The Terrier Has Fangs

The indomitable Victoria Rollinson has done it again. Skewered – better, defanged – Turnbull.

(Image Credit: Wixxy)

Malcolm Turnbull would love voters to think he’s a fluffy white dog who wouldn’t hurt a fly. How can a man who adorably blogs on behalf of his dogs be anything but a harmless, gentle, kind Prime Minister? How can a man who wears a leather jacket on Qanda not be a man of the people? How can a man who wants to stay living in his multimillion dollar mansion on Sydney Harbour to be close to his grandson be anything but compassionate, socially progressive and committed to quality education and healthcare for the whole community? I’m sorry to disappoint the hopeful progressives who really want to believe Turnbull is the messiah. But isn’t it best I tell you now before you give him a chance to do a whole new term of harm? Turnbull definitely is NOT the messiah. Turnbull is a very naughty boy.

It is not entirely Turnbull’s fault that voters don’t realise how extreme his free-market ideology is. I think the problem is that voters assume that it’s OK for Turnbull to be right-wing when it comes to the economy, whilst also being sort of warm and fuzzy in a social sense. But this charade is just that: a charade. In the recent past Turnbull has been busily differentiating himself from Abbott. But when it comes to the free-market-loving part of the values Abbott and Turnbull share, Turnbull would go much harder and faster on the free-market bit, where Abbott spent more of his energy on social conservatism. Remember WorkChoices? Turnbull’s free market values means he believes this attempted assault on workers’ rights didn’t go far enough. You think Howard was scary? You ain’t see nothing yet!

If you were watching the Grand Final on Saturday, you might have missed the idea floated by this cute little terrier of a PM’s Treasurer, Scomo, that the States really should start thinking about letting private companies run hospitals and schools. Shock horror! ‘But wait!’ I hear all the supposably progressive Turnbull lovers say, ‘that’s just Scomo being Scomo and still swinging the Abbott-wrecking-ball. That’s not our cute cuddly Turnbull’. Get real people. Turnbull chose Morrison to be his government’s Treasurer. He made the decision not just because he needed Morrison’s voting block to win the Libspill. Stop the wishful thinking. Turnbull chose Morrison as his Treasurer because they SHARE THE SAME IDEOLOGY. The desired end point for people with these values, values Turnbull has been very up front about, is that the free market solves all social problem, that there should be no government intervention in the economy, including any welfare of any kind, and therefore everything becoming user-pays. In this world, the more money you have, the more healthcare and education you get. See how well this works out for the mega-rich Turnbulls of the world? Funny that. You might be thinking, it’s OK, Turnbull’s never going to get that far. But just imagine the damage he could do if he only gets some of what he wants. Imagine the wreckage strewn in that path!

Don’t be fooled by the idea that Turnbull is centre-right, or, as I’ve even heard some very mistaken lefties say, that he’s ‘left’ on social issues. The truth is, he has to be pro-marriage equality because this position isn’t just electorally desirable in Wentworth, it is electorally 100% necessary. Turnbull might say the right thing about climate change action too, but surely you noticed he never crossed the floor in Abbott’s government and helped to destroy climate action. Instead, he supported expensive and useless Direct Action, which he now plans to keep even though he’s in a position to end it. In fact, Turnbull will say and do whatever he needs to say to make himself look however he needs to look to win votes. Sorry to disappoint, but the tooth fairy isn’t real, Santa is your parents and it’s not possible to be both right-wing-pro-free-market and socially left-wing. Being socially ‘left’ means that schools and hospitals are run for the good of the people, not the good of the market. Turnbull’s free market position means he’d happily let the market rip public hospitals and schools out of the hands of the public and into the hands of the highest bidder for the greatest profit.

When progressives realise what it really means for the country to have a free marketeer in charge, and they realise it’s actually impossible to be economically-right and socially-left at the same time, and when they don’t agree with Turnbull that healthcare and education should be run at a profit, they might realise their progressive vote definitely does not belong to Turnbull. ‘Privately run’ hospitals and schools is a very steep, buttered slope towards the end of free-for-all-and-all-alike hospitals and schools, which quickly leads to hospitals and schools only available to those who have the means to pay. I assume this is not an outcome progressives strive for?

So please, I’m begging you, don’t be fooled by the smarmy exterior and the cheesy grin. Turnbull is giving Australia a hug while stealing our public owned services and workers’ rights from our back pocket. Turnbull is a Prime Minister who looks like a cuddly terrier, but when you get to know him, you see he has fangs. Please be careful with your vote Australia. Turnbull has neo-liberal-sharp-as-diamond fangs. We’ve been bitten badly enough by Abbott. Please don’t now give the Turnbull terrier a chance to bite us even harder


240 thoughts on “The Terrier Has Fangs

  1. My Russian teacher (when I was but a young lioness) was a lovely woman, not at all grim. Her instruction on how to party, Russian style, was quite the revelation.

    To have a successful party everyone has to be well and truly drunk before things get going, This requires games involving an awful lot of vodka. Straight vodka, no diluting with tonic or juice allowed. Once everyone is appropriately smashed the real party can begin.

    Maybe all those glum photos are the results of morning-after hangovers.

  2. leonetwo

    Re “morning after hang overs’. You may be right. From some of what I’ve read official functions frequently feature a long vodka session. As you say, straight vodka all the way.

    Had a couple of vodka sessions with “the Russians”. Hope never to have to go through another one. Apart from lots of straight vodka they also served up a cocktail. Recipe for Russian style Bloody Mary. Large glass tumbler , 1/3-1/2 half fill with tomato juice, avoiding mixing carefully fill to top with vodka from the freezer , down the hatch in one.


  4. It is about Dave but it may as well be about Truffles

    Forget the hug-a-gay-British-Muslim act, this Tory party is hard right

    ……….. laughable.

    No. These are politicians who may talk centre, or even centre-left, but who deliver right, or even far-right.

    ………..To hear him is to believe him. He seems really to think he’s a One Nation “modern” Tory. The guy who, for example, pushed through gay marriage. It is tempting to think of Cameron as a decent chap struggling to wrangle – and front – an unruly and hard-hearted right. Heroically dragging them into the centre for their own and our country’s good. One Twitter commentator felt that Cameron’s speech was as much a sell to his own right wing as it was to centrist voters. On this reading, Cameron is not so much lying about moving his party into the “common” ground, as

    Could be. But step away from the charming, plausible delivery – mute the speech and just think about the big picture, just see the man talking – and the well-meaning interpretation seems the less likely of the two.

  5. try opening from the link within the tweet first, may help dodge the paywall. Opened easy for me via twitter, may not via a direct link. good example of how media can get stories from overseas wrong

  6. The crims go 1 up..

    Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to New York prison inmates

    Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York prison inmates.

    The showdown took place at the Eastern correctional facility in New York, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College…


  8. Australia’s political blowfly is back. Won’t bother with link as the pic says it all.

    I’d laugh but then I remember that she came within about 300 votes of being elected back in January.

  9. leonetwo

    Yes, flowing water on Mars would have been on my “no bloody way” list until they found some.

  10. Laura Tingle on Grunt –
    “He’s finally appointed board members to the Climate Change Authority (which suggests it might survive after Abbott’s attempts to kill it).”

    No dear. A journalist such as yourself should know these were Abbott’s appointments, chosen by him before he was dethroned. It’s the same old plot. If the senate won’t allow you to get rid of the Climate Change Authority you knobble it from within by appointing your own people to the board.

    The appointments were in the end approved by former prime minister Tony Abbott and confirmed by his successor Malcolm Turnbull at cabinet on Tuesday

    The new appointments include two former Coaliton politicians and two people – Stuart Allinson and Danny Price – who both advised on Abbott’s Direct Action

  11. Ducky,

    Seems atomic fusion is getting nearer.

    And what will the fossil fuel companies do then, poor things?

  12. I was wondering where my Rembrandt went

    The interest of police in the artwork relates in part to Ms Jackson’s possession of material when she was an HSU official, but also to artworks purchased recently.

  13. “And what will the fossil fuel companies do then, poor things?”

    Buy the fusion patents and bury them.

  14. What’s with all the mocking of NASA?

    FFS people, they have sent a spacecraft to Pluto and shown us amazing images, and we can’t begin to understand how important the information sent back really is.

    NASA announces flowing water has been discovered on Mars and all we get is snarky coverage about the presentation having tech issues.

    Now there is another announcement due and all we get this time is yawning and ‘not another one’ comments. Are we really that blase? That bored? That short sighted?

    FFS! This is fantastic! Where is the sense of wonder, the sense of awe at the achievement?

    Yes, I admit it. I’ve been hooked on space exploration since I stood in the street, in the dark, in 1957, to watch first Sputnik, and then a little light that was a spaceship containing a dog shooting across the sky, and I admit to having an inbox full of NASA emails, I know not everyone is that keen. But this is truly awesome in the true sense of the word.

  15. Gippsland Laborite

    Bloody hell. I did not realise she had been so close to getting there.

  16. “Looted artworks’ is misleading. The artworks were not stolen or looted but it is alleged they were purchased with HSU money.l

    The whole Oz piece, because it’s a pain trying to get around the paywall.

    Police have seized artwork, computer files and other records in a raid on the home of disgraced former corruption whistleblower Kathy Jackson and her partner, Fair Work Commission vice-president Michael Lawler, as they intensify a criminal investigation into the alleged theft of large sums of union money.

    An operation involving Victorian, NSW and Australian Federal Police officers yesterday spent all day combing the Jackson-­Lawler home at Wombarra, south of ­Sydney.

    Warrants also permitted police to raid the house next door, owned by a prominent barrister with ­advanced dementia, David Rofe QC, which has been used as a temporary residence by the couple since February when a small fire damaged their own.

    Yesterday’s raid by up to 15 police in unmarked vehicles marks a new stage of a police investi­gation based on a detailed complaint from the Health Services Union that Ms Jackson allegedly stole more than $900,000 during her career as a senior official.

    Ms Jackson shot to national prominence as the whistleblower who exposed now jailed former HSU leader and ALP national president Michael Williamson. She faces allegations that she, too, misappropriated the money of low-paid HSU members on a grand scale. In August, the Federal Court ordered Ms Jackson to repay the HSU $1.4 million taken from the union over a decade.

    The current police investi­gation is based on close to $1m of these allegedly misappropriated funds that the HSU’s lawyers have referred for possible prosecution under stricter rules of evidence ­applying to criminal matters.

    Mr Lawler, who faces calls to step down from his $435,000 semi-judicial job after taking large amounts of sick leave during which he helped Ms Jackson with her legal battles, and helped Mr Rofe with managing his $30m ­fortune, is also the focus of police inquiries.

    Police want to know whether Mr Lawler has received any funds inappropriately from Ms Jackson that originated from HSU ­accounts. Of particular interest is whether Ms Jackson has poured union funds into the mortgage of the couple’s Wombarra home ­before a recent attempt, since stalled, to transfer total ownership of the property to Mr Lawler.

    In what Victoria Police confirmed was a joint raid under the auspices of Operation Heracles, tasked to handle alle­gations ­referred by the royal commission into union corruption, officers yesterday searched for specific items, including artworks and computer records.

    They also searched Ms Jackson’s charcoal Mercedes C200 ­station wagon, parked in the ­driveway.

    Ms Jackson and Mr Lawler were home during the day-long raid and occasionally moved between the residence and a nearby shed believed to be an office.

    Family members of Ms Jackson were also present.

    A large canvas artwork wrapped by police in brown paper was loaded into an unmarked silver Toyota Tarago van. It is known Ms Jackson purchased a charcoal sketch by Australian artist Charles Blackman called Portrait of ­Catherine Hattam, using an HSU credit card.

    The interest of police in the artwork relates in part to Ms Jackson’s possession of material when she was an HSU official, but also to artworks purchased recently.

    Ms Jackson, who filed for bankruptcy during the $1.4m Federal Court civil case against her, is understood to have drawn down significantly on her Wombarra mortgage over the past 12 months in amounts totalling about $350,000. Some of these funds, it is alleged, have been used to purchase artworks.

    Computer material of interest to police is believed to be HSU documents that Ms Jackson has used to help fight legal battles.

    The police operation yesterday follows months of investi­gation understood to have included phone intercepts and the monitoring of other communications.

    In recent weeks, Ms Jackson and Mr Lawler have been shifting back to their own home after living at Mr Rofe’s property. Mr Lawler bought this property in June last year using a power of attorney he had for Mr Rofe. At the time, Mr Lawler was helping the barrister with his finances.

    Mr Lawler’s idea was that the adjacent home could be a future residence for Mr Rofe, who lives in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with fulltime nursing care. Mr Rofe has rarely visited the property. The couple moved into the Rofe property in February after a fire damaged theirs.

    The police raid coincides with preparation of an ABC Four Corners program that is based on Ms Jackson and Mr Lawler telling the story of their troubled lives. So far, the program has been taking a sympathetic view.

    Filming has involved interviews with Ms Jackson, Mr Law­ler, Mr Rofe and others. The couple is believed to claim the pursuit of Ms Jackson’s is an ­alleged political “setup” and payback for having turned on senior HSU and ALP figures.

    Last Friday, lawyers assisting the royal commission into union corruption reinforced the Federal Court’s $1.4m payment order against Ms Jackson by concluding in a submission that Ms Jackson had stolen $1.4m of union funds

  17. Lotta money vacuumed into space.

    I’m far more interested in cosmology and astronomy.

    You can debate to the end of time ( 😀 ) whether it’s money well spent on any of those.

  18. Seems the police haven’t taken much notice of Stoljar’s refusal to refer Charity Shagger Jackson to them.

  19. I’d much prefer money was spent on space exploration, cosmology and astronomy than pissed away on blowing up the Middle East, or other parts of the planet that the US sees an advantage in destroying.

  20. I dunno. I thought discovering there was water on Mars was pretty amazing.

    Yes, but that wasn’t the “news” (despite the blaring headlines.)

    Science announcements should be science, not click bait. Just the facts, Jack.

  21. Wasn’t there some chatter that there might have been contamination in the Mars sample?

    Could be the skeptics, I suppose.

  22. Nice bit of local colour

    But while the football world rejoices at Blatter’s decline, spare a thought for the South Norwood Tourist Board. They had hoped the outgoing Fifa president would be their guest of honour at Picklesfest16 next summer, although that would now seem to be on the back burner given today’s events.

    The festival – which will commemorate 50 years since local hero Pickles the dog found the World Cup hidden in a bush – is due to take place on 27 March in the south London park a stone’s throw from Selhurst Park. “The Fifa chairman would have been a star speaker and a major catch for SNTB,” says a statement on their website. “We are gutted this has happened, but maybe it was the hand of god, so now we are chasing Diego Maradonna [sic].”

  23. As in “‘Just the facts, ma’am’” from Dragnet

    That’s the one, TLBD. I had it mixed up with “That’s the fact, Jack.” from Stripes.(Bill Murray.)

  24. Jaeger,

    The ABC, many many moons ago, used to have Dragnet and others like it on radio in the early evenings.

    Brilliant listening.

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