Friday! And it’s the first #5and5 for 2017!! Popcorn, anyone???

Just in case anyone is/was ‘bemused’, moi did not put paw to keyboard. Moi only cut-and-pasted Tony Burke’s admirable summary. To make its provenance abundantly clear …


Until this week you could say that Malcolm Turnbull may have adopted all of Tony Abbott’s policies, but at least he had made the policy debate less angry and over the top. Can’t say that now. This was the week Malcolm Turnbull finally went full Abbott. The transformation is complete.

1. The first sitting week of the year only really started when Cory Bernardi stood up to announce his departure from the Liberal Party, surprising no one. Penny Wong had a parting compliment for Cory Bernardi, surprising everyone.

“Now, there are very few issues, in fact there are almost no issues upon which I agree with Senator Bernardi. But I do respect one thing – he does stand up for what he believes in and he is clearly no longer prepared to stomach the rank hypocrisy of a leader who clings to office by parroting views in which he does not believe.”

Watching the drama unfold with his digital popcorn, Sam Dastyari made a great observation.

“You have Senator Bernardi who is quitting a party that he runs! Who leaves a party that does whatever you want them to do?”


Credit: Nick Haggarty

2. There’s a lot that can be said about Malcolm Turnbull’s weird and angry 10 minute rant about how obsessed he is with Bill Shorten. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that people should be defiant and passionate in defending their beliefs. I just wish we had a PM who could have that sort of passion to deliver for the rest of Australia, not one who reserves his most passionate speech to tell us how much he hates his opponent.

On Thursday, it was still a few minutes before Question Time was due to start and Malcolm Turnbull was already in the Parliament when Rob Mitchell stood up and said this:


“Yesterday we saw one of the nastiest speeches by the Prime Minister since the election night dummy spit. The second he was questioned about his attacks on families, he spat the silver spoon across the dispatch box. The Leader of the Opposition had the figures; the PM had the tantrum.”


Only a few minutes earlier Labor MP Joanne Ryan drew attention to the PM’s disgust at people he termed “social climbers” and asked:


“Who put the cordial in the PM’s Grange?”


Joanne also said the speech “will forever be known as Prime Minister Turnbull’s ‘know your place’ speech.”

Because Malcolm Turnbull had his tantrum, a lot of people seem to have missed what we were debating. It was a motion moved by Bill Shorten which opposed the Government’s cuts to families, criticised the debacle of telling pensioners they had Centrelink debts when they owed nothing, and pointed out that the best way for the Government to save money would be to abandon its $50 billion handout to the biggest companies. Bill moved to condemn the Prime Minister for being “so out of touch that his hopelessly divided Government punishes families, pensioners, carers and new mums while giving a $50 billion handout to big businesses.” Bill was on 7.30 with Leigh Sales that night, and had this to say.

And Jenny Macklin, always standing up for families and pensioners, rose to her feet to bring a distracted LNP back to the question.

3. Social Services Minister Christian Porter must wish people would stop listening when he talks. In Parliament, trying to justify his cuts to family payments he said:


“We invest all of the money we’re saving in the Family Tax Benefit system.”


This is wrong and Jenny Macklin was quick to let him know:

“Under the government’s policy it’s cutting $2.7 billion in family payments and only spending $1.6 billion on its child care policy. Is the Minister aware he was misleading the Australian people, or is he just plain incompetent?”

Mr Porter embarrassingly conceded that:

“I should have said almost all, that is true, that is true.”


Hang on. Almost all? There’s a gap of more than $1 billion. It seems Christian Porter thinks that’s just a rounding error.

4. Western Australia heads to the polls on 11 March. Labor’s WA MPs used the first Matter of Public Importance debate of the year to draw attention to the Barnett Liberal Government’s chaos and dysfunction, which mirrors the state of the Federal Liberal Government. Colin Barnett and the Liberal Government have grown arrogant and out of touch, creating record levels of debt and deficit without delivering the jobs and services and infrastructure WA needs. But WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan has new ideas and a comprehensive plan for WA jobs.

5. Tanya Plibersek has been tireless in her efforts to hold the Government accountable for its $30 billion cuts to schools, right when we’re seeing $50 billion going to the Government’s big business buddies. Economists are telling us in no uncertain terms that investing in education gives better returns. Bringing it back to the street level, Tanya drove home the sabotage of school education:

“If you walked down any street in any electorate in this country and you stopped a random stranger and said, ‘Here’s $2,000. You can invest it here, giving the banks a tax cut, or you can invest it here in your local school,’ what would parents say? This is not a mystery.”


1. A short memory is a dangerous thing in politics. On Wednesday, Josh Frydenberg thought he was having a go at Labor by quoting comments from Penny Wong in 2009. There were two problems with this. One: Frydenberg had forgotten that 2009 was the year Malcolm Turnbull had supported Labor’s policy on emissions trading. Two: Everyone else in the room remembered. You could watch the energy draining from his face as the gaffe dawned on him and he quickly found a way to finish his answer and get well away from the microphone.

2. Labor has a plan to level the playing field by reforming negative gearing concessions. This week, the Libs scare campaign around housing prices has changed direction once more. No, twice more. Kelly O’Dwyer says house prices will go up, Malcolm Turnbull says house prices will go down, and on Wednesday Scott Morrison says they’ll go up again. It’s enough to give you whiplash. It’s hard to keep up to date with these videos. I put this one up on Wednesday and then on Thursday George Brandis changed their scare campaign again. Admittedly it doesn’t matter whether or not Brandis is trying to run a fear campaign, there’s something intrinsically scary about that man.

3. The Government had delusions of power all week. Mark Butler called out Josh Frydenberg for trying to blame renewable energy for the blackout in parts of Adelaide. Mark had the statement from the Pelican Point generator, which had been ready to supply the power required to avoid overload, and the federal regulator, which reports to Frydenberg, had refused to tell the generator to turn the power on. Tanya, Chris and Mark showed Frydenberg how to flick a switch from off to on.

4. And apparently yesterday was the day we were meant to bring our Christmas presents to Parliament. Scott Morrison arrived with a lump of coal. We must be the only country in the world with a government saying the solution to extreme heat and climate change is fewer renewables and more coal.

Spot the inanimate object.

5. The Government’s Centrelink debacle has many victims. Pensioners and other Centrelink recipients have been sent debt notices and had pensions cut off, even though they owed no money. The Government itself has confirmed a 40% failure rate of those cases that have been publicly raised.

Linda Burney stood up for the victims in Parliament and said:

“In the eyes of those opposite, we are all either ‘lifters’ or ‘leaners’, and anyone who has received a Centrelink payment in the last six years is a leaner. Age pensioners are not leaners. Those caring for relatives are not leaners. Former students who received Austudy are not leaners. Those with disability who receive the DSP are not leaners. That is callous, it is a massive failure and it speaks to the complete lack of empathy on the minister’s part.”


So the fight to stand up for the people who need us most for 2017 is well and truly underway. You can be guaranteed we will be fighting passionately for families, pensioners, education, Medicare and an inclusive Australia. You can also be guaranteed Malcolm Turnbull will be fighting passionately for Malcolm Turnbull and half his party will be fighting passionately against Malcolm Turnbull.

How many friends do we have in our classroom today?

We’re back in Canberra Monday so I’ll give you another update in a week.


PS – Turnbull’s only passion is for power. Here’s the song of the week.

Midnight Oil – Power and the Passion

226 thoughts on “Friday! And it’s the first #5and5 for 2017!! Popcorn, anyone???

    • Please don’t mention the “F” word…

      There’s a fine line between “awareness” and “egging on”…
      “Please be aware that it’s going to be really hot tomorrow.” The end – fill in the gaps yourself.

  1. I previously posted a link to a video of an awesome European fire dance troupe, whose performance was set to Nightwish’s “Arabesque”.

    ** Please – look away now. **

    Googling (“arabesque dancing fire”) returned:

  2. Now this IS The PUB. So I am putting my foot down!

    I am NOT having you lot of peasants and wanna-be social climbers and, ewk, TRADESPERSONS (ugh sweaty armpits) getting the name of the bloody plonk wrong.

    It is NOT Crystal. or Criistle.

    It’s Cristal. Get it? Bloody well top notch booze, $16,000 if you want the gold highlighted bottle. Cheaper by the cask, I’d say.

    Now repeat after me, ‘Cristal’.

    You, at the back, arse up on the bench. (we all know who you are) listen to me…

    No, it’s not ‘Chreest and All’. Cristal. cristal CRIS-TAL

    Try Again. Think of our Dear Leader.’ Crist-aaaarl’

    FFS, let me spell it out for you.

    ‘Chris ‘as in Christopher


    ‘taaaaaarl’ , as in you know, the Jedi Knight…

    Getting bit too cultured up are we?

    like T-aaaaaaah (that coldie was good)-L

    Now try it and round those fuckin vowels or I’ll make you watch our Dear Leader’s speech until you get it right!

    Come on, Pubsters, our establishment’s prestige depends on this. PLEASE


    oncw more, with felling, deep breath…..CRIS-TAAAAARL.


    Well done, I knew you would rise to the challenge!

    Now, Lesson 102,

    How to hold you wine glass.

  3. huge number of candidates runing for the WA Upper House

    • “Far from being a sign of strength, a Prime Minister laying into an Opposition Leader indicates that the government is on its way out. A secure government ignores the Leader of the Opposition. An insecure government treats that office and its holder as a mortal threat, with the focus and severity one would hope a government might bring against economic disadvantage or racist violence.”

  4. Fiona,
    Woofle dust on that image link please.
    and this under ‘Try Again. Think of our Dear Leader.’ Crist-aaaarl’

    And ‘I do try’ above the picture of the birds.
    thank you.

  5. Lenore Taylor:

    We’ve been enduring this climate war nonsense for more than a decade and now we’re wearing the consequences – rising prices, unreliable power supply and increasing emissions. Responding with a parliamentary pantomime to try to shift the blame to a fictitious renewable industry bad guy is true ideological idiocy and also negligent, because it puts the shallowest, shortest-term and most opportunistic strategy for political survival ahead of households, investors and future generations.

    Yes, well, uhm…pity you and your pals in the CPG thought the only thing that was important in politics was whether Gillard called it a “Carbon Tax”. And the way you all kept quoting her saying “There will be no Carbon Tax under a government I lead” – and then guffawing into whatever microphone was around – emphasized your shallowness and had us all laughing in the aisles.

    In case Lenore forgets, we HAD a FUNCTIONING Carbon Tax but her and Press Gallery were too busy talking up Ruddstoration and Tony Abbott’s “brilliant” oppositionism to notice.

    It’s 2017 and both the Carbon Tax and Tony Abbott are gone.Yet we are still arguing the toss of a question that could have been settled in 2009 – under Turnbull’s leadership of the Opposition – and WAS settled in 2011 with the Clean Energy Act. What with all the hubbub surrounding Abbott and the entire Gallery telling us how wonderful he was, both he and the tax he conned people into writing off are forgotten. We are doomed to repeat the arguments of nearly 10 years ago seemingly indefinitely.

    Only NOW does Lenore write a column suggesting her hero, Turnbull, bloody-well DO something. Why couldn’t she have written this when Abbott was wrecking the joint? No, too busy doing the play-by-play of Question Time (or whatever) to waste time actually analysing policy.

    Quite sickening, actually.

  6. I have spent quite a bit of time at Bunnings lately, in Sydney’s leafy Northern suburbs.

    Can’t find even one person – behind the counter, or strolling the aisles – who thought Turnbull was anything but a dickhead with his speech. This includes Lib voters.

  7. BK

    I think a number in the CPG are coming to the realisation they got it “bigly” wrong about THAT speech.

    Just as they got it oh so bigly wrong about Gillard’s speech except in that case it was they saying it was Meh and social meeja saying “Oh no it wasn’t”.

  8. Andrew Elder was spot on, until his last paragraph.

    Of course Turnbull wanted to be PM, he wanted it desperately. Why else would he have got himself into parliament or made an arse of himself so many times on Q&A in that damn leather jacket, or planned that assassination of Abbott? He wanted to be PM because he thought it would be one more step to his ultimate ambition, becoming President. He never thought he would not be up to the job, an over-inflated ego will do that to you. All his life people have been telling him he’s be PM one day and now, just like Abbott, who also had that experience, he has the job and he has no idea what to do with it. think his woeful performance as PM has killed off any chance he might have had of realising that ultimate presidential ambition.

    • That is the monument to Emperor Barnett’s successful efforts to totally fark WA’s finances. That particular “Tip” is Betty’s Jetty aka Elizabeth Key. Many suspect, probably correctly that that piece of vandalism of what was once park land will end up an algae clogged cesspool, an algae greenwhite elephant.

      The Libs have during prime mining boom times managed to oversee a 1200% increase in state debt. Something tells me the economy has not grown 1200% in that time. So it will be fun times as the inevitable return of WA’s previous frequent cycle of boom to busted arse state returns.

  9. carrt2016

    You are right. It is way more finished than what is in that video. I was fooled by the title and the weather matching !!

  10. Interesting that there’s a record number of candidates at the WA election. Although that’s probably due to candidates from these weird new parties that have Glen Druery’s scent all over them (Micro Business, Flux the System, etc).

    Although this Julie Matheson individual looks like she’s going to give it a red hot go. I don’t know who she is, but with 20 lower house candidates under her banner, it’ll be interesting to see how she goes.

    • Julie Mathieson should be careful what she wishes for. She wants GST collected in WA to be paid directly into state coffers.

      For generations Victoria has subsidised WA and now the mining boom is over it is only fair that if WA doesn’t want to pool GST then Victorian GST shouldn’t subsidise WA

      On my brief visit to WA it was quite clear where Victorian taxes had been spent

  11. leonetwo

    She is a Subi ( Subiaco) gal and so will be a million miles from Hanson socially. .Subi people are more Bish jnr.

    I am however not sure what to think of her. Her raison detre has been a new planning approval system and it taking decisions away from elected members in order to make the decisions more “professionally” . Fair enough BUT the system was set up by the Libs so you suspect the new system i n reality would be to help developer mates but then the developer mates would also be well in with the councils. So perhaps it is just a factional fight amongst developer “mates” at council and state levels ? Who knows.

  12. Ah, okay, so Matheson sounds like a right-wing populist, but not a crass bogan like Hanson? I see. Well it remains to be seen how effective she is in the end I guess. I haven’t heard of her, and I doubt she’ll get very far. But Matheson is running herself for the upper house seat of North Metropolitan, so it might result in something if Druery’s preference deals lands a result.

    It seems she’s running candidates in Joondalup, South Perth, Carine, Southern River, Burns Beach, Swan Hills, Riverton, Hillarys, Midland, Maylands, Perth, Chuchlands, West Swan, Fremantle, Kingsley, Kalamunda, Pilbara (mis-spelled on the page as Pilbarra), Butler, Scarborough and Warnbro.

  13. I just realized that today has been the hottest day I’ve ever experienced.

    It’s alright though. There’s no such thing as Climate Change.The Earth is actually cooling.In fact we should burn more coal.Otherwise electricity prices might go up.

    Phew! I was worried there for a minute.

  14. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m not sure how wise it is to color “Catastrophic” fire warnings with comments from senior officials and newspaper click-bait journos such as,

    “In these conditions, once started, a fire cannot be stopped. It will burn everything in its path,”


    “Tomorrow will be the worst day in history for fire risk in NSW. The slightest spark will bring hell down on this state.”

    With all the mad arsonists out there ready to cream their jeans over something they could initiate with a single match, I would have thought more restraint in commentary would be in order.

    • i know this. In SA, everyone on the books as having mental issues around fire setting will be visited every day, or even more than once a day, by a mental health worker during this heat wave..

  15. bushfirebill

    You need to work a summer up in the Pilbara. After that 40C becomes ‘Meh’ hot is over 45 C:)

  16. The first time I heard the term “catastrophic fire warning” was a day before the Black Saturday bush fires in Victoria. I thought when reading the term it was a bit OTT but just a day later it was proven prophetic.

  17. This graph shows Melbourne’s maximum temperatures during the 2009 January-February heatwave.

    The three consecutive 40+C days 28-30 January killed the buffalo grass “lawn” in the backyard. I didn’t think anything could kill buffalo grass. When you walked on it, it crackled under you feet.

    The bodies of birds and possums littered many gardens and parks.

    Then, just over a week later, came Black Saturday. That was Melbourne’s hottest-ever day: 46.4C.

    But hey, it was warmer in Jesus’s time. bbtt told us so, therefore it is true.

  18. Fiona

    As with this year Perth was mild while it all went up in smoke over there . I was on JTI’s blog at the time and it was worrying to read the posts from Victorian people there. About 3 weeks after the fire I was sent to Melbourne by the boss for a week. Quite a sight flying in to see the vast areas of blackness.

  19. I’m watching this week’s Bill Maher and god. As the Germans would say, Piers Morgan has a Backpfeifengesicht.

    Disgusting Trump apologist and I’m so glad that the Aussie on the panel owned him at the end.

  20. There’s a lot of hyper bowl about

    A cataclysm or catastrophe is some great convulsion or momentous event that may or may not be a cause of misery to man. In calamity, or disaster, the thought of human suffering is always present. It has been held by many geologists that numerous catastrophes or cataclysms antedated the existence of man. In literature, the final event of a drama is the catastrophe, or denouement. … In history the end of every great war or the fall of a nation is a catastrophe, tho it may not be a calamity. Yet such an event, if not a calamity to the race, will always involve much individual disaster and misfortune. Pestilence is a calamity; a defeat in battle, a shipwreck, or a failure in business is a disaster; sickness or loss of property is a misfortune; failure to meet a friend is a mischance; the breaking of a teacup is a mishap.

  21. Our neighbours’ eucalyptus is coming into flower (creamy white – no idea of the species) and the lorrikeets are in seventh heaven.

    So much nicer than the Indian mynahs.

Comments are closed.