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“Ignore The Rubbish And Parliament Starts To Look Better” Says Vanstone In Summing Up Her Party’s Attitude To Just About Everything!

Politics has become the art of making your opponent look bad. Of course, this gives Labor a distinct advantage because the Coalition have managed to do it all by themselves on a number of occasions in the recent past. From trying to tell us that the best person to lead the country was Tony Abbott to the latest fiasco involving Barnaby Joyce. (By this I mean his suggestion that he may not be the actual father, so any comparison between him and Darth Vader were ridiculous because he was doing the right thing and giving the kid a mother and a father, so there’s no inconsistency with his position during the marriage equality debate,)

I was all set to be totally misunderstood by talking about the signs I saw while passing through Preston on Saturday. Underneath signs for The Greens, I saw plenty of “Stop Labor’s Adani Mine”. Why the mine is Labor’s I couldn’t work out. It seemed a bit ingenuous to be putting all the blame on Labor. If there’d been a Liberal running in the seat, would it still have been Labor’s mine, or would there have been some acknowledgement that Labor is the only major party expressing doubts about the mine going ahead? And while the Liberals and the mainstream media are trying to get you to believe that Labor is saying one thing in Queensland and another thing in Victoria, Bill Shorten has actually been fairly consistent: The mine shouldn’t go ahead if it doesn’t stack up commercially or environmentally, but we may not be able to reverse that when we get into government because contracts may have been signed and approvals have already been given. You may not agree with his position but it has been consistent.

Anyway, I was all set to write about Adani again and point out that the only way that it’s likely to go ahead is if the federal government lends them the money, but then I read Amanda Vanstone’s column. (By the way, Adani have recently extended their self-imposed March deadline for getting finance.) Reading Amanda’s column was a bit of an accident. I didn’t see the by-line and I was halfway through before I asked myself, “What nuph-nuph has written this?”

Vanstone had the interesting view that really things we just fine and it was the 24 hour news cycle that led to people clicking on the rubbish and ignoring the more substantial policy announcements. See, it’s not really a politician’s fault, nor even a journalist, it’s all the rault of you and me for being more interested in Barnaby’s member than the announcement of another new stadium in a marginal electorate.

In the midst of her attempt to argue that politicians score highly, but we, unfortunately, have a tendency to focus on their own goals, she told us: ” Then Cher comes along to Mardi Gras and tweets with the guy who actually delivered same-sex marriage and lefty activists mobilise on Twitter.”

By “the guy who actually delivered same-sex marriage”, she meant Malcolm Turnbull. To argue that we should be thanking him is akin to suggesting that really it was Tony who first suggested the plebiscite, so really Mal was just following on Tony’s good work. And given that it was the Coalition that insisted on holding a vote – which some of them ignored anyway – I don’t see how Malcolm did anything more than delay the process.

But it’s a bit like the tariff situation in the US. Our steel and aluminium didn’t have them, then there was the suggestion that we might get them, then Turnbull talks to Trump and Trump agrees to do what he promised last year and we’re all really happy at the great outcome. It’s a bit like someone threatening to throw a brick through your window and after you have a bit of a chat, he agrees not to and you go around telling everybody what a great relationship you have because, well, he’s not going to launch an unprovoked assault on you, and the rumours that you had to agree to drive the getaway car if he throws a brick through some other guy’s window are just not true.

And so with marriage equality. After leading the party who held it up, Vanstone wants us to be grateful that Mr Turnbull and company stopped holding it up and let Parliament vote on it, but only after spending money on a postal survey. And guess what? The postal survey didn’t cost as much as predicted so that’s another thing we should be thankful for…

Vanstone finishes off by asserting:

“I think our Parliament does a pretty good job. We are just lemmings to the swill trough of rubbish that masquerades as news. And then we say we’ve lost faith. Cut the rubbish out, seek the substance and you might have a brighter view.”

The interesting thing, however, in her entire column she chooses to write about examples of the “rubbish” and doesn’t give a single example of these things of substance. I guess that’s why she tells us to “seek” them ourselves.

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  1. ajogrady

    The Main Stream Media is a life support system for Neo Conservatism which is the scourge that is afflicting and sabotaging the maintaining of and the advancement of fair, decent and civil societies.

  2. helvityni

    Dearest Amanda, I clean the place before the cleaner comes in, I throw out the rubbish, I pick up other peoples rubbish on the streets, and bore Husband by my endless talk of tossers… (why can’t the lazy shoppers return the trollies to their rightful place ?)

    Why on earth should I ignore the rubbish piled up by the Coalition and the MSM…?

    Please explain.

  3. Jaquix

    Vanstone is rubbish. There is no substance at all. Virtually everything the Libs have done has the effect of transferring wealth upwards. The same sex marriage plebiscite was an abomination and none of them can claim any virtue over it. Dean Smith of WA gets some points for coming up with a bill they could all eventually vote on. Then they ruined it all by calling in that old fossil Ruddock to chair a committee to ensure religious freedoms were “protected” – by which they really mean “extended”. What is that committee costing us? You can be sure none of them would do it for the good of the country. This govt is rubbish and the sooner it goes the better. Unfortunately it looks like they just might hang on until next year, or will they?

  4. etnorb

    Well, if her comments were to be taken up especially by ALL the lying, inept & incompetent, obscenely over-paid, so-called “liberals” (sic), then maybe, the parliament might be better! However, I think “they” think we all live in fantasy land, like they do, & that ONLY the ‘liberals” know better, & of course only the “liberal” way (???) is any good for us all! The sooner this mob is kicked out the better off we will all be, & the better off Australia will be. Good article, as usual, Rossleigh!

  5. Joseph Carli

    I can see now why Amanda was made Ambassador to Italy…She never has a clue what was really going on right under her very nose!..
    Jun 28, 2015 – The son of a prominent Mafia godfather was given work experience at the Australian embassy in Rome that had the potential to compromise international … It is also a further embarrassment for the then ambassador to Italy, Amanda Vanstone, . . . ” (Google it!)

  6. Andrew Smith

    Maybe a symptom of Australian government and related entities becoming owned by US corporate and/or nativist interests, unable to make any policy let alone decisions based on Australia being independent, like NZ often manages?

    All our LNP government seems empowered to do is provide ‘theatre’ round cultural issues to provide free media content and distract from real policies and issues (why I despise Q&A, knock off of format from BBC’s Question Time, the new religion or theatre for ageing electorates).

    Trump sanctions are a case study example of nativist legacy industry oligarchs and their penchant for industry protection, in this case through tariffs (known as the ‘steady-state economy’ theory of ecological economist Herman Daly’s drawing on the Club of Rome’s ‘limits to growth’ and ‘sustainability’ constructs presenting as ‘liberal and environmental’ when in fact is more like nativists German policy of the thirties…..blame Jews or nowadays ‘immigrants’ and ‘unsustainable population growth’).

    Can someone remind me, as a opposed to a multilateral trade agreement aka EU or TPP, how does a bilateral trade agreement (actual more unilateral?) with a big nation like the USA advantage a smaller nation like Australia without support of regional friends in a multilateral agreement? I understand many of the (old?) left are opposed to trade agreements and globalisation, but why, to preserve WASP hegemony?

    Not only is it an embarrassing case of Australia and Turnbull fawning to and bending over forwards for US oligarch or industry and Trump’s interests, who’s to say it will not occur again in the near future, then what?

  7. Max Gross

    I have ignored Amanda Calabrian Mafia Vanstone for years but parliament still looks like rubbish to me!

  8. Jak Sayla

    Vanstone is the classic example of a conservative commentator. Not too bright but with a farcical and overriding certainty in the intellectual and moral superiority of their opinion.

  9. Joseph Carli

    Too many time servers now in The House…just hanging around for their retirement packages and fringe benefits…

  10. Nic

    Never forget vandstone, when in charge in WA, sacked the energy minister who wanted to expand WA energy requirements to a natural gas plant that could easily be scaled up or down. Because she wanted a coal fire plant that would employ a few hundred people in her electorate. This never seems to come up in all her middle ground posturing.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Oh so now they want to talk about substance…..

    The people who said the carbon tax would wipe Whyalla off the map. The carbon tax would make lamb roasts cost $100. The carbon tax was responsible for rising energy costs. Wind farms make you sick. Ditch the witch. Bob Brown’s bitch. Coal will lift Indian peasants out of poverty. Coal is clean, coal is good, and we thank it for our food. Amen.

    And then admitted it was just a tactical campaign. And ever since they removed carbon pricing, emissions have been going up and, instead of collecting billions every year from polluters to be distributed to the people, incentivising industry to innovate, the people now pay potential polluters to not do things or to do things they were going to anyway,.like plant trees while Queensland knocks them down, and companies claim tax deductions for any research towards innovation that they do.

    If they want to talk substance then let’s.

    Many topics spring to mind.

  12. Zathras

    Verandah Sandstone (the nickname given to her from within her own Party) is another apologist trying to rewrite history as it’s actually taking place.

    She ignores the fact that the very “swill trough of rubbish that masquerades as news” is how Abbott got into power in the first place with all the phoney claims and allegations that went unchallenged in the media and was what kept Howard in power for so long.

    If anyone has had the misfortune to tune into her programme on Radio National and hear the obvious bias first-hand, she’s a handy argument when defending the ABC from accusations of Left-Wing bias.

  13. James Cook

    Thanks Rossleigh…I nearly red Sandstone’s column as I flicked through the Herald to get to the cryptic. You’ve saved me wasting 5 minutes of my life and getting angry while doing it. Great article and thanks Kaye Lee for the reminders. Geez I love this site!

  14. Henry Rodrigues

    Message to ‘dear’ Amanda, if we ignore the rubbish, it just keeps piling up. Placing it all into a bag, (a chaff bag) and disposing it at sea or the garbage dump is the only efficient way to go. Incidentally, she can include herself in that description of ‘rubbish’, along with all manner of rodents etc.

  15. diannaart

    Well said Henry Rodrigues.

    Vanstone and her ilk really do not understand rubbish at all, which is why global pollution is way beyond their ken.

  16. @RosemaryJ36

    While I share the scepticism of the writers here for the views of Vanstone and her ilk, I seriously wish we would stop mocking people and stick to properly critiquing the policies of the conservatives. When will they realise that if people had stuck to their living-in-the-past approach to life, the internet, air travel, life saving medical research – to name but a few – would not be benefitting us now. We MUST attack their policies like those destroying the lives of refugees, education, equality, the mess they are making with tbe NDIS, RoboDebt that list, too, is endless. Bill Shorten is not well liked by many who do not support the Coalition so stick to examining policies and leave personalities out of the criticism.

  17. Henry Rodrigues

    Rosemary……..The policies of the present incumbents has been analysed, dissected, and criticised by economists, social commentators and those ordinary citizens whose wellbeing and standards of living has been adversely affected by Amanda and her ilk, with the active connivance of the media and its acolytes. Nothing seems to change their destructive campaign of hurting those least able to protest or retaliate. The opportunity provided by websites such as this, at least lets some free comment and opinion to be aired. Bill Shorten and Labor, have in the past few years, set out their policies and ways they would govern. We know what the coalition stands for and what Labor stands for. There is no confusion at all. What we are left with are the prepetrators, like Amanda and her ilk, who we are taking to task.

  18. Glenn Barry

    @RosemaryJ36 – to properly critique conservative policies one would need accord them credibility that they so sorely lack.

    They have been arguing at absurd with a plethora of lies for so long I sincerely believe that they can no longer discern the difference

    Also don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, their tactic is clear, they are fools and attempting to argue with them will only drag you down to their level and suffer defeat as a result of their experience.

  19. king1394

    ‘Underneath signs for The Greens, I saw plenty of “Stop Labor’s Adani Mine”’. This is why I don’t trust the Greens and will never vote for them. They are just more politicians even if they sometimes drape themselves in green flags. If they really cared about our climate future, they would put their best efforts into encouraging and supporting the party with the best chance of stopping Adani and other mines rather than undermining them.

  20. John O'Callaghan

    Vanstone is your typical bludging lying self entitled Tory,i remember it was’nt more than four weeks into Abbotts reign of stupidity when she wrangled a spot on some bullshit board that Abbott set up to give old Tory mates tax payers money.
    She sat her ample self entitled arse on the board for four weeks,achieved absolutely nothing and Hoovered up $1000000 of our hard earned!

  21. Mick Byron

    diannaartMarch 12, 2018 at 8:40 pm
    “Perhaps both the Greens and Labor really need to learn about cooperation,”
    I have a feeling that may be a long distant option if the rapidly hardening of attitudes on Social Media is a guide.
    Under the stewardship of Di Natale the Greens main plan seems to be to invest their time energy and finances in attacking Labor and a little criticism of the LNP added as an aside.
    The Greens campaign launch in the seat of Grayndler,the massive spend on unseating Albanese and Plibersek, seems to have been the battle declaration.
    The Greens Queensland State Election campaign was almost an exclusively attack Labor campaign followed by a not dissimilar effort in Tasmania.Obviously not the smartest tactic as the Greens vote is now half that of 2010 in Tasmania.
    The current Greens effort in Batman where the campaign has been personalised as an attack against a well respected Ged Kearney and a quite dishonest campaign in general with the “Labors Adani” nonsense, has hardened the resolve it seems on Social Media and any “kiss and make up” between Labor and the Greens pretty much a forlorn hope

  22. Terry2

    Amanda is saying, that if you put lipstick on a pig it ceases to be a pig………..it still stinks though, doesn’t it

  23. Roswell

    Had to chuckle when I saw this: Amanda Flinstone.

    (Well, she is a dinosaur). 🦖

  24. diannaart

    Mick Byron

    Labor is equally culpable in attempting to smear the Greens. Case in point, Batman, where the Green contender has been accused of bullying.

    As for Queensland, the duplicity and back-flipping by Labor on the Adani proposal has hardly signalled long term and sustainable plans for QLD.

    As for their choice of campaigning for electorates such as Plibersek’s – I do not know. I do know that Labor does the same thing to the Greens and the Libs. Now I happen to like Tanya and many within Labor, but I do know that no one is above challenge.

    Politics is not fair and not reasonable, it is an adversarial system – which is a major part of the problem.

    But it is the one we have. Meanwhile, the Right watch Labor V Greens, puff another cigar and laugh.

    I posted the above graph to show how close Labor and the Greens are compared to EVERYONE else.

  25. Mick Byron

    diannaartMarch 13, 2018 at 10:58 am
    “Labor is equally culpable in attempting to smear the Greens. Case in point, Batman, where the Green contender has been accused of bullying.”

    The claims of bullying didn’t stem from Labor, that was 100% Greens doing

    “THE Australian Greens candidate for the federal inner Melbourne seat of Batman was the subject of a 101-page internal complaint by 18 party volunteers.”
    The Australian

    “The Greens candidate for the Melbourne by-election in the federal seat of Batman, Alex Bhathal, has denied she is a bully and a branch stacker following formal complaints from party members about her conduct”

    “Party Leader Richard Di Natale came to the defence of his candidate, who has been accused of bullying, intimidation, branch stacking and being a “toxic element in our party” by fellow members of the Greens’ Darebin branch”

  26. diannaart

    Yeah, Mick

    The Greens are 100% to blame for everything – especially if you get your ‘news’ from the Australian or the MSM.

    Whereas Labor is 100% correct in everything they do – not something you’ll find in the Australian or anywhere else. However, it is good to have a dream.

    Cheers m’dear.

  27. Mick Byron


    “there are none so blind as those who will not see”


  28. diannaart


    Good that you understand, especially considering your claims that Labor is 100% correct all the time…


  29. Kronomex

    Methinks The Donald may be getting more than a little nervous about what Mueller may uncover –


    Donald’s bestest cabinet is Donald as President, Donald as Vice President, Donald as Secretary of State, heck, Donald as every position in the White House. Trembles could be his little yappy dog that sits outside and whines and whines and…

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