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Tag Archives: 7:30 Report

Just smile and the world will be a better place

Last night, thanks to our national broadcaster, we got to see the leaders of the two major political parties in action. Turnbull faced questions from a smiling, compliant Leigh Sales. They both smiled and giggled and apologised to each other a lot. Shorten faced a very large audience of the Australian public and the interruptions of Tony Jones, who really needs to learn that people would rather hear from his guests than him. Shorten performed very well, answering all questions calmly and honestly.

The contrast could not have been starker.

Malcolm seems to feel that the mere fact of his elevation to Prime Minister will be sufficient to solve all the challenges we face.

When asked about the economy he said that it wasn’t in bad shape. What that shows is that, as we all know, the last election campaign was run on a lie.

Regardless, we do have rising unemployment and an economy that must transition away from mining. Malcolm’s solution?

“It is absolutely critical that we provide strong economic leadership. And you know, above all, confidence. It’s not just the measures. The government has to provide the leadership, the sense that, you know, we know what we’re doing, that we have a vision, we have a clear direction and that builds up business confidence. So everything I can say to inspire confidence is going to help the economy. One of the things I can do as Prime Minister and my government can do is to provide the leadership and the confidence and you do that not by just talking in an airy-fairy way. You’ve got to actually lay out the facts. You’ve got to describe the situation as it stands.”

Waiting . . .

How silly have we been. We don’t need “measures”, we just need a smile and some soothing words and all will be well.

When asked if he would consider expanding the base and the rate of the GST, Malcolm replied

“Well we’re considering – tax reform is going to be a big part of our reform agenda going forward. That’s why we’ve brought the Tax Minister, the Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, into the cabinet.”

Don’t ask me specific questions – look I’ve got a young female breast-feeding mum in Cabinet. What more do you want?

When asked if everything was on the table for tax reform, Malcolm said

“This is one of the – this is one of the Canberra games. One of the things I’m trying to do is to change the paradigm so that it’s a more rational one.”

Ummmm . . . does a more rational paradigm ever include answering a question?

When asked about industrial relations reform, Malcolm went into cha cha mode.

“I think the important thing is to seek to explore ways in which we can achieve more flexibility, higher levels of employment, higher levels of business activity and do so in a way that reassures Australians, Australian workers in particular, that this is not threatening their conditions. In other words – in other words, a – the challenge for us is not to wage war with unions or the workers that they – that they seek to represent, but really to explain what the challenges are and then lay out some reform options.”

Uh huh . . . and while you are seeking to explore some way to reassure us, is Workchoices coming back?

When asked about the greatest threat to global security the babbling got worse.

“Well, look, there are – you probably can’t really – you can’t really rank them ’cause they are very difficult. I mean, the – the – clearly the threat of terrorism, the, if you like, militant Islamist terrorist groups like Daesh in the Middle East and its various affiliates around the world, al-Qaeda, that is clearly a very – that’s clearly a big threat. I think at a – in terms of our region, what we need to ensure is that the rise of China, which is happening, it’s – nothing’s gonna stop that any time soon – is, if you like, conducted in a manner that does not disturb the security and the relative harmony of the region upon which China’s prosperity depends. Now – now that requires careful diplomacy, it requires balancing and it’s an issue, as you know, I’ve taken a very keen interest in.”

For someone who has taken a very keen interest he seems entirely bereft of anything substantive to say.

And the role of our defence forces?

“Well our Defence Force has – and this is not a revelation, Leigh. Our Defence Forces have to be able to play a role in a range of different potential conflict situations. But, you know, we’re not – we’re not seeking to, um, ah – I don’t want to – no-one – no-one, least of all the Australian Government, wants to exacerbate situations. We have – we have very good relations with all of our neighbours, including China, but there clearly are some tensions, you know, with the islands in the South China Sea in particular, with the reefs, I should say, and shoals in the South China Sea. And our own – my own view and the Government’s view is that the – you know, China would be – China would be better advised in its own interests, frankly, to – not to be pushing the envelope there and that is why there’s been resistance against that activity.”

By this time I was thinking let the poor man go home to bed, he isn’t making any sense.

And then we finally got to Direct Action, a policy that is completely the opposite of the Coalition’s free market principles.

“It has been very successful so far. It has reduced – it’s cut about 47 million tonnes of emissions at a price of less than $14 a tonne.”

At that stage I realised that Malcolm has actually nothing at all to offer except his smile.

 

The same but different . . .

When Turnbull ‘knifed’ Abbott a week ago after publically shaming Abbott’s terrible government on national television while announcing his intent-to-knife, I wondered how the mainstream media would treat this story. I couldn’t help but worry this would be yet another example of a Liberal story being treated with a completely different narrative to the same Labor story. A sitting PM is replaced by a member of their own cabinet. A late night coup. A first term Prime Minister. Abbott lasted a shorter time than Rudd and had already been challenged 6 months earlier. By my reasoning, the white-anting, destabilising activities of Turnbull and his supporters over the last 6 months was far more bloody and underhanded than Gillard taking the opportunity to lead the Labor government when it was offered to her within hours of her colleagues’ decision that Rudd’s chaotic leadership was not going to improve, second chances or not. However you argue it, overall a fair observer would see great similarities in the two situations. But these similarities are clearly ignored by the media and it turns out my worry was well founded. Low and behold, the Turnbull/Abbott story is being treated completely differently to Gillard/Rudd. Of course everyone in the mainstream media is very busy mansplaining to little-old-us the voters why the two situations are apparently completely different. But I don’t need this situation explained for me, because I can see with my own eyes that Turnbull just did to Abbott the same, if not worse, thing Gillard did to Rudd.

If you haven’t already noticed for yourself the differing tone of the stories about new-PM-Gillard with new-PM-Turnbull, take a look at this apple-with-apples comparison.

Here is a transcript of Gillard’s ABC 730 interview with Kerry O’Brien the evening she became PM on 24 June 2010 and Turnbull’s ABC 730 PR campaign interview with Leigh Sales a week after he became PM, which aired this evening.

If you can’t be bothered reading these transcripts, take it from me that Gillard was interrogated about her ‘knifing’ of Rudd for the entire interview, and framed as the ‘villain’ who couldn’t be trusted, a tone which continued throughout her time as PM. Gillard was also hectored about what she would do about the mining tax policy, not forgetting she had become PM that day. Turnbull, on the other hand, was treated like a ‘hero’ and provided with the invaluable opportunity to outline his vision for the country on an unchallenged soap box where he was allowed to sell his government’s refreshed credentials. He wasn’t even tested when he claimed Direct Action was working to reduce emissions when there was no evidence backing this claim. Two interviews in similar political circumstances, yet chalk and cheese in their treatment and tone.

A simple word count showed Gillard spoke for 65% of her interview with O’Brien. Turnbull spoke for 77% of his interview with Sales. Sales even apologised for asking a question Turnbull might ‘find offensive’ and then again said sorry for cutting him off. Soft doesn’t even come close to describing this cringe-worthy excuse for journalism. But it gets worse. Check out the word clouds of both interviews and see if you notice the same thing I did.

Here is Gillard’s interview, where the most used words were obviously Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. So the main topic of the interview were Gillard’s villainous replacement of Rudd.

Gillard Wordle

Now here is Turnbull’s interview.

Turnbull Wordle

Can you see what is missing amongst all the positive words? Yep, that’s right. The word Abbott. You can do a Where’s Wally search for it if you like, but I’ll save you the trouble and tell you it appeared twice in the interview. Hardly there at all. Abbott’s already gone and the media aren’t dwelling on the part Turnbull played in his demise. Unlike Gillard, who had to put up with the media’s obsession with the Rudd leadership spill throughout her entire tenure as Prime Minister, even after she went straight to an election to prove her legitimacy in the role. Yet Abbott has been erased and shiny-Turnbull-with-a-sly-grin has got off scot-free. See what I mean about same story but very different treatment? How do you even begin to explain this other than to say Labor is always bashed by the media, and the Liberals always excused? Sadly this is the only explanation that makes sense.

The Lying Christopher Pyne

Did anybody watch the 7:30 Report last night? If not, you wouldn’t have known that Christopher Pyne told a bold-faced lie about Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, a lie that was promptly exposed and quashed by host Leigh Sales. You can watch it here, in the first few minutes of the show:

http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=3152075#/view/39542

It was a lie. Full stop. It was not anything he can be misquoted over; it’s not something he meant only at the time and changed his mind later. It was a calculated, pre-meditated lie delivered with a straight face. The face, I might suspect, of a person quite artful in speaking with a forked tongue.

It’s not the point that he lied for some political traction that infuriates me. The point is, he lied on the 7:30 Report and by 8:00 all was forgiven and forgotten. Where is the outrage? This was a lie on national television and he knew he was telling a lie. He knows he can lie through his teeth and get away with it. Well I’m sick of him getting away with it.

Christopher Pyne lies, and the issue dies.

I have scoured the web today in search of outrage from the Opposition or the mainstream media (MSM) if they suspect that the Prime Minister or any member of her party had lied, regardless if it was a lie or not. To the Opposition and the MSM, anything she says is a lie, and the ferocity of their attack is breathtaking. I need not tell you that the internet provides us with millions of instances where the Opposition and their media allies screeched like banshees over alleged lies, but I have selected three from the usual suspects. Here they are:

Julia Gillard should stop telling lies to the people of Tasmania (Eric Abetz).

Julia Gillard made more dishonest statements in Hobart today about the GST.

The Coalition’s position on the distribution of the GST to the states is clear: we will not support or implement any proposal that disadvantages Tasmania.

In respect of GST allocations, neither Tasmania nor South Australia will be worse off under any future Coalition government.

Despite the Prime Minister’s falsehoods that she repeated today, the government still hasn’t announced its response to the Greiner-Brumby report.

Does your national leader lie? (Andrew Bolt).

The question we now face: Is the Prime Minister of Australia a liar?

Her Four Corners disaster on Monday night is part of a pattern.

Julia Gillard deceives and, I suspect, lies. And what’s killing her is that she does it so badly.

Gillard’s great carbon lie (Piers Ackerman).

The sweeping scope of Julia Gillard’s breathtaking lies in defence of her broken promise on a carbon tax should bury her political career.

Her first lie was to repeatedly claim in the immediate lead-up to the August 21 election that there would not be a carbon tax under a government she led.

That was clearly her biggest lie, but not her only lie by any means.

Now I ask those three moral crusaders, where is the outrage over Pyne’s lie? Where is the outrage over any of his lies? And what about Tony Abbott’s history of lying? And what about your own?

Let the outrage begin.

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