Thursday, August 06, 2009

Turnbull Bunkers In

Following the release this week of the Auditor-General's Report on the "utegate" affair, Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has largely retreated to teh bunker. He gave brief media interviews defending himself. He did not defend former Treasury official Godwin Grech, who provided the fake email to him. Indeed, he did not even mention his name. It was left to teh media to remind people that Mr Grech is now in psychiatric care. No-one form the Liberal Party, let alone Mr Turnbull or his advisers, has visited Mr Grech. They were quite prepared to use him, and he is alleged to have approached them. Former Liberal Party Deputy Peter Costello didn't help with his media interviews saying that Mr Turnbull did not apply any "due diligence" on the now-known-to-fake email.

Now, some in the Parliamentary Liberal Party are proposing Andrew Robb as a possible Leader. He was one of John Howard's more right-wing Ministers. It is also likely that the more extreme right of the NSW Liberal Party are working to gain preselection for safe Liberal seats in NSW, for both the next Federal election (2010) and the NSW State election in 2011. That bodes badly for Malcolm Turnbull, whose views are more centrist.

The week's economic news hasn't been that good for the Liberal/National Coalition either. Unemployment has remained at 5.8%, rather than rising to 6%, and more jobs have been created, although most are part-time jobs. But they have made nothing ... nothing ... of the rises in underemployment. This is an issue both the past Liberal National government and the current Labor Government don't want to discuss. They are the hidden unemployed - those with jobs, working les than 35 hrs/week, and who want to work longer.

Emissions Trading Scheme legislation is also due to be debated this month, and the Liberal/Natinal Coalition still can't decide what's best for the country - vested interests or an emissions trading scheme to help lower greenhouse gases, which contribute to drier, less productive farmland; and which will threaten the coastal homes of many people. MMM ... vested interests, or people. It's such a hard decision!

The bottom line is, we need politicians to act in the interests of the people. The Liberal Party is too busy playing politics, including internally, to be useful to anyone.