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We’ve swapped nope for hope but has anything else changed?

With less than a year to the next election (probably), it is hard to see what Malcolm Turnbull can do to turn the Titanic around.

Certainly voters disliked Abbott, but that wasn’t just because he was him (though I must admit that played its part). Malcolm will need to come up with some policy changes.

The positive rhetoric is a pleasant change and it gives a sense of hope which is good, but it’s like “stop the boats” – ok, good, and then what. Stopping the boats does nothing to help the refugee crisis any more than being optimistic addresses our economic challenges.

Already we have learned that Malcolm has signed a written promise to the National Party to never put a price on carbon while he is PM. Didn’t he learn from Gillard how those promises can come back to bite you? Bad judgement to make assurances like that.

Pretty much everyone in business knows that pricing carbon is inevitable. What they want is policy certainty so they know how to proceed.

Malcolm has agreed to a plebiscite on marriage equality which, in result terms, is probably a good thing because if our current Parliament was to vote, it appears they would vote against it despite the overwhelming majority of the public being in favour according to every poll. But why can’t it be at the same time as the federal election? Are we really that blasé that a cost of $100 million is not taken into consideration?

Christopher Pyne, despite conjecture that he will have a new role in the Turnbull Ministry, went ahead with announcing his new education policy which smacks of ideology and bureaucracy rather than student need.

Barnaby Joyce has been given control of water. Who can tell what that might mean? Oh for an environment minister that didn’t have the courage of the puppy in the window, or a science minister who would listen to the CSIRO in preference to Barnaby’s special friend, Gina Rinehart.

Malcolm’s record on the NBN has been shameful. Will he persist when his own people are wishing out loud that the multi-mix technology approach would just go away because the promises cannot be met?

The doctors have no doubt been on to Malcolm about the freeze in Medicare payments and other proposed changes. Will the $20 billion medical research fund go ahead?

It will be an interesting mix of egos having Turnbull and Morrison working together. Turnbull might want to go for an early election to validate his leadership while popularity is high. Morrison might want to make his mark by producing the budget that saves the world – then again, he will have to explain away growing debt, deficit and unemployment so may well want to avoid that challenge before an election.

Will Morrison display the same steely determination towards taxation reform that he did to repelling asylum seekers? Will the price of reform be borne by low income earners or will tax concessions be back on the table?

I know it has only been a few days but the early signs have not been promising. One symbolic announcement would have been enough to keep us going like when the Whitlam government in its very first week removed sales tax from the contraceptive pill and made oral contraceptives available via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Give us a sign Malcolm. You’ve made promises to the Nationals and to the right wingers . . . how about some promises to the Australian people? Something . . . anything that reassures us that we haven’t just swapped the word nope for the word hope.



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  1. Ella Miller

    Kaye Lee, thank you for the very good analysis,

    I think the LNP is making a big mistake if they think that their problems are totally due to TA’s personality.

    The majority of their issues are due to the unfair policies that lack the concept of social justice within the policies.

    How unreal is it to promise the NP not introduce a carbon tax (by the way, was this a captains call?). When the country is experiencing
    a “defficit crisis” as we have been told, to pay millions of dollars for poluters not to polute????

    When there is a job shortage how socially responsible is it to make the unemployed wait to get the meager new start payment.
    When the honorable memebers can live on it whilst looking for a job then, they have the right to expect us to!

    I could go on in every policy area…but we all know… it is about POLICY not PERSONALITY !!!!

  2. Kaye Lee

    I agree Ella that it is about policy which is why Bill Shorten needs to get cracking. He is not going to win on his charisma but he could win with some decent policies. The trouble is, rather than having the courage to offer alternatives, Shorten has been hell bent on the ‘me too’ approach on far too many things.

  3. brickbob

    I saw this morning that Malcom is reversing Abbotts Kiights and Dames policy,at least that is one positive move so far.

  4. corvus boreus

    Turnbull has made an announcement of his intention to change the meaningless titles of a few symbolic awards.
    Our public schools are now to teach phonics, western imperialism and Christian theology, our carbon policy will remain the same slush scheme our new PM previously derided as useless, Gina now controls the flow of the Murray-Darling through the proxy of Barnaby and we are dropping bombs on the people of Syria, but there will be no more Knights or Dames of Australia.
    Well done Mal.

  5. Ginny Lowndes

    Malcolm Turnbull believes one child in detention is one child too many until it’s not convenient. MT believes in SSM until it’s not convenient. MT believes in renewables until it’s not convenient. MT believes in water policy until it’s not convenient. MT would be the greatest green, economic & democratic leader we have ever had if only it wasn’t so damned inconvenient. His promise is that maybe one day, some day he might be – just not now.

    Hope is always postponed disappointment.

  6. Peter F

    “I saw this morning that Malcom is reversing Abbotts Kiights and Dames policy,at least that is one positive move so far.” – about as significant as introducing it in the first place. I would have quite liked it if he had left it there and ignored it . . . but then, again.

  7. Pudd'enhead

    Free hearts, free foreheads – you and I are old;
    Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
    Death closes all; but something ere the end,
    Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
    The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
    The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
    Moans round with many voices. Come my friends,
    Tis not too late to seek a newer world. (From Tennyson’s “Ulysses”)
    A word to Malcolm – it is never to late to do the honourable thing. You have in earlier days professed belief in the advance of human induced climate change and offered sensible approach to its amelioration. Please don’t desert your admitted belief.

  8. corvus boreus

    I agree with Peter F.
    K-niggets and Dammees of the Ordure of Straya should remain as Abbott’s enduring testament and legacy to this nation, even after the imprint of all of his other atrocious and existentially harmful decisions have been long erased and forgotten.
    Lest we forget the ridiculous and hilarious spectacle of a clumsy commoner trying to bestow chivalric acclaim upon royalty.

  9. kerri

    Post Whitlam it was “Maintain your rage!”
    Post Abbott it should be “Lest we forget!” Or maybe “No matter how sweet the smile, how urbane the explaination, how trivial the scraps of concession lest we forget the self serving and unfair policies!”

  10. Ella Miller

    Kaye Lee, Shorten’s “mee too” approach.

    I too have been disappointed by this.

    However after consideration during many question times, when, the Labor party asked difficult question it was hammered by TA eg;
    Labor will bring back the carbon tax,the minig tax and the boats will start etc so they were between a rock and a hard place.

    For me, the most disappointing part of last question time was MT ridiculing BShorten for not framing a question very well.
    MT’s arrogance was on show by trying to teach B.Shorten on how a question should be framed.
    A good way to unite the Parliament and achieve bypartisanship????
    Think NOT.

    The Labor Party had better get cracking with great policies !

  11. gangey1959

    She’ll be right, Kaye Lee.
    We have another PM with “Karisma.”

    Now, where did I park my yacht ? Or is it now called a ‘yot’ ?

    @ CB. I think abbot ran out of swords.
    He didn’t even have the grace (LOL) to fall on his last one.

  12. Kate M

    The trouble with a plebiscite on Marriage Equality is that it doesn’t mean parliament have to vote for it. We could spend $100 Million plus on a vote, and have a majority of Aussies vote for it – which is the almost certain outcome given polls to date – and still the parliament could vote against it. They aren’t bound by a plebiscite at all.

  13. randalstella

    It would be a disgrace to the nation if Brough got a Ministry.
    He has been proactive in several abysmal acts of skulduggery that set the moral level below abysmal.
    He is a self-appointed enemy of due process and probity.
    I could say more. That appalling fellow Dutton is better than Brough.
    His appointment would indicate that Turnbull is set on cranking up Abbott’s flagging momentum against equity and the fair treatment of the powerless.

  14. David

    If Turnbull goes ahead today and gives the Treasury to Morrison, he is on the road to Morrison later knifing him. i have along with others here and elsewhere, always maintained Morrison is an Abbott clone. As evil but more cunning.
    Criticism is like a good feed to him, he thrives on it, builds up the resistance. Treasurer Morrison? We aint seen nothing yet.

  15. gangey1959

    A rat with a gold tooth is still a rat.

  16. Great Southern

    There would be few in here, if any, that aren’t glad to see Abbott go, albeit making it harder for the Labor party. But at least we no longer have a PM that is an oratory embarrassment on the world stage.

    But that’s a very small gain. There’s a lot that needs to be gained and, for me, working in the IT sector, my two main gripes are the “copper”NBN and the (still) atrocious Mobile Network in this country.

    Moving on from there, as I see it, whereas TA basically dictated not only deeds but thoughts to both his Cabinet and the people of Australia, MT is in a reverse position, being dictated to by his party and he’s hamstrung on that one. Even the less diligent and ambivalent elector does not want to see a party (or in this case a coalition of two parties) implode and MT knows this – it will spell total disaster.

    So he’s forced into keeping as many people happy as possible and putting his personal ambitions on hold.

    This bodes very badly for Australia’s future.

    As to Bill Shorten, I agree with others, he’s now got an opportunity to present a real alternative, but it must be underpinned by articulate and effectively promulgated policies. I think he has a LOT of work to do here and needs to strike fast whilst MT’s new government is still destabilised.

    The voters at large are far too emersed and brainwashed in believing ours is a Presidential system, so if we have a “good” guy at the helm, all is good. We do not and it IS not.

    That too is something the Labor party as a whole needs to work on and ram home.

  17. RosemaryJ36

    Apart from Captain’s picks, whichever party has the majority – or can form a coalition – it is the party’s platform which dictates policy. A PM can only recommend and if he is not supported, then his preferred policy does not get up.
    At least on major issues in Switzerland, ALL the people can provide binding input when they hold a referendum!

  18. Jexpat

    Maybe you’ve swapped nope for hope, Kaye Lee, but you’d do well to dispense with the royal “we.”

  19. Kaye Lee

    Actually it should read “They’ve swapped nope for hope” because it will just be longer slogan without something to back it up.

    My use of the royal “we” is because I still consider myself part of Australia and my previous PM’s message was nope while my new PM’s message is hope. I am merely an observer of their machinations.

  20. diannaart

    The Liberal Party have given in to pragmatism and replaced an intellectually feeble stooge with a better looking and capable façade.

    According to former Howard advisor, Ian Hanke, on this morning’s Sunday extra, Radio National, there is nothing to see as nothing will change, Malcolm has promised. The IPA is happy and that’s all that matters.

    (To Southpark fans, Ian’s surname is pronounced “hankee”) snicker, snort…

  21. Kaye Lee


    I have Canadian friends who, when they became pregnant, asked their friends all over the world to suggest names for the child. Their surname is Kiy. I suggested Hank. Whilst I thought I had a winner they surprisingly didn’t choose my suggestion 🙂

  22. Faye Cox

    His appointment of the Minister for Women is an absolute joke.
    All I can ever remember of that woman is her shrill , disgusting diatribe about Julia Gillard, full of hatred.

  23. silkworm

    What are the circumstances under which the so called written promise to the Nationals on carbon pricing surfaced? When did Turnbull sign it? Why did he sign it? Who leaked it? Why did they leak it?

  24. David

    Faye I had a reply along your way of thinking…until I watched diannaart’s post..Turnbull .is all too much…where’s the bottle!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  25. Kaye Lee


    It wasn’t a leak. The Nats demanded it as a condition for them to sign off on the Coalition agreement to form government. They proudly announced that they would have none of that carbon shenanigans like last time Malcolm was in charge and he acquiesced.

  26. silkworm

    OK, it was a proud announcement, not a leak as such, but why announce it at all? Did Turdball (the Circle of Poo) agree to its release? Has Turdball (the Circle of Poo) proudly affirmed that he signed it? Has anyone asked him? References please!

    (I think there’s a little bit of poo inside all of us, but some people are more crap than others.)

  27. Kaye Lee

    The Nationals have extracted a huge price for supporting the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull, with a commitment that there will be no change in carbon pricing for the duration of his prime ministership, social measures said to be worth between $2 billion and $4 billion, and a massive win for small business on competition policy.

    Nationals Leader Warren Truss and deputy Barnaby Joyce announcec full details of the deal after Question Time on Tuesday, which sees major wins for the Nationals, including an about face on the effects test in competition legislation.

    But Nationals sources have told the Financial Review that central to the agreement is a commitment to “no carbon tax, and no emissions trading scheme” for the life of his prime ministership. There is also a commitment that Mr Turnbull will take the already announced targets for emissions reduction to Paris climate change talks.

    Read more:

    (not quite sure who you think is full of crap but I try to verify what I say)

  28. Florence nee Fedup

    With the rights ability which is renown to change meanings of words to suit there aims, the PM could deliver a decent CC policy and a overnight plebiscite., without breaking his word.

    There is plenty of CEF suite of legislation left in place, to remodel the present DA more to his liking, leaving name in place. Not sure Hunt would raise any objections. In fact, I am sure the PM has tested Hunt out in this regard.

    There is no rules concerning plebiscites. One can run them anyway one likes. Could be digital, from ones smart phone, tablet or laptop, run at cheap cost, before the next election. I think he might have promised not to introduce it before next election. Doesn’t need to be compulsory, not even on any election roll.

  29. David

    Florence in the world of a snake oil salesperson…there will always be an anti venom…tools of the trade

  30. silkworm

    Kaye Lee, definitely not you. (You are one of my heroes!) It’s the Libs who are full of crap.

  31. Pingback: We’ve swapped nope for hope but has anything else changed? – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

  32. Kaye Lee

    No heroes here silkworm, just seekers of truth, and I too am very worried about Malcolm making deals like that. He did it to secure his own job but to categorically remove carbon pricing as an option any time in the future is unbelievably reckless.

  33. Michael Lacey

    Maybe an early election? Good analysis!

  34. David

    Kaye Lee if you dont want to be a hero, how about if silkworm and I and anyone else are admirers 🙂

  35. Kaye Lee

    Thanks David. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss politics and social justice with such an aware group of people. I learn a lot from those who write and comment here.

  36. Wayne Turner

    Malcolm Turnbull sold out on what he really believes for power.Egs: Climate change,and same sex marriage – WASTE MILLIONS ON A NON-BIDING VOTE: He is kidding,and can’t be trusted with what he says NOW ie: He’s a LIAR.

    He really stands for NOTHING,but winning the next election and power.

    Welcome PM Malcolm Abbott – Same crap policies,same crap Liberal party,just a more intelligent and better speaker – Who isn’t?

    Malcolm Abbott all style no substance.Sure to be fallen for by the gullible and ignorant.

    Will the real Malcolm Turnbull please stand up? Or stand down?

  37. David

    I share your concerns Wayne, One doesn’t have to see past the Turnbull smarmy elocuted delivery to work out his motives for the types he has appointed to his inner sanctuary. Made up of supporting friends, token women and Abbott mates who would rock Turnbulls boat if he had the balls to dump them. Come on down Hunt, Dutton, Brandis, Brough, Cormann what price has your ‘leader paid to keep you on side?
    The odor coming from Turnbull suggests gutless fear of enemies.

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