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

Economy

NATION: Malcolm slapped down by The Fake President …

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*Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission: https://www.facebook.com/martynturnercartoons/ . http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner

First published February 6

It’s “fake news”, says Donald Trump.

After a shocking week in which Australia has its nose rubbed publicly in its own mess by the US, President Donald Trump makes Islamophobia official US policy, threatens to invade Mexico and our PM confesses he paid $1.75m out of his own Cayman Island account to buy his own mandate – as you do- a grateful nation can at last heave a sigh of relief. Malcolm’s incredible slap-down – and its leaking to the Washington Post never happened. Hit the reset button.

Surely Malcolm Turnbull would provoke no-one to hang up on him – not even a fellow egotist. As Phillip Adams puts it. “ …Turnbull doesn’t suffer fools, the only problem is that to Malcolm we are all fools” while Peta Credlin observes a rich businessman turned politician who can bully and leak is hardly new to politics. But it never happened, OK?

Relief comes late in the week from the man who has changed US diplomacy to 140 characters or less. US President and playground bully, Donald Trump tweets that “fake media has lied” about “a very civil exchange” over what he still calls “a dumb deal”; “the worst deal ever” to swap our largely Muslim refugees for US Latinos, a deal he views with extreme prejudice, calculated ignorance and stupidity. “They want to send us the next Boston bombers.”

Eureka! Scott Morrison high-fives Peter Dutton. The pernicious lie that our refugees are terrorists is one their party has actively fostered for years along with the myth that turning away refugees reduces the chance of terrorist attack.

No matter, moreover, that the Boston bombers were Chechen migrants, a people excluded from Trump’s Islamophobic travel ban. Mad Mullah Morrison rushes back to his 2GB pulpit to praise the US travel fatwa which excludes Trump’s business pals, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Afghanistan.

“We have got a good history around this and really the rest of the world is catching up to Australia now,” ScoMo crows.

… illegally detained for years …

It’s a lie Turnbull told delegates at the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants last September. That “good history” has cost us a massive $9.6 billion in three years, not to mention the incalculable cost to Australia’s reputation, putting us in breach of international human rights law 40 times. Children have fled conflict; sought our asylum – only to be illegally detained for years in conditions which expose them daily to abuse, neglect and violence.

Oddly, information about our “good history”: is suppressed. Criminal sanctions apply to anyone who reports abuse on Nauru and Manus. Good history? In a world which has over 21 million refugees, Australia takes 13750 annually.

But it’s all sweet, now The Donald makes nice. White House Press Secretary Sean “Slice-n-dice” Spicer stresses in a presser, Friday, that the US will honour the deal “in some way”. “We’re going to vet these people in accordance with the agreement that happened and we’ll continue to have further updates as we do,” says a man whose debut was to convey “alternative facts” to boost the size of his President’s inauguration crowd. What could possibly go wrong?

Being Trump-chumped takes the gloss off born diplomat Turnbull’s masterstroke of the week. He’s rebooting and reinventing himself. Again. Hacks helpfully remind us Kerry Packer once threatened to kill him. Hairy-chested Malcolm threatened to whack Packer back. Turnbull hagiographer, Annabel Crabb records his response: “Well, you’d better make sure that your assassin gets me first because, if he misses, you better know I won’t miss you.” Such a way with words.

It is going to be a big speech. Huge. A nation is on tenterhooks; walking on egg-shells, awaiting the master tactician’s much-vaunted reboot at the National Press Club Wednesday. Everything is put on hold. Somehow the windy, wittering, toff-waffler will pull out all his stops in a heart-warming, soul stirring; inspiring, visionary, headland speech.

A bold new policy agenda has been slow-cooking in the Point Piper kitchen where Turnbull’s inner circle holds court under former Sydney Mayor Lucy who wields the wooden spoon, helped by the unimpeachable Arthur “safe pair of hands” Sinodinos, numbers man James McGrath, whose maiden speech called for the sale of the ABC and “keep Tertiary policy out of the campaign”, anti-Gonski Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

“… hacks make Apple fanboys look fickle …”

Malcolm will descend from the mount like Moses. Or so we are led to believe by the army of scribblers contemporary LNP PMs can count on to puff any little fluff into a divine wind. Especially Turnbull, Australia’s eternally re-rising, self-saucing soufflé. Gunner Turnbull is always in the wings somewhere, about to morph into Super Mal. Some Press Gallery hacks make Apple fanboys look fickle. Yet, now, even Laurie Oakes calls for Turnbull to abandon the TPP or get off the pot.

Unaccountably, Turnbull’s address is a Fizza; another grab bag of flatulent platitudes, false or meaningless assertions and hollow boasts – “we are the most successful multicultural society in the world.” Plumbs new depths even for a PM whose ear for rousing speech is pure tin. Who else could draw attention to his own dullness?

“Balancing the budget can sound a bit prosaic – something to satisfy the tidy instincts of the bean counters – but it is a profound moral issue,” he waffles.

Who else but Turnbull could seek the high moral ground as he churns out Liberal fiscal fetishism, an affliction which goes back all the way to Peter Costello’s “black hole”? Forget that deficit spending got us out of a hole in the GFC. No matter that balancing the budget is irresponsible economic nonsense, a type of voodoo now widely held, along with austerity budgeting, to have dragged Europe into deflationary quicksand. It’s become a Liberal article of faith. The PM is giving his party what he thinks they want to hear.

Budget balancing is a profound moral issue? God help all of us – even the bean counters. Nothing about a fair and just society, arresting the galloping inequality fostered by decades of neoliberal stupidity and rule by mining, business and finance lobby which is irreparably destroying our social fabric? Nothing about the dire need to release 1250 refugees detained illegally on Manus and Nauru islands of abuse and torture which infect our body politic and demean us all?

A pregnant Kuwaiti woman detained on Nauru, hostage to our own xenophobes’ morally bankrupt domestic political agenda urgently needs hospital treatment. Help is held up on the whim of our combined Border Force and Immigration department before she is flown to The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for treatment. Peter Dutton says nothing lest people smugglers update their business model. An 82 strong communications unit helps him keep stumm.

… Hunt wants a US-style system …

Turnbull needs a word with his wordsmiths. They’ve helped him over-promise and under-deliver. Again. Context is not so easily ignored. Turnbull’s empty rhetoric is upstaged by such pressing realities as his war on the poor and the vulnerable under Centrelink’s Robo-debt Clawback while corporations avoid tax. Education is now reduced to bean counting. Health is all flexible delivery options while pensioners put off doctor’s visits they can’t afford and people die on gurneys. Newly appointed Health Band-Aid, Greg Hunt wants a US-style system, a prescription for disaster.

Even Peta Credlin, who suffered Abbott’s agonising 2015 reset can tell Turnbull his “… speech lacked a plan, and clear deliverables, to demonstrate to ordinary people that the government was focused on the things that matter to them.”

A final word on Turnbull’s high-sounding nonsense. Australia is “A beacon of harmony in the midst of diversity, founded on a deep tradition of mutual respect in a world of rising intolerance.” It must be why we are cherry-picking Christian refugees from Syria. Canada has rescued 800 times as many. Turnbull’s words help explain why last September, Essential pollsters found 49% of respondents in favour of a ban on Muslim immigration.

Turnbull tricks up his makeover with ornate garnish but nothing can disguise stale leftovers. His speech serves up his dud 2016 policies and warns us off Bill Shorten and Labor who will trash our energy security and give us big power bills with their mad belief in renewables. It’s rehashed and reheated with a fresh topping of unicorn droppings; new clean coal.

Clean coal is a fiction; a climate-denier’s fantasy. A Jay Gatsby, the rock of Malcolm Turnbull’s world is fastened securely to a fairy’s wing.

Just as with Abbott before him, nothing can save the PM from his re-set failure, not even the whole Liberal frontbench, it seems, a nodding, smiling claque, a unique and disturbing- turn of events in itself. Yet luckily, the rest of the week in politics is utterly consumed by the scandalous canard that Trump has hung up in Turnbull’s ear; called his refugee resettlement deal “dumb”, the “worst possible deal”. Apologists are all over this like a rash.

Turnbull has the guts to stand up for his nation sucks Mark Kenny, doubtless eyeing off the PM’s media backgrounders’ stock PR image in Saturday’s The Age, again. The PM is depicted bolt upright, jaw down, a deal-broking pose, dwarfed by a clunky handset from a fixed line telephone that appears to pre-date John Howard. It looks as if the PM is jumping to attention at the sound of his master’s voice. Or he’s strayed into a remake of Get Smart.

Will the deal proceed?

Turd polishers and pig lipstick appliers go into overdrive. Laurie Oakes sees the great vacillator “showing his mettle” while for The Guardian Australia’s Jacqueline Maley, Turnbull is the “grey rock” of textbook responses to malignant narcissists. Much speculation ensues. Did Turnbull stand his ground? Will the deal proceed? It seems highly unlikely. As it stands, the deal only commits the US to allowing refugees to “express an interest” in being resettled in America.

What is certain is that Turnbull’s call was leaked by a senior White House official who intended to humiliate Turnbull. Also certain is that “extreme vetting” – a bit of campaign rhetoric is now a thing without any further explanation. Unless, as Peta Credlin wickedly suggests, he may have leaked it himself. He’s been known to play the victim. Just look at his campaign video depiction of himself as son of sole-parent Bruce … a battling hotel broker suffering poverty in Double Bay.

What is extreme vetting? How long will it take? Surely the three years of “processing” endured by those on Manus and Nauru is enough? Is it that no-one dare speak out in case we offend the bully in The White House? Julie Bishop argues with Reuters; pushes the line that US representatives are still interviewing refugees on Manus and Nauru. Perhaps rather than remain in LA taking photos with celebrities, she should have been dispatched to The White House.

One thing is clear. You don’t beg a bully. An attitude of supplication is no way to begin a relationship with Trump. The best thing Turnbull could do is to bring the refugees home. And he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding his voice to the many world leaders including France, Germany and the UK who have protested The Donald’s anti-Muslim travel ban, a ban which has successfully been suspended thanks to courageous Seattle Judge, James Robart who finds legal grounds to challenge the ban, legal opinion Donald Trump dismisses as ridiculous and one he will overturn.

Turnbull says he’s just “doing what a good Prime Minister does”, a job description which includes buying his own mandate as he later tells ABC 7:30’s Stan Grant. Grant leads him to confirm his $1.75m donation to his own party when it is clear campaign funds were running critically low – not that this is his gloss on it.

At $1.75m it was just one of those regular philanthropic things that he and Lucy get up to, a donation to a good cause – a theme later continued by screaming Scott Morrison on 2GB, a benevolence to warm the cockles of your heart if you overlook the calculated self-interest.

… provide Labor with ammunition …

It may well have helped him over the line. Certainly it will provide Labor with ammunition even if only to attack his judgement and how his immense fortune isolates him from the real needs and issues of everyday Australians.

By week’s end, his ignominious dumping by Trump is so big it does Turnbull a favour. It helps sink his reboot and takes attention off his lame policies – but at the cost of a focus on his diplomatic rebuff; his skills as a negotiator; even his ticker. He’s walked softly but copped a lot of stick. His government again seems upstaged by events it could have reasonably foreseen. The Coalition begins 2017 with its inability to plan; its retreat from the real world highlighted.

While no-one could predict exactly how Trump might jump, there was every reason to suppose he’d hate the deal.

Similarly, with Trump’s anti-Muslim travel fatwa. Turnbull’s bid to defend his silence in the face of expressions of outrage from leaders around the world as permitting a quiet and effective personal word with the president rings hollow in the light of Trump cutting the phone call short, hanging up on him and allowing details to be leaked to the press.

Turnbull’s even caught napping; upstaged at the National Press Club Liberal Party love-in Wednesday. Bill Shorten has beaten him to it only the day before, calling him phony nine times in the course of his speech and in answers.

Turnbull is pilloried for his appeasement of Sun King Donald Trump. In vain, he claims that he does not comment on other nations’ domestic affairs. His record clearly shows otherwise.

Only last April his commentary on domestics included urging the Chinese leadership towards “continued openness and the rapid development of the rule of law”, which, he argued, “is a fundamental requirement of progress”. Many times has he lectured PNG, Syria, Russia and North Korea.

They know how we run our gulags …

The Chinese are unimpressed. They’re on the UN Human Rights Council. They know how we run our gulags on Manus and Nauru. Not that they would welcome any commentary on their denial of freedom of speech, religion, and association; extrajudicial killings; repression of civil society; discrimination against Tibetans and other minorities.

The truth lies closer to home. Turnbull’s right wing will give him gyp if he goes soft on terror now. He dare not utter a peep over Trump’s Islamophobic travel ban; the persecution of a Middle East diaspora largely created by decades of US foreign policy; its war on terror. His policy reset has failed. His diplomacy has been trumped. He has been made to look a capon in the Year of the Rooster when it comes to exercising his authority in the international community.

The spotlight has swung back on his judgement, his leadership and above all his capacity to prosecute a plan. Parliament begins tomorrow and already the PM is on the back foot; he has been tried domestically and abroad and found wanting. Another dud Newspoll ( news.com.au, Newspoll: Pauline Hanson on the rise as Coalition support dives ) awaits him.

As Prime Minister he is a dead man walking.

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

Fairfax: Federal Appeals Court denies Donald Trump’s request to restore travel ban

news.com.au, Newspoll: Pauline Hanson on the rise as Coalition support dives

BBC: Trump defends Putin over Russia killings allegations

BBC: Trump defends Putin over Russia killings allegations

Fairfax: Inside story: How a conversation with Tony Abbott sealed Cory Bernardi’s Liberal Party

Fairfax: Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce slam Cory Bernardi ‘betrayal’

The mauling of Cory …

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50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Robert LePage

    February 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    47# And the Hazelwood power station and the miles of quarry to supply it, are not an eyesore?

  2. Russell

    February 24, 2017 at 11:21 am

    The town of Lismore in NSW is home to an award-winning community solar project, “Farming the Sun” which has installed more than $6.7 million dollars worth of solar panels, solar hot water, solar thermal heating and cooling to date. They aim to be 100% renewable by 2023.

    The organisation is now focused on developing the first ever council-operated and community-funded solar farm in Australia, the Lismore Community Solar Farm (Farming the Sun 2016).

    Transforming the way communities use and generate energy alone has the potential to deliver 70% of the total emissions reductions needed to stay on track for the 2 degrees limit set under the Paris Agreement (IEA 2016).

    While our federal government may be slow to see the light and does nothing except focus on more coal, local champions have clearly taken a shine to solar. It’s more important than ever that we show our support for positive, community-driven initiatives like these, as they can have a big impact.

  3. Russell

    February 24, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Re #47
    What’s the point? You were just whingeing about how much the diesel generators will cost to run, now you’ve sat back on your “let’s wait and see” backside again! …

    And you don’t think the massive open cut holes and Hazelwood are eyesores?! You’re joking?

    Let alone the mile after mile of regimented monoculture weed eucalypts and the warzones left after harvesting!

    Time to move out of the 18th century …

    (edited)

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    February 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

    #46 Russell, agree with you on the Wonthaggi Desalination plant but lets see what actually prevails now thing have “advanced to the stage of procuring diesel generators.
    Good point about rainwater tanks again more promotion is required. I dare say the government does not want to talk about impending water shortages, probably the next item to face after the forthcoming electricity shortages facing Victoria by next summer.

    The biggest issue facing this region of Victoria for which I am reasonably familiar with Bass/ East Gippsland will be the aftermath of the closure and decommissioning of Hazlewood brown coal fired Power Station which reduces Victoria’s BASE LOAD electicity grid by 20%.

    There are plenty of wind farms in the flat wind swept Gippland region. I think the one at Walkers Inlet is the major installation right on what should be a wild coast left in its natural state as it is an eyesore from everywhere nearby.

  5. Russell

    February 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Re #45
    … It’s everyone’s business to look after the planet. You (appear to be) no better than the useless politicians. Please please do your homework. …

    Once again Halton, if every home had its own renewable power supply, even if they were only grid-connected you would STILL be negating the need for any new fossil fuel or nuclear power stations.

    Do something positive and sustainable instead of whingeing while keeping your head permanently buried in the primeval fossil-fuel sands.

    Regarding the stupid desal plant, it will NEVER be efficient. The best option to solve eastern Australia’s water woes was put forward many years ago by billionaire and philanthropist Richard Pratt when he offered to substantially fund the piping of the Murray Darling Basin irrigation system BUT little Johnny Howard knocked it on the head. It was estimated to save the 40 to 50 per cent of water now lost to evaporation and seepage in uncovered and unsealed irrigation channels. That means double the amount of water currently available, instantly! No desal plant!

    It should also be compulsory for all homes and workplaces to catch all the rain from their roofs in tanks and use it. I’ve got 6 tanks and even irrigate from them year round and I’m definitely NOT rich. I just don’t waste my money on crap!

    (edited)

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    February 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    #44 Russell,
    Its my business how I use my money, maybe I am waiting for improving technology within the Renewables sector before I consider when to invest, I would not be alone would I.

    In the mean time it is becoming clearer that in Tasmania we all may be facing massive increases in Rates and Tas Water charges for water and sewerage as councils grab Taswater dividends leaving Taswater behind with their upgrades in some cases major upgrades beyond their scope.

    Some body has to pay, guess who will end up footing the bill which could be significant for the ratepayer along with water and sewerage charges.

    Now back to our favorite subject electricity!

    Guess what, have a look at pg 2 of todays Herald Sun news ” Desal’s diesal power panic”

    The operator of Wonthaggi’s troubled desalination plant Aquasure has shipped in dozens of diesal generators in a desperate bid to deliver the Andrew’s government first water order.

    Its an absolute mess as it is unlikely the Victorian government will be able deliver 50GL of desal. water June 30 over ongoing concerns of a major power cable fault.

    Although there is no mention in the article about the closure of coal fired Hazlewood power station in which Vic will lose 20% of its generation capacity into the public grid yuo can bet there is worse to come as reliable sources of base load electricity via coal especially is to be reduced as the renewables fantasy takes its toll eventually on the entire nation unless there is a direct action plant to prevent blackouts as it seems now before next summer!

    These diesal generator sets proposed to be run by Aquasure are belived to use about 150,000 litres of diesel fuel per day.
    Works out at the equalvalent of 73x 44 gallon drums of fuel per day.

  7. Russell

    February 22, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Re #41
    Such a weak and hypocritical head-in-sand response, Halton! The use of fossil fuels has directly caused all the weather-related energy problems.

    Once again I shall repeat for you, the South Australian Renewable energy systems had absolutely NOTHING to do with their outages. It was a failure of the major transmission line infrastructure due to the weather (ie: 23 high tension towers collapsing), and the standby GAS (not renewable) power plant not being utilised as intended.

    The Australian and State Governments have had VERY generous subsidies and incentives to help citizens put solar panels on their roofs for years now. YOUR failure to be responsible and take advantage of this is the fault of no-one else. You don’t have to spend the $30,000 to be totally off-grid but you could have spent a fraction of that to help and also nullify your energy bills. What you pay now and in your future energy bills will cost you much much more than what you would spend now.

    It sounds like you just want others to pay for your own responsibilities and/or have no understanding of finances.

  8. Robert LePage

    February 22, 2017 at 10:29 am

    39# I suggest you do a bit more research into this subject before you pass your answers to us.
    A good start would be the article below and it will give you an insight into what privatisation of power supply will do to prices and reliability.
    Power plant outages contributed to overloading scare during NSW heatwave, report finds
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/power-plant-outages-contributed-to-overloading-scare-during-nsw-heatwave-report-finds/525934

  9. Robin Charles Halton

    February 22, 2017 at 9:53 am

    #40 William I’ll catch up with you later on the US situation and the ever important relationship with Australia and Pacific nations Cheers for now.

  10. Robin Charles Halton

    February 21, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    #39 Robert, talk to South Australians who have lost reliability of electricity from public power entities where there too much a mismatch of energy sources and interdependence from other State for reliable supply.

    Solar/ battery storage plus Honda or Yamaha generators would be a safer solution to cover all aspects to compensate for public electricity failures and price hikes to come.

    SA government to partly cover by compensation as an incentive for Solar/ battery storage connections.

    I am sure our Tas Energy Regulator will not allow our Hydro to repeat the same mistake again by draining our lakes with unannounced drought conditions and an obvious fragile Basslink connection.

    Its a personal choice for connecting up to solar, at our age and retirement income levels we probably wont, unless the government comes up with a financial incentive along with improved advances in quality solar apparatus and not the scheming and sales pitch that is around the State at present.

  11. William Boeder

    February 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Robin a point of interest for you to ponder upon is that your admired US of A is in the habit of creating military incursions that favour the giant weapons’ manufactures in that country, certainly not the American citizens.
    As to the greatness of America please take into account the magnitude of its debt created by their military lusting’s to slaughter human life.
    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=how+much+is+a+trillion+dollars&sa=X&biw=1536&bih=697&site=webhp&tbm=isch&imgil=krBgZsabMlQHGM:;uUBK9e60f0xjTM;http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-19/government-report-finds-65-trillion-taxpayer-funds-unaccounted&source=iu&pf=m&fir=krBgZsabMlQHGM:,uUBK9e60f0xjTM,_&usg=__tjSeW88AW5sBWwkPi73T1NdcpD0=&ved=0ahUKEwiNlPTuuqLSAhVFI5QKHWtfA_cQyjcIaQ&ei=6dysWM37KsXG0ATrvo24Dw#imgrc=krBgZsabMlQHGM:
    Valid fact will better aid your delivery of opinions if you seek to attract some genuine interest in what you offer as the basis for your comments.
    As we all sooner or later advance into our senior years there are many mind affecting stimulants to calm the questing mind of the learned life-experienced citizenry.
    Add to that is the freedom to indulge in another form of mind rattling substance that needs no prescription is that many people can over indulge in are the various types of ever present alcohol that some people seek to consume.

  12. Robert LePage

    February 21, 2017 at 11:10 am

    38# You really do not have any idea do you?
    I also live in Tasmania and am so happy that I installed solar years ago.
    When the price rises so that I cannot afford to have my lifestyle interrupted because our bunch of inept pollies have sold all the power to the mainland and the dams are empty again, I will have batteries to allow me to go off grid.
    How can you trust pollies to look after anyone but the rich and themselves?
    You will live to regret your attitude of trust in the government and say one day,” why did “they ” not warn me.

  13. Robin Charles Halton

    February 21, 2017 at 1:20 am

    #37 Russell, Tell that to the peoples of Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu who have done nothing wrong to cause rising sea levels and extreme weather that has been flooding their low lying habitations.

    They should be considered as climatic refugees as many have decided to resettle in North Eastern Australia, Fiji and NZ.
    ………………………………………..
    All very well to suggest a fancy $30,000 solar based unit, I dont need it here in Tasmania as We could not justify the expense as retirees!
    Its a personal choice no doubt, fine for high income earners if they are so inclined.
    We are very small energy users by comparison to many of modern day households using a combination of electricity, street gas, wood, double glazing and use good quality natural clothing and bedding.

    I would imagine with the electricity shortages and blackouts in SE Australia due to the misguided political overdose of public electricity supply dependence on Renewables there is justification for solar/battery storage units as well as good quality generators Honda or Yahama brands to combat the uncertainty around the mess SA has got itself into over the Renewables fantasy.

    The closure of Hazlewood Power Station in Victoria next month will cause a 20% reduction in supply into Vic alone.

    Governments’ need to think pretty quickly as peak demands will arise again by next summer and SE Aust, will be in more than serious trouble with blackouts than ever.

    Absolutely ridiculous a vast country like Australia with all of its wealth and resources cannot sustain reliable and reasonably affordable electricity supply.
    Decisions need to be made during this autumn till spring over the next 10 months to improve electricity and energy supply levels otherwise there will be mass rallies and civil disturbances as the populations will be sick and tired of continued government inaction.

  14. Russell

    February 19, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Re #34 and #35 (not at all John, I shall explain)
    Halton, I’m not cranky at all, just rational and logical. Most of those causing climate change live by the sea therefore they justifiably should reap most of the consequences for their actions or inaction.

    It seems not until those who should be demanding for change are directly affected will they get off their arses to do something about it. I bet those living in and around the climate-induced heatwave bushfires near Canberra will be thinking otherwise now.

    I have a clear and logical appreciation for the world situation. What sort of clown would suggest the USA ever continue on its destructive bullying pillaging war rampage against the rest of the world, in the name of greed? The USA would just as quickly turn on us if there was something here it desperately wanted and our dog-whistle government wouldn’t give them.

    The USA even wars within itself!

    You’ve obviousy never looked into the costs of going off-grid, Halton. Once again I suggest you research things and reason the issues through thoroughly before you make any comment.

    A complete off-grid system would cost the average household around $30,000. How many of your electricity bills would it take to pay that off? Not many I would suggest. If you didn’t have power to your property when you bought it, in most cases you would pay more than this just to get the power lines to your boundary.

    If every home had its own power supply you wouldn’t need any more ‘base load’ generation for industry than already exists in the nation’s current hydro, gas, wind and solar schemes. Most homes would not only be topping up their night reserves in their battery storage during the day (which only takes until about 11am each day) but they would also be pumping the rest of the day into the grid if connected to it while everyone was at work.

    … do something positive and sustainable instead of keeping your head permanently buried in the primeval fossil sands and blurting out right-wing capitalist bogan slogans.

  15. William Boeder

    February 19, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Robin your concept of America being as you have depicted in your comment indicates to me that it is especially you, in that know not of the dark forces that have been behind the invasion of the Arab State’s for the purpose of ensuring that they control the World flow of oil.
    The constantly bragged about American Military mightiness relies entirely on having the greatest access to and the control of our planet’s oil supply.
    Without oil there would not be the fuel that provides almost the full componentry of the American war machine.
    Can you tell me why Australia should bow and scrape to the USA despite the American war-games that created the international refugee crisis in Europe, all these refugees were on the run or were displaced in their haste to escape the their death and persecution by the design of the American hand?

    How about the fact that the American CIA control the distribution of heroin from its major producing countries, Afghanistan is still one of the major heroin producing countries.

    How about the fact that the disappeared Flight MH 370 had landed at the American occupied military base of Diego Garcia, my calculations of the fuel load, then the length of landing strip required, nothing less than 750 metres in a desperate emergency situation, whereas Diego Garcia has 2 @ 1000 metres length or maybe even longer.

    There was an American covert underbelly corporation that had created this fakery of false information given to the requisite authorities including Australia’s ASIO Headquarters of our intelligence gathering hopefuls that limit their international inquiries only to rely upon the intelligence supplied to our Country by America itself.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss5xyQhYyLc

    Are you aware that the American occupied Pine Gap military base is a central Drone navigating control facility?
    Are you also aware that we here in Australia are somewhere down the bottom of the list to receive our 2006 or earlier ordered 72 or so F-35 replacement fighter Jets, is that how you treat a strategic located huge military base as was sponsored by this very same Australian ally?

    How many multi-national American headquartered corporations pay Jack Schitt in the way of income tax into Australia’s government revenues?

    You have a great deal of international research to conduct and cross check before you provide any more of your rambling inaccuracies as to how great is America.
    By the way Robin I’m sure you are aware that America is currently $20 Trillion dollars overdrawn on its government controlled American credit card, yet with absolutely no idea of how to even meet the repayments to the order of such a super colossal debt.
    How about the funding required to maintain their 1000 plus external military bases, which the American war-mongering military madness has them continue with this ongoing non-affordable military excess?

    Now a research topic for you Robin, which nation on this Earth has created the greatest amount of offensive military campaigns?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations

  16. John Biggs

    February 18, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    #30/#34 Whoops. Let me qualify: agreement with Russell minus the last sentence. Sorry Russell, you lost it there.

  17. Robin Charles Halton

    February 18, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    #30 Langfield in one of his cranky fits makes such an irrational statement “Personally, I’d be happy to see sea levels rise 10 metres tomorrow…..”, now tell me what sort of a clown would suggest that!

    It seems we have some anti Americans among the TT bloggers who have absolutely no appreciation of our current international political climate scabbing against Australian society, as it seems!

    America should always remain as our powerful national security base partner, an absolute necessity especially with the rise of China arming militarily and blockading the South China Sea.

    The national interest comes first same as revising the National energy market to urgently get our act into gear with reliable base load electricity supplies through the vast nation.

    That does mean the use of coal and gas, once a catch up phase is reached then Renewables can be used in the mix as a supplement including solar with battery storage which is actually currently unaffordable for the average householder.

  18. John Biggs

    February 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    #32 So am I in full agreement with #30.

  19. Robert LePage

    February 18, 2017 at 11:26 am

    30# I am in full agreement with you and the sooner the better.

  20. Robert LePage

    February 18, 2017 at 11:22 am

    29# *fill the bill to see the greatest power on earth return to its glory, to make America great again.
    The myth of America being a great country is still going on but it will be eclipsed eventually by either China or Russia or both.
    They “think” they have a great country but it is one of the most corrupt, uncaring, dissolute countries there are.
    Going back as far as Truman who started the cold war, they have caused more warfare than any other country since the 3rd Reich.
    They have more military bases around the world than any other 20 countries put together and spent more on their military than any other twenty.

    *We must be the laughing stock within SE Asia, a vast country like Australia with all of its coal and gas reserves unable to provide reliable energy throughout the nation! *

    We are the laughing stock but it’s because we have allowed the big end of town to use us as a quarry for the rest of the world and what is worst, have frittered what money that has stayed here and not gone to offshore countries, not “putting some away for a rainy day” like Norway for instance.

    We would have to be better off with a coalition of small parties than having the big two owned by big business and doing whatever they require to keep on making obscene profits, then salting it away in tax havens.
    Meanwhile the so called government is running all services into the ground and leaving the needy in desperate trouble.

    Be gone , you have sat in this place for too long.

  21. Russell

    February 18, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Re #29
    Trump is a loose cannon out of control and will see the USA marginilised by the rest of the world, except for the bogan minority who will get nothing but slave labour wages if they want their jobs back (which hasn’t happened yet, although promised).

    Australia needs to be thrown into another conflict by the USA like a hole in the head.

    Turnbull is an subservient cowering dog unworthy of the Australian Prime Ministership, or a leader of any kind.

    Climate change is real and the renewables have been proven NOT to be the cause of Australia’s energy woes. In both cases it was found to be the extreme weather knocking down 23 main power lines and national grid operator not working as it should with the gas turbines.

    No-one who had off-grid systems were affected by these blackouts and the SA wind turbines never failed, Charles, get your facts right. Renewables are the answer to this problem.

    The use of coal, oil and gas are driving the climate change and effectively causing genocide on the largest and quickest scale ever.

    People are sick of Party politics no matter what colour they paint themselves because they’re all the same with nothing to offer and only interested in what they can personally get out of it for themselves individually.

    Personally, I’d be happy to see sea levels rise 10 metres tomorrow because that’s where most of the problem resides.

  22. Robin Charles Halton

    February 18, 2017 at 5:18 am

    The Trump figurine is a wait and see game, hopefully the new President will fill the bill to see the greatest power on earth return to its glory, to make America great again.

    His settling in period will need to stabilise soon as I think that we all deserve to know the West is still in control, fist of all of itself.

    Australia is dependent on the US for our ongoing presence, independent of SE Asia culture wise and at the same time we need our closer alliances with NZ and Japan and PNG and hopefully those countries in the Pacific Region that have not turned to China instead.

    The Phillipines is somewhat of a worry as President Durante seems to have sided with China leaving its US partnership subdued!

    At this time Australia needs particularly strong leadership, PM Turnbull so far has not reached that level of engagement.

    It seems the PM is running scared trying to balance the coal exports with incoming foreign investment particularly from China, immigration and the state of the local economy!

    On top of all of this we are stuck with Climate Change issues which are driving the Australian public nuts.

    I find it as unbelievable that SA, Vic and NSW are stuck in this energy crisis compounded by SA governments path of over indulgence with Renewables.

    We must be the laughing stock within SE Asia, a vast country like Australia with all of its coal and gas reserves unable to provide reliable energy throughout the nation!

    Of cause that leaves our national security at risk if we continue to fail to close the gap on the provision of reliable energy sources for the every day running of the nation as a whole.

    The politics based on all paths of everyday life leading to national security needs required to change before the next election otherwise the Coalition will come tumbling down to be taken over by a cooperative of Independent parties such as Hanson, Xenaphon being the two strongest as well as Hinch, Lambie, Bernadi, the bloke from Innisfail and any number of newbies that are likely to spring up within affected regions from around the traps.

    I have left out Labor and the Greens as they got us into this mess in the first place!

  23. phill Parsons

    February 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    #24. The last time I looked the lefty government in NSW consisted of Lieberals and Nationals. Get you blue blinkers off and take a look. It was the small contribution of wind and solar that kept NSW blackout free late last week. Coal and gas either broke down [2 stations] and in the 1 gas station the owners are being investigated for price gouging.

  24. William Boeder

    February 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Gidday Russell, After having read all about Trump and Trunbull, Malcolm will be scared shitless and would not call out to Trump even if he was bit by a shark. As I understand it a lot of US Drones are under the gaze of Drone savvy operators stationed in the massive American staffed underground Pine gap.
    Malcolm is powerless to intervene, it’s all part of the stuff we are told to do for our gifted or otherwise contractually leased off part of our Continent so done for the good of the Australian people.
    Australia in the eyes of Donald Trump and America’s Pentagon is a vital strategic located allied country full up with kangaroos and Malcolm Trunbulls.
    Do you think the US gives a hoot about Malcolm now that they have their fully occupied NT airfield and military base loaded with US troops scattered here there and everywhere, plus everything they need to kill people with (as was gifted or just outright demanded by the US) now recognized as their very own fully established South-Pacific based fuel and food supply base somewhere up near the top of our Northern Kangaroo Territory.

  25. Robert LePage

    February 12, 2017 at 11:19 am

    25# And Darwin.

  26. Russell

    February 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Malcolm Turnbull, stand up to the bully or forever be correctly labelled and remembered as a cowering dog.

    Tell Trump if he won’t honour agreements made with Australia, he’s got a week to pull the USA personnel out of Pine Gap.

    Go on, gutless.

  27. Robin Charles Halton

    February 11, 2017 at 9:55 am

    The time is right for the rise of Hansonism and Xenaphonism as mainstreaming politics is failing the average Australain citizen.

    One only has to look at the picky way the Federal government has treated the average Centrelink client with its robotic control threatening those struggling to make ends meet through its automatic mailing system.

    I would expect that those affected would not vote for the mainstream of the political spectrum again.

    Lefty politics does not work either, one only has to look at the energy crisis SA, Vic and NSW jointly face by being too closely linked together as a myriad of power grabbing entities who dont give a damn what the Energy Regulator wants them to do when demand is peaking.

    The unreliable energy system urgently requires a major investment in a modern Coal fired constant base load power station in Victoria to replace the Hazlewood unit which is due to close in March with Victoria losing 20% of its electricity production.

    It is time the governments as a whole realised that Renewables are only supplementary providers (Wind and gas) for electricity and not dependable or cost effective as coal fired units.

    During the PM remaining term unless he is committed to serve the citizens of this country and this applies to the distrust of Shorten too the voter including myself will have no other option than to vote for a massive change to counter the contempt that has arisen for the major players who are unable to deliver a fair and reasonable outcomes for citizens of this country.

    Bloody well look out, Australia needs a new leader and I am not suggesting a Trump like character either.

  28. Chris

    February 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Ring ring, the phone call from Mr Solomons clearfell Harbourside Mansion HIH Trumble to the idiot.

    https://newmatilda.com/2017/02/03/exclusive-the-transcript-of-donald-trump-and-malcolm-turnbulls-phone-call/

  29. Robert LePage

    February 8, 2017 at 10:32 am

    19# I have heard that some have their boltholes prepared in NZ. Gina, Bob Carr, are two that I know of.
    Tassie is just getting an increased flow of the 1% from Sydney at the moment. So look for an increase in Tassie house prices but only in the better areas of course.

  30. phill Parsons

    February 8, 2017 at 9:57 am

    #19. There have been purchases but whether they are bolt holes or summer retreats remains to be seen.

    PM Tumbrel will need one if he continues his winning 46 to 54% for the leader of the other old party [2pp preferred] and goes to the electoral guillotine and is discharged from the tent within the tent within the tent that is the Canberra swamp.

    Bernardi will find himself wandering west of Oodnadatta, his business card powerless to bring him another term. He has retired to being a lone voice lost among the values that drive the Lieberals, avarice and hubris.

  31. Bob Hawkins

    February 8, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Some say the PM — proving himself a peerless master of MT rhetoric — lost the plot in parliament yesterday when he branded his opponent a sycophant. That’s not possible. When you don’t already have a plot — or a policy, a platform, or a political plan of any kind — it’s not possible to lose it. That’s why Australia should trumble.

  32. Philip Lowe

    February 8, 2017 at 6:30 am

    “Truly mad times where the rich seek bolt holes”.What is in this story about some of Trump’s aids(sounds like a disease) have
    purchased tasty bits of real estate in New Zealand,along with the residency conditions that go with it.Money talks or what?

    Has there been any of this kind of thing in Tasmania.It could be an early warning indicator that the effluence is going to hit the air conditioning.

  33. Chris

    February 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    The adjectival spouting handflapping Mr Trumble was at it today, like his MATE Trump lets attack with outright lies and mud slinging, but the rumours have started. his leadership? is under threat, will he be taken over by a right wing potato, or by a tongue uttering religious nut, or a lady of fashion, now almost able to give a written statement cloaked as an ad lib, who knows or willy donate another million to retain his position.
    Get your daily update here….
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html

  34. William Boeder

    February 7, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    #15. There is hope Ted that the person everybody has been told by the American mainstream media to hate and is some sort of a Hitlerite, happens to be the only means of cleaning up the fakery and is being aided by the American Congress to clean up the extreme bias.
    The smaller news networks that do not rely on any funding from the America government are the only portals that recognize that Donald Trump as the man that the American citizens have wanted and voted to become the new President.
    Trump is actually the antithesis of what the Obama administration have allowed to either remain place or to swell further like a rotting carcass as many of America’s Federal bureaus and agencies have during those earlier times.
    The huge concerns in America that Donald Trump has to contend with are the largest fake news platforms that represent as the American mainstream media, they are said to have an audience somewhere in the region of 85%.

    The Australian media are now or are on the way to be a copy-cat extension of the American fake and false news and just as biased as has become the American media.

    This link below confirms this matter I have spoken of in the above. Via Fox News USA.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MrbXk5xOOM

    This has been the mechanism used to try and get (the weapons seller to ISIS, Hillary Clinton when State Secretary) as the new American President.
    Recall the Benghazi affair when it became paramount in the news up until recently, (which saw the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi, one being Ambassador Stevens.)
    There was no aid sent to protect the Benghazi embassy when the threat loomed that this embassy was going to be targeted for destruction.
    Ambassador Stevens, in fact, was the only viable witness to verify the American weapons sales to America’s nominal enemy.
    Now onto another major American concern.

    Jack Ma on Donald Trump, “I like him. US should spend money on building America, not wars.”Jack Ma on Donald Trump,
    “I like him. US should spend money on building America, not wars.
    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpgYym4L4Cw

  35. Robin Charles Halton

    February 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I have to agree with Luigi #12
    It is unlikely that Cory Bernardi and his new Conservatives will get sufficient support to develop as a political force to attract voters and supporters in large numbers!

    Cory would have been far better to stay with those who elected him and maintain the screws on the PM to effectively tell him the Coalition is not travelling so well and insist that to adopt change is necessary especially on issues of the national interest and the economy.

    The real fighters for change are coming from Xenaphon, Hanson and to a lesser extent Lambie and Hinch.

    You bettcha that the South Australians will follow the Xenaphon path which is already well established, Bernardi is new, some elements of his policy making are not smart at all.

    Same as Hanson will proliferate in Qld, even eccentric Bob Katter now knows he has some competition on his hands.

  36. Ted Mead

    February 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Yeh – Great sketch of the degenerate bog dwellers emerging out of the primordial soup –

    The problem with draining the swamp is that these slippery amphibians can survive under any conditions as they have all the resources around them to build their ideal habitat. We need to cover the swamp with something that removes the oxygen so these cane-toad like creatures can’t breathe, or build a wall around them to contain the malignant disease, and prevent them from migrating.

  37. john hayward

    February 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    At least Cory had the courage to advertise his new party as “Conservatives”, rather than with some bogus and misleading appellation such as “Liberal”.

    As per tradition, the long knives will be out for Cory, but his record for ethical cross-dresssing should make him a slippery target for his assassins.

    John Hayward

  38. Luigi

    February 6, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    So Cory Bernardi has set off into the wilderness to form a new political party. He promises that his new party ‘will give hope to those who despair’ at politics.

    I’ll give Cory points for being a prize-winning opportunist, but I can’t help thinking that he’s a very substantial part of what’s wrong with party politics today. I have a lot of difficulty seeing him as a solution to anything.

  39. Robert LePage

    February 6, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    1# Truly mad times for which Tasmania will not be exempt as the rich search the world for bolt holes.

    So that’s why the rich of Sydney are streaming down to poor old Cygnet as shown by the “back roads” program.
    Never mind the local yokels will still be needed as lackeys and servants for the rich newcomers.

  40. William Boeder

    February 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Any wonder that Donald Trump as good as dumped the delivery of Australia’s most unwanted in exchange for a batch of America’s most unwanted.

    It would be interesting to learn the name of the dilatory person with the shiny teeth party, a party bristling with wealthy truth abusers and a minister unable to recall a scam salary of a piffling $200,000-00 Per Annum awaiting just out of sight from the general public.
    (Anyway that’s what he told the ICAC people, simply a memory lapse.)
    The proposed Australian Water Holdings honchos were more than happy to pay a piffling $2000K salary for 100 hours toil per annum. (Have Arty Sinodinos (Malcolm’s current chaperone) watching television in some plush office fitted with with hot and cold running Private Assistants throughout the place.)

    Hmm, $2000-00 per hour seems not to be an uncommon sinecure for a ranking Liberal minister one might say, but, but, it wasn’t really AWH’s money was it, noooh! It was money from all the NSW people who wanted to retain their connected water to their homes, so nobody’s money really.
    Now back to the Malcolm party nefarious trafficking of people swap job, apparently some money-lusting fool gave this deal the nod (on some dark and stormy night when the power was kaput due to the stormy weather) just the kind of night when a nod’s as good as a wink for this type of high level international people swapping
    trial/deal/agreement/Commercial in Confidence/silent undertaking.

    Hang on a minute aren’t the Australian people told by our government how honest they’re supposed to be? Of course we trust Malcolm and his mates, why one of his mates is Peter Costello.
    Peter was an ex-Federal Treasurer who’s now mixed up with the Australian Future’s Fund for goodness sake.
    The money in that pot counts out to a cool $128 Billion, not everybody gets to run his fingers through that kind of money mind you except for the odd Liberal party Treasurer.
    Oh by the way, the ICAC people and the Liberal boys have all forgiven Arty over his tiny little memory lapse re the above.
    Why Arty can even walk up the main Street of Sydney now, free as the breeze and absolutely nothing stinky on his CV to worry about.

  41. Tim Thorne

    February 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Trump has moved to wind back banking regulations, so as to pave the way for a repeat of the GFC. The mega-rich bastards who profited from the last one are hungry again.

    Robin (#6), your last point is correct. Political structures reflect the underlying economic realities. As the latter shift, so does the political superstructure. One of the mechanisms for this is direct political donations; others are less obvious. Follow the money.

    What is certain is that those of us outside the top one per cent will get screwed. What is subject to variation is the political/legislative means by which this happens. What is absolutely beyond doubt is who will benefit.

    We must organise outside the party political and parliamentary structures if we are to make any serious attempt at preventing or mitigating such an outcome.

  42. john hayward

    February 6, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Trumbull can easily cover the loss of Bernardi by coalescing with a kindred organisation, the Romanian government, which has recently moved to remove oppressive regulation of the trade in boodle.

    With similar regs here in Oz, Trumbull wouldn’t have to worry about flak about clean coal, a policy which puts the Libs and their plutocratic sponsors first, as in the Trumpie model.

    John Hayward

  43. Mike Adams

    February 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    It’s pretty clear that Obama set up the refugee intake scenario with Turnbull to annoy Trump. Hence Trump’s anger – not altogether directed at Turnbull.

    Trump’s experience and inclinations have always been with internal affairs of the U.S. As with most (huge majority) of U.S. citizens he has little experience of ‘abroad’ or of what the rest of the world thinks and acts upon.

  44. Robin Charles Halton

    February 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Why all of the grizzling at least Pauline Hanson is doing well as public support for the Trumble government falls, Bill Shorten remains in the political “never never” and Richard di Natale continues to be focused on changing the Australia Day date.

    Cory Bernardi defects tomorrow as a lone wolf Conservative, nobody will vote for him, his remarks about LGTBIQ people are horrendously
    offensive even for those who dont agree with SS marriage.

    The only glimmer of hope for the Liberals is Julie Bishop as potential leader, at least they should consider her as leader going into the next election and dump that Cane Toad of a fellow Barnaby Joyce as Deputy.

    Its becoming obvious that states such as SA go for Xenaphon, Hanson in Qld and Lambie in Tas.
    Havent heard much from Wilkie lately but he needs to ensure that he does not fall too far into the Leftie trap, the one that is killing off the Greens in droves.

    My hunch is while the economy is slowing and people are becoming bamboozled by free trade benefits, joblessness at home, homelessness in the big cities, domestic violence, Centrelink robotics and doubts over reasonable immigration policy (Muslims and Chinese) combined with excessive political correctness now that Trump is on the international stage we are in for a vastly different set of political movements around the country as well as internationally.

  45. Tim Thorne

    February 5, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Bernardi and Christensen are buffoons, good for a few headlines, but ultimately lacking in substance.

    The real danger is still inside the Libs. Sukkar’s recent elevation to a ministry is an indication of the control Erich exercises. So was the granting of a $300,000+ sinecure to Nikolic.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when Erich and his mates realise that Turnbull/Trumble has passed his use-by date. Who will they allow to play at being PM next?

  46. Mike Adams

    February 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I suspect that the anger exhibited by Trump in his coversation, and after, with Turnbull was mainly aimed at Obama, who possibly engineered the refugee swap with the intention of stuffing Trump up.

  47. john hayward

    February 5, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    In boasting of Australia’s recent “good history” in humanitarian achievements, the PM seemed to be throwing down the tall tale gauntlet to one of the world’s most prodigious liars.

    One needs to remind oneself that the $9.6b expenditure on off-shore prisons for refugees was every bit as politically self-serving as any outlays by Sussan Ley, Bronny, Cormann, or Brandis, just much bigger.

    No one has ever ascertained the percentage of terrorists among Australia’s refugees, nor among the total populations of the countries generating refugees, but it is probably less than the natural psychopath population of Oz and certainly far less than the % of those types in PHOH.

    Having shown his willingness to mix it with Trumpie in the far right tightrope competition, Malcolm should have no problems outflanking Cory at home so long as he heeds Coach Rupert’s instructions.

    John Hayward

  48. John Biggs

    February 5, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Oh so sensible. But clearly written before Bernardi’s defection from the Libs. How the walking dead man will react to that, and how that will disturb his wafer thin majority are very interesting questions.

  49. phill Parsons

    February 5, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Rush Limbaugh, the US far right shock jock, is now describing PM Malcolm “Trumble Trunbull” Turnbull as a “leftist” like Canadian PM Trudeau. This shows how crazy the TEA party type crazies have become.

    Remember the POTUS Press Secretary failed to get Turnbull’s name right twice. Perhaps simply an error or then again it may show an ingrained disrespect.

    For Australians the great ‘leftist’ hope of the Lieberal Party has become no more than a shallow reflection of the far right IPA/Abbott agenda that the former incumbent from Warringah tried to implement in a brutal and blunt manner to his cost as leader.

    Has there been a turning point in implementation of the IPA agenda?. Abetz, from the far right has noticed the Centrelink robo calls are causing a loss of voter support and has called for a review.

    However this will be a blip in the march to the far right led by the Bernadi band as the horror of horror marriage equality return to the free vote in the Parliament phase.

    Delaying a free vote will cost Turnbull both within has Party as the petard of Abbott’s plebiscite hoists his previous position, spins it around and elevates Shorten, a fellow Catholic further.

    However, the right is well funded. History teaches us that Hitler had sources of funding from capitalists in Germany interested in defending their position from the ‘leftists’ of their day. Sharing, being socially responsible, are great worries for certain wealthy types.

    As many have pointed out, and now Monbiot shows in his Guardian article, this is not a single country phenomenon. Lobbying for conservative, right wing and far right ideas has become international. [https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/corporate-dark-money-power-atlantic-lobbyists-brexit].

    Bernardi will dip into this pool of global dark money meant to skew and skewer with it’s fake new and alternating facts that suit the moment but bear nothing verifiable.

    On another note, we are having a Pyne offensive from the Minister who is just so.

    See now fellow Australian how we are creating jobs by spending what would have been 390 years of subsidies for the car manufacturing industry on ship, subs, planes and tanks that have a useful life of 25 years.

    Such a bargain to replace the world’s noisiest submarine, make the F35 lemon [fly if Trump doesn’t abandon it, an item on his pre-election agenda], build ships to replace the ones that rusted away under a program of government savings we say before the mother of all programs run by a robot and to buy tanks [the current model cannot cross a majority of bridges in the nation] whilst we make the uniforms oin what is emerging as the new frenemy grouping, Russia and China.

    Trump has appointed a warmonger as his NSC adviser
    whilst Trumps pal Vlad has fed the fires of war in Ukraine and Mad Dog mike has been out threatening all and sundry from his new spot as the misnamed Secretary of Defense.

    The clock drifts closer to midnight, its hand illuminated by the crazed criminals of the fossil fool industry’s new ‘clean’ coal, a power that costs twice that of wind and solar.

    Truly mad times for which Tasmania will not be exempt as the rich search the world for bolt holes.

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