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“Let’s agree to disagree …”

By Tony Andrews

Words often spoken by those who, when countered with factual information, refuse to concede or even acknowledge the others person’s point of view.

The Prime Minister blamed the opposition leader Bill Shorten for cuts to penalty rates. He’s the opposition leader, not the government. They allowed workers penalty rates to be cut, not Bill Shorten.

The old “Labor set up the Fair Work Commission, it’s their fault,” has had its day. In the more than five years they’ve had government, they’ve well and truly stacked the Fair Work Commission with their own nodding heads

What annoys me about Bill, and seems to annoy everyone else as well, if I’m to believe the newspapers and TV, is that he’s not “charismatic” enough …

Actually, it doesn’t annoy me about Bill, it annoys me that we elect people to government based on their looks or ability to instantly bullshit to you while looking you in the eye and keeping a straight face. I want intelligent and respectful. I want someone that has a proven record of putting other people before themselves.

Charisma … you can have it.

What annoys the government and big business about Bill is another story. He knows who they are …

Apart from the fact that he has a proven record of brokering deals that satisfied the employer and the employees, what they don’t like about him, is that he knows them. His single mother sent him to the best school she could afford, with people like John Roskam, head of the IPA, a Liberal party influencing “think tank” and, you don’t need to be a punter to win money betting that some of those rich kids would’ve given Bill a pretty hard time …

Do you know how I know they would’ve treated him like he wasn’t fit to wipe their boots?

Because the Australian Prime Minister speaks loudly about Labor and the unions promoting “class warfare”, yet, spent twenty minutes of parliament question time, with the voting public watching, telling us all loudly and clearly, that he is a snob.

How Bill Shorten loved to put his feet under the tables of billionaires. How he actually thought that he was a human being of equal value to them.

How they, like Malcom Turnbull, must’ve laughed after he’d left the billionaire’s house he’d been invited to, probably to try and get him to make some sort of deal and when he didn’t behave subservient enough or agree, he became useless to them. So they would’ve laughed over their brandy and cigars, inwardly fuming to themselves “how dare he not recognise our superiority”.

You don’t believe me?

It’s all recorded in HANSARD, the printed record of what gets discussed by our elected employees in parliament.

Also, do you notice how the media have “neutralised” Anthony Albanese? How, virtually since Bill Shorten became the leader of the Labor opposition, poor old Albo’ can’t add to the public debate or speak about anything without the following weeks headlines and TV news bars being filled with speculation of a leadership challenge.

For the collective good of the Labor Party he is forced to say nothing.

Unfortunately, people seem to think that a Prime Minister knows everything. That they completely run the show and can enforce their will. That when he or she speaks it is an independent voice.

It isn’t.

It’s the collective voice of the party.

Yet, we use our vote like we’re watching “Australian Idol” or “farmer wants a backpacker”. That once the “charismatic personality” has left the island, all the policies we don’t like go with them. They don’t.

The snobs are still in charge.


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  1. Phil

    I have met Bill Shorten. Shaken hands with him. Chatted affably with him. He didn’t know me from a bar of soap, yet he listened and thought before responding. He’s very clearly across his game. A negotiator of exceptional skill. A genuine leader. Unpretentious. No doubt capable of asserting his authority when required. Unionism doesn’t like demagogues. Corporatism breeds them.

    Union leaders represent the will of the members – the members decide what is carried. it’s what we call democratic.

    Corporate/Business leaders represent their personal views – they decide what gets done and who survives. It’s what we call dictatorial.

    I like the idea of democracy but we are living in a debased version at present.

    Shorten has what it takes to be a great prime minister in a resurgent democracy.

    Better still, he has what it takes to be the leader of the first Australian Republic.

  2. Pierre Wilkinson

    fake news… when I said it “was” a contest between Bill the horror-bill and moi, the magnificent, I mis-said “was” instead of “wasn’t”…
    there, all clear now? errr Dutto old chap, what are you doing lurking in the curtains?

  3. Lou Lou

    Turnbull makes sure, when he tells us, ‘How Bill Shorten loved to put his feet under the tables of billionaires.’ that he never mentions that the billionaire that Turnbull refers to, was Dick Pratt. Dick Pratt was his then wife’s godfather!!! Shorten’s ex wife was Debbie Beale, the daughter of a former LIberal MP Jullian Beale, who was a close friend of Dick Pratt. Was Shorten supposed to stay home when they were invited to dinner with Mr. Pratt, Debbie’s godfather???

  4. Kaye Lee

    Bill Shorten is, according to Turnbull, a “social-climbing sycophant”, a “groveller”,

    ‘There was never a union leader in Melbourne that tucked his knees under more billionaires’ tables than the leader of the opposition,’ Malcolm Turnbull says of Bill Shorten, adding: ‘He likes harbourside mansions. He’s yearning for one, he’s yearning to get into Kirribilli House. You know why? Because somebody else pays for it’

    Shorten is from Victoria. The PM’s residence is in Canberra. Is Malcolm mentioning Kirribilli so he can draw attention to the fact that he rejected it? (because his place is better).

    He likes to pretend he is a self-made man (who just so happened to marry a wealthy woman with connections before being left a substantial amount himself)

    “My whole life, Lucy and I, our whole life has been one of enterprise, getting up, having a go, investing, you know, self-reliance.”

    Self-reliance? I’m not sure he understands what that term actually means. Having enough to pay staff to do everything while your accountants and stockbrokers sought out the rest?

  5. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    Turnbull simply reveals what a complete snob he is by making those comments about Shorten. It takes one to know one.

    For the sensitive Labor voter – I am not claiming Bill is socially aspirant – he’s nowhere near as ambitious as Turnbull. As their current circumstances confirm.

  6. Kaye Lee

    In the lead up to the 2016 election, Turnbull sent out an email “My Dad” in which he tells us “We didn’t have much money….for most of that time he was battling like a lot of people are — a lot of single parents are.”

    “Bruce Turnbull married Coral a year after Malcolm was born in 1954 and for the most part the couple lived in a flat on New South Head Road, Vaucluse, in Sydney’s salubrious eastern suburbs, which land title records show Bruce co-owned through a private company.

    [Coral left and Malcolm went to prep school at St Ives]

    During the next five years, Bruce’s hotel business really hit its straps and by 1970, when Malcolm was in Year 10, he had bought a luxurious three-bedroom apartment in Point Piper [along with many other properties]

    Malcolm inherited his ­father’s penchant for property investing, and started early: at age 23 he bought a semi-detached house in inner-Sydney Newtown for almost $50,000 and at age 25 he bought a Redfern terrace for $40,000. He sold both for tidy profits. Turnbull bought his own first home, for an undisclosed sum in Potts Point, after returning from his Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University and marrying Lucy Hughes. [not bad for a student]

    A glowing 1988 magazine profile estimated Turnbull inherited about $2 million when his father died, which would be worth almost $7m in today’s dollars. To inherit such a sum at the age of 28 is a life-changing event in anyone’s language. Turnbull went on to make a motza, but people who knew both father and son well point out, “he inherited a motza, too”.

    But hey, according to Malcolm, they were on struggle street and had to work oh so hard….rolls eyes. And I am not sure what “social-climbing” means in the context of our supposedly egalitarian Australian society. I thought Malcolm loved aspiration? Or is that only for people of a certain “calibre” to quote the suppository of no wisdom.

  7. Wun Farlung

    Kaye Lee
    From my reading of the malcy and lucy show, lucy had the big bucks. You know who is the social climber and he aspired to get his hands on a few more $mill

  8. Terence Mills

    In March of 2017 when the Fairwork Commission first announced cuts to penalty rates Malcolm Turnbull was quoted as saying :

    The Prime Minister indicated the Government would push the commission to phase in the penalty rate cuts over two to five years in bid to ensure workers were not worse off.

    Mr Turnbull said an element of modern awards was that any changes would not reduce the take-home pay of workers.

    One option was to have the commission make a take-home pay order that whittles back penalty rates at the same time as annual minimum wage increases are awarded.

    “The employee’s overall pay packet increases and offsets the phased-in reduction in penalty rates,” Mr Turnbull said.

    “The Fair Work Commission is very conscious of the need to protect low-paid workers. So are we. But the important thing is they have both the intent and the tools to ensure the changes are phased in so workers are, as far as possible, not worse off in terms of this transition.”

    Mr Turnbull said the Government would make a submission to the commission but ultimately the independent umpire had to decide on how to implement the penalty rate ruling.

    “We certainly welcome transition arrangements that mitigate as far as possible, or offset the impact on the take-home pay packet,” Mr Turnbull said.

    He lied !

  9. Jaquix

    Charisma is a greatly over-rated quality in my experience. Generally exhibited by narcissistic, self-centred people. Inexplicable, but true. Occasional exceptions like Barak Obama. Poor old Malcolm, his wheels are spinning overtime as he tries to recover from the crushing defeat in all 5 by-elections on the weekend. (I count the 2 in WA because he was too gutless to stand in them) Behind the scenes the real powers to be will be consulting with Rupert Murdoch, to select an IPA member, to replace Malcolm.

  10. Jo Parish

    It’s a game, isn’t it of personalising attacks by leaders who seek power? The attack is verbal and oftentimes repetitive rather than a leader committing murder or jailing an opponent, as we can see in countries to our north. It’s a kind of propaganda marketed as repeatable phrases because supporters I’ve heard sound like a mouthpiece for the parliamentary stoush of words; and of course it’s picked up by media, in ‘sound bites’, and underscored by research surveying attitudes of those ‘swinging voters’ in marginal seats, or known ‘party faithful’, and moulded endlessly by media-savy wordsmiths surrounding the leaders.
    It’s perhaps most interesting or revealing when policy positions are being announced, and yet in the battle of ideas it repositions these into trivia unfortunately. There are some threads I hold to, and hope to find plausible policy for reduction on Australian greenhouse gas emissions, and on ways to alleviate poverty.
    I also think deconstructing the propaganda enables me to see hypocrisy, or ‘the game’ of words, so thanks for your posts.

  11. helvityni

    Jaquix, agree, Obama has Charisma, but interestingly he also has an endearing sense of humour, Mal does not…

  12. Kaye Lee

    Alan Jones tweeted ‘In politics, as in life, if you do today what you did yesterday, you get yesterday’s results. The Liberals surely can’t stomach again what happened on Saturday. Turnbull has to go.’

  13. Zathras

    Malcolm has proven himself to be little more than an unprincipled opportunist. He’ll abandon whatever long-held personal views he may have in order to satisfy his personal ambitions and feed an ego even larger than Rudd’s.

    As for the removal of penalty rates, when the Fair Work Commission announces such an enquiry it invites submissions from interested parties.

    The Government usually submits it’s views on the likely impact on the economy and society in general but for some reason Turnbull & Co deliberately submitted nothing, leaving the Commission to interpret there would be no impact on either of those things.

    As much as they now protest and try to pin the blame on Shorten and the Commission they actually provided de-facto support of the removal of the rates.

  14. Kaye Lee


    Research by actual experts was submitted. It concluded

    “changes in Sunday penalty rates have no significant effect on the number of jobs… cutting them would do two things.

    It would reduce compensation for workers employed at unsociable hours – when that compensation is, for many, very important for meeting normal household expenses. And it would constitute a transfer of income from employees to employers, likely without an offsetting increase in jobs.

    The most likely outcome, then, would be retail workers working longer hours for lower earnings, with little or no improvement in the number of jobs.”

    Interestingly it was Mike Pezzullo’s wife who was hired to refute this expert research and she did a crap job of it…but the FWC decided to quote her a lot.

  15. New England Cocky

    I think it is time for Benito Dutton to enforce his mandate from the failure of the Super Saturday bye-election results and call for a spill of the Liarbral Party leadership. There is little doubt that Muddles Turdball has lost the plot and no longer has any viability as PM. What is needed is strong leadership, such as Dutton has demonstrated in the Department of Xenophobia & Inhumane Policies. Australia needs strong fascism to maintain the undeserving wealthy in the manner to which they wish to remain accustomed, just like it needs ……

  16. Peter F

    NEC – the us hope he waits until after the election. With the likely result in his electorate, the question might not arise ….. Wait a moment: even HE might think of that!!! Interesting times.

  17. blair

    They wont sack MalCayman, he would call in his $1.75M loan. then where would they be?

    This Govt has no policies other than to rip off the workers and subsidize their multicorporate mates, no wonder, all they have left is their ineffective “Kill Bill” strategy.

    Cant wait to vote them out!

  18. Kronomex

    If I remember rightly Trembles donated the $1.75meg to his own party and you can bet that he’s already used his generosity as part of his, no doubt, ongoing tax dodges.

  19. Anthony Andrews

    The public is tired of both party’s, but that problem really is misinformation.
    We’ve created a political system that is almost completely reactionary.
    We’ve become extremists. Our commercial media landscape and its need to keep us watching, not just subscribed viewers, but free to air as well, means that the majority of what we see is from the far left or far right. We need the drama and to be outraged or in passionate agreement.

    We’ve created a system where a party’s direction is compromised by ‘sound bites’… the media, whether we like or want to accept that fact, makes or breaks everyone.
    The only thing that stops the whole thing crashing down really, is the two party preferred system. We’ve always had independents and minor, one agenda parties. Some of them give our democracy strength, while others will sell their own mothers to push through their agenda, voting, often it seems, without thought or research into their decisions which affect us all. Just “we’ll vote with whoever gives us the biggest piece of cheese”. It’s almost parliament by extortion and bribery.
    With the LNP and Labor, they focus on the party leaders as if they are at constant war with those internally that may dissent or disagree with current policies, it creates its own life, so that now, today, their careers are at the whim of public opinion and political commentators, not just at the polling booth, but with almost every decision they make.
    The leaders may change, but the vested interests that control them does not (vested interests does not mean evil, the term just seems to imply sinister motives).

    Different doesn’t always mean better.

    A steady hand at the helm and a course that isn’t altered by the threat of individuals losing everything if the party doesn’t instantly heed populist, uninformed, opinion, is what’s missing.
    Information available to all our elected employees in government, which is vital to deliberations and that isn’t held behind individual party FOI restrictions, so that all who vote on legislation know what it’s actually about, is what’s missing.
    Research and information that isn’t purchased from corporations because we’ve gutted our public service of all their experienced staff, is what’s missing.

    A third party, if it was to appear with enough cash to field candidates across the board, would have no more control on direction than the two we have. They would find the same environment to work in and have the same problems.

    However, the amount of time the highly paid pundits are wrong, proves that there is still life in our Australian democracy yet.

  20. Mhoira White

    The current Government has only one policy on their agenda & that is to keep their jobs at all costs. They spend so much money on advisers to tell them what to do, because they haven’t a clue, that perhaps we should just elect the advisers to run the show. A classic example is Christopher Pyne, what experience has he of Defence, did he serve in any of the forces? I think not. Most of them have no experience of the portfolios they control & have to defer to experts so why do we need ministers. Malcolm Turnbull is another example. A merchant banker who lives, breathes & dreams about money. Never worked in a factory or on a farm or been homeless or lived on an income well below the povery line. We need people with real life experience to run this country. On the other hand, Bill Shorten is a man of the people, appreciates what the “hard working families” they talk about are going through & is capable of doing something about it. So he ambitions to be PM but he is not an elitist with delusions of grandeur like the current mob. I hope this becomes a reality at the next election.

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