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Santa Is Not Coming

There seems to be a residual myth in the Australian political establishment that the real Malcolm Turnbull stills exists. You see this myth cropping up alongside all kinds of sideways excuses for why Turnbull is missing. For instance, Katharine Murphy implies the centrist-Malcolm is being held captive by the far right of his party: ‘If Turnbull moved decisively in the direction of centrist cooperation, various charges would be levelled against him in predictable quarters. He’d be thumbing his nose at the base. He’d be provoking Ray Hadley. He’d be emboldening Tony Abbott’. Michelle Grattan says he needs some more runs on the board, and to better define his narrative. I think it’s time we all grew up and come to terms with the sad reality. Santa Claus isn’t real. Never was real. Never will be. And he’s not coming over to your house to bring an iPad, a credible renewable energy policy or to make gay marriage a reality. The truth is, old Malcolm doesn’t exist. It was all just a con to make him palatable enough for first the seat of Wentworth, and then the job of Prime Minister. The fact is, the real Malcolm is exactly the Malcolm you see in front of you. The Abbott pig wearing lipstick. Malcolm’s narrative is just the same as Abbott’s. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ll give you a moment to let this sad reality sink in before I make you truly depressed with a description of the Prime Minister we’ve all ended up with, while being played and teased with the idea he was something different. You see, the thing is, when we desperately want to believe something, us humans are very good at ignoring all evidence against it. That’s why people didn’t hear Malcolm when he said, in his first speech as Prime Minister, that he would lead a ‘thoroughly Liberal Government committed to freedom, the individual and the market’. A free-market. This stood out to me because I can see the neoliberal-wolf wearing the social-progressive-sheep’s clothing. But after the harrowing experience of Abbott, it’s no wonder the hopeful souls of Australia wanted so badly to follow the Pied-Point-Piper of Vaucluse over the edge of the neoliberal cliff. The fact is, ideologically, Abbott is a social-conservative who also happens to enjoy the support of neoliberal donors. Turnbull is a neoliberal warrior who doesn’t think social is a thing unless there’s profit in it for his Panama tax havens.

The one-seat majority, and the herd of angry Abbott-supporting backbenchers has actually been a gift to Turnbull. He’s using the slimy creeps, the George Christensens, the Eric Abetzs, the Cory Bernardis, as an alibi to say ‘I’m only doing stuff most people don’t agree with because I’m hamstrung by the right-wing of my party’. This idea works so nicely with the ‘it’s not my fault and I can’t help it’ fairy tale that it’s no wonder the myth of the old-Malcolm-will-return is still alive. But the thing is, in order to believe this myth, you would have to also believe that Malcolm cares more about hanging onto his job as Prime Minister than he does about doing the things he apparently believes in, such as addressing climate change and promoting marriage equality. But if this is true, this behaviour is a complete contradiction to the theory that Turnbull is an honourable man who has been side-tracked by the politics of his situation. Think of it this way; if the real Malcolm is siding with Bernardi to keep his job, doesn’t that make the real-Malcolm a real-bastard anyway? The whole point of Santa is that people want him to turn up. Who wants the bastard-Malcolm? Nobody.

But no, there really are myths within myths. The truth is, Malcolm talks about agility and innovation, while walking Abbott’s school and higher education policy which makes user-pays education less accessible, and the nation less agile and innovative. Malcolm talks about the moral challenge of climate change, when the real Malcolm wants the State’s to stop with their silly-renewable energy targets and to go back to coal like the good old miners-said-so-days. Malcolm could have scrapped Abbott’s 2014 budget welfare ‘reforms’, which aim to make it harder for young people to use the social safety net they need to stop themselves sliding into possibly-lifelong-poverty, but he has chosen to make this first order of business for his government. As it slowly dawns on everyone that Malcolm is neoliberal to the core, that he would sell off Parliament House to the highest bidder and rent it back to the government if he could get away with it, who would rather walk on hot coals than have a banking Royal Commission, who, if the apparently dead-buried-and-cremated WorkChoices could be reincarnated, would sew the ashes back together with his bare hands, he starts to look not just weak, but actually just as scary, if not scarier, than Abbott. A $20 billion tax cut to his big business mates at the same time as moralising a budget disaster? Of course he would. That’s Malcolm through and through!

In order to defeat an enemy, you must know the enemy. It’s time to stop falling for the ‘old Malcolm will return’ trick, and wake up to who he really is. He’s not spineless. He’s not being forced into a situation he doesn’t approve of. He’s not weakly refusing to answer questions about the behaviour of his right-wing colleagues because he’s scared to offend them. He’s not scared of them. He agrees with them. They’re talking on his behalf. Wake up Australia. The leather jacket was a prop. The public transport riding was public relations. There’s not a nicer version inside Malcolm waiting patiently to appear. This is him. This is all you get. Our Prime Minister is not the man you thought he was. Santa’s not coming because Santa doesn’t exist. Get used to it.


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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    We see Shorten portray of all things he isn’t. We see people waiting for the real Turnbull to emerge. On by the way we have never seen.

    This appears to be the reality for all on the right.

    With Shorten, all he has achieved over 20 or more years is ignored. Even when TURC revealed how sucessful the man had been in the union movement. Showed that he is respected by many high up in the business world.

    His creation NDIS and many changes to FWC to deal with union corruption, making any need for rebirth of special court for CFMEU.

    Shorten has been in control political agenda since Abbott came to power. His hard work over last three years is ensuring that will continue.

    Turnbull has turned out to be a hollow man of little substance.

    Shorten on the other hand, a solid stable man who is capable of longtime achievement. A man who is happy to work behind the scenes for what he wants.

    The right even after all this time, are still wiping him off as being of little substance, nothing to worry about.

    They are mad.

  2. keerti

    from before his political career began it should have been obvious that turnpuke was someone whose values were built on no foundation. His espoused values were in line with the Labor side, but it was obvious that he’d never get a run in the labor party…a merchant banker, businessman! At the point that he went into the lieberal party then, he demonstrated that his values were up for grabs to which ever side might give him a shot at being PM. Everything after that was window dressing. The lieberals knew it and treated him with the distrust that he deserved. Anyone who thought differently wasn’t been paying attention.

  3. Jaquix

    Apparently many years ago he told someone he would be Prime Minister one day. They asked “Which side?” Turnbull said “It doesnt matter”. Whether true or not, the story fits. The media probably saved his skin this time, by pleading with voters (The Age editorial even “urged” ) to give him a go to prove himself, as if one year of inaction wasnt proof enough of his uselessness. So Australians suffer another 3 years of the Liberal sycophantic, hypocritical, donor driven regime with the talentless likes of Turnbull spiteful dithering, Brandis bare faced expressionless lying, Morrison leaping from one foot to the other, and just general clone-like droning of all members of the Liberal and National parties.

  4. Terry2

    Malcolm is his own worst enemy and he is still smarting from the trouncing he got at the last election which left him with a one seat majority on the House of Representatives and a Senate that is beyond his control.

    By calling a Double Dissolution on trumped up grounds, he tried to tell us that he needed a majority in both Houses to enable him to govern. Australians are not that silly and they could see through this ploy and he returned with – for all intents and purposes – a minority government with a feral Senate. To add to his woes, he made a deal with the rancid Right Wing of the Liberal party that has effectively barred him from governing in his own right and thus he remains stuck with Abbott’s policies, in particular the divisive plebiscite that hangs like a millstone around his neck.

    He made probably one of the biggest tactical mistakes in modern Australian politics by going to a DD and that’s a card you only get to play once. Were he the CEO of a major corporation, the Board would already be making moves to replace him.

  5. michaelattoowoomba

    @Keerti, I agree entirely,Lawyer,Merchant Banker,Faux Republican,Tax Haven Specialist= Morals???,I don’t think so,I like to think that I am an optimist,but not as stupid as so many voters. MF.

  6. Selena

    Turnbull was never going to be in the Labor Party. His wife Lucy is the daughter of Tom Hughes, a former Attorney General with the Liberal Party, and her Grand father was the first Lord mayor of Sydney. The Liberal party was part of her upbringing. She would never have allowed her husband to be part of the Labor party. Malcolm used to be a Presbyterian, but he changed religions for Lucy. He is now a Catholic, which gives him more cred in the Liberal party.

  7. david1

    It pleases me personally to know I could never ever see the glamour boy Turnbull, the polls were showing him as. On reflection it is of no value knowing I as many on the left did, saw through the facade.
    Now that reality has hit home with a vengeance, we are left with, if it’s possible a situation worse than Abbotts debacle. Where did the majority of sane people go on August 2nd?
    PS Hansonites, a pox on your houses and Ashby may you rot in your own filth.

  8. Glenn K

    nailed it Victoria.

  9. Trish Corry

    Another brilliant Article from Victoria. I hope the voters take notice of this. If I had a choice between two evils. I prefer Abbott. Turnbull is such a fake.

  10. Jaquix

    Trish – Hobson’s choice. Abbott is probably easier to hate, but there’s not much between them.

  11. bobrafto

    Great minds think alike.

    I wrote a piece a couple of days ago for Michaels consideration to be published, here is a couple paragraphs from my story.

    Malcolm was the leader the public really wanted, a man of principal on Climate change and on SSM and to end Abbott’s and Hockey’s sadistic budget and the Public even went as far as accepting Mal’s explanation of his Cayman Islands stash which in my opinion is a bit suss and even if he was a little bit patriotic he would have his money invested in Australia. A notion of a PM being a role model, leading by example, however, Mal can only be a role model for the Neo Cons where a Cayman’s Island account admits one into this special organised club of white collar thieves who have cleverly masqueraded themselves as our captains of industry and Prime Minister.

    And as Mal’s poll figures began to dive, he called a Double Dissolution to stem the stench of Abbott’s policies which were starting to steam and the media scribes were still extolling Turnbull’s virtue, and the theme was that Malcolm would stamp his authority on an election win and climate change and SSM would be addressed and the real Malcolm would emerge, a line which was probably first peddled by Mal and the scribes gobbled it up hook, line and sinker and regurgitated it to their unsuspecting audience.

    The Public really wanted to believe in Cayman Mal and their belief still remained high even when he announced a glittering jackpot bonanza of a $50 Billion tax cut to the ‘rich welfare sector’ and he would make dole recipients starve for 4 weeks before they could get relief and other cuts to the ‘poor welfare sector’.

    So it was to be that Turnbull got a mandate to wage war on the poor sector by one seat and one wonders what role ‘the real Mal will emerge’ meme contributed to Turnbull’s win.

  12. johnlward010

    He looks like Bing Crosby.

  13. Steve Laing

    Whilst I agree that Santa Turnbull isn’t real, I’m not convinced that the current situation is to his liking. We saw the real Malcolm on election night, a bitter, vindictive control freak. And we will be punished for having the audacity in not returning him in triumph. That’s the reality. And the journalists from the MSM? They just continue to embarrass themselves as they fawn at the silver tongued devil.

  14. Jexpat

    Anyone expecting the current iteration of the ALP to produce anything approaching “Santa’ (if we’re to put it that way) is also deluding themselves.

    Worse still- anyone expecting the current iteration of the Labor party to stand up against some of abuses that are in the pipeline either haven’t been paying attention -or are waiting for the Easter Bunny.

    * I’ve draw this assessment, glib as it may seem, from a reading of articles in the ALP’s own “newsletter” which they call “The Labor Herald.”

  15. Terry2

    In 2008 Presidential nominee Barack Obama commented on Ugland House on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands:

    “You’ve got a building in the Cayman Islands that supposedly houses 12,000 corporations,” he (Obama) said during a Jan. 5, 2008, debate in Manchester, N.H. “That’s either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record.”

    When tackled on his Cayman investment strategy Turnbull said this :

    “Turnbull said he deliberately chose offshore investments so that he would not have any conflicts of interest in Australia. For example, many Australian funds invest in Telstra, which would have been a potential conflict when he was communications minister.”

    He got away with that weak response because he was at that time a brand new Prime Minister and Australians were prepared to cut him some slack, probably because he had one significant thing going for him : he was not Tony Abbott.

    We need to be absolutely clear on this, the reason why there are 12,000 corporations registered in one building on Grand Cayman is for tax avoidance purposes and that’s what attracts offshore investors like Turnbull : it’s not illegal, it merely means that Australia is not able to apply our taxation laws to these corporations and these people. It is so much easier to collect income tax from PAYE taxpayers.

  16. Carol Taylor

    Steve Laing and “a bitter, vindictive control freak”, and add in an opportunist of the Godwin Gretch type as we saw by the recent storms in South Australia.

    The absolute nail in the coffin was Turnbull’s attack on renewable energy and action on Climate Change. Prior to this, some have tried to excuse Turnbull by saying that he was still ‘wearing’ Tony Abbott’s policies, this being the agreement with the Far Right in order to secure the Prime Ministership for himself.

    Turnbull’s attack on renewables he did all-by-himself. Is there anything left of the old Malcolm? None that I can find, with the exception of the bitter, vindictive, opportunistic control freak..that part remains.

  17. helvityni

    Carol Taylor and Steve Laing, you have said it all. How ‘prime-ministerial’ was his childish churlishness on the election night, and his anti renewables stance was the last nail on his coffin for me, how utterly detestable, how ‘innovative’…?

    johnward010, he might look like Bing Crosby, but he can’t dance, not ‘agile’ at all…

  18. Jaquix

    Carol – remember too his spray from New York when he furiously blamed the Labor Party for the plight of the 2,000 refugees stuck on Manus and Nauru, as if he was powerless to do anything about it! Well, he has been Prime Minister for over a year without showing a skerrick of concern about them, plus his party has been in power the last whole 3 years, again withouf lifting a finger to solve the problem.

  19. Jaquix

    Terry2 – totally agree about the real reason Turnbull’s wealth is hidden offshore. If only we had a robust media.

  20. Trish Corry

    Not sure where my comment went. Maybe I hadn’t logged in.

    I see Turnbull as a shape shifter. He has no value system and will just become whatever he thinks people need him to become to stay in power. If he had to become a staunch nationalist like George or Hanson to stay in power – that is what he would become. Its all about Malcolm. He is fake. He doesn’t care about Australians. He only cares about himself. I bet there are so many in the parrty regretting the decision to knife Abbott.

  21. carole walker

    There’s only one reason to have a company in the Cayman’s it’s called tax evasion.
    I was an importer, one of the first things I considered was the “Cayman Option” , I decided against it as I regarded it as immoral. Silly me.

    I haven’t forgotten the words of Kerrie Packer that went something like this , never get between Malcolm Turnbull and a big bag of money.

  22. cornlegend

    Headline of the Week

    The lights go out in SA and Turnbull flicks the switch to peak stupid
    [The Guardian, 1 October 2016]

  23. David

    Once an investment banker, ALWAYS and investment banker. Look what the Macquarie Group have done to Sydney Airport. Everything, including car rental, has a 20% surcharge! Car rental staff at the airport advised me to arrange pickup of my next car hire at the Kingsford agency! Grrr

  24. Ted

    Had the great unwashed not fallen for the ‘Malcolm will save us’ ploy … Murdoch and the ABC (Guthrie) would be working very hard right now trying to undermine a Labor Gov …. oh dear …. I shake my head.

  25. Jaquix

    Actually Ted I read an article in The Australian very disparaging of “the Turnbull government”. So I suspect they are actually angling for a replacement before the next election?

  26. WarrenRoss

    I remember his speech very clearly and came to the same conclusion you did.

  27. Geoff Andrews

    To extend Victoria’s metaphor: he who pays the Point Piper piper, calls the tune.
    He has always been a mouth for hire with a flexible moral philosophy. It’s the essence of his progress through life. First the debating societies where he has to convince a couple of judges that he supports an abhorrant proposition that has come his way on the toss of a coin, then the Law where he has been obliged to convince only one judge and twelve gullible jurors that some excuse for for humanity is as pure as the driven snow and now, the easy bit, to convince 5,000,000 voters that HE is a pure as the driven snow.

  28. Rezblah

    Indeed, a grubby white collar criminal whose political and business careers should have been over countless times (gretch, hih, nbn, Caymans, rain makers ffs, the latest renewables fiasco etc etc ad nauseum).

    Labor should be employing every tactic possible to smack down every one of the endless line of liberal sociopaths thatstick their stupid heads up and eject them from the game, starting with that grand poo bah of loathesome toads George Brandis. I mean seriously, could you possibly get any easier targets? Utter scum the lot of them, do whatever it takes to wipe this disgraceful party from the map, the country simply cannot afford this destructive idiocy. nice guys finish last, and we are not up against nice guys

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