We talk about the super Saturday results, how the liberal party is weakening, one nation is damaging the liberal party and the labor party is powering on and is heading to a winning election, the farmers are suffering and the government hardship payments are better than nothing but not by much.
Listen to the podcast here.
Peta Credlin has done more to harm Malcolm Turnbull than the ALP has ever managed
Peta Credlin did Malcolm Turnbull permanent damage by coming up with the devastating phrase “Mr Harbourside Mansion”.
It has come to define the Prime Minister in the hearts and minds of millions of ordinary Australians, and hampers Turnbull’s ability to cut through even when he is announcing something good and worthy.
I have just been watching him on Sky News. He was out in the bush, accompanied by Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. When a PM announces a couple of hundred million dollars to be given to drought-stricken farmers, you would think there could be no problems.
There is a problem, though. Whether it is walking in to a pub in suburban Brisbane or comforting a weeping farmer out bush, Turnbull finds it near impossible to fit in. You can smother him in as many Akubras, Driza-Bones or RM Williams’s boots as you like and it will make no difference.
The hat has no signs of the sweat of his brow because it is brand new. The jacket is just off the hook, the boots have not a speck of dust on them. If the St Vincent’s de Paul Society has an op-shop in a country town somewhere, he should get there quickly.
If you were a Bob Hawke or a Neville Wran, you did not need to dress up to look the part.
Tony Abbott’s chief-of staff turned TV host Peta Credlin.
Those two could fit in anywhere simply by being themselves — not an air or a grace was present when they came to visit.
There is the problem. The more Turnbull tries to fit in, the more awkward he looks. This is a mountain too high and too difficult for him to climb.
No one on the Labor side of politics could come up with any description of the PM anywhere near as devastating as those three words that Credlin came up with.
The commentariat is almost unanimous in believing the government has been hopeless in communicating its policies.
Before the Coalition even begins to grapple with that, it should consider the visage problem first.
My advice to the PM would be to try a radical, new approach: try being yourself.
Wran could wear extremely expensive suits, live really well in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and still be one of the mob. The Balmain boy turn of phrase made him sound just right for the mob.
Turnbull does have natural charm that carried him to the top of the business and financial heap. Maybe if he just acted normally, it might improve his and his government’s standing. This approach may be radical but it is worth a try.
No matter what happens from now, though, one thing stands out from the government’s $190 million drought package: its manifest inadequacy.
As one farmer said on Nine Network news: “$12,000 doesn’t buy one load of grain.”
Given that the NSW government provided 2½ times what Turnbull announced in drought relief, farmers should be demanding to know why the federal ¬Coalition can find $17 billion for the big four banks and only a lousy $190m for one of the worst droughts on record.