Now, a lot of you have been trying to suggest that Malcolm has achieved nothing as Prime Minister. That’s hardly fair because he has achieved nearly everything that he set out to achieve. He won last year’s election… albeit, not by much, but like everything else, that was Labor’s fault. And he’s managed to successfully stop the Conservative forces from removing him. Ok, in order to do that, he’s had to do exactly as he’s told, but given his position on most issues was nowhere nearly as important as the position of leader, he managed to do this without a moment’s hesitation.
And soon, next week in fact, he’ll zoom past Tony Abbott in terms of time spent as PM. This is quite an achievement. This will make him the fourth longest-serving Prime Minister this century and, assuming that we don’t suddenly find ourselves at early election because a handful of MPs decide to cross the floor, then he’ll be closing in on Gillard and Rudd.
Of course, it is a little disappointing that beating Abbott’s record was all he set as a goal. After all, when Malcolm sets his mind to something there’s no stopping him. Even if anyone with any expertise tells him it’s a bad idea, Malcolm will go ahead anyway.
Take his decision to keep the Liddell coal-fired power station open, after its scheduled close in 2022. The owner, AGL, has made big announcements about getting out of coal and this was recently reinforced by the CEO, Andrew Vesey when he tweeted: “Keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need”. Not to be deterred, Magnificent Malcolm ploughed ahead anyway telling us that he’d spoken to Mr Vesey and while it’s true that AGL is getting out of coal, they’re “prepared to sell to a responsible party and that’s what we are talking about.” Prepared to sell to a responsible party? Mm, well at least we know that the government won’t be buying it.
Then we have his wonderful performance on the marriage equality
plebiscite survey thingy. 2015: The Coalition decides that we need a Plebiscite and that this can’t happen until after the election. After all, there’s no rush. 2016: Plebiscite voted down, Turnbull tells us that there’s no hurry. This can wait till the next election. No, it doesn’t need to go to Parliament for a vote. 2017: Some Liberals suggest that they’ll try to bring on a vote in Parliament anyway. This could be a threat to Mal’s STRONG leadership, so he springs i into action. Right, we need to find a way around this plebiscite impasse. Let’s have a postal vote… Or rather survey. And we can appropriate the money because we can do that when something is URGENT and UNFORESEEN.
Mind you, a lot of people would find it hard to argue that something was urgent when the whole survey thing won’t actually decide anything and the whole thing could be decided next week by allowing a vote in Parliament, but not our Malcolm. He can change his position so often he could be named the “Kama Sutra”. As for it being unforeseen, can we therefore presume that they had no intention of doing it until it was obvious that there was going to be an ideological battle which may have led to Turnbull being hit with shrapnel from both sides? Although it would be hard to argue that in the High Court… Perhaps that could just say that this postal thingy is unforeseen because, in case it isn’t obvious by now, we can’t foresee things because that would involve planning and we just make it up as we go along!
Yep, with only week to go, Malcolm should outdo Tony in terms of the length of Prime Ministership… And speaking of Tony, did you happen to see his performance on “The House”? He seemed to regard his being so drunk that he missed a Parliamentary vote in 2009 as a bit of a joke. And, a few days ago, when he tweeted about the success of the welfare card for ensuring that money wasn’t wasted, there were quite a few jokes along the lines of politicians needing one to stop them spending too much on alcohol.
While it’s easy to laugh at the hypocritical nature of Abbott and most of his party, it’s also worth considering the serious nature of what he did. Let’s not forget that the Liberals went ahead and elected him leader after this incident, so it’s not like they can say that they didn’t know that he was unreliable. I’m not suggesting that one should be condemned for drinking too much on one occasion. However, it’s worth remembering that he did so at a time when he was meant to be at work. Imagine how the Liberals would respond if this were a typical worker. Or let’s say, some unemployed person missed a Centrelink appointment because they were “too drunk”. Would it still be a joke?
Of course not! But that’s the thing, the Coalition think that they got to where they are through hard work and merit, and that this qualifies them to lecture other people. And when they lose their seats, they have no trouble finding another job. Sophie Mirabella, for example, was hired to work on submarines. Mind you, most of them are hired to high paying jobs by the Liberals themselves, but that’s because it’s so hard to make ends meet on your Parliamentary Pension. Mm, maybe we should start a special Parliament for the long-term unemployed where they all sit around and make decisions about politicians’ benefits and entitlements.
Anyway, on the subject of unemployment and poverty, this video is worth a watch. The Orwell book he refers to is “Down And Out In London And Paris” and it too is worth scanning if you’ve never read it.