“Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”

Turnbull Mirror

Malcolm Turnbull is not a leader. He is a lone wolf.

He has always tended to celebrate his own magnificence, and has done well – for himself and his family – out of it. But the fact remains that while he may be in a team, he is not a team leader. No political team he has ever led has done well. Urbane and sophisticated doesn’t seem to cut it in the snakepit of politics.

Bill Shorten (as I am getting tired of writing, but it has to be repeated) has kept Labor together without the usual rancour and restlessness from the peanut gallery of Labor machine men, time servers and influence peddlers that usually cruels the ground for an Opposition leader from the Left.

Before he was in parliament Shorten led a major union successfully into the 21st century. No wonder the conservatives attempted to pillory him for it at the TURC. It was one of the strongest indications that he was a genuine leader. It seems obvious now that the aim of TURC was to show him up as just another grubby self-server, out for the personal perks.

The TURC failed, and had to exonerate him.

Weak attempts to keep the “Bill Shorten has questions to be answered” issue alive have withered into the mists of time. Who now thinks there’s going to be a “Union Corruption” election campaign? Life’s too short for shit like that.

Abbott and Hockey – the supposed foundation pillars of the new Liberal government are both gone. Was Bill out and about waving him arms and trying-on the 3-word slogans, Tony-style for the two years it took their party to wake up?

No. He judged that it would be better to just block them where they could do real harm, and then to let their petulant overreactions and their thinly disguised ideological obsessions, ever more rabid as time passed, do the rest.

And it worked. The first two years of the Coalition government have gone up in a puff of smoke, exposed as a shallow, policy-free fraud. Even their own people are now pointing this out, if only to take some of the heat off themselves: members of the Abbott government, but strangely not connected to any of its mistakes… in their own estimation, of course. The fact remains that they are equally responsible for the two years of Abbott mayhem as Abbott is himself. God help them if the punters make the connection.

Meanwhile, Bill Shorten has avoided the opportunity to gloat, heckle and kick heads from the sidelines. Instead he got his team working, knowing that schadenfreude is one thing, planning and substance are another.

His calmness and patience got him into a lot of trouble. There was the mockery about zingers. Then the accusations of being bland and uninteresting. There were even taunts from the very people who refused to listen to him that no-one was listening to him! Nice try. Because Shorten wasn’t a thug like Abbott, driven by vindictiveness and destructiveness, and he wasn’t a clown like Hockey, Abbott’s Toltoy punching bag, he was written off as “No Fun”, the human Dad Joke.

A lot of ostensible “Labor” supporters fell for this too. They believed that unless you were a vaudeville showman like Abbott, making noise all the time, you couldn’t “cut through”. Retail politics was what it was all about. There had to be an “announceable” every day, and lots of stunts, or the Opposition leader should go, to be replaced by someone who could cut it. Round up the usual suspects.

Then there were the polls which, if looked at honestly, only snapshotted the political situation as it should have been: a rump of an Opposition, exhausted by past internal ructions, decimated at the last election, barely able to get out of bed each day and fight the good fight in the Parliament and hustings. 53-47 against, post-September, looked pretty close to normal in that situation. The polling excesses of the Abbott years were the exception. The 2013-2015 polls were a bloody miracle for Labor, when you think about it. But they gave Labor confidence, but some of its supporters too much confidence. They forgot that the electoral cycle is three years, not the two weeks between Newspolls, owned and operated by one of Shorten’s (and Labor’s) greatest enemies.

As Churchill said about “ends of the beginning”, so it’s true for Labor. The fight’s not over.It’s hardly begun. The CPG can become just as bored with Bill Shorten again as they seem to be with Malcolm Turnbull at present.

But for the moment they’re seeing Shorten in a new light (for them). Funny how they’ve only just twigged, isn’t it? The new light is an illumination that many here have seen for quite some time. But it can be switched off as suddenly as it was switched on. Don’t rely on the journos for anything that resembles deep thought: they’re still trying to run the line that Malcolm Turnbull making a May 11 DD announcement is sensible, or certain, or even a guaranteed winner with no political blowback. That’s how dumb they are. Kids with toys. Camp followers. Their own echo chamber. Only ever tangential to the curve of history, but not part of it.

Turnbull has been lazy, thinking he has all the time in the world to fiddle while Canberra and Australia burn. It’s an investor’s laziness. Investors put up the capital, and then let others do the work for them.

The problem is that, as Prime Minister, it’s now Turnbull’s job to roll up his own sleeves, and to lead. I don’t think he’s got that in him. Malcolm employs people to do that. Unfortunately, the buck has now stopped rolling and is stuck in crevice: jammed right up the Prime Minister’s fundamental orifice.

It’s Turnbull who has to get himself and his party out of trouble. Don’t expect Bill Shorten to help by attracting too much attention to himself, yet.

Shorten’s strategy is to do what you can do, within your capabilities, while the enemy fritters away their resources preening before the mirror they are trapped inside of, one that tells them, “You are the fairest one of all”.

Until you’re not.

848 thoughts on ““Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”

  1. I offer you (via Wiki)

    The Ministry of Love (or Miniluv in Newspeak) with Room 101

    The Ministry of Peace (Newspeak: Minipax)

    The Ministry of Plenty (in Newspeak, Miniplenty)

    The Ministry of Truth (in Newspeak, Minitrue)

    • 2010 revisited?

      “IT WAS a rally like no other. On the back of a flatbed truck, the country’s richest woman bellowed into a megaphone, imploring one of the best-dressed assemblies of protesters to gather in Perth to vent their anger on Kevin Rudd.

      Gina Rinehart didn’t so much deliver a speech as lead a very repetitive chant, imploring the crowd of 2000 to tell ”jittery Labor MPs in marginal seats” to AXE THE TAX on miners’ super profits.

      She followed another prominent member on Australia’s rich list, Andrew Forrest, who declared that the hopes and dreams of thousands – or was it millions? – hinged on whether they could force the Prime Minister to back down.”

  2. Things must be bad when Turnbull has to be given information by Kelly O’Bigmouth before he can answer a question.

    What a fraud he is. He should be across all the facts and figures.

    • Yep

      Malcolm Turnbull

      There is sixteen minutes left in question time and there’s still time for the Labor party to ask a question on the defence white paper. There’s still time for the Labor party to ask a question about national security.

      Should be “are” but you wouldn’t know that.

    • He’s really not much of anything. Must’ve been parachuted through his tertiary studies as he was into the Wannon endorsement.

  3. It’s not just me. Just been flicking trough Twitter and others noted Turnbull’s slurred speech in QT. Was he drunk? Sedated?

    If I had to describe his performance today I’d say ‘shambling’. He faffed around with his papers, he spoke slowly, probably to allow himself time to think of something to say, he was unprepared for anything apart from questions in the defence white paper. He gave a good impression of an old fart well past his use-by date. He is either ill or he is losing the plot.

    Turnbull is 61 years old, he seems older and is visibly ageing before our eyes.

    Shorten will be 49 in May. The age difference between a young, energetic man on top of his game and an ageing, enervated, possibly ill older man is becoming more apparent every day.

    Not that the MSM will ever say that, of course.

  4. Tony Smith fucked up earlier by saying “The Prime Minister has finished his question“.

    Is Turnbull not a member of the Government?

    The Government are supposed to do “Answers” not questions.

    Maybe the Speaker is ‘moving with the groove’.

  5. The OH. is doing her exercising..she uses the rowing machine and the pedal machine and various weights..she does it to ward off her possibly inherited osteo’ and diabetes..I’d do some to ..’cept for the old “Lateral Spine”…a work related injury , so I’m told…doc’ say to rest it and it’ll get better….I always respect the doctor’s advice…anyway..it doesn’t look like any rowing I’ve ever done..that machine..

    I had a row boat once…the “Buona Fortuna”..plywood…nice boat…I’d row it up and down the coast..take the visitors out diving…that sort of thing…even did a bit of courting the first wife in it!..nice boat..I’ve had an idea of building a real row-boat one day..you know, one of those specific designed for rowing..not just a dinghy, but a real row-boat.

    There’s nothing quite like messing about in boats…

    People come here and think the weights are mine..and it raises a few eyebrows when I point out they are the OH’s.

    ‘She’s gotta get her strength up to wrassle the devil out of me!” I say…not many believe me..maybe I don’t look mean enough..I don’t know.

    • Have a look at that useless bum-in-a-suit !..dopey prick gets a subordinate to work up a few figures on budgets and when the peon comes back and says ; “you can do this and this and this…” the dozey turd gets up in front of a camera and says :
      “After due deliberation, I have decided we can do this and this and this…”
      Useless bum…I’d like to drag him out in the rain , throw him in a muddy trench with a pick and shovel and whip his arse till he weeps and tell him to work that “machinery”…in the mud and rain and I’d work the bastard till he got blisters on his blisters and wept tears of weariness…and then I’d whip his arse some more an’ tell him to get on with it and dig before I really got mean…
      useless bum!

  6. The attacks on the Safe Schools program.

    On the one hand we have a Royal Commission into the shennanigans of the Catholic Church which covered up the sexual abuse of children by celibate priests who were to gutless to own their sexuality

    we have homophobic right wing politicians complaining about a school program aimed at getting kids to own their sexuality and permit others to follow a different path

    In my very limited school teaching experience there were 2 examples from tolerant schools
    1. a 15 yo lad minced around the yard in thick cahoots giggling with the girls in his year. Was he or wasn’t he I asked and the experienced teachers said he probably is but was safer to hang with the girls ie the teacher was proud that they had created a safe environment for him
    2. in a Biology class the girls in the back row were more interested in applying nail polish than completing questions from ‘the web of life’. Needless to say my aim became not to smell acetone, chief ringleader was a lass hit with the ugly stick, as I wandered down the back of the room I realised the lass was a lad that the students treated as a girl

    Every time I go surfing I see all the men wiggle in and out of their wetsuits in the carpark because they do not want to be accosted by poofs. We are talking ‘portly gent’ shape as well as nuggetty types

    • and they can do the same with the current ‘reforms’, also I’ve seen on twitter that there are people who are using Joe Bullock as a case for these ‘reforms’, well I say that it’s pretty clear that they have no idea about what these ‘reforms’ are and are only capable of parroting Green party talking points.

    • I would like to hope that these ‘reforms’ would backfire and then people would realise that Single Transferable Vote needs to be chucked in the bin and replaced with a proper PR system. In reality if it does happen, however, the Greens will demand that thresholds be added to the current system.

  7. Centrelink – arrrggghhh!

    I’ve just checked my profile online. They have a car I disposed of 20 years ago listed as a ‘asset’, value $0. About eight years ago I was dragged into the local office for a review (before I went onto the oldies pension) and told them I had disposed of that car some years before. They allegedly ‘fixed’ my details. For years that damned car has not shown up as an ‘asset’. Now it’s back. Which means some twit in an office, bored witless because they have nothing to do, has gone through old records and restored that car to my ‘assets’.

    I’ve just removed it. Again. I’ll be very intrigued to see if it’s still there next time I visit. At least they have it listed as being worth exactly nothing.

    • Clearly some one has done a RESTORE on the records as they outsource them to India

      The vehicle was flagged as deleted and some goose has displayed the car because the program didn’t check the delete flag status – it will continue to display on your list of assets until the next software release cycle or the one after that ie 3 months, 6 months or 9 months or forever

  8. Hi All,
    Melbourne’s traffic is shocking. Everything seems to lead to the major tollways with 4 lanes merging into one. The traffic today was a bottler; part of Victoria Street Richmond closed for tram-line upgrades, boom gates at Burnley Tunnel down because some over-height truck decided to use the tunnel, traffic outbound back to Wadonga me thinks 🙂 , roadworks on the Tullamarine means crawling all the way to the airport. Missed my flight so I’ll just sit here watching the folk pass while I sip on some boutique beer or two ( Fat Yak and 10 lashes or sumtink) until I can board my new flight to Sydney at 8.45pm.

    I thought I’d surf the MSM news sites but it is so depressing that I gave up. Heading towards W.H. Smith to find something worth reading.

    • Nastier than you know, there was a ‘police operation in Dandenong’ and all trains on that line stopped

  9. I am going to have a measles booster before I attend another lunch with my former work colleagues

  10. Tony Windsor could beat Barnaby Joyce at election | Poll

    Recent polling conducted in New England for the CFMEU found Mr Joyce would be under extreme pressure if Mr Windsor entered the race.

    The former MP would have pulled close to 38 per cent of the primary vote if an election had been called in August and favourable preferences could make it a knife-edge contest


  11. Just finished writing a submission for HI.

    The last half of it took a bottle of white. Now onto the red.

    Really shouldn’t drink so much. I tend to get antsy with the management.

    Oh well… I don’t really give a f—-

    They can stuff their “concerns” up their collective jumpers, as far as I’m concerned.

    (No, not THAT pissed. Didn’t say that).


  12. Will sleep the sleep of the honest and the brave.

    We were an hour late. What’s that when the other side is two YEARS late?

    I’d like to see them chip us for a few minutes. Bring it on.

  13. billie11

    What flavour was it , zombie jihadi apocalypse or Labor Negative Gearing Liberation Front Terror ?

  14. I finally can log in. all sorts of problems getting the passwords to work on this Surface Pro, with the duplication of accounts on my laptop.

    joy oh joy. but i am enjoying this tablet, with windows 10 installed

  15. Further to what I wrote a couple of days ago on the US senate races, the website electoral-vote.com has listed the seats which, in the site’s opinion are most likely to flip.

    Democrat seats at risk of flipping:

    Republican seats at risk of flipping
    New Hampshire
    North Carolina

  16. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny tells Turnbull to get off the auto-pilot and to call a DD election.
    The CEO of the CPA hammers the government for abandoning long term policy improvement for the focus on short term electoral success.
    Michelle Grattan urges Turnbull to announce taxation policy “pronto”. The government’s in an appalling mess over it she says.
    Not only does Turnbull have the right wing rump to deal with he also has the “dry” rump.
    And Turnbull is inept at running a negative campaign says Labor.
    The Cunneen saga rolls on with more revelations.
    As it does with Sydney’s Scots College.
    This report on sexual predation by “celebrities” at the BBC has parallels to what we are hearing at the CA Royal Commission. It’s all about power.
    An apology to Alan Joyce.
    Greg Jericho analyses the very low growth in wages that are being seen. Well worth reading.

  17. Section 2 . . .

    The philosophy of Steve Waugh.
    Tony Wright uses the flag test on the defence white paper announcement.
    David Tyler tells Turnbull to forget the boats and to try stopping the lies. It’s quite a good exposure of the trouble he’s in.
    I think Sussan Ley is on the money with this.
    Dick Smith (the man) directly blames Anchorage Capital for the demise of Dick Smith (the company).
    What President Donald Trump’s first 100 days could look like. Perish the thought!
    The NSW Deputy Premier tells us that illicit drugs are illegal for good reason.
    “View from the Street” on a government that believes our future in fossil fuels and has members who are homophobic. The Border Force comes in for attention too.
    Supermodel George Christensen has his say on the anti-bullying program. He is without peer.
    How to respond to the Coalition’s reactionary right wing on LGBT issues.

  18. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Just what is the Christian right afraid of?
    Lawmakers in Iowa demonstrate just how stupid the US has become when it comes to guns.
    Bob Ellis on Turnbull’s performance in QT.
    Get a look at Alan Moir who thinks Turnbull’s got more of a problem that the loss of a bit of gloss.

    Andrew Dyson nicely demonstrates the cartoonists’ art of juxtaposition of issues.
    Ron Tandberg has a question about Turnbull.

    David Pope goes into the detail of the defence white paper.

    Mark Knight gives us the new drone equipment.
    David Rowe as usual give us plenty to look at as he goes to sea with the defence white paper.

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