There is a Civil War brewing. No I’m not referring to Yemen, Ukraine, the U.S or even the upcoming antics of Captain America. I’m referring to a Civil War over a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time – better known as a budget.
Federal budgets are those funny things in politics that have the power to destroy – or further solidify – the career of the Chosen One that hands it down. A memorable budget is usually characterised by an image, a particular event, or a symbol. Take the example of the Abbott Government’s much-maligned 2014 budget, personified so eloquently in the grainy footage of then-Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann huffing down Cuban cigars. He was henceforth disparagingly referred to as ‘Smokin’ Joe‘, and his career prospects tanked along with the budget. The man many thought might be our future Prime Minister was undid by a shitty budget (more…)
Malcolm Turnbull walks up to the bar on the second floor of Parliament House in Canberra. The barman greets Turnbull as he approaches the bar and asks him what drink he would like. Malcolm thinks on this a moment and says he wants to be ‘a little risqué’ and requests a shot. The barman nods in appreciation and requests to know what shot the federal Communications Minister would like. ‘A wet pussy‘, Malcolm purrs.
‘A wise choice sir’, the barman opines, ‘a shot with a name that truly encapsulates your very being, sir’.
I hope you all like my attempt at wit and humour. To those that don’t yet appreciate my whimsical sense of amusement, I’m sure you all at least got a hefty dose of the giggles watching the Liberal Party seemingly fall apart on live national television this morning. What I’ve most enjoyed about the whole saga is how much the Liberal Party seemingly think there are no comparisons to be drawn between what is currently happening to them and what happened to the previous Labor government. But the comparisons are seemingly endless, with factions being the most obvious factor in the highly entertaining #libspill saga. This is no difference to the left-right divisions within the Labor Party that destroyed the careers of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard – (and continues to hang around Bill Shorten like a bad smell) and the divisions within the Liberal Party; both are corrosive.
So the Honourable PM Tony Abbott, the man who was responsible for pearlers like the one below, has something to say about sexism:
‘What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…’
He is internationally renowned for his stellar record of saying ridiculously misogynistic one-liners that would make Johnny Bravo blush. He was also on the receiving end of probably the most scathing, if not the most famous, anti-sexist rant ever. He also stated that the greatest thing he had done as Minister for Women was to get rid of the ‘Carbon Tax’, leading to one of the funniest things to trend on social media since Justin Bieber was punched by Orlando Bloom in a nightclub. So you would probably raise an eyebrow if he started accusing others of being sexist twats. What would make it all the more bizarre would be if he accused his own party of being the ones with the sexist banter. But in typical Abbott fashion, he has stumped me, and the electorate, once again – by doing just that. Abbott came out in defence of his chief-of-staff Peta Credlin recently, asking his colleagues to ‘have a long hard look at themselves’. I feel terrible for Bronwyn Bishop and George Brandis in all of this, because with mugs like theirs you’d think they’d prefer to do as little reflection in the mirror as possible. Ohh snap!!
So one thing that has really surprised me about the eventual demise of the federal Liberal party is the unwavering support Julie Bishop maintains amongst the electorate. She is not just begrudgingly tolerated by the electorate like Bill Shorten is, she is loved – adored by many for her truly intimidating stare and gruff attitude to former Commies in China and Russia. Those on the Left don’t seem to be bothered hating on her too much. Why would you – when you have a smorgasbord of rotting cheeses to peg your nose at in the fashion of Palmer, Abetz, Andrews, Brandis and Pyne? With the sniff of a Cabinet reshuffle and the talk (I dare to even mention it, but I must) that our dear leader may not even see out a full term, the enemies of the government have bigger fish to fry.
On this point, I tend to agree with them. She has made very few missteps, but that is only in comparison to her Coalition colleagues. Analyse Bishop as a singular, unitary actor though, and you realise (more…)