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The Polls, Conspiracy theory, Nat’s new leader and of course Barnaby.

Tuesday 27 February 2018

1 And so it came to pass that Barnaby Joyce resigned and was replaced by Michael McCormack as leader of the National Party, a party that receives far fewer votes than Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party but in fact rules the nation on major issues via a signed agreement giving them control of water flows from the Murray Darling and insists that the Prime Minister turns his previous held beliefs on Climate Change, upside down.

Now before I go on may I address those who were so critical of my Barnaby Joyce pieces last week. I plead not guilty of what you accuse me.

I only ever said that his personal life was his own other than when personal actions became adhered to his role as a minister and thus his character was tarnished. We are entitled to question a leader’s character.

For me the following also effected his character and is what I questioned. The fact is he was never qualified for the job and his actions prove it.

1 The misuse of public money – perhaps to conduct an affair.

2 Murray Darling water theft.

3 Strategic Inland Rail property purchases.

4 Alternating Hansard record.

5 Donor relationships and free gifts.

6 The relocation of a government department into his own electorate.

2 My thanks to those good followers of The AIMN who read and commented on my post “At the risk of repeating myself … it’s about our bloody democracy” yesterday. Yes, it was a trifle long and next time I write at that length I will post in two parts. It is though a subject and dear to my heart. I don’t believe our politics can go forward until we look again at out democracy.

3 A fellow Catholic will join the Prime Minister as our two leaders. Yes, Michael McCormack is set to take over the National’s leadership. Apparently David Littleproud was just a few MPs short of winning support, but the big man from the extreme-right George Christensen stood. God only knows why.

But the getting rid of Joyce ploy may have been one of the best planned moves in Australian political history. Someone sent me the following. I cannot vouch for the varacity iof it. Even a google search cannot trace its origins but it does have a ring of truth about it.

“This whole thing was very well planned by Turnbull and his team to get rid of Barnaby Joyce, Oh how he acted the part well during the by election for Joyce’s seat so he wouldn’t lose his slim hold on the numbers, they all knew then abt. Barnaby and his affair but kept it quiet so did the media, amazing soon as the seat was secure all hell broke loose and the moral man Turnbull rose to the occasion, nothing other than a power game by Turnbull and his team to get rid of Joyce and gain control of the Nats.”

As dear old Winston said; “In politics the real enemy is behind you. On the same side as you.”

4 I’m still having my weekly battle with the polls. This week we have a ReachTEL poll that gives Labor an 8 point lead 54/48. And if they had used the preferences as per the last election it would have been 55.5-44.5. Which is an 11 point lead which to me given the state of play is accurate.

However, having said that these types of polls are a little dodgy so one cannot be totality accurate. It is though “the Coalition’s worst result from that pollster this term, showing Labor with a two-party lead of 54-46, out from 52-48 at the previous poll on January 25. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down a point to 33%, Labor is up one to 37%, the Greens are up one to 11% and One Nation are down one to 7%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead on the forced response preferred prime minister question is 53-47, down from 54-46. The poll was conducted on Thursday, the evening before Barnaby Joyce’s resignation: it found 57% thought he should indeed resign, against 32% who thought he should remain.”

ReachTEL poll for Sky News Commentary from The Poll Bludger.

5 Who is Michael McCormack, the man who will replace Barnaby Joyce? Michael McCormick is the man who once penned a shocking homophobic tirade against gay people in a newspaper article. Before we pass judgment I must say that that was over 20 years ago and perhaps his attitude softened in the interim.

However, McCormack was sacked from The Daily Advertiser in February 2002. In response, more than 20 journalists, photographers and other editorial staff staged a 24-hour walkout. McCormack went on to sue the Riverina Media Group for unfair dismissal, and in 2003 settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

“Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay.”

Graham Richardson writing in Monday’s Australian said:

“It is hard to think of a more unworthy winner: Michael McCormack has achieved nothing as a minister and is a question time non-event.”

So who indeed is Michael McCormack? He is a man with country blood, he spent his early life growing up in Wagga Wagga NSW on farms. He started work as a Cadet Journalist with the local paper and became its editor at 27. He entered parliament in 2010 when he won the seat of Riverina taking it from the retiring Kay Hull.

He has held various junior ministries and is currently Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel.

As small business minister he apologised.

“I have grown and learned not only to tolerate but to accept all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, or any other trait or feature which makes each of us different and unique,” he said.

It was as Small Business Minister that he oversaw the placing of census data online. Labor described it as the “worst-run Census in the history of Australia”.

Other than that there is not a lot to say about the man other than there is not a lot to say about the man. With apologies to Mr McCormack, Australia simply has to do better. His credentials for the second top job in the nation are mediocre at best.

My thought for the day

“In the recipe of good leadership there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It however ranks far below getting things done for the common good.”

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  1. Miriam English

    Regarding McCormack’s supposed change of view about gays, I can’t think of any emotionally held view from 20 years ago that I don’t still hold with similar intensity. I’ve updated a lot of my knowledge on a great many things, but my hates and loves remain. I find it extremely difficult to believe that an extreme homophobe can so easily see the light and become all lovey-dovey and tolerant. It seems much more likely that he simply learned when to voice his hate and when to pretend tolerance.

    Another thing that’s known about McCormack: he’s a climate change denier. So he’s either a crook, or ignorant. Neither is a good quality for deputy dawg.

  2. johno

    As a newbi to the machinations of politics (my understanding of it all is still severely limited). I am/was shocked to find out this system where a national party member automatically becomes deputy PM. This really is a joke.

  3. Terry2

    You may recall that Malcolm Turnbull ordered a departmental investigation into whether Barnaby Joyce breached the ministerial code of conduct – but his departmental head has now canned the inquiry on the basis that there is “little to be gained” now that the former Nationals leader has moved to the backbench.

    If there was a suggestion of wrongdoing by Joyce requiring investigation while he was still Deputy PM surely you cannot abandon the investigation when he quits : that’s not how the law works.

    What happens when the National Party decide to bring Joyce back into the fold and give him a ministerial portfolio or a return to leadership when we still haven’t resolved these allegations ?

    By the way, it seems that questions asked on this site may have provoked action on the protection racket surrounding Border Force head Roman Quaedvlieg, who has been on paid leave since May last year following allegations of wrongdoing on his part. Home Affairs Department secretary Mike Pezzullo sheepishly revealed yesterday to a Senate Committee that the Quaedvlieg case had been shuffled through several sets of hands and two enquiries without any action having been taken to either terminate him or reinstate him. In the meantime Quaedvlieg has been on full pay of $619,905 a year. As usual, Peter Dutton has sat on his hands and done nothing and now, finally, Attorney-General Christian Porter has been called on to resolve the matter.

    Congratulations to AIMN contributors for their ongoing scrutiny of this corrupt government : this is why we need a federal ICAC.

  4. Kaye Lee


    The same thing happened with Michael Lawler, Kathy Jackson’s partner.

    “The Turnbull government intends to keep secret the report into former Fair Work Commission vice-president Michael Lawler’s epic sickie.
    Mr Lawler resigned from his $435,000-a-year job last week, a day before he was due to respond to an investigation into the 215 sick days he allegedly took to help his partner, disgraced union boss Kathy Jackson.

    The investigation by retired judge Peter Heerey was commissioned by Employment Minister Michaelia Cash last year after Mr Lawler allegedly took the time off to help Ms Jackson defend a lawsuit over theft from the Health Services Union.

    But Fairfax Media understands Ms Cash has decided to keep the report secret.

    It’s understood she believes that because the report was commissioned to help Parliament decide whether to expel him – and his resignation means that’s no longer an issue – there is no compelling reason to make it public.”

    Then Lawler decided to sue Cash only to withdraw the suit a few days later.

    Is it any wonder that the country has no direction when when spend so much time and money on things like hiding your diary and phone calls, or investigations into misuse of funds and position with no consequences, or paying to defend people who didn’t fill in their nomination forms correctly, or trying to hide pregnancies, or favours for donations etc etc etc.

    What about climate change, inequality, health, education, poverty, indigenous disadvantage, abuse of our most vulnerable, sustainability….

  5. Glenn Barry

    I am intrigued by the concept of Turnbull being intimately involved in the removal of Bribery Joyce, it was so patently obvious that instructions were issued by Murdoch and I didn’t think Trembles exerted influence into that domain.

    If it was truly Trembles then I’d say that Joyce likely has enough information to reveal his complicity and knowledge stretching much further back than Trembles has admitted. It will likely play out as yet another case of Maljudgement, short term success with ensuing lng term failure.

  6. Kronomex

    Pardon the aside: The Donald strikes again. Hopefully Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and others run with this –

    And the White House tries to dampen The Hairdo’s brain (what there is of a brain) fart –

    Miriam, “So he’s either a crook, or ignorant.” Both?
    I can see Joyce being put back in as the D.P.M. in about twelve months IF the LNP somehow manages to win at the election. Wait for the scandal to die down and fade out and it’s “Return of the Beetroot.”

  7. Diane Larsen

    As usual Kaye spot on comment I so enjoy this site and the contributers to it.

  8. Ricardo29

    I dislike Donald Trump intensely but I just had to laugh at his bullshit braggadocio around the boast that if he had been at the school shooting he’d have run in, even without a weapon. Thus proving how stupid as well as insensitive he is Then there is his claim that relations between the US and Australia have never been better. He, of course, wouldn’t remember lapdog Howard and Bush junior, or Harold Holt’s “all the way with LBJ” and he seems to have forgotten that less than a year ago he was bagging Malcolm out over the refugee exchange deal. If he wasn’t so powerful you’d laugh him off as a blundering buffoon. For Australia’s sake Malcolm needs to keep him at barge-pole length and as for inviting him to visit, well I hope that was just politeness not expected to be accepted. If he does come it will be time to man the barricades.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Oh the man who used “heel spurs” and doing a real estate course to avoid being drafted to serve in the Vietnam war was going to take the bad guys down. Yeah….right.

  10. paul walter

    Diane, you are so right. what Terry2 and Kaye Lee are discussing represent provocative breaches of government processes committed by arrogant and mentally unstable people.

  11. guest

    Kaye Lee @8:40am

    You are so right about what occupies the minds of the Coalition while they ignore the really big issues. It reminds me of what excites the mind of Murdoch’s Janet Albrechtsen at present. She is apparently enamoured with the teachings of a Canadian psychologist named Jordan Petersen, who according to Janet is “driving the left bonkers with his liberatarianism.”

    Petersen, you might remember, was mentioned on QandA last night with regard to female wages compared to male wages. Janet has kindly offered to give a summary of 6 of Petersen’s 12 points in his new book “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.”

    #1. ‘…listening to those we disagree with is a truly revolutionary message [especially for Janet]…and builds knowledge the Socratic way, by listening and testing ideas [except, of course, Janet, if anyone is talking about Climate Change or how drip-down economics has no evidence] …the greatness of Western civilisation …[unless one is poor]…the demise of religion has left a vacuum …[filled by socialism and moral relativism, apparently]…and on the gender pay gap…’Women want strong and competent men”.’

    You get the picture. Big strong entrepreneurial neo-liberal chappies.

    #2. ‘…free speech…Canadian Human Rights Act and… making it illegal to use the wrong pronouns [who would do that?]… the state telling you what say, the state has crossed the line into forced speech… [how about telling you what not to say – such as Turnbull not allowing Alberici to say there is no evidence of success in trickle-down economics?]

    The Right loves “free speech” – their own but not that of others.

    #3. ” good at getting his message across…He uses our most important stories from history, psychology, neuroscience, mythology, poetry and the Bible [but not if the story is about Climate Change, destruction of the environment or the failings of capitalism – just a lot of pirated Darwinism and Biblical mythology]

    #4. “Face your problems with honesty, he says. Choose friends who are good for you. Pursue what is meaningful rather than what’s expedient…” [just like the Coalition, eh?]

    #5. ” fix what you can at home for if we all did this there would be fewer victims and less misery in the world.” [stay at home and children in Syria would not have to suffer?]

    #6. “…he makes a reasoned case, based on evolutionary science and evidence, for men to be men, in all their masculine complexity…”the patriarchy”… [big toys for big boys, no wimpy SNAGS or wailing #MeToo wenches!]

    For Janet, this is part of the real utopia – and a Right-wing bulwark against chaos, on Janet Planet! Don’t you just love it?

  12. guest

    With regard to Trump and NRA in the USA, the saying is that “Bad guys with a gun can only be defeated by a good guy with a gun.”

    My question is: Why do the bad guys have so many guns?

    Furthermore, are the Police “good” guys? Apparently not, the way they shoot people.

    When some 30,000 people die per year in the USA from gunshot wounds (suicide some 22,000; murder some 7,000}, is there no thought that the number of guns might be just too many. The daft answer, apparently, is that guns do not kill; people do.

    So we get ex-soldiers returning from overseas, all trained up in fire-arms, forming militia gangs determined to keep the enemy out of the country, and to the fight other militia gangs and – incredibly – against their own government they do not trust!

    It is a madhouse! And under the Coalition we too are increasing the arms race and the domestic army with plans to manufacture weapons and sell them overseas.

    Whatever happened to that religious idea of peace on Earth, goodwill towards men – and women – and children? Or is that a weak and nambie-pambie hippie dream?


  13. corvus boreus

    The best we can hope for is some form of NIC, and that is entirely dependent upon the condition of us electing an ALP government.
    Apparently, there is still insufficient existent evidence of corruption in and around federal politics to warrant the immediate formation of a federal anti-corruption body.

  14. Matters Not

    Yes Guest – guns keep us safe. In addition to the figures provided you might add the 505 accidental gun deaths in 2017 and the 495 in 2016. Sometimes such deaths result from toddlers who fiddle with the gun in mummy’s purse or when the gun drops out, and in so doing shoot the mother or maybe a brother or sister.

    The stats are quite clear on a US State by State basis, the higher the level of gun ownership, the higher the number of accidental gun deaths.

    But you will never convince them with logic, stats and the like. Everyone has the right to bear arms … even if it kills so many – accidentally

  15. Matters Not

    Kronomex, for taxation purposes, Mal is an effective resident of the Cayman Islands and has been for many years. Not even a dual citizen and therefore no apparent conflict of interest with his legislative proposals.

    But he has a conscience of sorts, thus he is moving to help out his mates who are yet emigrate.

  16. Kronomex

    MN, that got a laugh from me. Well said. A thought: if Turnbull is, as you termed it, an effective resident of the Cayman Islands that means he is a foreigner and therefore ineligible to sit in parliament let alone be PM. Sigh, if only it was true and provable.

  17. Matters Not

    As an aside – an earlier comment I posted re a claimed refugee and his status seems to have disapeared. As has the thread apparently. Perhaps a ‘Please explain’ might be in order? If not publically, then privately?

    Otherwise – not a good look?

  18. Roswell

    That post has been removed.

  19. Matters Not


    That post has been removed.

    That’s clear. Now as to why?

    One of the realities of the Net is that nothing ever disappears. Saved and all that.

    It applies here.

  20. Roswell

    Why? Because I was asked to remove it. I didn’t question why.

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