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If you thought herding cats was hard, try corralling dinosaurs

It has been said that negotiating with the current Senate is like herding cats – and Lord knows those cats have some crazy ideas – but that is nothing to the job in front of Turnbull who is trying to corral a herd of raging dinosaurs.

The fact that Kevin Andrews got 30 votes for Deputy Leader after Malcolm had already won the leadership is a clear indication that the far right were sending a warning. To get the votes he needed, and the support he will need into the future, Malcolm must have compromised many of his previously espoused personal beliefs.

Hearing Truss and Joyce warn that the Coalition deal would have to be renegotiated was like listening to paper tigers roar – as if they would give up being Deputy Leader and Minister for Agriculture.

The Nationals seized the moment to make a list of demands to which Malcolm apparently acquiesced – financial concessions for stay-at-home parents, moving responsibility for water from environment to agriculture, maintaining a plebiscite for same-sex marriage, and money for regional mobile blackspots.

Does this mean Barnaby gets his dams???

Kevin Andrews and Christopher Pyne are in a battle for Defence – a choice which I am sure excites the ADF.

With 44 Liberal votes against him, and a hard core of 30 right wingers backed by some very conservative/odd Nationals, Malcolm will have a hard time prosecuting any change at all in the short term.

At least Tony believed a lot of the stuff he said, weird as it was – Malcolm is going to have to sell things which do not represent his personal views. For an ego like his, that will be hard to maintain.

Malcolm likes the stage and this may well irk some of his colleagues. It may also annoy the many Liberal voters that are angry with the spill. If they see too much of a smug Turnbull in the media they may well choose to punish him as Rudd supporters did Gillard.

Can Malcolm suppress his personality and opinions when dealing with fools? Will he be able to bring the flat earthers into the 21st century? Will he be able to make the creationists evolve? Will he be able to quell the fears of the Islamophobes and the homophobes?

Looking at Turnbull’s current crop of colleagues, all I can say is good luck with that!


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  1. Keitha Granville

    Well they will only have themselves to blame at the election then when they lose their seats. Malcolm is the ONLY chance they have of saving this trainwreck, in fact he has become a real threat to the Labor Party because of his popularity in the electorate. If he can persuade the recalcitrant members of his party that they need to change SOME of their archaic ideas so that they can show that they do live in this century then he has the very real chance of snatching victory from the jaws of certan defeat.
    Let’s hope he can’t.

  2. John Kelly

    Let’s wait for the next poll. If it shows Malcolm in a winning position, just watch the little grubs fall into line.

  3. Kaye Lee


    They may get a boost in polls from the people who DON’T vote conservative but they have certainly lost some who do.

    Malcolm will have to be very careful what he takes to an election – to keep the conservative vote he has to somehow polish their crap policies, to gain any progressive vote he has to move on climate change.

    Unfortunately, at the moment, a renewable energy aspiration seems to be the only thing Shorten has got on the Coalition.

    Will he produce a budget full of sweeteners or will he ride the sugar hit and call an early election?

  4. deanyz1

    Barnaby Joyce was enraged over the approval of the Shenhua Watermark coalmine in his electorate of New England. It may have been confected rage to win over some votes, or he could be sincere. He is due to take Water Resources from Greg Hunt’s Environment portfolio. Under this arrangement, he may be able to stop the mine.
    If Tony Windsor runs as Independent again, Barnaby will be stuffed anyway.

  5. Matters Not

    So the first poll has Turnbull leading Shorten 70 to 24 re preferred Prime Minister (PPM). Not good. Remember that Gillard’s first PPM versus Abbott in Newspoll was 53-29 (Rudd’s last was 46-37).

    More concerning is the lead of 50-44 lead among Labor supporters. Yes it’s early days but I know which side of the aisle will have the smiles.

    Surely he would be tempted to go for a DD. Not immediately, but before the next Budget.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Hell even I prefer Turnbull to Shorten as leader – I just hate his policies. It’s the wrong question to ask.

  7. Matters Not

    Good article. See how he was viewed from afar.

    As an exporter mainly of raw materials and agricultural products, particularly to China, Australia was, until very recently, sheltered from economic distress. This meant that the biggest issue on which Abbott took a stand was the Labor Party’s implementation of a price on carbon, which he repealed on his first day in office. (Climate change is “faddish,” he has said.) The other major political debate in Australia was, and continues to be, about the treatment of asylum seekers. Like his Liberal predecessor John Howard, and not unlike the Labor Party, either, Abbott framed the issue of people arriving by boat seeking refugee status as one of national security. The numbers are small (as of June, just over two thousand people, including children, were being held in immigration-detention facilities), and the international obligations are clear (various treaties protect the rights of asylum seekers regardless of how they arrive or whether they have a visa), but it’s impossible to overstate, and difficult to explain, the national hysteria about “boat people.”

  8. Kaye Lee

    That is so true. We shouldn’t overreact to climate change but we should get hysterical about a few thousand refugees. We must spend tens of billions protecting Iraq and Syria and fighting the threat of homegrown terrorism while we have an ad campaign about domestic violence.

  9. John Lord

    Oh so very true Kaye. Turnbull has prostituted himself before he even starts.

  10. kizhmet

    Thank you Kaye Lee – as always. I read some of the News Ltd garbage -eeew! Sickly sweet. They are shamelessly promoting Turnbull as the saviour of the day. I stand with the significant portion of the population glad to see the back of Abbott and his negative, neocon nonsense. Turnbull is far more preferable but I wouldn’t vote for him or LNP on its current platform.

    Agree with all of your points. Turnbull has to walk a tightrope. I am not so sure an LNP victory is guaranteed for the next election for the reasons outlined. Interesting times …

    “Malcolm likes the stage and this may well irk some of his colleagues. It may also annoy the many Liberal voters that are angry with the spill. If they see too much of a smug Turnbull in the media they may well choose to punish him as Rudd supporters did Gillard.”

    A key difference – Abbott was not as popular (even amongst LNP voters) as Rudd. I find it very difficult to imagine LNP voters ever voting anything other than Liberal – they voted for the Abbott-led LNP …

    As much as I hope Turnbull can pull LNP back to a more centrist/liberal position, I suspect the numbers are against him. At least he is easier on the ear and one’s sensibilities!

    I will be very happy to see the back of blustering far right-wing nut jobs. Perhaps with the reshuffled cabinet we will see a return to a civilised and respectful Senate where political debate, rather than shouting down the “other side”, is the order of the day. I live in hope.

  11. Kaye Lee

    “A key difference – Abbott was not as popular (even amongst LNP voters) as Rudd. I find it very difficult to imagine LNP voters ever voting anything other than Liberal – they voted for the Abbott-led LNP …”

    Good point, but among Coalition voters, Abbott was preferred PM to Turnbull.

    I just had a scary thought while sitting on the verandah. I hope this doesn’t lead to the resurrection of Hansonism – Pauline could make a comeback to satisfy the aggrieved Reclaim Australia voters.

  12. Kaye Lee

    The thing about dinosaurs…they have very small brains but a lot of power

  13. jimhaz

    Joyce probably required Water control as a form of “look what I can do that he can’t” protection against Windsor.

  14. kerri

    Great article Kaye Lee and nice comeback on the cats!
    I keep looking at the various categories of Australians that the Abbott government sought to penalise and punish and I seriously hope they are all watching their treatment under Turnbull. Brian Owler is on the ball so it will take some wooing to get back the GP vote. New Australian citizens who were refugees will be unlikey to vote LNP but then ALP is no better. I would certainly hope the farmers begin to realise that Barnaby puts Gina well ahead of them. He has no excuse to fail them now. Students, self funded students are unlikely to follow Turnbull and then there are the pensioners who are getting poorer by the year under the Libs. Kaye Lee your memory is better than mine and I cowtow to your superior reseacrh skills. I wonder how many of the p***ed off groups overlap?? And what their total number would be? If Bill were smart, I wont hold my breath, he would highlight all the groups in society worse off under the coalition!

  15. Anomander

    Quite hilarious to see the level of foaming anger on some of the Tony Abbott supporters Fabebook pages. A few are even vowing to vote Labor rather than vote for a Liberal Party led by Turnbull. Even more procaliming they would happily vote for an Australian version of the Tea Party.

    After the past two years of anger, dismay and frustration, this is an enjoyable distraction and a delight to watch the extremists feeling the frustration we’ve been experiencing.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Ok Malcolm…here is your first test. What is your answer to this…..

    [Senator Ian] Macdonald said he did not deny the climate was changing. “As I repeatedly say, Australia was once covered in ice,” he said. “Of course the climate changes.”

    But he challenged the theory that humans were contributing to this. “This new theory, I refer to it often as a fad or a farce or a hoax, that suddenly since man started the industrial age, a change of climate has happened is just farcical and fanciful.”

    This of course is the man that dressed up in a “we love coal” shirt in the Senate.


  17. corvus boreus

    What now for the newly disgruntled members of the IPA clique? They have just lost some serious traction in implementing their stated agenda. Malcolm Turnbull is not the close friend and confirmed ally that Tony Abbott was.
    Rupert, for one, will be unlikely to allow his minions to show any tolerance toowards Malcolm. ‘Traitor, treachery and knifing/back-stabbing’ have already featured in newscorp headlines. The new PM will probably start getting the grotty photo-shop treatment, with accompanying shiny feature praise pieces on Murdoch’s choice of anointed successor (probably Sco-Mo, the recent dinner-guest).
    Meanwhile, the backbench member for Warringah will probably be maliciously leaking party secrets, formenting and focusing discontent, and generally plotting and scheming to undermine the new Mal-administration.

  18. musicinhills

    God your all blind, there is no change, don’t forget Malcom had his hand in the till some years back, little more than a Joe really, every one is pleased Abbot is out, but I don’t think he will lay down quietly, how ever there still all grubs,and
    Corporate stooges. The Greens are the only people I admire but not bloody all of them either, but there is more brains among some of the Greens now than any political party since Whitlam. Capitalism around the world is stuffed, by the people who own all the money, And I been told all my life that the high cost of labour will destroy Capitalism, instead it is the bankers, and wealthy powerful people that have stuffed it, all a big joke just like Malcom.

  19. corvus boreus

    Capitalist banking is destructively parasitic to economic efficiency and societal cohesion and is acceleratively killing the biosphere of this planet? Not exactly new news.
    Any alteration of circumstance (change) that slows this decline, even if strictly localised, limited and temporary, is a positive.

    Ps If you are going to give hectoring lectures with any real credibilty, you’re going to have to master the art of punctuation and your you’res from your yours. They have yawed of yore.

  20. musicinhills

    Thanks corvus, not good at English. Not new news,? probably not among some of your friends down South, but up here were still into an ice age coming so planet warming is a good thing, and job’s, job’s, job’s, and there is nothing wrong with coal it keep’s the dream alive,
    the attitude is who gives a shit I wont be around in 100 years time, my reply, sorry it’s happing now we might not be here in 100 years, the reply f((*+)$#k off ya green wanker. Having a good hearted laugh at your, “going to give hectoring lectures with any real credibility” I’m sorry for my rudeness, I can but jar the reader a little, hi hi,. Also I have never lived in a City or large Town, most of my life in the bush, have fun with that. And sorry my spelling can be atrocious. Thank you for your interest in my comment, appreciated.

  21. corvus boreus

    For all that pecked back a bit sharpish, I do not actually disagree with much of the substance in your 7:31 post.
    As for your spelling and punctuation, I know that self-proofing is a nearly impossible task.
    Thanks for the good grace and humour in your reply.

    Ps I too value the sounds of natural life over the collective death-scream of compulsive human consumption.

  22. Adrianne Haddow

    Gee, corvus boreus, glad you apologised to musicinhills.

    I was beginning to think the new Spelling TV show had convinced you that spelling correctly and punctuating correctly equated to intelligence, as opposed to merely possessing a good visual memory.
    What he says is not ‘new news’ for those who read this site, but for many out there in Ozzie land, it is.

    This forum’s success is that people can express themselves freely, and can take heart in the fact that there are like-minded people out there.
    Please don’t let elitism creep in.

    I, also, think we need to be somewhat wary of Malcolm.
    To flog an overused analogy, Same ship, same crew, same dodgy cargo and they are using the same map. Just a different captain.

  23. musicinhills

    Nearly all people who write into AMIN have a wonderful way with words, it is enjoyable to read, plus I am learning there are actually some very nice people around, put’s a lot of happiness into living every day.

  24. Kaye Lee

    We must also remember that people come with different levels of understanding of political history. Tony Abbott has been responsible for making many more of us a little more aware of our political landscape and the importance of paying attention. We have all learned a lot through this period but thank god it’s over.

    I always said about parenting, just when you think you can’t take it any more, your child stops doing whatever was frustrating you….but they move onto a new challenge to test you. Malcolm is our new challenge and we must be alert. The world needs more lerts!

  25. corvus boreus

    Adrianne Haddow,
    I guess what I was trying to say, in my own quorking way, that ‘God your all blind’ is a less than ideal conversational opening.
    I shall, however, remain a lert to the creep of leetism.

  26. eli nes

    most modern bridge players know lerts and lerting but dear king crow i am a great supporter of leetism because it tiz lee who keeps me a lerting fear of these little men to all and sundry.
    Love you kaye. ‘We have all learned’ oh how I wish that were true but we are yet to see if little billy morphs into an adult and torpid tanya realises she is not a bitch and the women who used the term needs exposing as an ‘average’ performer albeit, the best in the rabbutt time.
    turnball’s speech screamed fibre NOT copper. Could be a challenge to bligh’s integrity????

  27. Neil of Sydney

    We have all learned a lot through this period but thank god it’s over.

    Why? What did Abbott trash? I could list some of the things Rudd/Gillard trashed but the moderator would delete my post.

  28. The AIM Network

    I could list some of the things Rudd/Gillard trashed but the moderator would delete my post.

    That’s because you’ve mentioned it a million times before. We don’t need to hear it again.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Sigh, how many times do we have to say it Neil. On every economic indicator the Abbott government is worse than when they took over. They want to unwind universal health care, abandon needs based funding for schools, make degrees unaffordable to most, slash funding for research (which is our economic future), spend eleventy kazillion on defence against a non-existent threat, ignore public transport in favour of roads leading to nowhere, spend tens of billions on an inadequate NBN…I could go on for hours but you get my drift.

  30. Kaye Lee

    And I didn’t even mention inaction on climate change which makes all those other things irrelevant

  31. Neil of Sydney

    On every economic indicator the Abbott government is worse than when they took over.

    And on every economic indicator the Rudd/Gillard govt was worse then the Howard govt

    gnore public transport in favour of roads leading to nowhere,

    That is a State govt responsibility

    spend tens of billions on an inadequate NBN

    So FTTP is the way to go? How do you know? Fact is it would cost double to build FTTP if it was possible and maybe three times more than FTTN. But we are stuck with the NBN because Labor signed all these contracts in office that are impossible to break.

  32. Kaye Lee

    “[Roads are] a State govt responsibility”

    So why is the federal government spending $50 billion on it?

    “we are stuck with the NBN because Labor signed all these contracts in office that are impossible to break.”

    Turnbull just spent two years renegotiating contracts at enormous expense.

    NBN Co did not disclose the increase in costs over the past year due to contractors demanding more due to intermittent contracts, changes in the rollout technologies, increased risk and the cost of a plan that’s now not to be used for a FTTP rollout.

    We now know that under the new agreements finalised in the weeks before Christmas, NBN Co took on the cost of pits, pipes, ducts and trap remediation that had previously been Telstra’s responsibility, signed several contracts with Telstra for Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) trials and assistance with the FTTN rollout planning and agreed to “reimburse Telstra for costs incurred as a result of the shift from the FTTP rollout to the MTM rollout, where those costs are direct, reasonable, substantiated and incremental, subject to certain exemptions.”

    We also know that NBN Co agreed to purchase the HFC networks minus the fibre used by Telstra and Optus to connect to business customers or for backhaul from mobile towers. Exactly how much of the fibre component of the HFC network is to be retained by Telstra and Optus has not been made public.

    The mumbo-jumbo accounting presented in NBN Co’s half-yearly report has included a masterful exercise in how to bury the new costs that have accrued as a result of the renegotiated Telstra and Optus agreement

  33. Neil of Sydney

    So why is the federal government spending $50 billion on it?

    The Federal govt generally funds roads in the regional areas of the country eg the Pacific Highway. Roads in the cities are generally looked after by the State and local govts. I believe Public Transport is a State govt responsibility

    I suspect you people support the NBN and FTTP because it was an ALP idea. I notice lefties get very excited when the ALP has an idea and announces a policy. Whether it is a good idea or not is secondary. Recent information if it can be believed says that FTTP costs twice as much as was estimated when Labor was in power.

    It costs over $4000 per premise to directly connect a home to fibre broadband, twice as much as previous estimates, according to an internal review by NBN Co……..In April 2013, under the Labor government, NBN Co estimated the cost per premises at between $2200 and $2500.

    But we have he said, she said by both sides and anything built by the govt rather than private enterprise blows out in cost.. I tend not to trust anything Labor says since so many of their predictions are wrong. But if FTTP is $2,000/ household more expensive than labor estimated that is a blow out of $14B based on 7 million households in Australia.

  34. Kaye Lee

    If the figures provided by NBN Co are to be accepted, then the total cost of the anticipated 11 million premises NBN rollout, with 93 per cent FTTP (at $4,316 per connection) and 7 per cent fixed wireless or satellite at $3,637, would be about $47 billion, about 10 per cent more than the $43 billion budgeted by the previous government.

    The increase was achieved by taking costs from what was previously identified as opex and adding the costs to capex in an effort to bury the increased costs associated with the renegotiated Telstra and Optus agreements, while aligning the reported costs to the government’s NBN-related reviews and audits. Mumbo-jumbo accounting where FTTP still comes out as clearly the best option for our future.

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