“May You Live In Interesting Times” = Chinese Curse.
“As they craft their new economic narrative, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison must reframe the national conversation about debt.
“To listen to the conservative right, government should never spend a penny more than it raises – and it should raise a lot less at that.
“To listen to the loony left, government debt is simply an investment in our future, and anyway, our debt levels are much smaller than in other countries.
“Neither description of Australia’s debt position holds water.”
Jessica Irvine, The Age, September 24th, 2015
OK, so according to Ms Irvine, the section of western civilisation containing Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, Donald Trump, the Tea Party and Sarah Palin is “conservative”, while the one with people such as Bob Brown, Bernie Sanders, Russell Brandt and the Socialist Alliance is just “loony”.
Yes, she was just using “loony left” because it’s a term often used, and unfortunately, my suggestion that we start using the term “ridiculous right” to cover extremists on the conservative side of politics hasn’t really caught on.
However, I suspect that now Malcolm’s in charge, the phrase we’ll be hearing a lot more is the “sensible centre”.
Of course, when I say Malcolm’s in charge, I simply mean that now he’s Prime Minister. Yes, he certainly isn’t “in charge”. because, well, if he were, wouldn’t he be doing more on climate change and same sex marriage?
And the Republic. Lest we forget all those diggers who died at Eureka trying to make this country free from tyranny.
Oh wait, we should forget them because under today’s laws most of them would have their citizenship stripped and sent back to their country of origin.
No, we should only say “lest we forget” when refering to those diggers who went and invaded Turkey to keep our country safe from the potential invasion in World War One.
Anyway, let’s not get bogged down in history. As we all know these are “interesting times”.
Malcolm Turnbull is proving to be a polarising figure. He’s winning popularity with some for two major reasons. First, not only is he not Tony Abbott, and is responsible for sending Tony into such a funk that he hasn’t turned up for work in over a week. This endears Malcolm to a number of people. Second, although he’s only been in the job a week, he’s actually done some things that people agree with, such as removing Hockey, Andrews and Abetz from Cabinet, and his announcement on extending services for victims of domestic violence. Not only that, he’s managed to do things without a major stuff-up.
On the other hand, there are many who mistrust Malcolm and think that he’s too slick and has a hidden agenda. They feel that he doesn’t mean what he’s saying and his main goal is to stay as Prime Minister. This simple fact is helping to heal the rifts between the Left and Right in Australia, as it’s something that both Cory Bernardi and Sarah Hanson-Young can agree on.
So, because of a couple of polls, everyone has written Shorten off as Labor leader, and the commenteriat will speculate about when Labor will remove him, overlooking the obvious fact that the hard-heads in Labor may be ready to concede the next election and be working on the one after. Why chew up a good leader when Shorten can be dispensed with after he’s lost, and you can approach the future with a fresh face? I still think that it’s likely that the Liberals may go to the polls before they have to frame another Budget, and, with a rise in the GST on the table, they’ll lose some seats even with the drover’s dog leading them. Replacing a leader after an election loss, doesn’t have the same “here we go again” about it that replacing Shorten any time soon would create.
And now that Peta Credlin has joined Julia Gillard in playing the “sexism card” – which was just being a bit of girl then, but OK now (yes, yes, irony intended, don’t clog up the comments with about accusations of me being sexist, I’m not, and being a white male, I’m in the best position to know when I’m being racist or sexist!). She came out against the sexism Abbott spoke of when he commented that things would be different if her name was “Peter” rather than “Peta”. There’s no doubt that Abbott’s right on this, as one of the problems people were complaining about was the fact that she was married to Brian Loughnane, long term Federal Director of the Liberal Party and to have his wife as the PM’s Chief of Staff meant that too much power was in the hands of one couple. (Loughnane and Credlin, that is. What did you think I meant!) Given Abbott’s strong opposition to gay marriage, there’s no way she would have been his Chief of Staff if her name were “Peter”.
Anyway, we were treated to a rather frank assessment from Ms Credlin yesterday:
“And if you’re a cabinet minister or a journalist and you’re intimidated by the chief-of-staff of the prime minister then maybe you don’t deserve your job.”
Now, this is rather interesting. Is she suggesting that there were cabinet ministers who didn’t “deserve” their jobs? If so, which ones? And did she bring this to the attention of the PM? Because he could have done a reshuffle and dropped them. Actually, one has to ask if they were, in fact, the ones Turnbull dropped, or are there still people there who don’t deserve their jobs.
She also informed us:
“I am not going to be one of those people who go out and kick the Liberal Party and kick the new Prime Minister on their way out. I think that is undignified,”
Interesting that her way of not kicking the Liberal Party is suggesting that some of the cabinet ministers weren’t up to the job. Also interesting that she’s not doing it because it’s “undignified” and not because they don’t deserve a damn good “kicking”.
Yep, like the curse says, “May you live in interesting times.”
Footnote: In spite of a boost in consumer confidence after Turnbull’s ascension, Australia is still likely to slip into recession owing to massive redundancies in our flag manufacturing sector.