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Squeaky Clean

Putting aside the fact that Julia Gillard was treated as a back-stabbing-murderess after she replaced Kevin Rudd as PM. Putting aside that she was labelled ‘the illegitimate PM’ even after she went straight to an election to let the ‘people decide’ and then won, but for some reason was then even more ‘illegitimate’ presumably because she led a minority government and it suited Abbott’s Liberals and their mates in the media to paint this as unstable when really it was the most productive government Australia has ever had. Putting aside the grand hypocrisy of none of these labels ever being assigned to Malcolm Turnbull when he plotted and schemed and white anted and undermined and destabilized and finally got what we all knew he wanted because he was quite openly campaigning for it: Abbott’s job. Putting aside that he hasn’t gone straight to an election and is instead intent of pretending he was legitimately chosen by the people to be PM when he quite clearly was not. Putting aside all these things which really make me so mad I could lose my mind, except that I won’t because it’s all so predictable that the Liberals would have their own leadership spill and it goes completely unnoticed by the mainstream media like a massive ‘meh’, when Labor’s leadership spill was the only thing the media wanted to talk about. For 5 years.

What I really want to discuss today is the fascinating situation of Turnbull’s Prime Ministership where he can do NO WRONG, according to the mainstream media, and anything that does go wrong in his government is, incredibly, coincidentally, conveniently, somehow painted as still the last guy’s problem. Still Abbott’s fault. Except Abbott isn’t the PM anymore. Turnbull is. How the hell does Turnbull get away with this bullshit? He reminds me of the classic quote from the classic movie, Shawshank Redemption, but replace ‘Andy Dufresne’ with ‘Malcolm Turnbull’: Malcolm Turnbull – who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. How? How is Turnbull squeaky clean after all the crawling through shit he’s been up to?

Take, for instance, the horrific and tragic case of rape victim and asylum seeker, ‘Abyan’. Dutton is in a bit of hot water over this. That’s not to say Dutton is in as much hot water as an Immigration Minister should be who has denied an asylum seeker, a frightened young woman, the dignity and human rights any human being deserves, for political gain. But there is some criticism of the way Dutton has handled this situation, such as here, here and here. And you will notice in this Dutton-criticism, Turnbull is either given a cursory mention, or not mentioned at all. As if he’s somehow not involved in this situation.

As if he’s floating situation, detached, uninvolved, an innocent bystander. As if somehow Dutton wasn’t chosen to continue in his evil role of Immigration Minister in the new Turnbull government, and therefore doesn’t report to Turnbull like an employee reports to an employer, where the employer is ultimately responsible for the decisions made by that employee and liable for any damage done by that employee. Why is Turnbull not being held liable? How is he coming out of this squeaky clean?

Another example is the news this week that the rolling ball which Abbott started rolling in his ideological quest to eat away at the public’s ownership of Medicare by privatising some parts of it, with the ultimate goal of privatising all of it, is still rolling forward. I’m really glad there are news outlets letting us know about this treachery because it’s a really seriously important news story that all Australians would be interested in. But I don’t understand why articles about this news story, such as this one, fail to even mention the word ‘Turnbull’.

Turnbull, who we all knows likes to talk, and likes to explain, and is even well known for his particularly patronising ‘mansplaining’ tone, which he no doubt uses because he looks down on all of us since we’re all poorer than he is, is completely silent on this issue. He’s had plenty of time to comment and as far as I can tell he’s made no comment. It’s really not hard to guess why he’s made no comment. There are two reasons: a) because he doesn’t want to be splattered in the dirt of this issue, having to explain why his government is considering turning our universal health sector into a profit making machine for potentially international companies who would then ‘own’ our health records and eventually may own our entire health system. And b) Turnbull loves this idea, and hopes if he keeps his mouth shut it will more likely slip through unscrutinised. Which it possibly will. Turnbull loves this idea both for ideological reasons and perhaps because he has money invested in the companies who will make billions out of taking over Australia’s Medicare system, money which will be filtered through the Cayman Islands, un-taxed and back into Malcolm’s pocket which is bulging with cash. Of course there is a class-war, and Malcolm’s pocket is winning.

Long-time readers of my blog will recognise that the longer my sentences, the angrier I am. My keyboard will also tell you that the intensity of my fingers hitting the keyboard is a fair indication of the level of blood boil going on. So yes, I’m angry about this ‘Turnbull getting away with swimming in shit, yet still being treated like the beloved-shiny-sparkling-glistening-in-the-sun-squeeky-clean-brand-new Prime Minister who can do no wrong’. I’m terrified the squeaky cleanliness will get Turnbull another Liberal term of government and all the horrors of his political agenda will come about, unabated by any real scrutiny, just like the media did when they betrayed the country by giving Abbott such a free pass. It’s not just News Ltd this time either. It’s also Fairfax, the ABC and even, inexplicably, the Guardian. I’m not asking for these media outlets to do anything except their job and their job is not to let Turnbull get away with zero scrutiny on issues damaging to Australians. Just do your jobs people. For the love of dog, just do your jobs.


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  1. Carol Taylor

    Victoria, you have said it precisely..

    “As if he’s floating situation, detached, uninvolved, an innocent bystander.”.

    And not one single media entity there to say to Turnbull, this is YOUR responsibility. I get the impression that this will be the same for all other Liberal nasties, let others do the dirty work while Turnbull wafts innocently above it all.

  2. Kaye Lee

    The fact that you have linked to articles from the SMH, the Guardian, and the Canberra Times – the fact that you know about these things occurring at all – shows that journalists are doing their job of keeping us informed. I am happy to move on from the personal attack reporting.

    It is more important to know about these things and to hear about policies. Individual blame may be cathartic but it is kind of irrelevant when speaking about government decisions which are no doubt not made unilaterally since Credlin got the heave ho.

    These sort of issues show that Malcolm’s leadership is compromised by promises he has made to achieve his own advancement. Sooner or later this will come back to bite him. Climate change, the NBN, asylum seekers, marriage equality, the Republic…. can he herd the dinosaurs? No sign of that so far.

  3. Adrianne Haddow

    Victoria, you are right to be angry. We all should be angry.
    The liarberals are continuing their assault on our country, our institutions and our environment with unabated zeal, with the blessing of the mainstream media. Only this time, the mouth-piece of the fascists is more measured in his output than the last mouth-piece.

    You articulate my rage far better than I could. I tend to lose my argument in streams of invective when this government for the corporations is mentioned.

    But I have to ask, where is Bill? Why are the Labor opposition so willing to allow these assaults to continue, unchallenged?
    Could it be that the agenda the Libs have, is the same as the new right wing Labor?

    Is Rupert Murdoch our real PM or is it Gina Rinehart?

  4. Carol Taylor

    By way of example, the headlines in Fairfax read:

    I am a Reformer: Turnbull
    Ambitious Turnbull puts ‘every single element’ on the table
    Turnbull government shooting for the stars
    Brilliant but arrogant: Malcolm Turnbull

    Talk about a Love Fest…

    All neatly glossing over the fact that Turnbull has promised that he will do nothing about marriage equality, justice for asylum seekers and basically, and as Tony Abbott noted, Turnbull is to retain all of his (Abbott’s) policies. It was of course the deal done to get Turnbull into power. I had high hopes for Turnbull but when he was more than happy to load Australia with a 2nd rate NBN (while retaining a French state of the art NBN in his own investment portfolio) and failed to indicate any compassion for anyone then came the realisation that Turnbull was likely to be in it only for Turnbull.

  5. Sen Nearly Ile

    Imagine the anger when your facebook has no friends who read any paper except murdoch, are proud of the fact that they never watch the left wing ABC(a lie???) or SBS(true), their opinion comes from sunrise and nine news backed by posts from america and britain of the ilk ‘this is my flag love it or leave. The answer to any protests ‘ don’t get serious, I just like the words.
    ps they are ‘disgusted by gay and lesbian marriage, yet their ideas of women from mrs brown’s boys. The two retired high school teachers get visibly upset if I watch the news from a foreign country in a foreign language. They are from the septic tank ‘booga booga’ school where only english exists the rest are inferior noise.

  6. Matthew Oborne

    Turnbull wants to keep election promises.

    So no gay marriage.

    Turnbull wants cuts to welfare

    …………sorry I am confused at this point, wants to keep election promises but wants to break election promises.

    I read that in the media somewhere…………

    Oh wait I didnt the mainstream media havent noticed for some weird obscure reason.

  7. mars08

    Here’s what I’ve gathered from conversations with some of my middle aged, male, Christian workmates…

    The issues they had with the Coalition were rarely the policies. It was Abbott relentless stupidly, his brainfarts, and his bluster. These traits became far too obvious, and to maintain support the former PM became embarrassing. It reflected on the supporters.

    Now they can get behind slick Turnbull (even though the government actions and policies remain basically the same)… and not risk being associated with a totally incompetent moron.

  8. Matthew Oborne

    Nothing worse than looking like an idiot I guess mars…………….unless you cant afford to drive and then I guess you have bigger problems………….Like those darn boat people taking our top jobs.

  9. Loz

    Turnbull never raised his voice to disparage Abbott’s awful policies. His sole intent was to gain the leadership at any cost. Now he has reached this dizzy height will he do anything to cling onto leadership? This man needs to be watched carefully and his policies should be scrutinised by our woeful media.

  10. Backyard Bob

    Putting aside that he hasn’t gone straight to an election and is instead intent of pretending he was legitimately chosen by the people to be PM when he quite clearly was not.

    Um, say what?

  11. bobrafto

    Victoria I understand and also feel your frustrations and it also reminded me of this song below which I changed a few words.

    Well, there’s a little girl waitin’ at the counter of a corner shop
    She’s been waitin’ down there, waitin’ half the day
    They never ever seem to have the time
    She gets pushed around
    Knocked to the ground

    She gets to her feet and she says
    “What About me? It isn’t fair
    I’ve had enough now, I want my share
    Can’t you see? I wanna live
    But you just take more than you give”

    Well, there’s a pretty girl servin’ at the counter of a corner shop
    She’s been waitin’ back there, waitin’ for her dream
    And dreams walk in and out, they never stop
    Well, she’s not too proud to cry out loud

    She runs to the blog and she screams
    “What about me? It isn’t fair
    I’ve had enough now, I want my share
    Can’t you see? I wanna live
    But you just take more than you give”

    Take a step back and see the little people
    There’s nothin’ there
    But the words that make the big people big
    So listen, as they whisper, “What about me?”

    Now, we’re standin’ on the corner of a world gone home
    Nobody’s changed, nobody’s been saved
    And I’m feelin’ cold and alone
    I guess I’m lucky, I smile a lot
    But sometimes I wish for more than I’ve got

    What about me? It isn’t fair
    I’ve had enough now, I want my share
    Can’t you see? I wanna live
    But you just take more, what about me?

    Moving Pictures – What About Me Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    After 8 years of Abbott, the electorate is still recovering and Mal can say, I guess I’m lucky I smile a lot.

  12. brickbob

    Thanks for this article Victoria i enjoyed reading it even though the content is disturbing to say the least,and like you i am also angry about the countrys situation. There was once a man named Kerry Packer,not exactly a screaming progressive lefty,who knew more than most about wealth and power and corruption,who famously said ””” Never get between Malcom and a bucket of money,and how right he was because this Turnbull is a conman and a snake oil salesman whose sole goal in life is to gain more wealth and power,and then after that to garner even more wealth and power at the expense of you and me and anybody else who stands in his way.
    Turnbull is far more dangerous than Abbott and the Corporate controlled MSM are backing him all the way just like they did with the last bloke and this will not end well for us and the country and i think it’s time the 5th estate has to really up the ante and all power to you and the other Independant outlets for showing up and raising your voices and your considerable literary skills.””

  13. mars08

    Thank goodness for our passionate, vocal, incorruptible, hard working, honest, straight shooting, moral, caring, unflinching opposition right? Right?

  14. sandrasearle

    Adrian, you asked the big question – where is Bill Shorten.
    I don’t know whether anyone else was watching ABC24 this morning because they covered the whole of Shorten’s speech at the South Australian ALP conference. It was very, very good.
    I was quite impressed that mostly all of the good policies that we voted on are still on the ALP agenda. They are willing to listen to the likes of you & me to what changes they can implement to make our a society place to live.
    Perhaps the people who keep bagging Shorten could just stop for a while & instead look deeper at the policies. Then those same people could look behind the smiley countenance of Turnbull at the LNP’s policies, because they certainly have not changed at all, they are still the same ones that Abbott espoused, just presented with a smoother line.
    We must never forget that Turnbull took that wonderful NBN that we all thought was going to project this country well into the future & sent it hurtling back into the 50’s. We must never forget how Turnbull was going to actually side with the ALP on climate change etc.
    This man can & will duck & weave any questions as to why he has parked his money in the Cayman Islands – we all know that if you want to avoid tax, that is the place to go.
    We need for anyone who has any links to any of the MSM outlets to bombard them with properly researched facts & figures – and I mean that for all of the parties, because the general public are just so unaware of what is going on at a political level due to their just trying to live busy lives looking after their own businesses & families.
    Does that make the general public ignorant – no, not really, they just need to be gently informed with truth.
    There are plenty of good bloggers out there, but a lot of people do not have time to read the blogs, so being able to engage them in conversation would be a good start.
    The best way to start the conversation is to ask a question like “are you aware that”…..or of……. – then listen to what is affecting them.

  15. trishcorry

    Absolutely love your work as always. Keep it up!! I’ve been so angry and I am sickened. The treatment of Abyan did it for me. I now feel I am a part of a loathesome hateful country that cares naught for women in such a distressing situation and the media is complicit in making this so. I could by Abyan, all women could be Abyan, yet Mama Mia writes a piece last week that promotes how desireable and sexy Turnbull is to women. Made me sick.

  16. Joyce Spiller

    Absolutely agree with you. Julia Gillard was treated as a punchingbag by the Libs. and their media buddies. Then Labor had a megalomaniac helped by current leader to depose a honest hard working Labor government. (What you said.) Brilliant!

  17. Juanita Hardy (@Pikiran2ku)

    Excellent article, Victoria. I take some comfort from the fact that Turnbull seems to be hopelessly incompetent – his leadership of the Republic campaign was a complete failure, there was the Godwin Grech fiasco and, as you pointed out, he completely trashed the NBN. I live in hope that his own incompetence and/or poor judgement will once again catch up with him in an event that even our partisan MSM will not be able to ignore.

  18. diannaart

    Gillard was pilloried, Turnbull is virtually lionised for the same thing; taking over role as PM. Tell me something I don’t know. I have been commenting upon the stinking difference since Abbott got his just desserts.

    All along, I have pointed out the double standard applied to the ‘born-to-rule’ neo-cons and everyone else.

    Labor has yet to return from playing in the dirt of the far-right – anyone expecting Shorten to take a moral stand on refugee detainees any time soon? Sounds of crickets chirping…

    Did the Labor Party think by dabbling in right wing politics they would somehow escape the great double standard? I dunno, just posing the question. I do not know why Labor still support coal mining, fracking and general fraternising with the corporate sector. Because it has not worked, Labor no matter how far to the right they go will always be tarred as commy, left-wing latte-sipping dole-bludgers.

    Which is why I want to be defending Labor. Why I still rail against the disgusting treatment of Julia Gillard.

    I was heartened to hear Shorten speak out on worker exploitation- if he really cares about people why not speak out against the treatment of Abyan as well?

    Labor you are going to be damned no matter what you do – so why not give progressive policies priority? Your reputation will not get any worse.

  19. JeffJL

    I understand your anger Victoria and agree with almost all you wrote. I do take issue with your assessment that Mr Turnbull “…white anted and undermined and destabilized…”. Such allegations are made against Julia Gillard and both allegations should be put where they belong, in the trash bin. I have seen no reputable reporting or evidence that either member carried out those actions and any suggestion that they did needs to be backed up with well researched facts or not reported here or anywhere. Oh yes he schemed and plotted but it was Tony Abbott who was his own downfall (along with Joe Hockey, Peta Credlin and Bronwin Bishop).

    In my opinion Malcolm Turnbull is a darling of the media because, as Paul Keating so visually put it – Tony Abbott set the bar so low. (In a way the Murdoch press did too).

    Yes he is just the changed grill on the VW. Yes he should be accountable for all the actions of the government he leads.

  20. Jay

    And putting aside that he and his team haven’t the first clue about how to frame an economic policy – they took it all off hokey Joe and said it just needed better marketing – and that the way they are going will steer us straight into recession, sell off public assets and keep the capital siphoning up to the 1% who are on their way to the next crash – because the very rich don’t actually know about economics, they just profit from crook systems run by Murdoch backed governments – and because our Malcolm is not rich and brilliant but rich and photogenic and not very smart at all and is selling smoke and mirrors (‘confidence’) and has the press gallery mesmerised – because – well just listen to Hewson on that. I’ve lost track of the syntax.

  21. lawrencesroberts

    The situation is not helped by Shorten and The Labor Party throwing in The Towel, The Mouth-guard and the bucket. Attacking Golden Sacks for his wealth is anti productive and now the union boys seem to be saying get off our case of freebies in your special courts and we will give this government an easy ride.

    Labors backroom boys who cant hold a candle to Textor Crosby are gambling on another Grontyn Gretch moment or that the big man will aspire to be The First President of Australia and move on.

    The Greens are making an effort but all media outlets are leaving them alone save for social media. We live in strange times.

  22. mars08

    @lawrencesroberts… I assume that the Labor Party hasn’t thrown in the gloves… simply because they never actually bothered to put them on.

  23. Christine Farmer

    If ever we needed proof of the bias against Labor of the Murdoch press and the MSM in general we certainly have it in a comparison of their treatment of Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull in their rise to the Prime Ministership. It’s still a case of Labor=bad, Liberal=good. No need to examine their policies, or anything else.

    It’s interesting, if pointless, to imagine the reaction if the LNP had planned Labor’s NBN, then had it so diluted by Labor. And I’ve never understood why the provision of school buildings was such a terrible thing to have done, except that Labor did it. There are many other instances of this wholesale dismissal of Labor policies.

    I have doubts about Turnbull. On the surface, definitely an improvement on Abbott, but that wouldn’t be hard.
    We shall see. Considering the circumstances she had to contend with, Gillard did a great job, not that she’s yet given much credit for it.

  24. diannaart


    The only people who would demand further proof of the MSM bias against Labor are rusted on right-wing voters – these people believe that evidence, proof, facts et al, are some kind of myth.

    There is no way Shorten can out-glam Turnbull, nor would a change of leadership help at this stage, we know that Labor is damned if they do, damned if they don’t – so why don’t Labor do what their many constituents want? A return to valuing people/environment/life over profit?

  25. bobrafto

    I don’t believe Shorten will be replaced before the next election even though there seems to be a number of folks agitating for it. Now the media is getting in on the act of focussing on Shorten and it doesn’t bode well.

    I would like to think that if Abbott could become PM so could Bill.

    As for Sir Smilealot he’s on a dream run of not being Abbott.

  26. Backyard Bob

    Turnbull, who we all knows likes to talk, and likes to explain, and is even well known for his particularly patronising ‘mansplaining’ tone, which he no doubt uses because he looks down on all of us since we’re all poorer than he is,

    This is a misuse of the term “mansplaining”. It is not a term applicable to just any form of patronisation, unless you want to be a sexist. What Turnbull indulges in is better captured, I think, by the term “Malsplaining”. Turnbull certainly has an air of smug superiority about him, but to call that “mansplaining” is dippy.

    I also don’t see how Turnbull’s rise to the Prime Ministership is analogous to Gillard’s. Even the author states that Turnbull had been openly campaigning for Abbott’s job for some time. In Gillard’s case the country basically woke up one morning to find it had a new PM. I think Turnbull’s rise to the job is far more analogous with Rudd’s return to it.

    Turnbull wasn’t subjected to intense scrutiny over the change? Well, maybe the fact that everyone was busy wetting themselves with joy and relief had something to do with that.

    Turnbull loves this idea both for ideological reasons and perhaps because he has money invested in the companies who will make billions out of taking over Australia’s Medicare system,[…]

    If this were said about a Labor member it would be called a gratuitous slur, and rightly so because that’s what it is.

    The salient point made by this article is that of Turnbull’s easy run in the media. It’s really rather disturbing given media outlets like Fairfax and, well, just about everyone, has decided Turnbull is the freakin’ Messiah. The author is perfectly justified in finding that dynamic disturbing and indicative of a likely journalistic sloth where proper analysis of Turnbull is concerned. But it’s also not the least bit surprising. The combination of Turnbull’s long-lived and quite extraordinary popularity and the relief of a nation at Abbott’s demise will ensure Turnbull’s honeymoon period will extend well beyond what might ordinarily be expected.

    Gotta wonder if it’s not time for Labor to sniff the global political wind and replace Shorten with someone from the Left – and have that person do so uncontested so that the transition is fast, clean and immediate.

  27. diannaart


    Never thought I’d say this; I agree about the ‘mansplaining’, Turnbull is all for equal opportunity arrogance.

    However, the rest of your post such as I also don’t see how Turnbull’s rise to the Prime Ministership is analogous to Gillard’s the fact remains Gillard was treated disgustingly for an action many male leaders (past and no doubt in the future) have done with little or no abuse. There is more than sufficient commonality for this to be a valid argument.

  28. zorronsky

    Maybe it’s me being nearly eighty but this seems to come around like a picket fence. The party of the bosses against the party of the workers and we’re supposed to be surprised?

  29. Stephen

    Good post Backyard Bob. Turnbull is popular because he replaced a very unpopular leader. Gillard replaced a very popular leader and that is why there was such a public backlash. Also Gillard was pushed into the job by factional parties whereas the perception is that Turnbull is all for himself and this actually gives him clean air. Gillard never gave a good reason for backstabbing Rudd and when she did it came across as vindictive from the likes of herself and Swan. Turnbull didn’t need a reason. The public just wanted Abbott gone so they don’t really care.

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