Turnbull under threat from his own side

Malcolm Turnbull’s career being terminated by Liberals not Labor

According to all the current political polls, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is on a hiding to nothing to be defeated at the next Federal Election.

However, the biggest threat to his re-election is not Labor’s Opposition Leader Bill Shorten but two fellow Liberals. They are Tony “The Mad Monk” Abbott and Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW.

As anyone with political experience will tell you, the Federal Coalition must win a majority of seats in NSW at the next election to be returned to office.

Can Turnbull overcome the disastrous political legacies of Ms Berejiklian to carry NSW and claim victory? I can’t see it. As things stand today, Ms Berejiklian is on course to crash into political oblivion at the next State Election in March 2019.

Her “headless chook” approach to governing has inflicted major electoral damage on the Liberal vote, and when Turnbull decides to run again he will be blasted amidships by an anti-Liberal swing in the Premier State.

Like Turnbull, Berejiklian is hostage to the far right of her own Liberal Party as well as the backwoodsmen and women of the NSW Nationals. On social policy, she has surrendered to the knuckleheads in the Christian lobby and on economic policy she is a loyal servant of the Treasury, CBD board rooms, developers, real estate spivs and corporate investment hucksters.

In other words, she is a creature of the top 10%; by serving their private interests she is upsetting the other 90% of voters. The impact will be a double whammy which threatens to end her premiership and turf Turnbull out of The Lodge.

Glad the Impaler

Thanks, Gladys, for two of your recent decisions which have sickened voters from all shades of the electorate:

  • To spend $2.3 billion plus to bulldoze the ANZ and Allianz stadiums and build brand new ones for the millionaire spivs who run the NRL, the AFL and the ARU.
  • To “save” $50 million by axing the Reading Recovery programme used by Year 1 students at more than 900 schools to enhance their literacy skills.

These two abominable decisions follow on the heels of the scrapping of the Safe Schools programme and the discarding of juvenile drugs courts to stop teenagers from being sent to adult jails where they risk being condemned to a life of crime.

Berejiklian dismisses her ever-widening circle of critics with the arrogance of a CBD merchant banker (which she was in a previous life): “There is always noise around what government does. It is all about making the right call,” she trilled.

In other words, sod off!

In a desperate bid to recapture support, she has scrapped council amalgamations and postponed greyhound racing reforms. She is now in the midst of a purge of senior executives in the Cabinet Office and Premier’s Department. It is an attempt to create a re-election “war room” to rebuild her Government’s tattered image as well as her own.

But after two terms of relentless and ruthless activity, the shell-shocked bureaucracy wants a return to the quiet life. The pencil-pushers are weary of change, misguided reform, out-sourcing and budget cuts. Meanwhile, voters are sick of being ordered around by commands from an executive-style, “open for business” government.

Then there is Tony Abbott, MP for Warringah, and his demented cronies on various backbenches – Peter Dutton, Kevin Andrews, George Christensen, Captain Andrew Hastie, Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz, Cory Bernardi, Pauline Hanson and David Leyonhjelm.

With the help of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire they are hellbent on reforging Australian social culture from a “fair go” secular democracy to a hard-line neo-conservatism.

It’s game on for 2018.

Buck House bunkum

Working in London as a journalist for 20 years during the 1960s, 70s, early 80s and then the 90s, I learnt that all news emanating from Buckingham Palace was “fake news”.

It was “spin” delivered by House of Windsor trusties to approved “royal watchers” in Fleet Street. The Palace operatives made private phone calls and held private lunches with handpicked journalists who had been vetted by No 10 Downing Street and MI5.

When the Prince Charles and Princess Diana circus was in full swing in the early 1990s, the two opposing parties were “leaking” like sieves against each other. It was a re-run of the bitter war which occurred in the 1930s in the wake of the abdication of Edward VIII and his subsequent marriage to the US social climber Mrs Wallis Simpson and their honeymoon in Nazi Germany as the guest of Adolf Hitler.

Ignore the royal hokum

The Australian media is a rabid participant in the royal mania. Last September New Idea and Woman’s Day published almost identical front-page photographs and stories scandalising the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

New Idea editor Frances Sheen splashed the story: “Charles & Camilla – Our Marriage is over!” on the cover and over two pages inside: “Charles & Camilla Marriage Over – Why he finally walked – Shock Split – The prince is racked with remorse over his infidelity and its effect on his sons”.

The unsigned story began: “In an explosive development, Prince Charles has told Camilla that their marriage is finally over – ending months of speculation over their controversial relationship.” (NI, 4 September 2017)

Not to be out-scooped, Woman’s Day editor Fiona Connolly hit back with the same cover photograph with the headline: “Is this the end? Camilla caught kissing another man”. Ms Connolly splashed two pages inside with the breathless heading: “Royal shock as Camilla caught with another man – Prince Charles’s marriage is thrown into crisis after he discovers the Duchess of Cornwall’s betrayal with a man 12 years her junior”.

The unsigned story began: “They’re no stranger to scandal, and now the British royal family have been rocked by arguably the biggest bombshell in palace history.

“On the eve of the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on August 31, Prince Charles’s second wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, has allegedly been caught out with another man, sending the entire monarchy into chaos and throwing Charles’s already troubled marriage into deeper crisis.” (WD, 4 September 2017)

Both stories are codswallop from start to finish. They demonstrate that some female editors are just as prone to sensationalist junk as some male editors.

Who would want to plant these fake stories in Australian media and why would they want to do it? Who heads the major factions in the Palace and why has “fake news” warfare broken out now? Is it because QEII and Phil the Greek (German) are on their last legs? Discuss.

Meghan Markle Mania

Meghan Markle

The current media obsession with Ms Meghan Markle, newly engaged to Prince Harry, is the latest instalment in Buckingham Palace’s project to keep the English monarchy alive and kicking.

The royal hangers-on – and there are thousands of them – depend on the Windsors’ survival for their own survival. In recent weeks, headline news in the UK and Australia have included:

  • Harry and Meghan want their wedding cake to be made from bananas. AM comments: This item is especially tailored for brain-dead readers in Queensland and the West Indies where bananas are a staple product.
  • Guardian article: “How Meghan Markle might bring the royals closer to Christ the King”. AM comments: In fact, the American TV starlet might bring the royals closer to extinction.
  • A family rift has fractured the relationship between Meghan Markle and her father. AM comments: There is no evidence to support this non-story.
  • Meghan Markle is the descendant of John Hussey from 17th century Dorking in Kent. AM comments: If true, so what?
  • Meghan Markle is a descendant of Winston Churchill. AM comments: Rubbish.
  • Meghan Markle is a descendant of William Shakespeare. AM comments: Who next? John of Gaunt?
  • The American press is describing Ms Markle as “the first black princess” or “the first black royal” because her mother is African American. AM comments: This is correct. Princess Diana’s son has forced the unreconstructed Palace degenerates to accept Meghan Markle into the “family business”. What difference will she make? In Washington DC in 1963 after the march for Jobs and Freedom Martin Luther King said: “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” What is the content of Ms Markle’s character? We still don’t know. At present we only know she and her betrothed are on the make … bigtime. For New Year they flew to Monaco to party “like tycoons” while in the previous week they were supporting his Invictus Games project for sick, wounded or injured military personnel from recent Western wars against Arab and North African countries and the Central Asian state of Afghanistan.

You’ll be pleased to know that my New Year’s resolution is to stop writing about the utterly worthless Windsor-Mountbatten-Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family.

Put on a Happy Face

Since it was revealed that Australian High Commissioner in London Alexander Downer, the former Liberal Party leader, was implicated in the “dirty dossier” linking Donald Trump to Russian prostitutes and US election-rigging, the Federal Coalition, the ALP Opposition and the mainstream media have been reassuring all and sundry that Australia’s special relationship with the USA is hunky dory. Oh really?

So why has President Trump decided to treat Australia like a third world republic and not appoint a US ambassador to this country?

Australia has not hosted a US ambassador for almost 18 months. Instead a junior US envoy, a chargé d’affaires, is doing the job.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop are crawling around Trump’s circle trying to convince the Manhattan real estate developer that Downer was a “lone wolf” who acted alone when he sent the “dirt file” to Canberra and it subsequently ended up with the FBI and failed Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

Let’s hope the US Congress, a grand jury or the special prosecutor Robert Mueller call Downer to give sworn evidence about foreign interference in the last US presidential election campaign.

I guessed you’ve noticed that the Australian media has dropped the Downer scandal like a smelly dead fish.

Riots in Iran, rallies in Israel

Street riots in southern cities in Iran have been top of the news list this week. Even the “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Oi, Oi, Oi” commercial TV stations have flooded screens with protesters complaining about cost of living increases and food shortages.

Lengthy statements from Tehran blaming provocative interference from Washington and its client state, Israel, have been dismissed as “propaganda” or gone unreported.

There seems little doubt that there is seething discontent among Iranians whose patience is exhausted. They were told that the nuclear deal with Western states would lead to better times – the lifting of sanctions and a more reformist future. But things only got worse and street protest seemed the only option.

Across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa these types of anti-government street demonstrations are a dime a dozen. As a result of inhuman austerity imposed the World Bank and the IMF, governments around the world have been targeted by protests, particularly since the Global Financial Crash (GFC) in 2008-09.

World intelligence sources are unanimous in declaring this week’s Iranian protests are the handiwork of the CIA and Mossad skilfully using social media sites to encourage public unrest and broadcast it to the world media.

While Iran has captured the headlines, far right Israeli settlers have been celebrating on the streets of Jerusalem.

“Rally” or riot? Right-wing Israelis in the streets of Jerusalem

This follows the unanimous decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party to annex the West Bank and impose “Israeli sovereignty” on the Israeli settlements built there since the war of 1967.

So much for the Israeli apologists – ALP right wingers and Coalition Zionists – who told us that President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a part of an elaborate “peace pivot”.

Dr Hanan Ashrawi, PLO executive committee member and former winner of the Sydney University Peace Prize, deplored the Likud decision saying: “Israel has been emboldened by the US administration’s irresponsible and provocative policies and is therefore escalating its violation of international law and bringing about an official end to the failing peace process.

“This is the final demise of the two-state solution and previously signed agreements. The latest steps by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu are adding fuel to the flames and further enhancing Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people and their land and rights.”

If Dr Ashrawi can clearly see the aim of US/Israeli aggression, why can’t Turnbull, Bishop and Shorten?

A Palestinian star is born


Ahed Tamimi

Ahed Tamimi, aged 16, is the new face of the Palestinian resistance. She became a figurehead when she slapped an Israeli soldier on the face. The incident was filmed and displayed on mobile phones and laptops around the world.

The next day Israeli soldiers returned to Ahed’s West Bank village and dragged her away, later charging with her “terrorism” offences. All in a day’s work for these uniformed thugs.

Her father Bassem Tamimi said: “Ahed is one of many young women who in the coming years will lead the resistance to Israeli rule. She is not interested in the spotlight currently being aimed at her due to her arrest, but in genuine change.”

Jewish journalist Gideon Levy wrote in Ha’aretz newspaper: “She could be your daughter, or your neighbour’s daughter, yet the abuse she suffers rouses no feelings of solidarity, compassion or basic humanity. She’s a ‘terrorist’. She couldn’t have been our daughter; she’s a Palestinian.

“Nobody asks himself what have happened if Tamimi had been his daughter. Wouldn’t you have been proud of her, like her father, who (has) voiced that pride. Wouldn’t you have wanted a daughter like that, who exchanged their non-existent youth for a courageous struggle for liberty? Or would you have preferred a daughter who was a collaborator? Or simply empty-headed?”

Ahed Tamimi after her arrest

Levy, aka “The Most Hated Jew in Israel”, continued: “Israel hides behind an iron curtain that it’s no longer possible to pierce. Nothing Israel does to the Palestinians is still capable of rousing any compassion. Not even the poster girl Tamimi.

“Even if she were sentenced to life in prison for a slap, even if she were sentenced to death, her punishment would be greeted with either open joy or indifference. There is no place for any other human emotion toward any Palestinian.”

Sound familiar? That’s how the Nazis considered Jews in the 1930s …

Book of the Year

London celebrity journalist Katie Nicholl is currently promoting her ghastly “book”, Kate: The Future Queen, on the fairy tale story of Kate Middleton and her marriage to Prince William.

Unfortunately Ms Nicholl’s website used to say the book was “published by Harvey Weinstein Books” in a joint venture with Hachette.

The Hollywood mogul’s name disappeared after Hachette decided to end its business partnership with the Democrat-loving predator.

Press Release of the Year (so far)

TAFE NSW enrolment data for 2017 shows thousands of extra students this year wanted to take advantage of the State’s property boom and become real estate agents.

The Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said enrolments in the Certificate IV Property Services (Real Estate) had seen a huge 44 per cent increase in 2017.

“The performance of TAFE NSW in this huge growth sector is another example of how the NSW Government is working hard to address the skill needs of the State,” he said.

  • Marshall is the Nationals MP for the Northern Tablelands. Once the mayor of Gunnedah, Marshall is a dead set wombat whose proper place in public life is locust inspector in the electorate town of Bald Nob.


  1. I’m sorry to report that Phil Jacobson died earlier this week, of meningitis.
    Happy New Year, Alex and Judith. A loyal though dissentient reader. Stephen

    1. Yes, Stephen, I heard the sad news about Phil but too late for my Notebook this week. For what it’s worth,
      I regarded Phil as the ultimate professional: dogged researcher and fact-checker, marvellous anecdotalist and observer, and stylish writer. An old-style foreign correspondent who regarded the story as the ultimate prize and not his own ego or ambitions.

  2. On the ball on every account covered here in your report, Alex! I hope this is automatically sent through to every state and federal level politician of all sides! If only they had no gatekeeper spin assistants in their offices who will have been ordered not to let through the truth so that they can deny ever having heard things inimical to their ideological straightjacket!

    1. Thanks, Jim. I wish my Notebook was automatically sent to MPs as well. Unhappily it’s not, although I’m
      always surprised by the number that read it. I just keep plugging away ….

  3. Wot a bloody marvellous start to the AM post year ! Pithy appraisal of the merchant bank Christ for ever operatives who run Liberal governments. Got an early morning laugh from the Buck house insights, let alone the re- appearance of fishnets Downer.
    But most of all I’m grateful for reminders about the gutsy writing and the fearless lives of Hanan Ashrawi & Gideon Levy, plus the commentary ( and picture) of Ahed Tamimi. She is such a threat to Israeli thuggery that we need to campaign for her, her family and people throughout 2018.

    1. Thanks so much AGAIN, Stuart, your comments are always most welcome. The Ahed Timimi campaign is well underway and I think we are going to hear more and more of young Ahed. She appears to be an exceptional young woman.

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