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Malcolm feels the end game approaching

By Peter McCarthy

Cancelling a sitting week in Parliament is unusual to begin with, but I initially thought that Malcolm might have been building an escape route for failing to get SSM sorted out (which still has no real chance of being resolved this year even with the extra week in place). But on reflection, Malcolm doesn’t seem to have any concept of “think what happens next” so I had to discard the theory. After all, he could simply have celebrated without offering a performance measuring device and enjoyed a victory over Tony Abbott without leaving the door open a crack for Tony to exploit. More of Malcolm self harming then the Mad Monk wandering by and seeing an opportunity. We should be used to that by now.

Then along came this little gem: Malcolm talking about tax cuts for poor people.

OMG. Things really have gone to Hell in a hand basket. Even more bizarre, it’s the “No one loses” variety of tax cuts direct from the Liberal Magic Pudding Economic model (LMPE). The sort of tax cut you have to break the glass cover to gain access to because it’s for desperate emergencies and doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny when the panic attack has passed.

I realised things were desperate for him, but I didn’t think Malcolm had noticed, being as he is spending most of his time punching on in the Party room, but apparently he has noticed, and when you consider the following, I guess he had to eventually.

Kristina should easily knock off John Alexander for starters so the Majority is gone in the House of Reps, which means the rules have changed and any cross benchers can easily leap off the Malcolm Leadership guarantee if they are irritated by his inertia. Even more seriously, the Nats need to step away from the decaying Turnbull Government and are shooting for a banking investigation that could very easily pass unless Labor or the Greens abandon their base. I would not be holding my breathe on that happening. For the Nats, this would be wildly popular with their base and throwing Malcolm under the bus would be fabulous for brand recognition. A problem they have suffered for years now.

Malcolm has a real problem now. By trying to avoid decisions and not standing up for anything, he stands for very little. He half likes coal, but half likes Renewables. This leaves both industries confused and vulnerable which in turn gives us the high energy prices. He sort of liked the ABC and SBS. Until he didn’t. Although by not declaring his hand, and steering well away from actually supporting things, he leaves it up to Voters to figure out that his actions (or lack of) speak louder than words. If you are frustrated by his lack of effectiveness, he does nothing to change your view. This could well result in the loss of financial support heading towards Malcolm. There is not much point building a campaign fund for Turnbull if he can’t reward that investment and when you don’t even know if he will actually defend your industry.

Could be the Liberals have to dump Malcolm to retain any sort of funding from the Top end of Town. The current situation is not in their interests and occasionally Malcolm even mouths off about them and the unfairness (without taking action of course). This is the worst possible position for TTEOT. He draws attention to them but does nothing to reign them in and Voters can see both the privilege and the inaction. Thanks for the double whammy Malcolm.

So now we have Malcolm realising he has a problem and preparing for an election, but clueless about what he stands for. He only just managed to escape with the meaningless Jobs and Growth mantra last time around, but he was battling from the position of new kid in town who’s first name wasn’t Tony. Now he has to fight with folk knowing he struggles to make decisions, and has so little control of his Party, that nothing much is going to be achievable. Looking forward? Yeah. Nah. Dinosaurs don’t do forward looking and no one else gets to do that on their watch.

Traditional Liberal party style is to have strong leadership and leave the gab fest to more social parties. Think Abbott and Howard. They don’t do “consensus”, and chaps like Malcolm trying to teach them consensus will not be happening. Liberal Leadership requires strength and the ability to demand discipline. Malcolm has neither.

This article was originally published on 1Petermcc’s Blog.


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  1. David1

    What a bloody great article…I dips me lid to you sir.

  2. David1

    I dips my lid to you sir! Superb summing up of the shambles commonly masquerading as a PM. Great article Peter thanks.

  3. Kronomex

    It’s all just a matter of time before His Sereness Malcolm of the Trembles is replaced. Replaced with what is going to be the big question.

  4. johno

    Malcolm in the middle… comes to mind. Good article, thanks.

  5. Ricardo29

    I like the confidence that KK will trounce Alexander, hope it’s justified. It really would be great if the electors of New England threw Mr Tomato Face under a passing grain truck. For now I am reassured at polling which seems to indicate a drop in support for PHON in Qld. and a return of Labor, hope that doesn’t scare the horses.

  6. Harry

    MT does not appear to have a coherent idea of what he wants to achieve, beyond remaining PM. That means that he has more positions than a weathervane, no real conviction on what he stands for.

  7. jim

    Get a load of the “un biased” courier mail qld, front page but well hidden on line eg.
    eg.headlines …” regions reject ALP in the south east” and “Labor un leashes four new Taxes in six minutes”
    of course very light on detail .

  8. 1petermcc

    Thanks David1. It feels to me like a radical shift is coming so I thought I’d better publish ahead of whatever is coming.

  9. jim

    If we don’t ban foreign donations our democracy goes down the drain.

  10. 1petermcc

    Yep. Kronomex. Tony got the boot because he couldn’t deliver and Malcolm is doing a pretty fair Tony impression. The only bit he misses out on is sounding more articulate than Tony. The rest he has down pat.

    He got the job by promising to run Tony’s agenda so the Party really can’t complain. I expect a clean skin running the same crap, but being jetted in at the last minute so they can pretend there has been change. I guess it could work, but I bloody well hope not.

  11. 1petermcc

    Ta Johno. MT doesn’t seem to realise that once you get the Leader’s job you have to “put a bit of stick about” in the Libs. Otherwise you get run down.

  12. 1petermcc

    Hi Ricardo29. KK is a good operator and knows where the Libs have buried the bodies in NSW. I was amazed Malcolm thought attacking her over ICAC was a good idea. Whoever is running strategy needs a bit more vision. I would have thought the best line would have been a possible challenger to Bill Shorten. That wouldn’t save Alexander but it might have helped in the next Federal election.

    On Barnaby, he is very lucky the water corruption hasn’t blown up yet. He is bound to have fiddled the books and is not smart enough to hide his tracks.

  13. 1petermcc

    I think you are right Harry. He doesn’t stand for anything which actually shocked me. Usually there is an agenda that emerges.

  14. Matters Not

    Jim re your comment:

    … we don’t ban foreign donations our …

    What is your definition of foreign donations? Does it include donations in kind – like the payment of cars, buses, workers and so on. Does it include editorial endorsements in the MSM owned by foreign nationals? If not, then why not?

    Seems to me that the MSM can make or break a political campaign. What with fake news and the like – we need to consider to what extent we allow foreigners to determine political outcomes that go far beyond the payment of monies.

  15. 1petermcc

    That is a huge problem Jim. Don’t know how that gets fixed unless an ethical pollie comes along. The other one that really gets up my nose is walking out of a Minister’s job, and into a role at a company they awarded a contract to. And they don’t even care how bad that looks.

  16. Möbius Ecko

    Some on social media have foreboded a large terrorism scare down the track. As they have coincided with significant dips in past polls, my money is on a massive AFP/Border Force operation before the 30th negative poll for Turnbull, especially since it appears his personal tax cuts promise mostly flopped with some right wing media questioning its fidelity.

    He has nothing left in the kitty but the one usually successful trump card of security/terrorism.

  17. Matters Not

    ME, a terror scare requires the co-operation of Dutton who has much to gain from the demise of Turnbull. But Dutton would perhaps like to celebrate the creation of his new super department with an all State raid on multiple Islamic terror cells. Imaginary ones will do.

  18. margcal

    I think it was on AIMN that someone mentioned the Australian book “Game of Mates : how favours bleed the nation” / Cameron K Murray and Paul Frijters.
    I’ve borrowed it from my local library, read four chapters so far and already sick to the stomach. Mind you, there’s not much that comes as news to people who wander into this establishment. I’m hoping some solutions will be suggested but so far it’s more like “the horse has bolted – not much can be done”.
    It’s not looking good.

  19. Terry2

    We have a government telling us that they don’t need the scheduled parliamentary sitting next week as they only have one piece of legislation to discuss before the summer break (marriage equality).

    Yet we have this enormous elephant in the room over political donations and in particular from overseas businesses. Did that Chinese business man just want an invite to dinner with the PM for his $40,000 donation or does he expect favours from the LNP ?

    It was Malcolm Turnbull who said that the Coalition would introduce new laws to reform the system of political payments before the end of the year, what happened to that deadline.

  20. Glenn Barry

    Malcolm’s performance in this is magnificent, even if he didn’t have anything to hide it sure looks like he was concealing something

    His liberal use of vowels in the press conference didn’t make it into the official transcript on his website

  21. Kyran

    With regard to the ‘political donations’, is it too naïve to just restrict donations to those on the Electoral Rolls? The politicians and their parties won’t like it (diddums), but aren’t the voters the only ones who should have such sway? As for reporting, there was this from the Queensland election coverage;

    “Under federal rules, we have to wait months to find out who donated more than $13,000 to the parties.
    But in Queensland, new rules mean that any donation above $1,000 must be declared within seven days.”

    It’s well worth a look.
    From your comment at 5.52, 24/11;
    “Don’t know how that gets fixed unless an ethical pollie comes along. The other one that really gets up my nose is walking out of a Minister’s job, and into a role at a company they awarded a contract to.”
    It doesn’t just apply to pollies, and there are solutions.

    “In short, transitions from regulator leadership to banking leadership should be discouraged. The optics are not kind.
    There is no doubt that those mentioned above have given loyal and successful service to the Government and, by extension, to taxpayers.
    They are highly qualified and experienced individuals who can make significant and profitable contributions in private sector finance.
    And this is why the law should be changed to prevent senior public servants working for private sector firms that they previously had any role in overseeing.
    At the very least, transitions from the upper echelons of the regulatory complex to the upper echelons of private finance should be delayed by a minimum of five years.
    After all, the private sector imposes non-compete clauses on departing executives, so why not the public service?”

    Thank you Mr McCarthy and commenters. “Ethical pollie”, now that’s funny. Take care

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