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Malcolm and the Malcontents eight years on

In November 2009, Four Corners aired a program called Malcolm and the Malcontents.

At the time, Malcolm Turnbull was leader of the Liberal party but his support for an ETS was being challenged by Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and Cory Bernardi who feature in the program.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had ominously identified climate change as “one of the great moral, economic and environmental challenges of our age.”

Malcolm Turnbull passionately stated that he would “not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.”

Three weeks later, Turnbull was gone.

The program is a must watch and should be compulsory viewing for every parliamentarian. Eight years on and the situation is the same, the players are the same, and the misinformation continues.

To watch it, click on the following link and then click on play in the top left corner under the title.

If you prefer, you can read the transcript here.

You won’t be disappointed. The similarities with today are uncanny.

As you listen or read, pay particular attention to Barnaby Joyce’s role in all this.

Move on to a Guardian article from 2012. Same people bleating on.

Many of the climate sceptics, influential in elevating Tony Abbott to Coalition leader, say they see nothing to convince them that human activity is causing the climate to change.

”It is an indulgent and irrelevant debate because, even if climate change turns out to exist one day, we will have absolutely no impact on it whatsoever … we really should have bigger fish to fry than this one,” Senator Joyce said.

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi, formerly Mr Abbott’s parliamentary secretary, said: ”I do not think human activity causes climate change and I haven’t seen anything that changes my view. I remain very sceptical about the alarmists’ claims.”

When Warren Truss was considering retiring, there was a significant number of the Nationals Party room who wanted “anyone but Barnaby.”

Mr Joyce has been accused by those within the Nationals of being a “grandstander”, of needing complex information in a small number of dot points and not putting in enough hard work. Others love him as a “retail politician” — able to cut through with one-liners.

Jumping ahead to April 2017, and Barnaby Joyce expressed ‘surprise’ when the NSW Young Nationals backed a resolution for an emissions intensity scheme.

Barnaby dismissively responded saying “I had lots of ideas when I was starting off in the National Party, too. And some of them change over time, like John Maynard Keynes [said], ‘As I get new information, I change my mind. What do you do?'”

I see no sign of evidence ever changing Barnaby’s mind.

The EIS proposal has the support of the Labor Party, National Farmers Federation, Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, Origin Energy, BHP Billiton, EnergyAustralia, the Australian Energy Market Commission, Senator Nick Xenophon, as well as the Young Nationals and others.

How come Barnaby, with Abbott and Bernardi shouting from the rear seat, STILL get to say no?

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  1. Andrew Moran

    In spite of his claim, Barnaby’s next idea will be his first.

  2. Frank Smith

    Kaye Lee, these are hard-core denying denailist deniers – no amount of logic or rational argument will ever persuade them otherwise. I have rarely found any glimpse of logic in the nonsense our “esteemed” Deputy Prime Minister spouts. The tragedy is that this small cabal of irrational beings are holding the country and all of its people to ransom on this issue and many others due solely to the fact that we have somehow been landed with a powerless Prime Minister unable to show any semblance of leadership.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the High Court disagrees with Barnaby regarding his eligibility for the seat of New England and a by-election results in Tony Windsor representing that seat? Ohhh, what a deliciously mischievous thought.

  3. pierre wilkinson

    Now watch as they slip and slide and demur and blame Labor, whilst still insulting the intelligence of the voters.

  4. Denzil Inness.

    If the Law is to be respected then there should be no changes whatsoever,, these Bastards know what they are doing,why is the Law not being observed by them-kick them out “NO DUAL CITZENSHIPS IN PARLIAMENT TO REPRESENT THE VOTERS-Section 44 of the Constitution. Otherwise hand the country over to the Taliban or Muslims.

  5. Matters Not

    The much vaunted slippery slope is now manifest. When the two Greens came out they admitted their error – unintended as it was – and resigned. Nevertheless Turnbull was quick to pounce.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sledged the minor party for being “incredibly sloppy” in losing two senators for Constitutional breaches.

    Then came Senator Canavan whose supposed ignorance re his Italian citizenship was somewhat dodgy. Yes he resigned from Cabinet (all the time protesting his innocence) but still remained a Senator, accepting all the ongoing entitlements (presumably confident that the Government would not move to reclaim his illegal payments). The rot began. Next was Malcolm Roberts, (the PHONy who specialises in empirical evidence.) His argument was somewhat ‘novel’, claiming because of his belief he wasn’t a British citizen, then he wasn’t. QED. But the rot continued.

    Now we have the Member for New England (or is he?). His decision to remain in Cabinet as well as Deputy Prime Minister suggests that the rot is now somewhat putrid. Indeed it now infects the whole body politic. Yet Turnbull simply holds his nose and carries on. Seems that they are out on unconditional bail. The rule of law is ignored

    Fact is the modern day Don Quixote and his Sancho Panza are without legal garments. Can’t even claim ignorance of the law.

  6. guest

    Kaye, these deniers who have learned nothing over time do not want to make the effort. We had the same thing with Pyne and all the documents he never bothered to read, such as Gonski – and he claimed he “fixed it” but it was not clear what it was he fixed.

    Bananaby is the same. We have to speak garble in order to understand him.

    And Bernardi has seen nothing to make him change his mind because he has not looked. He is happy with his own ignorance. I have never heard him say anything which suggests he understands anything about Climate Change.

    And of course Abbott is the great destroyer. He is petrified that Climate Change is bigger than he thinks he is. He keeps lying and promising and ducking and weaving in order to avoid providing a target. Hopefully, his own electorate will see him disappear.

  7. Kronomex

    What’s the bet that Empty-Headed Animal Food Trough Wiper Barnaby is magically exonerated? Don’t forget that THE FIXER will fix everything and Barmybee will be free to continue to have new ideas and continue ruining the country along with the rest of the Carnival of the Insane.

  8. Matters Not

    Joyce, his legal standing re the past, present and future will be at the mercy of these 7 High Court Judges.

    They are not for the fixing. Politicians of any stripe would be well advised not to try.

    (But I wish they would. Then they would realise what the separation of powers is all about.)

    Turnbull is all BS

  9. Michael Taylor

    Brandis says that s44 doesn’t apply to Joyce.

    So according to the country’s most senior lawyer … his mate Barnaby is above the law.

    I can’t say I like Brandis much. Can’t say I like him at all, actually.

  10. Jack Straw

    Go back home Kiwi Joyce ! lol

  11. Owen

    The constitution seems clear enough..Ignorance yes …he too can blame his parents for without them …

  12. Matters Not

    re Brandis and the government’s ‘legal advice’. Note that it’s sourced from the relatively ‘new’ Solicitor-General and not the Attorney-General. Note also the previous Solicitor-General (Justin Gleeson) resigned because of disagreements with Brandis. At the time note also:

    Sir Anthony Mason QC was solicitor-general in the 1960s, before being appointed to the High Court in 1972 and serving as its chief justice for more than eight years.

    His opinion was that Senator Brandis’ interpretation of the Act, which sets out the solicitor-general’s powers, and claiming all requests for advice must come through him, was a “bit of a stretch”.

    Yes a bit of a stretch. So we have a current Solicitor-General whose position resulted directly from several actions undertaken by Brandis. Was a ‘debt’ of sorts created? One must question the independence of the Solicitor-General. Sad that it’s come to this. Not a good look. Independent advice should also be seen to be independent.

    That’s also a bit of a stretch.

    BTW, when it comes to sound legal advice – stay away from Brandis. His track record is abysmal. His expertise lies in the purchase of rather large bookshelves.


    Joyce will just blame Labor and the Greenies. 😉

  14. Matters Not

    So Joyce referred himself to the High Court. Note, this referral didn’t come from the House of Representatives, or the Senate nor the Government. It came from Barnaby himself. Seems to me that referred himself is clearly a matter of his choosing. He has a personal stake in the outcome. Financially, it could cost him heaps in lost future earnings, superannuation – and so on. There’s heaps of dollars involved.

    But what about the cost of the legal action itself. The High Court with all its 7 Judges, associates and the like does not come cheaply. Who is responsible for that cost? Who should bear responsibility for a legal action that was personally launched?

    As an aside. Once upon a time there was a Premier called Joh. He was sued often and because his actions were in the course of his ‘duties’, he was entitled to a state funded legal defence. Indeed any damages were also funded by the state. Fair enough. But Joh himself also liked to sue. The problem was that while he expected the state to fund his expenses, he also liked to claim any resulting compensation. I think it’s called – having it both ways. So that loophole was eventually closed. No longer – heads I win – tails you lose.

    So is Barnaby entitled to be represented by the SG? Remember it’s his action – not the HoR’s, the Senate’s nor the Government’s. It’s all down to Barnaby. So who pays?

    No doubt, the MSM will tell us in the immediate future after doing an in depth analysis? Which hopefully will go beyond regurgitating a government press release. But probably not.

  15. Matters Not

    So what ethical perspective should be brought to bear here (opposed to be bought to bear which seems to be the normal basis for political actions and justifications)? Should we be concerned with intentions (deontological ethics) or outcomes (teleological ethics)? Should we be concerned with the right and wrong or more concerned with the good and bad?

    Or perhaps the good Judges in the High Court will become situational ethicists and risk their historical reputation(s)? Either way – it’s a risk.

    Conservatives normally don’t want an ‘activist’ Court. (Just do what the Constitutions ‘says’.) But not always. I’m tipping a split decision.

  16. Matters Not

    Then there’s the issue of allegiance to a foreign nation. And I suppose there’s also the degree re any allegiance.

    Erica (Abetz) tonight raised the issue of a theoretical war between nations. (Actually I thought he did rather well.)

    My mind immediately focussed on our (supposed) war on tax evasion? If the Caymans became a ‘war’ target, where would Malcom’s allegiance be? Perhaps there might be a conflict of interest?

  17. Matters Not

    Still watching Q&A and just saw Sam intellectually f*ck Erica. History and all that came home to bite. Erica was reminded of his past statements.

    (KL, sorry for the distraction, but I know you are of the view that your postings are there for the purpose of discussion starters.)

  18. Matters Not

    While I think that it’s reasonable to change the rules, I think it’s dodgy to do so in retrospect. Particularly when the forces that be are only motivated when it effects and affects them and their positions.. Then again, Malcolm stresses the need to be flexible in an ever-changing world.

    I suspect that Peter Dutton could solve such problems in an instant. LOL.

    Another argument to make Peter Dutton the next PM? (Just jokin ..)

  19. paul walter

    Had not Labor started its infighting, this lot would have been consigned to the trash can of history. Myopic, shallow, vain, selfish Rudd, Gillard; the lot of them.

  20. townsvilleblog

    There should be no change of rules, either you are committed 100% to Australia or you are not. If you are not, don’t bother running for the federal parliament. The Greens Senators did the right thing, but Barnaby must also go along with the other National Party former Minister.

  21. Kronomex

    The vile and putrefying corpse at the heart of Australian politics, i.e. the LNP, has sunk to a new, through the bottom of the barrel, low by all but accusing the opposition of treason about Joyce. Magically, after barely 24 hours, he’s no longer a New Zealand citizen…what a surprise. Now of course Turnbull and the rest of his gang of maggots will now seek revenge for the awful slight against Barnaby.

  22. Matters Not

    The story keeps changing. Now it’s the Speaker Tony Smith who referred Joyce’s situation to the High Court and not Joyce himself who made that claim originally. Much more credible.

    Today we also know that Joyce’s renunciation is but days old – even the paperwork is yet to arrive. A by-election is almost certain and I suspect it will be called as soon as possible. I also suspect that Labor is not completely clean either. Supposedly 7 Labor Members are accused and not one has produced the required documentation – presumably because if one does then they all must if credibility is to be sustained. One wonders who is the possible weak link or indeed – if there is more than one. This could blow up in their face.

  23. Glenn Barry

    The behaviour of the climate deniers is perfectly rational given that they are undeclared lobbyists for fossil fuel industries.
    Their continued belief in being able to use fossil fuels indefinitely is truly deranged and delusional however – that’s where the danger lies

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