Shit, or get off the pot, Malcolm.

Turnbull potty Complete with Text

Bolt today:

“Turnbull must virtually start all over again, but not just with a new team.

Now, with just three months to go before his first Budget and only eight or so until the election, he must find a new economic plan.”

Yes… well… uhm… d’errr.

The amazing thing about the public is that it has given Turnbull the Big Tick because they want to believe that a new captain – with virtually the same old team – can turn the side around from wooden-spooners to premiers in the space of a couple of months’ brainstorming.

It happens in schlok Hollywood baseball movies about baseball and gridiron – the new man, now off the booze, inspires a gaggle of numpties and misfits etc. – or every now and again in, say, an ice skating race – where you’re so far behind that when the rest of the competitors fall over each other you’ve got enough time to coast around them and win gold.

Not so often in real life.

Of course we are not addicted to real life. We are addicted to Reality Life, which is different.

In real life you work hard to achieve your goal. You genuinely innovate, “do the math”, “work the problem”, “science the shit out of” your predicament.

In Reality Life, your little brother dies, you write a song about the poor little blighter, go onto to Australia’s Got Talent and wow the judges (who look about as un-real as can be managed, which means they are “Reality Real”). You can’t write. You can’t sing. You can’t dance. But the promos for the show make out you aced it, all the way to the semis and then the finals. All it needed was a bit of a tragedy, mixed-in emotion and a modicum of good looks. And the inspiration to believe you could do it. It’s All Australia’s “Must See” episode.

I used to write here that Australia lacked confidence. Years of pre-Treasury Joe Hockey droning on about “debt and deficit disasters” and “School Hall” waste finally convinced the punters that we could have survived the GFC simply by simply inspiring ourselves to do it. His (and his cronies’) “relentless negativity”, as PMJG put it, got the idea into the voters’ minds that there probably hadn’t been been a GFC and, if there was, it was in the Northern Hemisphere. It didn’t have anything to do with us. Labor just liked racking up debt and spending our money for its own sake. As a result the nation lost confidence in its economic management (which had, in fact been the envy of the world).

Come Tony Abbott, with Hockey his John the Baptist hailing the advent of a Three-Word Messiah, and we made-believe that it was Muslim boat-people, Pink Batts and shoe malfunctions that caused our woes and the reversal of these would restore confidence. With an economy that was ready to boom with mining money and China’s insatiable urge to Buy Australian, all we needed was the confidence thing.

“Now there’s yer problem!”: now we have too much confidence.

Turns out the Chinese fascination with all-things-Oz was waning, their economy was finally levelling out, permanent growth was exposed as an impossibility and we found ourselves with a lot of holes in the ground that other people were making money out of… but only because they didn’t pay their taxes.

The Coalition’s Surplus fetish (and Labor’s half-hearted participation in it during a precariously hung parliament), borne of a classic tail-wags-dog belief that the government’s over-taxing of the people and under-management of their basic services brought prosperity for all (and votes for the government) just made things worse.

Enter Sir Galahad, Malcolm Turnbull. The Turnbull Renaissance was at hand. His witty insouciance, his urbane but cruisey style got the punters to thinking that all they needed to put the mix together was a businessman who could cut red tape, beat unwilling heads of slow thinkers together and Go For Growth via Ideas.

Unfortunately this was the bloke who had shed ideas and ideals like a snake with sunburn: the Republic, a decent NBN, gay marriage, Climate Change and many more. There wasn’t a Turnbull passion that couldn’t be discarded in the pursuit of office. But we – and I use “we” with obvious exceptions – loved him for it, or at least became infatuated. Here was another Easy Way Out: we’d charm our way back to prosperity… even better… Malcolm Turnbull could do it for us.

No need to work, or really innovate. Just talk about it and it would be so. Someone else, anyone else could take care of the details.

What no-one twigged to was that “innovation” is not an innovative idea. Innovation is “core”. It’s basic. You have to have it or you may as well not get out of bed in the morning. Talk of innovation being the new “thing” shows how much of a failure the Coalition’s time in office had been. But let’s hang onto it. Maybe something will happen, something new like innovation.

We had the confidence at last, but where was the other bit? Don’t know what I mean? It’s the Economy, stupid. The Coalition’s negativity finally bore fruit: they went out of their way to fuck the economy by talking it down. and they succeeded, just in time for them to win office.

The solution was easy: just talk it up again. All their mates were in on the scam. It was like the annual Lurk Merchants and Sleeve Tuggers’ Convention.

Good one Liberals! Good one Nationals! All hail the troglodytes! The village was destroyed in order to save it. Their recovery plan? Flog everything off. Reward their mates and party donors. Re-establish the old order. Telstra’s on top. Rupert’s still in charge. Miners are ripping squillions out of our earth. Transurban’s putting up its tolls and having a bumper year. Tony Abbott still lurks. What’s not to love about any of that?

But digging holes for one-time sales of dirt, building toll-roads to nowhere, selling off The Farm, applying duct tape to Foxtel cracks only puts off the inevitable crunch. Even the well-worn observation that we were “starting again” – two years into a government that said it had all the ideas ready to go in 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 – but which had systematically cut the country off at the knees as a favour to vested interests in fields as far apart as media, communications and even the education industry – should have rung hollow.

“Can’t bat. Can’t bowl.”

Sadly, to a nation addicted to the quick fix, the easy solution, the Grand Scheme where the other bloke has a go while you coast along doing the same thing you’ve always done, the appeal of Malcolm Turnbull was irresistable. Our national torpor could be maintained, and we could afford to wait for another miracle. Someone else had come along to save us. No wonder we gave him the Audience Vote. He let us believe it was just a matter of snapping our fingers and telling ourselves destiny was on our side again. An innovative new idea: “Innovation”.

I’m surprised the Stump-Jump Plough wasn’t trotted out. Or the Hills Hoist. Instead we got how wonderful the CSIRO was in detecting gravitational waves… omitting to mention that the branch that helped do was was sacked en masse years ago. Tomorrow it’s the Climate Change’s mob’s turn to join the Centre Link queue.

Where to now? Looks like Waffles’ polls are going off the boil, and the cavemen thirsting for revenge in his own party will be salivating. A bloke that was good at kicking helpless boat people around in secret isn’t exactly shining when it comes to sophisticated economic management in public. The commentators are getting bored (it was going to be so exciting). The ministry’s in a shambles. The nation’s going nowhere, with no plan and no leadership. All that excitement for nothing. As we enter the cold months ahead, there’s not even a Budget plan on the horizon. The back benchers must be restless. They’ve seen all this before. And they don’t like it.

Sure, Bill Shorten’s always good for a “question that must be answered”. “Labor waste” will be produced. Newspaper editorials will still give Turnbull the benefit of the doubt, but there’ll be less “benefit” and more “doubt”. Our Messiah, in that hesitant, “I-could-say-so-much-but-I’ll keep-it-simple-for-you-little-people” way he has of talking, will continue to pretend it’s all part of The Plan. Let’s have a Union Bashing recovery.

There’s a firey red Federal Police car parked on the corner outside the Turnbull residence in Point Piper. Who’s it there to protect him from?

Malcolm, there are so many threats, and so little time. Please shit, or get off the pot.


503 thoughts on “Shit, or get off the pot, Malcolm.

  1. I wonder if any have given thought that it is no accident Labor is leading tax and budget debate? I suspect we have this time, a Labor Opposition that is acting as one, who have worked hard of policy to be where we are at. Same technique works for Turnbull as well as it did for Abbott.

    Turnbull’s biggest problem is Abbott planned a election about now. Turnbull is caught in the web Abbott created.

    Turnbull over estimated his ability to win over the voters with a charm offensive. Not working.

    Public are waking to fact, neoliberal policies of small government, low tax doesn’t work.

    Tax cuts are not welcome if at the cost of essential services

  2. Well if it is working, how does one explain all the ministers, with long looks on their faces, floundering everywhere.

    Morrison is close on hysterical. It they call election, which I believe they will, it will not be on this PM’s terms but the previous one.

  3. Julia Gillard Becomes Patron of Camfed

    Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, and Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, today aligns her deep experience and authority in the international education sector, and her passionate advocacy for girls’ education, with Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education.

  4. Sorry if this has already been reported, got grandkids here and between feeding and phonecalls to their girlfriends, I haven’t had time to catch up. Twitter are saying Toolman predicting a DD for Waffles to go while his popularity is still happening.

  5. Toolman – meh!

    Things have to happen before Waffles can call a DD, and it all has to be lined up pretty quickly now, especially if Waffles wants to delay ScoMo’s first budget, which is going to be an absolute disaster, until after the election. And yes, he can do that, he can rush through a supply bill in early May, then have an election and then have ScoMo release what would pass for a budget.

    Look, just read Antony Green on all this. He explains it properly.

    More –

    I don’t think Marshmallow Mal has the guts to go to an early election. I think he is more likely to hang on and hang on, dithering around until he has no option but taking his rotten government to an election. He doesn’t have to do that until January next year, the latest possible date is 14 January, so there’s plenty of time for dithering.

  6. !00 kms. from the GPO. and the internet is useless, mobile phones are crappy and the reception on the tele is ratshit!…This is the reality of LNP. governance..: “They create a desert and they call it good governance…”


    • PA

      “Very clean, thin (not eggshell tho”

      I had one very, very much like this. (Bugger. One of my sisters must have made of with it.)

      Is it worth anything?

  7. Just back from dinner with the girls. For some reason the $35 banquet was not acceptable. Neither was dividing the bill by 14
    OK so I had to go around the table and record every ones meal

    I baulked at counting in the cash, I know to my sorrow that I am a hopeless with real money, OK with $millions but hopeless with the real deal. Have to chortle because the person who ended up counting in the cash was the one who didn’t want to split the bill evenly.

    PS I am sure that every one paid more than $35


    Great article on Poland, it explains a lot, e.g. why a centre right govt can be replaced by a far right one

    For a kinda similar one on Russia (from 2014) see the below. It explains why so many in Russia hate the 90s era “liberal elites.” The Red State analogy is very good.

    The Red state analogy works even better if you look at ties between Putin & the US religious right

    Russian Social Conservatism, the U.S.-based WCF, & the Global Culture Wars in Historical Context
    By Christopher Stroop, on February 16, 2016

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Laura Tingle tells us that Labor is in front at the moment with its negative gearing policy. (You’ll have to Google search the following string to get to the article).
    Clive Palmer, can you hear it? Tick tock, tick tock . . . . . .
    Mark Kenny in something else “falling off the taxation table”. And the jobless rate takes a turn for the worse.
    Michelle Grattan says Morrison is struggling.
    Could a post-Scalia SCOTUS give the country back to 99% of Americans?,8685
    Michael West asks if the government has completely lost the plot over coal.
    Waleed Aly tells Turnbull to stop dithering and tell us what you really think about tax reform.
    Things are hotting up with regard to Pell’s CA Royal Commission hearing in Rome.,8695
    The SMH in its editorial urges the NSW government to play the Cunneen tape and let the public take up their own minds.
    There’s no “View from the Street” up yet today.
    Has The Parrot signed Bronny’s political death warrant.
    The Pope joins Trump’s comedy show.

  10. Section 2 . . .

    David Tyler excoriates Morrison and his “seriously inept” NPC performance.,8693
    Why does the middle class bicker over negative gearing when thousands of kids go homeless asks Mark Kenny.
    Van Badham is pleased that sex education for girls is at last coming of age.
    Mantach is using a defence that the Liberals have no idea about managing money.
    Niclole Hasham writes about a psychiatrist who has likened our detention centres to Nazis and gulags. It’s OK though because Dutton has assured her that everything’s OK.
    Apple’s refusal to let the FBI into one iPhone is now an election issue.
    That’s a good effort from St Vincent’s Hospital!
    Latika Bourke – Could the “fake” Rolexes have been bugged?–should-they-have-been-checked-for-bugs-20160218-gmxcj6.html
    Putin’s objectives in Syria.
    Andrew Denton has been busy making “Better of Dead” a podcast series on the right to die.

  11. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Mehajer – Big head. Big mouth.
    Cathy Wilcox on the bugged Rolexes.

    Andrew Dyson on Shorten leading the way with policy.

    Ron Tandberg and the Coalition’s precarious budget.

    John Spooner puts negative gearing squarely on the tax table.

    David Pope goes mad on Morrison’s NPC flop.

    Mark Knight and Morrison’s herd of unicorns.
    Bill Leak’s take on the tax debate.
    David Rowe takes us to the Vatican with a suggestion for George Pell.

  12. Pope Francis has indicated that women exposed to the Zika virus may be permitted to use contraception to avoid pregnancy, in a departure from Catholic teaching.
    However, he reiterated the church’s staunch opposition to abortion, saying it was a crime and “absolute evil”.
    His comments came as women in South America frantically try to terminate pregnancies for fear of giving birth to babies with microcephaly, which gives them unusually small heads.

  13. gigi

    Pope Francis has indicated that women exposed to the Zika virus may be permitted to use contraception to avoid pregnancy, in a departure from Catholic teaching.

    A big departure from the ‘traditional plank’ and, I’d say, heralds the end of it.

    • It had been done before by Pope Paul VI:

      He referred to the exceptional dispensation issued by one of his predecessors, Pope Paul VI, who permitted Catholic nuns in Africa to take birth control pills in the face of the risk of being raped. He was thought to be referring to the conflict in what was the Belgian Congo in the 1960s and 1970s.

  14. CTar1

    Ghani looks the real deal Whether he can achieve anything is another matter. Remaining the ‘Mayor of Kabul’ a likely future.

    Ashraf Ghani:

    How to rebuild a broken state

    TEDGlobal 2005 · 18:45 · Filmed Jul 2005

    Ashraf Ghani’s passionate and powerful 10-minute talk, emphasizing the necessity of both economic investment and design ingenuity to rebuild broken states, is followed by a conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson on the future of Afghanistan

    Ghani had spent years in academia studying state-building and social transformation, and a decade in executive positions at the World Bank trying to effect policy in these two fields. …… he was a candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as Secretary General of the United Nations, and one year later, was put in the running to head the World Bank. He served as Chancellor of Kabul University,

  15. kk

    he was a candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as Secretary General of the United Nations, and one year later, was put in the running to head the World Bank.

    Thanks. Even more stuff I didn’t know (I’m not surprised that I didn’t and neither should anyone else).

  16. CTar1

    Can’t say I’d heard of him before he entered the political fray in Afghanistan. This year’s “fighting season”, as they call it there, will likely see further gains by the Taliban .

    Meanwhile in Syria. A bit of a 😆 in the contrast between Dave’s Churchillian rhetoric last November of what they were going to do to the jihadi apocalypse zombies and reality.

    Britain’s ‘unique’ Brimstone missiles still haven’t killed any Isis fighters in Syria

    …….David Cameron himself said Brimstone missiles were among “some of the most accurate weapons known to man” and noted that the United States did not have access to them.

    …….Ministry of Defence figures however show only seven Isis casualties since the RAF joined in last year

  17. It might come as a surprise to His Holiness, but in Australia Catholic women have been using birth control (and I do not mean the silly church-approved ‘Rhythm Method’) for a very long time.

  18. Ctar1

    That was about the number of sorties the RAF air “armada” had gone on. SFA. But in a way the same story. I wonder what magnificent numbers the RAAF would have compared to the hammering promised by the late NE.

  19. kk

    have compared to the hammering promised by the late NE.

    Worth more than a 😀 and less than a 😆

  20. This tax debate is a huge irritation even for me as a business owner

    Your average Joe, Oz-wide, is paying something like 60% of his gross wages in overall Taxes while company tax is at 30% – a lot less after tax minimization – and we have company grub executives whinging that their tax bills are far too high. Any GST increases will affect executives on large salary packages .a lot less than the more unfortunate.

    As well, PAYE Tax forcibly taken from your average Joe pay packet works out to something like 35% and 45% of his gross pay, add to that a 10% GST add to that Council Rates, add to that excise duties on Petrol, Tobacco and alcohol, add to that etc.

    The shitty arguments from the likes Waffles and Morriscum and other right wing-nuts are really what Morriscum calls, “selling a unicorn”

  21. Nauru Airlines Peter Dutton has told Nauru to tell is informing Australian and New Zealand passport holders that all visitor visas issued for travel to Nauru have been revoked until further notice.”

  22. a good thing in my view

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