Memories…

SIAbbott Turnbull Renaissance
Ah… memories!

Remember how they moved the Budget forward so that the timetable for a DD would fit the Constitution?

Remember how important it was to “reform” the Senate so that cross-benchers couldn’t dominate it?

Remember how vital the ABCC bill was? And how the journos told us that this time Turnbull had a sure-fire election issue? Yep, the Great Reckoning of 2016 was going to be on industrial relations: unarguably a Coalition winner.

(This was after the election was also centered on States rights, income tax, education funding, negative gearing, boats, and of course, terrorism. Turnbull had shown us all “how it’s done”).

Remember how “bold”, “brilliant” and “decisive” Turnbull was? Or so we were informed, breathlessly.

The long election campaign was going to do Bill Shorten slowly. He’d run out of steam by the end of it. Not to worry that the Coalition ran out of steam instead, and Turnbull had to chip in $2 million to buy the party the last fortnight’s worth of telly. “Jobs and Growth” hammered at us from all directions, on all channels, day and night and night and day: that did the trick.

They might have used the $4 million the NSW Electoral Commission was withholding, but Baird would have had to say where their real money came from first (and with so many apartments going up all over and above Sydney, and tunnels beneath it, admissions like that might have caused embarrassment in certain circles).

Remember Mediscare? How absolutely ridiculous it was to say that Turnbull intended to hive it off, bit by bit! Another Labor lie! Geez, that’s all they do! Malcolm got the AFP onto them. But even they yawned.

And at last we’d get some sense on Climate Change! Malcolm had already shown in 2009 that he was prepared to die in a ditch for that. He was sure to do it again, just as soon as he finished slagging off South Australian windfarms, and thenVictoria for closing down dirty brown coal.

We were going to have an exciting Innovation Nation. We’d all be writing apps, or something. With the CSIRO now leaner and meaner after mass retrenchments, how could we fail? When asked by Andrew Bolt to name three things that Turnbull had done, Eric Abetz famously answered: “Innovation, Innovation, and Innovation.” That really meant something to Australians.

While it might look like nothing’s fucking happened in the over a year since Turnbull came along to turn this somnolent nation out of it antipodean torpor with pure excitement, that’s wrong. Hartcher told us Malcolm was really doing: “Simply governing”. “Governing’s” not sexy. “Governing’s” not exciting. But “governing” is what brilliant minds like Turnbull’s do best. A tactical thrust here on State income taxes, a feint there on 18C or The Plebiscite. A bold advance by massed union-bashing tanks to crash through a weak Bill Shorten, flattening a Labor party riven with factionalism. Malcolm would show them The Turnbull Method, and it wouldn’t be pretty. Kath Murphy assured us he was holding back the brilliance, all the better to deploy it with devastating effectiveness: once he’d gotten an opportunistic” and “cynical” Shorten out of the way, and dealt with the Monkey Pod in swingeing style.

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Malcolm was the fairest, after all.”

Turnbull Mirror

Malcolm has so many brilliant things to say at any one time, he occasionally appears to be tongue-tied. But that’s an illusion. He simply has trouble figuring out the very best way of putting {whatever-it-is-he-has-to-say} to the simple folk, the little guys like youse and me, so they can share in the inspiration. The hesitancy and what looks like waffling are Malcolm choosing his words carefully.

And there are so many words! There are enough thoughts, bon mots, insouciances, anecdotes and sheer inspirations inside that pumpkin head of his to keep Australia in words for 300 years. We’ll never run out of ’em. If only we could get the Chinese to buy them all, we’d wake up rich and stay that way!

Now that Australia has a sensible Senate with no crackpots, lurk merchants, incoherents, con men, thieves, sleeve-tuggers, gun nuts, tree clearers, religious cranks, CSIRO bashers, spivs, shonks, homophobes, pedophile obsessives, Hansonites, Trump supporters, refugee tragics,  or unelectable slime-bags with less than 100 votes, “simply governing” has become so much easier. Now that Malcolm has his own healthy Reps majority of “1”, and every morning every one of them has to be marked off the roll by Head Prefect Christopher Pyne, can there be any doubt that The People have flocked to his side? Now that Abbott has accepted his lot in life as the Human Doorstop, we’ll have no more aggro from that poisonous little corner, thankyouverymuch. We’ll soon be rid of Gillian Triggs, too. So there.

Now that the Press Gallery’s prediction has come true, and the Ship Of State sails in the right direction, we can get some wonderful, brilliant, exciting things done. Let’s not forget the scribblers were right about Tony Abbott… both times (and all the times in-between). And they were right about Malcolm Turnbull as he dazzled them with charm, brilliance and wit. It’s so so wonderful to have a policy-driven 4th Estate that eschews the temptations of ball-by-ball politics, governance as a horse race and rank partisanship in political coverage, not to say their utter rejection of hero worship. No “Labor Split!” click bait for them! Most of all it’s wonderful to have a press corps that is never wrong, by its own modest (and frequent) admission.

Malcolm is setting us up. He’s getting his ducks all in a row so he can shoot them down with one brilliant bullet. He’s feigning weakness to lull his enemies into a false sense of security. Then he’ll Strike. Etc.Etc.

Pity his enemies now appear to have been those with whom he once travelled in fellowship: gays, Climate scientists, alternative energizers, the Jews in his electorate, IT professionals, human rights advocates and leather coat manufacturers (by the way, what did happen to the leather coats?). More fool them. They fell for Malcolm, hook line and sinker. The only ones who’ve stuck with him are the Gallery and Lucy. Even the cat has left the building.

Any day now we’ll see the Master Plan, from The Master Planner.

  • We’ll learn how Malcolm’s NBN is the best in the world.
  • How Teh Evil Unions have been doubling construction costs so that Bob Day can not pay them even more than he not paid them before. Bludgers.
  • Why 18C is threatening the very fabric of our society.
  • How reducing pensions will toughen up octogenarians and make them more self-reliant.
  • We’ll be ahead of the World in emissions reduction (what am I saying? We’re already out in front! Greg Hunt’s job is done, and he’s done a real job on the environment, that’s for sure).
  • The gulaged in Nauru and Manus will shout with joy as “humanity breaks out” (Kath has a such a way with words, doesn’t she?).
  • Gays and lesbians will fall in love with him all over again, after a peaceful, tender, informed Plebiscite debate has blessed their unions with the traditional generosity towards sexual matters commonly found in key sections of Catholic Church, the Anglicans, the Salvos, the Marists and the Yeshivas, all of whom suffered the little children to be brought to them. And boy, did the little children suffer! The $7.5 million funding to be given out to spread this calming gospel is worth every cent, but only Malcolm Turnbull saw that. After all, the Plebiscite was an election promise, and the Coalition never breaks election promises. Some things remain sacred. Even when Tony Abbott thought of them first. That’s why Malcolm got rid of him. If Labor forces Malcolm to go back on his word (but not, funnily enough, on theirs), you can bet he’ll tell us “They broke a nation’s heart”.

All Malcolm needs now is for the “opportunistic” Opposition to stop Opposing. That’s so 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (and in the last three they weren’t even the Opposition!). Even Tony agrees. And for the Senate to stop obstructing. And (I nearly forgot) for Tony Abbott to give up the guerilla warfare habits and backstabbing proclivities of a lifetime. Should be easy. The course ahead will then be clear to all, not just the political savants in the Press Gallery. Just all of them stop disagreeing with Malcolm for Chrissake!

Sleepers wake! Our never-been-so-exciting time in the sun is upon us! Certainty has triumphed over brutishness. Civilization over anarchy. We’re playing by Point Piper Rules now. Watch – and weep, doubters – as the well-oiled wheels turn.

Malcolm, the Renaissance Man, is still on his way, but will arriving any day now. When he does, at least there’ll be no need for this type of unpleasantness…

Turnbull potty Complete with Text

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The Rehabillitation

Michael Gordon wrote this morning:

It is a measure of the immense level of faith and hope that is still invested in Turnbull that, each time, there has been a tendency to rationalise the setbacks as part of some cunning plan that will deliver later on

Clear thinkers will notice Mr Gordon taking one step away from “The Media”…  i.e. “that Media, over there”. They may not think we’ve noticed it, but the first stage of the self-rehabilitation of media commentators is to refer – obliquely or directly – to the media, as if they are not part of it.

Hartcher does this all the time. And now many more are doing so in regards to Bill Shorten, the latest being Gordon.

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We all mocked Lenore Taylor (of all people!) saying that the State Income Tax brainfart was so stupid that it MUST have been part of some overarching strategy that Turnbull had in his genius head, which we mere mortals could only begin to guess at. So Lenore guessed, and The Insiders all nodded sagely. It was a brilliantly oblique move to make fools of the Premiers, while making a fool of himself. Something Malcolm must have been been workshopping, honing and mulling over for months.

Except he forgot to tell ScoMo, and the Treasury mob, who presumably were about to be asked to tear up Budget 2016, Draft No. 7 to make it seem like a plan. And all less than a month before B-Day (early B-Day, that is).

Funny wasn’t it? This was the exact spruik that came out first thing next day, this time from the mouths of Liberal MPs at doorstops, as justification for the waste of an entire COAG premiers’ meeting. It was their Talking Point for the day (and that’s about as long as it lasted, such was its brilliance). Oh well, onto the next investment opportunity.

Either Lenore and The Insiders inspired them, or it was the other way round. Whatever, it shows that incest is not yet a dead art when it comes to political commentary.

It was Lenore, reportedly a “good journalist”, still keeping the faith that Turnbull is a tactical and political savant: the person best suited (in view of ScoMo’s comments on Shortens actual suits, literally “best suited”) to govern Australia.

But Lenore is a fading breed. Even Elizabeth Faralley of the SMH – she of “Prime Minister For Life: Malcolm Turnbull” fame – is backing off.

It’s a process of gradual and complete reversal of opinion, that the Press Gallery bozos think the mob won’t notice. Well, I and many others here, noticed straightaway, right from the start.

There was also another column this morning by some SMH numpty called Tom Allard: No more zingers: Shorten finds his voice at last. It was one of the most repulsively condescending pieces I’ve ever read on Bill Shorten, or any other politician.

It lasciviously covered all “the usual suspects” – Shorten’s low personal rating, the almost impossibility of him ever winning a chook raffle, much less an election, the “Albanese Challenge”, “anonymous party sources” talking-down Shorten’s ability to do anything at all, regulation references to Shaun Micallef’s”brilliant” comedy routines lampooning Shorten’s zingers etc. etc – and ascribed his apparent revival path in the minds of the ordinary punters down to conjurer’s tricks: a voice coach (who just happens to be a maddy who sings in funny voices), and slick political salesmen (read “tricksters”) in the background who are pulling the real strings… plus, of course, Turnbull’s inexplicable gaffathon of the past two months.

See? It’s nothing that Bill Shorten did himself: it’s other people… voice coaches, spivs and spin doctors, and the Enlightened One From Point Piper not quite being on top of his game lately.

No credit was given for the very sensible policy of letting your enemy shadow box with himself and slash his own political wrists, rather than deflect attention by the Abbott-like “Lookatmoi! Lookatmoi!” tactic. No reference was made to history, i.e. that Turnbull is known far and wide as a know-all brainfarter from way back who has never successfully led any kind of political movement in his life (as opposed to Shorten, who’s made every post in his career a winner), and that some of the voting class just might be aware, or might become aware of this.

No reference was made to the fact that you can’t just change leaders and dance anymore in the Labor Party, an idea with which the “anonymous party sources” let on to Allard they might be dallying. Gee, it was a close thing! But they let little Billy survive. What good chaps! Maybe later?

In truth, a leadership challenge now would mean a cynical and completely disruptive change of party rules solemnly entered into to even get to a caucus challenge: a challenge that would incidentally play right into the hands of the Tories, and de-legitimize any new leader who benefited from it, immediately, for any number of reasons (not the least of which would be the plonkingly mocking articles that Tom Allard would no doubt write about a “resurgently dysfunctional Labor”). But the journos persist that such a consuming apocalypse might happen. Oh, for the old days of “bring it on” leadership stoushes at 3pm, after a Crean interview at 10am.

They want to write those articles, make no mistake, but at the moment the meal is all potato and no meat. Bill Shorten is annoyingly not conforming to the “Human Dad Joke With The Squeaky Voice” meme. They thought they got rid of him at TURC time, but he just keeps bouncing back. All those “questions that need to be answered”… got answered, and thrown in their collective maws. How “quaint” – as Aguirre puts it.

So, there’s still a way to go in getting a majority of the Press Gallery into line, thinking positively about a Labor victory, something worth considering for more than its novelty value. Far be it from journalists like Allard – who has most likely never led anything more than a soccer team (if that) – to stop criticising Bill Shorten, who has  led one of Australia’s most rambunctious unions, organizing it into an effective and efficient fighting force as a result, and who now has gotten a defeated, decimated and demoralized Opposition ahead in the feted Newspoll horse race against the member for the Cayman Islands, while the Gallery was too busy writing hagiographies to the PM’s magnificence.

The reality is that Shorten is refusing to play the media’s game, they way they want him to play it. He actually defends himself. The horror! He actually refuses to stand down when some trumped up minor Age hack demands he does so. He persists when a has-been, harumphing old judge descends to threatening him in public for being too truthful in his evidence (as he also threatened Julia Gillard). Shorten keeps on fighting and trying, and now it seems, is starting to show measurable success that confounds, confuses and contradicts the established Media “line”. He comes up with the policy they’re all demanding he comes up with – even if they mostly call this “running a scare campaign” at this early stage in the Rehabilitation of Bill.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. As long as they get it right in the end, I for one will take that as a win, even if it is grudging, slow, a bit heckly and somewhat half-hearted. Because, for any Gallery reporter or political commentator to admit he or she was wrong – so often wrong in so many ways – is still something to be talked about, something worth noting, right here.

After all, it’s difficult not to note something that’s up and chewing your arse so hard.

I’m so tired…

 

With the news that Nikki Savva’s husband, Vincent Woolcock, is working for the PM’s office, it’s starting to look like a typical Turnbull black op is underway.

It’s nasty. It’s vicious. It’s over the top. Quite Turnbullistic.

Abbott Savva

Not that Abbott doesn’t deserve some payback for all the trouble and misery he’s caused.

But whatever the reason, and whatever the truth about Abbott and Credlin (and I’m still waiting for some insider, pundit or Possessor Of The Savvy – where are you, Laurie Oakes? – to put on the record a denial that something sticky was going on) the Liberal Party has turned into a soap opera.

It’s got everything: betrayal, sex, money, beautiful people (well…), power, and greed.

Or perhaps The Munsters Ministers? 

This is what you get when you put a wrecker in charge. It’s a classic Frankenstein’s Monster scenario: when the Beast gets tired of chowing down on villagers, it just burns down the village. Wreckers wreck. It’s in their nature.

Scorpion and frog

Putting Abbott in charge of a party was bad enough. But putting him in charge of a nation? Then cutting him loose? We got “dead” and “buried”, sure, but someone forgot  “cremated”. When you’re dealing with someone who’s so good at coming back from the dead, that’s a serious omission. Pretty soon the public will adding 2+2 on the politics and the party that put him there.

Abbott Credlin Bride of Frankenstein

It was entertaining to see Laura Tingle call the ex-PM “an oaf”, on Insiders Sunday morning.  The Insiders un-loaded, big time today, but where was an assessment this blunt just a few months ago? They even had Nikki on to spruik her book. Gone were the “Prime Ministerial At Last” declarations and the “Bill Shorten is a nerd” jokes. Without the slightest whit of self-reflection it was declared that Tony Abbott had been all bad, all the time. If you ever doubted the Theory Of Evolution, Insiders today was a quintessential example of Darwinian adaptation.

The pushback against Abbott is on the way. The Turnbull forces are hoping they can warn Tony off. They can’t. Tony only listens to himself. If anything is the hallmark of Abbott’s career it’s that, and an inability to toe the party line. When you’re against everything, you stand out, be it in the party room, the cement factory or the seminary. Tony doesn’t like being told what to think. Tell him the subject of the day and he’ll find a way to take the contrary view. It’s his best bet to be different.

Turnbull is similar, but slightly more suave about it. But even with Turnbull the cat gets strangled, the rival is pilloried, the enemy is disgraced. His anger management problem isn’t smaller than Abbott’s, just different.

Right now the Liberal Party has two leaders. Neither will give in. The problem is that neither of them are leaders. The nation can only stand by, watching this farce unfold and for the spoils to sift through the cracks.

(Hint: when things descend to the level of sex-scandal, and you’ve sooled the Feds onto your rival, there’s only one way down.)

Abbott Turnbull Torches