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“Class Warfare” Piques Liberal Arrogance

This contribution has been submitted to Webdiary by a student in the Online Journalism unit for the Masters in Media Practice and Masters in Publishing courses at The University of Sydney as part of the unit’s assessment. The topics covered in the pieces awaiting publication are interesting – and diverse. We hope that Webdiarists will enjoy reading them, as well as giving these aspiring journalists plenty of constructive commentary.

“Class Warfare” Piques Liberal Arrogance
by Luke Telford

A dialogue of critical “class warfare” has ensued between various members of the Labor government and the Liberal opposition in the immediate aftermath of Malcolm Turnbull’s sudden seizure of the Liberal leadership from Brendan Nelson. Nelson was ousted as leader by four votes in a desperate snap ballot to secure the loyalty of party members last Wednesday, 16th September.

Turnbull, a successful businessman and self made multi-millionaire, has used his maiden press release to wantonly play up his “humble” beginnings and, predictably, to criticise Kevin Rudd and the authoritative vanity of the Labor government.

Turnbull clearly wanted it to be known that he was “…no silvertail”, claiming he knows “… what it is like to live in rented flats” and “… to be very short of money” from his “tough” youth living with his dad in one such rented flat in Vaucluse of all places.

“Labor believes government knows best. We are not so vain as Mr. Rudd,” pontificated Turnbull in Thursday’s press release.

Turnbull also attacked the recklessness of the government’s action against climate change in the adoption of an emissions trading scheme without certainty that it would prove to be effective.

Treasurer Wayne Swan responded in kind on Lateline that evening, criticising the new opposition leader for his evident self-obsession, “big ego”, lack of “affinity with average working Australians”, and endorsement of Nelson’s irresponsible economic policy.

Understandably provoked by this comment, Turnbull attempted to eclipse the implied attack on his wealth by targeting Kevin Rudd for the same reason, decrying as “…probably the richest prime minister we’ve ever had” on ABC radio the following morning.

It was potentially wise of Swan to hit below the belt as this does seem to have catalysed Turnbull’s latent arrogance into pithy retaliation.

Kevin Rudd has thus far tactfully withheld from such infantile banter. He instead opted to congratulate Turnbull and encourage the new Liberal leader to continue to support the notion of an Australian Republic - a comment which has elicited yet more criticism from Turnbull, who complained about Rudd’s refusal to engage with more serious issues, such as his carbon emissions criticism.

Turnbull does pose a greater degree of competition for Rudd than Nelson did, as he represents the kind of break with the Howard years that afforded Labor such an easy victory earlier in the year.

However, the extent to which this benefits Turnbull is questionable.

“I don’t see much difference between Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson. It’s the same horse, different jockey,” observed Wayne Swan on Lateline.

It seems that this observation holds true as Turnbull appears to be merely continuing the empty, boundless and scathing criticism with which Brendan Nelson characterised the post Howard liberal party, although stamping it with what may turn out to be his own signature brand of bombastic arrogance.


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Oh Dear?

With all due respect, Mr. Duncan, I gathered that the majority was indeed 45 to 41, a margin of four votes (if I can indeed count - I am an arts graduate after all), from the Canberra Times site, the SMH and ABC online,

If I did happen get this detail wrong then apparently I wasn't the only one!






The usually inaccurate and bitterly abusive (but very cute and, after all, a sentient creature)  Alan Curran: "Then they [the subhuman ALP] let loose the foul-mouthed Albanese in the House ..."

 Try as one might, one cannot find Akka's reference.  Was this the rather entertaining House of Representatives of Monday?

One thinks a raw, and perhaps senescent, short-sold nerve might have been touched in Akka when the Hon Anthony Albanese skewered Opposition Leader Turnbull's near-absurdist stunt in attempting to pillory an Australian PM for visiting New York  both to address the United Nations General Assembly, along with about 100 other world leaders, and to consult with senior US figures on finance.   The fecking nerve of Pa Rudd!  Why isn't he back on the farm with Ma and Dave?  There's always things to be done. And as Mr Howard always warned us, the fecking UN was chockablock with commos and darkies and was a sea of wasteful bullshit propping up ALP union thugs lolling in huge offices with Krug on tap and maidservants and limousines eleven yards long.  And with Islamofascist terrorist links.   Ask anyone.

But Sir Malcolm Turnbull KC, Albanese infomed us, had insisted that his own recent trip to New York (perhaps to check Helen Coonan's job references?) was a glorious thing for the Nation.

And the sleek and suave millionnaire was also barely back from sunning himself in St Mark's Square.  "The Merchant of Venice," chortled Albanese amid wider merriment at the Member for Wentworth's expense.

Albanese, grinning hugely (God the Tories hate that in a piece of useless guttersnip lower class jumped up ethnic scum) added that he should not, with a name like Albanese, criticise anybody for going to Italy.

But I must have mised the bit where the "foulmouthed" Alabanese referred to Turnbull as a "a layabout Eastern Suburbs silvertail c*** who loved nothing better than a coked-fuelled clusterf*** with his butler and chauffeur in the back of the Bentley while trawling the Cross."   (Will that do, m'caro Akka?)

Undoubtedly the tyrranical and insane Speaker, Harry Jenkins, has corruptly expunged the words from Hansard and the House tapes.  The ALP scandals run so deep, so soon.

Speaking of yesterday's Reps, good old Annabel Crabb piled in again today in the SMH, singling out poor demented (and savagely demoted) "hair today and gone tomorrow" Bronwyn Bishop for attention.

Mrs Bishop had fronted the chamber in an upholstery-like brown cammo number, all the better to perch and glower from the very rarefied far back backbenches at her Turnbull-tormentor "like a small malevolent armchair."

Beside which the awfully wooden Dr Brendan Maelstrom MD would be a small, almost inoffensive stool, no doubt.  And Mr Turnbull a much bigger, shinier and more pungent one, possibly of some use to the West Australian Treasurer. 

Dr Jack Woodforde, OAM

Why is Kevin Rudd PM ?

I can't see any indication Alan Curran of the Rudd government self-destructing at this stage. I also see they are fulfilling their election pledges although the dismantling of Work Choices is slow.

I also haven't yet seen any real investigation of why the Liberals lost the election-certainly the popular media like newspapers (does television, apart from the ABC take any interest in politics anymore?) just jump onto the next political bangwagon and do their readers a dis-service and certainly don't help the Liberals.

From day one with Brendan Nelson and now with Malcolm Turnbull the Opposition has presented itself as seemingly disconected from the party that ruled for 11 years. Costello hasn't helped one bit and taken advantage of that to sell a book.

Rudd's overseas trip is a furphy and not a great indication of Turnbull's ability to attack. It will be forgotten within days of his return.

Whu Rudd

Michael de Angelos, I also see they are fulfilling their election pledges although the dismantling of Work Choices is slow. How about Broadband Roll-out? A real shambles.

How about a computer for every child and a Tech College in every school, not much doing there. Fuelwatch,Grocerywatch, Housing Affordability. They might as well have promised to bring back Mike Carlton.

Oh dear

It's always a worry when they get it wrong in the first paragraph.

"Nelson was ousted as leader by four votes"

Er, if you can count, no he wasn't.   The difference between Nelson and Turnbull was 2 votes.    With Ellison's resignation it is now a margin of 45 to 40 i.e. there are now 3 votes in it.   Watch WA for who replaces him in the Senate.   If I were Turnbull, I'd be on the next plane over there. 

As to aspiring journalists, those who do not understand the numbers ought not to be commenting on politics.

Questionable Malcolm

Turnbull's self-pitying speech and attempts to paint himself as the humble "flat-renter" show a misunderstanding of the electorate and the dangers of the Opposition in not choosing a "professional" politician for their leader.

Australia's much criticised "tall poppy syndrome" is often cited as a reason a succesful person will be attacked but it's misunderstood. There is a real hangover from the Colonial and penal days in this country that lingers - a healthy suspicion of how people make their money, and a banker would have to be at the head of those who arouse this suspicion.

Successful artists or entertainers aren't subject to the syndrome. No-one condemns Nicolle Kidman (although they possibly should for her acting) for her outstanding success in films.

I well remember my father's comments when he and my mother would discuss a succesful businessman. The worst my father could ever say about someone was "but he's a rogue". And my father  was a banker. That summed up everyone who deserved condemnation for their dodgy tactics and as the most honest person I've ever known, my father had a keen eye for "rogues".

Not that Turnbull is a rogue nor should he be accused of being one. But pointing out his humbleness from Point Piper just won't wash with the average Aussie punter. By opening up the debate on wealth, (his or Mrs Rudd's) Turnbull has allowed it to become a subject where his life and past business career will always be open to scrutiny. It's Turnbull who needs to change his approach to politics as the electorate won't change for him.

End of the beginning

An impotent dribble of a spike. We'll see if he lasts as long the last practitioner of these stunts; Sarah Palin: now on the road to nowhere, via the $6bill. bridge.

Turncow is leader because Nelson had a rush of blood and called an ill-considered spill, with the result that the reluctant warrior scored the poison chalice by default , with mediocrity foistered upon him early, given the stage his parliamentary career is currently at.

He stands to follow Nelson into oblivion, further depleting an already threadbare store of talent on the opposition benches. Particularly now that Bronwyn Bishop and Sen. Abetz have joined Wilson Tuckey as shadow exiles...

Beginning of the end

Paul Walter, It is always easy to see when Labor and it's supporters start to get worried, they start calling the opposition names. Like "Turncow" for instance, they probably think it is clever. Then they let loose the foul-mouthed Albanese in the House who prattles on like a stand-up comic. All Turnbull has to do is wait as Rudd and Co self destruct because they cannot fulfil their promises. Rudd is a one term PM, but I bet he clocks up a record number of overseas trips.


Ian M (Ed): Alan, by "Rudd" I assume you mean the man you have often referred to as "Rudd the Dud".

Strange ideas indeed

"Treasurer Wayne Swan responded in kind on Lateline that evening, criticising the new opposition leader for his evident self-obsession, “big ego”, lack of “affinity with average working Australians”, and endorsement of Nelson’s irresponsible economic policy".

I'll never understand this type of thinking. If people are so self inferior, and need someone at the very bottom to make themselves feel whole, why not employ the local crack head for the role? Wednesday's survival and lifestyle tips would be at least interesting viewing.

We are only as smart as those that we choose to surround ourselves with. Henry Ford may have been very fond of salt of the earth good ole boy types - who he no doubt had an "affinity" with. It didn't mean he ever put them in charge of the company.

beginning of the end for Rudd

This week marks the beginning of the end for Rudd, either way.

"NEW leader Malcolm Turnbull has put the Coalition in its strongest position since late 2006, with the Opposition now ahead on primary votes, according to an Age/Nielsen poll."

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