Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t really run a government. It is more like a beaten up jalopy driven by a drunken driver, swerving and careering down the road, crashing into stationary cars, sparks flying from a broken bumper bar grinding along behind it.
First Malcolm thought changing the voting rules and calling a double dissolution election would deliver him a more amenable Senate. But it didn’t do that. In fact, it delivered him a bunch of lunatics in the form of four ratbag One Nation senators, including ignoramus Pauline Hanson, mad conspiracy theorist Malcolm Roberts, police fugitive Rodney Culleton and anti-mosque activist Bruce Burston. Enjoy those truffles, Malcolm!
Then Four Corners showed the horrifying state of Indigenous youth detention in the Northern Territory and so Mal called a snap royal commission. For some reason, though − probably because he was being advised by that serial incompetent George Brandis – he appointed the exact wrong person into the role of commissioner; Brian Martin was a former chief justice in the Northern Territory system, was still on the NT Government payroll and was for good reason resented by most of the local Indigenous community.
Early this week, the Turnbull Government encouraged everyone to fill out their Census online on Tuesday night. Australia has never had an e-census before and, as you might expect, millions of people logging on the same website at the same time caused the system to crash. This is what really happened, I’m quite sure, but what the Government said caused the crash the next day was foreign hackers had launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the census website. Predictable panic ensued, as people worried their personal details had been stolen. Turnbull came out on Thursday to say DDoS attacks are routine and nothing to worry about. Then he blamed the Bureau of Statistics and their outsourcing partner IBM for the meltdown, saying “heads would roll”. He forgot to mention the millions the Abbott Government had cut from the ABS budget meant they couldn’t afford adequate stress testing.
Finally, on Thursday, motormouth Treasurer Scott Morrison blocked the sale of NSW electricity provider AusGrid to a Chinese consortium. Despite this sale being known about for over a year, and the Government calling the CFMEU and the NSW Labor Opposition racists for opposing the sale of this essential infrastructure to Chinese companies, Morrison knocked the sale back on “national security concerns”. Security concerns. Yet the Turnbull gang did not have any security concerns when it approved the sale of a Darwin port to a Chinese company. No, says Morrison, because the security grounds are not “country specific”. So, presumably, the problem is not China, it is this company. But the company, CKI, owns infrastructure assets all over Australia? What the hell is going on?
Well, what is really going on is that the decision was not made for “security concerns” at all, but was simply made for petty partisan domestic political reasons. Namely, to appease agrarian socialist Senator Bob Katter, protectionist senators from the Nick Xenophon Team and the previously mentioned xenophobic rabble from One Nation. China, our biggest export market, already angry with Australia over Julie Bishop’s South China Sea stance, has predictably condemned the decision, calling it “absurd and almost comical”. We can expect some sort of punitive trading response soon, something the fragile Australian economy can little afford at present.
This is not good government, like Malcolm Turnbull promised. This is not governing at all. Mal is just at the wheel in a slow motion car crash.
So let's not call it the Turnbull Government. Let's call it the Mal Administration.
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