NO Prime Minister


Australian Prime Minister is very rich!


Less well known, PM Malcolm Turnbull’s also very sensitive about advertising the extent of his wealth. For example, he was very reluctant to disclose just how much he personally donated to his own re-election.

Since wresting the Liberal leadership from Abbott (by promising NOT to pursue any of his leftie causes, eg his sensible acceptance of Global Warming, acceptance of the need for Renewable Energy, advocacy for an Australian Republic and support for Same Sex Marriage) , Mal’s performances in the ‘bear-pit’ of Parliament have been more Winnie the Pooh than vicious Grizzly.

But episodes like

stymied any chance of Mal appearing to be in charge of his party, best demonstrated by looking at the faces of those on his side of the Parliament.

So when Opposition Leader Bill Shorten referred to Mal as “Mr Harbourside Mansion (a fact) during the year’s first SSO (Suspension of Standing Orders) the PM ‘got his panties in a bunch‘.

While it should have been aimed at Bill opposite him in the Chamber, the performance was entirely for the benefit of his real enemies, those behind him.

Sadly, Mal is afflicted with excessive, even obscure, verbosity (uses big, unnecessary words – aka MALsplaining).

So it was when he tried to insult Bill, (referring to him as a sycophant instead of simply a suck-up), Mal chose the very  obscure “Cristal” reference (thrown like an epithet), instead of just saying ‘champagne tastes’.

For all his eloquence Mal can’t even lower himself enough to hurl everyday insults.

Those MPs seated behind and ‘rusted-on Liberals’ generally might be impressed by his sudden change of demeanor. But his ugly attack on someone from ‘below stairs’ who has the gall to aspire to Mal’s circle, will further alienate him from ALP supporters and possibly many of Howard’s ‘aspirationals’.

The real test will be how his vicious, and unnecessarily LOUD monologue goes down with previously swinging voters?

We shall see.

Abbott/Turnbull Government



Wit Oscar Wilde quipped – “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

In less than one Parliamentary Term (< 3 years) the Liberal ‘Family’ has lost SIX viz.

This instability has meant that LNP not only have been  unable to achieve much, they have been barely able to even PROPOSE much  policy.

The only agility this Parliamentary mess have demonstrated is the uncanny knack of being able to leap-frog the carcasses of their fallen brethren.

Turnbull & the Spectacles

We’ve all seen him do it! That Malcolm continuously flaps his eye-glasses about dismissively is an affectation.


He’s trying to indicate that we’ve interrupted him while he was engaged in ‘much more important business (that we’re too stupid to understand)’. You know, he’s busy, busy, busy – somewhere between Spycatcher, Ozemail & HiH. He’s sooo busy, he hasn’t even had a chance to fully discard his eye-wear. Anyway, he’ll need then very soon to peruse the latest Cayman Islands Investment Performance Report.


He’s not too busy to regale us with his latest 3000 word MALsplaining effort though, continually (and vainly) trying to convince we plebs of his ‘everyman’ status.


But listen closely & among the grandiloquent verbiage it’s not difficult to hear the blunt instrument of his derision. Yesterday in Question Time, when in the indefensible position of trying to save Stuart Robert from his Chinese misadventures, he reverted to plagiarising Julia Gillard misogyny speech’s “I won’t be lectured to by this man …” line in response to genuine question from Bill Shorten.


The Liberal/National duumvirate have wasted $millions on unsuccessfully attempting to smear unions & successive ALP leaders through their valid association with the Trade Union movement.


But that didn’t stop the PM from using ‘Coward’s Castle’ of Parliament, viciously trying in Question Time to smear the Opposition Leader, against whom there have been NO adverse findings from the Trade Union Royal Commission.

Turnbull continues to luxuriate in being more popular than Abbott in the polls. But simply being ‘not Abbott’ is beginning to pall.

His popularity will be tested when he actually has to DO SOMETHING that hurts a particular group or two. Something other than waving his glasses about wildly (& generally making a spectacle of himself).


LNP Self Immolation

The LNP Government 2013 kicked off badly (& many contend, unnecessarily) following this own-goal. ALL promises broken in short order!

Six years of seething disappointment at having been unable to either convince/bribe ANY of the Independents to help them break the hung Parliament deadlock, having pursued mercilessly Liberal ‘rat’ Peter Slipper over a tipple-trip, the LNP seemed intent on punishing anyone/everyone for their frustration with the ideologically driven Budget2014 necessitated by a non-existent ‘budget emergency’, which disappeared completely by Budget2015. Legislative inertia persisted throughout. PM Gillard has a superior record by far.

Inaction on Global Warming, attempted annihilation of the renewables industry & it’s attendant jobs, decimation of science generally, derogation of our International responsibilities on Asylum Seekers, rorting of ‘entitlements‘ (far in excess of Slipper & ~$900) and much much more have given rise to the current shemozzle.

Any semblance of impartiality at the Trade Union Royal Commission has been blown away by Commissioner  Dyson Heydon (don’t people with two surnames/first names irk?) who inexplicably agreed initially to an invitation to address a LNP Fundraiser dinner and then took 24hrs to pull out. Obviously this compromises any hope of impartiality.

Time to stock up on the popcorn, sit back and enjoy the inevitable #libspill.


Unusually, it snowed in parts of Canberra yesterday!

Not so unusually, to many Australians, the term ‘Canberra’ means all the (especially nasty) things that the Federal Government chooses to do. Yesterday the nasties included the decision to defer any resolution of the ‘Marriage Equality‘ issue.

This non-decision will be applauded by some but decried by others, but was decided by the LNP, the parliamentary grouping currently in the majority. That’s how our Democracy ‘works’, although dissent is beginning to appear from within LNP party ranks, most notably from Leadership contender Malcolm Turnbull.

What should NOT happen is for the decision to be laid at the feet of the ~386,000 (non-politician)  residents of ‘Canberra’.

The Federal Government is comprised of 226 souls, necessarily representing every part of Australia. The Australian Capital Territory elects just 4 of these individuals, 2 each in the Senate & The House of Representatives.

It is way past time that the lazy Australian Media stopped equating Federal Governments (of both stripes) with Canberra!

FEDS is  nice short, space saving term that should be used when the Federal Government is being referred to, and Canberra should be restricted to all other aspects of the city, its environs and its people.



Despite inordinate $squillions wasted on the “War on Drugs”, the battle is LOST, has been for decades & is now threatening to overwhelm entire countries eg Mexico and Nicaragua.

Remember, Mexico drug supply problems exist almost entirely because of  insatiable demand from the USA, which is not averse to creative drug politics.

Get over it people!

Prohibition is a dumb idea, espoused by a lethal combination of anti-drug wowsers & those who profit from its illegality. Almost everyone wants to maintain prohibition, but for opposite reasons.

Stop treating the ‘illegal drug problem’ as a legal problem & spend $s saved on treating the ‘Health Problem’.

In any event, misuse of alcohol kills & maims many more people, and it’s LEGAL. Savings alone on Health Expenditure avoided is sufficient reason to adopt this policy, quite apart from the money saved on the (demonstrably futile) “War on Drugs”.


“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Albert Einstein



Words – It is asserted (@StepenFry) that the average English word has 5 letters, so “words” is as good a place to start a new blog post as any.

“Otiose94” will be my occasional series of quite random thoughts (in both space & time). Here goes.

MP’s Rorts – Every day sees more & more examples of ‘dodgy’ claims for entitlements by Australian Federal MPs, beginning with the now ex-Speaker Bronwyn Bishop (BB) & THAT over-indulgent luxury helicopter ride to a Party Fundraiser from Melbourne CBD to Geelong, a trip much more easily & cheaply (cost tax-payers $5227) negotiated by many other means (Chauffeured Commonwealth Car?).

This extravagance has now cost BB the Speaker-ship & she looked somewhat less than contrite when she resumed her backbench  seat.

It has cost Prime Minister Abbott as well both because BB was another example of his abysmal record with ‘Captain’s Picks’ & his tardiness (tin-ear) in responding (~3wks) to the impending catastrophe which ensued from the obvious outrage from the public.

It s undeniable that Federal MPs exist in a rarefied atmosphere of Canberra political life where they are ‘available 24/7’ in theory, if not in practice. This voluntary discomfort does not excuse ‘rorting’ the system whenever they can.

It is instructive that BOTH major Parties are now desperately trying to ‘hose-down‘ the furore, because tit-for-tat accusations are MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).

Unfortunately, this was not before ABC Insiders aired a very funny video.

More later.

Acknowledgements: @BBC, @StephenFry, ABC News, @SMH & @rabbitandcoffee