Barnaby Joyce as National Party warrior and Deputy PM has flamed out, and to mix metaphors is politically washed up for now, perhaps forever. The one certainty is that his pay will be sliced by about $200k. However, there is no easy agreement as to what has really happened and what it all means.
Phillip Coorey in the AFR said it was the end of the Barnaby Joyce experiment and his exit shows politics has changed:
Politics has changed. People used to survive much worse. Not any more.
Continue reading Barnaby Joyce flames out
Just before the Joyce affair broke and occupied all the media space, Guy Rundle at Crikey wrote an excoriating piece in which he stated that Turnbull is the most contemptible modern prime minister we’ve had. At least in the last 15 years. Continue reading Simply the worst: Rundle on Turnbull as PM
Like Labor, Turnbull and the Liberal Party had so far regarded Barnaby Joyce’s relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion as a private matter. As long as everything had been done within formal regulations, it didn’t matter that jobs had been found for Campion when her presence in Joyce’s office was no longer viable. It didn’t matter that a mate had given him free accommodation in Armidale, or that he had spent 50 nights in Canberra at taxpayers expense when parliament was not sitting.
All that changed when Turnbull launched a withering attack on his morals, his judgement and his character, and went on to say that forthwith no minister will have sex with a staff member under the new ministerial code of conduct. Moreover, Joyce was sent to the naughty corner to think about his position and his future by being sent on leave, rather than act as prime minister when Turnbull is overseas next week.
It was more than a vote of no confidence. As Mark Kenny said in the SMH, the message was that Joyce’s position as Deputy PM was not viable. Continue reading Turnbull launches a withering attack on Joyce
Last year around this time I did a post Will Turnbull be PM this time next year? Clearly he’s still here, but it seems a lot of people wish he wasn’t. Is he a dead man walking in politics?
The polls were diabolical back then – Turnbull had just chalked up his eighth losing Newspoll in a row. Now that has blown out to 25 and the situation has gotten worse. Back then the TPP vote was 52-48 in favour of Labor, now it is 54-46. Last year the Labor primary vote had nearly overtaken the Coalition, rising from an election deficit of 34.7-42.1 to 37-39. Now Labor leads 37-35.
Simon Benson writing in the Australian says Coalition close to a point of no return. In January 2001 John Howard was a dead man walking. Yet in November that year he won. Can Turnbull do the same? Continue reading Malcolm Turnbull has led us to a strange place
1. How not to run a party or a government
Malcolm Turnbull in announcing a royal commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, to be led by former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, told us that the inquiry was entirely unnecessary, but the government was a couple of seats short and had effectively lost control of the agenda.
Chris Bowen, shadow treasurer, formally wrote to his counterpart Scott Morrison (AFR, pay-walled), saying that the inquiry was neither far-reaching enough nor adequately resourced, that there had been inadequate consultation over the terms of reference, plus the deliberate targeting of union-dominated industry superannuation funds – a political strategy which diminished its credibility. Continue reading Saturday salon 1/12
1. Peter Dutton did something useful
He banned Kent Heckenlively, the world’s ‘No 1 anti-vaxxer’, from visiting Australia for a lecture tour in December.
He said “it’s not in our national interest that he should come here.”
Free speech advocates may complain, but seriously, people can die from this madness. Continue reading Saturday salon 2/9
1. Finished with sex, it’s time for reason
There are articles at the SMH, at the ABC, but the best was in the AFR (pay-walled).
The Australian Sex Party is being closed down to make way for the new Reason Party, in good time for the next federal election. Continue reading Saturday salon 26/8
The week began with Newspoll maintaining Labor’s TPP lead at 52-48, and ended with Kelly O’Dwyer endorsing a bill that criticised the Government. In between Turnbull got the Senate to pass his legislation supporting Victoria’s CFA volunteers, with Pauline Hanson’s support, and one of the National senators stood aside so that Pauline could join the NBN committee.
The major political event of the week, however, was Labor killing off the marriage equality plebiscite legislation. Sure, it still has to go to the senate, but Xenophon, the Greens and Labor oppose it, so it can’t pass.
Laura Tingle says the Faustian bargain Turnbull struck with the Nationals to become PM is eroding the rationale for replacing Abbott with Turnbull. Continue reading Liberals flounder as the marriage equality plebiscite turns to sludge
Rodney Tiffen thinks he can.
Last year, the total circulation of all Australian daily newspapers was a little over 2.1 million, fully one million lower than it was at the turn of the century.
Continue reading Saturday salon 11/7