Turnbull's ABCC/DD Circus

Created: Thursday, 21 April 2016 Written by Max Gross
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Innovative Xenox News reporteur Max Gross get's excited about the demise of Malcolm Grech

The reign of muddling Malcolm Turnbull PM looks set to be more fleeting than even that of the abysmal Tony Abbott.

Watching his pop poll percentage shrinking, this week Turnbull rolled the dice in a desperate attempt to cling to his recently acquired prime ministership.

Using the LNP's idealogical putsch to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to trigger an early federal election through a Double Dissolution of parliament, Turnbull - like Abbott - has apparently decided that if he cannot run the joint he will wreck the joint.


Is policing union governance as important as ensuring public health and education? Is it MORE important? Turnbull and his squaddies think so.

Recalling the infamous 1975 coup that toppled an elected Labor government, once again a governor-general parroted a LIEbral script, demonstrating just how far the ultra-conservatives and their entrenched, born-to-rule power brokers will go to manipulate parliamentary proceedings in order to get their way.

The dead hand of a the German-born British monarchy continues to constrict Australia's progress.

The farcical sight of the Senate President - a LIEbral - trying to gag all Labor references to the Queen of England and the governor-general in arguing its opposition to LIEbral proroguing parliament was sickening to behold in an exciting, innovative and supposedly independent 21st democracy such as ours.

Turnbull's apparent obsession with restoring the abolished ABCC compares with Abbott's extremist anti-union kangaroo court dressed-up as a Royal Commission and Howard's undemocratic, doctrinaire and ultimately politically fatal WorkChoices putsch.

All driven purely by ideology, nothing more.

It stems from the traditional ultra-conservative hatred of workers' unions and its determination to destroy anything to do with employees organising themselves in order to protect and improve the conditions of their employment.

Conversely -and equally traditional - the ultra-cons turn a blind eye to systemic corrupt practices and scandals in the finance and banking industry.

Despite the explosive revelations of the Panama Papers, Turnbull and his LNP cohort refuse to make the slightest effort to stop the tax avoidance and the rorts that go with offshore banking (so-called!).

As Joseph Stiglitz noted in "Making Globalization Work","The secrecy of offshore banking centres exists because it is in the interest of certain groups in the advanced industrial countries."

Indeed, the financial sector is dominated and bent to the will of "fickle investors, profit-seeking speculators and currency manipulators".

Turnbull's concern with criminal conduct in the construction industry - by unions only, naturally - while ignoring the corruption inherent in the finance and banking sector, tells me all I need to know about him, his party and the faceless men who control it.

According to those heroic worthies at GetUp.org.au:

  • Australia lost $5.37 billion to corporate tax dodging from just 76 foreign multinationals in 2013 and 2014 – these billionaire corporations pay a lower effective tax rate than your average nurse;5
  • Big pharmaceutical corporations paid the lowest effective tax rate at just 5.7%, compared to 7.5% for hi-tech corporations and 20% for energy corporations – but energy corporations averaged the highest tax shortfall per company at $181,364,419;
  • There are two major loopholes that are being exploited by multinational corporations: Debt Loading and Profit Alienation, and effective policy solutions to both of these loopholes have recently been implemented in Hong-Kong and the UK.

But yes, Labor leader Bill Shorten is wrong in calling for a royal commission into banking and finance. We 

already KNOW what the problems are.

What this country needs is industry transparency and accountability and a government with the cojones to legislate the changes people are screaming for, that dirty concept the ultra-cons loathe: better regulation!

And how about the corrupt effect of massive undisclosed donations to politicians by powerful vested interests intent on maintaining their suffocating hold on social and economic policy in this country?

Nah! The LIEbrals see no feckin' problems with that!

Talking through her nose in the recalled Senate, the reptilian minister for bashing workers and the unemployed, McHales Cash, appropriately attired in a faux-snakeskin outfit, wept crocodile tears for small and medium businesses apparently suffering egregiously because of unionism.

Her nasal whine brought a little vomit up into my mouth.

Because if there is one thing the LIEbral ultra-cons DO NOT give a shit bout it is the "mums and dads" of small business; the central purpose of the LIEbral party is to serve the biggest, wealthiest corporate and monied interests which, after all, fund the party.

Moaning and groaning about the CMFEU's "unlawful business model", Michaelia made no mention of the Panama Papers and the persistent rot inherent in local and global finance and banking businesses.

She was adamant about bringing "the rule of law" to building and construction but NOT to finance and banking because that would be biting the whip hand that feeds her and her dodgy ultra-con colleagues.

Corrupt union officials bad, corrupt financial speculators and big tax dodgers good.

Turnbull's ABCC Star Chamber is a Trojan horse with nothing to do with ending lawlessness, improving productivity or creating jobs, it is all about protecting vested interests at the very top of the economic food chain.

The fact is that productivity within the building and construction industry has improved annually ever since the ABCC was abolished in 2012 by the Gillard Labor minority government.

Turnbull's ABCC furphy is the same mentality behind the LIEbral hatred for public schools, public hospitals, public transport and social services generally.

And let us not forget the millions of dollars of government funding ripped out of the CSIRO, the BOM and ASIC.

Yep: ASIC, gutted, the one agency purported by Turnbull and his squaddies to oversee the banking and finance industry.

And no, hurriedly putting back today what you pulled out yesterday doesn't earn you a gold star sticker, Scotty!

Oh and let us not forget the 44000 sacked ATO workers. Hell, we don't need them, they might expose some dirty, tax-dodging LIEbral party donor!

Turnbullshit knifed Abbott to seize the LIEbral crown and made all the right noises at the outset, proclaiming innovation throughout the land, but it was Turnbull as Abbott's communications minister who killed off the real National Broadband Network (NBN) and replaced it with a half-baked version that is not only more costly and less efficient but completely defeats the purposse of fibre optics in the first place.

No serious industry analyst or player considers Turnbull's NBN anything but an inadequate, second-rate project that fails to meet the nation’s current, never mind future communications needs.

Business knows this so why doesn't he LNP, the purported party of business interests?

Critical national infrastructure was never a Liebral priority and so it remains with Mr Exciting Times Turnbull, even as another Aussie industry died.

The LAST Australian-made fridge left the assembly line at the Electrolux factory in Orange, NSW (11 April 2016) because Electrolux is moving its operations offshore.


No white goods, no TVs, no textile manufacturers, no shoes, no cars...

Shee-it! What does Australia produce nowadays apart from stuff dug from holes in the ground?

Meanwhile, major company collapses continue as a normal consequence of globalization and boom-bust-dog-eat-dog Capitalism, leaving thousands out of work, most recently Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel refinery and Arrium Steel in South Australia (not Clive Palmer's).

Workers keep getting get shafted while CEOs and moguls like lithe Clive swan off untouched and entire communities suffer.

One thing is for sure: Clive Palmer's treatment of Queensland Nickel demonstrates why Australians need workers' unions.

Since snatching government off Labor, the regressive LIEbrals have doubled the national deficit, lost business support, failed to deliver a single sustainable budget, ripped $80 billion from state health and education services, removed the carbon tax saying it was costing Australians too much but retained compensation to polluting businesses to combat the carbon tax which no longer existed, costing far more: $15 billion annually.

They then scrapped Labor's debt ceiling of $300 billion, increased government debt to $406 billion and now preside over record levels of debt which THEY created.

They indulged in internal squabbling and leadership spills, while sliding ever further to the far-right when the country was just crying out for stability.

Turnbull even threatened to withdraw all federal government funding from public schools across Australia.

So much for "innovation".

So much for changing from the blundering, bullying but thoroughly predictable Abbott to the blundering, dithering and thoroughly disappointing Turnbull.

The practical difference between the two is a Saville-Row suit and the color of their ties.

Oh, and one of them knows how to string a coherent sentence together.

What Turnbull really wanted to change was the independence of the Senate which, unlike the House of Representatives, is not a play thing of the LNP.

But the Senate recognised Turnbull's song and dance about reinstating the ABCC for the idealogical sideshow that it and once more rejected the proposed legislation.

Malcolm Grech got the trigger for the Double Dissolution election he desperately hopes will reshape a newly formed Senate more to his favour. Analysts say that is unlikely and that, in fact, there will be even less NLP senators than current.

Better still, the LIEbrals and their Notional party rump may even lose government.

Oh but the PM did hold an awkward presser on the day of his pointlessly prorogued parliament.

He and his defence minister dragged a navy uniform out of the cupboard to announce some patrol boats - to stop asylum seekers, I guess - will be built in Australia... subject to negotiation... some time after 2020.

But no locally built submarines for South Australia where the ship-building industry languishes in apparent death throes.

Prior to having parliament recalled for party political purposes Turnbull vowed to call a DD on July 2 if the Senate again rejected his ABCC proposal but has made no current vow.

So, having had his ABCC bluff called, will Turnbull flinch, duck, cover and scuttle sideways as usual and decide NOT to call an early election?

Voters will not forgive Turnbull for subjecting them to the longest feckin' election campaign in history.

Either way, an election must be held by September as the first and last calamitous term of the Abbott/Turnbull government crumbles.

So, anyway, will he or won't he?

Turnbull keeps saying the Senate rejection of his bullshit ABCC legislation provides him with the right to call a double dissolution of both houses of parliament. He keeps saying he will call an election for July 2.

Malcolm says a lot of things, none of which actually amount to anything.

So why hasn't he called it? Why wait? What's he afraid of?

Oh, that's right, he may end up with more non-government senators than there are now!

When politicians wallow in the slurry of opportunistic rorting, petty in-fighting and ideological bullshit of little interest to the average punter, the nation is the biggest loser.

And speaking of losers, it gives me great pleasure to note the political demise of the grotesque Ms Bronwyn Bishop (17/4/2016).

This week, after 22 years as LIEbral rep for Mackellar and 30 years as an MP, Ms Bishop was dumped by her colleagues, failing to gain preselection as she had done like clockwork for more than three comfy, privileged decades.

And what are her achievements after such a long and illustrious career as a public servant?

The only things I can think of is the kerosene bath scandal as John Howard's Minister for Aged Care when she defended operators of senior citizens homes who were caught torturing old people; and there is her most recent rort when she charged taxpayers for a chartering a helicopter for a short but expensive ride from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a LIEbral party function rather than use a commonwealth car.

That last outrage cost her - despite Tony Abbott's efforts to cover up her dirty deeds - her lofty position as the most egregious and biased House Speaker in Australian history.

A contemptuous, pompous and partisan creature of the LIEbral extreme right, her legacy of self-serving profligacy and utter disdain is a reflection of the party itself. Hopefully from now on she will pay for her chopper flights out of her own pocket rather than the taxpayer's.

Bye-bye Bronny and good feckin' riddance to bad feckin' rubbish.

This was Max Gross for Xenox News and good luck with that.

Read more Max here!