actions suggest otherwise.

  29. Stephen Tardrew

    Not matter what they do the old warn out copper network is on borrowed time. Save a dime today and cost billions tomorrow. The future of the world is digital connectivity and high speed access. Turnbull is a fool he compromises on global warming when he knows it is a fact and destroys the most important business infrastructure project this century. What a dumb ass. Sell your soul to the LNP devil. No ethics no respect.

  30. DanDark

    Turnbull is such a turkey
    A woman asks a simple question of him,
    and instead of getting a simple answer back from the minister
    Instead she gets a rant back’ on a public forum, a form of cyber bullying,
    Turnbull is not fit for high office,
    he is arrogant,obnoxious,and his contempt is breathtaking

    So what she got back was an answer from the Turkey,
    that was the usual gobble gobble”,labor”,
    gobble gobble,its all labors fault still,gobble gobble

    Not my fault you bought a house there lady,
    blaming her for where she chose to buy a house
    What was he thinking,to answer in such a way,
    Maybe he had a brain freeze?

    So once again we hear
    the same old mantra from the liberals
    It’s everybody else’s fault,
    that they are failing miserably as
    the “adult” Govt they promised LOL

  31. bilko

    They were in a hammock for 6yrs in opposition and now are just continuing to do the same in Government a complete policy vacuum the loser is Australia but the bogons do not care as long as those boats are stopped our image stunk under the rodent this lot just take it further into the slime

  32. Truth Seeker

    Yes Turnbull, as Abbott said in QT a couple of days ago “People don’t work for government, government works for the people… Or in simple terms ‘I work for you'”… “So, if you work for me… You’re Fired!”

    So, if you work for me… You’re fired!

    Cheers 🙂

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