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A Little Balance – Because The Liberal Party Do Seem Rather Unbalanced Lately!

“Good evening, Mr Turnbull and thanks for agreeing to this interview.”
“Good evening, and if I can just pull you up there, I didn’t agree to this interview… I’ve been completely hijacked by an AIMN writer and words are being put into my mouth as we speak.”
“Yes, well, you should be used to that by now.”
“Look, if you’re suggesting that I’m captive the conservative forces within the Liberal Party and that I’m not my own plan, I’d like to repudiate that in the strongest possible terms!”
“Well, go on.”
“Repudiate it!”
“I just did!”
“No, you just said that you’d like to repudiate it. You’ve always said that you’d like to have a republic, do something about climate change and allow same sex marriage. Saying you’d like to do something and doing it aren’t the same thing.”
“If we’re just going to get into semantics, I might as well be on the ABC where those tricky interviewers try to twist words and make it sound like when you say something, it’s meant to be consistent with what you just said a few minutes earlier…”
“Moving on, did you agree with Rupert Murdoch last year when he tweeted his concern about people complaining about 457 visa holders taking Australian jobs, saying that it was racist and disgusting?”
“See this is one of those trick questions, where if I say if I agree with that great man, Mr Murdoch, you’ll suggest that I’m just sucking up to him, whereas if I say I disagree, I’ll have to ring Rupert to apologise before I lose the leadership.”
“Ignoring Rupert Murdoch for a moment, was it racist and disgusting to suggest concern over 457 visa holders was racist?”
“Well, of course. I mean there’d have been no concern from the unions if the people taking the jobs were Australians, would there? So the only objection unions have to 457 visa holders is that they’re foreign and if that’s not racist, what is?”
“But if they were Australians they wouldn’t need a 457 visa to work here.”
“Well, not yet, but we’re considering legislation to require all workers, whatever country they come from, to have a 457 visa. That way it’ll be easier to deport the Australians who don’t want to work.”
“How can you deport Australians? Where would you deport them to?”
“That’s the detail we’re still working on, but New Zealand did offer to take 150 asylum seekers.”
“So, anyway, the follow up gotcha moment was about Peter Dutton…”
“Ah yes, poor Peter, he’s being demonised by the Labor Party you know.”
“I can’t believe that you actually said that!”
“Well, of course, I said something as stupid as that, this is fiction and you’re making me say stupid things to make me look silly!”
“Yes, but you said it in reality!”
“Well, it’s probably not the silliest thing I’ve said. I also said that he was an outstanding minister.”
“And why did you say that?”
“Well, if Greg Hunt can get Best Minister in the World for completely stuffing up his portfolio, then surely Pete deserves a special pat on the back as Immigration Minister for doing what he’s meant to do?”
“And what’s that?”
“Point out that we don’t want any immigration because the people coming here are foreigners who’ll take our jobs and blow out the Budget by being on welfare.”
“I’m not sure whether to go back to my point about the so-called racism against 457 visa holders, or to ask you how to explain that they’ll be on welfare and still take our jobs.”
“Yes that’s the beauty of our campaign. We’re inconsistent on so many levels, you don’t know where to start attacking us. That’s why Bill Shorten’s had to resort to presenting policies. He doesn’t know where to start at pointing out our shortcomings.”
“Let’s move on to your plan for jobs and growth then…”
“That’s right.”
“That’s right?”
“Yes, let’s move on to our Plan for a Strong New Economy.”
“So what?”
“What is it?”
“Didn’t you get that letter from me? We sent it to everyone. We wrote Plan for a Strong New Economy in bold and we capitalised it.”
“But what is it?”
“It’s bold and capitalised. After all, we live in a capitalist system and that’s something that the Labor Party don’t seem to understand. It’s only by looking after the rich that people have an incentive not to be poor and then they’ll take on the sort of work that we now have to pay foreigners to do.”
“I did get your letter, thanks. I noticed that it told us that Export Trade Deals would generate 19,000 new export opportunities and you said that 200,000 more jobs would be created in the next financial year. Where did you get those numbers from?”
“Well, it’s common sense really.”
“So you’ve just plucked them out of the air.”
“No, we put them down on paper.”
“But why, did you say 19,000 opportunities?”
“Well, it seemed like a pretty good number. We’re being conservative because we could have said that as there are billions of people in the countries we’ve negotiated trade deals with that there are billions of opportunities, but that sounded too much like we were just making it up.”
“But did you do any economic modelling?”
“Of course not, economic modelling is far too costly and theoretic and it’s far better to go for the tried and true method of using a number that’s small enough to be believable but still big enough to be impressive.”
“Which brings me back to Peter Dutton’s suggestion about refugees being innumerate.”
“Really, how?”
“Never mind. I actually wanted to ask you to spell out your Innovation Policy for the Australian public.”
“Certainly. I-N-N-O-V-A-T-I-O-N P-O-L…”
“No, I wanted you to explain how it works.”
“Oh, with all this talk of illiteracy, I thought that it was a spelling test.”
“No. The policy.”
“Yes, well, basically we’re going to give tax breaks to people who have good ideas on innovative things like… well, better ways to do things… ”
“You mean better ideas like how to avoid paying tax?”
“No, clever things. You know, sciency things. And we’re going to help them get these ideas to somebody who can market them.”
“You mean someone like Apple or Google?”
“Look, I’m noticing a tone with this interview and if you’re not going to flirt like Leigh Sales does, then I’m out of here!”
“I think, one way or another, that’s what both sides of politics are hoping, Mr Turnbull.”
“You’re lucky you don’t work for the ABC. Wait till you see what happens to Jon Faine after the election!”


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  1. kerri

    Well written Rossleigh! I suspect, however, that Leigh Sales has learnt from her flirting.
    She has recently hardened up a good deal in her dealings with Turnbull!
    She has become the “aggressive” interviewer the right wing have sought to label her et al.
    The ABC has little else to lose, except that they are now in the control of an LNP stooge!

  2. dragonnanny

    Excellent article and a pleasure to read, as always. It must be very tiring to interview people who seem to be a tad dim at times.

  3. Möbius Ecko

    AFP have raided ALP offices over leaks on NBN.

    Leaks from Libs in subs, budget and more, no raids.

  4. Alpo

    Good laugh, but now, seriously, is the AFP the militarised arm of the Liberal Party?…. Is the AFP raid of ALP offices an attempt at perpetrating a pseudo-coup?….. Are the Liberals becoming completely mad?
    What’s going on with the Liberal Party….Is Turnbull an accomplice in all of this? Was he aware of the raid? Or is the Conservative side of the Liberal Party taking over?…. Who is behind this Government?

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Story now is that the AFP have raided the homes of NBN staffers and ALP offices, including Conroy’s.

    Turnbull is very sensitive over any scrutiny of his broadband and has closed down attempts to have it questioned. Things that should plainly be public are made secret and it’s gone as far as any questions on the broadband submitted to Q&A are never aired.

  6. kristapet

    I love the shades of a Clarke & Dawe in this interview – a clever way of revealing Malcolm T’s flaws and the current issues of an empty, corrupt derelict, irresponsible, without morals government

  7. Adrianne Haddow

    I don’t know why the AFP feel the necessity to raid the Labor party staff regarding the NBN.
    You’ve only got to ask a techie what they think about the less than remarkable changes. I was told, by a technician friend, not to sign up for the more expensive higher speed option because, it will hardly ever be delivered and I would be paying for the idea rather than the delivery.

    I’ve got the LNP broadband, I pay more for it than I did under the old system. I can’t say the speed is any better except for odd parts of the day. The internet still slows down when we have rainy weather or on Friday nights when everybody is using it.
    Mind you, Im on fibre to the node. Although people living two suburbs away, on fibre to the house, sing its praises. ( And both suburbs are old suburbs, so the infrastructure is the same.)

    Methinks the AFP are the becoming the enforcer arm of the LNP. It’s all rats, on a sinking ship, grasping at straws in this long lead up to the election.

  8. helvityni

    kerri, did you see last night’s 7.30?

    Ms Sales kept nastily interrupting Burke, but allowed the smirking Cormann rattle on…

  9. Geoff Andrews

    Could not suppress a guffaw at Pyne’s “stinging” accusation that the Labor party was playing politics by daring to complain about the AFT pursuing an alleged Labor whistle blower during an election campaign. The man has no sense of irony but I suppose the poor bastard had to say something.

  10. jimhaz

    It feels to me like this is a about the 4 or 5th election in a row where the AFP has done something odd that harms the ALP. Very strange how this leak is targeted when so many others have not been. Also odd is the nature of the leak – it is information that should NOT be commercial in confidence in the first place. That NBN is technically a company is simply an excuse to make the information commercial in confidence – it is still a government company using taxpayer funds.

    I cannot recall the details but this uneasy feeling started during Howards time. I think it was something about the manner in which the AFP supported Howard about Children overboard. Might also have been something to do with Peter Reith’s 50,000 phone card. Then there were timing issues re Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson.

    The problem with the AFP is that the personalities of AFP staff are likely to be far more closely aligned to LNP attitudes than they would be to the ALP. I simply do not trust them.

  11. Phil

    The perception is that notwithstanding its protestations of innocent independence, the AFP is being strategically manipulated by the Turnbull government. I think the crude, lustful pursuit of power has thoroughly corrupted the LNP.

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