In news that will surprise no-one, it turns out that the Coalition while in government completely dismissed the type of reforms that they are now championing as an excuse to hold up our legislation which will improve the rights of same sex couples. I think that any fair minded person can see that same sex couples should have exactly the same rights as heterosexual de-facto couples, which is what this piece of legislation will achieve. But the retrogrades in the Liberal and National Parties simply won’t accept that it’s not OK to discriminate against gay people as a way of winning the support of bigots.
I believe that it’s time for Australians to loudly reject the bigoted, narrow minded, prejudice that the conservative forces in this nation use as their bread and butter and demand that we work towards a more egalitarian nation where fairness and respect are the guiding principles we live by. I think that we’ve taken the first step in that process by electing my government, but we need to do more by letting the opposition know that discrimination is just plain wrong, it is not a reasonable area of ‘policy differentiation’. Australia deserves better than the clowns that John Howard has left behind, moulded in his bitter image.
What a great way to start a long weekend!It’s always fun slapping around the intellectual midgets on the other side of the chamber, but it’s doubly satisfying when they’ve been hoist on their own petard. I know that we may have looked like we were in a bit of trouble this week when the Libs started carrying on about some of the sponsored travel that we undertook while in opposition, but we knew all along that, as usual, they were in it up to their necks. Personally, I think the personal involvement of Mark Vaile with a guy they’ve been trying to paint as a secret contact of mine is the best part of the story. Although Andrew Robb admitting that they’d be happy to accept sponsorship from the same company was a very close second.
One thing that I think does need to be cleared up is this,
But questions remain about why Mr Tang chose to be so generous to a number of senior Labor politicians,
The answer to this is pretty straight forward. If you had to spend time with anyone from the Libs or the Nats when they were in government you’d do everything in your power to get the ALP elected too. A dinner with the Libs is only marginally less painful than root canal surgery. Spending time with the Nats is like trying to explain quantum physics to a three year old who’s drunk four litres of red cordial, actually it’s harder than that. People don’t necessarily like the ALP, but they sure do despise the Coalition.
Friends, I know that you all understand that everything that I do is in the best interests of the nation. From time to time the opposition are going to try throwing this type of mud to discredit me, you simply need to trust that there is always a perfectly good explanation for everything I do. Have a happy and safe Easter.
I realise that there are some people of a progressive bent who believe that Malcolm Turnbull will make a good opposition leader because he’s not as extreme as the bulk of the Liberal Party and will soften the party somewhat, I’m sorry to be so blunt friends, but you are deluding yourselves. Malcolm “Goldman Sachs” Turnbull is a first class prat, whose only interests in life are directly related to his own wealth and power. Malcolm doesn’t care who or what he has to trample to achieve his aims and believes that his wealth somehow is a measure of his good judgement, rather than his family connections and the early patronage of Kerry Packer.
I don’t know how he does it, but whenever there seems to be anything difficult facing us as a government Brendan Nelson swoops in and rescues us. The last few days have been a little tense with speculation growing as to who will be the winners and losers in our first budget, but Brendan has swept that all aside today by uttering The M Word.
Yes it seems that a Liberal Party – National Party merger is on the cards again. I couldn’t have timed it better if I’d personally been directing Dr Nelson’s press secretary. What this is essentially about, is the Liberal Party trying desperately to grab members and resources before the Nats disappear into political oblivion. While on the face of it this is a good idea, after all that Nationals haven’t said no to the Libs over anything since the 70’s, when you drill down it’s a potential disaster for both parties.
There are two issues that complicate this issue. The first is that the grassroots members of each party hold each other in disdain, they see the Coalition as a necessary evil to keep us out of power and would find it hard to work within a united party.
The second problem that they have is that the State branches are in such differing conditions. In my home state of Queensland the Liberal Party was essentially destroyed during the Joh years, meaning that the Nats continue to be the senior Coalition partner, something they would loathe relinquishing. In Victoria the parties hate each other so much that they’ve only recently formed a coalition again, having been independent since Kennett was kicked out. There’s no way these states are going to conform to some model proposed by the Federal parties.
This is before you throw the ‘Barnaby Factor’ into the mix, we’ve already seen how effective the new leadership is, so how Mr 7 per cent thinks he can pull off a major structural change to the parties is beyond me. The important thing from my perspective is that they keep talking about it. There’s nothing like having a sideshow keeping the hacks entertained while you go about actually achieving things in government.
I don’t think that anyone is surprised to hear what treasury really thinks about the Howard years. There’s a lot of hard work to do friends, just remember that all the pain we’re about to go through is thanks to the last mob.
I have to admit that I’m really enjoying the new look Coalition. Gone are the days of absolute control from the leader’s office, they appear to have developed a more relaxed, individualist style where everyone simply does what they like. It seems that they don’t even bother to tell The Nightwatchman when they’re going overseas, let alone taking in 18 holes at Royal Canberra or lunch at Manuka. The absences of Messrs Downer, Vaile and Tuckey have been like a gold mine for us, the tabloids are lapping it up.
I also think I’m getting the hang of how media management works when you’re PM. Essentially you get your press secretary to hand out ‘story ideas’ in the non-members bar and the hacks type them up for you. What’s even better is that unlike when you’re in opposition they don’t go asking the other side for comment, undermining whatever point you’re trying to convey. I know that we all like to talk about the importance of independent media, but trust me when I tell you that lazy, compliant journos are starting to climb in my estimation.
I spoke to Bradley, my ASIO liaison, about whether we could organise for Mark Vaile to be ‘accidently’ picked up by the CIA while he was in the middle east, but apparently it’s not the done thing at the moment. Pity.
The best thing about being PM is getting the chance to implement things that you believe are important. The second best thing about being PM is being able to torment the opposition while you do it.
You may have seen reports that we’re not releasing the names of schools who are eligible for the first roll out of new computers and the opposition are squealing about it like a two year old throwing a tantrum. Friends, there’s a very simple reason for doing this, if we produced a list you can bet the first thing that would happen is that the opposition would run around screaming about the number of machines going into ALP electorates, completely overlooking the fact that these schools have been neglected for the past decade.
The other reason that Liberals are complaining about the lack of a list is that it might just force them to actually get in contact with schools in their electorate. Imagine the horror that the staffers in Coalition offices must be feeling at the prospect of having to speak to people in public schools, the last time most of them would have done that would have been after debate club when they were sixteen.
I’m proud to say that once again we’re delivering on our first term agenda. The fact that it’s so simple to upset the
monkey’s members on the other side of the chamber while doing so is just a bonus.