Turnbull Must Go!

Malcolm Turnbull rolled former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, based purely on Abbott’s poor poll results at the time, with the promise that he would do better than Abbott would at the next election.

The election results last night, 2 July 2016, proved how very wrong he was. The Liberal Party, under Tony Abbott, won the previous federal election on 7 September 2013, by a landslide. It may be a few days before the final results of last night’s election are known, but at this point it appears that the Liberal Party, under Turnbull’s leadership, has lost at least 16 seats as of today, with another seven seats yet to be determined.

This, after going to a double dissolution election, in order to get more control of the Senate, so that he could get legislation through more easily! As it stands, Australia may well be heading towards having a hung parliament, with Turnbull having to scramble to get a majority together so that he can govern.

Many, including myself, could have predicted this result. It comes down arrogance, both of politicians and of many media pundits, in believing that they can treat a group of their supporters (in this case Liberal Party’s more conservative supporters) as badly as they want,  because “where else will they go?” Well, it looks like they managed to find somewhere to go, and it wasn’t with the Liberal Party!

Turnbull Topples Abbott in Australian Liberal Party Leadership Challenge

“Turnbull is stealing the job he could not have won, using policy weapons he could not have designed and boasting of a communication ability he does not have to head a party he cannot unite.” Andrew Bolt

Australia has a new Prime Minister tonight, 14 September 2015, after Malcolm Turnbull succeeded in his second challenge for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia. The justification given for unseating a sitting Prime Minister by Turnbull and his supporters is that if Abbott took the party to the next election, they would lose government, due to Tony Abbott’s low personal ratings. What they seem to overlook is that in all the polls that have shown Turnbull to be more popular than Abbott, when broken down by party, the polls show that the majority of those who prefer Turnbull to Abbott are actually Labor Party voters, most of whom would never vote Liberal, no matter who was leader. On the other hand, Tony Abbott came out well ahead of Malcolm Turnbull amongst Liberal Party voters.

So, it seems to me, that rather than giving the Liberal Party a greater chance at winning the next election, Malcolm Turnbull’s accession to the Prime Ministership of Australia is much more likely to pretty much guarantee that this Liberal / National Coalition will be a one-term government.

On a personal note…

I would like to apologise for my silence over the last couple of months. My absence has been due to a diagnosis of Kienbock's Disease (KD), a rare, progressive bone disease that affects the lunate bone in the wrist. Both wrists in my case.

KD makes typing quite painful, as I am effectively doing so with a broken wrist. So, while I would like to continue blogging from time to time, I will have to restrict it to occasions when I really feel the need to add my voice to a discussion. Even then, I will be restricted by the vagaries of this disease.

Once I've had surgery (in the next month or so), and recovered from it (which could take up to three months), I hoping to be able to get back in the saddle, so to speak.

I thank you all for your interest in following my blog.

Cheers, B

Bill to Restore Freedom of Speech in Australia

A private member's bill to amend Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act to partially restore freedom of speech in Australia was introduced in the Australian senate by Senator Bob Day yesterday. Senator Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democratic Party) made a particularly compelling case in support of the bill and in support of freedom of speech. His full speech is on Andrew Bolt's blog (Herald Sun, Melbourne).

“Keep Calm”, Nothing to See Here!

I can't tell you how annoyed I am with the constant, patronising refrain from police and officials, from the Prime Minister on down, for people to “keep calm”!

What, are we a bunch of children about to panic and run riot if they don't tell us to keep calm? Do they truly think that those who are feeling nervous or worried about terrorist acts taking place here in Australia are going to “calm down” because some politician says so? I cannot imagine a person to whom their assurances will make a difference.

People feel how they feel about what is happening. What can make a difference is seeing the police successfully foiling terrorist plots, and Muslim leaders condemning terrorism and Islamic State. Hearing them condemning us or Tony Abbott or the government is not helpful! And hearing non-Muslim leaders telling us that this has nothing to do with religion or with Islam is also unconvincing, to say the least. Clearly Islamic State and their followers/admirers would strongly differ with them!

Leaders of all stripes need to stop lying to us and trying to pacify us. Deal with the reality on the ground and make it clear that you understand the problem, instead of speaking as though the biggest threat at the moment is that of an outbreak of bigotry against Muslim Australians. It is not!

Largest Counter-Terrorism Raids in Australia’s History

Anti-terror raids have taken place involving 800 police personnel in executing 25 search warrants right across North-Western Sydney. Fifteen people have been arrested and one person has been charged and will appear in court today.

According to the police, plans were at an advanced stage to commit random acts of serious violence against people in the street. More information will come out during the court hearing today.

In a separate operation, the Australian Federal Police conducted anti-terror raids in Brisbane this morning, in conjunction with Queensland police. They are currently investigating the possibility of any links between the Sydney and Brisbane groups.

Note: Contrary to repeated assertions by reporters, the proposed Sydney attacks do not appear to be a case of lone-wolf attacks, even though they might have initially appeared so to the public. A lone-wolf attack is of particular concern because there would be no “chatter” to alert authorities, as it would be planned by one or possibly two people in close proximity to each other (eg. brothers or close friends), planning it in their home. In the current case, multiple people have been involved in the planning, resulting in increased chatter, which brought them to the attention of the police.

UPDATE: Omarjan Azari, 22, appeared in court today, charged with conspiracy to prepare for a terrorist attack. Reports are that he was planning a “demonstration” killing under direction from Islamic State, involving draping a random person in an IS flag and conducting a public beheading.