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Wentworth Mystery: The Baffling Case Of The Missing Malcolm

So the Coalition dump Malcolm Turnbull as leader and he decides to quit Parliament leading to a by-election in his seat of Wentworth. This no problem because he has a margin of seventeen percent. Ok, take a couple of percent off because the new candidate isn’t PM, another three or four for Mal’s personal following, five for the by-election protest vote, but there still should be a healthy margin for the Liberal candidate. Ok, they need more females in Parliament, but let’s not worry about that now, they decide that Dave Sharma is their man!

The day out from the election, Sportsbet is telling us that an Independent, Dr Kerrie Phelps has firmed from $3.25 to $1.33 favourite. No, this is not a gambling ad. I’m just pointing out that it seems there’s been quite a bit of money wagered on her to win. People putting their money on something is lot better indicator of people’s expectation than the prognostications of politicians trying to portray themselves as the underdog or journalists trying to fill columns or airspace.

Facing possible defeat, a few people have lashed out, suggesting that Turnbull hasn’t helped the current candidate enough. I guess they need someone to blame and it’s harder to use Labor this time around. Still, if you think about it, expecting Malcolm to help out is a bit like expecting your dumped ex-partner to help you with your Tinder profile. Or Barnaby Joyce wondering if his estranged wife would like to babysit Sebastian, so he and Vikki could have a nice dinner together.

The desire for Malcolm’s presence is one of those strange paradoxes. If Turnbull is not that good at politics, he’s hardly needed, but if Turnbull can help boost the votes by campaigning, it begs the question: Why did you dump him?

Lately I find myself wondering if I’ve been dropped into my own version of “The Truman Show” where everybody’s watching to see how ridiculous they can make politics before I start looking for the camera to announce that I’m onto the game and they need to take back to the real world. It was absurd enough when the electorate turned on Labor who steered us through the GFC without a recession. And at least Labor could answer the question, “Why did you just change leader?” with the response that they thought the new one had a better chance at the election. The recent Liberal answer to the same question seems to be: “Because we didn’t want Peter Dutton” or “Let’s not talk about the past… or the future, for that matter… Let’s just concentrate on the present moment and… Oh look, is that a Royal or two doing something?”

But since then we’ve had PM Tony and his knighthoods, Trump, Brexit, Deputy PM Barnaby’s saga, and so many other things that I could keep writing for hours and still miss something. As I commented the other day, Scott Morrison warning us that electing an Independent could lead to instability was just about the silliest thing I’d heard for a while. With the Liberals you know just what you’ll get, apparently. I presume he didn’t mean, you know you’ll get a change of leader.

Of course, the week wasn’t over.

Apparently Barnaby Joyce has decided that backbench life isn’t good enough for him, even if he is a Special Envoy. He made a strong pitch for leadership in an interview where he explained that the Coalition shouldn’t be criticised for “accidently” voting for Pauline’s motion because he rarely knew what he was voting for. I was expecting him to follow up by telling us it’s hard to keep track of what you’re doing when you’ve had that many beers.

Still, you can’t blame the Beat-rooter for being confused. Lately, Scottie has made it clear that he has many more positions than the missionary. He went from “religious freedom” meaning the right to exclude people to “let the gay children come unto religious schools” in just a couple of days. And Labor were suddenly anti-semitic for having exactly the same policy on the Israeli embassy as the Liberals until a few days ago. Or rather, for having exactly the same policy given there hasn’t been any decision on moving it yet.

In a vox pop, one guy said he liked the fact that Morrison was shifting our embassy to Jerusalem. Clearly this person hadn’t noted that our PM only said he was “open” to the idea. I suspect that his intention was to be “open” to the idea for just long enough to win Wentworth and then he could commission a report which would be delivered some time after the next general election and put in a drawer until people had time to read it.

Following Donald Trump’s lead is not the sort of thing I’d expect to end well. Lately, Forrest Trump has warned that if he finds out that the Saudis are responsible for killing Khashoggi, the journalist who disappeared after entering their embassy in Turkey, he’ll take severe action. If past USA administrations are any indication, this will mean bombing Iraq. In Trump’s case, he’ll probably choose to bomb Mexico because it’s closer.

Still there was some good news for Scottie this week. He even released a video (no, not the one on his appropriated website) where he was casually sitting on his desk in that oh-so-I’m-just-an average-baseball-cap-wearing-dude pose before standing up to tell us that unemployment was the best it’s been in six years.

Yep, we haven’t had figures like this since Labor were in office!

Of course, that was different because they were such poor economic managers that they had government debt approaching the debt limit of $300 billion, but the Coalition fixed that. They got rid of the debt limit altogether!




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  1. New England Cocky

    “[T]he Coalition fixed that. They got rid of the debt limit altogether!”

    Well, it is impossible to rort the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme to the max when there is legislated limit. I mean., well, that is just anti-capitalist!!

    How can Beetroot raise two families of a mere $200,000 backbencher’s pittance? Why, anybody would think that he is unemployable!!

    But wait, is there a rumour that his other paramour Gina, has lined him up a property near the Santos CSG fields in the Pilliga Scrub, right above the Great Artesian Basin alluvial beds, that he can practice his deft skills at buggering up everything he touches?

  2. New England Cocky

    Speaking of Wentworth and the obvious vote buying attempt with the Zionist appeasing policy of moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem:

    Jewish community opposes to Australian government move to Jerusalem
    by BushTelegraph
    Byron Friends of Palestine (BFOP) endorse Vivienne Porzolt’s statement on behalf of Jews Against the Occupation in absolutely condemning Prime Minister Morrison’s suggestion of moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem.

    Vivienne said, “This is a provocative move which reveals complete disregard for international law and for efforts to achieve justice for Palestinians and a peaceful resolution of the conflict for both Israelis and Palestinians. In the last-minute dash for the imminent Wentworth by-election, it is a blatant appeal to the so-called ‘Jewish vote’. This is an insult to the Jewish community which encompasses a much broader range of views than is reflected in the pronouncements of the Jewish leadership in lockstep with the State of Israel.”

    In a letter to Bill Shorten, BFOP’s Jenny Bush writes, “As a Jewish descendant of refugees from Vienna who arrived in Australia in 1939, I implore you to maintain the long standing bi-partisan policy of keeping the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv and not moving it to Jerusalem. Having visited Israel and the Occupied West Bank it is clear to me that Israel has no intention of allowing a Palestinian state. Settlements are growing exponentially forcing Bedouins from their homes and making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible. For generations Palestinians are condemned to live in refugee camps under terrible conditions. Israeli sharp shooters kill and maim young Gazans on their own side of the fence in huge numbers.

    I feel particularly responsible for the terrible actions of the Jewish people. Jerusalem remains a divided city and until it becomes the capital of both a Palestinian and Israeli state no foreign nation should endorse its cruel apartheid policies clearly aimed at destroying the will of the Palestinians to ever gain independence.

    — Gareth W R Smith, Maxine Caron, Jenny Bush, Leonie de Dreux-Crawford, Subhi Ahwad

    Palestine Liberation Centre

    BushTelegraph | October 19, 2018 at 8:22 am | Categories: Recent | URL:

  3. Kaye Lee

    I am gobsmacked every time these goons say they have “fixed the fiscal mess left by Labor”

    Current gross debt $540,219 m

    net debt at end of August was $352,544 million

    deficit for the first two months of this financial year $5,534 million

  4. SteveFitz

    Where’s Malcolm? Why isn’t he here to help us win Wentworth – What’s wrong with him? Why won’t he play tiddly-winks with us anymore?

    Well, let’s see – Elected Prime Minister knifed on the steps of parliament house and the victim of a brutal political bloodletting, by his own people. The reason Malcolm will not attend was echoed by his beloved son Alex and, because he would not be able to help himself… The words out of his mouth, loud and clear, would be: –

    “THE LIBERALS HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE EXTREME RIGHT WING” – Australia beware! To save society we need to crush and flush the current LNP leadership. Oops, did I say that? It just slipped out. Signed MT

  5. Max Gross

    Abbott smashed the furniture, shat on the carpet and took us to the edge of the cliff. Turnbull danced along the edge, juggling his balls in the air. Morrison waved his arms and jumped off.

  6. David Stakes

    Love that Max,so on the money. Hope you dont mind but I quoted it on my Twitter feed. With Acknowledgement.

  7. MikeW

    Why the hell should Turnbull help the coalition after they dumped him? He did the right thing left the parliament and politics, unlike Abbott who hangs around like a bad smell, then again Turnbull is employable unlike Abbott who has no chance of finding a job outside of parliament.

  8. Henry Rodrigues

    If beetrooter is bold or brave or stupid enough to put his hand up again, why isn’t our Tony doing the same. Where is Tony anyway ????
    You couldn’t write a more desperate story than this. And there is Scummo pretending that singlehandedly he will save the Liberals and the world. Pathetic dickheads, so pathetic they had to rouse the rodent of Woolstonecroft from his sleep to come and help them.

  9. Kaye Lee

    If Promo says one more time that Australians aren’t interested in the “Canberra bubble” I will scream. Of course he doesn’t want us watching as they tear themselves to pieces and I really couldn’t give a shit who their leader is. But to think the Australian people do not recognise the policy stagnation inflicted on us by their internal wars, then he is kidding himself. Their inability to work together has real consequences for us. This jostling for the crown has caused the incumbents to give power to idiots in the hope they won’t cross the floor or rip down another leader. Numbers men and bullies are protected and promoted. One person’s hobby horse can become policy just to secure their vote. And no choreographed marketing videos can make us forget the debacle of the last five years. Seriously. what was he thinking with the latest manspread titled “the things that matter”. As if Liberals don’t remember what Downer did with that phrase, just like they didn’t realise “It’s OK to be white” was a white supremacist phrase.

  10. paul walter

    They’ll get away with it somehow- they always do.

  11. Kronomex

    “…the Liberals’ candidate Dave Sharma will be as good as the man they dumped as party leader …” Hilarious piece of crap if ever I’ve heard it.

    “Mr Morrison said Dr Phelps “could not guarantee not bringing down the government” referring to an interview on Sky on Thursday in which she did not rule out a vote against the government on a motion of no-confidence. “Now that is the definition of instability,” Mr Morrison said.”

    No it’s not, it’s the sign of a scared shitless Scummo.

  12. Kaye Lee

    ProMo is now message managing by saying they will probably lose so if they scrape home he can call it a great result.

  13. Frank Smith

    But Rossleigh, Scotty doesn’t know!

    Scotty doesn’t know anything about being PM!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about how to govern!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about global warming!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about rising sea levels!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about the environment!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about how to treat your Pacific neighbours!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about the drought!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about humanitarian principles!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about refugee children!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about the national economy!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about unemployment!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about inadequate wages for workers!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about the legitimate role of Unions!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about the NDIS!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about infrastructure!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about how good Christian principles should be practiced!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about white racist supremacy!
    Scotty doesn’t know anything about the voters of Wentworth!

    In fact, Scotty doesn’t know anything about ANYTHING!!

  14. ChristopherJ

    Gold, mate.

    Don’t even need to make it up, that is the genius of what you do

  15. johno

    Daggy dad does Canberra

  16. Frank Smith

    I cannot believe the “Scotty doesn’t know” procurement of ScumMo’s electoral website is still up after 24 hours. Ashamed as we are by the fact that ScumMo is our present PM, he has immediate access to the Nations top cyber security experts. So, why have they not shut down this website that has gone viral throughout the world and is acutely embarrassing to Australia no matter what side of politics we may align to? This is idiotic! Perhaps the advertising man Morrison subscribes to the old adage that “any publicity is good publicity” – if so, he is totally delusional.

  17. DrakeN


    in the case of our politics, we deserve to be embarrassed and for the arrant stupidity of the Australian electorate to be clearly displayed across the whole of the planet.
    We have the government which we deserve.

  18. Peter F

    I am pessimistic enough to believe that having a PM who imitates POTUS is exactly what many voters want.

  19. New England Cocky

    @DRakeN: Uhm … we have the (mis)government we elected. Ow let us have the next election so that we can elect a better government that has policies, integrity, priority public interest compassion, and ability to govern.

  20. Kyran

    “The Baffling Case Of The Missing Malcolm” has, at long last, been solved. Or as close as this government will ever get to solving anything.

    “Malcolm Turnbull has left New York but delayed his return to Sydney, allaying fears it would destroy the byelection hopes of the Liberal candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma.
    Senior Liberals were panicked that Mr Turnbull’s departure from New York, where he had been since being deposed as prime minister, meant he could arrive home before the crucial byelection.
    His return to Sydney would have been “hugely destabilising” to the Liberal campaign, according to several party sources, and would have done “more harm than good”.”

    So, there you go. He ain’t there, but he ain’t quite here either. As for one of the numerous ‘own goals’ the government scored, discussion of the relocation of an embassy was slated by ASIO as having the possibility of increasing violent acts both in the ME and Australia. Clearly, the government is aware of this. They provided a further grant for security upgrades in Wentworth.

    “In a social media post, the board’s president Lesli Berger said that while $2.2 million in funding for security upgrades for the Jewish community “would not have happened without Dave Sharma’s advocacy”, Mr Berger’s public gratitude was not an endorsement.
    “I have publicly thanked Mr Sharma and the federal government for recognising our security needs and we remain grateful for the grant,” Mr Berger wrote in the Facebook post.”

    The other aspect of the pandering to any potential vote based on religion was probably reduced a bit by Ms Phelps and at least one other candidate being of the Jewish faith. This lot seriously couldn’t organise a drink in a brewery.
    The other bit that’s interesting is that Wentworth is one of the few by-elections not necessitated by Sect 44 confusion as to parentage, a matter that is yet to be resolved. The Frydenberg approach to his dubious citizenship has been relegated to the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ status, likely only to be revisited if he sticks his hand up to replace Scummo.

    “Sharma is of Indian heritage and was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada in 1975. His family moved to Parramatta, New South Wales, in 1979.
    His grandfather was a Brahmin priest from UP in India who moved to Trinidad in 1908. His father met his mother, who was from Sydney, in the United Kingdom.”

    This may seem premature, but has Sharma provided RN certificates from Canada, the place of his birth, and India, the place of his parent’s birth?
    It would be hilarious, and entirely plausible, that, if he wins, he off’s himself to the High Court and causes another by-election.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. Good luck in your pursuit of satirising this government. It is becoming like a meme for ‘1984’, being intended as a caution and becoming an instruction manual. Every time you write an article, it becomes government policy. Take care

  21. Kaye Lee

    Bronte Surf Life Saving Club, in the suburb where the prime minister, Scott Morrison, grew up, has been given a whopping $2m from the federal government to replace their clubhouse.

    The North Bondi Surf Club, a club with good Liberal connections – Malcolm Turnbull was a long-time member – has been given $500,000 for a new gear shed on top of the $500,000 that Abbott gave it in 2013.

    Perhaps the snub to Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club, which occupies a run-down art deco clubhouse on the cliff, is understandable. After all, the Labor candidate for Wentworth, Tim Murray, is the club’s president and that might have made for an awkward photo opportunity.

    ProMo is Honorary Member of four surf clubs – Cronulla, North Cronulla, Elouera and Wanda. They are no doubt looking forward to some largesse early next year.

    PS Kyran….

    “When Canadian-born Dave Sharma stood to give his candidate’s speech to Liberal Party faithful on Thursday night, he began with a little joke: he was definitely not a dual citizen, he declared, and waved the requisite paperwork to prove it”

  22. Kyran

    Lol, Ms Lee. From Canada AND India?
    It would be just too funny. And that’s about all this government is good for. The alternative is tears.
    Take care

  23. Rossleigh

    If the PM was warned by ASIO that moving our embassy to Jerusalem might lead to violence, surely he wouldn’t be silly enough to risk something that could be considered a terrorist attack in the week before a by-election…
    Unless he thought that’d help their chances.
    But surely not! I mean, it’s one thing to risk the whole planet by ignoring climate change, but surely they couldn’t be so cavalier about people’s lives for electoral advantage… Well not people who didn’t arrive on leaky boats, anyway.

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