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Turnbull assumes Menzies’ mantle in epic failure of judgement

The Queen has embodied selfless public service, dignity, wisdom, leadership for and more magnificently than anyone alive today, there is not doubt.”

In a florid tribute which betrays more than he realises, a fawning Malcolm Turnbull, proclaims himself not only an Elizabethan but also a Republican, a surprisingly belated affirmation of a cause which he has shunned since being out-manoevered by John Howard in the skewed 1999 plebiscite. He also declares the Liberal Party is centrist.

It’s another incredible twist in a week of surprises as the PM extends his G20 junket to buddy up with Macron, hoping he won’t notice how we treat meeting our Paris Accord as a joke, return Abbott’s sniping, evade his fifteenth damning News Poll and do the dirty on the states on clean energy. All up, his grand tour is a tonic.

Saturday, Lazarus Mal is back, lurching to the right to massage Queensland Liberal Party prejudices. Coal-fired power opponents are “delusional”, he hollers. He’s all about energy security, stability and lower prices. The sunshine state is committed to coal-fired electricity. The coal bludgers also have the nation’s highest electricity prices.

In the real world, the US, our neocolonial dominatrix, leaves us in the lurch by not declaring war on North Korea after all. It also abruptly halts its processing refugees on Nauru, an ominous sign for Dutton and Turnbull’s US refugee swap deal.

The halt follows ABC’s Chris ” I only wrote what I was told to” Uhlmann’s honest and objective review of Trump as a total G20 failure, a your-emperor-has-no-clothes report which goes viral. Could the two events possibly be related?

Time to look more closely; first to Turnbull’s public coming out as an Elizabethan. It’s not the first time, as Judith Ireland reminds us, that the PM’s played the Elizabethan card. Last December he disappointed an Australian Republic movement sit-down do, at $150 a head, with his specious argument for not ditching the monarchy while Elizabeth reigned over us. The Queen is a vital tribal totem, as important to our identity as Vegemite.

So admired and respected is the Queen, he claims, that “few of us can say we are not Elizabethans.” Especially himself.

It’s a conundrum if not an identity crisis which annoys the Duke. “What’s wrong with these people? Prince Philip is reported to have said when the republican plebiscite failed in 1999. “Can’t they see what’s good for them?”

“They just couldn’t agree about the model”, replied Elizabeth. Little bull-dog, Howard, Order of Merit, had seen to that.

The 91 year old Queen, impeccably prepared, receives her Elizabethan-republican and recently proclaimed follower of Menzies’ Australian PM wearing her Ming bling brooch, a diamond-encrusted spray of wattle. It is a gift from a smitten Robert G Menzies, who “… did but see her passing by …” long enough to pin it on her during HM’s 1954 Commonwealth Tour. It’s a sign Her Majesty trusts Turnbull won’t spoil things by raising The Palace letters relating to The Dismissal.

A Federal Court case to force the release of the letters, is set to begin in August, a move The Palace can veto, however, at any time, even after the 2027 embargo is up. Our figurehead of state still retains an extraordinary power.

Turnbull’s Palace reception lifts his spirits after the G20 letdown. He’s looking like a goose now war on North Korea is off the menu despite his urging and hectoring of China for letting its minion get dangerously and “recklessly” out of hand.

The Coalition’s attempt to jump the Trump was gazumped when the tweeter-in-chief failed to rail against North Korea. Not even an emoji escapes from under his thumbs alerting the twittersphere to the rogue state’s aim to nuke the world into oblivion. No idle-threatening. No behind the scenes lobbying. Not even a statement.

China and Russia objected to the G20 making any joint statement being made on North Korea and tougher sanctions, arguing the summit was an economic forum. Behind the scenes, our PM blames The Donald for his lack of leadership.

“… nobody round that table was defending the North Koreans, in terms of their conduct” at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Turnbull tells Fairfax’s James Massola. Nor, however, was anyone making such a spectacular effort as Australia to support US Defence Secretary mad dog James Mattis’ anti-Kim madness in public. No-one else is that desperate to impress the US.

So embarrassing. The ABC has been dutifully screening endless loops of rockets and manic goose-stepping North Korean soldiers intercut with images of Kim taken on a bad hair day as Malcolm, Marise, Julie and Barnaby denounce the rogue.

“Experts” are quoted by Barnaby. Maps of the Top End appear on TV showing that all of North Queensland could be at risk of Kim’s nuclear warheads. Darwin, anyway. Kim’s a monster, a one man yellow peril to be stopped at any price.

Yet there’s a bright side. Australia has done the world a favour by inadvertently exposing the hoax of international censure of Kim to be no more than a US-orchestrated beat up. It’s the same with every illegal invasion it has ever dragged us – however eagerly- into. So much for stable leadership. Full war alert one day; a deafening silence the next.

When the leader of the free world can’t even bother giving a press conference it leaves little even for a sycophantic media to embellish. Thank god for Malcolm and Lucy’s ride in the French President’s Falcon jet.

It’s a first, gushes Fairfax’s James Massola. Has Turnbull also persuaded Macron to withdraw France’s application to the UN Human Rights Council? Over night, it seems, France is out, virtually guaranteeing Australia a place in October. Two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars has been well spent. Nothing to report here, though.

Turnbull’s keen to talk up our twelve submarines on order, a deal which is far from water-tight. He continues to pretend that a $50 billion investment in an untried concept is a stroke of genius. But he’s left treading water on the jobs hoax.

90% of the submarine build would take place in Australia, the government was promised. But in a senate committee hearing last month, French builder DCNS backed away from that commitment. DCNS has “no formal agreement” with ASC. The company now intends to “absorb” ASC workers, the ones David Johnston wouldn’t trust to build a canoe.

With a sinking feeling Turnbull returns to his own survival. He has a cunning plan to redefine the Liberals to exclude those who are giving him trouble. He’ll invoke Menzies. Portray him as a leftie. Brilliant. What could possibly go wrong?

Bill Shorten knows. He sticks his head up his holiday reading to lob a well-aimed zinger. “The Turnbull government is in the middle of an identity crisis and they’ve forgotten what their real job is – it’s to look after the country.”

Jeff Kennett doesn’t get it. “Why would you do it from overseas? Why would you throw a can of petrol onto a fire?”

“The Liberal Party has never been a conservative party”, asserts Turnbull, who knows he has nothing to lose. Moreover, he’s always been a PM who will say or do anything. He waxes historical in an address in London to Policy Exchange, deadly Dave Cameron’s favourite right wing think tank aka the “neo-con attack dog”. His audience glowers.

In 2009 Policy Exchange commissioned veteran opponent of wealth redistribution Peter Saunders to rebut Kate Picket and Richard Wilkinson’s case for reducing inequality. He denounced their book, The Spirit Level as a left-wing manifesto.

It’s an odd mob to tell “Menzies did not want his party to be reactionary”. But Turnbull has a wider audience.

It’s my party, not yours, Tony, is his message to his nemesis. It’s part of his thank speech to PE for its “Disraeli Award” for his government’s “non-discriminatory policies which help make Australia a land of opportunity”. Last year, a report found a we’d only taken one sixth of the Syrian refugees we promised a year earlier. It takes time to pick the Christians.

Are we getting a Disraeli for stopping the boats? Our offshore detention policy is based on discrimination. On Manus Island, the PNG government cuts the power off to force 800 refugees into a transit centre in the town. The men fear for their safety and they fear abandonment. Fear makes us feel our humanity wrote Disraeli. Or not.

The government deal with the US to swap the refugees who will never be allowed into Australia has fallen in a heap. Opportunity? Julie Bishop on ABC Insiders Sunday skitters away. Blames Labor. Keeping a straight face, the prim white hope of Liberal leadership assures us “the process” will be resumed after 1 October. “…as the President promised…”

She repeats the lie that “Australia is one of the most generous countries in the world since the second world war.”

Our annual humanitarian intake of around 20,000 people is far from generous when placed in a historical context. In 1949, when there were 60 million global refugees and Australia had 8 million we gave refuge to almost 75,000 people.

“Processing” is a cruel farce. What could there be to discover after years of our multi-billion dollar Immigration Dept processing? The US has threatened extreme vetting without deigning to explain what it means. The truth is that it is just something Trump made up in a speech. In the meantime the hopes of 800 men continue to be abused.

The camp will be completely demolished in October. Yet the government has no plan whatsoever – apart from the punt on Trump following through on Obama’s offer. Apart from all its inhumanity, Manus is a debacle. Dutton would have been asked to resign in any other but a Turnbull government. Instead, he is about to be given a promotion.

The award is a set up. Or ironic. Never was any recipient less deserving, politically or personally. But it’s an irresistible opportunity to bloviate, slap down Abbott and rebadge, if not reinvent, the party to suit his own, current, orientation.

An insufferable egomaniac, only Turnbull would attempt such a party trick; remaking the Liberals in his own image.

Normally no-one would notice. But when he claims the Liberal Party sits in the “sensible centre of politics” howls of outrage erupt from the party’s reactionaries, even though he’s craftily borrowed the phrase from tin-eared Abbott.

Jeff Kennett and Eric Abetz, who delude themselves they and their party are conservative, go right off. Barking. Acting PM Barnaby Joyce, nearly drops his Adani tar-baby. The Coalition has become “a philosopher’s club”. In Barnaby’s barnyard, as in Craig Kelly’s cave or Jeff’s shed only tossers give a toss about ideas. Let’s tell it like it is, he snarls.

“In North Queensland, they have 20% unemployment. You know the only thing they want to hear? How you are going to get them a job? You know what they want to hear in regional areas? How you are going to invest in infrastructure, like inland rail.” There’s a lot of such reductive nonsense aired in regional seats but Barnaby’s blarney hits a new low.

The deputy PM’s nitty gritty is a myth. Inland rail is a hollow promise which has been repeated by Liberals and Nationals since 1996. It is unlikely to even pay its way – even if you could get it funded – let alone deliver a job bonanza but Barnaby’s one of the government’s big picture men. Politics all comes down to a lump of coal or a barrel of pork.

The original inland train of thought envisaged a parallel energy corridor. Perhaps a natural gas pipeline that doesn’t have to contend with environmentalists is what really piques Barnaby’s interest today. As Tony Windsor points out it would harness a populist issue to to solve the problem of gas permits, access across private lands and NSW energy demands.

If it is, he concludes, maybe it’s time for some honesty. Instead, the acting PM opts for a poor man’s Bob Katter routine.

Joyce riffs a front bar ear-bash.

“They look at political candidates and say ‘have you ever actually lived, mate? Do you know what it’s like to not have any money in your wallet? Do you know what it’s like to think, shit, I’m want a life with dignity and I’m on the pension, and I can’t actually afford food, so how do I do this and keep my dignity in this town?’”

His rhetoric is as empty as the dead centre. Barnaby may have moved his office from Sydney to Armidale, but it’s all he’s done to “grow regional jobs”. His mob, moreover, tends to look out for the wealthy while it turns its back on the battler.

The Turnbull government cuts assistance to families. In March, Coalition welfare cuts included a two-year freeze on the indexation of the Family Tax Benefit. As a result the payment will no longer increase to keep pace with inflation.

Money in your wallet? Joyce was silent when his government phased out the Energy Supplement for pensioners.

Centrelink’s robo-claw automated debt recovery, should help Joyce’s constituents retain their dignity. Cutbacks to hospitals and schools are morale boosting. Character building. So, too the decision to keep pensions so low a third of pensioners are on the poverty-line.

Penalty rate cuts are other helpful Coalition “reforms” which help make the unexamined life worth living.

Duty bound to stop the rot, Eric Abetz looks for someone else to blame. With the ease of long experience he quickly finds a scapegoat. “Hysterical media have decided to dishonestly spin the speech in such a way to inflame tensions.”

He’s heard the speech. It’s “a great speech; a unifying speech”. Undone now by the media who seem to have had time to sit down and collude to mis-report it. In tandem, Dutton still wages war on the leftist, Jihadist ABC.

Has Turnbull been misreported? There’s not a skerrick of evidence for Abetz assertions. It’s easy to locate the text of his speech, posted promptly after the event. But that’s not the point of his tactic. He’s commenting on some comments, a tack the Liberals always swear they are not going to take as if you can be an MP without giving opinions.

Let’s return to Turnbull’s argument, despite Abetz attempt at distraction. It’s a great stretch to see Turnbull as any type of Menzies. Our protean PM, whose identity, legitimacy, credibility and authority are all always works in progress, is brave, moreover to align himself with Menzies, a man who when he wasn’t trying to outlaw the communist party or despatch our chaps off to stop the dominos of communism falling from Viet Nam on to Australia.

Menzies would have hated Turnbull. Ming whinged to his daughter, Heather Henderson, in 1974,

“The main trouble in my state is that we have the State Executive of the Liberal Party, which is dominated by what they now call ‘Liberals with a small l’ – that is to say, Liberals who believe in nothing but still believe in anything if they think it worth a few votes. The whole thing is tragic.”

The speech goes down well with a few party sycophants. Christopher Pyne praises it as an “historically accurate rendition of the party’s foundational principles.”

” Considered and powerful”, says Josh Frydenberg says, a public speaking connoisseur. Julie Bishop loves it to bits.

Yet not every Liberal is tickled pink. Jeff Kennett turns the air beyond blue. Abetz saddles up his inquisitorial war horse.

Lying rodent, John Howard, who carefully blocked progressives throughout his long period in office and over promoted the likes of Abbott, helpfully tells the press that the Liberal Party will always have room for conservatives before blowing any question of political judgement by mounting a case not to prejudge Donald Trump. But the rot’s set in.

Sole, surviving Tasmanian Liberal Senator, Eric Abetz can sniff decay like a Lagotto Romagnolo can snout a truffle. A man on a mission, his hypervigilance once helped him proclaim a link between abortion and breast cancer. Lynx-eyed, he, alone, could see treason in rainbow flags in government offices, discerning flags of “a cause” and of “a hostile nation.

“Australian policies for gay and lesbian citizens had caused them to plant a flag in the Coral Sea Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, naming their own nation and declaring war on Australia”, said activists in 2004. Eric remembers.

Eric loves to keep the nation up to the mark. It’s a tough love. In May, the former Abbott employment minister whose PM’s approach to policy was notoriously underdone, he had the hide to call public servants professional slackers.

It’s not an easy call even for black-pot Eric. As Liberal Party affiliate Judith Sloan, notes Abetz did not impress many with his work effort himself. “The ineffective Workplace Relations minister, Eric Abetz,” she writes “submitted a number of relatively inconsequential and technical amendments of the Fair Work Act to the Senate, but they were rejected.”

When Yassmin Abdel-Magied dares voice opinion on our challenged system of government, he shows her the door:

‘If Ms Abdel-Magied thinks our system of government is so bad perhaps she should stop being a drain on the taxpayer and move to one of these Arab dictatorships’. Ouch. No good at her job? Doesn’t deserve to be here? It’s Eric’s way.

It’s government by dog whistling the unhinged, and with his help, the nation sees a wave of xenophobic anti-Muslim, misogyny hurled at Julia Baird who declares Yassmin Al-Magied the latest woman to be roasted on the public spit.

Few can sniff conspiracy like Abetz and he’s as daft as David Leyonhjelm on the nonsense of political correctness being a leftist plot; a tyranny. Call him an “angry white man” and he’ll be quick to tell you that’s racial vilification.

And so it is this week, brows beetling, nostrils twitching, our national guardian of the straight and narrow spots a perfidious plot. Media twist the PM’s words. Turnbull may be fighting for his political life but Eric won’t let the press lead us up the garden path. Let hacks laugh themselves silly over the PM’s hubris and deception in “sensible centre”.

Abetz wilfully misses the point. Turnbull’s “sensible centre” is a dig at his nemesis Abbott, an expression of a hatred that cannot speak its name. Menzies, he says,” chose the name Liberal” because he never wanted a conservative party.

Never is no time at all in politics. But never conservative? Think energy; marriage equality or tax cuts for the wealthy. Think equal pay for women. And so much more. What can he mean? It’s a “Tony Abbott slapdown”, scream News Corp’s Tory Shepherd, Peter Jean and Sheradyn Holderhead, who are always keen to sell ringside seats to a stoush.

An anti-Liberal media conspiracy or an anti-Turnbull plot? Regardless of what he means, in the wider view, Eric Abetz is on to something huge. Attacking the media when you don’t like the message. And he’s a front-line combatant.

From America’s Tweeter in Chief’s battle with fake news to Saudi Arabia’s tussle with Al Jazeera, originally a BBC outpost until it ran factual news reports on Saudi Arabia and found its satellite switched off, the world is at war with reporters who tell the truth. What’s needed is good news; positive news; news that’s a faithful echo of its master’s voice.

Luckily news comes this week that some of this will be fixed. Australia awaits the financial wizardry being performed on Channel 10 as it is being transformed by the alchemy of limited liability from a bankruptcy into another successful Murdoch venture. A nurturing Turnbull government has slashed TV station licence fees.

News reports invariably barrack for 10 as if it were some benevolent charity. Even voluntary administration, a process which could see 17,000 ordinary investors lose everything is cheered from the sidelines.

A Fox News type channel may well eventuate, a sign of the times which can only cheer on the sensible centrists in power.

An equally chilling sign is is Turnbull’s dip into a think tank to ” get his message out” So much of the Coalition’s political discourse is shaped by an echo-chamber of think tanks, shock jocks and Murdoch hacks; a claque of noisy, like-minded, powerful voices who also just happen to dictate so much of party policy. Little wonder the electorate despairs.

Turnbull is in serious trouble. His leadership is in tatters. His credibility is spent. Evidence accumulates on all fronts of a government in crisis largely as a result of its own indecision and poor policy. The problem will not to be solved, however, by sophistry; by redefining the party as small “l” liberal to exclude its conservative critics.

In promoting the sensible centre, the Prime Minister is looking to his own survival and settling, tellingly for another clever trick. Instead, he should address his government’s many real failures of policy in energy, education, environment, immigration and economics.

Standing up to the mutinous few in his crew will do more to put his ship to rights than trying to run up a false flag.


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  1. win jeavons

    Would ” angry male subhuman ” do?

  2. Freethinker

    David Tyler, you are spot on, but perhaps not hard enough with this low life wolf pack with a confuse rank.
    The only good outcome is that Malcolm start showing his real cards so those that were thinking that he is moderate cans see that they been wrong.
    They are so bad that if they lose the election the parliament building will need to be fumigated to kill the maggots that they have left in their seats.

  3. diannaart

    Scott Ludlam resigned rather than be accused of divided loyalties.

    Would that the entire LNP Elizabethan set do the same.


    …and Scott, please, please, please sort out your citizenship, you did so much good here, yes I know New Zealand needs good people too, but, pretty please, reconsider.

  4. diannaart


    I have been wondering about these claims for recompense. Perhaps Scott Ludlam could provide an invoice for all the work he has successfully performed. Could be, Australia owes more to Scott than he does to the Australian taxpayer.

  5. Freethinker

    Why Brandis do not look at the Abetz case before worry about this?
    Yes, I know………..

  6. wam

    ludlum should have known in 2011 and should pay back salary since then. This is the list when the case of heather hill was prominent and there were questions asked of: thompson(NZ), gillard and the rabbott pommies and, if he had read this page he would have been alerted by our repeated rails against the rabbott.
    In the House of Representatives:
    Tony Abbott, Liberal Party (born in London, England)
    Bob Baldwin, Liberal Party (born in Gloucester, England)
    Darren Cheeseman, Labor Party (born in Christchurch, New Zealand)
    Paul Fletcher, Liberal Party (born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England)
    Joanna Gash, Liberal Party (born in Groningen, Netherlands)
    Julia Gillard, Labor Party (born in Barry, Wales)
    Gary Gray, Labor Party (born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England)
    Dennis Jensen, Liberal Party (born in Johannesburg, South Africa)
    Sussan Ley, Liberal Party (born in Kano, Nigeria)
    Brendan O’Connor, Labor Party (born in London, England)
    Bernie Ripoll, Labor Party (born in Pézenas, France)
    Laura Smyth, Labor Party (born in Belfast, Northern Ireland)
    Alex Somlyay, Liberal Party (born in Budapest, Hungary)
    Craig Thomson, Labor Party (born in Wellington, New Zealand)
    Maria Vamvakinou, Labor Party (born in Lefkada, Greece)
    Tony Zappia, Labor Party (born in Platì, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy)
    In the Senate:
    Eric Abetz, Liberal Party (born in Stuttgart, West Germany)
    Judith Adams, Liberal Party (born in Picton, New Zealand)
    Doug Cameron, Labor Party (born in Bellshill, Scotland)
    Stephen Conroy, Labor Party (born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England)
    Mathias Cormann, Liberal Party (born in Eupen, Belgium)
    Chris Evans, Labor Party (born in Cuckfield, England)
    Alex Gallacher, Labor Party (born in New Cumnock, Scotland)
    Scott Ludlam, Greens Party (born in Palmerston North, New Zealand)
    Nigel Scullion, Country Liberal Party (born in London, England)
    Nick Sherry, Labor Party (born in Kingston-on-Thames, England)
    Ursula Stephens, Labor Party (born in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland)
    Larissa Waters, Greens Party (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
    Penny Ying-yen Wong, Labor Party (born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia)

    ps diannaart
    Any committee work done by senators is paid over and above the salary.

    I began calling for a requirement for our politicians to publish their diary on an open government website:
    citing when, where, who with and how long with the who being subject to censor. Since a senator wrote about how she will get her life back as her children have grown up without a parent. When I pointed out she didn’t work during school breaks nor public holidays and her family holidays are paid for by the taxpayer, she was not happy. I got a rocket when she told that me her flybuys were on her account because qantas wouldn’t separate official and private, When I suggested if she pays she gets the points and if we pay we get them? That was the last straw and ‘purged’ was the reply, Understandable because I am an arrogant twit and since then the rules may have changed or at least hidden from a search

  7. David Tyler

    I’m with you, WAM. No good crying poor or hard done by when you can’t account for your time. Was gobsmacked when Frydenberg said Friday that he’s only had Finkel five months. (That would be from the first draft.) No time at all really. No sense that as the Minister he has a responsibility to be on the top of the detail. No sense at all – (and who’s he trying to kid) that the report hasn’t been written in collaboration with government – if not in collaboration with his department – at least giving it what it wants to hear.
    And when a minister such as Macdonald can chair a senate committee, not having read the report Children in Custody under discussion – and boast that he hasn’t read it, then he should be penalised.
    Which reminds me – Craig Kelly may need someone to read it to him but even Kelly needs to read the Finkel report. Abbott likewise. Doubt he’s read a full report in his life. And while we are on Abbott, Tony, how can you possibly ride your bicycle and all your other stunts and have time enough to do your job properly?

  8. Freethinker

    It is clear to me David that they are not interested in reading any report because they are set in their own agenda.
    The reports for them are something that reminds me the TV series Yes Minister.

  9. David Tyler

    Hilarious, really. The go to response to a crisis is to commission a report. Then, as you suggest, few MPs bother to read it. In the interim the issue goes away or the report produces recommendations which are then modified to suit the prejudices of the uninformed – ie those who haven’t read the report. I must see a few episodes Yes Minister again. Brilliant.

  10. helvityni

    This is delicious, a good ending for a troubled week, David, you are putting it in perfectly chosen words what I’m thinking about these Elizabethan Republicans, who want to please everybody, but only end up upsetting the most. Well done; five out of five as David Stratton would say…and he wasn’t easily pleased….

  11. David Tyler

    Thank you helvityni. The version you just read is an updated, edited, revised and improved version – so I appreciate your feedback.

  12. Roswell

    David, I fail to see how it could have been improved upon.

  13. Matters Not

    Politicians, Ministers in particular, who read reports from cover to cover have far too much time on their hands. Election does not equate to expertise – particularly in an ever-increasing, complex world. Never has and (hopefully) never will.

    We need to get over the idea that politicians or indeed (just) anyone can become fully informed via the reading of X number of reports. That notion is just ridiculous.

    Indeed I think there’s merit in the notion that Ministers should be banned from reading reports from cover to cover. They might get ideas. (LOL). Let Ministers stick to their knitting – making ‘political’ decisions. Based of course, on advice provided by experts.

  14. David Tyler

    Have a read of the second, Roswell. Improved and upgraded. Hugely. Appreciate your feedback. Won’t make a habit of the post and then do the revisions but the original needed work.

  15. zoltan balint

    Malcolm is an opportunist. Malcolm has no morals left if he ever did. Malcolm tells us that Bill likes to put his feet under any table for a free feed and a glass of bubbly. Malcolm knows the difference but not the value, according to him they better have the right vintage and IT BETTER BE FROM FRANCE none of this ‘method’ stuff. Malcolm would not know grace from … if she gave him the business card embossed in gold leaf. It was humiliating to see his little boy smile at the G20 thing when ever he was near one of the other leaders (Grace should have been with him). Remember John Elliott, he had money and at one time was regarded as Future PM by the libs. With the words ‘I can buy you out any day of the …’ – ok – ‘a fool and his money …’

  16. Kaye Lee

    David, this is an excerpt from Craig Kelly’s maiden speech…

    “I consider myself an environmentalist. As our cities and roads become more and more congested, I am concerned about the health effects from fine particulate matter in diesel exhaust, as studies in California show that diesel exhaust leads to 9,000 premature deaths annually. That is why I oppose Labor’s intermodal freight terminal at Moorebank.”;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F2010-11-15%2F0049%22

    It was good enough for his original election campaign but Ima guessin’ Craig’s interest in particulate matter has waned since he joined the coal train.

    “Air pollution results in 3000 premature deaths each year in Australia, costing the nation up to $24.3 billion in health expenses every year.”

    “Lung-penetrating dust from coal-fired power plants in the European Union claims some 23,000 lives a year and racks up tens of billions of euros in health costs, an NGO report said Tuesday.”

    “Air pollution caused more than 5.5 million people to die prematurely in 2013, according to research presented on Friday, with more than half of those deaths in India and China and illnesses in those countries almost certain to rise. Coal pollution alone killed 366,000 people in China in 2013”


    Dear Kaye Lee, why do you not accept the evidance of all the farmers that say the grass does not grow in their fields where the cows graze where there are wind turbines so the milk has less milk solids and thus they get less money for their produce,Why don’t you accept that the farmers that have been using silver foil to protect them selfs from cosmic rays are not protected from the electomatic radiation of the wind turbines and their sperm count is down and they can not get 20 children to the … . YES there are no scientific papers that back this up because the CSIRO has a vested interest like NASA in distributing false news. Quote as many people as you like it just shows you can Google to find information that supports your viewpoint not like us that know and only trust Imperical evidence and our leader Pauline (20 years ago it was Asians but now it is the Muslims bringing in these things, AFP should not be checking for bombs but for wind farms in their underpants). Coal is good it is the best for ‘ … I’ll walk a million miles for one of you smiles … ” make up there is.

  18. Helen Bates

    diannaart So it is ok to hunt Tony Abbott over dual citizenship but not Ludlam?
    According to many people on Twitter and Facebook who also hold dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship it would have been almost impossible for Ludlam not to have known because of a lot of legal requirements like Passports,Visas,Birth Certificates and a lot of proof of identity requirements as they have constant reminders,
    On top of that There was a Change organisation petition 3 years ago questioning his dual citizenship and Ludlam and his staff would not respond to the petitioners letters and phone calls.
    Wouldn’t that at least make an average person double check? He won’t come back or shouldn’t as he is damaged goods and George Brandis might be right in questioning whether he needs to pay back the $millions
    The question is- did he knowingly defraud the Commonwealth

  19. Barry Thompson.

    “Elizabethan-relating to or characteristic of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1-a person of the Elizabethan age”.(concise Oxford English dictionary)
    Misused by the PM.

  20. Freethinker

    Oh Noo!!! another one with the “because the CSIRO has a vested interest like NASA in distributing false news”
    No wonder Pauline in eating in the senate.

  21. corvus boreus

    I think you may want to reread zOLTAN bALINTs post, this time with your irony filters and sarcasm screen activated and engaged.

  22. Kyran

    Just on the UN/DCNS/Madam Bishop thingy, there are a couple of points to note.
    Whilst it can easily be argued that Rudd/Gillard spent $24mill for a seat on the Security Council, it is inescapable that this was done through the allocation or re-allocation of Foreign Aid grants and loans. Just for the record, Madam Bishop lead the charge of the wailing banshee’s against the blatant pork barrelling, then graciously accepted the seat when it was offered.
    If you compare that with the modus operandi of the current IPA mob, it is inescapable that they have cut Foreign Aid funding, opting instead for ‘lobbying’. Remember GHunt and his hundreds of thousands lobbying the ‘World Heritage Committee’ members for votes on keeping the GBR off the World Heritage list of endangered sites?

    Well, that worked so well, they utilised ‘Ruddock the ridiculous’ to lobby for the seat on the HRC. He’s only spent $200k on his expenses, so far.
    “Australia has made a series of “pledges” to the United Nations as part of its HRC bid. It promised to hold a referendum to recognise Indigenous people in the Constitution, campaign to end violence against women and girls, and advocate for the protection of journalists and freedom of speech, among other issues.”

    Nothing to get carried away about, is it? After all, the current HRC comprises members such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Philippines, Iraq. Bearing in mind our treatment of our First People, our refugee’s, our rights to speech and association, that is probably the only table in the world we could sit at and hold our heads high.
    With regard to any suggestion that there could be a connection between the sub’s deal and France’s withdrawal, well, that’s unlikely, isn’t it? For starters, the French didn’t withdraw, per se, they merely postponed their bid until 2021. And, really, DCNS have form for paying bribes to foreign governments to get contracts. They are currently under investigation in at least four countries. Are you suggesting this IPA mob are so incompetent that they represent the only government on the planet paying DCNS? Well, ok, given their incompetence/corruption to date, anything is possible.
    As for where the sub’s will be built, we’re spending $500mill trying to work out which ‘off the shelf’ model we will buy and modify. The French workforce are highly unionised, the Australian’s not so much. Where do you think they’re going to be built?
    As for Madam Bishop, when asked for a response on the POTUS remarks, directed at the first lady of France, she said she ‘would be taken aback’. What delightful understatement. The POTUS is a lot of things, but his misogyny is not blind.
    As always, a great read. Thank you Mr Tyler and commenters. Take care

  23. David Tyler

    Very interesting information on Craig Kelly, thank you, Kaye Lee. Looks like he may have accidentally picked up a Greens laptop earlier in his career. Or a younger family member wrote a speech for Dad because he’s not that good with research.
    Can’t believe his take-a -faulty-premise-and-then-extend a lunatic scare argument from it is not some form of ironic self-parody. Then again, he is an Abbott die-hard.
    As a committee chairman of rude gesture that is graced by the title of the Coalition Backbench Environment Committee he is a climate sceptic charged with providing something called feedback on policy and legislation to a hopelessly conflicted Minister of Energy and Environment. In brief, he is a cheer squad for Frydenberg’s complete lack of policy or leadership.
    He’s also the genius who invited the climate sceptics in last parliament to “give balance” to the scientists.
    A touch of the Malcolm Roberts, too. He wrote:

    “But I wonder if any of these people actually knew that Sydney’s so-called ‘record hot day’ on Tuesday 8th Jan this year [2013], that had them screaming “Global Warming”, was actually COOLER than the weather experienced by the convicts of the First Fleet in Sydney way back in the summer of 1790/91?

    Appreciate the links.

  24. Freethinker

    Well Bradley looks like that a new report will be needed to find out why the previous report was unable to not come with any recommendation.
    A interdepartment enquire with a bipartisan people will be need to find the reason why submissions were not taken into consideration.

  25. Bradley

    Freethinker, yes, we need a definitive inquiry, one stacked with humans capable of considering stuff. However, with LNP in power, can you imagine that? They’re the past and current masters of smoke-screening. They excel at producing non-results in order to maintain the Kleptocracy.

  26. Zoltan Balint

    A new report is always asked for when the old one does not support the view you have or recommend what you wanted to do anyway. It is also why you only hang around with people who you have most in common with. But to solve problems you need diversity … so where is the system going wrong.

  27. Freethinker

    That is exactly what I mean Bradley. a cover up on the Yes Minister style.

  28. diannaart


    diannaart So it is ok to hunt Tony Abbott over dual citizenship but not Ludlam?

    I have never made that suggestion ANYWHERE.

    . Tony Abbott became a full Australian citizen in 1993, if my memory is correct, therefore pursuing him is a waste of time.

    . Scott Ludlam, IMMEDIATELY resigned his seat as soon as he found out his error in assuming he had single (Australian only) citizenship.

    . Next time, reread before you post a comment – that way you may stand a chance of not appearing stupid.

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