Another statement to pause and reflect on

Following on Mark Kenny’s article in the other part of the Fairfax stable, SMH/AGE, was the following comment in the comments section from someone called Malcolm in the Muddle:

To repeat … Now, after 5 long years, we can return to sensible government!

And another statement to pause and reflect on.

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A statement to pause and reflect on

In today’s AFR, published before the leadership spill this morning, Phil Coorey wrote:

Labor is now the undisputed free market party in Australian politics.

Once upon a time such a statement would have been laughable and Coorey ridiculed.

This is no longer the case.  Such a statement now gives cause to pause and reflect.  And for that, all Australians will pay the price.

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The Tribe Has Spoken

It’s no wonder that this current Australian Government cannot get its foreign policy settings with China correct; they seem to have no understanding of the basics of Chinese numerology.  As Spartacus has previously written, the number 4 is bad luck in Chinese and the number 444 is particularly bad.

So let’s get to the details.  It looks and smells like Prime Minister Turnbull might be deposed any day now.  Now as Spartacus has previously disclosed, he is not a member of any political party, but Spartacus does not believe that the Parliamentary Liberal party (or any parliamentary party) should remove a Prime Minister.  That job should be left to either the population as part of a general election or at the very least to the general party membership.  The Parliamentary party has long surrendered its authority to appoint and remove leaders by virtue of not supervising or “nudging” their current and prior leader.

(As an aside, the appointment of a parliamentary leader by the party membership is an idea long advocated by John Ruddick but recently co-oped and claimed by others.  Ruddick is soon to publish a book on this subject and the reform of the Liberal Party).

But no matter what happens to Prime Minister Turnbull, there are 2 people in Turnbull’s Cabinet who should resign immediately and start planning for their post politics career.  Those 2 people are Josh Frydenberg and Julie Bishop.

Julie Bishop, the Minister for Fashion Shows and First Class travel has been the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party to 4, count them, 4 Liberal leaders:

  1. Brendan Nelson
  2. Malcolm Turnbull 1
  3. Tony Abbott
  4. Malcolm Turnbull 2

She has failed ever single time to perform the duty of a deputy.  Where is the current DEPUTY Leader of the Liberal Party?  What is her view on the NEG?  What is her view on the current political turmoil.  Not a peep.  Perhaps she has read the tea leaves an is already filling in an application for a role with the Clinton Global Initiative.

John Frydenberg, Minister for Surreptitious Carbon Taxes also has to go.  The NEG is his second attempt to sneak through a carbon tax by another name; the previous effort being his Energy Intensity Scheme.  Couple these two stuff ups with his $444 million (note the number) Barrier Reef boondoggle with is abject failure as Deregulation Minister to achieve any real deregulation.  Not again the magic and bad luck number 4:

  1. No substantive deregulation as deregulation minister
  2. Hidden Carbon tax 1 – Energy Intensity Scheme (EIS)
  3. $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
  4. Hidden Carbon tax 2 – National Energy Guarantee (NEG)

Much like Minister Bishop, Minister Frydenberg has left a trail of policy failures and no successes.

Julie and Josh.  The tribe has spoken.  It is time to leave the island.

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Updated – Why Malcolm Turnbull will be our longest-serving PM since Robert Menzies

Thank you to Darren for reminding us of the wisdom, prescience and judgement of Fairfax opinion writers.

It was only November 2015 that that paragon of inner city latte intellect, Elizabeth Farrelly predicted that:

Malcolm – who like Beyonce is known universally by his first name – will be the longest-serving prime minister since Menzies. Possibly ever.

Oh and this:

But this is more than a prediction. It’s a judgment. Malcolm’s political longevity will be a Very Good Thing. Not because he’ll necessarily manage to repurpose the crazier cowboy fringes of the Coalition. But because – far more importantly – the explicitness of Malcolm’s intelligence makes it OK for us to be intelligent too

It’s a judgement.  And people wonder why Fairfax had to be saved by an “entertainment company”.

Malcolm speaks to us not as a rabble of blithering chimps wanting their buttons pushed but as grownups, capable of considered argument, reasoned reflection and conscientious decision. For Australia, this is huge.

Really.  Does he?

But for what it is worth, this is Spartacus’ prediction:

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High Tax Bill and Low Energy Mal

President Donald Trump has a gift.  Not for governing but for looking into the souls of his opponents and giving them a nick name that is at the same time a funny yet accurate.  This gift even warrants its own Wikipedia page.  Consider some of the classics – Sloppy Steve (Bannon), Low Energy Jeb (Bush), High Tax (Chuck) Schumer and Crazy Maxine (Waters).

In every one of these nicknames is more then a kernel of truth.  Consider for example Goofy Elizabeth Warren, the Senator, from the Great State of Massachusetts who has proposed a law to accompany her likely 2020 Presidential Campaign which that will require that:

no business (in the US) with more than $1 billion in revenue would be permitted to legally operate without permission from the federal government.

This law, provisionally called the “Accountable Capitalism Act”, will according to Senator Warren:

restore(s) the idea that giant American corporations should look out for American interests.  Corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue would be required to get a federal corporate charter.

But who will define “American Interest”?  Again according to Senator Warren:

The new charter requires corporate directors to consider the interests of all major corporate stakeholders—not only shareholders—in company decisions. Shareholders could sue if they believed directors weren’t fulfilling those obligations.

Let’s read that again.  Shareholders can sue if stakeholders aren’t considered.  Can’t you see the class action lawyer slogans … Buy 1 share, sue the company.

Goofy.  Hmmm.

But if Cats think that the ASX Corporate Governance Council and the whole social licence concept is nonsense, just wait for the US Federal Government to also:

dictate to these businesses the composition of their boards, the details of internal corporate governance, compensation practices, personnel policies, and much more. Naturally, their political activities would be restricted, too.

If such a law is passed, watch how quickly giant American Corporations become giant non-American Corporations.

But Australians should not laugh too loud.  With our own High Tax Bill (Shorten) and Low Energy Mal(colm Turnbull) working hard to turn Australian businesses not into non-Australian businesses, but rather into dust.

Let’s plant government officials into the offices of business to make sure they “behave”.  Let’s tax business so that they “pay their fair share”.  Let’s increase energy costs to ensure no energy is required (because the activity is uneconomic).

Increased tax + Increased energy costs + Increased government regulation = Venezstralia.

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Statement – Result

Reported in the Australian:


On January 28 last year (2017), only days after Donald Trump was sworn in as US President, the Canadian Prime Minister tweeted: a deliberate shot at Trump’s hardline immigration policies by trumpeting how Canada had an open door for refugees.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #welcometocanada,” he tweeted.


Last year Canada received a record 50,420 applications for asylum, more than double the 23,930 it received in 2016 and the highest level since the country’s Immigration and Refugee Board was created in 1989. Of these, almost 30,000 walked illegally across the border from the US into the province of Quebec — a situation Trudeau has been criticised for failing to deal with. In the first six months of this year, a further 10,261 crossed from New York state into Quebec.

Population of Canada – 36.3 million.

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