2016: Back to the future through Turnbull’s looking glass darkly.

briggs and brough


Happy New Year is so yesterday when you are into hackathons and technological disruption. Our trendy, ‘with-it’ innovative, PM, opts to demonstrate his positivity instead by ditching two of his more woeful cabinet members. Little Jimmy Briggs and Slipper conspirator Malvolio Brough get the flick, news of which is timed to be upstaged if not totally eclipsed by the sacred NYE fireworks show on Sydney Harbour.

No-one really gives a rat’s arse anyway, apart from the groped embassy staff member and Mrs Briggs but the PM’s move looks contrived; shifty and wimpy, timed, as it was, to be dumped out the back with the other trash such as Dyson Heydon’s failure of a TURC report. Cap’n Turnbull is in more trouble than you poke an ugly stick at. Wokka Truss is expected to retire before parliament sits in 2016 but two other holes to plug in the hull is harder for the PM to talk his way out of. Or fix.

2016 may well be the year of the shifty shaft as our wimpy con-man cum Liberal PM and his coal-powered cohorts, struggle to keep their heads above water, let alone get on with the real business of government such as union-bashing and courting the flat-earthers who want to cut wages.

Wages are healthy, however at our ABC, which, under its ‘million dollar Michelle’ Guthrie new leader facelift, is keeping even our downtime upbeat. During the daylight hours preceding Sydney’s planned pyrotechnics on 31 December, Aunty was priming her viewers with breathless ‘updates’ and in depth forecasts which were repeats of the same announcement.

There are going to be FIREWORKS. OMG! NYE is going to be bigger and better than ever. It all promises to go off with a bang. What did we do to deserve this meaningless drivel?

Turnbull’s official stage show, ‘Not with a bang but a whimper’, on the other hand, seems to be less and less of a slow burn and more and more of a fizzer as Turnbull reveals himself to be a virtual Abbott clone in a better sack of fruit.

A fish rots from the head down, they say and it shows at this stage of the Turnbull experiment. The much-hated by his party PM is struggling to keep his cabinet ministers out of trouble, let alone under control or ‘on message’ as they like to write in the press handouts. Little Jimmy Briggs’ excuse for his misbehaviour is that he did it. Being popular in Liberal ranks, on the other hand, is clearly no guarantee of any degree of merit.

National party members cheer the decision to demote Briggs, saying the departure of the arrogant and talentless turd might even raise the collective IQ in his ministry but we may be stuck with the stench in the punchbowl. Briggs was bivouacking down in Environment under climate intellectual Greg Hunt!

In the light of recent revelations of massive tax evasion by our biggest corporations, there has been not a peep out of the PM. Assistant Treasurer Kelly Oh Dear bravely ventured that ‘just because they did not pay tax did not mean that they were not paying tax’. Go figure, as they like to say in US sitcoms and bad comedies. The takeout New Year message from this government? You pay for everything. We get the tax breaks. ‘May the bird of paradise fly up your nose’.

For every agile, paid-up federal government pension-schemer staffing our national political circus – and for decent ordinary Australians who increasingly find themselves excluded from their rightful place at the national picnic table, 2016 promises to be quite a blast – from the past. Expect new lows in indifference, incompetence and exploitation.

In Canberra, our nation’s political theatre, it is war, as usual, on the weak, the elderly, the infirm while international bankers ensure the arms trade thrives and boost a war on terror as the tonic a sick world economy needs. Turnbull Inc. whose motto  bastardry as usual is becoming more familiar with every passing day and closure of every local manufacturing firm, has issued a personalised message of seasonal goodwill. ‘Let an elephant caress you with its toes.’

Screw the workers. ‘Don’t tell me they don’t like it- bring me good news’ stories; being me positivity on a stick; bellows Malcolm, the emperor of ice-cream. In a productivity-enhancing up-market, well-bred vowels and patronising cadences and figures of speech, Malcolm Turn-on tells everyone to like being done over. Bring on the innovation orgasmatron!

Now Abbott’s $40-80 million TURC, a simple but ineffective plot to kill Bill Shorten, has failed to achieve its objective, release of the TURC turkey’s red-bound report with extra, special X-rated appendix, has been relegated to the silly season where it is certain to be eclipsed by endless images of millionaires cracking hearty in sporting costumes which drip with expensive logos and their yachts which tend to do the same.

Memo to innovators. Can’t we just skip the sport and race the logos?

Oddly, few yacht owners seize the day to praise the workers whose productivity provided them with the means to buy their expensive toys which are viewed to advantage, with no expense spared, from every possible angle in living rooms across the nation, colourful reminders to every exploited wage-slave of our insignificance and servitude.

Nor is one boss-yachtie heard thanking Mr Turnbull for promising to do nothing whatsoever to change the fact that as was revealed recently, 38% of our corporate entities paid no tax at all in 2013-14. Or did we miss something?

To be fair, background noise at this time of year is deafening, even for a mob whose shtick is noise. Orchestrated calls for cuts to penalty rates, lower company taxes and an increase in GST from the usual suspects, such as Kate Carnell, the IPA, vie with business class demands wages be cut to incentivise the nation so every Ozzie can become an ocean-going yachtie.

Loose cannons are even noisier in the silly season. Beware yapping Tea Party running dogs such as TURC supporter and part-time union-basher David Leyonhjelm who get more attention than their small bore would ever warrant in season. Now he’s insanely calling for controls to be eased on the sale of fireworks because as he puts it adults have to be treated like adults. What is it about the fireworks with this mob?

Expect more of this hogwash as sundry nut jobs set out to convince us that we are in need of tuition from the likes of Donald Trump and other pseudo-down-home plain-speaking US republican candidates and other low-rent political vultures and carrion crows. David Leyonhjelm eagerly swoops on whatever remains of the Labor movement adding his own editorialising to the witch hunting happy as ever to get some attention.

Turkey it may be but the TURC’s carcase will provide rich pickings for low-flying buzzards on the lookout for a takeaway smear or a slur. ‘Although not mentioned by name’, slurs an ABC report, ‘Shorten has his work cut out for him’.

Bill is not dead but he’s looking very poorly and the prognosis is not good, thanks to Turnbull Inc. and puppet Dyson Heydon’s ‘guilty until he proves himself innocent’ witch hunt and the political freebooters at News Corp. what about a Roar-all commission as it is known, into corporate tax evasion?

The Abbott/Turnbull government will continue to cruel the fortunes of the poor and the vulnerable so it can boost the bank accounts of its rich pals and backers; ignore the top end of town’s tax evasion and in any other way it can find, look after the interests and the well-being of the top ‘one-per-centers’.

It has ripped $80 billion out of Health and Education in order to extort the states into complying with ‘tax reform’.  Let hospitals and schools hold chook raffles to fund themselves! Idea! Get Julie Bishop and Wyatt Roy to help them run a hackathon.

Hackathons will be big in 2016. Our nation’s unelected fearless leader, Cap’n Tosser Turnbull, can’t get his hands off his new orgasmatron and its cost-free trendy image. Expect more slogans as you ‘work, save and invest’ at your job if you are lucky enough to have one.

Wages are stagnant but expect ‘your ABC’ to include bogus news items purporting to show ‘business confidence’ flooding the marketplace as ‘productivity sky-rockets’ after Turnbull’s visionary rhetoric. Don’t expect any help with the rising cost of looking after elderly family members or childcare.

Turnbull seizes the day with a thought bubble for every occasion. He should relax. The verdict is in. Since seizing power, the only difference between himself and Abbott is that Turnbull uses nicer words to promote our war on terror.

Turnbull is hell-bent on winning Mr Positivity for 2016 – the man positively oozes positivity from every oleaginous pore. Positivity could become the new national religion after sport and talkback radio. Expect lashings of left-over ham to be dished up with cringing servitude by our nation’s hacks and lackeys in the meeja. And from those in the PM’s own expensive and hugely over-staffed press unit. Objective reporting is so yesterday. Critical analysis and dissent are heresy.

‘There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today … never been a more exciting time to be an Australian’, Malcolmtake your hand off it’ Turnbull vigorously snake-oils the body politic.  Posing as a conservative ’embracing change’ he is really only an arm’s length away from being an agile and disruptive Jamie Briggs.

Our 2016 national conversation as the PM and his team love to call their windy monologues, will be filled with pseudo-Dude-speak. Silicon start-up up-starts will star in hackathon-led disruptive innovation. In brief, we will be fed meaningless, start-up jargon, silicon-valley snake oil, while our exports shrink, our island continent overheats and our industry disappears via the ideological disaster that has allowed them to fall into ruin in the name of free trade, (amen).

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has captured the new zeitgeist effortlessly with costly new furnishings even if she did have to fold a few DFAT programs to pay for it.  Explaining how she blew the DFAT budget; money meant to help drowning pacific villagers and other humanitarian obligations, Bishop dilated on the $600 bean-bags bought for her Innovation Xchange, an idea and a name she took from something fifteen years ago with the same name. For Bishop, the Innovation Xchange is a metaphor for the new Australia, a ‘gorgeous little funky, hipster, Googly, Facebooky-type place’.

2016 will see Australians from all works of life being jam-packed like Japanese commuters at a bullet train station into the pews; to worship at the altar of the new bogus religion of ‘disruptive’ technology, an idea which flourishes despite any historical foundation and against the most rudimentary common sense.

‘Change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it,’ says the PM who promised not to insult the intelligence of the electorate. Someone needs to ask him about how climate change is our friend.

Traditional Liberal delights and amuses bouches such as cold pay cuts, GP co-payments by stealth are on the menu by popular demand from the top end of town as the Business Council of Australia flatters itself along with the thousand and one tin pot generals of commerce and industry who claim to be a representative voice but who in fact merely echo the IPA. Or outdo it for neo-liberal economic delusion that wage cuts are anything but a disaster for The Economy (amen).

Someone should hold a royal commission into the obscene number of ’employer-representative bodies’ that have pullulated overnight like mushrooms to beg government to cut workers’ wages and conditions while begging extra for themselves; tax relief for an elect group in which almost every other corporation represented pays no tax at all.

Also planned is a smorgasbord of warmed up left-overs including an IR law to beef up union surveillance which the senate has already sensibly rejected. Trigger-happy NRA nut-job and professional loose cannon David Leyonhjelm who is all in favour of small government reckons another layer of federal jurisprudence to cover anything which workers might get up to is highly desirable, just like big corporations, he says with a straight face, who are constantly monitored for compliance and  transparency. Just not for paying tax.

Multicultural novelties include a penalty rates piñata featuring Michaelia Cash who will smash a life size effigy of Bob Hawke, including ego, to release countless thousands of gaily multi-coloured 457 VISAs representing the innovative migrant work force which will disrupt our more traditional, stuffy workforce by putting locals out of jobs.

Accompanying on harp will be Kate Carnell who will lead a Business Council of Australia choral arrangement in a rendition of the specially commissioned ‘Yeah, Nah’ a toe-tapping hum-along which will add a fresh breath of yesteryear and the Norman Luboff choir.

‘Yeah, nah, we’re not touching penalty rates’ promises to be a show stealer and rests on hours of hard graft and sheer perseverance. Expect to be fed an endless, self-saucing magic Christmas pudding, doused in over-proof positivity and dotted with the odd promissory note which now officially replaces the traditional three-penny bit or small silver coin,  until February.

As soon as the Murdoch press has done enough convincing the nation that Labor is a gang of union thugs out to wreck the country, contortionist and master illusionist, Malcolm, ‘Mr Magic’ Turnbull, will surprise no-one by going to the polls early. Austerity will, then, rain down upon us like a bullocky’s whip, should, – as is expected the party of the right be re-elected.

2016 will be quite a blast;  a long siesta-inducing fiesta of positivity, dodgy opinion polls and the best entertainment your taxes can buy. Prepare to be diverted by the spectacle of war on the unions. Expect no firm commitment to anything apart from glossing over the fact that a big part of the hole in the federal finances comes from companies paying no tax.

For diversion, terror can’t be beat. Expect a gusher of dinkum oil on the need to invade Syria and any other place the US and Haliburton wants to overwhelm with humanitarian bombing from the air by a failed PM backed by his enthusiastic but barking mad monkey pod musos, ‘Abbott and the pedal pushers’ – showing the nation how easy it is to transition from junkyard dog to cracker dog to mad dog. The Daily Telegraph can’t get enough of the little urger. Just don’t let him near any flags. Eric Abetz will again propose that his mate Abbott be part of Mal’s new cabinet. A dumb waiter, perhaps.

The economy show is sticking to its rehearsal schedule thanks to Scott Morrison putting everything on the table and never suggesting putting up the GST in order to bribe the big end of town with tax cuts. Or that poor people need ‘welfare cops’ set on them but if you are a rich business, tax-paying is an optional extra.

A credible path to surplus is set to become an avant-avant-garde art installation, a new surrealist drama, with more than a nod to Waiting for Godot in which much is promised but nothing is ever delivered in an incoherent, surreal and absurdist but menacing environment.

Tables are groaning with epicurean delights such as longer working lives seasoned with a good old dollop of a drop in the standard of living. Not that you’d know. Chef Morrison has whipped up a whopping GST increase to allow him to lower taxes for the wealthy, while helping Sussan Ley to introduce another co-payment by stealth via a change to Medicare incentives.

How do they do it?  Heaven only knows they have enough on their plate with poisoning the atmosphere and trashing the environment down at Abbott Point, for a coal industry unlikely ever to pay its way if it ever eventuates;

Our Environment Minister and minister for Adani boasts a new heritage listed post-industrial port has been secretly prepared to tempt the nation’s appetite for intrigue and betrayal and to satisfy the need for curators of the future should they need an example of stranded economic asset or a national economic basket case.

No expense has been spared by our coal-industry puppets, their National Party hangers-on and a myriad assorted camp followers. Spoiler alert. 2016 will contain a charm offensive in the form of tax cuts. Then everything will be obliterated as the Adani-sponsored Turnbull juggernaut wipes out everything in its path.

The tables, which, as you recall still have everything on them now bear an embarrassment of riches a veritable feast of evidence that there has never been a more exciting time to be alive. Especially if you are Malcolm Turnbull and not a poor, ordinary person who needs decent wages, a union to protect their conditions or any form of Medicare health treatment.

Turnbull, a former merchant banker and rhyming slang, is so increasingly besotted by the sound of his own voice and his own reflection in a thought bubble that he can make no sense at all of his PM gig. Turners struggles with actually getting stuff done or asserting his authority. It would help if he knew what to do. Or could take advice.

Authority is built on respect but Turnbull has instead channelled his energies and talents into a lifetime of building other things, like the mare’s nest of the NBN, amassing a personal fortune and not putting a foot wrong in the collapse of HIH.

Although he’s had a long honeymoon with the country his tax accountants are shagging, Turnbull’s not so attractive to the all the chaps at the office. True, the chapesses all have an emoji crush on him, judging Julie Bishop’s flirting although her follow-the leader-support doesn’t really count.

Turnbull struggles with the notion that being PM involves leadership and leadership involves the judicious exercise of power as authority. It’s a bit more than a vanity mirror and already there are serious flaws in the glass.

4 thoughts on “2016: Back to the future through Turnbull’s looking glass darkly.

  1. This is one of the most cogently argued and lucidly expressed political commentaries that I have read since the ejection of Abbott and the metamorphosis of PM Turbull into our MSM’s God (along with that small-gee god, Premier Baird). Partner and I have printed all of this piece to read out as opportunities arise with friends and families.

    Calls to mind J. K. Galbraith’s sagacious explication:
    The modern conservative is engaged in one of mankind’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    With longtime Murdoch minion, Michelle Guthrie, being appointed managing director of the ABC, we are being inundated with loony Tory propaganda by our MSM in order to ensure the reelection of this Murdochian government, just as they conjured up victory for UK PM Cameron last year. Rare are bloggers like Urbanwronski who can offer an oasis of sanity and rationality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appreciate your kind and generous comments, hemingway13. Love your Galbraith quotation. Outraged by the injustice and duplicity his comment exposes. Amazed at how successfully dissent is discouraged, bought off or smothered.


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