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It is still a failed Government

It might sound strange initially but, one suspects the election of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister will be seen as a welcome change by Labor supporters, almost immeasurably so; one that is two years overdue.

Although the likelihood of a Coalition gain in the polls is fairly high, at least temporarily, the removal of such an embarrassing, ill equipped national leader, one who, I believe, devalued the office and one who should never have been appointed, trumps everything.

Having said that, the performance of the government is still the main issue and will remain so. They have failed on so many fronts, economically, environmentally, commercially and socially.

Those failures have been well documented and although contested by many as a latent inheritance, are nonetheless evident in the statistics current today when compared with statistics at the time the people of Australia chose to elect a Coalition government by default.

They have failed on all 22 indicators they put forward in 2013 upon which they accepted they would be judged. They were:

  1. Economic growth
  2. Trade deficit
  3. Terms of trade
  4. Government debt
  5. Deficits
  6. Unemployment
  7. Job participation
  8. Higher wages
  9. Lower taxes
  10. Construction
  11. Infrastructure
  12. Interest rates
  13. National income growth
  14. Gross domestic product per capita
  15. Productivity
  16. Business confidence
  17. Economic freedom
  18. Small government
  19. Government spending
  20. Government waste
  21. Global competitiveness
  22. Long term unemployment.

You will find greater detail of these failures here.

In every category listed above they promised improvement. Yet in every category today, the position is worse. This is the economic record of the current government. The myth that the Coalition are the better economic managers is exposed for the fallacy that it is.

This is what Australia has to show for itself after two years of the so called adults being back in charge. In the meantime, the rest of the OECD world is showing improvement.

Up until yesterday, Tony Abbott and his relevant ministers owned this deplorable result. Today, Malcolm Turnbull owns it. And, having been a prominent part of this failure, particularly in his own portfolio, he cannot say, as Abbott once stupidly said, “Good government starts today.”

minis He may be able to redeem some credibility by sacking half his ministry but it remains to be seen if the replacements are any better. It remains to be seen if the economic indicators they chose to be judged upon, improve. I suspect they won’t.

Turnbull says he will lead “a totally liberal government” whatever that is supposed to mean. To this writer, liberal means progressive, casting off the outdated and regressive norms of the past two centuries and entering a new, enlightened, non-judgmental, all embracing community where diversity is the norm.

It is hard to see him discarding the shackles of Edwardianism which has for the past two decades defined the Liberal National Coalition. He will still have too many of his enemies inside the camp.

While it is staggering to me that 44 of his parliamentary colleagues voted to retain the likes of Tony Abbott and appear willing to charge full steam into the electoral valley of death, I suspect they were all sitting in blue ribbon seats and felt their jobs were safe.

No elected officer should ever be allowed to feel safe. Safety in public life breeds contempt for those they serve, breeds complacency, breeds corruption. We shall see how efficiently or otherwise this new broom sweeps.

In the meantime, if Labor is to hold its position in the polls it will have to do better. It can no longer expect to be elected by default as was this government. Its destiny will be determined by its policies.

Turnbull is right when he nominated the economy as the principal driver. Labor’s economic record clearly demonstrates it to be superior in policy and implementation. Yet public opinion would see it the other way. Why?

The answer may be a media bias, but it shouldn’t be. Good management will prevail if explained properly and understood. Labor could have defeated the Murdoch press if it had not allowed itself to be bullied into a corner.

lab But it will now need to be better. Better in leadership, in articulation, in demonstrating clearly its vision. The present government has never had a vision beyond governing for today. It has relied too heavily on the Murdoch press masking its weaknesses.

Labor’s challenge is, as it always has been, to expose that for the truth that it is.



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  1. Sir ScotchMistery

    We are an erudite mob here in AIMN. None of the MSM have even begun dissecting the events of the last three months, and here we have already answered the questions they haven’t bothered or can’t see the point, asking.

  2. Zathras

    It’s not the singer, it’s the song and Malcolm has been loudly singing the praises of all those dud policies from the choir for two years.

    That makes him either an opportunist by waiting in the wings for the policies to fail, or a hypocrite by promoting things he didn’t believe in.

    I suppose a snap poll is now more likely to cash in on this moment of euphoria before reality comes creeping back.

  3. M-R

    Yes, Zathras – and he is also the bloke who oversaw the crumbling of the NBN into a standing joke.
    Malcolm is not the answer; but he is a little closer to the correct one – and that’s IT.

  4. Anomander

    Malcolm’s first steps now should be to reverse the destruction wrought by Abbott.

    Stop expending vast amounts of OUR money on military operations on the opposite side of the planet.

    Stop spending billions locking people in gulags.

    Stop spending billions propping-up outmoded 19th century industries.

    Take the money saved and invest it in Science, Education and Technology as a pathway to a brighter, cleaner future that will create jobs and innovation.

    Create a government of inclusion rather than the divisive Team Australia.

    Alas, none of this is likely to happen because there are too many extremist loons in the COALition. Remember 44 of those votes were against Turnbull, that’s over 40% who will remain resistant to any change.

  5. kizhmet

    Agree with every word John! I defnitely woke up feeling a lot better about Australia and our future. I actually found myself smiling when I watched Turnbull bantering with the press after the ballot last night – what a change from cringe-worthy Abbott.

    It WILL be very interesting to see how Turnbull manages the libs/coalition. As much as I detested Abbott, his front bench were not much better. Turnbull’s new appointments will give some insight on the newly formed government might fare. I just hope Abbott, and his agressive negative sledging politics, fade into obscurity. Then perhaps, maybe, civility will return to political discourse.

    ALP have to “up their game” now. I sincerely hope we see a movement away from the centre/right policies that have dominated Labor in the past couple of years. The next election isn’t an ALP win by default, they are going to have to work. Hard … excellent!

  6. stephengb2014

    Can’t say I was impressed woth Shorten jumping on the press after Turnbull anounced his intent.
    Bill Shorten just looked like he was an angry man at being told by Turnbull, in his conference that he did ot want Shorten as the next PM.
    It looked like a petulant display of someone who was desperate – it was not a good look.

    Yes Bill Shorten will be tested, Malcolm Turnbull is an extremely good communicator, intelligent and forcefull.

    Lets hope he picks a good cabinet, and takes treasury for himself because none of the rest of the Lib Party have any finance knowledge

  7. Wun Farlung

    Just what Australia needs a Merchant Bankster with his fingers in the till
    If Turnbull steers Australia in the same direction he has th NBN. Man the pumps

  8. Jexpat

    stephengb2014: That fits in with Shorten’s style, which is reactive rather than pro-active, and makes him an easy mark.

    Wun Farlung: Well, we now have banksters both as PM and Premier of NSW. Too bad that they won’t listen to the clarion cries of nearly all of their former collegues- and abandon their obsession with shortsighted, destructive and uneconomic coal mining projects.

  9. PC

    Thank fluck this will be the last we have to endure from this demented and dangerous fool. When Labor get in they better launch a full and thorough investigation into this dangerous individual’s dealings, starting with proving whether or not he renounced his British citizenship.

  10. Jexpat


    Interestingly enough, that may well be a sword of Damocles hanging over Abbott’s head that could make he and his “close colleagues” think twice about any mischief they might get up to.

  11. Neil of Sydney

    They have failed on all 22 indicators they put forward in 2013 upon which they accepted they would be judged

    Those 22 indicators were also worse under Rudd/Gillard compared to the Howard/Costello govt.

  12. Ned

    Turnbull took power in the typical Kabbalah numerology system pattern we so much in any big by elites. Abbott actually fell in his own footprint on Sept 11 2015, layed waste for 3 days, then his political wreckage was cleared away 3 days later. The challenge was on Elul 29. Turnbull is the 29 prime-minister= 11. Justice twin pillars served on Abbott who lasted 2 years or 11. 14 Sept was End of Shemitah 7 year cycle from 2008 GFC and after exactly 3 days after Sept 11 2015. Shemitah is the wiping or clearing away of the old problems and a new fresh start. But Abbott has damaged the economy so much Turnbull will not be able to save it from the start of the GFC 2 that starts in Germany on 26th September 2015 which will effect the Australian currency stocks and terms of trade. GDP.

  13. kerri

    Great article John! May I also recommend Katherine Murphy’s Guardian article on Abbott’s failure as a Lib leader.

    At this point I hold very little hope for Labor under Shorten. Shorten is lazy! He is not pro active and he is too far right. As someone posted here, was it diannaart?? Hopefully Turnbull’s centrist politics will force Labor back to it’s roots, but I doubt it! Even that great political commentator and expert on all things Australian even though he isn’t, Rupert Murdoch recommended Turnbull call an election before Labor has a chance to change leader!!!
    At least we are finally rid of the Prime Imbecile but…..
    I’m still voting green. As someone on Fbook said “same sh,t! Different shovel”

  14. mars08

    I suspect One Nation will pick up quite a few disgruntled voters…

  15. Jexpat


    Maybe, but most of those voters will preference Liberals higher than Labor or the Greens, so practically, their primary votes in a federal mandatory preferencing election will flow on, so the effect of any such vote shifting will be de minimus and will only affect the outcome in very tight races.

    Having said that, preferencing patterns can take an odd turns at times. I scrutineered a booth in the Newcastle state by-election last year and counted a surprising number of first and second preferences to the Greens from… the Australia First party, with quite a few of those exhausting without Liberal or Labor receiving a vote.

    My surmise is that, beyond their racism, those voters were concerned about the Liberal and Labor party’s embrace of neoliberal economic policies that offshore jobs and kill off Australian manufacturing and value added industries via unfair competition from countries with low wages and unsafe working conditions. The message to Labor here is that they can pick up some of these voters’ preferences through principled opposition to secretive multi-national corporate protection rackets masquerading as “free” trade agreements.

  16. Neil of Sydney

    Labor’s economic record clearly demonstrates it to be superior in policy and implementation

    Really? Name me one economic indicator which improved under the Rudd/Gillard govt.

  17. win jeavons

    Why do the conservatives in our nation NEVER mention the GFC ? Rudd and Gillard steered us safely through very stormy times and their boat never stopped! It has been worse for many of us this last 2 years , only partly protected by a lively Senate.

  18. Wally

    @Neil of Sydney

    We actually had an economy back then all we have now is increased debt and more unemployment that the LNP are still blaming Labor for.

  19. Neil of Sydney

    Why do the conservatives in our nation NEVER mention the GFC ?

    And what did the GFC have to do with the destruction of our auto industry? In 2006, 25% of cars were made in Australia. In 2013 only 10% of cars were made in Australia.

    Labor’s economic record clearly demonstrates it to be superior in policy and implementation

    Really? Which one? Whitlam, Hawke/Keating or Rudd/Gillard. I cannot think of many if any economic indicators which improved under those Labor govts.

  20. The AIM Network

    And what did the GFC have to do . . .

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Neil’s first ever hint that he actually accepted the GFC happened.

  21. silkworm

    I thought Neil was banned from this site… or has he been forgiven?

  22. wsherlockscottholmes

    thought Neil was banned from this site… or has he been forgiven?

    I like Neil around: he’s never right, he’s selective with his evidence, and he’s so one eyed he needs an opthamologist, but let’s be fair, he’s persistent, dogged and determined. Quixotic, yes.

  23. Carol Taylor

    Peter Martin writes today that Joe Hockey has been a good treasurer. 😯

    Interesting logic…

    Pension, disability and family payments were to climb be hit more slowly. And this is a good thing, a sign of a good treasurer; to hit the most vulnerable in our society “more slowly”? To tackle the easy targets while the biggest rorts pertaining to upper class welfare recipients are not worth even a tinkler around the edges…Peter Martin blames Abbott on Hockey’s failure on that one.

  24. Neil of Sydney

    Well the election of Turnbull now shows how corrupt Australia has become. There is now no Conservative Party in Australia.

    Just people who want to sell us out to the UN

  25. corvus boreus

    Now you suddenly see a display of corruption?
    You are an entirely blinkered and irrelevant twat.

  26. Pingback: It is still a failed Government | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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