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Good Morning, Malcolm, This Is Your Wake-up Call!

“Stop Laughing – this is serious!”

Last week, Mr Turnbull told the states that their failure to agree to his tax policy in less time than it took to develop it meant that “we must now live within our means”, adding: “It is a wake-up call for the state governments.”

Dear me, all those state governments thinking that somehow the federal government was just going to keep on giving them money for things like hospitals and schools. I mean, there’s a limited amount of money to go around, isn’t there? And money to hospitals will just encourage people to get sick, while money to schools will just encourage people to learn.

(Ok, there’s some dispute over that last point with Simon Birminham telling us that money isn’t important when it comes to education, and, by the way, they’re still committed to the university deregulation plan which was so popular in the 2014 Budget. You know, the one where Mr Pyne announced that he was a “fixer”.)

But I just wonder whether it’s Mr Turnbull who’s getting the wake-up call. Not only did one opinion poll have Labor in front, but another had them tied on fifty all. (Morgan had the Coalition well in front, but that wouldn’t back up the stories that the MSM want to run about Turnbull being in difficulty.) Of course I could make the point for the trillionth time that opinion polls are a bit like watching a highlights reel of an AFL game of the first three quarter goals; you’ll probably have a good idea of who’s in front if it’s a thrashing, but in a close game, it’s about as useful in picking the winner as tossing a coin.

Then last Friday I read that Kevin Andrews confused things by saying:

“It has never been my burning ambition to be the leader of the party, but if circumstances arose, which they did in both of those instances where I thought there should be a change or a contest, I am prepared to do it.”

Now, just to be accurate here, Andrews later clarified his remarks telling us that they were a hypothetical response to a hypothetical question and he never expected anybody to take it as a serious challenge. He went on to declare his support for the Prime Minister in a totally unequivocal way:

At the present time, Mr Turnbull is the Prime Minister. As the leader of the Coalition, he will take us to the federal election.

“The story has been taken right out of context.

“The reality is that Mr Turnbull is the Prime Minister. He will lead us to the next election and I expect we will win the next election.”

So you see, there’s no possibility of an Andrews challenge before THE NEXT ELECTION. And Malcolm is the Prime Minister AT THE PRESENT TIME. Who could see any problem with a simple statement of fact like that?

IF I were Malcolm, I’d sleep well, knowing that his wake-up call has been booked in, and well, he can continue to sleep soundly until the next election. Mind you, in Hotel Parliament the wake-up call is often done with knives, but, hey, as long as he gets a good night’s sleep and doesn’t actually change the agenda…

Another thing that Malcolm can put off dealing with till after the election are those pesky Panama paper things showing something about lots and lots of companies setting up overseas in order to avoid tax. Something like that. Well, that’s not really worth him thinking about because he has to worry about more pressing things like corruption in unions and how they try to make political capital out of things like workplace deaths as though safety is any business of theirs.

Speaking of making political capital out of a death, I noticed that Peter Dutton was upset when Richard Marles called for an investigation into a New Zealander’s death inside a detention centre. Apparently a call for an inquiry was an attempt to make political capital out of a death, because calling for it to be investigated must be something that Dutton doesn’t see as bipartisan. In fact it’s probably a contradiction of the Liberal policy to sweep everything under the carpet…

Anyway, some of you may have heard of the Laffer Curve. Simply, the story goes that Laffer – an economist – was at a restaurant with some Republicans and drew a grpah on a napkin that showed that at zero percent tax the government received no revenue from tax, while at 100% taxation, the governemnt also received no taxation because nobody had any incentive to earn. Laffer argued that somewhere on the graph was a point of maximum return where the government achieved the greatest amount of tax possible. What Laffer, of course, overlooked that in the days were we hadslavery, then you could effectively have the slaves work for nothing (or the equivalent of 100% tax), and, providing you fed them and housed them, then you were getting the maximum return. Of course, in recent times, the US has decided that if you make the minimum wage small enough, you can more or less reintroduce slavery without the added burden of feeding and housing the slaves.

The Liberals seem to have decided that Laffer had the right idea when it comes to company tax. It needs to be reduced to the point where companies are happy to pay it, otherwise, they’ll resort to tricky offshore arrangements. Word is that they plan to start by reducing it by 1.5 percent this year, and continuing until the rate of company tax is zero percent at which point they believe there’ll be one hundred percent compliance.

Finally, Malcolm needs to understand that he’s only popular because of that left wing ABC, which as Jonathan Holmes points out in his column today:

“It’s also undeniable, as the likes of Bolt and Henderson have complained for years, that the ABC’s capital city radio presenters come across, overwhelmingly, as leaning more to the left than the right. I say “undeniably”, but senior ABC managers for decades have chosen, if not to deny it, then to ignore it, and they’ve certainly failed to do anything about it.”

Yes, there have been many, many times when I’ve noticed how the ABC just ignores its charter when it comes to balance. For example, in the Safe Schools debate, they had many people talking about how the program was a good idea because it stopped bullying, but I don’t remember a single interview with a pro-bullying advocate. And domestic violence – there were plenty of people against domestic violence, but not a single person in favour of it. Fortunately when it comes to racism, they’re always happy to give plenty of time to the racists on both sides of politics.

So Malcolm needs to have a good hard look at the ABC and fix up its lack of balance, demanding that they use their editorial independence to have a regular timeslot for Alan Jones, as well as relaying the Peta Credlin election guide from Foxtel into areas where the Internet reception is dodgy because it hasn’t been boosted by the new copper.

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29 comments

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  1. z

    Malcolm, This Is Your Wake-up Call? but he just said that is a wake up call to the states, no more blame each other for fund as they refused to accept it

  2. Steve Laing

    Isn’t it funny that we’ve moved straight into sarcasm when it comes to this lot. I honestly thought that nobody could be worse than Abbott, but Turnbull is really starting to grind. I’m sure he thinks he’s playing this to some grand strategy, but he’s looking more like Kevin every day.

    Both here and in the US (and I suspect the UK too), we are seeing the results of the gamification of the Neo-con strategy, namely filling the back benches with compliant fools, paid to do their masters bidding. The genuine lack of talent is astounding. Not one single decent idea in three years. Not one.

    It is the natural culmination of the party system which is increasingly redundant. Both in the last parliament, and indeed this one, it has been the independent voices who have largely provided a degree of sense, and whilst not responsible for proposing much legislation, have at least stopped madness ensuing, on both sides of the ledger.

    I am firmly of the belief that hung parliaments should produce better quality legislation because greater consensus and compromise must be achieved. The question must be, how can we ensure that this can happen?

  3. John Kelly

    I agree Steve. Nothing better than a hung parliament to keep people on their toes.

  4. Otto von Heidelberg

    The Pitch to the States was never anything other than a side-show, a red-herring, a bit of muscle flexing in front of a mirror and fully anticipated to fail, because the main performers of this circus have just about given up. So, knowing that it was going to go no-where, the conclusion must be that the term “policy vacuum” has just kicked in, with the full-frontal acknowledgement by the government at the present time. Now, shall we talk about submarines, Samurai Kevin, or the “preferred PM” by popular vote? Forget about reading proper POLICY because the said topic could be there and gone within 24 hours….GONE-SKI! Not worth paying $100,000 for an education for!
    Paul Hogan might be preferred PM. (… lets widen the choice as there’s still time for everyone to be PM for a week without the DD). He at least, knows how to sell cigarettes and tell jokes. Cigarettes can be sold to schools which would raise revenue (apparently needed to fund Subs, Schools and the like) and the money can also go back to schools so that they can buy more cigarettes. Oh just one other thing, refusing to fund ANYTHING would definitely help and call the State Premiers’ Bluff too and back that up by threatening the Senate as well. By March 15 2017 ( a movable date nowadays), things could really hot up, but will the ABC still be there to report it?

  5. jimhaz

    [So Malcolm needs to have a good hard look at the ABC and fix up its lack of balance]

    It would appear to me that they intend to fix up the ABC “problem” in the same overall way they’ll fix up LNP created company tax thievery and treason – reduce it to zero staff numbers to achieve the perfect balance.

    In the meantime, they’ll force an evening up of the score by making the ABC into yet another advertising based media outlet. Most ads are essentially far right wing – as in lying, deceiving and manipulating to make profits regardless of the cost, so once that occurs we should start counting ad time as falling under the right wing banner.

    Something that may save the ABC from the right wing squawkers is the lack of overt opportunities for cash for comment, which would make the jobs too low paying for the pestiferous saints of the root of all evil.

  6. jimhaz

    [Nothing better than a hung parliament to keep people on their toes]

    Might I suggest using shorter ropes as an austerity measure.

  7. Kaye Lee

    In March 2010 ABC chairman Maurice Newman claimed that the ABC had been captured by ‘group-think’ on climate change and was preventing ‘contrary views’ from being heard.

    ‘Lord’ Monckton and James Hansen both toured Australia that year. Crikey compared ABC coverage of Monckton during his Australian visit with that given to James Hansen, one of the world’s most esteemed climate scientists, who visited a few weeks later: the analysis showed that the unqualified climate denier scored 161 mentions on the ABC against the world expert’s nine mentions.

    feature | Clive Hamilton

  8. David

    After the Torys pathetic attempt (or lack of) to negotiate with the independents after Julia ended up with a hung Parliament, I doubt very much. going on the criticism of Turnbull and Co by the Senate x bench these last couple of months, anything has changed since 2010. Another slogan the Govt may be considering is, ‘Stop the Hung Parliament’

  9. Kaye Lee

    LOL Andrew Bolt is calling it the curse of Abbott….

    Many of the Turnbull backers have suffered personally. Count them.

    Malcolm Turnbull himself has come under severe criticism and pressure, with his personal approval

    Dennis Jensen yesterday lost his preselection, and without any irony at all protested at being betrayed.

    Mal Brough has had to first resign his ministry and then from Parliament as police confirmed they were interviewing him over claims that he tried to procure personal information from a public servant about former Speaker Peter Slipper.

    Arthur Sinodinos faces renewed criticisms and allegations over what he knew about secret and unlawful donations to the Liberals.

    Teresa Gambaro is quitting Parliament.after being denied promotion.

    Ian Macfarlane is quitting Parliament after being denied the ministry position he expected from Turnbull and then being blocked from moving to the nationals.

    Phillip Ruddock is quitting Parliament after coming under severe presure in his preselection.

    Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was humiliatingly denied the top spot on the Liberals NSW Senate ticket after anger at her betrayal of Abbott.

    Scott Morrison, whose supporters switched to Turnbull, has been marginalised and belittled as Treasurer by the Prime Minister he helped to install (without actually voting for him himself).

    Bronwyn Bishop, who so outrageously betrayed Abbott, is now in danger of losing the preselection she long assumed was sewn up.

    Julie Bishop, who plotted with Turnbull and betrayed her leader, has suffered big reputational damage within the party and is now written off as a future leader. In fact, she will be unlikely to serve out another full term.

    Stuart Robert has had to resign his ministry after confusing personal interests with his job and faces investigation by police..

    Sharman Stone is quitting Parliament.

    Michael Ronaldson has quit politics after being dumped as Minister. (Ronaldson was not among the 54, but only because he arrived too late to back Turnbull.)

    Luke Simpkins has come under fire over his expenses.

    Coincidence? Karma?

    UPDATE

    A thought: take out the Turnbull supporters now leaving parliament and add the marginal seat holders (many, like Sarah Henderson, who voted for Turnbull) likely to lose their seats and the Prime Minister looks not so invulnerable as the leadership vote six months ago suggests.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/karma_comes_to_turnbull_supporters/#.VwHE–pQEHc.facebook

  10. David

    The ABC’s Election Analyst Antony Green said on 7-30 last night “A double dissolution may not improve the coalition’s prospects in the Senate as Labor pulls ahead of the Government in the polls. I think the Government would struggle to get more than the 33 seats it has now, which means it still needs half a dozen extra votes to get legislation passed.”

    He added “The difference is: The Government currently knows the half-dozen votes it needs to get – and the foibles and the policy interests of those members. If it had a double dissolution, you don’t know who are those last members going to be elected. And the whole process of negotiation would have to start all over again.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4437778.htm

    Wise man Antony Green, not many others know the pros and cons of elections and the variables better than him. Turnbull may be heading for a worse result in the Senate than the Status Quo and it’s anyone’s guess what the numbers in the HOR will end up as.

  11. Ross in Gippsland

    Have been reading local and international coverage of Panama Papers.
    Note to self:
    1) Check for availability of shares in companies manufacturing pitchforks and burning torches.
    2) Check for modern version of Guillotine and public squares for use of same.

  12. Möbius Ecko

    “After the Torys pathetic attempt (or lack of) to negotiate with the independents…”

    They don’t want to negotiate with anyone, even within their own party and coalition partner. They just want anything they produce, no matter how terrible and unworkable, rubber stamped.

    They were incredibly lazy in opposition and they are just as lazy in government. Their born to rule and lord over mentality is on full display for all to see, yet around 50% of voters still don’t see it or ignore it.

  13. lawrencewinder

    Is it just me or is the bile they sprayed at Rudd and Gillard, karma-like, coming back at them? Let’s hope so; may they lose the unlosable and may we defer for a time a return to a feudal system.

  14. Pappinbarra Fox

    Kaye Lee, thank you – facts trump crap every time and we have you to produce the simplest of facts when needed with such devastating acumen. Again Thank You. KL at 12.07

  15. Kaye Lee

    PF,

    You should see my house. I wish someone would clean it. But I figure that we are at a crucial time and I must prioritise my resources. I am wasted on housework (she tries to tell all) so I am bringing up every fact I ever thought I might have read about sometime since birth. If that’s what it takes then the house can wait.

  16. stephengb

    All in all a demonstration of pure self interest – as thatcher said no such thing as society only the individual.
    Well these parasites practice the thatcher speak and destroy each other in the process.

    I realise that it will be touch and go at this next election and that Labor has a real battle to win, but it is more likely that there will be either a hung parliament or very close.

    My furvent hope is a total anialation of the Right side of politics, because this is what they realy deserve!

  17. Glenn K

    Look to the Canadian experience. The LNP will get wiped out.

  18. susan

    I find it interesting to contemplate at what level of company tax an all out war will be sparked between the companies and their lawyers who will become redundant. At that stage we will find out whether all the money off shoring is really about the tax or about secrecy.

  19. Matters Not

    Perhaps George Brandis will provide a character reference as he did for Peta in similar circumstances. But there’s a chance the prosecution might cite Dutton’s opinion about Maiden being a ‘mad f*cking witch’.

    As an aside, I remember being in a staff room when a particular Lecturer announced in high dudgeon re a particular female student.

    “She called me a f*cking idiot”.

    Came a retort: “Lou, why did she use the word ‘f*cking’? That’s the trouble with students these days. No regard for the accurate use of adjectives”. ?

    The noun was never in question. ?

  20. michaelattoowoomba

    Great article,Rossleigh,I will have a laugh,when I stop crying.

    AIMN supporters,does anyone know how to run a crowd funding campaign,beyond my limited skillset.I would however contribute to a fund to supply Kaye Lee [ @3.35 ] with house keeping services,so that we get more fact driven articles not less.M F.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Thanks michael 🙂 What I really need is Tony Abbott’s idea of a wife – slave labour who willingly does all the shopping, cooking,cleaning, and generally looking after everyone’s needs. No wonder so many men hated women’s liberation and find feminism a dirty word. What a lurk they were on for so long.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    Talking of Abbott. Did you see that after his annual pollie peddle, which he claims full expenses for, Abbott rode to a primary school and promoted his book, Battlelines.

    It was a typical Abbott photo op for self aggrandisement. Nothing changes there.

    What is interesting in this is the look on the kids faces as he’s promoting the book. To me it looks like derision or repulse. So it was not surprising when I came across this this morning.

    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/04/06/20/31/school-captain-offers-scathing-review-of-abbotts-book

    Abbott’s a has been, and always was even when he was supposedly the best opposition leader ever. That’s a thing I’ve never gelled with, Abbott being labelled the best opposition leader ever. This parallels John Lord’s piece on how backwards our democracy and the media reporting on it have gone. If Mr Negabore is the high bar for a good opposition leader then we’re really screwed in this country.

  23. helvityni

    Mobious Ecko, same here, it irritated me when people praised him as the best Opposition Leader ever. Do they mean it’s good to oppose positive , progressive initiatives…? To me it’s just plain stupid. Bloody hell, work TOGETHER to take the country forward.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Fancy thinking that primary school children would be interested in his damn book. I reckon he expected them all to save up their pocket money so they could race down to the nearest book store and snap up a copy. At least they wouldn’t have to save for long.

    Or maybe he thinks they’re getting their ‘Dear Santa’ letters drawn up early. “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a copy of Mr Abbott’s book”.

  25. Rossleigh

    I don’t know why but this just seems appropriate:

  26. Rossleigh

    Maybe it’s the lyrics:

    “Six o’clock in the morning and I’m the last person in this plane still awake
    Y’know I can almost smell the blood washing against the shores of this land that can’t forget its past
    Oh the wind that carries this plane is the wind of change, heaven sent and hell bent
    Over the mountain tops we go, just like all the other GI Joe’s, adios
    This is your captain calling (With an urgent warning)”

  27. salt of the earth

    Did anyone else notice the irony of large display ads for the Australian and the Daily Telegraph on this website ? Things must really be desperate at the smelly old bastard’s den of evil. Imagine trying to get posters at this website to pay to get indoctrinated by the crappy rags he refers to as ‘newspapers’.

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