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The terrier has fangs

Malcolm Turnbull would love voters to think he’s a fluffy white dog who wouldn’t hurt a fly. How can a man who adorably blogs on behalf of his dogs be anything but a harmless, gentle, kind Prime Minister? How can a man who wears a leather jacket on Qanda not be a man of the people? How can a man who wants to stay living in his multimillion dollar mansion on Sydney Harbour to be close to his grandson be anything but compassionate, socially progressive and committed to quality education and healthcare for the whole community? I’m sorry to disappoint the hopeful progressives who really want to believe Turnbull is the messiah. But isn’t it best I tell you now before you give him a chance to do a whole new term of harm? Turnbull definitely is NOT the messiah. Turnbull is a very naughty boy.

It is not entirely Turnbull’s fault that voters don’t realise how extreme his free-market ideology is. I think the problem is that voters assume that it’s OK for Turnbull to be right-wing when it comes to the economy, whilst also being sort of warm and fuzzy in a social sense. But this charade is just that: a charade. In the recent past Turnbull has been busily differentiating himself from Abbott. But when it comes to the free-market-loving part of the values Abbott and Turnbull share, Turnbull would go much harder and faster on the free-market bit, where Abbott spent more of his energy on social conservatism. Remember WorkChoices? Turnbull’s free market values means he believes this attempted assault on workers’ rights didn’t go far enough. You think Howard was scary? You ain’t see nothing yet!

If you were watching the Grand Final on Saturday, you might have missed the idea floated by this cute little terrier of a PM’s Treasurer, Scomo, that the States really should start thinking about letting private companies run hospitals and schools. Shock horror! ‘But wait!’ I hear all the supposably progressive Turnbull lovers say, ‘that’s just Scomo being Scomo and still swinging the Abbott-wrecking-ball. That’s not our cute cuddly Turnbull’. Get real people. Turnbull chose Morrison to be his government’s Treasurer. He made the decision not just because he needed Morrison’s voting block to win the Libspill. Stop the wishful thinking. Turnbull chose Morrison as his Treasurer because they SHARE THE SAME IDEOLOGY. The desired end point for people with these values, values Turnbull has been very up front about, is that the free market solves all social problem, that there should be no government intervention in the economy, including any welfare of any kind, and therefore everything becoming user-pays. In this world, the more money you have, the more healthcare and education you get. See how well this works out for the mega-rich Turnbulls of the world? Funny that. You might be thinking, it’s OK, Turnbull’s never going to get that far. But just imagine the damage he could do if he only gets some of what he wants. Imagine the wreckage strewn in that path!

Don’t be fooled by the idea that Turnbull is centre-right, or, as I’ve even heard some very mistaken lefties say, that he’s ‘left’ on social issues. The truth is, he has to be pro-marriage equality because this position isn’t just electorally desirable in Wentworth, it is electorally 100% necessary. Turnbull might say the right thing about climate change action too, but surely you noticed he never crossed the floor in Abbott’s government and helped to destroy climate action. Instead, he supported expensive and useless Direct Action, which he now plans to keep even though he’s in a position to end it. In fact, Turnbull will say and do whatever he needs to say to make himself look however he needs to look to win votes. Sorry to disappoint, but the tooth fairy isn’t real, Santa is your parents and it’s not possible to be both right-wing-pro-free-market and socially left-wing. Being socially ‘left’ means that schools and hospitals are run for the good of the people, not the good of the market. Turnbull’s free market position means he’d happily let the market rip public hospitals and schools out of the hands of the public and into the hands of the highest bidder for the greatest profit.

TerrierWithFangs When progressives realise what it really means for the country to have a free marketeer in charge, and they realise it’s actually impossible to be economically-right and socially-left at the same time, and when they don’t agree with Turnbull that healthcare and education should be run at a profit, they might realise their progressive vote definitely does not belong to Turnbull. ‘Privately run’ hospitals and schools is a very steep, buttered slope towards the end of free-for-all-and-all-alike hospitals and schools, which quickly leads to hospitals and schools only available to those who have the means to pay. I assume this is not an outcome progressives strive for?

So please, I’m begging you, don’t be fooled by the smarmy exterior and the cheesy grin. Turnbull is giving Australia a hug while stealing our public owned services and workers’ rights from our back pocket. Turnbull is a Prime Minister who looks like a cuddly terrier, but when you get to know him, you see he has fangs. Please be careful with your vote Australia. Turnbull has neo-liberal-sharp-as-diamond fangs. We’ve been bitten badly enough by Abbott. Please don’t now give the Turnbull terrier a chance to bite us even harder



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  1. keerti

    Thankyou Victoria! Good to see someone else who doesn’t want to think that smarmy turncoat is the messiah and that it’ll all be alright now the aborted one has been deposed! Turncoat is more dangerous than the aborted one. Where abut could only ever make it to chief warrior (negative, unintelligent, visionless chief warrior), smarmy turncoat has the smarts, the personality and vision to be king, but if you are one of the vassals watch out! His vision is not for you!

  2. Bronte ALLAN

    Compared to Tony Abscess, Malcolm Talkbull is “almost” Human! However, he is STILL a tea party, right wing, flat earth, conservative, albeit a “moderate” one. I hope that none of this “advice” he has been given regarding privatisation is going to make him start thinking along these lines. Here in South Australia we already “enjoy” far too many of our Government Institutions, agencies, Trusts, Commisions & Departments etc, now privatised! In every case where privatisation has occurred, consumer prices for the services concerned have all risen! Bastards! Now our inept Labor government wants to privatise our well-run & respected, Motor Accident Commission (MAC), as this body has continuously made a profit, whilst admirably “taking care” of SA motorists etc. The Govt, is so broke they want to sell-off this Department, & “absorb” the profits of this sale into general revenue! We are already “enjoying” (sic), the closure of some of our metro Hospitals, the downgrading of Hospital Emergency Departments, the loss of hundreds of Hospital beds etc, all in the name of “transforming health” (sic)–think of this as quasi-privatisation! If ALL Australian Governments & our Federal Government continue on this privatisation path, there will be nothing left for them to run! God help us all!

  3. John Hermann

    Turnbull replaced Hockey as Treasurer with Morrison because Hockey did not possess sufficient political acumen for working cooperatively with either his cabinet colleagues or the corporate community – whose interests the Liberals serve. However it is abundantly clear that Morrison is addicted to the same inane sloganising and deficit hawkishness as his predecessor. This demonstrates that Turnbull’s economic trajectory is basically the same as was Abbott’s — which is to say broadly implementing the neoliberal agenda — notwithstanding Turnbull’s claim that the reason for pulling off the coup against Abbott was the latter’s failure to implement a workable economic policy. So we might expect a little softening around the edges, perhaps some money redirected to CSIRO and other research bodies including universities, however the broad objective appears to remain the same as previously. The big issue is whether Turnbull has a plan B, ready for implementing if and when the Australian economy officially moves into recession.

  4. kerri

    I think you are all painting Turnbull way too simplistically! Malcolm is way more cunning than that! You don’t spend years working for Kerry Packer without picking up some first class bastardry tactics! Turnbull’s personal beliefs aside he still runs a very right wing party. He needed to win votes from the right! Bernardi, Abetz et al would never vote for Turnbull and they are only a selection of the RWNJs. Morrison was the bribe. Besides keep thy enemies close! With Morrison spouting his vindictive quasi-religious venom as Treasurer he will not poll well as a potential leader. Malcolm has tactically played Morrison to his own ends. Win win. As for privatising schools and hospitals? Substitute “privatise” with “sell or give to the churches” and maybe you are getting close to the plan! But regardless of what Malcolm has said in the past and regardless of whether he means it when he says Direct Action is crap and gay marriage is good, he still has to keep his party on side. He will softly, softly making tiny changes publicised large to appear the right man for the job whilst maintaining the right wing agenda in line with caucus. Without the party support he can be knifed just as Abbott was. Julie is in his pocket. Hockey is gone. Another win win there! Morrison is busy being a prick and the sun shines on Malcolm!
    Malcolm had a lot of time as Communications minister to mull over his leadership plans and fine tune them and we all know that because he did F. all for the NBN!

  5. Ricardo29

    The MSM already all over Mal and the rest. Incredibly soft interview with Bishop on Insiders, no shutting down her same old same old claims on Labor and Asylum seeker costs, same old confused response on Syria demonising Assad. And of course the adulation of her grand final coverage. Labor is going to have to work really hard to get some oxygen. Time for some radical policy work, including on refugee treatment and strong opposition to privatisations.

  6. Terry2

    There are some very mixed messages coming from this government in areas of taxation, particularly the GST. Initially Baird was sent out to float the GST increase on behalf of Abbott but he seemed to be saying that any increase should go towards healthcare. At the same time, Scomo seems to be saying that it should offset a reduction in income and company tax .

    Now Scomo is playing the old pea and thimble trick and without conceding that his government have ripped $50 billion out of health and education, he’s now suggesting to the states that they could privatise schools and hospitals.

    I agree Victoria, we will have to watch Turnbull closely to see if he has any authority over the far Right or whether he will go from the people’s Messiah to Pontius Pilate.

    That said, at least we have got rid of Abbott and whilst that is not necessarily good for the Labor chances in the next election, it is a big plus for Australia.

  7. Roswell

    This bloke is going to fool a lot of people.

  8. John Fraser

    Victoria I think you are wrong about Morrison.

    He has the same religious fervour as abbott and the same pit bull mentality to go after the top job.

    Weve all seen the iron hand treatment handed down to Refugees and now we get to see the iron hand in the glove treatment handed down to Aussies.

    Crap like this schools business will be his waterboard treatment of the Australian public.

    Posted from Saint Petersburg, Russia.

    Where Dutton would be made a Hero of the Soviet Union for his cover ups.

    And the AFP would be given more military style hardware for their ability to drag out the investigstion of Mal “Jackie” Brough

  9. diannaart

    Victoria says:

    Malcolm Turnbull would love voters to think he’s a fluffy white dog who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

    For one, the far right-faction of the LNP don’t think Malcolm is too cute, secondly; nor does anyone else slightly to the left of Scott Morrison believe Malcolm deserves a pat – no doubt there are some beguiled voters – always will be.

    If diddums-Abbott thought he had it tough…. big or little Mal (depending upon your POV) will be walking on eggshells at least until the 2016 election.

    ARE U Listening Billy-Boy?

  10. RosemaryJ36

    The money which the government spends on health care, education and a myriad other things is OUR money. They may not be 100% efficient but they are not trying to make a profit.
    When privatised, these services are still going to cost US money and it HAS TO BE MORE because the company has to make a profit for its shareholders.
    Why, oh why cannot people realise that privatising only ever begins to work if lots of people want to provide the service and will pare their profits down to the bone to get your business.

  11. Florence nee Fedup

    One should judge Turnbull by the action, or lack of action, the lies he has told, when it comes to NBNCo.

    He would have been one of the few in the Abbott government that understood the value, the necessary technology of fibre to premises.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    Turnbull could be using Morrison for same purpose Abbott used him. Abbott wanted NBNCo gone, and the gloss taken off Turnbull in the process.

    Turnbull has set up Morrison in the same way. He needs to be able to move the emphasis put on lowering taxes. lowering services moved to another area.

    He has managed to move the focus of Abbott’s demolishing all government services, lowering direct taxes to increasing the GST and like taxes, to all being on the table. Turnbull intends to begin again.

    Turnbull’s ego won’t allow him to be satisfied with just being PM. He sees himself as making his mark in history. In the Whitlam mould would be to his liking. Trouble is, we are not sure what his aims are. Where he wants to take the country.

    Please don’t be taken in by the charm offensive he has launched.

    Interesting that the Muslim community gives Baird the credit for the change taken on Friday, when it comes to security matters. Complete 180 deg turn from Abbott’s

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    Roswell, maybe we should be asking, can he fool many in his own government? Second is, how far will he go with TURC? Seems they have Howe lined up middle month.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    Armed vehicles going to be built in Bendigo VIC? It is a shame it is not new high speed trains.

  15. mmc1949

    Victoria – 100% spot on
    Roswell – you’re 100% right too – the change of PM will blind many to there being no change in policies
    Rosemary: At first I read your “still going to cost US money” as costing “United States money” …. but that’s true too – profits from privatised health will go off-shore and no doubt the US will be the biggest buyers from the government …. probably at knock-down prices, to add insult to injury.

    If Labor is to have a chance at the next election, Bill Shorten and the ALP had to be talking positively, with policies, yesterday. Every negative statement about the LNP only shows that the ALP itself is bereft of policies. Pulling rabbits out of hats in the “campaign period” isn’t going to cut it in 2016.

    So the ALP isn’t getting a look-in with the MSM? If they came out with anything worthwhile, the alternative media and FB and Twitter would pick it up and spread the word. That we hear nothing via those sources speaks volumes of … nothing 🙁

  16. brickbob

    We just kicked Newman out on his ear because he wanted to privatise everything,and his was a first term Govt with a huge majority,so if this Prick from Point Piper tries the same thing here in QLD he will be in for a rude shock.””

  17. stephentardrew

    Great article Victoria. Machiavelli writ large. Lying deceitful smiley faced hypocrite.

  18. Jexpat

    Wait until Turnbull and the Australian media (with the help of some nominal “progressives” -and possibly the ALP) usher through the (still secret) TPP claiming to has wrested “major concessions” from the US Oligarchy.

  19. Terry2

    The TURC has turned up allegations of back-handers, facilitation payments and bribes which, were it in the purview of the Commission would have a number of major employers very worried : it takes two to tango !

    Surprisingly the Commission is only now coming to terms with the biggest scandal involving unions and most of this exposed by the HSU in their pursuit of the so called whistleblower and LNP one time favourite, Kathy Jackson. Abbott may have tried to brush this under the carpet but I don’t think Turnbull will :

  20. Loz

    I have no illusions about Malcolm Turnbull. His hypocrisy over Labour’s climate change policy and Labour’s NBN leaves me in no doubt that this man is not to be trusted. He sole purpose is for power at whatever the cost..

  21. Peter F

    Thank you, Victoria. One thing I think we should be aware of ” Turnbull believes that should be no government intervention in the economy, including any welfare of any kind” – EXCEPT for business,

  22. Graeme Henchel

    @Brickbob. Thankyou for the “Prick from Point Piper” alliteration. I will add it the “Wanker from Wentworth” that a contributor at the Guardian provided.

  23. Zathras

    Turnbull may be a terrier but he’s being kept on a pretty short leash – at least until the next election.
    If he wins there’s every chance he’ll get back some of the power to implement his own policies.
    Meanwhile I doubt he’ll be allowed to spook the voters too soon.

    As for the alleged “lack of policies” from the ALP there have been a number of them announced amid the noise of leadership squabbles.

    It worked OK for Howard to release “a policy a day” in the last few weeks and for Abbott to print endless pamphlets of so-called policies before the election and then proceed to break each one afterward but I doubt the jaded public really cares anymore and will vote along different lines. It’s the way it’s been done for years in this country and I don’t expect that to change now.

    The best thing that the ALP can do is have a Corbin-style resurgence and break away from the right-wing extremist path it’s wandered into.

    Finally, after the TURC has finished it’s work I’d like to see a Commission into political funding.
    Laundering taxpayers money into Party coffers via donation from private schools is only the tip of a rather sinister iceberg. (Exclusive Brethren in Tasmania – Hansard. 17 March 2010, Page: 2080, 18 March 2010 Page 2197, 27 August 2008 Page: 3949)

    I expect the prospect of widening their market into yet more privately owned schools and hospitals must have the Libs salivating at the thought.

  24. william post

    Remember that Malcolm was once a partner at Goldman Sachs, and you know how that has gone for other countries who have had powerful people with the Sachs background. Just think Greece and USA…

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