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 …

Fiona,

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.

Tony

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???

  1. I was talking to an American friend of mine about the state of politics. And she said that I should probably watch this video about a social psychologist explaining the reason why the divide between “liberals” and “conservatives” is so deep right now. And I admit after watching it, it kind of helped a little.

    Namely the part about using specific terms when trying to win over conservatives toward liberal causes like the environment. Of course they won’t respond well if spoken to in terms like “equality” and “compassion”, but if spoken to in sentences like “Pollution is just disgusting” and “You deserve to have pure drinking water”, it seemed to resonate with them a little better.

  2. New rules and other stuff –

    New rules pt 2 –

    Opening monologue –

    Overtime –

    The whole show for those interested – (warning Piers Morgan on the panel) (also poor video format and quality issues, I found some good quality videos but they were taken down before posting, copyright issues I suspect) new rules at 46:55

    And also a bit of Keithy boy –

  3. Letter to The Age today

    What got my attention in Malcolm Turnbull’s tirade against Bill Shorten was the phrase “would-be Tribune of the People”. This is a reference to the Republican Roman office of Tribunus Plebis, the highest office to which an ordinary Roman could aspire. To join the Senate, you had to be in the aristocracy, from a patrician family. So access to the Senate was by birthright, while the Tribunus Plebis was elected from the Plebian Assembly. Furthermore, the role of the Tribunus Plebis was to protect the interests of all non-noble Romans, to defend them against unjust laws and taxes, and to veto the Senate when required. So when Turnbull used “Tribune of the People” as an insult, he was saying that aspiring to defend the interests of the people against the aristocracy was something to be ashamed of. Thus Turnbull is revealed by his own mouth as seeing himself as a patrician, with the right to rule from birth and nothing but contempt for the plebs. And by “plebs”, dear reader, he means you. And the Coalition MPs behind him roaring with laughter obviously think of themselves that way as well.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    NSW is in for a terrible day today as temperatures and fire risk increases to unprecedented levels.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/nsw-heatwave-unprecedented-fire-conditions-are-as-bad-as-it-gets-20170211-guarjl.html
    Lenore Taylor dismantles the Coalition’s new love of coal.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/11/hard-facts-unmask-the-fiction-behind-coalitions-coal-comeback
    Similarly RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson reports on Turnbull’s descent into idiotic Trump-like fantasies this week, especially his bewitchment with the “clean coal fairy”.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/coalitions-clean-coal-plan-revealed-to-be-an-idiotic-fantasy,10015
    Trudeau gets plenty of advice in advance of his meeting with Trump.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/nsw-heatwave-unprecedented-fire-conditions-are-as-bad-as-it-gets-20170211-guarjl.html
    Trump’s promised crackdown on undocumented immigrants is in full force this week, with increased deportation efforts around the country, activists and elected officials said Friday.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/02/11/undocumented-immigrants-arrested-nationwide-stoking-fears-of-tr/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage
    It seems that snake oil is becoming increasingly popular with many people. I just can’t understand it.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/independent-pharmacies-across-sydney-feeling-left-behind-by-blackmores-20170208-gu84ws.html
    Could another idiotic move from Trump cost us dearly?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/trumps-asiapacific-policy-still-a-work-in-progress-20170209-gu9svj.html
    Peter Fitzsimons says that now nobody can protect Bernardi. And he gives Ross Cameron and the Vatican a small serve.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/no-one-can-help-cory-bernardi-now-hes-out-of-the-tent-20170210-guagjb.html
    Meanwhile conservatives leap to Cameron’s defence. (And as I type Peter van Onselen and Kristina Keneally are going right off saying they are ashamed to be on the same channel as Cameron, that his apology was not at all complete or genuine and that they will have an on-air crack at him at 1000.)
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/cut-the-crap-20170210-gua0gu.html
    Now PHON’s resident idiot (yes it’s hard to tell) makes another conspiracy dig at the UN. The organisation has an anti-life agenda he asserts.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/one-nation-senator-claims-united-nations-abortion-agenda-at-brisbane-rally-20170211-guatia.html

  5. Section 2 . . .

    Not one of Mark Kenny’s better contributions.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/relief-as-the-turnbull-engine-finally-fires-20170209-gu9ukv.html
    And another “college” goes into administration.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/commando-steves-sage-institute-of-fitness-goes-into-voluntary-administration-20170210-gua43x.html
    Nice police work to bring down this drug syndicate.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/cocaine-an-ink-business-and-consignment-parcels-workings-of-a-drugs-ring-revealed-20170209-gu9rkw.html
    It is a sad thing for Australian media consumers, indeed for the public interest, that political agendas, ideology and management ineptitude, have left this country with no quality press writes Michael West.
    http://www.michaelwest.com.au/ruperts-results-no-end-in-sight-to-the-destruction-of-mainstream-press/
    Pressure from the Russia scandal has the Trump administration spiralling out of control.
    http://www.politicususa.com/2017/02/11/trump-administration-spiraling-war-roses-flynn-pence.html
    The admonition of Kellyanne Conway for spruiking Ivanka Trump’s products amounted to nothing by the look of it.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/10/kellyanne-conways-ethics-jason-chaffetz
    What is happening to society?
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/highway-closed-as-crazy-kids-pelt-police-with-bottles-at-outofcontrol-party-20170210-gualuq.html
    David Penberthy writes that “fat cats” are living inside a bubble. Google.
    /news/opinion/david-penberthy-fat-cats-are-living-in-a-bubble/news-story/abb4bb580ffab50f3c3c2ec74dc11bf3
    Car parking wars erupt in Melbourne.
    http://www.theage.com.au/small-business/smashed-mirrors-torn-aerials-as-battle-over-car-parking-spaces-heats-up-20170209-gu9r17.html
    How safe are children in Catholic schools?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/catholic-education-system-under-a-cloud-after-child-sex-abuse-commission-findings-20170210-gua1pv.html

  6. Section 3 . . .

    Explosive footage has emerged of passengers aboard a disabled cruise ship being towed to Melbourne, chanting, “we want answers”.
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/norwegian-star-cruise-ship-towed-to-melbourne-for-repairs-20170210-gualy3.html
    President Donald Trump pushed back on Saturday on assertions that the wall he wants built on the US border with Mexico would cost more than anticipated. How would he know?
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trump-vows-to-cut-cost-of-216-billion-wall-on-mexicos-border-20170211-guav8p.html
    Paul McGeough starts off by writing “Funny thing, reality. Donald Trump promised to be a hairy-chested president, who would shirt front all who stood in his way – but just as the courts have brought to heel on the legality of his migration crackdown, foreign policy experts have him turning somersaults on China, Iran and Israel.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/migrant-travel-ban-as-trump-pivots-his-administration-gets-a-reality-check-20170211-guaqfy.html
    Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve official who spearheaded the push to make banks safer after the 2008 financial crisis, plans to step down in early April, amplifying President Donald Trump’s ability to reshape the central bank’s oversight of Wall Street and monetary policy. Where is America heading under this clown?
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/daniel-tarullo-wall-streets-top-regulator-quits-fed-in-boon-to-trump-20170210-guamrh.html
    Adele Ferguson follows up on yesterday’s exposé on Domino’s Pizza.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/dominos-needs-to-face-up-to-itself-20170210-gua789.html
    Michael Short reckons it’s time the language of politics changes. The terms “left” and “right” are unclear and have lost their original meaning he says.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/cut-the-crap-20170210-gua0gu.html
    I don’t find Annabel Crabbe’s output at all interesting any more.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/power-politics-dont-get-hotter-than-this-20170210-gu9yuq.html
    The SMH editorial takes the Premier to task for some of her cabinet changes.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/a-depressing-tale-of-two-ministers-20170210-guad4v.html

  7. Right here is why Mark Kenny is a short-sighted dill.

    It was the concatenation of these events, spiced by Shorten’s increasingly brazen use of the “Mr Harbourside Mansion” slur, that did it, but when Turnbull hit back he did so hard. So hard in fact that many of the things he said didn’t bear much scrutiny.

    But in the theatre of politics it was gold and its effect, instant.

    So what he said was bullshit. It was all theatre anyway. And he got a sugar-hit from his own back benchers (who are already supposed to be on his side, in case anyone hadn’t noticed).

    You could get better political analysis from a 12 year old who’d only ever voted for class captain.

  8. Ah, now I’ve worked it out. Unfortunately well all missed Bill starting it, because the msm doesn’t have him, or any Labor people on, so we didn’t see him denigrating trumble every day all day……………………….

  9. Perhaps Shorten shouldn’t call MT “Mr Harbourside Mansion”. Except on social media and among friends, I don’t believe in calling people names, especially not in parliament. Imo, it’s childish and unprofessional.

    • They all forget who came up with ‘Mr Harbourside Mansion”

      It was Peta Credlin, in May last year, on Sky News.

  10. Le Pen and Frexit:

    Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right-wing Front National, made “mastering our destiny by restoring the French people’s monetary, legislative, territorial, economic sovereignty” the first of 144 campaign promises published on February 5th.
    If negotiations with Brussels do not go her way Le Pen promises to hold a “Frexit” referendum on leaving the European Union. In any case, she would replace the euro with a devalued franc. It is hard to see how the EU or the common currency could survive the defection of a founding member and the Continent’s second-biggest economy.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/marine-le-pen-yes-she-can-1.2969682

  11. C’est la faute du chat …

    A truck carrying 2,000 pounds (40 tonnes) of cat food collided with a car in central France Friday, littering the motorway with its tins for kitty.
    The accident caused an eight kilometre (five mile) long traffic jam and closed down the motorway for more than half a day.

    The accident, which lightly injured two people and was first reported by the Vinci construction company, occurred at about 4:00 am on the A10 motorway in the Chateau-Renault region, about 200 kilometres (124 miles) southwest of Paris, emergency services said.

    But it wasn’t until around 5:00 pm that authorities could finally clear enough of the tinned food litter to open one of the motorway’s three lanes.

    http://www.thelocal.fr/20170211/cat-food-litters-french-motorway-causing-traffic-tailback

  12. BB, I’m just going to expand that quote from Kenny a bit, and have a look at it. I think the crux of his argument (once he got over his car analogy and finished doing a bit of PR work re Turnbull’s relations with the backbench) is contained here:

    It is an open question as to how well ‘Angry Mal’ has gone over with voters. The sight of the Prime Minister spitting vitriol across the dispatch box is a known turn-off in middle Australia.

    But for Turnbull’s troops it was a welcome morale booster, especially given that the week had kicked off with depressing poll results showing the Coalition sliding at an alarming rate to be 46-54 down on Shorten’s Labor.

    The quixotic defection of Cory Bernardi ensured things went from bad to worse, conveying the image of a party and government in the first stages of a catastrophic collapse.

    It was the concatenation of these events, spiced by Shorten’s increasingly brazen use of the “Mr Harbourside Mansion” slur, that did it, but when Turnbull hit back he did so hard. So hard in fact that many of the things he said didn’t bear much scrutiny.

    But in the theatre of politics it was gold and its effect, instant. Up against the wall, Turnbull finally showed his troops that he can fight back. Can, and will. And he sent a message of intent to Shorten too that personal will be met with personal.

    It may be wishful thinking but Turnbull’s backers believe the PM has now turned a corner, and even sceptics are willing him to succeed.

    But he will need to keep moving forward to kill off any murmurings around who could replace him.

    Until now, it has been the absence of a compelling, or even a credible, alternative leader that has protected him most.

    The threshhold question is always, would “X” unify the party and be sufficiently credible with voters to overcome the huge transaction costs of a coup?

    That hurdle is an order of magnitude higher when a change has already taken place.

    Breaking it down:

    1. There’s an admission that Angry Mal isn’t a particularly smart move with the voters. So we have that. But it’s followed with the observation that it’s been a confidence boost to his ‘troops’. I think that all hinges on how much of a set-piece it was in the first place. As pointed out by others, the entire Government benches sat through Shorten’s speech. They’re usually gone at the end of QT. There’s an argument that can be put forward that the MPs were there, on orders, to boost Turnbull and not the other way around. If he’d done the exact same speech before half the front bench and a scattering of backbenchers, it would have looked more threadbare.

    I suspect he’s fudging the truth there. I’d say the point of Turnbull’s tirade wasn’t to boost the troops, it was to give the press something to work with, a PR angle. As in point 2 below. The party theme for at least a week had been ‘drop everything else, get Shorten’. It was the dominant topic, as reported, of the Cabinet meeting that started the week, and I’ll bet it was the point hammered to the backbenchers in those 30 minute chats too.

    2. By saying that the speech “didn’t bear much scrutiny” but that “in the theatre of politics it was gold”, Kenny saying a lot more than he realises. In effect, he’s admitting that the press gallery doesn’t do policy. They can be presented with something that has no substance and applaud it anyway. There’s no other way to describe that than dishonest journalism.

    3. Personal wasn’t met with personal. The worst Shorten can be accused of is throwing a slur coined by a right wing identity in Turnbull’s face, and claiming Turnbull is out of touch, a claim levelled against most politicians quite regularly. Shorten, lest it be forgotten, has been the victim of a buttload of slurs from the Coalition, vicious and constant slurs. Plus an active campaign to destroy him via an expensive RC into Unions that raised a lot of baseless accusations against Shorten, which were all swept away. They did the same thing with Gillard and the AWU in the previous government. Shorten is well within his rights to hurl a whole lot more invective at Turnbull. He chooses not to (he has strangled cats, quotes from Turnbull’s own people, Godwin Gretch, Turnbull’s failure with the sure-thing Republic vote, NBN arrogance, and plenty more to choose from), concentrating predominantly on the effects of Turnbull policy on Australian citizens. Turnbull chooses to respond to that with insults

    4. Sceptics aren’t willing Turnbull to succeed. I don’t know where Kenny got that idea from.

    5. It’s true that Turnbull is kept safe through the lack of a credible challengers within the party. But has Kenny really thought about why that is? It’s pretty clear to me. The other options are all attack dogs, and they’re all attacking from the position of government, four years in. Voters find that ‘blame Labor’ rhetoric coming from government benches to be hypocritical and abhorrent.

    Now, think that through. Turnbull is being lauded for becoming the attack dog all his contenders’ ambitions are being stymied for. Is that smart? I’m sure if we look through metrics and focus group work from 2012-13, the qualities that made Turnbull generally popular then would be the ones he is now shedding in order to keep his job as leader of his party. How can that possibly lead to anything good for him?

  13. Something else too; the title of Kenny’s piece changed from “Relief as the Turnbull Engine Finally Fires” to “Morale is Up, but Malcolm Turnbull Isn’t Out of the Woods Yet”. I guess they realised that first attempt was a massive stretch.

  14. Let’s just call it for what it is.

    Turnbull’s rant was intended to be a huge distraction. Too much was going wrong. Even the childcare rebate announcement didn’t go down that well because everyone soon worked out the bill to enable it was just another ploy to get zombies past the senate and another attempt to kick the plebs to the kerb. It has not reached the senate yet and it has already been defeated.

    What does a Prime Minister do when everything is going to hell? He manufactures a distraction and hopes the media will take the bait.

    The ever-obliging press gallery mob did exactly that, they swallowed the bait like the good little sycophants they are. All we have heard since Wednesday afternoon is praise and adulation because Turnbull ‘found his inner mongrel’ or ‘regained his mojo’ or whatever other triteness you want to use. The journalists are still writing about it. How many pieces has, say, Mark Kenny written now? Two? Three? Five?

    Meanwhile this government’s nasty policies keep on keeping on. Private health cover premiums rose by 5%, meaning the average family silly enough to pay for this rubbish will have to come up with a few hundred dollars more this year to pay these greedy mongrels.

  15. Did you know that the word “muslin” “… gets its name from the city of Mosul, Irak, where it was first manufactured”? (wiki)

    Marie-Antoinette in her famous “muslin” portrait, 1783. (wiki)

  16. I’ve been thinking about the letter billie11 posted and that Turnbull sneer about ‘Tribune of the People’.

    I think I’ve worked it out.

    Turnbull has a huge chip on his shoulder. See, he’s not aristocracy at all, despite his harbourside mansion and his millions tucked away in the Caymans. He’s just a pleb who got lucky. he knows that and it hurts, really hurts.

    His father was just a country boy who failed at being a tradie – an electrician – after he almost electrocuted himself on the job. He became a real estate agent who specialised in buying and selling pubs. How very plebeian!

    Turnbull had to endure the indignity of being a scholarship boy at Sydney Grammar, a charity case pretty much in a school filled with the sons of what passes for high society in NSW and the sons of landed gentry. You can imagine how it was. “Hey Turnbull! What is it again your dad does? Isn’t he some sort of (added sneer) salesman?”

    Now he’s rich but he’s still not part of the Eastern Suburbs aristocracy. Look at the people he invites to his taxpayer-funded parties – journalists, Liberal politicians, dodgy business types. Not a real toff among them. And let’s not forget he was never a close friend of the Packers, he was just their employee, like the secretaries and office cleaners and company accountants. A mere employee.

    His business associates were often Labor men – Neviille Wran, Nick Whitlam. When he teamed up with an Eastern Suburbs toff – Rodney Adler – it ended in disaster.

    Turnbull is no born to rule aristocrat. He’s actually that Tribune of the People he seems to so despise.

    He’s angry about Labor being ahead in the polls and he’s jealous as hell of Shorten because he sees someone else who has risen from a humble background doing well, better than himself. and doing something he himself has been unable to pull off – leading a unified.strong party. Turnbull knows Shorten is a real and growing threat. Turnbull knows his leadership is so compromised by deals with the Nationals and the right wing that he has only one way to deal with Shorten – personal attacks. The bullying senior prefect is back.

    That anger and jealousy has been allowed out on public view now, the nasty mongrel has been unchained, it’s going to be Turnbull’s undoing.

  17. I have this theory that Shorten – because he’s not a big tall guy in the “First XV” mold – is used to being bullied and has learned to both absorb blows and to turn around the bullying with patience.

    You don’t get to be a union leader without having more than a few big thuggish types trying to intimidate you. If you can’t intimidate them back physically, you do it intellectually and with guile and simply waiting for them to make a mistake.

    He has seen off Gillard, Rudd and Abbott by biding his time and being patient. He’s no Whitlam or Keating in the speech-making department, no Peacock in the sauve department and no Turnbull in the Rich List department . He’s not an intellectual giant, nor the favourite of big mining or big industry. But he does know how to bide his time, stay calm and bring people together.

    I don’t know whether he throws tantrums like Turnbull, but it’s hard to imagine it. It’s also difficult to imagine him throwing insults around like the Prime Minister. He doesn’t claim to have been born whole, to themanor. He’s still learning. And he is a good study.

    You get the feeling that this latest tirade has been water off a duck’s back.He’d be used to this kind of treatment. He’d know that when your opponent resorts to the biff that you’ve got his attention (this has been obvious for a couple of years now).

    In short,Bill is the kind of Prime Minister Australia needs. It doesn’t deserve him, but it sure could do with him at the helm. The “Theatre” the CPG talks about has gotten us precisely nowhere. We are going backwards. Raw aggression achieves very little. We need a builder, not an investor, and definitely not another tantrum-throwing bully.

    • Shorten’s appearance on 7.30 that night was all about that. At least part of the effect intended by Turnbull and the Liberals would be that Shorten be goaded into a stoush. When prodded on it by Sales, Shorten responded by expressing sympathy for Turnbull, who he described as being under a lot of pressure, and before Sales could blink Shorten was back onto policy issues.

      At that moment the stoush was over and Shorten had won.

  18. bushfirebill

    You don’t get to be a union leader without having more than a few big thuggish types trying to intimidate you

    Another was Vote 1 Greg Combet. I was on the front lines in Freo during the wharfies dispute. Not a wharfie but knew a few and outraged at some of the implications for everyone if the company won and during the night was when they needed help.. Now wharfies made the CFMEU look like choir boys when it came to hard arse but when Combet came and spoke to us a couple of times, about midnight by the time he arrived, he held me and all the hard arse wharfies in his thrall as he spoke. For me it was love at first sight 🙂

    A slight and slightly nerdy looking guy with Clark Kent glasses, Combet managed to not only get to the top of a very hard arse pole but also successfully deal with just as hard arske bosses.

  19. Forgot to add. So yes, getting to the top of those trees means ya ain’t no snowflake when it comes to handling the heat and boy do you have some negotiating skills.

  20. There’s something weird about the weather records here for yesterday and today.

    Yesterday the maximum was reported as a bit over 33C, but it was stinking hot, much hotter than whatever was the official temperature. There was no breeze at all and not a cloud in the sky, which made it worse. The humidity hovered between 67% and 78% all day. it was very, very uncomfortable. I think there must have been a stiff breeze from the river blowing at the airport, which is where they take the weather obs,keeping the temperature down, because they were saying there were 20 knot wind gusts hen there was not a breath of a breeze. The reporting was so very different to what everyone was feeling.

    Today it’s a bit cloudy, still not much of a breeze, but more than yesterday. This morning it was around 30C, by lunchtime just over 32C. then over the last hour it jumped from 36.7C to 45.7C and has now ‘cooled off’ to 45.4C. It seemed about the same yesterday. Maybe it’s all due to the humidity. it’s down to 14% now, an almost unheard-of figure here.

    Anyway, that 45.7C is a new record here. The previous February record was 42.5C in 2004. The hottest ever day was 43.3C, Christmas Eve 2005.

    Two records smashed in one day.

  21. I’ve been handing out brochures for my local Labor candidate in Forrestfield. What I don’t get is all the people in to whom I’ve spoken who are convinced that Ms Hanson is going to make a difference and that Mr Barnett has to go.

    They seem absolutely convinced that “Muslims” are taking over our country and that they are all “out to get us”; that “them reffos” get more support and Centrelink benefits than white people; that single mothers “pop sprogs to different fathers” just for the benefits they can get, and none of them deserve anything.

    Oh, and all politicians are only in it to line their own pockets. When asked, with puzzled logic, if that includes Ms Hanson and her candidates I am told that “no, she’s different”!
    I just don’t get it! And trying to re-frame the statements just doesn’t seem to cut through the anger that has been stoked by the “news” that has been consumed.

    I’m very tempted to print out some “how to evaluate sources” and “how to think critically” information sheets to hand to folk like that – not that I think they would take them, but I would feel better that they at least were shown a different, perhaps less angry, way of looking at the world.

  22. Tell them their taxes have been paying Hanson’s parliamentary pension for the last 20 years, a six figure annual pension after just two years in the reps. Add on all the millions she has gained from multiple failed attempts to get back into parliament, any parliament.

    If they see her as ‘different’ then maybe learning she has been guzzling taxpayers money for a couple of decades will help clear their minds. If they have minds.

    Why do people happily believe bullshit and refuse to accept the facts? I’ve never been able to understand this.

  23. Hanson’s filling a void. A lot of people, when they become disillusioned with the major RW party (because they’re hopeless and compromised to the extent that people notice), don’t reject the ideology, they just reject the current practitioners of it. So they don’t question their beliefs and shift left, they just look for someone else from the Right who doesn’t have the ‘taint’.

    The only reason Hanson’s getting a free pass on sucking up our taxes for 20 years is because she’s never had control of our country’s money. People would have to actually see her screwing it all up before they’ll turn on her. Which is stupid, but we’re talking about stupid people here, people who want to keep believing stuff that is patently untrue, and thus continuing to search for new people to sell them the message they want to hear.

    Hanson panders to prejudices, which is easy populism, and she’s never had her ideas tested which means people are free to believe her. That’s a potent mix.

    Nutbags like her are always going to be around. The real evil here is the Liberal Party legitimising her lunacy by talking about preferencing her party. Once people get the idea in their heads that a major party has publicly endorsed One Nation (which they’re doing, once again, for the craven, selfish, short-termist reason of trying any means possible to hang on to some sort of power, morality be damned), all hell will break loose.

  24. I don,t agree with the praise of Combet. He was a political union hack and bailed when the going got tough. I have more respect for the ones that hang around after they know they are going to lose.

    • “. He was a political union hack and bailed when the going got tough. ”
      .
      Puhlese . Waterfront dispute anyone ? If he could handle then he weren’t no ‘petal’

  25. kaffeeklatscher

    Waterfront dispute? With Patricks they came to a agrement and the waterfront needed to be reined in at that time.
    . He wasn’t a saint and when he knew he wouldn’t be in government he bailed

    • Rubbish Joe!
      I worked on the docks back in those days and the government decided to break it’s own laws as was vindicated by the courts at the time. Corrigan moved us all over into the employ of shelf companies that none of us were aware of and once with the help of the government he had a workforce that trained in Dubai he stripped the money out of the shelf companies and we were sacked for nothing more than being union members and down at Web Dock they bought dogs to help escort us off the site.. Combet and Lawyer Josh Bornstein were saints compared to para military tactics used to sack us.

      History looks kindly on the waterfront strike and all that happened even if you don’t

  26. Not everything the union leaders and labor did was good. I vehemently opposed the cattle ban to Indonesia by Ludwig( whom I had met and he was just his dad,s puppet) because without warning it put some decent hardworking truckies in a very dire financial situation without consultation.

  27. And as I seem to be cranky this afternoon Shorten will wan’t to lift his game if he thinks he will cruise into the lodge like Abbott did. The msm are against him ,the people according to the polls still prefer Turnbull as pm despite the 54/46 2pp and that is not a winning margin this far out. Also laugh as you must and denigrate Qlds. and our backwoods ways, but one nation will hold the balance of power in Qld at the next state election, Maybe in W.A also. The political landscape has changed and our new reality is that the lib/lab duopoly is probably gone.
    After the next election one nation my hold the balance of power in the senate federally.’ This is all something we may have to adjust too.

  28. I think people who want to vote One Nation should pay closer attention to things. For instance. Shorten and Labor have been speaking out against the rampant abuse of 457 visas by employers and want to do more to protect this fear of theirs that Aussies are being cheated out of jobs by importing immigrants to do the same job that they do for less pay, while every time Labor speaks out on this, the Coalition screeches that they’re racist and continue to support legislation that enables this rort.

    Do One Nation voters disagree with this stance by Shorten? Or do they think that all their problems can be solved by voting for people who think they can wave a magic wand and make all their problems disappear with no consequences? (the definition of ‘problems’ ranging from PC culture to anyone different to them).

    I admit that Labor’s not saints and I’m glad that dickheads like Joe Ludwig are out of power but come on, do they think their lives will improve if they trust in people like Malcolm Roberts?

  29. joe6pack
    Haven’t commented here for a very long time, but lurk quite a bit. Did you know that Combet had a couple of painful medical conditions in that last parliament?
    He was finding it difficult to impossible to concentrate. My understanding is that was the reason he bailed.
    Hope it’s just a general sort of grumpiness you’ve got though I found humidity and heat related grumpiness in Q’L’D in February to be fairly widespread.

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