Time to give someone else a shot, Malcolm

All you are doing the present is making Bill Shorten look good.


He is looking like leadership material and his speech on marriage equality was pretty good and you said nothing.

He’s been leading in the polls for some time now.

And speaking of polls. Between you,  you and Tony have lost something like 45 polls.  That must be a record for government. You would think something is badly wrong.

Perhaps the two you are just not very good at being Prime Minister.

There were three blokes who were quite good at it:  Hawke, Keating and Howard.

Each one of them possessed a rare combination of rat-like cunning, political savvy,  charisma and an ability to connect with the common folk.

You and Abbott possess none of these qualities and the Australian electorate recognises  this.

Unfortunately, the debate on marriage equality has exposed all of your manifold weaknesses and the debacle over dual citizenship is showing that you possess no political skills whatsoever.

Time to move on.

Try not to make a complete cock-up of the succession.

Is Attorney General George Brandis seriously advising Barnaby Joyce to plead ignorance of the law in the High Court?


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Parliament on Monday, that: “the leader of the National Party, the Deputy Prime Minister, is qualified to sit in this House and the High Court will so hold.”


Attorney-General George Brandis says that is because Mr Joyce was unaware of his dual-citizen status.


Section 44 of the constitution prescribes disqualification for “any person who is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power”.

It doesn’t say it’s okay if you didn’t know which is the only defence that Joyce can offer.

Constitutional experts seem to agree that parliamentarians should take “reasonable steps” to ensure they are not not dual citizens. One would imagine that, if you have a non-Australian father, would involve some checking, which Barnaby Joyce clearly did not do.

Last night on Q and A, both Sam Dastyari and Eric Abetz detailed the steps they took to ensure they were not dual citizens, in Dastyari’s case a dual citizen of Iran.


Every parliamentarian has to  sign that they are not a dual citizen.

Some have signed that they were not, and they were.

Barnaby Joyce is one of them.

Section 44 of the Constitution appears to be unequivocal and most constitutional experts agree that Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen.  Despite the PM’s overweening confidence, there doesn’t appear to be much wriggle room.


Hey, Barnaby, Bro, Kia Ora (That’s Kiwi for “throw another prawn on the barbie”)

Now that you’re one of us, I thought it was probably time to give you a proper Kiwi nickname. I think that Weka would be a good one. The Weka is a little swamp bird.


For my FB friends who do not keep up with Australian politics, Section 44 of the Constitution sets out restrictions on who can be a candidate for Federal parliament.

If you hold dual citizenship, you cannot sit in the Australian Parliament. One member of the Australian Senate appears to have had Italian citizen ship conferred on him (without his knowledge according to him) by his mother, potentially disqualifying him from Parliament.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce,


although born in Australia, appears almost certainly to be a New Zealand citizen under New Zealand law (as are both of my sons Nicholas and Simon) by dint of a New Zealand father.

It appears highly likely that he will be disqualified from sitting in the Australian Parliament triggering a by-election.  This is serious stuff as the current government has a one seat majority.

Two Green senators have been disqualified from sitting in the Senate under this rule and the third One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts may follow. In the case of Roberts, (who scraped into the Senate on 77 votes) no one regards this as much of a loss.


Senator Roberts indicating the extent of his electoral support

Nonetheless, Joyce was clearly shocked to find that he holds New Zealand citizenship. The difficulty is there seems to be no way out of this particular problem.

Given the parlous state of the standing of politicians in Australia, most people are rejoicing in the discombobulation of Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce.


It’s a sorry commentary.

Fire and Fury: the failure of the rhetoric of the great negotiator

When the world’s greatest negotiator (he has called himself that, hasn’t he?) says,”fire and fury like the world has never seen”, some of us remember this:

The bombing of Hamburg and Dresden by US B-17 Flying Fortresses in WW II

 The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by a single US B-29 Super Fortress in WWII 

 Total cities were obliterated and the populations were destroyed. The population of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea is 2,600,000, a city the size of Melbourne.

This previous devastation was carried out by the U.S. Air Force ultimately on the orders of the Commander-in Chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt, one can only assume that the current Commander-in Chief has something more extensive than this in mind.

In addition $20 trillion was wiped off global stock markets yesterday. (I would write it in numbers but I don’t know how many zeros there are)

Perhaps he is just a fat bloated bag of wind with no sense of history or of the consequences of his overblown overblown rhetoric

But his negotiating tactics leave much to be desired.  With his latest ploy, he has left himself very little wriggle room. It’s the nuclear option or nothing. Sydney or the bush.


His latest threat to North Korea was not  very smart.

The US is far away the greatest military power on earth. Against it, North Korea doesn’t even rank. It’s Air Force is hopelessly obsolete, can’t fly because it can’t get spare parts, its pilots averaged 15 hours flying a year and aren’t allowed to fly because its superior officers are afraid  they will defect or the planes will crash.

Imagine flying one of these against a modern Air Force.

North Korea has no oil reserves, so its tanks won’t for a run for more than a couple of days. It has no Navy.  The main reason people join the army is that it is the only way to get three meals a day.

The US base on Guam probably has more military capability than all of North Korea put together. It certainly has THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) capability in place that can intercept and destroy North Korean ICBMs while they are in flight.


and B-1b Lancer Bombers armed with conventional weapons that can reach targets such as rocket launching sites in North Korea.


So if the President were to listen to his military advisers, he would realise that he has options open to him other than the General Jack D Ripper option.


Watch Dr Strangelove, the Stanley Kubric’s 1964 classic starring the late Perter Sellers about a nuclear disaster and Wag the Dog (1997) starring Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman


about a President who is in trouble domestically and starts a World War to distract  the electorate.  Both powerfully relevant today, but I digress.

So perhaps it’s time for the president to have a Bex, a cup of tea and a lie down.

And when he is feeling better, say to the big brothers and sisters of little fat boy with the funny haircut, ” Tell the little fat boy, this is what is going to happen, his missiles are going start blowing up in mid-air, nasty  accidents. And the bases of they launched from are going to start blowing up too.  We don’t want to make a fuss about this. But tell him he is punching above his weight.”

And someone needs to tell the President of the most powerful military nation in the world in the world that he doesn’t need to go around beating up the little guys.




Why Postal and not Online, Mr High-Tech Turnbull?

Just asking.

Surely online is more agile than postal and Malcolm was once passionate about Agile.



But then he was passionate about lots of things once.

So let’s spell it out

Older voters (>50s) are much more likely to use Postal voting.  Younger voters (<30s) are much less likely to return postal voting papers. Some estimates place the response rate of Younger voters below 30%.

Online voting will get a much stronger response from a younger demographic and   much weaker response from the older demographic many of whom may not use the Internet.

Imagine the outcry about disenfranchisement if there had been an online vote.

You can just imagine the Christian right defending a postal vote by saying, “Just tell the lazy young buggers to take the letter to the letterbox and post it.”

“Yeah well, just get your grandkids to show you how to use the Internet and do an online vote. It’s not that hard.”

But here’s the rub.

The older demographic is far more likely to vote No, the younger demographic is far more likely to Yes.

That’s why the government of old white men decided to use the technology that was developed in 1840 the UK to decide on Marriage Quality in Australia.


And now the man who was credited by Tony Abbott with “virtually inventing the Internet in this country” has passed up a chance to use it to advance the democratic and social process in Australia and stick with the old tried-and-true methods.


Particularly ones that are likely to produce results that his mates who keep him more or less cemented in the prime ministership want.

Malcolm Turnbull is kidding himself on Australia’s expectations on the marriage equality plebiscite

Both Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott keep reiterating the idea that the Coalition went to the last election with a promise of a plebiscite on marriage equality and that that promise needs to be honoured.

Given the litany of broken promises on the part of the Coalition this is a pretty limp excuse to begin with.

Given that roughly 38% of the voting population gave the Coalition their first preference vote in the House of Representatives, just over 60% of voters didn’t vote for the proposition of a plebiscite on marriage equality.

So the bulk of the population don’t expect  or want a plebiscite on that issue.

And that’s exactly the way the Senate, which is a far more accurate reflection of the democratic wishes of the Australian electorate, has been voting.

So it’s disingenuous to suggest that the Australian people expect a plebiscite. The bulk of them don’t. They didn’t expect it at the last election and multiple opinion polls since then  have suggested they still don’t.

So the senior Liberal party politicians should stop this sanctimonious bullshit about keeping promises and what they took to the Australian people at the last election.

Keeping promises: Turnbull’s tired and worthless mantra

It will be repeated ad nauseam and Emma Alberici did an excellent job confronting Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann with this list of broken promises:

Source Huffingtonpost

So what’s so special about the election promise on the plebiscite for marriage equality?

The answer is that it’s not important.

It simply part of frantic rearguard action on the part of the Conservative Christian right wing of the Coalition to avoid marriage equality in Australia.

And you have to hand it to them, they’re fighting the battle extremely well.

But, it is time that members of the Liberal party and in particular Mathias Cormann, Tony Abbott. Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Malcolm Turnbull et al stop making hypocritical statements about keeping promises.

No one believes them any more and they simply look increasingly silly.