Malcolm Turnbull, Plague Bacillus

turnbull IINiki Savva is apparently unaware of how sadly comic her obsessive Turnbull sycophancy and Abbott-hatred have come to look, repeated monotonously in The Australian. One of the more recent effusions by this spouse of a prime ministerial staffer is headed Turnbull is flawed but only he can win for the Libs and breaks new ground in the reversal of fact. She even managed to dredge up that greatest beat-up of all time, Abbott’s “knighting” of Prince Philip, which unlike Turnbull’s energy policies, cost the community nothing. It simply brought Australia into line with other Commonwealth countries. The remainder of her article is long on abuse but short on facts, plus religious statements of faith such as that under Turnbull the next election is “eminently winnable.”

If the Liberals go into the next election under Turnbull, I believe that they will stand not only to lose but to lose on a scale that will make their recent wipe-out in Western Australia look like the proverbial vicarage tea-party. Forget about merely losing government for a term, let alone any chance of retaining it: the Liberals, as the standard-bearers of Australia’s liberal-conservative tradition, under a continuing Turnbull leadership, stand a good chance of disappearing from history, or perhaps, like the British Liberals, dragging out existence as a sort of ghost of a party. A conservative party under a man with no belief in conservatism is simply not viable.

They just might be saved in the short term by the electorate’s quite justified dread of Shorten’s ruinous 19th century socialism and generally dubious connections, but that’s not the way to bet. And remember 1982, when Labor in a last-minute ambush produced Bob Hawke as leader and trounced Fraser?

The closest thing to values that Turnbull has evoked has been the near-meaningless mantra of “Jobs and Growth.” There is no sign that he comprehends there are things of more transcendent importance. He has given no sign of any awareness of warnings like that given by Italian writer Giulio Meotti:

Without the courage to insist on safeguarding our values, and passing our inheritance on to our children, we Europeans will simply disappear — as many groups have before. With us, however, will disappear the most enlightened civilization the world has ever known.

It is conservatives who take values seriously, who see society not as a machine to be re-jigged but as an old growth to be trimmed and tended with care, the traditions, conventions and values of the past to be take seriously (as Chesterton said, “the democracy of the dead”). They will find precious few signs of such attitudes in what the ABC/Fairfax axis calls the “moderate” – ie Turnbullite – wing of the Liberal Party today.

As Whitlam, Fraser and others discovered to their cost, one thing the Australian electorate dislikes is arrogance. Voters are hardly likely to flock to a prime minister who is arrogance personified — and whose arrogance seems, moreover, to be quite without justification.

Turnbull has allowed the Australian government to pay, on an annual basis, $43.8 million to the Palestinian Authority and $17.6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.  The PA is not only a vicious, corrupt dictatorship but both are directly connected to anti-Jewish terrorism and murder. About half the PA’s budget goes to paying terrorists and their families. The fact Turnbull and Bishop have made simultaneous warm overtures to Israel bespeaks either ignorant confusion of an attempt to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. This is shocking and indefensible.

The Liberal powerbrokers, if there are any left, cannot depend on conservatives voting for them because, as Mark Textor shamefully and inaccurately opined, they have nowhere else to go. They do. This time there are a number of conservative, patriotic or generally-right-of-centre alternatives. None can be seen as achieving power in its own right but they do not need to. There are none, so far, I agree with completely, and I have deep disagreements with some, but compared to Turnbull’s Black Hand gang, they offer, so far, an awareness of honour and courage. It must take some bravery to be Pauline Hanson.

I write this with no pleasure. My family are rusted-on Liberals. My father and maternal grandfather were Liberal MPs and founding members of the party (my father being briefly Premier of WA). I have twice been a Liberal State candidate and have worked for the party in various capacities since I was teenager. With my children, that makes four generations.

The salient point is that many of the conservatives who make up a large part of the Liberal Party are utterly disgusted by Turnbull’s betrayal of Abbott in particular and betrayal of Liberal principles in general. And they have maintained their rage. The Turnbull regime amounts to nothing less than an attempt to hi-jack the Liberal Party, and in this endeavour it has had far too much success. It has already made it in some places unrecognisable as the party of Menzies and Howard.

Why, apart from the fear of what Shorten would do in government, should any conservative vote for it? Indeed, many a conservative might reason that Australia would at least survive three years of Shorten, but the Liberal Party, and Australia conservatism as a whole, would not survive three more years of Turnbull. Shortly before the last election Turnbull sent me and some other Liberals an emetic e-mail explaining that his father had taught him “loyalty,” proving only that his father was either not a very effective teacher or had a very strange idea of loyalty. How can Turnbull ask for loyalty when he has shown none?

Fiscally, Turnbull offers only Labor-lite high-taxing, high-spending. He is bashing the thrifty middle-class and self-funded retirees, foisting ruinous and, for pensioners etc., perhaps literally lethal energy policies on Australia, despite our huge energy resources, unreliable and costly wind and solar power, plus a scheme, as far as I can make out, involving making the Snowy River flow uphill.

There is an incoherent defence policy under one of the least impressive Defence Ministers ever, with a chief apparently falling in line with the official zeitgeist by solemnly banning skull decorations and Phantom rings for troops, as well as the name “Spartan” – not sissy enough for the jazz-ballet dancing, free verse-reading new model army apparently being aimed for.  Meanwhile, notice has been given that ADF officers will be promoted according to their active support for homosexuality, signalled by a little rainbow flag beside their names. A word from the Prime Minister might have restored sanity to the circus of political correctness that is undermining our armed forces (there is no room to go into all the details here), but of course such a word is not forthcoming.

Despite assurances, the Liberal Party under Turnbull did not protect either freedom of speech or freedom of religion in the same-sex marriage bill.

The utterly toxic Section 18C is still in place. True, an attempt to modify it after the death of Bill Leak was defeated in the Senate but a determined Prime Minister could have found other ways to nullify it, or at least could have publicly and generously compensated and apologised to its victims, from Andrew Bolt to the Queensland University of Technology students, with a public denunciation in Parliament of the legislation. That would have knocked the stuffing out of it. Don’t tell me a leader, with all the resources of the Commonwealth Attorney-General at his disposal and a gaggle of party and parliamentary QCs, couldn’t have found a way.

Turnbull’s sins of omission, if anything, outweigh his sins of commission. All over what has been called the Free World there is an attack on free speech, now reaching its apogee in Scotland with a man being heavily fined for filming a dog giving a Nazi salute. In Australia, as elsewhere, a chief executive is needed who is a robust and high-profile defender of free speech. But from Turnbull, nothing.

Mosques dispensing Islamic extremism, even with connections to apologists for terrorism and to overt anti-Semitism, are allowed to flourish. Supporting the white farmers facing genocide in South Africa, or closing down jihad-preaching mosques might show a little gumption and resolve, and even draw some conservative votes.There are many thousands of Vietnamese in Australia (voters) who would appreciate Australia demanding that the Vietnamese police-state dictatorship respect human rights (if that annoys Hanoi’s boss-thugs, so much the better). The moving tributes the Vietmanese-Australians paid “father and saviour” Malcolm Fraser on his death showed their strong sense of gratitude.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for any of this to happen.

Abbott, despite moving too slowly in some areas, and making some blunders — what first-term leader hasn’t? —  at least knew that the culture war was to be fought, and even more to the point, whose side he was on.

I know the Arts Council is supposed to be free of political influence but still I have a hard time believing that under Abbott the small grant to Quadrant, Australia’s only conservative literary-intellectual magazine, praised by some of the greatest names in the world in arts and letters, would have been cut off, while left magazines and a festival of Muslim hate-poetry (exposed by Mark Latham in The Spectator) would continue to receive grants totalling six figures from various government and quasi-government patrons. The leader of what sort of party allows his arts minister to heave an impotent shrug and do nothing upon being informed that one artistic recipient of the taxpayers’ largesse made her name by making “art” out of her own excrement?

Michael Connor wrote in Quadrant:

So-called conservative arts ministers place Left operatives in positions of power and encourage them to fund our cultural enemies. Coalition governments reward the people who hate them for the abuse they turn against them. Conservative politicians smile in photographs taken with people who loathe them, but who accept their money, [while] young (and not so young) conservative artists will be locked out for their lifetimes.

There was a real possibility of Abbott reducing this. Turnbull and his cronies offer none, and cultural conservatives know it. Their despair and rage may sometimes be motivated by self-interest, but by no means always.

Nothing has been done to clean up the extreme political bias of the gigantic, $1.1-billion ABC, in clear breach of its charter, and without a single conservative figure. Moreover, it is obvious that under the present regime nothing will be done — unless, of course, its grant money is actually increased.

Overarching all, there is the great, existential clash of cultures and civilizations. Again, apart from the commitment of a few troops at America’s behest, our Prime Minister gives no sign that he is even aware of it.

We can expect all this to be remembered by a substantial number of voters when the government, with its one-seat majority, achieved by Turnbull’s less-than-brilliant tactics, faces them at the next election.

14 thoughts on “Malcolm Turnbull, Plague Bacillus

  • HowieS says:

    I agree with your points, and I am a very angry ex-CLP voter, so add me to your ‘substantial number’ remembering what the odious Turnbull and his weaselly mates have done.

    Shorten’s (or whoever’s) Labor will be worse, but not by much, and it seems nothing less than total annihilation at the ballot will make our political ‘leaders’think about what they are allowing to happen in this country.

  • BJAS1961 says:

    Amen to that.

    Australia desperately needs a centre-right political force, and the Liberals under Turnbull have vacated the space and betrayed the majority of the voter base. The Liberal party needs to be wiped out, so that a new conservative force can emerge in clean air; and three years of Shorten are probably a small price to pay for it.

  • Jody says:

    The horse has bolted on the multicultural HORROR. That changed everything. And now both parties occupy the same space. Depressing.

  • Jacob Jonker says:

    Is it a farce or a charade? Politics… Documenting the political pantomime which keeps people mesmerised or doped up is part of the show. I know, people can do no other, but the fact remains that what we are seeing in the entire West is a failure of parliamentary democracy. Documenting the decline, or rather, the shabby performance which hides the changes which deliver the decline, ever more power into the hands of the directors and orchestrators, does not constitute an effective contribution to the politics of our day. It is rather a dissenters’ assent. Huffing and puffing to no effect, because that is all there is.
    The old guard is spent, except for to deliver a background whine to accompany, the low, barely audible rumble of the corporate juggernaut pushing ahead.

    The new blood is in the offing, on the rise, over the horizon, but not of our offering. Evidently, while the resurgent energy is gathering itself, there is a period of no action. We are having a quiet time. An opportunity for repose. This interlude, a pause in the proceedings, is the interregnum we have to have, to paraphrase banana president razor Keating. All is quiet on the Western front, thanks to the likes of Trumble and May, Merkel and Macron, and their ilk. It’s a charade, but really, one should not spoil the performance. Do not shake the tree before the fruit is ready. Ney need to shake the tree, hardly. When the fruit is ripe, it will fall of its own accord. But the old guard must lament. They lost the plot, were led up the garden path, into the amazing maze-outdone, done..

    Like a dinner. If only we had the old Bard around now, to document the changes, rather than underwrite the shabby performances with declaim. The shabbiness is there for all to see anyway-To be…

  • ianl says:

    From H. Colebatch’ essay above:

    > “A conservative party under a man with no belief in conservatism is simply not viable”

    Waffle and the Black Hand are of the view that a “conservative” party is simply not required. Texta’s comment (Textor, actually, but I prefer the diminuitive) that “They (conservatives) don’t matter” was accepted wholeheartedly. There is indeed nowhere else to go.

  • prpriest@picknowl.com.au says:

    Peter C Excellent article. Thankfully Labor Turnbull will lose the next election. Labor will be little if at all worse than Turnbull & Co

  • Bwana Neusi says:

    Shorten promises to have the Union Mafia run Australia and put in place revocable bastardry like Gonski, NDIS and NBN. Our only salvation lies with PHON and AC in the Senate, but even then when Liberal left (what is left of Liberals in the Senate) combine with their labor mates and the Greens, it will be a lay down Misere.

    • Jacob Jonker says:

      Shorten can promise all he likes, but can only help deliver, with the assistance of the other actors in the Establishment, what he is told to deliver by the people pushing the political buttons and pulling the strings. To keep up a narrative which implies that Shorten and Trumble are anything but tools in the hands of the transnational corporate clique behind the scenes pushing the buttons and pulling the strings is unhelpful and keeps fogging up the public’s glasses darkly.

  • Bushranger71 says:

    At 80, I had a military career and voted conservatively until 1996 (since informal). I offer the following thoughts.

    Aligning Howard with Menzies is an injustice to the latter. Consider all of the economic legacies foisted upon Australians during the Howard era, which are now a virtual shroud for the Liberal Party. His underlying objective has always been to benefit the elite and let the rest eat cake. The Liberal Party has no show of rebirthing while the Howards remain as Liberal ‘Royalty’.

    Around Year 2000, Australia’s military assets were mostly pretty well suited for regional operations, with modest outlays on enhancement programs that were available for most platforms. But Howard was conned by the Defence establishment into launching a wholly unrealistic and unaffordable Force 2030 vision involving massive costly re-equipment programs, many of which have since proven quite unsuitable for Australia’s regional requirements.

    So-called Australian Defence Industry is a huge charade with the major players in Australia being the mammoth international arms conglomerates who now own and/or control Australian defence industry assets. Boeing for example, owns the former Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation facilities at Fishermans Bend near Melbourne. In effect, Australia has more or less become a branch of the US military industrial complex and the entities involved suck tens of billions of dollars out of the country.

    Relating defence spending as a percentage of GDP is a deliberately flawed metric. Australia presently outlays upwards of 8 percent of federal revenue on defence and that will soar as spend increases toward 2 percent of GDP and perhaps beyond. The defence re-equipment plot aims to partner the US in their conflicts of choice around the world and not to structure the Australian military affordably for regional requirements. Predictably; Australian defence outlay might rise toward 15 percent of federal revenue by about 2025. As some major projects progress, corruption issues are likely to emerge.

    Both of the major political parties are quite deliberately avoiding constructive debate on immigration. A major economic weakness for both is favouring the property industry over protecting the living values once held dear in Australia. Victoria and NSW are becoming virtual train wrecks regarding overloaded infrastructure through over-development due to unfettered immigration. Our traditional identity will have virtually disappeared within 2 decades. The clear unwillingness of the politicians to come to grips with this vital issue overshadows virtually all other political considerations and highlights leadership shortcomings of both Turnbull and Shorten.

    While on present indications, the LNP should deservedly be ostracized at the next election and maybe never likely to return in present form; there are reasons to be wary of Labor, even though they might untangle some of the Howard legacies.

    Labor says it will create a much warranted national corruption watchdog; but Paul Keating created for them a huge potential conflict of interest associated with compulsory superannuation, which was introduced by diktat and not via electorate endorsement. The lobbying influence of the so-called Financial Services Industry torpedoed implementation of a national superannuation scheme a la the Singapore model, opening the floodgates for laissez faire capitalism to run amok with people’s savings, even offshore. The Labor Party of course benefits hugely from industry superannuation schemes and their Member Equity Bank. Keating was in effect largely responsible for the present disgraceful state of affairs only beginning to be exposed by the ongoing Royal Commission.

    The minor parties offer no solution to the present diabolical status of political affairs. One Nation has forever been a disorganized rabble of very low quality candidates and Pauline Hanson just does not have the organizational acumen or leadership strength to head a successful political team. Hitherto, she has often proven to be just an LNP puppet.

    The paramount need is for electoral reform; yet another issue that the major parties refuse to address. Voting systems for both the House of Representatives and Senate are wide open to manipulation and electors votes can in effect be hijacked by preference systems. See the Citizens Electoral Council sensible policy on electoral reform at this link: http://cecaust.com.au/pubs/pdfs/Policy%20document%20on%20electoral%20reform.pdf

    Arguably, another shortcoming of the parliamentary system is allowing Senators to hold Ministerial appointments, when their primary fundamental role is being ‘…able to scrutinise and judge the activities, policies and legislation of the government.’ For example; Queensland Senator Matt Canavan runs around the country associated with Infrastructure Australia, his former employer.
    How can he objectively scrutinize and judge the activities of the government when he is involved in organizing them?

    Virtually all of the commentary these days is focused on the players, which in my view is just a huge waste of everybody’s time and resources. Instead, we should be looking at how we might force change from outside the political sphere.

    Somehow, we need to get a movement started to force electoral reform and perhaps similarly regarding immigration policy review. With the media being so politicized these days, they are not goals that might be easily progressed. But we need to get more focused on solutions and less on people.

    • Jacob Jonker says:

      Bushranger71 does not get it. It’s all over, bar much more shouting. But the shouting won’t be for more beer. Howard and all the rest knew very well what they were doing. Darwin is essentially controlled by the PLA. Australia is controlled by China and the USA between them. The farce happened decades ago. Well before Bondy and the first big heist. Uncle Bosch was the first real character doing a leading act in the charade that politics has become. But what a performance. It had me sucked in for years before I twigged. For Australasia it’s over.

      • Bushranger71 says:

        Of course I get it Jacob. My forebears emigrated here mid-1800s with family genealogy becoming an omelette of French, Irish, English. A long military lineage with 3 lost in WW1 and another badly gassed, WW2 family involvement and subsequent campaigns.

        Nothing pains me more to see how the hardships of the pioneers of this land are largely not even known about by the bulk of people living in Australia today. Have you ever been to Longreach in Queensland and visited the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum or the Wool Scour at Blackall or the cemetery at Cooktown? Those venues reflect the real soul of the nation that has been virtually forfeited by our political realm.

        Reluctantly, I am inclined to agree that the game is all but over, not just because of our own ineptness, but sustained tired allegiances to British and American hegemonies. Chest beating that Australia ranks as a middle power is just arrant nonsense. Lee Kuan Yew had us sized up pretty well.

        For the sake of future generations though, we simply have to try and do something to remediate the political system and we will only continue to be incompetently governed by low quality representatives, unless the electoral system is reformed. And of course, the brakes must be harshly applied to immigration for at least a couple of decades, if there is to be any hope of stabilizing our society.

        • Jacob Jonker says:

          Well, yes, Bushranger71, now you’re talking. Alas, alas… geopolitics was never the strongest card in the Australian polities’ playing hand. It was missing, actually, and the playing hand was used for the Ozzies to play with themselves. Mother England and Uncle Sam did the geopolitical job, and anything other of national import. You can’t blame the immigrants, surely. You, as you know, are a dying breed, and a minority at that. As a Dutch-Oz migrant, I cannot make any claim whatever to have done anything for the country, except make up the numbers for the mining companies when few Ozzies wanted to work there, or for any length of time anyway. After 47 years, peripatetically, I have called it quits and moved to Godzone, for a change.

          So, what to do? Future generations will have to cut it with the Chinese and Indians. Europeans can, and ought to, learn a lot from the Chinese about survival in the real world- which has now returned to Western Europe and Australasia. As to the Indians and the rest from Asia, other than the Chinese, I think they have not as much to offer us.
          Stabilising society in the face of the chaos we have to have is an impossible job-best to forget it. Whatever would one do to remediate the current political system? Give in to the globalising corporates and let them take over? They are doing a fine job running parliamentary democracy into the ground. No proper representative need apply-Stooges all.

          As to Longreach, Blackall, and Cooktown, no, I haven’t been there, though close enough. Australia’s history since Cook, however, has fascinated me, and I appreciate its history, both per- and post-European settlement. I’m just reading a book by Ian Morris. War, subtitled, What is it good for? He speaks of conquest in its different guises. Also, the choice between stationary banditry and open access, and the choice, if they get any, conquered people have to either fight and be destroyed, but for some likely or lucky females who can stay, or who allow the enemy to infiltrate without making a fuss in the hope they, the incumbents, are tolerated as serfs. Look at William the Conquerer and England.

          The EU is an attempt at stationary banditry. Brexit is an attempt by 52% of the UK electorates to wrench themselves out of it and go back to open access. Australia has always been stationary banditry and is now forced into open access by the US overlords who saw the writing on the wall and sooner would cash in and ease themselves out rather than fight a battle they couldn’t win. The exigencies and contingencies of inexorable historical developments cannot be stayed, or even ameliorated except where a people are switched on, awake to what is happening and acting in good time.

  • whitelaughter says:

    I’ve met a couple of actual supporters of Turnbull, but for the most part, seem to be divided into those who will praise him but never vote Liberal, and rusted on Liberals who hope he can win the election for them.

    What about the swinging voters, who determine the outcome of the elections?

    As someone who happily voted Labor when Hawke and Keating led the party, I fail to see why any swinging voter would give him the time of day. The most useful thing he did in his life was the spycatcher trial; but reading the book of his finest hour, I came away wanting a shower. He’s so profoundly hypocritical.

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