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What will Malcolm say now that the NBN is an election issue?

Much has already been written about Malcolm Turnbull’s disastrous NBN plan though I would just like to add just one thing, by way of a simple question.

But first, something from the media archives to give you some background:

Incoming communications minister Malcolm Turnbull is facing a social media backlash after he seemingly brushed aside a snowballing online campaign to save Labor’s national broadband network (NBN).

An internet petition set up by a Liberal-voting student six days ago had more than 200,000 online signatures by 4pm (AEST) on Thursday, making it the largest ever online petition in Australia.

The NBN petition on calls on the incoming coalition government to scrap plans to create a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network in place of Labor’s existing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) approach.

When asked on Twitter to reconsider policy in light of the petition, Mr Turnbull replied: “Wasn’t there an election recently at which nbn policy was a key issue?”

That was a brush off if ever there was one, and with with a touch of condescension.

In fact, it was such a non-issue to a majority of the Liberal Party – the opinion that the Labor NBN was something nobody really wanted or needed – it was announced that:

The Abbott government will break its NBN election promise of giving all Australians access to 25 megabits per second download speeds by 2016, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted in Parliament on Thursday.

So to my question . . .

Now that the NBN is an election issue – as spectacularly demonstrated on last night’s Q&A – what will Malcolm say now?

What will Malcolm say now that the NBN is an election issue?

(Better still, what will he do?)



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  1. longwhitekid

    Oh, Malware Turncoat will just keep repeating ‘jobs and growth, jobs and growth, like a retarded-sounding toy that has running down batteries. Growth? Not happening. Jobs? They keep cutting them. That’s the opposite of creating. Shittiest, laziest, most inept government EVER. I am praying they get flushed down the sewer in July.

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I would have thought old Malcolm Muck would know how much social media scorns him for his submission to the fascist Right of his Liberal Party and his downplaying of social and socio-economic reforms, such as his denial of marriage equality and his hamstringing of the NBN.

    Even the least politically active social media participants arguably scorn him for this travesty to our communication rights in the 21st Century.

    Therefore, I find it amusing that poor ole misguided Mal thinks he is seeking solace by debating Shorten on Facebook next, but it just might come BACK to bite him on his skinny bum in his armani suit!

  3. Gangey1959

    He’s still waiting for the results of the latest set of opinion polls on what his best course of action should be to download, so his answer will be available in ………………….. days, (and counting……)

  4. Jagger

    Michael , I would say he will lie, lie some more and keep lying, it seems the LNP way.

  5. Wun Farlung

    Mal could ask Barn-yard, going by last night netflix answer on QandA Barn-yard has all the info

  6. John Lord

    Tania might be right when she said it was the sleeper issue of the election.

  7. Carol Taylor

    My feeling is that Mal will avoid the issue like the plague – reason is, it makes a mockery of – the innovation nation – jobs and growth – pro small business. In addition the Liberals show a complete non-understanding of the modern world and Australia’s history. Once the powers that be understood that for Australia in her isolation to compete, we had to have as our priority, communication. Today’s Liberals think that it’s all about Netflix…

  8. Arthur Plottier

    I cannot say it better than him:
    “A whole mess of garbage”: Ludlam blasts Turnbull’s NBN

  9. Jack Russell

    Finally! The NBN/FTTP comes boiling to the surface!

    I seriously doubt that the four weeks left will give Smarmy Turdbull any time to mount a counter-offensive to the avalanche of fury coming his way.

    To say I’m delighted is an understatement.

  10. Glenn K

    I am still astounded that the AFP search of Conroy’s home (with the MSM given a heads up to be there with camera’s rolling) didn’t last more than 48hrs in the news cycle. If ever there was an example of an emerging fascist state…this was it! Oh, and it is definitely linked to a vital weak spot of the LNP’s mal-administration of our country – the NBN.
    This kind of shit scares me more that it disgusts me. Surely, the rusted on old Liberal voter is old enough to remember this kind of fascism from when they were younger and saw it happening overseas…..then again maybe not, maybe they’re all brain dead.

  11. Shogan

    The stupid thing is, to build FTTH in a realistic time frame would create Jobs and Growth.
    Another stupid thing is to expect Malcontent to admit he was wrong & build a FTTH NBN.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    PM’s throw away line ”
    “Wasn’t there an election recently at which nbn policy was a key issue?” says it all. This is what makes a mockery of governments when they claim mandate for ALL election promises.

    People never vote for all promises made by one leader. Sometimes they vote in spit of the promises. More often that not, they vote the other mob out.

    I know over all my years of voting, there are some promises made, I hope they don’t keep.

    Even if what PM arrogantly said was true, nearly half voters voted against his promises.

    It has been a sleeper, an issue since this PM dismantled NBN Co. He promised fibre to the node. We don’t have that, We no longer have a universal system.

    We have what he calls a multi technology mix, whatever that means, Not universal fibre to the node, Which in itself was wasteful but laid ground work for fibre to the premises., That no longer the case,

    Yes, PM if people voted for the NBN you promised, they didn’t get it.

    To make matter worse, Telstra is once again in the drivers seats. Something no one wanted.

    Our broadband quality has dropped world wide. From being ahead of the world, we are slipping further behind.

    Yes, PM it is on the election agenda in big way, Funny that it is the bush screaming the loudest,

  13. my say

    He won’t have to answer questions because our gutless MSM won’t ask any questions ,

    We will have another terrorism attack before long , and he will start on Shorten and the unions to get the NBN pushed under the carpet just where he want’s it to be

  14. Jack Russell

    His deliberate sabotage of Labor’s FTTP has wasted $50 Billion of taxpayer’s money so far — and for that we’ve got more than nothing — it has also massively disrupted the service we had before this malevolent bastard got his hands on it — complete with a built-in diabolical obstacle course for the poor buggers who’ve been cut off during the incompetent roll-out to have to navigate to try and get their connection restored.


  15. Garth

    Thanks Michael.
    And the silly wally insists on a Facebook debate!!?? I can just see all those people eagerly logging onto Facebook to watch an hour of political debate to be cursing Mal before hearing a word as the little icon spins on their screen. Is it possible the man has such poor judgement, or that his advisors are that crap??
    The Turnbull reworked NBN has a multitude of issues (and even he would know that) so to choose the internet as your platform for a debate is just stoopid!
    And, in regards to the snarky tweet he sent which is shown at the top of Michael’s article (ie. ”… if connectivity was so vital to you why did you buy a house where was no broadband available? “). Surely the obvious response that pops into most peoples heads is the coalition promised (via Mal) fast affordable NBN (broadband) access for all households and businesses at the 2013 election. That promise was clearly a lie but that is simply what that voter is demanding. I can’t believe he sends out such insulting and stupid communications.
    No judgement?? Absolutely!

  16. Terry2

    The government has negotiated with Facebook and for an online debate, with questions submitted via Facebook.

    This is very strange. Turnbull had said that there would be three debates prior to the election and, what do you know : this online farce is the third. That’s it folks !

    The first debate organised by the Liberal Party with Sky News had a pay TV audience of around fifty thousand; the sham of a debate at the National Press Club had an audience on the ABC of around five hundred thousand.
    So, how many people do you think will be watching online ? The buffering on my connection makes it impossible to watch the most basic YouTube transmission, so I won’t be watching and I’m in the same boat as pretty well all of rural and regional Australia.

    So, anybody expecting some frank discourse and real policy probing on the national stage, forget it the Liberal Party has thumbed its nose at you and at our democracy.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    …had an audience on the ABC of around five hundred thousand.

    Saw this figure quoted in another post here. It started at around 500,000, but the audience fell to 93.000 by the time the debate ended.

    Says it all about this debate.

  18. jim

    Mr Murdoch wants our ABC gone Murdoch wants a proper NBN gone why he would lose customers and we can’t have that here in Australia the land of Tony Abbott. shame Quote; In Australia where I live and work – and where the phone hacking scandal had little impact on News Corporation’s activities – a similar offensive is underway against the ABC. In Australia, as in the UK, News Corporation is allied to a right-of-centre government which regards the public sector in general, and public service media in particular, as hostile to its goals and ripe for “reform”. The Australian, News Corp’s flagship title down under (like The Times and Sunday Times in the UK) maintains a steady flow of anti-public service media reportage and commentary, criticising with boring predictability executive salaries, or the alleged bias of its news department, or indeed anything that can be made to appear excessive and un-Australian. Prime minister Tony Abbott recently asked of the ABC: “Whose side are you on?” In a similar way, News Corporation likes to present the ABC as a cultural fifth column, its commentators regularly demanding that it be reduced to a “market failure” broadcaster (and in the process, coincidentally enough, allowing News the opportunity to become even more dominant in the Australian media landscape than it already is). On this issue, as on many others, Murdoch’s media act as cheerleaders for the Abbott government – See more at:

  19. johnlward010

    Bit by bit the US state legislatures increased corporate charter length while they decreased corporate liability and citizen authority over corporate structure, governance, production, and labor. But they were only going to be able to go just so far with this strategy. Because corporations are a creation of the government — chartered by the state legislatures — they still fell on this side of the line with “duties accountable to the people”. Minority rule by property was to be gained; they had to cross this line and become entitled to rights instead.

    And their tool to do this was the 14th Amendment, which passed in 1868.

    After a series of lower court cases, the watershed moment came in 1886 when the US Supreme Court heard a case called Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. Citing the 14th Amendment, and without hearing any arguments, the Supreme Court declared that corporations are persons deserving the law’s protection. There was no public debate about this and no law passed in Congress — corporations received the status of persons by simple judicial fiat. And they did this at a time when all women, all Native Americans, and even most African-American men were denied the right to vote.

    A key witness before the Supreme Court in the lead up to the 1886 was Roscoe Conkling. A former Senator, who helped, draft the 14th Amendment. In his evidence he claimed that reading from his diaries of the time; it was the intention of the drafting committee, which the rights, to be conferred, on former slaves to citizenship: Were meant to be equally applied to corporations.

    It was not till thirty years after his death that his diaries were examined and found to have no such reference.

    He had lied to the Supreme Court, but by then the legal fiction of corporate personhood had defined corporates as natural persons.

    Ten years later, in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court established the “separate but equal” doctrine that legalized racial segregation through what became known as “Jim Crow” laws.

    Fifteen years later the writers of the Australian Constitution included reference to corporation powers in Section 51 xx. Four referendums from 1911 to 1926at which the people of Australia had been asked to enlarge the scope of Commonwealth power in relations to corporations received the NO vote. However in 1971 the high Court overruled its 1908 decision and thereby rendered those four referendums irrelevant.

    In less than 30 years, African-Americans had effectively lost their legal personhood rights while corporations had acquired them.

    In case you’re still wondering whether the primary purpose of the Constitution and the body of law it spawned is about protecting property rather than people, remember this.

    Of the 14th Amendment cases (granting Citizenship to Negro males) heard in the Supreme Court, in the first 50 years after its adoption,

    less than one-half of one percent invoked it in protection of African-Americans. More than 50% asked that its benefits be extended to corporations.

    When you look at two-plus centuries of US legal history; the pattern is that people acquire rights by amendment to the Constitution, a long, drawn-out, difficult process.

    Corporations acquire them by Supreme Court decisions.

    Rights for corporations, because they’re about property, is about who is excluded; rights for human beings is about who is included.

    Once corporations had jumped the line, they proceeded to pursue the Bill of Rights through more Supreme Court cases.

    In 1893, they were assured 5th Amendment protection of due process.

    In 1906, they got 4th Amendment search and seizure protection.

    In 1925 it was freedom of the press and speech.

    In 1976, the Supremes determined that money is equal to speech, and since corporate persons have First Amendment rights,

    they can contribute as much money as they want to political parties and candidates.

    And so we find ourselves at a time when corporations have amassed enormous power and wealth.

    They control nearly every aspect of our lives, because they masquerade, under the law at least, as one of us.

    But most of us don’t know it.

    A key reason for that is that the whole thing is pretty esoteric.

    A corporation is a legal fiction, an abstraction. You can’t see or hear or touch or smell a corporation; it’s just an idea that people agree to and put into writing. But because they have legal personhood status, corporations are like super-humans with all the advantages and none of the disadvantages that we mere mortals have. Corporations now have infinite lifespans so they can continue to accumulate wealth and power forever. You can cut off the figurative arm or leg or even head of a corporation, and it can still continue to exist. Furthermore, corporate lawyers invoke their personhood status or not at their convenience, allowing them to be whatever they want according to their needs.

    Along with this abstract existence, corporations have acquired a lot more abstract property. Ownership of land and buildings is still important; but now corporate property also includes concepts like mineral rights, drilling rights, air pollution credits, intellectual property, and under NAFTA — rights to future profits.

    All this abstraction fits into the ways property is used to maintain minority rule. When corporations were on the duties side of the ledger, the primary technique for enforcing minority rule was to establish that only a tiny percentage could qualify as “We the People”: In other words, that most people were subhuman.

    As different groups of people struggled to be included in those first three words of the Constitution and eventually succeeded. Corporation crossed over to the rights side and ultimately became superhuman, still maintaining an artificially elevated status for a small number of people.

    Today the work of corporatists is to take this system globally.

    Having acquired the ability to govern in the United States, the corporation is the ideal instrument to gain control of the rest of the world. The concepts, laws, and techniques perfected by the ruling minority here are now being forced down the throats of people everywhere. First, a complicit ruling elite is co-opted,

    installed, or propped up by the US military and the government.

    Then, just as slavery and immigrant status once kept wages nonexistent or at poverty levels, now sweatshops, maquiladoras, and the prison-industrial complex provide ultra-cheap labor with little or no regulation. Just as sharecropping and company store scrip once kept people trapped in permanently subservient production roles; now the International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s structural adjustment programs keep entire countries in permanent debt. The world’s poorest people forced to feed interest payments to the world’s richest while their families go hungry.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Wow, johnlward010!

    What hope have we got?

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