Where to now for Malcolm Roberts?

Ex-Senator Malcolm (77 votes) Roberts has finally received the verdict he didn’t know was coming.


He is not eligible to sit in the Federal Senate. It’s not immediately clear if he was part Welsh or Indian at the time of his election.  But it no longer really matters.

Without prejudging the incoming One Nation Senator, if the party runs true to form,  Robert’s replacement is likely to be an intellectual nonentity and someone who will make no contribution to the political life of the nation. At least that will be an improvement on Malcolm Roberts  whose climate denial  held back Australia’s count towards dealing with the question problems of climate change and moving towards clean energy targets.

Malcolm Roberts represents a significant problem in Australian politics. He is more  articulate than Pauline Hanson which means that he is able to take the stage and get  undeserved the media attention with people like Professor Brian Cox, something Pauline Hanson  would not be able to do.


He has been able to get his crackpot theories undeserved attention and credence.

Hanson has indicated that he will be standing in the Queensland  state election in the seat of Ipswich. It will be interesting to see whether he has developed a sufficient political profile to be elected in his own right. It was quite clear that he was elected to the Senate on the back of Hanson’s preferences. This will not happen in the lower house in a state election in Queensland.  To be elected, he will need to fight off the National party and Labor Party candidates in Ipswich.

The other option will be for him to stand for the Federal Senate in the next Federal election.  AndBut it is likely that Hanson will not be standing, as she will be a two-term senator, so Roberts  will not benefit from the flow-on of her preferences.  For him to be  elected, he will need to be number one on the One Nation ticket.

Somehow, Roberts doesn’t look like someone who would appeal to the One Nation constituency of FNQ.


Nash, Cash and Joyce when too much bumbling incompetence is barely enough

It’s not as if these three are junior members of the Coalition.

They are collectively a Cabinet Minister, Leader and Deputy leader of the National party and the Deputy Prime Minister. You wonder how good the ones at the bottom of the barrel really are. They must be pretty ordinary.

Barnaby Joyce has been in Parliament for 12 years and during that time he has not been qualified to do so. Simply because nobody bothered to check his application form.

Cash has been responsible for setting up  the authority to monitor the behaviour of registered organisations. Its first foray into its statutory obligations has been an unmitigated disaster even without going into the fairly dubious proposal that it was a political beat-up.

There was clearly some fairly dodgy business going on in the Minister’s office. The best that Cash could offer was a huffy “I am very disappointed.” Yes, Minister aren’t we all. It’s your office and you should know what is going on. No good blaming the staff. The buck stops on your desk.

And then there’s Malcolm. The increasingly terminally incompetent Malcolm. When will he get something right?

When this crisis first began developing, he announced, with typical arrogance and prolixity, that Mr Joyce was “qualified to sit in the house and the High Court will so hold”

Sydney University constitutional law expert Professor Anne Twomey said few constitutional lawyers would share the “same confidence” expressed by the Prime Minister. “To assert with absolute confidence that the High Court is going to make a finding like that is indeed just a trifle optimistic,” she told Sky News.

The problem is these people are meant to be running the country. All they are doing at the moment is making this bloke look good.


Why electricity prices are rising

This is an extract from an article by Peter Hartcher in The Age today

The renewable energy target and all other “green scheme” policies are the smallest of five factors that have pushed up power prices, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s comprehensive report published this month.

The ACCC found the average cost of power rose by 63 per cent in the last decade. By far the biggest contributor was the cost of new spending on the transmission system – the so-called gold-plating, or overinvestment, in poles and wires. That was responsible for 48 per cent of the rise. The rise in wholesale electricity prices was next at 22 per cent. So called “green” schemes added a mere 7 per cent. And, in future, renewable energy is expected to be the cheapest source of new electricity. Whereas the expected cost of climate change in the country will be incalculable.

Peter Hartcher is the political editor and international editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He is a Gold Walkley award winner, a former foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington, and a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.


Weinstein, Trump, Susannah and her lawyer

There is a growing number of women accusing poor old Harvey.

Actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Léa Seydoux, and Cara Delevingne are among the women who have come forward

Such behaviour stretches back to time immemorial and one of the earliest accounts is from the 13th chapter of the Book of Daniel.


Daniel, lion tamer and lawyer

Two Elders, probably judges but certainly powerful and influential members of the community, watch the beautiful young Susannah bathing in her garden.  The incident has been captured by painters throughout the ages.

Alessandro Allori

Susanna and the Elders Alessandro Allori 1517

The elders accost her and threatened to accuse her of committing adultery, for which the penalty is death, unless she has sex with them. She refuses and is brought to trial.

At the trial, the young prophet Daniel cross-examines the two Elders who contradict each other about which tree the act was performed under. Susannah is acquitted and the two elders are put to death.

Weinstein, like the two elders is highly likely to be stoned. Trump, by contrast, is more likely to die in death of a thousand cuts, administered by a thousand different swords.


But the sword is most likely to be wielded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller




Ex-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the NBN was a mistake: everybody else’s.

The man TonyAbbott said invented the Internet has dubbed the NBN  “a mistake and a massive waste of money”.

 Malcolm Turnbull looking for someone to blame for the NBN cock up

 There has been an avalanche of complaints since the NBN rollout began. Almost exclusively about the speed that the network has been able to deliver. The original plan of the Labor government was for a fibre-to-home network which was rumoured to deliver up to 100 bps, a massive improvement on the single digit speeds of the old copper-based ADSL system.

Turnbull, when Communications Minister, decided to go with the logic-defying option of fibre-to-node, leaving the rest to be delivered to the homes with copper, a solution that is now delivering speeds slower than the old ADSL in some cases it.

The argument was that it would be cheaper, more affordable.

So far it is costing more and taking longer than the Labor plan. But Turnbull would probably blame that on Labor as well.

The marriage equality legislation has been a monumental  and expensive stuff up but Turnbull has been outmanoeuvred by people such political heavyweights who are  much smarter than him. Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Corey Bernardi, Pauline Hanson, Michael Collins.

But with the NBN, he’s managed this all on his own.



Walks like a rort, quacks like a rort, smells like a rort. Not a rort, according to Jeff Kennett.

The Age reports: Taxpayers slugged $200,000 as Jeff Kennett rents office from his wife.

As an ex-Premier, Kennett is entitled to free office space. This is on the assumption that he will be conducting activities for the public good rather than for personal profit after he leaves office. His work for Beyond Blue would certainly fall into that category.

But what he is doing now is renting office space from his wife which means that  whatever he does, his wife is $200,000 better off than the premiers who use office space in Treasury Place.


He’s not breaking the law.  He’s just bending the rules. He was bending the rules when his  advertising company KNF appeared to be accepting government contracts while he was Premier. Apparently he saw nothing wrong with that.

But he would have failed the pub test then, as he would now.

Asked if he could understand how a Victorian taxpayer might view his accommodation deal as questionable, Mr Kennett said he could not.

This came to light as a result of information given to Fairfax media by the Electrical Trades Union.

The Age reports: The ETU has been locked in a dispute with one of Mr Kennett’s companies after Crown Casino sacked 16 casino technicians and outsourced the work to a business run by Mr Kennett.

Friend and colleague Monash University governance expert and former Labor MP Ken Coghill, said while the Kennett arrangement may not be illegal – due to the loose guidelines – it did raise ethical concerns.


“My personal view is that allowances like that should be treated very, very cautiously and accordingly that it would be wise ethically … to avoid arrangements where there was some personal benefit to the former premier himself or a member of his family,”

Well, that does seem to be the case but some pollies just never really understand this.



Paul Keating is out of step with the majority on euthanasia laws

The Age reports Keating as saying “Victoria has just voted to remove its most basic human right”


The arguments fall into two camps.

The first is those who have witnessed the painful deaths of loved ones who have not had access to voluntary euthanasia or who have taken their own lives in painfully tragic situations.

The second is those who have argued a more general case that the safeguards will never be sufficient.  This means that the dying  may possibly be subjected to the predatory behaviours of unscrupulous relatives.

The second group is disproportionately represented in Parliament.

Keating remained hugely popular particularly amongst left-leaning sections of the community, most of whom probably support euthanasia.  They will  probably be  disappointed dy his stand on this issue.

There comes a point in every politician’s life when  they cease to be relevant.

When they continue to take positions on public issues  (such is the difference between an apple and an onion), they damaged their legacy, such as may have been.


Trailing Labor 54-46 for the 21st consecutive poll, Malcolm Turnbull decides to back coal.

What a political masterstroke!

This is almost entirely certain to reverse his parlous situation in the polls. The nation will surely see the wisdom of what he is doing. The party room certainly has.

Unfortunately, it is going to look as if Tony Abbott is writing the Liberal party energy policy and certainly won’t do anything for Malcolm Turnbull’s political stocks.


On top of this, it looks almost certain that he is going to be facing chaos as a result of the findings of the High Court sitting as The Court of Dispute Returns. He will be extremely lucky if Barnaby Joyce gets off scott free. And it is likely that there will be increased chaos in the Senate.

And then is the marriage equality plebiscite which looks likely to be won by the Yes vote. Unfortunately, Malcolm  want be able to take  much credit for that beyond being able to say that he and Lucy both voted yes.


His problem will be that Tony Abbott and his cohorts will create absolute chaos in Parliament and may be able to jeopardise the vote in the lower house. If they aren’t able to do that, they will probably be able to weaken Turnbull’s authority by demonstrating that he is not able to control the party vote in the House. ( I actually said “Cap house”  to my Dragontalk but got Cathouse – hmmm)

But I digress.

It’s not going to be a happy time for Malcolm.


Malcolm thinking about life after 30 consecutive poll losses

At the beginning of the Spring Carnival, Malcolm Turnbull has put all his money on Coal-Fired the flatulent draft horse

I wrote this post in December 2013

When farmer Abbott took over the farm he had a number of barnyard animals. One was a draught horse called  Coal-fired who had been with the family for years, from the days before modern technology invaded the rural landscape. The trouble with Coal-fired was that he suffered from what the vet turned “equine flatulence”: he farted a lot, and something terrible at that. This was making it increasingly difficult for whoever had to work with him as walking behind a flatulent draught horse is not the best way to spend your working day. There were better and more efficient and less odorous ways of doing the ploughing and harvesting but Farmer Abbott decided to stick with Coalfired despite the flatulence.

Now Malcolm Turnbull has decided to bring Coal-Fired out retirement and enter him in a race against much more fancied opponents where he has absolutely no chance of winning and no one  with any sense or any money is going to back him.


See also