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Hypocrisy shall be his epitaph

By Loz Lawrey

As Australia suffers the stewardship of a man apparently devoid of vision, inspiration and the self-confidence and character to truly lead, the word “hypocrisy” will forever define the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull.

We’ve had toxic PM’s before; John Howard and Tony Abbott come to mind. By “toxic”, I mean those whose determination to consolidate and entrench their own power at all costs subsumes their desire and capability to take our whole community forward, together, towards a greater common good.

Rarely are such people able to articulate a coherent plan for the betterment of our nation beyond spin-doctored platitudes such as Turnbull’s meaningless “jobs and growth”, or Abbott’s ghastly negative three-word slogans (remember how we choked on those?).

Such “leaders” don’t agitate for change or betterment. Rather, they seek to impose upon our present a white-picket-fence conservatism from the past. They don’t move with the times; they want to freeze us in time.

They’ll say or do anything to score a political point, to shut down debate and maintain their authority at any cost. But many Australians recoil in horror when shallow, mean-minded and divisive language spews forth from those who would purport to govern our nation.

Language is the most basic and important tool in the leader’s kit. Language has the power to unite, to inspire, to uplift. It is the brush which paints great visionary concepts into our public consciousness: the ‘light on the hill”, the “clever country”… such truly great verbal imagery encourages a nation’s people to share and embrace aspiration, moving forward, together, towards a brighter future.

But what do we get from Turnbull and his ministers? As Zorba the Greek might have put it, we get “the full catastrophe”. We get platitudes and scripted sweet nothings. We get bluster and manufactured outrage.

We get rhetoric designed to achieve nothing more than deflect attention away from the government’s own failures and shortcomings. We get hypocrisy.

We get constant attacks upon the Labor opposition as if the Coalition really believes that this is what Australians want to hear: a relentless, negative ever-flowing river of rubbish.

I’m drowning.

It’s New Year’s Day, 2018. What is Malcolm’s message to the people? Might it be something along the lines of: “We’ve found a new way to manage our country’s wealth, resources and social organisation. Our focus is to create a society in which everyone is included, cared for and afforded the opportunity to participate fully in the pursuit of the happiness that should be the birthright of every Australian”? Or perhaps something less cheesy but inspiring and inclusive nonetheless?

Nope. From Malcolm, we get this: “We are very concerned at the growing gang violence and lawlessness in Victoria, in particular in Melbourne. This is a failure of the Andrews Labor government.”

Ministers Greg Hunt and Peter Dutton, singing in harmony from the same songsheet, highlight the fact that they’re talking about “African youth gangs”.

And so, here we are. On the first day of the new year, Turnbull and Co. are already hard at work demonising a minority group, inciting hatred and dividing our community. Inspiration? Leadership? No. This is casting poison into the well. It’s classic “divide and conquer” stuff, astoundingly blatant in its arrogance.

Yes, folks, this week’s New Year effort by our federal government has been to pick a state government issue which Victoria is already addressing, inflate it into a message of fear and loathing and dump it on Australia’s coffee table like a steaming turd. Umm … thanks, Malcolm. The Sudanese community, in particular, thanks you. Not.

How stupid does the Turnbull government think we are? Now, there’s a question… we did elect them.

There’s no doubt the federal Coalition hates state Labor governments and grasps with eager hands any perceived opportunity to attack them.

We’ve witnessed Turnbull try to make political capital from the South Australian power blackout of 28 September 2016, when Australians concerned about climate change were stunned to hear him cynically blaming the state’s renewable energy policy for what was, in fact, damage to the grid caused by a severe weather event.

It’s as if the Turnbull government (and the Abbott government before it) is constantly trying to drag us backward, forcing its regressive, outdated worldview upon a society yearning for progress, like missionaries trying to impose their fanatical belief system upon a culture foreign to their own. It’s as if they’re constantly trying to insert a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn’t fit!

That’s the trouble with hypocrisy. It requires a suspension of disbelief, but try as we may, we can’t get away from the fact that the emperor has no clothes. In the end deception, truth-twisting, dissembling and misrepresentation cannot hide the reality, the facts.

Professor Google tells us that hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case”. Well, there it is. Sorry Malcolm, the jury’s back. Your pompous pronouncements in praise of multiculturalism and the “fair go” belie your government’s constant ongoing attacks on whole community sectors. You simply can’t claim to stand for all Australians as you single out some of us for vilification by the rest. You can’t let ministers like Peter Dutton target Muslim Australians of Lebanese extraction or young members of our Sudanese community with his insulting, condemnatory rhetoric. When you do, you out yourself as a hypocrite.

“Divide and conquer” has been an evident weapon regularly deployed by Coalition governments, at least since John Howard’s “we will decide who comes to this country and the manner in which they come” during the 2001 Tampa affair.

Sadly, it seems that hypocrisy is on the rise and, thanks in part to Donald Trump (its very embodiment in the USA), becoming normalised. Cynics among us might say that hypocrisy is as old as the human race. Sure, there’s no argument there. There was once, however, less tolerance for it from our politicians and in our public discourse generally.

Standards are slipping. We want leadership, well-intentioned leadership. Instead, we’re getting hypocrisy, garnished with obfuscation.

Hypocrisy, Malcolm Turnbull, shall be your epitaph.

24 comments

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  1. johno

    Well written Loz. Hypocrisy has become Mal’s middle name.

  2. lawrencewinder

    I get the feeling that this further exposition of little Truffle’s “Tin-Ear” is going the same way as his other forays like “Ute-gate” and The Harpy, Cash’s “AWU-Raid” fiasco. Apart from the moronic utterances of Dodo Dutton on 2GB, having the support of “Wiki-Ozone-Hole,” Hunt is, as the comedian said, like asking an armless man to “get a grip”. …and Vic Labor only have to point out Matty The Thug, Guy’s Mafia Lunch and one D.Mantach to see where the real Laura Norder problems lie!

    Another thing I’m feeling, is that the next big cataclysmic ruling rabble dust-up is just around the corner as they stagger toward the election.

  3. Aortic

    Hey Mal, ask not for whom the poll tolls, it tolls for thee.

  4. John Higgins

    A PM who’s disastrous policies targeting the poor, turns up on Christmas Day to dish out food to the homeless in a $850 Dolce & Gabbana (hideous) candy-stripe shirt. Mal’s hopeless judgement to the fore again. Whatever happened to Godwin Grech? Mal you’re a richard-head to the MAX.

  5. Barry Thompson.

    Excellent and so accurate Loz.

  6. Deeny

    A friend mentioned yesterday that there has been no mention for ages of Turnbull’s wife – he went from prefacing every sentence with “Lucy and I…” to total silence. Where is Lucy? Has she seen through this loser like the rest of us have?

  7. Aortic

    It certainly looks like Margie Abbott has from recent photos. Don’t thinks Mrs Trump is all too keen on the Don either.

  8. jamesss

    It seems the Fizza is waiting or treading water for an event, the Turd is a total failure. I was going to say as a human but sadly he is not and has no understanding or empathy of conducting itself as one. The time has arrived for their removal all over the planet and the cause will be their own creation.

  9. Kronomex

    Trembles is all about keeping Truffles the Weak as leader (snort) and PM (smigger, bwahahaha) to the exclusion of almost everything that a leader and PM of a party and country should be about.

  10. John O'Callaghan

    Thanks for a great article on one of the biggest bastards in Australian political history!

  11. Bigkat

    South Australians must be so relieved as it appears it is now Victoria’s turn for blackouts due entirely to a Labor government

  12. crypt0

    Fizza outdid himself on QandA Dec 11 …
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcd8r-XT-Kc
    The REAL Trumble (if there is even such a thing) was on display for all the world to see.
    You have to see it to believe it.
    Our “leader” !!!

  13. Jack Russell

    Unfortunately for the country, he’s doing the only thing he knows how to do.

    Most voters weren”t aware of this man’s long history of extremely dodgy self-serving financial adventures.

    BUT … many of those who DID know were the very people who had the influence to keep him out of politics … and chose not to.

    In this context, profit is a VERY dirty word!

    Billy Connolly thinks anyone wanting to be a politician should be prevented from being one. How insightful.

    Applying that theory to 98% of them would probably get it close to right.

  14. BigKat

    Not sure why my previous comment was binned but was not being flippant but am furious at the behaviour of this pack of incompetent bastards and their dog whistling.How did our country get to this place?

  15. Cara Clark

    And yet some 46% of the populace persist in think Puffball and Co are marvellous. I despair.

  16. townsvilleblog

    It won’t only be hypocrisy, he has been responsible for the tories dream, 5 quarters of drops in living standards for ordinary everyday people. Just imagine what the pensioners are going through on that tiny pension trying to make ends meet, and also the low income workers, who thankfully have a new much more vigorous union in the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union to represent them, at least they have an organization fighting for them, unlike pensioners.

  17. townsvilleblog

    Jack, not sure if you are advocating for a dictatorship or not mate, but in my humble opinion I think we have approximately the correct number of federal politicians, however the majority of them (incl Labor) are the wrong type. We need people who want to serve the communities that they represent, not to serve their own self interest.

  18. townsvilleblog

    Bigkat, I may be wrong, but I think you will find that the worthless wart Kennett privatized Victoria’s electricity system in the early 1990s, so in that case if Victoria is currently experiencing problems with their power supply, I’d suggest to you that Victoria should undergo a similar operation to South Australia and install a huge solar farm with battery supply and sort of nationalize the supply of power once again, as it seems private enterprise is making a dog’s breakfast of the emergency service.

  19. smasheddesign

    Excellent piece Loz. You write. ‘They’ll say or do anything to score a political point, to shut down debate and maintain their authority at any cost. But many Australians recoil in horror when shallow, mean-minded and divisive language spews forth from those who would purport to govern our nation.’ I believe this a symptom of a person (or persons) who is a psychopath. Hypocrisy is just another of a list of tell-tale symptoms. Would you knowingly make friends with a psychopath? Why would you vote them in to control you. There is the insanity. As George Orwell quoted ‘A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices.’

  20. liz

    Well written Loz…I savored every word in hope that Australians far and wide would take up the banner for change for a better government……. and I am not afraid to say that I am more fearful of this Coalition governments impact to Australias psyche and reputation….

  21. Steve Laing

    Well done Loz – this article was referred to in the Guardian comments section today. Always good to get articles linked to larger audiences as it helps spreads the good work being done here, and hopefully gets more subscribers too.

  22. Glenn Barry

    I have one extremely pertinent question, can some give me the date of his funeral ceremony because I have a rather large celebration to plan for that day 😀

  23. Jaquix

    A measure of the pettiness of Malcolm is the fact that he has not even acknowledged the existence of the Tesla biggest battery storage plant in the world – simply because it’s in SA. And despite the fact that already it’s saved the grid from shutdowns in Victoria by coal fired power stations – twice. SA having elections in March – but so far no visits from our fly in fly out PM. And now Victoria is getting one Too!

  24. Glenn Barry

    @Jaquix – Malcolms failure to acknowledge the Tesla battery is probably because it’s an inconvenient alternative fact – where’s Kelly Anne-Conway when you need her?

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