1. Watch out Richard Di Natale!
Lee Lin Chin is coming to get you.
Not sure you can see this so I’ve done a screenshot:
2. You can’t put pig on a lipstick!
Quote of the week from George Christensen:
- You can’t put pig on a lipstick (sic) and pretend it’s the homecoming queen.
Incoherent at the best of times, but out-did himself in talking about the NEG. Definitely not drunk.
You might see and hear it here, but here’s a screenshot.
He’s definitely serious, and it was indeed the issue that broke Turnbull’s PMship in the end.
3. Longevity of PMs
This image has been floating around the intertubes:
I think this one, which appeared in an article by Laura Tingle, is probably more accurate:
It puts Turnbull in the fat tail that runs from John Gorton to Edmund Barton.
Much has been said about the reasons why Canberra has become the coup capital of the world.
I think it is good that we can remove prime ministers who are unsatisfactory. Compare, for example, how hard it is to remove a president of the United States.
The one easy thing we can do is for the Liberals and the Nationals to follow The Greens and Labor in involving party membership in the process of selecting a leader. This has, I think, stabilised a Labor Party previously addicted to and distracted by factional plotting. The Liberal Party seems now open to the idea.
4. Did they do anything for us, or were they just in it for themselves?
- In politics, disunity is death. Labor is already an odds-on bet to be in government within months. A disunited Coalition could be facing a long period in opposition.
That is now its normal place in Australian politics. In the thirty-five years since Bob Hawke led Labor to victory in 1983, Labor has governed most of the time, at national level and in all six states. The Howard era was the outstanding exception; but John Howard has been the only Liberal leader since 1983, federal or state, to win more than two terms.
Once the natural parties of government, the Liberals and Nationals have become the natural parties of opposition. And many of them are at home in that role. As Norman Abjorensen has argued, politics on the right has become “a form of cultural protest” as much as a movement that aims at winning political power.
An interesting statement. In view of the rotating doors since 2007, what have been the main achievements?
Rudd achieved a lot by his own account, but notable achievements included restoring balance in industrial relations, saving us from the GFC, seriously tackling national infrastructure which was decaying rapidly, starting the NBN, although that was Steven Conroy really, who had to catch the plane to Dubai so that he could talk to Rudd on the way. On climate, we joined Kyoto, did pink batts (not a bad program) and Kevin Rudd busted his gut in the UNFCCC Copenhagen where he was one of three PMs designated ‘friends of the chair’. Rudd reckons the Chinese ‘ratf*cked the whole thing, which they did with India, Brazil and some other countries. Rudd came back exhausted, probably didn’t sleep for 72 hours, was never the same again, walked away from the CPRS and the rest is history.
- The CEF is a better-than-nothing start which aligns us with the level of ambition of those countries taking action or making pledges on climate change mitigation. Unfortunately when seen against the real problem it remains a half-hearted and anaemic attempt.
Gillard also achieved MySchool, the National Curriculum (something that Dawkins tried in the 1980s), uncapped university places, thus creating a world-class education export industry (but don’t mention quality), Gonski, the NDIS and much more.
Abbott destroyed as much as he could of climate policy, the NBN and more and achieved stopping the boats and border security, except that was done mainly by Scott Morrison – and a string of trade deals, which Labor had been working on. Then he destroyed the car industry.
Turnbull? You tell me. He kept the show rolling, sold out on climate change, jobs and growth kept growing, (as did debt) though without any pay rise for most, and some tax cuts in the out years to small businesses. And he kept the Liberal Party together until it fell apart.
This leaves aside the social agenda, where Rudd said “sorry” to the stolen generations, which Peter Dutton boycotted, where Gillard started the institutional sexual abuse inquiry, and Turnbull was dragged reluctantly to do something about same sex marriage and an inquiry into the banks. Abbott set up a Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption under Dyson Heydon, designed to get Bill Shorten, but it failed.
5. Why is Turnbull so happy?
As he left he said:
It may surprise you on a day like this but I remain very optimistic and positive about our nation’s future, and I want to thank the Australian people for the support they’ve given me and my government over the last nearly three years.
He has a close family, for one. However, I have a theory that he practices some form of yoga meditation. Julia Gillard did. Tony Windsor said he could not understand how Gillard, after an excoriating Question Time, could be so focussed and on task.
I believe Turnbull does some kind of breathing/meditation practice, although I can’t find it on the net. There is plenty of it about. There are 550 (literally) different ‘mindfulness’ apps you can download from the net, if you have a spare minute or two. The whole parliament got a burst just before Turnbull took over.
However, when the 2016 election results came in, whatever he was doing to achieve equanimity broke down. It was a pivotal time. His election margin was supposed to give him the authority to lead his riven mob. Instead he remained hostage to the ‘conservatives’, using his lawyer skills to represent positions he had no personal commitment to. In the end this communicated inauthenticity which gave him negative personal ratings in the polls.
6. Border security the key to ScoMo
We are told Scott Morrison is a social conservative voted against same-sex marriage and likes to joke about how he created Lara Bingle of the tourist ad “Where the bloody hell are you?” fame.
Whatever his virtues and strengths, for me at present his border security record defines him.
Scott Morrison owned the border security issue, which he weaponised and conducted like a war.
A very effective policy, if you do not think about and have no care for the people on the boats that are turned back and what happens to those members of the human race. The Turnbull government has also maintained a rigid position on those we are persecuting on Manus Island and Nauru. It’s called instrumental ethics. We punish the innocent as a warning for others to stay away.
If Labor wins office and does not move quickly to resolve the ‘Pacific solution’ I believe there will be an internal eruption.
Right now we can’t keep our own people safe. Stevan Utah, who infiltrated the Bandidos bikie gang, has just been granted given refugee status in Canada.