Turnbull government reveals a lump of coal at its heart in a disgraceful week of name-calling

Today’s Guest Poster is the inimitable Urban Wronski. Over to you, most urbane of gentlemen:

Mick Tsikas/AAP – I am thankful he has his hands in front of his crotch

“He has no respect for the taxpayer any more than he has respect for the members of the Australian Workers Union, he betrayed again and again. He sold them out. He sold them out.”

A volley of cheap shots rings out across the chamber this week as a beleaguered Malcolm Turnbull begins the new parliamentary year in a flat spin. He’s under attack on all sides, travel rorts, Trump’s dumping on him, Bernardi’s defection, Abbott’s sniping, a seven-month losing streak in the polls and what to do about George Brandis and his diary.

What do you do with an Attorney General, an officer in charge of freedom of information who refuses a court order to make his appointments public as Mark Dreyfus, a real QC, has requested? The London posting can’t come soon enough.

Peta Credlin, Abbott’s all-powerful, all-seeing former chief of staff helpfully puts the skids under the PM she dubbed “Mr Harbourside Mansion” when she tells Sky viewers the Coalition is broken by “an unbridgeable ideological divide”.

Add in to the mix electricity blackouts, a failure to curb power sector emissions and an energy market crisis which has been simmering unattended for years. Luckily energy is all Labor’s fault. It’s their ideological belief in the future of the planet instead of doing whatever it takes to protect the wealth of the coal industry and its many rent-seekers.

The power crisis is caused by Labor because Labor is led by Bill Shorten, a Labor leader who has dinner with rich people!

Desperately, the PM who sold out to his right wing, aims to divert his critics and snatch back credibility by assassinating Hypocrite Bill’s character. Yet Turnbull aims so low he destroys any vestige of credibility; shoots himself in the foot.

The other foot is in his mouth. With nothing left to lose, a gung-ho meets gonzo PM Trumps up his invective; indulges his inner bully in an assault on the man, not his policies, complete with gratuitous, archly homophobic insults.

“This sycophant, blowing hard in the House of Representatives, sucking hard in the living rooms of Melbourne, what a hypocrite,” Turnbull sneers. The “simpering” “sycophant” “sucking up to Dick [Pratt]” “tucked his knees under… tables” jeers the PM. The dig is unlikely to boost his stocks in his inner-Sydney electorate of Wentworth, however many sniggers it gets from his party. Nor will his prejudice play well with his broader constituency.

But why be resolute or decisive when you can be abusive and impulsive? It works for Trump.

Desperate, the orator with an ear of tin leaps, misses his footing and plunges to dangerous depths. He unleashes a raging, ranting, ten-minute volley of personal abuse and defamatory accusation on the Labor leader – lowering himself to ape Tony Abbott, the leader he deposed because he was incapable of anything but junkyard. Doubtless, he plans to hide, in the fray, how deep in crises he has mired his government. Instead, Turnbull highlights his own bad judgement.

Bellowing, braying, belittling, the PM calls Shorten names in a spray of spittle. He contorts his face fit to out-butch a bull seal bugling. Shorten is a “a climber”, “a social-climbing sycophant”, a “parasite and a hypocrite”, terms of abuse the PM finds on a prompt helpfully handed up to him by his batman, Christopher lickspittle Pyne, obsequious to a fault.

Sadly, all Turnbull achieves is a grotesque Abbott travesty, an homage to another self-made loser who often parodied himself in his puerile taunting, name-calling, monstrous lies, absurd assertions and bullshit braggodoccio until it cost him his job.

Turnbull is wasting his time trying to impress his party’s puritan choir; the Nationals and the Liberal right. They hate him with a passion. He may as well be Labor. No concession will ever be enough to buy their approval. Nor win their trust. For most other observers, the PM’s ill-advised and hammy performance is a shocking demonstration of just how far he will stoop to conquer. Pollster Hugh McKay believes Turnbull has sealed his fate. Disintegration and ruin can only follow.

Turnbull’s big problem is the plank in his own eye. “No consistency, no integrity. This sycophant, this simpering sycophant,” sneers a PM who hosts Rupert, a PM whose merchant banking venture was funded by sucking up to Kerry Packer whom Turnbull had saved a fortune on tax, a PM whose sell-out to his party’s right wing cost him all credibility.

Almost as big for the toff is the vexed politics of class. As Bernard Keane and Van Badham note, Turnbull’s attack is a slap-down for Shorten getting above himself. Essentially, Turnbull’s case is that he’s Prime Minister because, unlike the Opposition leader, he’s a better class of person.

Yet it’s a no win situation. Keane also notes that after decades of berating union leaders for being anti-business and being unwilling to work cooperatively with bosses, suddenly Shorten is fair game for being too close to corporate leaders. Yet none of this matters to the parliamentary party whose blood-lust is up.

Excited by his show of aggression, his colleagues cheer on Turnbull’s Shorten-bashing with school-boys jeers, grins and much thumping of desks. It is an unedifying display of arousal which can only cost the party popular support.

Equally disturbing are those many Press Gallery hacks who applaud Turnbull’s lapse, gushing approval over his “flash of steel”, his “withering putdown”. One scribe sees the theatrics as an “aggressive new course.” Another sees it, somehow, as Turnbull’s version of Gillard’s misogyny speech. Is politics merely blood sport entertainment for a jaded Canberra Press Gallery? Certainly, their praise encourages the PM to further excesses.

By Friday, Turnbull is on 3AW denouncing Shorten as a hypocrite who pretends to be a “horny handed son of toil”.

Horny or corny, it’s all part of a bizarre, ill-judged attempt by a desperate Prime Minister beset by more problems than a junkyard dog has fleas. His government is dead in the water say pollsters. Newspoll has Labor 46-54% on the two-party vote and the Coalition’s primary vote falling four points to 35%, its seventh-straight loss and worst result so far under Turnbull’s leadership. Essential polls 53-47 in Labor’s favour. It would take a miracle to come back from here. Instead, the Coalition declares it is truly, madly, deeply in love with coal all along despite making sheep’s eyes at renewables.

True, not all are on the same page with their passion. There’s a lot of codswallop about being technology neutral, the official Peabody Energy talking point subterfuge and some daggy hamming from Energy Pretender Josh Freydenberg who even promises a new cabinet subcommittee to “oversee the progress”.

Partly Turnbull’s tanty is to cover Coalition hypocrisy in two-timing its 2030 carbon emissions targets with its affair with coal. Federal Treasurer, Mad dog Morrison, a natural buffoon, follows his PM’s lead in the race to the bottom Thursday by bringing a lump of coal into the chamber. It suits him to clown while people die of black lung and other respiratory illnesses. It worries him not a jot that an army of scientists could tell him that burning coal to generate electricity will destroy the planet. Instead he and his party proclaim the sick fantasy that coal is a cheap and clean source of energy.

Ultra super-critical coal-fired plants would cost double renewables reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The Melbourne Energy Institute agrees. And who could cost their emissions? New analysis from the government’s own research institutions reveal emissions from USC would exceed the current Australian average of 820g/kWh.

Of course we don’t have to burn coal ourselves to contribute to global warming. Currently we export enough coal each day for others to burn and create emissions equivalent to a 500-megawatt coal-fired power station, or 570,000 cars, in a year. Yet we don’t factor in our CO2 exports into our climate policy. It’s been our dirty little secret for thirty years.

Not a single company has any plans to build new coal power plants. No bank will lend any money. The Turnbull government may wave its shotgun as much as it likes but it may never get coal and banks up the aisle again.

Of course, it has a patent remedy which climate change sceptic and front bench coal-tosser Barnaby Joyce has already forecast. The Clean Energy Foundation, established to fund innovative approaches to power generation, will be raided to pay for energy which is neither clean nor a good investment in the future. Who could possibly find fault with that?

At least, finally, some of the Coalition has stopped pretending it is only a litlle bit pregnant to Peabody Energy. Indeed, the Turnbull government’s recent embrace of coal-fired power shows it has “abandoned all pretense of taking global warming seriously”, Climate Change Authority member Clive Hamilton explains as he resigns from the agency. Professor Hamilton, who teaches ethics at Charles Sturt University, fires a parting shot. He says it is perverse to be advocating coal when 2016 was the hottest year in history.

Bernie Fraser resigned before Hamilton in disgust at the feeble emissions-reduction targets the government was prepared to set. Fraser, a man of principle, pointed out that the government’s post-2020 carbon reduction efforts – a pledge to cut 2005-level carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 – as put Australia “at or near the bottom” of comparable countries.

The Climate Change Authority itself soon got five new you beaut members in October 2015, one of the first reforms of young turk Turnbull who is always quick off the blocks when it comes to doing the bidding of his minders, be it his National Party minders or- as in this case -a toady to the coal lobby. The five new members had been appointed by “coal is good for humanity” Tony Abbott and remained to be approved by Macolm Turnbull.

Described at the time as being as “more sceptical of climate change” the five coalition appointments stacked the committee in favour of government policy and removed the vexed Left-Greens ideological commitment to the continuation of humanity and the troublesome notion of taking responsibility to reduce emissions and redress some of the damage already caused to the environment through global warming, noxious emissions and other pollution.

It is timely to review the government team players. Assisted by former National Farmers’ Federation’s head Wendy Craik the committee gained Kate Carnell, former CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former ACT Liberal chief minister; Danny Price, economist and managing director of Frontier Economics, who advised the government on its Direct Action policies; John Sharp, a former Nationals politician and federal transport in John Howard’s government before stepping down after questions raised over his use of ministerial travel expenses; Stuart Allinson, the chief executive of Bid Energy.

No-one can pretend these worthy figures, however deserving they may be as representatives of their constituents, have been chosen for their halcyon impartiality. To use Turnbull’s term du jour Australia has been sold out.

Those who were shocked by gonzo Scott Morrison’s pet rock in parliament Thursday – and it’s impossible not to be shocked by the graphic abdication of responsibility to future generations not to mention a contempt for science and a cavalier disregard for all of the economic and environmental benefits of investment in renewables should thank him for so dramatically revealing the government’s hand, a hand which has been prepared ever since Turnbull took office despite all sentiment and nostalgia for the Old Leather Jacket. Get real. This government has always been pro-coal.

But it’s not all plain sailing or committee stacking. Coal is a big blow to the Prime Minister’s new self-appointed role as Parliament’s Grand Inquisitor determined to root out hypocrisy and energy heresy in the opposition. Why, only seven years ago he, himself, was urging Australia to move to a “a situation where all or almost all of our energy comes from zero or very near zero-emission sources” to avoid the risks, laid out in the science, of catastrophic climate change.

Along with Groucho, Turnbull has principles and if you don’t like those, well … he has others.

“You don’t quit a party you already run, protests Sam Dastyaryi when Cory Bernardi, the man who single-handedly, caused Malcolm Turnbull to drop all mention of any form of ETS in 24 hours flat, leaves the Liberals this week over principle, he says. Principle. Yet he is unable to say what the principles are beyond a bit of mangled metaphor about broad tents and churches and pegs. Fearlessly exercising his new role as moral guardian, Turnbull tells him the honourable thing to do would be to resign. The PM gets one thing right. Hasn’t Cory already caused enough trouble?

Cory Bernardi helped Tony Abbott change from an ETS wuss to an axe the tax crusader in 2009. If there were one man we could thank for Tony Abbott becoming the worst Prime Minister Australia has seen, Cory would be right up there. And weather vane Abbott is quick to take any opportunity now to put the boot into Turnbull.

“… While Cory and I have sometimes disagreed I’m disappointed that more effort has not been made to keep our party united. The Liberal Party needs more people, like Cory, who believe that freer citizens will make a fairer society and a stronger country and who are prepared to speak out and make a difference …”

Now a man of principles he can’t articulate, Bernardi will continue his vanity politics while his quest for relevance becomes even harder, however many anti-halal meetings he attends. The harsh truth is that Cory Bernardi represents Cory Bernardi and while he may indeed enjoy the support of Gina Rinehart, it will take more than the backing of the coal lobby to make him a real political force now he’s out on his own and competing with quite a range of other right wing nut jobs for the reactionary and the protest against the two major parties’ vote.

The South Australian senator is, however, a powerful emblem of the disunity and lack of discipline in Turnbull’s parliamentary party and his weak leadership. It is also a reminder of the parlous state of the Liberal Party when it comes to principles.

As poor Cory comes to leave and make his stand on principle, he can’t clearly articulate a single principle. Looking at the government’s disastrous week, its hypocritical bashing of Bill Shorten and its theatrical flourishing of a lump of coal in parliament, most Australians would also have trouble identifying a single principle – apart from its steadfast loyalty to the mining lobby – in the Turnbull government’s shameful behaviour this week.

590 thoughts on “Turnbull government reveals a lump of coal at its heart in a disgraceful week of name-calling

  1. The most sensible way to deal with you now is to keep paying your salary, let you take your long service and then given your age, let you retire gracefully because you have demonstrated how much damage you could do in a court case and the compensation payment could be very high. The damage a court case could do to you could be punishing also

    You’re right… just add a redundancy payout into that mix and there’s a plan.

  2. Back on Turnbull’s new mongrel personality for a moment. I’ve just figured out the other reason why it’s not going to work. It goes back to perceptions and preconceptions. To the average voter, it just looks wrong. It’s not the Turnbull they’re accustomed to seeing, so it’s going to jar and the first question most people will be asking is “Why?”

    And because there’s no easy answer to that – I mean, it’s not as if attacking Shorten is some brand-spanking new idea, they’ve been running variations on that for years – it’s going to look like a reversion rather than a smart tactic.

    If the perception of Turnbull was as a guy with great ideas and a positive attitude hampered by difficulties in getting them accepted, going on the attack could be seen as a circuit-breaker. But it’s actually the other way around. His ideas – horrible as they are – are getting lots of play in the press and he’s had a massive platform to sell them. They’re just not very good, and the longer they’re out there the more exposed their flaws are. In which case going on the attack is perceived as an empty gesture, anger used to replace policy, or act as a short-term substitute for it, rather than something that clears the air for policy to thrive.

    Frankly, for all the cheerleading we’ve seen, the public seem more baffled by it than anything else. Not hostile as such, just unsure what to make of it.

    • Probably baffled because the MSM had been telling us for ever that Turnbull was ‘charming’ and ‘sophisticated’ and ‘urbane, but now they see an Abbott clone, a snarling, abusive attack dog and the media are going into raptures about that.

      The PG mob don’t seem to have noticed they are now contradicting their own propaganda.

  3. Absolutely right, Leone. And another example of how press gallery commentators switch their stories whenever and however it suits them, and just assume nobody will notice the inconsistencies.

  4. I just watched the stage play This House in The Garrick Theatre

    It looks like ‘our’ Puff has now got the London Transport bit worked out and is feeling confident moving around (maybe even a West End ‘denizen’!).

    Crossed the ‘package tourist’ line bit and now starting seeing London as it is – warts and all.

    And it is ‘something’. Once you get out of tourist mode and start just catching the Tube and buses to places you want to go is about when you realise there is so much to see.

    A city with a charm that is certainly not matched by any US city or Paris, Madrid or Berlin. Rome nice but different.

    Lisbon highly recommended.

    • l ove London. I am well and truly out of tourist mode,, CTar!

      I have been in back alleys, markets, theatres, caught the public transport boat down the Thames, I know where The Top Secret Comedy Club is, and I am recognised when I attend. I speak to homeless people, and buskers in the tube stations ,give them one of my home made sandwiches or 50p.Sometimes it is just a chat.

      I took the ferry out to Greenwich where the Millennium Dome is, walked all around the public walkway round the back of it, by the riverside, and then got three subway trains to Charing Cross for the theatre.

      I am doing The London Eye tomorrow with family, I have walked through a bit of Hampstead Heath, eatwn a fewvpub meals and taken in the local brew, of course.

    • I posted that little snippet at JTI’s blog back in the day,to bolster my opinion that they, along with W@#$$$###$%$##$% Hayek, made Austria pound for pound the worst incubator of civilisation destroying bustards EVA.

    • Yet Austria also produced Mozart, Haydn, the Strauss family, Berg, Webern, and Schonberg of the second Viennese school, Bruckner, Salieri (nothing like as evil as he was painted in the play/film), Korngold – and one of my trinity of all-time favourite composers, Franz Schubert.

  5. Fiona

    “Vienna” … somewhere lost to me is a Marcus Aurelius quote about the summer heat melting the roads.

  6. Fiona

    Not being a “classical music” aficionado makes such Austrian details MEH 😉

    • Klimt’s painting now known as ‘The Woman in Gold’ was given that name by the Nazis. They didn’t like the original title – ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ – because Adele was Jewish and the title referenced a prominent Jewish family. Klimt painted two portraits of Adele, that’s why this one has a ‘1’ in the title.

      This is the second –

      I much prefer the first, because I’ve always loved Klimt’s ‘Art Nouveau ‘golden phase’ mosaic effect work.

      There’s an interesting history to ‘the Woman in Gold’. The Austrian government acquired the painting from the Nazis during the war and refused to give it back to Adele’s family until a court case in 2006 finally established Adele’s niece owned this painting and four other works by Klimt. The painting was then sold to a New York gallery, the Neue Galerie for a fortune in 2006 and it has been on display there ever since.

      Another favourite –

  7. Austria being clumsy enough to lose their Crown Prince and the subsequent events is another BBM (Biog Black Mark) against the Austro-Hungarians. No amount of music or painting can make up for just the damage the likes of Hayek alone have done.

    • All together now

      “There were 10 hyacinth macaws
      perched upon the fence posts
      There were 10 hyacinth macaws
      perched upon the fence posts
      And if one hyacinth macaw
      Should accidentally fall
      There’ll be nine hyacinth macaws
      perched upon the fence posts

  8. Exactly foreverjanice (at https://pbxmastragics.com/2017/02/12/turnbull-government-reveals-a-lump-of-coal-at-its-heart-in-a-disgraceful-week-of-name-calling/comment-page-7/#comment-262905 the wordpress reply is broken) , nothing Murphy is worth reading, and heaven knows why Guardian thinks shes deserves a pay packet.

    Thanks TLBD for the snip of what passes for the most progressive of the Canberra Press
    Gallery. She’ll love Turnbull, like the rest of the CPG, longer than Menzies did the Queen.

    I’d kill to know why our political media is so woeful.

    Australia has a brilliant reputation wrt to international conflict journalism – heroes like Neil Davis, Michael Ware, Peter Greste etc etc
    But our domestic political journalists are ALL the opposite end of that scale. Just shit. It’s not just Andrew Elder who’s picked up on how bad they are. The Pure Poison crew of Jeremy Sear and Dave Gaukroger went for years pointing out how bad our political press was before giving it up as an endless exercise in futility.

    How is it some Australians are amazing war correspondents, but ALL domestic political reporters are shit?

    • They think they’re really good. In fact, to judge from their performances on social media, or when they deign to respond to comments on their own articles, they’re of the opinion that we’ve failed them.

      Katharine Murphy did in fact post her own article on Twitter, and graced the thread with a few replies – the tenor of all of them was, “I’m right, you’re stupid.”

  9. Aguirre,

    I think we can be safe and secure in the knowledge that Turnbull will fuck it up, like he’s fucked up everything political before that he’s ever turned his hand to.

  10. New rules and other stuff –

    New rules –

    Opening monologue –

    Overtime – (warning obnoxious person on panel)

    The whole show for those interested – (warning obnoxious person interview)

  11. Bk. Same problem as yesterday . will try the same fix

    .

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Peter Martin on the view of economic nerds of the effect Trump will have,
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/what-if-the-nerds-are-reading-donald-trump-right-20170217-guf6fp.html
    Peter FitzSimons’ weekend pot pouri.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/theres-a-correct-response-to-hearing-fake-news-20170217-gufl8r.html
    I simply can’t understand this set!
    http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/more-than-20-drug-overdoses-at-melbourne-dance-party-many-critical-20170218-gug4vk.html
    Trump further escalated his attacks on the news media Friday afternoon when he tweeted that outlets like the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN are not his enemy but are “the enemy of the American People.” The man has a problem – and it’s not the media!
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trump-calls-the-media-the-enemy-of-the-american-people-20170218-gug3so.html
    Lenore Taylor jumps on the preciousness of the Big Mining lobby. Worth a read.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/18/john-mccain-savages-donald-trump-administration-inability-separate-truth-from-lies
    A good article from Mark Kenny on the West’s blind support for Israel.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-wests-blind-support-for-israel-has-done-it-no-favours-20170217-gufj41.html
    Netanyahu insists that the Palestinians be kept stateless and, since Trump seems to believe whatever the last person he talked to alleged, likely Netanyahu will win out.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/trump-plots-to-keep-palestinians-stateless-forever,10036
    The Church of England in Britain – and the rest of the world – edges closer to same sex marriage. Slowly. Alan Austin reports.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-church-of-england-in-britain-moves-closer-to-same-sex-marriage,10033
    John McCain is fed up with Trump and his administration’s lies.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/18/john-mccain-savages-donald-trump-administration-inability-separate-truth-from-lies
    Twitter users hit back at Trump’s attack on the media and “fake news”.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/02/18/twitter-users-show-donald-trump-exactly-why-the-media-is-notthe/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage

  12. Thanks Fiona

    Section 2 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections.
    http://www.politicususa.com/2017/02/18/u-s-inquiries-russian-election-hacking-include-fbi-probes.html
    John Howard’s rushed decision to commit us to the Joint Strike Fighter is still looking fraught.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/joint-strike-fighter-head-defends-17bn-purchase-despite-software-delays-20170218-gufzrs.html
    The NSW government has confirmed that it did not check whether Australian employees were suitable to fill 32 computer software jobs, which its contractor filled using overseas workers. Nice.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/nsw-government-passes-the-buck-over-hiring-of-it-workers-on-457-visas-20170207-gu7hpk.html
    This is what Trump is causing to happen.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/migrant-crisis/nobody-cares-about-us-family-flees-us-border-patrol-to-seek-asylum-in-canada-20170218-gufwjk.html
    Turnbull said he has turned down an offer by his New Zealand counterpart to take 150 refugees from Australia’s offshore detention camps, opting to concentrate on its pending deal with the US. Mustn’t upset his right wing or PHON.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-rejects-new-zealands-refugee-offer-to-focus-on-us-deal-20170218-gug4r5.html
    The mining industry spent $2.5 million pushing the case for “clean coal” in the run-up to last year’s election, electoral funding records have revealed. Who says we don’t need to tidy up the rules on political donations?
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/mining-industry-tipped-millions-into-preelection-clean-coal-campaign-20170216-guf3x7.html
    Mike Pence widens the US rift with Europe over NATO defence spending.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/18/mike-pence-widens-us-rift-with-europe-over-nato-defence-spending

    Mark David and a Turnbull transformation.

    Ron Tandberg and Trump’s wall.

    Great work from Mark Knight and Trump’s reconfigured press conferences.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f87b985ad706b82d1235faa474e33a7b?width=1024

  13. Trumbull knocks back a New Zealand offer to take refugees because he prefers a pie-in-the-sky, never going to happen deal with the US.

    There are two implications there.

    1. New Zealand must still be too ‘nice’ a place for refugees but Trunp’s USA is just perfect.
    2.The US is a hell-hole and refugees will be as badly treated there as they are in our detention centres.

    I’m sure that’s not what Trumbull wants us to think, but I’m just as sure that’s his reasoning.

  14. I’m a bit annoyed and frustrated. Mark di Stefano has been going on about ‘carbon tax’ on Twitter, in response to Peta Credilin’s admission that there was no such thing and it was all a political gambit. In his ‘shock’ at her confession – I’m yet to ascertain whether he’s shocked that she said it or that it’s finally been debunked in general – he’s claimed that the media is partly to blame, and that the Gillard government has to share the blame as well.

    That last point is one I’d hotly dispute, but there’s just so much to say when placing it in context that 140 characters are simply insufficient. It’s easy to say “ALP to blame as well” succinctly, but the reasons they aren’t are extensive and complex, and you have to lay them all out to make the case. Briefly:

    1. Gillard’s ‘admission’ that it was a ‘carbon tax – – while misleading in itself – had nothing to do with it. That statement happened in February 24th, 2011, six full months after the election she nearly lost over the issue. Relentless negative reportage, which the ALP fought strenuously against all along, gave ‘carbon tax’ plenty of traction prior to the election.

    2. We also know that the only reason carbon pricing had any tax component at all was due to compromises forced on it by the Greens, thanks to a hung Parliament. These were temporary, not permanent, which the press knew and refused to comment on.

    3. The idea that the ‘tax’ was coming out of people’s pay packets, rather than being levelled against polluters, was a lie propagated by the Abbott opposition and reported faithfully in the press.

    4. Other claims being put about were that it was ‘too complicated to understand’ (which apparently was a terrible thing at the time, and this despite it being very easy to explain) and ‘completely futile’ as the money just went in a circle (Govt charges business, business passes on costs, Government compensates people via raising of tax threshold).

    5. When carbon pricing was passed, none of the outlandish claims made by the Coalition came to pass. In fact nobody noticed the difference economically and prices remained stable. Yet nothing was made of it, and Abbott opposition claims about ‘Whyalla wipeout’ and ‘$100 lamb roasts’ were still put about.

    6. The main focus leading up to the 2013 election wasn’t even carbon pricing, which Abbott had more or less conceded by then. It was the Slipper and Thomson ‘scandals’ (both completely unfounded but widely reported) and the idea put about that a hung Parliament was ‘inherently unstable’ which supposedly meant that the ALP was in ‘disarray’ and ‘crisis mode’. It was also about the budget deficit. And Rudd.

    • Buzzfeed, and Mark Di Stefano in particular, are nothing but a pack of Green arselickers.

    • Abbott was raving on about a ‘great big new tax’ in February 2010, when he announced his plans for an emissions reduction fund which would not have ‘a great big new tax’. He was probably at it long before then.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-02-02/abbott-unveils-climate-change-policy/318256

      Labor ditched their ETS two months later.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-04-27/rudd-deflects-blame-for-emissions-backflip/412154

      Two months after that, in June 2010 Labor ditched Rudd.

      On 8 July 2010 Julia Gillard made her famous comment about a carbon price ‘ There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” said in response to a question about ‘the carbon tax’.

      Her’s the original interview.

      Later in the 2010 election campaign she added the words ‘‘but I am determined to put a price on carbon’. Those words are always overlooked.

      During the same election campaign Abbott ruled out having a carbon price or an ETS.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-07-18/abbott-says-no-to-carbon-price/909598

      In February 2011 Julia Gillard announced her carbon price scheme which was promptly labelled a ‘carbon tax’ by the strongly biased MSM.

      That’s when we had this infamous 7.30 Report interview.

      HEATHER EWART: With this carbon tax – you do concede it’s a carbon tax, do you not?

      JULIA GILLARD: Oh, look, I’m happy to use the word tax, Heather. I understand some silly little collateral debate has broken out today. I mean, how ridiculous. This is a market-based mechanism to price carbon.

      HEATHER EWART: Well with this carbon tax then, it does seem certain that fuel and electricity prices will go up. How are you going to be sure that you can compensate for that, especially for low income earners

      http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3148281.htm

      I was watching that interview and honestly, I could have throttled Julia when she said that. I knew exactly what the MSM would do with that slip-up. She should have known better.

      From then on it was all down-hill. Rudd’s machinations didn’t help. I’ll always believe Rudd, not a ‘carbon tax’ was the reason Labor’s vote plummeted in 2013. Abbott actually had little to do with it, it was all Labor’s own work. Rudd’s insane desire for revenge fed the MSM and gave us three years of daily leadershit articles which totally overshadowed the good work Labor was doing on climate change, the NDIS, the NBN and Gonski and so much more.

    • I like Buzzfeed, especially Alice Workman. i find Alice and Mark Di Stefano a refreshing change form the pap pumped out by the usual suspects. I mightn’t agree with all they say, but then I’m never going to agree 100% with any journalist anyway.

  15. Aguirre,
    ‘And Rudd’

    Yep. Looking back, it all seems so inconceivable. So petty, mean and illogical. I loathe the bastard as much today as I ever did.

  16. Re the 20 overdoses at the dance party at Melbourne’s White Night.

    We know that cocktails were popular in the 1920s prohibition era USA. Long Island Tea looks like iced tea and tastes similiar

    The drug of choice used to be alcohol, then in the 1960s and 1970s marijuana became the drug of choice and I knew people would have their daily joint in much the same manner their parents may have enjoyed a 5 o’clock cocktail.

    By the 1980s I had work colleagues, who were held in high regard by management, who knew which pills to take with with whiskey or rum to produce which sort of high and that’s what they did of a weekend

    Night club goers regularly take pills to enjoy the Techno beat. Every year when a bad batch comes in people get very sick and there are distressing scenes as people struggle to get enough water

    Only a tee-totaller can ask “Why do they do it?” everyone else should be asking “Why can’t they have the protection of consumer law to know that what they are ingesting isn’t poisonous”. And as a community we should castigate law-enforcement who promise to lock up people testing pills at dance parties

    • Cut out the stupid ‘war on drugs’ rubbish, regulate everything, make drugs available at the chemist and put all the money we currently waste on having police run around looking for dealers and burning crops of marijuana into rehab and drug education.

      That’s been my view since I was a teenager.

      A tax on certain drugs could help pay for medical treatment for addicts with the added benefit of improving budget bottom lines.

      That said, I’ve never used any drug that was not prescribed, never smoked and hardly drink at all. I have just never seen the point. I like to keep control of my faculties, I suppose, and have never understood why being off my face on something is supposed to make me enjoy myself.

  17. Leone,

    insane desire for revenge

    Or the former chief of a certain foreign spy agency’s stalking horse?

    • Nah. Just a vengeful, jealous man with inflated ideas about his importance and a major chip on his shoulder because his wife made all the money in that family and he didn’t.

    • Leone,

      Melbourne is having an unseasonably chilly day – I thought a small conspiracy theory might warm things up a little

      😛

  18. BK has already linked to this article but it is worth linking to again:

    The West’s blind support for Israel has done it no favours

    Descending east from Jerusalem into the Rift Valley, the landscape turns decidedly hostile, and that’s just the start of it.

    The Number 1 freeway first arcs up from the Holy City’s eastern flank towards the Mount of Olives before cutting underneath the world heritage site to emerge in what quickly becomes another country, a different land.

    In one (such) community, just 20 minutes from First World Jerusalem, a mud-brick school clings to a hillside.

    Its defiantly permanent adobe structures use solar panels for electricity, fake grass for play areas, and rely on donated equipment, most notably from Italy.

    But even that international recognition has not protected the tiny school from capricious treatment. A community leader displays a children’s swing now reduced to a useless frame after its moving parts were allegedly confiscated because the concrete footings had breached the rules.

    It is an example of the countless small ways in which officialdom makes life difficult for non-Jewish persons in the hope that they simply give up.

    Overlooking all this sits a gleaming white hamlet of Jewish settlers, replete with valuable water rights, extra security and private service roads – just some of the 600,000 state-subsidised outliers intent on expanding the Jewish state into the West Bank permanently per force of occupation…

    The comprehensiveness of Israel’s suppression of the local population is staggering. Yet it occasions little serious study from governments like Australia’s, which has succumbed to the self-serving binary that there are only two critiques of Israel: unqualified support or anti-semitism.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-wests-blind-support-for-israel-has-done-it-no-favours-20170217-gufj41.html

  19. Palestinian was on way to chemotherapy when shot by soldiers

    A Palestinian man was on his way to a chemotherapy session when he was shot by Israeli soldiers last November, his family told an Israeli journalist this week.

    Muhammad Amar Jallad was being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family told Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy. Jallad was reported to have died in an Israeli hospital where he was being treated for his injuries last week.

    The Israeli army claimed that Jallad was attempting to attack soldiers with a screwdriver when he was shot in the northern West Bank village of Huwwara on 9 November.

    A witness told the Ma’an News Agency that he saw Jallad “attempting to cross the road in Huwwara before being shot at by an Israeli soldier who then took out a knife and threw it next to the youth.”…

    Jallad was shot with one bullet to the stomach as he reached the middle of the road, Haaretz recounted. A Palestinian ambulance crew happened to drive by and attempted to evacuate Jallad, but Israeli forces prevented them from doing so.

    He was eventually evacuated in an Israeli ambulance and taken to a hospital.

    During the months of hospitalization before his death, Jallad was put under the custody of an Israeli military court. His family were kept in the dark about his condition and were prevented from seeing him.

    Jallad’s father was denied a permit to enter Israel and though his mother was issued a permit on four occasions, only once was she allowed to enter her son’s hospital room.

    The family looked up one of his doctors online and called him last Friday. It was only then that Jallad’s family learned that he had died, they told Haaretz. They still have not been informed of the date and cause of his death.

    Israel transferred Jallad’s body to his family on 17 February. The Ma’an News Agency reported that his body will be examined in the presence of Palestinian legal officials before being buried on Saturday.

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/palestinian-was-way-chemotherapy-when-shot-soldiers

  20. The U.S. war crime North Korea won’t forget

    North Korea cheered this month when a man with a knife and a history of violent behavior slashed the face of Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea. The attack in Seoul was “a knife shower of justice,” North Korea said, praising it as “deserved punishment for warmonger United States.”

    If that sounds mean-spirited, consider this: For years, North Korea has taught schoolchildren to bayonet effigies of U.S. soldiers. Under its young dictator, Kim Jong Un, the government has suggested it was prepared to nuke Washington, Austin and Southern California. More than 40 years ago, Kim Il Sung, the “Great Leader” who founded the family dictatorship that rules North Korea, said there was “no secret” about his country’s behavior: “What is most important in our preparations [for war] is to educate all the people to hate U.S. imperialism.”

    Where does the hate come from?…

    The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.

    The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.

    The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.

    Although the ferocity of the bombing was criticized as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world, it was never a big story back home. U.S. press coverage of the air war focused, instead, on “MiG alley,” a narrow patch of North Korea near the Chinese border. There, in the world’s first jet-powered aerial war, American fighter pilots competed against each other to shoot down five or more Soviet-made fighters and become “aces.” War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war.

    The Kims, though, have kept memories of the war and the bombing terrifyingly fresh.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-war-crime-north-korea-wont-forget/2015/03/20/fb525694-ce80-11e4-8c54-ffb5ba6f2f69_story.html?utm_term=.00e5020277ab

  21. That Peta Credlin skited about building a Carbon Tax scare that has destroyed Australia’s ability to reduce global warming shows the deep immorality of THAT woman, PC, and the COALition.

    Yes Rudd destroyed the ALP vote in 2013. I am not the only person who was appalled by Rudd’s 3 lurches that I voted Green. The killer issues were

    1. develop northern Australia after a committee had reported back earlier that year that it wasn’t feasible but I guess with hindsight that it was to pander to Gina so she didn’t fling money at his opponents
    2. asylum seeker policies – still have many former Labor voters wondering who to vote for
    3. moving Navy to Brisbane?
    4. absolute disgust at his vengeful undermining of Prime Minister Julia Gillard – that wasn’t a vote changer, but it made it easier

    Of course people in my position were absolutely shocked by the Greens negotiation skills and voting record in the previous Parliament and so were quite specific about what help we would provide ie no money, no help for Labor held electorates

  22. Senator McCain Falls for Absurd Russian Prankster Pretending to be Ukrainian Prime Minister

    Essentially, he’s talking foreign policy with them about wanting harsher sanctions on Russia — while those fuckheads are ringing bells in the background.

  23. Mass sexual assaults by refugees in Frankfurt ‘completely made up’

    Prosecutors in Frankfurt are investigating two people for making up a crime, after they claimed in a national newspaper that dozens of Arab men rioted and sexually assaulted women at New Year.

    The claims first appeared in Bild newspaper on February 6th, which described the men as a “rioting sex mob,” speculating that they had come from a refugee home in central Hesse.

    In an article since taken down from its website, the tabloid interviewed a well-known chef who runs a restaurant on Fressgass street, as well as a 27-year-old woman.

    The chef, Jan Mai, claimed that 50 Arab men caused havoc in his restaurant as well as in others. He also claimed that they sexually assaulted women and stole jackets.

    The woman told the newspaper that “they grabbed me under my skirt, between the legs and on my breast – everywhere.”

    But police confirmed on Tuesday to the Frankfurter Rundschau that their investigation of the allegations had led them to believe that they were spurious.

    “Interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented,” the police said.

    “One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the allegations are said to have taken place.”

    https://www.thelocal.de/20170214/mass-sexual-assaults-by-refugees-in-frankfurt-completely-made-up

  24. Mosul Set to be Completely ‘Destroyed’ in Battle to Free It from Isis

    The Iraqi armed forces will eventually capture west Mosul, which is still held by Isis fighters, but the city itself will be destroyed in the fighting, a senior Iraqi politician has told The Independent in an interview.

    Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurdish leader who until last year was the Iraqi finance minister and prior to that the country’s long-serving foreign minister, says that Isis will fight to the last man in the densely-packed urban districts it still holds.

    “I think west Mosul will be destroyed,” says Mr Zebari, pointing to the high level of destruction in east Mosul just taken by government forces. He explains that Isis is able to put up such stiff resistance by skilful tactics using networks of tunnels, sniper teams and suicide bombers in great numbers. He adds that no date has yet been set for the resumption of the Iraqi government offensive into west Mosul, but he expects the fighting to be even tougher than before…

    Mr Zebari’s prediction that Mosul will be destroyed as a city by the next wave of fighting is all too likely because the last three years in Iraq and Syria have seen deepening sectarian and ethnic hatred. This was greatly fostered by Isis massacres, primarily of Shia and Yazidis but also of its other opponents. There is an ominous precedent for what may happen in Mosul because other Sunni cities and towns up and down Iraq have been wrecked or rendered uninhabitable by government counter-offensives since 2014. Some 70 per cent of the houses in Ramadi, the capital of the overwhelmingly Sunni Anbar province, are in ruins or are badly damaged. Even where many houses are still standing, as in Fallujah 40 miles west of Baghdad, the people who come back to them have to live without electricity, water, jobs or medical care. In practice, the Shia-dominated Iraqi government wants to break the back of Sunni resistance to its rule so it will never be capable of rising again.

    http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/mosul-set-to-be-completely-destroyed-in-battle-to-free-it-from-isis/

  25. A Jewish Reporter Got to Ask Trump a Question. It Didn’t Go Well.

    The exchange began with Mr. Turx standing up from his third-row seat and gesturing slightly toward his fellow reporters:

    “Despite what some of my colleagues may have been reporting, I haven’t seen anybody in my community accuse either yourself or anyone on your staff of being anti-Semitic. We understand that you have Jewish grandchildren. You are their zayde,” which is Yiddish for “grandfather” and often a word of great affection.

    At that Mr. Trump nodded slightly, and said, “thank you.”

    “However,” Mr. Turx continued, “what we are concerned about and what we haven’t really heard being addressed is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it. There’s been a report out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks. There are people committing anti-Semitic acts or threatening to——”

    At that, Mr. Trump interrupted, saying it was “not a fair question.”

    “Sit down,” the president commanded. “I understand the rest of your question.”

    As Mr. Turx took his seat, Mr. Trump said, “So here’s the story, folks. No. 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism, the least racist person.”

    Mr. Turx tried to interject, realizing how the encounter had turned. He said he had wanted to clarify that he in no way meant to accuse Mr. Trump of anti-Semitism but instead intended to ask what his administration could do to stop the anti-Semitic incidents.

    But Mr. Trump would not let him speak again, saying, “Quiet, quiet, quiet.” As Mr. Turx shook his head with an incredulous look on his face, Mr. Trump accused him of having lied that his question would be straight and simple.

    Mr. Trump said, “I find it repulsive. I hate even the question because people that know me. …”

    He went on to say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, during his visit to the United States on Wednesday, had vouched for Mr. Trump as a good friend of Israel and the Jewish people and no anti-Semite.

    Mr. Trump concluded that Mr. Turx should have relied on Mr. Netanyahu’s endorsement, “instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.”

    “Just shows you about the press, but that’s the way the press is,” Mr. Trump said.

  26. What American liberals stand for: and other delusions

    1) Hillary did not lose the election. Putin arranged for her defeat.
    2) the military-intelligence apparatus should overthrow an elected president and install Hillary or John McCain instead.
    3) there is one truth and one version of events and history: and New York Times and CNN will vomit the truth to the masses.
    4) it is the liberal thing to promote and expand NATO and to nurse the enmity toward Russia.
    5) the US should keep a strong alliance with Gulf tyrannies because it is good for Israel.
    6) Chuck Schumer is the most charismatic and able leader since Alexander the Great.

    http://angryarab.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/what-american-liberals-stand-for-and.html

  27. he Great Draining Begins: Trump Purges State Department’s 7th Floor ‘Shadow Government’

    http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/1200xauto/public/cbs.png?itok=WYUJcHAR

    Why is this significant? Because the “7th floor” is known as the home to powerful, high-ranking State Department officials who did everything in their power to shield Hillary Clinton from justice. As the NY Post reported last October:

    The FBI also released the summary of an interview that revealed a cabal at State that oversaw the email release — a “powerful group of very high-ranking STATE officials that some referred to as ‘The 7th Floor Group’ or as ‘The Shadow Government.’ This group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss . . . everything CLINTON-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries.”

    Imagine officials high in the George W. Bush administration calling themelves “the Shadow Government” as they oversaw a supposedly nonpartisan release of documents that could sink the White House hopes of its former boss.

    You can bet this is part of Trump’s counter-offensive, now that he realizes how many Beltway snakes are out to get him.

    The great draining begins.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/great-draining-begins-trump-purges-state-departments-7th-floor-shadow-government/ri18969

  28. Trump anti-leak drive could prompt prosecutions

    President Donald Trump’s threats of criminal prosecution over the flood of leaks that has plagued the early weeks of his administration may turn out to be far from empty talk.

    By far, the most potentially serious disclosures in the view of attorneys who’ve handled such cases are the leaks of details about phone calls the U.S. government intercepted between Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and just-fired National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

    “If somebody disclosed the contents of intercepted phone conversations to a reporter, I could see a prosecution, for sure,” said Ed MacMahon, a northern Virginia defense attorney. “That is plainly a felony.”

    Leaks of intelligence-related intercepts are typically treated more seriously than disclosures of other classified information, experts say. There’s also a criminal statute directly aimed at that issue, imposing a potential prison term of up to ten years for each violation.

    The idea of jailing someone who leaks transcripts of conversations intercepted at foreign embassies is not theoretical. In 2009, a Hebrew contract translator for the FBI, Shamai Leibowitz, was charged with disclosing classified communications intelligence to a blogger.

    Leibowitz was sentenced to 20 months in prison at a somewhat bizarre proceeding where the Maryland-based federal judge said he was “in the dark” about just what was disclosed and the defendant said he acted because he thought some things he saw were illegal.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-leaks-prosecution-235125

  29. The Nationals lead the Climate Change is Crap brigade yet the people they supposedly represent are taking active measures to remain farming as the climate warms as per this article about why 40 dairy cows died in the Shoalhaven and directing farmers to a new app to calculate an extreme heat index as well as reminding farmers to provide shade and water to cool down livestock in extreme conditions

    http://www.theland.com.au/story/4474219/shoalhaven-dairy-cattle-deaths-this-was-the-perfect-storm/?cs=4951

    caused by this

    and NASA’s view of Australia at that time

  30. Turnbull really has morphed into Abbott. He’s now pulling the same election stun that Abbott tried in Victoria.

    Remember this?
    Victoria election 2014: Tony Abbott says state will not receive billion-dollar funding if Labor scraps East West Link
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-26/funding-off-the-table-for-victoria-if-labor-scraps/5919854

    Here’s the Turnbull version.

    Prime Minister delivers funding blow to Labor as both parties launch WA election campaigns

    The WA Labor Party says it expects the Prime Minister will back down on a threat to prevent $1.2 billion in Perth Freight Link funding being diverted to the party’s flagship transport project Metronet.

    The Prime Minister said the federal money pledged for the freight link, which aims to build a byway for heavy haulage trucks to Fremantle Port, was not a “general grant” to be used at the WA Government’s discretion

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-19/pm-delivers-funding-blow-to-labor-both-parties-launch-election/8284038

    Turnbull might like to remember what happened in Victoria – the Andrews government just said ‘Stuff the feds, we will fund it ourselves’ and told Victorians they were being short-changed by the Turnbull government.

    He has just handed Labor an excellent campaign tool. That good old lack of judgement at work yet again.

  31. There seems to be some issues with posting Bill Maher links, they are being taken down by users I can only assume it is copyright issues. I assure you they were working links when I posted them. Anyway for those who missed them here’s a couple of links from Bills own youtube site –

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