1. Conroy walks out
It’s not a stunt, Senator Stephen Conroy has resigned from parliament, effective from 30 September.
Senior Labor figure and so-called factional warlord, Conroy resigned from parliament by tabling a speech in the senate late on Thursday night. Bill Shorten is oversees and apparently knew, but no-one bothered to tell acting leader Tanya Plibersek.
Apparently he wants to teach his nine year-old daughter how to play soccer. Albo spoke to him on Friday morning:
- but wouldn’t speculate about why he was going, telling the media that his private conversation with Conroy was “frankly, it’s none of your business”.
Albanese said there was “absolutely” no bad blood in Labor, or the right faction in Victoria led by Conroy, and he wasn’t pushed.
“I think it’s really important that people be treated with respect,” he said.
I suspect few in Labor will mourn his passing, but establishing the NBN was his monument.
2. What the election was really like
Richard Fidler talked with Mark Di Stefano BuzzFeed’s political editor about his book What a Time to Be Alive published by MUP, and particularly about what it was like covering the last election.
Di Stefano says that Turnbull really didn’t like campaigning, would do two events and then knock off about 1.30pm. He reckons it costs about $2000 per person per day to follow one of the leaders, travel lodging and food included. For that he reckons he got in two questions to Turnbull in five days. Local members were not allowed to talk to the media – they just got to stand in the background.
For TV no doubt the images were essential, but for him, armed with a mobile phone, it was next to useless.
Anyway Di Stefano’s take on politics and the media is well spending 50 minutes of time.
3. Malcolm on the move
Last week Turnbull was in a muddle and so mired that Aaron Patrick at the AFR gave him a D-. This is how he was scored by 50 business leaders, former Liberal politicians, academics, economists, administrators, lawyers and lobbyists:
Barely a pass.
Now it’s a week on omnibus wins from Phillip Coorey and Laura Tingle says The Turnbull government’s actually starting to work. The expression on the beast says it all:
- Malcolm Turnbull insisted that despite the pantomime of question time, it was good for all Australians to know that “with a little less grandstanding, a little less name calling and a little more constructive negotiation, we can achieve great things for Australians and their future”.
Who would have thought it!
He’s done $14.1 billion of budget repair in one week. However, that may be the easy bit. Things might get a little harder now.
4. Marriage equality plebiscite
People like Coorey and Tingle are tending to blame Bill Shorten for the fact that marriage equality may go nowhere for a very long time now that Labor has said it won’t pass the plebiscite legislation. However, it’s the conservative rump of the LNP that Turnbull sold out too that’s the problem. Coorey states Turnbull’s situation well:
- The plebiscite is not [Turnbull’s] personal preference but it is the preference of a majority of his party. Go against it and he is toast. Primarily, the plebiscite is preferred by the conservatives because they believe they can win a campaign to defeat same-sex marriage.
Coorey got that much right.
The most interesting commentary I’ve seen is from Timothy W Jones who says marriage has very little to do with religion (and vice versa). He says marriage equality is being opposed mainly by the conservative religious right, but mostly on secular grounds – the rights of the child and harm to Australian family values.
The state already has a concept of marriage which goes beyond the churches, and many church leaders understand that.
He links to an Essential poll which shows that support for same-sex marriage is:
- 53% among Christians (with 41% opposed)
- 62% among members of other religions (with 30% opposed), and
- 67% among people with no religion (with 24% opposed).
That was in 2011.
5. Super changes kinder to the super rich
I’m not going to spend time on it, but Sally Rose has the good oil on the last chance for the super rich to stash loot away until 30 June next year.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.