Tags: malcolm turnbull

26 Aug 2007, Comments Off on There be signs and wonders

There be signs and wonders

Author: Helen

You know that scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar where, in the run up to a political upheaval, a bloke called Casca is seeing visions? Lions, ghastly women (well, Kath and Kim‘s back), birds in the marketplace howling and shrieking, that kind of thing.

That’s how I felt on Wednesday as I was listening to PM in the car and learned that a big corporate honcho, a man who had been criticised as yet another Howard political appointment, had grown a spine and had hit out in no uncertain terms about the disastrous proposal for a pulp mill in the Tasmanian Tamar valley, and the corrupted political process which is making sure it goes through. And he wasn’t pussyfooting around, either.

Passers-by were bemused by the middle-aged woman cheering in the Mitsubishi station wagon as tough guy Geoff Cousins growled:

GEOFF COUSINS: Here is a very serious environmental issue, the most immediate one in the country right at this moment, and the Minister for the Environment seems to be the Minister against it.


Quite frankly, the result of the Federal Election compared to polluting the environment is a trifling matter, as far as I am concerned.


And if that happens to give Malcolm Turnbull some discomfort, well, quite frankly I couldn’t care less. That’s just too bad.


And then this:

Mr Cousins said “there is no need to rush a decision just because Gunns want it to be rushed. If Mr Turnbull ducks it, it’s a joke, really it is.”

Oh, well done that man!

To add to the entertainment value, Malcolm Turnbull – a well-known machine man and headkicker of the Liberal party, as well as a wealthy and influential businessman, sooked mightily and claimed repeatedly that he was being bullied and he wasn’t going to stand for this kind of bullying.

Oh diddums.

To hear this from a member of the Liberal party, who has just tried to ram through an unpopular and inappropriate development for the benefit of Gunn’s Ltd — corporate bullies extraordinaire – just sends the irony meter into orbit. He doesn’t recognise Mr Cousins’ behaviour, because he’s not used to seeing it: it’s not bullying, Malcolm, it’s called standing up to someone or something. The Americans call it speaking truth to power. Oh, and Turnbull made noises about perhaps it’s time we looked at Cousins’ position on the Telstra board because of this. Threatening someone’s job? Who’s the bully, again?

Why is this unusual suspect coming out swinging?

The bushwalking fan said he became focused on the mill after reading an article by Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan. He contacted Flanagan and Greens leader Bob Brown. They felt that rather than one of the “usual suspects” it needed “an unusual suspect” to fight the issue — “that’s why I came in”.
…Entrepreneur Graeme Wood also came out in support of Mr Cousins yesterday after appearing before Tasmanian upper house MPs to brief them about the mill’s potential costs. He said the mill would damage tourism and cost jobs.

Oh, the strangeness of it all. While Garrett stays silent on the Tasmanian environment, this guy comes out of… um… right field and says what Labor should have been saying all along. Malcolm Turnbull is “rattled”. The Rodent is “flummoxed”. I’m ecstatic.

Signs, wonders and miracles. On the other hand – maybe we’re just witnessing an outbreak of sanity.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

22 May 2007, Comments Off on It’s different when you’re born to rule

It’s different when you’re born to rule

Author: Helen

I remember – hell, this is so going to show my age – the Labor “It’s Time” ad campaign. I remember the Liberal response to it, too – a little cartoon man, the naive prospective Labor voter, being lectured by one of his betters on the disastrous events in store for him if he does. “And,” the voiceover intoned, “Once they get in, they’ll change the system, and then you’ll never get them out!”

Which is pretty much what the Liberals are trying to do with their new Orwellian Electoral Integrity Act.

In the same spirit of “it’s OK when we do it, but not when they do”, the government has also been criticising the Ruddster’s declared intention to intercept whaling ships in Australian waters (“Piracy!” thundered Malcolm Turnbull), while conveniently forgetting that they initiated the “Border Control bill” in 1999-2000 to allow themselves to patrol the northern waters, intercept and board ships deemed to be carrying asylum seekers or just illegal fishermen.

Of course, the Libs pick their battles. It would take guts to go head to head with the Japanese government and “scientific” whalers, instead of eighteen-year-olds and Indonesian fishermen or refugees.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

30 Mar 2007, Comments Off on Outsourcing Environmental policy to Indonesia

Outsourcing Environmental policy to Indonesia

Author: Helen

Image from http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/12/1078594569985.html

So, Malcolm Turnbull and his boss the Rodent have suddenly come out with this policy to pay $200m to encourage developing nations in the southern hemisphere with significant rainforest, such as Brazil Australia and Indonesia, to stop logging them.
So why am I not giving credit where it it appears to be due? Why am I, an erstwhile Green voter, not planning to vote Liberal at the next election because of this excellent Librul forest policy? Why am I, instead, full of bile and spleen and whitehot rage?

Mr Turnbull says a global response is needed and the $200 million project will be used to plant trees and reduce illegal logging in South-East Asia.

Including Australia? Oh, wait…

“The funding will go, given the nature of our geography, will largely go to South-East Asia,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The biggest deforesters in the world or the places where the most deforestation of tropical forests is occurring are in Brazil and Indonesia, they’re the top two so naturally our focus is going to be on our part of the world

Our part of the world? C’mon Malcolm, you can say it: Our part of the world includes… yes… US!

but we’re not limiting it to that.”

Geez, Malcolm. You think that when you announce a policy of spending hundreds of millions to buy out the logging industry, it might not be appropriate to APPLY IT TO THE FEW HUNDRED PEOPLE WHO ARE CLEARFELL LOGGING THE REMNANT OF OLD GROWTH FORESTS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY? YA THINK??

Sorry for the shouting.

The truly awesome Bernice Balconey (no relation) and Aussie Bob have more facts, with less spittle.

(Thanks to Enemy Combatant of LP for the post title).
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

I don’t know why some people think the Fairfax press is so left wing. It’s full of articles by, or about, the right wing world view. As an AGE and SMH reader I certainly don’t feel like a member of the chattering classes having my comfortable world view reinforced. More often it’s a window into how the other half thinks. Good for me, I suppose.

Kevin Donnelly, who works for the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, has published a new book claiming that

Schools have been hijacked by “new-age class warrior” teachers more committed to promoting homosexuality, multiculturalism and Aborigines than teaching the three Rs…
…public education is in crisis because political correctness, state-sponsored education fads and left-wing unions have skewed the teacher’s role from objectivity to indoctrination….

By the pricking of my thumbs, a rightwing thinktank this way comes.

The book, published today, was commissioned by the Menzies Research Centre. Its chairman and aspiring Liberal MP, Malcolm Turnbull, said recommendations of an earlier education paper for the centre “have already found their way into government policy”, and the book would spark discussion about the quality of the curriculum.

Looks like Mr Donnelly needs a dose of the three Rs himself. “Forgotten is that many parents would consider the sexual practices of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals decidedly unnatural …” he wrote. Forgotten is his education in English grammar, obviously.