Apparently the delay in the Henry Review and the response to the preventative health-care task force are related.  Both propose significant increases in tax for tobacco and alcohol. Both concepts have the support of health-care professionals, government departments and most ministers, with the prime minister apparently on board “in principle”.

The big problem it seems is that the government doesn’t believe the coalition will be bi-partisan, instead painting the government as wanting to raise taxes rather than primarily wanting to create healthier communities. The revolving door of tobacco and alcohol executives and lobbyists through the doors of senior coalition shadow ministers lends some credibility to the government’s fears.

Further to your excellent article on the Health Services Union. There was no consultation. And this also happened when the Victorian number one branch took over number five — the members were not told. On top of this Austin Hospital is closing Stericlean (its laundry) and 60 people will lose their jobs. Did the HSU do anything about it? No.

It is quite wrong to say that Malcolm Turnbull’s one-vote loss showed he was learning to “manage ” the party room and backbench. If that implies winning over support via intellectual persuasion , the contrary is the case. Over the week of the leadership struggle, Turnbull and his people had been strong-arming colleagues with threats to their future pre-selections and prospects for promotion.

The ballot on whether to defer the vote on the CPRS until after Copenhagen, taken a few minutes after Abbot’s victory free from Turnbull’s intimidatory tactics, was a 66% victory for Tony Abbott and a better indicator of his support. Turnbull showed disrespect for his colleagues by his repeated statements in the media that because he was “the leader” he would decide the policy revealing the underlying psychology of intolerance of other views.

Shed no tears for a dictatorial man denied power by the power of democracy!

Talk at the highest levels of the Liberal Party is that research consultant and businessman (and occasional Crikey contributor) Christopher Joye is being courted to take a run at Wentworth…