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Malcolm Turnbull: “It’s Just A Flesh Wound…”

Update: After writing this, I noticed that both the ABC and The Australian are reporting that they “understand” that the deal is going ahead. I do note that the Whitehouse didn’t mention it in their press release, and there was no official announcement from Australia. Ok, good, I’m happy to say that I was wrong about the deal going ahead and that’s a good thing… Unless someone’s just “leaked” this to them in the hope that we’ll all breathe a sigh and forget all about it so that Turnbull won’t have to say that we didn’t get any agreement from Trump. And whenever this is brought up in the future, then the response will be checks are still underway, because in nearly four years, there hasn’t been enough time to check them out yet.

Recently, a number of people have suggested that Turnbull was the worst PM since Billy McMahon, which long-time apologist for the Liberal Party, David Flint, suggested was terribly unfair because there’s no way Billy would have done some of the things that Malcolm’s doing…

McMahon – for those of you too young to remember – became our leader when Gorton failed to get a majority in the spill and used his casting vote to resign. With ears that would put Tony Abbott to shame and a capacity to put his foot in it that would make Barnaby blush, one of Billy’s best moments came in the ’72 election campaign when he told voters that after examining all the facts, he was sure that they’d all vote for the Labor Party. Ok, he quickly corrected himself, but he may have been better not to and claimed that as a rare moment of political honesty in Australia. Billy was nicknamed “the Leak” by various journalists, and not because he needed to urinate frequently.

Whatever, it’s rather embarrassing for a man such as Turnbull to be compared to McMahon. It’s sort of the opposite of when people say, “This is the best thing since sliced bread!” Mm, what was the best thing before sliced bread? And who would there be to compare Turnbull to, if McMahon hadn’t had those glorious couple of years ensuring Whitlam’s victory? Malcolm Bligh Turnbull worst Australian leader since his namesake, Governor Bligh, who was the only Australian leader deposed by a rebellion. The Rum Rebellion was January 26th… Now there’s something we could all celebrate on January 26th: getting rid of an out-of-touch arrogant leader! Anybody want to suggest it to the Liberals?

All right, I know that some of you will have alternative facts on Bligh’s removal and suggest that – as with Whitlam – it was the ruling elite who removed him and we could be here all day when all I wanted to do was defend poor Malcolm who has been bravely continuing on in the face of reality.

Yes, Malcolm assured us that there’s no need to abandon the TPP just because the USA and Japan have called it dead, Mexico will be ultra-keen when Trump imposes that twenty percent tariff. And China! Maybe China could step and do what the US was going to do and reap all the benefits by allowing their companies all sort of access to our markets in return for Australians being allowed to sell three extra blocks of cheese a week and all the Vegemite that China requires!

For most people, that would be enough. Most people can only ask us to believe in one impossible thing a week, but Malcolm is telling us that he’s “confident” that Trump will honour the refugee deal and resettle asylum seekers from Manus and Nauru, even though visa-holding non-refugees with family in the US have been stopped at the border if they’re from certain designated countries.

Interestingly, Saudi Arabia was not one of the countries on the no-fly list… Is no-fly list the right term here? Because unless one believes the various conspiracy theories on 9/11 – it was Israel/the CIA/Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone – then wasn’t it mainly Saudi nationals who took flying lessons and asked for a discount because they didn’t need to learn how to land?

So, Malcolm will ring Donald today and argue that the US should take them!

Why? Because well, we can’t! No, no it’s not because we’re worried that they’re a security threat. No, no, not at all, we’ve been holding them in an off-shore detention centre… No, not like Guantanamo Bay…Well, yes a bit like that… but not because they’ve done anything wrong – apart from try to come to Australia. No, it’s because letting them come here would send the wrong message to people smugglers if we were to resettle them in a nice country like Australia… but taking them to the US, well that’s not something that would incentivise people to make the dangerous journey by boat. Look, it’s just a favour. Can you take them? Come on, we took those ones from Central America and you were going to take these ones! That was the deal even though we said that it wasn’t… We made this deal with Obama and… Hello? hello? Can you get, Mr Trump back on the line? We seem to have been cut off.

But like the TPP – where the Coalition was so confident that they didn’t do any modelling – and everyone having access to the NBN by 2016 and cutting back the debt, Malcolm is confident. I hope he does manage to persuade The T-Rump, but somehow I think we have more chance of Barnaby Joyce giving some sensible advice on housing or a One Nation senator admitting that there’s an area where they’re not an expert so they’d like some advice.

Speaking of cutting back the debt, did anyone notice that Mr Morrison will be raising debt ceiling past $500 billion, telling us: “Despite the debt and deficit legacy we inherited as a government we continue to make progress in getting the growth in government expenditure under control and arresting the growth in Commonwealth debt, which is still well below that of many comparable and other AAA rated economies.”

While yes, I agree with his assertion that we’re still below many comparable, triple A economies, it does seem a strange thing to suggest that you’re making progress when all you’re doing is boasting about reducing the rate of growth in expenditure. That means it’s still growing. It’s like saying, “Yes, doctor, I haven’t reduced my drinking, but I’ve slowed down the rate at which I’m increasing it! Surely that’s impressive. If I’d keep up last year’s rate, I’d have been drinking a bottle of scotch and two bottles of wine by 2020, by at this rate it’ll take me till 2022 to get there.”

Let’s just ignore that Labor had gone through the GFC and many of the items that were causing the increase in expenditure were arguably good ideas which would have produced economic benefits in the longer term like Gonksi, the NBN and the NDIS. Compare that with submarines, planes that don’t fly, helicopter flights and running an offshore detention centre where nobody’s quite sure who authorised the spending of a billion dollars, but someone must have because we spent it, so what’s the big deal?


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  1. Jaquix

    I know, its just exhausting having such a weak. backward thinking, warring within themselves, government. Where is Newspoll when you want them? Hiding in the bushes it seems. Essential last Monday had the 2PP as 56 to Labor, 46 to Turnbull & Co. Ever trending downwards but we have to endure them for another two plus years?

  2. brickbob

    Thanks for a good and funny article,and i have never seen an Australian Govt this bad and corrupt and devoid of any rational plan for the Nation, Abbott was and is a total idiot but at least you knew what he was up to most of the time and i suspect the voters would have kicked him out at the last election if he was still PM.
    Turnbull is a fish in a different kettle and if he is still PM by the end of the year i will be applying for Canadian citizenship.”””

  3. king1394

    Great to remember Billy McMahon. I particularly recall that he attempted a V for Victory sign but unfortunately had his hand turned the wrong way so that it was ‘Up yours!”

  4. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Roswell, Lovely!

  5. Kaye Lee

    DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!

    ARTHUR: Well, I AM king…

    DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An’ how’d you get that, eh? By exploitin’ the workers — by ‘angin’ on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an’ social differences in our society! ….If there’s ever going to be any progress–

  6. Ella Miller

    A very enjoyable read…loved the clip…death by a thousand cuts.
    The sad thing is that MT does not realise that the people he is supposed to the “leader” of are also dying from a thousand cuts.

  7. jim

    And you can bet odds on that when Labor get elected the media political stories will began in earnest the very next day, with a “spending like drunken yobs” and ‘completely lost control of law and order” and “labor supporting the terrorist” with a “kick this mob out now” all front page news in bold headings.

    As for “LNP the better economic managers”…..According to the International Monetary Fund, the Howard/Costello government was the most profligate in Australia for the last 50 years. Indeed, while the mining boom was gathering pace they cut taxes so far and so fast that they forced the Reserve Bank of Australia to rapidly increase interest rates.

  8. Roswell

    Kate, mistaking me with Rossleigh is a criminal offence. ?

  9. Kate Ahearne

    Roswell, OMG! And it’s not the first time I’ve done that! My sincerest apologies to both of you.

  10. Roswell

    You don’t need to apologise to Rossleigh. He wouldn’t have been offended by the mistake. He’ll probably print out your comment and frame it on his wall. One day he’ll be telling his grandkids that he was once mistaken for the great Roswell.

  11. Roswell

    Hmm, he’s probably told them already. Ten times.

  12. Kate Ahearne

    You’re both very funny. Does my heart good.

  13. rossleighbrisbane

    Just as long I’m not mistaken for Malcolm Turnbull!

  14. James Mason

    On Australia Day .. Maybe we could change the date to whatever the day is when we become Australia, ie. when we cut ties to Great Britain and become a sovereign nation ..
    or would this indicate that people who are afraid/resolved/conditioned to hang onto GB are not sufficiently aware/grown-up/adult/confident or able to make decisions for themselves (or the nation in the case of politicians)???

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    Neoliberal’s narrow thinking of believing all government spending leads to debt which in their eyes is wasteful and unnecessary, taking from profits in the corporate world.

    They fail to see in government one often as to pay to make money, as they believe in business.
    This is not debt but investment in the county that in the end saves money.

    The stupid part is that the corporate world is the biggest benefactors of money spent.

    In return for paying a fair share of taxes they are provided with infrastructure both physical and human needed for their businesses to be sucessful/

    Through money spent on health and education, they gain a healthy, educated and skilled workforce.

    They are provide with roads, ports along with energy operate.

  16. Möbius Ecko

    Without going back to an ancient Day-to-Day on Australian politics I’ll go off topic here about Gladys Berejiklian, the new Premier of NSW and our ABC.

    This is probably just a NSW thing and I wonder if anyone else has here from NSW has noticed it, but from the moment Berejiklian was selected as Premier to replace Baird, being the only running candidate, ABC radio and TV have been saturating the airwaves and online media with stories about her, all positive with not a single item about her political past and ties to the terrible power broker Michael Photios.

    I’ve never seen the ABC advantageously saturate cover a new leader like this before without the slightest reproval, especially when there are questions on her shaky political past, ministerial failures and connections to extreme right wing brokers to answer.

  17. Peter F

    @James Mason ‘ie. when we cut ties to Great Britain and become a sovereign nation ..’ AND when we are able to to have as our head of state someone from our indigenous Australian population.

  18. helvityni

    Möbius Ecko , Berejiklian has announced that Rob Stokes will take over the education portfolio from Adrian Piccoli. Is this because Piccoli is a Gonski scheme supporter ?

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    Was asked question about Photios this morning. At least she is doing what Turnbull should have done. Drawing a line under Baird. Stamping her own agenda on the NSW government.

  20. Dyve

    And then there was Billy’s photo op – with Billy pictured directly below an EXIT sign….. those were the days!

  21. Kaye Lee

    That is a great shame that Piccoli has been dumped. I was speaking to a high school principal who fervently hoped that wouldn’t happen. NSW educators had respect for him but I guess that matters not in these days of power plays. We reward the imcompetents and punish those who have been strong advocates. Bad start Gladys.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Hmmmm…perhaps Gladys had to get Stokes out of the Planning Minister role.

    “The NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, has blamed negative gearing tax breaks for worsening housing affordability in Sydney, and declared the supply of new dwellings alone will not make property affordable for those who need it.

    “Why should you get a tax deduction on the ownership of a multimillion dollar holiday home that does nothing to improve supply where it’s needed?”

    “We should not be content to live in a society where it’s easy for one person to reduce their taxable contribution to schools, hospitals and other critical government services – through generous federal tax exemptions and the ownership of multiple properties – while a generation of working Australians finds it increasingly difficult to buy one property to call home,”

  23. Henry Rodrigues

    Despite all the flattering stories and effusive adulation by the ABC, led by breathless on the spot commentary by Brigid Glanville, the reporter assigned to this great smooch coverage, and of course the eerie silence by the MSM and the studious and careful avoidance of any criticism of our lovely Gladys and, her marital status, unlike the inquisition suffered by Julia Gillard, and the fact that our lovely Gladys is a well established property investor, she does serve one purpose, to take the spotlight off that useless person who imagines he is the PM of this unlucky country. As useless as tits on a bull, apologies to the bull for guilt by association.

  24. Rossleigh

    Update: At the top of the article.

  25. Kaye Lee

    That is what I am hearing too Rossleigh but I am wondering what will be asked in return – warships in the South China Sea? Troops in Syria? A missile base on Cape York?

  26. 2Bob

    My first response, “the art of the deal ” Trump respects torture, and he had Turnbull over a barrel on this issue! So just what did our brave captain promise Trump? Abbott did
    Murdochs bidding by nobbling the NBN for Foxtel’s copper wires sale, Turnbull probably offered to fight China with one arm tied behind his back and rename the LNP the Republican party of Australia. Trump won’t be able to keep a great sucker deal a secret for long so watch The Australian for another pooper scoop!

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