Mister 16%

For those that may be remotely interested, my highly intelligent, critical analysis of the latest Newspoll results and the implications for Malcolm Turnbull can be found here.

In other news, Tony Abbott has introduced a new episode in the history of the Catholic Church with the establishment of “The Sisters of Perpetual Endorsement” in support of the beleagured Leader.

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NSW schools and solar panels

I have tried to find details of the story on the innertubes, but for the life of me cannot find one.

Last night on ABC News, they had a story that the NSW schools cannot install the solar panels promised to be funded by the federal government because the NSW government will not allow the installation. The story (I think) was saying that the NSW government wanted a single point for all contracts.

Does anyone know any more about this? or can anyone find the story?

Arrogant and inexperienced

I heard this morning a story on ABC radio about someone being “arrogant” and “inexperienced”. I thought, gee, the news about blogocrats II is certainly getting around. But it seems that the comments are from Wilson Tuckey and are directed towards Malcolm Turnbull.

The deep divisions in the Opposition over an emissions trading scheme have been laid bare for all to see, with outspoken Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey labelling his leader “arrogant” and “inexperienced”.

Oh dear – this is not good for Turnbull. But who will take over if he goes? And doesn’t all this attention on the opposition let the government off the hook?

Liberals Rule, OK!

Tonight on SBS there is the first of a three-part series on the Liberal Party called “Liberal Rule: The Politics that Changed Australia”. Poor Gerard Henderson in todays SMH is very upset about the balance that the program gives, calling it “a shocker and a disgrace”. Oh – poor diddums. He says that the program “gave considerable time to left-wing commentators but censored all contrary views” (my emphasis).

But Gerard leaves his funniest line for the end of the article:

Unlike the Labor Party, the Liberals do not take their history seriously.

I was having some breakie with the bf this morning at Australia Square and that line caused an immediate (and embarrassing) guffaw from me. Or was it a chortle?

Anyway – the program is on SBS tonight at 830pm.

Turnbull: “I Will Win the Next Election”

Despite taking a hammering over his handling over the ute-gate affair, and murmurings amongst senior Liberal Party ranks, the Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is convinced that the coalition will win the next election.

Mr Turnbull is obviously buoyed by a new Newspoll survey that suggests he has clawed back six percentage points to see his overall approval rating rise to 31 per cent.

Relishing the opportunity to appear before an audience of the nation’s powerbrokers, Mr Turnbull today visited a self-funded retiree forum at a retirement village in Sydney’s south and fielded questions about the economic crisis and income tax.

According to reports, one woman in the audience asked:

“Are we going to live long enough for you to get back into government?”

“The answer is assuredly yes,” Mr Turnbull said.

“You’ve only got to wait until the next election.”

“As I said, we’ll be back in power at the next election with their support,” he said.

“And I wish everybody in that room a long and healthy life as I do to everybody of course, all Australians.”

Hu you gonna call?

Not Kevin Rudd evidently.

Despite the PM’s so called “special relationship” with China, and his self-professed title as a “diplomat” it seems as though the PM carries as influence as a wet rag in Chinese diplomatic circles.

The Federal Government is still no closer to extracting more information from China about the arrest of Australian mining executive Stern Hu. Chinese born Mr Hu and his three Rio Tinto colleagues were arrested last Sunday for allegedly spying and stealing state secrets.

China’s acting ambassador to Australia was called into the Foreign Affairs Department again yesterday but the Foreign Affairs Minister admits no more detail has been forthcoming.

This report from ABC’s AM Chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis:

LYNDAL CURTIS: Three times the Government has sought to extract more information from China’s acting ambassador to Australia and it’s still no closer to answers to its questions.

STEPHEN SMITH: No, and that is why we pressed them both in Canberra and in Beijing but I have made the point in recent days despite some people thinking that somehow this difficult issue can be magically solved by one phone call, this is a difficult and complex case. It requires constant attention which is what we are giving it.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Australian officials were able to see Mr Hu last week but under the consular agreement struck with China they won’t be able to see him again for another month.

The Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has told Radio National the Government’s priority is getting detailed information on the charges that may be facing Mr Hu.

STEPHEN SMITH: To enable us to, in our view, try and protect Mr Hu’s interests, we need to have more detail about that and more precise detail about it and that is what we are pressing Chinese officials for.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And he’s not happy that Australian ministers have been reduced to scouring Chinese newspapers and websites for information.

STEPHEN SMITH: I have made it crystal clear, as have our officials, that I would have much preferred that this information be given to us through the normal diplomatic channels and you can be reliably assured that that is a point that has been made in the last 24 hours to Chinese officials both here and in Beijing.

LYNDAL CURTIS: While Mr Smith and the Trade Minister Simon Crean are trying to separate the detention of Mr Hu from the broader economic and trade relationship between the countries, one former ambassador to China, Ross Garnaut believes the episode may do wider damage.

ROSS GARNAUT: It is going to be an episode that does do damage to China and its international partners. It’s in all of our interests that that be handled with great sensitivity within and without China.

I have no doubt that within China there will be concerns about the international business response.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Stephen Smith has rejected the Opposition’s continuing calls that either he or the Prime Minster pick up the phone to speak to their counterparts in China. He says the Government is being methodical and proportionate and isn’t giving up on Mr Hu but the Coalition’s defence spokesman David Johnston has told ABC TV the Government’s performance isn’t nearly good enough.

DAVID JOHNSTON: The Prime Minister proclaims that he has a special relationship. He is a diplomat. What have we seen from this government with respect to resolving this man’s plight? I just think it is absolutely outrageous and I just cannot believe we are sitting back allegedly, quietly manoeuvring behind the scenes.

The Monk’s Tales

Clearly poor old Tony Abbott has a lot of time on his hands with the revelation that he is about to release a new – bound to be bestselling book – called “Battlelines.”

According to this report, Mr Abbott is sick and tired of the namby-pamby “feel-good” forward-thinking culture that is emerging in Australia and wants to see a return to what he calls “conservative traditional values.”

Mr Abbott suggested the Liberal Party should place the concept of strengthening traditional family values high on its policy agenda.

“Conservatism was the doctrine that dare not speak its name,” Mr Abbott said. “Now I think it is important that conservatism be acknowledged as a critically important component of the strands of thinking within the Liberal Party.

Aah, the return of the “old slient majority!”

“I think conservatism has a potential appeal which may well be much broader than the appeal of political philosophies which have historically been more acceptable in Australia, such as liberalism and socialism” he said.

An interesting display of “Abbott logic.” According to Mr Abbott, a philosophy which has been traditionally less-appealing in Australia, should be more appealing simply because he says so? Fascinating stuff. A bit like Jean Luc Picard saying “Make it so.”

Furthermore, despite the majority of Australians now of the opinion that the option of marriage should be available to same sex couples, Mr Abbott has the whole gay marriage issue clearly in his sights and wants to perpetuate discrimination by further elevating the superiority of “traditional marriage!”

“The point I make in the book is that a society that is moving towards some kind of recognition of gay unions, for instance, is surely capable of providing additional recognition to what might be thought of as traditional marriage,” he said.

I can see his point. We simply can’t have a society that has the same equality and recognition for same sex couples and opposite sex couples.
Mr Abbott’s concept must be something akin to a budget “no frills” concept of marriage for same sex couples as opposed to a “premium members club” type marriage for opposite sex couples.

“Something akin to Matrimonial Causes Act marriage ought to be an option for people who would like it,” Mr Abbott said. “Even though [marriage] is probably the most important commitment that any human being can make, in fact there are many, many contracts which are harder to enter and harder to get out of than this one.”

I know what he means. I tried to return a mobile phone once. It was a bloody nightmare.

The Matrimonial Causes Act, abandoned in 1975 in exchange for a “no-fault” system, provided 14 grounds for divorce, including adultery, desertion, cruelty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment and insanity, or separation for more than five years

And his point is? (Completely lost on me.)

Or is he suggesting that same sex “marriages” are almost definitely going to involve adultery, cruelty, habitual drunkenness and insanity, unlike those good god-fearing opposite sex marriages?

Mr Abbott confessed that he had finally come to terms with the 2007 election loss through a process akin to “grieving” and was prepared to stay in politics over the long term.

“Like everybody else I am subject to the electors, the preselectors and circumstance.”

Well yes. And the fact that nobody likes you.

He said writing the book had been therapeutic, admitting to feeling “a little sorry for myself” after the election defeat, which he said particularly hurt because “I think we lost to an unworthy opponent”.

“A little sorry for himself?” “Gutted” would perhaps be a more appropriate description. It seems as though Tony just can’t get over the fact, that the majority of Australians rejected everything that the Liberal party and people like Tony Abbott stood for at the last election.

Of course, if Mr Abbott thinks he is on to “a winner” by motivating the Liberal party to navigate back towards traditional, conservative right-wing values, I’m sure the sentiment will appeal to someone.

Born to rule, as always.