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Turnbull Shows Everyone Who’s Boss!

Malcolm Turnbull called the Liberal Party back to Canberra a day early. There was to be an important meeting. Julie Bishop cut short her overseas trip because it was important to resolve this whole marriage equality thing. You know that thing that nobody cares about. I know this because various Coalition politicians keep telling us that the average person is more concerned about rising energy prices and jobs and growth and making the country safe. However, in spite of the fact that it’s only a handful of people who care about this issue, it’s something that Parliament can’t vote on until all these people who don’t care have had their say on the issue via a plebiscite.

So, after much speculation about yesterday’s meeting, Turnbull managed what he does best. Nothing happened.

Since taking over the leadership, Turnbull has been quite successful at making nothing happen. But it would be wrong to think that it’s just since he became PM. It’s going to be the hallmark of his career. If we look back, he led the Republican movement – nothing happened. He was Environment Minister – nothing happened. When he took over the NBN from Labor, he managed to delight both Tony and Rupert with the speed at which he stopped things happening. Although, in this case, because some things had already happened he could only slow it down. Probably the one failure in a stellar career. Once he’d took over as PM, things started not happening at the sort of speed that make the nickname “Flash Malcolm” totally appropriate. I heard one of the Liberals call him that. At least, I think it was that. It could have been “Flush Malcolm”, Anyway… We’ve had a lot of things suggested on tax reform, but ruled out almost immediately. Then there’s all he hasn’t done on meeting our emissions target. And just recently, in his infamous phone call to Donald Trump, he managed to persuade the POTUS to honour a deal where no refugees would be resettled.

As PM, his main desire is to that nothing happens on the leadership front and consequently he’s been working day and night. He’s even given Peter Dutton a super ministry that will enable him to arrest anybody who criticises the government. “Look, Peter, you can have all the power, so long as you promise to let me continue in my role of ensuring change with continuity and innovation with tradition and government without slogans and anything else that you’d like me to say and not do.”

Yes, when Malcolm was elected leader, it was on the condition that he promise those in his party who thought that was a bit too clever, that he wouldn’t do anything that could be thought of as clever. When that wasn’t enough to win all of them over, he went further and promised to do nothing at all. And, after all the broken promises of politicians, one has to give him credit for sticking to his word.

At the end of yesterday’s meeting, the Liberals decided to stick to the policy that Tony Abbott crafted – with the help of the National Party joining the party room to ensure that he had the numbers. I can’t emphasise enough what a victory this was for Turnbull. An issue that was so important that people return from the winter break early, is resolved by the party deciding that it would stick to its policy.

Of course I’m being a little unfair. They did also work out a compromise where they decided to do what they normally do when a Bill gets blocked in the Senate: they’re going to have another go at getting it through, because it just looks a little half-hearted when you say, “We tried, ah well, I guess we can all just forget about it now and move on to talking about the economy and how Labor is starting a class war and look over there, more terrorists arrested but not charged.”

And, if the Senate block it again, they’ll use the latest in innovation: Australia Post. We’ll have a non-binding, non-compulsory postal vote. After which time, marriage equality still won’t be voted on, because a number of Liberals will argue that not enough people voted and therefore it isn’t a true reflection of people’s feelings.

Yep, Malcolm Tinbull certainly showed everyone who’s boss: Tony Abbott! Well, this was his policy, after all!

Here’s a little song for Malcolm and his mates:


43 comments

  1. Jagger

    Well Ross, it did take the attention away from Barnacle’s water problems, Fryicebergs’s energy problems, Hobo’s trade problems, not to mention the CBA’s “money laundering and terror financing” problem, Malfunction and his “people swap” problem, and the list goes on…………..

  2. helvityni

    If Mal doesn’t do much, that’s fine; he just has to tell other people to do all the hard jobs. Bosses are meant boss other people; I once had what is called ‘a small business’, I only employed one other person. When she wasn’t there ,I had to boss myself…it was character building…

  3. paul walter

    They are getting panicky. The changes to texting posting comments applicable public servants is panicky, as the rotten conversation on the Drum last night demonstrated.

  4. Kaye Lee

    “Senator Cormann made that threat explicit, saying senators with concerns about a voluntary postal vote should reconsider their opposition to the compulsory plebiscite.”

    If you don’t like this idea, we have a worse one.

  5. wam

    Postal votes cost less than 20% of a plebiscite and should get a no vote but regardless of what the result conscience will prevail. So better to waste the cash on a postal???

    Helvityni, at least you were speaking your mind. Think of the skill of trumball, he has to speak other people’s minds.

  6. helvityni

    Yes, paul, I too found it a bit stinky; the sweet Annabel, and the sour Nick, and then we had the gay lawyer for a bit of gravitas…

    I tried to watch the Oz Story for few minutes then I went to bed with my Handmaid’s Tale…much more gripping…

    First I contemplated watching the Four Corners, but I knew it would agitate me too much, and would have to shout go to Holland to see how they do their recycling…and it’s not very polite to always compare Oz to to other countries…

  7. helvityni

    wam, it’s getting more and more dangerous to speak your mind on these public forums, better not say anything about Dutton, I’m getting a bit nervous already….

  8. jim

    All true but he has done something Turnbull has managed to keep the public from the Great Water Robbery for one or like how the LNPs Jonni Howard sold our gas to the Chinese at below market prices and with an open ended ontract, meaning it goes forever at very cheap gas prices for the Chinese not us Australians.

    As Australia becomes a leader in solar and battery power, our electricity bills will continue to skyrocket thanks to a massive over-investment in the network that we didn’t ask for and will never need.

    This wasn’t always the case: less than a decade ago, Australia paid some of the world’s cheapest electricity bills. In the past few years, however, household power bills have doubled, and now we’re duking it out with Germany and Denmark for the title of world’s most expensive.

    This incentive to spend $45Billion on our poles and wires was supercharged in 2006 by state governments: they wrote the rules for the regulator to enforce, thanks to a deal with former LNP prime minister Johnny Howard, who gave them rule making authority in exchange for their blessing to replace state-based regulators with one new federal body LNP infused of course.
    Just when will our MSM start getting behind us Australians instead they strive to keep the greedy elitists with their corporations wrecking Australia. Good post Rossleigh.

  9. Harquebus

    The marriage equality debate never gets mentioned amongst my social groups, ever. A non issue that we could not care less about. Electricity prices are discussed, often.
    I’m sitting in the cold and so are my neighbors. If you honestly think that issue is important to us, think again.

    Politicians who do nothing is the best that we can hope for and is my preference.

    Something some might find interesting.

    “4chan pranksters attempted to troll feminists by convincing them that displaying their period-sodden pants was making a stand for women’s liberation.
    Over the course of the next 12 months, numerous progressives fell for it completely, embracing the sight of blood-soaked crotches as a social justice cause.”
    https://www.infowars.com/powerful-huffington-post-celebrates-transgender-man-with-period-stained-pants/

  10. dragonnanny

    Oh Rossleigh, that was too funny – my morning laugh. Not sure about the song though, I love that song but will I be able to listen to it in future and not think of Malcolm Turnbull and cronies, that is the question for me for this day.

  11. Roswell

    Sorry to disappoint you, Harquebus, but it’s not about you.

    Most Australians want to see same-sex marriage legalised in this country. That it is not important to you is of no significance.

  12. Jack Straw

    It must be very toxic in the LNP party. You must leave your street one day Harquebix !

  13. Harquebus

    Roswell
    I never hear this issue being discussed except on the telly or in fora like this. Why is that do you think?
    Does the public really “want to see same-sex marriage legalised” as in a deep desire or is it just a willingness to go along with it?
    As an issue, this is not up there for us. Myself, I couldn’t care less about it and just want it over and done with so that we can move on.
    Sorry to disappoint you.

  14. Roswell

    You disappointed many people, Harquebus.

    Anyway, I’m done talking with you. We’ve got SSM to talk about.

    Go back to your circle of friends and talk about whatever you want to. Come back when you have something relevant to say about the topic.

  15. Carol Taylor

    Roswell, plus as Rossleigh cleverly honed in on..if nobody cares about Marriage Equality as the far right keep telling us that we don’t, then why conduct a plebiscite asking for the opinions of people who don’t care anyway.

  16. Terry2

    Is Turnbull saying :

    I demand that we have Tony Abbott’s compulsory non-binding plebiscite or if you don’t like that, I demand that we have Peter Dutton’s voluntary, postal, non-binding plebiscite.

    Is this his idea of leadership ?

  17. Aortic

    Great stuff Ross. Turnbull could well echo the sentiments of Groucho who said, ” these are my principles but if you don’t like them I have more.” I know power when gained is not easy to relinquish, but how could anyone vote for someone with such seemingly impassioned, intractable progressive views on such game changing subjects who is prepared to forego them for a fleeting moment in the spotlight? It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying Nothing indeed. What next from El supremo Mutton an order to attend Mass every week? I despair we could be so much better than this.

  18. Harquebus

    Roswell
    I expressed an opinion, stated an observation and would have left it at that.
    You have said that you are done talking with me on other occasions also. Let’s stick to it this time. Please.
    If you don’t like what I say, just delete it.

    Carol Taylor
    A good question. I am just making the point that, if it such an important issue, why am not hearing about it outside of this place and the telly?
    In my opinion, it is just another distraction.
    Again, sorry to disappoint.

  19. Jack Straw

    Roswell;Most Australians want to see same-sex marriage legalised in this country.

    I am not sure this is true Roswell? Though a referendum would be interesting.They are the squeaky wheel at the moment.

    Homosexuality is illegal in many countries; now that is worth fighting for. And all drug’s to be legalised or decriminalised.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, there is a broader principle here that should be important even to you and your cold friends.

    Should the majority get to decide whether minorities have equal rights under the law?

    Should religion dictate laws in a secular country?

    Is discrimination okay?

    Should governments intrude so far into individual’s lives to dictate morality?

    Should the children of same sex couples have to endure this constant questioning of their parents’ relationship and capacity to parent?

    And on the marriage act, it also stipulates that it must be to the exclusion of all others. Should we have a plebiscite to decide if adulterers can stay married?

  21. Jack Straw

    For once I am on your side Harquebex. You were just stating an opinion.”Go back to your circle of friends”, sounds like a schoolyard rant.

  22. helvityni

    The Golden Australian Rule is: look after your mates. That’s what Mal is doing, he still allows Abbott to pick the policies, he has been very generous towards Dutton…

    We don’t really matter because we are not his mates, he has even been willing to change his principles to let others shine…how very nice.

  23. Jaquix

    God knows how Turnbull managed to get a rise in popularity as leader, in the latest Newspoll. Beggars belief. Its either an error within the margin (2.4%,) or else too many people are hoodwinked by a silver tongue, even when its telling porkies. If they dont follow politics as closely as TheAIM readers, they might think he looked or sounded better than Shorten. Its an unfair question anyway IMO because Shorten has never been Prime Minister for true comparison. And I know its tiresome to repeat, but the Murdoch propaganda machine is so implacably anti-Labor, either by denigrating, belittling, or ignoring any Labor initiatives. I read the Essential Poll yesterday and it was striking how much Shorten improved at the 2016 election time. Xenophon said yesterday that he thought there might be an election sooner than later. What a good thing that would be.

  24. helvityni

    See, good things happen when we talk about Turnbull: Jack and Harquebus are agreeing, they are on the same side… 🙂

  25. Jack Straw

    Kaye> Should governments intrude so far into individual’s lives to dictate morality?

    They are asking the people not the government.

  26. Jack Straw

    And there isn’t enough free educative documentaries on TV to educate the uneducated on many subjects; that’s the issue.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Should “the people” get to intrude so far into other people’s lives as to impose their morality and minority religious beliefs on all?

  28. jimhaz

    [Roswell;Most Australians want to see same-sex marriage legalised in this country.

    I am not sure this is true Roswell?]

    This is a 2016 poll from Morgans

    An SMS Morgan Poll shows a clear majority of Australians (76%) say gay people should have the right to get married in Australia while only 24% say they should not.

    Liberal voters: Approve (59%) cf. disapprove (41%);
    National voters: Approve (67%) cf. disapprove (33%);
    ALP voters: Approve (88%) cf. disapprove (12%);
    Greens voters: Approve (97%) cf. disapprove (3%);
    Family First voters: Approve (49%) cf. disapprove (51%);
    Independent/ Others voters: Approve (68%) cf. disapprove (32%).

    Of special note is that EVEN FAMILY FIRST VOTERS, ie generally strongly religious, are split 50/50.

    Those far right conservatives controlling the LNP CANNOT in any way be representing their electorate – rather they are representing their church group – a group most probably influenced by the US which has had its politics long corrupted by corrupt evangelical style religious infiltration.

    So much for separation of church and state. So much for politicians serving the people.

  29. Wayne Turner

    Malcolm NoBalls is the best thing since sliced bread – How do we know.He told us so.

    The pointless PM,of the pointless government. A non-biding expensive public poll,on an issue that does NOT effect the rest of us ie: Save time and money – Parliament do their job,and pass it.

    If we end up with a non-biding expensive public poll,on this: The COALition,and those that voted for them should be the ONLY one’s paying for it.

    Imagine if these useless bludgers,spent this much time discussing,on whether or NOT, we get involved in useless wars.We wouldn’t bare some of the responsibly for so many deaths,increase in terrorism threat,the rise of ISIS,increasing boat people,and waste so much money on wars.

  30. jimhaz

    [Should the majority get to decide whether minorities have equal rights under the law?]

    Absolutely – you see it cannot be minorities that decide, otherwise we’d have crap like hard core Sharia Law or what we have now with the conservative base of the LNP. Nonetheless, where rights are denied, then international trends and pressures should come into play, and the majority should be given plenty of curry.

  31. Roswell

    Thanks for that, jimhaz. I was about to head off and look for a poll to back up my statement. You’ve helped me out. Appreciated.

  32. Roswell

    Rossleigh, I forgot to mention that this is a great post. You really do think outside the box, yet you capture the obvious (that others don’t see, and maybe not meant to see).

    Well done, old chap.

  33. vicki

    Harquebus, maybe you need to widen your friendship base – in my not very large friendship base I have four friends who have children who are gay and are very interested in the marriage equality issue.

  34. Rossleigh

    Thanks, Roswell and others. Feedback is always appreciated…

  35. Michael Taylor

    I agree. A ripper of a post.

  36. Terry2

    The Prime Minister said during Question Time today, with great passion, that if the Australian people voted in favour of marriage equality in either of the plebiscites under discussion, he would facilitate a Private Members Bill to go before the parliament to be voted on and if passed would effect changes to the Marriage Act. But, if the Australian people voted against such a change there would be no such Bill allowed before the parliament.

    This magnanimous gesture by the Prime Minister seems to completely miss the point of the commitment we made when we adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 7 :

    Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    This simple statement seems to be saying to me – and has legally been interpreted as requiring – that signatories to the Declaration, which includes Australia, are required to treat all persons equally under their laws regardless of race, gender, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, or other characteristics, without privilege, discrimination, or bias. Nowhere that I can see does it have a conditional exemption for gay people.

    The law in Australia as per the provisions of the Marriage Act 1961 seeks to treat equality in marriage as an exemption following the Howard era changes introduced in 2004 ; prior to that the Common Law would determine what was the law in Australia and it is probable that had the courts been required to make such a determination on marriage equality they would have referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a useful yardstick.
    When John Howard decided to put in place the ban on same sex marriage in 2004 he took away the common law option and replaced it with black letter law which can only now be changed by an act of the parliament.

    In other words the Prime Minister – a lawyer – is wrong and a plebiscite or opinion poll is worthless unless we are saying that we no longer hold that we as a nation are bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in particular Article 7.

    Am I missing something in this discussion ?

  37. paul walter

    Helvi, Kaye Lee earlier..grates, doesnt it?

  38. Alphonse

    If the plebiscite bill gets knocked back a second time, can we have another ‘masterstroke’ double dissolution? Please.

  39. Terry2

    Kaye

    I find this whole plebiscite thing so cynical and manipulative that if one of these ‘opinion polls’ gets up, I will boycott it as a matter of principle rather than pander to the right wing of the coalition and I would commend others to do likewise : if marriage equality has to wait for a Labor government to enact then so be it !

  40. Miriam English

    Marriage is supposed to be about love, not hate.

    Where does the government, or any group of people, get off denying marriage for people who love each other?

    These so-called “good Christians” are so intent on spreading fear, hate, and prejudice that they are gradually reducing themselves to pure evil. Remember, it was the “good Christians” in the former Yugoslavia who mass murdered their peaceful Muslim neighbors. It was the “good Christians” who mass murdered the gays, Jews, colored people, and handicapped in Nazi Germany. It is the “good Christians” who are currently murdering and torturing gay men in Chechnya. They always think their hate is a good thing.

    Other people, like Harquebus, avert their eyes. In effect they say, “Let them rampage, spreading prejudice and lies, whipping up hatred. It’s nothing to do with me. We have more immediate and important concerns, like how much money we have.”

    Does anybody really think a wave of hate whipped up by a core of “good Christians” (and cynical politicians and media capitalising on it) couldn’t lead to mass murder even here in Australia? It has happened again and again in peaceful, cultured societies. We are not safe from festering hate.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    — Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) German Lutheran pastor

  41. Miriam English

    Why do we need a plebiscite to put the wording back to how it was before that dick John Howard changed it? He did so without consultation. Why does it suddenly need a plebiscite to restore it? Especially when we all know that the majority already support marriage equality. What the hell new information do they think it will provide?

  42. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I imagine you must either have a very small circle of friends (about one in every ten people is gay), or there must be significant any-gay hatred in your circle to deter people from broaching the topic. Either situation is unhealthy. You might want to remedy that.

  43. Miriam English

    Error correction: Sorry, I was wrong. The Chechnyans who are murdering and torturing gay men are “good” Muslims.

    There seems to be a resurgence of religious homophobia around the world at the moment. Indonesia is another Islamic nation experiencing violent homophobia where before it was relatively tolerant.

    What the hell is happening?

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