Federal

Apr 23, 2018

Turnbull can use lessons from the royal commission to fix live exports

If the government is smart, it won't make the same mistake it made about a banking royal commission on live exports.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media during a press conference in Berlin, Sunday, April 22, 2018. Mr Turnbull is in Berlin on a three-day official visit. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

Occasionally the government gives the appearance of learning from its mistakes: it has allowed the issue of whether it should have called a banking royal commission earlier to only run for several days. Last night, out of news cycle and from Europe, Malcolm Turnbull admitted to a mistake in not calling it sooner. Kelly O'Dwyer's effort on the ABC yesterday probably helped. O'Dwyer -- strongly challenging colleague Michaelia Cash as the minister most likely to be found with her foot in her mouth -- was merely sticking to the government's line that everything was just fine, adorning it with statements like "I'm very happy to concede that we have taken the right action". But it's still a car wreck when you deliberately drive into a wall.

So after days of stubbornly refusing to admit getting it wrong, Turnbull made a partial admission, that he'd made a political error. Not a real error, just a political error. Well, it's only political damage you're incurring, Prime Minister.

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17 comments

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17 thoughts on “Turnbull can use lessons from the royal commission to fix live exports

  1. Marcus Hicks

    He can, but he won’t. As with everything else, he is too scared of ticking off the Nationals to actually grow a spine & do something worthwhile.

  2. RL

    This morning ABC news reports another load of dying and distressed sheep were going to be sent off from Adelaide.
    Company refused access for inspection until ordered by court.
    Littleproud’s going to have to do a lot more than call bs on this.

  3. Damien

    “And this is an area where Liberals traditionally are unable to think straight, due to a combination of millions of dollars of financial sector donations and that instinctive hatred of industry super funds which has meant the Liberals reflexively took the side of the big banks and AMP, and financial planners, when it came to regulation of financial advice”

    Oh poor naive Bernard. They’ve been “thinking straight” all along…

    Turnbull’s statement provides a rare glimpse into how alleged “moderate” Turnbull (and his party) REALLY think, yet Keane still clings to a bizarre fantasy world where sane political centrists make evidence-based policy and want to look after the “public interest”…

    There is no “poor judgement” or “reflexivity” involved. The simple fact is that in the neo-feudal dystopia, business and capital are the wolves. The rest of us are the sheep being corralled for live export.

    The Libs aren’t “surprised” by the findings of the royal commission because the behaviour revealed is EXACTLY how they think banks and businesses SHOULD act.

    Likewise the Nats with the barbaric cruelty once again revealed in the live export trade.

    In both cases, the only “crime” they can see is that, despite their best efforts, the government STILL has some dwindling power to stick its nose in and interfere (hence these are only “political” misjudgements)…

    This isn’t a glib stereotype anymore. This is reality.

    Are we really that far off a policy proposal for the introduction of a Dutton-administered hereditary caste system? For national security reasons of course!

    Who in the current Coalition would vote against it? Even the doddering, “respected” parliamentary veterans are now so tribalised they would unquestioningly support it…

    You would think Keane, who has previously identified this as the most authoritarian government in Australia’s history, would have twigged by now…

    1. Barnino

      “Neo-feudal dystopia” – nice phrase Damien.
      And ‘hear hear’ to your whole contribution.

    2. AR

      Agree with every word – perfectly put, factual, stripped of unnecessary (the facts ring like a clarion call) adjectives.

    3. MAC TEZ

      Yes indeed, hear hear Damien.

  4. MJM

    “Occasionally the government gives the appearance of learning from its mistakes:… ”
    Which is very different from actually learning from their mistakes.

    I think that the biggest mistake they make, and one they will never learn, is about what government ministers call the politics of envy. It is used when I have the audacity to criticise someone who has something I don’t have, whether or not that possession is the subject of the debate. So when I, who do not have $200m in the Caymans, wonder whether it is reasonable for the PM to keep his money in a tax-free haven while I cannot, I am accused of envy. What I am looking for is a just explanation for one rule applying to me and another to a former merchant banker and his mates.

    They call it the politics of envy but now I am wondering if this RC will provoke a politics of fury.

  5. klewso

    “Self-regulation” – at work …. where’s Simon Crean?

    [The preprogrammed Kelly Doll (batteries not included) – how many anagrams of one answer can be used to answer different questions? I continue to be amazed by O’Dwyer – she and the Party have never let her very obvious limitations hold her back from her rise within the “organisation(?)”; she even made Jello Costello look fit for purpose.
    …. A great argument for quotas.]

  6. Bob Morgan

    The disgraceful Department of Agriculture (DoA) should be renamed Dead on Arrival, because that is all it is overseeing now. I know they’ve been stripped of some funding by Abbott & Joyce, but that is no excuse for continuing to turn a blind eye to the happenings with livestock exports. When will this government stop catering to the big end of town & will this government ever learn or more importantly will they ever be capable of learning.

  7. Robert Smith

    Who were the group of geniuses who decided the thing to do was deny & stonewall & then permitted O’Dwyer to go on TV with that line. Brilliant way to tell us we are too stupid to see the truth.

  8. zut alors

    Is Turnbull saying it wasn’t a financial & socially reckless mistake to leave the banks et al untethered to thieve customers’ funds? Instead, a ‘political’ mistake.

    As usual it’s all about consequences for Uncle Malcolm & his party – sod the hapless voters.

  9. Bob Weis

    It is getting plainer by the day just what new records in stupidity this government have reached. Malcolm leads the way as the self-appointed head prefect with one thought bubble following the next with no visible ideas behind any of them Remember Godwin Gretch, that Dickensian public servant who provided a forged email to Eric (also stupid) Abetz and Malcolm came on as if he had just won Tatts when it was clear to any outside observer that Gretch was not a great source of information.
    Or Snowy 2.0? Total thought bubble with no research or backup, anything to avoid the certain onset of a world powered by renewables.

    1. Marcus Hicks

      Sadly, I am no longer surprised by each new depth to which this moronic government sinks.

  10. klewso

    At least nice Mr Turnbull is getting his priorities in order :-
    He should have called this inquiry a couple of years ago – to save him and his Limited News Party such electoral discomfort?
    ….. Bugger the time lost while he and his government protected, covered for and stone-walled on behalf of those bank donors; and bugger the time lost in letting sunlight in on how those valued donors work, at screwing us too?

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