Malcolm the LNP Leader

It is nice to have an LNP leader who doesn’t think “we stopped the boats” is all that he needs to say about economic policy.  However,  the Tea Party faction is still strong in the LNP and Nats so my guess is that the left side of politics is going to be disappointed.  So what effect do you think this will have on the next election?

33 thoughts on “Malcolm the LNP Leader”

  1. Labor is stuffed. We’ll have at least 6-9 years of LNP Government, and probably a tamer Senate with laws this Parliament to limit minor parties’ access to the Senate.

  2. Turnbull did a Gillard and is as doomed as she was.
    I suspect, if the Election is 12 away, the minor Parties will increase their votes.
    And the non-voter numbers will continue increase.
    The disdain for the career politicians lack of integrity is matched only by the distrust in them.

  3. It is a pivotal time. Hold your goddamn breath. Why? Because this is a near last chance for the politicians to show that they deserve our hard-won money. That there is a still a pulse in Oz politics. And hope for the People.
    For me it is not about the big social policy of either major party or the interests of the smaller parties. It is about effective government with solid long term planning and a creative agenda to move us forward.
    It’s about bringing a measure of certainty to our country. The confidence to invest in ourselves.
    The role of the press here is important. Hopefully they will start becoming a balanced apolitical media. Yeah right, but maybe Aussies will start to demand more authenticity in their media. We need to take some responsibility too.

  4. I’ve had time to reflect on my previous comment on this thread. I might have got it wrong.
    The deal Turnbull has done with the Nats means he will do nothing on Climate Change. He’s Tony Abbott lite.
    SSM is a 10th order issue and I don’t think the majority of the electorate cares either way, but Climate Change is a first order issue. Once the electorate wakes up to the scam Malcolm and the Nats are pulling, and they will, they could get very angry indeed.
    We wanted Abbott gone, not a more articulate Abbott who walks like a man instead of an ape, who to all intents and purposes is just the same.

  5. Turnbull’s dilemma is that an important part of LNP support comes from workers who voted LNP because they have liked Howard and Abbott’s xenophobia and/or conservative attitudes to social issues even though their self interest may be better served by voting Labor. On the other hand, some who used to vote LNP switched because the didn’t like the way Abbott was campaigning to stop climate action and supported the growth of the coal industry.
    At this stage it looks as though Turnbull will struggle to keep the bigot worker vote unless he is seen to be protecting the workers from those in the LNP who see the answer to everything as lower wages and reduced working conditions.
    If Shorten is to succeed he will need to convince the voters that he has some real ideas and offers something more than “not Abbott.”

  6. Not sure what all this means for the Greens. I think Di Natale and Turnbull will have a better working relationship than their predecessors but what this means in terms of votes is anyone’s guess. I suspect that some of the recent surge in Greens support was coming from conservatives who were disgusted by Abbott – Turnbull may get some of these people back.

  7. Turnbull’s dilemma is that an important part of LNP support comes from workers who voted LNP because they have liked Howard and Abbott’s xenophobia and/or conservative attitudes to social issues even though their self interest may be better served by voting Labor.

    Yes, ALP/Unions White Australia Policy is still on Shortens to-do list.

  8. Turner has been in the role for a few days now. Yet the Press has heat seeking missiles out for him (and Shorten) even whilst Abbott’s seat is warm.
    Some forward thinking and constructive reporting would fill a gaping hole in the quality of the Oz media.
    Of course, we lap it up and buy it, so I guess we are to blame by not rejecting the crap ladled out every minute.

    Expect more stuff when the Canning result is known. I suppose for the main part the stories are already written; it remains to print the best fitting piece on the day.

    JD 16th Sept., you capture the negativity of our politics well, and highlight the rather limited choices available to us. For me, the demise of Abbott tilts the scales towards LNP but only because the other mob is still so unattractive. I’m looking for the House of least Crap, not of best policy and competence. My negativity sucks doesn’t it? And Green (sorry John D) have yet to regain my trust after their sorry marriage to Labor. How this will translate in 12 months I don’t know. Right now I am trying to be optimistic that the next 12 months will be good for us.

    On Shorten (since I am raving) I think he has peaked. Abbott was a great asset for Bill. Labor will likely tip him, hopefully in favour of Tanya. I suspect she will, with positive support be a classy contender for PM. I’m not sure where she stands in the pecking order for that office.

  9. Mal has malcontents leaking against him on his 2nd day in office. Not a good omen. Might it be the mad right wing of the LNP + screwloose shock jocks turn Turnbull’s PMship into more turbulent times than we expect? And a gift to the ALP?

  10. GH: A lot of people held out great hope for Turnbull on the grounds of what he said before he became leader. Now it looks as though all he is going to be is the salesman for the Tea party and not his own man. People are sick of it already. Turnbull’s performance as communication minister also leaves him vulnerable. He didn’t do the wonders with the NBN that a great businessman might be expected to do.
    In terms of Shorten I was impressed with his performance in the Gillard government. In terms of the NDIS he listened, identified the need for something like the NDIS, sorted out the details, campaigned hard within the party and got legislation up in a way that had broad support which made it difficult for the LNP to dump. Also impressed that he does really seem to be genuinely concerned about what happens to those at the bottom of the pile. Let us wait and see how he deals with the new circumstances.
    In terms of your attitude to the Greens and the Gillard government it should have been obvious that the Greens would always support a Labor government so I am not sure what you are complaining about. It is also worth noting that when we get rid of all the BS the Gillard government was one of the most productive governments we have had had for a very long time. The alliances on which the Gillard government was based was a productive one which produced good results because of the interaction. By contrast, Tony has been a disaster because he didn’t really need to consult so we god all sorts of garbage of which the first budget was just one example.

  11. JD I think I am GB in you post above.
    ” Now it looks as though all he is going to be is the salesman for the Tea party and not his own man.” Three days in and we are hearing that? Sick of it – yeah.

    “…NDIS [Shorten] listened, identified the need for something like the NDIS, sorted out the details, campaigned hard within the party and got legislation up…” NDIS was always a no-brainer, funding was/is the issue.

    “…he does really seem to be genuinely concerned about what happens to those at the bottom of the pile. ” So he should. But there was some pretty grave testimony against his performance at the RC

    “…that the Greens would always support a Labor government so I am not sure what you are complaining about. ” I am lamenting John, not complaining. I saw Green as an alternative political power. Strong and independent without the accumulated baggage of the major parties, I looked forward to a viable new paradigm. I still hope.

  12. Geoff Henderson, you hit the nail right on the head when you said, “It is about effective government with solid long term planning and a creative agenda to move us forward.
    It’s about bringing a measure of certainty to our country. The confidence to invest in ourselves.”

    We are paying through the nose for effective government and all we get nowadays is B-grade entertainment

    John Davidson and Jumpey: I think it is necessary to lay blame for the stunning success of Howard’s and Abbott’s xenophobia. That blame has to go to the anti-democratic Ministry Of Truth that pretends to be our news media. It also has to go to the do-badders and the screeching-lefties who refused to listen to the concerns of ordinary people but, instead, attacked them and slandered them as racists, boagans and hansonites. Is it any wonder, then, that so many ordinary decent people sought refuge from such virulent abuse in the comforting words of hypocritical politicians and misleading public commentators?

    The do-badders and trendy-lefties of Australia fill a political niche that is occupied, in the U.S., by the tea-party and by the extremist, gun-totin’, fake Christians. A good training program for Malcolm Turnbull complete before he even thinks of trying to tackle this influential and dangerous minority would be to do all the Labours Of Hercules before lunchtime.

  13. GB

    John Davidson and Jumpey: I think it is necessary to lay blame for the stunning success of Howard’s and Abbott’s xenophobia.

    Really ?

    The policy of mandatory detention in Australia (that is the legal requirement to detain all non-citizens without a valid visa) was introduced by the Keating (Labor) Government in 1992 in response to a wave of Indochinese boat arrivals.

  14. The Canning results on Sunday morning had a 6.9% TPP swing to Labor and an increase in Labors primary vote of 9.4%. The primary vote of the LNP, Greens and Palmer united all went backwards.
    All you can really say is that the LNP did better than it was expected to do under Abbott but the results don’t support the idea that Malcolm has failed or Shorten is out of the game.

  15. Jumpy: May make some people want to wait and see before rushing in to prepoll. However, even all the claims about poll results under Abbott mean a 20% prepoll would have made very little difference to the final result or commentator conclusions.

  16. Jumpey, I was referring to the use of xenophobia – not to the operation of the immigration system/farce/rortery. Blame for the disasterous privatization of immigration goes straight to Hawke ( a “Labor” prime minister. they say).

  17. John
    Yeah, the left media insinuating that the LNP candidate was a war criminal took its toll. I’ll note Murdoch666 didn’t stoop that low with the ALP/greens.

    GB

    I was referring to the use of xenophobia

    Me too, the Union/socialist/Nationalist party will always be such, because, ” takin OUR Jobs!!! ”
    See the CAFTA xenophobia as the most recent example.
    I mean, how dare a chink think he’s of the same value as a CFMEU member ?

  18. Jumpey: Most opposition to the FTA with China is based entirely on rational, national interest and economic grounds. Leaving aside a tiny handful of extremists who have been given extraordinary publicity by the news media, xenophobia has nothing whatsoever to do with it (unless you include Chinese delight that they are getting long-overdue revenge for what The West did to China between 1841 and 1979).

    The executives in the CFMEU have possibly seen personal opportunities in joining the well-founded opposition to this dangerous blunder; the interests of their rank-and-file members are possibly an afterthought. Any ALP candidate, in the next election, who did not have a track-record of vigorous opposition this so-called FTA would be lucky to get his election deposit back, (the same is likely to apply to LNP candidates too). Bye-bye Bill Shorten.

  19. Graham

    Most opposition to the FTA with China is based entirely on rational, national interest and economic grounds.

    I’m not aware of much opposition to it other than the ALP/unions with the greens backing their coalition partners blindly. As opposition parties have a want to do.

    Pretty much every spokesperson I’ve heard from almost every sector of the economy has been positive to the point of being enthusiastic.

    Of course some brainless journalists have thrown their partisan 2 cents worth in, but nobody should listen to them.

    What exactly are the “rational, national interest and economic grounds ” to which you object ?

  20. Jumpey: the ALP and the union bosses are 110% PRO-Chinese. So much so that it’s a wonder they haven’t outlawed knives-&-forks and made chopsticks compulsory. However, they know that APPEARING to be anti-Chinese or anti-FTA might fool some gullible voters on election day – and every vote counts.

    The apparent lack of opposition to this FTA – and the stereotyping of the opposition as “racist” – speaks volumes about the lack variety in Australia’s news media; it says nothing at all about the extent of opposition.

    Much of the resistance to this FTA flies way below the radar – among contactors, individual farmers, small business operators and wage earners; the people who will be the first to suffer and who will suffer the worst.

    My own opposition to this FTA comes from a life-long association with the Chinese. I certainly do not hate of fear them – but it is painfully obvious that I have been more successful in understanding the Chinese than have the buffoons and collaborators who either made or supported this FTA.

    There is a basic rule in business: If it is a bad deal. Walk away from it. You can always come back tomorrow to seek a better deal.

    This is a Bad Deal and only a fool wouldn’t walk away from it.

    1. GB I’m interested in the FTA and would like to see a fair +/- appraisal of it. But so far I have not seen a balanced or especially apparently informed assessment.
      I’m with Jumpy, I’d like to see some serious informed commentary based on the merits (or lack thereof) of the proposal.
      It could be that there is a lack of transparency that is keeping everyone in the dark? I don’t know even that to be true, but still the ” informed” comments seem to come, and invariably without authority. I’m heartened by your understanding of Chinese commerce GB, so would welcome a bit more flesh on them FTA bones.

  21. GB
    At this point I’ll have to repeat the question due to the fact your last comment failed to, even remotely, contain any substance on the matter.

    What exactly are the “rational, national interest and economic grounds ” to which you object ?

    We can get into your ” It’s just bad, ok, coz I’m saying so ” after that, if you like.

  22. Geoff Henderson: Anything I say will sound like boasting or Arguing from Authority – but here goes ….

    For a start: Yes, I can use chopsticks and never starve at a banquet :-). But I can also read Chinese – written in Traditional or Simplified – and I can join in a robust discussion in Mandarin and follow the gist of one in Cantonese. I’m as bad at making speeches in Chinese as I am in English. When I said I had a life-long association with the Chinese, I meant just that – and that is the main reason I neither hate and fear them nor regard them as the fount of all wisdom and wealth. And yes, I did go to kindergarten and get myself a degree so as to “legitimize” my existing skills and experience (including, but certainly NOT solely, those of an intelligence analyst specializing in China). Gee, if I am so smart, how come I’m not rich?

    Answering that brings me to one part of my opposition to the present FTA: my decades-long and less-than-fortunate encounters with the arrogant boofheads in the Australian business world. These are the nong-nongs who think they can do business with someone and yet not bother to learn anything about them. True! Talk to them and you’ll find that almost none can carry on a conversation in Chinese and that their knowledge of China and the Chinese is limited to a short holiday trip to the karsts of Guilin, the terracotta warriors outside Xian and Beijing’s Summer Palace (actually, I have travelled extensively in China yet have never visited those sights myself ). For most of them, that’s the full extent of their knowledge of China! Some of the ones I’ve struck at trade shows and the like should never have been allowed out the front door without holding onto mummy’s hand.

    Contrast their slackness, their foolishness and their wilful ignorance with the thoroughness of, say, Italians or Germans doing business with China – or, more importantly, of Chinese doing business in Australia. whether those Chinese come from the PRC, HK, Taiwan or South East Asia.

    Add to that all the drooling at the mouth as allegedly hard-headed businessmen delude themselves with fantasies of great wealth that will rain down on them from this FTA. Talk about Cargo Cult mentality. It’s pitiful! The FTA is NOT a magic pudding, NOR is it Aladdin’s Lamp. It’s a wide-ranging deal with a lot of major social implications – every nut-and-bolt of it has to be hammered out in ruthless, very tough negotiations that put OUR long-term interests first and with no compromises and with plenty of tactics to put the other side off-balance. (You can be as chummy as you like AFTERWARDS, not during the negotiations).

    I don’t give a rat’s if this particular FTA has been ten years in the making. Those ten years have been wasted and the result has been a very bad deal for Australia, in my opinion. Scrap the whole thing and start afresh – otherwise we will end up like those poor devils in Africa who are finding out, the hard way, why negotiating with the Chinese must always be firm and well-informed.

    I suppose a lot of my attitude is built on my tending to look at things from the Chinese standpoint (sorry, old habits die hard) and it s for this reason that I do not blame them at all for taking advantage of a bunch of obsequious mugs who insist on wandering around with signs on themselves saying “Please Rob Me”.

    By the way, although I have never been able to get a job with an Australian firm using by skills, I have had many generous job offers from Chinese, mainly because of my knowledge of Australians – these I had to decline politely; I’m not much good at robbing Australian farmers at the farm gate nor am I cunning enough to stay out of jail if I did become involved in any questionable migration schemes.

    Cheers, GB

  23. GB, that is a great response. Now I am worried because much of what you say rings true with my own Oz-Oz experience.

    Thanks for taking the time.

  24. Australia has been a long time supporter of free trade starting with Gough’s selling out of the Tasmanian textile workers. Gough did it to try and slow wage increases but much of it has been driven by the touching belief that support for free trade in manufactured goods will lead to free trade in agricultural products.
    If you look at growth and unemployment trends for Aus there is no sign that that free trade has had any real effect either way.

  25. GB

    The FTA is NOT a magic pudding, NOR is it Aladdin’s Lamp. It’s a wide-ranging deal with a lot of major social implications

    So, you must have read the ChA fta ( in at least one dialect ) make that call so emphatically.

    I keep asking ” what’s wrong with it ” but I keep getting ” it’s the vibe of the thing “.

    In the entirety of the agreement, what do you most object to, specifically, just one item would do.

  26. If you look at growth and unemployment trends for Aus there is no sign that that free trade has had any real effect either way.

    Sorry John, I can’t believe that without some sort of evidence to back it.
    Tariffs are taxes, both ways, taxes are a drag on economic growth always.
    And the cost is payed by the consumer.
    In a Global sense employment will rise when trade barriers are eased or removed.
    All ships lift on a rising tide.

    Or are you speaking from a Nationalist Socialist perspective and bugger everyone else ?

  27. John D. : I allow myself only one folly in international trade: the thoroughly irrational belief that The Level Playing Field is still possible here-and-there on Planet Earth …. otherwise my attitudes are disgracefully practical: Show me your cash, and, let me see the goods you’ve got inside your bag before I buy them from you.

    You are right about the touching belief that “free trade” in one sector will lead to “free trade” in another. Some primary producers in this part of the world are cheering on this FTA and the fall of the AUD (“= USD 30 cents would be great”). Other primary producers are far less enthusiastic, seeing both as serious threats to their continued ability to keep their own properties …. there’s no such thing as a free lunch …. strangely, it seems to have been the recent experiences of fellow primary producers with coal seam gas and with the LNP that have caused them to question a lot of their set-in-concrete assumptions and attitudes.

    Geoff Henderson: If my own experiences were an isolated case there would be no cause for concern whatsoever (except for me). They’re not – and that is worrying. Australia is now chock-a-block full of scrapheaped talent I think what we have in Australia is either a pampered latter-day aristocracy pretending to be businessmen or the result of generations of clowns promoting clones – or maybe both. The only good thing about the China FTA is that they’ll all be replaced by talented Chinese and out on the street within a decade of the FTA coming into effect.

    Jumpey: A tiny weeny example. When they go overseas, most people waste the opportunity by gawking at temples and cathedrals then hiding in their hotels. I don’t. Regardless of my reason for travel, I always get out and see how a place works. I’ve noticed the difference between the quality and suitability of Chinese-made goods in bargain shops in Australia and those in other parts of the world. Buyers for retail firms are supposed to procure goods of reasonably good quality, suitability and profitability – yet in Australia these buyers are nothing but goods acceptors. The tail wags the dog and it is the sellers, not the buyers, who determine what goes into the shops here – and what is dumped into Australia is whatever Japanese, European, Canadian, American and Latin American retail outlet buyers reject. So where the blazes, in this particular FTA, is there any protection for us against this type of dumping?

    .

  28. GB
    That’s not an example in the ChAfta, that’s an example of crap people choose either buy or not, from those retailers or others, right now.
    And the buyers have spoken.
    Every individual consumer has a different perspective on ” value “, it’s wrong for Government to corrupt or influence that perspective.

    So where the blazes, in this particular FTA, is there any protection for us against this type of dumping?

    Protectionism is the disease that FTAs try to cure, for the benefit of all of us consumers.

  29. Jumpy: correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is that you are a contractor who doesn’t have to compete with imports. In that situation you can take a very narrow view and say you are better off if there are no tariffs and stuff the rest of the country.
    Alternatively you can take a broader view and realize your business is going to be worse off if the people who used to give you business can’t anymore because overseas competition has put them out of business or shut down the business that gave them a job.
    BTW I don’t think tariffs are a very effective way of controlling imports in a world of floating currencies. I like more direct approaches.

  30. Jumpey: 1. “Protection” is not a synonym for “Protectionism”.
    Protectionism is merely a mirror-image of the so-called Free Trade Agreements – and a pox on both their houses. We can do a hell of a lot better for ourselves by doing to trade that is both fair and necessary. Trade simply for the sake of trade is downright foolish and horribly expensive (as well as damaging to the environment).

    2. “The buyers have spoken”. Yeah, just like the customers of retail outlets in the good ole Soviet Union If the retail customers are offered only a choice of garbage, rubbish, shoddy goods, crap and trash, how can you say “the buyers have spoken” ? (I gave you one example, of what’s wrong with this particular FTA. I hadn’t seen the impacts on retail business mentioned elsewhere among all the other objections and concerns ).

    3. I’m all for more trade between Australia and China, but not when that trade makes us the suckers – and then formalizes the situation.

    FTA with the USA doesn’t really worry me, even if the Yanks do try take us to the cleaners (as they usually do), because I doubt very much that the United States will remain united for too much longer; they won’t be a long-term problem for us at all – whereas any deals we make with China will probably outlive either of us.

    4. Given the strange workings of Australia’s defamation laws, the politest thing I am allowed to say about the decision-makers who are pushing the China FTA , as though their lives depended on it, is that they are driven by “the vibe of the thing”. 🙂

    5. Try looking at this bad deal for us from the Chinese perspective – no wonder they feel they have hit the jackpot..

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