Turnbull’s latest bag of tripe.

16 Feb

 

One hardly knows where to begin.

Yesterday, Head Galoot Malcolm Turnbull announced that in an effort to curb the apparent enthusiasm of his ministers for shagging their staffers, he was adding a new rule to the ministerial regulations, forbidding sexual relationships.

Only ministers are denied these pleasures: backbenchers can carry on as usual.

Turnbull has experienced considerable difficulty over the last few days defining “relationships.” This is because Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Minister Matt Canavan and Turnbull himself appear, at first blush, to have breached ministerial regulations already in existence, by conspiring to create jobs for Joyce’s lover, Vikki Campion, in various ministerial offices while she and Joyce were partners.

Were they in a relationship? Even though Mrs Joyce remains registered as his partner?  The DPM got so Frenchy, so chic, sporting a wife and a mistress, and the ministerial regulations failed to anticipate this circumstance. Bronwyn Bishop took a break from her unrelenting savaging of socialism to explain that a series of one night stands is not a relationship. Centrelink disagrees.

All in all, a shamefully self-serving mangling of meaning by the Head Galoot, I thought, reminiscent of “I did not have sex with that woman” which brings me to my next point: how does Turnbull intend to define not just relationship, but “sexual?” Remember US President Bill Clinton’s infamous denial of fellatio as “sex?”  Will Turnbull take this as a guide? Has he thought his new directive through? It would appear not.

We now have a situation  in which ministers can be chucked out not because they’ve rorted, but because they’ve rooted, which, as Katharine Murphy points out, is  a morals test the like of which we have never seen in this country prior to yesterday.

Let us consider that one in three Australian marriages fail. Some of those failed marriages are going to include those of politicians. Joyce’s marriage by all accounts failed. The reasons for that failure are nobody else’s business.

Joyce fell in love with a staffer. It seems pretty clear that the staffer fell in love with him. People fall in love. This includes politicians and staffers. Many struggling marriages come to an end when one party falls in love with someone else. That’s a well-acknowledged impetus for getting yourself out of a relationship that has run its course. It’s messy. It’s heartbreaking. It’s a catastrophic emotional event. There will be few among us who haven’t been or won’t be an abandoned partner, an abandoning partner, or a lover, at some time in our lives.

The particular problem with Joyce is that it is alleged he misused taxpayers’ money to conceal his affair, and to keep his lover employed. It is also alleged that there are several levels of murk surrounding the gifts of free accommodation and luxury holidays made to him and his lover by a wealthy and influential friend. He also did everything possible to conceal this entire situation from his New England electorate prior to the December by-election. Aided, many would observe, by a complicit media who, while adhering to their convention that politicians’ personal lives are private, failed to document the public interest story underpinning that private life.

The problem is not that Joyce, like millions of Australians, found his marriage was over and fell in love with a new partner. And yet, Turnbull has contrived to make this the core issue, rather than the allegations of ongoing rorting surrounding Joyce’s personal drama.

And so we have a thundering puritanism emerging in our parliament, instead of a sober examination of politicians misusing public money, lying to the parliament and the electorate, and taking “gifts” they ought not to accept.

Not to mention the appalling lack of adequate policies and procedures to protect workers from sexual harassment, and to give anyone who is sexually harassed, by a minister, a back bencher or anyone else, a clear and safe pathway to report that harassment.

Instead we have been served up a stinking bag of raw tripe that encourages the most prurient speculations, and leaves us with our most dire problems entirely unaddressed. This is no accident. How much easier for Turnbull to focus on the root, and leave the rorting alone.

 

 

 

 

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24 Responses to “Turnbull’s latest bag of tripe.”

  1. paul walter February 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm #

    Discretion is the better part of valour.

    Sufficient to say I am finding this so weird that I cant comment until Ive made some sense of it all.

    Except for Clinton, who did well to transgress Starr, which was a smear campaign, not a genuine enquiry. Imho , the true villains in that were Gingrich and that monster Linda Tripp.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. franklongshank February 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    I don’t think Joyce fell in love. He fell in LUST. He let his dick do ALL his thinking for him. Now he is paying the price.

    I agree with you that Turnbull is a complete dill. I had him figured out from day one as a klutz. A do-nothing windbag who had a dream to be PM and mark it off his bucket list.

    I also agree with Paul Keating when he said Turnbull lacked all political judgement. Hence his litany of cockups from taxing the air we breathe (The Global Warming Hoax) to pushing water up hill (Snowy 2.0), supporting gay marriage, to banning sex between his ministers and declaring that there were no conservatives in the Liberal Party! What? I thought Love is Love?!

    Turnbull joined the wrong party – he’s so foolish and inept. Then he paid $1.7m and re-badged it as his own!

    There is only one leader on the horizon who never thinks with his penis because it’s sinful, wears a hair-shirt on Sundays, rides a bike, puts out fires on weekends, takes a hammer and nails and bangs up a shack for aborigines in his spare time and is the Libs “suppository of all wisdom” himself that I have never wavered in my support and even sometimes declared my love – in a manly way – not a gay way – for Mr Tony Abbott former PM.
    That man who should be King once more. When the Libs have exhausted all the other duds – they will return to Abbott once more. Even a dog returns to it’s vomit. It is written in the stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote February 16, 2018 at 7:04 pm #

      Even a dog returns to its vomit.

      Just so, Frank.

      We await your further deposition of polished turds.

      Like

  3. Moz of Yarramulla February 16, 2018 at 3:03 pm #

    This is better than daytime TV, any day. Dueling press conferences, frantic efforts to pretend this is about Howard-style sex rather than any kind of political ethics and the rule of law.

    Who here was feeling all smug about the USA and UK political situations until about a week ago? Now it’s “anything you can do, we can have a half-arsed go at”. Tump buys off a porn star, UK parlimentarians use taxpayer funds to upkeep the moats on their castles, all we can manage is the deputy PM knocking up his secretary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

      Agree with Moz. Better than sex.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn February 16, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

    John Birmingham has a masterpiece today with a new name for Truffles – blundercunt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • paul walter February 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

      Really, this is an extreme government. They should be thrown out on their collective ear, yesterday.

      Like

  5. Shreiking Wombat Ninja February 16, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

    I think “in love” might be putting too grand a spin on it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 16, 2018 at 6:51 pm #

      Too Mills and Boon, you mean?

      Yes, but:

      (I believe) it was an attempt at kindliness, to explain the complexity of what has gone on without necessarily condoning the dark side of it, which has already been well explicated.

      It least it didn’t sink to the soap opera level of Julia Bairds “Drum” tonight, characterised by some SERIOUS denial of critical wider aspects of the events followed by a retreat to a Dolly Is A Girl Like You “All men are Beasts” reduction.

      Like

  6. doug quixote February 16, 2018 at 7:09 pm #

    Truffles the born-again Puritan has never had political judgement; Keating called it 30 years ago.

    Brain the size of a planet (and ego to match) and all they want me to do is be PM . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 16, 2018 at 9:17 pm #

      Fair go!

      He paid good money for that!

      Like

  7. marymtf February 17, 2018 at 8:29 am #

    Whatever the weekly drama, those of us who watch question time are aware that there are liars and hypocrites on both sides of the house. And let’s not forget back stabbers (one of the many things the head galoot has in common with the shadow head galoot.) and if recent rumours are to be believed, the shadow head galoot has something equally sleazy in common with BJ). Those are the people running / wanting to run our country.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. paul walter February 17, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    Speaking of tripe and of women persecuted for telling the truth, there seems a wellspring of resentment developing over the ABC’s attempted censorship of Emma Alberici and her article examining the government’s case for tax cuts for the rich.

    The
    right have attempted a cluster fuck including a smear campaign in the Murdoch press, but signs are that ABC staff are starting to get very fed up with ABC management and its biased meddling on behalf of the Right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2018 at 8:35 am #

      I’m loving how this is backfiring on Turnbull. He’s never heard of the Streisand Effect. There’s a mutiny on social media, quite rightly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Moz of Yarramulla February 20, 2018 at 8:49 pm #

      That’s great, and includes a link to the original (which I managed to read in the brief time the ABC was willing to admit to it!) Sadly the like button here doesn’t like me today, so you get a comment 🙂

      Like

      • paul walter February 20, 2018 at 10:36 pm #

        The like button here is a piece of unnecessary bureaucratic nonsense.. It is the one bone I have to pick with “Sheep”.

        Like

  9. paul walter February 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm #

    Gone dead again.

    Come back in a month?

    Like

    • doug quixote February 21, 2018 at 7:40 pm #

      Sadly, Paul there was only one Bob Ellis. Jennifer isn’t Bob, and I haven’t the time or the inclination to try to emulate him.

      I call it my controlled folly to try to educate some of those who will pay attention long enough to learn something.

      Marx and then his successors developed dialectical materialism, which it can be argued is still working its way through society today: the adversarial conflict of social forces, action and reaction, contradictions and resolutions.

      Communism failed, foundering on the jagged rocks of human nature. But it can hardly be argued that Capitalism survives in anything approaching a
      pure form, thanks also to human nature, the better angels to which Abe alluded.

      And so it goes . . .

      Like

      • paul walter February 22, 2018 at 12:41 am #

        Capitalism is a curse and a cancer and you wonder if there is any way at all of gaining change without conditions coming to the festering head that Marx predicted it would.

        Drink from my poison chalice, my friend.

        Like

  10. paul walter February 25, 2018 at 4:38 am #

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/23/abc-faces-more-questions-as-emma-albericis-disputed-article-is-restored

    Genuine case of a broadsheet journalist’s adventures at site increasingly dominated by the loud Right.

    Alberici proves that guts and brains defeats bigotry every time.

    Like

  11. drsusancalvin February 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm #

    News Just In. Barnaby reportedly hadn’t had sex for 5 years. They’re still trying to make it about the rooting not the rorting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 25, 2018 at 11:38 pm #

      Jeepers, so much to say, so little death wish to say it.

      Elsewhere it has been suggested that the Barnaby events actually have their origins in a feud between Markson and Campion.

      Like, all of this has been, at base, a catfight?

      Who’da thunk- girls are such sweet creatures we fellas always thought.

      Like

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