The Thing About Kevin & The Shitsville Express

The last few months have been a hellish roller coaster ride, writes Assistant Managing Editor Timothy W. Humphries

Funnily enough, I remember during the 1980s a particularly colourful roller coaster ride at Dreamworld. Its gone now. However It used to slide in and out of view as our family barreled down the Pacific Highway to visit relatives on the Gold Coast.

I would argue we have entered a Dreamworld type era of twists and turns in Australian politics. Both sides of politics are setting themselves up as the answer in a political climate best described as 'disillusioned'. 

While I cannot vote Labor, I struggle to find justification to vote Liberal. Even against my own loyalty and trust, Tony Abbott agrees with Climate Alarmism and wants a direct action plan that will plunder the taxpayer "a bit less" then the other mob. This "a bit less then the other mob" paradigm has dominated every policy response.

Meanwhile Kevin Rudd in his newly incarnated form wants to punch forward with a dubious NBN, Health Reforms and a band-aid Asylum Seeker policy that doesn't account for long term requirements.  

In a politically unstable environment, there is no clarion call to achievable freedom and small government. It remains incredible to me that a man derided and replaced by a marxist radical can be reinstalled and yet still find favour with the Australian electorate.

If the narrative is correct and Kevin Rudd's leaking against Julia Gillard is the primary reason for his return to the leadership, there is something seriously wrong with how political narrative is communicated in this country.

The obsession seems to extend to the occasional nattering of the media class about whether or not Malcolm Turnbull would be an appropriate replacement for the Leader of the Opposition, in the obvious unfortunate circumstance that he loses the next election.This media dynamic is crazy!

Malcolm Turnbull, if the media's dreams are realised essentially sits in the same position that Kevin Rudd sits regarding climate change and many other issues. The sort of differentiation that is equal to naught.

One only has to mention the words "market mechanism" and somehow sliding from a disagreeable Carbon Tax to a disagreeable Emissions Trading Scam Scheme is bipartisan.

So here we are again. Lurching from one perceptual crisis to another, all the while assaulted by the visage of litugical charlatanism.

In such a parlous state the mind wanders to the future and who might be around the corner on Australia's political landscape.  

Whilst there are a mixture of views on Joe Hilderbrand and his brand of "journalism", his recent ABC program the "Shitsville Express" is a remarkably informative take on the supposed leaders of tommorow.

I do have allot of respect for what Mr Hilderbrand is trying to achieve with this program. Clearly the premise points to the future of the country through Gen Y and Millenial eyes. I liked this element.

However what our "future leaders" fail to realise is the nuance and guile required to achieve real reform. The sort of March of the Patriots reform that has been lacking in the polity since the end of the Hawke-Keating, Howard-Costello era. 

We have entered a Dreamworld scenario, where revolving door leadership and zany 24 hour news cycle explosions have replaced the considered creation and management of political narrative, that is comprehensible to those of us outside the beltway.

I remember being asked to jump on the old Dreamworld roller coaster by someone who had pumped themselves up on hot dogs, lemonade and fairy floss. After successfully declining, I watched their demeanour change after the ride ended.

Unfortunately Australian Politics and the Shitsville Express appear to be mirroring each other in that they reflect a process whereby politics itself is turning into a metaphorical disembarkation and search for a brown paper bag.

Timothy W Humphries is Assistant Managing Editor of Menzies House

A Cat at a Dog Show

Certain gay rights advocates are calling for what they call ‘marriage equality’, or same-sex marriage, writes Justin de Vere 

National governments in New Zealand and France, as well as certain other countries and states, have recently passed laws legalising this. In doing so, the governments of these places now consider a marriage of a man and a woman to be the equivalent of a similar ceremony ‘marrying’ two men or two women.

The desire for marriage equality, while superficially a call for justice and an idea whose time has come, is actually a hurtful, destructive, selfish desire which speciously defies logic, abuses ordinary people’s sense of justice, and will cause damage to an ancient social custom that predates government and civilisation and has nothing to do with homosexuality. The politicians who would effect this change would do so not in the best interests of the country they serve, but in the short-term interests of the party they serve.

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Turnbull—square peg in round hole

New MH2Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull’s self-appraisal sets him distant, if not at odds with his Party colleagues? Maybe he views them as less sharp and less accomplished in commerce by comparison? Undeniable, however, is his unrelenting quest for success—Turnbull style.

Malcolm’s form has a repeating factor—what he wants and who he wants to be is variable. The goal posts are movable. Hardly the cohesiveness and consistency suited for political policy and the Me, before Us presents as a constant in the man’s character.

Where would Malcolm be today had Kerry Packer not leapfrogged his legal career to various boardrooms of mercantile moguls? Turnbull showed his appreciation by dumping on Packer over a business deal in 1991. Acrimony between the two was palpable.

Turnbull later told Sydney newspapers that, “He [Packer] did threaten to kill me. And I said to him: ‘Well, you'd better make sure that your assassin gets me first because if he misses, you better know I won't miss you.’ He could be a complete pig, you know. He could charm the birds out of the tree, but he could be a brute.”

ElpresidenteAfter years of trying to replace the Aussie flag, Turnbull was appointed by the Keating government to lead the Republican Advisory Committee. The campaign flopped in the 1999 referendum and thus went Malcolm’s dream of becoming a big fish in a small pond. King Malcolm of the Antipodes. He’d love that.

Then in 2007 as John Howard's environment minister, Turnbull vowed to outlaw the incandescent light bulb. He said by 2015 they will only be found in a museum. His extrapolation reckoned Australia would emit 4 million tonnes less of carbon dioxide than it otherwise would. So, we were forced to pay many times more for light bulbs. Many brands were junk—dim and expensive. And it reduced nothing, because the generators produced just as much power as before.

With every knee-jerk reaction, especially in the climate business, there comes a reaction. Engineer John Buckeridge blew the whistle. It's a neuro-toxin, warned John, and what it does is it disrupts the ends of the neurons, our nerve system, and prevents them functioning effectively. So our nerves simply breakdown, disintegrate.

When Malcolm became leader of the Opposition in September 2008 he was a dedicated proponent of the carbon tax and seemed likely to become Prime Minister at the next elections. Mal was also rather chummy with Goldman Sachs because they referred to him as a “political friend.” Whatever that means. Investment houses around the world must have been mighty miffed when Tony Abbott rolled Turnbull as Party leader. Australia was supposed to lead the world by carbon tax example. Remember?

With ego on the rocks and international banking guru reputation under question, Mal spat the dummy—quit politics. Not quite, even though Abbott refused him a place on the front bench saying it would be “impractical, given Mr Turnbull's stance on the ETS,” Malcolm was already eyeing the resignation of Senator Nick Minchin.

Meanwhile, Malcolm continued to beaver away pushing his personal issues, change the flag, carbon trading, and the republic, all being contrary to party politics. The common trademark of self-made people.

In October 2011 Turnbull was invited to speak at The London School of Economics. His subject was the rise of China in the world of commerce. His mandate to represent Australia appears to have been his own. Ignored as the LSE speechmaker was Tony Abbott and the Opposition’s foreign affairs shadow Julie Bishop. China chose Turnbull.

The Australian reported: “This nonsense from Turnbull does not constitute serious strategic thinking. But politically it suggests a lot of Turnbull-centred turbulence may well lie ahead for the Liberal Party.”

Turnbull wasted no time in proffering his personal views that were at odds with Liberal policy. He offered China’s revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s quote, “The Chinese people have stood up.” As expected, the acquiescing toadies at The London School of Leninomics were mute on Mao’s murderous record.

Mao ruled from 1949 to 1975 and began his handiwork with affluent landlords who were liquidated and their assets claimed by the state. 20th Century mass murderers like Pol Pot who killed about 1.7 million was a mere trifler compared to Mao who holds the body count record with around 70 million—nearly three times Australia’s population.

But Turnbull is not the first Australian politician to placate China. Upon Mao’s death in 1976, Malcolm Fraser breasted the parliamentary dispatch box and honoured him for policies that “secured the basic necessities of life to China’s people.” Fraser said Mao had “achieved peace internally” for China. Sydney’s Chinese restaurant clique rewards such political sycophants with hero status and the old windbag Fraser was often “guest of honour” and hailed clamorously as “Comrade Fraser.”

Turnbull’s résumé is substantial: journalist, author, barrister, grazier, investor, multimillionaire, chairman of Goldman Sachs and once leader of the Liberal Party.

Author Tom Keneally once said of Turnbull: “I always felt that he was, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a minority among the new rich in that he had the feelings of noblesse oblige.”

My column "Gillard's scorched earth policy" of April 12 is more apparent today.

Abbott’s traitor within – sack him now!

Turnbull re-launches campaign for Australian Republic

It's been more than a decade since the Republican movement was defeated at a referendum, but now a revival is underway to put a Republic back on the national agenda.
This time around Australia's Republicans, including Senior Liberal Malcolm Turnbull, have vowed to engage with the public.

Read more: Via ABC News


Death again, by a thousand fools!


Jim reminds us yet again about political ineptitude via knee-jeck reaction. This one by Malcolm Turnbull may be forgotten by many, but not those who curse and cuss when they have to buy a light bulb at triple cost, half the light and shorter life span. Another Turnbull flub! GC.Ed.

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs – twirly bulbs – can provide the same amount of light as incandescent light bulbs, using one quarter of the energy. A belief, as strong as any religious one, is that they will make a difference to dreaded carbon emissions, and perhaps to the household budget.

Under the grip of worldwide mania, a wild-eyed messianic Malcolm Turnbull persuaded his brain challenged mates in the Liberal Party to make their use compulsory.

There was not the slightest evidence that their use would have an effect on Global Warming, or Son of Global Warming, or Climate Change but there was just a chance that it might – and that was what did it.

The Precautionary Principle.

The Precautionary Principle?

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

 Put it another way – it means ‘just in case’.

The principle is applied everywhere now, but it started as a Green mantra to chant in debate as a substitute for thinking.

Greens knew there was insufficient evidence to do many things – like building desalination plants – but by elevating the common sense ‘just in case’ to an ersatz philosophical position it gave them persuasiveness when dealing with soft headed politicians and journalists.

But, even applying the very same principle to CFL bulbs should there not have been tests to see whether or not they were dangerous to humans? True there might be a billion to one chance that they would save the world from becoming a smoking cinder; but what if they gave cancer?


Dum, DE DUM Dum!

Well, time has passed and just now this little bit of research has been carried out: – The Effects of UV Emission from Compact Fluorescent Light Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes In Vitro. Or to put it another way What Happens When Human Skin Cells Are Exposed To Twirly Bulbs?

The research was done, according to Scientific American, after reading an article in an Israeli newspaper that reported a spike in skin cancer on a communal farm when residents switched to fluorescent bulbs.

What the abstract says – and it can be read in full here is that, while exposure to twirly bulbs was known to exacerbate existing skin conditions; the effects of CFL exposure on healthy skin tissue have not been thoroughly investigated. So this was done.

And the finding? Ultra violet (UV) radiation was seeping through the cracks in the phosphor coating and causing damage to skin cells.

This UV radiation is what causes skin cancers and melanomas.

Many medical practitioners would advise that this research should be taken cum grano salis – with a grain of salt. Particularly if it is hyped in the media – as it is.

But before ending incandescent lights, which incidentally got a clean bill of health in the same study, and forcing the Australian population to buy the twirlies, shouldn’t this very study have been conducted?

On the wonderful precautionary principle?

And now that the research is in, applying that same principle, shouldn’t they be banned?

If there is a statistical growth in skin cancers in areas like Victoria and Tasmania, what will happen?

Of course, there will be talk of further studies, and close watch being kept, and all the usual flannel.

Then the lawyers will strike. And so they should. Whether or not there are any cases of cancer from the use of twirly bulbs – the fact is they should have been tested – on the very same principle that saw them shoved down Australian throats. No choice – just buy them.

And they were not tested – at all.

Jim McCrudden is a retired lawyer, a scholar of Dickens, Shakespeare and many others. He lives on the NSW South Coast and has keen interest in politics.

Which coat Malcolm Turncoat, or wastecoat?

CrockerFurther to the Menzies House Post “ABC not biased—Turnbull” January 8, many are puzzled that Turnbull remains in the Liberal Party and why the Party allows him to continue, considering his regular undermining of leader Tony Abbott.

The reason Malcolm doggedly hangs in like a cloying fart might be explained in my synopsis predicated on a furtive imagination rather than facts. Mere musings, in fact. You decide.

Turnbull: Pro carbon tax and close friend to Goldman Sachs had already been mentioned as a political friend to GS as the then Leader of the Opposition and was expected to become Prime Minister.

The tip-off: Turnbull calls banker friends to tell them the good news. Banker friends are grateful for the inside track and buy up big in carbon schemes.

The glitch: Abbott rolls Turnbull for Liberal leadership and the news goes viral among the international banking clique. Lines to bankers and traders crash!

Turnbull’s mobile goes into melt-down as North American banker mates ignore 2am local time.

“What the god-damned hell happened down there Malcolm? You told us the prime minister job was in the bag! We’re in this big time because of you—billions. You better do something quick or your gonna be chopped liver on rye, and no dill pickle that you like—do you hear me?”

Nice boys come last: Turnbull, the nice boy who stabbed his boss Kerry Packer in the back in an act of eternal gratitude and loyalty rushes to the dunny with a gut ache, squats and sobs uncontrollably wondering what to do. There is no toilet paper, one problem solved, “bugger! Lucy!"

Bereft of direction Mal considers hiding out behind Uluru selling his stupid light bulbs to nomad tribes and gullible foreign tourists.  No fridge, warm Chardonnay and singed goanna instead of lobster thermidor? Stuff that, he decides. "Put the camping gear back in the garage Lucy."

In a cowardly move similar to suicide Mal announces he will quit politics. They’ll feel sorry for me he imagines. Sorry, my foot! With smug nonchalance Mal sinks his platinum corkscrew into a rare Chardy. Suddenly, all communications in the house explode, startling Mal the oenophile who crumbles the cork into the vintage. "Damn it, Lucy!"

The calls are conference type from hysterical foreign bankers screaming their demands. “Don’t you dare quit you goose, retract your resignation immediately, stay there, you can’t do anything from the outside looking in. If you quit we’ll tip the bucket on you. Now reinstate yourself."

The backflip: Turnbull does as he’s told. He stays and pushes carbon policy contra to his Party.
Voters now believe Turnbull is in the wrong party but the nasty phone calls keep coming every night. They want to know how they’re going to get their dough back as the bum drops out of the carbon lie. 

The stress: Malcolm ages dramatically and looks like a schoolboy in detention as he shrivels on the front bench in parliament in silence, fingering his mobile. He has lost on both fronts, his banker mates hate him and so does Tony. But Julia likes him. "That’s a win, isn't it Lucy?"

Mal tries to join the Greens but Christine tells him to screw off, “you’re last week’s sausage sizzle.”

Someone recommends cosmetic surgery to make him look like a mouse, or a ferret.

The end: A sharp eye will spot Mal hanging around cruise ships in Sydney harbour selling carbon free pencils to pay back lost billions to his unhappy cobbers. The plastic surgeon took Mal's joke about the mouse or ferret seriously. Look for a bloated ferret, you can't miss him.



ABC not biased – Turnbull

Tony Abbott can ill afford Turnbull's undermining bleats in this election year. Something needs to be done. GC.Ed.

Abbott wants ABC to flush out bias but Turnbull does not see its stacked deck

In an exclusive interview with The Australian Financial Review shortly before Christmas, Abbott said that ''there is still this left-of-centre ethos in the ABC'' and expressed hope that the managing director of the ABC, Mark Scott, ''continues to address it''. Abbott commented that there is much about the public broadcaster that he likes and admires.

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Treacherous Turnbull Criticises Roskam’s Op-Ed Rather than the Menacing Finkelstein Media Review

The IPA’s John Roskam writes beautifully in today’s AFR about the menacing Finkelstein Media Review and points out Turnbull’s hedging on freedom of speech. An excerpt from Roskam’s article appears below.


Meanwhile Turnbull issued a meandering and mealy-mouthed statement that left open the possibility of the Coalition supporting some or all of Finkelstein’s recommendations.

Turnbull said the report “deserves careful study and community discussion”. No it does not.

The report is bad from beginning to end and should be completely and unambiguously rejected by the Coalition.

If you expected anyone to stand up for free speech and against censorship it would be Malcolm Turnbull. After all, he made his name fighting the British government’s censorship of the book Spycatcher, and he loudly defended the “artistic freedom” of Bill Henson.

Turnbull baulked at upholding a core liberal (and Liberal Party) value. While on the one hand he acknowledged the importance of free speech, he also said, “There is also a vital right, or interest, of the public to timely, accurate information on matters of public interest. It has to be said that the legal arrangements at present do not adequately advance that interest.”

It looks suspiciously like Turnbull is happy to contemplate the possibility of a News Media Council deciding what is “timely”, what is “accurate”, and what is in the “public interest”.

Turnbull’s equivocation on freedom of speech is not good enough. Why he is equivocating is a mystery. Freedom of speech is not something on which Turnbull and the Coalition can have a bob each way.

Below is Turnbull’s dummy spit response to Roskam on his twitter account:

MT Tweets 090312

Roskam is right to criticise Turnbull and Tony Abbott should come out and make it crystal clear to everyone that the coalition wholeheartedly rejects the Finkelstein Media Review. Should the Gillard government be stupid enough (high chance) of implementing all or part of the Finkelstein Media Review then the coalition should also confirm that they will repeal all of it should they form government at the next election.

As for Turnbull, he is akin to a transgender person – his progressive political identity is not matching his Liberal Party’s core value – “We believe in those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy – the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.”


This post was first published on Andy’s RANT!

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Greg Sheridan Demolishes Malcolm Turnbull

Greg Sheridan, the highly-respected Foreign Affairs Editor of The Australian, eviscerates Malcolm Turnbull for being devoid of values, well outside the Australian Mainstream (and certainly to the left of Labor, let alone the Coalition), and "overestimated intellectually", in a hard-hitting piece in the Weekend Australian. Some extracts:

MALCOLM Turnbull has delivered two important speeches on China that help explain why he was such a disastrous Liberal leader and why he should never be considered for the leadership again.

The two speeches were to the London School of Economics in October and to Asialink this week. They contradict Liberal Party policy, they contradict Liberal leader Tony Abbott and Liberal foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop, and they show Turnbull as well to the left not only of his party but of the Gillard government, and indeed of Kevin Rudd. They suggest Turnbull's values and world view are in many respects outside the mainstream of his party, and on some key matters outside the mainstream of Australian life.

Yet in other ways the speeches are not left-wing. Rather they are devoid of political values at all. It is worth noting that in two long speeches about China neither the words, nor the concept, of human rights received any mention.

But I think Turnbull is overestimated intellectually. His is the kind of intelligence which can be relied upon to have read the most fashionable books of any moment, but you wonder about his ability to take the longer view, his sense – or lack of it in this case – of any strategic culture.

This nonsense from Turnbull does not constitute serious strategic thinking. But politically it suggests a lot of Turnbull-centred turbulence may well lie ahead for the Liberal Party.

Read the whole thing.