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Just smile and the world will be a better place

Last night, thanks to our national broadcaster, we got to see the leaders of the two major political parties in action. Turnbull faced questions from a smiling, compliant Leigh Sales. They both smiled and giggled and apologised to each other a lot. Shorten faced a very large audience of the Australian public and the interruptions of Tony Jones, who really needs to learn that people would rather hear from his guests than him. Shorten performed very well, answering all questions calmly and honestly.

The contrast could not have been starker.

Malcolm seems to feel that the mere fact of his elevation to Prime Minister will be sufficient to solve all the challenges we face.

When asked about the economy he said that it wasn’t in bad shape. What that shows is that, as we all know, the last election campaign was run on a lie.

Regardless, we do have rising unemployment and an economy that must transition away from mining. Malcolm’s solution?

“It is absolutely critical that we provide strong economic leadership. And you know, above all, confidence. It’s not just the measures. The government has to provide the leadership, the sense that, you know, we know what we’re doing, that we have a vision, we have a clear direction and that builds up business confidence. So everything I can say to inspire confidence is going to help the economy. One of the things I can do as Prime Minister and my government can do is to provide the leadership and the confidence and you do that not by just talking in an airy-fairy way. You’ve got to actually lay out the facts. You’ve got to describe the situation as it stands.”

Waiting …

How silly have we been. We don’t need “measures”, we just need a smile and some soothing words and all will be well.

When asked if he would consider expanding the base and the rate of the GST, Malcolm replied

“Well we’re considering – tax reform is going to be a big part of our reform agenda going forward. That’s why we’ve brought the Tax Minister, the Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, into the cabinet.”

Don’t ask me specific questions – look I’ve got a young female breast-feeding mum in Cabinet. What more do you want?

When asked if everything was on the table for tax reform, Malcolm said

“This is one of the – this is one of the Canberra games. One of the things I’m trying to do is to change the paradigm so that it’s a more rational one.”

Ummmm … does a more rational paradigm ever include answering a question?

When asked about industrial relations reform, Malcolm went into cha cha mode.

“I think the important thing is to seek to explore ways in which we can achieve more flexibility, higher levels of employment, higher levels of business activity and do so in a way that reassures Australians, Australian workers in particular, that this is not threatening their conditions. In other words – in other words, a – the challenge for us is not to wage war with unions or the workers that they – that they seek to represent, but really to explain what the challenges are and then lay out some reform options.”

Uh huh … and while you are seeking to explore some way to reassure us, is Workchoices coming back?

When asked about the greatest threat to global security the babbling got worse.

“Well, look, there are – you probably can’t really – you can’t really rank them ’cause they are very difficult. I mean, the – the – clearly the threat of terrorism, the, if you like, militant Islamist terrorist groups like Daesh in the Middle East and its various affiliates around the world, al-Qaeda, that is clearly a very – that’s clearly a big threat. I think at a – in terms of our region, what we need to ensure is that the rise of China, which is happening, it’s – nothing’s gonna stop that any time soon – is, if you like, conducted in a manner that does not disturb the security and the relative harmony of the region upon which China’s prosperity depends. Now – now that requires careful diplomacy, it requires balancing and it’s an issue, as you know, I’ve taken a very keen interest in.”

For someone who has taken a very keen interest he seems entirely bereft of anything substantive to say.

And the role of our defence forces?

“Well our Defence Force has – and this is not a revelation, Leigh. Our Defence Forces have to be able to play a role in a range of different potential conflict situations. But, you know, we’re not – we’re not seeking to, um, ah – I don’t want to – no-one – no-one, least of all the Australian Government, wants to exacerbate situations. We have – we have very good relations with all of our neighbours, including China, but there clearly are some tensions, you know, with the islands in the South China Sea in particular, with the reefs, I should say, and shoals in the South China Sea. And our own – my own view and the Government’s view is that the – you know, China would be – China would be better advised in its own interests, frankly, to – not to be pushing the envelope there and that is why there’s been resistance against that activity.”

By this time I was thinking let the poor man go home to bed, he isn’t making any sense.

And then we finally got to Direct Action, a policy that is completely the opposite of the Coalition’s free market principles.

“It has been very successful so far. It has reduced – it’s cut about 47 million tonnes of emissions at a price of less than $14 a tonne.”

At that stage I realised that Malcolm has actually nothing at all to offer except his smile.


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  1. Terry2


    At least our new PM isn’t in hiding with occasional pop-up appearances on 2GB and 2UE and ridiculous Nope, Nope, Nope utterances.

    Some say we dodged a bullet with Abbott, I say we took a hit to our democracy but it was only a flesh wound and we will recover but it will leave a permanent scar.

    There’s no doubt that Turnbull is a charmer as Leigh Sales found out, but what a contrast.

    Hey, Knights and Dames have already been consigned to imperial history : I like that !

  2. Kaye Lee


    Malcolm is picking the low hanging fruit. Getting rid of knights and dames was too easy. Increasing the number of women in cabinet likewise. But I am yet to hear anything on a policy front. He keeps saying we only just got sworn in but all of them have been in parliament for years. What have they been doing? Have they no new ideas? Is it just to be Abbott’s policies rebranded?

    Having said that, I agree that at least Malcolm isn’t hiding. He likes the stage far too much for that.

  3. donwreford

    Turnbull involved with a criminal organization of fraud making big money that he was complicit in knowing this corporation and he was involved in insider deviant activity, what most Australian electors want whilst they are being fleeced by corporations such as the bank mentioned is a smiling face, it is always nice to be fleeced by a smiling criminal than a nasty bit of work, the Australian public should know that production statistically has increased greatly over the years and we are informed by politicians such as Turnbull to increase production? we note that production has increased only to find wages having decreased over time and the rich becoming richer, it is a sad indictment that our leaders are so inept, Shorten will lose the election and his quip that “one down and one to go” should be aware that he is the one likely to go? as he has a unconvincing and insincere personality, not only Australia face with this disease

  4. Kaye Lee


    Did you watch Q&A last night? Shorten did very well. His best performance to date for mine.

  5. donwreford

    Computer breakdown.

  6. urbanwronski

    You are right, Kaye. Excellent piece. The Turnbull hot tub and rub down – soft touch interview – from Leigh Sales was in marked contrast to that offered to Julia Gillard when Rudd was deposed. Yet even given the sycophantic soft lights and mood music, Turnbull could not focus. He blathered and bloviated about general principles, intruded tedious stories about Goldman Sachs and other bignoting of himself and all the other strategies pollies use when they can’t answer the question. He was excruciatingly bad – facile – glib, superficial and evasive.
    A big question I wanted him to answer wasn’t even asked – Sales let Turnbull get away with faux avuncular waffle about Direct Action, as if it were just another way of meeting emissions reduction targets – instead of admitting it is a con – a hopeless joke of a policy. Turnbull, himself, in the past has been critical of DI. Now he must honour the promise he made to the National Party not to do anything on climate change. Turncoat!
    By contrast, I found Shorten’s account of himself on the Tony Jones Show a treat – easily his best yet. (To think I wasn’t even going to watch it.) Those who did watch were treated to an excellent example of a politician who is in command of his material, who can relate to his audience and who can remain cool when twitted by a host who butted in frequently to intrude his own gloss or even his own question as Shorten was responding to someone else. or when his guest had more to say, applying the ‘next question’ gag. Intelligent, thoughtful, concise and relevant responses from Shorten revealed that there is much more to this politician than his typical low-key persona.

  7. John Kelly

    Malcolm had the easy run. Shorten performed much better under fire. He looked relaxed, very polished, researched, on his game and confidently answered every question put to him comprehensively. He did not dodged one issue. He put Tony Jones on the back foot every time Jones has tried to corner him.

  8. Nanzi

    Ah, Kaye, you always come out with what I have been thinking. I watched an interview with Sales and Turnbull and was stunned by his stuttering and stammering, their annoying banter and his lack of coherent thought along with, well, his saying nothing. In that moment I almost missed Idiot Boy. Turnbull’s arrogance challenges Abbott’s stupidity.

  9. kerri

    Agree with you on this Kaye Lee! For a start Malcolm has at least been plotting his rise since the February threat to Abbott’s leadership. Probably much earlier. If he hasn’t used any of that time to come up with concrete policies and directions then he is no better than the politically lazy Shorten. The role of a political leader is to spend less time criticising the mistakes of others and more time explaining what they will do instead. Malcolm has also declared he respects the Australian public’s intellect and will not use three word slogans preferring, apparently, to explain his policies. And yes he has barely had time to do the explaining but he had better sharpen up those explainations PDQ. I couldn’t concentrate on the Sales interview because of all the sales (not Leigh) waffle. This whole business of “we will” and “we are” designed by the marketing analysts who advise the politicians to make as all feel warm and fuzzy is ancient. They all need to move on to actualities not concepts. Policies not hype. In high school there was a part of HSC English called Clear Thinking where students were advised to look beyond the guff and analyse the content and intent of the authors of, mostly, news articles. Today’s politicians should have lived through that as they are of similar age to me. So why all the broad sweeping statements? Generalisations? Emotive language? Waffle? Why cant they be more precise succint and to the point? Why can’t they explain what they will do not aspire to do?
    And yes! Shorten did do better than usual on Q&A! He would be wise to appear on there and other forums as much as possible as his calm demeanour and clear explaining shows well in those conditions. I didn’t see all of the TURC but what I saw of Bill’s testimony impressed me that he was all over the facts.

  10. mars08

    Ignorance is bliss. Pablum for the masses.

    Sadly many voter DON’T want to think about the big problems facing this country and the world. Just give them some soothing words and a steady hand… and the can sink further into their stupor …

  11. Kaye Lee

    Both parties spend a fortune on media analysts and advertising gurus and image consultants. They should dump the lot of them. I am ready for a straight talker. If they want to know what we think then read independent media or even engage with us. We are telling them for free if they would spend less time jetting around the country and more time listening.

    “In high school there was a part of HSC English called Clear Thinking where students were advised to look beyond the guff and analyse the content and intent of the authors ”

    In maths we teach kids how graphs and statistics can be manipulated to obscure the truth. The Liberal Party are an endless source of material for that. I could write volumes on their silly graphs. I so hope they get rid of them.

  12. mars08

    @Kaye Lee…. further to your comment about media analysts, media gurus and assorted spin doctors…

    John Howard explained his vision for Australia back in 1996:

    “…I would like to see an Australian nation that feels comfortable and relaxed about three things: I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about their history; I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the present and I’d also like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the future…”

    So that’s the idea… just ensure that the nation FEELS “comfortable and relaxed”. Facts be damned. Reality need not intrude. Don’t annoy people with the complicated, inconvenient details. Steady hand on the wheel… and all that.

  13. David

    That ‘performance’ with the fawning Sales, completely justifies my continued use of ‘snake oil salesman’. I could add greasy, but that restricts posts on Twitter with its 140 max

  14. Kaye Lee

    If they want us all to feel relaxed then perhaps they should listen to David Leyjonhelm who wants to legalise marijuana….then again, he also wants to get rid of bike helmets, pool fences and any form of smoking legislation or pornography classification which is all part of the “nanny state”….as opposed to restrictions on wind farms which are responsible governing.

    I would feel a lot more relaxed if I thought I was being told the truth.

  15. mars08

    Ah Kaye… you can’t handle the truth!

  16. Kaye Lee

    With our current crop of politicians we will never know….

  17. jimhaz

    Turnbull is not a king. That is what Abbott tried to be and it didn’t work. Turnbull must follow the approximate wishes of his party….and it is too early to have the necessary fighting to get whatever he wants on the major issues.

    Shorten did really well…but still was unconvincing on the Cleanevent donations to the unions. It will remain a curse for him as a demonstrated conflict of interest. I cannot see how criminal charges could ensue though. He needed to extrapolate and say some lies like “EBA’s carry additional costs to union’s in negotiating and monitoring compliance and training members in the EBA details, and it is not unusual for unions to seek compensation for those additional costs”. Really though I can only assume it was a payment to get the union to not play hard and to convince members the EBA was the best they could do.

  18. kizhmet

    Reading the transcript from the Sales/Turnbull interview, you could be forgiven for thinking Abbott was answering the questions! Certainly not the polished, concise eloquence I expected from our new PM.

    I had a wander over to The Labor Herald; on the Feedback page the vast majority of posters (unsurprisingly) wanted more civlised political debate, a movement away from the centre-right politics, a return to grass-roots labor values, enunciation of ALP’s policies, what they will do and how they plan to do it, less finger pointing … and a more forthright Bill Shorten. I didn’t see Q&A but judging by the comments here on AIMN, perhaps ALP are taking notice. I sincerely hope so!

    Another hope is the electorate, having endured Abbott’s fascist extremism for two very long years, will recognise and be less tolerant of RRWN policies that will only harm this country now and into the future – and vote the LNP bastards last.

  19. RosemaryJ36

    I often feel that the days of reporting are over. Opinions are all that are on offer.
    Ministers are ‘dumped’.
    Emotive words bias the content and raise hackles if you are on the other side.
    Turnbull is, of course, hamstrung by have to be inclusive. It is not what he wants but what his cabinet decides – with the spectre of the extreme right breathing down their necks.
    He certainly turned on the charm at the same time as he dumbed down the content.
    Shorten came across fairly well but he tends to sound defensive and hence unconvincing.
    I forecast a hung parliament in 2016.

  20. O'Bleak

    This fawning on Turnbull is sickening. You’d think it was the second coming. What happened to the indignation at the assassination of a serving P.M. I detested Abbott but I’m no more fond of grinning smug bastards either. The double standard is laughable. Guess it pays to be rich, male and conservative. What a joke.

  21. Kaye Lee

    “Shorten did really well…but still was unconvincing on the Cleanevent donations to the unions.”

    The thing that really galls me is that the behaviour of the employers and companies that agreed to provide these donations is not in any way considered untoward. It’s ok for employers to hand over what others are intimating were dubious payments but they bear no responsibility.

    I have no doubt that Shorten secured payments for the union that were somewhat questionable. I also have no doubt that these payments in some instances improved his power base. But I can find no suggestion that he personally gained financially from the deals. Suggestions that workers were worse off are debatable.

    But considering how donors to the Liberal Party have been treated, it is trivial in comparison. Look at the Wentworth Forum and the $10 million for rainmaking and the countless other “grants” to donors or development approvals or appointments like Tim Wilson. How about Kevin Andrews, as social services minister, getting rid of gambling reform laws. If we want to compare I would suggest it is ALWAYS big business that wins.

  22. David

    All major polls are now in since the ‘elevation’ of Turnbull…not so much a glorious honeymoon as maybe a short vacation. Showing LNP leading 2PP

    50-50 Reachtel 51-49 Galaxy 55-45 Morgan 51-49 Newspoll and Essential bucks the trend to Coalition with Labor leading 51-49…Galaxy seems to be a rogue but the rest all within margin of error. So even stevens and as has been mentioned, Bill Shortens appearance on Q&A, despite the efforts of the consistently rude Jones, will have done him no harm.

    Also Turnbull has his first could be major problem with Minister Brough being taken to task by the ABC’s Emma Alberici on Insiders last night and again this morning by Fran Kelly, over his involvement with the stealing of Speaker Slippers Diary details.
    He has been lying profusely despite being on the public record saying he did ask Ashby to copy the Diary

    60 Min exposé 7 September 2014
    Liz Hayes:“Did you ask James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slippers diary for you?”
    Mal Brough:“Yes I did”

    Do I see a Bronnie repeat around the corner?

  23. David

    Re poll figures I should have written Morgan the rogue, not Galaxy. .Morgan was first cab off the rank last week

  24. Kaye Lee

    Yes Brough became quite aggressive with Albareci. I thought to myself at the time, if someone spoke to me as he did to her I would go harder. He needs to be held accountable for his role in a despicable affair. didn’t hear Fran Kelly. I will see if I can find it.

  25. susan

    I think the ABC should be applauded for its programming last night. Turnbull on 7.30 Report, was not only waffling about nothing but he was sending me to sleep. Then came Australian Story about poor under privileged Malcolm sent to board at Sydney Grammar in primary school. Quite likely the most expensive school in Sydney but you need more than just money to get a place at that school. Tellingly, Turnbull made a point of saying how pleased he was to be able to live in the Lodge so he can use it for entertaining. The ABC could not have done a better lead in for Shorten who came across as intelligent, good tempered and concerned. He impressed me for the first time.

  26. silkworm

    Kaye, your cynical approach to cannabis decriminalization, and your use of the prohibitionist term “marijuana,” shows that you are not on top of the scientific facts about medical cannabis.

  27. jim

    And for much of the week or so ABC have run programs promoting the Liebrial party on the 22/09/15 Turnball story on Four Corners,on the 21/09/15 ABC 7.30 run Liebrial party story on the 18/09/15 ABC 7.30 run Liebrial party story on the 17/09/15 ABC 7.30 run Liebrial party story,on the 16/09/15 ABC 7.30 run Liberial party story, on the 15/09/15 ABC 7.30 run Liberial party story,on the 14/09/15 ABC7.30 run Liebrial party story there would be more but I think this is enough to see the ABC BIAS that the Liebrials claim.

  28. randalstella

    Kaye Lee,
    I agree strongly with your comment on the asymmetry of interrogations of Unions and the lack of accountability of large employers and powerful corporations.

    Shorten was very good last night on Q&A.

    However about Lateline, what do you mean that Brough became aggressive with Alberici? She was wrong and he was right, on the Federal Court finding on the Ashby/Slipper matter. She was under-prepared and she paid for it, as he quite justifiably defended himself. She had nowhere to go, and sat there grinning. She did not know enough to reply to him.
    Quite an achievement for style over substance by ‘our’ ABC. I write this as someone with a researched contempt and loathing for Brough.

  29. Kaye Lee


    I agree she should have been able to reply which requires preparation. What she needed was this….

    “It is self-evident that allegations of sexual harassment made publicly against Slipper in legal proceedings would likely damage Slipper’s personal and political reputation. This does not mean that the predominate purpose was to cause such harm,” the three-judge panel ruled today.

    “We are satisfied that the evidence before the primary judge did not warrant the adverse finding said to constitute an abuse of the court’s process on the two bases found and did not warrant the rejection by his Honour of the sworn and unchallenged evidence of each of Ashby and Harmer.”

    This in no way negates the fact that Brough asked for Slipper’s diary to be unlawfully copied. The fact that Ashby chose not to pursue a case for sexual harassment after the appeal is significant.

  30. Kaye Lee


    “Kaye, your cynical approach to cannabis decriminalization, and your use of the prohibitionist term “marijuana,” shows that you are not on top of the scientific facts about medical cannabis.”

    I displayed a definite cynicism towards Leyjonhelm and I had no idea that the word marijuana would label me a prohibitionist.

    I think marijuana should be legalised for both medicinal and recreational purposes and I think the CSIRO should have the commercial monopoly on growing and distributing it through bottle shops. That being said, there must be an accompanying education program about the consequences of long term use and even short term demotivation syndrome. Prohibition is just silly for something we can all grow ourselves. Most people learn to keep pot in perspective but as a lifestyle, it isn’t a good plan. Like anything else, in moderation, time and place.

    BTW, I, along with many other students at Sydney Uni in the 70s, volunteered for trials of the effect of THC. The queue of volunteers stretched out the door down the path and round the corner lolol.

  31. Graeme Henchel

    There are several good reasons why Abbott talked in slogans. Firstly it avoided any real scrutiny of liberal policies, secondly Abbott did not have the ability to explain his policies and thirdly his policies were and are shit. With the new Turnbull area of sans slogan, Turnbull will need to explain liberal policies, he will do so through waffle and motherhood statements that may in the end annoy punters and the media and the policies will still be shit. Labor found it very hard to ever establish a situation where there was a real debate about policy as Abbott slogan using prevented any depth. I remember him saying in the pre election debate about Rudd “does this guy ever shut up”. Shorten demonstrated on QandA that he has the ability to articulate and can match Turnbull. Abbott dumbed down the Australian political debate for good reason. It got him elected but could not be sustained in government. Dumbing down may have continued to work for Abbott had he not so obviously lied about policies and had not his government been a complete disaster. Turnbull may well be sincere when he claims he wants improve the level of discourse but in my view this will help labor provided they adjust. It will also be interesting to see how this new approach squares with the likes of Textor and other back room operators who I am sure find Abbott’s sloganeering and dumbing down their preferred means of electioneering

  32. randalstella

    Yes indeed. Quite right. And that was part of my point.
    The ABC have dumped local footie and women’s sport after the last budget cut – and more importantly have savaged ABC-FM, the most important network at the ABC, the one with the most important influence.
    Meanwhile Lateline, which has no reliable reputation for probity or investigative insight, gets promos and boosting, after it seemed to be on the ropes at the end of last year.
    News and Current Affairs would work far better at the ABC if it did not dominate the entire corporation.
    For example just what are 4 Corners up to? They had a suspicion-raising programme on Shorten, and then on the night Turnbull knifed Abbott they were to have what seemed to be signaled as a sympathetic account of Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler. It has since disappeared as if it never was meant to be, as if it were some rumour.
    It seems entirely improper for a Fair Work Commissioner to be party to a political coverage even and especially about his girlfriend and her conduct within the sphere of industrial relations. That’s why I was curious to see it. Has it been pulled,and has this anything to do with the Liberal Party’s involvement with Jackson, Abbott’s ‘Union hero’? Does the changing of the guard change ABC’s leading Current Affairs’ programming?

  33. Kaye Lee

    David, that link needs to be shared more widely. A must read, along with Chris Graham’s articles at new matilda so people understand the man that Turnbull has just promoted.

  34. Kaye Lee


    I have a very close connection inside 4 corners. Programming was changed due to the leadership challenge. The show they were working on was put back two weeks. If you saw a promo I would say it will still come up at some time. I would be VERY disappointed and surprised if they were sympathetic to Jackson and Lawler though I know nothing about that potential episode. They couldn’t do it as well as Wixxy has. 4 corners also often faces injunction orders which may delay or preclude transmission.

  35. David

    Kaye Lee…Ross has posted it to Twitter as I will. That will send it on its merry way through Social Media and beyond. Already there is extensive discussion and Dave Donovan has posted an excellent article on his site Independent Australia–again,8185

    Further, on being questioned today Federal Police say their investigation into leaking of Peter Slippers Diary is still active,

    Hopefully now Abbott has vacated their digs in Canberra, the Feds may no be so, shall we say slow to get A into G

  36. Kaye Lee

    What David has done with Ashbygate and Peter with Jacksonville is astonishing. It ranks with Watergate but for some reason we need Royal Commissions and lengthy police investigations to determine what they have proven is true.

    Perhaps the MSM, our police, and our judicial system will catch up one day.

  37. randalstella

    I am beyond disappointment and surprise.
    I have learnt from long dealings with the ABC never to believe what they tell me.

  38. Kaye Lee

    A lot of people are onto Brough on many different fronts. I can only wonder why Malcolm of “grassroots no factions” fame promoted him.

    “Mal Brough wants to change the way senators are elected. A “power grab” says Senator Ricky Muir. “If it wasn’t for the Senate crossbench, there would be a six-month wait for Newstart, a GP co-payment, major cuts to Family Tax Benefit and a deregulated university system,” he said. “Last time the Government had a majority in the Senate, the Australian people got Work Choices. “I would like to remind the new Special Minister of State, and indeed the Prime Minister, that although it can be difficult negotiating with a diverse crossbench, sometimes we protect the Government from themselves. “

  39. Michael Peters


    Your … “What that shows is that, as we all know, the last election campaign was run on a lie.” – yet, not ONE one Liberal/LNP’er, including Babbles, aided and abetted by compliant mogul associated media (likes attract) mogul, NOT one showed any loyalty to us voters who surrendered their power – voters’ only recourse is to discover they have been duped, blame/excuse others rather than themselves and wait 3 years for the deliberate confusing process to repeat – all for the glory of power, influence and control.

  40. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee.
    “Cannabis” is the correct scientific nomenclature for the genus (2 broadly accepted main species, many variants and cultivars).
    ‘Marijuana’ is a term derived from Mexican slang,and was first popularised in broader usage by US narcotics agencies.
    ‘Hemp’ is the traditional descriptor of the plant type, mainly associated with it’s use as a source of fibres.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Thanks cb.

    I have realised that the term I use differs depending on whom I am talking to. I just didn’t realise that terminology would imply to others (incorrectly) what my ‘stance’ was.

  42. Kaye Lee

    Michael Peters,

    I am going through the oddest emotions at the moment. I am starting to feel thankful to Abbott for making us all pay more attention.

  43. Wayne Turner

    Malcolm Abbott is just a better speaker,hence a better conman than idiot boy.PM Malcolm Abbott is a fraud – all style and no substance.The same crap policies still there,some already promised to be kept,and no signalling of dumping any…

    Also,Tony Jones is always a pain.A bad comedian,pretending badly to be a tv show host.It’s always about him.I wish Tony Jones would go…

  44. Loz

    I saw Bill Shorten on Q&A and was quite impressed with his understanding of all the issues raised at the meeting. If the MSM had more investigative journalists the public may have a better understanding of both parties. Malcolm Turnbull has a silver tongue that can dazzle people like Leigh Sales. Hopefully many Australian people are now better equipped (after the Abbott disastrous reign) to look beyond Turnbull’s comforting words, his smile and his very elegant appearance, and question Turnbull on what is his vision for this country.

  45. Kaye Lee

    He’s happy to tell us his vision with comforting motherhood statements but is very light on on how to achieve it. It’s a difficult time for Malcolm because his own side doesn’t trust him so he can’t make any substantive policy change without their permission. It was very wise of Shorten to grab this moment to be more specific about what Labor will do. Education, science, climate change – Malcolm has to play catch-up.

  46. mars08

    “It was very wise of Shorten to grab this moment to be more specific about what Labor will do…”

    Kaye Lee… you make it sound like Shorten was taking some bold initiative. Rubbish… he was REACTING to no longer having an inarticulate blundering oaf as PM. Shorten should have been relentlessly, loudly, unambiguously and proudly stating Labor’s position at least 12 months ago. He should have clearly defined and differentiated the ALP by now. A few minutes on a low profile TV show is too little, too late.

  47. helvityni

    Kaye Lee, spot on, it’s what I just told hubby, who seems to think that Mal can save us. All the same I’m pleased I don’t have to wake up and witness Tony’s latest disasters. Yes, Mal still has Dutton, Morrison and other horrors there, even the rough Brough has been awarded…

  48. Kaye Lee


    I agree. I have been hugely frustrated by what I took to be a lack of courage. Labor seemed gun shy, scared that if they articulated a policy they were making themselves a target. But there is some wisdom in grabbing the moment now because Malcolm is going to find it tough to fight them because, in reality, he agrees with what they are proposing.

    Bernie Fraser has criticised Malcolm for losing his courage on climate change. Leyjonhelm is threatening war if Malcolm drops the ban on wind and small scale solar. While I hate the tactictal side of politics, now is certainly a good time to go hard and make Malcolm squirm as he defends the war on renewables. I would also be highlighting all the cuts to research which makes Malcolm’s waffle about science and innovation just that – waffle.

    Higher education is another good one because it gets the young people fired up.

    Shorten is late to the party but he made an impressive entrance.

  49. Möbius Ecko

    OK, I woke up this morning and found myself in another reality.

    First it was Peta Credlin’s removed from reality speech at the Women of the Future Awards in Sydney where apparently it’s all the fault of her being a strong woman and if she had been a man her actions would have been lauded.

    I call bullshit when I hear it and that’s utter bullshit. A man who did a fraction of what she did would have been pilloried from breakfast to dinner, especially over the dirt file stuff on Gillard. Sorry Peta, the problem is you and what you did with Abbott was misguided at every step. I doubt she’s ever going to warp back into reality on this though and she may genuinely believe what she says, her reality has twisted that much.

    Then I see the newspaper headlines praising Morrison (I refuse to call him ScoMo) for proposing tax cuts for “hard working Australians”. Hang on, didn’t Hockey also propose these tax cuts, yet he was never put up on a pedestal for doing so. Again a warp in reality as the Murdoch media goes into overdrive elevating Morrison as the He-Man, Saviour of the Universe and dumping on Shorten, saying he and Labor are rattled and in disarray. In what effing reality is that happening? Certainly not the one the rest of the world is currently in.

    Not only is Morrison going to deliver tax cuts to “hard working Australians”, whoever they are, but also to businesses. He’s apparently going to do this by hitting the tax claims of the wealthy, oh and raising the GST, which in our reality hurts not only those “hard working Australians” he’s so concerned about but just about everyone else who isn’t wealthy.

    So here in this reality we have Morrison’s SOP, promise free flowers but trade off on the soil nutrients needed to grow them. There is always a worse sting in a trade off for anything Morrison offers, and that’s the reality.

    Wouldn’t surprise me that in the real world Turnbull goes to an early election, before the next disastrous budget, with tax cuts and other goodies hanging in the air, then reneges on them all if he wins. And if he doesn’t win they can blame Labor for not bringing in the fantastic goodies the Liberals promised.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Credlin’s gender had nothing to do with it. Her ambition had everything to do with it. She was over-controlling even to the extent of keeping Margie away because she was a “distraction”. How dare she. She failed her boss because she couldn’t change. She wouldn’t allow people access. She wanted to dictate to others where they could go, what they could say, and even who they could employ. She did not listen to anyone let alone the public. With all their media monitoring it is inconceivable that they were unaware of the discontent both in their own party and from the public but she had her vision of what Tony must be and he dutifully did as told. For that I guess he can be blamed but the fact that he couldn’t control Credlin does not mean she bears no blame. He trusted her judgement. Her judgement was wrong.

  51. David

    @mars08…hey mars I thought St Patrick’s Day wasn’t until March 17…guess you are getting in early as you display your green characteristics.
    You have been sounding a little desperate of late, How was Greens percentage in Canning?
    Love ya style 🙂

  52. David

    @Kaye Lee…I have asked Turnbull what he intends to do with the 30 persons employed by Credlin/Abbott to specifically scrutinise and report on posts on Social Media. I have a feeling most will receive a thank you for your services note.
    In Turnbulls early days as Minister he had a quickfire finger on the blocked trigger, I didn’t last long, it’s my inquiring mind you see. So far so good since his knife job to the top.

  53. Möbius Ecko

    In another departure from reality Credlin took full credit for getting the Liberals from opposition to government.

    This person has an unbelievable overinflated belief of their importance, and like most far right wing conservatives everywhere wishes to rewrite history to billow their own grandness in it.

  54. Kaye Lee

    Morrison has so far said he wants to get rid of the high income levy, he wants to reduce the top marginal rate, he wants to “in partnership with the states” address housing affordability, he has ruled out an increase in the medicare levy and vowed “to return Australia to the era of personal and family income tax cuts.”

    “Someone who works more and is rewarded more for it is a great outcome. Clearly there is not enough reward for effort. That’s why some people find it more beneficial to stay on welfare benefits than work.”

    MYEFO should be interesting. I’d say a you are right ME….a GST increase taken to an election along with lots of pretend sweeteners.

    I hope Labor is doing the numbers on what the cost would be to people with a 50% increase to GST and have a better plan ready with taxing the big guys and cutting tax concessions for the very wealthy.

    Scott is going to have to cut services somewhere to pay for his magic pudding of tax cuts. He also seems to believe that jobs will come if bosses have more money.

  55. Kizhmet

    Scott “I stopped the boats” Morrison fills me with dread. He speaks in complete sentences and uses more than three words. He is more dangerous by far than Abbott.

  56. randalstella

    The interesting and unsettling thing about Mal Brough is, like a recent election winner, he comes from the armed forces, and seems to be continuing that vocation in politics, as an undeclared civil war against perceived enemies; a secret raid on someone’s diary, putting up a fake witness to sexual crimes in indigenous communities, etc. But that seems the Liberal Party these days, with the number of feral guerrillas in the Ministry.
    Just the same, I remain very dubious that fighting an opportunistic civil war right back at them will help the body politic. It is more likely to destroy it. Maybe, again less than comfortably, I am here in concord with that apparently reasonable and peaceable man who appeared on Q&A last Monday, 21st September 2015.

    I had a look at the Independent Australia piece on the Brough interview by Alberici, also on 21st. Some people here could be expected to know better than this tribalism – even as the same could not be said of that other site.
    However important an issue, inaccurate hyperbole only undermines it.
    The piece misleads on Brough’s demeanour. Brough remains polite, does not show more than the mildest anger, and certainly does not ‘bully’ Alberici. At no time is he ‘furious’. Nor does he ‘attack’ her. It merely reflects on the writer’s own inclinations. As it includes the video of the interview, the piece seems like another test of the loyalty of the site’s followers, who – from my quick scan – do not question the false claims. Such is that little fiefdom.

    Brough makes the valid point that if Alberici could read from Rares’ adverse finding and comments in the Federal Court, she could also have quoted the Full Court’s rebutting findings.
    Donovan then misleads by short extracts from the judgement that do not refer to Brough, as if the finding did not specifically and very clearly make findings on Brough’s motives. It did; and of course that is what Brough is referring to in the interview. Donovan’s comments about the Rares’ judgement being set aside are fatuous and tendentious. DD obfuscates on what is manifest to anyone who reads the judgement. The ruling shows that the Full Court rejected explicitly inferences drawn by Rares on Brough.
    Donovan does not want to consider these findings vindication of Brough, but Brough does. Brough’s is the obviously more reasonable assessment of the finding as support of his actions. That the assessment of Brough by the judges is at least curious, even on the balance of probabilities, does not change the fact that they made this considered opinion.

    For some reason perhaps known only to Donovan, he has sympathy for the poor little thing from Lateline being monstered by big Mal. I wonder what Alberici would make of being cast as little lady victim. I know what I make of it.

    Independent Australia raised funds for Craig Thomson’s case and acquittal, perfectly their right. Craig is a quite nice man and from reports was a capable and caring MP. He was also for a time a small-time rorter; a smaller rorter than a lot of Australians, including politicians. Craig was monstered by the Media working in tow with the politically slanted cops who acted on their support for Abbott and the Libs.
    The last thing the issue needed was the ill-judged ranting ‘support’ from the braying hordes at Independent Australia who declared Thomson a working class hero. This included turning on anyone who dared to express the lack of prudence – and political judgement – in declaring that EVERYTHING alleged against Thomson was untrue and a set-up. They were bound to lose. Have they ever admitted as much?

    Donovan writes as if he can safely treat his readers as reactive dills. Probably he can. I suppose that is what is considered success in politics. It is abysmal to me. As a fighter against imbedded, insular corruption in Government, statutory bodies, police, ambulance services, aged care facilities… I will not take any simplistic side. The country is corrupt enough already.

  57. Kaye Lee

    I saw the interview on Lateline and I disagree randalstella. Whilst I agree Alberici should have included the other finding, I found Brough’s manner very defensive. He was asked about the copying of the diary. That was not mentioned in the finding from the full court which was not unanimous – they voted 2 to 1. There is an ongoing police investigation – a fact I find ridiculous. He has previously admitted that he asked for the diary – either that is illegal or it isn’t. Sharing commonwealth documents without permission is apparently an offence. I think it is important that this sort of muckraking practice is stopped. They said there was “no basis” for Justice Rares’ conclusion that Mr Brough had played a part in instigating the proceedings for the purpose of damaging Mr Slipper’s reputation. The sexual harassment case is a whole different issue which is what the full court were ruling on – Ashby’s right to appeal, not the cab charge thing which is apparently what Brough wanted the diary for. Who referred the cab charges to the police and why? These are separate issues and worthy of investigation.

  58. David

    randalstella …you obviously have a problem with Dave Donovan, editor and owner of Independent Australia. Perhaps for the benefit of us trying to understand that dislike, which appears to go way above just his attack on Brough and Lateline, you should enlighten us, so we can then better understand your over the top criticism of him.

  59. randalstella

    I don’t need tuition on the number of strands to this Slipper/Ashby/Brough matter. That includes the strange decision by the Full Court, and Brough’s previous admissions.
    None of that goes to the presentation of the interview by Donovan
    Of course Brough is going to be defensive – and he would be even if he were in the right on his conduct. But he was polite. He did none of things that Donovan claimed about the interview. It is self-defeating tribalism. You’re welcome to your chosen allies.
    I prefer accurate reports not hyperbolic warfare.
    I am no more a fan of Brough than anyone who cares about the facts. But just who cares about the facts before they care about their chosen tribe? I want the alternative I support to tell the truth. I want the alternative I support to demonstrate fairness.
    Start with the muckraking nearer home, the stuff you might just have some influence on.

  60. randalstella

    My post has enough details for anyone to follow up for themselves. I have given enough guidance there on my objections. ‘Over the top’ is my concern for the facts, not for fitting some tribal response. The claim that there has to be some hidden motive behind my post is to accuse me of perhaps your own propensities.
    I am far too busy to be dealing with people who could do what I have done, look and examine for themselves.
    If he read it, which is very unlikely, all Donovan’s piece could have done is reinforce Brough’s attitude, as his apparent assumption is that there is no point in fighting fair with ‘Lefties’ et al because they don’t fight fair themselves.
    Brough is a very poor choice for a Minister of State. There are enough facts to show this. Why the felt need to muddy the waters with anything else?

  61. jimhaz

    [I detested Abbott but I’m no more fond of grinning smug bastards either]

    Yes, but I think Turnbull’s smugness is of a different kind. Costello and Hockey had ugly forms of smugness, as if they didn’t care for others, whereas there is a gentleness and far more intelligence to Turnbull’s persona. it is more like Keatings deserved smugness. I’m loving the way he is putting shit on the media with their attack dog questions and hope it continues. Personally I think Shorten did really well on QandA because he could drop his learnt reaction to the viciousness of the Abbott camps attacks on all thing the ALP believes in – it seemed impossible to debate anything with Abbott, you always first had to react to his deceitfulness and it was off putting.

    PS: Just because Turnbull is what a politician should be (providing he does become an achiever) doesn’t mean I’d ever consider voting for the LNP – that remains permanently out of the question.

  62. Kaye Lee


    I have no “tribal allegiance” and I am not engaging in “tuition”. I was pointing out that the decision of two members of the full court was completely irrelevant to the theft of the diary. You talk about people not being tolerant of differing views but you adopt a very defensive tone unnecessarily yourself and are quick to label others.

  63. randalstella

    You commended a silly and very misleading article. I believe the mentality of that piece is as big a menace to progressive politics as Brough, maybe worse for its assumed proximity. In fact they have a lot in common; a troublemaking problem with the truth.
    I don’t see where I said anything about being ‘tolerant of differing opinion’. Seems a bit too careless for me, given the damage I have seen done by lies. Now you’ve got Brough and me both ‘defensive’ – I will leave you with your pearl.

  64. Möbius Ecko

    This departure from reality just keeps warping into another dimension.

    News is that the government are going to expand FTTP.

    I mean this is a great thing, but after five years of absolutely demolishing it on every front and it being one of the cornerstones in bringing down the previous government, they now embrace it?

    Come on MSM, why aren’t you slamming this dishonest and deceitful Party across your front pages and headlines? You all know they warrant it.

  65. marg1

    Well said Kaye, you have echoed my thoughts exactly – I kept asking Malcolm “tell us how”, but there was nothing but empty words. Bill as you say, copped a grilling from Tony and the Australian people. I know who came off looking the better leader – and it wasn’t Malcolm!

  66. lizzieconnor

    As I’ve written elsewhere, I think the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine by Leigh and Tony worked a treat.

    Which one of the two leaders came out worse? We all seem to agree that Malcolm did.

    I think that’s because Leigh was using her charm as much as Malcolm was using his – and she let him condemn himself out of his own mouth. Tony, on the other hand, can’t stop being an attack-dog – and on this occasion seemed to prompt Bill into concentrating on answering the voters’ questions calmly and fully.

    I love the ABC!

  67. David

    @lizzie…. oh it was that easy

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