Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Be under no illusion: Malcolm Turnbull wants to destroy Australian literature

*Pic, Credit: CeBIT Australia. Source: Flickr http://bit.ly/1r1Eqw8

Speech given to the Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney on 19 May The government’s record drips with a contempt for writers and writing that leaves me in despair. The Liberals are a party of philistines.

It may seem at the moment that the only thing that will save the Australian book industry is moving every publisher and writer into Christopher Pyne’s electorate, and making them all wear hi-vis jackets and safety helmets.

For we have in recent weeks discovered that the Turnbull government is considering proposals for a writer to not have any rights in their work 15 to 25 years after it’s first published. So Mem Fox has no rights in Possum Magic. Stephanie Alexander has no rights in A Cook’s Companion. Elizabeth Harrower has no rights in The Watch Tower. John Coetzee has no rights in his Booker winning Life and Times of Michael K. Nor Peter Carey to The Kelly Gang, nor Tim Winton to Cloudstreet. Anyone can make money from these books except the one who wrote it.

The Abbott and now Turnbull governments’ record drips with a contempt for writers and writing that leaves me in despair. They want to thieve our past work, and, by ending parallel importation restrictions and territorial copyright, destroy any future for Australian writers.

That contempt has been made concrete in the report of the Orwellian titled Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission doesn’t dare call books books. Instead they are called – in a flourish not unworthy of Don de Lillo – cultural externalities.

In their perverted world view, the book industry’s very success is a key argument in their need to destroy the book industry, and this determination to destroy an industry is revealed in their reports as the real aim of these proposals.

Just one highly revealing quote from the Productivity Commission:

“The expansion of the books production industries over recent decades has attracted and held productive resources, notably skilled labour and capital, that have thereby been unavailable for use in other industries. The upshot will have been reduced growth in employment and output in other parts of the economy.”

Replace the clumsy phrase “book production industries” with the word “kulak”, and you would have ideological cant worthy of Stalin.

What they are saying is that without the book industry – which is nothing more than a parasite – the economy would be doing far better. We could all be helping the economy doing real work like, well, being unpaid interns for merchant bankers.

The report’s proposals, which even before seeing them the Turnbull government agreed to endorse, effectively extinguish the Australian book industry as we know it and deliver our market to American and British publishers.

And that’s what this government thinks of everyone in this room. Be under no illusion: they want to destroy this industry. And with it, Australian literature. They want you out of a job, they want us no longer writing. Cultural externalities are, after all, external to who and what we are.

And perhaps this is all not so surprising, because the Turnbull government’s decision is not based in reality. Vassals of an outdated ideology unrelated to the real world, they can, when questioned on this issue, only mumble neo-liberal mantras that have delivered the world economic stagnation, rising inequality, and global environmental crisis. Hollow men, stuffed men, their words rats feet over broken glass. The only thing these people read are The Panama Papers to see if their own name has cropped up.

This decision to destroy the book industry by removing parallel import restrictions is consistent with the government’s relentless assaults on science and scientists. It is of a piece with its ongoing attacks on thought and debate. Who benefits from ignorance and silence other than the most powerful and the richest?

The democracy of thought and discussion that books make possible, the possibility of empathy that books are known to engender, the sense of a shared humanity and the transcendent possibilities that books give rise to, all will be diminished by this profound attack on Australian writing. And we will have returned to being what we were fifty years ago: a colony of the mind.

You have to ask if, at heart, this is not profoundly political, because the disenfranchisement of the imagination is ever the disempowerment of the individual. There is, after all, both a bitter irony and a profound connection in a government that would condemn the wretched of the earth as illiterate, while hard at work to rob its own people of their culture of words.

I had long hoped for bipartisan support for arts. I have lobbied politicians of all stripes on that basis. I wrote to then prime minister Abbott on this matter. But the last two Liberal governments have been the worst in our history in their treatment of artists and writers.

With their gutting of the Australia Council, with their theft of money for a Book Council that never happened and the money for it vanished into general revenue, they have shown that they do not care, and now, far worse, that they wish to destroy the possibility of a future Australian literature by destroying territorial copyright.

Where is prime minister Turnbull’s much vaunted innovative economy in this decision? Where exactly, prime minister, are the jobs and innovation in destroying jobs and innovation? We employ people, some 25,000 by last count. We make billions, we pay tax, we make things and we sell them here and we sell them around the world. And all at no cost to the taxpayer. And now prime minister Turnbull would destroy it all.

We are not a subsidised industry. The fossil fuel industry gets $18bn of subsidies. A single South Australian submarine worker gets $17.9m. And writers? The total direct subsidy for all Australian writers is just $2.4m. That’s it. And that’s all.

What I say next, I say with heavy heart and only after the deepest thought, because I don’t believe in any party. I speak now only for myself.

Fuck them.

This is a government that has no respect for us and no respect for what we do. This is a government that despises books and views with hostility the civilisation they represent. Perhaps it hopes in a growing silence that it might prosper. Certainly, it cares only about one thing: power.

And only on those terms will it listen.

For that reason, if you care at all about books don’t vote Liberal at this election. If you care at all about what books mean, don’t vote Liberal. If you value how books can enrich lives, don’t vote Liberal. If you think Australian books matter to an Australian society, don’t vote Liberal.

Because this is the party of philistines who punish the creators, destroy all that has been created and create nothing but destruction. They should stand condemned for what they have done. To the minister I say, if you have a shred of dignity, resign. His shame, and prime minister Turnbull’s shame should be public, well known and long, long, long lived.

For we inside this room and the many, many more beyond it have made something special and unique that helps us become a better people, and which brings our people honour around the world.

This government, which again, and again, has brought Australia only global shame with its follies of cowardice and cruelty has no right now to destroy such a good in our nation as this: the voice of our experience, the words of our people, the tongue of our hope – our culture of writing.

In this time of fracture we need more than ever the things that can bring us together as a people, not fear, not the resentments of the many carefully cultivated to cloak the priviliege of the few, but the hope of a society that might discover in books the liberating possibility of a shared humanity. Of a better future. Together.

We need to fight for it. We must not give up – and, if we hold together, I promise you – we shall prevail.

Also published in TT Books HERE

• Peter Adams in Comments: I first read this speech a couple of weeks ago in the Guardian and I felt immensely proud to know that our very own Flanagan is using his writing and oratory skills to reveal, in such fine fashion, the cut of the cloak our wannabe emperor wants to wear. We need more people to take it upon themselves to name and shame the power hungry who only view the world through the one myopic eye of Neo-Liberalism. We need more people like Richard to rise to the challenge to give, not only Tasmanians, but all Australians, the emboldened courage to demand a healthy, prosperous and just life. Go Richard!

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. TGC

    June 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    #20 I read all that and it made me realise the sooner we have a government run by corrupt union leaders the sooner Australians will know on which side they prefer their bread is buttered- the Left or the Right

  2. William Boeder

    June 5, 2016 at 12:39 am

    I have provided this link to the let people know a little more of the track record of one Malcolm Turnbull and what it is shaping the Liberal governments in both the State’s they govern and as our nations temporary leadership government.
    Pay close attention to that which is printed below and will be a preserved forever to disgrace for all time the Liberal government desire to destroy democracy and ruin the Australian parliament.
    That this man can dare to lead this nation of Australia.


  3. TGC

    June 4, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Look #6 -if you are going to declare “war” put your heart and soul into it.
    Congratulations to the Liberals (Coalition?) on having a fair dinkum go. Labor is just pussy-footing around chucking money at everything- wimps.

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    June 3, 2016 at 2:58 am

    #15 Leonard, From what I understand the current EU legal system allows for open borders for immigrants to freely move throughout the EU.

    Brexit voters do not approve of open borders but in place would approve of an Australian points system.

    There is the fear of further spread of global jihadist terrorism networks throughout the EU.

    It is believed that 333,000 migrants moved into the UK last year of which 275,000 were from Bulgaria and Romania seeking work, the remainder are Syrians, Iraq and Afghani who use the EU legal system to enter the UK.

    #17, John, its a catch 22 at present for those who take it upon themselves to arrive on our shores without proper process.

    At present consequences are profound for the victims of the illegal human trafficing trade.

    Many of us would prefer a different approach towards those who are already waiting indefinitely but I think the government is afraid of more boat arrivals once those currently in detention would be released into Australian society.

    I was thinking more along the lines of an improved economy could trigger better treatment and resettlement for those currently in detention.

    I dont believe that the current system can be tolerated indefinitely, there has to be a breakthrough eventually, the PNG government has already indicated it no longer wants a part in the detention business on Manus Island.

    Despite my comments, the spread of ISIS and the complexity of Islam beliefs are to be treated with caution, its conflict and suspicious agenda remains as a major concern among Western society.

  5. John Biggs

    June 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    #14 “Protect our borders and economy, reasonable democratic processes will follow.”

    Depends what you mean by “reasonable” Robin. Border protection so far has meant militarising the Immigration department, giving the Attorney General powers to detain individuals in Australia for 30 days without charge or trial, giving the AFP power to detain people because they don’t like their face, especially a Middle-Eastern one, shutting up would-be immigrants indefinitely off shore in conditions so shocking it drives some mad or suicidal. And of course pouring billions upon billions into these profoundly undemocratic procedures.

    This is not reasonable nor is it democratic.

  6. Lyndall Rowley

    June 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I wrote to Bill and the Labor Party yesterday after reading the TT article written by Richard Flanagan. I wondered if the Labor Party opposed the Libs’ proposed changes to restrict writers’ rights and impact upon our book publishing industry. I thought this issue would be of interest to voters during the election campaign. (Especially seeing many more people are having a problem choosing who to vote for this time).

    The Labor party machine response is below. They address the ‘parallel import restrictions’ issue and confirm that Labor supports an Aussie publishing industry.

    But I can’t see any clear indication that this book industry support includes the protection of Aussie writers’ rights to their own works. Maybe I just don’t understand the issue, terminology & political-speak in the below reply:

    ” Thank you for your email regarding the parallel importation rules for the book industry.

    Labor supports the existing Speed to Market Initiative which was developed by the Australian publishing and book retailing industries working under the stewardship of the Book Industry Collaborative Council. The Council was a Labor initiative.

    The industry reached agreement after extensive expert scrutiny by the Book Industry Strategy Group of the impact of technology on the creative, retail, manufacturing and educational aspects of the diverse publishing industry. The Book Industry Strategy Group was established by Labor when in government.

    In responding to the Harper Review of Competition Policy in November 2015, the Turnbull Government stated that it supported the removal of parallel import restrictions on books and that it would progress this recommendation following the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements due to report in August 2016).

    Labor has long supported the Australian book industry, which provides significant economic and cultural value to Australia.

    Labor will continue to work closely with Australia’s book industry and review further proposals relating to parallel import restrictions on books when these proposals are bought forward.

    Thank you again for contacting us about this important issue.

    Yours sincerely,

    ALP Information Services Unit
    Australian Labor Campaign Headquarters “

  7. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    About Brexit, and addressed to advocates of our leaving the American alliance and the IMF for a (more) independent Australia: interested to know what your Brexit positions are.

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    June 2, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Flanagan is a story teller and not a part of any political rebel rattling as he may sometimes imagine he is!

    Lefties dont do so well in this country especially now as there seem to be some political chaos emerging in the war of how this country should be run after June 22nd.

    Its no time for fictional characters to emerge to disturb the political process, one thing I can assure the voters think wisely who you vote for otherwise we will all have to wear the mistakes of new starters as a non functional Federal government.

    Australia is approaching a time of global anxiety, now becoming apparent in our region, you know what I mean.
    We must choose who comes to settle and do business here, just remember that!

    Back home Boris and the PM have to sort out to exit or stay with the EU, big decision around protecting borders with a benefit of having 22 miles stretch of water deterrent for those trying illegal entry.

    The UK is considering the Australian system of the Howard years currently in place to deter people smugglers

    Global overpopulation expansion through racial divides is with us, we must save ourselves first and foremost.

    The EU and the UK have to instigate measures that involve a fair go for their existing citizens by not continuing to fill up their respective countries with strangers, limits will have to be imposed to regulate societies movements in a post overpopulated and confused world.

    Protect our borders and economy, reasonable democratic processes will follow.

  9. Annie

    June 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I appreciated reading Mr Flanagan’s comments kindly posted by Peter Adams. I completely agree with Mr Flanagan’s comments that “books engender the possibility of empathy, a sense of shared humanity and the transcendent possibilities that books give rise to”

    I read a book recently called ” The Blue between Sky and Water” by Susanne … -the adult daughter of Palestinian refugees. She is now residing in Canada. Suzanne started the play spaces for Palestine children movement, to help children recover from trauma; and to defend their right to play and to read and write their stories and to hear stories.

    So many children miss out on books and the delight of reading one or visiting a library. We are so fortunate. At a book bequeathing I recently came across the complete works of May Gibbs complete with illustrations-total happiness!!!

    I loved birthdays and Christmas as a child as mum and dad always gave a book to each child in the family. Isn’t it great that there is a town in rural Victoria as well where health professionals put library bags with books in them everywhere where little hands could find them-just to encourage the delight in finding a treasure to read.

    Yes there are so many marvellous Australian writers, since the times of Marcus Clarke, Christiana Stead, Miles Franklin. Australian literature and publishing is a treasure worth declaring as a heritage value on a par with the lovely frescoes in the Ajunta and Ellora caves of India or our own Wandjina paintings.

    I love reading :”A fortunate Life” by A. Facey’s early life in Western Australia and how he taught himself to read.

    Paulo Freire says in the Pedagogy of hope although oppression that people are incomplete beings conscious of their incompletion and attempt to be fully human. We can only hope that people wake up and vote accordingly along with their hearts.

    I tend to keep hope alive by singing quite a lot of songs when walking to work-I find it really does help. Totally agree with the comments about poetry.

    It really is so sad isn’t it about the plight of the Tibetan people living within Tibet, as all children have the right to literacy and the delight of words and music and poetry and writing in their own language and culture as the foundation for life.

    I once had a look at the lovely paintings of the children of the western desert that a sensible principal encouraged the children to paint on their school door. All the children painted the stories of their country on the doors and we can just imagine how attendance at school skyrocketed. Total joy when the children’s paintings went on holidays and visited the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

    Best wishes



  10. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 1, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Add to the list of those “destroying Australian literature” all those university Arts / Humanities faculties which have never taught our literature, or have recently abandoned that field of study (and ‘field of dreams’).

    And why hasn’t ‘our’ ABC made many more screen versions of many (if not most) of our top-ranking literary achievements? Well-made film versions of great books are a sure-fire way of reaching a far broader audience and, consequently, readership.

    As for Premier’s and Prime Minister’s Prizes, I am (admittedly reflexively) skeptical about them, as their first task would surely have to be proving that awards are not made on ideological, political or party-political, criteria.

  11. Pete Godfrey

    June 1, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    The people at the productivity commission must have gone to real estate language classes. They manage to say the strangest things in such flowery language. I bet they go home at night congratulating themselves on the con job they have put over.
    How the bloody hell can they say that people having jobs making books is bad, that they would be better off working elsewhere.
    I have never read such piffle.
    It seems that some jobs are now not needed under the Liberal philosophy.
    So will the Liberals take away copyrights from, Musicians next?
    Productivity commission my arse.
    As if productivity is the only thing that matters in the world. The sooner the government get it into their thick skulls that “Growth is Not Good” the better.
    Planning for stable population and economies is the only thing that will ensure the survival of the human population.
    Thankyou Richard Flanagan for getting up and saying it like it is.

  12. Chris

    June 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    When in doubt you can turn to poetry…..

  13. Chris

    June 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Cheer up…photographofgeorge
    In Guardian Comments
    Meanwhile the LNP are DECLARING WAR on:

    The environment
    Low to medium income earners
    Aged persons
    The disabled
    Mental health services
    Affordable home buyers
    Those who cannot afford legal aid
    Asylum seekers
    Indigenous Australians
    The entire Arts community
    The states and territories
    The Great Barrier Reef
    Kakadu National Park
    Wilderness regions of Tasmania
    On the Australian people due ot inaction on climate change
    Penalty rates
    Young people seeking work
    Young people in general
    Australians’ intelligence
    Classes lower than the ultra rich
    The ABC and SBS
    The LGTBI community
    Our river systems
    Our Neighbours

    Please feel free to add to my list

    Further Cheer..Tasmania stands at 63% Alp and LNP at 37%


  14. John Biggs

    June 1, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    #2 “Ridiculous comments by Richard Flanagan, what is the point of his extraordinary anti establishment remarks, the author and story teller is surely but slowly destroying his reputable standing.”

    The point of his remarks are precisely because they are true! Foregoing local copyright is obviously going to hurt local writers, and hand their hard-earned to foreign corporations. How stupid, no treacherous, is that? As for the assertion by the Productivity Commission that an expanding book industry hurts other industries is backed by absolutely no evidence, but is a staple of neoliberal ideology.

    Neoliberalism is different from laissez-faire capitalism precisely in that neoliberal theory is held as absolute, as the way all economies should go, and it is top down, whereas l-f capitalism is simply open slather. Alternative economic and political theories are attacked and ridiculed. The last thing neoliberals want are writers and artists presenting alternative ideas. Just look at the way Brandis has dismembered the Arts Council, but gave handouts to their neoliberal recipients. Science even by Turnbull is attacked again because science tells us to avoid fossil fuels and go for renewables. The fossil fuel industry doesn’t like that and accordingly Abbott dismantled every functional entity to do with climate change. And now the previously (small l) liberal Turnbull is stuck with a hopelessly expensive Direct Action that hands out our taxpayers’ money to corporations. That’s what Neolibs want and what our pathetic PM must know is wrong but is too weak, and too focused on his own career path, to do anything about it.

    Neoliberalism is profoundly undemocratic. They don’t want the free exchange and discussion of ideas. Only last night I was at a UTAS function at which US economist Edward Nik-Khah and Jeff Malpas made exactly this point (plus several others of massive importance).

  15. peter adams

    June 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I first read this speech a couple of weeks ago in the Guardian and I felt immensely proud to know that our very own Flanagan is using his writing and oratory skills to reveal, in such fine fashion, the cut of the cloak our wannabe emperor wants to wear.

    We need more people to take it upon themselves to name and shame the power hungry who only view the world through the one myopic eye of Neo-Liberalism.

    We need more people like Richard to rise to the challenge to give, not only Tasmanians, but all Australians, the emboldened courage to demand a healthy, prosperous and just life.

    Go Richard!

  16. Chris

    June 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    What does this mean support or agreement, i think thou does protest too defined…

    “The Liberals are not interested in a cultural revolution with the banishment of books, popular culture and sport.”
    Sport – the Tasmanian coverage consists of 18 to 25 seconds per week of football scores.

    Any cultural revolution is far gone the Stateline Programme disappeared and we can have NSW murders and diction less noises (called music) and interviews interrupted by a Sales person 4 nights a week who decides what you will say and or agree with or make a cup of tea while the permanently booked LNP 7.30am slot on Radio National is Grated on and on by selected drones.

    There will be no cuts to …………
    Liars all.
    What has Guthrie (ex Murdock employee) been INSTRUCTED to do?

    Todays Age says it all..
    The public broadcaster’s funding has been slashed since last Labor governed.
    The ABC is in need of support and protection, because it is severely wounded.
    Cuts to its funding have continued. One media analyst calculates that by the election on July 2, the ABC will have lost more than $100 million a year in base funding, tied funding and other government contracts for services since the Liberal government came to power.
    Australia needs a well-funded, independent ABC to provide an alternative voice and to meet its charter requirements throughout this vast country. Its programming for all areas of our community is unique and extensive, as, for example, it provides emergency services and vital contact with the regional and rural communities.
    Not only are the Murdoch press, competitors and like-minded think tanks and commentators attacking it, but some are even challenging the public broadcaster’s right to exist despite its approval rating for quality of programming, service and trustworthiness of 20 per cent to 30 per cent higher than a pass mark.
    The government is claiming the ABC is better funded with its core financing in the May budget triennial allocation being higher than under the last Labor government, an assertion the Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer twice repeated at the Higgins election forum last Thursday night in Malvern Town Hall.
    As spokesman for ABC Friends, I challenged her figuring. After all, Tony Abbott inflicted, with the current PM as his communications minister accomplice, a $254 million cut, a 1 per cent ‘‘efficiency dividend reduction’’ in ABC funding, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop cancelled the Australia Network contract one year into the ABC’s 10-year $233 million international reporting and programming arm.
    As I said at the Higgins meeting, one newspaper calculated from the 2016-17 budget papers a $48 million further cut in funding for the ABC. As a result, additional staff have joined the hundreds of others retrenched over the last three years and programs have been curtailed or closed.
    So, when is a cut not a cut?
    The raw figures in 2013-14 funding in the last year of the Labor government, outside of the nearly $200 million transmission costs for the ABC’s 56 stations and four national television channels, was $860.6 million
    The 2016-17 budget allocation is for $838 million – a reduction in actual funding of $22.6 million. (For 2017-18 it is estimated to be $841.8 million, which represents a further cut of $18.8 million.)
    Inflation has averaged over 2 per cent for the last three years. That means a further real reduction in funding of a conservative $50 million-plus from the last year of the Labor government to the first year of this government’s triennial funding.
    I will not go into the mental gymnastics of special tied funding, but the Labor government provided more to the ABC in this area and that is why staff continue to be retrenched, with FactCheck and other programming being cut. In real terms the funding of the ABC has been reduced by over 25 per cent by governments over the last 30 years.
    The impact has been felt on programming quality and local content in every area from children’s programming to music, the arts, drama, regional coverage, international reporting and sport – and (as outgoing CEO Mark Scott conceded) has resulted in a greater concentration of staff, decision-making and production in Sydney.
    With Australian drama now not able to be produced in-house by the ABC because of cost, it is being outsourced or co-produced so there is less quality control, less spread of creative talent being developed around Australia and the ABC’s earning power reduced.
    Tell us, ministers, how the ABC is now better off under your government? I have characterised what is happening to our public broadcaster as ‘‘death by a thousand cuts’’. The situation is really serious and should concern all Australians.
    Ranald Macdonald heads the National ABC Friends campaign and was managing director of David Syme and Co. Limited (publisher of The Age) for 19 years.

  17. john hayward

    June 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Good literature, by its very nature, tends to stimulate reflection, imagination, and analysis.

    Conservative governments, by contrast, prefer an ovine public which isn’t much interested in much more than surviving external threats.

    If you want a society that is trusting, relaxed and comfortable in the real world, you need it to be very ignorant.

    John Hayward

  18. William Boeder

    June 1, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Malcolm Turnbull will end up the same as did the reviled Liberal Senator Eric the Ta Ann teamster.
    It seems so apparent that Malcolm (with his turning evil toward the people) Turnbull can only be brain manipulated by some bizarre element in the Liberal party.
    Either that or he has much to hide and the he is being forced to follow the extreme right, to join the same crackpots that Abetz was tied in with.

    Another 3 X 1000 million dollars has been added to the ten year tax break for the corporate cane toad tax cuts.
    So now the giveaway is up to 51 X 1000 million dollars.
    I am unable to see how this treacherous step is going to lower the Australian debt position, so in effect the Liberals have gone against all their former rantings to reduce government spending, now instead effectively asking for less tax revenue from the big business sector.
    No doubt the reduced role of the Australian Regulatory Authorities will be a boon to each of the lesser regulated 5 major Banks.
    All of ’em (Banks) effectively nowadays far too big to be painstakingly audited, what with all their shady non-disclosures, shady fee structures, then impaired customer dealings. Then recall that both this Countries Regulatory Authorities effectively having had their teeth removed.
    Where is that bottle of overproof rum in this house, I am in need of its calming and mind deadening effects.
    In days gone by Turnbull could have been arrested for engaging in this sort of treasonous behaviour against the best interests of Australia.

    In fact it is much the same as that of miscreant George W Bush when he found himself the President of America.
    It was Bush who allowed the mega-corporate financial pirates of America to destroy so much of the regulatory constraints that premeditated the 2007-2008 Global Financial crisis.

    Yes that’s correct, John “Fibber” Howard’s best new buddy, pal and mate that was so jolly good at pissing in Johnny Howards trouser pockets.
    So much for the Australian Constitution this once Reigning Document is being traduced almost daily by this Liberal government of today.
    It wouldn’t surprie me if Malcolm Turnbull got himself re-engaged in the logging of the remaining Pacific Islands yet untouched by his former Axiom company activities with his former loggers and trashers of those areas all around the Solomon Islands. As His time as Prime Minister will be short-lived so he may as well get set to practice his old money conniving activities in the past that served him so well.

    Nowadays Preachers and Prime Ministers appear to be a band of immoral lawless brothers.

  19. Robin Charles Halton

    June 1, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Ridiculous comments by Richard Flanagan, what is the point of his extraordinary anti establishment remarks, the author and story teller is surely but slowly destroying his reputable standing.

    I am not suggesting hec change his political pattern but he needs to get real and support actions with what we need in Australia to foremost maintain our security and our economy before we can continue ti enjoy our lifestyle.

    We cant thrive with open borders, 100% renewables and endless supply of money for sugar coating new fangled environmental issues.

    Malcolm Turnbull will be returned to power but with a lesser majority in the Lower House, possible power sharing arrangement with NXP but with a much stronger embodiment of Independent Senators to basically to be our eyes, ears, and jury to ensure an even stronger sense of democracy is delivered post 22nd June.

    My biggest concern for Australia is security, currently increasing uncertainty is looming over food resources combined with free trade agreements especially with Chinese investment considering the build up of military powers throughout the South China Sea.

    The Liberals are not interested in a cultural revolution with the banishment of books, popular culture and sport.

  20. TGC

    May 31, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    It’s important to understand that MT and all Coalition adherents are totally against everything that all Australians hold dear- or are not.
    On the other hand Bill Shorten and Labor will just ask “How high?”

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