Dinner for Two Millionaires


Lucy & Malcolm Turnbull: pic by Eva Rinaldi

So Malcolm Turnbull had dinner with Clive Palmer. Wouldn’t you like to have been a fly on the wall at that dinner?

Possible explanations include: Turnbull is looking for Palmers support if he decides to challenge Abbott; Turnbull has been sent to try to get Clive “I’m Not Talking To This Mob” Palmer to negotiate over the budget; a bit of both.

People are screaming for Turnbull to down Abbott, even in his own party. Is it a good idea? Malcolm may be smooth and plummy, but he’s just as toxic as Abbott. He’s as much a neo-con – minus the god-botherer stuff – as the man he might replace. Don’t forget he was Kerry Packer’s consigliere until they fell out, and that’s not a recommendation.

Big Mal is in bed with the big end of town, the multi-millionaires and billionaires, far more than Tony Abbott ever was or will be. His economics will still be the same old soundly discredited ‘trickle-down’ nonsense peddled by the likes of Thatcher and Bush that gave us the GFC and the obscenely mega-rich. Trickle down isn’t economics, it’s just rich people peeing on us and telling us it’s great fertiliser.

I’m willing to bet Turnbull will still want students to become modern-day indentured servants to pay off their crushing loans. He will still favour a cowed and crushed middle class to keep making money for his mates, towing their enormous mortgages behind them He will still want most of us to die before we can claim the pension we work for all our lives. He’ll just put a prettier face on it all.

If Abbott is the crazy shooter in the Canberra mall, Turnbull is the one in the car park mowing down shoppers with his Rolls.

If he got to drive it into the chamber, first under his wheels would be Hockey and Pyne. Then he would screech to a halt at the Speakers Chair, bundle the unspeakable occupant into the boot, preparatory to crating her up for delivery to, say, Iran. The other Bishop would drape herself seductively over the bonnet. But enough of daydreams.

His government would continue to bash the unions, the unemployed, the elderly and the young. Swapping Turnbull for Abbott will merely prolong the pain: the new boss would be the same as the old boss, with a nicer facade.

As PM, he would spell the end of Shorten. I was going to write that Bill would ‘go up in flames’ when faced with Turnbull, but that seems far too dramatic somehow. He’d just smoulder quietly, emitting the occasional puff of rhetoric, till his union mates began to choke on the smoke.

Meanwhile the ABC will die the death of a thousand cuts, the public health service will start to collapse through lack of funding, the GST will rise and be applied to food. Billy boy will find sound political excuses not to oppose any of them.

In short, if you’re not a rusted on righty, and you want a fair and decent country that looks after the poor, sick, young, old, and just plain unfortunate, It’s not Abbott that needs to be got rid of, and the sooner the better. It’s the whole damned government.

Turnbull is not your saviour. Especially not if he’s in cahoots with Clive Palmer. No, he’s just another naughty millionaire.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)