Turnbull

Trump thump in 2018 Mid-terms?

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In what was largely seen as a referendum on the first months of Trump’s presidency, voters dispelled the myth that Democrats would make much easier work in coming elections due to his constant outbursts, tweets and negative media coverage. As the glum faces of the CNN panel show, the Democrats need to wake up to the fact that Trump’s poll ratings aren’t causing the desired effect at the voting booth as Republican Karen Handel won. Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics Larry Sabato stated,

For Democrats, obviously, it’s pretty depressing. … I think, if Democrats learn a lesson from this election, it’s that the euphoria that they’ve felt for the last several months as Donald Trump has fallen in the polls and they began to believe that this would be — not easy, but doable to take over the House of Representatives and eventually replace Donald Trump, that euphoria is gone, and it’s replaced with reality. And the reality is, it’s going to be a long, twilight struggle, day in and day out, if they’re going to be able to re-take the House and eventually defeat Donald Trump. It won’t be easy. It may not be possible.”

Once again the mainstream media conveniently forgets its ‘trust’ rating is lower than the Donald’s. That’s not a badge of honour for either. Objectively his style is far from statesmanlike. Yet other world leaders do not exactly treat the leader of the world’s largest economy and military with the cordiality due. Two events spring to mind – Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s Midwinter ball speech mocking a wounded ally and Macron’s snub at the G-7 followed by his arrogant invite for conditional US citizens to leave America for France. Of course such discourse was lapped up by the liberal mainstream media.

Instead of convincing Trump to come to reason, they kick him out of the geopolitical sandpit and then cry foul when he acts out in his own interest. Don’t expect all the 2018 mid-terms to be a complete pushover for the Democrats. The Hillary Clinton campaign imploded on this very strategy. Theresa May fell for the same negligent attitude which cost her so dearly two weeks ago. Voters want to be heard, not taken for mugs. Once again, celebrities who bent over backwards to help Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff, had the same effect on voters – NONE

If only PM Turnbull didn’t stick to his day job either

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Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull thought his speech mocking President Trump at the Mid Winter Ball in Canberra wouldn’t be seen by outsiders despite this day and age where cameras are everywhere and leaks are almost a fact of life. In a desperate attempt to sound funny, Turnbull torched the man he fawned over at the White House. Turnbull  has such poor judgement much less any place in comedy. It’s bad enough that journalism plunges new lows on a daily basis but worse when an elected official decides to rip a close ally in this fashion.

The irony of his speech is that his poll numbers are dreadful.

Media proves they’re petrified of Tony Abbott

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It didn’t take long for the Tony Abbott haters to spring into action. The media naturally is panicked that this Labor-esque budget will kill off Turnbull if the polls don’t reverse and give rise to an Abbott return which they know would win back swathes of disaffected Lib voters who have abandoned the party since the betrayal. Abbott’s crime? Not applauding the Treasurer for the shameful budget presented last night. Spoilt brat, sore loser and against his own party are the accusations. One can only imagine had he clapped the headlines would have read ‘Sell out!’ or ‘Applauds the opposite of what he proposed!

Let’s think about what his actions truly showed in the context of ourselves. If you worked tirelessly and loyally for a company/party and dedicated almost three decades of blood, sweat and tears to an organization’s success let us just say that you have ‘invested’.  Even if you haven’t you may know someone in your firm who has but let’s assume its you. You are unfairly shafted from your leadership role and your conniving successor seeks to undermine you at every opportunity. You are not only demoted but stripped of dignity. Despite clear evidence you still wish to work for the betterment of all because of those years of investment, you are sidelined and black-balled. Any sensible contribution is ignored and those who once supported you start to realize that doing so risks them being tarred with the same brush in front of the new management. You see the fruits of your hard work get eroded even to the point where the damage impacts the core values of your customers. Even though you have sleepless trying to stop the boat you painstakingly and lovingly tried to build and maintain from sinking, management continues to play music on the deck of the Titanic. Some may call your cause futile but they can never deny it is built on trying to be true to the people you serve internally and externally. Then one day you realize that the damage is irreparable and you won’t appease your new boss on the basis of what you know to be the complete antithesis of your soul. People still respect you inside for not selling out. You’re the real deal and secretly people respect you way more than they let on. Secretly they know they are ashamed of their insecurity.

So while I read many social media posts telling Abbott to ‘go away’, ‘quit’, ‘do us all a favour and go‘ I would argue that many of you are playing the man not the ball. Was he flawless? No. Was he well intentioned? Yes. He is the man that volunteers for the rural fire fighting service. He didn’t do it for point scoring, It was dedication to the cause. If indeed it was for point scoring then why would he bother to do it now he is on the backbench? Perhaps ask yourself one question – would you prefer a person of principle to be your boss or someone that would sell you down the river if you ever got in the way of their ambition? If you choose the latter it says a lot more about you than Tony Abbott.  As Churchill remarked, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life”

The media is petrified. If they weren’t they’d see no reason to give him any airtime.

The McTurnbull Burger – 2017 budget that says ‘waistline be damned!’

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Remember the Big Mac jingo? “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles,  onions on a sesame seed bun?”  Well the 2017 budget From the Coalition might as well be called the super sized McTurnbull Burger. Two all thief parties, special porkies, levies, fees, spun on a $600bn dollar bomb. While the government needed to introduce a vegan budget of lentils, tofu and alfalfa to get the country’s nutrition properly sorted they’ve said waistline be damned. Morgan Spurlock couldn’t keep up with this super sized meal. As my wise sage Stu told me last week, “About as well-timed as Mining Super Profits tax – ding ding ding – top of the banking cycle just called by inept bureaucrats”

If people wanted a tax and spend party they’d have voted Labor. In a desperate attempt to supersize the meal they’ve made of the economy since Turnbull took office the debt ceiling will be raised. Wage growth has slowed for the past 5 years from 4% to under 2% according to the RBA. Throw higher Medicare on top why not?!. Cost of living is soaring. So let’s look at the extra calories they’ll inevitably load on the taxpayer.

1) Let’s tax the big 4 banks. That’ll work. What will they do as responsible shareholder owned organizations? Pass those costs straight on to the tapped out borrower where 1/3 mortgagees already under strain and 25% odd have less than a month of buffer savings. NAB already jacked interest only loans 50bps.

2) allowing retirees to park $300,000 tax free into super if they downsize their empty nest. Wow! So sell your $5mn waterfront property so you can park $300k tax free into superannuation. Can see those Mosmanites queue up to move to Punchbowl to retire. Hopefully the $1mn fibro former council shack the Punchbowl pensioner flips will mean they can move to a $500,000 demountable in Casula in order to free up the property market for the first home buyer who is getting stung with higher interest rates, .

3) Australia has a property bubble. The Reserve Bank has recently had an epiphany where they’re afraid to raise rates to crash the housing market and they can’t cut because they’ll fire it up more. Allowing creative superannuation deposit schemes (max $30,000 per person & $15k/year) to help with a deposit only doubles down on encouraging first home buyers to get levered up at the top of the market using a system designed to build a safety net for retirement. When governments start abusing sensible policies in ways it was never designed for then look out for trouble down the line. This doesn’t help first home buyers it just pushes up the hurdle to enter.

4) Australia’s credit rating is on the block. Australia’s main banks are 40% wholesale financed meaning they have to go out into the market unlike Japanese banks which are almost 100% funded by their depositors. Aussie banks could see a rise in their cost of funds which the RBA could do little to avoid. That will put a huge dent in the retail consumption figures.

5) speaking of credit cards. Have people noticed that average credit card limits have not budged in 7 years. If banks are confident in the ability of consumers to repay debt, they’d let out the limits to encourage them to splash out! Not so – see here for more details.

6) Infrastructure – I live in the land of big infrastructure. Jobs creation schemes which mostly never recover the costs – especially regional rail. The Sydney-Melbourne bullet train makes absolute sense. We only need look at the submarines to know that waste will be a reality.

7) small business – tax concessions of $20,000 not much to write home about. Small businesses thrive on a robust economy which is unlikely to occur given the backdrop. Once again this budget is based on rosy assumptions and you can bet your bottom dollar Australia won’t be back in surplus by 2021.

Some  media are talking of Turnbull & Morrison stealing the thunder of the Labor Party, providing a budget more akin to their platform. Sadly I disagree that this legitimizes Turnbull. It totally alienates his base, what is left of it. Tax the rich, give to the poor. Moreover voters see through the veneer. The stench of the Coalition is so on the nose that without ditching Turnbull they have no chance of keeping office. Labor is not much better and One Nation and other independents will hoover up disaffected voters by effectively letting the others dance around the petty identity political correctness nonsense.

In the end the McTurnbull Burger meal will look like the usual finished product which resembles nothing like the picture you see on the menu. A flattened combination of squished mush, soggy over-salted fries and a large Coke where the cup is 90% ice. Yep, the Coalition has spat between your buns too. This is a meal that won’t get voters queuing up for more. Well at least we know Turnbull remembers that smiles and selfies are free after all ‘he’s lovin’ it‘! After all virtue signaling is all that matters. All this to arrest some shoddy poll numbers which will unlikely last more than one week.

Laura Tingle’s tangle with the truth over Tony Abbott

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I read Laura Tingle’s summary Tony Abbott and am only led to the conclusion that she is just another one of the long list of journalists who couldn’t find balance, context or perspective when letting her personal feelings get in the way of her profession. It isn’t even remotely solid in content. For all her praise of Turnbull’s achievements and the supposed failures of Abbott which would have lent so much more power to her argument she didn’t. Then again why would I be surprised when reading Fairfax?

First she likened Abbott (aka political debacles) to the Soviet Union,

“Politics is full of catastrophic debacles…The Soviet Union comes to mind. All that work. All that butchery. All those millions killed. And then pffft! It was gone…Similarly, Tony Abbott. Okay, not the millions dead, but what an utter destructive force, an utter waste of space this man has been on the Australian political landscape…Can you remember anything positive that he has contributed to our polity that has not involved tearing something down? “

The use of ‘utter waste of space’ for a leader who signed several important free trade deals, stopped the boats and formed relationships with powers like Japan with a level of cultural sensitivity that caused the land of the rising sun’s ministries to afford Australia the type of status befitting nations such as America, Tingle selectively chooses to ignore. I remember going to an Tokyo Aussie Embassy event the evening of Abbott’s ousting to hear the Aussies jeer while speaking to senior Japanese delegates who seemed far from impressed. I spoke with Japanese politicians afterwards and they were far from impressed. Many hold their opinions to themselves but not those I met.

The fallout from the Japanese subs deal soon after only highlighted how Turnbull’s personal ambition to be PM was all that mattered. Having been a defence analyst for almost two decades I have yet to see such a poorly thought out, woefully executed and incompetent deal outside of the Nimrod MRA4 deal which BAE Systems struck. Our subs deal is a $50bn disaster penned to buy votes in a failing state (which Tingle made no reference to her own climate change rhetoric loving Turnbull himself trash South Australia’s questionable recurring renewable energy debacle) to buy subs that don’t exist other than paper, that will be so late that they’ll be obsolete by delivery time and further weaken Australia’s defence capability. Shall I keep going?

“So firmly set on a path of destruction, he set about making everything in his prime ministership a negative and ended up destroying himself…You might think that at some point there might have been a moment of midnight reflection. But no…Tony Abbott has continued on his destructive path, not just trying to destroy the man who replaced him but being happily prepared to burn the government of which he is allegedly a part, and some of his closest colleagues at the same time…All in the truly deluded name of policies that he didn’t have the political ability to implement when he was prime minister but which he still thinks might win votes.”

Abbott is a Liberal Party loyalist. His love of party showed when he wrote about Bernardi before he split talking about why they need to unite, something Turnbull has failed to do. In fact those that he got to back his coup have been countlessly thrown under a bus – Morrison, Frydenberg and so on.

To talk of delusion. Turnbull’s call to give the states income tax power before the election lasted less than 48 hours. His call for a Royal Commission on juvenile detention centres in NT based on a short clip of a biased ABC report shows time and again his total lack of judgement. That he scraped home with an election victory won in part by himself funding $1.75m of the campaign. Doing deals with Obama on refugees on refugees after Trump won. Having to get Trump’s number from Greg Norman because he had done zero preparation because he presumed Clinton’s coronation.

“Abbott’s latest intervention has only had the effect of finally bringing out those who have been most admirably loyal to him – like Mathias Cormann – to call him on his disingenuous, hypocritical and dishonest policy critiques of the current government…the other own goal of this latest speech is that it has finally freed the prime minister to give an honest appraisal of what his predecessor didn’t achieve, and point out that he has, in fact, achieved things that eluded Abbott.”

OK, Ms. Tingle, please point exactly where Mr Abbott “didn’t achieve” during his time as PM? Once again in your rant you fail to spell out what he hasn’t done – simply because you can’t or like your journalism makes clear, too lazy.

“The shame of it is that, as is always the case, Abbott leaves a stinking pile of loopy policy ideas steaming on the footpath – ranging from cutting immigration to the renewable energy target – that others will have to go to some considerable trouble to avoid, or, worse, being the sort of populist nonsense they are, be adopted by those profferring simplistic solutions.”

Using potty humour to make a point once again won’t win you awards although I’m sure the group thinkers that follow you will giggle with delight. .

“Backed by the tailwind of a gushing and fawning conservative media, Abbott had every opportunity to set a new highwater mark for the right in Australia…But as his own conservative colleagues publicly abandon him, it is a sign of Abbott’s utter failure that he has even made this unfashionable.”

What Ms. Tingle chooses to forget is that Abbott had to fend of daily attacks from the mainstream media during most of his time as PM. Yes he had some bad moments – e.g. Knights and Dames but he always had his country first at heart which perhaps is why his party buried him for that fatal weakness. The SMH became an Abbott hate paper where you had to look hard to find things that weren’t connected to him. The polls sank him (let’s face it Turnbull’s are no better) and buried his party’s judgement and he is now wasted on the back bench.

I have met Mr Abbott in person and I can only say I see a genuine article. One who selfishly serves the fire brigade as a volunteer in his free time. One who apologised sincerely for making me the butt of one of his jokes at a Tokyo Australian Embassy event which celebrated a landmark beef deal with Japan. Of course he meant no harm and the joke went down extremely well. However he was above all sincere.

Ms. Tingle, if you want to follow best in class journalism you’d go pretty far to find someone with as much ‘integrity’ to model yourself on than the baseless tripe you published today. Then again I challenge you to list the achievements of PM Turnbull and at the same time please listen to the out of touch rhetoric of Minister Pyne, Senator Cormann et al and look at a party Abbott loves be turned into a mess no true conservative voter can objectively claim to be proud of. Or is One Nation just an anomaly. The LNP is toast, much like Fairfax.