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Post-#qanda review – June 13th 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on June 13, 2011 by mjwill91

 

Topics: Live exports, party reform, the NT intervention, Julia and Tim

 

Peter Garrett – Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

Pre Episode Impressions:

I swear that I was legitimately trying to do a proper write-up of my pre-episode impressions of Garrett, but I got side tracked by this hilarious compilation of his “dancing” that I think does a pretty good job summing up my pre-ep impressions:

 

 

 

Contribution to the discussion:

Good lord, I can’t believe that I once felt like one day I’d become a member of the ALP. Garrett steam-rolling over questions of sensible reform with basically “Everything is fine, love the ALP” was disheartening. Frankly, if it weren’t for the fact that the alternative is completely reprehensible I’d wish swift death on the party.

Garrett’s pathetic attempt to justify the more racially geared components of the NT intervention was particularly disgusting. How anyone could claim that the intervention wasn’t racially discriminatory AND YET for some reason the Racial Discrimination Act has been suspended… hmmmm…..

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Disappointing… actually disgusting. Any sort of lingering doubt that i’d want to become a member of the Labor party has been swept away completely. Usually i’m not so annoyed by politicians failing to do anything but follow party the party line… but… it’s something about Garrett’s “devolution” from activist to political hack that is particularly disheartening

Rating: 2/10

 

Natalie Pa’apa’a – lead singer ‘Blue King Brown’ and activist 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Never even heard of her before- I’m going to listen to some of her music before the episode starts.

Contribution to the discussion:

Pa’apa’a’s (woah apostrophe nightmare) explanation of youth thinking re: not joining the Labor party because the ALP and LNP are becoming too similar & their unwillingness to listen to the issues that really matter to Gen X and Gen Y was succinct and earned a well deserved round of applause from the audience. Not only that, it accurately summed up why I could never join why the ALP or the LNP in their current form.

Her criticism of the NT intervention, specifically that it was done in the best of intentions, however due to it being “top heavy”, it feeling like it was “imposed” by white Australia onto Indigenous Australian communities, that some found it more destructive than productive was good, enlightening even. However, she was unable to suggest any sort of alternative to the intervention- and that is where the problem lies.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Easily the best panelist of the evening. Not afraid to speak her mind, unwilling to bow/acquiesce to questioning from Wells and Katter. I felt that her frustration re: the intervention was admirable, I also felt that she didn’t have any sort of idea as to an alternative to the admittedly fairly reprehensible intervention, which more often than not is the norm when it comes to intervention critics.

Rating: 6/10

 

Bob Katter – Independent MP 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Ah, the “Mad Katter”. I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t have any sort of impression of Katter before tonight’s show. Seriously. Someone would need to be under a rock, in a cave, on Mars with fingers in their ears to not know of/ or at least heard of (or have heard) Katter before. Tonight is going to be very interesting. Katter doesn’t like being interrupted, nor does he like being asked “awkward” questions…. in short: I don’t think Katter is going to like tonight.

Contribution to the discussion:

Sometimes it’s as if Katter lives in his own little world, where things are just a little bit different than the real world, and the default mode of communication is yelling. His interesting version of economics, that I like to call “Katternomics” is a thing to behold. I’d like to talk more in depth re: Katter talking about the specifics of his new political party, but I literally couldn’t understand everything second word he said.

Katter’s “animation” re: one rule for white people and one rule for black people and the inherent racism of the indigenous intervention and his anger direct at the current government’s lackadaisical attempts re: closing the gap was… unexpected. I think it surprised me that I found myself actually agreeing with Katter.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Well, we survived- just, despite his best efforts to turn it into “Bob Katter’s Yarn Hour”- which actually would be an interesting program- perhaps Sky News could give him an 8:30pm, 1 hour once a week type show called just that. Whilst i didn’t appreciate the rambling about his new political party (that I’m going to predict will be a total flop policy follow-through wise), his passion re: indigenous rights was admirable.

Rating: 5.5/10

 

Mike Carlton – journalist and commentator 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I have no negative opinion of Mike Carlton pre-episode. I’ve enjoyed his work and he’s one of the few commentator’s that are able to commentate without sounding like an overtly left or right hack/ blaring mouthpiece for a specific cause or issue. Should be interesting to watch- i fear he’ll be underused.

Contribution to the discussion:

Carlton’s criticism of the ALP as a “withering and dying, empty shell” seems overly harsh, however I’m going to have to agree. The turn away from unionism and the ALPs refusal to bend on social issues like marriage equality has begun choking Labor.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Interesting panelist, ultimately underused- as I predicted.

Rating: 3/10

 

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells – Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health

Pre Episode Impressions: 

This will be the second time that Fierravanti-Wells will have been on Q and A this year. Given the first appearance, I really can’t say I hold much hope that her performance tonight will be any different from last time, namely: sticking to party lines et al. Hopefully she wont spend her time on the panel tonight trying to show off emails from her constituents that all seem to fervently support the Coalition’s policies.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Oh lord. Within the first 20 seconds of her talking she began talking about emails she had gotten about the live export outrage. Her particular hypocrisy when it came to criticising Garrett for not talking Faulkner’s reforms seriously, then in the next sentence dismissing Reith’s proposed reforms of the Liberal Party was particularly disgusting.

Her dismissal of progressives was hilarious…. silly conservatives.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Yet another politician wastes an hour extolling the benefits of their party whilst suggesting that a vote for anyone else might as well be a vote for the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei… hmm, very original Ms Fierravanti-Wells… and not at all tiresome.

Rating: 2/10

– Well… It wasn’t a “brilliant” episode… but I suppose compared to last week’s Tayshus-induced abortion it was ok.
I’ll leave you with this, a video of “The Best PM we never had” (definitely not my words) doing his best Garrett impression:

 

– Matt. @mjwill90

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@mjwill90: My Policies for #twitparl — #vote1mjwill90

In #twitparl on June 8, 2011 by mjwill91

Oh, hello there.

My name is Matt, you can call me that- or MJ or I suppose you could call me @mjwill90 (pronounced: atemjaywillninety) if you really want to. Basically I’m just going to quickly outline what I’ll be standing for on #twitparl

Ok- so. I’m a liberal…. no, wait! Don’t run away! I don’t mean it like that- I’m in no way affiliated with the “Liberal Party of Australia” that in reality should really be called the “Conservative Party of Australia” but I digress.

I’m a classical liberal, I believe in Liberalism. Basically: I’m pro-social progress and sensible reform, however I feel the best way of introducing that is through changes in legislation, not through “revolution”. When it comes to the economy I believe that the less government interferes in the workings of the market, the better said market will perform.

If you were to equate my views to a current (well- sorta… they still exist) Australian political party, it would be the Australian Democrats.

Ok then- below i’ll list some of the foundation beliefs/policies/agendas/reforms that I will push for in #twitparl if I am privileged enough to win a seat:

Our Community: Australia

  • The inclusion and recognition of Indigenous Australians in both the premable to and the main body of the current Australian Constitution, and any future “foundation document”
  • A push to eventually become a republic, with an elected Australian Head of State, whose role would be somewhat similar to the current Governor General
  • Open “the doors” for The Northern Territory and the ACT if they wish to become states in the future
  • Listen to serious proposals for the creation of new states, eg. “North Queensland”

Equality

  • The creation of nation wide anti-discrimination laws designed to make it illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of gender, occupation, lifestyle choices or age
  • Legalising same sex marriages and the creation of federal architecture to OVERRULE current state government legislation prohibiting:
    • same sex couples from adopting a child
    • IVF and surrogacy

Ethics

  • The immediate cessation of all current “religious education” classes in schools- to be replaced with a fusion “ethics and comparative beliefs” class- based on the principles of humanism. The comparative beliefs component will give students access to numerous different important world religions, giving them a better understanding of the world around us
  • removal of the tax-exempt status of religious organisations, excluding charitable religious organisations
  • federal legislation allowing embryonic stem cell research and stem cell therapy. Provisions for therapeutic cloning technology once it becomes available.

Education

  • the “normalisation” of federal government payments to private education providers. The government will not spent $1 more/ student on private institutions than it would on public institutions.
  • a national curriculum that will be mandatory for all public and private institutions (who want to receive government funding and recognition) to follow

Euthanasia

  • It is a national disgrace that we treat our suffering, terminally ill pets with more dignity and respect than we do terminally ill and suffering citizens.
  • Therefore, voluntary euthanasia carried out by a licensed physician will be decriminalised.
  • To qualify, you must meet stringent physical and mental health guidelines. Physically you must have exhausted any feasible avenue of treatment and be declared terminally ill by both your primary physician as well as two other independent physicians. You must also be in sound mind and fully aware of what the procedure entails
  • It must be carried out in a health care facility or respite home by a licensed physician

Immigration

  • Australia is a country founded on immigration- we must never forget that.
  • Increased regional investment to remove the root-causes of people smuggling in the region, and investment in greater regional co-operation.
  • Asylum Seekers caught entering Australian Territorial Waters seeking asylum will be transferred to a temporary processing centre, where they will remain for a period of no more than one month while health and security checks are run. From there they will be settled into the community, pending the outcome of their asylum claim.
  • Increased jail sentences for captured people smugglers

So, on Sunday the 12th June, when it comes time to vote for who you want to represent YOU in #twitparl, please consider giving me your vote, and I promise to work to the best of my abilities to ensure that Australia’s future is prosperous- not only economically, but socially as well.

Vote #1 - @mjwill90 for #twitparl

What have the “Big Two” done for you? – Vote Independent. Vote for Social Progression and Social Justice. Vote #1, @mjwill90

Articles

Post #qanda review – June 6th 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on June 6, 2011 by mjwill91

Topics: Refugees, Banning Smoking, the Nanny-State, Carbon Tax, Israel

Christopher Pyne – Manager of Opposition Business, Shadow Education Spokesperson

Pre Episode Impressions:

Guh. Wasn’t he only JUST on the show? Well- yes, it’s been something like 8 weeks since he was on last- but still, they couldn’t have gotten someone else? I think my opinion of Chris Pyne is fairly well known. He’s… a prat. Many an afternoon I’ve considered playing “drink when Pyne makes a point of order” game during #QT, however I am still to do it, fearing likely alcohol poisoning. I have NO expectation that he’ll contribute anything to the conversation (however- that’s not just because he’s Chris Pyne, it’s also because he’s a sitting front politician).

Contribution to the discussion:

Typical Liberal Party propaganda re: Howard stopped the boats (well, no – he just diverted them to an island) wasn’t unexpected…. His criticism of Oscar Schindler who was apparently “doing it for the money” (woah- Jewish-Stereotype-Alarm!!!) was completely unexpected. I haven’t heard too many people criticising Schindler… well- not outside of certain neo-Nazi groups.

The 2009 video of Tony Abbott in seeming support for a carbon tax (long before the ALP suggested one) sent Pyne into a denial-spiral- talking up the Opposition’s Direct Action Plan, which seems to constitute planting a lot of trees and hugging each other (heteronormative couples only, obviously) under a rainbow.

Whilst Pyne was supportive of of a Two-State solution, his statement that Arab-Israeli’s having the same access and freedom to movement as Jewish Israelis was… beyond disgusting. It was a bold faced lie. I’m pretty sure there are no cities in “Israel proper” that are under siege. I’m pretty sure that Jewish Israelis aren’t subjected to strip searches on the street by IDF soldiers. I’m pretty sure that Jewish Israelis aren’t required to go through checkpoints to get from one side of Jerusalem to the other… Fuck off Pyne.

“I want to talk about Centenary House” – huh?

“She’s scolding me again” – Pyne on Roxon

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Oh. Christopher Pyne. I actually expected you to be FAAR more annoying. Not to say that you weren’t annoying. You were. Quite in fact. Perhaps it’s just in comparison to Tayshus you seemed like an incredibly “not annoying” person. I could have awarded you like a 5/10 or a 4.5/10 if it hadn’t been for your denial-spiral induced by Abbott’s 09 extolling the benefits of a carbon tax and the fact you clearly have never even bothered doing even the slightest bit of research re: Israel.

Rating: 4/10

Lee Rhiannon – Greens Senator-Elect 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I’m in several minds about Lee Rhiannon… I suppose I should start by saying that I support the majority of Green social policies, however I find their economic policies a little “wooly”.  Quoting a good friend of mine:

The ultimate flaw with Green politics is that they make a virtue out of ideological purity, which is frankly self-indulgent. Everyone has to compromise to achieve anything (especially in this minority government). People who refuse to compromise in favour of ideological purity are selfish. –@esseeeayeenn (seriously, follow him- great & interesting guy)

I couldn’t agree more @esseeeayeenn. That sums up my total criticism of The Greens and current Green politics in Australia in general, however it’s far more eloquent that I think Id’ve been able to put it. My biggest problem with the Greens is their refusal to compromise. Something which effectively killed the ETS, and Rudd’s Prime Minister status as well.

Saying that, I’m fairly supportive of Lee Rhiannon’s (and Marrackville Council’s) anti-Israel stance, although I thought they went about the proposed boycott of Israeli products in the wrong way. Personally I do think that Israel needs to be made accountable for their actions. In the same way Ratko Mladic is being tried for crimes against humanity for his part in the Srebrenica Massacre and the Siege of Sarajevo, so should Israeli Tzipi Livni, for her part in Operation: Cast Lead, the use of illegal white-phosphorous weapons on the civilian population of Gaza City and for the Siege of Gaza in general.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Her explanation of the anti-Israel boycott was far better sold tonight than it has been at any other time. Unfortunately it was interrupted by the strange hooting of the most likely deranged Mr. Tayshus. It’s a shame that his crazed hollering basically ruined an interesting conversation about one of the defining conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries.

If you’re promoting human rights, that doesn’t make you anti-Semetic” – THANK YOU Ms. Rhiannon. THANK-YOU. Being anti-Israeli, being anti-Zionist doesn’t make me anti-Semetic.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Another interesting panelist. Her views re: Israel are slightly more extreme than mine, but she appears to be doing it for the right reasons, which is admirable nonetheless. When it comes down to it, Israel does act like apartheid-South Africa at times- but yelling that at them, trying to shove it down their throat WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING!

Rating: 5/10

Sandy Gutman (aka Austen Tayshus) – comedian and author 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Ok, I’m going to have to admit- I’ve never heard of Sandy Gutman or Austen Tayshus before. Ever. So… yeah. I have no preconceptions when it comes to how he’ll behave as a panelist on tonight’s show.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Oh. Um…. Why?

Puns. Puns everywhere.

MORE PUNS!

Destroying my #qanda

THIS ISN’T GOOD NEWS WEEK!!!

….Sorry. I’m medicated” 

“Julia Gillard planking…. maybe with Tony Abbott” – O______O “WHHHYYYY????”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Worst. Panelist. EVER! – Please. Never let him back. He’s worse than like 20 Piers Akermans put together.

Rating: FUCK OFF AND DIE /10

Paul McGeough – Senior Foreign Correspondent, Fairfax Media 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Once again, I have no real preconceptions of McGeough before tonight’s program- due mainly to my limited knowledge of him.

Contribution to the discussion: 

An interesting addition to the panel, albeit COMPLETELY underused. However- I think it’s unlikely that he could have gotten too many words in without being hooted at by Tayshus.

His time on the Gaza Flotilla was of specific interest. However he wasn’t able to go into great detail  without being blasted as an “anti-Semite” by

“at the end of the day it ceases to be the right of the individual when it’s up to the state to carry the health costs” 

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Interesting and totally underused. Sigh.

Rating: 3/10

Nicola Roxon – Minister For Health and Aging 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I don’t mind Nicola Roxon. One of the more fiery members of the cabinet, she’s willing and able to go toe to toe with anyone on the Opposition benches. Of particular note is her successful attack on Tony Abbott’s legitimacy and commitment when it comes to combatting cancer, specifically the double standard that is accepting donations from British-American Tobacco, then standing up in front of the Cancer Council at a fundraiser and saying “we’re doing everything we can to fight cancer”. Set to be an interesting panelist… well… perhaps. I’m always a little dubious when it comes to sitting members the govt. &/or opposition.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Her poor explanation of the government’s Malaysia Solution was disappointing, but unexpected. It seems as if the government is trying to do this for the right reasons, but is going about it in the COMPLETELY wrong way.

Roxon’s admission that if Tobacco was a new product, it’d never have been legalised sounds nice- but ultimately it makes the government look even more insipid. Everyone is in total agreement re: the danger of Tobacco, but because it’s already a legal product they “can’t do anything” about it. No. Not true. You could phase them out. You could ban them.

This was followed by a delightful conversation about the Nanny-State and the regulation of planking. Of which i’m blaming Roxon entirely… for starting the whole thing. What was that? Was that the sound of someone jumping a shark on water skis? Methinks it was.

Roxon’s support of a Two-State solution, but her disagreement with calling Israel an “apartheid’ state is actually a breath of fresh air from an increasingly state government.

Her attack of Pyne’s incredibly stereotypical view of people suffering mental illnesses (that they’re often poor, homeless, our of jail et al) was applauded… damn right!

“I want to tell you a funny story about planking. Well. No. Planking isn’t funny” – I am 12, and what is this? Seriously? I thought this was a political program…. 

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

An interesting panelist. Surprisingly candid for a sitting government member, but of course she was still very much on government message. She didn’t say anything even slightly controversial- but at least she didn’t read from the government script line for line.

Rating: 6/10 … although she should lose 10 points for perpetuating the planking discussion…

– Matt. @mjwill90

Articles

Parliamentary Crisis Averted: Speaker Jenkins Decides to Stay

In Politics: Genral on May 31, 2011 by mjwill91

Constitutional crisis, Parliamentary failure or storm in a tea cup? Opinions are divided this evening re: what to make of this afternoon’s “lively” Parliamentary Question Time, during which the authority of the current Speaker of the House, The Honourable Harry Jenkins was pushed to the limit and for the first time since 1975 the Speaker’s decision was over-ruled through the result of a division.

Question Time started like too many have this year, with the moving of Condolence Motions for the two Digger’s killed in Afghanistan overnight. Unsurprisingly, it took mere minutes for the Lower House to descend into it’s usual chaos. Nothing suggested that there’d be anything more “exciting” than Abbott’s traditional 2:50pm (pre-Play School) Censure Motion…. BOY! WE WERE WRONG!

Harry in "happier days" ... before they crushed his spirit.

In response to Liberal backbencher Bob Baldwin MP’s continued rowdiness and out of line interjection across the chamber Mr Jenkins took the steps necessary to “name” the MP, which would result in his expulsion from the Lower House for 24 hours. “Naming” mind you isn’t all that rare and it certainly isn’t that “great” a punishment. So. The motion to eject Bob Baldwin MP for 24 hours was proposed- and it subsequently failed 72 to 71, after Independent MP Rob Oakeshott decided to cross the floor and vote with the Liberal/Nations and fellow Independent MPs Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie abstained from the vote.

When it became clear that the motion had failed, a clearly flustered Mr Jenkins made it clear to the House that following the close of Question Time he’d be seriously reconsidering his position as Speaker of the House. Traditionally in cases where the House has expressed and passed a vote of no confidence (effectively similar to today’s failed motion) in the Speaker, said Speaker would resign immediately.

Jenkins doing what he does best, chewing out Christopher Pyne

In what could only be described as a borderline offensive display, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (on becoming aware of Jenkins’ intentions) made a sycophantic gesture, a “motion of confidence” if you will in Harry Jenkins as Speaker of the House.

“Mr Speaker I don’t think anyone on this side of the House has anything other than respect for the job you do under difficult circumstances and the last thing anyone of us would want to see is you feel you have been compromised in your ability to discharge your office by the vote that has just been taken.”

Well Mr Abbott, not to question your faux-support for the Speaker, but if your side of the house showed “respect” for the job and position of Speaker of the House, this situation would never have occurred in the first place. If you respected position of Speaker of the House, you wouldn’t have questioned his judgement, putting the entire Parliament in jeopardy. If you respected the position of Speaker of the House, Bob Baldwin MP wouldn’t have interjected in the first place. When the Speaker says “Order”, he isn’t saying it because he likes the way the vowel sounds roll off his tongue- he’s saying it because the House needs to come to order.  Oh, and Labor- don’t you breathe a sigh of relief. While not as bad as the Opposition (at least since 2007), you also show constant disrespect for the position of Speaker.

Despite the annoyance derived from the actions and behaviour of both the Opposition and the Government, it’s the actions of Independent MP Rob Oakeshott that have left me in a state of true disbelief. Sometimes it seems like this man doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. Did he not realise that by crossing the floor, not only did we come incredibly close to a massive crisis of parliamentary procedure but we also came perilously close to the collapse of the current minority government. The minority government he himself decided to back less than 8 months ago. Those are some pretty high costs, simply to make a point re: the rights of MPs to speak their minds in Parliament.

The confidence motion in the Speaker was thankfully passed unanimously.

Everything is fine in the House of Representatives…

For now.

– Matt. @mjwill90

 

Articles

Post #qanda review- May 30th 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on May 30, 2011 by mjwill91

I’m in quite an officious mood tonight, so I decided to “structure” my post-#qanda evaluation a little more rigidly than usually. For each panelist there is a section discussing any sort of bias I have towards them before the episode, a section discussing their individual contributions (positive and negative) to the conversation and a section which evaluates their performance. Give me feedback as to whether or not you like this new set-up and i MIGHT take it on board.

Topics: Carbon Cate, Carbon Pricing, Liberal Leadership tension, inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and live export cattle.

<Ok. Well. WordPress devoured my original 2000 odd word uber-evaluation like it was… i don’t know- some sort of incredibly rude metaphor… umm ….. semen & ejaculate material at a bukkake party? I don’t know- nor do i really care. So, this one will be of lesser quality. If you have a problem with it, go die. Seriously. Not in the mood>

Joe Hildebrand – News Ltd. Columnist & “hand model”

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I have high hopes coming into this that Hildebrand will be memorable. He’s proven in the past on shows like Sky News’ Paul Murray Live that he can be an interesting and topical guest whilst also being funny. I EXPECT GREAT THINGS. Hopefully he can live up to his “thinking-man’s Chaser” title… that I just gave him.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Joe works for News Ltd. An entity that I regard with varying levels of contempt. Saying that, he did a good job defending The Daily Telegraph from the hooting of Rundle, who seems to think that News Ltd. is somewhat akin to cancer. Personally I prefer to think of News Ltd. like the Death Star. Sure it’s a weapon of mass destruction and a symbol of tyrannical oppression (especially if you had cousins who lived on Alderaan), but imagine for a minute the 100 000 000 or so people who lived on the Death Star. To them, it was just “Home”.

Oh, and he needs to be applauded for this quote here- possibly the most brilliant thing. ever, (paraphrased b/c wordpress wiped the original)

“Malcolm Turnbull is like Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He’s all, I have a brain the size of a planet, and yet I have to go to divisions, sigh”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Brilliant panelist. Was able to balance joviality against seriousness, something whats-his-face from The Chaser was largely unable to do. Long overdue panelist. Hope to see him back there soon.

Rating: 7/10

George Brandis – Shadow Attorney-General

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I really don’t like Brandis. Fair warning- nothing he says tonight is likely to get me to change my views on him. He’s a horrible little negative man, someone troll-like or as I like to call it “Grahame Morris-esque”. I expect nothing but anti-government this, anti-carbon tax that. Unfortunately this seems like all we can expect from our current alternative-government at the moment. Disappointing.

Contribution to the discussion: 

When granddad begins forgetting things, you send him to a home. When a horse is nearing the end of its usefulness, you either put it out to pasture or sell it to the dog food/ glue factory for $50. “Where is he going with this?”, you ask. Well. Brandis is that granddad. Brandis is that horse. Let’s give him a nice feed-bag of oats and let him look at fillies all day.

Brandis was adamant that his party at no time in it’s history has supported putting a price on carbon… Well… Howard’s proposed ETS waaaay back in 2006/07 was effectively “pricing carbon”. Under the helm of Turnbull the Coalition (or parts of it) backed Rudd’s ETS- ALSO technically a “price on carbon”. So either Brandis is lying, or he’s lost the last 4 or so years of his life. Either way, perhaps it’s time for him to move aside.

We should probably also call Brandis’ eye-sight into question- because apparently he can’t see any leadership tension in the Liberal Party…. Bitch, please. Someone with severe autism could pick up on the fact that everything isn’t all smiles and rainbows in the shadow cabinet. I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised, I mean even if he was staring into a “leadership chasm” he’d be unlikely to report it/ talk on national TV about it, would he?

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Brilliantly ineffectual. Wasted space on the panel. We seriously could have just got a recording of Tony Abbott refuting things, saying “no” and being borderline offensive and saved on Brandis’ air-fares. I didn’t expect anything, so i’m not really disappointed. It seems that to have an interesting, independently thinking Liberal Party MP on the panel we’d need to invite Malcolm Turnbull back… Which isn’t a bad idea. I for one welcome out aristocratic, merchant banker overlord (ping Mr Citizen Cam, Esquire.)

Rating: 2/10

Kate Lundy – Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Don’t know much about Kate Lundy. I suppose you could say that for a politician, that’s both a good and a bad thing. Saying that, i’m probably likely to support her, because I tend to fall left of centre at a push- despite wanting to remain as centre as possible

Contribution to the discussion: 

Woah. Ok. I was way off. One word. Rude. When asked the perfectly reasonable question “why does the government ridicule and vilify people who don’t believe in human induced climate change instead of working with them in open and productive discussion” she jumped down the audience member’s throat and began a whole “in 2007 we received an outright mandate to act on climate change and in 2010 we received a nominal mandate to act on climate change” rant. Hey Kate, did you hear the question? It wasn’t unreasonable. There are people out there who don’t believe in AGW, and instead of ridiculing them as “flat earthers” it’d make more sense to go out there and educate them.

Continued wow: She HATES The Greens… or at least she’s been told not to be friendly about them in public. I counted three separate occasions when she chucked the government’s new bed-partners underneath the gorram bus. Yes. If the Greens hadn’t got all “it’s my way or the highway” when it came to Rudd’s ETS, not only would we be on the verge of having an ETS (1 month, 2 days away in fact) but we’d also still have Rudd as PM. So sure, there’s bound to be animosity there- but keep it in private, ok? Laughing heartily as Rundle tried to explain why The Greens were important does nothing for you image.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Disappointed that a Labor Senator would sink to the sort of cheap, disgusting stunts, disregard of genuine questions and outright pettiness that wouldn’t be out of place if Barnaby Joyce or Christopher Pyne (dear lord, next week *tear*) were on the program.

Rating: 4/10

Guy Rundle – Columnist for “Crikey

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Never heard of him… well not before the run up to the show where I was “kindly warned” that I might need some sort of receptacle in which to store my upwardly expelled stomach contents.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Did he really contribute that much? Sure, he attacked News Ltd. (or was that not-News Unlimited? I don’t know- it wasn’t very funny, clever or memorable) at every given opportunity, but he didn’t really offer much, especially when compared to the other panelists.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Non-person in the episode. It was disappointing. I went to all the trouble to acquire a receptacle in which to store my upwardly expelled stomach contents, but didn’t need to use it.

Rating: 4/10

Jackie Kelly – former Liberal Party Minister 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Not great. I’m not a fan of Jackie Kelly. She’s one of the few politicians that has the ability to annoy me long after they’ve exited parliament.

Contribution to the discussion: 

“I live in Sydney. It’s costs a lot of money. I can’t afford petrol for my Lexus, or underfloor heating for my newly renovated rumpus room. Working families are taxed too much. I don’t know exactly what a working family is- are they the people that tend to my pores at the spa?”

Saying that, her support and PRAISE even of Malcolm Turnbull as “the smartest man in politics” endeared her to me. Slightly. It’s nice to see someone on the right not saying “the Coalition front bench is a bromance, nothing is wrong- please look away now so we can continue kicking each other under the table”. It’s nice to see someone on the right suggesting that Turnbull’s “intentions’ are not exactly “pure”.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Jackie Kelly’s overall performance had it’s highs and lows. She wasn’t as ardently right wing as I remember her being – perhaps that says more about me than her. Her realistic interpretation of the Turnbull Situation was a refreshing, honest view from the right. Finally. Saying that, her constant whining about cost of living was really off-putting.

Flippancy + Punny-ness = #qanda SHOUT-OUT!

– Matt. @mjwill90

Rating: 5/10

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The Malcolm Turnbull Question

In Politics: Genral on May 28, 2011 by mjwill91

<Warning: I’m unashamedly pro-Turnbull>

The Malcolm Turnbull question. It’s the question on the lips of everyone even slightly concerned about the state of Australian politics as it stands today. For some, mainly the political moderates, the libertarians, the liberalist minority in the Liberal Party and those genuinely concerned about the economic credentials of both the current government and the sub-par alternative we have – the question has a positive slant. For others, the staunch left and the equally staunch right the question has a less positive connotation. Of course, the question is:

What does the future hold for Malcolm Turnbull? 

The political moderates, the libertarians, the liberalist minority in the Liberal Party and those genuinely concerned with matters of economics ask because they’re genuinely interested in the return of Malcolm Turnbull. They see Turnbull as a “savior” type figure. Someone who occupies the political centre, is incredibly intelligent (his $208m bank balance speaks to his keen fiscal mind) and is a rather non-polarising figure.

I'm unashamedly pro-Turbull- look at him there- how Prime Ministerial!

He also has the interesting ability to appeal to those who’d generally consider themselves as “lefties”, something that i’ve personally never seen before. While he might not appeal to the hard-right of the Liberal Party, the party room seems to be forgetting that they don’t need to win over the ardent conservatives, they’re assured those votes irregardless- there’s no one else to vote for after all. The party room should be focussed on capturing the hearts and minds (and votes) of the swinging centre, and Turnbull at least seems to be capable of doing this.

The last few weeks (in particularly the last week) have been an interesting time for people (like myself) who’d like nothing better than see Tunbull take his rightful place as Oppostion Leader (and at this point, he’s my preferred PM). Now, we can assume a few things about Turnbull, the first being that he’s an incredibly intelligent person (as i attested earlier), so we can assume that his recent “dissent” wasn’t an innocent slip of the tongue- it was planned, probably meticulously scripted. Turnbull doesn’t do things half planned. The current instability, the in-fighting isn’t accidental- in all likelihood it’s anything but accidental.

I see no Turnbull in this image.... or even Hockey...

I’d like to jump back a few months actually, to the “No Carbon Tax Rally”. Remember? It was that gathering of octogenarians rounded up by radio 2GB and shipped down to Canberra. Remember now? It was the one with the disgusting signs, the one that quite ironically did more damage to the image of the Coalition than the government. Remember when Abbott got up on stage, flanked by fellow climate change deniers the perpetually hollering Barnaby Joyce, the relic Bronwyn Bishop and the reprehensibly smarmy Sophie Mirabella- giant “Julia is Bob Brown’s Bitch” sign behind them? Where was Turnbull? Of course, nowhere to be seen.

You’re now aware (if you weren’t already) that for months Turnbull has been subtly undermining the legitimacy of Abbott’s leadership by purposely not turning up to “major” Coalition events and by staying quiet as his fellow Coalition members hooted and hollered and stamped their feet around him.

So, it’d be remise of me not to mention the email from the Chief Opposition Whip wouldn’t I? Firstly, the fact that the email went out to 100 odd people is just asking for it to be leaked. Secondly, the whip must not be very good at his job, if he’s not accurately keeping tally of the number of missed divisions (Turnbull has actually missed less than half of the number he’s been accused of) – something that should’ve been picked up on before the email was sent out. Thirdly, if this was some attempt by Abbott to discredit Turnbull, it’s utterly failed. Frankly even if it wasn’t Abbott’s intent to do that, it appears to most that it was. In the end, this email has done more damage (at least at the moment) to Abbott and his position as Opposition Leader than it’s done to Turnbull.

So, while at the moment everyone on the Coalition is all back-slapping and faux-smile wearing (at least in public), you’d have to be blind (or at least an idiot of some great magnitude) not to pick up on the tension, the hollowness of the assurances that everything is peachy and the sheer creepiness associated with Hockey’s pronouncement that the Coalition front bench was like a “bromance” … *shudder* – that’s something I frankly never want to hear again. Ever.

Now, what does the future hold for Turbull? Well. Who knows. Can the Liberal/National Coalition continue to poll “this well” for another two years? Who knows, but given the “fickle-bitch” nature of the Australian public and observing past trends- i’m going to have to no, they won’t and given the fact that they’re already plunging the knife into themselves now, twisting it around in some sort of pathetic attempt to dig out some cancerous polyps- i’d be surprised if they hadn’t bled to death before the next election…. and Malcolm rubbing salt into their wounds probably wont help much either.

Come back Mr. Turnbull, we're waiting for you!

– Matt. @mjwill90

 

Articles

Post #qanda review- May 23rd 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on May 23, 2011 by mjwill91

After a prolonged absence from writing these weekly Q & A summaries caused by sheer lackadaisicalness, some sort of ennui related to pointless bickering and the discovery of pornographic Doctor Who fanfiction- I’m back! (kidding re: porn, i was just very lazy and couldn’t be bothered to swap to ABC24… although I’m pretty sure Doctor Who porn fanfic exists, the internet is a filthy place as Gail will attest to i’m sure)

Ok, tonight is Sydney Writer’s Festival themed, so for once we don’t have a panel filled with self interested politicians (rather we have self-interested writers, yay- change is a good thing)

Issues: Pornography, the Self-Hating Jew and “Labeling”

Michael Cunningham – Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours 

An interesting panelist, who would have been better if it didn’t sound like he was baked out of his mind for the first half of the show. He gave some great insights in the porn debate, offering us the position of the gay pornography consumer, a position that is often overlooked and frankly is a position that i’ve never considered before.

Also, i never realised that there was such a thing as “Obama underwear” – you learn something new every day. Rating 5.5/10 (minus 1 point for being stoned)

Gail Dines – Feminist, anti-pornography academic and writer 

Oh, wow. Well… what to say about Gail Dines…. well- this afternoon when I was still uncommitted re: watching Q & A and I asked Twitter to decide whether or not I should watch it tonight, I received multiple tweets expressing basically the same sentiments,

Gail Dines will be there to say some wacky shit.

  • @cosmicjester

I thought, hmmm- interesting, but I still wasn’t sold on the idea until:

Chances are Dines is going to make you want to watch lots of porn. So, you know, you may want to organise that 

  • @dearhumanity

Sold.

Oh. Wow. Apparently men are evil, porn-consuming monsters- out to rape and destroy and cause anal-prolapses. I’ll be sure to remember that next time i log onto GagOnMyCock. FFS.

I especially “enjoyed” her rants, in particular the one comparing suing pharmaceutical companies for shonky medications to suing pornography producing companies for creating “damaging porn” – it was quite lulzy.

I don’t like people. Everyone knows this. Rarely does someone piss me off so much that I’m literally incapable to write cogently about them, congrats Gail- you do.

She is literally EVERYTHING that is wrong with the off-shoot “men are evil” feminist movement. I’ll go further- she’s everything that’s wrong with modern society, personified.

Rating NA/10 – I couldn’t bring myself to rate this poor excuse of a human being.

Brendan Cowell – Actor, screenwriter and author 

Another interesting panelist. I don’t think anyone was really “boring” this week… saying that he was chronically under-utilised. I did however enjoy how his jovial attitude towards sex seemed to get under Gail’s skin. Anyone that annoys Gail is someone that I have time for. 5/10

Howard Jacobson – Man Booker Prize winning author of The Finkler Question 

Wow. Jacobson was far more interesting that I gave him credit for before tonight’s program. His insistence that the male mind was a “dark evil forest” or something of that ilk was frankly unwarranted, or at least ill advised considering he seemed to lack the ability to understand that women consume porn as well. Perhaps his message would have been better if he was capable to see both sides of the argument.

His “coming out” rant at the end of the program was frankly odd, and probably a little offensive. Mainly odd. Actually a little creepy. Rating 4.5/10

Leslie Cannold – WOOO!!!! – ethicist turned novelist 

Can I actually talk impartially about Leslie Cannold? Hmmm…. No. Because she’s awesome. If you don’t follow her on Twitter already… DO IT! @LeslieCannold – there you go, that’s her “handle” or “@name” or whatever you want to call it. Follow. Now. Stop reading, go to Twitter- follow her then come back.

On probably the oddest panel ever, Leslie was a refreshing voice of “normality” Her refutation of some of the more insane points of Dine’s argument (read: all of Dine’s arguments) was BRILLIANT. As was Leslie’s counter-argument that the pigeonholing of men and women into stereotypical abuser/abused roles actually does more damage to the feminist movement that pornography.

I’d love to go into depth in a while about this topic, remind me ok?

Leslie Cannold. Great Q & A panelist or BEST Q & A panelist? I think the latter of the two. She was clearly the “winner”, the best panelist this week, probably the best panelist this year. 9.5/10 – Please come back Leslie. Soon.

Oh my!

-Matt. @mjwill90