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Turnbull Admits That Politicians Are More Important Than People In Shopping Centres!

Well, yet again I’ve let a member of the Abbott Government distract me from what I was intending to write about. I was going to write about the roundtable on climate change which the ABC calls “an unprecedented alliance of business, union, environmental, investor and welfare groups” and The Guardian refers to as “an unprecedented alliance of business, welfare and environmental groups and trade unions”…

Mm, I suspect that they received the same press release. Even The Herald-Sun refered to it as… as… well, I’m sure it must be there somewhere.

Anyway, I was going to just repeat myself by blathering on about the fact that it seems that a large number of diverse groups – not just your “lefty lynch mob” types – are suggesting that something more needs to be done about climate change. Of course, the Abbott Government would argue that removing a tax and taking taxpayer’s money to give to polluters is not only the most effective way of dealing with climate change, but is also a great way to balance the budget because that tax was costing everyone money. And there is an argument for that. Just like there’s an argument that the ABC is yet again showing what a pack of socialists they are by running a program critical of possible links between the mafia and politicians, when we all know that the mafia are the sort of entrepreneurial types that don’t rely on welfare. Personally, I think it smacks of racism because we’ve never worried about links between good old home grown criminals and politicians.

But I read the transcript of Mr Turnbull’s interview with Barrie Cassidy, and it seems that Turnbull has yet again demonstrated his capacity to take a strong principled stand right up to the point of actually doing something about it.

Ah, Malcolm, the man who brought us “utegate”. Malcolm, the man who seems to be able to imply that he knows that Abbott is going too far, but, well, what can one do but toe the party line? As he said toward the end of the interview, if they get a free vote then he’d vote for gay marriage, and he thinks that they should get a free vote. What more could one ask for in a politician? Cross the floor? Nah, then he’d have to resign from the ministry and he wouldn’t be in Cabinet and he wouldn’t be able to influence the government on such things as gay marriage.

In the Cassidy interview, there are some great bits where Malcolm attempts to explain how launching an inquiry into an editorial decision where the PM has already decided that heads must roll is not the same thing as attempting to interfere with an editorial decision. Basically the subtext was: “Yes, you’re free to do things that the government doesn’t like, and we’re free to launch an inquiry and have you taken off air.”

But it was his explanation of the difference between allowing Zaky Mallah to walk the streets when he was clearly not the sort of person who should be allowed into a studio audience that really confused me:

BARRY CASSIDY: What is the difference between him going into a shopping centre…

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Are you pulling my leg?

BARRY CASSIDY: Well what is the difference between him going into a shopping centre?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: After the Martin Place siege, you’re saying to me that there is no security issue with putting Zaky Mallah in a live audience with…

BARRY CASSIDY: Well what’s the difference between that and Zaky Mallah walking into a shopping centre?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, if you can’t see that, Barrie, I’m sorry. I mean, seriously, you’ve lost the plot there, with all due respect.

This is a high profile audience. It’s a very high profile target. This is a fellow that has threatened violence in the past, has been impris – threatened to kill people, gone to jail for it, been involved in, you know, buying ammunition…

Now, leaving aside the obvious point that Martin Place is in a shopping area so the idea that because of that incident, Q & A is somehow likely to be a target for a terrorist attack than a “shopping centre”, one has to ask how all the extra funding going to our security is being used. After all, if this “dangerous” man in the audience has accessed weapons in the past few months, then surely our security forces would know about it. I mean, with his record they must be keeping tabs on him, surely. And if he was involved in the acquisition of anything that could cause damage, then some action would have been taken, surely.

Whatever, Turnbull seems to be saying that Q & A is a likely target because it has high profile people. Wouldn’t this suggest that it’s a dangerous place to appear at any time, because, after all, it may not be a person known to security forces who is the security risk. Someone like the guy in the Martin Place siege. Oh wait, he was known. Just ignored.

But this still doesn’t explain why – if he sees Zaky Mallah as a danger – why he’s allowed to walk the streets. Is it because he doesn’t really think that Mallah is a real threat to people. Or is it that people in “shopping centres” are more expendable than high profile people?

And Liberals are now refusing to go on Q & A. Is this just so they can complain about ABC bias because there have been no Liberals on for since June, or do they know something? Yes, you’re right, it’s highly unlikely that they know something. There’s absolutely no evidence of that.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Now, in the light of all of that, you get back to that fundamental question: why on earth would the ABC you know, Barrie, I support the ABC, but I’ve got to tell you, the ABC is different to any other media organisation. It has a statutory responsibility to be accurate and impartial and objective.

BARRY CASSIDY: And it’s also independent. It’s a public broadcaster.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: It is independent of government, but it has a higher duty, it has a duty of objectivity that the rest of the media does not. They can be as opinionated as they like.

I’m still trying to work out what the “fundamental question” is in that little ramble. However, I find it fascinating that Malcolm Turnbull thinks that there is NO duty of objectivity in the rest of the media. While I certainly believe that independent media have the right to an editorial opinion, surely there are some standards of objectivity in the reporting of what we laughingly call “news”. Does he really believe that the media have a right to run campaigns vilifying certain sections of the community just because they don’t have to be objective? Oh wait… Silly me. Well, I’m sure that even Turnbull would have a slight problem if any of the major media organisations started prefacing all articles refering to him with “failed Liberal leader” Malcolm Turnbull, or refered to his reliance on the forged email when attacking Rudd in 2009 over the alleged misleading of Parliament.

Still, I did wonder about Turnbull’s suggestion that Cassidy had “lost the plot”. Is this an admission that the Liberal’s have one? And who are they plotting against?

P.S. Investment tip of the week: Get out of real estate and buy shares in flag company.

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23 comments

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  1. Lee

    Tony Abbott has committed acts of violence and he’s allowed to go into Parliament House with a lot of high-profile people. Why doesn’t anyone in the Liberal Party think that he may be violent in there?

  2. Keitha Granville

    Clearly all the important people on the Q&A panel have to be protected from terrorists whereas ordinary Australians going about their lives in shopping centres and cafes don’t.
    Malcolm just has to stop short of doing anything because he then can’t be ready to jump into the top job when all the others fall at the last hurdle. If he has played his hand already and cast his die, it will be game over. He has to be sitting on the fence right up to the last minute. (Can I fit in any more metaphors and figures of speech ?)
    Some days I just don’t think I can bear another second of this travesty we call a government.

  3. Rossleigh

    So Keitha, you’re suggesting that Turnbull is playing his cards close to his chest, while attempting to keep his nose clean, and playing both sides of the fence, so that the blood won’t be on his hands when Abbott’s goose is cooked thanks to him attempting to over-egg the pudding with his sabre-rattling, reds under the bed, fear mongering

  4. Ben Cameron

    Richie Rich did not defend the ABC against the defamatory, slanderous and libelous opinions expressed in the Goebbels’ Ltd. press. All ABC workers were implied to be terrorist supporters and the LNP did nothing to defend them against such accusations. Mr 1% did not show support for the ABC staff who received, threatening, intimidatory, and sexually explicit calls from people are probably LNP supporters.

  5. David

    Ross, thanks for the reminder about the Turnbull tag ‘failed Liberal leader’. As he blocked me on twitter years ago I cannot communicate with him there directly. However the block can be overcome when responding to a post where he is among the participants in the thread.
    I shall use the tag whenever possible. It will annoy him no end.
    Re the Cassidy interview, as usual with the tiring aged interviewer, Mr Cassidy fails to follow up on answers that are blatantly avoiding the crux of the question, happy to move on. Labor shadow Ministers are rarely offered the same indulgence, they are easy prey for the ‘yes but’ response.
    Wonder if the physco abbott had prior knowledge of tonights 4 Corners. Mmmm silly question, I am sure Mr Scott will have advised Ms Credlin, so as to avoid any more public butt kicking.

  6. Loz

    Turnbull is fast becoming another buffoon on the front bench.

  7. iggy648

    Thankfully that bloke who recommended the murder of Australia’s Prime Minister, isn’t given air time any more. What was his name? Alan somebody? And what about the chappie who suggested Julia should be kicked to death? No-one’s putting him to air any more either. Are they? Surely?

  8. brickbob

    None of this shit was going on before Sept 2013,stripping citizenship,death cults,terrorist under the bed,not allowed to criticise the Govt,child refugees getting raped and murdered,paying bribes to criminals,silencing voices of dissent in Parliament,raiding the homes of teenagers by a 600 strong para military force just to find a plastic sword,savage cuts to indigenous programs and womens domestic health and violence centres,nobbling the ABC,SBS,demonising unions with 80 million dollar bloody Royal bloody Commissions,denying kids benefits for 6 months,denigrating single mothers and people on welfare,poor people dont drive bloody cars,Team bloody Australia,get a high paying job and buy a house you mob of bludgers.
    I just have one more question, What happened?”””””””””

  9. eli nes

    QandA the rabbutt kerfuffle!!! He really is a wimp. Think back to the assange ambush on gillard and her ability to handle a shock but put the rabbutt in such a situation and imagine the stunned silence, the fertive search for an exit and scrape of the chair as he bolted for safety.
    But it is a dream he will go nowhere without the seatbelt.of no questions and why should he? There are no votes on the ABC

  10. kerri

    Brickbob you are so right!! Why can’t the sheeple see that we didn’t even have this level of terror and false security/nationalism just after the Bali bombings!! How can Abbott claim there were attacks in France, Kuwait, Tunisia and that means ISIS is coming for us???? Stupid stupid men all of them and even the honorary men Ley and Bishops. (I actually think Cash is a man) Turnbull has always been the silver hypocrite. The smiling assassin and ready to sell his own mother to get to the PM role. Just like Abbott but with more guile and charm.
    Tic Toc Tic Toc here comes the crocodile Abbott. Seductive and soulless.

  11. diannaart

    Rossleigh

    You are so spot on with your satire that I had to google the conversation between Cassidy and Turnbull, to discover it actually took place. I have not (quite deliberately) been following the antics of our government lately due to the danger of entering a permanent state of coma.

    The LNP have become quite mind-numbing with their hypocrisy have they not?

    We do not even need the reminders of Utegate & Gordon Grech when Turnbull himself does such a great job of outing himself as just another neo-con – with the emphasis on ‘con’.

  12. Phi

    Yes Rossleigh – right on!! Turnbull looked physically small in his big chair and casual clothes, as so often occurs when the power of the political burqua i.e the grey suit and blue tie, is not there to give gravity to power. His arguments were convoluted and inconsistent. He’s a spent force and I can’t figure out why he hangs around – surely there must be more to this man’s life goals than playing toady to Abbott?

  13. spiraledi1

    Hmmm something tells me that cassidy will be on the end of a vindictive putsch from Turnbull.I could sense the” gonna get you for this “formulating in his brain as he was ever so civilly fulminating in his answer,or rather Non answer to Barries simile re Mallah and the shopping centre question.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    What got me about Tim Wilson, the supposed Australian champion of free speech, performance on Q&A was the hypocrisy of his attempting to snow job the free speech issue of this matter. Apparently someone coming onto a public forum to exercise free speech is not about free speech at all, and Mallah is allowed to practice free speech, and here’s the but, just not on the ABC.

    Everytime Wilson was questioned or pulled up on the free speech aspect he obfuscated and said it was nothing to do with free speech but the ABC’s poor judgement in allowing this person on air to practice his right to free speech, because that’s what Wilson’s nonsense argument boiled down to.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Wilson said that they could have had a far better representative of the Muslim community. Could I say that we could have had a far better person there representing free speech than our “Freedom Commissioner”. What a sorry little man he is – a government apologist through and through who should NEVER have been gifted a job with an independent statuatory body for which he is patently unqualified. It makes me wonder about George Brandis…..

  16. Terry2

    If it weren’t for the regime we currently have in power it is most unlikely that people like Nick Cater, Gerard Henderson or Sharri Markson (all columnists with the Australian) would ever get an invitation to a program like Q&A as they really have no contribution to make beyond being right-wing conservatives.

    Kaye, I well remember the attempt by Piers Akerman to slander – in his thinking – Tim Mathieson on Insiders : it was so clear that it was a gratuitous and malicious attempt to denigrate the then Prime Minister and her partner. The ABC need to be applauded for excluding him from future appearances. Like the people mentioned above, he has no contribution to make beyond the posturing of a right-wing reactionary.

  17. Kyran

    As always, Rossleigh, your articles continue to demonstrate that satire is a dying art when held against our modern history. Your continued efforts to satirise the ludicrous are to be admired.

    I watched the turncoat interview and waited for Cassidy to ask about the neutered NBN, the cuts to the ABC/SBS, to ask why the ABC continues to be vilified for bias when it has a more stringent process for complaints and scrutiny than MSM. No such ‘gotcha’s’ occurred. Then I remembered Cassidy’s emasculation at the hands of the rabid in the first days of government.

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2F2013-10-25%2Fbrandis-asks-cassidy-to-quit-old-parliament-advisory-council%2F5044882&ei=Ns2RVYOhEoi7mwWFk6mAAQ&usg=AFQjCNF34LbFT4XF-ze5Wdc7Cz1uhDtsag

    Cassidy’s letter of resignation from a voluntary and honorary (unpaid) position and rabid’s rants about jobs for the boys are now, with the benefit of hindsight, worthy of comparison to any satirical essay. For all the wrong reasons. Take care

  18. John Lord

    you are being unfair. Malcolm also invented the internet according to the Prime Minister.

  19. Gangey1959

    And here is me thinking that uncle malcolm was the smrt one in parliament. DOH!!!!.
    Quick question.
    If I visits the Museum of Australian Democracy today, does my gift baggie at the end of my tour say “And we all lived happily ever after?”

  20. Bilal

    Many people have hoped that Malcolm would bring the Tea Party back to Liberalism once the zombies were removed from the front bench. That hope has evaporated. They are all zombies. The Liberals belong to history or are in the ALP.
    If the Greens go gangrenous we will have to get busy with gardening until they come for us. All will be lost.

  21. Kyran

    Gangey, I suspect it is now a Mausoleum. I also suspect the ‘gift baggie’ will be one of those brown paper bag things, with Mafiosi imprimatur. The card will read “And we all lived, happily ever after. As long as you do it my way”. They might even have a sound track from Mr Sinatra, “I did it their way”. Take care

  22. David

    If Akerman is on the panel, I hope there are a few dead eye shoe throwing experts in the audience. Akerman son of Kelly, cousin of Bolt all moulded from the same model. Material used, sewer effluent

  23. Peter

    I didn’t see in your report where he directly said “Politicians are more important than people in shopping centres”. It was directly inferred that he said that – and rightly so. I was looking for a statement directly out of his mouth stating it . . unfortunately he did not directly say it (not on your report anyway). I can’t use inferences when posting on FB as I want my facts to be 100% accurate – I may however be able to use the conclusion if I state that is an inference.

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